May 8, 2019 |

How Modern Workers Learn

This info graphic is taken from a recent report by the  Towards Maturity group in February 2019called The Transformation Journey (

A survey of over 10,000 workers shows there is more in common with the learning needs of both younger and more mature learners than usually assumed. Like the millennial, the older worker is also self-directed and tech-savvy and this research bucks the commonly held misconception of the older worker not keeping up with their and learning trends.

how modern workers learn

Tags: , ,
| Posted in Articles, Consumer Trends | Comments Off on How Modern Workers Learn
September 16, 2015 |

5 Traits of Memorable People


I just read an interesting blog post  on the Seek website identifies the following traits that can make you  memorable person. While aimed at the workplace, they are equally applicable in life overall.

These traits are summarised as follows and you can read the full article here:

  • Being confident but not arrogant
  • Having passion
  • Being proactive
  • Great communication skills.

Tags: ,
| Posted in Articles | Comments Off on 5 Traits of Memorable People
June 7, 2015 |

Exited at Executive Level

This is a guest post by blogger Peter Luscombe around the concept of workplace bullying at the executive level, something that is rarely discussed.


The French have a saying when they refer to workplace bullying; they call it the ‘slow poison’ and that’s literally what it was like. There were a lot of passive aggressive moves made behind my back and it was very Machiavellian. You know you’re being attacked, but there’s very little you can do about it. (John Mc Philbin).

Bullying in the workplace happens on many levels, including  the executive, level which is often most insidious because at this level it can be a type of psychological warfare. In a Machiavellian way you could describe it as a type of  ‘cloak and daggers behind closed doors’, where  power play is paramount and to show any weakness means you just don’t ‘cut it.’

A case in point is John’s story which was featured in an article by Jane Faure-Brac: John was as an ex-military man, who took a job an operational manager for a security firm as this was a good fit for his skills and experience. He produced good results and was promoted to a national level of operational management. However matters became unstuck  when John realized that his ‘fit’ in the firm at executive level was at variance with his personal, work ethics. In his view the company was becoming more profit-orientated and less concerned about the well-being of staff, while John  felt that safety came first. Going to his superiors  started a deterioration in work relations and John found himself unheard. He then discovered a campaign had begun against him, which turned into two years of covert bullying resulting in:

  • isolation from other workers
  • an undermining his work and reputation in the firm
  • exclusion from important meetings
  • threats of dismissal

For John the slow poisoning had set in, but unfortunately what he faced is not unheard of and  bullying in any form at the workplace can be devastating –  at an executive level, this is equally – if not more so.

Take for example the abrasive boss/executive whose style may  often be accepted at executive, corporate level as justifiable. In a recent article in ‘Executive Style’ Dr Michelle Pizer spoke about this style and identified various rationale for such behaviour:

  • Don’t see themselves as abrasive
  • Feel their behaviour is justified and they’re just getting the job done
  • Lack psychological insight
  • Believe that managing emotions has nothing to do with managing employee motivation

Pizer did add that: In most cases they’re not really bad bosses, they’re bosses behaving badly.

The abrasive bosses or bullying executives, are out to get the job done; most likely driven by career ambition and an organizational culture which is focused upon the profit margin and performance rather than people. John Mc Philbin certainly found that out.

They made my life miserable. I thought I could tough it out, and for a while I did, but after 12 months of this treatment, I was knocked flat by it …

… You just can’t underestimate how damaging a psychological injury from bullying is. I was depressed, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t go into work. I’d just stopped functioning.

From having risen on the back of hard work and getting results, because he regarded safety of those he managed as important, John found he didn’t ‘fit’ the firm’s profit driven culture. As a ‘boss’ amongst ‘bosses’ he found them turn on one of their own.

The Machiavellian ways are indeed insidious. To cite a few ways from a longer listWhat does bullying in the workplace look like? – composed by the ‘Australian Human Rights Commission’:

  • excluding you or stopping you from working with people or taking part in activities that relates to your work
  •  playing mind games, ganging up on you, or other types of psychological harassment
  •  intimidation (making you feel less important and undervalued)
  •  giving you pointless tasks that have nothing to do with your job
  •  giving you impossible jobs that can’t be done in the given time or with the resources provided
  •  deliberately changing your work hours or schedule to make it difficult for you
  •  deliberately holding back information you need for getting your work done properly

The ramifications of such actions can be profound; as John Mc Philbin declared.

According to the The Australian Human Rights Commission’ if you are being bullied at work you might experience any of the following feelings:

be less active or successful

  •  be less confident in your work
  •  feel scared, stressed, anxious or depressed
  •  have your life outside of work affected, e.g. study, relationships
  •  want to stay away from work
  •  feel like you can’t trust your employer or the people who you work with
  •  lack confidence and happiness about yourself and your work
  •  have physical signs of stress like headaches, backaches, sleep problems

The question remains to be answered, how do you manage adversity of this nature an an executive level?

 With thanks to Peter Luscombe for this content.

Tags: ,
| Posted in Articles | Comments Off on Exited at Executive Level
April 25, 2015 |

How bad feelings might produce success

Peter Luscombe, a friend of mine, came across this article in The Age newspaper recently on the power of bad feelings to produce success – a handy concept in the corporate world!  The summary is by Peter and the full article link is below.

So called ‘distress tolerance, say the authors of he book The Power of Negative Emotion, “is important … because it allows you to become stronger, wiser, mentally agile and, most important, happier in a more resilient, and therefore durable, way.”

And mental agility, they argue, must access the full spectrum of emotions; we cannot cherry-pick​ the positive ones and discard those we don’t like or want to feel.

Flipping the positive psychology model on its head, the authors, psychologists Todd Kashdan​ and Robert Biswas-Diener say using the power of negative emotions can, in fact, lead to greater happiness.

