April 2018 - Anyone for tennis?

All organisations have a hierarchy even if this is not published in the form of an organisation chart. So, in theory, employees report to supervisors, supervisors report to managers, managers report to directors. And directors report to owners or shareholders.

But during everyday working life things can be very different. I recently overheard some directors of a local company discussing the fact that in their opinion the female MD is being bullied by her own staff on a regular basis. Their view was that this behaviour resulted in crucial decisions affecting the business not being made.

How does this happen? It happens because people's strength of personality, belief systems and life styles bare absolutely no relevance to their status in the organisation.

Exactly the same thing can happen in personal relationships. Some people bully, and others are bullied. So, if you are on the receiving end, what can you do? Well try thinking of a tennis match. Someone hits the ball over the net and their opponent hits it back. If this pattern repeats itself several times it is called a rally. Top tennis players have to win most of these rallies, most of the time.

But what if we are talking about a conversation between yourself and a colleague at work or between yourself and a partner at home? Sometimes they 'win' the rally and sometimes you do. Bullying happens when one person habitually wins most or all of the points, especially the big ones. You may get the ball back over the net occasionally during one discussion or another, by what you say or by what you do, but they smash it back and you have no riposte. You may feel depressed and humiliated; you may need to consider whether the relationship is worth having in the longer term.

Great relationships in either our business life or in our personal life are based upon mutual respect and trust and these qualities develop over time. The tennis match analogy is an excellent way of looking at how this works for all of us.

  • Tim, you are a highly original and dynamic speaker - your keynote address at our Convention provoked: "Tim Kidson was excellent" "Passionate and energetic" and "First class" are typical of the comments made by some of the 140 delegates attending."

    Chris Challender - Regional Manager - Chartered Management Institute

  • Very many thanks for a really excellent presentation. Your personal strap line was fully reflected in our day.

    Christopher Ward - Chief Executive - Wales Management Council

  • Tim is a passionate, engaging and entertaining speaker - with a very real message that is of paramount of importance to every single business - large or small. I can't remember the last time I so enjoyed and felt inspired to action by a speaker - Tim is incredible - you must see him!

    Sue Gilkes - Senior Partner - Your Impact (UK)

  • That was a brilliant keynote Tim. You have an amazing way of painting pictures for your audience.

    June Williams - Director of Quality - Investors in people UK

  • I just wanted to say how much my colleagues and I enjoyed your keynote presentation last Thursday. Great recommendation - thank you. Very appropriate for our business!

    Liz Hartstone - Managing Director - PROFILE Global Hospitality Recruitment London

  • What a powerful and thought provoking presentation. It was a fantastic keynote Tim, you will be inundated by the audience after that.

    Paul Surridge - Chief Executive - Sightcare

  • Thank you so much for your excellent presentation; you really got the room buzzing and the overarching theme of the talk had something for everybody in business

    Janette Rawlinson - Chair - Women in Business - Birmingham

  • You were fabulous, as always, and I know the group took masses from your presentation. Thank you once more for being so warm and generous, I know you made several fans to add to your many more.

    Angi Egan - Managing Director - Pure Vision UK Ltd

  • That was a wonderful keynote Tim. The power and simplicity of your Bull's Eye model has saved our executive countless hours of meetings for this coming year alone.

    Peter Amor - Chairman - Society of Independent Brewers

  • You have captured the essence of a committed relationship between two people, then applied that to organisations. It will work anywhere.

    Paul Thandi - Chief Executive Officer - The NEC Group

  • I found your talk inspiring and can assure you that I will using the information you provided on the day and in your book.

    Neil Rossiter - Operations Director- Spectrum Environmental Ltd

  • It was a pleasure to meet you and thank you so much for doing this event. It was truly inspirational and it's certainly causing a positive stir with our BA's.

    Helen Goring - Head of Events, BLWM