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Maree's Blog

Soft Skills

What Happens When People Are Promoted To Management When They Can’t Manage People.

Manager can't manage people

Mark has technical skills your organisation cannot afford to lose. No one else in the organisation has his level of expertise. You really want him to focus on bringing that expertise to research and development, enhancing the product development and service delivery in the organisation. Mark, however, has been wanting to move into management for the past 18 months, saying that having been with the organisation for 3 years at the same level, he deserves a promotion given his significant contribution.

You don’t deny any of that and you are quite concerned that if you don’t grant that management promotion to him, he may seek it elsewhere. So what do you do? You make him a manager. What happens next is an organisation’s worst nightmare.

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How To Retain Your Talented People

Retain Your Talented Peopled

There is presently an overwhelming global concern among CEOs and senior leaders about their inability to find talented people with the right skills for the job. One of the most important skillsets they are looking for is the soft skills for leadership, the ability to lead people, to engage them so they become intrinsically motivated to give 150%.
But the challenge is not only about attracting the right people with the right skillsets. It is also about how to retain them. It’s about looking after them.
These two articles I’m sharing this week have insights and strategies for how to do just that. They are a valuable resource for leaders and their organisations.

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Empowered Leadership in Practice

Enpowered leaders

Every leader wants a team of high performing professionals in their organisation. How you achieve that is the big question. I’ve written previously about what I consider are the three big motivators – Engage, Empower and Elevate that will see you achieving that.
There are also many other skills that can enhance your leadership. I have selected six that when developed and enhanced are the ones that I believe will bring the most significant outcomes. Those of you who know my work will know that my focus is on the soft skills needed for leadership.

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Why You Need To Make Stress Your Friend

Stressed Professional

Stress is an inevitable part of our lives today. We all believe it is bad for us and we want to be able to manage it so that it doesn’t create chronic health problems for us. However health psychologist, Kelly McGonigal, in her 15 minute TED talk is turning that belief on its head. She wants us to make stress our friend and uses scientific research to prove that mindset plays a big part in how we view stress and its impact on our lives for better or for worse. Watch her TED video here.

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Podcast – Empowerment, Soft Skills, Reflection, Self-awareness and Much More

Podcast Microphone

It was a privilege last week to be interviewed for this podcast by Joanne Law from the Mediation Institute. Its regular podcast has generally been about specific mediation issues, but Joanne has been engaging with people like myself to provide mediators with a broader perspective of ideas that will further enhance the skills and insights of mediators. In this wide-ranging interview we discussed empowerment and being an empowered and empowering person, soft skills and what they mean, the importance of reflection and self-awareness among ofther issues.

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Becoming Emotionally Intelligent is an Important Learning Experience.

becoming emotionally intelligent

While reading the Melbourne Age online this morning, I see a Liberal National Party Staffer has been put on “indefinite leave” for texting an expletive-laden tirade to a female journalist who recently criticised a federal MP Senator Barry O’Sullivan. In responding the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack stated it was sent “accidentally and inadvertently” to the reporter when it was actually intended for a friend. While the staffer has apologised, what has been said cannot be erased.

How often do we see this today? Angry, overwrought, stressed and highly emotional people resorting on the spur of the moment to vent their feelings, generally apologising sometime later. But what has been said in haste cannot be taken back.

We constantly hear stories like the one above. People in organisations brawling back and forth by email. Again too often in their highly emotional, non-rational state, accidentally sending it to the wrong person, then it circulating around the building, becoming the latest reality show in the building.
We can change this. We can learn to respond in professional ways. The recent research into the brain and how it manages our emotions tells us how.

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Videos to Enhance Your Soft Skills

Business people watching soft skills videos

One of the most rewarding thing about the world in which we live today is that we can so easily tap into the experience and expertise of people all over the world. I came across the work of Eddie Kilkelly, the Founder and Managing Director of Insynergi. 

Eddie has produced 3 videos that are worth watching and a quick way to enhance your soft skills. The videos are short, all 6-7 minutes long.

Building a High Performing Team.

Soft Skills Matter.

Emotional Intelligence.

You can access the videos here.

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Soft Skills For Staying Sane Over Christmas and New Year

image of peace and serenity

If ever we needed well-developed soft skills it is at this time of the year – the Christmas New Year period. What is it about this time of the year?

Why do we all run around in circles trying to finish things when we don’t do the same at the end of most other months?

Why can’t we fit anything else into our schedules? I am going to suggest that we actually create this stress, overwhelm and sense of urgency for ourselves, that we turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy that we’ve perpetuated over the years.

I’m going to suggest that you just STOP FOR ONE HOUR, find a quiet space for yourself where you are not going to be interrupted and just review what you want and need to do over the next weeks until Christmas. Here are some ways to stay sane, less stressed and even enjoy this lead into Christmas and the New Year.

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Why Sending Thank You Notes Makes A Difference

sending thank you notes

Some recent research by Accountemps, a Robert Half Global Company, specialising in providing business with skilled finance and accounting professionals, found that sending thank you notes to a HR manager or recruitment professional who did the interview can tip the scale in a job candidates favour.

At a time when hundreds of people are applying for the same job, writing a thank you note is a way to stand out from the crowd. It demonstrates self-awareness, that you are aware of and acknowledge the time that the recruiter or HR manager has given to interviewing you and spending time with you, that you consider others not just yourself. It also shows your attention to detail, your ability to follow through to the end of a process.
Only 24% of applicants send one, however. This is down from 51% in 2007.

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Getting Along With People – A Highly Sought After Skill By Employers

Leading People

Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, once said: “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” It would seem a very obvious statement, wouldn’t it? Yet, it is not at all easy to achieve. But, these are the crucial skills that every organisation is looking for in its employees – that ability to get along with people.

Every day in our workplaces our relationships are challenged by people who see things differently to the way we see them. They come from such diverse backgrounds, different from us in gender, age, sexual orientation, race, language, education and physical ability. They have been socialised in very different ways. They have different values. What’s important to them may not be important to us at all. The outcome of all this is that every personal and professional resource we have is stretched as we endeavour to build meaningful and constructive relationships with these people.

And let’s not forget outside of work – our partners, children, family, relatives, next door neighbours and the members of the clubs and associations we belong to. That’s another challenge!

In these times we also have significant breakdowns in global relationships as countries, religious groups and disaffected people everywhere push their own agendas and fight for their voices to be heard. Every day, we see on our televisions, the struggle of people and nations to get along with other people. 

So how do we do it?

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