How to turn off the flashing notification light on your phone

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For Android users the simplest method is to select Settings->My Device->LED indicator and untick Notification.  On the most recent Android update you can do cleverer options, but this will work.

For Blackberry users the suggested route is Profiles->Select the active profile and Edit->Select Messages>Turn off the repeat LED notification

The best route for most phones is to type into Google “Turn off LED notification on [your phone]….” .

Why have we suddenly delved into phone advice?  Because it is very difficult to be attentive to the current person in front of you, focus on the current task, set aside your phone during family time and so on when an electronic device is saying “read me, read me” in the corner of your eye.  As managers and leaders we have to be attentive.  We should all be working on difficult important stuff and we will find that difficult if we are endlessly distracted.

The flashing notification light is telling you nothing – nothing at all.

Let’s assume you receive 100 emails per day (I know you receive more, but let’s go with this) over the course of a 10 hour day.  You are receiving 10 emails an hour or one every 6 minutes.  So, what is that flashing red light telling you?  There is always something unread.  There is always something in your inbox.  Turn it off and take control of when you review email (and texts).

Be attentive to the person or task at hand.




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Our next event – “Turning insight into action; the key to sustainable development for leaders”

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We are delighted to be co-hosting our next event in London on Thursday 30th April with QV Career Counsel, specialists in executive coaching, where we introduce a new structured and integrated approach to 360 degree feedback within a professional services environment.

Having completed a recent research project on leadership development,  in conjunction with Lancaster University Management School, we found that it unequivocally identified the need for 360 degree feedback to be appropriately supported:


“A 360-degree appraisal without debriefing, coaching and follow-up activities will harm the organisation using it. 360-degree feedback programs are only a start of an organisational capacity development process.”

“Debriefing is especially important in helping recipients accept the validity of the feedback, experience minimal damage to self-esteem, focus on positive behaviours that should be continued, and select key challenging behaviours on which to improve.”

“Coaching is also a central part of 360-degree appraisal; it is the key for personal development. A coach can help further motivate employees who receive positive feedback from various sources, while helping the recipients of negative feedback formulate a workable strategy for performance improvement. Thus a coach can be the difference between a healthy coping reaction and learned helplessness.”


The underlying message is that the insight gained through the 360 feedback process isn’t enough; it needs to crystallise into action.


It is with this research and key observation in mind that we have come together with QV to share a new integrated approach which explains how to effectively combine 360 degree feedback with promptly delivered, focused coaching, to ensure sustainable development of your leaders and alignment with your organisational goals.


This event is aimed at senior executives from financial and professional services and those with responsibility for executive development within their organisation.

If you are interested in attending this event, then please contact me for more information directly via email – - it is free to attend but there are a limited number of seats available.



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Leadership – some problems need a good long soak

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We ate macaroni cheese last night.  As I loaded the dishwasher I looked at the dish it had been cooked in.  The bowl was not a pretty sight with the burnt bits brazed to the side of the bowl.  What to do?

Option 1 – put it in the dishwasher.  We all know it won’t work and half of the stuff will still be stuck to it.  At which point we can just send it round again knowing at some point we’ll have to really tackle the really tough bits or hope that someone else will empty the dishwasher and clean it properly for us.  Tempting.

Option 2 – see if someone still sells Brillo pads and work really hard to clean it.  It’s going to take a while.  I might ruin the pot with the effort I put in.  I’ll get very frustrated and I’ll be put off macaroni cheese for life.   Not tempting.

Option 3 – scrape off the easy bits, run some hot water in it together with a bit of Fairy liquid.  Leave to soak.  In the morning it will be fine and the problem bits will wash away.

You can’t always pick option 3 but some problems are best for a good long soak rather than being ignored or hacked at.  Sometimes the results you get are the best and the easiest to achieve.




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Answer to the Ultimate Question of Leadership, The Universe, and Everything…

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….is not “42″ but rather “Self-Awareness” - this article in Forbes is a neat reminder of both the critical importance of self-awareness as a route to effectiveness and how 360 degree feedback is one of the most effective means of developing such self-awareness.

Naturally I am biased, but I do find myself vigorously nodding in agreement – there is a wonderful simplicity and affirming belief too at the heart of this; trust people to know what to do once they have the information to hand, once you have explored their 360 degree feedback report with them in the debrief.

If you can raise their self-awareness and bring what’s often in their peripheral vision into view, they will often make ‘better’ choices next time around.


Eventbrite - Webinar - Meaningful Conversations - Giving Feedback


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