Yours Behaviourally

WOW! What A Day

The WOW Awards 2017

Yesterday, I had the pleasure and privilege to attend the 2017 WOW! Awards Gala Ceremony, a celebration of everything positive about customer service and the individuals, teams and organisations who turn ordinary into extraordinary for their customers.

In early September, along with a number of other volunteers, I spent a long, yet rewarding day, in the basement rooms of a central London hotel, judging 14 categories of the 2017 WOW! Awards.  Of the 21,349 nominations this year, 65 Finalists were chosen and our role was to help choose the 14 Winners!

After all the nominees in each category had had the opportunity to present their story, we had the tough decision of choosing the winners.  Pros and cons were strongly debated, cases put forward from other angles, opinions swayed until eventually a consensus decision was made.

Why was it so difficult?

Well quite simply, everyone nominated, whether it be an individual, a team or an organisation had one thing in common, treating their customers with respect, providing the best service they could and when a customer was in need of help, going that extra mile for them.

I can honestly say that it was one of the most emotionally draining days I have spent, listening to the amazing things other people do to make a positive difference to the lives of others.

The 2017 WOW! Awards Gala Ceremony

So, yesterday, it was the time for the 65 Finalists to find out whether they had won.  The Radisson Blu Portman Square was the venue and a champagne reception and networking started the event.  This was followed by the Kings Church Gospel Choir singing the iconic “What have you done today to make you feel proud” by Heather Small.

This teed up Derek Williams, the founder of the WOW! Awards to formerly open the awards ceremony, starting with Best Newcomer, won by Morrison Utility Services.  Derek is a great master of ceremonies, making sure that those coming on stage, to accept their award, were looked after and felt at ease.

The WOW Awards 2017 Gala Ceremony

9 more categories were completed prior to lunch, with short video clips or photographs of the nominees being displayed on the big screen.  In addition, the names of all those who had achieved 100+ nominations were read out and celebrated.

Lunch gave everyone the chance to catch their breath, recharge their batteries and enjoy an extremely good 3-course meal and a medley of songs from the Kings Church Gospel Choir, before the final four category winners were announced.

The Special Judges’ Award

The penultimate award, was The Special Judges’ Award, which went to 22 year old Joanna McMillan of Inverclyde Leisure, who, at the age of 20, noticed and then supported one of her customers who was going through an extremely difficult time personally.  Joanna’s efforts, ended up in a positive outcome for her customer.

WOW! You’ve Changed My Life Award

The final award was the WOW! You’ve Changed My Life Award for the public sector, which went to Chris Mitchell of Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust.  The patient who Chris helped was in the audience to share their heart-warming story of how Chris, “Changed Their Lives”.

Derek concluded formalities by congratulating all those who took part this year and also took the opportunity to thank all of his team for their support in putting on an event that certainly WOWed those in attendance.  With formalities concluded, it was time for those who wanted to head to the bar and celebrate with their colleagues and others they had met through the Awards.

Everyone’s A Winner In My Eyes

In my eyes, everyone was a winner, why? Because quite simply, they had all demonstrated something that some others in business sadly overlook, a compassion, kindness and care for others.  It wasn’t a case of “What’s in it for me and my company?” but How can I best support that person who needs my help?”

So What Could You Do Today To Make You Feel Proud?

Well, if you want to increase customer loyalty, boost employee engagement, plus instil a sense pride in what your business does to support your customers, if you haven’t done so already, you might find that checking out the WOW! Awards maybe a good start in making you feel proud.

This article is dedicated to all the award nominees, Derek Williams and his amazing team, those in the 100 Club and the winners of the categories.  Well done to you all.

Wishing you continued success and happiness in both work and life.

Yours behaviourally, Nick

Help Others By Paying it Forward

If you’ve found this article of interest and value, please use the Follow option in the right side panel to ensure that you are informed of future posts plus, help others and Pay It Forward by sharing it with those who may find it useful.

Can I Help You?

If you want to discuss how I may be able to help you and your team achieve even greater success by facilitating team building or by speaking at your conference, my email is  nick@ngagementworks.com, my mobile is 00447966306903 or please use the Contact Form

Do you know why your team exists?

Ngagementworks Nick Fewings Team Purpose

The first thing you need to establish if you wish to transform any team into a high-performing team is to get clarity and agreement on why your team exists i.e. the PURPOSE of your team.  In the Team DyNAmics© Model that I created, it is the most important of the sixteen elements that need to be managed effectively if you want to create a high-performing, engaged, dynamic and successful team.

We want meaning in our lives

In a survey mentioned by Harvard Business Review, 98% of workers said that having meaning to their lives was important.  As we spend a large part of our lives in work and in teams, it is no wonder therefore, why an agreed and compelling team purpose is the foundation upon which a high-performing team is created.  As Stephen Covey mentions in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,

Begin with the end in mind.

An ill-defined purpose leads to low morale

One of my first leadership roles was to lead an already established finance team.  I was aware that they had a low esteem of what they did and that perception was mirrored in the business units they had a relationship with.

