Day 16 of F.O.O.D. – online presentations are always smoother when you’ve SIEVED the ingredients!

For day 16 of my F.O.O.D. Advent Calendar I’m thinking about online presentations you may need to make. Don’t let yours be full of lumps and bumps instead use my SIEVED technique!

Structure – think beginning, middle and end, like the news – tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you’ve told them.

What’s going to create interaction on either an emotional or physical level? A personal story? What can you get them to do to demonstrate the point you’re raising? Use polls, quizzes etc to make it more interesting

If you don’t show energy and passion for what you’re doing, why should others! Check out your energy level by recording yourself and giving yourself some critique!

Warm up your voice with some exercises before you get online. eg Peter Piper gets your mouth moving!!

I often hear people saying how difficult it is to engage online. Think of technology as just another medium. Let your personality shine through as if you were face to face. Lean forward and look into the camera, sit back and listen so that you can then take in the whole screen.

Finally remove any distractions for your audience. If in doubt, have a plain wall behind you.


Day 10 of F.O.O.D. – Using WILD RICE to focus on your delegation skills

It’s day 10 of my FOOD (Fixing the Out of Office Dilemma) Advent Calendar and I’m using WILDRICE to help you delegate better.  It’s so easy to think I’ll do it myself as it will be quicker, better etc.  But then we can’t do everything without eventually feeling stressed out!  Here are some great ingredients to help you.

First of all the What?  What is it you want to achieve from delegating this activity and why?  Have clarity on the jobs you must do and those that others can learn and be involved

Consider the individual, their strengths and what they will bring to the task

Remember it’s about delegating the authority whilst retaining responsibility, so think about what you need to have in place to be able to let go and allow the person to get on with it!

Delegating something to someone else because of your poor time management only sets someone else up to fail.  Make sure you both set an achievable deadline for the task to be completed with regular updates along the way

For the person to do the job well, what resources do they need?  This could be time, support, training etc – I often find it best to ask the person what they think some of the challenges so that we can plan the support

You will get the best results through giving clear instruction.  I don’t necessarily think it’s about the ‘how’, but links back to the ‘what’ you want to see achieved and to what standard.  I often ask the question, ‘how do you think you’ll approach this?’ to find out whether I’ve missed any vital information

Check-in and coach.  At our meeting I ask the person to set the check-in dates so that we can review progress.  It helps with the letting go element as the person feels more in control of the process.  However if their dates are too close to the deadline I’ll suggest we meet sooner!

Finally when the activity has been completed always get together to review.   Understanding the education of what’s gone well and what could be improved makes it a conscious thought process for the next time


Day 3 of F.O.O.D. – Using CRUST to manage remotely

It’s day 3 of my Advent Calendar and I’d like to share my CRUST technique to help with you manage your team remotely, our new reality! CRUST is a nice metaphor, as to me, it feels that it envelopes all the goodness within.

C is for collaboration. A great team works together, whether they’re together or a part with mutual respect a willingness to balance group and personal goals. Something we’ve really needed this year.

The R is all about being responsive. When someone needs help in your team, it’s about being quick to act in an appropriate way.

Understanding your team means that you don’t take a one size fits all approach. By getting to know each of them individually you’ll have a greater clarity of what will work of some and not for others.

When we’re in the office, we can easily turn to others to ask for help to complete a task. For us to be able to work best, we need to know the skills and capabilities of everyone.

Finally the T is all about Trust; the foundation of working together as a team. During the pandemic, managers had to learn quickly to manage the fine line between micro managing and not being in touch enough.  Think regular 121s and then the autonomy to get on with it!


T is for

Transformation is what I’m focusing on in this quote as I think it’s something that we’re all going through at the moment, but are we all aware of the journey we’ve travelled so far and the milestones we’ve achieved? Periodically I’m finding that I’m giving myself a hard time and asking whether I’m doing enough. Yet when I look back to March of this year, my life has been full of learning and I’ve made some major adjustments to the way I live and work, which I’m sure is the same for many of us. Both customers and suppliers have had to adapt and transform during this period to provide and buy our products in an online world?  There’s been a lot of unlearning and relearning going on and checking out how we all show up differently in this new world. Of course, letting go of the past, our comfort zones and everything else that is familiar takes courage and I feel that I’m continually riding on the edge of my comfort zone!

So as a reminder to myself, as much as to others who are giving themselves a hard time, remember that when we change the way we look at things the things we look at change. Take a moment now to reflect upon how you have stretched and transformed yourself during this period and see how can you use that learning to help those around you succeed too?

S is for

Everyone’s story is completely different at the moment.  Our lives have been impacted hugely through this pandemic and it looks as if it will continue to be so for a good while yet.  Many are living in a period where we’re forced to embrace uncertainty but also, in many cases, survival.  It’s another period of reinvention for both businesses and individuals and the only way we can work through it is by learning to lean into it and recognise that today is tough, but it will get better.  Did you know that by thinking this way, we automatically help our brain release some of the endorphins to stop it from feeling ‘stuck’?  In the last 14 years working for myself I’ve experienced a number of periods of uncertainty which has caused different levels of anxiety.  However, a key learning for me has been not to let the inner negative narrative take over as it just leads to a downward spiral especially at a time when we need to focus on where and how we can add value.

Whilst it’s scary hearing about the rise in unemployment figures and the impact of recession, it’s crucial we focus on what we can each do to adapt and survive as we move forward.  Work probably won’t look anything like it has in the past so take time to understand your transferrable skills and how you can utilise them in this new world.  If you’ve worked for one employer in the past and they can’t afford to keep you onboard fulltime, perhaps you can research where you can provide your expertise to others to fill the remaining hours you’d like to work.

I have a note on my phone that pops up every day.  It say’s ‘what would you do today if you weren’t afraid?’  Don’t let fear get in the way of your survival.