Mindset Workout

Mindset Workout

For business owners who:

  • Struggle with time management
  • Need to inject more motivation
  • Feel overwhelmed and need focus
  • Find working alone is a challenge

From this program learn and practise:

  • How to overcome negativity and fear
  • How to set goals that work for you
  • How motivation works best for you
  • How to create plans that deliver
  • How to do more in less time

You will also learn how to be more accountable, be mentally tougher and be given the tools to re-position yourself in a stronger position whenever faced with a new challenge.

Contact us now for more information.

Do You Recognise Arrogance of Authority?

A friend of mine emailed me the following (apparently true) story on “Arrogance of Authority”

As funny as this story is, it reminds me of what I often see in organisations where managers in responsible positions are so focussed on doing their job well, that they become oblivious to things, that if addressed would improve their overall performance and efficiency. Improvements are suggested all the time but managers are not engaging.

These managers grow unreceptive to new ideas or small changes because they religiously adhere to processes as instructed and lose sight of the important stuff. The important stuff includes why they are in the business in the first place and what the business vision and goals are.

It is not the manager’s fault, as they often work in organisations that compel them to cram more work in less time, meet demanding target indicators and have their performance challenged in annual appraisals. They unintentionally block out any form of communication that might help them because their experience tells them that they know better and in any case they have not got time. They have not even realised what their behaviour in the work place is conveying about them and the organisation’s culture. After a while the suggestions stop coming.

However, it does pay for these same managers to step back occasionally, be open minded and invite feedback from people they interact with at all levels. Someone will often try and tell them something that will make their job easier or more efficient, someone may want to share an innovative idea or someone may simply want to share their experience. Managers need to make time for these people, who are helping them. Managers need to openly engage to continually improve.Here is an example of someone in authority who learnt the hard way why it is important to engage with people regardless of anything else. Enjoy the story…

The Arrogance of Authority

A DEA officer stopped at a ranch in Texas, and talked with an old rancher. He told the rancher, “I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs.”

The rancher said, “Okay, but don’t go in that field over there…..”, as he pointed out the location.

The DEA officer verbally exploded saying, “Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me!”

Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removed his badge and proudly displayed it to the rancher.

“See this badge?! This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish…. On any land!!

No questions asked or answers given!! Have I made myself clear……do you understand?!!”

The rancher nodded politely, apologized, and went about his chores.

A short time later, the old rancher heard loud screams, looked up, and saw the DEA officer running for his life, being chased by the rancher’s big Santa Gertrudis bull……

With every step the bull was gaining ground on the officer, and it seemed likely that he’d sure enough get gored before he reached safety. The officer was clearly terrified.

The rancher threw down his tools, ran to the fence and yelled at the top of his lungs…..

“Your badge. Show him your BADGE…….. ! !”

The lesson to be learnt is – never ignore the small guy.

Listen, listen and listen

Engage with your staff, stakeholders and customers. If you stop listening, people will stop engaging, when that happens….well, showing your badge won’t help!

The Problem with Women on Boards

The problem with Women on Boards is that there is not enough of them, (only 12.5{2d8ca8a57a2be9c4e7c5f608c633b8d2972cbc20ea13f00e48eca0a2f3e4a9f8} for FTSE100 Boards by December 2010), despite the strong business case and evidence to demonstrate that companies perform better with a diverse board in place, as highlighted earlier this year by Lord Davies in his “Women on Boards” report.

With a real push to address the gender balancing of boards, revisiting the basics wouldn’t be amiss.

Why Women are not Promoted

The percentage of women in senior positions is small. There is plenty of research explaining why the significant proportion of posts are held by men, including references to the ease of building strong rapport and relationships where the same thinking and behavioural traits are shared  and that is where the problem starts in promoting women. Nature has dictated that the differences in the two genders are significant enough to create misunderstandings in the workplace, leading to reduced effectiveness and performance.

By understanding that there are differences and knowing the impact of these differences, an awareness is raised that causes a paradigm shift in mindsets to embrace them as a positive attribute bringing diversity of thinking and a fresh perspective.


What are the Differences?

