Business Change Conflict Resolutions General Resolution Growth

Is Low Stress At Work The Best Stress?

Imagine a work setting where you go into the office in the morning and are greeted by a concierge taking your order for a nutritious breakfast that will be delivered to you at your desk. In the background is music deemed perfect to activate the creativity centers of your brain.

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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.


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!”

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Casual workers communicating and planning in the office

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Pattern Clash: When The Jerk At Work Meets The Jerk At Work

“I work hard” he muttered. I could barely hear him.

“You do WHAT?” I asked.

“Work hard. I told you, I work hard.” It seemed to him like no one ever really listened.

He went on to say that he was sick of spending his nights correcting his boss’s awful grammar for her reports that had to go out the next day. She was always late with her reports and always had a ‘do it now’ attitude.

“I am a communications expert, not a third-grade teacher” he complained.

“Did you ever tell your boss about your frustrations?” I was just getting to know his vulnerable points in this first leadership development coaching session.

“You can’t tell her anything. No one can. You just do what she says and stuff your thoughts and feelings.”

“What do you think would happen if you said you needed time for yourself, for your family in the evening and would appreciate if her reports were sent to you in a more timely fashion?”

“I would get fired.”

“How long have you been with the company?”

“I have been here for eight years,” he said with deep pride.

“And you would get fired, just like that?”

“She is and always has been a bully. She is and always was loud and a know it all. She is and always was the one to demand that it was her way or the highway.”

OK, you got the picture? A demanding boss and a subservient director of communications. A bully and a victim. Do either of these patterns resonate with you?

In the employee’s eyes, the boss is a jerk at work. In the boss’s eyes, the communications director is the jerk at work.

Will the real JERK AT WORK stand up?

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Naughty Can Become NICE

The road was slick from the rain. I did not want to complain because the Bay Area needs to fill up its rivers and reservoirs as fast as possible. None the less, when a car swerved just a bit too close for comfort I shouted out from that place inside that activates stress “Watch out you jerk.”

My nine year old granddaughter said simply, “Grand-mom that was not very mindful. When we get home I’ll do some of the mindful meditations we learn in school with you.”

And we did.

We began by showing compassion for all things great and small. We studied an orange and appreciated its beauty and smell and the good health it brings us. We looked at a flower, we ran our fingers over a book and on and on.

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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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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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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.