Team Performance

One small act of kindness

Emily writes… Walking down the path to the office holding my daughter’s Peppa Pig umbrella for shelter, I realise the impact that one small act of kindness can have on our day. I left the house with little in terms of rain protection; I only had a few steps to get my little girl from the house to the car, and then from the car into preschool. I had forgotten about the longer slog from where I have to park my car to the office entrance at work. As we were leaving the house, my 3-year-old turned and said, “you can have my Peppa Pig umbrella, Mummy.” Having thanked her, I wrote it off as just a sweet gesture from a toddler. As it turned out, that umbrella would save me from getting to work looking like a drowned rat …

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Could you be replaced by a robot?

Is the rise of the machines inevitable? The ‘Terminator’ and ‘Matrix’ franchises, ‘Tron’, ‘Eagle Eye’, ‘I, Robot’, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, even the children’s film, ‘WALL-E’: most of us will have seen at least one movie in our lifetime that predicts the dire consequences of an over-reliance on artificial intelligence (AI). Are these films just fun or do they scare us too much? What difference is it really going to make in our workplace? Search engines that predict our preferences, smart phones and email filters all incorporate some degree of AI. We may not be thinking about artificial intelligence all of the time, but we do encounter it every day. Search engines that predict our preferences, smart phones and email filters all incorporate some degree of AI. And it is constantly developing: the battle for driverless cars, seems to be …

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When you’ve made the wrong decision

We all make mistakes. We know that. We’ve probably all met someone within our careers who seems not to allow for any degree of human error, but the best corporate environments allow employees to admit mistakes without fear of retribution and learn from them.  “The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.” Theodore Roosevelt What do we learn from mistakes? Well… We learn how not to do something   Mistakes are important as they teach us about ourselves and our environment There is a reason that there is a whole theory of learning involving trial and error; because it makes us learn. In a real-world environment, this is often the fastest and most practical way to learn skills; a baby learning to walk, a team member managing their first project, a healthcare worker to take bloods …

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Decision making pit falls

Many decisions we make are big ones and some can be life changing So how can we make sure we’re making a good choice? First of all, there isn’t always a wrong or right answer. Few things in life are black and white. We will all have preconceptions and prejudices that colour our perspective on a situation. We’ve thought of a few pitfalls to avoid during the decision-making process:  Sampling and misrepresentation In 1998, Dr Andrew Wakefield published a study in the Lancet medical journal that identified a link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and an increased chance of developing autism. As a result of this ‘finding’, vaccine rates in the UK dropped by as much as 20% over the following decade, leading to outbreaks of all three diseases.  Having examined a sample of children far too …

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Seven top tips for decision making

Top tips for decision making Why are decisions often scary? Because decisions lead to action and action means change. Change is often a step into the unknown. While we can never be 100% sure we are making the right decision, there are steps we can take to ensure that we are making the best decision we can. Don’t panic buy (or choose!) We’ve all agreed to attend a social occasion and then instantly regretted the decision, or impulse bought a flashy new gadget or pair of shoes that we’ve never used or worn. While making snap decisions isn’t always a bad thing, you don’t want to make major life or business decision on a whim. Play devil’s advocate Plan ahead. Weigh up the risks. What if everything that can go wrong does go wrong? What if you discover you’ve made the wrong …

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Four Types of Decision

Decision making Making decisions. Whether you’re the kind of person that makes decisions easily or you take 10 minutes to choose which socks to put on in the morning, this is something we do countless times a day, every day. While some decisions may be fleeting and relatively inconsequential (what to have for breakfast or what colour trousers to wear, etc.), others will have a lasting impact on our lives and the lives of others. We will all come across situations where we will have to make important decisions. Let’s look at the types of decision we might make: Autocrative– This is a decision you make on your own and take full responsibility for the outcome of. Consultative– 2 heads are better than 1! How about 3 or 4? Consultative decision making considers the advice and experience of others to …

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Do you want your team pulling together?

“Based in the heart of Portsmouth, Express FM uses stereo FM radio to broaden horizons, unleash potential and raise aspirations for the benefits of the community. We encourage programmes that celebrate life in South East Hampshire, and our local voices play a fresh and upbeat musical mix, which can be heard 24 hours a day.”

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Choosing my crew carefully

As much as we would all love to be good at everything in life, success often depends on realising that we are not! When boat sailing my small cruising catamaran, I often take to the water with those who possess additional skills or knowledge that I am sorely deficient in. It’s not the main reason I take them with me, but it helps!  My younger son, a marine engineer, has an ability to analyse a practical challenge, identify the problem and then fix it.  And we’re both happy to laugh at my ability to defer the difficult jobs until he arrives.  Mike, my crew for a weekend back in June, is retired and has a love of all things mechanical.  Tom, an equally-experienced sailor, is a semi-retired engineer and possible part-time contortionist who can turn his hand to most things; …

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Confidence to gain competence

As a child, I recall eating my mother’s homemade Rabbit Pie. And it is a rabbit that I think of when I hear the words ‘Come Dine with Me’. Not because of Mum’s Rabbit Pie, but because of a training experience which, for a few moments, left me feeling like a rabbit caught in headlights… Over the years I often seen otherwise competent people struggling to take on a new concept or skill. I vividly remember one occasion when it happened to me: It was a small, three-day training course, during which each delegate would have three opportunities to deliver an ever-improving brief training session to their fellow students. In order to make up numbers, during these sessions I changed role from being the course facilitator to being one of the ‘guinea pigs’ for the delegates. I confess that until …

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Waders for the men

During January 1994 heavy and prolonged rain on the south downs caused the River Lavant, which for much of the year trickles through Chichester, to become a torrent that could no longer pass in the culvert under the city centre.  Diversion of the river led to the the main coast road, the A27 being flooded.  The army was called in and in short order constructed a Bailey bridge over a flooded roundabout and restored east-west traffic.  The Army Benevolent Fund was the beneficiary as grateful motorists passing slowly over the temporary structure willingly filled collection buckets held by the bridge builders. An article appeared in the Independent John Adair in one of his books mentions one young officer at Sandhurst on whose annual report was written “Smith is not a born leader yet.”  What are the qualities the army was looking to inculcate …

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