Recently a vice president of human resources shared with me that he had been approached by another senior executive who was having trouble with a particular employee. When he asked her what the problem was, the other executive informed him that her employee was just not doing the work that was required. In response to her query he asked her, “Are you using the magic words?” Somewhat puzzled she answered, “I guess not because nothing has changed.” Then she asked, “If you don’t mind sharing, what are the magic words?”
When my second son graduated from high school with honors we were very proud of him. When all the celebration and fanfare were over, I asked him, “If there was one thing that you could do over, what would you do differently?” He responded, “I would have ignored all the blame and criticism from my coaches and just gone out and played my game.”
Everyone has a story. Sometimes the story we tell becomes an explanation for why we don’t achieve the results that we want. The first challenge is to notice the stories we tell. The second challenge is to change our story so that what we speak about moves us to create what we want. Changing one’s story is not easy because the best stories are true, and they usually describe things for how they currently exist. We become additionally challenged because once we see things in a particular way, we have difficulty seeing them any differently.
Recently one of my trainees went through her annual performance review. She received an unsatisfactory rating in one area because her manager told her that she was too argumentative. When she asked what that meant, she was told that she asked too many questions.
Last week my 9-year old daughter came to me and asked, “Daddy, which is greater, love or gratitude?” I was initially shocked at the depth of her question. After thinking for a moment, I responded with, “
I recently gave a speech on the topic of EQ to an audience of over 1,000 people. After my presentation, I went to lunch along with the participants. Sitting at the table just behind me were two women who struck up a conversation about my presentation. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop a bit. “Look! It’s him,” one woman said
This summer has been a new learning experience for me.--this is the first time in a number of years where my two oldest sons returned home to work and live. I must admit that I have not been forced to relate with these two twenty-somethings for such an extended time in such close quarters.
70% of managers are afraid to talk to their employees. No wonder employees are disengaged or disconnected from their leadership! Employees and their managers are not talking to one another to make vital connections and increase the effectiveness of their work. Here are 10 questions that might help you assess how engaged you are with your people.
Recently a college professor friend of mine told me that one of his younger students would not confront him directly about the struggles that he was having with his class. However, the student did send my friend a private Twitter message that he was needing his help. He replied to the student’s tweet with a tweet of his own inviting the student to come to see him the next day at a specific time during his office hours. Only then did the student
When I was in college, I had a roommate who had a goal to eat a bicycle. Every evening he would take out a file and file himself a teaspoon of bike. In the morning he would place the shavings in his cereal which he ate. During the year that I lived with him, he managed to eat half of his bike.
Some of the best leaders that I ever had were not my direct managers. One such individual was an Executive VP and Chief Legal counsel at the first company I worked for. Because I was single at the time and didn’t really know anyone, I frequently stayed late in the evenings to catch up on my work.
I have had the opportunity to coach a number of different leaders. Sometimes I am asked to observe how a leader interacts with their team members and then provide the leader with feedback about the impact of their behavior on the team. When I observe a lack of engagement in a leader’s meeting, I interview team members to discover the reasons for their lack of engagement in team meetings.
I had just finished a difficult meeting with our legal team about an infringement on our company’s copyrights. I came into my next meeting without signaling to my team what I was feeling in the moment, nor did I take the time to ground myself and shift out of my current emotional state.
May 1st in the United States was Loyalty Day. It is a day when citizens acknowledge and affirm their allegiance to the country and to their heritage of American freedom. The U.S. Congress designated May 1st as Loyalty Day on July 18, 1958.
This year’s annual observance gave me cause to reflect on the loyalty that leaders and employees have to each other. One of my clients recently finished their analysis of the annual employee opinion survey and discovered that if employees had the opportunity to take another job they would do so. The survey also identified that upper management was aloof or estranged from their team members. It isn’t hard to interpret that the lack of connection among leaders and their teams or the individuals who work for them would result in various forms of discontent that would impact morale and performance. This situation seems to be even more prevalent today as more emphasis is placed on the bottom line and less on the manager-employee relationship.
When I conducted research for my book, Overcoming Fake Talk, I was interested to discover why so many people were afraid to talk about certain topics -- what I call undiscussables. Undiscussables include anything that we think and feel but choose not to share. In short, undiscussables are something we keep to ourselves.