Before reading on, please be aware there are more similarities than differences and what is presented here is an insight into some of the different behaviours exhibited in the majority of cases from statistical evidence and is not intended to stereotype any one group as there will always be exceptions. (Remember your frequency distribution diagrams!)
Research has shown that there are major physical differences in the brain of the two genders impacting on the way we think, behave and feel about a situation in addition to the hormonal differences contributing to differences in moods and behaviours. Typical differences include:

Men Women
  • interrupt more
  • appear more confident
  • boast more
  • oppose and debate more
  • take higher risks
  • display more directness
  • forge ahead
  • look for gaps, conflict, weaknesses
  • in it to win it
  • quickly get to point and take risks
  • allow themselves to be interrupted
  • seek more opinion
  • praise more
  • apologise more
  • ask more questions
  • show less authority
  • need to justify
  • look for areas of agreement
  • want to engage
  • explore every detail before concluding


The Way Forward
Men often prefer pyramidal hierarchal models and women often prefer flatter hierarchies. The result; Men often approach conversations in order to exchange information and establish themselves in the hierarchy, compared to women, who by desiring level playing fields, down play their authority. By appreciating how differently men and women approach problems, present solutions and engage with the teams, the barriers that cause frustrations (arising from misunderstandings) are broken down.
Misunderstandings work in two directions, the key to overcome the majority of misunderstandings include:

  • Clarity in communication – understanding what has not been said as well as what is being said.
  • An appreciation of different behavioural styles and preferences of those you interact with on how communication is received and interpreted.
  • Respecting the differences.

So there you have it, a brief insight into some of the problems of why women are often overlooked for board positions. For more information on where to find research papers and documents supporting the above or information on the success of diverse boards, contact me at info@kaurvalues.com.

How Your Staff Influences Your Reputation and What to Do About It

Recently my mother had the pleasure of being a NHS customer twice in the space of 4 weeks at different hospitals for different operations. Both hospitals had similar targets to meet.

The care received at the first hospital was excellent. The staff was diligent and conscientious, responding politely and respectfully to patients and their visitors alike. The notice board proudly displayed how they were good at meeting their targets. The second hospital has its charter displayed outside across all three stories of the main building claiming their patient care was their No. 1 priority, yet my mother was left traumatised by the whole experience of being in their care. Interestingly, their notice board indicated they were not meeting their targets.

I am convinced that if all of the staff at the second hospital were respectful towards their patients as claimed by their charter and followed the basic rules of listening, engaging and responding to patients, they would have seen greater improvement in their performance and efficiency as well as being closer to meeting their targets. I did wonder whether the staff responded to patients in the same way they themselves were treated by their managers, and there was a bigger work-based environmental culture problem that needed to be addressed stemming from communication breakdown between staff and management; Quite a common observation.

This isn’t a dig at the NHS, but a gentle reminder of how organisations’ reputations are built on the customers experience and, more importantly how management needs to ensure they engage with their staff at all levels to run a business efficiently.

Whether in private or public sector, businesses cannot be run without some customer interface, and everyone has a role to play in customer service. However, where a client has a choice, they will walk away if dissatisfied with a service and will certainly not make recommendations or come back for more bad service. The good news is, these situations can easily be avoided.

Successful companies recognise how significantly staff can influence the company’s reputation as perceived by clients and therefore already seriously invest in appropriate training and development of their staff to ensure company values are up held. Successful companies apply the same strategy of genuinely listening, engaging and responding to staff needs as they do with their clients.

Staff committed to the business will endeavour to leave a good impression, not because they are instructed to, but because they feel valued and have a purpose of their own in working for the company; they understand how their contribution makes a difference. They are able to distinguish between tangible and intangible targets as well as other important factors that impact on the company’s reputation, so when it comes to customer service they will endeavour to do the best they can because it all influences the company’s reputation, performance, and of course the all important bottom line.

Good customer service requires staff to:

  1. Listen to customers – before doing anything else to understand the customer’s view of the world, why they hold these views, listening to what they want, what are they really trying to find a solution for.
  2. Engage in dialogue – to manage expectations and to ensure both the company and the customer are using the same terms of reference. It is important everyone understands and agrees what will be delivered, when and how, regardless of it being a service or product.
  3. Seek feedback to continually improve customer experience and enhance the company’s reputation as well as improve performance.

Likewise, good managers will:

  1. Listen to their staff – before doing anything else to understand concerns and issues.
  2. Engage in dialogue – to manage expectations and targets, ensure everyone understands their contribution and impact on the bigger picture and most importantly agree priorities.
  3. Seek feedback to continually improve and enhance the company’s reputation as well as improve performance.

At the end of the day, you cannot run a business without interfacing with customers, so if you do not get your customer interface right, you will soon not have a business. To get customer interface right, you need to ensure your staff understand their role, priorities and what is expected from them.