Ideas and Insights

You don’t need to be an expert: practical ways to help employees with mental health issues

We know that globally one in five people (20%) suffer some sort of mental health problems at least sometime during their life. Therefore it is likely in most families and work groups that there will be people with mental health issues. In working with many leaders and managers one of the major concerns that is increasingly verbalized is how to best to approach and help people in their team who are suffering some sort of mental health issue. Clearly and thankfully awareness as to the prevalence and seriousness of mental health as a workplace issue has risen enormously in the last 10 years, but still many feel ill-equipped to know where to start of what to do if someone they work with is showing signs of poor mental health.

Recently I listen to Jim Al Khalili, on one of my very favourite podcast series A Life Scientific, from BBC Radio 4 talk with Peter Fonagy on his life, career and contribution to mental health care.  Like many people who make outstanding contributions to our lives and well-being, Peter has suffered very much in his early life. Indeed, he says that it only through having experienced trauma which personally caused him significant mental health problems, that he was able to make such a contribution.

Read more…

Motivation: unlocking discretionary effort

“The greatest resource in an organization is not its people, it is the untapped potential of its people”.

So said Richard Bawden. When one can tap into the discretionary effort of a workforce the organization’s performance soars. Some call this motivating others, or tapping into a person’s motivation. The opposite is an apathetic or, even worse, alienated workforce.

Read more…

Feedback: the how

Many companies try to help managers navigate this minefield by standardizing a feedback/ review process, even going so far as to have printed out mandatory questions with blank spaces for the recipients’ answers….  And in doing so they are trying to equip managers with a tool to help them succeed in the conversation (and avoid HR complications). 

People take feedback differently, in terms of their emotional reaction, subsequent motivation, engagement, input, openness, honesty, follow up output and much more. Feedback is not a one size fits all or each performance review and coaching session would be perfect every time. 

Unfortunately, this way of thinking often addresses the dimensions of content and formal process.  There’s another, equally important focus to consider… the ‘how’ – the informal, hidden or tacit process.

Read more…


The Power of Coaching

If this interests you in any way and you wish to read more – Click Here

If you wish to contact us and talk some more – Click Here


Transition: the blindspot of change



Change is the only constant. And it happens at every level of our existence – from our own bodies right through to the whole planet.


When it is initiated by others in companies, departments, hospitals, mine sites and the like, it is labeled organizational change, and a plethora of literature exists on this subject. The vast majority of change programs initiated in large organizations fail – for many well documented and known reasons.


But too often the results are disappointing because change management is not sufficient in itself; it needs to be supplemented by transition management. Transition is the blind spot of so much well intentioned organizational change.


William Bridges points out that can be triggered by others (as a response to an organizational change), by events (death of a spouse, break up of a relationship)  or by oneself through a choice (new country, new relationship, new role). It can happen in as apparently simple a situation as a unit or section reshuffle of people into new roles or returning from an extended stay in another country. It can start when the change starts or may even begin before the change starts, in anticipation so speak.


In the case of transition triggered by organizational change, the leader’s role is to help individual managers and staff members move through to new beginnings.   Read or download our  paper that describes this blindspot in change management and what to do about it


For an introduction, view this short video by Tim

Tim Dalmau and Jill Tideman


Leadership Master Class: A special conversation with Tim Dalmau & Steve Zuieback



Join Tim Dalmau and Steve Zuieback in a special Leadership Master Class in either San Diego, California on October 16 and 17, 2014.


This is a rare opportunity for top leaders in organizations who are  committed to implementing changes to create more profound and immediate results in their organizations and are interested in exploring their leadership theory of practice.


The most powerful leaders have an explicit “theory of practice” that they consciously operate from as they make decisions, how they engage in challenging situations and how they build and coach other people. A theory of practice is a set of assumptions, hypotheses and principles that have been developed through their experience about what works and doesn’t work.


This Leadership Master Class will take participants through a series of experiences, dialogues and coaching conversations that will result in a completed theory of practice for each person. Participants will receive a packet of information prior to the course to better prepare and focus them for the experience.


The Leadership Master Class is for leaders and executives in any setting, be it education, health care, manufacturing, or professional services. No matter where or how you lead people this class will be for you and will deliver to you direct benefits, insights and skills. The role of leaders in the positive transformation of whole systems will be a core aspect of these events.

