Your Voice Can Be A Valuable Asset – The Benefits of Developing and Deploying Your Voice As A CAREER Building Weapon. Talking the beautiful talk – Warbling your way to wealth – A Presentation Post by Presentation Skills Trainer and Coach, Matthew Hill #presentation #skills #voice

Voice – The Benefits
Put simply – There will be a positive earnings dividend for those who work on their voice and develop its melodic capabilities to the max. And, I am not talking about winning a TV talent show. Customers and clients would rather listen to a pleasant, sonorous voice that a scratchy, squeaky weaker one. They will stay longer, learn more from you, and, even AGREE with what you are saying! Continue reading

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Do You Need To Feel More Power and Confidence Before Going Into Your Next Meeting, Starting In 15 Minutes? – A Top Resilience and Confidence Tip – Recording Your Own Bespoke Affirmation Resource – Enjoy The Process & Love The Result. – A “How To” Post by Assertiveness and Presentation Skills Trainer, Matthew Hill #confidence #affirmation #resilience #power #success #feelgood

Incoming praise – Why do all the heavy lifting yourself? Take a moment to record all the kind, true and positive things others have said about you over the years. Your LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements are an easy place to start – Pick out and note key power phrases that someone else has said about you and that make you feel good. References for jobs, if you have access to them are a gold mine. Positive appraisal comments that stick in your mind are worth their weight. Even, kind words said at a birthday, anniversary or leaving do speech can be canabalised for this exercise. Any memory of someone you respect, saying something both true and positive will be just the right phrase to note down for this affirmation compilation list. Continue reading

Do You Want To Sell Just 10 Copies Of Your New Book? No? Because, You Cannot Rely On Your Publisher To Market The Book For You! – A Author’s Guide To Selling More Books by Matthew Hill #book #author #marketing #copies #promotion #success #publishing #bestseller

How to get out from behind the desk and shake your marketing booty to create a minor book marketing sensation (and justify all the pain and suffering of writing the book in the first place.) The Numbers Over 97% of … Continue reading

It’s Not All About YOU! – The Art of Successful Networking. A Networking Post by Matthew Hill

“Listen out for the quietly whispered truth and the mighty doors will open before you and reveal your gift.” Quote from US President, Donald J. Trump, 5th of Never Happened 2019. Face to face networking is, simultaneously, a feared sweaty … Continue reading

“I Want To Write A Book But I Feel Completely Overwhelmed!” – Where Do I Start? – A Beginner’s Guide To Authoring Your First Book – By Matthew Hill #writing #author #bookwriting #action

Give birth to a book this summer Whilst everybody has a book inside them, having a tome-birth can end up being traumatic! – This post is written to get you moving and to start you off, writing your first book. … Continue reading

Matthew’s SIETAR Europa Congress Leuven Report! #SIETAR #Congress #Leuven

Or, We are a normal family…aren’t we??

What a Week

A week at the SIETAR Europa Congress 2019 in Leuven has fed our collective brains, hearts, stomachs and livers (if a liver can be fed.)

Overall, the event was a great success lead by Outgoing President, Joyce Jenkins. Joyce is the definition of an inclusive leader – combining leadership with latitude to develop purpose in an enthusiastic tribe of followers, ready to sweat a little, get creative, make decisions and get stuck in. There were many many dramas along the way (town, venue, gala, menus, rooms, people, tickets, buses, etc, etc.) And the lunches – we will get to that later. The end result was the transfer of much wisdom to a large group of intercultural enthusiasts in an effective manner in a beautiful town that was fit for purpose (Muntstraat had end-to-end restaurants and easily contained the learning hordes.)

The Leuven Town Hall Reception

Diversity and Inclusion

The inspired suggestion for this year’s Congress theme gave the amorphous and sometimes stagnant essentialist version of culture something substantial to work with and the results were impressive. Inclusion is where the rubber meets the road and the presenters with practitioner experience brought their experiences to life in a unique and memorable way for many of us. The topics of colour, racism, LGBTQ, as well as the prejudiced brain, polarisation and ethics got traction and the attention of this, sometimes, critical SIETARian crowd.

