helping you master the people side of data & analytics

It takes a village to help you master difficult conversations as a leader

it takes a village

Perhaps it takes a lifetime to master having difficult conversations as a leader, I thought it might at least take a village.

OK, I don’t have a physical village in mind, rather the global village of leaders working in the field of data, analytics, data science & customer insight. What have today’s leaders in this field learnt about approaching difficult conversations at work?

Having already recommended a book and shared the wisdom of guest bloggers Kevin Watson, Tony Boobier & William Buist – I pondered what else would help you. That’s when I turned to those leaders I know who have proven experience.


Might an insightful question be the key to your difficult conversation?

insightful question

Because a difficult conversation is, well… difficult, here is another perspective on how to master them. Using an insightful question to open up a better experience for both parties.

Guest blogger William Buist joins our gathering on this topic, with his tips from experience as a leader. William is a mentor to business owners & leaders, as well as a professional speaker. He’s also the Ethics Officer for the Professional Speaking Association, so brings that perspective too.

You may recall that William has shared with us before on leadership topics including asking beautiful questions, extra-ordinary leadership & collaboration. In this post, he shares his tactics for having an effective ‘difficult conversation‘…


Communicating bad news, 8 practical tips to help leaders

communicating bad news

This post continues a two-part series on the theme of how to communicate difficult decisions well.

In part one, guest blogger Tony Boobier talked us through the 3 different perspectives or roles to consider. He shared tips for senior decision-makers, managers who communicate bad news and how to receive it yourself.

This sharing of Tony’s leadership experience builds on a number of posts that he has shared with us previously. Those include ones on the topics of: being a discerning leader; project management and letting go of command & control.


For difficult decisions don’t forget the greasy pole (part 1)

difficult decisions

Continuing our focus on the need for leaders to have tough conversations, let’s face into the difficult decisions behind them.

I’ve previously suggested that “Radical Candor” can help leaders improve their ability to challenge well. Kevin Watson added to that by critiquing the value of feedback, offering a more positive approach.

Let’s dig deeper into the challenges that many business leaders are facing right now. At the precipice of what may the deepest downturn any of us have experienced, the scale of job cuts is growing as feared. Guest blogger, Tony Boobier shares his experience to help leaders communicate well at this time.


Why most leaders suck at giving useful feedback and how you can


Building on the guidance provided in my book review of Radical Candor, let’s explore further the challenge of giving feedback.

As well as useful advice from books I want to bring you the learned experience of leaders, through our panel of guest bloggers. So, I’m pleased that Kevin Watson stepped forward with his reflections on giving feedback in a way that works.

Readers of this blog may recall that Kevin is an experienced leadership coach & lecturer. He has shared with us before on topics including ‘being rather than doing’ leadership, managing virtual teams & not dwelling on failure. I also shared how much I enjoyed his workshop at this year’s Welsh Coaching Conference.


Missed your sales targets? Focus on relationships instead – B2B research

sales targets

Continuing our theme focussed on adapting to a new way of working, what about leaders who have missed their sales targets?

It is easy to overlook this community with the focus of this blog. But, as I’ve shared before Commercial Awareness is crucial for data, analytics & insight teams. So, it pays to stay close to the needs & concerns of your Sales team too.

For that reason, I’m delighted to welcome back guest blogger Peter Lavers to share their latest B2B client research. It focusses on the challenge faced by sales teams, with advice as to how they too can adapt to new ways of working.


How to build a virtual insurer for the new normal post-COVID

virtual insurer

When sharing books like “Re-Imagine” recently, I’ve mentioned the need to reinvent your business, e.g. as a virtual insurer.

Looking for an example of reinvention for the ‘new normal‘ predicted once COVID19 is under control, you could be excused for not considering insurers. Insurance is traditionally one of the most slow to change sectors.

So, I was intrigued when Paul Carroll, editor of the excellent Insurance Thought Leadership shared this article with me. In it, author Frederik Bisbjerg (Chief Strategy & Digital Acceleration Officer of Noor Takaful) faces into the reality that things will not go back to how they were.