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Archive for the ‘Leadership & Engagement’ Category

Thumbnail : NDCBlogger 2010 Greatest Hits

NDCBlogger 2010 Greatest Hits

A special feature this week to commemorate the top 10 greatest blog hits of this year.  It has been our goal in creating this blog series to be a venue for professionals to gain insight and clarity around what it truly means to be a manager and leader in today’s world.  Hopefully we have accomplished this by […]

Thumbnail : COMMUNICATION: Storytelling – The Secret to Great Communicators

COMMUNICATION: Storytelling – The Secret to Great Communicators

Recently, we asked a group of people to participate in an ice-breaker exercise by sharing three things about themselves that others might not know.  These items are placed on a “bingo” card and during the ice-breaker people try to guess who fits each item.  When they get five in a row, they win Bingo.  Surprisingly, […]

Thumbnail : MEETINGS: Facilitating The "High Heat" Meeting

MEETINGS: Facilitating The "High Heat" Meeting

The department managers sat glumly waiting for the meeting to begin.  They knew it wasn’t going to be good news as corporate had been suggesting for months that cuts needed to be made.  When the meeting began, it didn’t take long for tempers to flare, as fingers were pointing from one to another in an […]

Thumbnail : CHANGE MANAGEMENT: Breaking Behavior Patterns That Hold You Back

CHANGE MANAGEMENT: Breaking Behavior Patterns That Hold You Back

When December comes, it seems I’m caught between the hustle and bustle of finishing all the year-end projects/training and my desire to reflect on 2010 and set new goals for 2011. One of the things I love about being a trainer is the opportunity to review and refresh my own skills as I design and […]

Thumbnail : LEADERSHIP: Thanks To Our Leaders

LEADERSHIP: Thanks To Our Leaders

This past weekend I started watching the HBO series, John Adams, a docu-drama that begins in 1770 and focuses on the events leading up to our independence, the founding fathers and  the formation of the Continental Congress.  There were several striking insights worth sharing as we celebrate Thanksgiving this week.As the circumstances with the British […]

Thumbnail : LEADERSHIP: The Effect of Trust on Speed and Cost

LEADERSHIP: The Effect of Trust on Speed and Cost

Every organization today is focused on increasing the speed of its processes and reducing the costs associated with making and delivering products or services to the customer.  For many, it has become a mantra posted on bulletin boards, coffee mugs and screen savers.  Many companies, in fact, have internal continuous improvement gurus who are applying […]

Thumbnail : PERSONALITY: Why Are We So Divided?

PERSONALITY: Why Are We So Divided?

This past weekend we changed the clocks back which for us in New England means we will now head off to work and head home from work in the dark.  In some ways, it’s reflective of the mood right now in the U.S. given the continued high unemployment (9.6% with higher pockets of unemployment in […]

Thumbnail : Ubuntu!

Ubuntu!

The word “teamwork” has become so overused that for many it’s meaningless. “We’d like to see some good teamwork here.”  “Let’s work as a team and show some fantastic results.”  “This won’t be achieved unless we all pull together as a team.”  Team is a platitude thrown around by managers with very little expectation of […]

Thumbnail : INTERVIEWING: EQ Interview Skills for Managers

INTERVIEWING: EQ Interview Skills for Managers

In our morning WAM meeting (Weekly Action Meeting), I was sharing the focus of this week’s blog. One co-worker commented, “Just tell people to please refrain from asking questions like “if you could be any flavor of ice cream, which flavor would you be?”  Hmmm……I thought to myself, “peppermint stick.” Oh dear, what does that […]

Thumbnail : SOCIAL MEDIA: The ROI of LinkedIn: Return of the Prodigal Child

SOCIAL MEDIA: The ROI of LinkedIn: Return of the Prodigal Child

LinkedIn had its inception right along with the rest of the social media children (Facebook, Blogging, YouTube, etc.) and yet, in my opinion, has never really taken its rightful seat at the table of viability. The starlets (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) have really gleaned the spotlight and LinkedIn, for lack of a better word, has become […]

Thumbnail : MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS: Gearing Up for Performance Reviews

MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS: Gearing Up for Performance Reviews

A few years ago while managing a department, I was faced with the need to confront one of my employees regarding his poor performance. I found myself spending a significant amount of time trying to figure out the best way to approach this employee, how to get my point across and hopefully change this person’s […]

Thumbnail : TRAINING: The Future of Training and Development [Part II]

TRAINING: The Future of Training and Development [Part II]

Last week we introduced you to the concept of New Social Learning and the possibilities it has to influence and enhance training and development departments.  To continue the discussion I’ve relied heavily on the book The New Social Learning by Tony Bingham & Marcia Conner. The book did a great job at giving some quick […]

