Welcome to HR by Design

Make no mistake, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has been changed forever, and businesses must adapt to these circumstances. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be over, life will not return to what it was.
The pandemic has been difficult for us all, and one of the consequences for businesses has been to move more rapidly to increase the use of technology. A change that would have taken years has accelerated over the last two years. Your business will be more sustainable if the business can exercise flexibility and become more adaptable.
The stress leaders feel in managing worker expectations for increased worker-friendly workplaces will increase as they adjust to these circumstances.
So now more than ever, helping your talented leaders develop their people skills is very timely.
Within the context of the pandemic and collaboration with some great people, HR by Design (HRbD) has changed how we deliver Momentum, our flagship Leadership Development Program.

Global or Local Delivery?

In a global environment, it is important to consider the cultural context within which participants belong and for them to consider the implications of any actions they take. The benefit is that we do not assume western models will work or be appropriate in all cultures. Although very well researched, our models are not imposed on the participants, and the relevance is discussed within their cultural context. We have had some deeply revealing discussions when working across cultures.


The Importance of People Skills for Leaders

Leaders are expected to communicate effectively with people at all levels. They are expected to influence others, make decisions, lead happy and productive teams and produce successful outcomes for the business.

Contemporary research tells us that ‘soft skills for leaders are in demand.  Do you think the term soft skills, although a generally accepted term, really encompasses what additional business skills need?  Soft suggests – comfortable, gentle and easy. The term ‘soft skills’ does not truly reflect what we need to understand when connecting with people.  There is nothing ‘soft’ about soft skills. I prefer to call them People Skills. Think of a time you had to navigate through the delivery of bad news, an unpopular decision, manage a poor performance issue, terminate an employee’s employment or make an employee redundant. There’s nothing soft about these situations. They can be tough, challenging, emotionally draining, and, I’m told, keep leaders up at night. As difficult as these situations are, over time, most employees will forget why they found themselves in such circumstances, yet they will never forget how we made them feel.

Alternatively, if you have high-performing teams with great co-worker relationships, as the leader, you will be challenged to support them to stay on top of their game. Using great people skills to connect and engage people will see them flourish as a team, develop individually and stay engaged.

Having great people skills enables leaders to communicate and connect with others more effectively. Ask yourself, ‘Do you understand your people, their drives and motivations, and are you able to understand their behaviours and interpret their reactions? It’s about understanding how people tick!

Momentum will assist you in developing great people skills and provide a pathway to greater self-understanding by providing opportunities to deepen your understanding of how you tick.

Go to Momentum

For further information, please get in touch with Helen Hartley here!

Human Resources

Guiding Principles for Thoughtful Leaders


Thoughtful leaders understand the value of deep thinking. It enables them to find greater understanding and meaning to learn from their experiences. They think about the potential implications of their decisions and actions for themselves and the other people around them. They will make tough decisions, but they will not make them without thinking first.


Thoughtful Leaders are masters of watching and listening to everything going on around them. Moving around they notice behaviour, culture, patterns and relationships with great interest. When engaging with people they have heightened awareness of their tone, mood, and feelings.  A thoughtful leader shows proactive and sensitive insight into relationships and situations.


Thoughtful leaders can pick up on others’ emotions to better understand what is really happening; they perceive what other people are feeling and thinking even if they do not feel the same way. They think about how decisions may impact their people. Using self-regulating filters asking “If that was me, I’d feel…” to try to understand how others might react.


Thoughtful leaders are role models and set the tone for preferred behaviours, organisation norms and standards. They lead by example to inspire and motivate others. The thoughtful leader leads with optimism and positivity as they share their thoughts, perspectives, and insights. In doing so, they communicate their ideas in a manner that is confident, credible, and persuasive.

Growth Mindset

Thoughtful leaders have an insatiable appetite for knowledge which drives them to read, discuss and absorb complex concepts and broad perspectives. No amount of information is enough for them to feel complete and accomplished. They never stop being curious! What sets the thoughtful leader apart is that this mindset is used to drive and encourage others.

Action Orientation

Thoughtful leaders are rarely stuck in analysis paralysis. They know how to turn careful thought into meaningful action. They understand that thought and exploration without physical implementation and impact is selfish and wasteful. The thoughtful leader looks ahead, translates goals and objectives to others then executes plans according to those strategic imperatives.

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