Three Ways to Show You Appreciate Your Colleagues this Christmas

Being appreciated is a motivational experience

Being appreciated is a motivational experience

Being appreciated makes working together a positive experience

Taking the opportunity to encourage your team, deepen bonds and appreciate one another is a positive aspect of Christmas. It provides us with a moment in dark mid-winter to consider those we work with.

Take my colleague Ed, for example. Ed’s strength is his enthusiasm. He gets excited about ideas and people. He is always passionate, interested and positive about what the team does. A few months ago we were given some work most of us thought was boring. Not Ed though. He had us seeing the importance of the work, and his enthusiasm helped everyone do a great job. What would we do without him? Has anyone told Ed this, specifically? Probably not. Yet it would certainly show appreciation to do so.

So, here are three steps your team could take, ideally in a team get-together, to show appreciation. However, if you can’t be together then you could use email, cards or even calls instead.

  1. Each person takes a moment to think about each team member and note a valuable strength each person has and how it would feel to be in the team without that strength. There are many strengths to choose from. For example, you may have colleagues who have good ideas or who communicate well, who are dependable or who know their own mind. There are colleagues who are the life and soul of the team, who bring a splash of colour and original thinking to the team, who can sell an idea or who are excellent with detail. There are also people who develop solutions or are well organised, or are loyal and, so on. You should have a list of colleagues linked to their valuable strengths.
  2. Now each person should think of a time when he or she saw each person use their particular strength. What was it that made you smile and appreciate that person?
  3. And now each team member should take it in turns to share their appreciation of each other’s strengths and what makes them smile when they see these strengths being used.

If you can’t all be together, or someone is missing or you feel that people would appreciate a less public approach, then consider an email, a card or a call. Being appreciated makes working together a positive experience.

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If you can’t show appreciation face to face then consider an email, a card or a call

Enjoy Christmas by showing appreciation for your colleagues.

Have a Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

 

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Team development and team building
  • Support if you are being bullied, or have a member of your organisation who has made a bullying complaint
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations
  • Special projects, secondments and assignments

 

Do You Let Change Rumours Breakdown Trust?

Change is emotional. Often, those impacted, or potentially impacted, ‘find out’ through the rumour mill. This inevitably leads to a lack of understanding about what a specific change may mean, and as a result can cause mangers to break expectations and perceived promises. Psychologists talk about this being a breach of the ‘psychological contract’. The ‘psychological contract’ exists as explicit and implicit understandings between employer and employee, or manager and direct reports, and also at a company level.

The ‘Psychological Contract’ is not obvious . It is important. Like an iceberg, most of it is hidden.

Change has the potential to breach psychological contracts and breakdown trust. Sometimes such a breach never heals. Therefore, its best to avoid breaches in the first place and this requires good communication to help people establish ‘what is in it for me’.

Change may have the potential to impact thousands of people at the same time. This can intensify emotions and unless communication is established it can also lead to industrial action. Therefore, organisations need to be aware of how they impact psychological contract at the overall company level and also what the leaders and supervisors are doing during times of change.

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations

 

Facebook research, manipulations hardly impacted individual behaviour

"I really expected bigger differences in behaviour  than that"

Despite uproar about Facebook ethics, experimental results had a tiny impact on each user

Surprise, was definitely how I felt when I read how little user behaviour was affected by the experimental manipulations:

    • 1On average, people used less than one fewer emotional word in every 1000 words in Facebook posts over the following week
  • That means the difference made by the experimental manipulations was tiny

Significant results?

Yes, say the researchers1 owing to the huge number of 689,003 Facebook users involved. Their data showed that emotional states can become virus like, therefore, easily transferred to others. Consequently, people experienced the same emotions as one another without realising it, and without directly interacting. Exposure to emotions in a friend’s Facebook post was enough. For more information see the British Psychological Society summary article here: http://ow.ly/yEjRy

Important results?

