Category Archives: Uncategorized

On not writing – perfectly

This describes it perfectly doesn’t it:

Perfectionism is really dangerous because if your fidelity to perfection is too high you never do anything because doing anything results in a … tragedy …because you sacrifice how gorgeous and perfect it is in your head for what it really is”.
David Foster Wallace

Lots of really interesting short videos at PBS Digital, especially if you are looking to distract yourself from writing anything that is less than perfect ha ha!

Watch the rest of the PBS Digital video here and then check out Philip Seymour Hoffman on happiness vs pleasure if you are a serious procrastinator.

Changing the conversation

I am exploring the current state of play of performance management “systems” with a great group of people, courtesy of Marie O’Brien and her Collaborative Learning Community.

In the meantime, I really like the Solution focused (or progress focused) approach and am keen to read Paul Z Jackson and Janine Waldman’s new book Positively Speaking.  Even if we cannot change the system all at once we can start the shift through changing the conversation from judgment to recognition of potential strengths and support for progress.



The gifts of 2012

Thanks to Christine Carlton for her thought-provoking final session for the Sydney Facilitators Network.  I especially liked the reflection activity asking us to think of the gifts that 2012 had brought to us – even the ones that had been tightly wrapped with a knot and thus took a little time to open and appreciate.  Great framing.

I have received many gifts this year, including a stronger connection with the facilitators network, which I will enjoy contributing to next year.  My growing list of gifts includes: fascinating clients, collaborative peers, challenging work, fun and laughter and time for coffee and a swim down the beach (to name just a few).

A great riff on the gratitude list – I think I will start to keep a gift list for each month.

Best wishes to all for the holiday season.

Celebrating Australian Women’s Writers on IWD

It’s International Women’s Day and what better way to acknowledge inspiring women than to Join the Australian Women Writers 2012 Reading and Reviewing Challenge.  Even though I’ve given the competition a two month head start I think I can aim for the Franklin-fantastic level and read at least 10 books this year and review 4.

Of course I am a dabbler so I will be reading across genres from fiction to business and I look forward to exchanging book reviews and finding out about the many women writers with whom I am yet to be acquainted.

Too much or too little praise spoils the relationship

One of the cheapest ways to increase employee motivation and retention is through increasing the positive feedback that employees receive.  What that is required of managers is to pay attention to employees – “catch them doing things right” – and then tell the employee what they have done right and thank them for the consequent benefits to the team, the manager and the organisation.

But can there be too much of a good thing?

Researchers John Gottman and Barbara Fredrickson, authors of the book Positivity, have found that the optimal ratio of positive to negative is about 5 to 1.  Lower than that, workplaces become toxic, and individuals suffer from depression or leave.

But if the ratio gets too high (more than 13 to 1), says Fredrickson, it indicates that the manager is “ignoring negativity and weakness.” To be beneficial, positivity “must be grounded in reality.”

It’s the environment stupid

Reading the Heath’s book Switch: How to Change when change is hard, reinforces what I have been teaching for years: we can create a life environment that can support and nourish us or make it hard for us to achieve what we want.

As I reflect on my life, I know that I have been “lucky” to have supportive environments:

For over a decade I’ve run a small business and I have been nourished by a number of networks of supportive colleagues.

On the sports front, I have been part of groups that have supported me to achieve my sporting goals.

And in my home life I have been supported and nourished by a loving husband and together we have created a beautiful home environment for us, our families and our friends.

So what’s next?  More opportunities to create nourishing environments in the social sector and promote corporate volunteering. And the beauty of volunteering is that ultimately it is a very self-serving act – it feels great to help others.

More soon.