Mike Elliott

Mike Elliott

I work in Openreach as a business modeller - which involves statistical and analytical consultancy.

Location Nottingham


  • I'm hoping we get presented with some evidence for this hypothesis - he is a scientist, right?

  • I kept on waiting for the interview to link to the "flat mind" but it didnt' seem to. Ed's only gave examples of his team just replicating via an app what personal trainers (or dieticians) would do if you met them regularly, ie give support, feedback and new targets. Nothing new. Or was I missing something?

  • I don't think happiness is a better goal than wealth/ economic growth. There are lots of examples of where pursuing happiness has negative consequences, eg drugs, meditating bliss junkies. Better targets to measure would be measures of satisfaction, purpose, friendship, health. Most of these are still subjective and relative measures - although I don't see...

  • I've come across these ideas before - so I'm a believer already. Score of 9. This course is explaining the ideas in more detail than I knew previously - although I am finding the course verbose.

  • Thanks - I'll give it a go :)

  • Thankyou for the course. I already had a pretty healthy diet. My "takeaways(!!)" from the course are:
    1) make my puddings healthier (I've found some recipes to try - making my own will help vs the processed ones from supermarkets)
    2) avoid the habit of always buying the same fruit and veg - variety!

  • Thankyou for this course. I would have liked to have leart more about the "high protein and medium carbs" diet that got referred to in a previous week. I think some of Aberdeen's researchers had worked on it, but I couldn't find it by googling.

  • I'd love to see examples of what the high protein and moderate carb diet looks like in practice, eg meal plans.

  • I have got into savoury porridge: 1 egg, oats, 1 tomato chopped, a bit of oil, water. Whisk it up with a fork. Add some flavouring like curry/cajun powder and/or seeds. Then microwave. It gives protein and 1 portion of veg - plus it's yummy!

  • Healthyish granola: like a normal granola but swapping: a) sugar for honey, coconut flakes and extra dried fruit; b) butter for oil seed rape or olive oil.

    I'm loving all these recipe ideas - I'll give them a go. Thanks!

  • The big considerations are CO2 footprint, waste and packaging. My approach includes...
    Don't drive to a supermarket! Use a bike with panniers / trailer / backpack. Or do shopping with a car as you pass a supermarket (not making a special shopping trip).
    Only buy what you'll eat.
    Reduce meat, fish and dairy.
    Avoid foods with air miles (bananas and...

  • There was quite a lot of greenwash in that video. To be fair to them they probably are one of the better supermarkets - but that isn't saying much. I don't think even Waitrose sell pig trotter or cow ear dishes.

  • Hi I'm Mike from Devon, UK. My job is analytics / stats. I'm interested in learning how to collect data from social media so I can incorporate it into my insight. Thanks for putting this course on!

  • Scenario 1:
    - boss: paying little attention to subordinate (typing away, little eye contact), unmitigated directives, quite harsh verbal tones
    - worker: participates little, probably left demotivated and with diminished self worth.

    Scenario 2:
    - boss: attention paid to subordinate, warm and engaged body language and verbal comms, a little mitigation of...

  • I think a good boss would be aware of their DR's need for face and how that will lead to motivation and discretionary behaviour - and should be able to flex their style between the 2 extremes.
    Ps - a great exercise!!!

  • Mike Elliott made a comment

    The most important ones for my work:
    1. I don't think I'm very "agreeable" or extrovert (though compared to my team mates I probably am extrovert!).
    2. Being seen as old won't be good for me but my age isn't a problem at the moment. I don' think this is an important factor.
    3. This is the most important for my job. Expertise, experience and qualifications...

  • Mike Elliott made a comment

    1. Personal face is probably more important (eg being seen as a hardworker, clever) but social face is important too (eg good rapport with customers, a team player). I think my face is: clever, original/creative, not willing to suffer fools, bit of a loner.
    2. I think my boss thinks I am: clever, original/creative, not willing to suffer fools, bit of a loner,...

  • Mike Elliott made a comment

    I admire people who are clever and wise. I can think of a few senior leaders in my company like that. The drawback of power seems to be over confidence. That seems inevitable though.

