To be honest

If you knew you could improve someone’s performance by having a difficult conversation, you would have that conversation, wouldn’t you? Easy. How about if that person was the company Chairman? More difficult, perhaps. Would it be easier if you knew that the Chairman craved honest feedback, and was desperate to hear from you?

So what’s stopping you?


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“I’m a Team Player”

I visited the London 2012 Paralympic Games last week – what an eye-opener it was; what an absolute privilege it turned out to be.

I watched a 5-a-side football match between Turkey and France. I’m not a great football fan, and have never knowingly watched a 5-a-side match. But this was different; this was utterly compelling. Paralympic 5-a-side football is played by blind or partially-sighted players. To ensure a level playing field, all players wear eye masks; the ball has bells inside. The goalkeeper can be sighted. As the teams were led out onto the pitch at the start, I was struck by how they relied on each other – this was very much a team game.
5-a-side teams

Blinded soldiersI couldn’t help making the comparison with this photo of British soldiers in the First World War, blinded by gas [photo courtesy of] – each staying close to the next, supporting each other, practically and emotionally. These are real team players.

How many times have we read CVs which declare “I’m a team player”? How many times does it really mean that? Or is it just a lazy “filler”; one of those things which is important to have on a CV; something so bland and ubiquitous that we don’t even notice it anymore? Continue reading