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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:...
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...
Safe Spaces, Hot Spots and What If

Safe Spaces, Hot Spots and What If

Waiting in Ferguson Missouri. Waiting for the judge to hand down the decision. Waiting to see if there will be violence or calm. Waiting to see how justice is served. Waiting to see if there can be anything new and helpful that will come out of how the people of Ferguson handle a tense and difficult situation. The issues here go beyond the shooting of one young man and the power of the police. The issues are about how we, as human beings get along, work together, and make change happen. What an important time to do some leadership development training. What a perfect venue to get past the “us” versus “them.” Derek Laney from one of the protest groups said “We want to disrupt. We want to make the comfortable uncomfortable.” What are the disruptions that could lead to positive change? What if the two groups, those who feel disenfranchised and those who are in power positions come together to talk. I mean really talk. To share visions of what can be done differently. I have scoured the news and as yet, it still seems to be the same positioning as in the past. Persecutor versus Victim. How do we fashion a dialogue that will disrupt? In the book “UNIQUE: How Story Sparks Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement” there is a model of dialogue that considers the patterns of behavior that have been passed from generation to generation. Of course, generational dialogue is at play here. What if a safe space could be created for those who are willing to go beyond the obvious, to talk together? There are...

FREEDOM for the FOURTH

What does real freedom look like? It means being real, being who you are and not being afraid to express yourself in a healthy, positive way. Let’s celebrate FREEDOM this year in a new and powerful way. Let’s give each other the nod of approval that we can just experiment and be whoever we are without feeling judged. Now, that would be FREEDOM! Think of it this way. As a kid we were all GUTSY, male and female. We spoke out. We said what we saw before someone told us to be quiet, be good, behave. Think for a minute about one of your GUTSIEST moments. Take a few minutes and write it down. Practice telling it on the FOURTH. Tell it to family, friend, the checkout gal or guy at the market, the person who hands you the food at the convenience store. TELL IT TO SOMEONE. My grown daughters hate it when I tell the following story. They say “Mom, it is just over the top. Scale it down, shush it! And I say to them “When you are GUTSY sometimes you just gotta let loose!” Hang out with me. I wrote the book GUTSY because I had to. I became super sad thinking about how I used to sell myself out to be quiet, be good, and behave. I stayed in a marriage too long to please someone else. I was suffocating and was ready to go down with the ship rather than make waves. I used to keep my hands in front of my chest to protect myself. It often felt like I had been...

Take the Best Route from Management to Leadership

“How does a manager become a leader?” you ask. This is one of the most important questions in all of business. What the work world needs today are more leaders who can take charge in a strategic way and help everyone in the company have a “go for it and grow from it” mind set. Here are some vital differences: Management: Tell and Do…………………………….Leadership: Ask and Advise Management: Transactional………………………….Leadership: Strategic Management: Complete the Goal…………………….Leadership: Maintain the Vision Management: Control…………………………………Leadership: Connect Management: Do What I Say…………………………..Leadership: We’re in It Together So, what happens when a manager becomes a leader? There is an in-between time that is both energizing as well as challenging. Stan is a perfect example. When he was promoted to vice president of operations he knew he had to make some basic changes to the way he responded to his team. He was on a high speed highway in a shiny vehicle with brand new tires! And he was raring to go! He had his checklist: moving from control to passion, objectives to vision, stability to change, results to achievement, planning details to setting direction, short term to long term thinking. And then…………………….There was that day he knew leadership demanded more. It was at a meeting where concerns and complaints were as abundant as a tropical summer downpour. Initially he went to his knee-jerk behavior of shutting down the discussion. He hated conflict and had a pattern of being a lifelong avoider. He was comfortable in the world of right and wrong, pointing the finger of blame and moving on. He knew he was being tested and realized...

Call YOUR MOTHER…… or NOT!!!!

Hey , Mother’s Day is over. That was last Sunday. So you can check that one off the list. Flowers, brunch or a phone call or e-card and the day was done. BUT the relationship remains. No, you cannot just check family off the “to do” list and forget about it. The behaviors that you learned long ago will still pop up when stress hits the hot button and you become a thumb sucking toddler or rebellious six year old even in your grown up clothes. We are talking about habits, patterns and how to make positive changes that will enhance your life at home and at work. After just finishing the second of four sessions with our latest Total Leadership Connections™ group, I really need to underline what it means to be part of your original organization, the family. GOOD and BAD news is the same: your family will NEVER go away. The habits and patterns from our family stay with us and go into our present organization at work whether we want them to or not. That is….. until we decide to change them to their positive opposites. Here is an example. One of the individuals in the recent group has a strained relationship with his father. Think of it this way. If he was creating a new password about his father it would be labeled “weak with not enough letters and numbers and maybe it needs some punctuation…. Get what I mean?) Their relationship is vanilla. Talking once every two or three months and focusing on the scores of the baseball or football team. He was encouraged to ask his father about the “F WORD.” How his father feels. His response was “He...