At the first meeting I had with my new team, I asked them, “Why do you exist as a team?”  I asked each one of them to write down on a piece of paper what they thought.  They then shared what they had written with the rest of the team.  Their responses were varied but at the core of what they thought was that they collected financial data from various reporting units and put it in an agreed format.  They were widely known as the ‘bean counters’.  No wonder they felt bad about themselves and other parts of the business did not value what they did.  Their team purpose was mundane and added little value.

The 3 elements

For the next couple of hours, I challenged them and their perception as to why the team existed.  I did this by getting them to focus on agreeing three fundamental elements that together, would make a clear a compelling purpose for the team.

The three elements that I asked them to develop were as follows:

1.  What does our team exist to do?

What is it that we really do and deliver?

2.  What does this enable?

What value-add does this really achieve

3.  What benefits does this deliver?

How do others really benefit from what you do?

Eventually, after many ideas and much discussion, the team came up with a team purpose statement that made them feel positive about the work they did and the value that it added to other parts of the business.

The acid test

It is important that your team purpose can be justified and is specific.  It is no good using phrases such as “the best”, “the most creative”, “a world leader”, unless these words can be backed up with evidence that your team is that.

The acid test is to try out your team purpose on someone who doesn’t know your team.  They should understand exactly why your team exists in a few short sentences.

During a visit to the NASA space center in 1962, President Kennedy noticed a janitor carrying a broom.  He interrupted his tour, walked over to the man and said, “Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?”

The janitor responded, “I’m helping put a man on the moon, Mr. President.”

What a great story! Obviously, the janitor understood the importance of his contribution and how his role linked into the overall purpose of the NASA Space Team at the time. He truly felt he was a valuable part of something bigger than himself, and his attitude created a feeling of self-confidence in his mission.  He wasn’t merely a janitor, he was a member of the 1962 NASA Space Team!

An example Purpose statement

It would be totally inappropriate for me to share the team purpose of the finance team that I led, so I have chosen to share that of my company Ngagementworks which is as follows:

What does Ngagementworks do?

Ngagementworks exists to provide learning and development solutions that,

What does this enable?

engage individuals and motivates teams, helping them transform and achieve even greater success,

What are the benefits?

resulting in increased engagement and effectiveness at individual, team and organisational levels.

What is your leadership, operational or project team purpose?

So, what about your team?  Do you have an exciting, value-adding team purpose that everyone is bought into and understands?  It doesn’t matter whether you are a leadership team, an operational team or a project team, this is the most important thing that you need to establish and agree.  If you haven’t;

  1. Make the time to define your team purpose
  2. Check it out with your team and others to ensure it is clear
  3. Keep it simple

I’d love to hear about your team purpose.

Yours behaviourally, Nick

If you have found this article of interest, please use the Follow option at the bottom of this page, to ensure that you are informed of future posts plus, help others and Pay It Forward, by sharing with those who may find it useful.

Would you like to know more about how the Team DyNAmics© Model may help you and your team achieve greater success or me speaking at your conference?

I can be contacted via email via  nick@ngagementworks.com or by calling me on 00447966306903 or by using the Contact Form

Related Articles

Big Data Reveals That Leaders Don’t Have Tools To Measure Team Performance

An insight to the trends over the last 12 months from those teams using the Team DyNAmics© Model.  What is working well in teams and the challenges that they face.  Big Data Reveals That Leaders Don’t Have Tools To Measure Team Performance.

Teamwork at its best in Beijing

Find out how a team effectively used the Team DyNAmics© Model when I joined them for a trip to the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, when I was speaking and facilitating workshops at an international conference of leaders and entrepreneurs.  Teamwork at its best in Beijing.

TV Interview: “Cracking The Code Of High-Performance Teamwork”

A video of an interview explaining the importance of understanding and measuring the WHO is in your team and HOW effectively they work together if you want to achieve high-performance in teamwork.  TV Interview: “Cracking The Code Of High-Performance Teamwork”

How Coldplay & Pilar Zeta Inspired A Logo

The story behind how the Team DyNAmics Model logo was created. How Coldplay & Pilar Zeta Inspired A Logo

 

 

How to ensure you book a conference speaker that WOWS your delegates

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Conference Speaking 14

We’ve all been there, sitting at a conference, listening to a speaker that makes you want to put hot pins into your eyes.  If you are organising an event, getting a bad speaker is a nightmare scenario and no matter how much effort you have put into everything else, this is the thing your delegates will remember and of course, if the food is bad!!

So, is there a way to stack the odds in your favour?  Quite simply, yes there is.

I was invited to present on this topic, at the 10th anniversary of the Event Organisers Summit, run by Forum Events, because I have over 20+ years experience, speaking at over 450 events, during which, I have experienced the good, the bad and the downright ugly of speakers. No doubt, there are certain speakers that will stick in your mind for the right reasons and others for all the wrong reasons.

