Kellie Mills – Coach, Trainer and Speaker

Creating Change…one conversation at a time

5 ways to get your Manager’s attention.

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Here are my top tips on how to get your Manager’s attention:

  1. Put yourself in your manager’s shoes – think about the pressures thatthey might be under; what might be their key priorities, and how does what you want or need fit within those priorities? What may seem incredibly important and urgent to you, may be down the end of a very long list of issues that you manager is currently facing.
  2. Respect their time – choose your timing when you have something to discuss with them. Indicate the importance of your issue by making an appointment to see them, rather than mention it in passing in the corridor. Often staff give managers information at inconvenient times, and then wonder why nothing is followed-through. If what you want to talk about is important then do what you can to minimise distractions and ensure that you have their full attention. Also, when you tell them that you need ten minutes of their time, don’t talk about an issue for an hour.
  3. Consider their personality and preferred communication style – does your boss like extensive detailed explanations? Do they respond better if they have a brief email prior to a meeting so they have time to weigh up options? Do they make quick decisions or are they analytical and like to gather all of the facts first?  In team meetings, if there is a controversial issue, consider how you would feel if you are put on the spot in front of an audience, then ask yourself how your boss would prefer to deal with it.
  4. Speak their language – generally, the more senior a supervisor or manager is, the more they have to focus on budgets, targets, numbers and safety. So if for example, you want to ask for a new piece of equipment or an additional staff member, do your homework first and prepare a case study outlining the costs and the overall benefits to the company that the additional expenses would bring. Oh, and remember the magic 4 letter word…RISK! Part of a manager’s role is to identify potential risks and minimise the impact of them. Where relevant, let them know you have factored in the various risks involved in your proposal.
  5. Don’t use their office as a dumping ground – if you want your boss to take you and your concerns seriously, don’t just walk into his/her office and dump your problems for them to sort out. Where possible consider a couple of solutions before you see them and then present the issue, and your ideas of how it may be resolved. Your boss may prefer an alternative solution, but they will respect you for looking at the bigger picture.

Mills-Eaton Training delivers In-House training for medium-large organisations. They specialise in Team Development (with expertise in dysfunctional teams), Leadership, Communication and other practical programs.

Contact Kellie Mills on

Build a better business with … Lego?


What do you think when you think of Lego? Perhaps you associate the popular toy building brick with your childhood, or maybe your children or grandkids.

But these colourful little bricks are no longer confined to playrooms – they are now being used in boardrooms around the world.

Lego is increasingly being utilised in the workplace as a staff development or training tool as part of a method known as Lego Serious Play.

And it’s much more than just snapping bricks, wheels and mini figures in hard hats together.

The Lego Serious Play method is a facilitated meeting, communication and problem solving process in which participants are led through a series of questions which probe deep into the subject at hand.

Each participant builds his or her own 3D Lego model in response to the facilitator’s questions using specially selected Lego elements. These 3D models serve as a basis for group discussion, knowledge sharing, problem solving and decision making.

Typically the workshops focus on challenging issues or developing strategies. From the outside, a workshop may look like adults just playing with Lego, but the structured process elicits deep thinking, powerful storytelling, collaboration and problem solving of complex challenges that many organisations and businesses face.

Over the past two decades I’ve focused on leadership, team development and communication and am an accredited Lego Serious Play facilitator.

My experience has shown that putting a group of people in a room with a huge pile of Lego is a powerful way to enhance creativity while also providing an equal playing field for communication.

There is no hierarchy in the room with Lego.

It is ideal for team building, improving communication and strategic planning. It isn’t about an individual’s building skills, it is about developed storytelling skills. It is also fun!

Lego Serious Play was developed from the following realisation – just as the Lego group had been telling children to “build their dreams” for decades, so perhaps adults could be asked to build their visions for future strategy.

The method can be used to work on complex business issues such as developing strategy plans, resolving conflicts, forming and developing teams and working with turnaround and restructuring.

It can also be used for goal achievement and problem solving.

In team meetings, it’s an unfortunate reality that many people don’t leave with a sense of what the goals, strategy and plans are. Too much energy, ideas and opportunities are lost with the result that people feel less motivated, not involved and not taken seriously.

Lego Serious Play deals with exactly that challenge. It is a language, communication tool, and problem solving methodology based on the belief that everyone can contribute to the discussion, the decisions and the outcome.

While it may be hard to imagine serious business types in sharp suits playing with Lego, the idea is not uncommon.

Lego Serious Play has been used worldwide by major companies including Coca Cola, Daimler Chrysler, Google, Hewlett Packard, KLM, Microsoft and Nokia.

Businesses are increasingly seeking innovative, out-of-the-box thinking to meet the challenges they face, often with hands-on approaches, such as Lego Serious Play.

I have seen participants come away with skills to communicate more effectively, engage their imaginations more readily, and approach their work with increased confidence, commitment and insight.

Lego isn’t just a toy for kids or a relaxing adult weekend hobby. It can be brought into your workplace with rewarding effects.

After all, as Plato once said: “You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than you can from a lifetime of conversation.”

Mills-Eaton Training delivers In-House training for medium-large organisations. They specialise in Team Development (with expertise in dysfunctional teams), Leadership, Communication and other practical programs.

Contact Kellie Mills on