Business People's Hands Raised

Leaders: Got Questions? Ask Your People!

Ken Blanchard tells a story about his early days as a consultant.  One day he was brought in to help address a turnover problem at a manufacturing plant in the Southeastern United States.  In spite of competitive wages and benefits and an overall positive assessment from employees, the plant was experiencing large spikes in people…

Motivation as a Leadership Competency: 3 Ways to Get Started

The great motivation debate among business leaders has been whether motivation is a trait we are born with or a skill that can be developed. Contemporary research has answered that question; motivation is a skill that can be nurtured and developed in oneself and others. This important finding means that employees at all levels have…

Our Greatest Human Need…To Be Understood and Appreciated

I was at a conference last weekend and the facilitator assigned the table groups a topic to discuss. After the discussion a person from each table stood up and gave a brief report on group’s conversation. A very accomplished friend and colleague of mine presented for our table group and when she sat down the…

Don’t Slam People’s Fingers in Your Open Door Policy

Have you ever had a leader or associate mention that if you ever needed them, their door was always open? And it was. But it turned out later, they were never in there. Or, they were in there, but they were always busy, maybe because they were studying spreadsheets or some other stimulating thing. Or,…

Autonomy or Accountability? 5 Ways to Use Honey Instead of Vinegar to Motivate Employees

Last week I met with a group of sales managers for a national retailer that is doing very well.  Turnover is low.  Same-store sales have been outpacing their peer group for five years.  Quarterly and annual financials have been excellent. The question they were asking was, “How do we keep our people motivated?”  I asked…

Challenging Conversations – Be Present AND Show It

Even if you’re fully present during a challenging conversation, the person you’re speaking with may not get the full benefit if your physical behavior does not demonstrate it. Being fully present—and showing it—demonstrates that you care and that you are interested in working together to resolve the matter at hand. You demonstrate you are fully…

3 Activities to Build Virtual Team Spirit

The more that virtual teams become our normal way of working, the more we realize how difficult it is to build the positive relationships so critical for team success.   A face-to-face meeting for team building is best, yet most teams can’t afford that luxury. So how do you build team spirit when you can’t have…

6 Ways to Get Rid of Emotional Baggage BEFORE a Challenging Conversation

If you can travel lightly, emotionally speaking, a challenging conversation will take a lot less effort. But how do you unload that excess emotional baggage? Here are a few creative ways to get the emotions out. Any number of these may work for you—so pick one you like, or try them all.  (Preparation is also…