As background, I was asked to provide hints and tips to the 100+ delegates, based not only on my experience and research but additionally with my understanding of behavioural psychology.

I make no apologies that the examples I use are personal however, that is what I was asked to do. I hope therefore that they will provide you with a framework to help you book a speaker for your event, that will WOW your delegates and help you achieve success.  My focus is where, as an event organiser, you are tasked with finding an external professional speaker.

Before I share hints and tips about getting the right speaker, I want to share with you the psychological decisions that we make, when deciding to attend an event for the first time. In no particular order, the top 5 are;

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Conference Speaking 1

  1. Overall conference theme. Does it add value to the job I do and help me develop as an individual?
  2. Location. Where is it being held? What are the transport links or parking like?
  3. Agenda. What are the start and end times? The content? Breaks and time for networking?
  4. Speakers. What’s their experience and what are they talking about?
  5. Investment. How much will it cost me in time, travel, accommodation, subsistence and fee to attend?

If you’ve attended an event before, then whilst the above will play a part in your decision, the previous experience will have a significant impact on your decision.

So what about getting the right speaker?  Well first, you need to understand and recognise that we all have different needs, due to our different behavioural preferences.  When I work with teams, I use a colour model of human behaviour, based on the work of Carl Jung, a Swiss Psychologist, know as the Father Of Modern Day Psychology.

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Conference Speaking 2

At a top level, there are four different types of people (it is a lot more complex than this but for the purpose of this article, let’s keep it simple).  Each different style can be associated with different adjectives that describe that style.  Each of us should be able to put these colour preferences into order of most like you, right through to the one that is least like you.  Some people find this easy, others harder, depending on the strength of their preferences.

Now, when booking a speaker, the psychology is often, “If you are like me, I like you.” and you may book a speaker with a similar behavioural preference to you.  But what about the needs of the other behavioural types?  Based on my research, these are the sorts of things that the four different types want to see in a speaker.

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Conference Speaking 3

So, you need to think about a speaker that has an adaptable style that resonates with the mix of personality types that are in your audience.  So, how can you find someone who is like that?  Well the key thing is to do your research and there is a lot of publicly available information to do so.  Below are some of the places to look and what you should be looking for

1. Their website

Most people who speak on a regular basis will share the fact that they speak at events on their website.

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Conference Speaking 4

If they do, they are most likely to have client testimonials on there.  One of the things you should be asking when you talk to the prospective speaker is “Can you provide me with the email or contact telephone number of two of the people who booked you for your most recent speaker engagements?”

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Conference Speaking 5

2.  LinkedIn

LinkedIn provides some excellent information about the person if they use it.  You should be checking whether they mention they undertake public speaking on their overview page.

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Conference Speaking 6

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Conference Speaking 7

If they do, look at their Recommendations.  There should be recommendations about their speaking and sometimes you can also find out when they spoke last, what conference it was, what topic they spoke on and sometimes the size of the audience.

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Conference Speaking 8

3. You Tube

A quick search on You Tube under their name should find some clips of them speaking.

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Conference Speaking 9

4. Are they registered with a speaker agency?

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Conference Speaking 10

 

Again, a question to ask them.  Most speakers, like myself, will be registered with at least one agency.  The one I am registered with is called Speakers For Results.

5. Are they on other social media channels?

A quick search on Google or other search engines, should come up with images of them speaking at conferences.

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Conference Speaking 11

So,what to do with all this data?

Well, as you gather the information about the speaker, you should be trying to tick it off against the different needs of your audience, so you end up hiring a speaker that connects with the majority of your delegates, by delivering a presentation or speech, that meets their needs.

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Conference Speaking 12

What do they charge?

Once you’ve satisfied yourself that they would be a good addition to your conference, you need to ask them what their fees are.  Professional speakers will charge a fee, because speaking at conferences is a part of their business model. If your budget is restrictive, some of them may provide alternative solutions to paying all of their fee in cash, i.e. marketing opportunities.  If they say they will undertake it for travel expenses alone, you should be asking the question, “What is in it for them?”.  I recently wrote an article explaining this, which you can read here.

So in summary, the key to getting the right speaker at your conference, to WOW your delegates is:

Think about the needs of your delegates, not just about what you would like

Do your research

Check your research against what delegates want

If you do all this, then I am sure that your speaker will WOW your delegates.

I hope that you have found this article of interest and value.  If you have, please use the Follow option at the bottom of this page, to ensure that you are informed of future posts plus, help others who may find this useful by Paying It Forward, and sharing it with them.

If you feel that I may be able to help you by speaking at your conference? I can be contacted via email via  nick@ngagementworks.com or by calling me on 00447966306903 or by using the Contact Form

Wishing you continued happiness and success in both work and life.

Yours behaviourally, Nick

How To Achieve High-Performance Teamwork (6 min read)

Ngagementworks WHO WHAT HOW Teamwork Engagement

Kindly reproduced from a magazine interview with Nick Fewings

HOW DO YOU MEASURE TEAMWORK?

