It's surprising sometimes to find basic courtesies missing from daily business interactions. The sort of things like being on time for scheduled meetings, replying to telephone calls or emails in a timely fashion (as in 1-3 days), thanking people for what they've done for you; acknowledging people when you see them and passing on referrals and information when needed. These things take so little effort to do and they're important. Not doing them makes us memorable for all the wrong reasons.

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It always horrifies me when I encounter a toxic workplace. You know you're in one by how it feels and how it sounds, when staff talk about their experiences in the workplace. By toxic I mean a workplace that has disgruntled, unhappy employees as well as happy ones; good managers as well as very poor ones, at all levels within the place; an overriding culture of fear or concern for speaking out about what's not alright in the place;

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At a seminar recently, a speaker said "change the way you see things and what you see will change". It is a pithy, useful statement and gives food for thought. For how often do we find ourselves talking about the things we couldn't do, for a whole raft of reasons, and then find ourselves, sometime later, doing something on that list we thought was beyond us and being delighted that we had? How often do we hold onto our own interpretation of things,

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I'm no fashionista by any means but have you ever noticed the Vivaldi four seasons working wardrobe for many men and women is a relentless black? I was stuck at the airport last week and had ample opportunity over two hours to do a fashion police check on those who streamed in and out of the departure gates and it was a dull sight. Black certainly is a serviceable colour but trouble is, it doesn't suit everyone and in winter especially,

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A marvellous saying about happiness was given to me just recently – "Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do, are in harmony" – Mahatma Gandhi. It's deliciously simple yet complex and may be challenging to answer. How happy are you, in your personal and working worlds? How congruent are your thoughts, words and actions? What can you change, if you are out of alignment somewhere?

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Coaching myth number 4, that coaching is beneficial for everyone, is simply that. A myth that's mythed the mark. Coaching doesn't benefit everyone for a number of good reasons, for example: if a coach or coaching has been imposed upon someone and they don't want a bar of it, then they will resent the imposition, resist the opportunity and get little value from the encounter; if someone believes they have no need of any coaching,

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Organisational prostitution is alive and well in most organisations today. By this I mean organisational prostitutes are people don't want to be in their role anymore because their heart has gone out of it; their personal values clash with the organisation's values; they feel they have few choices open to them; they continue to stay and receive their pay cheques feeling they've sold their soul to make a living and feed their habits, such as maintaining a lifestyle,

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It's a simple system, but a good one. Take five minutes at the end of every work day to tidy your desk, put stuff away and prepare for your tomorrow, by: opening and checking your diary to see what appointments you have and where you need to be at a particular time; what important tasks you need to do and chunk and label specific time in your diary to do them (thereby making an appointment with yourself);

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For many, the thought of systems, system development and using systems in their workplace constitutes the height of dreariness. Free spirits often like to do their own thing with systems and sometimes develop their own and ignore the organisational ones. The trouble with this approach is that good systems are designed to process information and/or material in the most efficient and effective way and ideally, the systems themselves have been well developed to eliminate any processing gaps,

 » Read more about: Systems organisational oil that keeps the wheels turning, management trainer believes  »