Personal Development

Posted by Jawaid

Certainty and Ambiguity

19 April 2015

Slice of Service

Without certainty we wouldn’t know what to do next, whereas to get where we want to be requires clarity. 
Think back to projects you’ve been involved in and ask yourself did you get there because as a team you were absolutely certain that the steps we were taking would get you there or was a down to elements of luck?
All projects require an element of ambiguity, design and innovation would be unnecessary if ambiguity didn’t exist. The aim of seeking buy-in with stakeholders through analysis and requirements-gathering would achieve clarity.
Without pausing and asking 'are we certain?' and 'is there any ambiguity in what we are planning to do?' we fail to arrive at where we want to be and get what we want.
Photo credit: amuderick / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND


Publish on 19 April, 2015

Tags Personal Development Strategy

Posted by Jawaid

Getting into Your Zone ...

26 January 2014

Slice of Service

Men can't multi-task - this is one of many things my wife shares with me, I guess it's not the 'doing' that the issue it's holding several 'thoughts' at once that preempts the doing. 

Generally when we are working on a piece of work, we need to spend a small amount of time ‘getting into’ what we are intending to work on (planning) - well before we start the 'doing'.

Surprisingly this involves a quality a lot of us lack, patience - owning a cat as a pet perhaps helps with this. It takes time to do anything with a cat, unlike a dog ... but that's another story.

through experience we find patience is a quality, whereas getting into the zone is a discipline which develops with time and practice. 

If you have ever disturb a colleague during a period of productivity, they won’t thank you for it – well not until they either have forgotten what they were working on or have to do get back into their zone before becoming productive.

There is no tight and fast rule in dealing with this - everybody is different and deals with interruption is a different way, ask yourself the following question:

1. How well do the people near you deal with interruptions?

2. Can they multi-task - the 'thinking' and 'doing' parts?

3. Are you aware what they are working on?

4. Are they undertaking an activity that needs concentration or are they undertaking a routine activity?

5. Does your interruption carry a higher priority in comparison to what they are working on?

With the right questions you can establish if an interruption will be received in a positive way ...

Photo credit: Tjflex2 / / CC BY-NC-ND

Jawaid .

Publish on 26 January, 2014

Tags Communication Focus Personal Development Time Management

Posted by Jawaid

Where is your focus ?

11 June 2013

Slice of Service

Ever been working on something and you either just can't make any progress as your concentration is else where or you're finding it hard to focus? Well it happens to all of us.


Your focus is probably one of the most important things you own, everybody wants it and a lot of people try and take it away from you.

When lost, ask - what is important to you? What do you want your outcome to be? What are the results you are looking for?

Above all remember:

  • Your focus drives you,
  • What controls your day-to-day activities is what you focus on,
  • What you focus on you'll feel,
  • The way you feel motivates you and determines what you do, your journey and where you go.
  • And where ever your focus is, your concentration follows.

A technique I adopted sometime ago involves asking yourself better questions:

  1. What are the results & outcomes that you seek?
  2. Why are you here? What are you trying to achieve?
  3. What specifically do you have to do to achieve the results or outcome?
  4. Who will help you?
  5. What’s your view towards this outcome? (What is you attitude towards achieving this outcome?)
  6. What would be a useful attitude you to have to make positive progress towards this outcome?
  7. What beliefs do you have that may not be useful or that may stopped you achieving this outcome?
  8. What would be 3 or 4 useful beliefs to have in order to achieve this outcome?
  9. What do you value about the outcome or result?
  10. Why would you ever want to do this?
  11. What is important about the outcome for you?
  12. How can we add these to achieve the outcome as a success?

Free Download:  Where is your focus?


Photo credit: marcomagrini / / CC BY-NC-ND
Posted by Jawaid

Develop a member of your team - Consider 3 A's ...

08 June 2013

Slice of Service

​​When developing member of your team consider they keep a journal of all they do. Building a 'Skills/Career Confidence Inventory' (SCCI) will assist them to reflect over what they have done. It will also assist them to fill-in and complete application forms.

​For each piece of work use this a template sheet (shown below) to record significant work. Completion of each of the sections will assist with understanding and enhance development. If you repeat a piece of work refer to a previous SCCI you undertook in an attempt to further illustrate sections:

  1. Title: Enter the title of the piece of work
  2. Date: Enter the date of the work, otherwise in several months you'll forget when you undertook the work
  3. Aim: Illustrate what the aim of the piece of work is?
  4. Action: What is it you did to complete the aim?
  5. Achievement: What did you achieve once you completed the action seciton?
  6. Further Action and Development: Is there any further actions or work required for your further development?


​Free Download:  Skills/Career Confidence Inventory

Photo credit: twenty_questions / / CC BY-NC

Jawaid .

Publish on 08 June, 2013

Tags Continual Service Improvement Focus Personal Development Strategy

Posted by Jawaid

Do you have transferable skills ...

08 June 2013

Slice of Service

​We all have transferable skills, from our day-jobs to things we do in our personal lives. Volunteering was a subject that I came across recently. Are there any transferable skills from volunteering that can be used in other aspects of our lives?

