Productive Conflict: Apologize

Nothing shows humility, grace, and vulnerability like a sincere apology. Note: I’m not talking about a non-apology or a rushed “I’m sorry.” I’m taking about real, sincere apologies that build trust, extinguish guilt, and provide healing. Examples of non-apologies: I’m sorry, but… I’m sorry you took it that way. Oh, yeah. Sorry about that. My … Read more

Productive Conflict: Finding the Root of the Problem

This week, we’re starting a new series on productive conflict behaviors. In a previous series, we looked at unproductive behaviors. You can find the first post in that series here. Going back to DiSC, some of these behaviors will come more naturally to you than others, depending on your style. For example, if you have … Read more

Leaders Help People Tolerate the Intolerable

A recent question: “How do you tolerate intolerable situations or people?” One of the toughest choices at work is to figure out which issues are worth addressing and which to simply live with. There is no black and white solution to these types of situations. It requires some discernment, because everyone has a different tolerance … Read more

Leaders Follow the Best Advice Lou Holtz Ever Heard

Recently, I had the chance to hear legendary football coach Lou Holtz deliver a keynote address. He’s best known for turning around the Notre Dame football program, and one of my favorite factoids about that process is that he removed player names from the backs of jerseys, to emphasize “team” rather than “individual hero.” As … Read more

Watch for Signs of Previous Bad Leadership

Recently, I chaperoned a large group trip for a bunch of teenagers—over 300 of them. I had to keep track of about 35 of them myself, and punctuality was the most pressing issue of the trip. If any one person was late for the bus or the meeting point, it held up all 300. While … Read more

Leaders Ask, “Is There a Middle Step?”

We all have situations where we feel stuck and think there’s no way forward. Let me give you some examples: I need to address someone’s obnoxious behavior in meetings, but I don’t know how to bring it up. I’m bothered by a team member’s disengagement, but I’m having a hard time putting into words what … Read more