Author Archives: Tim Lambert
I hope you have enjoyed following my blog over the past few months. If so, you have the opportunity to carry on reading but on a new site.
You can access all my new blogs by logging on to www.kay-lambertassociates.co.uk as of today March 12th 2012.
You will still be able to view my old blogs on this site for a while.
Thanks for reading.
We’re bracing ourselves to deliver another intensive 5-day Train the Trainer programme. By the end of it we will be exhausted and the client will have 8 accomplished trainers who are ready to deliver key modules as part of their Culture Reshaping journey. Working with other trainers really keeps us on our toes, which is how we like it.
Running an Influencing Skills workshop for a Housing association client. It’s great when people realise just how resourceful they are and how many options they have.
Running more Absence Management courses this month. One of our clients already has absence below 2% but like us, they believe that it can be and should be lower. You don’t get and keep these low levels by punishment and fear, but by creating great places to work.
We’ve been working with a great actor, Carol Noakes, who really brought a performance management workshop to life for one of our clients. The uncanny skill of people who are so attuned to what the situation requires, brings resonance to the role play and participants start operating at a completely different level.
But why should it? (dramatic pause).
‘Normal’ is a pseudonym for ‘dull’ or ‘boring’ or ‘just so-so’. It’s hardly inspiring.
Instead, I think we should be getting in shape to play our very own leading role in the performance of our company.
Work spaces are dramatic places.
- They are alive with twists and turns and cliff-hangers.
- They have a motley cast of characters: designers, directors, technicians, creatives; walk-ons, guest appearances, leading and supporting roles.
- They buzz with the energy of egos rubbing up against each other.
- They vibrate with the tension of unspoken thoughts and feelings, humming with rich sub-text.
The drama unfolds in fits and starts: one day it’s more like a soap opera; the next it starts to feel like a Danish thriller. It veers from sublime comedy to ridiculous whodunit in an instant.
So the stage is set for a great performance, and you are the person that can give it.
You don’t need to be given top-billing. You don’t need your name in lights (or on a door). You don’t need to prepare an acceptance speech or come over all emotional. You don’t even need to remember your lines because there isn’t a script.
Despite all this, you have the power to find a role that inspires you and then play it. By bringing all your strengths to bear, you can elevate your performance to levels that will inspire those around you.
So whilst the judges retire and the red carpets get their long-awaited beating, let’s get our act in gear. This time next year you could be …
whatever you want.
Memory is a funny thing. You can rarely be sure about it. Recalling to mind an experience of the past is as much a work of creation as it is a reliable documentary activity. Perhaps more so.The point at which we remember something which, is of necessity after the event, we have other memories and experiences to load upon it. This changes however subtly, or even radically, our understanding of the original event.
Even writing stuff down to read at a later date doesn’t protect the integrity of the original event, because as soon as we read the description we are overlaying it with new perceptions from a later time.
Many arguments and disagreements at work are the result of two people remembering an event or an instruction differently. This is either because their understanding of the event was processed through their different receptors at the time and therefore interpreted differently; or because the act of remembering has skewed the way they recall the event.
In any case, holding out to have our version of the truth (our memory) accepted as the most reliable seems to be a pointless and provocative activity.
We try to get round this by putting everything in emails. Hundreds of people get copied in to ensure a liberal smattering of our version of the truth. And we’ll dredge up those emails at a later date when something is in dispute or needs corroborating. It’s an evidence trail we leave like Hansel & Gretel’s breadcrumbs in the forest, which will lead us back to certainty.
Unfortunately, leaving the email trail is a misguided and wasteful strategy because even if it’s ever referred to again, it will be viewed from the perspective of a different time…that inevitably adds a different gloss.
Our justice system, which relies on witness statements given after an event, is easily hi-jacked by the fallibility of memory. I recently came face-to-face with a group of aggressive schoolboys who in very graphic and admirably creative terms described what they would like to do to my face and other parts of my body. But when I studied their mug-shots in the school files the next day, I couldn’t identify any of them.
This wasn’t a temporary lapse induced by trauma, or even a sign of my diminishing faculties. I would have been the same if I was twenty-something instead of forty-something. I couldn’t be sure: the memory wasn’t strong enough or accurate enough for me to be certain. Selecting a face from the mountain of mug-shots would have been tantamount to guesswork and led to a possible miscarriage of justice.
We take our memory for granted, and we rely on it to provide a photographic and filmic context for our lives. Yet, it is often little more than a faded sepia tint.
So the next time you get into a spat with a colleague about your understanding of what you think you agreed at some point in the past; or you fall out over your take on who said what and to who; try to remember that memory itself is a fabrication. It’s the breadcrumbs but not the loaf.
Make what you do in the moment count, but don’t expect to remember exactly what you did tomorrow.
OK, I admit it. I’m frustrated!
Why aren’t things perfect? Why do people behave so badly? Why can’t I work for a company that really values and supports me instead of making my life difficult.! Aaarrrggghhhhhhh!!!!
Yes, some days it can get to you. We’re human and what we want or expect doesn’t always happen. I still get a shock every morning when I look in the mirror and realise I’m not 21 anymore!
But carrying these frustrations around with me all day is a bit like dragging a suitcase full of books up 15 flights of stairs. And what’s worse, they are probably books I have no intention of reading!
Sometimes we get so preoccupied with the frustrations of life and work that we don’t allow any of the good stuff in.
We look at everything that is good through the lens of everything we are dissatisfied with. And it really doesn’t seem so good when you look at it like that.
I have occasionally had unwelcome guests staying in my home. Fortunately not for too long, and not very often. The last thing I want to do is invite them back, lock them in, and force them to follow me around all day. But that’s what it’s like when we let grudges, frustrations, disappointments and anger in. If we’re not careful, they can become like an evil conjoined twin.
I am not suggesting that these thoughts and feelings aren’t real or legitimate. But do they help? Do we need them all the time? Surely they make us less and less resourceful; less and less able to get on with things.
I propose that we write some of these frustrations down, fold the paper and put it in a dark dismal place for an hour or two at a time. If after this time you are missing it so much and desperately want to clutch it to your breast, fine. If not, leave it there, rotting away bereft of the nutrients it needs to flourish.
Even if you take it back, at least you had 2 hours without it…and that’s got to be a healthy thing.