We think of volunteering as a chore ... we don't have the time, and it's such a commitment!

I've never regarding the free time I give up as volunteering - I see it as doing something different from my usual day-job and what I do in in my free time.

Some of the skills are transferable, a lot of us have children, pets and look after elderly relatives - we all are involved in a massive amount of out-of-work activities that demand succinct skill sets.

When organising parties, meals and drink re-unions a large amount of planning is involved. When we are bystanders or involved in family disputes - an amount of conflict resolution is involved. When we guide our kids or other people's kids  - this is a form of personal development. When we move house, which is probably one of the most stressful things you can do after marriage, involves an huge amount of logistic management and those involved in social enterprises (sports days, soccer events and jumble sales) brings on massive amounts of skills.

The point I make is that we all have a variety of skills that we don't realise and don't rejoice in.

Take time to high-light your greatest skills and develop them - you may end up forming a new career.


Photo credit: stevendepolo / / CC BY

Jawaid .

Publish on 08 June, 2013

Tags Continual Service Improvement Focus Personal Development

Posted by Jawaid

5 steps in helping when you don't know ...

29 May 2013

Slice of Service

​When asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, don't do what most people do and say "I don't know", "It's not my job" or "speak to that person, over there". Take control and be a multi-directional sign-post'er.

Direct customers to someone that knows, but careful with this one, you don’t want to be accused as having sloppy shoulders.

1. Remember to assess the situation;

2. Understand the urgency of the request

3. Establish the mindset of the customer.

4. Consider doing the gound-work yourself;  

5. and then providing the answer to the customer.


Photo credit: Lori Greig / / CC BY-NC-ND

Jawaid .

Publish on 29 May, 2013

Tags Communication Customer Services Focus Personal Development

Posted by Jawaid

Comprehension is the secret to prevent re-work and embarrassment ...

26 May 2013

Slice of Service

​When helping a customer or listening to issues or requirements we all think we can read people and can quick comprehend what is being said - although to prevent server embarrassment and hours unpacking issues in the future it may be worth spending a couple of seconds fully understanding all aspects of what has been said.

Consider finally 'framing' the whole conversation by repeating, in summary, what was said for complete understanding. You should repeat verbatim but a summary of the key points identifying what the outcome will be, how long it may take and who is leading on the work.

Finish the conversation with an invitation for them to come back to you. ‘If there is anything I can help with, please come back to me’

Photo credit: apdk / / CC BY

Jawaid .

Publish on 26 May, 2013

Tags Communication Customer Services Delivery Focus Personal Development

Posted by Jawaid

When Planned, What can go wrong ...

25 May 2013

Slice of Service

When your processes are in place - all is well, until something adverse or unusual happen - then you find your processes don't accommodate the unexpected. To assist with this consider the following:

 1. What can I do to put in place a solid 'followable' process so customers will experience it every time?

 2. Then ask , how can I also design in safeguards and opportunities to humanise something adverse or unusual, for when it goes wrong, or just falls outside the planned process?

Photo credit: Kalense Kid / / CC BY-NC-SA

Jawaid .

Publish on 25 May, 2013

Tags Continual Service Improvement Focus Operations Personal Development

Posted by Jawaid

Four Steps in Guaranteeing Completion ...

23 May 2013

Slice of Service

Ever been promised that delivery of a piece of work and nothing was done? Been let down on completion?

When given the piece of work, many elements can get in the way of  progress and completion.

A means of guaranteeing or increasing the likelihood of completing of a piece of work or a promise from a supplier to produce something by a particular date ensure do the following:

1.      Gain Clarity – Ask question so you fully understand what you’ve been asked to do. Seek to understand what the final product will look like? Complete comprehension means you should be able to easily pass on the work to someone else and be able to field any question they may ask.

2.      Establish timescale – Here you are attempting to set milestones for the time and date to review progress but also to agree a completion date. You will use resources available to you such as your availability in your diary and people-resources you may need to tap into? Once you have these – share them with all involved particularly the person allocating you the work.

3.      Do it - Here you do the work ensuring you constantly provide updates, constantly seeking further clarity and fixing timescales

4.      Celebrate – on completion advertise your success and create a ‘blueprint’ in people’s minds that you are a finisher and a safe pair of hands.


Photo credit: HVargas / / CC BY-SA


Jawaid .

Publish on 23 May, 2013

Tags Continual Service Improvement Delivery Focus Personal Development

Posted by Jawaid

The Best Ideas

11 January 2013

Slice of Service

​Occationally allow yourself not to have the best ideas. Let ideas come from others, tease ideas out of people - keep returning back to the requirements and keep them simple and clear.  The best ideas can come from other places, utilise Lateral Thinking in the first instance and then try and Model what others have done – they can come from other places.

Photo credit: Cayusa / / CC BY-NC

Jawaid .

Publish on 11 January, 2013

Tags Communication Continual Service Improvement Focus Personal Development