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Brain Freeze more likely for those with higher working memory


Brain Freeze is that sensation we get when we seem unable to think. One moment everything is fine and the next we seem unable to think clearly.

Working memory is about our mental capacity. The ability to mentally juggle more elements. Useful in mathematics or unscrambling complex issues.

This research shows that people with higher working memory are more susceptible to brain freeze.

Here’s an excerpt form the article in the BPS website:

“Researchers at the University of Chicago and Michigan State University attempted to find out more about why this happens. Their results suggest that actually it’s only a subgroup of high working memory people who have this problem and it’s because of their high distractibility. These high ability chokers or brain freeze victims are “typically reliant on their higher working memory resources for advanced problem solving” but their poor attentional control renders them easily distracted by anxiety, causing their usual mental deftness to break down when the pressure is on.”

So what can we take from this? Maybe that when we ask these people to work on a problem we give create a low pressure situation. We protect them from any pressure that exists because in fact they will solve the challenge quicker and more effectively. We know that more analytical people tend not to like pressure, but this research takes it further.

As a manager we need how to manage these people in a way that allows them to use their strengths and not be distracted.

Read more here.

How to motivate your team?

Motivation is as personal as our finger prints, well almost.

Motivation is as personal as our finger prints, well almost.

How to motivate your team?

There is one simple step in order to motivate your team.

It is not radical.

It is not rocket science.

But many people forget.

Ask your team members what motivates them, and what de-motivates them. Then see what you can do as the manager to deliver on the former. Set their expectations and be creative in fulfilling their wants.

Then keep asking them, from time to time, to make sure you’re up to date.

Finance for non finance – why is accurate budgeting important?

Finance trainingFinance for non finance – why is accurate budgeting important?

Lots of reasons.

1. Accurate forecasting in budgets means you know what’s going on. You understand your environment; team, division, organisation, country, so well that you are able to accurate forecast your budgetary needs.

2. Accurate budgeting means you don’t give anyone any surprises, and people like predictability.

3. Trust – it means your manager, directors, or investors can trust what you said would happen, happened.

4. If we’re not accurate, what went wrong? If we didn’t spend enough, why not? Surely that money needed to be spent. If we spent too much, how come? What surprised us?

5. Accuracy means you understand your business.

And there are probably lots of other reasons bedsides these. There is a very strong case for accurate budgeting. If you say you’ll spend x on your plan, then spend it. Don’t fall in to the trap that many managers do, in that not spending it is good, right? Wrong, for all the above reasons and more.

Stress from job security increases asthma chances

Stress at workPeople fearful of losing their jobs are 60 per cent more likely to develop asthma for the first time as a result of their stress, according to a major new study.

An international team of researchers analysed data from more than 7,000 workers and, even allowing for other risk factors such as smoking and being overweight, discovered that work-related stress raises the risk of developing asthma.

“This study has shown for the first time that perceived job insecurity during the recent economic crisis may increase the risk of new-onset asthma in adulthood,” states the paper, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

The research was conducted by experts at the University of Düsseldorf, the University of Amsterdam, and Massey University in New Zealand.

It supports previous studies pointing to a link between the development of asthma and stress, according to researchers. The use of temporary contracts and other “flexible forms of contracting” as well as downsizing, are cited as factors which “increase job insecurity among employees”.

The study adds: “The economic crisis in Europe, which started in 2008, has accelerated this development and has been paralleled by increased perceptions of job insecurity in most European Union countries.”

Those with “high job insecurity” had a “roughly 60 per cent excess risk of asthma” compared with those who thought the chances of losing their job were low or non-existent.

The findings are based on data from more than 7,000 working adults, who responded to the German Socio-Economic Panel Study, an annual survey of the German population, in 2009 and 2011. Between these years, 105 new cases of asthma were diagnosed among the survey group. Those worried about losing their jobs were far more likely to develop asthma – at 2.12 per cent compared to 1.3 per cent of people who had no such worries or felt the risk was low.

So the implications of this study could include, that when your organisation is experiencing turmoil or change, some people will interpret this as potentially increased job insecurity, and it’s the leaders and managers job to minimise this interpretation.

Every team needs rules

Virtual team working

Virtual teamworking training helps teams become more effective

Team working – every team needs rules
What are the key principles for a successful team? One aspect is that every the team needs rules which have to be clearly communicated. Ensure all members of the team understand these and take responsibility for them.