Effective teamwork is vital to the success of every organisation and even more so in times of political and economic instability, however, few organisations actually quantify what it is, how to measure it and how to achieve high-performance in teamwork. Understanding why one team performs better than another is hard to crack. Google has spent millions on Project Aristotle with inconclusive results.  However, Nick Fewings, CEO of Ngagementworks believes he has cracked it with a combination of behavioural profiling and the Team DyNAmics© Model he created.  Nick explains.

“Teamwork is influenced by two factors, WHO is in your team, in relation to their behavioural make-up and HOW effectively they work together.”

FOCUS IS COMMONLY ON “BOTTOM-LINERS”

At a recent leadership conference that I was speaking at, I asked the question “How many of you measure how effectively your team work together?” The resounding response was “We Don’t.”

What they did measure though, is what I call “bottom-liners,” i.e. indicators of performance that affect the P&L.  Due to the pressures on private companies to maximise returns for shareholders and both public and 3rd sector organisations, striving to minimise their cost income ratios, focus is very much on the “bottom-liners.”  Whilst these measures are important, so is an understanding of how effectively the individuals within those teams ,who deliver the “bottom-liners” are working together.

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT OFTEN FOCUSSES ON  CORPORATE ENGAGEMENT

Organisations try to balance measuring “bottom-liners” by undertaking Employee Engagement Surveys, but many of these tend to ask questions that measure “corporate wellbeing and engagement” and do not address the day to day issues that impact on a team’s performance and engagement.  In addition, many staff see these as just another “tick in the box” exercise that they’ve done before, which they perceive has having little or no impact on their day to day jobs.  They also see themselves as distant from the results and therefore do not take ownership of them.  The ones who often suffer are the leaders, who need to release their hard-worked and limited staff resources to ‘fix’ engagement issues, when their results are below the norm.

However, when Sunday evening comes and peoples’ minds turn to the next working week, it is how their immediate team works that either excites them or fills them with dread, not whether they have 10% off corporate membership to their local gym. That is why the WHO and HOW of teamwork is important to measure, understand and manage.

DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHO IS IN YOUR TEAM?

Coaches that achieve success with their teams, whether it be football, basketball, rugby, cricket or other sports, have an in-depth knowledge of not only the technical skills of their team but also what they are like behaviourally.  Are they loud, quiet, thoughtful, a creative team-player, someone who needs the tactics spelt out to them or someone who understands with little detail given.

The same applies to business teams and it is important that leaders understand these things about the individuals within their team, to maximise both their behavioural preferences and technical skills, in order to play to an individual’s strengths.  In addition, understanding the whole team, provides excellent information on how the team are likely to behave together, which impacts on team meetings, decision-making, how creative they are and many other aspects of teamwork.

The understanding of WHO is in your team can be achieved by using personality profiling and mapping the team.  There are many excellent tools in the market to enable this and the key is to ensure that you use one that is highly-regarded and use someone who knows the model and profiles well to bring them to life, explaining their practical application in the workplace.

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Clarity 4D Map

HOW TO KNOW WHAT IS WORKING WELL AND NOT SO WELL IN YOUR TEAM

Based on my many years’ experience of both leading teams and facilitating team development, my research identified 16 Elements that form the foundation upon which high-performance teamwork can be achieved.  Each of these 16 Elements bonds at a higher level, to what I call Categories.  4 Elements, each linked to the 4 Categories.

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Team Dynamics Engagement

Team DyNAmics© Model Categories

I then developed an online questionnaire, which team members complete about how they perceive their team is working, using statements that focus on the 16 Elements.  The results are amalgamated to produce a Team DyNAmics© Report which measure each of the 16 Elements, the 4 Categories and overall Team Engagement.

TEAMS WHO REGULARLY RE-RUN TEAM DYNAMICS© SEE A MARKED INCREASE IN TEAM EFFECTIVENESS AND ENGAGEMENT

The data is extremely powerful in highlighting both what is working well in a team and what is causing them a challenge. The team own their results and are therefore more likely to take action to overcome their challenges.  Re-running the questionnaire multiple times enables the team to track whether their performance, as a team is becoming more effective.  Uplifts of 15% in Team Engagement are not uncommon over a 6-month period.

Ngagementworks Team DyNAmics© Comparison

LEADERS NEED TO FOCUS MORE ON THE WHO AND HOW

I believe that leaders should be spending about 20% of their time on setting the strategy and goals of their team and 80% on the WHO and the HOW of teamwork, in order to achieve the goals that have been set.

I have found that a lot of leaders are doing exactly the opposite, due to the focus on “bottom-liners” and also the fact that they don’t have the tools to measure either the WHO or the HOW of team performance.

WHAT ARE THE BIG DATA TRENDS FROM TEAM DYNAMICS©?

The big data from using the model with teams is fascinating.  Having used it at leadership, operational and project level, across different industries and sectors, has produced some extremely valuable and interesting data and themes.

