The Interpersonal Language of Leadership Engagement

This week, I had a digital meeting with Jim. He was heading into a performance discussion with a team member. Jim had done a lot of background work, sought feedback and reflected on his experience with this manager and his team. He had written his comments relating to various objectives and he wanted my perspective on the clarity of his message. He read, “You need to lead your team more, you need to keep them better informed, and you need...

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A small town, with world class service.

3 days in picturesque haven Picton, population 4,300, and I encountered world class service, many times. We went to an Irish pub for dinner. The atmosphere was warm and congenial, the service personable, the interior colourful and the food was fresh and delicious. We returned the following evening. We were met with, “Chardonnay sir, and for you ma’am, pinot gris?” Yes. The bartender remembered our drinks after one visit. I was impressed and delighted. I was struck by how the...

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5 Keys for Leaders to Accelerate Staff Engagement

BM is a senior leader I am working with. BM is talented, experienced, wise, and thoughtful. She is also shy, and reserved. So far, she has refused to share these insights with her colleagues. She thinks these insights lack value. With her permission, I am sharing these with you, so BM might gain a sense that her experience and wisdom is valuable to others. One of her organisation’s strategic goals is to dramatically improve staff engagement. BM quietly told me...

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Three Tips for Personal Care in a Crisis

Being resilient means getting enough sleep each night, eating well and remaining hydrated. When you are under pressure, it is easy to forget to eat lunch, or to pause and think, breathe and drink water. However, self care must not slide by the wayside. Ensuring your brain has plenty of oxygen enables you to think clearly. Keep a supply of low carb high protein energy bars keeps hunger at bay. Have fresh fruit like mandarins, bananas available each day as...

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Quit the Blame Game – Glitches and Roadblocks are Normal

Hindsight, and reflection: Insights into Learning  Hindsight; I find unhelpful. Reflection, I rate. What is the difference? Hindsight leaves me feeling inadequate, and with a sense of failure, that my effort was not good enough. Hindsight encourages fault finding, blame and criticism. Each is entirely unhelpful in any learning process. Reflection enables me to identify causes, helps me reset a vision of what is possible, identify what I want to learn, and apply. Why is reflection valuable? Setting out to...

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Great Leaders Imagine What Is Possible

Leaders who focus on creating better futures for others face just as many roadblocks as the rest of us. What helps leaders navigate these roadblocks, rather than give up and be defeated? The answers lies in creating effective goals. Effective goals are outcome statements describing the future state as if it were current. In my workshops, I am constantly inspired by the goals participants set. Each participant has a vision for themselves and their organisation beyond what they are doing...

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Taking People With You

Come From Away was one of the Broadway shows David and I chose on our recent visit to New York. An unlikely and poignant musical based on the 39 planes which were diverted to a small Newfoundland town for a week during the 9/11 disaster. The story centred on the interactions with a town of 7000 people accepting an equal number of bewildered stranded travellers desperate to be with their work colleagues or families. The awkwardness, delights, and setbacks which...

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When Meetings Go Awry

How often does this happen in your meetings?   The conversation goes into irrelevant details Someone is holding forth and it is unclear what is important Someone is holding forth and they are definitely off-topic What is happening? Essentially, there is a leadership gap. What does this mean? The leader has lost their way, or group members are anxious of the consequences of redirecting the meeting, or the meeting chair senses whoever is talking is more ‘senior’ than they are...

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Small Shifts In Behaviour Have Powerful Impacts

As leaders take on more complex and significant assignments, they frequently notice they behave in ways that are no longer effective. While the leader has many capacities and helpful behaviours, they also have responses that are no longer fit for purpose. I call these default behaviours – reactive ways of behaving from earlier in their lives. This becomes problematic when leaders’ default behaviours remain dominant and unchecked, even though they may be inappropriate to the leader’s current situation. When a...

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