How to Make Meetings Feel Less Like a Root Canal

coworkers in a meeting looking bored
You’re moving along, getting work done, feeling productive, and then you have to stop for a meeting. Normally this wouldn’t bother you, but you’re not sure why you were invited to this meeting, or even what the purpose of the meeting is. So you break your concentration and hope you can get back into the flow afterward. While in the meeting, you get frustrated because there is no clear direction, people are talking over each other and, worst of all, the meeting produces nothing but more questions and increased frustration. You go back to your task and realize the motivation and drive you had [...]

Create a Culture of Controversy with Civility

group of coworkers sitting around conference table talking
It seems like we as a society are more divided than ever, with arguments over politics, which football team is better, or whether pineapple belongs on pizza creating conflict. Conflict can be good – it can help to develop me as a person or an organization – but only when we are willing to listen and have an open dialogue. Sadly, this does not seem to be the culture of our society. We are so focused on being right or winning the argument that we are not willing to entertain an idea that is contradictory to ours. Conflict arises when we are not living according to our values, or when our values [...]

How to Write Your Own Personal Mission Statement

woman writing on a computer
What is my purpose? Why am I in the position I am? Is there more for me out there in the world? Where are these thoughts and questions coming from? With nearly 60,000 thoughts swirling around in our head each day, over half of which are negative or pessimistic and 90% repeating themselves day to day, it’s no wonder we may question ourselves. self-reflection \self-ri-flek-shen\ n : serious thought about one’s character, actions, and motives or that of careful consideration of one’s behavior and beliefs; also known as introspection The original idea of introspection was developed by Wilhelm [...]

Why That Leadership Book Won't Make You a Better Leader

row of wooden business people with leader lifted up
Have you ever sat back and thought about where leaders come from? If you were asked what a leader is, you could probably rattle off some traits or characteristics that an individual may possess that would make them a leader. You likely have identified these leadership traits as something you wished you possessed so you could be a better leader. Maybe you’ve read books by John Maxwell, Patrick Lencioni, and Simon Sinek so you can grow as a leader. Leadership has become a billion dollar industry with books, videos, trainings and workshops offered all over the world. While these authors and [...]

Choosing Between Negativity and Positivity

silhouette of person standing in sunset with thumbs up
You wake up before the alarm goes off, you feel refreshed. The sun is shining, birds chirping, coffee brewing. The kids are off to school, and your spouse is headed to work. You breathe in and think to yourself, “It is going to be a good day.” Then you remember you have a staff meeting at 10 am. Your attitude begins to change as you realize your first meeting of the workday is about conflict between several team members. As you head out the door, you spill your freshly brewed coffee. Now you’re going to be late. Traffic is horrible, and you get frustrated with drivers cutting you off. What [...]

Emotional Intelligence: The Secret to Managing Stress

animated person balancing heart and brain on scale
Job pressure. Money. Relationships. Politics. These are some of the top causes of stress, something we all experience and can affect our mental health. We can't change all the circumstances that cause our stress, however we can become more aware of the indicators of stress and how we can begin to manage our stress effectively. It starts with improving our emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence, or EI, is the ability to recognize and understand emotions in oneself and others. For years, we've heard how we need to see things from someone else's perspective or have empathy to another's [...]

It's Time to Embrace Diversity in the Workplace

Diverse group of coworkers sitting in chairs in a line with each other
Violence at political rallies, videos of individuals shouting racist hatred, or images of hate scrolled on a building have brought the topic of diversity to the forefront of the nation’s conscious. Diversity has become a key societal discussion, and an increasingly important topic in the workplace. Workplace Diversity According to statistics referenced by the Society of Human Resource Management, 10 days following the 2016 presidential election, there were 867 incidents of hate in this county, 18% of which happened in the workplace. It is time to embrace the idea and importance of diversity in [...]

Examining Our Unconscious Bias

Diverse group of coworkers in an office space
As our communities and workplaces continue to evolve and become more diverse, we need to pay attention to what professional practices may need to change along the way. We need to examine our unconscious bias. What Is Unconscious Bias? Unconscious bias includes the social stereotypes about certain groups of people that we form outside our own conscious awareness. Another definition: Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared to another. “As leaders, when we are influenced by a bias we don’t ever know we have, we can make the wrong decisions. Those decisions could [...]

Digging Deeper into Unconscious Bias

Group of coworkers sitting around a table in a training about bias
Unconscious Bias “Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight that. That’s why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.” – Rear Admiral Grace Hopper Hopper’s words are true for how we have recruited, screened, interviewed, and onboarded employees for decades. It’s time for change, but it does not have to be scary. When looking at an employee lifecycle, we need to look through an unbiased lens. So how do we get there? If you’ve completed the Implicit Bias Test, you’ve become aware of your unconscious bias and you’re willing to [...]