An Amusing Example of Communication Failure…

Most of my programs come with a participant follow-up email series that underscores some of the points of a training. Hundreds of these emails go out in any given week, and people read them (or not), then discard. Most of the time. Sometimes, though, they respond. And some of those responses are quite amusing. One … Read more

Are You a Leader Who Nourishes or Depletes During Tough Conversations?

At the recent Professional Development Conference for the Central Iowa Chapter of the Association for Talent Development, Sarah Noll Wilson served as the opening keynote speaker, and I’d like to share my favorite takeaway from that speech, because it fits so well with previous themes. Bottom Line Up Front: In every conversation, we are on … Read more

Leaders Avoid This Double Standard

The following is an example of a common scene in my sessions with leaders. Me: Raise your hand if you’ve ever said or thought something like this: “If someone has an issue with me or my work, tell me to my face. Don’t hold back or talk about it behind my back; give it to … Read more

Own Your Tough Statements

There are certain words and phrases that can get us on the defensive before we even know what the topic is. One of the big ones is “No offense, but…” And related cushions followed by the word but. Remember that people on tight teams can handle tough talk. It’s okay for you to deliver tough … Read more

Leaders Say Please and Thank You

In my former profession as a high school band teacher, I attended a professional development session on classroom management. It was called “How to Have Pin-Drop Quiet Classrooms” or something like that. I believe in highly disciplined classroom environments, because that’s when you have the most fun. You can have discipline and positivity at the same … Read more

Leaders Encourage in These Three Ways…

Leaders know that encouragement is important, but it tends to be too rare and fall into just one or two categories: I believe you can do it. (Spurring someone on to meet their potential when they’re discouraged or not measuring up.) You are exceeding expectations. (Praising someone who has gone above and beyond, exceeded standards, … Read more