Big Changes At Work– Threat Or Opportunity?

Your CEO resigned, then a couple of Department Heads left and now you hear rumours that your boss has resigned. Are you in a panic or looking for the opportunities?

This has just happened at two companies I work with. The popular, well respected CEO decided to move on and it created an avalanche of change.

Both companies are fine and have already announced replacements but that movement at the top shakes the whole company.

Big changes in management impact everyone and create a mass of insecurity.

How you cope in this changing environment says a lot about your resilience and your ability to bend or be battered. Continue reading

Hidden Signals – What Is Your body Language Saying?

We all speak a second language and we speak it fluently, though we don’t often acknowledge it.

I was seated on a packed tube train, wondering how I’d get out past the woman squashed directly in front of me standing in the aisle. As I gathered my things she made the subtlest move, she shifted her hand holding her bag just an inch toward the exit. She did nothing else, but I knew immediately that she was going to get off.  True to her body language, she moved off ahead of me.

How did I know she was leaving from such a small movement? Continue reading

Are You Managing Someone That Isn’t Responding?

Sometimes we hire or inherit someone that has the right skills but you just don’t click.  Often they are doing the job, the work is ok, but they aren’t connecting with you, as their manager.

The good news is this doesn’t happen very often. The majority of people who report into you will build rapport with you, learn to work in a collaborative way and trust will be built.

But sometimes that doesn’t occur, you may have someone that just isn’t responding to your usual approach. Continue reading

How Do You Recover From A Bad Boss?

Having a difficult manager can really damage your self-esteem.  It wipes away years of confidence and makes you wonder if you are good at anything.

When you are in the throes of it, you have to make a decision to stay or to go.  You may also be wondering if you can flex enough to make the relationship work.  Those are tough decisions and you may want to talk to someone that can help you think it through.

Eventually, the crisis will pass.  Either your boss moves off, you leave the company or you change departments. In some rare instances, you find a better way to work together and continue on. Continue reading

Your Conversation Can Change The Nation

The holiday season has traditionally been a time of peace and goodwill.  We’d rise above the daily hassles.  We spend time with family, see our friends and connect with our colleagues over gifts, mince pies and parties.

I hope we still do all those things, but this year feels different.

We’ve had a cultural earthquake.  First Britain cracked, then the US broke apart, now we’re seeing tremors in Europe.

It’s exposed big cracks between people that were previously united.  There are such drastic differences of opinion that we fear the other side and what they want for our shared future.

When did we stop working together as a nation?  When did we lose the ability to have a conversation, discuss our differences with respect and find a middle ground?

It feels like the middle ground fell into those giant cracks and we are all waiting to see if we stay standing or fall over. Continue reading

Is The Meeting Culture Killing You?

“I spend my day in meetings… I have to work late to get anything done… meetings run my life.”

Does any of that sound familiar?

We don’t have enough time to do it all and meetings somehow triumph over everything else.  This is something you can change, even if your company is meeting-tastic. Continue reading

5 Verbal Habits That Undermine You

When we spend time with people, at work or personally, we start to notice their speech habits.  Sometimes it drives us nuts, like the American that says “Awesome” when it isn’t, the teen that says “Whatever” in answer to everything or the person who throws in “I mean…” as a junction to every sentence. Continue reading

The Coach You Need Depends On Your Destination

When you google “Coach” you get a lot of options.  For most people, who haven’t experienced coaching, it can be a quagmire trying to figure out what you want.

If you’re looking for a turbo boost for life, career or business, here is a short explanation of the different kinds of coaches that might suit your situation. Continue reading

1943 Guide To Hiring Women – What’s Changed?

guide to hire
Kevin Roberts, the Chairman of Saatchi and Saatchi, unexpectedly unleased an avalanche with his comments on gender equality in the ad industry. It cost him his job.

Now, the news is filled with industry figures and advocates offering their comments on how to get and keep women in the agency world.

