Home > Articles by: amblerock

Building Positive Relationships: A Manager's Guide (Part Two)

Building-positive-relationships-2

In the first part of this series about building positive relationships, we discussed six strategies to help managers connect better with their teams. Now, let's explore six more tips that can further strengthen those connections and improve overall team dynamics.

7. Provide Constructive Feedback

Offering constructive feedback is crucial for personal and professional growth. Be honest and specific when addressing areas for improvement. Balance your critique with praise by acknowledging your team members' strengths and achievements to encourage continued progress.

8. Foster a Collaborative and Positive Environment

Promote teamwork by encouraging open communication and collaboration among team members. Create a sense of shared responsibility and mutual support, ask questions so that everyone feels valued and involved in achieving common goals.

9. Encourage Work-Life Balance

Support your team members in maintaining a healthy work-life balance by respecting their personal time and setting reasonable expectations regarding workload. Having a balanced approach like this can serve to improve work relationships, but it can also contribute to increased job satisfaction and reduced burnout.

10. Be Consistent and Fair

Building positive relationships also means treating team members consistently and fairly, regardless of their position or responsibilities. Establish clear expectations from the start and ensure that rewards and consequences are applied equitably across the board.

11. Invest in Professional Development

Show your team members that you care about their career growth by investing in their professional development. Provide opportunities for skill-building, such as training programs, webinars, or workshops, and encourage them to apply their new knowledge to their roles.

12. Connect and Celebrate Successes Together

Recognize and celebrate the successes of your team as a whole. Whether it's a major project completion or reaching a crucial milestone, take time to acknowledge everyone's hard work and dedication. This reinforces the importance of teamwork and creates a sense of unity among team members.

Reflecting on Your Relationship-Building Efforts

As you implement these strategies, continue to reflect on how your relationships with your team members evolve:

  • Are your connections becoming more positive and supportive?
  • How have the new tips affected your relationships?
  • What challenges or successes have you encountered?

Continue taking action! Stay committed to enhancing your relationships by regularly reviewing and adjusting your approach.

Creating strong friendships takes time and dedication, but it's worth it! By creating a supportive and uplifting atmosphere, everyone in the team can feel appreciated, excited, and ready to achieve their goals.

If you'd like more information on how I can help you develop as a manager, reach out. I look forward to hearing from you!

What Are Motivational Maps?

Motivational Maps are an ISO-accredited tool drawing on over a decade of research into human behaviour, organisational psychology, and motivation. They are not a personality test or a psychometric profiling tool, but a self-perception inventory that reveals key motivators and the level of motivation in individuals, teams, and organisations.

How do Motivational Maps work?

Motivational Maps work by analysing responses to a short online questionnaire, which generates a clear and easy-to-understand report. These reports reveal each person's key motivators and their level of motivation. Each report provides actionable advice on how to increase motivation where it matters.

The Nine Motivators

The Motivational Map is based on Nine Motivators across three clusters of information: motivation through relationships, motivation through achievements, and motivation through individual growth. These each contain three core motivations.

The-Nine-Motivators-of-Work-small

Benefits of Motivational Maps

These reports offer numerous benefits. They can enhance self-awareness, increase motivation and performance, improve engagement and productivity, and provide better career and personal development insights. They also provide valuable information for individuals and teams, giving them an understanding of what motivatates them and their colleagues.

Application in Personal Development

In the context of personal development, having this information can help an individual understand their core motivators, which can guide them in setting meaningful goals and making important life decisions. In some cases it can also help overcome personal and career development issues.

Application in Business

In a business context, Motivational Maps can help organisations understand how their employees' motivators align with their values, mission, and vision.  They can also be useful to inform processes such as career and talent management and the performance management process.

Want to know more?

If you have questions or would like to know more, Amberock Training and Development are qualified practitioners for Motivational Maps and would happy to help, so please get in touch!

