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Change – Make it happen using Kotter’s 8 stage model

Kotter's 8 stage model

Change – Make it happen using Kotter’s 8 stage model

In our last blog we explored the things that need to happen before you try to apply this really useful model. We looked at the importance and skills of objective setting, the application of PESTLE to clarify your thinking. Click here to see that blog.

Once you have that vision and have applied the PESTLE analysis to it, you can progress to using Kotter’s 8 stage model.

1 Create a sense of urgency

Create a sense of urgencyIdentify Market and competitive realities
Identify and discuss crisis, potential crisis and major opportunities

Often this is where leaders will miss the opportunity to “Aim for the Heart”, they rely on the application of pure logic to convince people. Leaders that connect with people’s values are much more likely to be successful. We can use crisis as an opportunity maximiser here. “We must react and react quickly”, inaction can be fatal.

 

 

 2 Build a guiding team

Change PowerAssemble a group with enough power and influence to lead the change effort
Encourage the group to work as a team and develop team work

How many business’ assemble a team of people without the passion, power or influence to make things happen. The idea is probably a sound one but other people’s power will kill it off. We really need to have people on board with both high levels of power and positive attitudes,  YOUR ALLIES.(Click here to see our blog on Influencing)

 

 3 Develop a change vision

Develop a change visionCreate a vision to help direct the change effort
Develop strategies for achieving that vision

 The vision must be:
· Imaginable: They convey a clear picture of what the future will look like.
· Desirable: They appeal to the long-term interest of employees, customers, shareholders and others who have a stake in the enterprise. They help with motivation.
· Feasible: They contain realistic and attainable goals.
· Focused: They are clear enough to provide guidance in decision making.
· Flexible: They allow individual initiative and alternative responses in light of changing conditions.
· Communicable: They are easy to communicate with confidence and can be explained quickly

 

 

4 Communicate the vision buy in

Vehicle to communicateUse every vehicle possible to communicate the new vision and strategies
Teach new behaviours by example

 communicating the vison is simple when it is;
· Simple: No techno babble or jargon.
· Vivid: A verbal picture is worth a thousand words – use metaphor, analogy and example.
· Repeatable: Ideas should be able to spread by anyone to anyone.
· Invitational: Two-way communication is always more powerful than one-way communication.

 Vision 1

We hope to reduce our lead time with products and services so that we are able to facilitate the needs of our customers, employees and suppliers making their objectives central to the vision of our business resulting in synergies for everyone.

OR…………

Vision 2

We will be faster and more accurate than anyone else – satisfying stakeholders needs.

Which one can you repeat? which one resonates? Simple! So don’t over complicate the vision.

5 Empower broad based action

Empower actionRemove obstacles to change
Change systems or structures that undermine the vision
Encourage risk taking, innovation, non-traditional ideas and actions

 You will need to deal with the lower level managers that keep on saying “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it”. They need to be very clear that we are going forward and that they need to be “on the bus.”

 

 

6 Create short term wins

 

create short term winsPlan for visible performance improvements
Create those improvements
Recognise and reward employees in the improvements

This is about deliberately creating some short term wins, about celebrating their effect. At this stage we need to be really high on planning and really low on praying!

 

 

7 Don’t let up

 

Don't Let UpUse increased credibility to change systems, structures and policy that don’t fit the vision
Hire, promote and develop “champions”
Re-invigorate the process with new projects, themes and change agents.

As the momentum is with you this is where the transformational leader uses the momentum to create even more change.

 

 

8 Make the change stick

 

Make it stickArticulate the connections between organisational success and the new behaviours
Develop the means to ensure leadership development and succession.

This is where we can identify the cultural change by reinforcing new values, by appointing people to the business who share those values. In this last stage we must make sure that the change is celebrated and communicated.

 

 

At PDP we are passionate about your business, your change and your views, please leave us some feedback about this blog via the comments box below……

Or contact us by email Richard or Paula

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Or call us on 08712 349 873

We are here to help, lets get together over a coffee?

Time for Change? PESTLE – a tool to make your change happen

PESTLE

 

Time for Change? Practical things to make change happen.

Many organisations that we are associated with are really up for change, they understand the necessity for change, the opportunity for innovation, efficiency savings, team work and even re-organisation. Frequently change fails within business for some simple, straight forward, avoidable reasons. Let’s have a look at some of these pitfalls so that you and your business might be aware and avoid them.

We really like the work done by Kotter, his 8 stage change model is really useful, but needs some preparation.  (We will refer to his work in a future blog)

There are some fundamentals that we need to address if change is going to happen and they are frequently ignored. The first, having an objective, is highlighted in the clip below.

What is the change that we need to implement and why does this need to happen?

Well you are the expert in your business! but the following is a really useful model to use so that you can start to think about the pros and cons of any change once the objective has been formed. This model uses six separate areas of reflection that can then be divided between positive outcomes and negative outcomes.

 

PESTLE – what will the future look like when your “change” is embedded? What do you need to factor  in under the following headings. We find it useful to list the benefits and drawbacks here.

Worked example – “Should a  third runway be constructed at at Heathrow Airport?”

Politcial

PoliticalThe P in political can be a large or small one! It can be about National or International issues or local, even interpersonal politics? Every work place has stakeholders and they are usually political beasties.

Heathrow Example

Benefits; Potential for increased employment, further investment in the area, Heathrow being seen as an International hub, Closer working between central government and local authorities

Drawbacks; Danger for local MPs who might get voted out if they support the plan, widespread disruption for several years, impact on “newly” affected noise pollution areas

 

Economic

EnvironmentalWhat are the Economic factors in the change?

