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SHARPEN

Sharpen Yourself • Sharpen Your Team • Sharpen Your Organisation

FROM INTERNATIONAL TRAINER NICHOLAS HILL


ISSUE No. 3

The Weekly Magazine For Trailblazing Leaders And Managers

THIS ISSUE:

Advanced

Communication

Skills for beginners

Excellent Performance

Management for

Excellent Employees

Accountability:

Antidote to Poor

Business Operations

Conflict Management

and Appraisal Skills:

A Powerful Combo

Management

MODELLING

...AND MUCH MORE!

The

EDWARD

NORTON

Issue

by Nicholas C. Hill FIC FInstLM

The Incredible Hulk Syndrome:

Anger Management in 10 Easy Steps


Contents

THE

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: 3

Advanced Communication Skills For Beginners4

ACCOUNTABILITY:

Antidote to Poor Business Operations6

COVER STORY: The Incredible Hulk Syndrome:

Anger Management in 10 Easy Steps8

Conflict Management and Appraisal Skills:

A Powerful Combo10

Do Managers Really Need Management Courses?13

Excellent Performance Management

for Excellent Employees14

How Leaders Manifest The Butterfly Effect16

Management Modelling19

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Manager21

“Nicholas Hill’s SHARPEN Magazine, is a practical and essential resource for today’s leaders

and managers. It is a great read and is packed with vital information. Best of all, it is FREE!”

RICHARD DENNY, Multimillion International Bestselling Author of

SELLING TO WIN and COMMUNICATE TO WIN

“As Dr Stephen Covey so wisely pointed out, to be effective, we need to continue to sharpen

the saw. Nicholas Hill’s SHARPEN MAGAZINE helps you do exactly that, to help you maintain

your cutting edge in these challenging and changing times”

Paul McGee, International Best Selling Author of

SUMO and SELF CONFIDENCE

“Nicholas Hill is a dynamic, profound and highly effective trainer who INFLUENCES PEOPLE

TO TAKE POSITIVE ACTION IN THEIR PROFESSIONAL LIVES. I have absolutely no hesitation

whatsoever in recommending his services.”

CLIVE Thompson, Managing Director, Dale Carnegie* Training UK

*Multimillion Best Selling Author of

HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE

CONSULTANCY

PUBLISHER

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AUTHOR AND EDITOR

Nicholas C. Hill FIC FInstLM

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Mario P. Avila

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ABOUT SHARPEN

Sharpen Magazine and Ezine is the

weekly publication for trailblazing

leaders and managers, who refuse

mediocrity and are hungry for

excellence.

ABOUT THE HILL CONSULTANCY

We will facilitate your rapid

transformation into a highly productive

manager and influential leader,

through UK wide accredited training

courses, so you can achieve optimal

performance, fortify human relations,

and reach the top of your profession.

COPYRIGHT

All articles and designs copyright ©

The Hill Consultancy Ltd, UK, 2013.

All rights reserved. Reproduction

or resale in whole or in part by any

means without written permission

of the publisher is strictly forbidden.

Cover story images copyright ©

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DISCLAIMER

The Hill Consultancy Ltd, its employees

or associates are not liable for any third

party advertised product or content. We

have taken reasonable care to ensure

that all information contained within

this publication is accurate at the time

of production. The reader accepts full

responsibility for the practice of any

advice contained within this publication

and fully indemnifies the publisher

against any direct loss or consequential

loss resulting from adherence to any

said advice.


Letter From the Author & Editor

Nicholas C. Hill

FBIPP FIC FinstLM

Born in 1971, a modern thought

leader and international Trainer of

strategic leadership and management

development, Nicholas Hill is the

Managing Director and Principal

Trainer for The Hill Consultancy Ltd.

Nicholas is an INLPTA Licensed

NLP Business Trainer and INLPTA

Accredited Executive Master Coach

having received over one thousand

CPD training hours.

Nicholas is also a qualified Fellow

of the Institute of Leadership and

Management and a Fellow of The

Institute of Consulting, having

trained thousands of delegates

of corporations and SMEs at all

management levels since 1996.

