Richard Maun – books and blog

better business blog

Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation


Being Vulnerable

22 April 2018

GDPR is bending the heads of many a business, both large and small. Setting up procedures and cleansing databases with a double opt-in is hard work and hopefully will make life more ordered for us all. (Yeah right, I’m sure they’re all over it at Email Spam Inc).

You may have already seen the email inviting you to resubmit to this blog (newsletter) and I would be grateful if you can find the time to do so.

My weekly blog is a labour of love and sharing stories and insights culled from my experience as a business coach helps me to grow and develop too.

When discussing GDPR (general data protection regulations) with my colleague I realised that she had all the expertise here and I had none.

She made it all sound so simple and easy, but when I looked at the requirements it looked harder, so I said so.

In fact I basically delegated the whole shooting match to her. Much easier than pretending I could sort it and then spending a day or two scratching my head.

This is a classic example of being vulnerable. It’s a term from Transactional Analysis and I realise that ‘vulnerable’ may mean different things to different people.

In this context I’m using it to mean ‘able to share my own limitations and concerns without fear of being persecuted or rescued.’

I don’t need to be talked down to, patted on the head like a good boy, or be told off for appearing ignorant. My colleague did none of these and we had a proper grown up conversation about the ‘joy’ of GDPR and what she could do to support me.

There is strength in being vulnerable, in a grown up way. We give ourselves permission to be happily ignorant and to ask for genuine help and support.

In business people can easily feel shame when confronted by an expert and made to feel small for not knowing something ‘obvious’.

This might be how to organise a marketing campaign, or how to account for cash flow, or how to read a balance sheet.

There’s no need for anyone to feel shame!

We can all be cheerily unskilled and can have grounded conversations with people who can fill our knowledge bank in friendly and compassionate ways.

If you’re a bit stuck with GDPR then you’re welcome to own your own vulnerability and find an expert to sort it for you.

And you can ignore the patronising people and make freinds with genuinely supportive types. Life is hard enough already!

Happy database cleansing!

Next week: ILM L5 Coaching

The Quiet Mic Story

15 April 2018

This is a story about being heard using equipment that is specifically designed to enable people to be heard. Always good to get a slice of irony into a story.

The mic in question isn’t a Mike, Michael or Micky. It’s a microphone. To be precise it’s a brand new, BBC quality, broadcast microphone as used by all good radio stations.

And for some reason it doesn’t work properly in our new radio studio.

That may be unfair on the mic, as it is the first link in a very long chain.

The mic feeds into the desk and is mixed with the radio playout software and the signal is processed and balanced and then broadcast.

However, when we tested the new studio set up recently the mic was quiet and no amount of button twiddling would fix the problem.

At first I was told the mic was fine and we needed to sit closer to it. Then we were told to speak louder. This is not how a mic should be set up because some people are softly spoken and you need to increase the volume on the desk.

The ‘we’ here is myself and my cohost and we were struggling to get to grips with the new set up.

Things were not sounding great so we continued to complain. Eventually our hugely talented engineer arrived and agreed that the mic was quiet.

Armed with his trusty toolkit he adjusted feed controls and volume controls and eventually dismantled the mixing desk and tweaked a special control, that was specially designed for last resort tweaking.

Finally the problem was solved and the quiet mic was now loud enough. Radio happiness!

The point of the story is about being heard. It took a while for our complaint to be taken seriously and then peristence from us to solve the problem.

We could have accepted the initial feedback that the mic was fine and let it go.

We didn’t have to pursue the problem and could have left it for someone else to fix, but the risk was if it wasn’t fixed it would have made it difficult for us to broadcast.

Sometimes it takes a while to be heard in life and we can follow our instincts and keep finding our words until someone hears us and takes notice.

Business is the same and if we think about sales and problem solving work it may take several attempts before the sale is concluded, or the problem is sorted.

If you’re not being heard it’s ok to keep going until you find the words that work for you.

So, this week we don’t have to be quiet microphones. We can turn up the volume and broadcast to the world!

Next week: Being Vulnerable


Click cover to view details on Amazon


Riding the Rocket

How to manage your Modern Career

Published 2013 Marshall Cavendish



Bouncing Back

How to get going again after a career setback

Published 2012 Marshall Cavendish



How to Keep Your Job

Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in

Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish



Job Hunting 3.0

Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age

Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish



Leave the Bastards Behind

An insider's guide to working for yourself

Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish



My Boss is a Bastard

Surviving turmoil at work

Published 2006 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish


© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact