Human

The Manager has a role regarding mental health of employees

It's OK not to feel OK and is absolutely OK to ASK FOR HELPFor many years it was seen as ‘fair game’ to joke about mental health. I’ve been as guilty as everyone else, perhaps more so. I loved telling the story of walking past the old Grangegorman Mental Hospital (now the campus for Dublin Institute of Technology) and seeing the following graffiti scribbled on the external wall: “May contain nuts.”

Should You Change Your Life?

 

I was flying back from Aberdeen. Happily bored.  They say that there’s only 2 emotions on an airplane – hours of boredom interspersed by moments of terror!  The girl sitting beside me was about 25 and seemed keen to engage. Reluctantly, I took off the noise cancellation earphones and closed my book. It turned out that she was a teacher, plying her trade in a disadvantaged primary school where assaults on teachers were commonplace and student on student violence was endemic.  Not a centre of learning for the faint-hearted. A very ‘middle-class’ lady, she seemed confused about the whole experience. I was definitely listening now.

 

Neil Diamond, Skerries 100, Dr John Hinds, Party & Ice Cream

Skerries 100 2015Last week end was planned from a long time back.  Loreto and I were going to the Neil Diamond concert (again) in the 3Arena and then off to Skerries to stay with her sister for the motorbike races.  The Skerries 100 is a road racing circuit on tiny narrow roads where the bikes reach speeds in excess of 250 kph. It has been running since 1946.  Tommy & Annette live on the hairpin on the course and it gives us a great vantage point.  You can read another article on the 2012 racing here

Here's why Firing Jeremy Clarkson was the Perfect Response

Would you allow this man bully your staff

They’re in place in all organisations. The brilliantly talented Lawyer who needs to be right all the time and drives everyone nuts. An Actuary who had every ounce of personal warmth sucked out at birth (an extroverted actuary is someone who looks at your shoes when he’s talking to you). A Research Chemist with 3 normal brains who pays zero attention to personal hygiene.  You can use any label you wish. Oddballs. Weirdos. Misfits. They are everywhere. Now, if you’re lucky they combine ‘oddness’ & ‘greatness’. That Lawyer will win unwinnable cases. The Actuary will convert financial wizardry into an idea that saves a bank millions in recapitalization costs. And the Chemist will cure … whatever. Brilliance is traded off against oddness i.e. a certain amount of oddness is tolerable (most of us are a bit odd but often don’t recognise our own peccadilloes). While IBM formally recognize this (a dual career structure where the Techies march to the left and the Managers go right), most organizations just muddle through as best they can.

Tune Up: Protecting your Mental Health

Eight women representing prominent mental diagnoses in the 19th century at the Salpêtrière (Paris). (fr. Armand Gautier)Working for nothing is what all consultants do in-between real jobs. And what harm? It’s cheaper than psychiatry.

Procrastination is a form of self-torture. But, what lies beneath?

Call every half hourMany years ago, I was an enthusiastic (but poor) canoeist.  At one point I knew every bend in the Liffey and Boyne rivers as we were out practicing most weekends.  On these wide, fairly slow moving rivers, canoeing is relatively safe. But one of the dangers is getting caught in a ‘stopper’, the spot at the bottom of a Weir where the water churns back on itself.  It’s possible for canoeists to get stuck in a stopper, upside down, underwater. When this happens it’s dark and disorientating and can be pretty dangerous.  Thankfully, most canoeists make it out of the turbulence. Some don’t and die.

Are you getting wise or just getting old?

Old and SenileMany years ago, myself and Linda used to benchmark weddings. When attending friends weddings, we took mental notes of how it all worked. Did the mammies get flowers? What readings worked best in the church? Did the band play Waltzing Matilda? And so on. We were at that stage.

Emotional Intelligence & 3 Dimensional Meetings

VUCAAccording to Nial O’Reilly who runs Ignite Coaching, we now live in a V.U.C.A. world (volatile, uncertain, challenging and ambiguous). Emotional intelligence helps us to navigate this changing terrain. The work day has lost definition. You check emails lying in bed when you wake up, over breakfast and during the commute. At night you send off brilliant missives, just before falling asleep. In between you try to get something productive done and reacquaint yourself with the kids. In all of the above ‘busyness’, the problems are seldom strategy or technology related, they are invariably interpersonal. Turns out that the soft stuff is the hard stuff. So, can you really learn the ‘soft stuff’ or are you born with this?

Executive Coaching: Does it Deliver?

Do you believe that your performance could be improved through coaching? Perhaps you’re somewhat skeptical, like the author of a US book called: “You go, girl! That’ll be $300” (Savage, 2006). I’ve been working in this particular space for 15+ years and have come to believe that the very best coaches are in the questions rather than the answers business. Let me demonstrate this by detailing a typical listing of questions.

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