It may well be a terrible thing to admit, but sometimes I struggle at times with the "networking thing". When I've gone to specific business related events and done the mix and mingle, I've found some people get into a networking modus operandi that looks and sounds contrived and can be totally off-putting. That's the difficulty with networking -it is the thing to do (good business practice, all the books say so) yet how do you do it so that it isn't a fast card exchange and nothing more?

 » Read more about: Networking has its difficulties, management coach suggests  »


One of my favourite all time reads is M. Gerber's "The E Myth" (1995). In it, Gerber makes the distinction between "working in" a business (meaning hands on, operational doing) and "working on" a business (meaning viewing the whole business, taking a strategic, big picture view of things). Gerber's book is targeted at small business owners and the pitfalls they face if they spend all their time working in their business and not enough time working on their business.

 » Read more about: Working on or in the business causes confusion, management trainer believes  »


If you are wanting to coach others, consider undertaking coach specific training from a reputable coaching school that has it's coaching programme accredited with the International Coach Federation (ICF) . This is really important because you need to know what you're doing and you need to have the competencies and skills to do it well. The other benefit from coach training is the opportunity to practise your coaching skills on forgiving others;

 » Read more about: Coach specific training essential, professional certified coach suggests  »


I'm often surprised to find when working with people facing redundancy or massive organisational change, that many have not undertaken any professional development for years, if at all, over the course of their working life. And for many, the reality of what that may mean begins to hit home when they consider competing for positions against people with qualifications or relevant, recent training in particular areas. When people are facing potential job loss or job change,

 » Read more about: Professional development not optional extra, management trainer says  »


I often ask clients to reflect on their working life and identify the number of supportive, inspirational role models they had worked with and learned from. Mostly they identify one, maybe two people and typically go on to count and identify dozens of the other kind – unprofessional colleagues and managers who made their lives a misery, treated people poorly and created a workplace that was stressful and unpleasant. Awful that it may be,

 » Read more about: Role models may not be the best but have some value, management coach believes  »


The hardest thing for busy managers and business owners to do, I've found, is to give themselves the permission to take breaks from their workplace. For many, the work required to prepare for going on leave and the work they face when they return, make them question why they take leave at all. Yet, there is ultimately a cost to not stopping. Perspectives get lost, energy diminishes and work outcomes suffer. We kid ourselves we are productive yet the reality may be very different.

 » Read more about: Rest, recreation and reflection required, management coach believes  »


One issue that greatly disturbs me is hearing new through to very experienced managers speak of 'inheriting' a range of issues when they took up their roles. The inheritances typically, are majors, not minors, like numbers of poor performing staff, seriously dysfunctional teams, chronic under funding or a near complete lack of operating policies or systems. Typically too, managers found the issues were never discussed at interview but were uncovered within a short time as they went about their role.

 » Read more about: Inheritances not necessarily good, personal management trainer says  »


In the last three weeks I've had yet more reminders that customer service is almost non-existent in New Zealand. I'm saying this in the context of large service organisations (not retail) and small service providers (private sector) who don't respond to telephone messages or email requests for information. And the most astonishing thing is that when, after five or six attempts at contacting the people concerned, their response to not returning telephone messages or emails,

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What should people look for in a coach? I'm often asked this and my short answer is "a lot". The only way to find out about a coach is to ask a number of questions. Here's my first 10 questions: (1) How long have you been coaching? (2) How many hours of coach-specific training have you had? (3) What coaching credentials have you got? (4) What's your membership status with the International Coach Federation?

 » Read more about: 10 questions to ask a personal, executive, management or business coach  »


I've learned a bit about 'tolerations' over the years and until yesterday, thought I had got them sorted. I had reduced my tolerance levels to irritants like dripping taps or an untidy office space, finding they were distracting and wearying and fixing the irritant the moment it first became obvious was the only way to go. Yet over the last three weeks I have tolerated extremely poor service from two service providers.

 » Read more about: Tolerations costly, management trainer says  »