Tag: recession

3D Juggling 632: Just Show Up

Today’s Juggling comes with our best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.  It’s a privilege for us to listen to and work with people who are committed to making a difference at work or in society.  We’re also aware that these are tricky times for many, which is why our final reflection for this year comes from Anne Lamott:

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don’t give up.”

H A P P Y   C H R I S T M A S from us all

© 2013 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com


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3D Juggling 593: To care and not to care

Claire writes: “When you’re working with people and real stuff, it’s hard to not become involved in some of the pain and confusion that we hear.  That’s true in coaching and it’s also probably true in much of what you do day to day.  Trust and intimacy are an important aspect of a coaching approach.  Yet the risk is that we enter so far into the pain and confusion that we lose our ability to support that individual or organisation because we become as stuck as our companion.

TS Elliot has some wisdom here: “Teach us to care and not to care. Teach us to sit still.”

I don’t think that sitting still is necessarily about being passive. Maybe it’s one way of supporting others to hold their nerve through difficult times – and holding it ourselves.  Think about it…?”

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 544: Travelling Backwards on a Train

Lynn writes: “When I work in organisations I often hear frustration amongst staff about individuals living in the past.  The other week I was travelling on a train and it made me think….Sitting rear facing in a train is the safest way to travel. In the event of a crash you will sustain less injury.  However when you look out of the window travelling backwards, it is really difficult to make sense of what you see as it flies away from you as soon as you process  what you have glimpsed.  The view seems more transient when seen backwards and it is harder to see the whole vista rather than small areas.

So why do so many people and organisations look backwards to what has happened? And what has gone before?  There is of course lots of learning to be gleaned from what has gone before but only looking that way can distort your view and prevent you from having enough time to see clearly what is out there. Maybe it is because we feel safe in a crash?   I have travelled hundreds of times on a train, forward facing so perhaps my risk is small and manageable as is the risk of looking forward at work?  Although looking forward I can’t see everything and the speed it travels towards me feels a bit scar.  If I do it often enough I begin to spot clues of what is on its way. Think about it…”

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 510: Question and Answers

Claire writes: My daughter met Danny Boyle last week at a showing of his new film 127 Hours . Her friend posted a picture on Facebook and we were left with the question: Who IS Danny Boyle?  We worked it out in the end – although our answer was Director of Slumdog Millionaire and hers was Director of 127 Hours!

As James Thurber so wisely said, ‘It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.’ There’s a lot of uncertainty around at the moment.  Knowing some of the questions and living with them can, in the end, produce a much more fruitful outcome than rushing straight for an answer.  Think about it…

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 504: The shocking truth about waste

Jane writes: “In the paper today (19 Nov 2010) was an article titled: ‘The shocking truth of Whitehall waste’.  This waste included £26,000 spent on training staff how to have difficult conversations. The training was designed to ‘help staff have increased confidence and capability’.  Unfortunately it didn’t say for what purpose – the specific difference that this investment was intended to achieve.

OK, there are other ways that increased confidence and capability could be achieved. And we all need to find ways that have no cost, or very little cost, for our organisations/customers.

Maybe this is all about choices. Do we help staff to have conversations about the things they need to be talking about or, by not doing so, allow them to keep avoiding difficult issues for fear of the consequences? And these consequences are likely to be for them and for others. What if they are being bullied or harassed? What if their ideas are being stolen? How about when they discover things that could damage their organisation’s reputation?

There are many interesting and challenging situations and behaviours emerging in organisations as they face austerity measures. It’s not easy to tell people about the need to fundamentally change the service they have been providing for many years, or about redundancies.

So, do we help people learn how to have difficult conversations safely? Or do we all suffer the consequences — which include all the time that gets wasted on trying to avoid the inevitable and recover when it happens?

Tell us what you think, and share a coffee with us to ask us how we can support you in finding ways of working with your organisation, or your customers, in ways that are affordable and deliver recognised improvements.”

2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 499: Who comes first?

Jane writes:  “It’s been another week of cuts and we still haven’t reached the Spending Review in the UK.  There is an increasingly limited amount of funding available to support any kind of coaching and training in organisations.  How can limited resources be used to have maximum impact on organisational effectiveness?

Customers and volunteers respond to many things, including products, prices, location, and advertising. They also respond to their experience of people.  Maya Angelou, an American poet, said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

One way of increasing effectiveness is to reduce the amount of time spent in responding to complaints and concerns raised by customers, volunteers and other stakeholders. Feedback from customers, whether they are collecting mail from a Royal Mail delivery office, receiving treatment at a hospital, or trying to return a faulty item to a store, is often related to the attitude and behaviour of staff. And the attitude and behaviour staff is likely to be influenced by the way that they are treated by their managers and colleagues.

From my experience of working in organisations I formed the view that the people who really need to be put first are employees and volunteers. If you get it right for them they will get it right for your customers.

It can take a long time to develop loyalty in a customer or volunteer – and just seconds to lose it. How do your employees, colleagues, or volunteers make customers/clients/visitors feel? Do they know? Are they interested? They should be.”

Talk to us about how we can help you to develop a culture where staff feel valued, engaged and empowered, and where customers experience positive attitudes and behaviours.

See People Management from 12 August 2010 to read how an IT company with 60,000 staff implemented a management approach that put employees first and customers second.  It achieved dramatic improvements in performance underpinned by a 70% increase in employee satisfaction. During a recession.

(c) 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

 

3D Juggling 495: Big Conversations

Jane writes: “Do you remember when Tony Blair launched a ‘Big Conversation’ consultation exercise. Back in November  2003?  Blair said that “We must engage people about the choices needed”.  At the time critics of the idea dismissed it as a New Labour “gimmick”.  The Conservative head of policy co-ordination said “I hope he really does listen. The trouble is all the evidence is he won’t”.

