Good communication skills are one of the most sought-after soft skills employers are seeking these days. It is no wonder given the influence of technology on communication and seeing the level of discourse on social media. Those skills are so important that restaurants are replacing teens with senior workers because they connect better with the customer. Effective communication is essential to good leadership, effective negotiations, and is the foundation of successful relationships in the workplace and beyond. How can you improve this essential skill set?
One of the hallmarks of effective communication is (more…)
Did you ever start down a path of improving yourself and think, “Oh boy, what am I getting into here?” Did you turn back or did you keep going? Professional and personal development is not for the faint of heart. It is often a winding road with various twists and turns and sometimes even a few U-turns and caution lights. Inevitably, you will come face to face with some things that you may not want to know about yourself, things that are uncomfortable to acknowledge. And yet, the path forward is through that acknowledgment. How do you keep moving forward? Here are three keys (more…)
Recently, I was asked to give a talk on accountability and an associate’s initial reaction was, “why would anyone come to a talk about that?” His reaction, though not atypical, made me smile and think. Has accountability become a foreign concept? What does it mean to be accountable? How is this competency impacting your leadership or your performance efforts? It is an important topic given its impact on success.
Why do people tend to shy away from accountability? My thought is that it sounds a lot like blame. Let’s define accountability according to Merriam Webster: “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” As a leader it also means to hold oneself and others accountable for high-quality results that are measurable, timely, and cost-effective.
It is not unusual to find avoidant type of behavior in leaders and teams particularly around accountability. It is almost as though accountability has become a four letter word. Many leaders see it as conflict or confrontation and would rather do anything else. Allowing others to hide or point fingers when responsibilities are not met will tear apart a team. It takes strong leadership to shift that experience to one of appropriate accountability.
Doing the Hard Work of Leadership: A few years ago high school football coach, Matt Labrum, (more…)
Holiday family dynamics can be very interesting and often trigger an emotional response within people and negative expectations (this may have already occurred at your Thanksgiving gathering!). Couple that with the stress of the holidays and we can get a potentially toxic brew of tension. What can you do about it? You do not need to dread this holiday season or the time you will spend with family; self-mastery is just a few steps away.
Many of us would like to be more aware of our emotional intelligence and how we use it every day. What is emotional intelligence? It is an awareness of our emotions, the emotions of others and using that awareness to manage ourselves and our relationships with others. The thoughts we have about ourselves, our lives and others can drive our emotions which impacts our behavior. You can enhance your (more…)
In the pursuit of success, too often we look beyond those things that we do that impede our progress. We can see it daily in others all over the news, whether in politics or entertainment. Derailers come in many forms, and they are often self-inflicted. The following are some common ways I see people derail their success which often leaves them confused about why they are not moving forward in their work and relationships, and some tips on how to turn things around.
- Catastrophizing- When people engage in catastrophizing they blow things out of proportion and often assume the worst case scenario. It involves over exaggerations, a pessimistic or negative focus, and (more…)
Leaders set the tone for their team and their organization. Leaders also teach their team members how to treat them and how to treat one another, what is acceptable and what is not. That requires a clear vision and assertiveness. The human dynamic can be messy and intimidating. Many leaders are not comfortable wading in when things go south, either because of low confidence or low competence. Many leaders fear they will make the situation worst, so they ignored drama and dysfunction in hopes that it will go away. What goes away are your good people since nobody is stepping up to take care of dysfunctional dynamics.
What does strong leadership look like?
I noticed a recent example of strong leadership and effective emotional intelligence while , (more…)
How often do you experience behavior in someone else that you cannot understand? What do you typically do to make sense of that behavior? Part of the human condition is to jump to conclusions based on assumptions about people and that is like diving down a rabbit hole. When that happens, we plunge into murkiness, unclear of where we are heading only to run into a dead end or an alternative reality. As defined by Oxford, “an assumption is a thing that is accepted as true, or certain to happen, without proof.” These assumptions are often negative as are the attributions ascribed to people regarding their actions and behavior. When we come to believe these assumptions and attributions (more…)
Some years ago when I started my career in medical sales, my mother gave me the most helpful piece of advice. She was one of the pioneer women who blazed the trail for women like me when she left nursing to sell surgical supplies. When I started my career, I was calling on many of her prior customers. She was incredibly successful, and her customers liked her very much. During my growing up years, she had also shared stories about me with those customers. They then had a preconceived idea of who I was and how I might show up in this profession. Thanks, Mom!
The advice my mother gave me seemed elementary. As I quickly learned, few of my competitors either knew this secret to success or were weak in its implementation. What was this golden nugget? She taught me that no matter what, (more…)
As human beings, we are complex and remarkable. Our intellect and physicality have led us to create amazing businesses, pursue technological advances, innovate medicine and achieve physical feats that many cannot even imagine. An integral part of all those achievements is the emotional drive that fuels our pursuits. We are emotional beings. How can you use those emotions to drive you in a more positive direction?
You do not have to look too far to find examples of heightened emotionality. Emotionality is defined as the observable behavior that accompanies emotions and it demonstrates a person’s emotional reactivity. That reactivity can be observed as laughter, tears, celebration, throwing things, yelling and cursing or emotional rants on social media, both positive and negative.
Emotionality can often be seen in competitive environments like professional (more…)
It is difficult to miss what is happening across the United States right now with the recent tragic events in various states and in Dallas. As a human dynamic expert, seeing how those dynamics are playing out is both sad and reassuring as I witness the expression of the worst and the best of the human condition. It is also a time that calls for strong leadership and we are all seeing key examples of the difference that strong leadership can make.
Consider this contrast: On one hand, a community was rocked by unthinkable violence against police while they were doing their job to serve and protect. This community is now coming together in solidarity and compassion for one another, talking with one another instead of pointing fingers. Citizens are creating memorials outside of police headquarters; blue ribbons have been tied to mailboxes and trees, all to honor Law Enforcement. In other communities, we have demonstrations, unruly protests and more attacks against police. What is the difference? (more…)