Hearing is innate to many of us. Listening is a learned skill.  

Because it is a skill - like tennis or golf - we can practice and improve our ability. And now is an important time to listen more than we speak.

This is one of those times when listening may be more important than talking. 

We learn a lot from listening and many times, our friends, colleagues, and family members just need to “talk it out.” Solving problems (a.k.a. talking) is not always the best strategy.

The next time you sense someone needs to “talk it out,” integrate any one of these 5 tips.

#1: Summon Presence

When you sense that another person nee...

Increasingly, virtual meetings are being utilized to enhance productivity, engagement, connection and communication.

However, more meetings do not always lead to improved outcomes or higher engagement.

We have all witnessed some messy meetings in the last few months - lots of ceilings, 10-minute delays for "technical difficulties", sleeping/barking dogs in the background, etc.

Virtual meetings, like in-person meetings, are strategic momentum creating opportunities. Wise leaders choose to invest their time in preparing for a virtual meeting as carefully (or more carefully) as they would for an in-person meeting.

This articl...

Negative thoughts de-energize us and hold us in “stuck.” Identify negative phrases. Replace them with more hopeful sentiments. Consistently choose positive energizing words - reach for incremental improvement. Write your positive statements down. Read them. Say them out loud. Repeat. There’s science to support it. A feeling of "stuck" can be changed to “sticky” - and within that small change there is room for a new beginning. ~Kathy~

Challenges are inevitable.

Optimism and positive leadership are optional and, if applied, can transform a journey from one of difficulty to one filled with opportunity and purpose. A leader chooses how to lead – each day – and with every word and action.

Three leadership principles are key:

Calm assurance – a leader must convey a confidence that all is well and that all will be well. The role of the leader is to offer calm assurance that the storm will pass, that thriving is inevitable and that the team is capable of weathering the storm - together. It is the leader who stands at the helm and points in the direct...

I wonder....What would the world of work be like if we all communicated like it was the first week of work? Imagine new employees - imagine coworkers. We might listen more - talk less - smile more - try harder. I think the world of work could be a kinder place. I wish we were more careful with one another - like when relationships are new and fresh. It's possible to get back there. Let me know if I can help. ~Kathy~

Enjoy your summer vacation a little more. Bring these life preservers with you.

Life Preserver #1: Learn to say "I'm sorry." 

Learning to say these two words with sincerity can save a relationship. It's one of the hardest things to say and can also be the easiest. When a conversation takes a bad turn, insert this Dale Carnegie phrase (and mean it): "I may be wrong. I often am."

Life Preserver #2: Don't take the bait or dangle it. 

Bait is attached to a hook and hooks can be dangerous. If you've had a bad day, it's never a good day for an important conversation. Run it off. Breathe it out. Shake it off - literally. Delaying a...

We spend a lot of time suppressing and controlling emotion but there are a lot of very good reasons to invite it into our lives.

Reason #1: It provides a physical release for pressures stored up inside. Imagine a balloon that never releases any pressure or a boiling pot on the stove that can't let off steam.

Reason #2: It removes blockages. Unexpressed emotion stores itself as distressing mental or physical energy. It can make our brains feel scrambled and our bodies feel tense. Why not just let it go?

Reason #3: It bridges forward motion. With emotions blocked up inside, it makes it more difficult to move forward. Once we...

Today I started my day by pouring tomato juice into my coffee - perhaps it's a good day to stop, breathe, laugh and reset. Let's have some fun with this one....

Communication is like a tube of toothpaste.

Stay with me here.

Imagine you are holding a tube of toothpaste. Take the top off. Hold it in both hands and SQUEEZE it as hard as you can.  Well, that made quite a mess. Let’s just put the toothpaste back in the tube. Not so easy.

If you’ve ever taken a tube of toothpaste on an airplane ride, you’ve seen the results of built up pressure. Pressure builds and the “contents” inside need to be released. If you are...

One of the most dynamic entrepreneurs and leaders I have ever known knew a secret – listen more than you speak.

I mean at meetings – all meetings.

Powerful outcomes require buy-in. Powerful leaders listen. They create opportunities for strategic conversation.

This presents an ongoing challenge for any leader – particularly smart ones. The majority of leaders that I work with were hired for their expertise and they know most of the answers – but they are smart enough to know that they can’t bring about necessary changes without the buy-in of the individuals that they work with – this requires getting out of the way – di...

There are classic truths about leadership.

As I was preparing for a recent presentation, I re-discovered this beautiful articulation of leadership truths. And so, I thought you might enjoy this book summary highlighting key principles from The Truth about Leadership by James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner - classic leadership at its best.

**Principles and excerpts noted here are extracted from the book.

#1: You Make a Difference
Before you can lead, you have to believe that you can have a positive impact on others. You have to believe in yourself. That’s where it all begins. Leadership begins when you believe you can...

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