Finding Confidence in Your Understanding

understanding

What happens when we don’t understand someone?  Don’t think.  Give your initial response. By saying “don’t think” you likely did and came up with the “appropriate response” that we all want to give.  If the person you don’t understand is important to you, you attempt to uncover what is mysterious or confusing.  You ask questions of the other person, probe a little and search for that something they share that creates an “Ah-ha” for you.  …

Managing for Exponential Impact

impact

Growth is exciting but not if you aren’t prepared.  If you said “grow” today would your team be ready? The capacity of your team and organization to grow depends on the capabilities of your managers.  Much like the pebble in the pond, their impact is felt across the organization and is exponential. Consider the role of the manager.  Not only are they responsible for direct reports, they also manage upward to leadership and sideway with …

Harness the Ripple Effect

ripple effect

If a pebble dropped in a pond ripples the surface to the outer edges, what happens when you drop a larger pebble?  The ripple effect is bigger.  Not only does it impact the surface of the water, the waves rippling across have more power and energy and move things further below the surface. But is that impact just a wave washing over the rest of the firm roiling their world for a few moments until …

Impact: The Ripple Effect

impact

“What I thought was a weakness is actually a strength and I can build on it.” A pebble dropped in a pond ripples across the entire surface.  But where the pebble is dropped is the deepest and most profound impact.  When strengths are the pebble, the impact is deepest with each individual that discovers their unique talents. How would your life change if you discovered what you thought was a weakness was actually a strength?  …

Who Benefits from Strengths?

ripples

The knowledge of strengths within an organization is not an isolated effect. Like a pebble in a pond, the impact ripples outward across the entire surface. The ripple effect occurs regardless of the size of the pebble. One individual exposed to the Clifton Strengths® assessment can begin the ripple effect that starts a different type of conversation with peers, co-workers, and management. A new leader I work with has not yet had the opportunity to …

Are You Ready?

ready

No one was ready for Hurricane Harvey and the rain-soaked aftermath that soaked Houston for days.  The devastation is immense and many remain in places other than the comfort of home. But so many were ready for the challenge.  First-responders, city and government officials and so many every day, ordinary people who were pressed into action by the unexpected challenges brought by the storm. Perhaps, like me, you were not pressed into action during the …

Who Owns You – You or Your Strengths

own

It’s exciting to discover your strengths.  Wow!  Natural talents at your beck and call; ready to accelerate you forward.  What are your Top 5?   Hmmm…did only one or two come to mind?  Might those top of mind strengths be a hint of who owns you?  WOO and Positivity are my top of mind strengths and why not?  Who wouldn’t like a little WOO and Positivity?  Caution!  Not everyone sees the world the same way I …

Let It Shine

shine

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.  Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.  Whoosh!  What happens between Sunday school where we first learn this song and where we are now?  Life.  And for many of us, that is exactly where we are now, our light snuffed out. I sat with a young employee recently helping him understand his natural talents and strengths.  He had a good grip on …

It Takes Others to Own Your Strengths

others

Do you know your Top 5 Strengths Themes?  Achiever, Responsibility, Relator, Strategic, Learner.  Awesome!  Do you recognize them when they show up? It is not enough to be able to name your strengths, you must know how they influence what you do and how that impacts others.  This is self-awareness.  If you’ve been part of a strengths workshop, you likely completed an exercise that asked you to think of a time when you used your …

What Does It Take to Own Your Strengths?

own your strengths

It delights me to hear someone say “I know my strengths.  I took the assessment and loved it.”  Awesome!  What are your Top Five?  Long pause.  “Intelligence, Connected, ummm…Related!  Darn, I can’t remember the rest.” What does it take to own your strengths?  More than simply taking the assessment.  There are three key components: Self-awareness – I can see my talent and how it impacts me and others Self-expression – I am aware of the …

Limited by Talent

taking action

A friend is working on a new business idea and it is brilliant.  The enthusiasm in her voice and manner when we discuss this topic is amazing.  With her talent and track record of success, as a friend I might caution her from jumping too soon.  She might undermine her other established, profitable business.  It is just the opposite.  I keep asking when she is going to start it. A new business is nothing to …

Who Do You Have on the Bus?

on the bus

Act!  Act now!  Act on the information you’ve received.  Asking for feedback requires action, particularly when asked of employees.  Consider a few situations. If asking has determined that someone on the bus is not a fit, act now.  Moving quickly can preserve the culture and morale of the team.  It also increases trust, one of the four attributes of great leadership.  It may be hard to believe but relieving the team of a bad fit …

Ready Set Action

action

“You mean I need to say it again?”  Yes.  “Even though we just had our weekly meeting?”  Yes.  What is so important that I had a client repeat it again and again?  In this case, it was the company’s vision.  It could also be the mission statement or the firm’s values.  It may be a reminder of this quarter’s goals.  As mentioned previously, communication is the most common failing in an organization larger than one.  …

Turn Your Vision into Action

vision into action

Now that vision is out of your head and onto paper or its technological equivalent, what do you do with it?  That grand exercise you undertook has yielded fruit and your excitement is palpable.  Purpose and mission as well as action steps are the obvious next place to go.  But let’s keep this at the 30,000 foot level and recognize the importance and power the vision statement brings. For a solo-prenuer, the next step is …

You Must Listen in Order to be Heard

listen

Waa-waa.  Waa waa-waa waa waa.  Sound familiar?  Perhaps like the teacher or the parents in the Charlie Brown features?  Or did you say your significant other?  Each one of us has surely thought this at one time or another when someone was speaking.  Is this what is being heard in your team meetings and other company communications?  How can the vision for the organization be shared if this is all that is heard? There are …

Did You Start Your Business With a Vision?

business

Did you start your business with a fully formed vision of what you wanted it to be?  Most of us don’t.  Circumstances such as a loss of a job, relocation or dissatisfaction with a previous position cause us to just take action and launch.  Our focus is on “doing” our business, and getting it off the ground rather than what we want the business to “be”.   Ready, fire, and then aim (maybe!). The vision (aim) …

Increased Communication: Listening is the Key

communication

The Gift of Listening addressed the importance of quieting your mind and giving your full attention to the person speaking, listening to the words, and also hearing what is not said.  Listening involves more than just letting the voice hit your ears.  It is providing a safe place for someone to truly share. Lack of communication is one of the most common challenges I hear in my work with teams.  While there might be complaints …

Give the Gift of Truly Listening

listening

Listening is one of the most natural yet difficult things to do.  We say we are listening.  We pretend we are listening.  Yet most of us aren’t, we are simply taking in the auditory notes of the other person.  When we do listen, we can hear things that aren’t said and we learn more.  Truly listening is one of the greatest gifts we can give anyone.  It is also our key to success in life …

You Should Be Able to Figure This Out, Right?

figure this out

Are you at a point where you have done and tried everything you know to move the needle on your personal and professional goals?  Do you feel that as a capable business person, you SHOULD be able to make this happen? The glut of information on the Internet contributes to this feeling of “should.”  With information so freely available you SHOULD be able to figure this out, right? Just because you are a capable business …

What Happens When Interests, Talents and Purpose Meet?

interests, talents

Engaged workforce. Purpose. Accountability. Ownership mentality. Balance. Autonomy. Collaboration. Communication.  These are the words heard daily in conversations with business leaders and their employees.  Seldom are the words money, pay, compensation, salary heard…from either party.  It suggests that we all seek something more than just the paycheck. At a recent presentation, the speaker asked participants to think about a time recently when the participants had felt powerful.  After a few quiet moments of reflection, three …