Heathrow Example

Benefits; Massive investment in area and infrastructure, huge employment opportunities, attracts the best people to work and live near the airport, huge revenues for local authorities, Hotel and restaurant expansion, skills levels of workforce raised

Drawbacks; South East housing “bubble” further exacerbated, inequality of funding to other regions, transport implications in an already busy part of the UK

Social

SocialWhat are the social implications of the change, to organisations, teams , individuals, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders?

Heathrow Example

Benefits; Employment, investment in hospitals, schools and infrastructure to support workforce

Drawbacks; Increased shift working, families cannot afford housing, potential for very desirable expensive housing only, blight on communities with noise, impact on “newly” affected areas of noise and emission pollution, creation of ghost towns?

 

Technological

TechnologicalWhat Technological advances or intervention can be used? Even if the advances are currently embryonic. Are there changes in technologies that potentially make the change redundant before it starts?

Heathrow Example

Benefits; Lower engine noise and emissions mean that the impact of more flights will not have an adverse effect on the population. Better sound proofing materials exist now, more accurate monitoring and recording of the  impacts are possible

Drawbacks; As planes get quieter we could put more flights through the existing runways, as IT technologies get better we could adapt and shorten the distance between take off and landings thus NOT requiring additional runway capacity

Legal

LegalWhat are the legal implications of the change OR the legal Implications of the Status Quo?

Heathrow Example;

Benefits; Government backing

Drawbacks; costly Public consultation process, lengthy appeals process, challenge to decision could come from several areas, local residents take action against the airport and it’s contractors.

Environmental

EnvironmentalWhat is the potential environmental impact of the change from Macro to Micro. Does standing still have a potentially negative Environmental Impact?

Heathrow Example;

Benefits;Newer Aircraft are less damaging to the environment, they carry more people, are more fuel efficient, emit less CO2

Drawbacks; Increasing the number of flights increases noise, pollution from CO2, damage to wildlife, potential physical and mental harm to residents.

PESTLE

Is a really useful consultation, communication, motivation and behavioural tool. The Heathrow expansion example is a bit simplistic, but within a relatively short time you can roll out the implications for your change idea and also explore the possible dangers of in-action. We encourage clients to use this tool as an integral part of the way that they lead and manage change. Can we help you through training, coaching, consulting and increasing confidence to do the same?

Contact us via Email Richard or Paula

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Call us direct!  08712 349 873

 

 

 

 

New Years Resolutions – 6 top tips to make them happen

resolutions

This article is aimed at an audience who understands the complexities of change.  It’s for those of you who work in businesses where you are used to discussing and planning how to achieve goals with your staff or paying clients, and generally you are successful at it.  My question to you, is do you practice what you preach?  Do you achieve the equivalent of New Years Resolutions, when it’s a personal goal?  This article is to jog your memory of some of the tools at hand to make these wants or wishes a reality and achievable.

It’s that time of year again, when your motivation levels are high, and you decide to make New Years Resolutions. This may happen due a need for change, high stress levels, a firm resolve or through too much alcohol!  Actually it doesn’t matter how they came about, the question now is can you achieve them?  Generally most of us make some resolutions, and think about how life would be different if only we could stop smoking, be fitter, improve our performance to get that new job or move to a bigger house.  We tend to look at a problem, decide we don’t want that situation any more, make some attempts to stop the problem being a problem, such as try and cut down on the cigarettes, join a gym, enquire about new jobs or begin house hunting, without much thought into really planning to achieve our goals.  We have launched ourselves into meeting our resolutions and if energy and enthusiasm could make it happen, we’d be a non-smoker, at our target weight working as a CEO and living in our dream house by February!  Unfortunately, these two things are not enough, and as you all know, change takes time and emotional energy, and is often difficult to accept.

6 top tips to meet your goals and resolutions

I’ve put together 6 top tips from theories and training tools that should be already familiar to you, to improve your effectiveness in achieving these New Years Resolutions.  Your challenge, is to make these happen!

1  Understand your goal

To do this, you must understand why you’re setting this goal?  Is it you, or are you under pressure from someone or something else?  Do you want to cut down on alcohol because you think you should, for health reasons, or because your partner wants you to? If it’s your objective go ahead and plan how you’re going to achieve it.  If it’s someone else’s, then are you really committed to it?

Secondly, you must understand why you are setting this objective now?  Is it just because it’s the thing to do over New Year, or are there more fundamental reasons for this decision, i.e. job cuts will be made this year so looking to move jobs is proactive, or there are deals on gym memberships that mean taking up exercise will be cheaper now than later on in the year.

2 Know what you can influence

One of the first rules of engaging in changing an aspect of your personal or working life, is to understand what you can influence and what is beyond your control.  There are a variety of methods you can use to examine influence, but the one shown here is the most basic and will give you an initial starting point.

New Years Resolutions 6 top tips to make them happen

Basic Circles of Influence

 You need to ask whether you are completely in control of this objective or are there factors outside of your control that you need to consider?  If you wish to move house, but the housing market is stagnant or prices have dropped, this is outside your sphere of influence and you have no control over it.  As a result, you may have to hold back on looking to move until later on in the year.  However, there may be issues you can influence, such as applying for higher paying jobs in other areas, with a relocation package. If you are the ideal candidate for the job, the company may agree to wait for you to move and give you some control on that time scale.   Check out our previous blog on leverage.

3 Who can support you?

In terms of influencing, you must also be honest about who could influence your objective positively and be supportive, or hold you back, distract you and potentially be detrimental to you reaching your goal?    The diagram shows a simple way to look at your stakeholders, in particular those that have the ability to affect the outcome of your goal setting.  You need to map these stakeholders to the grid so that you can then employ the right tactics to maximise or indeed eliminate their impact. www.stakeholders

Blockers – throw things at you that “block” your progress. When you are trying to lose weight these people constantly say “a little treat won’t hurt….” they are always buying the doughnuts.