Quality – Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk

When I drew attention to the frequent lack of original content and questionable quality of some presenting seen in the Dublin sessions and keynotes of 2017, I was unfriended by some pretty big names – Sometimes the truth is painful to hear.

I am happy to report (not just so that you stay friends!) that both content and presentation quality seem to have bounced back to the Valencia standard of 2015.

Working hard to find the PURPOSE of SIETAR!

The selection of papers for inclusion in the programme was BLIND – If ever an event was aligned with its topic, this has to be proof positive of that healthy intent. – A bi-product of this meritocratic process was that some big names where not on the programme.

Whilst there are still issues – Keynote speakers reading from their papers in “monotone”, some under rehearsed sessions with avoidable errors and the like – Speaking personally, I only had one sub-par experience during the whole event.

Super Stars

It was a very broad programme with up to 9 simultaneous choices at any one time, so I can only talk about the ones that I witnessed first hand.

***Shannon Murphy Robinson – An easily accessible introduction to the neuroscience of bias, culture and behaviour. Educational.

***Seyda Kutsal – Buurman – Giving regular folk (outside the police force) a chance to experience the strong feelings generated by the Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes experiment for themselves. Profound.

***Christoph Bader – Bringing something NEW to Brexit / Trump / Popularism! That is rare these days – Using the vehicle of collective memory, we were asked to apply its cult-like methods to the “other side” and come up with some pithy slogans to balance out fake news – Therapeutic.

***Christine Wirths and Lies Wouters – Digital learning – Giving us the chance, with a real case, to come up with our own attempts at constructing a digital learning programme – Inspiring and encouraging.

***Jackie van der Kroft – Reliably excellent, Jackie took us beyond conflict to the anatomy and mitigation of polarisation and asked us to apply some suggested methods in our own world. Outstanding.

***Monika de Waal, Natasha Aruliah & Henning Zorn – Sharing their life stories as 3 “outsiders”, trialogues around difference and discussions of feelings and implications – A richly experiential event.

***Alan Richter – Using ethical dilemmas and dramas and asking us to unpick them and choose a response – our results were then compared with global data and analysed. – The slickest show in town! And, finally,

***Sue Shinomiya – Ikigai – Finding one’s life’s purpose – The perfect post Gala session – Engaging enough to keep everyone zoned in, beautiful enough not to over challenge our fragile state. Elegant.

Sue Shimoniya – Ikigai

***Films – A reduced film track curated by a knowledgeable team and with the chance to see the most popular ones again on day 3. Moving.

Confession

I am sorry to say I missed the “Obama-like” opener with Leuven Mayor, Mohamed Ridouani. My loss.

Challenges – The vast voluntary team had much to cope with, not least their own size – Steering committee – 10, Congress team – 21 and Assistants – 12 (You probably need another committee to handle all of the 43+ volunteers!!!)

Great minds, and me…

The venue – The concrete medical school was funky though not always fit for purpose – Arriving at the hospital entrance (never trust a taxi driver who says, “Ah, yes, I know exactly where that is…”) we went past real medical patients, walked along many corridors only to be finally denied by a double set of locked doors – Signalling with my mobile phone light attracted the attention of the people in the registration hall but they could not blow the locks on the doors (a competence beyond university professors it seems.)

The Lunches – Yes we are finally here. Let us reframe this moment to get most benefit from our collective experience – The lunches were a bonding disaster that unified a diverse crowd in a common complaint. I am put in mind of an old Jewish joke about Catskills catering – “The food is horrible here –  And, such small portions.” And it did not matter – It lead to some hilarious survivor behaviour with charismatic SIETARian explorers attempting to bribe, influence and persuade KU Leuven medical students to buy canteen lunches for them – with mixed results.

Gala – In the end we all survived, ate and laughed. Apparently, the first choice venue went bankrupt before our event so a few brave souls found the substitute venue and persuaded them to host the do. The last minute instruction to select our food choices meant that, inevitably, many did not see the e mail and respond in time with their input. For them it was a fixed menu. But no more moaning – IT WAS A FREE OPEN BAR WITH BELGIUM BEER! – Come on.

With Natasha Aruliah and Kelli McLoud – Shingen and me.

