Ducks in a row... Email Print
Published: 9th of Jul 2018 by: Debbie

At Staff Training nearly 60% of our clients are return clients. This means that we often get to meet their new staff members as they go through a series of workshops that the organisation has identified as a minimum entry level requirement.

As you are aware new staff members can often see things differently to the way those that have been there for a while see it.

A recent story involves a highly task orientated individual looking for advice on how to deal with the challenge of work ethic in the new department she had joined. In her opinion the department manager is a really great person, working hard, focused and driven, but not always in the office.
This new employee experiences most of the rest of the department as unfocused and lacking in work ethic because as soon as the department manager is out of office, the atmosphere becomes so relaxed that it feels to her that they are just continuing the Saturday night party that they invariably attended!

She was struggling to come to terms with this behaviour as she joined this larger organisation to meet her personal goals which included being at senior management level by 2021.

It is not the first time that I have come across a delegate who feels this way and it always gets me thinking of getting your ducks in a row. Or in fact the following nursery rhyme:

Five little ducks went swimming one day,
Over the hills and far away,
And Mummy Duck said “Quack, quack, quack”
But only four little ducks came back.

Four little ducks went swimming one day,
Over the hills and far away,
And Mummy Duck said “Quack, quack, quack”
But only three little ducks came back.

(Continue repeating the verse, counting down until there are no little ducks)

Then Daddy Duck came swimming one day,
Over the hills and far away,
And Daddy Duck said “QUACK, QUACK, QUACK!”
And all the little ducks came swimming straight back!

Ever so often we have a situation where a manager, team leader or colleague can ask, communicate and lead by example only to find that they are not getting the results they want through influence alone.
What is necessary at this point is to become the CAPITAL letter QUACKING duck and to ensure that you receive what you want and need through assertive speech.

Being assertive is essential in just about every position one could possibly hold, whether as a friend, family member, colleague or manager, as without these skills it is likely that you would simply become a quacking duck watching your desired outcomes slip away.

PS! This particular delegate returned to work determined to have some of her task orientated work ethic rub off on some other members of the department and she happily reports today, about eight months later that the situation has improved considerably.
She happily and rightfully takes some of the credit for this changed behaviour as she did speak up at a team building event noting her occasional frustration. She was very uncomfortable voicing this, but her statement was backed up by two colleagues and thankfully the rest of the department took the comments on board and stepped back into the row!

Staff Training is a soft skills training provider.

Email us at for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660

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