Gimme Some Respect

It’s a word we have been hearing a lot about lately but is it in short supply?. CNN journalist Jim Acosta was accused of disrespecting the office of the president at president elect Donald Trump’s first press conference after winning the election race.

Although at same press conference many commentators said Trump had brought the office of president into disrepute because of his barracking style. Trump supporters and detractors, Brexit leavers and remainders, student unions and MP’s to name a few have all been accused of being disrespectful.

Lets examine what the dictionary meaning of the word respect is it’s :

“An admiration felt or shown for someone or something that you believe has good ideas or qualities”. Also:

“I have respect for his ideas, although I do not agree with them although many others do”.

There’s not much respect going on on either side of the debate in my previous examples

Many who accuse others of disrespect are being disrespectful themselves but refuse to accept this fact. It’s a mad world but of course it always has been and their will always be those who think that their opinion is right and everyone else is wrong. So it’s OK for them to be disrespectful in their minds.

In business relationships we need people to be respectful but questioning and on occasion challenging both are very important life skills. If we can’t debate and sometimes agree to disagree but still work together on other projects and issues then we will fail to learn and grow.

What has dismayed me over the past year is that people on either side of many debates I thought were level headed, reflective thinkers who used reason, logic and debate. Have shown a side of themselves I have never seen and its not a nice side. They have become argumentative, sulky, bullying, disrespectful and worse. Maybe it’s time we all looked in the mirror and found our self respect and respect for others. Hopefully then we can have useful discussion and argument that engages and is productive.

I do hope that 2017 ends up creative, energetic and productive and not more divisive and disrespectful. I live in hope. Well that’s a rap and I’ll leave it to the kids to teach the adults.

The Respect Rap

Trump Berates CNN Reporter

Meaning of the word respect

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Business Rocks Update Jan 2017

 

BR 2016 achieved its objectives The event trended 2nd on twitter all around the world for a couple of weeks only the Queens birthday and Prince’s death kept it from the top slot. Saying there was no marketing budget that was pretty remarkable. It also shows the passion people had for the event.

 

For BR 2017 which takes place on May 3 & 4th at Manchester Central SKY Swipe will be covering the event, the start-up pitch battle cash has increased to £100,000. The number of stages increases from 5 to 8 with a dedicated music stage, Also a virtual reality and thought leadership stage. The event will hold 5000 delegates compared to last years 2000.

 

The top Virtual Reality developers and those who design Batman comics are flying in. On the thought leadership stage junior developers can rub shoulders with and run ideas by CEO’s and government strategy tech advisor’s

 

Last year as a new and untested start-up BR founder Jonny Cadden said we were unbackable from a city perspective. After a successful event we now are and we are getting more regional backing and support from the council. The head of innovation for one of the major banks had said he didn’t understand the music piece in BR. But he attended SLUSH in Belgium which is their biggest tech festival with 16000 delegates attending, and when it starts it’s like a rave. He came back and said I now get it and it works.

 

We are trying to get creativity and entrepreneurship and get those at the top to inspire those further down and the next generation of tech innovators. In addition 500 Generation Z kids from 8 -19 old years from across the UK will be here designing apps, being inspired and learning what diverse careers are open to them in the Tech sector. It’s a cool world working in the tech space and especially in Manchester as we do things differently here.

We concluded the January update with a truly inspiring and uplifting song from Mica Paris which sums up the ethos of Business Rocks.

Mica Paris – Contribution

One world united all shades invited, we all have a contribution to a tech revolution.

 

Hott Fuzz – The Psychological Contract

Those of you who work in HR will be familiar with the psychological contract for everyone else here’s a condensed version of it when applied to employer, employee relations.

It is defined as ‘…the perceptions of the two parties, employee and employer, of what their mutual obligations are towards each other’. These obligations will often be informal and imprecise: they may be inferred from actions or from what has happened in the past, as well as from statements made by the employer. Some obligations may be seen as ‘promises’ and others as ‘expectations’. The important thing is that they are believed by the employee to be part of the relationship with the employer.

So what’s that got to do with our boys & girls in blue? A similar contract applies between the police and the public. Something which seems to have escaped the attention of Sara Thornton, head of the National Police Chiefs Council this week.

The Chief Constable said that we shouldn’t expect a police officer to turn up to a domestic burglary. Because of budget cuts police needed to focus on real threat and harm such as terrorism, cyber crime and sexual offences which are on the rise.

If her intention was to spark debate then she has hit the mark. But in reality is it a feasible stance to take? Whilst acts of terror and national sex abuse scandals are a sad reality. None of these will happen to the majority of people in their lifetime. But most people know someone who has been burgled or subjected to constant anti-social behaviour. These things are also more likely to happen to people in their lifetime.

The fear of terrorism as such may be high but for most what’s going on in their own neighbourhood and town can be a cause of much more fear. This is what chief constable Thornton has forgotten, we pay for the police and we give them considerable powers. In return we expect support and protection. That is the psychological contract between police and public.

At the inception of the police force Sir Robert Peel set out Principles by which the police would operate. The first two sate that: “The basic mission for which police exist is to prevent crime and disorder as an alternative to the repression of crime and disorder by military force and severity of legal punishment”. Secondly that “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence, actions, behaviour and the ability of the police to secure and maintain public respect.

The police are under pressure from cuts and serious crimes but when planning where to deploy limited resources chief constables need to have Peel’s principles and the psychological contract with the public firmly in mind.