Qualifications And Endorsements

• INLPTA Licensed NLP Business Trainer

• INLPTA Accredited Executive Master Coach

• INLPTA Accredited NLP Master Practitioner

• ANLP Registered Trainer Member

• Guild of NLP Registered Gold Trainer Member

• Licensed ILM Endorsed Provider

• ILM Fellow

• IC Fellow

• Graduate of Dale Carnegie Trainers’ Training

• Diploma Graduate in Theology

• BIPP Fellow

For more information please visit

nicholashill.com

The third issue from the Hill Consultancy Ltd’s leadership and

management development magazine once again boasts of informative,

engaging, and relevant articles for all kinds of professionals out there.

The subjects tackled in these articles cover a wide range of areas that

fall within the scope of management and leadership. Carefully selected

to present career development principles and practices in a nutshell,

the topics highlighted herein are of utmost importance to individuals

who seek to finally learn and adequately nurture the much needed edge

in their professional ventures. With how competitive organisational or

business environments are nowadays, it is indeed of the essence to learn

the hows and the whys of efficiently existing, performing, contributing,

and succeeding in these highly charged professional settings.

From very specific to more general concepts, here are the topics

discussed in this magazine.

This Issue delves into competencies, which are known to govern,

directly or indirectly, individuals’ day-to-day undertakings including

those that fall outside career-related ventures. These competencies

and character traits, including self esteem, accountability, and

communication skills are just some of the core strengths shared

by leaders, thinkers, innovators, and trailblazers that have made

a considerable impact in their respective field and in the world in

general. To be able to master these strengths is an individuals’ jumpoff

point to achieving professional triumph.

Specific skills that cater to key organisational functions are also

discussed in this issue, such as anger management, conflict

management, and performance management. These competencies

are helpful for people belonging to different job posts or industries.

Individuals who handle human resource as well as employee

development and training are just some of the professionals who

would benefit from this set of expertise. The mastery of these

competencies is also quite advantageous for individuals in decidedly

specific professions like those in healthcare, food service, hospitality

industry, and the academe, to name a few.

Of course, this issue will not be complete without articles that zero

in on key concepts regarding management or leadership skills.

Through these accounts, readers will get indoctrinated regarding

contemporary and highly acclaimed leadership and management

tools and paradigms. One such management paradigm highlighted

in the magazine is management modelling which is presently one of

the most widely discussed, and at times, debated upon management

practices. Being familiar with various styles and approaches in

management and leadership can help individuals to tailor fit a

leadership template based on specific needs and requirements, and

which could ensure utmost efficacy.

There is a lot to gain from reading the articles included in this

magazine. There is something here for each and everyone. Whether

you are already on the way to a corner office or are yet to kickstart

a competitive career, the ideas ready to be derived from these

articles will aid you, in one way or another, during the course of your

professional venture. Skipping this magazine is as good as declaring

disinterest toward the potential of triumph, whether in your given

career or life in general.


4 • SHARPEN

Advanced

COMMUNICATION

SKILLS for Beginners

Advanced communication skills are an acquired

competency. In order to master this know-how,

incessant practise and reliable coaching is required.

Genuine communication is comprised of many

delicate components, including honesty, receptiveness,

sensitivity, and active listening, and these components

should be employed and manifested in a seamless and

non-contrived manner.


SHARPEN • 5

1Direct expression of personal

thoughts, ideas, and even feelings

is a touchstone of advanced

communication skills. Leaders who

prove effective in their dealings

with customers—both internal and external,

are those who state their concerns in a

straightforward manner. These leaders know

how to tailor-fit their comments and take

accountability of their personal motivations

and belief systems. Through this, they are able

to avoid vague or generalised statements.

Instead of passing blame, or pinpointing an

apparent mistake, these communicators

phrase their corrective feedback in such a way

that it sounds like a personal pronouncement,

as opposed to a blunt admonition which

oftentimes elicits a defensive response.

