Category Archives: Motivation

See you all Wednesday night!

Just a reminder to everyone that registration for Wednesday night’s event will open at 5:30pm sharp (in the anteroom- same as last time).

So get in, grab a drink from the bar and a canapé or three and be front and centre for the interactive presentation from Jason Roberts. For some information on Jason and the work he does in Emotional Intelligence prior to Wednesday – check out our LinkedIn group (and join LinkedIn if you haven’t already, it’s the best way to contact other members).

Can’t wait to see you all there!

More on our presenter Jason Roberts

Workplace Culture Outcomes
Hunter Business Chamber Magazine – ‘The Leader’ August, 2010

When, in 2005, faced with the challenge of building an organisational culture that fosters reativity, initiative, leadership and productivity, Lake Macquarie City Council General Manager, Brian Bell decided to focus on developing ‘Emotional Intelligence’ (EI) within LMCC leaders. In partnership with Jason Roberts Business Consulting (JRBC), Mr Bell has since then led a program of EI-focused leadership development, along with incorporating a behavioural focus within the Council’s recruitment and selection process.

To objectively assess LMCC’s EI growth and its relationship to variables such as ‘commitment’ and ‘job satisfaction’, Swinburne University was engaged in 2007 to annually research and report on the program. Year-on-year evidence has consistently trended positively. Jason Roberts says that the success of the five year program is attributable to two essential components – the consistent approach to leadership development using an EI-focused approach, and the constant support of the General Manager and Executive team. The results of the research are currently being prepared for submission to the International Journal of Business Science and Applied Management.

This HR Club Event is proudly sponsored by Humanomics.

Event: HR Club Newcastle Presents – Emotional Intelligence at Work with Jason Roberts

Date: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 5:30pm registration 6:00pm presentation

Location: Quality Hotel Noah’s on the Beach


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Filed under Emotional Intelligence, HR Club Newcastle Events, Learning and Development, Motivation, Retention Tools, Talent Management, Trust Leadership, Workshop


Kris Dunn over at the HR Capitalist posted the below recently in reaction to an ‘MBA Oath’ which has caught on amongst MBA grads in response to the GFC/Wall Street meltdown.

Kris has formulated an HR Oath – It’s hilarious, and poignant (especially number 8 )

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this- so… to the comments section!


I, ……… , member of the HR community, promise to:

1. Never say the phrase “seat at the table”, unless I say it in the voice of the Church Lady  or Samuel L. Jackson. (The Samuel L. Jackson voice from Pulp Fiction or Snakes on a Plane is preferred).

2. Avoid dumping 50 candidates that I secured via the “post and pray” model to the hiring manager in question, encouraging her to “take a look and see what she likes”.

3. Take off my SHRM Convention badge before I’m seen vomiting on a main street of city hosting the annual SHRM convention.

4. Carve out 2 hours per week of project time designed to do nothing but figure out a way to add value to the business.

5. Refrain from spending my entire personal development budget on the always challenging “Employment Law Seminar 20XX” – for the sixth straight year.

6. Speak up at the possible risk of my job when I see my boss or a peer doing something that blatantly runs counter to the people mission of our company.

7. Never own or wear a sensible pair of shoes that make me look like a fool. Or an Aztec.

8. Ship product regularly (if you don’t know what this means for a HR Pro, click here for the description).

9. Give a s###. Every day. Or get out.

Words to live by people.

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Filed under HR Capitalist, HR Oath, Kris Dunn, Motivation

Dan Pink + Motivation = COOL

I’ve just used this video in some training for performance reviews. It’s awesome.

Dan Pink is the best selling author of Drive which is all about what motivates us. This video was put together by media company RSA following one of Dan’s keynote speeches. They edited his speech and matched it with these great illustrations which make it really easy to watch and oh so engaging!

This really amped me up to talk to my stakeholders about providing the right atmosphere in which motivation can flourish. Hope it works for you too!

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Filed under Leadership, Learning and Development, Motivation, Performance Management, Retention Tools, Talent Management

Food for Thought…


Get it? Get it? Oh…you got it. Ok.

Just a quick note to a.) let you all know I’m still alive, well and able to blog! and b.) to draw your attention to an observation I made last night.

Like most good things, it came to me while watching Masterchef….stay with me….stay with me…

It’s all about Trust.

