Categories
Business Coaching Communication General Resolution

The Downside Of Growing Your Organizational Culture

I was sitting having a quick dinner in Manhattan with some colleagues. The place was packed and the noise level high. Just a typical 6:30 p.m. time of workplace decompressing, after one of those typical rush and get it done days.

At the table to the left we heard “No one should be forced to share as much as they do here. They think they are creating a culture of trust. It’s just a bunch of bull.”

To the right, “Why the heck can’t they just get with the program and stop complaining all the time? What a bunch of whiners.”

Another table not far where they were getting very vocal and physically flinging hands around, “They actually force us to admit failure and what we don’t like about ourselves. Nasty stuff! We just want to get our jobs done and get to our beer time.”

One of my colleagues shrugged and said “Not much has changed in all the years we have been working. Still bitch and complain and judge and attack. When will it ever change?”

Blame it on our belief systems, blame it on our parents, blame it on our culture.

Or maybe stop the blame and say, “It will stop with me” or better yet, “It will start with me.”

So, what do we stop and what do we start?

Categories
Business Coaching Goals

Powerful And GUTSY

I have a birth to announce.

Beautiful babies come in various packages. Some in the warm skin of an infant son or daughter. Others as works of art, music, photography, dance, the written word.

Joan Scharff just gave birth to a wonderful book of poems and pictures. I met her several years ago when she was at our GUTSY Women weekend. Then a year later she completed our flagship Total Leadership Connections program.

Now she has taken two of her passions, photography and poetry and has birthed a beautiful book “Lessons I’ve Learned from a Flower.”

I am so awed by what she has done I want everyone to know about this beautiful new book.

I am including one of the poems. It was sparked by what she learned when she was requested to explore her family history, her Sankofa Map, to see how it connects with her present life at work and home. It is a deep probing of the intricacies of generational connections. Here she used incredible and sensitive language to show how women, mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts give and get from each other. I have printed the entire poem here for all to enjoy:

Categories
Business Business and Life Patterns Change Coaching Communication Goals Growth Leadership

How To Get Heard After You’ve Been Whacked Upside The Head

Dear Dr. Sylvia,

I know you think that we can all transform our negative patterns. I have my doubts. You see, I read your book…twice! And I still have a serious problem.

I took the Pattern Aware Quiz and know I am considered a persecutor/bully. I have worked hard to change my style from being sharp and caustic with my team members. The transformation from persecutor to visionary just ain’t working!

Right now my job as team leader is on the line. My supervisor has put me on a performance improvement plan since three team members said I am negative and judgmental.

Help!

Signed,

Sweet and Kind Underneath

 

Dear S and K,

Always remember, the menu is not the meal! While you have read my book…twice…it takes more than reading and agreeing. It takes ACTION. And for many of us, it often takes a wake-up call to begin the hardest part of pattern transformation.

Knowing the patterns is not enough. Even understanding where they developed (hint: most likely in your original organization, the family) is not enough. It is the strength training of daily decisions to redo your communication with others that is the key to success.

Your supervisor has given you the gift, a whack on the side of your head which may get you going.

Categories
Business Change Coaching Conflict Resolutions General Resolution Leadership

Leadership Development: SHUSSSSH Don’t Rock The Boat

Imagine a world where bringing up unpleasant or conflictual subjects is applauded. Imagine if in school good grades were based on asking the unaskable. Just imagine.

Where would YOU fit in that kind of setting? Would you be one to ask “Hey, why is the emperor naked?” Or would you be one to put your hand to your lips and say “Shussssh!”

You want to know where our general discomfort started with asking tough questions. It began way back when you were a little tyke and you saw your mother or care giver in a bad mood. You KNEW something was wrong, you could just feel it. And you asked “What’s the matter?” And the response more times than not was “Nothing! Just go play.”

If you persisted you were called a trouble-maker. And if you just went away you were called a helpful, good child.

Now fast forward to adulthood. You are now in charge of leadership development training at your organization. What do you do when someone persists in asking the questions that no one wants to tackle?

Categories
Business Change Coaching General Resolution Goals Growth

Is Holiday Stress Following You To Work?

How do you get year-end work done, prepare for family gatherings and stay in a happy mood when all you want to do in the morning is pull the covers over your head?

That’s a question I get asked starting the day after Halloween non-stop till New Year’s Eve becomes a dull memory in early January.

Why is there so much stress and frustration during this time of tinsel and mistletoe? Is it that way for everyone? So many say it seems impossible for the end of the year to be fun and easy. And yes, that’s just about for everyone.

Here’s a core reason. Most of us either want to remember the holiday season from childhood with rose colored glasses, or if it was a really tough time, we are determined to put those glasses on now to make better memories.

The problem is, reality has a way of coming in and throwing some curve balls. You know like:

The electricity goes out right before Christmas dinner and the turkey is only half cooked.
You favorite sibling brings some friends to camp out at your place for “just a few days” and it’s now over a week.
The forecast for a few inches of snow turns into the blizzard of the century.
Keep reading.

Categories
Business Business and Life Patterns Coaching Conflict Resolutions Leadership

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.

Categories
Coaching Conflict Resolutions Leadership

4 Rules For Great Leading During The Holiday Season

Imagine yourself as the most loved leader in your organization. Imagine being honored at a dinner for your skills and talents. What would they say about you? How would you respond?

Leading a team and getting your direct reports to really, really want to get follow you takes lots of deep internal understanding of yourself. As a great leader you set the standard. You do not shy away from conflict, in fact you show others how to maneuver through difficult situations and come out of the tough talks with new and creative ideas.

Great leaders know that the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year has a whole set of problems that usually blend work and family more than any other time of the year. The best leaders understand that when stress hits the hot button there is a tendency to revert to behavior we learned in our original organization, the family to solve problems. Often, becoming like little kids who need more encouragement and appreciation.