What five things should leaders be focused on in 2023?

So what are the important things that leaders need to focus on to ensure that they are leading for success?  Does that change in a year like 2023, when, yet again, everything is up in the air?

In this podcast Paul and Ricky consider what would be the five most important areas that a leader should focus on when leading in such uncertain in times.  They consider how this might be different from other years (hint, it isn’t, it is just that this level of uncertainty is much less forgiving than normal), and offer some practical tips on where you can start.

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 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.  

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.

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.

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.

How do I create psychological safety in our 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.

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?