Articles

For a Successful Team, Pay Attention to Group Norms

For a Successful Team, Pay Attention to Group Norms

Article, Uncategorized
There can be great wisdom in a team. In fact, groups are often able to make better decisions than any single individual. But there’s a caveat: only emotional intelligent teams can be this effective. Most of us, at some point, have encountered the other kind of team or group—the type that makes a person want to work alone. When a team is dysfunctional, decision-making, quality, and speed suffer. So it’s an urgent matter to figure out how to create a high performing team, and there’s no magic formula. There is, however, one important area leaders can focus on that, with effort and attention, will always improve a team: group norms. Everyone in a group contributes to its overall emotional intelligence level, but the norms strongly determine whether the team is high-performing, or simply a…
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Why Context Can Make Or Break Your Work Life

Why Context Can Make Or Break Your Work Life

Article
Are you thriving at work?Often, I hear leaders in work situations where they feel unhappy, don’t feel like themselves, and are convinced that the problem must be about them. They take responsibility, thinking that if they could just figure out how to work better with this one colleague, or fit in better with a team, or if they could just work harder or in a different way, they could make it work.While it's great to own up to your challenges, you can't always fix a work problem by putting your shoulder to the wheel. In fact, I have frequently found that leaders can gain in happiness and energy by making sure they are working in the right context based on their own style, values, and other attributes. Like a sun-loving…
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Learning a Kinder Leadership Style

Learning a Kinder Leadership Style

Article
If you’ve ever watched the hit Netflix food and travel program Salt Fat Acid Heat, you’ve observed the friendly, bubbly personality of its star, chef Samin Nosrat.She’s known for her warm, upbeat style. In an article for the food magazine Bon Appetit, a writer who spent time with Samin concluded, “She really wants you to love her, and she has an uncanny, non-smarmy ability to get you to do just that.”Yet, like so many leaders, she didn't always lead with her innate warmth and charm. In fact, Nosrat said in a recent profile for Inc. Magazine that in her first high pressure management job in a kitchen ten years ago, when she was 25, she took on a much different personality in an attempt to lead without any leadership training. When…
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To Strengthen Leadership, Find Time for Silence

To Strengthen Leadership, Find Time for Silence

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Who would you be if you took time for silence? Given the level of noise that surrounds us, we might never know the answer to that question unless we consciously set aside time for quiet. By “noise,” I mean not only the sounds of phones, construction, screens and traffic, but the chatter of texts, emails, websites and social media that fills our days. “Recent studies are showing that taking time for silence restores the nervous system, helps sustain energy, and conditions our minds to be more adaptive and responsive to the complex environments in which so many of us now live, work, and lead,” write Justin Talbot-Zorn and Leigh Marz in the Harvard Business Review article The Busier You Are, the More You Need Quiet Time.The authors point to research associating quiet with…
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How to Be Likable by Asking Questions

How to Be Likable by Asking Questions

Article
If someone seems genuinely interested in you, do you feel more positive about them? I do. In fact, if you want to make a positive connection with someone, there's scientific research to suggest that people tend to feel good about others who ask questions during a conversation.The researchers in the study analyzed both live online conversations, and face-to-face speed-dating conversations, and they found “a robust and consistent relationship between question-asking and liking.” People who asked more questions came across as more likable. Most importantly, follow-up questions in those conversations were even more effective. “Speed daters who ask more follow-up questions during their dates are more likely to elicit second dates from their partners, a behavioral indicator of liking,” the researchers write. Not everyone finds it easy to think of questions on…
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The Internal Compass That Guides Great Leadership

The Internal Compass That Guides Great Leadership

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The Internal Compass That Guides Great LeadershipMy coaching clients have a variety of goals: some are working on being more direct, and some are aiming to be more intentional with leadership. Sometimes a person is trying to get clear about what they really want in the future, and sometimes they are trying to gain skills to have more meaningful conversations right now.There are many helpful tools for achieving these goals, but there's one that is indispensable. And the good news is that this tool already exists inside of you. It's your inner self: your desires, dreams, and values, what you truly think and want; it's that inner voice that many of us ignore. It is what we sometimes refer to as your internal compass.The term may sound a little ethereal,…
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Are You Disconnected At Work?

Are You Disconnected At Work?

Article
To achieve great results at work we need to feel that we belong. “As members of a social species, we derive strength not from our rugged individualism but from our collective ability to plan, communicate, and work together,” writes author Brené Brown. Most of us have had at least occasional experiences of disconnection and loneliness outside of work, but how often do we pay attention to the times we—and others—feel disconnected at work? We might feel this sense of detachment during an interaction, at a meeting, on a team or more generally within an organization. This feeling can lead even normally secure people to ask themselves, “What’s wrong with me?” or “Am i good enough for this?” If this sense of disconnection and unease continues, we might develop a shame or disconnection cycle,…
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Why It’s So Important to Identify Triggers

Why It’s So Important to Identify Triggers

Article
Why should you identify your triggers?Triggers are those people, places, or situations that, while not inherently upsetting, evoke, or trigger, a deeply emotional and often negative response in you, such as anger, strong annoyance, or deep frustration. You may “act out” when you feel triggered in these moments, whether by yelling or saying something sarcastic, going silent and seething, or getting confused or flustered. Sometimes, as with post traumatic stress disorder, a trigger, even a smell or sound, can even cause flashbacks, intense pain, sadness or panic. The triggers I mean aren’t as severe as these examples, but are instead the more subtle triggers of regular life. It is important to recognize these triggers for two main reasons: In the moment where your trigger is pulled, that recognition can help you maintain or…
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Upset? Confused? Gather the Facts.

Upset? Confused? Gather the Facts.

Article
When we feel hurt, confused, or angry at work, it can hijack the entire day. And often, those feelings develop from an interaction we have with another person.Sometimes our feelings emerge from a situation that is clearly upsetting, confusing, or angering--we've been demoted, demeaned, or told contradictory things that lead to confusion. At other times, our feelings may actually be generated by a story we are telling ourselves, as much as by what is actually happening.It is important to know when we are telling ourselves a story that isn't based in actual fact. We may make big decisions based on our feelings, such as staying away from a meeting because we felt rejected by a person’s words, or choosing not to pursue an idea if we feel the other has…
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Team Effectiveness May Start With You

Team Effectiveness May Start With You

Article
I’ve been writing lately about finding leadership identity, and how knowing ourselves better can improve our lives. But there’s another reason to cultivate self-knowledge and leadership identity: the better we know ourselves, the more effective we are in a team. In a new article in the Harvard Business Review, To Improve Your Team, First Work on Yourself, Jennifer Porter, who is managing partner of a leadership and team development firm, writes that her group is regularly called upon to fix what the clients often call “dysfunctional” teams. When she and her colleagues drill down more deeply into the cause of all this “dysfunction,” they often uncover a lot of finger-pointing, and a tendency for team members to pick out certain individuals as the ineffective ones, and the ones to blame for all…
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