Whilst team members are saying that they are proud to work in their teams and that they are happy to give support and help to their colleagues when needed, it also highlighted that regular meetings to review individual performance against objectives are not happening as often as they should and that a lot of teams have systems in place that hinder, not aide them to work effectively.

Ngagementworks Team DyNAmics Framework Mapping

Ngagementworks Team DyNAmics© Framework Mapping

Reproduced with permission from an interview with Nick Fewings, CEO of Ngagementworks and creator of the Team DyNAmics© Model

Would you like to know more about how the Team DyNAmics© Model may help you and your team achieve greater success or me speaking at your conference?

I can be contacted via email via  nick@ngagementworks.com or by calling me on 00447966306903 or by using the Contact Form

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Big Data Reveals That Leaders Don’t Have Tools To Measure Team Performance

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Teamwork at its best in Beijing

Find out how a team effectively used the Team DyNAmics© Model when I joined them for a trip to the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, when I was speaking and facilitating workshops at an international conference of leaders and entrepreneurs.  Teamwork at its best in Beijing.

TV Interview: “Cracking The Code Of High-Performance Teamwork”

A video of an interview explaining the importance of understanding and measuring the WHO is in your team and HOW effectively they work together if you want to achieve high-performance in teamwork.  TV Interview: “Cracking The Code Of High-Performance Teamwork”

How Coldplay & Pilar Zeta Inspired A Logo

The story behind how the Team DyNAmics Model logo was created. How Coldplay & Pilar Zeta Inspired A Logo

 

If you have found this article of interest, please use the Follow option at the bottom of this page, to ensure that you are informed of future posts plus, help others and Pay It Forward, by sharing with those who may find it useful.

 

Colourful Collaboration by Emily Gow

I’d like to introduce our PIFPAL (Pay It Forward Pal), Emily Gow, who works as an Operations Officer for Crown Simmons Housing

This is Emily’s first job in housing and she loves the fact that there are always new things to learn. I really enjoy the customer service side of my role. I enjoy engaging with tenants, answering to their queries and ensuring they get the support and advice they need!” 

Emily’s passions outside of work are running and triathlons and the song that resonates with her and her life is Keep on Running – The Spencer Davis Group (I had to pick something running related!)

Her claim to fame is when she appeared on TV for five seconds when she was as a kit carrier at the London 2012 Paralympic Athletics!

You can find out more about Emily via her LinkedIn Profile.

Which of the 16 Team DyNAmics© Elements does your post support?: COLLABORATION

Ngagementworks Team DyNAmics Creative InteractionsHow Will It Help Others?: To demonstrate the importance of collaboration between teams or groups and how important this is if the whole organisation are to achieve success.

How long will it take?: 40 minutes to 1 hour

Resources required: Blue and red paper/card (or any colours of your choice) cut into squares

What to do:

Three teams are formed, named A, B, and C and seated separately. They’re instructed not to communicate with the other teams in any way, verbally or non-verbally, except when told to do so by the leader.

·         The objective is simple: to score as many points as possible.

·         Each round is a maximum of 3 minutes long and each team decides to play a red or a blue card.

·         The scores are as follows:

          If all teams choose Blue, each team scores 50.

–          If one team choose Red, that team score 100 and the others score 0.

–          If more than one team choose red, all teams score 0.

·         Teams can have a conference, via representatives with opposing groups after the fourth round (however, this can only take place at the request of all groups).

·         When the game is finished, all teams must discuss how their strategy changed as the game went on.

·         Discussion point: Did your attitude to the game change between wanting to win and wanting to collaborate at any point? If yes, when and why?

·         Teams should recognise that the maximum score will have been reached if Blue was played each time. The idea is not to beat the other teams, but to work collaboratively to score points.

It is not a competition!

Any other relevant information:  

·         One person must lead the activity and should not disclose the purpose of the game before it starts!

·      The players must work out why they are playing the game and what the most effective way of getting points is.

The leader should then facilitate a discussion about how the lessons learned from the game can be applied to collaboration between teams in work.  What’s working well? What needs to be changed? Who and how do we implement those changes? etc.

Many thanks to Emily for Paying It Forward.

If you’ve found this article of interest and value, please use the Follow option in the right side panel to ensure that you are informed of future posts plus, help others and Pay It Forward, by sharing it with those who may find it useful.

Please do share your stories about using this great activity from Emily by using the comment box below this post.

Would You Like Help Others And Feature In Pay It Forward?

If you have some effective learning that would help either individuals or a team and want to be featured in the Pay It Forward Initiative, I’d love to hear from you.  The only criteria are (1) the learning is effective, (2) it takes no longer than an hour to undertake, (3) you don’t need too many resources, (4) you are able to share it freely.

If you do, please email me via nick@ngagementworks.com or give me a call on 00447966306903 or use the Contact Form

Can I Help You?

If you want to discuss how I may be able to help you and your team achieve even greater success by facilitating team building or by speaking at your conference, my email is  nick@ngagementworks.com, my mobile is 00447966306903 or please use the Contact Form

Wishing you continued happiness and success in both work and life.

