Are You Training or Untraining?

In the sport of dressage, the trainers’ adage is you are either training or untraining.  Every step counts.  Every step counts as it prepares you for the next.  There is no middle ground.  You are either training or untraining your horse and yourself with every step. Dressage originates from the military.  Horses were trained to carry their riders into battle and to serve as weapons before rifles and artillery made it onto the scene.  In …

A Gift for You

It is that time of year for giving gifts. Here is a gift for you as we move into the new year. Grab your favorite warm beverage and settle into your reading chair or that special place by the window. Give yourself the gift of a few quiet moments to consider the following: What is it that you most want to get in 2018 for your professional development and career? Do you know what that …

Your Next Best Step

Do you know what that is?  What will 2018 bring for you?  What do you want it to bring?  Opportunity doesn’t show up like presents under the tree with a bow and a gift tag.  Most of the time it arrives disguised as something else; usually NOT what you were wishing for. Or we miss the opportunity altogether.  We don’t see it, even when it is not disguised because we don’t know what we are …

Is This Year’s Gift a Lump of Coal?

negative-feedback

A lump of coal has a negative connotation in our holiday traditions.  Misbehaving children would receive a lump of coal in their stockings instead of gifts as a reminder to do better next year.  Is the delivery of a few lumps of coal on your list this year as a leader?  How can negative feedback, that lump of coal, be a gift to both the organization and the recipient? Just the thought of delivering negative …

Feedback with Meaning 👍

social-media-feedback

“Like.” “Like.” “Like.” “Thumbs up.” “Heart.”  This is the feedback we give and receive on social media. It’s a thrill to see someone like what we shared. It’s also fun to give this feedback, sharing with others that we agree in some way.  But what meaning does it have? Not much in most cases.  This feedback is done quickly with the press of a finger. Some apps don’t even require that the article or post is …

All I Want for Christmas is Some Feedback

feedback

Feedback, feedback, feedback. Sound familiar? Except it is not just for Christmas or any other holiday; feedback is something employees and team members are demanding more and more on any day. Point the finger at overly-involved parents and school and sports programs that provide feedback constantly to the younger generations in our workforce. And only positive feedback some might add! This sea change to more feedback is not simply a cry from the younger generation. …

Those Darn Millennials

millennials

Those Darn Millennials make up a good portion of my client base.  For all the disregard and disrespect that is heaped on them, I find them to be eager, exciting and enthusiastic clients to work with. They are hungry for self-development, focused on making the most of their professional careers and willing to learn and experiment with different ways of thinking.  They face the same challenges that all of us do in balancing careers, family …

Are You Searching For Talent?

talent

A company I work with has recently employed a Talent Manager.  The term is becoming more common in the Human Resources function as the search moves from just warm bodies to the identification of talent to ensure the best and brightest are part of our organizations.  What is not to like about this? Nothing.  Not one darn thing.  Assuming we know talent when we see it, this is a win-win for both parties.  Only it …

Do You Know What is Really Expected?

really expected

In a recent workshop on time management a participant shared that he had created blocks of time on his calendar for his various projects.  “Time-blocking” helps ensure you actually have time available to get the task done.  But it hadn’t worked for this participant.  When he got to the time block he didn’t know which project to work on.  That is not a time management problem.  That is a contribution “I know what is expected …

What Could Adjusting Your View Do For You?

view

It was fifth grade when I was found out.  Sitting at the front of the classroom demonstrated I was an engaged student, yes?  But at some point, my guise was up.  A trip to the eye doctor put me in bifocals at a young age.  I remember being amazed at how many individual leaves were on the trees.  Wow! The amazement soon turned to clumsiness and embarrassment.  Exiting the school cafeteria, I stumbled down the …

Navigating the Crossfire

crossfire

“Things are challenging — there are those who will oppose anything if it is not their idea…scheduled a team meeting tomorrow to do some work planning and I think that will help disperse some of the responsibilities a bit and give me some more time to manage the personalities.” A client recently shared this status update.  Does it sound familiar?  Anytime change is afoot you can expect crossfire.  It can happen with a recently promoted …

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 …