Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations


emotional intelligence

Managers, ‘keep an eye on the weather’ of your employees

In coastal cities, particularly those where frequent cold fronts make landfall in the winter months, weather conditions are known to change rapidly. This happens to be true of Cape Town, a beautiful city located at the south-western tip of Africa… Continue Reading →

Encouraging the transformation shift from resistance to commitment

I have recently done some work for a non-governmental organisation – their strategy had changed (what was previously an organisation who themselves implemented projects within communities had now moved to a strategy of influencing partner organisations and government departments to… Continue Reading →

Leaders – don’t make assumptions!

“Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot and anyone going faster than you is a maniac” (George Carlin) We all seem to have a natural tendency to assume the worst in others. When we are… Continue Reading →

The practise of patience – enhancing emotional intelligence

“Patience is the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in” (Marc Chernoff) We all get irritated or frustrated at times – long queues, traffic that doesn’t seem to move, a lady in the… Continue Reading →

Leaders – care for those you lead

“In a child’s lunchbox are a mother’s thoughts” (Japanese Proverb) On occasion, I also took my turn as a parent preparing lunches for my children when they were in junior school. I was not that creative I guess in what… Continue Reading →

Taking a firm stance without treading on people’s toes

Safety boots, essential footwear for certain production and manufacturing environments, are typically designed to protect employees’ toes and feet in the event of an unfortunate accident. I call this a defensive strategy – being protected if something bad should happen…. Continue Reading →

Growing emotional intelligence to make a difference in your own life and the lives of others

“Winnie-the-Pooh,” as he was originally called, first appeared in a story written in 1926 by A.A. Milne, who based the characters on his young son, Christopher Robin, and the boy’s stuffed animals. The original toy bear was named after Winnie… Continue Reading →

Granting employees their respective “voices”

“Often, poor leadership is masked by those with the loudest voices and strongest opinions” (Nick Fewings) Many employees are highly skilled, adept at problem-solving and creative in fulfilling organisational goals. Some are business builders and grow the company’s reach (brand… Continue Reading →

Using emotional impact to motivate others

“People will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel” —Maya Angelou. Isn’t it interesting that we can’t really remember the Oscar winners for the past five years, but we… 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 →

Connect emotionally with your clients

Having to travel frequently for my consulting and workshop facilitation activities and having to subsequently endure the sometimes arduous processes within international airports (transfer, check-in, security, customs and immigration), especially within Africa, I have found that my primary goal in… Continue Reading →

Solving cultural resistance to facilitate sustainable change in organisations

Organisations are not naturally fertile seedbeds for new learning, growth and doing things in better ways. Leaders who want to instil wide-spread change and improve their respective companies, in fact, need to recognise that they are attempting to change a… Continue Reading →

Turning conflict into collaboration

In life and particularly in a work context, we are often faced with situations that are “uncomfortable”, situations that may show up a weakness in us, situations that call us to “give an account” of ourselves. In these moments, the… Continue Reading →

Learning from unease and anxiety in “the hour of the owl”

For leaders of organisations and businesses alike, the period before drifting off to sleep, when the sub-conscious mind seems to be working overtime, could be the most important and significant “thought moment” of the day in terms of knowledge (business… Continue Reading →

Emotional intelligence/self-awareness at its best

I am surprised how few people understand the impact of their words, presence and emotional disposition on the lives of others. There seems to be a lack of awareness, particularly amongst managers, of how words, tone and body language can… Continue Reading →

When leaders in government don’t listen

Citizens in so many countries are angry. Sometimes and in reasonably good faith, these people have gone to election polls to vote on progressive policy and the said good intentions of party leaders, only to be disillusioned over and over… Continue Reading →

Realising your vision for your life

A supervisor who attended a workshop that I was facilitating for a plastics company, in an exercise which examined personal vision and passion, admitted that he had always wanted to become a fireman – to be in a position, if… Continue Reading →

Laughter is the best medicine in the workplace

I love laughing. I don’t laugh enough unfortunately, as I am often sitting alone in a hotel room or in an airport lounge – boring places. I do try, however, even if it is offering a faint chuckle on account… Continue Reading →

Unleashing the power of emotional intelligence

Some leaders just “have it” – the ability to resonate with how people are feeling and the skill to “work” that emotion in a trustworthy way towards a potential solution and indeed, the possibility of success in the future. Winston… Continue Reading →

When did you last have coffee with your boss?

Having coffee alone at home in the morning or at work when you are focusing on a project is fine, but when did you last have coffee with your boss? I have asked this question many times when in front of… 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 →

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