2Communication comes in many

different forms or styles and

they can be summed up in four

types: directors ask for quick and

reliable information; thinkers have

a predilection for the why’s and how’s;

expressers always present or solicit an insight

from the other side of the argument; and,

harmonisers are concerned on the human

impact of any given choice or decision. At

some point, a leader or manager has to

decide which style best suits him or her. By

properly understanding one’s most suitable

communication style—through careful study

of personal communication inclinations as

well as other’s predilections—an efficient and

balanced manner of communication can be

derived. It is important to note that the most

effective of communicators have realised

the essence and importance of tailoring a

communication style to the requirement of

a specific audience. Such flexibility is only a

testament of advanced communication skills.

3Active listening means genuine

listening and this is a manifestation

of advanced communication skills.

An active listener does not only hear

the words being uttered by the other

person, he or she also knows how to pinpoint

underlying messages sent through the course

of the communication process. These messages

are normally betrayed by subtle cues such as

facial expressions, gestures and mannerisms,

and vocal tone, to name a few. Another crucial

difference between an active listener from

its opposite, is that while the latter simply

listens to gain further support to an already

existent argument, the former listens primarily

to understand the other person’s position or

motivation in a given concern or situation.

4A data driven communicator ensures

that all requisite information in

relation to ongoing projects, systems,

or operations, are adequately

collected and studied. Advanced

communication skills are never complete

without sufficient regard for the relevance

of data and information. Leaders and

managers who are data driven lay down

their assumptions and solicit their team’s

assumptions as well. Furthermore, they

know how to lead an efficient probe on these

sets of information, thus facilitating team

understanding and cohesion.

Develop your advanced communication skills

today. To learn more, CLICK HERE.

“Strengthen your relationships

by inviting feedback and correcting

your behaviour accordingly”

Nicholas C. Hill


6 • SHARPEN

Accountability:

Antidote to Poor Business Operations

In an interesting study conducted in a Californian prison, the focus

group consisting of inmates were questioned as to the reason why

they were incarcerated. Responses came in different forms of an

excuse: incompetent legal counsel, unreliable getaway vehicle, and

the unfortunate introduction of a squealer in their dire situation.


SHARPEN • 7

Only about 10% of the surveyed inmates

answered that their incarceration was

brought about by a crime, which they

have consciously committed. This

is, at the expense of generalising, the exact

manifestation of the lack or absence of a sense of

accountability. Nevertheless, this scenario is not

limited to lawbreakers. Even in professional and

business environments, accountability issues can

be just as noticeable.

Accountability, in its most basic manifestation,

is the ownership of the repercussions of one’s

actions, decisions, and choices. It is not about

finding an excuse for committed mishaps, or

sugarcoating of dismal situations. Even more so, it

is achieved neither through finger pointing, nor in

blank proclamations or promises. Accountability is

tending to one’s responsibilities, recognizing one’s

failure, and taking the necessary steps in order to

address lapses of judgment. It is a quality, which

organisations and professionals should regard

highly and reward properly.

One business area, which is believed to require an

unrivaled sense of accountability from business

members, is customer service. Accountability,

in terms of customer service, is shown through

steadfast dedication to customer satisfaction.

To quote a fictional character

named Stan “Kip” Kiplinger, from

the book Accountability: Freedom

and Responsibility without Control,

“Accountability is the issue! If you

can’t find a way to get people to be

accountable, you’re going to find it hard

to make anything else work, let alone

your business.” This may at first sound

like an over-generalisation, but after a

more careful consideration of the matter,

it becomes quite logical. There are many

ways to wreck business or organisational

operations; customer service, for

instance. Through all these, a shared

and uniform sense of accountability is

arguably a team’s best antidote.

Develop team accountability skills today. To

learn more, CLICK HERE.

Here are ways to foster accountability in

one’s team, en route to the promotion

of exceptional customer service.

Encourage, recognise, and duly reward

team members who exemplify utmost

accountability.

Open communication should be practiced

and prioritised. It is only when employees

know that their opinions and ideas are heard,

that they feel secure to take full accountability

of any given situation.

Building a culture of trust and camaraderie is

the fastest way to inspire a team comprised

of members with augmented sense of

accountability. When employees recognise a

certain degree of autonomy but nonetheless

realise the need to cohere as a team, information

and feedback tend to flow more seamlessly.

Mistakes should be seen as areas for

improvement, and not a chance to blame a

fellow colleague.