Thumbnail : TRAINING: The Future of Training & Development: New Social Learning

TRAINING: The Future of Training & Development: New Social Learning

Massive transformations are taking place in our economy, our businesses and the way we communicate and filter information now more than ever before.  The transformations may not be much of a surprise to most as Thomas Friedman warned us exhaustively in The World Is Flat five years ago; however I’m not always sure we’re aware […]

Thumbnail : STRATEGY: Strategic Planning Season

STRATEGY: Strategic Planning Season

Over the past couple months we have had a conversation with you about some of the key elements that go into a sound strategic plan.  We discussed the need to take the pulse of your customer and receive their feedback in our posts Customer & Client Surveying – Lessons Learned & Matt’s The Customer Revolution.  […]

Thumbnail : QUALITY MANAGEMENT: Using Quality Standards to Drive Service Innovation

QUALITY MANAGEMENT: Using Quality Standards to Drive Service Innovation

As Oprah Winfrey embarks on her final season I am reminded of one of her earlier shows that really provided me with an ‘ah ha.’ Years ago Oprah Winfrey had a panel of service providers on her show, ranging from a waiter and waitress to a telephone operator.  During the discussion, the waiter and waitress got […]

Thumbnail : CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Managing Up: How To Manage Your Manager

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Managing Up: How To Manage Your Manager

What do we mean by managing up?  We might define it as a conscious, deliberate effort to build a strong relationship of understanding and cooperation between ourselves and our bosses.  Let’s explore some ideas about how we might approach this idea of managing up.  And, if you’re feeling that it’s too late to improve your […]

Thumbnail : STRATEGY: 3 Tips For Tactical Planning

STRATEGY: 3 Tips For Tactical Planning

As September approaches and kids head off to school or college, it is a ripe time to adopt healthy work habits. What about adding a focus on planning to that fresh start? If you are game, here are 3 tips to get you started: 1. Commit: a six-letter word that transforms “dreams” into “results.”  There are […]

Thumbnail : COMMUNICATION: The Art of Listening

COMMUNICATION: The Art of Listening

We probably all think we listen well and yet, the research shows that we only listen 25% of the time.  The rest of the time we may be hearing the words, but not processing the information.  The result:  misunderstood assignments, upset relationships, unclear expectations, even the seeds of distrust. And yet, listening is one of […]

DECISION MAKING: The 3 Foundations of Business Decision Making: Mission, Vision, Values

Decisions. We all make decisions; we make decisions about our lives, our families, during our jobs and for our company.  This morning I decided to stop and let a pedestrian cross the street.  Now why do you think I decided to do that?  Was it because I’m a stickler for the rules, or because I […]

Thumbnail : TEAMING: The Look, Tone, and Feel of a High-Performance Team

TEAMING: The Look, Tone, and Feel of a High-Performance Team

There is something really cool about watching a high performance team in action.  Recently, a senior leadership team scheduled a two-day work session to revamp their priorities and direction for the coming year.  The processes they used to surface and acknowledge their weak spots, develop strategies to address their challenges, reach consensus and develop concrete […]

Thumbnail : CUSTOMER SERVICE: The Customer Revolution

CUSTOMER SERVICE: The Customer Revolution

As more customers can now tweet, blog, post, like, rant and rave about every product and service under the sun – power has been given back to the customer.  It’s not a social media revolution organizations are currently looking at and dealing with, but rather a customer revolution.  Social media is just the tool that finally […]

Thumbnail : CUSTOMER SERVICE: Customer & Client Surveying – Lessons Learned

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Customer & Client Surveying – Lessons Learned

In 2006, the new vice president of a quality department was concerned about internal customer feedback which was indicating that other departments did not think as highly of quality operations as they did themselves.  The VP tried to surface the feedback with her staff members and found them dismissing the information, stating, “Oh, nobody gets […]

CHANGE MANAGEMENT: Thriving Through Change Part II

In last week’s blog, we explored two hypotheses around change: (1) Changes exist in each and every moment of the day; and (2) We are built to maintain the status quo and therefore, reject change. I left you with some questions to think about: Do you accept change as inherent in your life? Do you […]

Thumbnail : CHANGE MANAGEMENT: Thriving Through Change Part I

CHANGE MANAGEMENT: Thriving Through Change Part I

“Life is difficult.  This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.  Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is […]

Thumbnail : SOCIAL MEDIA: 8 Essentials Needed To Start a Social Media Program

SOCIAL MEDIA: 8 Essentials Needed To Start a Social Media Program

Working with an organization recently to train their staff on how to best implement a social media program, my brother and I found ourselves needing to take a deeper look into why some organizations succeed at social media and why some, for lack of a better term, just stink at it. There are many different […]

