As a certified user of Benchmarks, a 360 instrument developed by the Center for Creative Leadership, I find it an effective tool for helping leaders understand how they’re experienced and perceived along 16 competencies, rated by a range of stakeholders. Another important section of the report describes five problems that can stall your career. Problems […]

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When we think we know we stop asking questions. Perhaps, we even stop listening. Sometimes, we assume we have the right answer or know what another is thinking. But, in reality, we don’t? If we want another’s truth, or we’re trying to collaborate and be inclusive, it’s important to ask others for their thoughts. A […]

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If you’ve been labeled shy, aloof, arrogant, distant or reserved, here are a few tips that could help you be experienced as more approachable: Be the first to speak. Initiate interaction. Don’t wait to be approached. When conversing, make steady eye contact. Don’t stare the person down, but connect enough, eye-to-eye, to give the other […]

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What do you do when conflict emerges? How do you deal with another person’s anger? Here are several techniques that just may prove helpful: First, make a simple statement like, “I can tell that you’re really upset.” Acknowledging their upset may be all you need to do, at this point. Now, allow the person to vent. […]

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When the clients, individuals or organizations I work with want to improve in any area, I often take them through exercises designed to open their eyes to the ways in which they’re already doing part of what they say is needed. With that awareness, the focus shifts from “all the ways we’re falling short” to, […]

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Who is on your “go-to” list? Who are the people you reach out to for new projects, innovative suggestions, opinions or feedback? Is it always the same narrow group, or do you consciously work to expand and diversify the members of your personal think thank? To create an inclusive culture, it’s extremely important that you […]

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 We’ve all encountered people who are quick to say “No” to suggestions or new ideas. Before any apparent consideration occurs, they instantly shoot down most, if not all people, who come to them with their ideas. Here’s what I recommend if you have a person like that in your life. Ask your question and […]

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A direct report walks up to you and asks, “Can we talk?” She describes a problem she’s having. What’s your reflex response? Do you immediately launch into offering a solution? If so, you just robbed an eager employee of a chance to exercise her own problem-solving muscles. Instead of immediately focusing on resolving problems, listen […]

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You’re in a meeting. Something happens. You feel like pitching a fit. Heart racing, head swirling, your emotions are red hot. Here’s a way to diffuse your negative energetic charge and address the issue. Find someone with whom you can vent and get it out of your system. Vent with someone who will keep your […]

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 If you’re in a high-tech field, you’re likely familiar with the term SCRUM. It refers to an iterative and incremental framework for managing product development. One philosophy that undergirds SCRUM is advancing progress by failing fast and fixing early. What might that look like? Well, if you’re working on a big, complex project, try […]

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Recently, a client confided that she tends to present green project dashboards. Green means everything is moving forward, as expected. In taking her all-green, all-good approach, she fails to share the full reality. She wants to present an image of one who is able to handle big challenges. As we continued talking, the realization dawned […]

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The Buddhist and Stephen Covey agree. “To know and not do, is really not to know.” In other words, when learning something new, never underestimate the importance of doing it. For example, if your favorite tennis player told you her secret to hitting a slice backhand, could you do it consistently? Not likely. The same […]

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There’s No US vs. THEM Recently, I facilitated an all-hands meeting where participants talked about state of the business. I repeatedly heard comments like, “The company” doesn’t promote from within. “The company” is risk averse. “The company’s” merit and bonus programs are unfair. It’s hard to know who to trust in “this company.” After allowing […]

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Can You Communicate Reasons for Change To Your Team? Leadership expert John Maxwell said, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” The pace at which change occurs today can be mind-blowing, unsettling, even overwhelming. For people affected by change, who are outside the inner circle and aren’t privy to the “why” of a specific shift in […]

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Fear Of The Unknown Is Choking Out Your Creativity For most of us, uncertainty is frightening. We try to control as much as we can. We want to know what’s ahead, and what the results of our actions will be. This felt need can stifle our desire to explore and discover new things – in […]

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All around us, there are signs that many of us are deeply entrenched in our views. In a 2017 blog post, author Frank Sonnenberg wrote about the benefits of being open-minded. I want to share with you the eight reasons he urges us all to embrace open-mindedness. Your horizons will expand. Your decision-making will be […]

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A senior leader asked me to work with him on several challenges, one of which is to how to get his team to be more participative during staff meetings. So, he invited me to a staff meeting to witness the action. Within ten minutes, the problem became crystal clear. He talked too much. He took […]

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 Are you preparing for an interview and salary negotiation? Here are ten things Forbes.com says NOT to say if you want the job at the salary you desire. I have a lot of other companies trying to recruit me. If you hire me, I’ll be an amazing employee. I’ll make you glad you hired […]

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 How to Stack The Deck In Your Favor Job security isn’t always guaranteed, but according to Fast Company contributor Gwen Moran, there are seven things you can do to stack the deck in your favor. Here are six of them. Channel elite athletes. Strive to improve your performance and up your professional game. Be […]

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 Your Important Work After the Big Hire You’ve just completed a lengthy hiring process that included internal and external candidates. For someone in your company, getting that job would have meant a promotion. Even though you can start celebrating finding your ideal hire, you also have to break the news to a fellow employee […]

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