Posts tagged relationships
How to Deepen the Workplace Bond

One way for leaders to develop a strong bond with their people is to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Not just their own work, but the work of their direct reports, as well as their reports’ reports. Take time to sit in various offices and seats within the organization and seek to develop new skills and make connections on different levels. Ask about existing challenges within the company and develop empathy for those who are tasked to address them regularly. Brainstorm with staff about how best to address these issues to optimize performance. By bringing yourself down to your people, you will gain their admiration as someone who really seeks to know their situations and improve them.

Another, more sustainable approach to bonding with employees is to actively connect with them on a regular basis. Hewlett Packard (HP) founders William Hewlett and David Packard used a strategy that has become known as MBWA, or Management By Wandering Around. As its name implies, MBWA requires regular walking throughout the workplace. It offers many benefits to leaders and their employees

Read More
When to Keep Pushing or Pull Back?

Recently, I needed to have a service performed on my car, so I reached out to some providers. I had used one of them, who I’ll call Jake, in the past and was leaning towards doing so again. At the end, however, I decided to go with someone else and communicated my decision to Jake.

Unfortunately, Jake was not all too happy and would not leave me alone afterwards. Instead of accepting my decision, he continued to text and call me to try to discuss. I made clear that my decision had been made, but it took some time until the “harassment” ended.

Suffice it to say that Jake did not earn any credit towards future work with his choice of response.

After thinking about it, I started to realize that I have more Jake in me than I may care to admit.

Read More
Are our phones to blame, or are we?

I used to think that our phones were making us antisocial. Go on a train or walk into a room with lots of folks and you'll see almost everyone trained on their screens. This is so disheartening. And so common. But then I see pics of folks 50-100 years ago going off to work or waiting in line, each with a newspaper open before them. No conversation. No connection. Times, they really haven't been a 'changin.

Read More
Learn to Let it Go

When I say that haven’t recited this prayer properly I refer mainly to the above paragraph. After all, there have been people who have hurt me, sometimes in serious ways. They seemed very content with their behavior and most did not seek forgiveness. Even though I recognize that if we all – myself included – willingly forgave one another then we would all be able to approach God for the atonement that we desperately seek. But still, it was so hard to forgive sometimes, especially is their behavior hurt my career and/or affected my family. I suspect that most of us have struggled with this point. We simply have a hard time letting go and are prepared to hold grudges indefinitely when we feel that we were right, even to our own detriment.

Read More
Step Away to Step into Life

I have two clients that are a block away from each other in NYC. The walking time between them is measured in seconds and often I can schedule things to allow me to go from one to the other in short order.

But there are times when I have to schedule them on different days, which would be less of an issue if I didn’t live an hour away from them.

This past week, I took things to a new level. I visited one client on Tuesday and the other on Wednesday. In between, I flew down to Florida for an early morning talk to over 300 leaders. Including local commutes to and from the airport, my journey from one client to the other, though themselves separated by only one block, exceeded 1900 miles.

Talk about a long walk down the block!

Read More
Life Lessons from the Pool

Today was a fun day. I set up our “new” pool (it was actually a replacement for a damaged one) and my kids, who had been pining for the pool since the last one collapsed, got back into the water again. They swam, splashed and genuinely enjoyed one another. It was a perfect activity for today’s sunny, hot afternoon.

While we definitely enjoyed the end result, there was much effort that went into the pool’s setup. For starters, I had set up the original pool on a slightly sloped area (no part of my back yard is perfectly flat). The water had previously caused the pool to sag to the downside and I wanted to prevent the same outcome this time. So I took my landscape rake and worked for some time to flatten out any bumps and reduce all elevations...

As I reflected on my morning of pool prepping, I thought of some lessons that have useful application to many areas in our lives. These include:

  1. Lay a solid foundation – All successful projects begin with a solid, smooth foundation. Whether it’s setting up a pool, launching a new product, or initiating organizational change, a strong foundation helps to ensure that the process will be met with success. When it comes to anything people related, the primary foundation of strong relationships is trust. In the case of a bringing a new product to market, seek to do the necessary research and testing to ensure that the launch will be a success.
Read More
Being right isn’t always the goal

Different viewpoints are based off of the unique approaches, biases and inclinations that we bring to situations. However, where we get ourselves into trouble, particularly in the workplace, is when we assume that our perspective is the only one that exists, let alone the only one that matters.

Such narrow thinking can be even more damaging for leaders. Not only does it prevent them from grasping opportunities and identifying challenges that only others are attuned to, but it can lead to discontent and frustration in others who do not feel heard or valued.

How can we make sure to avoid such thinking and ensure that we not only become more mindful of other views but actively seek them out?

Read More
Connecting with our students

As teachers, we know that there is more to our jobs than sharing content and enhancing student skills. We understand intuitively that in order to fully reach our students we need to connect with them and create the right atmosphere for learning. The research of Dr. John Hattie confirmed this when concluding that the most effective way to improve education was to raise the quality of pupil-teacher interactions.

Below is a list of strategies that can help you establish healthy, meaningful relationships with your students and interact in a manner that is healthy and fulfilling.

  • Set the proper tone. Find ways with which to positively engage students from the outset. Greet them as they enter the room with a “good morning” and a high-five. Smile when you see them and let them know that you’re happy that they’re there. Convey the message that you expect a great day from them and anticipate their success.
  • Create a healthy learning environment. One of the most powerful educational quotes that I have ever read has nothing to do with teaching. The author, former teacher and child psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott, wrote about the central role that teachers play in making the classroom’s “weather.”
Read More
Own Your Board

It goes without saying that the chief executive must make board relations a top priority. While board function and impact range significantly between companies and organizations, it is the board’s responsibility, at the minimum, to evaluate you and your work in advancing the organization. (They are also typically tasked with fiduciary oversight and maintenance of the mission.) As with any evaluative process, you want to position yourself on the right side of things, interpersonally and in terms of establishing an agreed-to and properly supported agenda.

Read More