The Dark Side of Personality Testing

A few years ago I attended a short course in coaching. The trainer was  a certified practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming and had included some of these techniques within the course. However, he imparted this knowledge with a warning – that these “powers” could potentially be used for evil. Continue reading “The Dark Side of Personality Testing”

Do women or men make better leaders?

A couple of years ago “scientific proof” that male and female brains operate differently was announced. This was quickly followed by general uproar and the accusation that science was “validating sexism”. More recently the original study has been supplemented by more in depth research, which confirmed that the brains of the different sexes are in fact different. However, those differences are very small Continue reading “Do women or men make better leaders?”

I used to be into Politics


I don’t know why but I used to be into Politics. I couldn’t wait to leave school and take up my A-level in Politics. Our tutor was a wiry lady, reminiscent of Thatcher in her later years and an accent to match. We sniggered at her bright red whisky drinker’s nose and privately-educated rumoured-love-child. As if that wasn’t indication enough of her personal political affiliation. But she was sharp both of tongue and of wit, and thus earned our respect. Continue reading “I used to be into Politics”

The Collaboration Clique


At this year’s #CIPD14 conference I highlighted that I heard the word collaboration being dropped throughout a range of different sessions. The word isn’t new – it comes from the Latin collaboratio meaning “work together” – yet the use of the term has increased sharply, particularly since the early 1980’s.

While their meanings are almost identical, collaboration has a much more cosy feel than it’s usurped forbear teamwork. Continue reading “The Collaboration Clique”

Confidence in Careers

I was recently tasked with simulating interviews for a group of school leavers. To start with I wasn’t too enthralled about going. I was there on behalf of a colleague who’d had a better offer – I was sure I would rather be at a corporate bash sipping champagne too! But on reflection, perhaps it was actually her who missed out and not me. Continue reading “Confidence in Careers”

I Am Brand


I’m starting to think that branding is developing a brand. Suddenly it’s everywhere. I yearn for the good old days when a brand meant what kind of cola you drank and comparisons between “big brands” and “supermarket brands” warranted half page spreads in women’s magazines.

Employer branding I get. We need a consistent message to tell people what we’re about and attract them to work for us. But the rise of the “personal brand” is a mystery to me. Sorry but where I’m from we call that personality.

I guess it fits with the fakery and gimmickry of the digital age. Online we can be a traffic cone or a unicorn if we want to (yes both of these really followed me on twitter). The pressure to present ourselves as a witty super human in just 140 characters is immense. If only so when our former boyfriend/boss/partner stalks us online they’re gutted they let us go.

Advice about developing a personal brand is readily available on the Internet, and is all contradictory nonsense. “Be consistent” yet also “be authentic”. “Let people know your personality”, “let people see you” and “be good at something”. Really? And my personal favourite “it’s not just enough to know that you know what you know – others have to know you know it”.

Sounds to me like describing to a complete outsider what it means to be human. Except not quite. It’s too formulaic. Too stale. A poor reflection of itself. If I know anything about branding, it’s this. If that’s what it’s become, then it’s time to change.

Moral Dilemma


“For too long the focus for leaders and managers has been on actions: what they do to achieve results…we need to shift our view to what leaders and managers are and how they think: their personalities, beliefs and attitudes, which have such an important influence on their behaviour towards those around them.”

Continue reading “Moral Dilemma”