  • My job title is "specialist" though my grade is called manager though I don't manage anyone though I used to. It's all simple really. ..

    My company is large and has lots of history so it's got many layers of hierarchy and different cultures in different departments. So terminology varies too. Line manager and team are common terms.

  • I found the assignment really good and I learned so much from reading other people's that I reviewed several - other viewpoints backed by personal experiences are great. It's where the MOOC comes closest to being a face to face group with discussion. Thanks v much for the course - I've learnt some very valuable ideas that have made a transformation to how I...

  • The 5 ways are good and I've found myself doing most of them - because I tried many things out and found those worked. As others have pointed out more education at school age would be fantastic to increase awareness - though I'm not convinced mindfulness and cbt are fully accessible techniques (they tend to attract middle class liberals like me!). So that's...

  • Great idea. I had a quick go but I'm relaxed / happy at the moment so it's not too relevant. I'll share it with some friends.

  • I've used the stats technique SEM myself and actually participated in the study. The analysis only looked to confirm the hypothesis that "psychology is best" so I can see why it wouldn't convince a sceptic. It could have checked whether genetic factors mediated, for example. That said I think it was a good attempt and hope other studies contribute to this...

  • I like the study and that an attempt was made to test the model with evidence. The bbc article seemed v light on the practical implications but I guess journalists have learnt not to preach.

  • I agree with the paper as will most people who've chosen a course like this. Still it was a bit disappointing how it was so overtly partisan and it's lack of evidence.

  • Good heavens! How clumsy scientific papers are for communicating. .. that v lengthy paper didn't have to be so arduous. For a mooc I'd suggest papers like this get "translated". Ps - I've got a scientific phd. Pps - I don't work in academia and if I presented something like that to a lay audience I'd be coached on comms skills.

  • Massively agree with you! People have fundamentally different personality types (set by DNA) that persist through life - touchy babies become touchy adults, easy going babies become easy going adults etc. That has a large impact on how you respond to "bad things happening to you" and also how a psychologist could best handle someone in mental difficulty. Why...

  • You can't change your genes but you can change your behaviour, thoughts and emotions. You can change your brain structure. I think there's strong evidence (and like many of us I also have personal experience) that sorting out mental health issues on a psychological basis works by tackling root causes - unlike taking medication. If I have a neck pain, I'd...

  • Thankyou Martin and team, FutureLearn and Henley MC. This is a super course. I've got lots out of it and I keep wondering how I can share some if it with my own boss now... ;-)

  • This is a helpful framework. I've been going for jobs in the past where I got turned down but they found someone who was a closer fit - and I was thinking "I wouldn't want a job where I was a perfect fit (as I'd have no room for development)". So I can see how that fits into the discussion. My team is lookign on recruiting at the moment and yes it'll change...

  • Recently I attended a graduate assessment centre - an all day process with 10 grads. They went through 4 different assessments: interview; presentation; group discussion; written case study. As assessors we were encouraged to be evidence based and to take interview training before attending (this covered typical problems like "recruiting people who are like...

  • Mike Elliott made a comment

    It's been a good, practical week. I found marking people's essays very helpful - so I marked 3. It's the closest I get to a good discussion and a real chance to learn about other perspectives.

  • Important team characteristics:
    1) diversity of team members' personalities - and skills / experience
    2) indirect assignment of belbin'steam composition roles to the apropriate team members. Eg time keeper, plant, coordinater, completer finisher.
    3) trust, support, listening and respect between team members
    4) identifiability of each team member's...

  • Build a team that includes a free thinker. Make sure the mgr is absent from meetings and decisions sometimes (delegate not dominate!). Mgr to encourage / reward challenges and fresh ideas. External benchmarking and independent experts. Post implementation reviews. Allow time for good discussions and build in a session on what alternatives exist.

  • A big factor in loafing vs facilitation is the level of motivation people have - and we covered this in detail earlier in the course. So as a manager we need to pay attention to fix this.

  • I think I've made (and broken) my career by being the one to point out that the emperor has no clothes on. I think as a leader you need to not persecute that personality type and make sure you consider including them in a team.