How Cool Blue can show up in your management style…

Cool-Blue-Insights-Discovery-Brick

Insights Discovery is a powerful tool that uses a simple and memorable four-color model to help individuals understand their unique preferences. The four colours involved are Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green, and Cool Blue. By understanding Insights Discovery, we can gain a better understanding of ourselves, our preferences, and the ways we operate. It also helps us to better understand those we interact with. This blog focuses on how the Cool Blue colour energy can manifest in our management style.

Cool Blue Managers: Strengths and Challenges

Managers with strong Cool Blue energy are known for their thoughtful, consistent, and methodical approach. They exhibit precision in communication and rely on logical reasoning for decision-making. These managers prefer organized environments and focus on details while adhering to guidelines.

However, under stress or pressure, the behaviour of managers who lead with this colour may appear rigid or inflexible as they cling to protocols and plans. Perfectionism or over-analysis can hinder project progress. In times of stress, they may retreat, making them seem distant or cold.

Improving Connection and Communication as a Manager

As a role model, it's crucial for managers who lead with Cool Blue energy to remain aware of their behavior and make conscious choices to connect better with their team. Here are some tips:

  1. Accept varied organizational styles: Remember that not everyone is naturally organized. Support your team members in working with their own styles.
  2. Share your thought processes: While you process information internally, invite others into your ideas and thought processes for better engagement.
  3. Dedicate time for team members: Plan regular one-on-one sessions with your team members for brainstorming and discussion.
  4. Learn to trust: Allow yourself to relax and trust your team to perform their best without imposing overly high expectations.

Explore our other blogs on Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, and Earth Green management styles for more insights.

To learn more about Insights Discovery and how it can create inspiring managers and exceptional teams, feel free to get in touch.

How Earth Green can show up in your management style…

Earth-Green-Insights-Discovery-Brick

Insights Discovery is a powerful tool that uses a simple and memorable four-color model to help individuals understand their unique preferences. The four colours involved are Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green, and Cool Blue. By understanding Insights Discovery, we can gain a better understanding of ourselves, our preferences, and the ways we operate. It also helps us to better understand those we interact with. This blog focuses on how the Earth Green colour energy can manifest in our management style.

Earth Green Managers: Strengths and Challenges

Managers with strong Earth Green energy are typically helpful, supportive, and empathetic. They prioritize creating an ideal environment, respecting individual perspectives, and nurturing growth. Loyalty, commitment, and trust are essential to them. They also rely on personal values, morals, and core beliefs in decision-making.

However, when under stress or pressure, Earth Green behavior may appear indecisive or submissive as they struggle to maintain peace. This can result in lost momentum and frustrations within teams. Additionally, Earth Green managers may exhibit stubbornness or resistance to change.

Enhancing Relationships as an Earth Green Manager

As a role model, it's vital for managers that lead with this colour energy to be aware of their behavior and make conscious choices. Here are some tips for improving connections with your team:

  1. Acknowledge differing perspectives: Not everyone is as patient or amenable as you. Help others slow their pace and consider alternative viewpoints.
  2. Trust the process: Embrace challenges and changes as important components of overall success.
  3. Engage the whole team: Use your skills of connection to involve everyone in achieving goals.
  4. Adapt to different work styles: Tight deadlines and interruptions may not suit your preferences but are often necessary. Create an environment that works for both you and your team by implementing processes that accommodate everyone's comfort levels.

Keep an eye out for our other blogs on how Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, and Cool Blue energies can show up in management styles.

To learn more about Insights Discovery and how it can create inspiring managers and exceptional teams, feel free to get in touch.

How Sunshine Yellow can show up in your management style…

Sunshine-yellow-Insights-Discovery-Brick

Insights Discovery is a powerful tool that uses a simple and memorable four-color model to help individuals understand their unique preferences. The four colours involved are Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green, and Cool Blue. By understanding Insights Discovery, we can gain a better understanding of ourselves, our preferences, and the ways we operate. It also helps us to better understand those we interact with. This blog focuses on how the Sunshine Yellow colour energy can manifest in our management style.

