How to Stop Wasting Your Day in Meetings

Boring meeting

In a Dilbert cartoon, the office boss asks Carol, his secretary, to schedule a meeting. When she asks what the topic of the meeting is, he replies, ‘I plan to fuse six sigma with lean methods to eliminate the gap between our strategy and objectives.’ Without so much as a sideways glance, Carol replies, ‘I’ll just say “waste of time.”’

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How Well Do You Know What Motivates You?

Male Architect With Digital Tablet Studying Plans In Office - Version 2

Simple steps to fulfilling your potential Over the last 20 years, I’ve asked thousands of people what motivates them and the reply – more often than not – is surprisingly vague. I find this curious because understanding motivations is a requirement for anyone who wants to be fulfilled and effective in their professional and personal life. Take the example of Ravi who

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Having Difficult Conversations at Work

construction drafts and tools background

If you know that you need to have a challenging conversation, it’s worth preparing thoroughly for it. The preparation time may be disproportionate to the length of the conversation itself, but if the conversation’s important enough, your preparation will rarely be wasted. As a friend of mine was always told, ‘Prepare thoroughly and deviate with confidence’. There are a number

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Preserving Work-Life Balance


How is your work-lifestyle balance linked to conversation? The connection between them may not be an obvious one. However, let’s imagine that you are poor at saying ‘no’ to people’s requests, meaning that you take on more than you can deliver. Something has to give, and you steal time from your home life to keep up with the demands of

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How to Avoid Misunderstandings

In a study of 400 companies, employee assessment firm Cognisco estimated that misunderstandings between workers and managers cost firms $37 billion a year. On average, businesses with 100,000 employees lose a staggering $62 million a year through misunderstandings, at an average cost of $624 per employee. This figure excluded reputational costs such as reduced customer satisfaction and the impact on

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The Art of Small Talk

GQ 890x400 copy

The following article was featured in GQ on 11 July 2014: Small talk. We all have to do it. We all dread that awkward silence when we’ve asked how he/she is and commented on the weather. High-profile figures are no less exempt: this weekend reports emerged of an awkward encounter between Samuel L Jackson and Victoria Beckham in the Royal Box at

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Being able to Say No

It’s much easier to adopt the stance of being ‘a victim of circumstances’ than to take responsibility for a situation by saying no. Here’s an example: Ethan regularly declares, on arriving home after work, that he’s got nothing done that day. What he means is that he’s been delivering on other people’s priorities, which prevents him from progressing his own.

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