Accountability is strengthened further

through sustained education and

development of both managers and

employees.

Optimism is yet another crucial point in

ensuring accountability. The key is to believe

that one’s team is comprised of driven and

honest professionals whose personal goals

align with the organisation.

THE

CONSULTANCY

“ Success is

the deliberate creation

of one`s own world.”

Nicholas C. Hill


The Incredible Hulk

is a fictional character,

owned by Marvel

comics, which has

survived five decades.

In recent times, it

became a Hollywood

movie, staring Edward

Norton smashing box

office records.

COVER STORY:

by Nicholas C. Hill FBIPP FIC FinstLM

The Incredible Hulk Syndrome:

Anger Management in 10 Easy Steps

EDWARD NORTON, American actor,

screenwriter, film director, producer

and star of the Hollywood blockbuster

“The Incredible Hulk”.


SHARPEN • 9

In the famous comic books, Hulk is the alter ego

of Bruce Banner, a breakthrough scientist who

becomes the guinea pig in an experiment that goes

horribly wrong, which alters Banner’s biochemistry.

Now, when certain stimuli trigger Banner’s

emotional state to one of anger, a physiological

transformation initiates, turning him into an

invincible green monster.

Anger is a valid human emotion or response.

It is an integral component of our humanity.

It is also understood that anger can prove to

be unhealthy or unbecoming, especially if it is

chronically experienced within one’s professional

environment. In this scenario, it is imperative

to deal with the situation with ample maturity

and levelheadedness. After all, it can very well

cause our career, or even our most treasured

relationships to fail.

To help you get started with anger

management, here are ten easy steps.

1. Breathing exercise

Proper breathing does wonders to our mind and

body. Deep breathing will reduce the spell of anger

and immediately change the body’s biochemistry.

2. Commune with nature

In a study published back in 2010 in the Journal of

Environmental Psychology, it was found out that a

20-minute daily nature trip offers a wide array of

physical and psychological benefits. These benefits

include enhanced vitality, improved mood, and

decreased anxiety and anger. This is exactly the

reason why healthy-mind advocates adamantly

propose nature excursions as a tool in anger

management.

3. Stretching

Anger and anxiety trigger muscle tension, which

then leads to compromised oxygen flow in our

body. A simple stretching exercise can counter

these effects and put your mind and body in a

more relaxed mood.

4. Exercise

If stretching does not suffice, take it a notch higher

by committing to a full-programme exercise.

Studies have shown that regular exercise, alongside

proper diet and enough sleep, significantly reduce

the bouts of irritation and anger. In fact, many

anger management courses have incorporated

exercise to their list of tools and activities.

5. Pep Talk

Sometimes all you need is to reassure yourself

that this moment shall pass, and that your current

source of anger or irritation will eventually teach

you a thing or two. Experts such as Brian Tracey

have been supportive of personal affirmation as a

reliable tool in anger management.

6. Write

On a piece of paper, list all the chronic triggers of

your anger, anxiety, and irritation. Through this,

you are somehow allowing the various concerns in

your mind to be released finally onto paper.

7. Be thankful

Gratitude is one of the best antidotes to anger.

Getting a clear and balanced perspective can often

give us reasons why we should be grateful. Anger

management would eventually prove unnecessary,

because this new thinking has re-directed the

mind onto other matters.

8. Prayer

Regardless of an individual’s particular religion

or credo, the act of prayer offers the person the

opportunity to commune with what she or he

believes to be a Divine counselor. The idea behind

this anger management tool is to allow yourself

to surrender all your concerns and anxieties to an

omniscient power whom you believe can easily

assume burden on your behalf.

9. Empathy

If another person triggers your anger, try to

understand and come to terms with the possible

situation of that person. Put yourself in that

person’s shoes and allow your judgment to

be overshadowed by forgiveness, or at least,

understanding.

10. Compassion

Compassion toward others is crucial in anger

management. However, there is an equally

pivotal component oftentimes overlooked—that

is compassion for yourself. Forgiving yourself

from past and present blunders is the first step to

ridding yourself of a heavy heart.

You may not ever experience anger in quite the way that Bruce Banner ever does, but by using some of the

above steps, you will certainly develop more self control and take charge of your emotional state.


