Blog

INSIGHTS FROM THE HIVE

I love to see people and businesses grow. I work with leader-managers to find their new and better way of doing business so that they, their staff and the business all thrive. In this blog I share my thoughts on life and work. I hope they will either inspire or inform you.

It’s a generational thing

It’s a generational thing

Have you noticed that your attitudes and values are different from that of your parents or grandparents? Perhaps they keep the old wrapping paper to reuse, saying “waste not, want not” and get upset when you change jobs after “only” five years.If you have children in...

read more
Wow that meeting was worthwhile!

Wow that meeting was worthwhile!

You've probably noticed a lot of articles recently on ‘psychological safety’. It’s an in-topic, however it isn’t new. Experienced facilitators have long known what it takes for people to voice their opinions, explore their concerns and doubts, be open to the different...

read more
The most destructive emotion?

The most destructive emotion?

Yesterday I was writing a response to a friend who had just offloaded how she was feeling annoyed with herself for having offered to do something that felt like too big an ask. As I wrote, “I think that the balance between giving and receiving is a key. And it’s not...

read more
Hope: from battle lines drawn, to talking together

Hope: from battle lines drawn, to talking together

At 7.30 am my phone rang. It was Selwyn, one of the retired people in the village of Vaal Marina near where I live at the Vaal Dam. “You said you’d help. I need your help now. The Mamello guys have agreed to come to the community hall. I’m waiting to hear if the VM...

read more
A very scary experience – part 2

A very scary experience – part 2

(see part 1 here) I walked through the house taking quick photos with my phone as I took in the mess and realised the power of what had passed through. Part of my brain couldn’t take it in and the other was making sure I had a record for insurance. There was glass...

read more
A very scary experience  – part 1

A very scary experience – part 1

On Monday 11th December I was driving back from Joburg after delivering a workshop for a Social Entrepreneurship client. This was my last booking for the year and I was looking forward to spending the rest of the week supporting a FinTech client in meeting their big...

read more

Horses for courses

“Horses for courses” is an age old expression I grew up with. If you aren’t familiar with the expression, it refers to horse racing where the length and condition of a race course isn’t the same at every venue. Some horses will do better over certain distances and...

read more

A Life in Balance?

Three years ago on the 27th December Lynn’s car veered off the highway, took flight, crashed through a signboard and landed in a crumpled heap on the grass bank. Lynn* sustained some physical injuries as well as a severe head injury. She has just received her final...

read more

What about the unexpected

This morning our electricity went off unexpectedly. Whilst it was off I was quite enjoying finding things that I was keen to do, that didn’t require power. After a couple of hours my “little voice” started interrupting me with thoughts like “How long will it be off?”,...

read more

The story of the missing TV

A friend came for supper after we’d moved house. Whilst showing her around I mentioned that I wanted to sell my old TV and get a new small, flat screen one to fit into the bedroom. Shortly afterwards she received an e-flyer advertising a limited special on TVs from a...

read more

Who’s Being Strangled?

A few years ago a friend recommended her hairdresser in Illovo. So the next time I needed a haircut off I went. Grant did a great job and I’ve continued to see him regularly since. I love how my hair just feels different after a good cut and how it comes alive....

read more

Making Winning Easier

Chatting with a friend whose children had played water polo in high school, the conversation moved to coaches. We have both watched matches where the coach has shouted abuse at the players all match long. This seems to be very common in at least boy’s water polo....

read more
No power, yay!

No power, yay!

When our lives are upset by big changes we need time to vent, to rail against the unfairness of it. And then we need to move forward.Loadshedding is one of those big changes that have turned our lives a bit upside down. We’ve done plenty of moaning about Eskom and the...

read more

What’s Behind The Numbers?

Today is my wedding anniversary. We will have been married for nine years. Last night as we spoke about it I thought, that number nine really doesn’t tell the full story. It doesn’t even reflect the length of our relationship - we have lived together for nearly...

read more

Focusing where it matters

During our May packing up exercise I made a trip to Westpack to buy extra boxes. These are stored up on a mezzanine level so I had to look for a shop assistant to getthem down. The first lady I asked smiled and said “not a problem I will be with you in a moment”....

read more

To Solve or not to Solve?

