When companies tell me their workplace culture and trendy furniture build employee engagement, I try to help them see that they’re focusing on the wrong part of the equation. They’re focusing on what, not why. The “what” can reveal a lot about a company, but it’s the “why” that tells you it’s a good company to work with. What factors contribute to the “why” of employee engagement? Here are the top 5 questions I ask business and HR leaders to answer. They’re intentionally written from an employee’s point-of-view. If you answer honestly, your organization’s engagement strengths and weaknesses should become more clear:Read More
During the past two decades of developing leaders and helping organizations thrive, I’ve learned a lot about what great leaders do to succeed in an increasingly complex and interdependent world. Global forces such as disruptive innovation, environmental degradation, population shifts, and stakeholder influence continue to converge to transform how business operates. These challenges require leaders to evolve their capabilities to do more than build profitable organizations; they must also create a better world.
With this landscape in mind, I’ve captured the most critical leadership capabilities in what I refer to as the BOLDEST Leadership Competency model stressing mastery in seven areas…Read More
Every company wants to know how they can create and sustain a profitable culture that attracts and retains top talent. Fortunately, there are many companies that are experiencing tremendous growth due to some intentional shifts in culture. If you’re looking to shift gears a bit, here you will find a preview of several best-practice takeaways that can inspire engagement, loyalty, and profitability.Read More
Positioning, spin, strategic ambiguity – why do so many leaders fail to say what they mean?
Leaders worry that if they say what they really mean…
Someone might panic
The truth will leak
Employees will make bad choices
They’ll become disengaged
Spinning the truth has all of those same side effects, only worse. When humans aren’t told the truth, the stories they concoct to fill in the blanks are far more dramatic than the actual scene.
You may have witnessed it yourself: living clouds created by thousands of starlings flying together, commonly referred to as ‘murmuration’. The way in which all the birds suddenly change direction or speed as if they were a single entity still remains one of nature’s secrets, with most scientists assuming starlings undertake this unique collective motion in order to reduce predation risk. In a similar way, great organizations are more than just the sum of great individuals: organizational strength, progress and resilience are determined by the extent to which individual employees ‘fly together’ as if they were a single entity working towards a common goal.Read More
My colleague, Eric Marterella, who is as passionate a fan of the Marriott brand as you will find anywhere, gave it to me and even got it signed. The book is great, in the sense that it is both simple and profound and from a man who built a global hotel empire that is, by virtue of its corporate-wide “spirit to serve,” truly social, at scale. As Bill writes, “My dad, J. Willard Marriott, deserves a lot of the credit for creating a culture that empowers our associates to gives 100 percent day in, day out, year in, year out.”
And that culture is still thriving.Read More
It’s difficult to understate the importance of interpersonal communication in almost every aspect of our lives. Communication builds relationships – and relationships form the basis of any successful collaboration, be it business or personal.
Why then, aren’t we better at it?
Like me, you’ve probably encountered many different teachings on the topic of effective communication over the course of your career. Most of these correctly identify listening as the process where most communication breaks down, and therefore focus on techniques designed to help us improve our ability to listen effectively. However, the following operating rule from the Improvisational Theater community more succinctly captures the essential element of true listening than anything I have ever come across in a traditional training:Read More
Remember when the ‘water cooler conversation’ used to mean sidebar conversations in the break room? The grapevine was the extracurricular that could surely be tamed with more frequent communication.
Today, the grapevine can no longer be “managed”. It grows based on word of mouth via technology or in person. You can influence and contribute to it, but it can’t be programmed or planned from the top down. Word of mouth grows based on the decisions and interest of individuals and their willingness to recommend and engage.Read More
Have you tried having a conversation where you intentionally remove the underbrush while speaking with the intention of helping the other person? Have you intentionally structured the way you communicate to bring in the listener without dramatic flair? Imagine how much more commanding your presence would be. Upon analyzing Karé’s communication patterns, I realized that she has found a way to connect with people in a powerful way. That we could all learn from such purposeful communication patterns would be an understatement. Let me tease out three underused tactics I learned from my conversation with Karé.Read More
Is conflict creating problems, nip conflict and communication problems in the bud so they do not bite you back. Here are are seven simple and powerful steps you can use to turn conflict and communication problems around before they erode the relationships you need to succeed!Read More
You may run into a few people of any age that will tell you they’re following their dreams and their passions, but the majority of the working population will tell you that they work for the paycheck. Money is the object.
Now ask the same people if they believe that they are paid fairly compared to their employers’ pay and profits. Here’s the problem with this question: in most companies, people don’t know what the C-level managers and the boss are paid. They don’t know or understand how profits are derived, or how their own pay is represented in the big picture. What they will tell you is that they believe their own pay is not a fair slice.Read More
We’ve all agonized over just the right words for that oh-so-important communication. Spent hours crafting the perfect email, letter or speech notes.
What if I told you the words really didn’t matter? At least, not as much as you’ve been taught. Don’t panic, most of what we’ve all been taught about communication is true.
The problem is that what we’ve been taught covers less than 10% of how communication really works.Read More