Managing Conflict…is this the biggest key?
14 Jul

Managing Conflict…is this the biggest key?

Wherever there are people working together, conflict in inevitable, and it’s no wonder when we all have differences in personal styles and objectives to achieve.

 

Watch our short Facebook Live to find out our top tip for managing conflict!

 

Join our private and FREE Facebook group for support with your personal and professional development. With regular posts and Facebook Lives on a variety of topics, there’s always something to get involved with!

Click the image below and request to join now…

How Feedback Unfolds
03 May

How Feedback Unfolds

We provide lots of teams with development. One thing we hear over and over is that they don’t take the time to give each other feedback, so why not try this approach, whether you have an Insights Discovery® profile or not!
 

Insights Discovery Feedback

Courtesy of Insights®

 

Check out how we can support you with personality profiling and get in touch to find out how we can develop your people and your business!

Could Your LinkedIn Profile Use a Spring Clean?
12 Apr

Could Your LinkedIn Profile Use a Spring Clean?

We work with many people to provide outplacement support and career coaching, which leads to us reviewing a lot of LinkedIn profiles which are becoming just as viewed by employers as the traditional CV.
 

When was the last time you reviewed your LinkedIn profile to make sure it’s really working for you? Gone are the days when the sole need for this was to secure your next position; millions of us across the globe now use LinkedIn on a daily basis for to seek new ideas and opinions, network and help others.

 

That said, if you are looking for your next move, it pays to make sure your profile really sells you in the best way, and that doesn’t mean it simply existing to be a carbon copy of the content on your CV. You can significantly multiply your profile views, connection requests and messages by taking some simple steps, such as having a great profile picture, a good balance of interpersonal skills / technical expertise and optimised keywords.

 

We love this ‘cheat sheet’ from Leisure Jobs. Even though LinkedIn significantly updated their interface in January 2017, much of the cheat sheet still holds true. Click the image below and put some time aside to work your way through your LinkedIn profile to give it the spring clean that it deserves!

 

Ultimate LinkedIn Cheap Sheet

Get in touch to find out how we can support your people and your business!

Why We Need Creativity & Innovation in the Workplace
07 Mar

Why We Need Creativity & Innovation in the Workplace

creativity employee training and development

With workplaces needing to cut costs and often cut headcount, people need to think differently – and that means getting creative like never before.

 

With the majority of organisations needing to become more efficient and ultimately do more with less, many rush into this without revising old ways of working.  This in turn often leads to stressed employees, missed deadlines, unhappy customers (internal and external), and a wholly unhappy place to be.  We’ve seen many high profile cases of companies going into or almost going into liquidation (HMV, Jessops, Blockbusters, Republic), proving that now more than ever, businesses must keep up to date with changing trends and constantly challenge the way things are done to not only stay current, but profitable too.

 

So how often do we actually stop to think about how to challenge old ways of doing things?  We are all guilty of complaining about there not being enough hours in the day, never enough time to do what is required of us just to keep our heads above water, so the easiest option is of course to just do what we’ve always done.  Getting creative doesn’t have to take a lot of time, it’s simply about considering other ways of doing things.  Sure, it might be that once you have considered other options that the best solution is what you would have done anyway, but if you don’t go through the process you’d never know.

 

Many people consider themselves uncreative.  This can trace right back to childhood, when we were told we couldn’t draw, or our talents lay elsewhere.  Or perhaps as adulthood loomed we put away those childish things and grew up; considering a sensible job, paying the rent / mortgage and other such commitments as the final nails in our creative coffin.  If this sounds like you, consider two things:

 

  1. When was the last time you did something seriously creative?  Either at work or at home, it doesn’t matter.  If you struggle to think of something then it’s not surprising that you feel uncreative.  Creativity is like a muscle, it needs constant exercise or else it withers away.  Classical pianists don’t just become great at playing the piano overnight, it takes constant time and focus (but you’ll be glad to know you don’t need to flex your creative muscle for quite as many hours a day to be great at getting creative!).
  2. Don’t be tempted to think of creativity as blue sky and beanbags.  It’s easy for us to think about what creativity looks like outside of work (arts & crafts, dressmaking, cops & robbers, doctors & nurses!), however when it comes to work creativity can take many forms.  We each have our own unique preferences when it comes to getting the creative juices flowing.  Some people will prefer to think through options themselves whilst others will thrive on the energy of a group discussion.  You may also prefer structured and methodical ways of coming up with new ideas or more abstract methods.  Either way it’s important to identify your own preferred approach, so take some time to identify this.

