Helping People Work With People

Company Blog

Feedback Is a Gift

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Just for a moment, imagine waking up after a good night’s rest and some of your feedback systems were not working. You could see and hear, but you didn’t recognize anything in the room. You are conscious. So you know that you should be awakening in your bedroom, but nothing seems familiar. You’re also aware that you can’t feel the sheets against your body. Your mind wanted to walk, but without feeling in your legs, you simply crumbled to the floor. Even if you could walk, you would have no idea where any rooms might be located within wherever you have found yourself.

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How do I motivate people?

Monday, April 19th, 2010

In over two decades of helping people work with people, the number one question asked is “How do I motivate people?” To be certain that we’re on the same page, let’s define motivation as — creating a psychological condition that arouses an individual to achieve a desired goal.

Let’s approach the answer to this question historically. There are many theories of motivation, but we will highlight a couple of classics and we promise not to write a history book.

Theory X vs. Theory Y

Motivating people has probably been an issue since humans populated this earth and created organizational life. Leaders emerged and their authority allowed them to direct and control. Douglas McGregor labeled this leadership style Theory X. McGregor proposed that management practices stem from the manager’s perception of the basic nature of people.

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Passion: Life’s High Performance Fuel

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Passion is a bit of a mystery. People readily agree that it is a crucial ingredient to enjoy life and professional success. This is the point at which the common understanding stops. The ever-elusive questions remain:

1.What is passion?
2.From where does passion originate?
3.What am I passionate about?
4.Do I want to live my passion?
5.Do I have the courage to follow where my passion leads me?

Since passion is an essential ingredient in your life and career, we want you to develop as much of this natural resource as you want. This article answers the five questions listed above.

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Measuring People’s Teamwork Behavior

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

The Director of a state agency visioned replacing the bureaucratic environment (characteristic of state government) with a self-directed team environment to better serve its consumers. To accomplish this, the agency needed a definition of the teamwork performance standards and a means to measure their implementation of the standards. When undertaking the formidable task to move from a bureaucratic, top-down, direct and controlled environment to a self-directed team environment, a member of the senior leadership team best expressed a major obstacle that challenged the success of this massive cultural change – “We know how to measure the team’s performance as it achieves its strategic plan, but we do not know how to measure the people interaction in this team environment.”

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Being Significant: Personal Accountability

Monday, February 15th, 2010

The CEO exclaimed, “I wish my people would accept responsibility for their behaviors and mistakes rather than finger pointing.” Unfortunately, finger pointing seems to be the rule rather than the exception in many corporate hallways.

It is important for you to consider one question before reading this article. Do you have the necessary courage to exhibit personal accountability? You may feel tempted to flippantly answer affirmatively, but you may want to examine the consequences associated with being accountable before answering. First, accountability means you are responsible to somebody or for something. Second, being responsible means that you cause something to happen. Third, exhibiting accountability, as seen through the eyes of your co-workers, looks like the following:

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Number One Challenge: Self-Awareness

Monday, February 15th, 2010

The Stanford Business Council’s Advisory Group, consisting of seventy-five leaders, recently concluded that the Number One challenge for leaders is to develop self-awareness. Self-awareness is a requirement for authentic leaders to know who they are. Knowing who you are is important for two reasons: (1) maximize strengths and minimize the impact of weaknesses, and (2) control the ego. Advocates of the Authentic Leadership movement, James Collin’s Level 5 Leader, and Transformational Leadership describe world-class leaders in terms of avoiding the limelight while attributing their success to the privilege of working with a highly talented team and to a degree, luck. Such leaders have successfully put their egos where it belongs — in the background.

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Reasons For and Against Using Effective Interpersonal Skills In the Workplace

Monday, February 15th, 2010

For twenty plus years we’ve worked with thousands of employees to assist using interpersonal skills to maximize their working relationships. Throughout these years, there has not been one person who has disagreed to the importance of having a workplace characterized by trust, teamwork, open communication, respect, and integrity (to name a few leadership/teamwork values). A more complete listing of values and behaviors are listed in Smart People Work People Smart (log onto or you may contact the authors for a copy of the TeamWork Dictionary).

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September 2010 - Finding Our Acorn

June 2010 - The Vote

June 2008 - Touching me, touching you

March 2008 - Living for Fridays

March 2006 - What is the world teaching us?

December 2005 - Are you hoping or expecting to win?

September 2005 - Living with ghosts

June 2005 - Why do I not see what you see?

97 Things...

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