You can expect to

  • Understand the Leadership Conversations Framework
  • Understand core leadership models that inform your Theory of Practice.
  • Identify beliefs and values that inform effective leadership practices.
  • Develop your own leadership Theory of Practice.
  • Connect with a network of effective leaders.

Tim and Steve will

  • Draw on various leadership models successful across multiple industry sectors.
  • Work with the real issues faced by the participants
  • Include small and large group work
  • Be limited to a small number of participants to maximize learning and focus on real issues.

Training Venue

This training will be held at:
Marina Village, San Diego, California. You will receive more information about accommodations and restaurants in the area after you have completed the registration process.

– See more at:





Tim Dalmau


Steve Zuieback


Venue: This Master Class will be held at Marina Village, San Diego, California. You will receive more information about accommodation and restaurants after completing the registration process.



Click here to Register for San Diego Master Class!




This is a special opportunity for top leaders in organizations who are interested in exploring their leadership theory of practice and who are committed to implementing changes to create more profound and immediate results in their organizations.  – See more at:

Handling the grey


When someone does something that is blatantly wrong, most leaders know what is asked of them in how to respond. If it is very serious then the usual consequence is that the person responsible is removed from employment.


But when someone does something that is borderline how should you respond?


There are many guidelines within well-established companies on how to handle both the blatant and the borderline. We offer you one simple model that can help you in your decision-making and may be a good adjunct to that which your company already uses.


The table below is derived from the work of Royal Dutch Shell Company.  It was originally developed as a map for handling safety decisions but can in fact be used for guiding managers and leaders across a wide range of situations.






Consequence for the individual


1 Compliance Did they follow all procedures and best practices? Receive encouragement and recognition for good working practices Provide praise and recognitionEnroll person as a coach to guide others
2 Unintended Did they think they were doing it the correct way? No blame and receive training to raise awareness of correct practice Provide simple guidance re techniques
3 Routine Other people here do it the same way. Whole team to receive coaching for condoning rule breaking and not intervening Coaching for improved performance around techniques and expectations
4 Situational I can’t follow the procedure and still get the job done! Receive coaching on the need to speak up when rules cannot followed and explain why that had not happened and work had continued Coaching for improved performance around expectations, consequences, boundaries and KPI’s
5 Optimizing I thought it was better for the company to do it that way. If the violation was to improve performance or to please the supervisor then should receive coaching or discipline if repetitive. Coaching for performance for the individual and their supervisor re expectations, consequences, boundaries and KPI’s
6 Personal Optimizing I thought it was better for me personally to do it that way Formal discipline and formal warning. This is beyond coaching
7 Reckless I meant to do it my way & I thought I would get away with it! Final warning or dismissal for willful and reckless violations This is beyond coaching.


If the behavior or event falls into the range of Level 2 – 5 then, as a leader or manager, you are required to intervene and become a coach for the individual concerned and possibly his or her superior. If the event falls into Levels 6 or 7 then you should probably be asking for direct assistance and support from your superior and the HR function.


Tim Dalmau


The seven conversations of leadership


I was asked recently to present to an Adelaide group from Engineers Australia about leadership. I cast the presentation in the manner of an onion with layers. At the core is context and it goes from there. Click here to read or download.

Below is a short video excerpt from the presentation.

Tim Dalmau


Tell, sell, test, consult, co-create?



As a leader or manager do you sometimes wonder when you should just tell your people of your decision, or should you involve them in the decision in some way?  This is a common dilemma. Read more…


Change and Transition


This is one of the most common areas that many people that we work with approach us for help. It is almost trite to say that change is constant in our organisations and communities, but this does not mean that adapting to change, managing and leading change is any easier.

However, there have been some great thinkers that have helped us understand change better and in doing so, there are some lesson for us in how to help organizations and people adapt and thrive in a dynamic environment.

Steve Zuieback, a facilitator of extraordinary talents and hugely valued member of Dalmau Consulting, has guided many organizations through transition and change. Steve is based in California, and has worked extensively with Dalmau Consulting in Australia and South Africa as well as in the US.

He has put together a great video and material giving an overview of William Bridges work on Transition and Change.

Click here to learn a useful model and explore some real life examples related to handling change and transition in organisations.


Buy Tim & Steve’s Book

''A truly useful and practical book'' Rich Shapiro, EY

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