communication

It was the breakthrough that we had been looking for. We had been talking for about forty minutes and my client was spinning their wheels the entire time. Was it a strategy that I had given? Was it a piece of advice? A new tool? No, it was a question that had allowed the person to reflect. Researchers spent some time in a knowledge-based customer support and back-office service company (i.e. call centre) and conducted an experiment with a portion of its employees. Half the group was asked to resume their daily work activities. The other half was asked to spend the last fifteen minutes of their day reflecting on their learnings for that day and to record those thoughts in a journal. After ten days of the experiment, the researchers stopped the study and looked at the data. What they found was that the employees who spent fifteen minutes at the end of each day reflecting about lessons learned, performed 23% better than those who did not take time to reflect. Peter Drucker was quoted as saying, “Follow effective action with quiet...

It is time to go. Leave the business. Exit your partnership. Whether you simply don’t have the heart for the products and services your company offers, the conflict or frustration amidst your partners, or even if you are simply seeing other opportunities out there in the world, it’s time to go. Regardless of why you want to leave, you are getting ready to approach your partners and say those three little words – I am out. There will be lots to talk about with your partners – division of the company, potential buy-outs, starting competing businesses, etc. Notwithstanding these, there are three things from a negotiation and relationship perspective that you should also be thinking about that may guide your next steps and approach: What are the interests? The first thing to keep in mind is to get curious. It is easy, in these situations, to jump into a judger mindset – where you are casting judgements on everything others say. People will typically start by expressing their positions (i.e. I want this, you want that, etc.) and if we come into...

Coming into a role where you are expected to get others to work together efficiently and effectively to create the best possible product or service isn’t an easy task. Especially if you have not had much experience with this type of role before! What do you need to do to set your team or department up for success? How can you motivate your employees to consistently put out a good product or service? How can you build a thriving team or department? Here are a few things that all new leaders should understand. Self-Awareness One of your biggest assets as a leader is knowing your strengths and challenges. Self-awareness is probably one of the most underrated parts of leadership and yet, one of the most crucial. Who are you? What type of leadership style do you have? In what areas of your life do you excel at and struggle with? What do you expect from yourself? Others? How do you deal with conflict? Delegation? Pressure? Leadership Vision You’ll likely have had some experience with good and bad bosses before. So what type of leader do...

The other day I heard a story about a mom that had decided to go back to school to get her Masters Degree to further her career. She was in the middle of exams and before she started studying, she told her 5-year old, “Mommy has to go study now so that I can do well on my test. Can you promise me that you will not interrupt me and go and ask Daddy if you need any help with anything, alright?” The child nodded in understanding and promised her mom that she would do so. After several hours, the child entered the room, “Hey mommy!” The mom snapped at her child, “Didn’t I tell you to not interrupt me? I’m really need to study! Please go and play with your daddy!” The child left and several hours later the mother emerged from studying only to be confronted by her husband. “Why did you yell at our kid? I sent her in there to say goodnight to you and see if you wanted some coffee to stay awake while you...