In Conclusion

Where else can you guarantee bonfemmie and bonhomie like that? (New Word – bonfemmie!!) Is there anywhere like a SIETAR Europa Congress as a place where you can tell your story and be respected, included and truly heard? – I don’t think so. We have something precious here that is safe, user friendly and staffed entirely (with two exceptions) by volunteers. Wow.

matthew hill sietar leuven
Paul Westlake, Steve Crawford and George Simons

Thanks

Thanks to the steering committee of 10, the 21 strong congress team and, especially, to the 12 hard-working assistants.

Next

See you in Malta, May 2021.

P.S. – I promised to set up a Collaboration workspace after my interactive Collaboration session on day 2 at the Congress – Watch this space on Culture99 and do feel free to join in the exchange, ask questions, contribute and continue the dialogue about getting to collaboration within your organisation and spreading it to other work and community spaces too. Thanks, Matthew

5 Ways to Get Well Paid Keynote Speaking Engagements – And 3 Things NEVER to Attempt to Do Too. #paid #gigs #publicspeaking #keynote #presentationskills

Or, How to shorten the waiting time for stardom to come knocking… 1, Post Deep Content on LinkedIn – It sounds obvious to some and it will, at the same time, FREAK others out. – When you consistently post good … Continue reading

Matthew’s Going for Growth Bootcamp Day in Basel, Switzerland – Saturday 6th April 2019 – With Early Bird Deal

For Independent Trainers Who Wish To Experience Faster Growth And Enjoy Higher & Sustainable Income

Matthew's Going for Growth Bootcamp, Basel, 6th April 2019

Matthew’s Going for Growth Bootcamp, Basel, 6th April 2019

What is the Going For Growth Bootcamp?

We intend to deliver an intense one day Bootcamp group training / learning day in Basel on 6th April 2019. And, to make the day effective, we will also provide you with supporting materials and guidance before you arrive, in the form of simple, remote pre-work. You can do as much or as little preparation as you like before you attend the day.

On the day, we will look at your professional identity and brand, illustrate how informational products and social media can help to build your tribe / crowd / database, and, see how your philosophy can be expressed in the best way through your communication, to get your message out and attract the best people to your offering.

Our support package includes short handbooks, coaching, an action plan and a library of materials including helpful films. You can book just the day or buy the package and the day. The choice is yours. Are you an experienced professional, possibly with no published informational assets yet, and, not quite enough clients? The Basel Bootcamp day will teach you how to become a more confident, independent solopreneur / entrepreneur – Owning your own bundle of knowledge based assets, a functioning and proven marketing / sales process, and, thus benefiting from a healthy supply of warm incoming business enquires supporting the growth of your profitable independent business.

The Going for Growth Bundle and Bootcamp will enable you to experience a good quality of life – QOL, in which you feel time-rich, financially well rewarded for the work you do, whilst being independent, happy and fully expressed in your professional life.

Is this you?

Are you an independent solopreneur trainer or coach, a passionate service or product provider, keen to expand your businesses (and, a speaker of English!)

When should you come to the Bootcamp?

You have already started your business, found your first customers and delivered your first product / services. And you have now accumulating enough work experience to be effective independently and wish to accelerate your rate of growth. And, you are hungry to get “start to finish” help that will ensure that you do the right things, avoid the wrong things and have assistance and support, as you move from “newbie” to establishing yourself and your business in your chosen field.

What is the benefit for you?

As far as we are aware, this is the ONLY complete system on the market that has a beginning, a middle, and, an end, allowing the individual to actually build all that they need to generate a warm, current and qualified pipeline of incoming business enquiries.

We think it is the ONLY template available that allows the independent operator to construct a viable business in 60 action days, meaning that you can plan when you will work on building your informational assets, your marketing and selling structures and you can confidently predict your own end-date for this building process.

And, it is the ONLY offer that comes with live access to experts when required. This is not a “remote guru” programme where the main expert is separated from the learners.

