Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Caught you ...

We have been working with one of our clients on a programme to help people raise their personal impact in the business ... in other words, getting them to think about the image that they want to portray to their 'internal customers'.  This has been a really interesting programme to design and deliver and those that have attended have all said that it wasn't what they were expecting and has really got them thinking about self awareness and how they come across to others in the business and the impact their behaviour can have on others.

As we were setting up the room for the first workshop, I saw that the LCD TV, through which the slide deck was to be projected, didn't have a lead to connect the laptop with. Having asked my contact for some assistance, a few minutes later someone from the IT Department arrived and in no time had connected us up.  After the laptop was set up I said, and I quote: "Thanks, you're a star ..." to the lady from IT and the reaction I got was, to me, quite surprising.  She responded with a shocked " Ohhh ..." and a look of complete surprise on her face - this gesture of thanks was so alien to her, that it had literally taken her aback.

I was able to use this experience during the programme, specifically during a session on mindset and attitude, as an example of how even a very small gesture can actually make another person's day. During the discussion one of the participants said that she always says "you too" when cashiers or shop workers say to her "have a good day" and this got us thinking ... how often do you catch people doing things right?

In corporate life it is all too easy to find fault and to criticise people; when was the last time someone gave you a metaphorical "pat on the back" for a job well done? Perhaps you will need a few minutes to recall when that last happened for you, which is such a shame isn't it? Often it is the small token of appreciation that make us feel more valued at work, which in turn can make us more efficient and effective in our jobs.  If you manage a team, when did you last give one of your team that "pat on the back"?  We often suggest to managers that whilst it is easy to catch people doing things wrong, it is much better to catch people doing things right and to recognise this ... who knows what impact the simple "Thanks, you're a star..." had on that individual.  

So, next time you find yourself about to criticise or find fault, think about this 'right:wrong ratio' ... for every wrong, find 5 rights and see what impact this has on confidence and belief ... 

Good luck - let us know how you get on!


For more information about how we can support you and help improve your people, performance and processes, drop us an e-mail: or give us a call on 01223 646458

Twitter: @mb_ls

Monday, 19 January 2015

Thinking about it ...?

So, here's a question ... have you thought about what you have done so far today, or have you just "done it"?  We are, essentially, creatures of habit, which is a good thing in some ways ... for example, when was the last time you actually thought about the process of breathing or walking?! These things just happen because our brains have been hard-wired over time so breathing and walking have become natural to us and, thankfully, we don't have to consciously think about doing them on a daily basis.  But, what about other daily activities that you carry out? Do you think about the process or do you spend some of your day on 'autopilot'? We believe that a great deal of what we do on a daily basis at work (and probably at home too) is habit and this might mean we are not being as effective in our jobs as we possibly could be.  A great analogy here is that of driving a car; I am sure that this has happened to you ... you drive somewhere, park the car, switch the engine off and then think to yourself, "I don't remember getting here!".

You know you have got there, because you started a Point A and you are now at Point B, but you don't remember the journey! Scary eh? Now, cast your mind back to when you learned to drive ... remember when 30mph seemed like 'warp-speed'?  I'm confident you are aware of the concept of 'levels of competence' and this is really well demonstrated in driving. If you were like me, when you were very young, you sat in the back of the car with Mum or Dad driving, and made random car noises and pretended you were driving too (ok, maybe that was just me then), but really you had no idea - this is the first level of competence, 'unconscious incompetence' .... you don't know what you don't know. Then when you reached 17, or whenever it was for you, you took your first driving lessons and after a few minutes with the instructor, you thought to yourself, "Oh my, this is impossible, driving is SO hard"... and you moved from 'unconscious incompetence' to 'conscious incompetence' ... or in other words, you know what you don't know and that you have LOTS to learn.

Over time, with lessons, you learn to drive, but you have to consciously think about what you are doing .... look in the rear view mirror, check the wing mirrors, indicate, check blind spots for traffic, take your foot off the accelerator and depress the clutch and change gear, then manoeuvre ... you move to 'conscious competence' ... really concentrating on what you are doing to get it right. Then, after passing your driving test you get on to the roads and gain experience driving until it becomes a habit and you reach 'unconscious competence' ... driving becomes second nature and that is when the occasional "I don't remember getting here" situation occurs.

So, what if you had to take your driving test again today? How many of you think you would pass?! I won't open a can of worms and ask how good a driver you believe you are, safe to say that we probably all believe we are better than we really are! And here's where we can turn this scenario to the workplace ... are you consciously thinking about what you are doing, or do you sometimes live on autopilot? Do you have any "I don't remember getting here" type moments at work? Do you think you are doing a great job, consistently, every day, or, with help and focus, could you improve your performance?

So, here's a challenge for you ... once you have read this, commit to consciously thinking about what you do and ask yourself these questions:

- How well are we carrying out the process?
- Are we sometimes cutting corners?
- When we really focus on doing the basics right, how much improvement is there?
- How much of a positive difference does it make by consciously thinking about what we do?

Good luck - let us know how you get on!


For more information about how we can support you and help improve your people, process and performance, drop us an e-mail: or give us a call on 01223 646458

Twitter: @mb_ls

Friday, 9 January 2015

2015 ....

New Year's Resolutions

Well, the first working week of 2015 is nearly done and we are now well into 2015.  Have you made any New Year's Resolutions this year?  It's always interesting reading about or hearing peoples' New Year's Resolutions, and I wonder just how many people actually see them through for the whole year.

We are creatures of habit and that means sometimes it is hard to break habits and form new ones - like dieting, exercising more or whatever your New Year's Resolution is! How many times do you see people go all guns blazing for the first few days, then metaphorically (and sometimes literally too) they fall off the wagon and struggle to get back on!

So this year, look at your New Year's Resolution as a longer term goal - it takes, some say, up to 28 days to change a habit; Our advice therefore is to make small steps because after all the year has 365 days in it and you don't have to do it all at once.  So, we wish you all well in 2015 and remember this: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"

Good luck and let us know how you are doing ... 

Twitter: @mb_ls

Friday, 10 October 2014

New look mb-ls...

We are excited to announce we have a new logo, branding, brochure and website on the way very soon...Watch this space

Exciting times

Well, it has been an exciting couple of weeks here, with the first steps in a partnership arrangement which will see us working to grow our business by teaming up with another learning and development company who specialise in the health and safety, fire safety, manual handling and first aid arena.  We are extremely excited about this as it will hopefully allow us to share our resources and help organisations on many levels, from leadership development, management, sales and behavioural learning to all the mandatory elements that businesses have to comply with.

In addition, we will be working on the website to revamp what you see now and make our site more appealing – so watch this space over the coming months.

In the meantime, do please get in touch with us if you would like to discuss ways in which mbls can work with your organisation to drive people, performance and process improvements.

Gaining traction….

Out in the Middle East working on developing sales teams’ performance – establishing the foundations from which they can improve, it takes time to define the objectives and how they are going to be measured moving forward – what does this tell me? Change does not happen overnight, it takes time and effort … and it takes the belief that what you are doing will, in the long term, make a differences – it all begins with belief!

Looking forward…

We are making changes to the website and working on expanding our portfolio of solutions – some exciting things in the pipeline, so keep a look out for more news soon.