The idea of the big conversation hasn’t gone away – in fact it’s grown.   At its international conference later this year the International Coach Federation is introducing five Global Conversations to be held concurrently over a two-and-a-half-hour period, taking the place of a traditional keynote address.  These will be pretty big conversations!

So who does your organisation need to be having big conversations with? Whose voice do you need to hear in order to truly understand how to adapt and change in order to remain competitive and effective? Is it your customers, your suppliers, your competitors, funders? Or is it policymakers, politicians, local communities?

Big conversations need a purpose. They also need an appropriate environment and the right people need to be engaged. Here are some of the principles that you need to consider:

•    Create a hospitable place
•    Set the context
•    Explore questions that matter
•    Encourage everyone’s participation
•    Cross pollinate and connect diverse perspectives
•    Listen together for patterns, insights and deeper questions
•    Harvest and share collective discoveries

Imagine what you could do if you could see and understand all the connections, dependencies, synergies and opportunities which at the moment are hidden from you, or remain undiscovered. People like to be listened to, and heard, and understood, and they like to know that they have had some influence about things that are important to them. Why not take advantage of that?”

If you would like us to help you explore how to have big conversations, come out for a cup of coffee with us to talk about how we can help you.  We’ll pay!

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

 

3D Juggling 480: Stormy Weather Forecast

Last Monday, the UK government announced a £6 billion cut in public spending. As a result, we are a offering free place at our Career Makeover event on 5 June to anyone whose job is at risk as a result of that announcement.

Claire writes: ‘The fallout from the recession is still affecting the private sector. Cuts in public funding will mean that the public sector is also in for a stormy future. How do you lead in a time of uncertainty?

We were thinking about this a few days ago and playing with the idea of swimming safely in a stormy sea:

  • Which waves do you choose to ride, which do you avoid?
  • Where is the lifeguard?
  • What was your lifejacket look like?
  • How do you learn to swim with the tide and keep safe?
  • Where are the most helpful channels and currents?
  • Who else is in the water with you? Panicking swimmers can pull others down. Sharks circle groups of people, rather than attacking them.
  • If you’re going to be in the water for a long time, do you need a wetsuit? Or goose fat?
  • What you need to do now to make sure there will be a lifeguard on the beach?

You certainly can’t hope that the storm isn’t happening.

In the sea, you identify and draw on whatever resources are available to remain safe, and try to travel to land effectively. What resources can you identify and draw on now to remain effective in your organisation? Other people need to absorb some of the work which will need to continue post-cuts. What needs to happen to manage that in a way which honours the work, the staff, and the customer?

How rough is your sea?’

Love this? If this is the reality in your organisation and you’d like to talk about how to support staff through the transition, call us and we can meet for a coffee. It’s on us!

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

 

3D Juggling 474: Right Side Up

We often get emails and calls from people years after they have been in contact with us. Here’s one story:

“New Years’ day and we woke to the worst possible news. My husband’s job was made redundant! In December I lost my job due to company relocation. Then my husband’s mother died. Great start to 2009!

Both in our early 60’s, deep recession and no job prospects, we were on our own. Friends suggested we offer our services as landscape gardeners which helped with the finances. Our first job won an award for Best Pub Garden. We knew this wouldn’t be enough to live on full time so we had to cash in a small pension and cancel EVERYTHING that wasn’t a necessity.

It was when we were in France restoring a friend’s garden – free lodging in exchange for our labour, I just happened to say out loud “If only someone could see us and what we are doing, maybe we could work abroad”. Ten days later a friend rang to say she knew of someone looking for house-sitters, animal guardians and groundsmen, were we interested? So we thought (not for long I might add) and went for it. Of course, playing it safe we could have stayed home, looked for jobs offering a meagre wage but very little satisfaction. What’s the dilemma? No income here or No income there? Besides, who gets to live in a Chateau every day of their lives??

We’ve been living in the Bordeaux region since January and will return to the UK in July, with the possibility of another house sit in the area for next year.

Having gone from fairly exotic careers, travelling the world on good money with all the trimmings, we now live hand to mouth in France. Our world revolves around getting up early to walk two large dogs, feed a donkey and chickens, plus gardening duties in a totally rural existence. Had we known what that involved would we have taken the chance? Sometimes you have to step outside the box and take the positives from such an experience.

We are having the adventure of a lifetime, have gained a whole new circle of friends, marginally improved my French and are VERY happy living a French way of life.

Sometimes when your world seems as though it’s been tipped upside down, you can land the right side up. Next stop Italy???”

Try it!

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who needs some hope.

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 473: Seven Years On

Claire writes: “I had coffee last week with John who I had met for a ten minute conversation in 2003 after his job had been made redundant. He wanted to talk then about career change and finding the right fit… or at that stage, any fit. We’ve exchanged occasional emails and this was an opportunity to talk more.

He was hardly recognisable. The diminished and downtrodden man has transfomed into someone who, two jobs on, is confident and has begun to use skills he didn’t know he had. It was a privilege to catch up on some of the missing parts of the story. Seven years ago he had no idea this kind of job existed and he has found something which is for him, truly vocational, working in a public sector organisation and having influence internationally.

For John, what had been important was being clear about skills that would make money and being willing to take a job which used them and provided for his family. And he held the vision. It was the second job which has harnessed his talents and passions.

Are you clear about what your skills are – and what are strengths and what are passions? Is your job harnessing these?’

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who is feeling diminished and downtrodden.

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com