10 • SHARPEN

Conflict Management and Appraisal Skills:

A Powerful Combo

Leaders and managers have

their work cut out for them.

It is no easy feat to ensure

that the execution of tasks, in

congruence to corporate or

organisational goals, is kept

on a productive level, while,

at the same time, nurturing

healthy workplace dynamics

for employees. Leaders and

managers’ performance is

directly attributed to both

the individual and collective

accomplishments of their

subordinates; hence, it

is in their best interest to

keep each member of the

team consistently focused

and inspired, through

appraisal skills and conflict

resolution. With highly

enthused employees, day-today

corporate functions are

sufficiently catered to, and

consequently, the team gets to

leap closer to their goals.


SHARPEN • 11

Unfortunately, employees are not machines that

can churn out results with absolute and enduring

precision. These individuals come from different

backgrounds, are susceptible to diverse responses

to emotional triggers, and function under differing

sets of beliefs and values. This is where issues and

setbacks normally arise, such as negative workplace

attitudes, subpar performance, and conflict

between colleagues. These scenarios cannot be

managed through the mere exchange of words

alone. Negotiation skills, advanced communication

skills, body language, assertiveness, empathy

and attitude all come into play. In fact, you can

adequately sum up good people management

in two general concepts. These concepts include

conflict management and appraisal skills.

Conflict Management

Workplace conflicts—those between employees

and those triggered by poor communication and

appraisal skills, no matter how seemingly petty,

have the potential to escalate into bigger problems

that can eventually affect the organisation itself.

Therefore, it is a smart decision to nip these conflicts

in the bud, before they get the chance to become of

utmost detriment to the business. Now how does a

leader successfully address and resolve conflicts?

The first steps involve appropriate recognition

of the said conflict, and the confrontation of

the individuals or issues involved. Leaders and

managers should efficiently communicate their

concerns in relation to the problem through

adequate explanation of their repercussions to

the team and the organisation in general. It is also

imperative to pinpoint the cause of these conflicts

and arrive, in agreement with the involved

individuals, at a solution or compromise.

Appraisal Skills

People management is an ongoing requirement

of any organisation and not something to be

considered during the onset of conflicts. This is

something proactive leaders are aware about.

Another equally vital tool in people management,

which acknowledges the importance of providing

positive feedback, is so-called appraisal skills.

This set of competencies heavily relies, yet again,

in proper communication. It involves urgent

recognition of employees’ achievements, in

such a way that they do not only receive generic

praises, but specific feedbacks regarding the exact

functions that they have done exceptionally well.

Balanced feedback is more effective in motivating

even underperforming employees, as opposed

to recurrent warnings and reprimands. With

that said, the skill to dispense positive feedback

is a crucial competency, which all leaders and

managers need to master.

Good people management, through conflict

management and appraisal skills, is the key to

maintaining a fruitful workplace setup wherein all

members of a team remain motivated to deliver

more than what is expected of them.

Develop your conflict management skills today. To

learn more, CLICK HERE.

Develop your appraisal skills today. To learn more,

CLICK HERE.

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12 • SHARPEN

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THE

CONSULTANCY

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SHARPEN • 13

Do Managers Really Need

Management Courses?

Being a manager is a huge responsibility,

whether you are in a corporate office in

London or down a manhole in Birmingham.

It is one matter to accept a promotion

to management; it is another matter entirely to

demonstrate your management skills by overseeing a

team of individuals.

A recent study of 150 companies by the Conference

Board of America, reported that leaders “may be

becoming an endangered species as executives see

the risk of premature burnout as too great”. This

upshot of the study suggested that the individuals

with the potential to become managers might

question whether they really wanted to climb the

corporate ladder or not.

Some managers view the offer of leadership and

management courses as a possible sign of failure,

convincing themselves that they lack the intelligence

or ability to control the employees they lead, or that

they might have run out of ideas. Instead, some prefer

the option of learning on the job, and trialling different

approaches until they find an acceptable solution.

That approach brings with it many difficulties. Too

often, it leaves staff confused, and nervous of the

unpredictable nature of their manager, and if the

relationship is already treading thin ice, it heightens

the danger of it sinking altogether.

