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Invitations vs. Demands

Rachel, a recently promoted department leader, nervously tapped her foot as well as her pencil while she waited for Jake to arrive in her office for their prescheduled growth conference.  She had given a lot of thought to the areas where Jake performed well and even more thought to the one in which he doesn’t… handling feedback positively from senior …

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Don’t Kill the Butterfly

I once heard a parable about a man who saw a butterfly cocoon hanging from a branch and noticed that the chrysalis inside was struggling to emerge through a tiny hole. As he watched the struggle, the man felt sorry for the small butterfly and so, in a kind effort to help, he cut the hole a bit larger to …

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Keeping Our Ego in Check

I received some great advice early in my career as a speaker not to let my ego get ahead of me and make me feel more important than I really am or become overly impressed with myself.  The speaking stage can be seductive in many ways. It’s a position of authority and leadership.  People applaud you and seek out your …

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The Leadership of Moms

Many of us had someone (or if we were extra lucky… many someones) in our life who not only gave us wise counsel but also shared encouragement, ideas, and resources with us so that we might stretch beyond what we thought we were capable of. On the heels of Mother’s Day, I fondly remember my mother in that role.   …

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Coaching versus Discipline

As business owners and managers, there is no denying we currently find ourselves in a serious employee shortage. For those employees who remain on our team, many are feeling more stressed and stretched than ever. I hear terms such as overworked, unappreciated, and unsupported… especially if the team has one or more open positions or a heavy balance of new …

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The Three “R’s” of Feedback

Giving feedback to redirect a person’s behavior is an essential professional skill, especially when we need improvement and change. But, feedback is often given poorly and can subsequentially be more damaging than helpful. I have found that remembering the three “R’s” of feedback helps me to reel in my emotions, keep my eye on the prize, and deliver the feedback …

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Course Corrections

In my career, my only professional jaunt outside of dentistry and communications coaching was working for a local winery in my early 30’s as a marketing manager.  The job was overall a great experience and one that broadened me professionally.  The winery was owned by a huge international liquor giant so this was my first and only “corporate” job. It …

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Supervision or Coaching?

One day a man walked by a cocoon and noticed a tightly wound butterfly within it, struggling to emerge. As it hung vertically from a branch, he noticed a small hole at the bottom through which the butterfly would have to squeeze to make its way out into the world. Given the size of the butterfly, the man was convinced …

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Congruency

If I ask Tom, “Is anything wrong?” and he smiles, connects with me, and says, “Nothing’s wrong,”… I generally believe him. However, if I ask him, “What’s wrong, honey?” and his response is a mumbled, “Nothing,” accompanied by a sour tone, crossed arms, and a frowning face… I’m likely not to believe him. We hardly ever believe someone when their …

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Stop Being the Nice Guy

The most common definitions of the word “nice” are agreeable and enjoyable. But the word “kind” is most often defined as loving, caring, generous, benevolent. And that’s exactly how it is for me. I experience people who are nice as very pleasant, well-mannered, and I usually enjoy being in their company. But kindness feels somehow different, like a value that …