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Building Connection in Divided Times

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Diversity and inclusion are words we hear a lot – and the lack of them is always evident when tolerance wears thin during election season. Elections are one way of exercising the gift of freedom we receive as citizens of the US.  I respect all citizens and their right to vote, no matter how their…

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Mindset – What’s Your Story?

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What story plays in your mind when:  Your plane is delayed?  Your doctor wants to talk with you about lab results? You’re summoned unexpectedly to your boss’s office about a reorganization?   Your teenager isn’t back home long after the expected time?  The stories we tell ourselves about a situation, event or person affect how well…

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Vulnerability and the Courage to Change

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After a 10 hour day of back-to-back meetings, I realized I’d left behind some highly confidential client documents in a public place. Others could find, peruse and use the information to their advantage for a variety of reasons.  The feeling was crushing – I couldn’t breathe and wanted to vomit. It was as if I’d…

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The “Work” of Work Life Balance

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Achieving work-life balance is a goal that shows up often when I’m coaching clients in their mid-career years. There are many issues for many mid-level leaders that contribute to a normalized 12+ hour day – which is also often shown as a leader’s badge of honor, as well as a stepping-stone to senior leadership. If…

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Compartmentalize: A Tool of Leadership

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Compartmentalize.  We often associate the word with negative meanings such as the emotionally distant manager that blocks feelings, ignores experiences, and focuses only on what they want. It may have sounded heartless to explore how becoming skillful in this could help my client succeed in a new, stretch assignment that had the scope and complexity of…

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Work: More Happiness, Less Time

Work: More Happiness, Less Time

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The last few years I’ve noticed a prevalent theme in the feedback shared about leaders I coach. They’re from various levels – senior executives, organizations and industries.  The striking consistency and frequency of the theme “s/he works too many hours – and others believe they must do the same” comes from peers, managers and directs…

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Leadership is a skill of empathy

Empathy is a Skill of Leadership

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Empathy.  What is it – and why is it a crucial skill of leaders? “Empathy is the capacity to sense, and to respond with appropriate emotion and action to another’s emotion and thinking.  It involves the ability to imagine what another person is experiencing from within the context of their mental, emotional and physical. “…

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Chemistry of Leadership

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February in Texas shows signs that spring is in the air – red buds in deep pink buds bursting on branches and bright green grass pushing through brown winter grass. On top of this season are Valentine’s commercials showing clingy couples exchanging gifts and …my personal favorite are pastures blanketed soon in wild flowers dodging wobbly…

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A New Approach to Feedback: Think Like a Coach

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What is it about feedback that can feel so bad? Just the word makes us cringe.  Unfortunately, many of our experiences with getting feedback haven’t been pleasant or productive; so we avoid giving it and detest getting.  Helping develop others is a fundamental skill of leadership – yet we practice it annually or monthly –…

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The Importance of Attitude

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attitude accelerates performance. We think of attitude as ‘contagious’ – whether positive or negative – we know it spreads. Lou Holtz, inspirational coach of six champion teams and inductee to the USA College Football Hall of Fame has said: Attitude unleashes the energy needed to approach tasks, situations, and relationships and is especially important the…

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The Heart of Leadership

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Despite our self-centric tendencies, human beings are uniquely designed to thrive through shared effort and belonging. More importantly, humans need to belong and feel they matter – and it’s vital that leaders embody this in their daily behaviors so that it infuses a culture of high performance. Gallup documented these roots of our nature in…

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EQ – a Lens for Leadership

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Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to understand your emotions and use this ability to manage your behaviors and relationships. Leaders with higher EQ are better equipped for making wise decisions under pressure and rapid change. EQ is a lens that great leaders use to strengthen awareness and influence others – for positive personal and organizational…

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