Thumbnail : The Best of NDCBlogger – Year in Review

The Best of NDCBlogger – Year in Review

Well, what a year for NDCBlogger!  After making the decision to go full steam ahead a year ago and start blogging we have had great fun coming up with topics every week that spark debate, question traditional philosophies and hopefully, inspire you to perform with excellence. We created our blog program as a venue for […]

Thumbnail : PERSONALITY: The Link Between Emotional Awareness and Professional Growth

PERSONALITY: The Link Between Emotional Awareness and Professional Growth

Based on the research done by Daniel Goleman, Robert Cooper and others* on Emotional Intelligence, it now can be asserted that certain competencies are found repeatedly in high performing employees.  These “intangibles” explain why some people excel while others with the same intellectual power fall behind.  Researchers now contend that it is Emotional Intelligence that […]

Thumbnail : STRATEGY: It’s Time To Revisit Good To Great

STRATEGY: It’s Time To Revisit Good To Great

I was visiting my friend in NYC the other week and while I was there he gave me back my Good to Great book on CD he had borrowed a couple years before.  There are certain things that really just hit you at the right time, at the right place, in the right mind set.  […]

Thumbnail : DECISION MAKING: Key Decision Making Tragedies and What We Can Learn From Them

DECISION MAKING: Key Decision Making Tragedies and What We Can Learn From Them

As we’re watching the horror of the oil explosion unfold in the Gulf of Mexico and its untold effect on wildlife in the wetlands and the Louisiana coastline, it seems like we’ve been here before.  Listening to one of the oil rig operators recently on 60 Minutes describe the errors in decision making, reminded me […]

Thumbnail : TEAMING: Key Mile Markers on the Road to Top-Notch Teaming

TEAMING: Key Mile Markers on the Road to Top-Notch Teaming

- a recap of the 2010 Bright Ideas with Presenter Lisa Dunbar –   To round out our month on teaming, I thought I’d share some highlights from my presentation “The Road to Top Notch Teaming” from the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce Bright Ideas Conference.       Choose the right vehicle to get you where you […]

Thumbnail : TEAMING: Under Siege – When Your Team Comes Under Attack

TEAMING: Under Siege – When Your Team Comes Under Attack

Last week I was speaking with a manager who shared that his team had been given a hard time recently when they asked for more resources to handle a high priority project.  The comments back, frankly, were not nice.  “Maybe your team shouldn’t be the one handling the project anyway.”  “You’re not taking anything from […]

TEAMING: FAQ #3: What happens if someone does not want to work as a team?

When management has made a clear statement that the organization will be team-based, then the individual has to have a serious self-talk to see if he/she wants to continue working for the organization. Fundamentally, in a team-based organization there is no choice and individuals need to recognize that fact. In an organization where management hasn’t […]

Thumbnail : TEAMING: Team-Building 3.0 – The Road To Top-Notch Teaming

TEAMING: Team-Building 3.0 – The Road To Top-Notch Teaming

Successful teams don’t leave success to chance. They plan for success. They are set up to succeed from the beginning. They spend 2/3 of their time planning what they will do and 1/3 of their time actually doing it. That includes spending time on process and relationship before task. Teaming 3.0 doesn’t involve some new […]

TEAMING: FAQ #2: What are the biggest mistakes when changing to a teaming environment

Some organizations believe they can implement teams without changing the traditional hierarchical structure. Within months, the two structures inevitably clash. Typically the more entrenched structure survives and teamwork is reduced to a thing of the past. Managers have much greater difficulty adjusting to a team-based environment than hourly employees because they have to learn to […]

Thumbnail : TEAMING: Why Teams Fail to Function Effectively

TEAMING: Why Teams Fail to Function Effectively

There have been many articles and books written on why teams fail, including the very popular Five Dysfunctions of Teams.  For this blog, I’d like to go off the beaten path a bit and look at some of the less discussed reasons why teams fail – the other six dysfunctions of teams. 1. Wanting team-based […]

TEAMING: FAQ #1: How do you motivate the unmotivated team?

First, we must remember that we don’t motivate anyone — all we can do is control what goes into the environment that might or might not motivate someone. We would suggest that somehow this team hasn’t gotten excited about its vision and goals — perhaps because there’s a history that the results of the team’s work […]

Thumbnail : TEAMING: 4 Mythbusters of Consensus

TEAMING: 4 Mythbusters of Consensus

I conducted a team building workshop recently and as I was reviewing the four key elements for effective work teams with the group, notably (1) common goal and approach (2) shared roles and responsibilities (3) commitment to helpful team behaviors and (4) consensus decisions, it was easy to see the heads nodding when I spoke […]

Thumbnail : TRAINING: 5 Ways Training Can Cut Cost and Increase Revenue

TRAINING: 5 Ways Training Can Cut Cost and Increase Revenue

For most, the idea of training is one that revolves around mandates and requirements, or as a solution to a problem one is experiencing.  However, we also know that training is a great way for organizations to build the competencies of their staff, and specifically, can be used to cut cost and increase revenue.   Recently […]