Rules may be too strong a word, boundaries may be better, but whatever the right word for you the principle is the same.
Each team has common themes, but they also have distinct areas they need to get right to succeed. Generalities in team working are useful to a degree but the specifics and boundaries need to be defined and agreed from the outset.
So a project team needs to define success at the start of the project, and the specifics of what will make the project successful needs to be clearly stated.

Teams need to know what is important and part of this is the rules of their team. These boundaries help everyone to know what is expected. With clear rules the team has a better opportunity for success.

The rules might be in the form of timekeeping, language, approach to internal customers, attitude etc. You really get to understand why rules are vital for any team when they are not in place. A team which defines and agrees its own rules is even better, but that’s another story.

A foundation conversation helps when you need to give difficult feedback

Management training helps motivation, performance for the manager and their team

A foundation conversation helps to set the ground rules for the working relationship

A foundation conversation is required when you need to give difficult feedback.

Managers will sometimes need to have difficult conversations with one or more of the team. This maybe about performance, behaviours, their attitude, or about passing comments they make. Whatever the reason, giving feedback is made much more difficult if you have not had a foundation conversation.
A foundation conversation establishes the basis for giving feedback, or commenting on performance. It is a conversation between you and one of your team, in the format of a one to one. The subject is how you work together. You won’t discuss the actual work, but how you work. Their expectations of the role, of your role and of what is required. What will happen if performance issues arise. What they need to do if they have any questions. The culture of the team and the organisation.
The conversation establishes how you are going to work together. It creates a foundation on which difficult conversations can be based in the future.
So when you think something needs to be said you both have a reference on which to say it.
Ideally you will have this conversation at the start of your working relationship, but it is more important to have the conversation, even if you’ve been working together for a while.

Sometimes things need to be said

Team leadership training from ITD is ideal for new and experienced team leaders

Team leadership training from ITD is ideal for new and experienced team leaders

Sometimes things need to be said when you manage people

Being a manager is not an easy job. Sometimes difficult conversations need to be had. And they have to be said. Not saying something when it is required is far worse than speaking up. Your choice guides your team on the required and allowed behaviours. Allowing a behaviour which you don’t really think is acceptable sends a signal to the rest of the team.
So a direct message to that team member is crucial. It tells them what is required and tells the rest of the team what is required. And it tells everyone that performance matters and you won’t let it go.

So if you see something that you don’t think is part of what you want your team to be, say something.

One of the first things a new manager should do

Sales management training from ITD has immediate impact

Sales management training from ITD has immediate impact

One of the first things the new manager should do

When you’re a new manager your team will want to get an idea of what you’re going to be like. One of the first things they need to see is decisiveness.
Either a situation presents itself, or you create one. They need to see you as being able to make decisions when they need to be made. This may be about interactions with other teams. It may be about the behaviour of one of the team. It may be about a system or process.
Whatever it is they will appreciate clear direction. So when you’re in a new team leader or managerial role demonstrate your decisiveness.

Personal development training excelled & practical

Personality awareness

Understanding personality can have huge impact on our success

Our personality awareness training, part of a personal development programme receive excellent feedback this week.

Participants said it excelled their expectations, provided very practical tips. They also said that ideas and tips from the training will be implemented straight away.


The feedback included the idea that they would need to pay more attention to their teams personal work style.


ITD’s work style model proved to be a model, which is easy to understand and simple to apply.

Walking the talk is not an option

Leadership coaching

Leadership coaching helps leaders implement their chosen style

Walking the talk is not an option.

A common maxim in management & leadership is that you must walk the talk. That is, don’t just tell people what to do, do it yourself.

This is often explored as a choice. It is not.

Whatever way you walk they will follow. Whatever you do they will take as being the norm, or required behaviour. Positive or negative. You tell them not to be late for meetings, but you’re late for meetings, they will take it that it is in fact ok to get to meeting late. You tell them that you want a positive can do attitude, and then you start looking to blame someone when something bad happens, they will do the same. You stay positive in the face of adversity they will try to emulate this. You arrive in time for every meeting every time, they will follow. It’s up to you.

Whatever way you walk they will follow. If your talk doesn’t match your walk then you will be considered a hypocrite and a poor leader. Your credibility will reduce. They will take what you say with a pinch of salt.

So there is no choice, you have to talk the walk.