Foot Draggers – stall you, take up your time with unnecessary garbage. Similar to the small unwilling child on a shopping expedition.

Networkers – have loads of useful ideas and contacts that you could tap into, but don’t have much power. When you try to quit smoking these guys might have failed themselves, but have great ideas about how to do it, know self help groups and others who have done it.

Allies – have the power and inclination to help you, and could act as a mentor, but you need to manage them carefully.

4 Set clear objectives

Once you have decided on your resolutions or goals, use the SMART mnemonic acronym designed by Peter Drucker to help you set clear objectives.  There are slight variations of the meaning of certain letters and I have used the ones below to help with your personal objective setting.      New Years Resolutions - 6 top tips to make them happen

Put simply, does your target focus on a SPECIFIC area for improvement or is it too vague or too large a leap to make?  Have you included any MEASURABLE factors to show when progress is being made, such as quality, quantity, time, cost or behaviour changes?  These could include you wanting to lose X amount of weight by a certain date, be down to 5 cigarettes a day, researching job/project opportunities across your company by a certain date and so on.  Is your New Years resolution ACHIEVABLE?  Is it appropriate and attainable in the period of time and with the resources you have allocated to it?  Do you have the skills to achieve your goal? How RELEVANT is the goal to you at this time?  There is a difference between wanting to lose weight for yourself or your health, as opposed to being nagged to do so by your partner.  Lastly, have you made the objective TIME-BOUND?  Using a time frame will force you to look at the other components of the acronym and review what can realistically be achieved in the allotted time.

I’ve included a link to the Chartered Management Institute, who have clearly set out this principle and outlined an action check-list and suggested terminology to ensure you get this aspect of planning right.

5 Accept change is difficult

You will need to accept that things will go wrong, and the path of change will not be smooth or easy, if it was, you would have made these decisions before now and followed them through.   When issues happen, have confidence and reflect on the previous tips and remind yourself why you made the resolutions and why it was important for it to happen now.  Refer to Fisher’s Transition Curve in my last article, and click on the link to understand the various emotional states you may go through when making significant changes.  If your resolution is to cut down drinking, smoking or change your diet, also take into consideration any impact the withdrawal from alcohol, nicotine or sugar may have on your mood and energy levels.  What support networks do you have in place to help and encourage you in continuing with your goal when times are difficult, or you encounter problems?  Do you need to adapt your initial goal or resolution? Refer back to your SMART objective and see what needs to be re-defined to allow you to get back on track.

6 Focus on ‘solution-building rather than problem-solving’

This is an aspect of Solution Focused Brief Therapy, and examines what current resources you have available to help you meet your future goals, rather than recycling past problems and getting stuck with current obstacles. Relate it the Strengths and Opportunities boxes on a SWOT Analysis, rather than the weaknesses and threats boxes. It’s about looking forward and moving one step at a time. This is an approach used by counsellors and those involved in the psychiatric field, but I think individuals could use the 0-10 scales or steps to help them plot their progress.  Zero is the worst possible scenario, whilst 10 is the achievement of the goals.  You need to consider where you are in the pursuit of your objective.  I use this ladder approach in coaching and people often find they are at stage 3 or 4 and not 0 as they expected.  What are you already doing to achieve your resolution or goal?  Each time you think of a positive and pro-active action, move up a step.  If you have already decided to give up smoking due to the health benefits, or are looking at low caloric recipes on a food website, you are already on the ladder.  What next small step could you take to help move you nearer to your goal?

Contact me and let me know how you are doing in terms of meeting your New Years resolutions?  Good luck.

 

 

 

Please tweet or email me at paula@professionaldevelopmentpeople.co.uk and

Did you hide signs of depression this Christmas? Personal Development

cognitiver Behaviour Therapy

Are you coping with depression?

Did you cope with Christmas? Was it a case of gritting your teeth and just getting through it?  Did it leave you feeling numb, exhausted and depressed?  Could you be suffering from more than just the seasonal blues?

How many of you found it harder than normal, to cope during this festive season?  Were you struggling to hide the numbness that accompanied you each day?  Did you laugh and enter in polite conversation about presents and turkey, but actually didn’t engage emotionally with the person?  Did you smile and chat, but felt that you were doing so through a pane of glass that numbed the sound and seemed to delay your responses to people’s questions?  Did you feel you were observing the discussion rather than taking part?  All this going on and no-one noticed you were playing a part, rather than taking part!

What is depression?       Did you hide depression this Christmas?  Personal Development

Depression is a known, and to some degree understood quantity. Doctors, therapists and psychiatrists diagnose it, chemists and health shops dispense anti-depressants and natural remedies for it; whilst celebrities endure it with the help of a therapist or new improved diet! Generally it’s seen as something to get through, and individuals reflect back on the feelings of sadness, anxiety and hopelessness, as a heavy black fog they have conquered.  Winston Churchill described his manic depression as a “black dog” that followed him around, and yet he coped, as you are doing.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has produced a leaflet that outlines some of the symptoms of depression and what it can feel like.  It acknowledges that we all “feel fed up, miserable or sad at times”, but these feelings shouldn’t last more than “a week or two” and “don’t interfere too much with our lives”, whereas depression lasts longer and DOES impact on our lives.

Depression is described in Wikipedia as “a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behaviour, feelings and sense of well-being”.  The majority of us can identify with suffering  some of these feelings at low points in our lives, such as divorce or losing a job, and actually it’s normal to feel these emotions if something awful has happened in our lives.

