Do You Communicate to Control or to Connect?

Years ago I started to notice that the way I spoke to my children did not produce the desired results. I remember one day when my oldest brought home a B- in math, and I said something like, “You got a B- in math? What happened?” Immediately my spouse responded with, “Some kind of a communication expert you are!”

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9 Tips for Creating a Positive Change in Your Culture

Many of the organizations that I have worked in this year are involved in dramatic change. They are doing more to meet the increasing demands of customers in order to compete with companies within their industry. They are implementing new productivity standards which is causing them to measure more effectively the behaviors of their employees and the return on investment for the implementation of newly defined competencies. Because we usually get what we measure,

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6 Tips on Improving Results

I recently had a manager explain to me that he had a department with over 200 employees and that his biggest challenge was a lack of productivity.  When I asked him what he meant by that he stated, “I just don’t understand why people can’t do what I ask them to do!” When people fail to meet our expectations or perform poorly, they may offer any number of reasons, excuses, or stories in explanation for their lack of results. These explanations should signal that “fake talk” has occurred and may be occurring again. From our research, we have identified a number...

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Without Vision A People Perish

When I was a boy growing up in Redlands, California, my father would often take me with him to view cultural events on summer evenings at the Redlands Bowl.  This outdoor venue was a wonderful place to view opera, plays, band concerts, and numerous famous singers. One evening as we sat waiting for the performance to begin, my dad leaned over and asked me, “What do you think that means?” At the top of the proscenium were these words, “Without Vision A People Perish.”  Being only about 10 years old at the time, I contemplated the wisdom of...

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R . E . S . P . E . C . T

How Respect and the Quality of the Relationship Impact Results By John R. Stoker People often talk about improving their results through conversations, but what they don’t talk about is the connection between respect and relationships. And yet, the results we receive are directly affected by the respect between two people and the quality of the relationship. I recently spoke at a leadership conference of general managers for a national transportation company.  One of them told me this story which I will relate from his perspective. One Saturday after reading your book, I went to a shop to have my windshield replaced. I arrived...

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Can You Unify Your Team?

8 Tips for Increasing Team Unity By John R. Stoker Before the start of the college football season, the head coach of the local university’s football team announced that he had decided to take the football players’ names off of each of their jerseys, not uncommon in college football.  However, in place of their names, he proposed having the team’s motto of “Tradition. Spirit. Honor” printed instead.  Because the team members were unhappy with this change, they called a team meeting to express their displeasure at the coach’s decision.  The players told the coach they believed that displaying their last names on their...

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