 

There are a myriad of different tools and techniques out there that can help you to get creative.  Below we offer one for generating new ideas (it’s probably the best known of the lot but that doesn’t mean it’s always used the way it should be!), and one for whittling down your long list of creative options into your few possibles to proceed with.

 

Generating new ideas: Try ‘Brainstorming’

Whoa there!  Before you skip past this bit thinking you know about brainstorming, please read on!  This is arguably the granddaddy of creative thinking tools, but with fame comes mis-use and abuse.  A good brainstorm can be done with groups of people over short or longer time periods depending on what’s being ‘stormed’.  It works because people trigger each others thinking which leads onto constantly new and different or associated ideas and it allows people to think big rather than be restricted…but therein lies the problem with brainstorming.  How many of us have been sat in one of these when each and every suggestion has been subjected to analysis-paralysis or shot down because “that wouldn’t work” or “we’ve tried that before”?

 

So…here are some simple steps to help you to have a successful brainstorm:

  • Have some help – whether it’s a facilitator or a neutral party, try and have someone who can keep things on track and bring everyone back to that big thinking when the debate heats up.
  • What are you brainstorming – make sure everyone is clear on what it is you are trying to generate ideas for.
  • Collect all ideas – capture everything that is offered and spend no time filtering or analysing…that comes later.  This bit is all about quantity over quality.
  • “If you have nothing nice to say…” – by far the hardest part of most brainstorms: keeping a lid on critical evaluation.  Introducing critique at this stage will only stop people from contributing.
  • Brief the ‘rules’ – because brainstorming has been around for so long, most people think it’s easy (which of course it is!)…but you might need to walk through some or all of these steps with your group before you begin, so that everyone is on the same page.

 

Distilling your creative ideas:  Try ‘Negative Selection’

So you’ve gotten creative on how to market your new widget, and you have a list of ideas as long as the combined length of arms in your department.  Maybe a 100 foot plasma billboard suspended above The Thames won’t work, but perhaps it might…!  Essentially, what you are doing here is whittling your list into your no’s and maybe’s, just like you would do when you were considering which breed of dog to adopt or what kind of car to buy.  Be careful not to label the whacky and inventive ideas with a ‘no’ just because they’re whacky and inventive; you could always keep it in the ‘maybe’ pile and come back to it later, or consider if there is a simpler alternative of the idea.  You want to end with a shortlist that has a number of workable and unique ideas, not just a pile of logical, sensible and totally uninspiring ones.

 

So, challenge yourself and your business today.  Think big and think differently…the world is changing and we all need to change with it or get left behind.

 

At Right Trax Training we can help your managers, teams and business to be more creative. Find out more about our employee training and development and get in touch to discuss how we can help.

Complete Our Webinar Survey and Win a FREE Coaching Session!
06 Mar

Complete Our Webinar Survey and Win a FREE Coaching Session!

We promise to keep it brief with just a few questions and then give you a chance to tell us any other webinar-thoughts at the end!

 

Be sure to tell us your name and email address if you’d like to be in with the chance of winning a free developmental coaching session

We need your response by Friday 17th March to be entered into the draw and the lucky winner will be contacted by email.

 

Click below to take the survey!

Take the survey

Are Managers to Blame for Disengaged Employees?
22 Feb

Are Managers to Blame for Disengaged Employees?

disengaged employees

Managers who don’t know how to meet the engagement needs of their team become a barrier to employee, team and company performance’, suggests a recent Gallup poll.

 

The global poll found that disengaged employees outnumber engaged employees by almost 2:1 (24% vs. 13% respectively), so can we then presume that on a worldwide scale, more people find their working lives dissatisfying rather than delightful?

