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Partnership challenges – which of these issues do you recognise?

Common challenges in partnership relationships Which is your biggest pain point when working with partners? Let us know.... When you're working with partners within or external to your organisation, how many of these issues are you familiar with? What impact have these issues had on the success of your partnership or project? We'd love to hear your experiences - comment below or send us a private message. And....If you recognise more than 3 of these issues, you could benefit from a conversation with us about how to launch, manage or reset your partnership more effectively. As partnership coaches, we work with the whole system to improve alignment, performance and impact. FREE 30 min discovery calls available to discuss your needs. Contact us.

How hard do you push your team members?

"Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they're doing it because they care about the team."    Patrick Lencioni We've been working a lot recently with teams who through building trust and relationships are arriving at a place of healthy, constructive conflict in service of maximising team achievement and results. If trust is absent, many will either avoid putting their head above the parapet and openly disagreeing with others or pushing you harder, or will push in a way that is destructive and counter-productive. By building strong relationships based on deep trust, it becomes okay to disagree or to push others - and yourself - harder, because there is a shared goal or purpose towards which you are working.  And disagreement or a push is more likely to be viewed as 'just another perspective' rather than potentially destabilising when you know it's because they just want the best for the team result. How deep are the relationships and trust in your team?  How do you know they are deep enough to allow healthy conflict?   How do you encourage creative conflict so that people can have their say? What are your experiences of the impact of trust - or its absence - in teams?

Creating positive change

I believe every one of us can create positive change in the world, on some scale. Find something you can do, then do it, and just keep moving forward. If you need help with that, find the right resource - a friend, a mentor, a coach, Phoenix. #humanity_to_wk

Choose your words carefully

Choose your words carefully - they can bless and encourage people or hurt them. And can be remembered for eternity... How many times have careless words, thrown away by a colleague or manager, left you with a sour taste in your mouth?  Some of us even remember times from our childhood when a friend, peer or adult said something that left a deep impression on our memory.  In these days of the instant message, the quick email or tweet, it's even easier to cast words into the world without much thought. Yet we need to think carefully before speaking - none more so than in the pressure-charged atmosphere of the modern workplace, where urgency and sometimes overwhelm can leave us little time to think.  This applies to both the every day and also to the more obviously important conversations like appraisals and performance reviews or planning sessions. If we get it right - our words can encourage, bless, positively challenge and motivate others. If we get it wrong - at best it can create a mental 'ouch!'  At worst, it can pierce the confidence of someone and create the conditions for a downward slide in motivation and performance. So - in the heat of the moment when words are burning the tip of your tongue to be spoken - take a deep breath, bite your tongue and just play out in your head the words and the tone you were planning to use to test it for 'sting'. Never release words in anger in the heat of the moment. And in planning for the bigger conversations - consider the outcome you want from the conversation - perhaps someone who is clear on what they do [...]

Towards effective People Management & peak performance

  How does your organisation prepare people for management responsibility? In a recent rough and ready online survey we conducted, we found that only 36% of people managers had received any formal management training before starting their first people management role[1].  Leaving the 64% majority to learn ‘on the job’, presumably. That’s a pretty staggering statistic, if it proved to be representative of the general manager population.  Without training, we’re asking people to take on a completely new responsibility, with its own discrete skillset, without any preparation.  Like handing over the car keys to a complete novice and saying “Drive” or asking an incredible classroom teacher to take on the leadership and administrative responsibilities of a head teacher role.  It doesn’t make sense, does it? Essentially, there’s an assumption that ‘everyone knows how to do it’, and that’s a big risk to take with your organisation’s most precious resource: Its people. As a manager, your job evolves from just being the ‘doer’ of a task to being responsible for managing these three key resources to achieve a goal: Money, time and people.  And you may still have to balance that with performing a specific role. Take the example of a copywriter in the marketing department of an organisation Phoenix has worked with.  Promoted to head of a small team, she not only needed to produce copy herself, she now needed to manage others to do the same, and support them in prioritising, communicating, developing in their roles. An entirely new skillset, and in many cases an undervalued change in role. The problem is that many organisations just tack the management side of the role onto the existing role, perhaps not even understanding that there is [...]

Are you living the life you really want?

Think about your future retirement date, whenever that will be for you. Mine is likely to be in around 20 yrs time (2040.) Imagine you're at YOUR retirement age now, looking back over the past 20-30 years or so. How will you feel at that point, looking back at how you lived your life till then? Will you feel like it went by in a flash/haze of working crazy hours, spinning multiple plates and juggling everything else in your life order to satisfy your employer or image of success? Perhaps you will feel like you slept-walked (or sprinted) through it, head down, just focusing on whatever was next to meet the demands of your busy job. Perhaps you will feel like you've only just woken up, at retirement age, to the choices you made during your working life that got you here? All good if you actively and consciously made those choices, and are happy with the outcome. For those who are frightened they'll arrive at retirement and not yet have lived the life they really want, maybe now is a good time to pause and reflect. What do you REALLY want? Is the career ladder and financial success the only thing? Stop putting off things till tomorrow (life, family, real joy.) Instead, find out NOW how you can live the life you really want. Call a coach. hashtag#DesignYourLife hashtag#Coaching hashtag#LifeChoices

