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45 minutes | Dec 1, 2022
100 - What is the best piece of advice you would give?
In this special edition, one-hundredth episode of the podcast we explore the four key topics, Productivity, Change, Culture and Leadership to see if we can get each of them down to one piece of wisdom, well one piece each from Ricky, Rob, Rich and Paul. Without creating any spoilers, you may have guessed that we did not get it down to one, or one per topic! However, we did come up with some real nuggets for each of the areas, so listen in for a quick grounding in how to get things done in your organisation, department or team.
27 minutes | Nov 16, 2022
099 - Why do we find difficult conversations so hard?
Every day in every workplace there are important conversations that just don't happen. Conversations around performance, disagreements around strategy, information that may stop a mistake about to happen. Important and beneficial conversations that don't happen. These are difficult conversations. An exchange that may go wrong, get emotional or have future consequences. In that moment, the cost of having the conversation seems so much bigger than the cost of not having the conversation in our heads. We stay quiet, it is the safest approach. Yet, in the long term, we end up dealing with the consequences of the things left unsaid. In this episode, Ricky and Paul discuss why we all do this and explore some techniques to make these conversations just a little easier.
15 minutes | Nov 2, 2022
098 - How can you create questions for critical thinking?
In the last of our short series of podcasts on questions, Rob and Ricky tackle the role of questions in critical thinking. From exploring the advantages or disadvantages of different options to making decisions, asking the right questions allows us to cut through and get the best answers. Great outcomes start with great questions.
14 minutes | Oct 21, 2022
097 - How can you create questions to unlock your creative mind?
Another short podcast in our mini-series on questions, this time Rob and Ricky look at the role of questions in making us think creatively. Questions have the magical property of making you think, even when you don't want to, so with small shifts in the structure of the question, you can use questions to make anyone think more creatively.
14 minutes | Oct 5, 2022
096 - How you can create questions to achieve laser like clarity?
Continuing our short series on the power of questions, in this podcast, Rob and Ricky explore the role of questions in creating clarity. Questions are one of the easiest ways of engaging our minds. In fact, they are sneaky, as it is almost impossible not to think about a question when asked, even if you don't want to answer it. Questions can help us sort through the noise to discover exactly what we want, when we want it, and how we will know when we get there.
11 minutes | Sep 21, 2022
095 - What makes the questions we ask so important?
As part of a mini-series on the power of questions, Ricky and Rob look at the role of questions, why they are an important tool for leaders and managers and discuss why they work. From the way we ask questions, to using questions to helping others think, this podcasts asks questions about questions.
23 minutes | Sep 7, 2022
094 - What should I do when I realise that my workshop plan might not be working?
So, you have spent hours working out how best to run your meeting or workshop, you have a plan, you have the timing perfect... then the workshop starts, and you watch as your plan gets up and leaves the building! In this podcast, Paul gets experienced facilitators Richard and Rob to share some of their secrets so that you look like everything is running to plan; you end up exactly where you said you would end up, even if you don't quite know how you got there.
22 minutes | Aug 24, 2022
093 - How can I get the discussion going without it leading to arguments?
Often to get to the heart of a problem or strategy, you need to create an honest and open exchange of views, yet you don't want it to tip over into an argument or the participants becoming overly emotional. In this podcast, Paul explores this with experienced facilitators Richard and Rob to find out how they find the balance, getting everything on the table, even surfacing controversial opinions, while ensuring the group works together and continues to support each other.
32 minutes | Aug 10, 2022
092 - How do I handle difficult people without impacting the whole group?
Our series on facilitation continues with one of the most difficult things that anyone running a meeting or facilitating a session has to deal with, people! There are a number of reasons why someone might not be playing along with the process or playing nice with the group, and as the facilitator, you are the person who is best placed to intervene. However, this is more than just laying down the law, and a little understanding of what might be causing the issue will help to identify strategies that may make life better for you and for them. Rob and Richard explain to Paul some of the reasons why people come across as difficult in sessions and share some of their strategies to get the back on board.
26 minutes | Jul 27, 2022
091 - How can I ensure everyone contributes to the session?
In the business world, getting people to stop, think and contribute can be a challenge. Yet, somehow, great facilitators manage to get everyone chatting, contributing and feeling heard. In this podcast, Richard and Rob explain to Paul all of the tricks that they have picked up in the years that they have been facilitating. By using some of these tricks, you can get even the quietest person to contribute to your next workshop.
31 minutes | Jul 13, 2022
090 - How do I create psychological safety in meetings?
