When a Canned Approach Just Won't Do

Ready-made seminars can be helpful, but there are times when a canned approach to leadership won’t get you where you want to go. It’s most effective to tweak the best practices to suit your work style instead of the other way around.

Listen in or read on for a case study on Results-driven Ron, who struggles to sit through meetings that continue in discussion long after he’s ready to take action. The steps he learned in an active listening seminar felt false and frustrating, but our customized strategy is a far better fit.

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Are You Feeling Boxed In at Work?

Not every dissatisfied employee can easily walk away from their job. Government employees especially can find themselves with accumulated benefits such that it’s in their best interest to stay. But even in the private sector, you can leave behind a challenging employer, coworker, or supervisor, but unless you see how you contributed to the challenges, you’ll likely find the same situations at your next job.

Listen in (or read on) for 3 questions to ask yourself when the going gets so tough that you’re thinking of going.

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Get the Most and Best from Your Brain

Are you using your brain power as effectively and efficiently as possible? To do your best work, it’s important to create an environment that suits and satisfies your brain, as well as a schedule for tackling tough tasks when your brain is at its best.

Listen in (or read on) for tips on tidying up, sorting out, making way, and letting go so your brain has space – and energy – to do the most amazing things.

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Rewrite the Stories You Tell Yourself

Are you ready to take your career or business to the next level but you haven’t made the leap because you’re weighed down by self-doubt? Do you feel like you can’t move forward on your goals despite the support of others and a toolbox full of skills?

If so, I have a few questions for you and some simple steps that can get you moving, but first, listen to (or read) Roseanne’s story and notice what sounds familiar.

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New Leadership Skills for the New World

The most important leadership skills may be things you’re not thinking about or aware of, and yet these abilities are critical for being effective in today’s world of work, whether you’re in a leadership position or hoping to emerge into one, and especially if you’re a leader who is encountering challenges, feeling frustration, or just looking to grow and evolve.

Listen in or read on for six new leadership skills for the new world, and use the free worksheet to guide you toward adopting these new competencies.

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Unblock Your Perspective: Listen More, Learn More, and Get More Done

Our ego wants to protect us from being wrong, and in our effort to be right, we may close our mind to other perspectives, supporting our isolated view even when we would benefit from seeing what things look like from someone else’s perspective.

Listen in (or read on) for two stories on perspective-taking – one imaginary and one true – that demonstrate how listening better and more often can help your organization move forward and get more done.

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How Office Drama Costs Your Organization, Part 2

The story about a meeting meltdown and its aftermath continues...

In this second and final “episode”, you’ll see how the chaos spread through the management tier all day and well into the night.

As with last week’s Part 1, as you listen to or read the tale, notice how – and how many – people were affected, and think about all the places where you hear time (and, therefore, money) leaking out of this organization due to a single moment of drama and the subsequent distractions and confusion.

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How Office Drama Costs Your Organization, Part 1

This story about a meltdown in a meeting and the chaos that followed is based on a situation that occurred in an organization I worked with. As you listen to the tale, notice how – and how many – people were affected, and think about all the places where you hear time (and, therefore, money) leaking out of this organization due to a single moment of drama and the subsequent distractions and chaos.

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Unwritten Rules

Unwritten rules are rules that we’ve created or adopted that govern our decision-making and our behavior patterns. They’re barely noticeable to anyone else, but when they’re challenged, they cause us discomfort, bring up conflict within us, and make us wonder – and judge – why other people don’t follow the same rules we do.

Listen in (or read on) to see how unwritten rules impact your relationships at work and at home and, maybe, hold you back from your full potential. And to hear the thing about my Christmas tree...

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CommunicationBeth Wonson
The Isolated Leader

Isolation is a common thread among leaders who wish they hadn’t gone into leadership. The higher you move up in an organization, the less time there is to work in your area of passion and strength, the more you become the guard dog and keeper of secrets, and the fewer people you can talk to about decisions that weigh on your heart.

Listen in for six characteristics of isolated leaders plus three simple strategies they can use to re-engage with their work, their life, and the people around them.

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Don't Take It Personally

How many times during the course of your day do you overhear things, see things, read things and take them personally? Choosing to be curious and to ask questions is the pathway away from drama and chaos. Join Beth as she uncovers why we take things personally and how you can disrupt that tendency. Just proclaiming “I will not take things personally!” isn’t enough to switch us. Instead, Beth explains how taking things personally is a practice, a choice.

