Archives for Business Excellence

Critical Thinking and Air Conditioning

It’s 1902 and you, Willis Carrier have just been hired by Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company in Brooklyn, NY to stop their magazine pages from wrinkling and jamming while they print. Others before you have tried and failed to stop the presses from jamming, but no one has succeeded, at least not so far. In most cases, individuals have looked at the mechanisms of the printing press and the paper itself. They were attempting to problem solve the paper jam. Thinner paper, smoother gears, more grease, anything to fix the jamming paper.  But not you. You, Willis Carrier, think deeper about
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Happy Harry

We often judge other’s actions based on how WE would intend those actions, if we were that person. These words have been a game changer in our communication trainings and during coaching sessions with individuals. Understanding the power of this single sentence is often the difference between effectively working together vs. frustration, understanding one another vs. aggravation, creating friction vs. giving grace. I hear it all the time from individuals who are frustrated by the way a co-worker, boss or direct report speaks to them, interacts with them or directs them. So often, and many times unconsciously, we determine the
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Once – I say it and hear it all the time.

Professionally: Once I get through this week Once we get a bit of breathing room Once this project is done Once we get through to the end of this year And personally: Once I get the house organized Once the credit cards are paid off Once we get to our summer vacation Once the kids are older The destination is always different but the sentiment is the same –  we must endure our current situation until some distant point in the future when things will be better and we will find happiness, joy, contentment or peace. While in some respects
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Ouch, that smarts! The agonizing tale of a referral ball dropped and lessons learned.

Here is the situation: I gave a high-octane referral to a colleague about two months ago. Picture yourself giving a referral to someone in your network, someone you trust and admire.  The person to whom I gave the referral (we’ll call her Jennifer) is a client in rather urgent need of professional advice outside of our scope of expertise, so I referred Jennifer to a professional I have known for several years and who has helped some of our other clients. First warning sign: my colleague (receiver of the referral – we’ll call him John) did not follow up in
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What if we are both right?

  What does this age-old image bring to mind? If you are like most people who attend our trainings where we use this image, you are likely to say, perspective. This image represents that we all have our own perspective on situations, and we must remember that while interacting with others. My response to that, is yes, you are half-right. This image is so powerful but for a reason that to me, goes beyond simply understanding that we all have different perspectives. The REAL power of this message is that sometimes…we are both right. All too often, when engaging in
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“I am starting to wonder if she can’t do it or if she just doesn’t care.”

Teamwork. Good communicator. Adaptable. Forward thinker. Active listener. In our line of work, we hear these words all the time. They are the words we have come to use so frequently when talking about how our organizations and teams need to operate, we could list them in our sleep. In coaching conversations, I hear clients say, “I told my direct report that I need her to be a better listener, but I continue to have others on the team come to me and say that she still is so hardheaded in meetings.” When working with leaders I hear, “In our
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Oh…So We’re Talking to People?

“Oh. So…I guess we are talking to people today?” As these words entered my thought stream, it startled me. It was a beautiful day, unseasonably warm for the first Saturday in May. My husband and I had brought our kids to our neighborhood beach to enjoy the 85-degree weather and to splash in the (still very chilly) lake for the morning. He was standing on the beach chatting (socially distant) with a few other husbands that were near us, though we did not know any of them personally.  In DISC speak, I am a “High I” (extroverted and people oriented),
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The Meeting Room Elephant

Have you ever been in a meeting where upon entering the room it’s CLEAR that something is up? It feels…off…strange…something is awry, but you don’t know what – and your guess is that others feel it too. And, have you ever been in a meeting where the person facilitating the meeting doesn’t notice nor acknowledge the weird vibe in the room? It is likely that you have. Most of us have had our spidey senses go on alert at one time or another. Now, think back to the first ten minutes of that meeting. When the meeting leader started the
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Self-Care: Shifting Your Mindset

“Self-care. It’s a word we hear all the time these days. We think we know what it looks like: getting our hair done, getting a pedicure, reading a book before bed, having brunch with our girlfriends, taking that ever-elusive nap! We are promised that self-care is the answer to our stressful and busy lives. We are told we need to take time for ourselves in order to survive and thrive in a world that is pulling us in a hundred different directions. We are promised that if we do these activities—get the exercise, go for the walk, have the mimosa—we
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2021 North Star – do I have your attention?

I, like a lot of people, have a water dispenser in the door of my refrigerator. While in theory, it’s a wonderful convenience, it’s actually my greatest nemesis. Why, you ask? Because I almost always end up with water all over my kitchen floor. I place the cup in the door and instantly start doing something else, usually it’s checking my email but sometimes it’s unloading the dishwasher or picking up things from the counter. Within a few moments, the light trickle of water down the fridge starts, but I am firmly stuck in my distraction until it’s too late
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