Tag Archives: "communication"

Read some of our previous publications   arrow


Conversations as a leadership intervention

Oct 18th

We hear a lot about the art of giving feedback, but less about the skills involved in receiving feedback. The way you respond when you perceive a critical message sends a powerful signal about what leaders care about. That makes it one of the most important factors that shape the culture – usually not something best done off the top of your head.

You can send a positive signal in response to even the most negative or clumsily-phrased message. I once saw a Chief Executive turn the mood of 500 people around just by the way he listened to and acknowledged


Leaders must step up to avoid excessive risk taking in financial institutions

Aug 23rd

Bank reforms will not stop banks from taking excessive risks in the future according to an academic report by Professor Simon Ashby (i), released today.  He says that, without a cultural change, excessive risk appetite will continue.

Twenty senior risk professionals from the banking industry took part in the study.  They placed much less emphasis than external experts (who have predominantly reported before)  on economic and market factors, such as low interest rates or the growth in securitisation, and much more on human and social aspects of the crisis within the institutions and the regulatory machinery. Instead, they saw inappropriate risk



The dangers of losing your sense of direction

Jun 15th

As we witness David Cameron’s latest ‘flip flops’ on key policy areas of health and social care and crime last week, and hear Rowan Williams’ strong comments about the impact of having no clear leadership direction and underpinning values in the current Coalition government, a striking image sprang to mind . Try Googling the words ‘confused picture’ and it’s one of the top four images that pop up. It’s a signpost with the words ‘Confused, Lost, Perplexed, Disoriented, Unsure and Bewildered’ on its posts – all pointing in different directions. It was used recently by several different employees in a



Virginia Merritt on SimplyTV

May 06th

A video round-up of the latest information, views and news from the world of internal Communications, from Simply TV.

The May edition features our very own Virginia Merritt interviewed on our recent work with a highly-publicised global safety campaign.  Just click here to view (and select the slide index tab to jump straight to Virginia’s interview).

This video also features:

Aldo Liguori, Communications Advisor to Sony Ericsson, discussing crisis communication in the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Japan;
VMA Group’s Charlotte Butler in an exclusive interview on industry trends found in the recruiting firm’s soon-to-be-published 2011 Professional Development in Internal Communication survey; and
Chicago-based consultant and seminar leader, Jim



Practical steps to happiness

Apr 13th

ABCD (resist the urge to hum along with the Jackson Five) is a well established framework and tool that comes out of positive psychology – it can be used to build optimism, positivity and resilience. As a manager coaching people through tough and uncertain times it’s worth remembering the ABCD of how to get people to think more positively – you can apply it in individual conversations and in a team discussion.

Adversity – we encounter it and react to it
Belief – our reactions create and are conditioned by a set of beliefs
Consequences – the beliefs are the cause of what



When talking about it doesn’t help

Mar 10th

In turbulent economic times – and after a very long winter – how do you keep yourself going? Research suggests that ‘talking out’ your concerns does not always help and that suppressing negative thoughts can be just as bad for you. However, research also shows that ‘expressive writing’ can boost your well-being, reduce health problems and increase your happiness.

If you are struggling to come to terms with a negative experience (a professional setback or even redundancy), try spending a few minutes each day writing a short account of it. Constructing a written narrative (which is naturally more coherent than a



The six Cs of communication

Jul 02nd

Nearly every client meeting at the moment touches on conversation that managers may find difficult – communicating downsizing programmes and redundancies, or just the need to manage general uncertainty and anxiety that can affect performance.

When emotions are involved, too many managers handle the conversation badly, or avoid it altogether.

We use a simple, effective tool for communicating high-concern messages, known as ‘The six Cs’. Of course there’s a skill to how you use them, but if you follow them in order, you can be sure you have at least touched all the bases:

Care – show empathy with the person/people receiving the



3 simple questions to improve collaboration

Jun 01st

How many businesses do you know with the word ‘collaboration’ in their set of values? In my experience, there are dozens.

And yet, it’s one of those organisational goals that sometimes seems to run counter to human instincts. As we often say, ‘easy to understand – hard to do’. While everyone signs up to collaboration in principle, it’s certainly not easy to achieve in practice. There are always a thousand reasons why it comes more naturally to work with the people in your immediate team than the team on the next floor, or on another site.

At the most basic level, managers