On last night’s episode, chef and resturateur George Calombaris (voted in 2009 as one of the Top 40 Chefs of Influence in the World by the Global Food and Wine Magazine) put the relaunch of his flagship restaurant The Press Club in the hands of a crew of random, shaky handed, sweat-slick foreheaded amateurs.

These guys can hardly tell the difference between a pork and a veal schnitzel (warning: in-joke) yet when entrusted with George’s ‘baby’, they rose to the challenge and acquitted themselves well under the circumstances.

This caused me to think (again – I blogged about trust at work a while ago here) about how we can affect performance by instilling trust and raising expectations…

Do you find yourself doubting others’ abilities at work, or have you ever thought “I just don’t trust anyone else to do it as well as I will”.

Why not try extending your trust and raising expectations of your team, you might just find they surprise you.

At the end of the day, you’re still the head chef yeah?



Filed under Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Motivation, Performance Management, Talent Management, Trust Leadership

You’re Invited!

 HR Club Newcastle is proud to present:

The Newcastle Business Leaders Panel.

You’re invited to join us for an evening of networking with Newcastle’s foremost business leaders.

Mark Fitzgibbon, Peter Shinnick and Sue Mather will be answering questions from the audience on the topic:

What do business leaders really expect from HR?

RSVP now at

Be quick, limited places available!

For those of you who have questions you would like answered by the panel, comment below and I’ll make sure they are asked on the night! 

Date: Wednesday 19 May 2010.

 Time: 5:30 for a 6pm start.

Venue: The Promenade Room, Noah’s on the Beach.

This HR Club Newcastle Event is proudly sponsored by:


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Filed under HR Club Newcastle Events, Leadership, Learning and Development, Motivation

Trust me, I’m a Professional…

How does trust affect your workplace? Your HR function? Your HR Team?

Is it just being able to count on someone to do what they say? Or is it organisational i.e. is yours a trusted organisation? Do things happen as promised, is communication transparent?

Trust, to me, is crucial in the working relationship and the key to trust, is emotional intelligence… but I’ll let Jason Roberts (our first ever guest blogger!) tell you about that in a moment.

I’ve recently been re-reading Stephen M.R Covey’s (ok, ok I’m a fan) The Speed of Trust and it’s put all sorts of crazy and wonderful ideas in my head about the possibilities of using trust as the main component in HR. Obviously keeping confidence and being trust worthy are integral to any HR role, but how can we use this to ensure best practice?

Decisions are made faster, initiatives launched with more enthusiasm, roadblocks disappear and productivity is higher when high trust relationships exist within organisations.

Trying to implement a new HRIS? Make sure performance reviews are completed? Get honest 360 degree feedback? How much quicker and easier would these be if the people you were dealing with trust you implicitly?

“I don’t need to see the proposal or costing, I’m going to approve your request to implement a whizz bang HRIS because I trust that you have done the research and made the best decision for the business.” Which would be correct 🙂 But hardly realistic!

A working relationship built on trust isn’t about blind faith – real trust is built on two components as Covey says “Confidence” and “Competence”.

Your clients need to know that you work with integrity (you walk the talk, you do what’s right, you are worthy of trust) and that you are capable (you make good decisions, you’re smart, you have the skills required)

So how do we work trust into our relationships as HR practitioners… hmmm… Well the easy bit is self trust. You need to be able to trust yourself to work with integrity and competence. The trickier part is working with others. How do we trust them? How do we know they trust us?

And that brings us to Jason Roberts on Emotional Intelligence (What a segue!!)

Hi Olivia,

Thanks for asking me to share some comments on your blog.

As you’ve pointed out so clearly, trust is essential in any working relationship. Without trust, there can be little cooperation other than that driven by duty or loyalty. Without willing and interested cooperation, staff is merely a collection of individuals, slotted into a timetable, whose dynamic is limited to following directions.

So, to your question: what is the role of emotional intelligence in developing trust at work?

It’s a big question, and for the sake of being concise, I am going to focus on two behaviours I routinely see that undermine trust and cause immeasurable damage to an organisation’s bottom line.

The first area concerns how workplace decisions are communicated, and it’s probably best explained by way of a scenario.

A manager – let’s call her Jill – has just been informed of major cutbacks in funding for overtime and some potential redundancies. Naturally, Jill is concerned about these decisions and worries how her staff will take it. To communicate the decision, she invites all the relevant people to a meeting. Jill delivers the facts of the decision in a firm professional business-like manner; making sure upper-management’s decision is supported without question.

