How does poor communication impact the workplace?

With an alarming statistic revealing that a staggering 70% of errors in the workplace can be traced back to miscommunication, it’s no wonder that businesses are feeling the pinch. Dive deeper, and you’ll find that poor communication ranks as the number one concern for a majority of businesses, overshadowing even financial concerns or market competition. 

But what really happens when communication goes awry? Trust erodes. The very foundation upon which business relationships are built begins to wobble. Employees start second-guessing, leading to serious doubts about the motives, integrity, and capabilities of their employers. The domino effect of this breakdown? A jaw-dropping cost of £50 – £70 Bn in lost productivity annually. 

But there’s more. As a result of these communicative missteps, 33% of employees report having low morale, feeling disengaged, and disheartened.  

In this episode, Ricky and Rob not only highlight the challenges but also explore solutions and best practices to cultivate an environment of open, transparent, and effective communication. 

Why do we keep getting communication so wrong?

Did you know that only about a third of companies believe they communicate effectively?

Forbes (March 2023)

In this episode, Rob and Ricky dive into the complex realm of communication, a skill so integral yet so frequently misinterpreted.

They explore why most companies fail to communicate effectively and share some of the stumbling blocks hindering effective communication.  Consider this, when one individual errs, does everyone else receive a blanket message? We know this is not the best approach, so why does this keep happening?

Ricky and Rob also delve into the human side of miscommunication.  Our emotions, ever a double-edged sword, often weave themselves seamlessly into our dialogues, clouding judgment and disrupting clear exchanges. Then there are assumptions – we all make them, but at what cost? Plus, we discuss the dangerous ‘dance of ambiguity’, where leaving things open to interpretation can spell disaster.

How do you talk talent with your people (that does not set you up for a tough conversation)?

Talent conversations come in many shapes and sizes.  Talent is more than just how good you are today; it also encompasses how well you fit into the plans for tomorrow.  Your plans, the organisation’s plans, and their plans….   

What could possibly go wrong?

Ricky and Paul tackle the conversations that leaders need to have to help the people around them understand where they are right now, what is expected of them and where they need to develop.   Talent conversations may not be easy, but with a bit of structure and thought, they can be positive and constructive interactions that help people grow.

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.

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 FoooDo here
You can also download the O! ideas worksheet

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. 

Why do people underperform in Sales (or other roles)? Part 3 – Environment

People underperform in sales (and other roles) for several reasons, in this podcast we explore the environment we create.   

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 environment?  It may sound obvious; in our experience, it’s not, which is why Mark Davies and Ricky Muddimer explore the topic in more detail and what we mean by creating an environment for your people to perform. 

Are you teaching your people to land before you expect them to jump?

Imagine this…

… you’ve volunteered to do a parachute jump. It’s for charity, so it’s all in a good cause. 

You turn up on the day, terrified but rationalising that many people do this, it will be fine. 

You get a short briefing, watch a safety video and a quick demonstration of how to land, then one of the instructors throws you your chute and says, off you go, get on the plane! 

What are you thinking? 

Besides the colourful language in your head (or maybe you’re even saying things out loud!) I imagine you’re probably thinking, “is that it? Where’s my training? What if my chute doesn’t open? How do I land when…?  Where’s my practice jump?  I wanted to have a go at jumping from a reasonable height to test my technique!”;

Undoubtedly you will have loads more questions, and probably a whole host of other thoughts too!

Let’s face it, we only know, and I mean really know, that our people can do what we’ve trained them for when they choose to do the right thing in that moment of truth.

Take the customer service agent that sticks to the rules when the customer just wants that bit of empathy and flexibility. 

Take the team member who knows a colleague is stretching the boundaries of acceptability, and they know in their heart of hearts they should say something but choose not to, for fear of repercussion.

Take the new starter who has been trained but still lacks the confidence to take the step and do what is required, only to pause and do nothing for fear of failure.

Brené Brown, author of Dare to Lead, asks how can you expect your people to jump if you don’t teach them how to land first?

On reading this, I realised that this is precisely where ‘What Would You Do?’ fits into someone’s development journey; it creates a safe space where peers can learn to jump and land in a safe space. First, they get to test their theories and assumptions, surface issues and unhelpful thoughts with their colleagues. Then, through sharing experiences, they work together to create a shared pool of meaning and understanding, which prepares them for the ‘jump’ when they handle those moments of truth that define your organisation.

‘What Would You Do?’ is a social learning experience for groups to come together to discuss moments of truth and test and explore how they would handle a given situation.  Each session is facilitated, group coaching if you will, where the group calibrate to a shared understanding of what it means to do the right thing and what ‘good’ looks like.

