Experts are people with a special, superior skill or knowledge in a particular field. We need them. In all areas of life, and business, experts have a vital role to play. But when it comes to managing someone in your team who knows more than you do, it can be daunting. Whether he or she is a subject matter expert, or simply has much more relevant experience or know-how, managing ‘an expert’ can feel awkward. This short article explores how to get the best from people with greater knowledge or expertise.
‘Lessons will be learned’ is an often-repeated phrase trotted out by government ministers and heads of organisations when things have gone dreadfully wrong. In this short article we explore the importance of action rather than words in developing a genuinely blame-free working environment, where people are open about making, correcting and sharing the learning from their mistakes.
Have you ever felt sluggish returning to work after a break? This was me on my first Monday morning back after two and a half weeks off. Sitting at my desk, feeling strange to be in smart trousers and a shirt again, I found it very difficult to focus and kick my brain into gear. In the following days, I found myself getting overwhelmed by my workload, I tried to multi-task (and failed) and wasn’t handling interruptions or distractions effectively. I started to omit important details, I forgot to do things, and often I quickly lost focus. Whether you’ve just returned from a holiday, maternity leave or sick leave, we can all struggle adjusting. But by adopting an ‘accuracy mindset’ and being ‘present-minded’, you can prevent errors from causing problems and stay stress-free at work.
‘We’re going through a lot of change at the moment’, is a common refrain. We hear it all the time. The pace of change might be faster nowadays, but organisational change has always been with us. In this short article we explore the problem of change paralysis, the energising potential of change and the importance of understanding how change is perceived.
Emails are an essential part of our day-to-day work and it’s important we avoid making mistakes to communicate effectively. But there are many ways emails can go wrong and cause unexpected problems and frustration. Have you ever sent a message and suddenly realised you’ve addressed it to the wrong person, or you’ve forgotten to attach some essential files? I’ve made both these mistakes, and more, with my own emails, but over time have trained myself how to stop making the same errors. To avoid spending time doing re-work and be more productive, here are three simple, useful tips you can use when sending your next message.
Distractions and interruptions are an inevitable part of your working day. Humans are designed to be easily distracted, yet we expect ourselves to do work that requires complete focus. Your attention is drawn away from a task when the phone rings, or when your colleague offers a cup of tea, or when your manager asks a question. Interruptions like these might be small, but they disturb your train of thought, and have a big impact on your personal effectiveness. Let’s talk about three steps you can take to minimise distractions and get the job done.
Ever been asked to cover for a cheating colleague or dubious workplace activity? If the television cameras hadn’t picked up the ball tampering in Steve Smith’s Australian cricket team last month maybe we wouldn’t know about it. But others in the team apparently did. Imagine being in a close-knit team, working together towards an agreed goal, and then being asked by one of your teammates to cheat for them, for the ‘good’ of the team. How would you react?
Forgetting to do something is not surprising in our crowded, demanding day. Distractions, interruptions and an overwhelming array of things ‘to-do’, sometimes result in forgetfulness. A lot of mistakes emanate from oversights. Omission is one of the error-prevention topics we get asked about most. In this short article and accompanying video blog, we explore why we forget and how to ensure timely recall.
We all wish we could be more efficient with our time, and there’s a vast array of advice out there telling us how. But which of it is genuinely useful? I’m going to target five steps you can take right away to improve your personal effectiveness; not just for work, but in all aspects of life. We can all improve our attention to detail and concentration skills.
Today I attended Scott Bradbury’s flagship programme Developing an Eye for Accuracy. The other participants were from Avnet, an information services and technology company who design, supply and deliver stock to contract manufacturers around the world. I learnt a great deal from trainer, Greg Fradd, who taught me genuinely useful techniques for transferring information in my own work. If you’d like to find out how I got on, keep reading!