Enthusiastic and Engaging Managers with Sunshine Yellow Energy

Managers with high levels of Sunshine Yellow in their profile are often seen as enthusiastic, engaging, and encouraging of others. They prioritize collaboration and teamwork while maintaining a positive outlook. Some key characteristics of managers who lead with this colour include:

  • Involving people in decisions
  • Embracing creativity and imagination in groups
  • Adapting to change dynamically
  • Prioritizing fun and engagement

Challenges with Sunshine Yellow Energy Under Stress

However, there are times when typical Sunshine Yellow behavior can be perceived differently by others, especially when under stress and pressure. As a result, managers who lead with Sunshine Yellow energy can become:

  • Frantic or chaotic
  • Easily distracted or side-tracked
  • Overwhelmed by taking on too much
  • Prone to leaving tasks or projects unfinished

Tips for Managers with High Levels of this Colour Energy

As a manager with high levels of Sunshine Yellow energy, you can enhance your relationships with your team members by:

  1. Respecting different communication styles: Not everyone is as open and adaptable as you. Give people time to reflect and respond in their own unique way.
  2. Staying focused under pressure: Remain calm, take a deep breath, and remember your goals even when you feel like panicking. Use your strength of collaboration to help you and your team get through difficult times.
  3. Encouraging others to find joy in their work: Create a positive work environment by organizing team lunches, fun activities, or setting aside time for employees to focus on tasks they enjoy.

Keep an eye out for our other blogs on how Fiery Red, Earth Green, and Cool Blue energies can show up in management styles.

To learn more about Insights Discovery and how it can create inspiring managers and exceptional teams, feel free to get in touch.

How Fiery Red can show up in your Management Style

Fiery-Red-Insights-Discovery-Brick

Insights Discovery is a powerful tool that uses a simple four-colour model to help individuals understand their unique preferences and behaviours. The four main colours are Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green, and Cool Blue.

Businesses using this pshycometric tool have seen a measurable impact and by understanding your Insights Discovery personal profile, you can:

  • Gain a better understanding of yourself and your preferences.
  • Improve communication and develop more effective relationships.
  • Recognize colour energies in other people, which helps you to make conscious choices about actions and behaviours.

In this article, we will focus on how Fiery Red colour energy influences management styles.

The Fiery Red Manager: Decisive, Direct, and Action-Oriented

Managers with high levels of Red energy in their profile are often:

  • Focused, determined, and proactive.
  • Courageous risk-takers who move towards goals.
  • Clear and direct communicators who inspire action.
  • Fast decision-makers focused on speed and success.

However, there are times when typical Fiery Red behaviour can be perceived differently by others, especially those under stress and pressure. In these situations, this colour energy might be seen as coercive, controlling, arrogant or simply dismissive of other people's opinions.

Balancing Fiery Red Management: Tips for Enhancing Team Relationships

If you're a manager with high levels of this colour energy in your profile, consider these tips to strengthen the relationship with your team:

  • Remember that not everyone operates at your pace. Listen and ensure that everyone feels heard.
  • Focus on active listening without any distractions.
  • Implement regular 'pulse checks' with your team for reassurance and engagement.
  • Delegate responsibility and place trust in your team members to build their confidence.

Stay tuned: There are more colour energies to come!

Explore our other blogs on Cool Blue, Sunshine Yellow, and Earth Green management styles for more tips on identifying colour energies.

To learn more about Insights Discovery and how it can create inspiring managers and exceptional teams, feel free to get in touch.

Avoiding the Weeds: How to Stay Focused as a Manager

1_Stuck-in-the-weeds

Do you ever find yourself:

  • Feeling overwhelmed by details and losing sight of the bigger picture?
  • Spending more time planning than actually doing?
  • Working hard but not making much progress?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be getting "stuck in the weeds".

Here are some ways to recognize this issue and overcome it in your management role.