Thumbnail : MEETINGS: Less Time, More Productivity, Bigger Returns

MEETINGS: Less Time, More Productivity, Bigger Returns

Last week I was training a group of managers on facilitation skills.  When I asked them what they particularly wanted to accomplish in the training, they spoke about needing to address the following: · 3-4 hour meetings that go on and on with little accomplished by the end · Going off-track on “rabbit chases” that leave the […]

PERSONALITY: MBTI – In The Grip

One of the exciting, new pieces of research to come out of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) tool, is an exploration of the notion that sometimes our personalities go into a response pattern that can be characterized as “in the grip.”  The grip response occurs when we’re at a low ebb, experiencing fatigue, physical or […]

Thumbnail : CONFLICT RESOLUTION: The Coat of Conflict Resolution

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: The Coat of Conflict Resolution

Sometimes when we’re talking with people, we get an “ah-ha” that opens up a whole new pathway of thinking.  This happened recently with a woman (I’ll call Barbara) when we were discussing difficult conflicts she was having at work.  One conflict involved a co-worker who wasn’t pulling his fair share of the workload.  The second […]

Thumbnail : SUPERVISORS AND MANAGERS: 5 Essential Skills for Employee Course Correction

SUPERVISORS AND MANAGERS: 5 Essential Skills for Employee Course Correction

As you may know from my last blog, I just finished designing a workshop on going from crisis management to control management.  When we operate in crisis mode and an employee comes to us with a problem, we are quick to give the solution. The employee goes on his/her merry way and fixes the problem. […]

Thumbnail : LEADERSHIP: Building the Teaching Competency of Your Leaders

LEADERSHIP: Building the Teaching Competency of Your Leaders

Several weeks ago I was asked to speak to a group of HR professionals on strategies for future leaders.  One of the strategies that I highlighted was the need to build the teaching competency of leaders.  Most of us are familiar with building a learning organization, but we rarely talk about building a teaching organization.  […]

Thumbnail : LEADERSHIP: Exploring the Role of Coaches and Mentors in the Workplace

LEADERSHIP: Exploring the Role of Coaches and Mentors in the Workplace

A few years back I was speaking with someone about the role of the coach in the workplace and the individual was adamant about the coach not providing any advice.  She suggested that the coach was simply to ask questions and allow individuals to make self-directed discoveries and decisions based solely on their own analysis […]

Thumbnail : TRAINING: Your One Stop Shop

TRAINING: Your One Stop Shop

I am routinely struck by how hungry people are for answers to the daily situations they find themselves in.  Whether it’s the need to just have someone listen to their ideas or they’re actually seeking advice for how to tackle a “sticky situation”, I have witnessed my organization continually exceed the expectations of the people […]

NEGOTIATION SKILLS: A Few Tried-And-True Tips for Negotiating

Even though we may not recognize it, we are constantly negotiating:  workload with the boss, how late the kids can stay up, who will take the pets to the vet, and what you will or won’t do for a customer.  As Herb Cohen, in Negotiate This suggest, “the world is a negotiating table.”  Yet how […]

Thumbnail : MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS: CM to CM: From Crisis Management to Controlled Management

MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS: CM to CM: From Crisis Management to Controlled Management

I’ve heard it said many times by managers that “I work best under pressure,” or “I’m constantly being pulled into one crisis after another all day long.” The talk of crisis management for many leaves them exhilarated, excited and empowered by the unpredictable, feeling good at the end of the day that the problems of […]

Thumbnail : TEAMING: Why Groups Struggle

TEAMING: Why Groups Struggle

When the phone rings, it’s often an organization or business calling to talk to us about a group or team that is having problems with communication, personalities, or group dynamics.  As a result, the project or task isn’t coming together as everyone anticipated.  In fact, in one case the project had been delayed 7 months […]

Thumbnail : LEADERSHIP: Taskmaster In a Bottle: The Leadership Pill

LEADERSHIP: Taskmaster In a Bottle: The Leadership Pill

About six months ago I read the book, The Leadership Pill. It’s not a long book by any means, but I was surprised at Ken Blanchard and Marc Muchnick’s ability to interweave a fictional story with real life references and provide the reader with a parable on effective leadership. The Leadership Pill begins with the […]

Thumbnail : GOAL SETTING: The Battle for Personal Efficiency: 6 Tips to Regain Control of the Workload

GOAL SETTING: The Battle for Personal Efficiency: 6 Tips to Regain Control of the Workload

The emails are backed up, the inbox is full, voice mail messages are piling up on both the office phone and the blackberry, the next three days are packed with meetings and two reports are already past due.  At this rate, you mutter, “there is no way I am going to get out from under […]

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