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Tag Archives: Communication

It is important to frame the team purpose in a meaningful way so that the results the team commits to are challenging and clear, and are goals that the members value and recognise as important.

The more team members are involved helps set individuals apart from their peers and is a useful skill for career progression. High –performing teams invest time and effort exploring, shaping and agreeing on a purpose that belongs to them both collectively and individually.

Members of a team should  agree:

  • what the team is expected to accomplish
  • how progress is measured
  • what problems they need to address

This activity will enable you and your team to explore all of the above.

Setting Our Team Purpose

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Although they may be daunting, difficult conversations are part and parcel of any manager or leader's job.

While these conversations never necessarily stop being difficult, you can take steps to make them easier.



The following basic principles may help.

  • Choose a suitable time and place. Whatever the nature of your difficult conversation, you should book a private room where you won't be interrupted, and ensure you allow sufficient time to explore both sides of the story.
  • State your intent up front. Use your opening sentences to outline what exactly you want to talk about; including why the conversation has to happen and what you would like to see as an outcome (if appropriate). This should help focus the conversation, and allow you to steer it back on track if need be.
  • Gather evidence and stick to the facts. When conducting a difficult conversation, you should always rely on factual information and direct observations, and use these as specific examples to back up what you are saying whenever possible.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. Talk to your team members informally at first, giving them an opportunity to explain things and state their side of the story.
  • Practise active listening. Don't assume that everyone thinks like you: ensure you give the other person time to share their views without interruption, and really listen to what they are saying. Pay particular attention to non-verbal signals and body language.
  • Be clear about next steps. In your conversation, state clearly what will happen next, including likely consequences if things don't improve (if your difficult conversation is about problem behaviour).


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In this 'Thoughts on Leadership' video, Paul Bridle talks about the importance of having a clear process in place to support employees bring forward ideas within the workplace.

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Team leaders will need the ability to create teams, get them performing effectively and then disband them on a positive note

Teams are set to play a critical role in the organisations of the future.The hierarchical structures of the past are giving way to agile teams that can respond quickly to new challenges and innovate at speed. Our recent research shows that 69% of managers now work with five or more teams and that 88% were responsible for at least one team.

The emergence of working cultures where teams are increasingly virtual and are formed and disbanded as priorities change, poses many challenges for team leaders, particularly those who have been used to working in more conventional environments. So how do managers need to respond to the changing nature of teams – and what can HR do to help
equip them for the future?

The March of the Millennials: Generation Y employees will play a big part in the teams of the future, so it’s important for team leaders to understand how to get the best out of them. Our research shows that Millennials want challenging and interesting work, flexible working patterns and frequent praise.

They want informal, friendly relationships with their managers, and for their bosses to share their knowledge and experience with them. They are digital natives who have grown up with technology, and expect to be able to use it to its fullest extent in the workplace. Much of this is alien to team leaders, who have grown up against a more hierarchical, slow-moving backdrop. HR needs to help line managers understand how they can maximise the potential of this key group of employees while at the same time integrating them successfully with the rest of the workforce. (more…)

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Different teams have different functions and require different contributions from team members.

You want individuals to excel but not at the expense of the team, so it is useful to tune your leadership style to the type of team you lead and the roles that team requires.

The purpose of team building exercises is to help teams become cohesive units of individuals that can work together effectively to complete tasks. The type of team you need to build may not be as distinct as the following definitions suggest.

Some may include elements of one or some of the team types described.

Improvement teams

Project teams

Multifunctional teams

Cross-functional teams

Empowered teams

Virtual teams

Intact self-directed work teams

Use this resource to help you understand what makes a team and use the seven common team types highlighted to help you clarify the type of team you need to build.


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Some speaking habits have a lulling effect. There’s a difference between putting your listeners at ease and helping them nod off.

You’re halfway through your big important presentation, and suddenly you notice that one of the executives you’re speaking to even seems to be gently nodding his head. Great, you must really be resonating!

But then you realize he wasn’t nodding at all–he was nodding off. That’s right, your presentation is actually putting people to sleep. Noticing your listeners in the process of tuning you out can feel hugely embarrassing and stressful; wracked with sudden anxiety, now you need to get a hold of yourself and simultaneously get a hold of them. Here are a few reasons why your talk may have a sleep-inducing effect–and what you can do to avoid it.


When your sentence length and pacing stay at the same level throughout your presentation, it produces a monotonous effect that can literally make your listeners feel sleepy.

In a memorable scene from Jordan Peele’s 2017 movie Get Out, the protagonist is hypnotized by his girlfriend’s mother when she twirls a spoon around a teacup. Similarly, if you get into a rhythm where everything you say starts to sound the same, you may “hypnotize” your audience. This is especially likely if you tend to speak in long-winded sentences. So make sure you vary the length of your sentences, erring on the side of short phrases. (more…)

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Teresa Scott is helping candidates secure sustainable employment.

Company: Kennedy Scott Ltd
What it does: Highly regarded supplier of training and employability services to Government
Founder: Teresa Scott OBE, MBA
Founded: 1989
Size of team: Total staff 70
Your name and role: Teresa Scott, Founder and CEO

How did your entrepreneurial journey begin at Kennedy Scott?
I had been working for another organization designing and managing training schemes for young people and blue chip companies and had been pretty autonomous in my role for a few years. I was more or less a one-person operation and thought- you know what? I could do this for myself! So, with the help of friends who backed me financially, I started the company in 1989. Kennedy Scott is now the highest performing provider of Employability support services to people most marginalized from the labour market in the UK.

How is your business challenging the traditional recruitment industry?
Using a bespoke and ‘revolutionary’ assessment process, Kennedy Scott’s trained caseworkers quickly identify the real issues affecting an individual’s rehabilitation and work together to address the barriers impacting the individual’s ability to secure sustainable employment. Through this ‘Circle of Support’, the individual is supoorted with a suite of interventions designed specifically to create a routemap to rehabilitation and employment.

What problems are you trying to solve?
I want to bridge the employability gap for people with disabilities or mental health challenges. We are soon launching a new service for the corporate sector providing advice and guidance to companies wanting to recruit candidates from such backgrounds. We are a catalyst between the candidate and the company, bridging the gap by supporting both parties to get the best from the working relationship. We aim to help candidates in the workplace if they have a health challenge or mental health concerns.

How do you make money?
We run Government-funded contracts, and offer independent advice to companies for a consultancy fee. (more…)

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