If you’re meant to inspire and drive a willingness to embrace change in individuals and teams, how would you go about effecting that change so that others start to accept rather than fight it?Have you ever thought about using storytelling as a tool to effect positive change? Why wouldn’t you? After all, humans are hardwired for storytelling.
Are you a Human Resource or Organisational Development professional, business owner or leader who battles with the anxiety that if you train your employees, they might walk out the door, taking the company’s investment and resources with them? Perhaps as an employer, you may also be concerned if the training program will actually increase the productivity of staff as most training claims to.
You are not alone.
There’s a saying that goes: “Competition makes us faster. Collaboration makes us better.” To attain and maintain a high performing team, it’s important to feel an edge of competition. After all, a healthy amount of competition means you work extra hard to stay ahead of the game. But competition breeds individualism. And individualism is the opposite of collaboration. And where competition encourages silos; collaboration breaks them down.
Are you or your colleagues avoiding certain conversations at work for fear they will go off track or have a negative impact?
If you are a people leader who finds confidently handling feedback, or sharing honest opinions in a constructive manner a challenge, your conversations may never reach the underlying truths and issues that need to be discussed for performance improvement or behaviour change.
There is an old adage that “those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” This is often cited by business professionals in regard to the discipline of business planning. The majority of businesses that we work with have established business plans, and it is very interesting to note that whether these organisations fail or succeed is more reliant on their ability to communicate effectively to execute on that business plan than any other factor.
So what’s happened with your New Year’s resolution? If you are still going strong with your commitment then you are one of very few. Maybe it was the usual list of eating less chocolate, watching less TV or finally getting fit. For others, it might have been a less selfish goal like being kinder to and less critical of others, or volunteering spare hours to a worthy cause. Either way, as it turns out, we rarely deliver on these promises.
A recent poll by health company Bupa notes that “a quarter of men who make a new year’s resolution to lose weight have already given up on their diets by January 2”. The same survey found that “a third of Britons thought about losing weight at least once a day” and yet did nothing about it.
I have a confession to make. Yes, I hoped that might get your attention, but cool your boots, I’ve nothing saucy to impart via this platform. It’s just this:
As an introvert, I’ve never been one for small talk. In fact I was at a barbeque recently with my partner and our host introduced us to one of his friends, Malcolm, who had recently returned from a trip overseas travelling mainly throughout Asia.
I did the polite thing and asked Malcolm about his trip: where did he go?, what was his favourite destination? And other relevant small talk conversation. I made sure I asked lots of open questions to get him talking and to find out about his travels.
Is emotional intelligence relevant in the modern connected and socially networked world? How much does your business today rely on good ol’ fashioned people skills, and how much can you ‘connect’ with, and influence your customers or stakeholders using newer, (and much more scalable) technologies like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or even Instagram? How much has, or will the Internet change the way your company communicates?
If you want to look at the way the Internet and social media have revolutionised the way that some businesses deal with their customers, look at Online retailing in Australia. Whilst many Aussie bricks and mortar retailers have faced reduced foot traffic and flat, or very low year-on-year growth last year, online retailing in Australia grew by a massive 18% to $13.2B, with Australians having the highest purchase rate per capita of any nation. Shoppers are leaving the face-to-face shopping interaction in droves for a digital shopping encounter experienced in their living rooms or office. For retailers, this trend is being experienced worldwide.