Just another blog…

Leadership

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Psychology and mental health issues are being discussed more now as our understanding improves. As awareness grows organisations are recognizing how the culture they create can directly impact the mental health of employees. Cognitive resources play an essential part of this and in our daily health, abuse of these resources could result in serious problems for the individual so an understanding is key. Starting with a definition, cognitive is:

Psychological processes involved in acquisition and understanding of knowledge, formation of beliefs and attitudes, and decision making and problem solving. They are distinct from emotional and volitional processes involved in wanting and intending.

Hopefully from that description we can understand how cognitive resources are used in everyday life – in and outside work! Decision making and problem solving are part of daily life. Look back on your last couple of days, you’ll probably remember exact points where you were interrupted while… Continue reading

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Here are a couple of resources that might be useful when transitioning from a developer role into management. I never put a plan together when I made the transition, even though I knew that management was the correct career path for me, a plan would have helped! Just visualizing progress and having more of a structured study plan can make a big difference. But, even now, as I found out, these resources are helpful for existing managers to step back and evaluate any areas that could be improved.

These resources are also be helpful if you’re unsure a management position is for you, they offer good tips to determine if the step into management is really the right one.

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Do you enjoy having one-on-ones? If you see them as “getting in the way” then maybe a re-think is needed on getting value out of them. One-on-ones are different from the usual meetings, you can run them how you want; they can be structured or casual conversations, they can happen around a desk or on giant bean bags, they could be short or feel like they take forever! Over time I’ve experienced almost every variety, but this post isn’t about which of these is right or wrong but about how important these meetings are. At one point in my career my manager didn’t have regular one-on-ones with me, in retrospect this wasn’t a good choice for either of us!

Teams only make progress through the work of the people so any issues can impact performance. If these issues are not visible then it can be a mystery where the problem… Continue reading

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I’ve always thought of ‘Positive Thinking’ as some psychobabble that I don’t have time for! I think positive thoughts and smile at people…what more do you want! But, I have to confess, reading Harvard Business Review’s recent post – The Powerful Effect of Noticing Good Things at Work – helped me understand the impact positive memories can have on stress. It also made me think how mangers play a big part in this on those around them. Are we installing positive or negatives memories on our teams?

I’ve described the importance of observing in a manager’s role, this helps building habits of spotting anything different or new around you. Even noticing a tiniest thing could have a positive influence on someone else. Does someone have a new shirt or haircut, did someone in your team go out of there way to help someone else, or did someone pro-actively make… Continue reading

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When I first became a manager I didn’t think too much of it, it was the right career progression for me. I’ve had a variety of managers throughout my career and felt ready to give it a try…“bring it on” I thought! I jumped straight into line management duties on top of other team leading work without thinking much about what the actual role should involve. I certainly wasn’t prepared for the emotional impact a management role has!

Some days you never get going, inundated with requests (holidays, sick days, doctors, dentists, sick children, no show nannies, lost dogs, dead cats, plumbers, house moves, broken laptops…etc., etc!), it can be relentless at times. But this is all ‘stuff’ a manager needs to handle in an appropriate way to keep everything moving. It can be emotionally draining and usually impacts the work we need to do!

There’s plenty of books… Continue reading

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Blogging has been on my mind for many years, if I wrote all the excuses I used down it would make an impressive list! We all have personal obstacles in our lives, some we create ourselves, as managers we not only need to tackle our own but help our team to tackle theirs. Identifying them is often the biggest challenge as we often put up a self denial barrier stopping it being considered. This blog is more about my own obstacles though than others.

What could I say that would really make a difference to anyone? I certainly don’t doubt my ability as a manager, but the little voice in my head says no one will care what you think. There are managers out there with popular blogs covering everything any manager would need to know. Look at Rands in his blog, what can I say on top of… Continue reading

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…and post! First blog for stevesitton.com – check! Now to the list of everything else!

I had thought of starting a blog for sometime, now I’ve finally taken the step from thinking to doing. The first challenge came quickly – coming up with a name for the blog! I originally put the blog on geekymanager.com but since changed it this domain. What better than my name! There’s no hiding from the fact that I am a geek just didn’t want to define a particular theme to the blog.

Learning and self improvement are important part of my work ethic. Absorbing information from people around me in different roles throughout my career has taught me a great deal. Then there is a vast amount of good resources online which I try to digest when I can. There are always new ideas being formed or different ways to do existing processes that… Continue reading