values Archives - The Performance Biz

Are You Successful At Managing Up?

By | Blog | No Comments



“You will have a unique perspective, based on who you are, your experience, your knowledge and your understanding of a situation. Sometimes, your unique perspective might be just what is needed…”

(If you prefer to view this content in video format, click the link above).

This is an interesting topic and the reason I am posting it now is because it is a challenge for so many and specifically because one of my clients raised it with me the other day.

What does it mean?

Firstly, I’d like to define what Managing Up means, in my view. Managing Up is to be a trusted colleague and to have a voice with those who are of a higher status than you, your boss, for example.

It is perhaps an unfortunate term, as it can suggest the tail wagging the dog and that is far from the truth and a million miles away from what anyone needs or wants.

I see Managing Up as distinct from Delegating Up, which will be discussed in a future article.

Why is it important to be able to Manage Up?

At times, maybe often, you will see things that others don’t see. You will have a unique perspective, based on who you are, your experience, your knowledge and your understanding of a situation. Sometimes, your unique perspective might be just what is needed.

What are some of the perceived risks of Managing Up

  • Getting into conflict with your boss
  • Your boss taking the credit for your ideas
  • Your boss not doing what you say
  • Feeling frustrated that they don’t see your point of view
  • Feeling undervalued
  • Your boss not
  • sharing their worries with you
  • Defensiveness or getting angry
  • Feeling reluctant to stick your neck out, after a previous bad experience

The list goes on…

How to Manage Up Successfully

1. Rename, reframe – Instead of Managing Up, it might be helpful to think – How can I become a ‘trusted colleague’?

You are trying to create a relationship that is mutually respected. Where you can voice your opinion safely and can work together for the benefit of the company, clients and team. There is no ‘management’ to be done, there is only collaboration and openness.

2. Know the parameters – Every relationship has parameters that must be observed to be successful.

This is key to your success here. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to believe their value as an employee is attached to being right and this can damage the relationship. When you believe success relies on your advice being acted upon, as soon as you have won the argument (assuming you do), you may well have damaged the trust. If your point is not acted upon, however, you are likely to feel aggrieved.

Remember, you don’t have the responsibility that your boss has and you won’t necessarily share the same perspective as each other. Your boss might have a broader understanding of the strategy, for instance. Therefore, it is good practice for a trusted colleague to detach from the outcome, when it comes to offering up your ideas and opinions. By all means, get fully behind your proposition and give it your best. Then let go. Your boss owns the decision.

3. Think first – Is what I am about to share constructive and positive? Does it benefit my boss, the organisation and the team?

4. Practice patience – It is easy to get frustrated. It takes strength to practice patience. It will pay off. Focus on your own deliverables and make sure your work is of the highest standard, avoid getting distracted by politics, gossip or what other people should be doing and remind yourself that rejection of one idea or opinion does not mean a rejection of you. Stay confident, stay open and whatever the result, know that you have at least sowed a positive seed and a different perspective.

Wishing you luck! Please share your experiences with us. It is always so inspiring to hear when you have had a great result.

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants.

Avoiding The Blame Game

By | Blog | No Comments


“It can be very stressful to pick the bones out of what went wrong…”

(To receive this content in video format, click the link above).

Why do we come to work? To deliver on the mission of the organisation. That’s how crucial every single employee is. You matter greatly and so does every member of your team. What you do and how you do it impacts everyone.

Your work should feel good and congruent with who you are, you should feel able to weather the pressures and the highs and lows that will inevitably come in any work environment and to do that, you need the best tools and strategies to support you.

We give leaders who work with us powerful and practical tools and strategies they can use to maintain clarity even in potentially difficult or confusing circumstances, leading their teams back on track, focused and feeling understood.

Many of our clients are leaders who have to deal from time to time with issues that involve one party blaming another for something that should or shouldn’t have happened. And we know that it is all too easy to get caught up in the detail of the problem and to get sucked into the blame game. It can be very stressful to pick the bones out of what went wrong.

The quarrelling parties will each want you to believe their side of the story. They will be focused on getting you to see that they are right and the failing was due to the other party, the system, the client, or something/someone else. Most people get unsettled when things go wrong and they feel a compelling need to be vindicated.

Whilst it is important to recognise the feelings the other party is expressing (eg: frustration, anger, disappointment), it is really important to stay objective so that you can find a resolution.

