How Have the People Around You Made You Better?

When was the last time a group of people let you know the difference you’ve made in their lives? Or showered you in praise while pointing out the particular contributions you’ve made to them? Most of us only experience that when leaving a job after a long time, and/or at our funeral when there’s noContinue reading “How Have the People Around You Made You Better?”

When Did You Last Say “I Was Wrong?”

Think of a time you’ve been in a position of authority. A common feeling in those circumstances is feeling like you were expected to know it all, worrying when you don’t, and faking it to show strength and stability for those you are managing. Faking it can work well in a lot of situations, butContinue reading “When Did You Last Say “I Was Wrong?””

“Less” or “Fewer”? What Does “Correcting” Language and Grammar Do?

“I think you mean fewer, not less.” “It should be compared with, not compared to…” When’s the last time you remember someone correcting your language or grammar? How often have you had this experience as an adult? Perhaps you use a cultural vernacular which seems to generate a particular reaction in your work community. IfContinue reading ““Less” or “Fewer”? What Does “Correcting” Language and Grammar Do?”

Poison Ivy Privilege, Revisited

In New England, where I live now, poison ivy is commonplace. But in the UK, where I grew up, there is none. So unlike many New Englanders, I didn’t grow up with regular exposure to poison ivy; nor did I grow up looking out for it, or being able to identify it with a “leavesContinue reading “Poison Ivy Privilege, Revisited”

Being Real In A Virtual World

Over the last week I have been part of a number of conversations in which people lamented that decisions were being made in their workplace – decisions that affected them directly – without any clarity about why. And the people saying this to me are long-time employees in relatively senior positions themselves, but they were eachContinue reading “Being Real In A Virtual World”

Being A “Student Of…” (Not An “Expert In…”)

Have you ever started a conversation with a friend or family member about a topic you rarely think about, only to find out that the person you’re talking to clearly knows more about this topic than 99.9% of people in the world? Maybe you saw them light up as they got a chance to talkContinue reading “Being A “Student Of…” (Not An “Expert In…”)”

Working In Isolation? How The TV Writers’ Room Approach Can Help You Find “The Good Place”

A large component of my work world involves writing – from reports to podcasts, curriculum design to articles… And while the bulk of my writing revolves around the dynamics of people working and interacting with each other, the writing itself is largely done by myself. As I write, I often need to think about world-building – howContinue reading “Working In Isolation? How The TV Writers’ Room Approach Can Help You Find “The Good Place””

Team Meetings In A Time Of Distraction

How often are you in (or leading) a meeting but finding it hard to concentrate because of something happening in the wider world? How often have you noticed someone else in the meeting suddenly disappear – mentally, if not physically. “Breaking news” pop-ups have become commonplace as the business of news seeks our attention, andContinue reading “Team Meetings In A Time Of Distraction”

Let’s Talk About The Elephant In The Room…

While last week’s attack on The Capital was still taking place, writer Saladin Ahmed – whose work I admire – tweeted “next week some middle aged white man is still gonna get paid for a column about how we need to build bridges.” Mr. Ahmed doesn’t know me, but as a middle aged white man with aContinue reading “Let’s Talk About The Elephant In The Room…”

How To Make Your Bed At Work

You’ve probably heard axioms along the lines of “success starts with making your bed.” You may have even seen the popular 2014 University of Texas at Austin Commencement address by Naval Admiral William H. McRaven, which has inspired thousands of people to make their beds each morning when they first wake up. But whether or not youContinue reading “How To Make Your Bed At Work”