Electronic Dialogue

Communication can be challenging, to say the least! When you speak face-to-face, you can see body language, gestures, and hear intonation. If that same conversation is on the phone, you essentially miss the body language and gestures. If that message is conveyed by email, you lose the intonation as well; and if text, it can be even more obscure.

Many people shoot off an email without regard to how the recipient is going to receive or interpret the message. For example, one person I work with reads whatever is visible on the screen of her phone. Her staff knows that everything important needs to be in the first few lines.

Read More


Tune into Your Co-Workers

You never know what baggage people bring to work every day. No matter how well things seem to be going, you can bet that something is lurking in the background. You just don’t know what it is.

Some people are great at compartmentalizing and can have productive days even if something personally challenging is happening concurrently. Others will sit at their desks and stare into space, completely unaware of anything going on around them.

Read More


Back to School

September has a “back to school” allure, even if you haven’t been a student for years. Not only are we reminded of it by omnipresent advertisements of school supplies and the like, but feelings are conjured from our own memories.

This is always a good time for a fresh start on whatever needs rebooting. Are there goals that have languished? A new project that was backburnered? A special initiative that will energize your team?

Read More


“We’ve Always Done It This Way”

Change is almost always received with at least a little resistance. When someone says “we’ve always done it this way” it’s a signal that you’ll need to do more work than just the change itself. You’ll need to “sell” your people on why this specific change.

When planning for change, then, you should plan for the change itself in addition to internal persuasion time. Yes, this takes more time, and yes, you need to do this.

Read More


Analysis Paralysis

You can be thorough, methodical, systematic – whichever word you choose – but if you overdo it, it may hurt you. Of course, you need to be disciplined to obtain the necessary information to make a decision, but often the incremental time analyzing isn’t going to give you that much more information.

+ Through over-analysis, you may miss the point, as aptly described by the cliché of not seeing the forest through the trees.

Read More


Emotion vs. Passion

We love seeing examples of people expressing their passion, especially when it reinforces their desire to do well for their clients or colleagues. Passion is contagious and can even lift others out of lethargy.

There is a distinction, however, between expressing passion and being subjectively emotional, or “overly emotional” as some people describe it. When this happens, people lose their objectivity and they are less effective influencers. I’ve seen many examples of this, with both positive and negative emotions.

Read More


Breaking Through a Blockade

Even the most upbeat, positive leaders hit obstacles. Ordinary difficulties are usually annoyances rather than true impediments. You figure out what needs to be done and you take care of it.

Every once in a while, though, you might hit a “blockade”. This can be considerably more intense than the usual obstacle, so you need to deal with it differently.

Read More


Make Communication a No-Brainer

One of my clients has a very simple rule, which is to include the account executive on any communication relating to his or her accounts. Team members know that this means to copy them on emails and update them on any verbal discussions.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, many of the client management hiccups that occur in this company relate to breaching this simple guideline. How and why does this happen?

Read More


Overcoming Emotional Obstacles

When you’re stuck, emotions often take over your otherwise rational approach to problem-solving. You may think that a particular task or initiative may be the obstacle, when in reality an underlying emotional hindrance is the real culprit.

Your ability to reframe the emotional issue will help you break through to a solution. The key is identifying the what is really getting in the way. Here are a few of the more common emotional obstacles:

Read More