Career-minded managers acknowledge the

importance of attending sound leadership and

management courses. From the theoretical, to the

practical, to the adventurous, successful leadership

and management courses can be the making of any

manager. The skills required to manage projects

are different to those required to manage and lead

people, furthermore, both roles can be distracting

and exhausting for the untrained manager that

chooses to turn a blind eye to the leadership and

management courses on offer in his/her local area.

Certainly, you may have the respect of your staff for

your knowledge and ability. Nevertheless, that will only

help you get so far. Good managers understand that

their staff might well be team players, but ultimately

all people have primal human needs. Anything that

could threaten such needs introduces conflict into the

dynamic. Therefore, knowing how to quickly deal with

workplace challenges to the point where all parties are

satisfied with the outcome - is a vital part of learning

how to become a successful manager.

Everyone has an opinion about how to manage

people and projects, and learning the basics gives a

new manager a head start, whilst learning the more

advanced strategies gives a seasoned manager

the opportunity to step up to the next level. Good

leadership and management courses are designed

to offer solutions to everyday workplace problems

to enhance productivity and performance. If there is

room for improvement, then choose the appropriate

leadership or management course that can help you

to achieve those results.

Develop your management skills today. To learn

more, CLICK HERE.


14 • SHARPEN

Excellent

Performance

Management

for Excellent

Employees

For an organisation that aims

to become a front-runner in the

industry where it belongs, good

employees are not enough.

Good employees do not possess

the qualities that can elevate

a business to the level of

excellence expected by major

organisational stakeholders.

What organisations require

are excellent employees

and this is the purpose of

performance management.


Performance management is the process of appraisal, geared toward determining

the current, as well as the potential corporate contributions a particular employee

can achieve. Moreover, for a team to succeed in both of its short term efforts and

long term goals, mediocre is a word that should never be tolerated.

Indicators of Employee Mediocrity

SHARPEN • 15

Mediocrity does not breed a kind of employee who is ill equipped to deliver his or her exact job

responsibilities. However, it doesn’t turn an employee into a corporate superstar either. Here is a list of

telltale signs of mediocre employees.

Blindly following existing rules as opposed

to communicating possible loopholes and

suggesting methods to make workplace

practices even more efficient.

Delivering tasks as expected and not going

out of their way to infuse a personal touch of

brilliance.

Providing customer service that falls short

of actual rapport building, hence limiting the

possibility of inspiring utmost brand loyalty.

Always on time but lacks the interest to put

in more hours during crunch periods.

Consistent delivery of job quotas without

apparent enthusiasm to go far and beyond.

Unquestionable reliability quotient but

dubious in terms of loyalty to his or her

leader.

Job-centric but not career-centric.

Satisfied enough with their current post

that they show no sign of wanting to climb

the corporate ladder by scoring high in

performance management criteria such as

creativity and initiative.

Showing aptitude in working within the

dynamics of a team but lacking the initiative

to take on the leadership role.

They deem themselves part of the company

but are not able to recognise that they

themselves are the company.

Easily surrender his or her air of professionalism

as soon as they get the chance.

Workplace friendships are existent, but not

enduring relationships with customers and

colleagues.

Play safe by not actively participating

in workplace debates or brainstorming

activities.

Thankfully, there is hope for good employees. With an outstanding leader and manager who knows

how to cater excellent performance management, a good employee can always escape the manacles of

mediocrity and finally rise to the challenge of becoming a future leader himself/herself. In addition, for a

manager, what better accomplishment is there than to nurture and mentor a potential mover and shaker

in the corporate hierarchy?

Good performance management is directly affected by a leader’s communication

skills. In order to shepherd employees from the mediocre to the exceptional, leaders

must know how to properly communicate expectations, provide constructive feedback,

and cater consistent motivation. These are skills, which are developed during good

performance management training courses. Furthermore, they are much more

valuable that you might think.

Develop your performance management skills today. To learn more, CLICK HERE.


16 • SHARPEN

How Leaders Manifest

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

How do you find a common denominator between a butterfly,a meteorologist, and a manager?

