CliftonStrengths at work: the big picture

One of our favourite leadership and team development tools is Gallup’s CliftonStrengths. If you haven’t heard of it, CliftonStrengths is a popular, research-backed psychometric tool designed to measure personal strengths, talents, priorities and thinking styles. We love it because participants find it so accurately identifies their strengths and talents. The model includes 34 strengths, which Read more about CliftonStrengths at work: the big picture[…]

The embodied cost of workplace incivility

We rarely get to choose our colleagues, and sometimes our workplace relationships can be less than perfect. Of course constructive disagreement can be healthy and productive, particularly in scientific contexts. But when we perceive interactions as being needlessly rude or undermining, productivity, morale and engagement can suffer. But this paper from the Journal of Management describes how Read more about The embodied cost of workplace incivility[…]

Mind the skills gap: six missing skills in STEM training

Here is a useful article exploring the skills gap in STEM leadership, again finding that scientific training under-prepares students in important areas around communication, collaboration, adaptability and intercultural skills. Specifically, the most important leadership skills the article recommends STEM students develop are: These skills are often overlooked in educational settings, where the focus is often on Read more about Mind the skills gap: six missing skills in STEM training[…]

Know thyself: How emotional self-awareness boosts team performance

Emotional intelligence refers to our ability to understand and manage emotions – both our own and others’. High EI has been linked to high team performance in numerous studies, but what exactly is the mechanism through which EI facilitates better collective decision-making? Researchers set out to answer this question in a study of 350 respondents working in Read more about Know thyself: How emotional self-awareness boosts team performance[…]

3 leadership ideas to engage scientific minds

Scientists can be a demanding audience when it comes to leadership development. Analytical thinkers often challenge ideas that others might be happy to take on trust, so trainers must be ready to back their thinking with rigorous evidence. We use these three powerful and evidence-backed concepts in the training room to resonate with scientific groups Read more about 3 leadership ideas to engage scientific minds[…]

Time is of the essence: How to make meetings work

Meetings are a hugely significant aspect of our modern working lives, and are a key way of coordinating action, sharing information and building cohesion across a team. Yet all of us have been in meetings that don’t fulfil this brief, producing little by way of results, dragging down motivation and generally taking up time that Read more about Time is of the essence: How to make meetings work[…]

A video communication pitfall

High-quality communication is a vital factor in boosting collective intelligence and performance in teams, and it has long been recognised that nonverbal information is instrumental in this regard. In fact, researchers have shown that body language, facial expressions and voice tone and pitch can be more reliable than spoken language itself in transmitting information about Read more about A video communication pitfall[…]

Teams versus individuals: comparing performance

It makes intuitive sense that groups of people can accomplish more than individuals working alone, and this is borne out by the data. In this study for instance, where groups of different sizes were asked to collaborate on a crisis management scenario, increases in team size led consistently to improved performance, from individuals right up to groups Read more about Teams versus individuals: comparing performance[…]

How one ‘bad apple’ can drag on team performance

The concept of “collective intelligence” is a good way to think about how teams differ in terms of their ability to solve problems, make good decisions and generate innovations. Teams with high collective intelligence are better at combining skills, knowledge and abilities in ways that generate emergent, group level competencies that transcend those of individual Read more about How one ‘bad apple’ can drag on team performance[…]

What are the challenges of developing leadership capacity in STEM organisations?

“Brilliant at the science; not so good at the people focused aspects of the job.” The brilliant but socially challenged scientist is a tired cliché that many scientific leaders are keen to shake off, but most people who have worked in a STEM context will recognise the type. Highly analytical, process driven and independent, the very characteristics Read more about What are the challenges of developing leadership capacity in STEM organisations?[…]

Where are the leadership skills gaps in doctoral training?

There is no doubt that good doctoral programmes provide some of the most rigorous training around, but how well do they prepare scientists for the demands of the workplace? Sinche et al. surveyed over 8,000 people who had completed their PhDs within last 11 years, asking them to rate both the degree to which they had Read more about Where are the leadership skills gaps in doctoral training?[…]