 

An engaged team is naturally the more preferable option, delivering better results across the board in terms of higher employee retention, customer satisfaction ratings and of course profitability to name but a few benefits.

 

Are managers to blame?

 

In a way. But it’s a tricky one.

 

We can’t levy all of the blame at the manager’s doorstep. Whilst it is undeniable that they have a huge amount of collective influence, we must also consider the impact of organisational culture and the infrastructure in place to support them to be able to effectively manage and lead their teams.

 

After all, if a manager is brought into a company that has little or no concern for their people, should we then be surprised if the manager adopts a similar style? This lack of concern can be seen in many ways such as ignoring suggestions, telling not asking or the mis-match between corporate values and behaviour demonstrated, particularly from senior leaders.

 

Let’s be clear: there is a big difference between a manager who actively chooses not to engage their team and one who is not supported to work in such a way. The former must always be performance managed, but we mustn’t paint all managers with the same brush.

 

‘Appropriately trained and aligned managers are vital to the execution of the company’s mission and to the development and engagement of employees.’

Brian Fielkow

 

disengaged employee
The way forward?

 

There are a huge number of factors that can impact employee engagement levels, but to see a significant increase a few of the top areas to focus on include:

  • As mentioned, organisational culture, including strategy, mission, purpose and values must be aligned to provide a unified direction, and this must be driven from the top.
  • People (not just managers) must feel empowered rather than micromanaged.
  • People (particularly managers) must be invested in and supported, both on-the-job and in the long-term through management and leadership development and training.

 

Coming next week: Part two of our look at the importance of developing Emotional Intelligence as an interpersonal skill.

 

Get in touch to find out how we can help to develop your people and your business. Learn more about our management training.

Why We Must Adapt and Change
11 Jan

Why We Must Adapt and Change

management training

‘Adapt or die.’ We hear it time and time again, directed at businesses in danger of extinction, but how often do we look at our own need to change in order to survive?

 

We can all reel off a list of organisations who did indeed ‘die’, as well as some who have brought it back from the brink or who are still clinging on to the edge, for now at least. What we hear less about is our individual and personal need to adapt. Sure, we may make the right noises about changing to become more effective and some of us will do it and enjoy it, but how many of us carry on blithely stuck in our comfortable ruts on autopilot?

screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-11-17-19

 

The lessons from high profile examples of failing to adapt are important because each of these businesses employed many people who individually or collectively failed to do just that. Perhaps one of the most common examples being the video rental company Blockbuster. They successfully made the transition from VHS to DVD but failed to recognise how popular streaming services would be. The result: they got left behind and have long since been out of the race. In fact, Blockbuster was offered the chance to buy Netflix in 2000 for a snip at $50 million, considering the $41 billion it is worth at the time of writing. The reason? It was seen as a “very small niche business.”

 

Some seem to be taking notice and learning from the mistakes of others, with Kodak emerging from bankruptcy in 2013 to look at new technological ideas to survive and Sega, once a dominating gaming and software force to be reckoned with, admitting that they made the wrong decisions for 20 years.

 

dead

This link between organisations needing to adapt and our own need to change makes complete sense. As the demand for new ways of working, creative ideas and management training forces business to adapt to compete and stay ahead, so too must we develop our own skillset to stay not just current, but ahead of the curve.

 

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

Charles Darwin, 1809

 

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to consider: how do you need to change and adapt? Switch off autopilot for a second, lift your head and re-evaluate the big questions that you may not have even asked yourself yet. There’s no doubt that 2016 was a shaky year for many of us, so do yourself a favour and get yourself ready for 2017 and beyond.

 

At Right Trax Training, we are passionate about helping your people to adapt and change. Find out more about the management training that we offer or get in touch to talk about how we can help.

Two Minute Tips VLOG: Decision Making
25 Sep

Two Minute Tips VLOG: Decision Making

decision making management training
Remember when we said that building trust needs five key drivers? Take two minutes to watch our vlog on how to develop another of these drivers: decision making.
 

 

 

At Right Trax Training, we can help to develop the decision making capability of your people. Find out more about the management training that we offer or get in touch to talk about how we can help.