I came across this “list of helpful tips” on hiring women from 1943.  Let’s see what we can make of them today. Continue reading

Brexit-Adjust Your Sails For The Winds Of Change

There is no getting away from it.  The Leave vote took us all by surprise, even the people who voted for it.

There has certainly been drama to accompany it; lots of hand wringing, political manoeuvring and a massive desire to find someone to blame.

There’s been a focus on the differences in the voters and their attitudes – stereotyping them into urban and global versus patriotic and community minded (that’s the nice version, some of the name calling has been nasty.) Continue reading

Overwhelmed? Build Your Mental Muscles

We live in a full throttle, reactionary world.  Chaotic cities, a demanding job and trying to balance work with the rest of your life, means sometimes it feels overwhelming.  You need to be mentally strong and that takes work.

We all recognise we need to do some exercise to be physically strong.  We can’t count on occasionally taking the stairs and some weekend sport to be enough to build our strength; we have to work at it regularly.

It is the same with your mental strength.  If you want to feel in control, optimistic and resilient for what life throws at you, you have to do some mental exercise regularly. Continue reading

Staying “The Adult” At Work

Have you ever been maneuvered  into the “child role” at work?

You know the feeling, someone takes a strong or demanding stand with you and boom – you’re tricked into acting like a kid. Continue reading

Managing Your Manager

A lot of us think our manager could do better.

I know this because I get to peek behind the curtain. Coaching gives people a place to talk about the things they can’t say to their boss.

This is what I’ve been hearing, does it sound familiar?

What I wish my manager understood
1.  I want you to ask what I’m interested in and where I think I’m heading.  Don’t just toss objectives at me at appraisal time. Continue reading

Content versus Advertising

I was talking to a friend recently who said “while agencies are trying to define and discuss content, consumers are just getting on with it.”

She’s a Creative Director, one smart cookie and she is trying to change that.

The reality is, as consumers we don’t care what it’s called.  If we are entertained, if the message feels relevant and interesting to us, we don’t care how it’s packaged and we don’t even mind some branding. Continue reading

Use Your Imagination To Improve Your Life

I have worked with people that have the word “Creative” in their job title for most of my career.  They’ve taught me a lot.

I recognize patterns that they have trained themselves to do daily, which most of us could use. Continue reading

Images Aren’t Ads – Make It Do The Job

A stunning image is not the same thing as an ad.  One is art.

The other is supposed to inform, motivate and perhaps encourage you to purchase  or do something.

I have noticed that some creatives confuse the two and it is just a waste of the client’s money. Continue reading

Is Confidence What You Need For A Better Future?

I love a good historical drama, I’m a sucker for anything that gives us a peek into the way life used to be.

It seems to me, in the Victorian era, that your Character was your most valuable asset.  Your word, your handshake, whether you honoured your agreements and paid your debts, was openly discussed in society.

Were you honourable?  That was the first question someone asked before they would do business with you or allow you to accompany their daughter. Continue reading

The New Men’s Ads – Confidence over Cocky

In the UK, Lynx is known for its spray on sex appeal.  In all its ads an average guy gives himself a spray, girls get a whiff and are drawn to him like a magnet.  The guy does nothing but show up, the girls instantly forget their good sense and their panties. Continue reading

Your Sphere Of Influence

When I was working in advertising I took one of my clients, a marketing manager at M&M/Mars, out to lunch.

You’d think selling chocolate would be a sweet job but there is a lot of pressure. They have to keep the favourites top of mind, battle for space on the shelves, make the finances work and then develop and launch new things to entice us to try something different.

I admired this manager because he seemed to take everything in his stride.  He didn’t show the obvious stress I saw in others. Continue reading

Kick The Habit

As January is the time to kick a few habits, I thought we’d have a look at some old fashioned cigarette ads.  You remember – the glamour, the sex appeal.

Here are two from the 1960’s, portraying the life you aspired to emulate as you smoked.  Back then the cigarette brand you chose said a lot about you, as you flashed your pack to the world. Continue reading