We’ve all read or heard something about severe depression, but what about those people who live with a less severe form?  Is this you?  Have you gone through events that you haven’t recovered from and intuitively know that you are suffering from depression and the reason behind it, but don’t know how to move on?  Are you someone that ‘s worried that if you talk to the doctor, it will appear on your medical records?  Do you not want to “come out” as having a “mental illness” to your family, friends and colleagues, as despite the adverts to the contrary, you feel there is still a stigma attached to this label?

How can YOU move forward?

Fisher’s Transition Curve

I’d like to think I can help you explore your own situation further.   There is a theory around how people manage change, that may help you understand your emotional responses to events better.  It’s called Fisher’s Transition Curve, Did you manage to hide depression this Christmas?  Personal Developmentand it describes seven stages to managing change successfully.   

When change happens, people tend to go through a range of emotions including numbness, shock, anger outward, anger inward and depression before they are able to take stock and set new goals.  At the bottom of the curve is depression, the feeling of hopelessness and inability to move forward.   You are at the lowest point!  You have already been through a range of other emotions to reach the depression stage, and you can now use a range of methods to help you move out of this state, and set new goals to move upwards on the curve.  One method might involve medication, another might use communication or  ‘talking’ therapy in which family, friends or counsellors can help you begin to make connections between your feelings or thoughts and potential actions you could take.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

 One form of therapy is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and it’s based on the belief that when negative thought patterns are identified, positive changes in feelings and behaviour can take place.  It is often used to support people suffering from stress, anxiety and depression. The NHS Choices link above describes CBT as a way “that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave”.  It doesn’t remove the problem, but helps you manage it, by breaking it down into smaller manageable pieces.  It is very NOW focused and doesn’t delve into past issues, but concentrates on current concerns.

Take action now!

Christmas is an uncertain and lonely time of year for many people.  I hope this article shows you are not alone, and that there are options for you to consider and research,as well as people you can take into your confidence.  I specialise in coaching and problem solving and am available to discuss the range of options open to you, in a FREE CONSULTATION  via our website email address.  I will also be a certified CBT therapist in 2015 taking on personal clients.

Keeping your little Elves ‘ealthy – 9 Top Management Tips for Santa

Elves

9 Top tips to keep your little Elves ‘ealthy all year round.

 

The season of good cheer is on us! The season of Christmas cards, presents, secret Santa and the office social event.  For most of us this is a bit of fun,  the opportunity to take some time out, to be friendly to those around us, to actually share some feelings with others at work. (click for previous blog on this).

The warm glow of being part of something, of  making an effort, valuing those around you. Wouldn’t it be great to do this all year through? Here are our top tips on achieving Santa’s wonderland in your work place.

Christmas Elves

Santa’s all year sack of gifts

 

Gift 1  – The vision

Be really clear about your expectations of your Elves. What is the overall vision. Share this vision with the Elves as often as you can, so that they know how important it is that the children all get a Christmas gift.

Gift 2 – Check the Elves understand

Allow your Elves to question and understand the vision, often we assume that because we have sent out a message, that the others have received it. How often has Santa got unclear letters from boys and girls? Check, check, check your communication. No one wants to be disappointed on Christmas day.

Gift 3 – Give them specifics, objectives.

Break down the vision into broad aims, attributable to teams of Elves. Show your little helpers that they make a difference and that their hard work is both valued and necessary. Elves should know that good behaviour is really important too.

Gift 4 – Be open to ideas

Create an atmosphere where its OK to question. Have open dialogue with the Elves about the toys they make. How many, what colour, how long and to what quality must they be? When they are successful Santa can deliver on the 24th of December.

Gift 5 – Who is the expert here?

When the Helpers are working hard at their stations TRUST them to make their toys well, they have the skills, they are the experts not you Santa!

Gift 6 – Feedback

Walk around the workshop, not every day but often. Catch those naughty Elves out; doing a good job! Tell them they are on the “nice” list. Reward good performance and behaviour.

Gift 7 – Innovation in the grotto

Every couple of months ask each Elf to sit down with you and talk about their toy making, are there any new toys they could make or better ways to make the old favorites?

Gift 8 – Elves can improve Santa’s performance

When you chat with the little people ask them how they think Santa is doing, they might find this hard at first because Santa is SANTA!. After a while they might really tell you, which is great for the development of your emotional intelligence.

Gift 9 – Reward the Elves

When you sit down for your once a year chat with each Elf, you will be able to give them rewarding gifts, gifts they want, because you have followed all the above Santa management Steps. This will improve motivation and performance. If it does go wrong at least you’ve got your Elf.

 

Merry Christmas from all of us at PDP, Have a happy holiday. When you come back after the break give us a call to help you have lots of Christmas’ in 2015.

To check where Santa is on the 24th December click here

 

Tweet us @richardjonesPDP or @therealme_PDP

Email Us Richard@professionaldevelopmentpeople.co.uk or Paula@professionaldevelopmentpeople.co.uk

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A crisis…..At Christmas….?

A crisis.....At Christmas....?

On the surface, this week’s blog appears to have little to do with our on-going topics of safeguarding and Transactional Analysis, but at the core does focus on safeguarding vulnerable adults and how the homeless are perceived by their appearance, body language and behaviour. It’s an article from the heart.

The root for this article started with an envelope that came through the door from Crisis at Christmas. Everyone has heard of Crisis and know it helps the homeless at Christmas time. A worthy cause and many people contribute, feel better and then get on with wrapping presents and preparing a feast for the big day. Why shouldn’t they, they’ve earned their break and presents and the right to be with those they love! This is all true, and I will be with my loved ones this year. However, I want to give you a snapshot of the humour, vulnerability and innate strength of the people I met, while working with Crisis in Clapham one Christmas. The people I’m referring to are the clients as well as the volunteers!

