While on vacation you stop in a local restaurant for breakfast. You’re adventurous so you didn’t check the Yelp ratings before choosing this one. Seated near the kitchen, you have a birds-eye view of all the action. Cooks are working furiously to keep up with all the orders thrown at them, dropping dishes or utensils from time to time, and occasionally getting yelled at by the wait staff or manager for how long it’s taking to fill an order. The menu is extremely limited because the cooks have only basic ingredients and haven’t been trained to do anything except the quick stuff. Those apples and breakfast bars back at your hotel room are looking better all the time, aren’t they?Read More
Whether you are an associate manager or a senior executive, what you say, how you say it, when you say it, to whom you say it, and whether you say it in the proper context are critical components for tapping into your full strategic leadership potential.Read More
Where do you think you have more impact as a leader or manager? Is it in the formal, planned interactions like team meetings or performance reviews? Or is it in the casual conversation that started with the question, "Have you got a minute?"
My experience with coaching leaders and managers is...Read More
What are some of your "trigger words" or phrases? You know what I'm talking about. Those words used by others that ignite strong negative emotion as you hear them leave the other person's lips. For me it's phrases like "this sucks" or the frequent use of profanity.
While not as emotionally irksome as trigger words, I do think there are words we use as leadersRead More
I had a most refreshing moment with a team of people a couple of weeks ago. We were discussing the upcoming solar eclipse, and John, (not actual name), immediately brightened and started sharing way more than I expected about the history of such eclipses. He even said he would be traveling to South Carolina to stand on the very spot where a famous (to him) astronomer stood during an eclipse in 1903. The rest of his team joked with him about his “nerdiness,” but you could tell...Read More
I recently spent a whole weekend learning how to be a better listener. Well… that wasn’t the only thing I did for three days, but it was a major focus of the training experience. While I have always considered myself a “good listener,” I now realize how much I have, at times, been missing in conversations.
The experience also reminded me...Read More
This past weekend I watched the science fiction movie Arrival. While it’s one of those movies I need to watch a second time to really appreciate all the plot twists, there is a powerful "teachable" moment in the movie when the main character, Louise, is asked by the military commander about her methods to try and communicate with the aliens who have landed on earth.Read More
When we have a resource in abundance, we tend to get sloppy in how we use that resource. No where is that more evident to me than in our communication. The minute we have a thought and want to share it... we do!Read More
I would be willing to wager that your voice mail contains a sentence like this: "Please leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as possible." Have you ever stopped and thought about what that means to the recipient? What does "as soon as possible mean?" To some it might be the end of the day while others might expect a response in 2 hours... or less!Read More
I'm not sure whether it's all the texting, tweeting, and other short forms of written communication we engage in, but I see more and more people struggle to clearly articulate their thoughts in writing. Jordan Conrad at WritingExplained.org got my attention with some of his practical tweets about writing, and I was thrilled when he offered to share some of his thoughts about improving our written communication skills. Here are some tips from Jordan:Read More