August 25, 2016
Avoiding "Herding Cat" Syndrome While Building Multiparty Consensus

Have you ever found yourself trying to get many people in different departments or on your project team to all agree to something, or to try to come to consensus on a critical decision by committee? It can be like herding cats across a wide field into a fenced-in area at the back, if you don’t watch out. Especially if there are several issues of varying importance to the participants and differing personalities and needs.

What if you had a straightforward process that took into account multiple parties with very different interests and shortened the time to decision?

April 12, 2016
Leading by Fear Can Be Toxic

The ability to be self-motivated and lead others is a highly important attribute in the workplace today. Strong leadership ability is on most business education and corporate performance competency lists and there are many philosophies on effective leadership behaviors. From surveys, research, stories and history, there is one method for leading that stands out as inadequate at best and highly damaging at worst -fear.

March 9, 2016
Resisting Resistance Takes a Triple “A” Effort

While resistance serves as a marker for looking more deeply at something going on inside, if we don’t get a handle fairly quickly during these moments, it will be counterproductive to remain in that state, as it can get in the way of productivity, morale, engagement, and achievement on the job.  Here are three actions to take to resist resistance.

February 17, 2016
Opportunity for Learning Leaders to Enhance Collaboration for Employee Engagement

In the world of talent development, employee engagement is a high priority. Learning leaders have a unique vantage point from which to usher in, facilitate and revise strategies that affect a large part of the organization, particularly as it pertains to preparing people affected by large-scale change. However, they can’t do this in a vacuum. They need collaborators who trust them, and that requires internal negotiation skills that allow them to overcome objections, explore mutual interests and commit to a win-win outcome through a joint problem-solving process.

December 15, 2015
Five Steps to Slow Down Conflicts and Get Off the Escalator

Have you ever found yourself incredulous at how quickly your conversation with someone has deteriorated and the tension is mounting, your and their emotions are flying and you are flummoxed as to how you got there? It’s like being on an escalator that you can’t get off of, nor turn around and go down, and you are stuck riding to the top in order to reverse course. 

The Benefits of Practicing Gratitude
November 17, 2015
The Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

A reminder of the positive impact of practicing gratitude.

August 11, 2015
Handling a Polar Vortex on the Job

Four key things you can do when a "severe cold snap" rushes into the office

April 21, 2015
Self-Leadership Isn't Jargon, It's Wisdom

It's common to work with or for someone who occasionally dispenses good advice on how to handle complex interpersonal situations, but is pretty unlikely to take their own advice. Whether it is how to talk a customer down from a bad experience, how to deliver straightforward feedback to an employee or how to negotiate collaboratively for project resources, after a while, all you're reminded of concerning this person's leadership is "do as I say, not as I do."

April 6, 2015
Your Team’s Not a Courtroom; Upgrade from Dispute Resolution to Conflict Management

Dispute resolution misses two critical components that conflict management handles. Dispute resolution lacks proactive prevention and doesn’t harness the beneficial power of conflict.

March 24, 2015
Is This Working? You Don't Know Unless You Ask

In the world of talent development, return on investment is often questioned. This is particularly true of “soft skills,” which on one hand constitutes the essential non-functional/non-technical competencies that affect how one does their job and on the other seems intangible and subjective in terms of measurement. This puzzle is all the more reason to draw as many correlations between learning activities and outcomes by following an important sequence to tell the full story.

March 11, 2015
What It Takes To Be Influential

March has been dedicated as Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8. With this season of reverence for women’s accomplishments upon us, I was curious about the qualities of powerful women from around the world. After reading several articles such as The Top 20 Influential Women in the World Today, The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, and 150 Women Who Shake the World, I considered what are the overlapping skills that they bring to the world to be so influential?

February 24, 2015
Asking For Help Is Not Taboo

In a recent training class, one of our exercises was to pair up people from the same department in similar job functions and have each person share a challenging situation they were facing at work.  The other person’s role was to listen, ask questions, and offer any additional insight.

February 11, 2015
Celebrating the Successes and Failures at Key Milestones

Accordence has just passed its 10th anniversary in business. We have much to celebrate and will do so in a variety of ways throughout 2015. While we look back at all of the growth and results we have created in a decade, we also want to consider what didn’t go well that motivated us and continues to push us to greater heights. By focusing on success only at all costs, we might set ourselves up for greater failure by reducing our tolerance for taking risks, find lessons, grow and innovate.

January 27, 2015
Preparation is the Key to Weather the Storm

While the New England Blizzard of 2015 rages on in my backyard, I came to the conclusion that preparation is truly the key to being able to weather any storm. While I pondered this, I recognized the analogy to our work lives and what we could learn to enhance our ability to weather “storms” at the office.

January 13, 2015
Pushing the Boundaries of Your Comfort Zone

Working within your comfort zone has its moments. There is a period of time (for some it might be months, for others it might be a year or more) when you’ve hit your stride – you’re working efficiently and effectively with no discernible downside. The effort is reasonable, the quantity is manageable, the time spent is acceptable, and the output is respectable, perhaps even impressive. Overall it feels predictable.

December 17, 2014
The Choice Is Yours

As we wrap up another trip around the sun, spending our time reflecting on days gone by and ruminating on what’s to come as the calendar turns from 2014 to 2015, I want to talk about the idea of choice. Many of us have used the phrase, “I had no choice.” But I don’t believe that anymore.  Whether or not to do or say something is a choice in my book. Or doing something and implying that one’s hands are tied and nothing else could be done is also choosing. I think that in every situation we always have a choice.

December 2, 2014
What Your Career Path Says About Your Ambition

There are important milestones in your professional development that will arise as you strive to accelerate and accentuate your leadership competencies.  I am using the term leadership in a very generic sense, not implying any formal role, title or authority, but rather an elevated presence highlighted by intelligence, actions and behavior that inspires others to seek you out.  Essentially, at various times in your career you will come to a crossroads, and whether by intention, guidance or luck, you might choose to go in one direction over another. 

November 19, 2014
November is National Gratitude Month

We have seen a growing wealth of research on the benefits of acknowledging gratitude and on the mechanisms of how practicing gratitude succeeds in creating positive impact.  From the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, we know that the practitioners of gratitude have:

 

November 11, 2014
Enlighten Me! A Mid-Term Election Perspective

With mid-term elections finally concluding perhaps we can all get a little peace – fewer flyers in our mailbox, visitors ringing the doorbell, disruptive ads on television, and so on. (Although that’s all being quickly replaced by holiday shopping promotions!)

The democratic process is absolutely critical as is our right to free speech.  What I would like to imagine is that if we have to endure a prolonged period of debate, let’s at least have the discussion be substantive so that we can actually have a prayer of understanding the interests of the represented sides.

 

October 30, 2014
Creating A Compassion Contagion

It’s that time of year when common colds and the flu virus begin to spread. Every fall/winter there’s a major stir and worry for catching something that knocks you out for days or weeks. Given the personal manner of transmittal, one effect may be minimized contact in the office and distance from our colleagues, which is already on a downturn in our global, virtual work world.

What if, instead, we focused on a different kind of contagion; one that we actually hoped would spread? What if it spread like wild fire around the company and the outcomes were enhanced productivity and increased positivity?

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