Luckily some common sense prevails in the head of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspectorate of Constabulary Sir Tom Winsor. Who had made it clear that “It is unsustainable for any police force to decline to attend and properly investigate crimes of a serious nature, such as burglary or domestic violence.”

Let’s hope that view prevails and support our police forces in retaining it.

References

Sir Robert Peel’s Principles of Law

The Psychological Contract

Telegraph Article- What’s the Point of Them

Daily Mail Article – Public Expectation Needs to Change

Chief Constable Sara Thornton on crime

Free Presentation Webinar 22 April 2013 – 1.00 – 2.00 PM

 

Join this FREE lunchtime webinar with Caroline Hopkins ‘How To Make Your Business Presentations Rock!’  1.00 –  2.00 pm today Monday 22nd April. You can join at http://www.lovepresenting.com/

Caroline is a master at presentations and has many years’ experience helping people to present with confidence and engage their audience and gain the results you want.

Also check out her E-Book “Help I’ve Got A Presentation Coming Up” which is a great resource for anyone who has to give presentations.

I also have an interview with Caroline for Everybody’s Business on Salford City Radio this Friday 26th April 12 noon to 1.00 pm UK time. Caroline will be taking us through her journey and giving us some tips to help create a memorable presentation.

 

 

Real Performance Management how do you perform?

In a recent interview with Personnel Today the Pensions Minister Steve Webb told employers that Age should not be an excuse for “inevitable or excusable” under performance.

You can read the full interview and make your own mind up on this issue.  I am more interested in performance by all which means able bodied, disabled and everyone else in the workforce. More specifically how that performance is managed and how those “hard” conversations are approached and carried out by managers.

It seems that no matter how much training is given a significant majority of managers do not like having those “hard” conversations.  This is bourne out by many studies and reports from the Chartered Management Institute the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Instinctively many people do not like conflict and will avoid it like the plague and this includes managers. Many other issues also come into play here including lack of knowledge or skill, fear of getting it wrong, familiarity and favoritism to name a few.

Is it the fault of HR or the learning and development section in an organisation; was the wrong training procured or the delivery poor? In most cases it was the right training delivered well but here’s the rub. It’s OK going through role play based scenarios in a training room but it is totally different carrying out a performance review in practice. Especially if that review has lots of negatives in it.

The first question is why are there so many negatives if performance is supposedly managed well and regular 1-2-1’s are carried out along with timely return to work interviews? Surely everything’s been discussed along the way and relevant training and development opportunities put into place or help and support?

There are more management books on the subject than ever and an expanding number of management training organisations. Yet survey after survey shows a lack of confidence by employees in managers. Part of a manager’s job is to have “hard” conversations but many struggle with them for various reasons. Some reasons I have mentioned previously but the real skills needed to carry out those conversations need spelling out. They are listening and hearing what the person is telling you, empathizing and understanding their situation and supporting them in whatever way you can.  This shows you care about them as a person and not just as someone you have to move through the corporate process.

Of course at some point that “hard” conversation may mean you have exhausted every option and the options that remain may mean a reduction in salary as the person needs to reduce their hours it may mean termination of their employment because even with extensive training and support they cannot perform to the required level.  It is at this point that guilt kicks in for managers and indeed some employees will blame you personally.  Because they are now going to lose their house or cannot pay for a child’s wedding or support them though university.

Those circumstances are tragic and if you fail to be moved by them then in my personal opinion you should not be managing people. But you have a responsibility to the rest of the team, the organization, customers and shareholders in the private sector or taxpayers in the public sector. Performance management needs to be effective no matter what the person’s physical or mental ability or their age.  It should be relevant and individualistic to them.

So what do you do?

Statistics are they useful, meaningless or are they there to be manipulated for your own ends?

Not a week goes by without another government department , union, institute or consultancy releasing a plethora of statistics about almost anything you care to think about.  The economy, manufacturing, the service sector and employment; the number of jobless is one area where a government minister will tell us it’s great news the total number of jobless has fallen.  Sounds great doesn’t it we can all take a sigh of relief can’t we?

On the surface that is fantastic but then we get the statistics from the Office for National Statistics which confirms what the minister said. You are dumbstruck at this point aren’t you a government minister actually told us the truth. Yes he did but a version of the truth that suited at the time for that televised soundbite. The real truth is a mixed bag that paints a slightly different picture.  Let’s look at the figures in more detail;

On the Plus side

  • The number of jobseekers dropped by 13,700 to 1.59 m in April
  • The number of people with jobs rose by 105,000 to 29.23m
  • The number of self employed rose by 89,000 to 4.1m
  • Exports rose to a 36 year high

The Government is also putting incentives forward for firms to take on apprentices and the long term unemployed.

On the minus side

  • The number in part time jobs who want a full time job rose by 73,000 to 1.4m.  The highest total since records began in 1992
  • The number unemployed for more than a year rose by 27,000 to 887,000
  • Youth unemployment is very high and a concern
  • The number of self employed rose by 89,000 to 4.1m

 The IMF is telling the chancellor that Britain is not out of the woods and interest rates need to be cut along with the severity of austerity measures There are still significant job cuts to come in 2102/13 in the public sector Another cohort of School, College and University graduates will join the job market in July. The Euro zone crisis will more than likely have a further negative impact on Britain

The picture doesn’t look quite as rosy after reading those statistics as the initial soundbite would make you believe. The figures for the next quarter should prove to be interesting and I wonder what they will show if the above exercise is repeated?  We have all ignored statistics that don’t fit our view so how do you use statistics?