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…)
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant focus on the negative events happening in the world. If you are like me, you are growing weary of turning on the news today as it can be downright depressing. Yesterday was a tough one with another bombing, this time in Brussels. Thoughts and prayers to all who were impacted. And the barrage of election coverage can seem overwhelming. Despite some of the hideous things going on in the world, there is more good than bad. And that is why I am choosing to highlight some of the good happening all around that few of us get to hear about.
Paying It Forward
Check out this story about a South Carolina teacher who started The Gentlemen’s Club to teach social skills to dozens of elementary school boys, http://www.wistv.com/story/31307747/teacher-creates-gentlemans-club-to-teach-students-life-lessons. The lessons these young men are learning include how to dress for success, how to properly shake hands, and how to treat themselves and others with (more…)
Our workplaces are full of interesting people. Some are enthusiastic, some are thoughtful, some are quirky and others are hard charging. We can also experience the petulant child, who at times can be any of those other types of people, but watch out if things do not go their way. Being petulant is defined as “having or showing the attitude of people who become angry and annoyed when they do not get what they want.” Does that ever happen on your team or in your organization?
We often see and expect this type of behavior in children when they do not get their way, seemingly most often in grocery stores near the candy display. That might be considered normal behavior for a five year old. What about those adults who pout or fly off the handle when they do not get their way or when someone disagrees with them? When they experience adversity, off they go …. (more…)
We hear a lot about trust these days, trust between Greece and the European Union, police and community members, Iran and the United States as well as organizations and employees. A while back, a national news story received a lot of attention. The title of the news story was “More Americans Becoming Trust Wary” written by Connie Cass . The basis of the story is that Americans are less likely to trust one another now than 40 years ago when the question was first asked in the General Social Survey. The results of this poll caused me to think more deeply about how trust impacts success.
The question this poll asked was, (more…)
We hear a lot about culture these days. It is a very broad topic. Some spend a lot of time talking about it without ever truly defining it. For the sake of this discussion, I will use the Merriam Webster dictionary definition of culture as, “a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization.” This includes communities, teams of people and businesses. Some organizations do a very good job creating a culture. Others may have one they think has been implemented but it winds up merely being an idea that people talk about that is not supported by any substantive action.
Creating a culture is an intentional process. Some go about it more purposefully; some create a culture by default. Culture can form without a conscious effort and in many of those cases, it winds up being dysfunctional. Cultures can vary from one of cooperation, collaboration, intimidation, competition, performance, accountability, and the list goes on. Any guesses on what the culture is in FIFA, FIFA corruptioncharges ? Your organization has a culture, whether you are aware of it or not. Is it the culture you want? (more…)
Where are you placing your focus and how is it serving you? As the year winds down it is an excellent time to consider shifting your focus. I was fortunate to go to Florida recently to watch the launch of the Orion spacecraft. It was an exciting week, full of activities and my first visit to the Kennedy Space Center. The accomplishments in space exploration are remarkable! What I was reminded of during this experience is how remarkable we are, as individuals and as a society. We are capable of such greatness! (more…)
Gratitude, grateful, thankfulness, appreciative, well pleased; all of these words have tremendous power. To embody any one of these expressions of gratitude gives you the ability to receive more good in your life. Thanksgiving gives us a chance to slow down, and be in those moments of gratitude before we get bombarded for the Christmas holiday. An attitude of gratitude has more benefits than I can cover in this short blog. Here are a few:
Gratitude creates confidence – You increase your ability to approach all of life’s circumstances from a place of strength and self-assurance the more you focus on what you are grateful for. Rather than worrying about things which are out of your control, you are able to harness (more…)
Given all of the hand waving we see going on recently, it seemed like a good time to republish an article I wrote a few years ago before the holidays. I would love to hear your thoughts.
On a recent flight, I observed an interesting dynamic between a passenger and a flight attendant. The flight attendant was picking up the trash after the initial snack and beverage service. As she interacted with the passengers a few rows in front of me, I saw her responding to a particular passenger. All I saw of the passenger’s response was a finger waving wildly back and forth (never a good sign) and the flight attendant doing her best to address the passenger’s concern. Apparently, the passenger was having none of what the flight attendant offered in the way of a response. I was able to observe the flight attendant managing her outer expression as she took the dressing down from this passenger and then move on to serve the others on the plane. As she came to me and collected my items I said to her, (more…)
People have all sorts of approaches to success. For some, it is work harder than anyone and I’ll get there. For others, it is work smarter than anyone and I’ll get there. Perhaps it could be the combination of both, work harder and smarter and I’ll get there. What is your viewpoint about success? The fact is your perspective may be having more of an impact on your performance than you realize.
In the last few weeks I became aware of the story of Brian Banks. Ten years ago, he was a senior in high school, a star athlete, who had just received a scholarship to attend college and play football for USC. He was 17 years old, and was also being accused of (more…)
What is it that causes us to act out impulsively? And what are the ultimate costs of those impulses? It seems almost common place these days that I see people getting caught up in their emotions and acting on their impulses with behavior that does little to help them get what they want. Recently, I heard the story of the young lady in Florida reacting impulsively in front of a judge. Due to her lack of emotional awareness and self-management, she flipped the judge off (more…)