Yours behaviourally, Nick

Pay It Forwards You May Have Missed

Previous articles that you may have missed can be found by using this link

Paying It Forward On A Flight

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks Barcelona Flight

I’m a big believer of “Paying It Forward” and after celebrating my birthday in Barcelona last week, I had an opportunity to pay it forward on the flight back to London Heathrow yesterday.

On British Airways short haul flights, you have to pay for your in-flight meals and drinks and they don’t accept cash, only cards.  An American couple, one row behind ordered their lunch and drinks and their bank cards weren’t accepted, due to a known problem with that bank’s cards.  

The stewardess told the couple that she would finish the service to other passengers and see what she could then do.  Bearing in mind we were half way back in the plane, the couple would have to wait some time for the stewardess to get back to them, on a flight that only lasted just under 2 hours!!

Overhearing the problem, I gave the stewardess my card and said “I’ll pay for their meal and drinks.” The stewardess took my card and gave the couple their meal and drinks, explaining what I had done.

When the couple found out, they couldn’t believe it and thanked me, trying to give me the equivalent in US Dollars to cover the cost.  I declined and said that all I asked of them was to pay a kindness forward to someone they didn’t know at some point in the future.

Have you any stories of paying it forward?  If so, I’d love to hear yours.  

If you’d like to help others by paying it forward, you can via my Pay It Forward initiative. Simply, share a team development activity that works, takes no longer than an hour to complete, uses limited resources and is free for you to share.  In return, I will feature you and your company when I share the learning via social media.

As they say, sharing is caring.  If you want to know more about the initiative and read the team development already shared by others, here is the link.  Pay It Forward

Wishing you continued success and happiness in both work and life.

Yours behaviourally, Nick

Help Others By Paying it Forward

If you’ve found this article of interest and value, please use the Follow option in the right side panel to ensure that you are informed of future posts plus, help others and Pay It Forward by sharing it with those who may find it useful.

Can I Help You?

If you want to discuss how I may be able to help you and your team achieve even greater success by facilitating team building or by speaking at your conference, my email is  nick@ngagementworks.com, my mobile is 00447966306903 or please use the Contact Form

High5 Friday #6: Positive Stories From This Week

High5 Friday Ngagementworks Nick Fewings

Welcome to High5 Friday, a brief look back at this week and things, people or experiences, that caught my eye and made me feel upbeat and want to share with you.  There is so much negativity in the world, I thought this might resonate with others and who knows, you may be one of the people I mention in a future edition.

Wow Wow Wow

I’m sure you’ll agree that joining a new team can be a daunting experience, no matter what age you are or how many teams you have been part of.  Well, this week, I joined a new team.  On Tuesday, I was honoured and privileged to be one of the judges of the 2017 UK WOW Awards.

Derek Williams, founder of the WOW! Awards and his team had done a great job beforehand on briefing me on what was expected of me as a judge and on arrival at the central London hotel, I was told who the other judges would be for the two categories that I already knew I’d be helping to judge.  I was then introduced to Charlie Williams, CEO of CXCO.  Charlie had previously been a judge and due to his experience had been asked to chair our group, making sure that we kept to time and understood what was required of us.

Then I met the 4 other judges.

Jane Hirst who runs The People Specialist.

Stephen SpencerChief Orchestrator at Stephen Spencer Associates.

Geoff and Gita Langston, who run GL connects.

All of them had been judges previously, so knew what to do.  As soon as I entered the room, which would be our home for the next 9 hours, they made me feel welcome and shared their knowledge and experience openly on what to expect and what to do, with Charlie providing the framework on what documents needed to be completed.

All of them were brilliant at putting me at ease and allaying my initial nerves, giving me hints and tips on what to expect and what to do.  I truly felt apart of the team in a short space of time, so a big thanks to all of them.  My experience got me thinking about people who join your team.  What do you or your team do to welcome new them into your team and put them at ease?  Do you ask your new team members if what you do works?  If not, it may be worthwhile asking them to make sure it works for them and helps them integrate into your team as quickly as possible.

So, what about the day itself?  Well it was a truly emotional, inspirational and uplifting experience of how individuals, teams and organisations go that extra mile to WOW their customers in the services they provide.   If your organisation wants to raise the bar in the service and experience you deliver to your customers and recognise and appreciate those staff and teams that do, I would highly recommend checking out the WOW! Awards.

So who were the winners you may be thinking?  Well on pain of death, my lips are firmly sealed, so you will have to wait and see, when they are revealed at the Gala Awards Ceremony on Monday 6th November at the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, London.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this week’s High Five and that you have a great end to the week and weekend.

Wishing you continued success and happiness in both work and life.

Yours behaviourally, Nick

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High5 #5: 5 Positive Stories From This Week

High5 Friday Ngagementworks Nick Fewings

Welcome to High5 Friday, a brief look back at this week and 5 things or people, that caught my eye and made me feel upbeat and want to share with you.  There is so much negativity in the world, I thought this might resonate with others and who knows, you may be one of the people I mention in a future edition.