Successful Partnership Working – Top Tips video series

We often work with teams and partnerships.... and we've noticed some common pitfalls in how they operate, meaning that the road to success can be a lot bumpier than you'd hoped. So we produced a series of videos with some Top Tips on how to make your partnership and team working more effective.   Intro video Watch the rest of the series of 7 Top Tips below, plus the wrap up video.   Tip #1 for Successful Partnership Working - on the subject of the project/team/partnership mandate   Tip #2 for Successful Partnership Working - on the subject of the shared vision for success   Tip #3 for Successful Partnership Working - on HOW you work as a partnership/team   Tip #4 for Successful Partnership Working - on making sure your team really does add up to more than the sum of its parts   Tip #5 for Successful Partnership Working - on understanding your stakeholders   Tip #6 for Successful Partnership Working - on team vs. individual results   Tip #7 for Successful Partnership Working - on effectively reviewing or checking in with progress - without micro-managing!   Wrap up - and how we could help YOUR partnership/team   That's it - do message us on [email protected], or comment below, if you'd like a FREE no strings 30 minute call to explore your needs and ask us some questions.        

Difference, differentiation and diversity.

Diversity of uniqueness As Garry Turner’s (The Listening Organisation) recent newsletter to subscribers pointed out, there is a lot of pressure in modern society to be ‘different’ or to stand out to be ‘the best’. ‘Differentiation’ has emerged alongside this, with companies and technology now seeking to tailor make their products or services to particular groups, subsets, demographics or even at the extreme to individual needs. We’re being told from so many angles that ‘being different is good.’ And yet as Garry points out, being different can also be polarising and separating. He goes onto explore connection as the antidote to difference or differentiation. I had a different thought when I read his views. Whilst I wholeheartedly embrace the importance of connection as an antidote to difference or differentiation, it also made me question whether there was another way to achieve it. What I get excited by is ‘diversity of uniqueness.’ This is where we have the possibility of celebrating everyone’s unique gifts and talents, accepting and welcoming our diversity of physical and mental ability, sexuality or gender, ethnicity, thought, cultures and backgrounds etc. And more than that – the possibility of acknowledging all of these as varied and valid expressions of humanity, whilst rejoicing in our connection as humans and our common humanity. Commonly, current diversity programmes and initiatives seem to focus primarily on ensuring there is equal (or at least more diverse) representation in the workplace of genders in particular, with increasing focus on ethnicity. This is hugely important and needs tireless work on this and extensions of the principle (LGBTQ+ inclusion as one example.)What seems to be less in the spotlight is the simpler act of celebrating the diversity of thought, experience, [...]

A Systems approach to team success: Lessons from the Thai cave rescue

Recently I worked with a team who are working to deliver a joint project together.  They had a project plan, actions and Leads for each area.  Good progress was being made.  Then an unexpected absence by one Lead meant that certain actions weren’t completed, and the project fell behind. I was curious about this from a Systems point of view. In Systems work, Roles belong to the system (team in this case) and not to individuals.  So, the role of performing this Lead task belonged to the system rather than the person who took it on. What’s interesting is that when the system was disrupted in some way, the role was not taken up by anyone else in the system, with consequences for the project.  Systems are regularly disrupted for a variety of reasons:  People joining or leaving a team, sickness or accidents, new information or priorities, etc. So, I wondered about what had happened in my client team when their system was disrupted and came up with some options which I later explored with the team. Lack of clarity on team purpose – what they were here to do Lack of buy in to the team purpose (not unifying or compelling enough?) Lack of awareness of what each Lead was doing and where they were up to (was there a process in place to keep each other updated?) Focus on individual vs. the team objectives/results (so that perhaps a heavy workload for other members of the team/system may have meant they didn’t stop and check, or have time to pick up additional tasks as they prioritised their own projects.) And then I wondered what would have happened, or perhaps DID happen, in the recent [...]

If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything

This is so true both on a personal and professional level. How often do you reflect on your core values? The things that are really important to you and that without, you wouldn't be you? If we don't understand what we stand for, it's easy to get pushed around or trodden on by others - who may do it unintentionally, but do it nonetheless. We might not push back because we're not standing on the firm ground of our own values. One of my core values is about fairness - at an individual and global level. It's one of the reasons why working with so many charity clients who strive to create positive change in the world fits so well with me.  And perhaps that's why I seem to be attracting more clients to me that want to work on their values and organisational culture. At a global level, it's becoming more and more important to both understand and stand for our values. We have to create the world we want to live in. No one else will. What will you stand for?    #humanity_to_wk

Bring your whole self to work

I passionately believe this - it's the reason behind the Phoenix mission of Bringing Humanity to Work. We are all whole, complete beings - and the sooner we can freely access all parts of ourself in both professional and personal environments, the less effort we will have to put into being 2 separate identities (and boy, does this cost effort - I've done it!) Which means you have more energy to put into the important stuff - building relationships, solving a tricky business problem, being available and supportive to your kids, family and friends. #humanity_to_wk

Connect and then lead

"Connect and then lead" - what a great message. Great leaders build trust with their teams, backed up by strength and competence, to build connections so they can inspire and lead. I think that in days of old (and in just a few of today's organisations), we forget that leadership is about PEOPLE first - not strength or competence. Leadership is actually followership, if you think about it. How good are you at inspiring followers?

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