Articles

Managing The Tangle Of Anxiety

Managing The Tangle Of Anxiety

Article
Have you ever wrapped up a vacation by losing sleep over the work ahead of you? You might have set aside your cares for a few days, but now your mind is spinning with anxiety about your bulging email inbox, an aggravating situation with a co-worker, or an important presentation. Some of our best vacation moments are when we’re living in the now. Our anxiety, on the other hand, is nearly always set in the future—can we handle what’s next? There is a good kind of anxiety that excites and prepares us for something meaningful and challenging. If this is what you feel at the end of vacation, you might feel nervous, but you’re ready to stretch your capacity and tackle what’s ahead. Then there is the unpleasant anxiety that can…
Read More
Are You an Asker or a Teller?

Are You an Asker or a Teller?

Article
Leaders tend to either "ask" more, or "tell" more. Sometimes they do neither, and keep their opinion to themselves. These differences in personality all have particular strengths, but lean too far in any of these directions, and your problems with connection can occur. One leader leans too strongly to connect, and is experienced as too mushy, with no back bone. Another leader is always telling and taking strong positions, and comes as an arrogant know-it-all. Very quiet leaders may seem either overly pliable, or distant and arrogant. Effective leadership is about balancing these possibilities. People often know where they fall in this description, whether it's that they are very connected and don't express many strong opinions, too distant and extremely opinionated, or some other combination of these traits. Some need to work more on the soft skills of listening, empathy, and story telling; others may need to…
Read More
How To Use Your Inner Compass

How To Use Your Inner Compass

Article
To make choices we usually need to evaluate the facts, but we must also respond to gut feelings that give us information. Together, these can make up our inner compass. But most of us at one time or another dismiss the gut feelings. We have all sorts of reasons for doing so. We’re scared, or we don’t really want to do the work required of us. (This happens a lot to storybook heroes at the beginning of a journey, right before they accept a challenge and go on a wonderful adventure). Maybe we aren’t willing to give up on a dream in which we’ve invested a lot of effort. We all know this feeling of self-dismissal, and it looks something like this: Inner Feeling: I’ve been tense all week. This feels…
Read More
Leaning Into A Mood Can Improve Your Leadership

Leaning Into A Mood Can Improve Your Leadership

Article
What mood do leaders need to lean into to get the results we want? I've been thinking about this question lately, after a great family summer trip that involved several different tours—and tour guides. We were a group that ranged widely in age, from children to more elderly family members, so we weren't always easy to please. After a day’s activities, we visitors would talk about our tour leaders—the good, the bad, and the just okay. Who inspired us, and who left us cold? Like tour guides, leaders at work are challenged to inspire and create an environment of learning and growth among a group of people with differing styles and personalities. One thing that was clear about our preferred tour guides was that the mood we sensed from them really set the tone…
Read More
Say Hello To Your Inner Critic

Say Hello To Your Inner Critic

Article
I work with many highly-talented, high-performing executives with proven track records of success. Inside, however, they don’t always feel secure. The inner critic is something most of us carry around. It’s that voice that nags you, saying you’re not good enough, you’re going to be judged, and you should probably just keep quiet right now. I am getting to know my inner critic pretty well. Just writing this post raises the feeling that people will think I'm being a know-it-all. Who am I to give advice, anyway? Sometimes it feels like my inner critic isn't just one voice, but a full-sized marching band. So I can relate to my clients, who have accomplished a lot, and yet hear the inner critic whenever they try something new. Sometimes the way we react to the…
Read More
Four Ways Gratitude Can Help You Do Your Job

Four Ways Gratitude Can Help You Do Your Job

Article
Psychologists have recently paid more attention to the role of gratitude in improving physical and mental health. Gratitude is also a topic of interest in the workplace, as a way to motivate employees and build first-rate teams. While you can’t fix all your problems with positive thinking, research indicates that putting effort into feeling thankful—and, when appropriate, expressing gratitude to others--can be beneficial for health and relationships. 1. Being thankful is associated with a healthier heart and other health benefits. “We found that more gratitude in these patients was associated with better mood, better sleep, less fatigue and lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers,” says the lead author of this study. 2. Thankfulness can help you and your colleagues cope with difficulty. There is scientific evidence that people who feel gratitude can enhance well-being in…
Read More
3 Great Leadership Books For Summer Reading

3 Great Leadership Books For Summer Reading

Article
These three leadership reads offer great insights while also being brisk and entertaining—perfect for the beach or campsite. Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time by Susan Scott Executive and leadership coach Susan Scott asserts that relationships are built on having the right conversations. Through the stories, tools and worksheets in this book she outlines how to have the “fierce” conversations of her title. Wall Street Journal bestseller. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter Executive coach Marshall Goldsmith tackles the interpersonal issues that even successful executives face, focusing on the top 20 bad habits that can undermine relationships in business and in families, with practical advice on how to…
Read More
A Self-Knowledge Survey

A Self-Knowledge Survey

Article
When a leader receives executive coaching, they are also offered the rare opportunity to learn new information about how they come across to others. Coaching creates a safe place for gathering and sharing that information, as the coach can survey colleagues and pass along the anonymous results to the client. It's hard to mine for this kind of data on your own, because people are less likely to be as frank as they would be with a coach as intermediary. But in the search for self-knowledge, information about how you come across to others is gold. If you can tolerate some surprises, you might consider asking siblings, friends, and acquaintances to answer a few questions about how you appear to them. Sending them questions by email with a promise not to get angry…
Read More
The Mantra of Bold Action

The Mantra of Bold Action

Article
For most people it takes urgency to lead them to take a leap. I believe it helps to orient yourself toward bold action, rather than waiting for a situation that requires it. When we stay in inaction, that is our narrative. Taking action, even if it's imperfect, will change your story. What would I do if I were bolder? If I could let go of some of my fears, how would I show up differently? See if you can turn the volume down on your inner critic long enough to take a bold step. It could be having an important conversation, or taking the first steps to launch a creative idea. A habit of action can help you create a new narrative for your career, for your business, for your life. Once you’ve stepped forward: Celebrate…
Read More
How To Become a Leader of Self

How To Become a Leader of Self

Article
You are a leader of others, and a leader of your business. Most of all, you are a leader of yourself. In every conversation, in every relationship, we are engaged with ourselves as well as the other person. This is what makes self-knowledge so important. If you don't know your sources of power, your stumbling blocks, your habits and your feelings in the moment, your leadership is likely to be on shaky ground. One way to learn more about yourself at this moment is to slow down, and become attuned to what you are thinking and feeling right now. This is harder than it sounds. Search the web for breathing exercises, which can help in focusing the mind. Once you are breathing with some awareness, begin to pay attention to…
Read More