Matthew's Going for Growth Bootcamp, Basel, 6th April 2019

8 presents for you in 1 great bundle

Going for Growth Bundle Offering – The Offer Support Materials List;

  1. Going for Growth in 2019 – A short 13 Part Handbook including 130 guiding coaching questions
  2. Matthew’s 5M Marketing Success Model – The Business Growth Accelerator Elements
  3. What’s Stopping You? Audit – A resource to get the independent business owner beyond their Self Limiting Beliefs – SLBs
  4. Marketing Effectiveness AuditA quick test to see what has already been created.
  5. 60-Day Business Build Action “Postcards”The Template for building a business from nothing to generating warm incoming enquiries
  6. Coaching Support – A number of live 45 to 70 minute coaching sessions helping independents to get passed their issues, blockers and problems
  7. Mastermind Group Clinics – A Remote deep dive into specific topics that the group are struggling with
  8. Basel Bootcamp, Saturday, 6th April 2019 – The Bootcamp experience that brings great people together, supported by The Going for Growth Bundle

TAKE ACTION – Contact Matthew if you are interested via matthew.hill@hillnetworks.com today

More Details on the 8 Parts

  1. Going for Growth in 2019 – Short 13 Part Handbook with 130 coaching questions

Outlining the concepts of the 13-Step Blueprint that EVERY successful business must follow, build and maintain to survive, grow and make money. This book will help you get your head in the game and show the scope of the work that is required. It contains gentle and reflective coaching questions at the end of each of the 13 parts to help you expand awareness of what your business requires before you start your big build.

2. Matthew’s 5M Marketing Model – Business Growth Accelerator

MP4 Film expanding on the 5MsMeet – Your identity pitch, Message – Your published book stating your credo, essence and offer – Make – The importance of creating assets – products that transfer value – Market – A marketing sequence that generates warm enquiries for you – Mastermind Group – Joint Venturing and collaborating with complementary operators in a related field. This film aims to educate and inform you about what is required in the next phase. Punchy and to the point, you will learn more about the 5 Ms and what each element can do for you to help you create the business you want.

3. What’s Stopping You? Audit

This book represents an invaluable tool to help you complete your journey. From identifying the thoughts that are blocking you to overcoming and getting over your doubts and fears, to leap forward toward action, product creation, funnel design and profitable independence. Some say that this is the most freeing part of the whole programme.

4. Marketing Effectiveness Audit

Your Marketing Asset Checklist

You will be surprised at how much of the list you have already started, created or have “somewhere”. You can build upon this and finish quickly once you understand the whole picture, what your assets do and what is required to complete your business build.

5. 60-Day Business Build Action “Postcards”

The aim here is to guide you through your build in the LEAST POSSIBLE TIME AND NUMBER OF STEPS

We set you up ready to;

  1. a) Plan your next months with a paper calendar placed somewhere visible, such as on your fridge, with your 60 highlighted action days.
  2. b) Schedule your power postcard workdays on your fridge calendar. One a day, 3 a week or whatever will fit with your work schedule, family life, travel plans, etc.
  3. c) Get your partner and child to bully you into keeping discipline, preparing to do the work and staying on track to complete your active build to completion 60 Day Business Build Calendar on your fridge

Where does this fit in? You will have expanded your marketing mind in the first section (Going for Growth etc.) and will be broadly aware of what you need to do, who you are, etc. The 60 – Day Business Build is the time to commit and hold firm to a practical and powerful SCHEDULE, working in a focused and professional way to build up your marketing and informational assets.

Every week you will receive a specific set of task instructions that will take you from, “I don’t have a clear idea of what to do” to, “Wow, I have just built a business in just over two months.”

6. Coaching Support

You will probably run into some blockers or technical issues around Sequencing, Identity & Brand, Offering or Target Audience. Most people do.

At this critical phase, you will receive the support you need with 2 45 to 70 minute coaching calls to move you passed any blockages, obstructions or issues. Just schedule a Gotomeeting session and an expert will help you through.

7. Mastermind Group Clinics

The topics to be discussed will by chosen by YOU – The Mastermind Group Members – 3 to 7 people in each cohort.

These interactive, educational deep dives aim to explore specific subject areas in greater detail, lay out the actions required with clarity and pragmatic simplicity to get the group beyond any mental or technical issues that they are experiencing.

Come to sunny Basel

Come to sunny Basel, 6th April 2019

8. Basel Bootcamp Event

Matthew’s Going for Growth Business Bootcamp, Saturday, 6th April 2019, An intensive session (IN ENGLISH) to help you work on, complete and accelerate your build, start your marketing sequence and fill in any gaps that you have.