What does it mean to be "Stuck In the Weeds"

Being "in the weeds" means getting bogged down and distracted by details, causing you to lose sight of the way forward and the bigger picture. It can happen for various reasons, such as wanting to understand all the details, being scared that things will go wrong without your expert eye, or not yet trusting your team members.

However, staying in the weeds isn't ideal for your management role. It can lead to inefficient use of your time, hinder team development, and cause demotivation.

How to Get Out of the Weeds

Here are some strategies for avoiding the weeds and staying focused on your management responsibilities:

  1. Delegate: Decide to take a step back and enable someone else to understand the detail instead of you. Determine who is the right person for each task and what information you genuinely need.
  2. Request Summaries: Encourage your team members to provide summaries and top-line information instead of detailed reports. This helps prevent getting sucked back into the details.
  3. Evaluate Your Involvement: Think carefully about which conversations and meetings you participate in. Ensure that your involvement adds real value and is necessary rather than just habit or personal preference.
  4. Stay Focused on the Bigger Picture: Remind yourself to concentrate on the road ahead, including strategy and long-term goals, rather than getting lost in small details. Seek support from colleagues or mentors to help change your approach.

If you have any tips and tricks on avoiding those distractions and not getting overly involved, we would love to hear them. But if you would like more help and guidance on this matter, feel free to get in touch!

Asking More Questions: A Guide to Effective Communication

Questions

As a manager, it's natural to want to have all the answers. But sometimes, the best thing you can do is ask questions instead of providing solutions. By asking questions, you can help your team members think through issues, find their own solutions, and gain a deeper understanding of the situation at hand.

So how can you incorporate this into your management style? Here are some tips:

Keep Your Questions Simple and Open

When asking questions, aim for simplicity and openness. Question them in a way that encourage conversation, rather than just a yes or no answer. For example, "What has happened to make you feel this way?" or "What are your options?" or "What have you already tried?" or "What results have you seen so far?"

Focus on Clarity and Understanding

Asking questions can help bring clarity and understanding to a situation. It encourages creativity and builds confidence among team members because they are better equipped to deal with their challenges. By gathering information this way, you can offer more effective support rather than jumping to conclusions.

Overcoming Fear of Asking Questions

New managers often avoid asking questions because they feel it makes them look like they don't know what they're doing. They may feel the need to demonstrate their knowledge and prove why they're in charge. However, questioning things is actually a sign of effective leadership. It demonstrates that you care about understanding your team members' perspectives and helping them find the best solutions.

In conclusion, asking questions is an important aspect of your people management skills. It enables you to support your individuals and teams in a more effective way, encourages creativity and builds confidence. So next time you're faced with a challenge, take a breath and ask a question instead of providing an immediate solution. You might be surprised at the results!

Have you tried asking more questions in your management style? Give it a try and let me know how you get on…

Building Positive Relationships: A Manager's Guide

1598894465-relationship-picture

Building positive relationhips can boost happiness, trust, and engagement in the workplace. This not only improves productivity but also enhances the key KPIs you are no doubt interested in. As a manager, you play a crucial role in developing, nurturing, and role-modeling these relationships. We'll explore six key strategies to help you cultivate strong relationships as an effective manager.

1. Get to Know Your Team Members

To establish connections, take the time to understand the individuals involved. Show genuine interest in their lives, interests, and dreams – both professionally and personally. Ask questions and actively listen to their responses. To support your team members effectively, invest time in discovering who they are and what makes them tick.

2. Share Yourself with Your Team

As you learn about your team members, share aspects of your own life with them. Great management is about forming honest, genuine connections based on mutual understanding. It's important for people to know about your interests and motivations. Remember that loyalty stems from genuine connections with others.

3. Implement an Open-Door Policy

Ensure that you're accessible, visible, and present for your team members as much as possible. Offer quality time beyond scheduled one-on-one sessions, so they know they can rely on you when needed. Be there as a supportive figure for them – this will foster trust and understanding.