Another manger – Robert – is equally concerned about the decision and the way upper-management is handling it. Roberts is ‘one of the troops’ and, as well as communicating the facts of the decision, he shares his disgruntlement and frustration.

These two polarities demonstrate what I call the ‘communist’ and the ‘anarchist’ approaches. While they both communicate the fact that the decision is not negotiable, the first style is very much “comrades, we must follow the party leader”, and the second is “these leaders here are crap and their decisions are rubbish”.

I believe there is a totally incorrect notion that when it comes to communicating difficult decisions in the workplace, leaders have to assume one of these two positions. Unfortunately, neither engenders trust. In fact, both styles create mistrust among staff.

The next most frequent workplace challenge I see that requires trust and emotional intelligence is communicating in an honest and meaningful way when having a ‘hard conversation’ – for example giving poor performance feedback and developing a way forward with a staff member.

Apart from the 70% of people who simply opt out and don’t have the conversation at all, when people do engage in a ‘hard conversation’, I again see polarities arise.

On one hand, feedback and expectations are communicated in a tactless, aggressive, almost bullying style. On the other, I see ‘hard conversations’ delivered in a wishy-washy, fluffy style.

These behaviours are typical of low emotional intelligence in the workplace. Unfortunately they do nothing except create distrust and confusion, and generally the point of the exercise and the opportunity for growth is missed.

So how we do things differently and behave in an emotionally intelligent way to create workplace trust?

I suggest two very simple yet effective approaches.

  1. The development of emotionally intelligent decision-making. A style of communication that communicates both the facts and feelings of all the stakeholders and gains their commitment.
  2. The development of emotionally intelligent, interpersonal communication. Communication that is clear, succinct, tactful, and contains a path forward.

Both of these skills can be taught quickly and easily. Yes, they take practice, but what doesn’t? I have worked with NSW police, Hunter Health, ANZ bank, and dozens of other organisations across the country and seen people from Olympic athletes to corporate mangers and even street-kids develop these skills, and as a result foster trust and growth in their relationships.

Olivia, as you know, workplace emotional intelligence and trust is a deep and complex topic. I’m grateful for this opportunity to share two of the most effective ways it can be developed.

Jason Roberts.

Jason is a Workplace Learning and Development Consultant with more than 15 years experience. He has a Bachelor Degree in Training and Development and Psychology Studies, is a three-times Commonwealth Games medalist and former employee of the South Australian Sport Institute. Informed by research recording the transition from being an elite athlete to a non-sporting life, Jason has a profound understanding of how people manage and deal with change. He has also carried out African wildlife conservation work and in 2005, was an invited judge for the Australian Humanitarian of the Year Award.

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Filed under Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Motivation, Performance Management, Talent Management, Trust Leadership, Uncategorized

Generation, Schmeneration!

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sick and tired of hearing about Generation Y and why we’re the generational equivalent of  iSnack 2.0!

It seems that every generation thinks that the generation that follows them are lazier, sillier and less responsible.

It just doesn’t make statistical sense to assume that behaviour is based on the year in which you are born.

I just scrape into Generation Y and am proud of it. I was brought up on the values of self-reliance, hard work, earning my own way and good manners. Come to think of it, so were most of the people in my graduating class.

Next time you find yourself cursing the younger generation, just remember that they deliver your paper, make your coffee, flip your burgers, do your filing, type your letters, train you at the gym, fix your computers, serve your drinks and create the music you listen to.  Where would we be without Generation Y!?

So- having now got that rant out of my system…

How do these attitudes affect us at work?

I know I have often encountered people at work who “don’t understand Generation Y” and are confused by younger employees attitudes.

My advice is to treat people as individuals with different past experiences, backgrounds and skills which influence the way they behave. When we generalise behaviour into generational groups it is near impossible to identify root cause of behaviour and therefore makes it very difficult to find solutions.

It sounds very 60’s of me (maybe I should have been a Baby Boomer ;-)) but I think that having a generous spirit towards all we encounter helps us to build relationships and mutual undertanding.

And if you’d like something less hippy sounding- how about  Dr. Steven Covey’s 5th Habit of Highly Effective People:

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood”

Finally, for those who may have lost hope for the younger generation, maybe this will restore your faith in Gen Y. At the very least, it’s very clever!

Which generation do you fall into? What do you think of Generation Y?

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Filed under Generation Y, Motivation, Talent Management