We will make products, hone your brand and take you from 35 – 70% of the way there to almost all of the way there (And, ALL the way there, if you manage to complete all your homework!). BTW – In this way, the get together generates the most productive of outcomes for you.

Money – Back Guarantee

If you join the programme, complete the course work, and, after 9 months, have not made back at least twice the income that you paid for the programme in customer revenues, then, Matthew will be return to you, what you paid for the bundle and bootcamp. So, there is no financial risk.

Cost – We provide two options? –

A, Just the Basel Bootcamp Day – Price – £395.00 Or,

B, The 8 Element Going from Growth Bundle AND Bootcamp, including the event, coaching support, Bundle Materials and your full money-back guarantee – £895.00

Super Early Bird Offer – If you book TODAY, we offer you this one-time special price of £295 for, just the Bootcamp day, (or), £495.00 for the whole programme and 8 part package Please. Note; to qualify for this discount, you must book and complete payment of the PayPal invoice we will send you, by the 5th March 2019.

Conclusion

We think we have thought of everything that the new and growing business owner needs to know to successfully build up their independent training business to completion and to generate a valuable in-flow of warm new customer enquires.

Action

If you wish to have a personal one-to-one conversation with Matthew to discuss whether this is the right course for you, simply E Mail to matthew.hill@hillnetworks.com to set up a brief call or call +44 7540 65 9995 and leave your details.

Matthew's Going for Growth Bootcamp, Basel, 6th April 2019

Matthew’s Going for Growth Bootcamp, Basel, 6th April 2019

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Collaboration Post 3 – 15 Collaborative Behaviours To Change Your Group’s Outcomes

Collaborate or Die

We are meant to play nicely, work as a team and respect each other. In Part 1, we expanded on 10 reasons why this often fails to happen.

In this Part 3, we now look at the key desirable behaviours that, when practiced mindfully and regularly, WILL produce a team breakthrough, get the group to the goal and leave everyone alive, and, at least on speaking terms at the end.

As you move through the behaviours, ask yourself, “Do I do this? “Can I start doing this?” And, “Will I step up and do this regularly?”

15 Strong Suggestions

  1. Interrupt your dark defensive moments and fill them with light.

Experienced in so many ways as sarcasm, denial, anger, avoidance and justification, defensiveness – This is the burden suffered by most teams attempting to become more collaborative and effective.

Action

Borrowed from anger management training courses, the best method is to spot the symptoms of early on-set defensiveness and divert the behaviour, diminish it or reverse it. If you are beginning to feel your blood boil, take a walk to the balcony, go smell the flowers and take your imagination to a place of cool, calm tranquillity to “reset” your body’s distracting chemicals.

Young attractive business people - the elite business team

  1. Coaching your colleagues through any resistance.

The majority of people will not instantly get behind a fresh idea or new change. They will choose to wait it out, criticise it, or, mount an attack.

Action

Here, a coaching approach can be effective as you focus inside your colleague’s head to access both their imagination and logic circuits to help them do the work of processing change and getting on board for themselves. Questions that help to create different and contrasting futures are good – “What if we carry on as we are? What are the risks of this?” “If we had 10 times the resources available, what should we do next?” “If you were the team leader now, what course of action would you recommend?” Etc.

  1. Actively listening to your concerned colleague.

The problem with teams is that the confident, privileged and beautiful get most of the airtime. And this dynamic is actually reinforced by everybody in the team – even the oppressed, the shy, or, the outsiders. The reflectors, quiet geniuses and shy analysts are not prone to speak up, do not feel they have permission to speak and, thus, do not take up their share of the microphone.

Action

Related to coaching but intruding less, listening is about getting the whole story out of the coachee / colleague. We can employ minimal encouragement – “That is important, please tell us more” “You were saying…” “And, what does this mean for our team?” Quieter members of the team may be more sensitive. If you overdo it they will clam up – Maintain a positive, still attention with minimal non-verbal, para-verbal and verbal prompts. This will be good for evening out the group’s share of voice, listening to all and including their ideas and concerns as well as counting the vote of everybody to form an inclusive group dynamic that will be effective in taking a diverse group all the way to a stretched goal.

