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Author Archive

20
May

“Do you agree that we should pick our battles?” This was a question I got during the Q&A session of a keynote speech I gave last week. I think I surprised the questioner with my response, which means I might surprise you too, so here goes. If you are “picking battles,” you’re getting conflict all […]

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13
May

Your colleague is having a bad day (or week, or life). She grabs the empty chair from beside your desk, rolls it over and flops down, legs spread, head back, arms dangling—defeated. She proceeds to unload her troubles on you. You get all the gory details. Once the story is complete, she looks you in […]

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22
Apr

Something a little different today. Rather than a post, I’m bringing you an interview with the marvelous Mark Bowden, a world-renowned body language expert. I had the opportunity to talk to Mark about his new book, Truth and Lies, What People are REALLY Thinking. The book is full of tips on how to interpret body […]

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01
Apr

I’ve been flying across the country delivering a leadership development program about the mindset and skillset leaders require to unlock the potential of their people. As I watch them role play with one another, I notice the things they say that create a negative reaction. Most of the offending statements include one of these three […]

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04
Mar

In last week’s post, I talked about the risk of creating a “success theater” in your organization. The term had come from a Wall Street Journal article about General Electric and their culture of sharing only good news. This topic continued top of mind for me and I really wanted to understand why I found […]

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25
Feb

I read an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal this week entitled “How Jeffrey Immelt’s ‘Success Theater’ Masked the Rot at GE.” In it, authors Thomas Gryta, Joann Lublin, and David Benoit describe how the Immelt and his top leaders, “projected an optimism about GE’s business and its future that didn’t always match the […]

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18
Feb

We got talking about expectations in a session I was facilitating last week. The conversation was like a giant projective test; quickly exposing the participants’ core ideologies about people, and relationships, and trust. Some of the people around the table talked about the power of the self-fulfilling prophecy and how setting lofty goals can inspire […]

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11
Feb

I’m deep into writing my new book and I’ve had an epiphany: Organizations are built to require conflict while employees are built to avoid it. I see this impact of this problem every day, but it took me 20 years to name it. Now it’s so clear. We have set up a fundamental tension between […]

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04
Feb

I facilitated a workshop this week that has given me lots of juicy fodder for discussion here with you. The session focused on uncomfortable discussions, including considerable time on how to give and to receive feedback. The conversation evolved as it usually does: we started with the mechanics of how to give feedback and quickly […]

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