The researchers thought so. They pointed out with the massive scale of social networks such as Facebook; even small effects can have large overall impacts. Also, they thought that their findings might also be useful for relaying public health messages. However, I suspect that the manipulative aspect of their study may mean people feel nervous about how such recommendations are used. See my blog article about the ‘creepy or justifiable’ implications here: http://mwrconsulting.co.uk/?page_id=117

For an excellent summary of the research findings and the resulting ethical debate read a British Psychological Society article here: http://ow.ly/yEjRy

 

Kramer, A. D. I., Guillory, J. E., Hancock J. T. (2014), Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks, PNAS, 111 (24), 8788-8790

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499 E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people. Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations

Facebook research, creepy or justifiable?

It's called social media for a reason, nothing is private

It’s called social media for a reason, nothing is private

If you felt that recent Facebook research was a step too far, so did many others. However, many people were far from surprised. There was a grudging recognition that Facebook, and potentially other social media organisations, manipulate users and readers all the time. Yet, whether Facebook crossed an ethical line that will result in further repercussions from their users remains to be seen.

An excellent summary of the research findings and the resulting ethical debate was given by the British Psychological Society.

You can read it here:  http://ow.ly/yEjRy

 

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations

It’s not rocket science is it? – 5 test questions, just in case it is

Rockets put satellites into orbit, does that make them more complex to understand than human behaviour?

Rockets put satellites into orbit, does that make them more complex to understand than human behaviour?

“It’s not rocket science is it?”

How often do we hear that? This powerful, loaded question is often posed when people start to rationalise proposals for new ways of working. Then an unspoken:

“so we are doing it already, stupid”

hangs in the air.
However, usually when I hear this it indicates to me that the person I am talking to knows that change is not easy. This person knows that moving from the idea of change to starting new behaviours is really challenging. In their heart of hearts they know something different needs to happen. They don’t have the ‘know-how’ to bring this about. Perhaps also they may not want to face the energy demand associated with facing up to a change.

I encourage the person to keep talking to me at this stage as this is the very moment to continue a dialogue.

The knack is to call out this underlying point:

Hold conversations

Hold conversations with people to understand what is holding them back from taking on board new expectations about behaviours

“It may not be rocket science; however, people are not really making any change after all, and it’s not clear what is holding people back from not doing the behaviours?”

 

 

 

 

Here are 5 follow up questions that I find useful for testing whether rocket science just might be more involved than first thought:

1. What evidence do they have to indicate that the behaviours required may or may not be in place?

2. When people are under pressure is there evidence that shows the behaviours consistently remain in place?

3. Are the words associated with a change unfamiliar to people? If so, what may be the benefit of using words that are more familiar?

4. What are the tangible gains that people can point to from changing behaviours?

5. How will you know the change has been successful – what will success look like?

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

 

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations

Marjorie Raymond

Isn’t the soup noisy today? 4 Social Media manners that matter

don't slurp your soup

Take Social Media manners seriously and showing respect for your colleagues

You wouldn’t deliberately slurp soup at your desk would you? No, of course not.

You wouldn’t want the wrath of your colleagues to descend upon you for disrupting them. Also, most of us respect and consider the colleagues that we work beside and we all know that disruption of work causes conflicts and negative feelings.

Yet, when it comes to Social Media it’s amazing how often people break such understandings and subsequently disrupt others. However, by taking Social Media manners seriously and showing respect for your colleagues will allow you to go a long way in helping to develop a good working community. Here are four such manners that will help:

1. Encourage your colleagues to agree how and when you can all use personal social media at work. This helps to avoid recrimination and keeps personal social media activity within boundaries that meet both your supervisor and team colleagues expectations

2. Put your personal and organisation phone on silent in the office. Apart from happily missing out on each others calls, colleagues probably also would appreciate not sharing ring tones, bleeps and a shuddering /vibrating desk. Especially the vibrating desk, that tends to really press neighbours’ hot buttons.