  1. Building muscular resilience.

We can see resilience as the ability to bounce back from pressure, stress or becoming knocked off balance, AND, still being about to function effectively. In the politics of the team, possessing greater resilience can take people all the way to the top. And a lack of resilience will see someone being relegated to the oppressed group, or demoted to basic executive duties. They are sent to eat at the children’s table.

Action

Resilience comes in 4 flavours – Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Teams or individuals can be encouraged to participate in simple and repeated exercises to stretch and build their resilience muscles. Physical – Regular exercise, monitoring diet and alcohol consumption. Emotional – Developing the habit of experiencing positive emotions through appreciation, gratitude and laughter. Mental – Simple maths exercises. Spiritual – Practicing your faith or thinking pure thoughts.

  1. Learning to resolve difference intelligently.

It is easy to sulk, withdraw and dismiss a different opinion from your own. This actually represents a form of defensiveness and will not allow a team to become optimally collaborative.

Action

Imagine learning to reconcile difference to a level where, “I am OK & You’re OK”, becomes the default setting for the group. (We discuss a positive exception to this later).

What difference would this make to the atmosphere and energy in your team? The simplest method when two parties are on opposite sides of an argument or behaviour style (e.g. direct communicators v indirect communicators), is to reconcile the difference. We ask first, what is the benefit and contribution of each style, acknowledging that a diversity of approaches is actually NECESSARY for success. We then work on how we can accommodate those two benefits in team communications or by putting them into the project plan. E.g. direct people tell the unvarnished truth, which can be invaluable when a crisis is looming. Diplomatic indirect people keep the channels of communication open, maintain higher levels of trust and ensure the probability of long-term communication. It is easy to see that both styles are required. The task then is to design simple protocols that allow both styles to operate with respect and appreciation within the team.

Colorful 3D rendering. Abstract shape composition, geometric structure block. Wallpaper for graphic design.

  1. Two heads are better than one when solving a problem.

If you are a hammer, your default mode is to bash things on the head. Not great when changing the batteries in your watch. Again a diversity of approaches will be more effective.

Action

Practicing problem solving can be a bonding process that deepens the respect and positive emotions of all team members. Weekly intellectual challenges involving abstract problems can be a fun team building activity that is secretly growing the team’s capacity to handle complex issue, resolve involved messes, and, operate smoothly and efficiently when a live business problem comes along.

  1. Trust underpins it all.

Without trust we have defensiveness, solo silos, and Machiavellian plots.

Action

There are 3 components to trust – Ability, Benevolence and Integrity. Each must be in play to ensure positive vulnerability and promote trust in a high functioning collaborative team. Ability – Giving recognition to the skills, competence and experience of each team member is a way that quickly establishing better communication and inclusion in any team. X becomes the go-to person on subject Y. Benevolence – By this we mean that each member declares and proves that they are not wishing a negative outcome upon their colleagues. They wish to allow a beneficial or, at least, neutral state to exist. Integrity – My word is my bond. It is essential to continually keep your promises in order to maintain confidence in the overall performance of any team. If there is a weak link, the whole side will feel let down.

  1. The Licensed Pessimist.

The risk to any team is Groupthink, where a strong personality is accepted as leader and their ego expands to a level where they propose actions that represent foolhardy risk taking. The compliant and passive nodders around them, allow and encourage adoption of this fast-track route to disaster.

Action

Challenging the precepts of 7. we deliberately create a rotating and official role that allows and encourages a critical view and gives full permission for that person to voice their concerns – The Licenced Pessimist. “What if the market does not recover? What then?” “Those numbers appear way too optimistic. How did you derive them?”

When immunity from revenge and animosity is established in the group’s ground rules, the role becomes effective and essential in stress testing all new input to quickly separate the wheat from the chaff.

Team building. Group pf colleagues sitting in a circle and playing games and having fun.

  1. Holding everybody accountable.

Like a sulky child, the wayward executive defends their actions by saying – “Well I didn’t agree with the decision to go this route in the first place.” (Though they remained silent or did not actively disagree, when given the chance before the decision was made.) It is this lack of ownership that will lead to a suboptimal quality of work and poor outcomes.

