Ban the Phrase: ” I’m Sorry You Feel That Way”

Ban the Phrase: ” I’m Sorry You Feel That Way”

Article
Here's a scenario that happens to almost everyone at some point: You need to have a difficult conversation at work, and it’s not easy to speak up. But you do it anyway. “I thought that I was going to be part of that meeting, and I felt left out when I didn't get the invitation.”Then you get this response: “Well, I’m sorry you feel that way.”Is that a satisfying answer? Of course not. "I'm sorry you feel that way" is a phrase that implies that the person feeling unhappy is somehow at fault for having their feelings at all. It leans on that person to change their feelings, and doesn’t offer any attempt at understanding or connection. Other answers that come off similarly include “I’m sorry,” with no further discussion, and…
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Giving Priority To Your Values

Giving Priority To Your Values

Uncategorized
One of the best ways to make a decision you won’t regret is to make sure that you are making it in line with your own values. What is most important to you? The list of values is long: bravery, humility, honesty, justice, love of family, freedom, strength, discipline, kindness, equality, creativity, peace, generosity, achievement, excellence--or something entirely different from these.Values also may change over time. Right now you might value achievement, for instance, but at some point this might become a less important value to you than generosity. Or these might both be very important values to you, so you feel it’s important to accomplish things with generosity. It can be very easy to be swayed by other people’s values. We are social creatures, and often required to balance what is…
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How to Find Your Why

How to Find Your Why

Article
One of the keys to understanding who we are is to understand why we do what we do.What is your why? I have many clients interested in answering this question. The more we've worked together, and the more I've worked on my own "why," the more I see that this question is difficult to answer, but incredibly important to how we live our lives. When we know our motivation for doing things, we are more likely to wake up eager to enter the day. We make a bigger impact with our time, and can make stronger connections with others. We make decisions more quickly and with more clarity when we know what motivates us.To start finding our why, we might consider these two things:  1. Our strengths: What are you naturally…
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Managing the Transition Season

Managing the Transition Season

Article
The end of summer—officially the fall equinox on Sept 22, but, unofficially, for many of us, by late August—is a time of transition. The weather is changing, the light ebbing (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least), the harvest coming in, kids returning to school. At work, people return from summer vacations and budgets are often being set in anticipation of the end of the fiscal year. Most of us naturally tend to turn inward at this time, and we settle into different rhythms at home. (For instance, I know my family tends to gather around the dinner table much more often now that we have regular schedules.) At the same time, at work we might be scrambling to keep on top of things. The phone is ringing and emails are piling…
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We don’t offer enough validation at work. We should.

We don’t offer enough validation at work. We should.

Article
Everyone needs validation. I see this in all areas of life, particularly in organizations, where leaders often express a hunger for more recognition and appreciation than they get.Of course, it’s not healthy to be addicted to validation from others; to yearn for praise and feel unworthy when you aren’t showered with it. If you are frequently bending who you are to get others to like you, or are regularly devastated when someone offers constructive criticism of your work, you might need to work harder on increasing your own self-validation skills. But for most of us, sincere encouragement, support, and recognition are simply important motivators that help us do our jobs with a stronger sense of energy and purpose. I recently read research that found that students who receive encouragement from teachers…
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Research on Leading With Generosity

Research on Leading With Generosity

Article
I think of summer as a generous time of year: the sun is beaming, farmer’s markets are overflowing with ripe produce, and leafy trees are offering up their shade. Generosity is an important human quality, and it is becoming recognized as an important leadership trait that can benefit organizations and the individual. Adam Grant, Wharton School professor and author of the book Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, researches this subject, and found interesting results for employees who share their time and resources with a giving spirit. For example, salespeople who rate strongly in their desire to benefit others generate 50 percent more revenue than their counterparts. People are also more likely to take suggestions from people who are perceived as generous. In Give and Take, Grant explains that…
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The Importance of the Intangible

The Importance of the Intangible

Article
“The intangible represents the real power of the universe. It is the seed of the tangible” -Bruce LeeWhat is the intangible? It is what we can’t touch or measure. (The word "tangible” comes from the Latin word, “tangere,” to touch). And yet I believe that the intangibles in relationships, including business relationships, matter more than we think. They are, as Bruce Lee put it, the “real power” behind so many things we can measure in business: deliverables, outcomes, clients, conversion rates, the endurance of an organization over time. Think about when you walk into a room for a meeting and the feeling is low, or combative. What are you primed to do by that mood? Which great ideas won’t surface under those conditions? Which employees will work less enthusiastically?Then think of walking into…
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Are You Interesting or Interested?

Are You Interesting or Interested?

Article
I found some great Memorial Day weekend reading in this month's Harvard Business Review, and as I travel this weekend I'll be thinking more about one article in particular, The Surprising Power of Questions by Alison Wood Brooks and Leslie K. John. The authors break the issue of questioning down to two main problems: “Most of us don’t ask enough questions, nor do we pose our inquiries in an optimal way.”It reminded me of a question I have addressed to some of my clients:“Are you interested or interesting?” For instance, I have had clients who wanted to be more likeable, but they just couldn't seem to make warm connections with others at work--or, sometimes, even, outside of work.I know that if it feels like someone isn’t interested in me, it’s pretty hard for me…
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Spotting Hidden Talents in the Workplace

Spotting Hidden Talents in the Workplace

Article
People love superhero stories in part because we all wish we had special powers beyond the ordinary. Yet every day we overlook or undervalue special talents in ourselves and others that are as useful in our lives as X-ray vision or super strength. In an article in the Harvard Business Review, “Why Talented People Don’t Use Their Strengths,” author and executive coach Whitney Johnson writes that, based on her observations, the problem is less that we don’t know what we’re good at, but that “we often undervalue what we inherently do well.” That makes us less likely to appreciate those abilities as special, and may also make it less likely that our employers know about them.Johnson identifies our “superpowers” as things we do “effortlessly, almost reflexively, like breathing.” We could all do…
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The Risks of Holding Back in Leadership

The Risks of Holding Back in Leadership

Article, Uncategorized
Most of us will hold back at one point or another when we could be leading with our full selves. We have an inkling of where we want to go and what we want to do. We know what we’d be good at, or at least we have a suspicion. Yet, in our everyday lives, we wait to show those vibrant colors inside us until someone invites us to do it. We stay in our current role, waiting for an invitation to further leadership. The most obvious way I observe this in organizations is in people who are headed for a new role, but haven’t yet been given the title. These people know where they’re going, but until they get that title, they consciously or unconsciously stop themselves from acting with…
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