How to Communicate In Times of Change and Uncertainty

Change is a constant in every business, but managing through change can be highly volatile. Whether it’s the arrival of new management, disruptive technologies, or customer tastes, leaders must act decisively to pivot with the market while allaying fears and pushback from team members who cling to legacy thinking and behaviors. How effectively leaders respond to these challenges can be the difference between widespread chaos or calm. As a communications speaker and consultant, I’ve noticed that the most skillful and sensitive leaders take a coach approach to managing change cycles. They demonstrate empathy but provide the right amount of challenge and support…. Read More

Are You Listening To Your Team?

Originally appeared at Inc. While leaders may do their fair share of talking — delivering feedback, communicating goals, and managing crises — a critical attribute of good leadership is listening. Listening well can help you understand other people’s attitudes and motivations, which is essential in building cooperative and productive relationships, as well as discerning which relationships you’d be better off avoiding. Some leaders are naturally good listeners. When others speak, they eliminate surrounding noise and distractions and engage fully with the person talking. For everyone else, there’s hope: Like most skills, listening is a learned behavior that can… Read More

Kobe Bryant, Coach

The NBA legend left a legacy from the sideline. By anyone’s count, Kobe Bryant was a basketball god. He led the NBA in scoring for two seasons and ranked third on both the league’s all-time regular season and post-season scoring lists. His legendary achievements include a league-best 18 trips to the All-Star game, 12 All-Defensive team selections, the most points scored in a single game, and a record 15 appearances on the All-NBA team – and that’s before you start counting the five championship rings. But there’s one stat that went largely… Read More

Turn Feedback Into A Partnership With These Conversation Prompts

Originally appeared at Inc. When was the last time your feedback felt like a partnership? Getting others to accept feedback can prove challenging, especially when it’s critical. Negative feedback triggers a primal threat response, leading others to become defensive, angry and self-conscious. It can weaken their overall effectiveness at work. And it might even cause them to prioritize relationships with those who affirm, rather than challenge, their positive self-view.  Whether it’s provoked by a heightened state of stress or the pale of rater bias, our resistance to feedback runs deep. That aversion cuts both ways. According to a… Read More

Humbler Ways To Make A Bold First Impression

Landing a new job, especially a promotion, can be an exciting career move — but not without its share of complications. This can be particularly true for leaders whose zeal for racking up early wins can be perceived as threatening to those who don’t know them or their intentions, setting up these leaders and their teams for potential conflict and friction.  Instead of waiting for acclimation, new leaders can take control of their own image with deliberate and proactive actions that demonstrate humility and earnestness — qualities that go a long way… Read More

How Young Leaders Level Up

This article originally appeared in Inc. For young workers, moving into a leadership role is an exciting and fulfilling step, but not without its share of complications. Whether managing distractions or delivering valuable feedback, new leaders can feel overwhelmed by the demands of their new position. As new leaders learn to level up and begin to engage their teams, it’s important not to overlook basic principles like these: 1. When you ask for advice, mean it. Bringing others into the decision-making process is smart practice: Not only does it improve the quality of decisions, it also motivates others… Read More

Steph Curry and The Power Of Growth Mindset

This article originally appeared in Inc. Throughout his career, NBA star Steph Curry has demonstrated key lessons in leadership and mental toughness–not to mention, the power of a positive team culture. And as the NBA post-season heats up, Curry is taking aim at the value of a growth mindset. “Everything that I do great right now,” Curry recently told the Wall Street Journal. “I want to do even better.” That’s a neat summary of a growth mindset, the belief that basic qualities can be cultivated and improved through ongoing effort. As research by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has shown, people… Read More

A Small Act of Gratitude Can Produce Big Results

This article originally appeared at Inc. Good leaders are constantly looking for ways to boost their employees’ sense of engagement and shared purpose. But you don’t need grand gestures to make people happier or more productive. In fact, the biggest payoff may come in small packaging. The handwritten thank you note. It’s a practice that has gained traction with executives at major companies. During his tenure as CEO of Campbell’s Soup, Douglas Conant delivered close to 30,000 handwritten notes to employees at all levels of the company, from senior executives to maintenance staff. Mark Zuckerberg made it his personal goal… Read More