3 questions to ask yourself before writing an email

Met up with a friend last week who’d attended a training course designed to kick-start organisational communication culture.

Top of her list of discoveries was a new way of using email.

“Ask yourself three questions every time you sit down to write an email. If you can’t answer those three before you send anything, then you shouldn’t be sending the email in the first place.

One. What’s the situation?
Two. What is it I know that you don’t?

Three. What is my suggestion or question?

read more

Are you really working distraction free?

We spend a lot of time thinking about how procrastination stops us from getting work done. But, do we overlook the things we unwittingly tell ourselves when we’re actually doing the work? 

Convention dictates that we spend a lot of time on procrastination as the block to getting things started. But do we need to spend time avoiding the distractions when we’re actually doing the task?

How aware are we of that process going on in our heads? How helpful is it? Are we succeeding in spite of it. And if we are, what change can we bring about if we challenge that engrained thinking?

read more

Annoying Heroes

We often dismiss feelings of jealousy as a bad thing – something we should feel guilty about.

How helpful is that? Not very much.

What if jealousy is a signpost? What if those things that others achieve inspires us to reach for similarly bold aspirations? What would those goals be? What dreams can others’ achievements help us realise?

read more

Coaching Demystified: what a client and a coach need to make coaching work

TV cook Delia Smith was watched in our household when I was growing up. I had no desire to cook at that stage, but I did like the straightforward, unfussy way her recipes were explained: clear, and direct. When I think of the benefits of coaching (both on me and on my clients) I think of recipes.

Coaches learn from their clients all the time. A coaching session last week highlighted three things for me. When I reflected on what they meant for, it reminded me of some of the expectations people have around coaching.

Like any good recipe, the points can be condensed into a few simple principles: have an appetite, know that habits take time to change, and be on the lookout for small incremental changes. 

read more

Thoroughly Good CPD #3: Personal Branding

It’s been a couple of weeks since the last Thoroughly Good CPD. I thought initially that a break in the intended publishing schedule would reveal a lack of commitment on my part. Not so. Phew.

As it turns out, a lot of my attention has been on personal branding. This has emerged from working with clients on career programmes where we’ve evaluated what’s worked in the past and what needs to change in the future.

Here are some of the articles that have resonated for me over the past fortnight.

read more