TRUST…Reported AWOL From the Workplace
03 Aug

TRUST…Reported AWOL From the Workplace

trust in management training

If trust is the glue of life, then is it fair to say that we are coming ‘unstuck’ within the world of business?

 

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships”

Stephen Covey

 

Every week there seem to be new issues or events being reported where the decisions and behaviours of an individual or an organisation are shown as being unethical or lacking integrity. With recent stories relating to the poor treatment of employees at Sports Direct1, claims of unauthorised access to their offices from the Labour MP Seema Malhotra2 and inquiries into BHS calling for a restoral of public trust3, it certainly appears that levels of trust and integrity are at an all-time low.

 

With each fresh ethical scandal comes a huge amount of tension and hostility in the workplace, with companies paying the price both financially and reputationally. Therefore it is vital for employers to step up and confront these issues head on by committing to developing the cultural integrity within their organisations.

 

Trust-Definition

A study from Chartered Management Institute has revealed more than one in three managers admit they ‘bent the truth at least once a day’ and almost 30% ‘regularly ditched’ ethics at work4. If trust is about reliability, truth and ability, how do employees equip their managers and leaders to re-focus on principles and not personal gain?

 

The answer is not rocket science…research5 has shown that there are five fundamental skills and qualities that leaders and managers need in order to drive trust:

  1. Openness
  2. Communication
  3. The ability to make decisions
  4. Integrity
  5. Competence

 

“Never trust a man, who when left alone with a tea cosy… Doesn’t try it on.”

Billy Connolly

 

Trust underpins relationships within the workplace and impacts on an employee’s perception of the organisation as well as their manager. By focusing on developing these five drivers of trust, partly through management training, employee engagement will increase which in turn will drive performance.

 

Therefore it is vital that organisations start leading by example and invest in some ‘glue’ to create environments which reward integrity and ethical behaviours – after all, if trust is the foundational principle that holds all relationships, why wouldn’t you?

 

At Right Trax Training, we can help your people to develop the key drivers for trust. Find out more about the management training that we offer or get in touch to talk about how we can help.


 

1 People Management

2 BBC News

3 RetailWeek

4 Daily Mail

5 ILM

Why You MUST Invest in Your People, or Face the Consequences
06 Jul

Why You MUST Invest in Your People, or Face the Consequences

There is more uncertainty within the workplace than ever before. Are your people equipped with the skills and knowledge to successfully take your organisation into the future?

 

Many organisations will be trying to anticipate the future which for many will mean reviewing budgets and expenses until the economic environment becomes more stable. All too often this will have a direct impact on training and development budgets and unfortunately many development events will be reduced or even stopped. This can leave employees feeling disengaged and even more uncertain of their future and just as importantly, may impact on their overall capability.

 

An investment in knowledge, pays the best interest

Benjamin Franklin

 

The focus must remain on investing in your people, however it may mean prioritising differently or looking at alternative solutions. Review the Learning and Development strategy to ensure that it is aligned to the business objectives and it includes a clearly defined plan on developing a talent pipeline that will deliver your organisational goals.

 

Remember that whilst strategies, plans and decisions are being made your employees are still working hard to achieve the goals and objectives of the business. Take this time to show commitment to your teams and support them during this time of change, whether through management training or perhaps a range of relevant interpersonal skills workshops. Provide development opportunities that will give them the knowledge and skills to not only withstand the new world but to be more resilient and able to embrace the potential changes that may lie ahead.

 

You don’t build a business, you build people and the people build the business

Zig Ziglar

 

Before you strike a line through the training plan, stop and think of the long-term cost and ask the question: can we really afford not to invest in our people’s development?

 

At Right Trax Training, we can help to make your training an investment rather than a cost. Find out more about the management training and interpersonal skills workshops that we offer or get in touch to talk about how we can help.

 

[FREE] ONLINE TRAINING
HOW TO STOP BATTLING WITH PEOPLE AT WORK WITHOUT CAUSING HARD FEELINGS!
Deal with conflict more confidently
Build stronger relationships at work
Adapt and connect with others more easily

CHANGE YOUR WORKING LIFE FOR THE BETTER!
1st, 2nd and 3rd August