The other day my daughter described something in her life that sounded like a problem. When she finished I remained quiet, processing what she’d said. She then went on to say, “You don’t need to solve it, I just needed to say it.” I was quite relieved! I had been...

read more
Looking backwards

Looking backwards

We frequently hear that we need to have a vision, that we should look ahead, keep our eye on the goal. But some years ago a wise person told me that we also have to lookbackwards. Why look backwards? Imagine you were sailing from Durban to Mauritius. That takes a few...

read more

Misplaced stoicism

All the wonderful athletes at the recent Olympics have many qualities that lead to their success, one of which is probably stoicism. But stoicism is not always appropriate.“I’ve been sick for two weeks. I just can’t seem to get better.” “I’ve had a cold/flu for over a...

read more
Thoughts and pictures have power

Thoughts and pictures have power

A lot has been said and written about the London Olympics so I wasn’t going to say anything but there are just two wonderful stories from medal winners which I want to quickly share with you. They are fabulous examples of how we influence our own lives with our...

read more
Take the pressure off yourself

Take the pressure off yourself

“You don’t look yourself,” was the greeting from a friend on meeting me for our final committee meeting of the year. “I am tired,” I replied. “The last couple of weeks I have just been chasing my tail and barely meeting deadlines.” As I said it, it struck me that this...

read more
Getting on with people

Getting on with people

“Achieving success at work & in life, one conversation at a time”. This is the subtitle of a book called “Fierce Conversations” that I am reading. Robustconversations are very important but I’d like to paraphrase Susan Scott and say “Achieving success at work...

read more

The Right Timing

A client in a senior management position recently came to me for a couple of sessions after being over looked for a promotion. Her boss told her that although she was highly qualified and did very good work, she “didn’t make her presence felt” in meetings or...

read more

Making Energy

Despite not liking the cold I am crazy enough to love going to Grahamstown, an even colder part of the country in June/July, for the National Arts Festival. This year was my third visit having first gone in 2004 (?) thinking I would then be able to tick it off my...

read more

GM’s advert sends the wrong message

The GM Red Tag advert is back on our TV screens. Every year that it airs it annoys me. Why would I want to buy a car from a company who thinks it is impressive that their staff work extrememly long hours - hours that are so long that they forget what their daughter...

read more

In a crisis you need that foundation

On the Sunday evening after New Year my husband and I felt like a meal out. I am always looking for new places to try so had a list ready with three close to us. The first was closed for the festive season but we found the second open and buzzing with about half the...

read more

New labour laws disastrous

There are four Labour Bills currently under discussion by the South African parliament. The proposals will considerably tighten the labour market and negatively impact on business and individuals in SA. The main concern is supposed to be to protect the employees....

read more

Creating Energy

Yes I remember the Law of Conservation of Energy - 'energy cannot be created or destroyed' - but we can create personal energy, or decrease our personal energy. There are four types of energy – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. When we understand how to work...

read more

Living Life to the Full

My friend, Rob Filmer, died in November this year at the age of 46. Reading the many condolences sent to his wife, Julie and talking to people at the beautiful funeral service I was struck by the huge number of people who had been touched by Rob during that relatively...

read more

Let sheltered workshops help you

I visited Forest Farm around 1999 to take a batch of wooden building blocks for sanding. A few of the parents had got involved in helping our children's nursery school to spruce things up. The paint was peeling from the building blocks so I took them home with the...

read more

Know Your Self

I haven’t written a Bumble Bee Insight for a couple of months. As I tell new subscribers, I only write them at irregular intervals and when something inspires me. Why is this? It’s a long standing rebellion against routine and predictability. Probably silly at my age...

read more

Focus and Perseverance

My 15 year old son just called to say he has been awarded a team blazer for athletics. At his school this is a huge honour, especially for grade 10's. He has the most amazing ability to make up his mind to do something and then to keep working steadily towards...

read more

Choosing Subjects – To do or not to do…

Should I take history or biology, accounting or geography? It is that time of the year when Grade 9 learners have to choose their subjects to study for the next three years. Not an easy decision. In some cases a wrong choice could become a big barrier later if...

read more

The Story of the Butterfly

I often tell this story when working with people.Many find it  helps them to accept that others have their own growth paths to walk - that often we can best help our children, family, friends by being supportive and encouraging but NOT interfering. A...

read more
Solving a Problem or Wasting Resources?

Solving a Problem or Wasting Resources?

Minister Motsoaledi wants to ban alcohol advertising. His reason – to reduce violent crime fuelled by excessive drinking. A solution needs to address a problem, right? Without checking the research I am pretty sure that there is enough to prove a strong...

read more

An accident? Or intentional action?