Here’s one simple strategy that might help you to elevate your team out of the blame game and keep standards high:

  1. Breathe!
  2. Accept the situation for what it is (it’s happened and you are all where you are)
  3. Focus on the best outcome possible in the circumstances
  4. Make your intentions clear
  5. Agree with the parties involved, the steps that need to be taken to get there from where you are now
  6. Assign ownership and timescales to the plan
  7. Review the process, revising where necessary to avoid a future recurrence
  8. Gain commitment from all parties concerned
  9. Thank all for their cooperation towards a successful outcome
  10. Address knowledge/performance gaps with the individuals involved, privately one to one. Support them as they learn and agree a plan

Remember, things will go wrong from time to time. They provide an opportunity to improve. Address the situation early on, make the changes necessary and set expectations for the future.

To find out more about how we can help your business, and to arrange a conversation with a consultant, click here, or call us on +44 1932 888885.

Step 1 – Save Time and Money By Focusing on Trust Rather than Blame

By | Blog, Values | No Comments

Values – Putting words into action


So much is spoken about Values in schools, in the workplace.  However, when it comes to asking people about their own values, often they haven’t given it much thought.  Yet, whether we have thought about it or not, we are driven by our own personal values and the rules we apply to them.

When it comes to values in business, most organisations these days have a list of values that they share with colleagues and customers. These values represent the core principles that the organisation wish to adhere to and they are designed to form a vision, or a framework for the way their customers can expect to be treated by them.

Defining the values and letting everyone know about them is just the beginning of the process.

The next phase is to ensure those words are put into action. Otherwise known as ‘walking the talk’ and this can prove to be more challenging, yet not impossible.

Let’s take a typical example of a company’s core values…

  • We are passionate about what we do
  • We have integrity
  • We are accountable for our actions
  • We respect our customers
  • We ensure quality in all that we do
  • We love to work here

When a potential customer sees these values, they get a feeling for, or a picture of the organisation.  They may feel comforted and inclined to trust the company.  Yet, over time, it is not the value statements that build and maintain the trust, but how the organisation relates to that customer face to face.

Ensuring the values are aligned with the mission statement

It is absolutely vital that the mission statement is supported by the values.  If not, the risk is that either the mission statement is pursued at the expense of the values, or the values are pursued, which puts the business imperatives in jeopardy.

Live them

Before we can expect our followers (employees) to live our company values, we have to embody them ourselves.  This means putting them at the forefront of all that we do.

So let’s explore an imaginary scenario, using the example values I have detailed above.

Let’s assume you are the MD of Conglomerate Biz.  As a leader of this organisation, in stating your company values, you have also made a personal commitment in the following ways:

We are passionate about what we do – this means that as a leader, you must demonstrate your passion every day.   Passion for the products and services you offer, passion for how you operate, passion for the people you employ, including those who are not yet high performers, passion for the challenges you face, passion for the successes you have, passion for the things you could be doing better.  To have passion is to have enthusiasm, love and desire for a subject and as a leader, the best way to demonstrate living this value is to feel passionate about the good, the bad and the ugly too.   It is this passion that has the ability to embrace the bad and the ugly, and to convert them into something great with positive and well planned action.

We have integrity – as a leader of this imaginary organisation, you must demonstrate that you act honestly, honourably and sincerely as far as is possible.  You need to show that you have a good moral compass – treating your employees fairly and supporting them through periods of personal growth and challenge.  You have to show that you personally value integrity.  In other words, to do your best to operate openly without cause for others to be suspicious of your intent.  Any contrast to this raises doubt and confusion, so it is important to always speak respectfully at work and with good regard towards spouses, children, friends, clients, colleagues etc… and to be fully congruent with who you are.  Performance management is much more effective when the person being managed feels accepted, respected and understood at a personal level, which then opens the door to discuss and resolve performance matters.  This approach, together with a strong vision for a positive outcome or objective, paves the way for mountains to be moved.


We are accountable for our actions – this starts with you as a leader first. Even if someone has done something really stupid at work, it is your response that you will be measured by. In being responsible for your actions, you need to recognise when something has triggered an emotional response in you, and when you have behaved in a reactive way.  If you can spot when you have reacted emotionally (eg: shouted, blamed, bemoaned, criticised, ostracised, ignored, humiliated etc…) and recognise that in yourself, it allows you to apologise where appropriate, and move your focus as quickly as possible towards a positive and constructive resolution. Before pointing the finger at an employee for not taking accountability, you must consistently demonstrate it yourself. A blame culture and lack of trust starts with the leaders, so if it exists in your business, you have the power to change it.