1.       Be Yourself, Be Great, Spread Your Wings & Fly

I am passionate about helping people develop, grow and reach their full potential and it has been wonderful to see Paula Harding do just that over the last twelve months.  Paula is an Executive Assistant at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.  She is a truly great ambassador of the EA/PA profession and also founder of #begreatermerseyside.

I’ve only met Paula once, at a PA learning, development and networking event in Liverpool at which I was speaking.  We connected via LinkedIn and other social media channels and it’s been a delight to see, via her posts how she has grown in confidence over the last twelve months.  Always positive in what she posts and more than anyone else I know, is exemplary at sharing those great stories we come across on social media that she knows will help her colleagues in her profession.  This week she undertook a 1-hour Twitter chat, sharing her experience of using LinkedIn.  She managed to give great advice to 20 questions in that hour, to give you an idea, I did similarly recently and only managed 5.

2.       Put Others At Ease So They Can Give Their Best

Recently, I was invited to appear on Business Connections Live TV, run by Linda Bazant and Steve Hyland.  Each week, the show features a business expert, who is interviewed by Steve for an hour on their topic of expertise.  No breaks, no outtakes and one crack at it.  I’d never been on live TV before and was asked at short notice if I could appear earlier than scheduled due to someone being ill.  To be honest, I was terrified.  Yes, I regularly speak in front of hundreds at conferences and facilitate 1-2 day learning programmes but this was totally different to anything I’d experienced.

Nick Fewings Ngagementworks On AirWhen I arrived Linda met me, offered me a drink and showed me round the studios, giving me an overview of how things worked and what would happen.  Then Steve, who hosts the show appeared.  We sat in a comfortable area outside the studios and just chatted about anything and everything which reduced my heart beats per minute considerably.  A quick brush of make-up on my balding head to stop the beads of sweat showing and I was good to go.

I thoroughly enjoyed being on the show, thanks in large to being put at ease by Linda and Steve.

Business Connections Live TV now has over 200 hours of advise and tips from business experts to help others achieve success. If you want to watch my interview about how to develop high-performing teams to help you or even just to see if you can spot any beads of sweat on my forehead, you can do so using this link, Cracking The Code Of High-Performance Teamwork.  You will also be able to view the other interviews that are archived.

3.       Little Positive Things Can Make A Big Difference

This week, I was in London, speaking at a leadership conference and stayed at the Premier Inn London Victoria.  I had just booked B&B as was unsure what I would be doing for dinner.  As the evening was a nice one, I know, unusual in the UK in Summer, I decided to head to central London to take some night shots with my camera.  As the sunset at just gone 8pm, I decided to have dinner at the hotel before heading into London on the tube. Marina, one of the receptionists enquired as to whether I’d booked dinner as part of my stay.  I told her no, just the B&B as I didn’t know what I’d be doing.  She said, not a problem, mention it to my colleague Gael in the restaurant and he will put it through at the discounted rate as though you had booked the whole package.  Not a lot of a saving but it meant a lot to me that Marina had told me.

When Gael took my order, my starter came out in a timely fashion and was delicious (Prawn Cocktail).  There then seem to be a long wait for my main.  I was about to mention something to Gael when he appeared with another red wine in his hand.  He then apologised that my main was taking longer than expected due to a problem with the gas in the kitchen.  He then offered me the glass of red wine as an apology for the delay.  Wow, again a small thing that made all the difference to me.  I have to say, the Chicken Makhani & Rice, Naan, Poppadom and Chutney were worth the wait.

Unfortunately Marina and Gael aren’t on LinkedIn however I did send an email to Leana Pacanac, the Operations Manager at the hotel, so hopefully they will know what they did had a big positive difference.

Nick Fewings Jannerboy62 Photo 29-08-2017Funnily enough, the delay worked perfectly for me as well, as I arrived in central London just before the sunset, so was able to take some great nights shots of some of the iconic buildings and bridges in London, which I shared in my post The Best London Night Photography Locations.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed these stories and that you have a great end to the week and weekend.

Wishing you continued success and happiness in both work and life.

Yours behaviourally, Nick

Help Others By Paying it Forward

If you’ve found this article of interest and value, please use the Follow option in the right side panel to ensure that you are informed of future posts plus, help others and Pay It Forward by sharing it with those who may find it useful.

Can I Help You?

If you want to discuss how I may be able to help you and your team achieve even greater success by facilitating team building or by speaking at your conference, my email is  nick@ngagementworks.com, my mobile is 00447966306903 or please use the Contact Form

Best London Night Photography Locations (5 minute read)

Nick Fewings Jannerboy62 Photo 29-08-2017

Hi everyone, good to see you here.

Just so you are aware, this blog works on three levels.  For those who know me personally or via my job, or through one of my hobbies, photography.  Whichever it is, I hope you enjoy reading it.

