Thinking Out Loud

Highest and Best Use

Article after article and guru after guru promise us success if we become more innovative or entrepreneurial or demonstrate more grit or allow our inner creativity to flourish or become more strategic.  The list could go on, but you get my point.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with this list and endeavoring to improve along any of these lines.

The accompanying discussion about these approaches usually includes the question: Are you born with ____ or can you develop it?  The answer is almost always that you can develop it. There is truth in that, which is encouraging, but I’m concerned that it’s not the right focus and inadvertently distracts us from another more practical and productive angle. Read More

Mentoring Managers

I read an interesting article the other day about creating an appealing workplace. The focus was on the physical environment, defining spaces conducive to working comfortably and productively—open areas where people can easily connect and have access to one another, readily sharing information and collaborating.

While reading the article, I also reflected on what has become a common refrain in the work world:  approximately 70% of workers don’t feel engaged at work and/or dread coming to work.  (This is from a frequently cited 2015-2016 Gallup study.) Read More

The Conversations You Want To Have

Are you having the kind of conversations you want to have around the kitchen table or the staff-meeting table? If not, do something about it. First, do your homework, which begins by looking at yourself. What potential obstacles might you be putting in the way? Do genuine fears hold you back from discussing what you believe is important—what are they? Could you be assuming a negative outcome to a conversation, which might prevent you from starting one in the first place or might project a defensive/negative position that sets a shadow over the discussion from the beginning? Or do you wait for an opening that is not likely to occur? Read More

Absorbing Energy

Empathy is tricky business; it’s also natural and part of being social creatures. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that someone has empathy because what they see happening is very different from what you see. Empathy, however, is part of us all even though we feel it, have it, and express it (differently).  Read More