Productive Conflict: Communicate Respectfully

Have you ever been in conflict with someone who just lets it all hang out there? They have no filter and say everything and anything they’re thinking, regardless of how it comes off? My guess is your answer is yes. Communication with tact and respect is the key to building relationships. This is true in … Read more

Productive Conflict: Separate Emotion from Fact

I’m going to start with a story from my assistant DeAnne’s family: We enjoy having family nights on Friday nights. Sometimes those are movie nights and sometimes they are game nights. On this particular evening, it was game night, and we were playing a card game, Skip-Bo. We try to pick games that even the … Read more

More Thoughts on Leaders Managing Up

I heard Suzanne Lemen, the principal of Dynamic Corporate Solutions Incorporated, speak at the HR Florida conference in August 2018, and she had some good thoughts on managing up. I’ll present them in bullet points, but they seem to fit two major themes: 1) Ask questions of your manager 2) Have a deliberate strategy for … 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

Leaders Pay it Forward

At 90 Ideas, Tej Dhawan started off with a key idea: Give first. He was mostly talking about the ethic in the start-up community, how entrepreneurs help each other out as a habit. A great Iowa example is EntreFest, an annual program for entrepreneurs with dozens of sessions led, pro bono, by entrepreneurs who are … Read more

Leaders Encourage Thinking “A Step Above”

In a recent address from Dana Wingert, the Des Moines Chief of Police, he emphasized the value of everyone in an organization thinking a rank or position above themselves. The guiding question is this: “How would my boss handle this, and what are his/her expectations?” A few examples: When you’re assigned a project, execute it … Read more