Yesterday I was at a conference all day so only heard about the train "accident" in Blackheath on the radio whilst driving back.Today I have read a number of articles about it on News24. If they have their information correct the taxi driver overtook a number of cars,...

read more

Hosting Your Life

Part way through the World Cup it became evident that we were going to pull it off, despite the prior doubts we had had. We found we could do more than we thought we were capable of. I thought how similar that is to our personal lives. So often we don’t think we can...

read more

Love Language – Acts of Service

Last Sunday morning after breakfast, I heard intermittent noises from outside on the driveway – metal clanging on paving. Having got myself ready to go and fetch my son from a rugby camp I met my husband in the doorway. He had just finished rotating the tyres on my...

read more

Music for the soul

I stumbled across this most unusual TED video this morning and played it in the background. What a beautiful interlude. Natalie Merchant is a free spirit. Listen to the end to see how an artist who is so comfortable with herself handles a techie...

read more
Team Effort

Team Effort

I am sorting out my photos folder and doing some editing. I just came across these two photos from Xmas Day.So what is their relevance other than perhaps making you hungry 🙂 They just reminded me how great it is that my children are now teenagers. This last Xmas we...

read more

Fitting it all in

Emma Thompson (writer, actress) shared her view on balancing career, family and hobby in an interview on channel24 today. Her answer is so pragmatic - I just loved it. She was asked “How to balance your career and being a mother with your activism? You’re involved...

read more

Hier kom kak

“Hier kom kak” – my friend Luewellyn’s words greeted me as I opened my Facebook page. I looked to see what they referred to and was lead to the news 24 stories of Eugene Terreblanche’s murder. I don’t often write on political matters but I was struck by the immediate...

read more

Don’t give up on the child with poor marks

Parent's Evening during the early grades always went the same way. "Your son is mischievous, he isn't working to his potential. But he is such a delightful boy. I love teaching him." In Gr 3 his teacher said there could be a problem with his reading. As an ex...

read more

Sell Like a Doctor

The best sales line in the world is this: "Please confirm that I understand your business correctly..." [Depending on the type of business you are in, you can change the word "business" to something more pertinent like: requirements, situation, problem, etc.]...

read more

A bit of opposition never hurt anybody

I have just read the following quotation sent to me by http://www.cybernation.com/A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kitesrise against, not with, the wind. - John Neal It got me thinking, as so many quotes do. Few of us talk about how...

read more

Experiencing the universe in action

This week I had the amazing opportunity to be connected with someone, and to see why, within hours.It started with me receiving an e-mail advertising a charitable function. I had received this before and knew I was already committed for that evening.This time my...

read more

Overcoming – Setbacks Turned into Opportunities

We all experience setbacks. That is part of life. Whether it is as simple as phoning to invite a friend and finding they aren't available or as serious as losing a limb. It is what we do with these situations that determines our lives.Today I stumbled across this...

read more

What services will you pay for?

I have a friend who is the “Admin Handyman”. He recently sent me a solution to something a little out of the ordinary that I was trying to do in MS Outlook. I was over the moon and replied with thanks, asking how he found it when I had spent ages searching for the...

read more
More than a Blind Biker

More than a Blind Biker

A different Bumble Bee Insight today - a story about a client of mine - an amazing man, Jacob Kruger.   Jacob calls himself the Blind Biker which you will understand when reading the article. He has faced extreme adversity with great fortitude and is an...

read more

Integrated Rugby

A couple of Saturday's back I was at KES (King Edward VII School) in Houghton to watch their first team "The Reds" take on Jeppe Boys High - both government schools. KES won with some excellent school boy rugby. I am no rugby guru but those in the know are saying The...

read more

Lessons from Barbara Cassani

Today’s thoughts are especially for those of you who are either managers or business owners – and anyone else who is interested.Yesterday we awoke very early to an extremely cold autumn morning on our small boat on the Vaal Dam. So I climbed back under the duvet for a...

read more

Recession?

At a business networking function on Tuesday evening, the guest speaker spoke about a recession and us needing to open our eyes to it. I didn’t see the purpose in that.I spoke to quite a few people at the dinner who are not feeling pessimistic. They don’t deny that...

read more

PACE your Butterflies

Heart pounding, knot in your stomach, tight chest, brain disconnected, can’t remember anything…..Can you relate to those symptoms?Perhaps when waiting to be introduced as a speaker? Or sitting in reception before an important job interview? When we are under stress...

read more

The Cat that Growled

“Grrr” “Grrr” I stopped abruptly as I entered the kitchen. Standing still I looked cautiously around me. None of my dogs around. No strange dogs. “Grrr”…”Grrr”. The sound was coming from the washing machine. The machine stood in a narrow recess with just a slight gap...

read more

Searching for purpose, happiness, meaning …

Exclusive Books has just published their list of the 110 best selling books for 2008. The top four are all books about searching - searching for happiness, purpose, meaning, self fulfillment, abundance. They are all books in some way related to self development and to...

read more

The Violinist

Welcome back to Insights from the Hive. I hope you found tons of enjoyment over the festive season. When I received the following true story, from a friend yesterday, I found it very thought-provoking; a good way to start off this new year. (I have added a little more...

read more

Get in Touch

 

Alison Gitelson

Tel
+27(0)82 573 9179

Email
info@canbeedone.co.za

 Based in South Africa – Working Globally

Contact Us

 

3 + 2 =