It’s no wonder why this has proved to be an award-winning tool and has served organisations to deliver in four distinct ways:

Embedding new rules and levelling up behaviours

A leading financial services organisation positively moved their cultural needle across four out of five areas, including trust, collaboration, inclusion, and involvement in just three months!

Their regulator tasked them to level up their understanding and application of conduct rules across 1,500 people. We worked with them to create a suite of content that they could use to teach their people to land in a safe space.

The feedback was terrific, with 100% of people who took part (98% of the total workforce were involved in sessions) reporting they felt better able to apply the rules in their job.  The feedback from the regulator was very positive too.

Embedding company values to build a stronger organisation

A leading pharmaceutical business engaged with us to embed their new company values across their EMEA region.  The goal was to bring the values to life and explore living them in the wide and varied divisions and departments.  The solution was customised, aligned to their values, and adopted internally by the learning team to facilitate cross-functional groups. 

Again, the feedback was remarkable for both the process, which teaches people how to land, safely exploring assumptions, testing courses of action, and working through potential consequences in the safety backdrop of ‘what if’.

Embedding new skills to prepare the next generation

A top-four, professional services firm adopted ‘What Would You Do?’ for their annual development session. One hundred apprentices were brought together for a day-long, online session purposefully designed to be very interactive. Included in the day was an escape room experience, among many other activities and workshops.  ‘What Would You Do?’ was woven into the day to provide a space where apprentices could safely test their knowledge across topics such as business skills, wellbeing, social styles and inclusion.

The feedback was extremely positive; the apprentices really valued the opportunity to discuss and apply their learning in a practical context. In addition, they were able to test and explore, giving them greater confidence going back into the workplace. As a result, the apprentices felt better prepared in their role.

Building knowledge, testing understanding and values-based education to create winning behaviours

A leading sporting body approached us to see how ‘What Would You Do?’ could help elite athletes avoid the daily traps they face with what to eat and drink and how to train.  They need to be on constant alert as to what is safe to consume.

How can they be sure of the proper process to follow in any given situation? What are their rights?  Both of these challenges are further complicated if they are competing overseas.

Failure to comply or do the right thing can affect themselves and their teammates.  For some, there’s the prospect of losing their medal if they make a wrong choice, however unintentional. 

The organisation is building on its values-based education programme and want to engage athletes in a new and interactive way. ‘What Would You Do?’ enables athletes to engage with other athletes and explore and test ‘what if’ against typical situations they face all the time. They can test understanding, surface issues, concerns and play out situations against the practical challenges they face. 

Every athlete needs to focus as they work towards and prepare for major events without fearing they could fall foul of application of or changes in the rules. They face personal challenges and moments of truth all the time; they may see others testing the boundaries of what is allowed, which brings enormous consequences for the sport and its broader perception.

So, we’ve found four different ways ‘What Would You Do?’ can support organisations to deliver results and engage their people. And each time, we’ve taken the social learning concept and adapted it to meet specific needs with great success. So, how many more might we find? Well, we don’t know, but we’re confident there will be more, and we’re excited about finding them!

‘What Would You Do?’ is about teaching people to land before they step onto the plane for real.  It’s about taking knowledge and embedding it through reflective learning.  ‘What Would You Do?’ creates psychological safety, which removes the fear when testing understanding, exploring ‘what if’, and assessing the consequences of a given course of action.  This means your people are better prepared for the situation when it presents itself.

Discover more at

How leaders create and destroy accountability?

Leaders want their followers to take accountability for their deliverables.  Most leaders think about what they can do to get more accountability, yet rarely consider what they might be doing that is destroying the very accountability that they are looking for.

Paul, Ricky and Rob explore what accountability means, and how leaders can create a culture where people own things, or how they might be accidentally driving a culture where people avoid being accountable because it is seen as too risky.

This podcast is part of a series about the role of leaders, exploring the nuts and bolts of what leaders need to do. It is based on a model (we created) to help aspiring leaders work out what it means to be a leader.

You can find the model, and details of all the areas at

Why do leaders build psychological safety for their people to perform?

This is another podcast in our series about the actual things that leaders do.

This time Richard, Rob and Ricky talk feelings! In particular, they discuss the leader’s role in managing feelings; dealing with conflict, smoothing over loss when difficult decisions need to be made and most importantly creating a psychologically safe environment where people can flourish.

Leaders who ignore the people elements of the role risk damaging their own productivity and put their underlying purpose at risk.

This podcast is part of a series about the role of leaders, exploring the nuts and bolts of what leaders need to do. It is based on a model (we created) to help aspiring leaders work out what it means to be a leader.

You can find the model, and details of all the areas at