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…

New Survey Data Shows Managers Not Meeting Employee Expectations in Three Key Areas

New survey data just published in the July/August issue of Training magazine shows a serious gap between employee desires and reality when it comes to goal setting, goal review, and performance feedback from their managers. More than 700 of the magazine’s subscribers were asked what they wanted out of their individual meetings with their managers…

54% of Managers Use Only One Style When Providing Direction and Support for Their People

The amount of direction and support people receive from their manager directly impacts the efficiency and quality of their work. Without it, people are left to their own devices, have to fake it until they make it, and learn primarily through trial and error. Eventually people get there—but it comes with a cost, says Ann…

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…

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…

Leaders should remove barriers … sometimes they make them worse

Would you recognize an esox lucius if you saw one? Commonly called the Northern Pike, it is a 25-40 pound freshwater game fish. If you observe it in an aquarium, you realize quickly that this animal is the consummate carnivore. Its predatory style is to suspend itself very still in the water until a potential…

Redirection Redefined – 5 Steps to Stay on Track

For many, the word redirection translates to, “Uh oh—big trouble.” For some, the idea of a redirection can seem the equivalent of a dismissal, separation, or firing. That’s a limiting perception. The job of managing people includes managing roles, goals, and day-to-day performance. Redirection is a part of that process. In some ways it’s like…