Changing our Team Culture – Part Four

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Over the last three weeks I’ve been sharing with you a step by step process to help you change your team culture.  You can find the last three articles here.

In last week’s article, I talked about the importance of focusing on no more than three critical behaviours to change – if you try to change everything at once, you’ll end up changing nothing.

Recently I’ve been working with a senior Finance Team.  One of the things the new FD wanted in the team was a ‘more open’ culture.  He’d been saying this for a while and everybody nodded their heads in agreement – but nothing changed.

Why? MORE >

Changing our Team Culture – Part Three

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Over the last couple of weeks I’ve shared with you the three steps you need to follow if you want to change the culture in your team.  Last week we looked at the importance of respecting and recognising your team’s history before you start changing things.

This week, I want to help you get clarity about what you want to change and why. MORE >

Changing our Team Culture – Part Two

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Organisational – and team – culture is described as ‘the way things are done around here’.

This month I’m writing about Team Culture and last week in my first article I outlined the three things you need clarity on if you want to change the culture in your team.  Read this article first if you haven’t already done so.

The first thing you need clarity on before you start changing anything is your team’s current culture.  Respect and recognise its history before trying to change the world. MORE >

Changing our Team Culture – Part One

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Over the next month I am going to help you understand how to change your own ‘team culture’ – if it’s not working for you as well as you would like.

I’m using the common definition of culture – ‘the way things are done around here’ – which encompasses how people in the team act, dress, carry out their work and behave.

Whilst organisations are often involved in large ‘culture change’ initiatives across the board (many of which are unsuccessful for a variety of reasons) I’ve sometimes been asked if it is possible to change the culture of one particular team within an organisation – when it’s not the top team.

The answer to that question is, I believe, ‘yes’ but with the following caveats: MORE >

Small Talk makes the Big Talk happen

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Last week I wrote about the power of dreaming big but starting small.

One of my readers got in touch to remind me about a series of articles I wrote on Trust last year (if you want the links, just ask

‘Your article about the link between trust and small talk really struck me when you wrote it last year and I was reminded of it in your Dream big, start small article this week.  I’ve always hated small talk, thinking it superficial and pointless.  It’s why I avoided networking for ages.  Big cringe!!  However, I’ve realised that I was missing something.  I’ve made a conscious effort to do more of it and it feels like something has shifted in the team and there is more openness amongst all of us.  So yes, doing the small stuff makes a big difference.’

You’re welcome!

Last year, I gave one of my clients an experiment to practise ‘small talk’ with a variety of people in and outside work.  In the supermarket, on the many flights he took for work, with colleagues and so on (there was a solid business case and reason for this which was about building connection and trust). MORE >

Dream big, start small

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Last week I wrote about confidence and the importance of ‘planning, preparing and practising’ to grow our confidence in different areas of our life and work.

Victoria Beckham, on receiving her OBE last week, announced that ‘if you dream big and work hard you can achieve great things’.

Do you agree with her?

She’s certainly someone that says she lacked confidence growing up – and was even bullied as a teenager. MORE >

If I had more confidence…..

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Just like me I’m sure that every executive coach in the world helps leaders to work on their ‘confidence’ issues in some shape or form.

Does that mean that we are naturally supremely confident beings and have ‘all the answers’?

No, of course not!

At times I’m fearful, vulnerable and worried about making an idiot of myself.  Worried I’ll fail or not do as great a job as I could do.

And I know that in my first senior corporate role I lacked confidence in my own decision making, ability to stand up for myself and put myself ‘out there’.  It took me a long time to feel comfortable in my skin and to feel that I deserved my place at the table. MORE >

What Are Your Big Rocks?

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I’ve been talking to a very busy group of leaders this week on the topic of overwhelm.  It’s a big one for many of us so I thought it was worth reminding ourselves of Stephen Covey’s Big Rocks.

Covey tells the story of a man who stood in front of a group of what he describes as ‘high-powered over-achievers’.  He pulls out a large jar and puts it on the table in front of him.  Then he produces about a dozen fist-sized rocks and places them one at a time into the jar. MORE >

Talent, Torture, Trust ….. and Team

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“I’m fortunate to work with a hugely talented senior leadership team.  But despite this we were not communicating effectively or operating in a collaborative way.  Meetings were tortuous, relationships were strained and some historical baggage was undermining our ability to trust.”

When my colleague Lois and I started to work with this Executive team we knew it would be tough.  At one stage we wondered whether we should walk away…..but the chinks of light were there, particularly when we saw that everyone in the team was deeply committed to its common purpose.

So where is this team one year on? MORE >

What are you tolerating?

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Many years ago when I did my first Executive Coach Training (2001, since you ask…..when Executive Coaching was very, very new in the UK) one of the exercises we completed was this:  What are you tolerating?

What are you tolerating in your life, your work, with your family and friends – and what do you want to do about it?  I have to confess it was the first time I’d really asked myself this question and I didn’t like some of the answers. MORE >