Something about team relationships…

Something about team relationships…

Coaching, Leadership, Teams
Something about team relationships… the focus and importance managers place on them…or not England's emphatic victory in their FIFA World Cup group match against Panama in 2018, made it two wins out of two and guaranteed their place in the coveted knock-out stages of the tournament. This success contrasts wildly with their anticipated fortunes, as predicted by many expert commentators before the tournament commenced. This made me reflect on, amongst other things, how well the manager, Gareth Southgate, built a squad that has seemingly gelled so well and shows all the signs of a close knit, supportive team. His appointment drew questions and criticism from a number of quarters, a lack of big tournament experience and an average club management record, to name two. The proof of the pudding has…
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If a job’s worth doing…I may as well do it myself

If a job’s worth doing…I may as well do it myself

Coaching, Leadership
IF A JOB’S WORTH DOING…I MAY AS WELL DO IT MYSELF Heard it before? Said it yourself? Hmmmm….so what is the impact of this? In my experience, this leads to our teams becoming de-motivated, outcomes being compromised, and us becoming frazzled. So, what’s the problem? I often experience people telling me that they are so busy, that they don’t have time to spend quality moments with their teams; coaching and supporting them through their development. The perception and excuse is often related to the fast pace of today’s business world…but I would challenge that. I have been in business way longer than today’s technology which has sped up our world, and whilst that means that things happen faster, I still remember the ‘time issue’ being at the very epicentre of…
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A question about questions

A question about questions

Great Questions, Selling
Questions concept I remember growing up there was a book called 'All that you wanted to know about (insert topic), but were afraid to ask.' I was reflecting on this recently and on my experience of working with over 15,000 sales people over the past (nearly) 30 years. I find it extraordinary, that one of the most common ‘objections’ I receive, when talking with people about asking great questions, is that they often feel awkward about doing that and they are concerned about what they will discover as a result. Most sales people are afraid to ask the ‘right’ questions Those seasoned sales people out there reading this may be thinking “Well, that’s bonkers”…but ask yourselves “why would that be the case?”. Is it because 95% of sales professionals that…
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The Sales Pitch: What NOT to do…

The Sales Pitch: What NOT to do…

Creating Connection, Customer Relationships, Selling
It’s been a heck of a ride, running a business for the past 19 years. So many mistakes, so many lessons, but what a joy it is to see it take shape, evolve, respond to today’s needs…but also to remind ourselves that the one constant is people. They are humans too, and when you need to win a piece of business, inevitably you will need to pitch to win that business, and if you are to win that business, you need to win the hearts and minds of those humans... I thought it would be interesting to look through the other end of the telescope for once and share with you what I have learnt about how NOT to win business. All you need to do is the opposite, to…
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Leadership….a much over-complicated skill

Leadership….a much over-complicated skill

Inspiring People, Leadership
I am lucky enough to have worked with leadership teams from large international businesses for over 25 years, and if I am completely honest ‘what leadership is’ mystified me for a long time; walk into the business section of any library, and there are large number of very impressive pieces of work about leadership. In fact, there are institutions that specialise in leadership. Leadership is big business. Leadership is a mystery But leadership is also a mystery to many and too difficult to access and apply, because is it just that…a mystery. It is also true, that poor leadership causes so much angst in our society (from our politicians to our CEOs, our middle managers to our teachers, and so many more)…surely we can think of it in simple terms,…
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Business storytelling – a story about telling stories

Business storytelling – a story about telling stories

Business Storytelling, Customer Relationships, Inspiring People, Presentation Skills, Selling, Virtual Meetings
Make an impact and stand out from the crowd to deliver your message I have been involved in helping others be the best they can be in front of groups of people for the past 25 years, and in my view, this core business skill is underrated, usually poorly executed, and probably one of the most significant ways you can make an impact on your colleagues, customers and stakeholders. It’s a question of; “what kind of impact do you want to have?” Is it lunchtime yet? Think of all the presentations that you have been in the audience for. Now, think of all the ‘virtual’ presentations that you have witnessed. Then, think of all the conference calls you have been part of. Be honest - how many of them stood…
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Becoming a salesman

Becoming a salesman

Customer Relationships, Great Questions, Inspiring People, Selling, Winning Habits
A story of a headmaster, the engineer and disappointment Imagine the scene; a budding mining and explosives engineer in his mid-twenties. The phone call to his proud father, a respected head teacher of a well-known school. “Dad, you know that career track I have sunk the past 8 years of my life into? The one where I get to run my ‘very own’ coal mine? Well…I’ve quit. I am going to be a salesman…..” The silence was deafening, the disappointment palpable…..I remember it like it was yesterday and that moment was 30 years ago. Sales people get a bad rap…deservedly so. So….what is really interesting about this tale is WHY? What is it about the ‘sales profession’ that so many people dislike? (I think I can actually hear you responding…
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It’s time to re-think webinars

It’s time to re-think webinars

Customer Relationships, Inspiring People, Virtual Meetings
Technology is improving; travel budgets are shrinking; people’s time is becoming increasingly scarce. Those three factors are leading more organisations to hold virtual meetings and training sessions, instead, or in complement to, face-to-face meetings and workshops. Great, right? …right? I'm not bored at all....!! Well, maybe not. If you’re like most of us then you’ve experienced terrible webinars and dysfunctional virtual meetings. Let’s face it: many things can make webinars uninspiring, boring and dull. Most often, it’s when they are treated as a ‘one-way’ communication tool. This is demoralising for everyone involved: the people ‘receiving’ the message get bored and find distractions elsewhere; the person ‘transmitting’ the information gets little feedback from the group and feels isolated and frustrated. These types of webinars rarely achieve desired outcomes and are often…
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Four ways to look fabulous on Webcam

Four ways to look fabulous on Webcam

Customer Relationships, Virtual Meetings
People often tell me, ‘Nick, you look fabulous’, and, of course, they are correct. It’s great to be me. Some possibly-important-context: those people are never in the same room as me when they say that. And they are not actually talking about my general attractiveness or rippling physique. (They are probably just too shy). What they are actually talking about is how I’m appearing in the Skype or other video meeting I’m participating in. The quality of the video image IS always fabulous (regardless of how fabulous I’m feeling that day)… Here are my four top tips to looking fabulous on webcam: Who said that? LIGHT IT UP – having a good quality light source positioned behind the webcam is essential. If you’re able to position yourself with a good-sized…
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WEBCAMOPHOBIA

WEBCAMOPHOBIA

Creating Connection, Customer Relationships, Virtual Meetings
Webcamophobia wastes time and money... it’s time to get over it! Webcamophobia! If you’d have told me five years ago that, in the future 90% of the meetings I would have with customers would be virtual, then I would have told you politely, but confidently, that you were wrong… and yet today, 90% of the meetings I have with customers ARE virtual, and they seem to like it! So what’s the deal with that? And, let’s think about this: all the technology needed to run high quality virtual customer meetings is free or low cost… so what stops people from using it? Using even the simplest virtual meeting platforms like Skype or FaceTime, people react in the strangest way (even people who use it regularly to talk with friends and…
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