Productive Conflict: Stop Blaming

“Yeah, I ran over my time limit for the meeting, but if Susan had been on time, we could have started the meeting on time.” “Oh, sorry about that. Rickie forgot to include her report. She had information I needed, so mine didn’t get done.” “If you weren’t so uptight, we could have more fun … Read more

Productive Conflict: Be Aware of Your Own Feelings

What happens when you feel a conflict brewing? Does your heart speed up? Does your brow begin to sweat? Do your hands get clammy? Do you swallow more? These are all physical signs of stress, and they’re connected to your emotional state. When in stress, adrenaline and cortisol increase, triggering the physical responses above. Your brain … Read more

Leaders Know People Need to Feel Heard

Ricardo was the president of the Band Parents for a time while I was a band director. He ran pretty good meetings. His corporate background and command of deliverables worked very well, especially when another officer, Don, ran off at the mouth. Most of Don’s ramblings were trivial, and sometimes they were negative. But Ricardo … Read more

Leaders Influence Outcomes

I heard Tim Kight speak at the Iowa SHRM conference, and he had an elegant way of boiling down the role our choices make in determining outcomes. Event + response = outcome Essentially, if we don’t have influence over events, yet we want to control outcomes, then we need to focus on our responses to … Read more

Leaders Help People Tolerate the Intolerable

A recent question: “How do you tolerate intolerable situations or people?” One of the toughest choices at work is to figure out which issues are worth addressing and which to simply live with. There is no black and white solution to these types of situations. It requires some discernment, because everyone has a different tolerance … Read more

Watch for Signs of Previous Bad Leadership

Recently, I chaperoned a large group trip for a bunch of teenagers—over 300 of them. I had to keep track of about 35 of them myself, and punctuality was the most pressing issue of the trip. If any one person was late for the bus or the meeting point, it held up all 300. While … Read more

Speaking the Other Language

We all have our own unique styles of communication. Whether it’s derived from nature or nurture, one’s personality style, or one’s language of appreciation, how we communicate and prefer to be communicated to are different. And sometimes we perceive what someone else is trying to say through the lens of our own preferred style, which … Read more

Leaders Stay Above the Line

Maturity in the Moment is how your actions affect others around you as well as yourself. And in times of change, these actions intensify. Notice that Selfish and Independent fall below the dotted line. The best leaders will avoid these levels when dealing with someone who is already there. Assuming negative intent may pull leaders below the … Read more