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Creative Tension and Team Bickering

Why is it so hard for all of us to get along? Why do we so often resemble the little kids in the school playground, either grabbing for what we want or sulking in the corner waiting for the teacher to save us?   There is fascinating research about how behavior patterns are locked in our nervous system and how they come out to haunt us when we are stressed. It is time for us to “practice safe stress” and learn what our particular triggers are and how to keep them under control. It is also time for those of us in leadership positions to find new ways of handling workplace conflict by addressing the patterns that make us act like little kids. All leadership development programs should include a module on how patterns from our original organization, the family play out at work.   Wayne Turmel is to be commended for his excellent article that begins to address this complex area. One of the take aways from what he writes is that if leaders feel like they are being cast in the role of parent, well, they most likely are!   Here is the article,” How to Tell Creative Tension from Team Bickering” by Wayne Turmel and my...

Kindness at Work

What if we spent more time looking for role models of kindness and altruism and less time looking at ego driven reality show folks who are all about me, me, me. What if in leadership development programs, team enhancement seminars, life coaching, executive coaching, and conflict resolution workshops we stopped looking at what doesn’t work and started to look at what does work. Would we all be the better for it?   I was recently in a deep conversation with my granddaughter soon to be five years old. She was complaining about Jason, a boy in her class with strong testosterone, and a need to hit (my words, not Arielle’s). When I suggested she tell Jason it is not okay to hit her, she looked at me with a sense of frustration. “No, grandma, you are wrong.” What, in heaven’s name could I be wrong about? And then she supplied the answer.   “It’s not about Jason hitting me, he should not hit anybody. And that is what I keep telling him. Maybe if he hears it enough he’ll get it. I hope so or I guess the teacher will have to have a conference with his parents.”   What if we began to discuss the benefits of being good to each other at younger ages? What if we had seminars about the benefits of sharing and caring rather than the old paradigm thinking of competition, struggle, and scarcity?   The newest research in neuropsychology does indicate that we are programmed for altruism and kindness. Let this new way of thinking, actually as old as time, come to the forefront of...

Leadership Strategies and Going Green

Every so often you meet an elegant leader who stands far above most. That is the case with Canadian scientist David Suzuki. He is a world changer whose love of the environment, nature, the planet seems to ooze from every pore in his body. Image via Wikipedia   I had the pleasure of hearing him speak and having lunch with him several years ago. His daughter, also an environmentalist, joined our small group who ate organic salad and fresh fruit. His passion has been passed to the next generation, something near and dear to my heart when I see healthy and positive patterns of creativity and altruism.    You see, while “Don’t Bring It to Work” tracks patterns that have gotten in the way of success and need the OUT Technique: to Observe, Understand and Transform outdated behaviors, patterns of caring, collaboration, and desire to be of service grow bigger and better with each generation.   David’s site always has excellent information. In this article he targets what can be done in the workplace to go green and know that you are doing your part. Please remember the motto of CEO, Inc. “We are all in it together and no one wins unless we all...

Playing OUT Patterns

Sandra Bullock and Jesse  James have put Tiger and the other philanderers on the back page. Soon their story will be replaced by another couple that can’t make it (i.e. the relationship) work. Image by John Griffiths via Flickr   Why are so many people obsessed with what happens when a partner derails and is caught in secrets and lies? What makes us look for the roadmap for relationships in the media? Are celebrities better equipped to handle the stresses and anxieties that plague all human beings at one time or another?   Obviously we all want to see how they will handle the stings and arrows of betrayal, deceit, and poor judgment. We idealize and we are disappointed. Tiger Woods looks so good in his golf shirt, the Nike swoosh somewhere on his attire. How, most of us wondered could he be such a cad!   Then we look at all American girl Sandra Bullock. She is certifiably gorgeous, my goodness, she’s also a great actress winning an Academy Award. How could she be so naïve to have her husband screwing around while she is working so hard?   Let’s peel this back a moment. My book in process is “Don’t Bring It to Love: Breaking the Family Patterns that Limit Intimacy”. It explores how easy it is to get trapped in old behavior patterns that were played out by our parents and are subtly handed to us like a fine set of china or a coat of arms.   In both Tiger Woods and Jesse James background there were fathers who had affairs when the sons were...

Tiger and The Truth

How much information is enough? Tiger Woods has been giving some interviews as he gets ready to restart his golf engine. Image via Wikipedia   I have worked with several “celebrities” and know the tests and challenges they face are made worse by the glare of the public. Are they so different from you and me? Are their problems more complex, vaster, and more interesting than the ones you and I face day in and day out?   What I have found working with the family of several well know movie stars, with those in the media, with some business people who have graced the cover of Fortune magazine is that, rich, poor, famous, infamous well, sick, addicted, greedy, generous, talented, mediocre, selfish, altruistic, they, like the rest of us are all on this planet to do the same thing.   We are all here to observe our patterned behavior, understand how that behavior started and the biggie, transform our patterns to their positive and healthy opposites that can then bring joy and creative energy to ourselves, our families and our work.   So, back to Tiger; he admits he made a mess. He talks about how hard his wife and mother have been on him. He realizes he was looking for love (or something) in all the wrong places. Can we not leave some of the details to the privacy of his family?   What we teach in our Total Leadership Connections program is that “telling the truth is not spilling your guts”. It is a discipline that we all need to know. Sometimes just a little is...