Here is a bit of Wednesday wisdom from Business Alchemy by Andrew Wallas to help you explore the inner, unseen dynamics of business.
As individuals and as organizations, we need to learn to value the heart and to rebalance the mind-heart relationship within our businesses. This can only be done by learning to listen to our hearts. With a rational approach, a mind-dominated enterprise, it is possible to create handbooks, procedures and formulae that, once understood by others, allow them to excuse and implement these principles within the organisation. It is different with the heart. You cannot create a handbook or formula for listening to the wisdom of the heart.
After 40 years of working with individual enterpreneurs, groups and organizations, I have witnessed time and again moments of alchemical shift that are non-logical and do not make sense, but create a profound change in both the organization and the individuals concerned. In Sanskrit, one of the oldest languages on the planet, the two principles behind the universe are Ra and Ma. Ra is masculine and Ma is feminine. Ra is where we get the word ‘rational’. And Ma is where we get the word ‘magic.’ As businesses, we have become overly rational, and we need more Ma; we need to get a bit of the magic back. This is about rebalancing. It is not about devaluing or getting rid of rational thinking and ending up with some New Age fantasy business driven by unrealistic and shallow affirmations. It is about valuing the role of the mind- rational, logical and analytical thinking- as well as respecting the way of the heart and embracing intuition, creativity and wisdom.
Heartbeat recognises that whilst clients are looking for a more real-time, transparent and simple to use pulse survey, they often use this alongside the annual engagement survey. What Matt describes below is a fictional thought provoking story based on real encounters he has had. This should helpÂ you think about how to best use your annual results for your business.
âJane called me up and said letâs go for coffee and talk about some âopportunitiesâ she had in her organisation. Over a latte, Jane described how following the annual engagement survey results she and the team had begun to put together a plan on how to respond to the results. In the action plan she had included a couple of workshops with employees and key HR colleagues to help understand what the results meant. This all sounded reasonable, except this conversation was taking place three months after Jane put the plan together and things had not gone how the team expected!
Jonathan Geldart, Executive Director of ‘Grant Thornton International‘ will be launching his new book, Inside The Middle KingdomÂ at the Dehuitang Teahouse in Beijing this Wednesday. The book offers a spectrum of stories of people in modern China. This is Jon’s third book about China published in the UK.
Over the past 7 years, Jon has been working and living in China. He has key insights on brands and culture and contributes greatly to bringing business partnerships and communications between China and the UK. The launch ties in perfectly with the ‘Beijing International Book Fair’ and will consist of Â VIP speeches, a Q&A with Jon, an exclusive book signing, photos and networking.
Matt Stephens, author of Revolution in a Heartbeat- Using emotional insights to drive better business and Founder of the Heartbeat app (a dynamic, real-time app which takes the pulse of an organisation), shares in this piece a simple story of successful leadership.
âBut weâve told them a thousand timesâŠ.â or words to that effect. We hear this a lot from exasperated executive teams when we give them Heartbeat results saying that people donât know the organisationâs strategy. Often, they have done that, but in ways which fail to register with people, inspire them and help them play their part.
Senior leaders are very close to the strategy and have worked long and hard on getting it right. But this can often be a handicap when it comes to explaining it, and most importantly, getting others fired up and excited. They know too much detail and itâs hard to see the strategy from their audienceâs viewpoint. We help by giving an external perspective, and asking the âdumbâ questions which can keep it simple. In doing this, we have found 5 key things which help:
Matt Stephens, author of Revolution in a Heartbeat- Using emotional insights to drive better business and Founder of HeartbeatÂ and theÂ Heartbeat app (a dynamic, real-time app which takes the pulse of an organisation), shares in this piece the importance of being valued.
âYour call is highly valued by usâŠ please wait for the next available colleagueâŠâ We have all heard this or something similar when contacting call centres. Many of us will take it with a pinch of salt because our past dealings with the organisation concerned have suggested that we are not actually all that valued. We know that we feel valued as the result of actions over a period of time. Words on their own have little impact.
This has come to mind recently as we reviewed the most frequently expressed positive emotions in the Heartbeat surveys run by our clients. These have come from a range of survey types – engagement, pulse, events, consultation and one offs. The positive emotions were enthusiastic, inspired, empowered and valued. It was great that these had been selected – clearly leaders in these organisations are doing some good things. But it also got us wondering why being valued is so important, and what makes people feel it. To help answer, we spoke informally with people from the organisations concerned to find out what they thought.
Nicole Soames, Founder and CEO of Diadem Performance and author of the upcoming ‘The Negotiation Book- Practical Steps to Become a Master Negotiator‘ shared with us key insightsÂ to carry out successful internal negotiations.
