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…)
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…)