Firstly, when you donate your money or your goods, you do so to a highly organised set up. The volunteers ‘work’ and I mean work! I had to do a minimum of two days and they were long days. The venue was Clapham old cinema and Crisis only had a few short weeks to sort it out. It was cold, bare and drab and yet had to be made into a warm and inviting place for hundreds of people to meet, eat, relax, feel safe and sleep in. In my naivety I thought the places would be already set up with all that was needed there, and hadn’t realised that Crisis was constantly asking for donations of food, clothes, toiletries etc. The effectiveness of this huge machine is a key group of organisers that galvanise others into action.

The other thing I hadn’t realised was the range of people who volunteered, people Crisis at Christmas
such as me who were general dogsbodies and did anything from taking people to get clothes, dishing out food and helping those with difficulty have a shower, through to healers, art therapists, hairdressers, doctors, advisors for getting a flat, financial  support,counselling and hairdressers. Every service in fact we take for granted in our daily lives, but aren’t easily accessible to the people we were catering for.  Services that help make a change in someone’s life.

By lunchtime on my first day, I realised that the greatest service I could offer these clients was communication.  The opportunity to chat about ordinary things and to laugh with them. The ones I spent time with wanted to get away from their daily lives, like we all do, and talk about mundane things rather than their worries, like with all do, and wanted to relax with friends where they felt warm and safe, again like we all do.

The first question a gentleman asked me with a wry smile was “what’s wrong with you?“. I was puzzled and told him nothing was wrong and why did he ask. He wanted to know my motivation for volunteering and replied “There must be something wrong otherwise why are you here at Christmas and not with your family?“. A very good question. He went on to describe his view of the volunteers after many years of using Crisis. He felt they were either “do-gooders” (that was me), “religious, or had no-one else in their lives and so were lonely”. The more I spoke to the other volunteers I realised how spot on he was. We didn’t want to think we fell into one of these categories, but in fact most of us did!

The more time I spent with the clients, the more I realised that any of us could be using this service at some point in our lives. I talked to one guy, who came in looking bewildered and said dismissively “I’m not like them!” When I asked what he meant, he said “Well look, I got new trainers for Christmas and a new jumper”, I asked him why he was at the centre and he said that his girlfriend had kicked him out and after wandering the streets, he had realised that “I had nowhere else to go“. The sadness was he was just like most people in the shelter. When you lose your home, your possessions go, your relationships deteriorate, your self-esteem gets a battering, and without an address its difficult to get a job.    Crisis at Christmas

Another lady came in heavily pregnant and I escorted her to a female only shelter, which only the driver knew the address of, due to their vulnerability. She described how she wanted to keep this child and so had left her long term partner and home, as he kept her addicted to drugs and each of her three previous children had been taken away from her and she couldn’t cope with the guilt anymore. You may have all sorts of feelings about this person, especially if you are a mother, but this woman was just like us, but had made bad choices at a young age that she had struggled to get away from for years. Leaving everything she knew and owned, and the one person she had loved on Christmas Eve and getting away whilst going cold turkey from drugs must have taken a huge amount of physical and emotional strength and courage. I have never been in a situation where I’ve ever had to made such momentous decisions and hope I never will. This woman was courageous in trying to turn her life and that of her unborn child around.

Other people came to the shelter to meet friends and as one guy said “to see who had died since last year“. This was their meeting place and yearly get together for old timers. Yet others had come to meet new people, and in fact I was asked on a date by one guy. When I asked him where he would take me, he said “I had no romance in my soul, as moonlit walks along the river were romantic” and when I jokingly asked about supper he responded with “most fish and chip takeaways still have tables you can sit at!”. He was a fun guy, had great wits and charm, but happened to be homeless.

I was shocked at the large percentage of homeless people who had a Forces background of some kind.  These people had experienced so much trauma from being in war zones that they found it difficult to relate to their friends, family and daily routine when they came back to the UK. This shocked me due to my preconceived and stereotyped view of who made up the numbers of homeless. A large percentage were articulate, had an educated background and a range of skills, but had suffered some form of stress, breakdown or illness that meant they had lost their home and family members couldn’t or wouldn’t cope with them. They didn’t want to burden loved ones and so ….left!

One guy told me he had in fact, been given a bed in a hostel, but he didn’t want it, as it was too confining being in a small room by himself, and he felt scared listening to other people screaming, ranting and crying just the other side of the wall from him. He had been on the streets so long that he slept on the floor next to the bed, rather than in it, because it felt too strange.

These people were not always polite, and were not always grateful, in the same way we’re not to waiters and shop assistants when we’re stressed.  The customers could be aggressive and have mood swings as they were not allowed to drink to take drugs in the shelter and at times the smell was overwhelming.  However, as volunteers, our job was to provide a service, which also made us feel a little bit better about ourselves and our lives, for whatever reason.  The clients understood that, and also knew that they would be back on the streets once the Christmas week was over, whilst we went home to our warm houses feeling satisfied. These clients humbled me, made me laugh and touched my heart because they were real. They weren’t  just statistics or drunken aggressive images as portrayed on the TV, but people who were telling me about their lives.  These people need our help whether it’s in a volunteering capacity, offering money or services or as part of a bigger society push. One day it could be you wanting company and food during what should be the most wonderful time of year?

Please support the Crisis appeal @crisis_uk, as £21.62 reserves a place for a A crisis.....At Christmas....?homeless person this Christmas.