Continuing our series on facilitation, Paul asks Rob and Richard how they create the trust and 'safety' required to get honesty and openness from workshop participants. Creating a safe space is one of the primary responsibilities of a facilitator. If you get the environment and dynamic wrong, it may cause people to close down, limiting the ideas, challenge and acceptance of the group. Getting it wrong makes the facilitator's role harder. A series of simple interventions, from the room layout to the first few minutes, can make all the difference, even though the group may not even notice you are doing it.
19 minutes | Jun 30, 2022
089 - What do you need to think about when planning a team workshop?
The Thinking Focus team have facilitated workshops all over the world. We facilitate thinking for companies large and small, as well as charities, and government bodies; if you have something that you need the team to think about, then the team can help. In this short series, Paul talks to Richard and Rob to understand how master facilitators work, giving you some inside tips on how to be a better facilitator, so you can get better outcomes in the meeting you are running. This first podcast explores the thinking of the facilitator when they are planning the workshop, from the goal to the group; what do you need to know?
16 minutes | Jun 15, 2022
088 - How do you switch off autopilot?
We spend most of the time with our brains on 'autopilot'. We are thinking at a subconscious level, causing us to act without being truly aware of what we are doing. This handy little trick helps us get through the day, making the most of the energy available and freeing up our conscious mind to work on the more important stuff, like 'what's for dinner?'. Rob and Ricky explore in this podcast how you can turn off this automatic process, so you can take conscious control of the things that you really need to think about, not just respond to.
17 minutes | Jun 1, 2022
087 - Why is reflection so important for embedding learning?
Every time we learn something new we have to connect that to our world, to understand how that new piece of information or skill will work for us. Knowing is not enough, we have to integrate the new into our existing understanding of the world. That takes reflection. In this podcast, Ricky and Rob explore why reflection is so important and offer up different strategies that will help you reflect, and therefore embed, your learning.
15 minutes | May 18, 2022
086 - What is the optimum number of goals if you actually want to hit them?
How many goals should you have? Should you have goals for everything, or just focus on one thing? Ricky and Rob have one goal in this podcast, to talk about how many goals should have if you want to make sure you achieve all of the goals that you set yourself.
9 minutes | May 4, 2022
085 - Should RACI be changed to ARCI?
Ricky and Rob get ARCI in this podcast, looking at how (and why) people often confuse accountability and responsibility. The RACI model is a great tool to help understand different roles and responsibilities, but is Responsible (the R in RACI) really the place to start, or should Accountable go first?
16 minutes | Apr 20, 2022
084 - Is it time to stop time-management and manage you instead?
Someone, probably a past manager, will have talked to you about time management at some point in your working life. You won't be alone if these conversations have left you feeling that if you could just organise your time a little bit better, you would suddenly become so much more successful. In this podcast, Rob and Paul explore this idea and pull apart the myths behind time management, suggesting that the alternative might be just to be better at managing your attention and choices.
26 minutes | Apr 6, 2022
083 - Why carrot and stick is no longer relevant?
In this episode of the podcast, we explore motivation. Ricky and Paul consider why the typical motivational strategy of rewards and consequences (Carrot and Stick) might not be getting the best out of your team. They consider why this approach is so common when it has such a limited impact, and discuss alternative strategies that will create more engaged and motivated team members.
17 minutes | Mar 23, 2022
082 - How can you get s**t done
Have you ever wondered why sometimes you try and do things and it works, and sometimes you try and things just don't come together for you? In this podcast Ricky and Rob talk about three steps in our thinking that leads to getting stuff done. If you can create Clarity about your outcome, be more Creative in your ideas while using Critcial thinking to ensure you focus your energy on the right areas, then you increase your chances of getting stuff done. At the heart of this is our thinking model Fooodo; you can find out more about the FoooDo at https://bit.ly/TF-FoooDo You can also download the O! ideas worksheet at https://bit.ly/0_ideas
18 minutes | Mar 9, 2022
081 - Why do people underperform in Sales (or other roles)? Part 4 - Mindset
People underperform in sales (and other roles) for several reasons, in this podcast we will explore how mindset can be one of the biggest reasons why people underperform. Sales can be easier than other roles to spot when people underperform given the metrics available but identifying the factors behind underperformance is not so easy. What do we mean by mindset? Our experience of psychology points to limiting beliefs and assumptions that cause people to get in their own way. Mark Davies and Ricky Muddimer explore the topic in more detail asking how you can unlock the mindset of your people to free them up to perform.
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