Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations

Tag

communication

Communicating authentically in times of change

Business leaders are being stretched – having to make tough choices and subsequent changes for improvement, or even survival, in difficult financial times. These changes affect people, structure, processes, tasks and systems, so effective communication becomes essential during the whole… Continue Reading →

Using dialogue as an effective component of your change strategy

“You support what you help create” (Alinda Nortje: Executive Chairperson, Free To Grow) In a world of increasing turbulence, including unpredictable financial and socio-political contexts, leaders are under pressure to transform their organisations towards achieving sustainable growth. This “transformation” may… Continue Reading →

Dispelling suspicion through leadership trustworthiness

We don’t know who to trust anymore! Many political and some business leaders keep letting us down. In fact, they deliberately manipulate circumstances (tenders, the system, etc.) to suit their own selfish desires. Money that should have been directed to… Continue Reading →

Managing multiple bosses

In the movie, Office Space – a comedy about work life in a typical 1990’s software company – the protagonist, Peter Gibbons, has eight different bosses. All of them, seemingly unaware of each other, make requests of his energy and… Continue Reading →

Believable communication in times of change

The Information Technology project team seemed to be upbeat, certainly if one analysed the tenor of their weekly project reports mailed to everyone in the company. Their “Win of the Week” e-mail was a status update of progress being made… Continue Reading →

Breaking down an unhealthy silo mentality

“Nothing kills ‘one team one goal’ thinking like silos” (John G Miller, author of QBQ: The Question Behind the Question) A CEO of a large business recently shared some of his frustrations with me – he complained that he needed… Continue Reading →

Controlling your emotions at work

Emotional expression is part of being human – emotions need to be communicated, shared and debriefed whether they are positive or negative in their origin. All emotions need resolution – joyous news needs to be celebrated together with others; sadness… Continue Reading →

Pointing out the way as a leader

I was told by my parents never to point my finger, particularly not at people. Pointing out a passing ship or a whale frolicking offshore was fine, but finger-pointing for me was limited to natural wonders and animals. As I… Continue Reading →

All in the same boat …

The expression ‘in the same boat’ is typically construed as a negative idiom – “you say that you have run out of money – well, I am in the same boat”, meaning that I have run out of money too…. Continue Reading →

Understanding point of view and the origin of opinion to gain better perspective

I love photography and particularly as it relates to three important concepts – perspective, point of view and opinion. Imagine standing on a road lined by trees on either side. You will notice, as you look at the horizon, that… Continue Reading →

The strategic advantage of appointing change champions in large-scale change interventions

From time to time, on account of market or other global business requirements and in order to achieve internal production and financial efficiencies, businesses implement strategic large-scale change initiatives for growth and sustainability. I currently have the privilege of consulting… Continue Reading →

Creating constructive teamwork

Much has been documented with respect to team success or failure. High-performance teams, upon evaluation of performance characteristics, seem to have that “special something” that drives their achievements. Their reputation grows and every success seems to inspire further greatness. They… Continue Reading →

Conquering debilitating anger

For the most part, anger is a part of everyone’s lives. Handled positively, anger can act as a “red flag”, as a warning that something is wrong or as a catalyst for change. Not dealing with anger, however, gives rise… Continue Reading →

Managers, be mindful in your communication

I sometimes get mildly irritated, no, maybe seriously aggravated, by the following: mobile phone conversations held at full volume on public transport; 20km/h speed limits outside junior schools still applying at midnight, sometimes with a speed camera to enforce it;… Continue Reading →

People change when they interact, not when they are told

The human being is required to change through all stages of life – these changes are sometimes subtle in nature, but at other times, almost forced.  The changes include adjustments in approach, refinement to character, panel-beating one’s attitude and reversing… Continue Reading →

When organisations are too secretive, employee self-esteem gets damaged

I’ve been a consultant to a couple of organisations where it’s hard to get to the truth: the facts about a situation, an opportunity or a problem that they are facing. They tell you what they require and their expected… Continue Reading →

Practise reflective listening to communicate at a deeper level

What would you do if your 10 year old daughter or son came home from school one day and announced: “I’m not going to school anymore!”? You would be dumbfounded, of course, but then you may do what countless parents… Continue Reading →

Pockets of excellence – identifying the real needs

I have been doing some consulting work with a multi-national company recently, a company that has over two hundred brewing and bottling facilities all over the world. The company is well established, its oldest plants being almost two hundred years… Continue Reading →

To hear the unheard – listening closely to people’s hearts

In the third century A.D., King Ts’ao sent his son, Prince T’ai, to the temple to study under the great spiritual leader, Pan Ku. Because Prince T’ai was to succeed his father as king, Pan Ku was to teach the… Continue Reading →

Great results begin with great questions

Children can teach us adults a lot if only we would listen to them, pick up on their simple (even simplistic) logic and the nature of the questions that they ask. My three year old granddaughter has arrived at the… Continue Reading →

Meeting employee communication needs

I had the privilege of a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in early 2012, to coach some managers whom I had trained on a previous workshop. On an off day, sitting at a roadside café drinking coffee, I noticed about… Continue Reading →

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