  • That was a superb video. It's given me the best explanation of why personality theories are useful when thinking about how a team / task should be tackled. I can also see why I struggle with motivation sometimes - when I'm being forced to operate well outside my comfort zone.

  • I like this model and think it's quite practical for highly skilled knowledge workers like me. When my manager changed recently the new one didn't do a big formal redesign exercise but he's given me more responsibility and autonomy and I'm building more sophisticated client relationships than before. And it's working for motivation!

  • Hi Shan. What I'm doing is writing some summary notes as I go along. Just the act of summarising and writing helps me remember and decide what's important.

  • Yup, this one resonates with me. I've been set an objective by my mgr that I didn't agree to own, is unclear, I get little feedback and I'm not very motivated... It's challenging though!

  • I think there are lots of reasons why people are motivated (or not!) and the manager will not be able to follow a simple set of rules to keep everyone happy. They need to build relationships and understand their team as individuals. There are somethings that they need to avoid such as breaking psychological contracts and good practice like not asking people...

  • None of the definitions did it for me. I thought it was "how much you want to do something".

  • I'm motivated when I'm pursuing an idea that I had myself. A tight deadline helps too - I seem to like adrenaline. I'm motivated if I'm scared.
    I'm not motivated if I'm bored or if I don't believe in what I'm asked to do. Eg I think the task is pointless.

  • Looking back I feel bad about pushing one of my staff too hard which must have caused him stress. I'd talked the situation through with my manager before doing it - but I feel there must have been a better way to tackle his De motivation.

  • You've clearly thought about this but I think you could get much higher performance from your team (making you more valuable for your company/org.) if you accepted more ambitious responsibilities for yourself.

  • Omg - what an amazing question! How can effectiveness in both be assessed? I work for a large company where we have lots of formal mgt - but when I consider how effective it is and how we assess it... I think we (unintentionally) let people mark themselves. For the informal assessment we use staff attitude surveys to track motivation - but those results depend...

  • Fast moving.
    Quick decisions.

  • Clearly there are different factors at work that contribute to effectiveness. Some of the comments point to empowerment and creativity. Others are more mechanistic: clear roles; job description; good planning. Others point to team working. I think all of them are right - there's no single way. Different people and contexts mean managers have to be adaptable.

  • I am working on how to improve my departments capabilities (training, development, how we cooperate and knowledge share, what kind of work we would like to tackle and how to change so we can...). This has got nothing to do with my job responsibility / description. I don't think I get much credit for it as it's quite a big time stealer. But I'm not going to...

  • Mike Elliott made a comment

    Working solo. I'm impressed by the way the assignment marking is done by peers as this sort of gets us helping each other. A good 2 weeks for me.

  • The writing was good if a bit painful but the reviewing was even better.

  • I think they mispelt "definitely".

  • Even though I'm a bit sceptical about psy tests I agree that it's helpful to think about what traits and behaviour fit a job and a team. My company doesn't do much in the psy tests area but we use competency based interviewing for selection which seeks evidence of behaviour, which I think is similar. Maybe it would help to be more overt about psy tests though.

  • I'm a scientist by background so want to know if there's any evidence base for a psy test before I'd trust it. That would be best practice for me. there are so many different tests out there.

  • I've taken several psy tests over the years and do not think they've had any lasting impact on me or the teams I've been working in. I've also noticed that my rating on MBTI changes over the years. So I am reluctant to take them too seriously. Ok so what are the alternatives? I think a good manager pays attention to things like building team morale and giving...

  • Yes I think a mgr helping you by advising how to fit into your corporate culture by adopting a role / identity is useful.

  • They seem like useful conceptual frameworks so you avoid the trap of believing life is really that simple.

  • people were happy and had a positive, engaged attitude.

  • Hi. I'm based in Nottingham. Is this conversation heading to the Midlands?...

  • Mike Elliott made a comment

    Hello - I'm Mike. I'm an internal consultant within a large company called Openreach in the UK. I'm looking to improve how I can motivate and inspire people that I don't directly manage - so they benefit more from my project work. I'm also really keen to see how MOOCs work in practice - is this the future? :-)