Being Authorised In Your Role

Do you want to set your staff up for success?  An important strategy is ensuring that they are clear about their roles, responsibilities, delegations and accountabilities.  

Whilst this may seem obvious, its something most managers don't pay enough attention to.

Many managers rely on position descriptions to convey this information. While position descriptions are a starting point, the truth is that each person needs to discover what their role really means and how they can best occupy it.   Bruce Reed likens this journey to that of an actor who given a script must determine how to interpret the role.   


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Reflections On Typhoon Hayain, Privilege and Responsibility

As 2013 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the events that had a significant influence on me this year.  

High on that list is a trip my partner and I made to the Philippines for our friends, Russell and Linda’s wedding.  The openness and generosity of our hosts is still with me.  That simple meeting with strangers, who celebrated, laughed and danced with us, reminded us of our basic humanity.  We came home deeply enriched.

Only a few weeks after our homecoming, super-typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines.   I found news coverage of recovery efforts both inspiring and deeply challenging.  Sitting in the comfort of my lounge chair I became an uneasy voyeur, watching some of the poorest people on the planet piece their lives together. 

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When Communication Goes Underground

Failure to communicate openly can be a real problem for teams and working relationships.  In the absence of direct communication, indirect communication usually results.  A culture of gossip, high unexplained staff turnover and widespread complaining to no-one in particular, can be signs your workplace is a little reticent when it comes to direct communication.

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Japanese Window Sitters

I found myself discussing Japanese Window Sitters recently.  What’s a Japanese Window Sitter you ask? I’ll explain shortly. 

The conversation took place in a training program to develop manager’s coaching skills.  The goal of the program is to enhance employee and organisational performance. It all began when my co-facilitator Stuart noticed a broken chair with a note taped to it, saying ‘Broken’.

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Being Our Role Models: A Strengths-based Approach

Who are your role models? What do you love most about them? How have they inspired you?
One of my role models is my former high school principal, John Tindley, an approachable and progressive leader who was out and about in the school yard chatting with us on a regular basis.  However what comes to mind, as I think of him today, is that he threw his job in at the height of his career and became a truck driver.

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The Invisible War

It’s been a shocking week, with several organisations apologising for shameful incidents that violate the dignity and rights of women, members of ethnic minorities, indigenous groups and homosexuals. The events have been so degrading that even the most cynical would have trouble denying the line was crossed and the boundaries of decency pushed beyond their limits.

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Facing Up to Organisational Blind Spots

UmbrellaIn my last blog I wrote about the challenges of identity.  In particular, the ways in which identity encourages us to focus on particular facets of our experience at the expense of others.  This is as true of organisations as it is of individuals.

Organisations develop blind spots. Those blind spots render companies susceptible to waking with a jolt to discover black holes in their budget or scandals that damage not only reputation and morale, but people.


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Coaching, Flea Markets and the Limitations of Our Identity

Recently I went to the Camberwell market in Melbourne.  It’s a fabulous place, full of old discarded bric-a-brac, furniture, records and clothing deemed to be of little value to the original owner.   The same items can prove to be treasure for those who discover them.  All it takes is a little imagination and know-how to put them to good use.

As I wandered down the aisles, rummaging through trestle tables and peering into car boots, it struck me that coaching in many ways is like going to a jumble sale.  A good coach has the knack of helping people to spot what’s needed in a situation.  Sometimes that involves reclaiming talents, traits and characteristics we abandoned years ago.

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Committing to Change: A Battle Between Hope and Fear

In his inauguration speech Obama articulates a bold and progressive vision, which may take generations to achieve.  While many are relieved to hear the agenda he sets out, there are others who just plain disagree with him.  Reactions to his speech seem to fall into two main camps.  Those who’ve been hurt by empty promises are cynical.  Others are energised by signals of change.  

My own interest lies in how we grapple with the tension between our need for hope and a direction we can believe in on one hand and the risks that it will all amount to nothing.

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Flirting With Change

Are you finding it a challenge to settle back into work as the holiday season draws to a close?

Years ago my uncle, a family man and responsible corporate citizen, brought a Harley Davidson and headed into the desert. I remember it as somewhat of a scandal. Everyone thought he’d gone mad.  Whether or not he’d return was the subject of great speculation.

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Forthcoming Events


Conflict Management Coaching

Our four day training program introduces participants to the CINERGY® Conflict Coaching model and the Not-So-Merry-Go-Round of conflict which is central to developing insight and change. With a focus on experiential learning participants become skilled in facilitating others in a process of change.

  • Melbourne: 8 - 9 & 22 - 23 February 2018