“We call this state wholeness,” the authors say. “All psychological states have some adaptive advantage. Rather than steering you toward a single feeling state, then, we urge you to consider the usefulness of many – especially the ones we turn away from – and develop the agility to navigate every one …

“Those folk who are comfortable with being both positive and negative, and can therefore draw from the full range of human emotions – are healthiest and, often, the most successful.”

| Posted in Articles | Comments Off on How bad feelings might produce success
August 25, 2013 |

Book Review in International Facilitator’s Journal

I recently reviewed the book Essentials of Intentional Interviewing by Ivey, Ivey and  Zalaquett, which was published in The International Association of Facilitators Journal:  Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal, No. 12, 2013.  Full Text is available here: GFJournal2013.

Tags: , , ,
| Posted in Articles | Comments Off on Book Review in International Facilitator’s Journal
November 7, 2012 |

Finding a Change Management Model

My latest article has just been published, feel free to read it here:

Finding a Model for Managing Change, ‘Training and Development in Australia’, Journal of the Australian Institute of Training and Development, Vol 39, No.  5, 2012.

Tags: ,
| Posted in Articles, Change Management | Comments Off on Finding a Change Management Model
August 15, 2012 |

Book Review: Employee’s Survival Guide to Change

My book review of Employees’s Survival Guide to Change as it appears in:  Training and Development Journal, August 2012, Vol 29, No.4.

Author: Jeffrey M. Hiatt (2004) Prosci Research, $14.95 pages 102

Ask any therapist and they will tell you that change (good or bad) is one of the largest stressors humans experience. This small but highly useful text is intended as a guidebook for employees facing change. However it is an equally valuable resource for those who must manage a change initiative, helping them to understand how employees can survive and thrive when an organisation undertakes a change.

The book begins with a ‘frequently asked questions’ section about change, addressing areas such as why a change might be happening, the risks of not changing and the benefits of supporting a change. It then moves onto using the Prosci ADKAR (awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, reinforcement) model to illustrate how employees can create a successful action plan to address a change occurring in their workplace, providing worksheets and checklists to help achieve this. It finishes with a section specifically addressing employees joining a change management team, which is based on Prosci research that has identified the dos and don’ts for teams during their change management projects. The beauty of this book lies in its simple but powerful messages, making it accessible and relevant to anyone encountering change.




June 3, 2012 |

Review of Essentials of Intentional Interviewing by Ivey, et al

Authors: Allen E. Ivey, Mary Bradford Ivey and Carlos, P. Zalaquett
Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning, rrp $111.95.

The short version of the review (presented below), will appear in the AITD journal, Training and Development (vol 39, no.3, June 2012).

A longer version will appear in the Australian Counselling Association journal, Counselling Australia, (vol 11, no. 3, August 2012).

Review of: Essentials of Intentional Interviewing: counselling in a multicultural world (2nd Edition, 2012)

By Angela Lewis

This book is intended to clarify interviewing expertise through the use of the microskills hierarchy, communication skill units which include attending behaviour, the basic listening sequence, paraphrasing and reflection of feeling. It presents highly practical tools and resources, plus a large number of case examples and sample interviews in an engaging and easily understood format. The authors subscribe to the concept of what they term multicultural competence, resulting in a continual thread throughout the text which invites readers to examine their own and the client’s cultural position, wellness and world view and to reflect on how this affects the interview process.

This text could be used to conduct successful interviews or counselling sessions for practitioners at all levels, however there is a particular emphasis on the needs of the novice or student. There is also the option of completing chapter specific quizzes and questionnaires online, and I found this a particularly useful way of embedding the learning.  Along with providing a thorough background in the microskills framework and the five-stage interview structure for effective interviewing and counselling, this book makes a valuable addition to the library of anyone who wants to gain more communication skills —something we can all profit from.


March 14, 2012 |

Managing your Email Time

I receive so much email a day that it’s basically just read, delete, read, file, read, delete, read, delete.  Sometimes I don’t even open it and after a while  its been too long to reply, so I either   file it away or delete and pretend I never got it.

Does this sound familiar?  Thanks to a world-wide adoption of email by businesses and individuals, this is the sort of problem that ordinary people are facing everyday.   Up until a few years ago, most of us did not have the added pressure of having to deal with incoming email on a continual basis during our work day, or of having to check it from home and could simply get on with our daily tasks.

Time management is about finding a way of using your time efficiently and in a way that suits both your personal preferences and the requirements of your role. Here are some tips that may help you use Microsoft Outlook to help manage your time.  Some of these suggestions may work for you, others may not, so feel free to pick and choose.

Read the rest of this entry »

March 9, 2012 |

Are you cut out to work in IT?

I loved this article from Tech Republic that lists 10 signs that you may not be cut out for IT:

Takeaway: IT pros often complain about the downsides of their jobs. But what if you really AREN’T meant for an IT career?

It’s a tough world out there. Anyone who’s ever worked in IT knows just how tough it is. And if you’re not totally up for the challenge, there will always be someone else who is. But for anyone considering getting into the world of IT, or for those considering getting out of IT… how do you know? How do you know whether you are really cut out for the career that chews up and spits out its young? Well, I have a handy list of signs that maybe IT isn’t the best fit for you.

1: You lack patience

Patience is most certainly a virtue in IT. When some problems strike, they strike with vengeance and most often require a good deal of time to resolve. If you are without patience, you’ll either give up, lose your mind, or pull out all your hair. But the need for patience doesn’t end at dealing with problems. Many times, end users will test your patience more than the technology will. If that’s the case, I recommend that you either get away from having to deal with end users or (if that’s not possible), leave IT immediately.

Read the entire article….