 

Transactional Analysis: Crossed and Complimentary Transactions – Psychology for Business

Transactional Analysis:Crossed and Complimentary transactions

Ego States and Transactions

Last week, I introduced Dr Eric Berne’s concept of Transactional Analysis, and the three Ego States (parent, adult and child). I examined some of the language and behaviours attributed to each of these ego states, and have had some interesting feedback from readers of the article, including one individual who realised that she behaved like “a spoilt brat at Christmas” and used the term “I want..” when talking about presents.  Her husband said that he “always” got his wife everything on her list, even when it was expensive or difficult to obtain, “otherwise she sulked and made Christmas unbearable”.  Classic Child and Parent behaviour, which both parties recognised, both knew what to expect from the other and it seemed to work for their relationship (Complimentary Transaction).

I want to briefly explore the three ego states a bit further, and as you can see from the diagram below, the Parent ego state is divided into Critical or Controlling Parent and Nurturing Parent.                                                           Transactional Analysis

Critical or Controlling Parent

Can you think of occasions when you have been in one of these modes?  What behaviours did you display?  What language did you use?  Do you often find yourself saying “I sound just like my mum!”.  If you do, are you pleased or horrified? We internalise the words, voices, body language and rules from the parent figures from our childhood and use them again in adulthood.  Are you very critical and need to control situations and those around you?  Think back to someone in your past who may have displayed these same behaviours.  Why have you adopted them and in what situations?  How do others respond to you when you behave in this way, do they give in and agree with you (Complimentary transaction) or argue back so that you have to change your stance (Crossed transaction)?

 Nurturing Parent

The other aspect of the Parent ego state is the Nurturing part, and in the last article, I outlined how this came into play for me, when someone hit the back of my car, whilst I’d stopped at a red light.  After my initial shock and checking that there was no serious damage, I comforted the person who had hit me, as she was so apologetic and concerned for me (Complimentary transaction).  Part of my upbringing, was no matter what was happening to me, I had to always think about how others could be feeling and respond to them, i.e. even if you don’t like a Christmas present you’ve received you show some form of joy and gratitude, so as not to upset the other person.  You literally nurture their feelings.

The Child ego state can be divided into three sections: Rebellious Child, Adapted Child and Free or Natural Child, and these are self-explanatory.

Rebellious or Adaptive Child

Sometimes we rebelled and refused to say thank you for a Christmas present, or said it with bad grace so that it was obvious that we didn’t mean it.  Other times we may have been very dutiful and done as expected of us.  As adults now, how many of you are having a Christmas to please others rather than what you really want?  Are you happy cooking for everyone (Nurturing Parent), or would you have liked to be in a hotel somewhere putting your feet up, but are doing what others expect of you (Adaptive Child)?

Natural or Free Child

The Natural child ego state is when we behave in ways which have nothing to do with external pressures or remembered ways of behaviour and we are just ourselves.  We are spontaneous and independent of any rules about how we should behave, and what we should say, and people just have to accept us for how we are, when we’re in this ego state.

As the diagram above shows there are positive and negative aspects to each of these ego states and you can read more about them in Berne’s book ‘The Games People Play’.

 Complimentary and Crossed Transactions

Transactions are a form of communication, I might ask “Is the meeting still at 9am?” to someone in the office, and they might respond “Yes it is”.  This is a straight forward communication and if we keep this going, it would form a transaction chain.  It’s as this chain develops that we begin to see whether our transactions are complementary or crossed, and will have to make a decision as to whether to change our response in order to get a different outcome to the conversation.

 Complimentary transactions Transactional Analysis:Complimentary or crossed transactions

These are where the arrows in the diagram are parallel, and either means both parties are speaking from the same ego state as with the example above, where both were in Adult. Or where two people are happy with the status quo, such as in the husband and wife example at the beginning of this article.  The wife was in Natural Child and the husband was in indulgent Nurturing Parent mode and both were happy with each other’s standard responses, and so the lines stayed parallel.

As long as the lines of communication DO stay parallel, conversations and relationships run reasonably smoothly, even if it’s not on an Adult basis.  However, when individuals become confused about a situation, a task or a comment this is generally where crossed transactions occur.  For example if I ask you a question from my Adult ego state, such as “What’s the time please?” and expect an Adult reply, but instead receive “Have you lost your watch again!”, this shift will surprise me and I will try and move into a parallel or complimentary position, hence an answer from Controlling Parent could be  “You shouldn’t have moved it, then I would know where it is!”, or a move into Adaptive Child “I’m sorry, I left it by the sink upstairs”.

Crossed transactions                              Transactional Analysis: Crossed and Complementary transactions

The crossed transactions often happen due to people giving emotional responses to questions or situations, rather than assessing the situation and responding from the Adult ego state.  Reflect on the people who you find difficult at work, or situations at home that always start an argument, and begin to adjust your response accordingly. It’s similar to using the broken record technique when someone wants to argue with you, but this time you are choosing your words carefully so as not to inflame the situation, but to clarify your position.  If I said to a member of staff “Have you finished that report yet?” depending on my tone of voice and body language it could be seen as a Controlling parent comment, rather than an Adult question. My colleague could become defensive and say “No, you only gave it to me yesterday” (Rebellious Child).  It would then be up to me, to bring the conversation back into alignment, by not responding in the same manner, but perhaps saying “I know I only gave you the report to do yesterday, and was wondering if you needed any more information from me in order to complete it?”.

Transactional Analysis is a fascinating look at human behaviour and this article has begun to examine some of the intricacies of the three ego states.  Once you understand what drives certain aspects of your behaviour, you are then able to examine your conversations and transactions with others and adapt your response accordingly.

In the next article, we’ll look at the games people play both consciously and subconsciously.  Can you recognise the behaviour of someone who is smiling and has a light voice, but whose actual message is undermining you?  Email me with your exaperiences and I’ll include them in my next article.

 

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How to develop a #safeguarding culture?

safeguarding

How to develop a #safeguarding culture?

The $64,000 question is how to develop a #safeguarding culture?  Well, there are many ways to do it. This blog examines how we have worked with employees to overcome the ‘English Man’s Home is his Castle’ apathy, and have challenged the view that “I have no right or obligation to interfere  with what’s going on behind closed doors”.  We at PDP want to galvanise your company and employeees to develop a culture of appropriate vigilance and referrals.

Remember the best training ALWAYS follows a good consultation process!

What we offer? A typical Training event.

1. Hearts and minds, convincing and influencing your teams that they have a duty and that it’s not an onerous one. (Click to see our previous Blog)

2. When do colleagues come across children in their work place? Practical session to explore the reality of exposure to children at work for YOUR business.

3. Baby P and the fallout from his tragic death. The mismanagement of Risk and the consequences for children, business and employees. Implications in YOUR world.

4. Children’s homes to Family and back again? How children have been treated by the state in our lifetimes.

5. Development of safeguarding from Cleveland to present – A whistle stop tour through the major bits of legislation and some factors that contributed to their existence.

6. Major bits of Law that we need to be aware of so that YOU can make a difference.

7. The lexicon of Safeguarding.  The importance of getting the language right, of being seen to be using appropriate terminology. Moving YOUR culture forward by using the right lexicon.

8. Concept of CRB (now replaced with DBS) – Bichard inquiry into the Soham Murders. How this came about, the effect of CRB and the latest incarnation.

#safeguarding

9. The umbrella of the state and the role of Local Safeguarding Children’s boards. Who should be there for children, what does a LSCB do? How does YOUR business fit into the umbrella.

10. The continuum of need, regular swift interventions before protection. The process and principles of swift interventions.

11. How we might begin to categorise the things we see. With supporting data from the NSPCC

12. Hearing my internal voices, what can, and must I do, when I feel really uncomfortable?

13. How does my personal baggage effect decision making? How do GOOD people walk past safeguarding issues?

14. Making clear effective referrals

15. Who to refer to and how to do it, using YOUR business’ policy and procedures.

16. Case Studies from real life examples in YOUR business sector.

17.Bringing your concerns under the umbrella, bringing the day to life, next steps  – Plenary session.

 

Like to find out more, get a feel for our style? Give us call.

 

Contact Richard or Paula to let them help YOU on 08712 349 873

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Richard@professionaldevelopmentpeople.co.uk

Paula@professionaldevelopmentpeople.co.uk

 

 

Is Transactional Analysis a viable business tool? Psychology for business –

Transactional Analysis

Transactional Analysis or TA as it is commonly known as, is a tool used in many areas of business and education, and it’s a concept that once explained, makes complete sense and you’ll wonder why you haven’t used it before!

There have been many books and articles written on Transactional Analysis such as ‘Games People Play‘ and I’m OK – You’re OK .  Their premise is to  help us become more effective in the way we respond to and communicate with others. Read on, and in laymen’s terms I’ll explain the terminology and how to begin to understand why we communicate in certain ways, both in the work place and in our personal relationships. However, there are complexities to this concept, and so this series of articles will only look at transactional analysis on the simplest level.  However, you can contact us if you want to explore various concepts further.

Transactional Analysis – What is a transaction?

Dr Eric Berne was a psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, whose work on human behaviour was influenced by Dr Sigmund Freud and neurosurgeon Dr Wilder Penfield.  At it’s simplest level:

 “Transactional Analysis is the method for studying interactions between individuals”  

This includes any form of verbal or non-verbal communication between two people. This communication is the ‘transaction‘, whilst the ‘analysis‘ is what you understand or take from the message you are receiving.  Someone smiling at me is a ‘transaction’ and my ‘analysis’ is that the person is happy to see me.  Berne’s work asks us to reflect on these interactions and try to understand our own behaviour as well, i.e. why am I smiling back and crossing the road to meet them, if I really want to avoid them?

Transactional Analysis – What are ego states?

To help us understand the nature of our transactions with each other, Eric grouped our ways of thinking and behaving into three areas, that he called ego states:

Parent -when we are thinking or behaving from this ego state, we are drawing on our experience of the parental Is Transactional Analysis a viable business tool?figures in our lives which have been absorbed into our way of relating to others.  These parental figures could be warm, loving, indulgent, distant, controlling, or ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ types. These characteristics could be attributed to our real parents, or people who we saw as parental figures in our lives.   In a recent situation, someone hit my car from behind whilst I was stopped at a red light.  The woman driving was so apologetic and shaken up by it, I forgot she had hit me and gave her a hug and told her it would be OK.  It was my natural response to nurture her, once I realised everyone was OK.

Adult – when  we are involved in transactions from this ego state, we are rational and able to think and make choices.  In this state, we are able to recognise our potential child and parental responses but keep them in check and maintain control and deal with the facts of the situation.  Again, in the car situation above, my initial response on getting out of the car was to ask what had happened, was anyone hurt, then later on to check my car and hers over and then take her details for insurance purposes.

In between these clearly adult ego state behaviours, I was shocked and shaking, but comforted her when I realised that she was worse than me emotionally.

Child – from this ego state, we are remembering how we used to respond to events outside of ourselves when we were small.  We may use extremes of behaviour and language and have strong feelings about a situation or statement, and exaggerate our responses, i.e. in the car shunt situation mentioned above, I could have slammed the car door and screamed at the woman “You stupid idiot, are you blind?” and then burst into tears.  This name calling and crying is a way of showing that a situation has overwhelmed us and so we can revert back to name calling and extreme displays of emotion, if this is how we remember dealing with situations when we were small.

We can move between the ego states depending on the situation, the people involved and the communication itself.  As you can see in the above example, my thoughts were in the adult ego state and ruled my emotions initially, as I was very rational and dealt with the damaged car, before moving into my parental ego state.  Not everyone is able to do this, and certainly not all of the time.  We tend to have an ego state we naturally adopt when under stress and times of pressure.

Question: Do you know what your natural ego state is?  

Do you handle situations from different ego states depending if it’s home or personally related, as opposed to a work problem?  Most of us do, because we’ve learnt the types of behaviours expected of us at work and conform to them. However, at home and with our partners we can let rip and behave in an emotional way (child or parent), which would be unacceptable in another situation or in front of a different audience.

What type of language do you use? 

Parent – “never”, “should”, “always”, “do this”, “don’t do that”

Child – “I feel”, “I hate”, “Always”, “I don’t want to”, “I like”

Adult – “probably”, “I think”, “I realise”, “perhaps”, “I believe”

In the next blog, I’m going to explore complimentary and crossed transactions, as well as ‘game playing’ examples, and begin to look at how you can change the course of a conversation or interaction that is going wrong.

In the meantime, please tweet me @therealme_PDP and give me examples of how you know when you are in a particular ego state.

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Do you NEED your workforce to #safeguard children?

Safeguarding

Do you NEED your workforce to #safeguard children?

Do you NEED your work force to #safeguard children, to not only to do the bare minimum? To understand that their actions can and do make a difference to the lives of others?

This challenge was put to us a while ago. We were asked to partner a large organisation with a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and a workforce that felt #safeguarding was a distraction from their daily duties.

But the “challenge” could easily have been similar with vulnerable adults, older customers or even customers from different ethnic backgrounds.

The challenge is about hearts and minds, about designing and delivering a course that inspires, motivates and changes behaviour. It is what we do here at PDP and we love it. Check  this out. Can we help your orgaisation move its culture forward?

The Grab

To move hear#safeguardts and minds you need to be inspirational, you need to quickly resonate with the audience and convince them that they can and MUST make a difference. In a previous blog on #safeguarding, workers moral and legal responsibilities were touched on. Here those responsibilities have to be  firmly addressed.

This is where our close consultations with you and your business come to the fore; we will utilise case studies or examples and put them into a national context. Then explore the real issues that face children in the UK in 2014, what that means, and the effect that your workforce can have on improving the lot of children. The impact of this session sets the tone for the rest of the training, firmly placing the responsibility where it should be, with adults that can make a difference. Your work force.

A public sector employee told me this story in 2009.

On official business a team of workers were asked to attend a basement property in London. The accommodation was described as being a cellar, a 1 room flat. In the room was a small galley kitchen, a shower curtain and loo and two beds. The double bed was where the two adults slept, the smaller bed for the three children living there. Now this at the very least describes a poverty issue, but possibly worse.

The workers had a hostile reception, but had to undertake some checks. During the investigation one worker noticed that the carpet has some strange shiny bits on it. On closer inspection there was evidence of rat excrement on the floor, there was a rat run in the room! Additionally there were soiled nappy’s and signs that one of the children hadn’t made it to the lavatory. I said to the employee how awful that must have been, he responded that they see this stuff “all of the time”.  I tried to empathise with him by saying how terrible it must be to work in rat infestation, rat excrement and human waste, to little avail. I asked him what they did.

They completed the work and left the property. I thought he was joking. I asked about the children. He told me that he worked for a particular arm of the public sector NOT Marks and Spencers. I can’t tell you the depth of horror I felt at this, but they needed to be moved forward. So I explained the following with the personal consequences that in-action could cause.

QUESTION: What should you say to this employee to try and demonstrate to him, and everyone else around that his response is inappropriate?  He has clearly missed the point, and needs to know that in 2014 he has a duty to report what he has seen. Even though its not his core job role, his duty to #safeguard children is still duty.

Stage 1

  • YOU KNOW that #SAFEGUARDING is really important, but don’t know how to do it.
  • EXAMPLE: Your first day in a new job. You have passed the interview you know that you are qualified, keen and ready to do the job. but you haven’t a clue of what to do! You are highly aware that you don’t know enough. You can’t really be left alone

Its called – Conscious Incompetence

Stage 2

  • #SAFEGUARDING is at the front of your mind and you are always aware of children at work.
  • EXAMPLE: In almost every job someone will take you under their wing and show you the ropes, make sure that you are safe to do the job before they release you into the wild. At this stage everything is done by the book, every “i “is dotted every “t” is crossed. Your minder, mentor, coach or buddy co-pilots with you.

Its called – Conscious Competence

Stage 3

  • #SAFEGUARDING is a natural thing, you assimilate risk and make quick, but accurate and appropriate decisions
  • EXAMPLE: After a while you become really proficient at your job, you have seen loads of examples of good and poor outcomes, you can see pitfalls and avoid them, so don’t need to use all of your brain power to complete tasks because you are becoming the expert.

 Its called –Unconscious Competence

Stage 4

  • This is where colleagues get dulled by what they see.  When things are seen frequently they become NORMAL when they are not. #SAFGUARDING ceases to happen because your focus is on other things that seem to be really important at the expense of all else
  • EXAMPLE: When people have been doing a job for a while, they can become resistant to change, take the eye off the ball, operate without much thought to things that should be important. This is like picking up your phone whilst driving, people do it but they shouldn’t.

Its called – Unconscious Incompetence

And this stuff gets business’ a bad name, employees the sack and tragically more children become statistics because someone that should have done better didn’t!

Don’t allow your teams to be unconsciously incompetent.  Let us help you to design and deliver meaningful programmes that have an impact and make a difference to your business, colleagues job security and #Safeguarding #Children. Lets get the right things right.

Contact Richard or Paula to let them help out on 08712 349 873

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Follow Paula on Twitter or Richard on Twitter

Richard@professionaldevelopmentpeople.co.uk

Paula@professionaldevelopmentpeople.co.uk