We respect our customers – in order to expect your employees to respect their customers, it is important to demonstrate your own respect and high regard for your staff, stakeholders, suppliers and customers, because that sets up a model that they can emulate out to their customers.  Respect doesn’t mean yield or be weak.  It is important to offer clear guidance and to be open about what is and isn’t acceptable and desirable, yet so much more can be effectively achieved through a framework of respect and understanding.

We ensure quality in all that we do – how can you give the best quality work environment to your employees?  What do they need to perform their jobs to the best of their ability?  What will make the difference to them?  How can you best support them so that they can be even more successful?

We love to work here – what reasons do your staff have, above and beyond the obvious pay cheque at the end of the month, for ‘loving’ to work here?  What can you do to give them good reason to love working here?  Why does anybody ‘love’ to do anything?  Most people love to be in a place where they are learning and contributing in a way that makes a difference, but what that looks like depends on the person, so it is important to know them as individuals and to give them what they need in order for them to ‘love to work here’.

As MD at Conglomerate Biz, you now have a really deep understanding of the personal commitment behind the values that allows them to be really embodied across the organisation.  Values are so much more than words on a wall.

Help your employees to align your corporate values with their personal values

Values run pretty deep inside us, even when we haven’t consciously decided on what our values are.  They drive our behaviour, and when we feel our values have been violated in some way, we can have a pretty dramatic reaction.

If you are struggling with an employee who isn’t living up to your company values, who is behaving in a negative fashion, or just not very enthusiastic, then there is something adrift, which is more than likely to be due to a misalignment.  Either they are picking up on incongruences, or they are finding it difficult to align them with their personal values in some way.

When this happens, it is important to act quickly, before it festers and grows.  Get talking.  Find out where the misalignment might be without being judgemental and then work with them, not against them to break through it.

Lucy Windsor is a Dramatic Breakthrough Coach and Head of Roleplay at The Performance Business.

Is your organisation built on Trust?  Call us on 01932 888885 for a free consultation.



From Brand Values To Increased Profit

By | Blog, Culture, Values | No Comments

Most businesses of any size take time to carefully create their mission and their values, and to promote these to employees and clients.

Employees are expected to live the company values and more and more, key performance indicators tend to incorporate these goals.  Customer Satisfaction Questionnaires and Employee Engagement Surveys also reflect the mission and values in order to develop and enhance the corporate identity.

Values are often found up on the walls as a reminder – in Reception areas, the cafeteria and meeting rooms.  They serve as a quick prompt for clients and staff alike that this is what the organisation is about.

Even with all this activity and investment, only a very few companies actually deliver on their mission and the values they promise at every level of the organisation.

What is it that makes the difference?

  1. Congruence – walking the talk

No matter what our company mission or values are; how we behave towards our clients and our staff day in day out is what really matters.  Corporate values are vital.  They give everyone clarity – what to aim for, what we stand for.   But, they are just words and words alone count for very little unless we embody those words in everything we do.

When we create our mission and our company values, we have to be congruent with them and live them ourselves at a personal level day in day out.

We must also ensure that our values are congruent with our commercial aspirations.

  1. Alignment – what’s in their hearts

It is not always easy for employees to take company values to their hearts, despite all efforts from the business.  Employees often find it difficult to adopt them, not because they are negative people, or wrong or disloyal even.

Often the reason people don’t or can’t live the company values with the conviction we would like, is because they feel that at some level they would be going against or setting aside their own values or needs in some way in order to do so.

When an employee can feel directly and personally aligned to the corporate values, there is trust, understanding, motivation and a real energy to live and breathe them.


The most successful organisations understand these two factors and you will see their mission and their values running through everything and everyone like a word running through a stick of seaside rock.

The litmus test: get someone independent to your organisation to ask a random sample of employees from different functions what your company values are without looking them up!   Enthusiastic responses, encompassing the essence of your values, even if they use different words, confirms that you are indeed building the culture you wish to promote.

For help on converting Values into Profit call us on: 0044 1932 888885 – The Performance Business – building reputations, cultivating loyalty, creating wealth.

Lucy Windsor is a Partner in The Performance Business, a Dramatic Breakthrough Coach and has headed up our Roleplay team since 2001 after a successful career in IT Services Industry. 


Call Now Button