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Tag Archives: Skills



Email is integral to the way that many of us work. Yet there is no universally accepted standard for its use, which leaves many of us struggling to find strategies that will help us work effectively without also overstressing or causing email fatigue.

This article, originally published in  The Conversation explores how people feel about email and gives hints and tips on how to manage the ever-increasing number of emails we received while at work.

 

There is no shortage of self-help books and time management gurus who argue that email zen is possible. But with so much research being conducted in different fields there is a risk that populist volumes and consultants simply cherry-pick the data and findings to fit their point of view – that is, if their recommendations are even evidence-based at all.

We were commissioned by UK workplace experts ACAS to produce a systematic literature review across the fields of psychology, human-computer interaction and management of the strategies people use to try and deal with the torrent of work email. This approach examines published data in a rigorous way, and after excluding many papers that didn’t fit our sifting criteria, we settled on assessing 42 papers.

From these, we identified a number of themes relating to how email is used today, which were then matched against markers of productivity and well-being. Finally, these themes were sense-checked in a qualitative study with 12 representative participants.

What did we find? It became apparent that there is no one-size-fits-all set of strategies that improve both people’s productivity and well-being across job roles and industries. For example, a strategy such as catching up with email outside of work hours might help people feel more in control of their work, but it does not tangibly reduce work overload – and can create conflict in families where work is brought home.

But we were able to identify a number of strategies that research indicates are generally beneficial, and these can be used to dispel many of the popular myths about work email and how we “should” be using it. Here are the top five work email myths – busted by science. (more…)


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If you want to have successful teams in your organisation, make sure you have successful leaders.  What do I mean by this you ask?  The way a team is led will have a major impact on the success or otherwise of the team.

What do I mean by this you ask?  The way a team is led will have a major impact on the success or otherwise of the team.

In fact, when I asked team members from within a large financial institution what they wanted from a team leader they identified the following values they would like their leader to hold.

What do I mean by this you ask?  The way a team is led will have a major impact on the success or otherwise of the team.  In fact, when I asked team members from within a large financial institution what they wanted from a team leader they identified the following values they would like their leader to hold.

  • Trust
  • A commitment to their staff as well as the task
  • The willingness to support and serve the team
  • Inspirational leadership, combined with energy, enthusiasm and appropriate expertise
  • The guts to take responsibility rather than pass the buck
  • The glue to make the team come together and operate as a team
  • A willingness to have fun!

I’ll explain each of these in more detail. (more…)


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Free Acas Learning OnLine modules provide a useful e-learning resource for anyone wanting to refresh their knowledge and improve their approach to employment relations issues.

Through a series of online courses, you will have the opportunity to work through the theory, explore practical case studies, and test your knowledge through interactive questions and a test.

Acas Learning OnLine packages are particularly useful for managers, supervisors and anyone responsible for improving business or operational performance.

Learning OnLine topics include: (more…)


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This is what Amazon boasts about their Leadership - it may inspire you to consider how you have defined your own Leadership Principles!

Our Leadership Principles aren’t just a pretty inspirational wall hanging. These Principles work hard, just like we do. Amazonians use them, every day, whether they’re discussing ideas for new projects, deciding on the best solution for a customer’s problem, or interviewing candidates. It’s just one of the things that makes Amazon peculiar.

CUSTOMER OBSESSION - Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.

OWNERSHIP - Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job". 

INVENT AND SIMPLIFY - Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here". As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.

ARE RIGHT, A LOT - Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs.

LEARN AND BE CURIOUS - Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.

(more…)


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The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) produce a range of 'Topic Gateways' which are intended as a refresher or introduction to topics of interest to their members and others involved in the practical application of finance within organisations.

This Topic Gateway explores the difference, parallels and applications of coaching and mentoring within a financial environment.

Mentoring - Coaching Topic Gateway


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In the quest to grow as a leader and as a person, you need others' help, you need to learn fast, and it won’t hurt to make your own luck.

Yves Morieux, senior partner at strategy consultancy Boston Consulting Group, has developed an index to show how business complexity has increased sixfold during the past 60 years alone. Organisational complexity — number of procedures, structures, processes, systems, vertical layers and decision approvals — increased by a factor of 35.

To learn fast, you must be interested in people and ideas, not just yourself.

“Be savvy, flexible, learn from mistakes and collaborate with well-connected people,”

wrote Shane Snow, the author of Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success.”

Those who learn fast build diverse knowledge pools and tap into the wisdom of mentors to raise their game. They are fast learners for whom questioning, thinking and growing is the norm.

Here Are Five Ways to Learn More, Faster
(more…)


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