3. When talking to a colleague don’t glance at your phone. It is annoying and disrespectful. However, if you need to check information related to the conversation, or if you are waiting for an urgent email then let them know. People don’t mind then. However, be warned, don’t abuse this social convention.

4. When you are in client meetings put phones into flight mode. Also, use your out of office message to manage incoming messenger expectations. In long meetings use breaks to check your email.

Trigger Happy TV and Dom Jolly’s socially unacceptable giant Nokia hit this awkward nail right on the head! You wouldn’t shout on your phone in the silent section of the library…so give your colleagues the same treatment. In short, your social media habits can be annoying. So please stop slurping your social media soup and let others work in peace.

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499 E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people. Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations

Does your Social Media activity motivate your people?

Using Social Media can increase the motivation of your people

Using Social Media can increase the motivation of your people

Evidence suggests that an organisations external Social Media activity has a hugely positive impact on employee motivation. Specifically, organisations are finding that their external Social Media platforms most notably, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, are of interest to their own employees. These individuals frequently and enthusiastically support their company’s Social Media activity through ‘likes’ and ‘favourites’. Why you may ask? Well, this helps employees feel empowered; by breaking down traditional organisational silos, it allows all employees to not only see what is going on within the company but to also feel part of the business through supportive social media activities. In a nutshell, employees value being in touch with external communication messages, giving them an internal importance that was not possible before. This is also a benefit to businesses, having social media support from their staff allows brand messages to be spread much further and thus these employees quickly become important internal communication assets! This is good news for employee communication; active use of social media has resulted in employees reporting higher levels of commitment and attachment and as a result has added more value to their own job. Surprisingly perhaps, researchers did not find that Social Media use increased employees own ‘sense of belonging’, also referred to as social cohesion.

Employees sometimes 'favourite' their firms external social media communication

Employees sometimes ‘favourite’ their firms external social media communication

However, organisations need to learn how to harness positive outcomes from their Social Media activity and link it to their internal communication strategies. Therefore, it is worth investing in the new Social Media skills and competencies required for success. Consideration should also be given to how HR strategies can be developed and communicated using the kind of communication techniques that may, until now, have been the focus of marketing activity for customers. Implications for not engaging or motivating people in your organisation may not only result in lost opportunities, but may also create much more damaging reputational consequences.

 

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499 E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people. Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations

Do you use emoticons in your business email? :-)

?????????????????????????????????????Emo????????ticons are important1.

As organisations become more social media aware so emoticon use has developed. From indicating the emotional state of the sender, an emoticon now also helps a receiver to decode emotional intent.

Emoticons seem to help email messages to be interpreted. They provide some emotional contextualization. Business emoticon use usually conveys a positive attitude. Often, this occurs after a signatureglad-icon 2, or can indicate a joke or piece of irony: “I am 36. I have never had a car. However, I have driven others’ cars since I was 18, without making a scratch, but that doesn’t count, I guess.”

However, the most sophisticated use of emoticons is in relation to ‘hedging’. A hedge often follows an expression of thanks, or a greeting. Two uses have been identified. The first way to use an emoticon strengthens a positive intention. Conversely, the second way to hedge is to soften a message that may otherwise be perceived as having a negative emotional intent, for example, corrections or complaints: “Hi Maria, did you mean stationery or stationary?.ok-icon … John” .

Messages that may appear as demanding, intrusive or even rude, are now usually accompanied by an emoticon. They enhance meaning so that a message is not over imposing, impolite or authoritative. “Shouldn’t we take into account customer needs for information? Maria’s reply: “No, say I”  ok-icon

The next time you want to moderate expectations within your message consider using an emoticon. Please share your experience with us.

1 Based on research by Skovholt, Gronning, and Kankaanranta (2014) The Communicative Functions of Emoticons in Workplace Emails: :-), Journal of Computer – Mediated Communication 

2 Google ‘emoticon’ for information about specific 

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations