Posts by diego

Generous listening: become a better person and a real leader

May 3rd, 2019 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Generous listening: become a better person and a real leader”

If you’re a leader, you probably know how important your listening skills are. If you’re a good leader, you’ll certainly know how effective active listening is. But to become an outstanding leader, I invite you to step up to another level in your ability to build relationships with your staff. (more…)

Do you really learn from your mistakes?

April 11th, 2019 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Do you really learn from your mistakes?”

Is learning from mistakes overrated? In the business world failure has become an expected rite of passage, but we can reasonably wonder if it’s completely useless.

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The 7 main causes of ineffectiveness in a written presentation

June 17th, 2018 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “The 7 main causes of ineffectiveness in a written presentation”

Being able to convey ideas and messages through clear and direct presentations can depend not only on the approval of a project, but also the entire career. Knowing how to construct effective presentations is more than important, it’s fundamental. Are there rules? Yes; there is a base one: it is always good to remember that communication must be simple because the audience is often distracted, busy and unwilling to read complex messages. Then, the second rule is to avoid the typical errors that could make it ineffective.

Here are 7…

 

  1. The text is so small that it is illegible

Each element of the slide must be visible to the audience who must not strain and commit to read the document, but must focus on the key message that the speaker conveys during the presentation.

Therefore, the font size under 12 characters is not recommended. The use of the characters must be oriented to clarity before aesthetics.

  1. Slides are difficult to read due to colour choice.

It is always necessary to keep high the contrast between the text and the background. It is necessary to attribute a weight to each colour and above all not to use more than three in the whole presentation. It is good to look for harmony in contrast but without exaggerating

  1. Use of sentences instead of bullet points.

Too much writing in a slide is ineffective. It is necessary to summarize the content and to represent it in bullet points. It is said that the bulleted lists should be a maximum of 3 for some, or 5 for others, but common sense advises not to fill the slide.

  1. The flow of content is not linear

The worst criticism that can be given to a presentation is: “You do not understand where you want to arrive, it is confusing and has no logical thread”. This creates disorientation and distraction in the audience as well as invalidating the credibility of the entire work.

It is for this reason that it is good to understand how to structure the communication within a written presentation before starting to write up the slides. The informative flow of ideas must be clear, linear and coherent.

  1. Diagrams and graphs that are overly complex.

The graphic parts have the objective to schematize the concepts. In the specific case of tables and graphs, they must be particularly intelligible to avoid the risk that they are interpreted incorrectly or even not fully understood. If the key concepts expressed in a chart are different, more slides will have to be created.

  1. Excessive use of animations and transactions

There are interlocutors who love animations in a slide and appreciate transactions between one chart and another; when, however, you are not entirely confident or the presentation is addressed to several interlocutors, it is good to avoid them because they can irritate the audience, making them become impatient when seeing too many graphic effects, distracting them from the main message you want to convey.

  1. The presenter reads the slides

You must provide added value compared to the charts that are presented: you should not be redundant from the content point of view, but you need to provide additional information. The slide is a visual support that reinforces the speaker’s words and that absolutely must not be the faithful copy. The audience must be attracted and curious and must perceive that their concentration is being invested in listening to the speaker and is being well repaid, or else the whole could be read independently.

Try now to review your previous presentations and look for these seven common errors. Modify them in a way that they get completely eliminated and look over the result: is there not a drastic change? Now you are ready to impress, and if you are worried that they have not got enough information, print or prepare the most important details separately and tell the audience that you will give them separately. It is more effective and professional.

management

The basic of basics in Management

May 25th, 2018 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “The basic of basics in Management”

Imagine you’re planning a summer holiday. You haven’t decided where to go yet, but you are excited, so you start to make a list of what to take: clothes, accessories, equipment… Then you realise, “This is silly! I can’t plan like this without knowing where I’m going”. And of course that’s right. (more…)

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Do you know the difference between Coaching, Counselling and Mentoring?

April 4th, 2018 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Do you know the difference between Coaching, Counselling and Mentoring?”

Imagine you’re a manager who actively works on developing your staff. You definitely need people who solve, rather than create, problems and you want to help them excel. But are you using the right tools?

Do you really understand the difference between coaching, counselling and mentoring? Let’s make things clearer.

Coaching can help all your staff. When you coach employees, you improve their ability to do their current job and increase their potential to do more in future. But be aware that you need those staff to have the right motivation before you start.

The ideal coachees are people who don’t have to be forced to improve. They genuinely want to better themselves, to be all that they can be. You need to confirm the presence of this kind of motivation first, before you take action. And they won’t be the only ones who benefit from it. In doing so, you’ll become a better manager yourself.

A coach, by definition, helps people grow and improve their performance, by asking questions and facilitating them to find a way to improve.

You can be both a manager and a coach to an individual, but be aware that these are two distinct roles.

When you are operating with your managerial hat on, you have the organisation’s interests at heart. Your primary role is directing performance and ensuring that the individual’s efforts are aligned with the objectives of the organisation. As a manager, you are responsible for holding people accountable for meeting their performance targets and for measuring the level of performance that was achieved, as well as for the productivity of your organisation.

As a coach, your responsibility is directed more towards the individual and to providing insight that will enable that person to develop.

In many respects, the coaching role is like holding up a mirror, so that the person can more clearly see how he/she is affecting others. You are fostering their self-insight and helping that person grow through introspection and feedback from others.

While these two roles are very different, a good manager should be effective at both. The power of being a manager who coaches comes from an ability to see the difference in the roles yet also see them as equally important.

Counselling, on the other hand, has some elements of coaching, but it is designed primarily to address problem performers: people whose bad habits have become chronic.

Taking care of people problems when they arise may cost you some of your time, maybe 10% of it. If you don’t deal with those problems, however, you may find yourself spending much more of your time trying to put out the fires. You may have employees whose work is consistently substandard, who regularly miss deadlines, who are uncooperative, insubordinate, or frequently absent or late. Chronic complainers also fall into this category.

If the situation warrants counselling, your first step will be to bring the problem to the employee’s attention. Often this can be done with a simple, spontaneous comment, such as, “George, it feels like something isn’t going well lately, am I right?” A counselling service is often promoted and managed by the HR department, because of the sensitivity of the possible issues that can emerge.

Typically, counselling begins with a series of one-to-one meetings with the problem employee. These interviews are the primary tool of counselling.

While questioning is the main tool, listening and rephrasing skills are what you need to correctly conduct a counselling session.

With people who are performing below average, counselling is the appropriate choice. By definition, counselling is a supportive process to define and correct personal problems or skills that affect performance. The counsellor rectifies behaviours and provides direction and discipline, for as long as necessary.

Mentoring is reserved for your most talented employees. If their company helps them advance, they will become assets now and allies in the future. If ignored, they’ll find someone else, maybe a competitor, who they feel appreciates their talents.

Mentoring is usually the best approach for your above-average performers, those who are excelling. The mentor, by definition, is an individual with advanced experience and knowledge who is committed to giving support and career / job advice to a less experienced person. This is the best tool for your exceptional employees, the people who show promise but need help to become top players.

While a coach doesn’t take part in deciding on actions to be taken, by contrast a mentor does provide suggestions and advice.

As a mentor, your responsibilities are to represent the company’s values, give open and encouraging advice, offer instruction about your company’s political structure, indicate decision makers who can help your mentee, and provide contacts and resources.

However, you can’t mentor your own staff. One of the most important things about effective mentoring is the complete absence of a direct working relationship between mentor and mentee. Therefore a mentor is usually a senior manager from a completely different department than the mentee.

This is why mentoring is often proposed by the HR department as part of a specific development program, rather than something which starts from a line manager.

Colours of success_Commitment

The colours of success

March 26th, 2018 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “The colours of success”

When Commitment staff met together to define the value proposition of our company, we decided not to start from what we can offer, but instead we considered what results we want to guarantee.

We offer methods that help our clients to get results. We want to make a difference. Our mission is to help teams achieve their goals. We want our customers to win, not just the game but the whole championship.

This is why we started by asking ourselves: “What does an entrepreneur or a managing director want for his/her company?” We brainstormed ideas and then grouped them into four categories.

First of all, a winning company must have the right people in the right place. We are specialists in understanding professional attitudes, types of motivation and different energies. We can show our clients which resources to bet on and how to do it.

This is why we offer assessment and development centres, both for individuals and for groups of people. While assessments allow us to understand individual skills, with development centres we can help individuals to develop their personal change project.

We assigned a blue colour to this first category, to represent rational thinking, seriousness and reliability.

But is putting the right people in the right place enough?

