Archives

09Oct2012

Working with “insurance” is stressful

  • By Ian Bradley
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“I’ll just run this by my boss” was a phrase that I heard all to frequently from my client who came to see about work-related stress.  Laura, a young woman in her first major corporate job, worked for a boss who micro-managed.   The boss, who did not like surprises, insisted upon being appraised about each
01Oct2012

Stress Leave (conclusion)

  • By Ian Bradley
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In in two previous posts, I described the typical sequence of events that surround a workplace leave for psychological distress.  I remarked on how the current system of handling such leaves is unsatisfying for the insuracne carrier, the employer, co-workers and most importantly, the stressed worker. I agree that the medicalization of the process with
06Oct2011

Never at Home!

  • By Ian Bradley
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This title refers to the silent motto of many of my executive coaching clients who refuse to talk at home about work, especially work problems. Oft cited reasons include: I don’t want to burden my wife He’d never understand anyway. I’d be seen as whining It’s too complicated to explain. Of course, there is a
20Jul2011

Coping with the Hot-Seat: lessons from Rebekah Brooks

  • By Ian Bradley
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In my practice as an executive coach, clients often come to see me in a crisis.  Frequently, that crisis stems from a superior’s criticism of that client’s on the job performance.  Whether it was a failure to meet specified sales targets or a budgetary over-run, defending oneself successfully is something of an art. Today’s televised
27Sep2010

Does Working Too Hard Lead to Burnout

  • By Ian Bradley
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The question of excessive work leading to burnout was cited in a recent case conference that I attended.  A young, but very competent, presenter described how months of working long hours led to her client’s eventual burnout.  The concept -excessive work leads to burnout- was dutifully accepted by everyone around the table. No wonder, this
22Mar2010

Mistakes; do we learn from them? Part I

  • By Ian Bradley
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We all make mistakes. Lawyers sometimes accept cases that they know they shouldn’t; teachers get into battles with kids that are unwinnable; and executives fail to consider all the variables in their strategic planning analysis. The question is; do we learn from our mistakes. Regrettably, our current culture stresses apology over analysis. In my practice
01Feb2010

Employee Recognition: why is it so hard?

  • By Ian Bradley
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Just say: “good job,” it’s simple, certainly brief and surprisingly effective. As an occupational psychologist listening to stories of workplace stress and discontentment, I frequently wish that I had a communication pipeline to my clients’ bosses to whom I could whisper the above advice. For the hard working but often harassed administrative assistants who receive
07Jul2009

Executive & Sports Coaching: unsettling parallels

  • By Ian Bradley
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I finally had enough hitting erratic backhands. Opponents were deliberately targeting my tennis backhand, and for good reason as the ball would either fly-off my too-open racquet, or alternatively, plummet into the net. In a last desperate effort before turning to racquet-ball, I engaged our club pro who coaches, not executives as I do, but
14May2009

Employee Recognition and Reward (ERR) Programs: the solution

  • By Ian Bradley
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Here’s a follow-up to the previous post about employee recognition. Guideline #1 Form a Steering Committee Strike a small committee, comprising peer-nominated shop floor employees and managers, with the mandate of designing and promoting the employee reward and recognition program or ERR program. Once created, the committee would bear the continuing management responsibility for the
07May2009

Employee Recognition and Reward (ERR) Programs: the problem

  • By Ian Bradley
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As a professor who teaches an undergraduate course in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT, I have many students who outright dismiss many of the “B” or behavioural aspects of CBT.   Nowhere is this more event than when I talk about positive reinforcement and its role in performance management. To these students, anything associated with
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