If you are familiar with the “Butterfly Effect”, you

will have already worked out the answer. The

meteorologist was an American called Edward

Lorenz, who chanced across the theory that

small differences in his calculations could cause

substantial changes to his simulations. Or as he

put it more simply: ‘a butterfly flapping its wings

in Hong Kong, can change tornado patterns in

Texas.’ The “Butterfly Effect” was born out of that

theory, and is now widely used in the business

community. However, how can the “Butterfly

Effect” affect the principles of leadership?

I look no further for an answer to that than James

Hunter, author of ‘The Servant: A Simple Story about

the True Essence of Leadership’. In it, he wrote, “How

we behave as the boss at work today affects what

goes on around the dinner table in other people’s

homes tonight.” In other words, the actions we

take, the words we use, even the priorities we set,

can trigger the Butterfly Effect in the lives of staff,

colleagues, and clients; indeed, everyone we come

across. Leaders and managers can have much more

of an impact than they may believe, for good or for

bad. A seemingly small decision taken at work can

make a huge impact on someone’s life, be it rejecting

someone for promotion, or asking him or her to

relocate to another area of the business.

Take the BBC’s decision to relocate some of its

output to Salford, in Manchester, for instance.

To the person making the decision it was simply

a case of fulfilling the brief of spreading the BBC

more widely around the country. To the staff it

influenced massively on partners, their children,

families; even on their employment - some decided

they just could not make the move, for one reason

or another, and therefore had to start looking for

alternative employment. This is an example of the

“Butterfly Effect”, and demonstrates how the impact

of a leadership or management decision can affect

everybody else in the organisation.

Research from Gallup, in the United States, during

the last decade revealed that what staff wanted

from their managers was trust, stability, hope and

compassion. Therefore, the positive “butterfly

effect” from leaders begins with the ability to

demonstrate those virtues during their daily

encounters with their staff.

Being benign and trustworthy is one matter, but the

actions of a manager under pressure, born from

the principle of Chaos theory, can also influence

massively. The actions of a good leader and manager

has the power to create a legacy that influences the

outcomes of other people’s lives with a ripple effect

that goes on for generations to come. Quite the

reverse is true for poor leadership and management.

It is too easy to underestimate the importance

of good leadership skills. Little things that you do

really can make a big difference even if it does not

manifest itself immediately. An act of kindness may

have profound effects that you never see. An act of

malice can do the same. The Butterfly Effect is as

valid in the workplace as it is in the home. This is why

good leadership and management skills really are as

essential as we have always made them out to be.

He might have been a specialist in worldwide

weather patterns, but through his studies, Edward

Lorenz also hit up on a vital leadership principle

and it resonates throughout the world.

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SHARPEN • 17

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Without them, you will be subjected to the

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SHARPEN • 19

Management

M O D E L L I N G

Common Principles for Management

Good managers are positive change agents in any

organisation. Many Leadership and management

courses emphasise positive thinking and direct

others to follow proven and effective strategies.

However, if the managers themselves are not

good role models, the people following them may

inadvertently model their unhelpful behaviour.

Modelling simply means the utilisation of another

person’s behavioural strategy.

When not to Model a Manager

One reason for not modelling the behaviour of

certain managers is the inherent hierarchical

differences in job roles and responsibilities. To

illustrate this, consider a manager who is paid based

on total production and not based on the time he or

she is supposed to spend. They have the freedom

to go early or come late, may work weekends,

spend time with family on weekdays, all because

of the built in flexibility of their job. The fact is that

not all managers, especially the workaholics, take

advantage of this. They might consider this as the

preferred choice of lazy people.

In the above case if a manager frequently utilizes

the time for his/her own personal advantage, the

team members could develop the natural tendency

to model his/her behaviour through unconscious

behavioural ‘mirroring’. Here, even though the

manager might be in the right mind to act in a certain

way, the team members think otherwise, feeling

that if the behaviour of the manager is acceptable to

the organization, why is there a restriction on team

members? The result could be frequent absenteeism,

poor turnover, indiscipline and slow work.

