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For the past thirty to forty years, much research has proven the superiority of group decision-making over that of even the brightest individuals in the group (Alan B Krueger, Economic Scene, NYT, 7 December 2000). There is one exception to this rule: if the group lacks harmony or the ability to cooperate, decision-making quality and…

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. ”So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”  (J.R.R TOLKIEN) Deciding what…

“All children are born geniuses; 9 999 out of every 10 000 are swiftly, inadvertently degeniusised by grownups” (Buckminster Fuller) Watching little children at play within the context of a safe environment is fascinating – they live in the ‘now’, their imaginations go into overdrive and the passion they express with every interaction or activity is unparallelled….

Most forward-thinking organisations are already measuring employee engagement levels within their respective organisations, so for these organisations, the first step in the employee engagement journey has commenced. The knowledge, skills and tools to address the gaps that are identified are often lacking, however, and these gaps need to be closed. This book identifies behaviours and actions that can be undertaken by leaders to engage meaningfully with employees and to create a sustainable environment that leads to passion being expressed, creativity being employed, and productivity being realised.

“Vision helps us see the possibilities of tomorrow within the realities of today, and motivates us to do what needs to be done” Business executives often talk about wanting to get their people ‘aligned’ with the company’s strategy. The word ‘aligned’, however, suggests a mechanical picture of getting all the pencils pointing in the same…

“Successful change initiatives deal with the emotional reality of a group” Great leaders are sensitive to the emotions that facilitate change, and they find ways to enhance those feelings. They deal with emotions that undermine change, some of which are panic, exhaustion, frustration, pessimism, cynicism, insecurity, anger, and anxiety. They attempt to facilitate emotions which…

In terms of decision-making, teams are smarter than individuals, but only when they live the qualities of emotional intelligence. All members contribute to the overall level of emotional intelligence, but the leader holds unique sway in this regard. Emotions are contagious, and it is natural for individuals to pay extra attention to the leader’s feelings…

“Nothing great and durable has ever been produced with ease. Labour is the parent of all the lasting monuments of the world, whether in verse or in stone, in poetry or in pyramids” (Thomas Moore) Quality has an appealing feel, whether it comes in the form of a well-built car, a delicious meal, a tailored…

“You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present” (Jan Glidewell) Embracing the present is a recognition that life can only be understood backward but that it must be lived forward. Richard L Evans (Tonic for our Times) notes: “Those who gaze too…

So much has been written for leaders and managers, team leaders and organisational heads – and rightly so, as there is a huge leadership skills gap in the world. Very little, however, has been written for employees in terms of assisting them with developing the skills needed to enjoy relational effectiveness. So, this book is for you – the employee – to enable you to develop the critical skills you need to construct the crucial conversations necessary to getting results in your relationship with your boss.

“The development of an individual to his or her highest level of performance can be seen as a journey of empowerment” (Ken Blanchard et al, The 3 Keys to Empowerment) Coaching is about enhancing performance, not scolding team members for doing wrong or badly in the execution of their duties. The intent needs to be…

“Either we’re pulling together or we’re pulling apart” (David Cohen)  Confronting a low performer should be a positive experience, one in which the idea of seeking new behaviour in an employee is seen as an encouraging prospect. All people, however, typically resist any form of confrontation, even if done in the most professional way. As…

“The power to question is the basis of all human progress” (Indira Gandhi – Indian Prime Minister) One of the most challenging skills for all managers is to ask the right questions of employees. Frequently, conversations with employees end up as being vague, directionless, or meaningless. True growth, particularly in performance, comes from structured conversations…

“Engagement is an individual’s sense of purpose and focused energy, evident to others in the display of personal initiative, adaptability, effort, and persistence directed towards organisational goals” (Wiley-Blackwell – Employee Engagement: Tools for Analysis, Practice, and Competitive Advantage) Organisations that create a culture of high engagement become more attractive for employees. These organisations manage to…

“The greatest barrier to someone achieving their potential is their denial of it” (Simon Travaglia) Managers have a responsibility to assist employees with performance improvement. They thus often must deal with interference – anything that stands in the way of employees reaching their potential. Interference can include avoidance by the employee of certain types of…

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“Confidence develops when you have a deep sense that you can handle the emotional outcome of whatever you face or pursue. Another way to put it is that confidence is the felt sense of a “can-do” attitude” (Joan Rosenberg) Despite many articles from a variety of authors that suggest that growing self-confidence is as easy as…

“Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart” (Joe Chernov, CMO at Insight Squared) Consumers buy from trusted sources. Balancing good quality and helpful content with influential marketing initiatives allows the customer to see your company as a trusted industry leader. Of course, marketing and advertising are necessary expenses/investments in…

“Coaching: The manager’s multi-purpose tool” We all have coaching needs, particularly if accelerated growth is required. Managers all have coaching responsibilities within their respective roles. Coaching is not just reserved for professionals, however, although they can be incredibly helpful in certain circumstances. Their professional approach and practised skills make coaching sessions meaningful and bring clarity…

Many people don’t ever reach their personal or professional dreams because they limit themselves – e.g. a limiting thought like “it’s not what you know, but who you know” possibly holds you back from placing yourself in a position where you intentionally look and apply for new opportunities. Limiting thoughts produce doubt and doubt retards…

This book has been written following thirty years of experience facilitating in one way or another. So many books exist for facilitators that illustrate practical classroom techniques, games that facilitators can play, flipchart and presentation methodology, etc. – “Stretch For Facilitators” doesn’t aim to duplicate any of these offerings, but rather focuses on the person of the facilitator in order to assist budding facilitators with establishing a credible foundation for their work. “Stretch For Facilitators” examines the roots of the facilitator role and links the same to company and delegate needs seamlessly.