Action

Asking everybody to say the word, “agree” can be enough to reduce the number of passive passengers on the bus and encourage everybody to process the information to form an active and personally held view. More people are then included in the process of building strategy, planning and problem solving.

  1. Regular Brainstorming.

Habits are quick to form and hard to change. It is easier to repeat what you did yesterday than take a different approach today in order to get a stronger result tomorrow. We are conservative, risk avoidant and take comfort in repetition. The zone we live in is far from comfortable – We stay in horrible jobs, relationships or houses not out of comfort, but out of habit.

Action

This activity will also count towards your resilience exercises. Brainstorming is about expanding the creative connections that you allow your imagination to make by expressing yourself freely. Exempt from criticism and editing, brainstorming moves in waves. There will be a burst of output, a lull, a second burst, and then a second lull. Keep going. It is often in the third burst that the gold is to be found.

  1. Turning passive to active.

What is written on the tombstone of most failed companies, “Well, we tried”. Not hard enough. Underperformance is supported in meetings and work by grey language, low energy sentences and half-hearted commitment. “I’ll try” is at the heart of all of them.

Action

Challenge sluggish, monotone responses to requests. Do not take “Maybe” for an answer. When you are asked, “How you are in the morning?”, upgrade your answer from a monotone, “ffiinne, I suppose” to, “SUPERB AND FANTASTIC. THANKS FOR ASKING.“

  1. Get rid of blame.

The best companies react intelligently to crisis, drama and adverse external circumstance. They do not start to defend, point the finger or avoid responsibility.

Action

The next time you have a company fire to put out and you follow the charter (point 15.) you will experience a difference in atmosphere and will have the chance to see the benefit of full-on collaboration in action. When people are scientific in their description of events this can be captured on a timeline. When they are objective in outlining the symptoms and measured in their analysis of likely causes, then you will experience the pay-off in investing to build collaborative mechanisms in your team.

  1. Moderation and facilitating collaboration.

The accidental hero boss can unintentionally ignore valuable input in order to maintain their hero brand. The neurotic and scared boss may shut down intelligent challenge, not because of the quality of the input, but due to their own insecurities. And, the time-scarce leader can move the meeting along, unconsciously, only asking group thinkers and fans for input, driven by a misguided and dangerous perceived need for peace and pace rather than quality and challenge.

Action

The job of a great moderator is to even out the debate and include a wider base of people, delivering a more diverse and representative contribution – Sampling a diversity of opinion and actively encouraging the quieter sources of wisdom to share their contribution, speak up and be heard.

  1. Good Conflict.

Many companies employ “nice” people who are expected to be “nice”. What actually happens is they become avoidant and this allows stupider ideas to become policy in action, leading to disaster.

Action

Promote the licensed critic, the robust challenger and include different opinions (and integrate these exotic gems via the process of reconciliation.) The smart move is to establish a protocol for allowed any civilised challenge within a robust but protected environment, to produce better suggestions, better processes, more considered solutions and a better customer experience. All this is done to generate improved products, services and engagement, the end result of which, will be experienced in higher income and healthier levels of profit.

  1. Capture collaboration in a charter    How many great training initiatives generated on a Friday are quietly killed off at the 8.30AM reporting meeting on a Monday? A. Most of them. It is easier to let innovation, change and challenge die on the vine and to go back to those old habits that are, actually not serving you well, but feel like an old pair of shoes – At least familiar. The problem is, they represent a slow company suicide.

Action

The formulation of a charter for collaborative team behaviours, formed collaboratively. Is that too obvious? It does not start with a stone tablet issuing from the CEO’s office. It does not come from an expensive off-site weekend jolly for Directors only. It comes from the floor. It evolves. It represents the voice and heart of everybody. And, it is signed up to by everybody – Volunteers stepping up, not coerced group thinkers just nodding along.

About the Author – Matthew Hill is a facilitator, trainer, writer, and public speaker, working with UK and International teams to get them beyond their blockages to create durable results in an exciting peer-to-peer atmosphere of exchange, fairness and excellence.

Contact Matthew on 075 40 65 9995 for a short conversation.

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