Whenever I deliver our Master Negotiator Workshop I always ask the delegates to tell me when they have found negotiating particularly tricky. Invariably some of the most taxing examples have occurred during internal negotiations.
Whether youâre asking for a payrise, a deadline extension or extra resources for your project â negotiating with your colleagues can be far more difficult than negotiating with suppliers and customers because of the relationships and emotions involved.
So how do you make sure you have a level playing field when you negotiate with your manager? Based on years of experience from my training and commercial background, here are my 4 secrets to help you become a true commercial athlete in negotiation.
(add in ââŠ.moreâ here to link to remaining part of blog)
1) Balance The Playing Field
The biggest danger when negotiating internally is coming to the negotiating table on the back foot because you are focusing too much on the existing relationship. You need to avoid adopting a parent/child relationship and instead keep the negotiations on a balanced playing field. Your knowledge of the other person can help you with this, so use it to your own advantage. As you already work together, you should be able to read their body language and get a clearer understanding of what makes them tick. Use your emotional intelligence to negotiate effectively.
2) Plan Ahead
Remember, as I regularly tell my clients, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Preparation is just as important in internal negotiations as it is when youâre negotiating a large contract with a customer. Make sure you write down the list of the things you think both people want to achieve and take the time to think of their potential challenges. If possible practise delivering out loud â it will help you keep your emotions in check and allow you to hone your delivery style.
Emma Serlin, director and founder of the London Speech Workshop and author of the upcoming Concise Advice title ‘The Connection Book’ shared with us her top tips to make connections with people easily through communications.
1) Look at people when they are speaking. Where you direct your eyes shows where you direct your attention. If someone feels attended to, this is the first step of connecting.
2) When you speak deliver your idea or words to your audience or listener. Literally look at them on the final few words of your thought. This shows them that you care about them, and that they matter in the communication dynamic. Its crucial for connecting to make the listener feel important.
We all know what itâs like when youâre caught up in the middle of negotiating a big deal. The pressure and frustration can build and before you know it the best laid plans can go awry. Negotiation best practice flies out of the window and you hear yourself utter the fateful words, âAnd thatâs my final offerâ when you know full well that itâs not.
Iâve worked with hundreds of clients over the years, developingÂ their negotiating skills and unlocking their confidence so they canÂ negotiate successfully. But as well as highlighting the positive steps you need to take, I also look at the ways it can easily go wrong.
So, based on my years of experienceÂ building commercial athletes, here are the top 5 things you should NEVER say when youâre negotiating.
It’s not all doom and gloom with the grim weather we’ve been experiencing today. On the bright side it’s #BookLoversDay so we thought we might as well inspire you with a list of the top 10 books to read if you’d ratherÂ stay dry indoors this evening.
1) How Coca-Cola Took Over The World– and 100 more amazing stories about the world’s greatest brands by Giles Lury
“This is a hugely entertaining and instructive book. There’s nothing better than getting deep behind the scenes of some of the greatest Marketing stories of our age. Giles has captured the essence of how brands really work and what people behind them are thinking. A must-read for every Marketer.” Matt Close, Executive Vice President Global Ice Cream, Unilever.
2) Business Alchemy– Exploring The Inner, Unseen Dynamics of The Business by Andrew Wallas
“A game changer and must-read for any leader. Business Alchemy provides the magic dust in my toolbox.” Carole Gaskell, Founder & CEO, Full Potential Group
3) The Brain Book– How to Think and Work Smarter by Phil Dobson
“The Brain Book is a must! Heaps of practical tips, exercises, and advice, this book is a friend to any reader, offering the best options to cultivate and nurture your brain to maximise your true potential.” Shetal Khimashia, Learning and Development Manager, Channel 4
Sally Bibb, Author the upcoming ‘The Strengths Book’ shared with us her three tips to writing a great CV.
Itâs really hard to write our own CV. Selling themselves in a way that feels authentic and not clichĂ©d is something most people struggle with.
Having helped lots of people with their CVs over the years, Iâve noticed most find it hard to:
- Sell themselves without feeling like they are showing off
- Write in engaging language that does not sound clichĂ©d and samey (âIâm a self-starter, I am a good team playerâ)
- Keep it short (ideally to three pages maximum)
Recruiters sometimes spend only seconds on each CV and so decide very quickly whether to shortlist yours.
Here are my three top tips for writing an engaging and succinct CV that will set you apart and stand a good chance of getting you shortlisted for interview
1) Give them a really good sense of what youâre like as a person. This means describing what youâre naturally good at, what youâre motivated by and your values. Steer clear of clichĂ©d phrases such as âgood team playerâ. Be specific and use your own language not HR speak. Write a short paragraph describing yourself and put that at the beginning.