Obviously not. Excellent results are obtained through excellent people, and excellent people have a common trait: they are constantly mindful of their professional development. Which brings us to the second category, skill improvement.

We support personal development by offering training courses on behaviours and attitudes, that really make a difference. We also design “blended” training processes, composed of different types of intervention and actions. And we support managers and professionals through coaching and mentoring programmes. Our objective is their individual improvement.

For this reason we assign a green colour to this category, because green is the colour of natural growth.

Once a client has the right people and capable people, it helps to focus on a third essential ingredient: energy. No team can deliver results if there is no motivation and trust.

So we help our clients to work on engagement, on people identifying with the company mission, and on alignment with key company objectives. But not only this – we find that motivation is multiplied when someone belongs to a team, shares the same values and supports other staff.

How do we make this happen? We organise team building events, take care of team development processes, and build internal communication tools.

We assign the colour red to this category, because red is the colour of passion and energy.

Maybe we could stop here. By this point we have certainly done enough to achieve the expected results and ensure a good outcome. But there is a problem – times change rapidly.

Today’s very successful company could find themselves struggling in a completely revolutionised market tomorrow. For this reason, all entrepreneurs and managing directors need to look to the future. More and more often we are asked to organise workshops with the aim of exploring possibilities, developing a vision, promoting a strategy, or planning future improvements.

We don’t provide the solutions, instead we put people in a position where they can find their own solutions. We can apply structured methodologies or, as is increasingly the case, develop new ones for specific projects.

We have attributed the colour yellow to this category, to express creativity, positivity and openness.

Blue, green, red, yellow. This approach is how we like to work, and we have shown time and time again that we can deliver client satisfaction this way. We strive hard to deliver real results, rather than just applying methods or completing tasks.

Our techniques and methodologies vary, but the common factor is a sustained focused on what tangible results we can deliver. So in our projects we always remember our four-colour mission and which colour we are working on, sometimes several at once. For example, at a team building event designed for a management board, we could be working on both red and yellow at the same time.

To manage client expectations, we always try to indicate what percentage of the result would fall into each of the colour categories, so they know what they are getting.

This is our way of working and it’s also what differentiates us from other suppliers. And that doesn’t come from us, it’s what our customers say about us!

Diego Agostini

How a medium size, "old economy" company can really win the battle for talent

How a medium size, “old economy” company can really win the battle for talent

August 23rd, 2017 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “How a medium size, “old economy” company can really win the battle for talent”

The latest issue of The Economist Intelligence Unit analyzes the challenges many medium size company have to tackle in attracting and retaining talents.

Medium sized companies employ up to the 25% of the global workforce. They very often operate in niche markets and grow more quickly than companies in other parts of the economy. Moreover, they act as valuable suppliers partnering with bigger organizations, which depend on their unique capabilities and specialised skills.

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You, reloaded!

July 23rd, 2017 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “You, reloaded!”

Suffering from a career setback can be one of life’s most traumatic events. For many, after years of professional success, a big career disappointment such as getting fired or being passed over for a promotion may be their first taste of failure.

People might sink into anger or denial, blaming situational factors or company politics. Though that’s a natural response, it can also prevent them from breaking free of the destructive behaviours that may have derailed them in the first place.

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10 rules for negotiating a job offer

10 rules for negotiating a job offer

July 23rd, 2017 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “10 rules for negotiating a job offer”

Picture this scenario: you’ve received an offer for a job you’ll enjoy, but the salary is lower than you think you deserve. You ask your potential boss whether he/she has any flexibility. “We typically don’t hire people with your background, and we have a different culture here,” he/she responds. “This job isn’t just about the money. Are you saying you won’t take it unless we increase the pay?” As a consultant I frequently advise professionals on navigating this terrain. Deepak Malhotra (HBS professor) came up with some rules to guide you in negotiating with employers.

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Build your own meaningful career

July 23rd, 2017 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Build your own meaningful career”

You probably aspire to have purpose or meaning in your career, but are you actually taking practical steps to make sure you’re doing something you genuinely care about?

You just need to know how to make the job decisions that lead to satisfaction. “We look for things that we’re proud to talk about at a cocktail party or that look good on a résumé”, says Nathaniel Koloc, the CEO of ReWork. But rarely are those the things that translate to happiness. Here are principles you can follow to build a professional life you don’t just enjoy, but love.

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