The Balanced Approach to Management

It is more common that the senior management

team is ignorant to the cause of poor workplace

productivity or ordinarily does not involve

themselves deeply enough in manager-subordinate

relationships. This not only decreases the likeability

of the manager but also adversely affects the

organisational productivity in the long run.

What is needed in such situations is a balanced

approach. The effective manager must actively

demonstrate the behaviour that s/he wants

reflected in the team members. By this method

such managers can command and influence their

team members with a more participative spirit

with a ‘do as I do’ attitude that becomes infectious

throughout the organisation.

We have found that the principles executed by

effective leaders and managers are common

regardless of where you are in the world. We

accept that cultural differences will determine

certain behavioural practises but the principles that

determine attitude and values remain to be the same.

Develop your modelling skills today. To learn more,

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20 • SHARPEN

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SHARPEN • 21

The Good, The Bad

and The Ugly Manager

Working for a good manager can make you feel engaged, upbeat about

going to work, and responsive. The impact of a bad manager, though,

makes not just going to work a difficult experience, but rumours of his or her

demeanour spreads further than the workplace.

While you are at work, a boss

whom you dislike can make the

most exciting job unbearable.

Moreover, not only will a bad boss

de-energise you, it might also affect relationships

away from the office and it is almost inevitable

you will take your tensions home with you.

There are many ways to deal with a bad or

ugly manager. You can confront him/

her to discuss a productive

solution to your difficulties.

You might suggest

reporting to another

supervisor, or even seek

the help of the Human

Resources department.

Unfortunately, none of

those suggestions can

guarantee improvement;

indeed, quite often, trying to deal head on with

a problematic situation can lead to more stress.

The best solution is to spot a bad manager

before you inflict one on your own team! So what

are the signs to look out for and what steps can

you take to avoid being a bad manager yourself?

The bad manager is rarely visible, ignores email

communication, and fails to answer his or her

phone. The excuse for this could be that they

are in meetings of course or just tied up with

other responsibilities. The problem with the

laissez faire attitude to let staff just get on and

make their own decisions, and solve problems,

is that without clear direction, they could be off


22 • SHARPEN

course for quite some time before you are given

the chance to address the issues. Not only that,

the opportunity to build trust and respect as the

team leader never rises. This leadership style

can also lead to the lazier members of staff to

continue to be just that, which leads to tension,

dissent and bad feeling within the team.

The ugly manager treats his/her team with

contempt. He or she does not trust them, and

therefore disillusions them to the point that there

is a high turnover of staff. This ultimately costs

time and money in replacing team members

who leave. Some ugly managers are troubled

by their work, which is reflected in their attitude

towards their team. They may never have

anything positive to say, and are never on hand

to encourage or motivate staff. Once again,

this leads to unsettled staff looking to move to

greener pastures, and there is a continually bad

atmosphere around the work environment, which

does nothing but hinder productivity.

Possibly the most dangerous manager is the one who

simply wants to be everyone’s friend. There is nothing

wrong with being popular, and there is nothing wrong

with having a good rapport with your staff. Frankly,

when everything is ticking along nicely, managing

people is easy. Alas, the ‘nice and friendly’ leadership

style leads only to trouble when things go wrong. In

addition, when there is a problem, the ‘matey manager’

is the one who struggles to cope. Managers must

know how to resolve conflict, address unacceptable

behaviour, and handle poor performing members of

staff who might not be pulling their weight.

Develop your leadership styles today. To learn

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You cannot invent the perfect manager. You cannot programme an individual

to have the perfect credentials to be a manager. Effective managers are fair but

firm. Managers evolve, and each one has individual strengths and weaknesses.

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SHARPEN • 23

The

SNOOP DOGG

Issue

WATCH OUT FOR

SHARPEN Issue No.4

WHAT YOU WILL GET IN THE NEXT ISSUE:

• Difficult Questions for Managers

• In a World of Tweets, Who Needs Communication Skills

• Managerial Snooping - Three Alternatives

• NLP Business Client Benefits for the Taking

• Russell Conwell

• Self Management The Key To Workplace Success

• The Impact of Fair-Weather Leadership Skills

• The Origins of the 7-38-55 Rule

• Transformational vs transactional leadership styles

• What defines a good leader

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