4. Embrace Diversity within Your Team

Celebrate the unique strengths, ideas, thoughts, and opinions each team member brings to the table. Encourage them to use their strengths for problem-solving, creative thinking, and adding value to tasks and projects. Adapt to individual styles, preferences, and needs for a more personalized approach.

5. Value Your Team's Contributions

Recognize and appreciate your team members' achievements with gestures like thank-you notes or small tokens of appreciation. Show your gratitude in various ways, such as bringing treats to the office, organizing a team lunch or anything else you think may lift their spirits. These actions will strengthen your connections and give rise to more conversational opportunities to learn about them and who they are.

6. Maintain Professional Boundaries

It can be a tricky balance to form meaningful connections while maintaining professional boundaries. Although it's essential to create supportive relationships, remember to keep a degree of separation between work and personal life. This boundary helps you remain objective during formal processes.

Reflecting on Your Relationships

Take some time to reflect on your relationships with your team members:

  • Do you have positive relationships with them?
  • What do these relationships look like?
  • What aspects are working well?
  • What could be improved?
  • What actions can you take to enhance these relationships?

Take action! Commit to two actions this week that will improve at least one relationship.

Building positive relationships is an essential skill for managers. The tips above are a starting point, but there are countless strategies to explore. Don't be afraid to try new things and learn from your experiences.

Stay tuned for Part Two of this blog series, where we'll cover six more tips for building positive relationships as a manager.

For regular insights on management skills, follow my social media accounts:

To learn more about how I can help you develop as a manager or support your teams of managers, get in touch. I'd be thrilled to hear from you!

Welcome to Amblerock!

Amblerock-Logo-RGB

Hello and welcome to the Amblerock Training and Development website and my inaugural blog post! I'm Nicola Blackmore, the founder and principal consultant of Amblerock Training and Development. If you don't know already, allow me to give you a brief overview of what we're all about.

Who we are

Amblerock Training and Development is an independent training consultancy specializing in management development. Our mission is to enable individuals and organizations to reach their full potential. As the principal consultant, I wear many hats, but I also collaborate with a team of experts who support our clients to ensure top-quality services.

Our niche: Developing Managers

We pride ourselves on being a trusted partner to organizations for providing training, support, and resources to help them develop their managers.

Often it's the new managers who have been recently promoted for doing well who need the most support. I have had firsthand experience of this, and found myself in a similar position – I was promoted into my first management role and quickly realized just how different and challenging it was compared to my previous position.

That experience is why I'm so passionate about helping new managers understand their roles, acquire essential skills, grow in confidence, and become the best versions of themselves. Effective managers can significantly impact their teams and ultimately contribute to an organization's success. So, getting this right is crucial.

How we deliver training

We offer training through various methods:

  • Face-to-face workshops for group learning experiences
  • Virtual live training using platforms like Zoom
  • Pre-recorded online training courses with activities accessible at one's own pace

Our blended approach creates tailored learning experiences that suit everyone's needs and promote long-lasting learning retention.

Insights Discovery: A fantastic profiling tTool

We use a number of methods to aid the learning experience, one of these is Insights Discovery. It's a profiling tool that helps people understand themselves and their impact on others.

Insights Discovery profiles are often used at the start of a development journey, allowing individuals to understand and reflect on their own traits before exploring management techniques. As an official partner and licensed practitioner for Insights in the UK, I've seen how this tool can lead to life-changing realizations and the benefits that can bring.

Motivational Maps: What motivates you?

Motivational Maps are an ISO-accredited tool based on over a decade of research into human behaviour, organizational psychology, and motivation. Its a great way of finding out how to motivate your team, which can lead to improved productivity and engagement.

What you can expect from this Blog

Through this blog, I aim to share my knowledge, ideas, and thoughts on management, training, life, and other relevant or interesting topics. I hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your thoughts. Stay tuned for more about Insights Discovery and any other exciting developments!