Archives for 2020

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Our Latest Podcasts

Follow along with all of our latest podcasts here. Don’t forget to subscribe to stay up to date!

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Our Latest Youtube Videos

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3 Conversations with Lorna McCallum

The second instalment of Helen Frewin’s 3 Conversations interviews, as part of her book-writing journey, we’re joined by Lorna McCallum. No surprise, as a communications consultant, Lorna has a few things to say about good conversations!

Sharing her experiences in challenging conversations with her husband and with her dad, Lorna offers incredibly useful tips she has learnt along the way.

To prepare or not to prepare – seems to be something our interviewees have different perspectives on so far!

If you would like to get in touch with Lorna you can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn

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Dear White People

Shaping the business towards Allyship

In the broader context of the Black Lives Matter movement I feel that globally, we are all being challenged to sit up and take notice of our own biases, the systemic racism around us and to make real and lasting change.  As a business leader I’m compelled to ask, “what part can I play in changing institutional racism?”

A first top tip from commentators on developing an anti-racist plan is to get educated. Read up on our history, understand how racism works and what it feels like, start to recognise the unrecognisable privilege white people have.

I started with Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge and I highly recommend it.

But I believe that I have two key roles to play: one is the same for all of us – listening, learning, challenging our privilege and standing alongside those who are being treated unfairly. The second one is about my expertise in unconscious bias, through this strength I can make a difference and the business has begun to reshape its focus and energy into this space, moving far beyond interview skills.

What has surprised me in this journey is the reaction of a few predominantly white people.  In the local, everyday conversations, where our friends and family get upset about us raising the topic of racism I have to ask, what else could be going on? When someone we know to be friendly and kind suddenly seems so closed and defensive because we started a conversation about white privilege?

With this in mind, and through the inspiration of Chikere Igbokwe, Abi Adamson and Priyanka Sharma, I was delighted to be able to contribute more on this to the blog

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Totem Talks Episode 13: Unconscious Bias

What exactly is unconscious bias? Put simply, it’s the decisions that we make every day – on an unconscious basis – in relation to other people.

Based on our gender, ethnicity, genetics, upbringing, education and so many other factors, our brains are wired in different ways. And the tricky thing with different brain patterns is that we tend to like our own, because we only know our own ways of thinking and working. Our minds are perfect echo chambers, everyone who thinks differently – more often than not we think of as wrong, misguided or weird.

In the broader context of the recent resurgence is the Black Lives Matter movement we feel that globally, we are all being challenged to sit up and take notice of our own biases, the systemic racism around us and to make real and lasting change.

In this podcast, Mark Smith and Helen Frewin describe their upbringing and the influence of race upon their unconscious biases, their response to recent developments and how they plan to contribute to a future free from racism.

As mentioned in the podcast, Mark has been particularly moved by the work of Dr Laura Morgan Roberts, a consultant and researcher on the science of maximising human potential in diverse organizations and communities.

You can find out more about the workshops Laura runs and the book she helped write below:

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3 Conversations with Mark Smith

“I told my wife I was thinking of having an affair.”

In the first of Helen Frewin’s 3 Conversations interviews as part of her book-writing journey, Mark Smith is in the hot seat.

Sharing his experience of big scary conversations, little everyday chats and what he’s learnt about how to do all of this well – he certainly started big and scary with, “I told my wife I was thinking about having an affair.” A powerful example of the benefit of having a conversation before it is too late and a fascinating look at what we can learn from such challenging experiences.

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Totem Talks Episode 11: How to Delegate

How do you Delegate?

Poor delegation will cause you frustration, demotivates and confuses the other people, and even fails to achieve the task or purpose itself. On the other hand, good delegation not only gets results, but also increases the capabilities of the team, and frees up your time for more important things.

In this podcast, Mark Smith & Helen Frewin explore the tricky topic of Delegation – easily one of the most important life skills we can learn. We explore a few different techniques to help delegate well, build trust with those around you and motivate your people.

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Totem Talks Episode 10: Developing Gravitas

What is Gravitas? And how on earth do we develop it?

In the latest episode of Totem Talks, Mark Smith & Helen Frewin discuss several key components to Gravitas, or that notion of your own ‘gravity’ or authority – sharing how you bring this to life through calm confidence, keeping it together under pressure, being personable and having credibility.

We also touch upon the physical aspects like the tone of voice someone uses, how they use silence, their posture and pace. Showing us how we can use our bodies to have great impact with our colleagues and clients.

To get in touch with Helen’s voice coach follow this link!