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What Scores Over Hard Work, Knowledge and Attitude in Meetings?

What Scores Over Hard Work, Knowledge and Attitude in Meetings?

We all know that it takes lots of good effort to make a meeting be successful. However, so many times meetings just fall short and people leave feeling like they have wasted those hours when they could have been getting real work done. In our Total Leadership Connections Program™ we spend a half day dissecting what makes a meeting work. It is like creating a Broadway play. A meeting needs creative scripting to keep everyone interested. It needs to include both facts and have a place for individuals to use their intuition. Meetings need time for discussion and that discussion may lead to conflict. Whoever is facilitating the meeting should have learned the skills for mediating the tension of opposing points of view. Where meetings fall short. The differences are tabled because there is a nervous need to avoid hurt feelings. Not a good idea! Collaboration is not for the weak of heart. Collaboration is about speaking out and listening to others. Hey, leading a meeting takes lots of knowledge of how we communicate and how to get the most from all participants. It means everyone needs to be included and not just let the extroverts take charge. Running a well- crafted meeting is truly like being the conductor of a symphony orchestra. I have run across a mathematical formula to score what is actually happening in meetings. WORTH a LAUGH. It goes like this: Give each letter of the alphabet a number. A=1, B=2 all the way up to Z=26. Now, put in the concepts you think are part of what goes on in a meeting. For example:...
GUTSY WOMEN for FREEDOM

GUTSY WOMEN for FREEDOM

We all know about George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and John Hancock. They are reminders of how determined we must all be when freedom is put in harm’s way. I have always wondered about the women of the Revolution. In school all we were taught was that Betsy Ross was known for sewing the American flag. Now, that in itself is a marvelous undertaking. However, there were so many others who we need to know and honor. So I did some research and felt a swell of pride about the courage and the well…GUTSINESS for so many who risked their lives and did not hold back out of fear. Here are some of our heroines: Like Deborah Sampson cut her hair, bound her breasts and put on a uniform to fight next to the men. Like Ann Bates, a Philadelphia school teacher who changed her name and sold supplies to the British as a way to spy on them and bring information back to General Washington’s troops. Like Nancy Hart. She was known as a woman of fearless spirit and a hot temper. One amazing account of Nancy’s life was the evening that six British soldiers stopped to find a Whig leader. They demanded she cook them dinner and stacked their weapons in a corner. As the soldiers were getting a bit tipsy on wine, Nancy began to pass the muskets through an opening in the cabin wall to her daughter. When the soldiers noticed what she was doing she picked up one of the guns and warned them she would shoot, which she did. One man was killed and...
Prioritize!

Prioritize!

When your technical skills are great and you really care about your constituents you should be getting lots of kudos for your work. Right? Well…not so fast. Number one is, you MUST prioritize your RELATIONSHIPS. So often people skills are what creates a limiting career path. Now, what exactly do I mean? I mean YOUR personality may be the limiting factor. Here is an example: Jim, the head of client services in a large company was in charge of buying and placing new furniture for the open space casual meeting area. There was a team meeting and the team decided what they wanted. Hear me…the TEAM DECIDED. They even picked the fabric colors and decided how to have the furniture lend in a soothing way with the colors of the walls. All well and good. Almost! Then Jim, who took being the head of client services to heart, spent time rethinking the plan. He called the team together with his new ideas. They voted and still wanted what they had picked. After all, this was a TEAM DECISION. New furniture was delivered and placed in the open space, for, oh about a month. Jim hated the way it looked. He called some maintenance men to change this furniture with some that was in a long forgotten work room. How did his team handle this? Was there a conflict resolution meeting? Did Jim lose his job? Was there a battle of the decorating mavens? None of the above. Jim became the butt of many jokes, some funny, some vicious, some clever. Was that the end of it? Not quite. When...
They are ALL Our Children

They are ALL Our Children

Years ago I was in Brazil for a conference. It was wonderful looking up at the “Christo Redentor” that is so much a part of Rio. It was fun sun bathing and walking along the famous Ipanema beach. I also had an opportunity to go inland to some of the mines where the crystals are in vast supply. I lugged back a large amethyst crystal that sits in my office as I write this. Along with the fun and excitement of Brazil was the dismay of the street children. It was overwhelming and I wanted, as many do when they see this type of misery, I wanted to take them all home with me. I wanted to start a charity. I wanted to open a school. And I came home and did nothing. And yet I can feel the sadness returning and my frustration seething as I look at the fact that now, right now, in this land of so much wealth that 2.5 million children were designated as homeless this year. Here. Right here. How can this be? How can we let this happen? Why is there not outrage? This time I must do something. It is not enough for me to find a charity and donate money. It is about caring action. I do not claim to have answers except one. I believe that when children are brought into this world they need loving parents to cherish and hold them close. It begins with helping the parents. With my background as a family therapist for many years I want to offer some aid and comfort for the...

Time To Grow Up

Mike just had his performance review and while his boss said all the right words the translation was “GROW UP.” Mike is in his late 30’s and has two kids, a wife, mortgage and a sleek car. They go on several vacations a year. Mike buys everyone great gifts. He is good to his parents. He is also a clever salesman and makes money for his company. Yet, he was told to “GROW UP.” Mike happened to have my book “Don’t Bring It to Work,” and while he was reading it something grabbed his attention. When stress is high he would get high. No, not that kind of high! Mike would get “high and mighty” and start to tell people how good he is and that they should listen to him. He would brag and boast and become the center of attention. Mike explained that when he was growing up he was the sibling who had to constantly prove to the world how wonderful he was, but his older brother, on the other hand, being the quarterback of the football team going on to win a scholarship to MIT, was always getting attention. Mike needed help. “What can I do when I get stressed and start the “me, me, me” stuff? I can’t seem to shut up; I get defensive and have to prove to the world that I am perfect.” After reading “Don’t Bring It to Work,” Mike is already half way to home plate; or in his brother’s lingo, close to a touchdown. What is good is that Mike can already see where the pain point is and how it started....

How Could Spontaneity Affect Entrepreneurs and Their Employees?

Most entrepreneurs I’ve met are lots of fun. They usually have an idea a minute and the hardest thing for them to do is to keep focused. I know – I am, and was since I was a kid, an entrepreneur. My business days started with plays in our family garage with the neighborhood kids. I was the director, lead actor and producer. So, when we divided up the quarters that we charged the parents (no two-for-one deal…ever!) I got the most coins. Now I have a different way of being an entrepreneur. I like to lead my employees from a more collaborative way, share the load and the profits. I guess growing up does give some better perspectives than “it’s all about me!” I had to give up some of the “let’s just do it” thinking, and find a way to narrow down my interests to the ones that could bring in the dough without lessening my interest in new, innovative projects. Now how do you stay spontaneous and remain focused? That’s a fine line, and one I think needs some defining. I believe you don’t have to lose your creative edge to make a profit. You also don’t have to close your heart to make a profit. Let’s start with spontaneity. Herb Kelleher, retired pundit from Southwest Airlines, was known for his “walking around the floor” style of management. He was also known as lots of fun at organizational parties. He had an air of just being himself that employees found very appealing. Are you comfortable in your own skin? Are you able to talk with customers and your work force in a free and easy manner? Are you truly interested in what they...