It’s been a bit of a bizarre month, to be honest with you. Those of you who admit to knowing me or have seen the front page of this website will be aware that I have written a book about how (and why) to have good, honest performance-related conversations with your staff. To be even more honest, it started out as the course notes behind a series of training courses I run on the subject and, as the links and narrative became clear, it took on a life of its own.

I found out this month that it has been shortlisted for a prize. Not just any random old prize (such as “best book by a Berkshire-based grey-haired business psychologist with a badger fixation”) but a proper one; the Chartered Management Institute/British Library/Henley Management College Management Book of the Year. I have to go (“have to” – I’d have beaten their door down with the aforementioned stripy-faced mammal) to the award ceremony at the end of January to see if I have won the “New Manager” section of the award. I already have my best Gwyneth Paltrow-style acceptance speech ready, as well as practiced my “oh well done, you thoroughly deserve it and I’m not bitter at all, no really I mean it” congratulatory smile.

The first newspaper article has now appeared in the local press. Apart from wincing at the opening “Self-published local author, (50)” line, I was somewhat surprised at the angle they took; it was more about the fact that I self-published and therefore little ol’ me has “beaten” the big publishing houses than the fact that the book itself is, in fact, quite interesting. I am beginning to suspect that they may not have read every single page, between you and me.