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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 Business and Life Patterns Growth Leadership

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.

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Business Business and Life Patterns Change Communication Goals Growth Human Capital Management Leadership

What To Do When You’ve Said Too Much

Dear Dr. Sylvia,

I read your post yesterday in Examiner.com about anger and by the time I was finished I was sad and depressed.

You see, I have come to realize I have a problem with saying way more than is necessary when I get upset. At work, they even sent me to an anger management class after I slammed my computer shut and stormed out saying I would probably never come back.

EXCEPT

I am a highly paid VP and I am super good at my job as a market analyst and I love my job. I even love the company I work for.

Funny that I don’t show anger at home, only at work. What is that about?

I almost ruined my career and in the process almost ruined some deep and important friendships at work. I am usually a mild-tempered really good guy.

Any suggestions on how to get the ‘egg off my face’ and how to clean up the mess I left behind?

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Business Business and Life Patterns Communication Growth Leadership

Leadership Training: The 5 Second Breath

Troy is one of the most energetic, funny and charismatic leaders in the company. When someone needs help it is there immediately. When someone has an idea Troy is there with suggestions. When someone feels frustrated, well, you guessed it, Troy has the words that work.

EXCEPT

Troy was not always a hero. Everyone used to steer clear of Troy. And Troy had no idea why.

You see, Troy was trigger happy; with his mouth, that is.

You know the type. Male or female most co-workers wanted to say “ZIP IT!”

Read more of Leadership Training: The 5 Second Breath

Casual workers communicating and planning in the office

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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?

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Business Business and Life Patterns Conflict Resolutions Leadership

Talk Of Torture Timely For Leadership Development

What a bummer that Angelina Jolie will miss the opening of the film “Unbroken” that she directed. Sadly, she missed the chicken pox as a kid and has to break out and itch as an adult.

However, the timing of this film is placed perfectly. With Dick Cheney in great confidence saying he did not think that our country used torture and John McCain taking an opposite view we can get beyond the verbiage to see what torture looks like in Jolie’s film.

In one interview Jolie was asked if she thought the film would pave the way for a summit on torture in war zones.

Her answer was not that of a mediocre actress and a “spoiled brat” as someone said on the Sony tapes. It was the response of a mature woman who wants to make a difference.

“The intention of the film and the message of Louis’ story is about the resilience of human spirit, faith, brotherhood and forgiveness. However we review history and how it affects us today, we have to look at it with a clear mind and an open heart. And it’s not about just having judgment, it’s about trying to understand each other and how we are planning on moving forward together.”

Thank you Angelina. This is the same underlying message that is in “Don’t Bring It to Work”. Too many people think that work is “torture” and there are not enough dialogs about understanding each other and moving forward together. Maybe “Unbroken” will open a door for more and more discussions of what really matters to us as human beings.

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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.

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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.

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Leadership

Get Ready For Thanksgiving 2014!

Thank you to, Jeannie Mecorney, a Total Leadership Connection graduate, for sending me this fun ditty to launch the holiday season.

I belong in the “vegan camp” this year. Our 9 year old granddaughter is a staunch vegetarian and we are leaning more and more in that direction. So, I will let you know what great and unique menus our daughters come up with.

Have a happy and thankful day next week, regardless of what you eat. Enjoy the song.

Categories
Business Communication Conflict Resolutions Leadership

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.”