Leaders Make Sure the Carts Get Put Away

If we’ve been in a room together, I have subjected you to this photo. I use it to demonstrate the maturity levels model and to serve as an analogy for how workplace annoyances and performance shortfalls affect our mindset and behaviors. In this article, there is talk of “descriptive norms,” the notion that our context … Read more

Practice Leadership While in Traffic

When presenting the Four Levels of Maturity as a way to adopt an others-focused mindset, I often joke that traffic is a great place to observe these levels in self and others. Maybe, though, it’s time to take it from a joke to a tool. For example… Level One is the person recklessly weaving in … Read more

What Group Dynamic Values

This week we begin a new, seven-part series on core values. In previous blog posts, I’ve written about the importance of core values to guide work internally and externally, but over the past nine years, I’ve held back on sharing the values of Group Dynamic. Now I’m setting them free. This week is an introduction, … 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 Value Human Interaction

One of my favorite management experts, Mark Horstman of Manager Tools, likes to say, “Email is for the convenience of the sender.” In The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni advocates “cascading communication.” The idea is simple. Members of the executive team agree on a common and consistent set of messages that they will in turn communicate to … Read more

Leaders Ask “Does it Need to be Said?”

I’ve heard a few versions of “Ask yourself if it needs to be said” before speaking out loud. When I heard Kristi Knous speak recently at the 90 Ideas event, I appreciated her 3 questions for leaders before speaking. I wrote Kristi, as I wanted to get her words just right, and she graciously emailed … Read more

Leaders Address Sabotage During Conflict

Can you empathize with this mindset? He never puts stuff away and never gets caught. I’ll just put this extension cord on the floor in the waiting room after hours – he’ll finally get blamed. I know I’m framing him. But, it’s justified because he does it all the time and never gets caught. I’m … Read more

Leaders Address Stonewalling During Conflict

When we stonewall, we make it clear to others that communication is not welcome. We let people know that their behavior or ideas are so unacceptable that we are unwilling to compromise or discuss a resolution. I was in a planning meeting for a musical event once that got heated – there was no easy answer to … Read more

Leaders Address Withdrawing During Conflict

Denaja was right. She knew she was right. She had designed four other projects, all with similar scopes. They had gone so well that she was now permanently in a designing role – an expert. But when Roman gets started, he won’t let up. He dominates, gets aggressive, and can sometimes make personal cutting remarks. So … Read more

Leaders Address Sarcasm During Conflict

Sarcasm has no place in effective leadership. That’s not the most popular thing I’ve said, but it needs to be said frequently. It’s personally frustrating, because sarcasm has been a big part of my sense of humor most of my life. But it’s gotten me into trouble at least as often as it’s gotten me … Read more