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Listen Up!

Hearing what someone said isn’t always enough – you may need to actually listen. Active listening takes a bit more work but will save you time and energy in the long run.

Listen in (or read on) for: an explanation of active listening, three questions you can ask to encourage a deeper conversation, how little of your undivided attention is needed to satisfy others, and how one of my daughters taught me all this when she was just two-and-a-half years old.

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Shut the Dang Door!

“I have an open door policy.” Oh my gosh, those words just make me shudder. Why am I opposed to an open door policy when it’s often pushed as the way to be a “connected leader”? Because an open door policy has the opposite effect. When you have an open door policy, you’re not connected to or present for anything.

Listen in (or read on) for how an open door policy hinders your productivity, robs the people around you of learning opportunities, and nibbles away at your time, plus 5 simple tips for setting things right.

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“You can only call me for three reasons…”

Exhaustion and fatigue are common themes with many of my clients, and I’ve realized they haven’t given themselves permission to set boundaries. In fact, the tendency is quite the opposite. Somewhere along the way, we get the message to give all of our kindness, time, and energy to others and to keep none for ourselves. But nurturing ourselves first is the only sustainable way forward. Listen in for the surprising boundaries that set me free, a few words that create space, and one word that takes it away.

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CommunicationBeth Wonson
Start With Strawberries: Lessons and Reflections from New CEO Cara Crye

A special treat: An interview with Cara Crye, new CEO of the Farm Supply Company. Cara began working at Farm Supply fresh out of college and worked her way up through the ranks to follow the prior CEO’s 52-year tenure. If you’re looking to move up within your organization, or even tap into a leadership position in a new organization, you are going to hear some invaluable tips and areas to begin working on so you can increase your self-awareness and become a charismatic, engaging, and successful leader.

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LeadershipBeth Wonson
Anger’s Many Disguises

Anger is not a pure emotion, but a mask for painful emotions such as sadness, fear, and disappointment. At the same time, anger can hide behind numbness, defensiveness, or a feeling of power. Anger plays tricks on our ego, distances us from others (and ourselves), and can have a boosting effect as powerful – and as short-lived – as a sugar rush.

Read or listen in for more on anger’s many disguises, and learn how to dissipate your anger by asking yourself a few simple, yet powerful, questions about your situation.

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How to Get Rid of Your Anger

When at work, many of us try to deny anger we’re experiencing because, well, it’s just not appropriate. But through that denial, more anger and resentment are generated, and our suppressed anger has a way of sneaking out when we’re least expecting it. Ultimately, suppressed anger can destroy our working relationships, stall our careers, and have our reputations going in unintended directions.

Listen in to learn three questions you can explore to get rid of your anger and two emotions that hide beneath it.

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The Matter of Trust

In this day and age, information is moving at the speed of light. Circumstances are constantly evolving, creating, and re-creating themselves faster than any of us can keep up. It can leave us feeling left behind, left out, or unheard -- all of which can damage our ego, instill fear or vulnerability, and flip emotional triggers.

The solution is for each of us to reorient our ideas around Trust. Listen in for 6 questions about trusting others, 5 on trusting ourselves, and our 4 choices.

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Six Quick Tips for Living with Ease

Here are six tips for exhausted humans to help you be more effective, particularly in the places where you’re considered the leader – whether that’s a formal title, a role you’ve taken on within family or friendships, or you may simply be the leader of your own life.

You may be pleased to find that all of these techniques ask you to do less – less managing, less acting, less engaging. When you begin to switch over to a place of ease, you will be amazed at how the entire energy shifts in your environment.

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The Lens and The Ladder

We often believe that what we see through the kaleidoscope lens of our experiences is the correct view, although the mirrors we put into our kaleidoscope are merely assumptions or stories we invented based on what we’ve heard, learned, seen, and done. The risk (and the challenge) is when we look at a situation through our unique view and then make decisions, try to give advice, or try to convince others that our personal view is the correct one. Listen in to hear how we leap from the facts to flawed assumptions and into faulty action, and also how to climb back down that Ladder of Inference to what’s both real and true.

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