It came about after I spoke at a leadership conference in London recently and shared the importance of enabling people to know the you outside of work and how this helped to build trust between people who worked together.  One of the delegates had seen some photos that I taken in central London the evening before the conference and said, “Why don’t you write a blog so people know a bit more about you outside of work.”

Now for those of you who’ve read other blogs of mine, you will also know that I’m a big believer in “paying it forward” and sharing learning to help others, so it got me thinking as to how I could also use this blog, to help other photographers who wanted to take night shots in central London.

So, I thought I’d take you on a little journey around central London and share with you, what I consider to be some of the best locations to take night photographs in central London.  For those who may be interested in doing this journey yourself, it is just over 4 miles of walking and took me about 3 hours to complete, due to stopping to set up my camera, tripod and taking the shots.  So here goes.

I started my journey at Tower Hill Underground Station and walked towards Tower Bridge, taking the road to St. Katherine’s Dock, where I took my first shot at around 7.30pm, just before the sun set.

Nick Fewings Jannerboy62 Photo 29-08-2017

From here, I walked back to Tower Bridge, heading towards the South bank of the River Thames.  On the bridge, I was able to take a shot of London City Hall, also known as Town Hall and The Shard, as the sky darkened.

Nick Fewings Jannerboy62 Photo 29-08-2017

I then continued to walk across Tower Bridge, keeping on the right side of it, so that I was on the South Bank of the River Thames.  Shooting to the left, I was able to take a photo of 20 Fenchurch Street, which has the Sky Garden at the top of it.  It is also affectionately known as the “Walkie Talkie” building.  To the right of the photo, you can also see the building known as “The Gherkin.”

Nick Fewings Jannerboy62 Photo 29-08-2017

Still stood outside of the Lord Mayor’s Office, facing the river, to the right is Tower Bridge.

Nick Fewings Jannerboy62 Photo 29-08-2017

Directly opposite is the Tower Of London.

Nick Fewings Jannerboy62 Photo 29-08-2017

Walking along the river with Tower Bridge behind you, you come to Blackfriars Bridge, with St. Paul’s Cathedral in the background.

Nick Fewings Jannerboy62 Photo 29-08-2017

The next bridge that you come across which provides you with a good view is the Millennium Bridge.  Walking half way across it and looking back towards Tower Bridge gives you a great view of the “Walkie Talkie” building to the left, The Shard to the right and Tower Bridge in the distance.  The lights of Blackfriars Bridge make great reflections in the Thames.

Nick Fewings Jannerboy62 Photo 29-08-2017

Right in front of you when you are on the Millennium Bridge is the iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral.  I retraced my steps to get back onto the Southbank so I could take a photo that had part of the bridge to the right of the photo.

Nick Fewings Jannerboy62 Photo 29-08-2017

The next part of my walk was probably the longest part without taking photos.  Walking past the ITV studio and under Charing Cross Bridge, I then stopped to get a shot of the bridge with Charing Cross Station colourfully lit to the left.

Nick Fewings Jannerboy62 Photo 29-08-2017

The last leg of my journey took me past the London Eye to the steps that lead onto Westminster Bridge.  Due to building works being completed on The Houses Of Parliament, the scene was as brightly lit however, I thought that it gave a bit of “Old London” atmosphere to the photo.

Nick Fewings Jannerboy62 Photo 29-08-2017

I walked across Westminster Bridge and about two thirds of the way across, I looked back towards the London Eye and County Hall.

Nick Fewings Jannerboy62 Photo 29-08-2017

My final shot was on the way to get my tube at Westminster Underground station.  I hope you agree, an iconic shot that includes two things synonymous with London and loved by tourists, the London Underground sign and Big Ben’s clock face.  When you see the underground sign. you just need to look at it and behind it.

Nick Fewings Jannerboy62 Photo 29-08-2017

As you will see, the time shows 10.30pm, almost exactly 3 hours from when I started my walk.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed spending a few minutes with me on my walk and enjoyed the night shots that I took.  If you have and would like to see other photos that I’ve taken, please use this link to my Flickr Account.

If you are reading this blog as a person who loves photography, I hope that I’ve “Paid It Forward” and helped you plan your next trip to London to ensure you get some great shots without having to walk too far.

Maybe you know me from seeing me speak at a conference or having attended a team-building workshop that I’ve facilitated.  Perhaps you are a business connection on LinkedIn or the other social media I use, or part of my family and friends.  Whoever you are,  I hope that you’ve enjoyed this blog and that, if you didn’t know already, it has given you a little insight into one of my passions when I am not working.

Wishing you continued success and happiness in both your work and life.

Yours behaviourally, Nick

Help Others By Paying it Forward

Help others and Pay It Forward by sharing this article with those who you think may find it of interest.

Can I Help You?

If you want to discuss how I may be able to help you and your team achieve even greater success by facilitating team building or by speaking at your conference, my email is  nick@ngagementworks.com, my mobile is 00447966306903 or please use the Contact Form