Entries by James Culver

What is active listening, how do I develop it and should I be making little noises?

Listening skills are an integral part of many of our training solutions, e.g.  Influencing, Managing Conflict and Facilitating meetings all include practical components on listening skills. However, we had a rare request from a pharmaceutical client seeking training focusing solely on active listening for their senior managers.  The new board member strongly believed that improving […]

Managing high performers – the Miles Davis way

What does Miles Davis have to do with managing high performers in business? Good question. Miles Davis is rightfully acclaimed as an icon of jazz, but he didn’t make music alone.  Throughout his career as a bandleader, Miles worked with other iconic figures of jazz to create music that stands even today as among the […]

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When is praise an insult?

During a recent presentation skills seminar for a French organization, I observed participants as they presented. I offered only feedback on the positive behaviors I saw. As we went through the round, the managing director of the group of participants couldn’t wait any longer and interrupted the feedback session by asking where was the criticism? […]

5 tips for internal HR consultants

From my years working in HR, I know that employees don’t often ask HR for help. At least, that is what it was like for the companies I worked with. As HR consultants, it is our job to give guidance and support to enable our colleagues make better decisions. Our roles are operational, not strategic, […]

Sequential and Synchronic Views of Time

Originally published on 20.03.2013 “Are we on time?” The question seems simple enough but that seemingly simple question can unlock different ways of viewing time and the commitments associated with our view of time. My experience with intercultural training has made me think about that question a bit differently. “On time” in Ghana It reminds […]

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Virtual Teams: Pre-Meeting To Do’s

What do you do before your virtual team meetings? Preparing for any meeting is important, especially for virtual meetings via teleconference or netmeetings.  It is difficult working in virtual teams as you don’t see your other team members face-to-face very often.  So, try not to put yourself at a further disadvantage by forgetting to do […]

Measuring Progress: What am I getting for my money?

Am I getting my money’s worth? One key question for our seminar clients is, “Is paying for training experiences enough?” Most often, the answer is clearly, “Yes”.  Despite all of the talk about ROI, buying an experience makes sense when we realize the benefits of training in general from an employee’s perspective. When organizations invest […]

4 Ds of Presentations

Do you know the 4 Ds? You are a good presenter — you are engaging, funny and energetic. You like the challenge of speaking in public and you are good at it. Yet you have the feeling sometimes that you could be doing more or doing things differently.  There are some situations in which you […]

Storytelling in Business – Why Not? Part 2

It was part of our survival and development. Stories are all around us, from campfires to multimillion dollar movies, so why do we have to make a case for it in a business environment? This second part of a two-part blog post (part 1) covers the two remaining things we learned when preparing a seminar […]

Storytelling in Business – Why Not? Part 1

It was part of our survival and development. Stories are all around us, from campfires to multimillion dollar movies, so why do we have to make a case for it in a business environment? Generally, I think the answer is fear. We are afraid to “lay an egg”, reveal too much of ourselves, show too […]

Managing High Performers: Miles Davis Part 2

What does Miles Davis have to do with managing high performers in business? Good question. Miles Davis is rightfully acclaimed as an icon of jazz but he didn’t make music alone. Miles worked with the best of the best to create music that stands as among the highest forms of the genre. In part 1 […]

Managing High Performers: The Miles Davis Way

What does Miles Davis have to do with managing high performers in business? Good question.  Miles Davis is rightfully acclaimed as an icon of jazz but he didn’t make music alone.  Throughout his career as a bandleader, Miles worked with other iconic figures of jazz to create music that stands even today as among the […]

Achievement vs Ascription in Business

What is meant by achievement vs ascription? I recently had a conversation when a German friend of mine described a family member as “My father’s sister”.  Thinking she was momentarily missing the word “Aunt”, I offered the correction only to be corrected myself.  She told me she knew the word “Aunt” but the women she […]

Audience-centered Presentations in Business

Are you delivering audience-centered presentations? Presentations training has been a big part of the work we’ve done in Europe over the years.  This is especially true for working with speakers of English as a foreign language. Everyone understands the importance of presentations. Everyone talks about the potential for generating new business, for influencing others, and […]