A Sad Sweet Feeling: Abe Lincoln on Grief

Several friends in my life have lost parents recently, and we have been sharing our experiences of grief in the aftermath of such losses. We described the presence of a potent sadness that we had never known before, or how previously forgotten memories of cherished moments return to us in moments unexpected, or how torrents of grief … Continue reading

The World of Work, Part 4: Leaders and Managers: There is a Difference

Managers are a dime a dozen, but leaders are hard to find. That is why employees tell me often that do not know the purpose of their work, that no one ever tells them “thank you”, or that there is no communication in their workplace. They have managers, but managers are not necessarily leaders. Leaders … Continue reading

The World of Work, Part 3: What Really Drives Employee Engagement

While the latest Gallup numbers show a marked increase in employee engagement across industries for the first time since 2000, the percentage of employees who are disengaged or actively disengaged (employed sabbotage artists) is still shockingly high–around 69% of employees when totaled together. We are seeing improvement though, and this infographic from Quantum Workplace reveals … Continue reading

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The World of Work, Part 2: Debunking the Millennial Myths

I train managers most every week, and the moment someone mentions a Millennial employee, immediately someone in the room says something like, “They are all so entitled.” Here we go again. There may be some general truth to the stereotype for some employees, certainly not all, but it actually is quite unfair because the research … Continue reading

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The World of Work, Part 1: The Big Shifts

This week, I will be posting a few infographics and entries concerning the workplaces that are taking shape in 2016. They are quite different than those of the past as new generations shift the contours of the relationship between employer and employee, as well as reconfigure our concepts of the spaces in which we do … Continue reading

The Power of Empathy: The Patient Experience

  Tell me how much you know of the sufferings of your fellowmen and I will tell you how much you have loved them. Helmut Thielicke As customers or as patients, we often wish the person attending to us  just had more empathy for our situation. Neuroscience has proven that some people genetically are gifted with … Continue reading

Rethinking the Employee Engagement Survey: Asking the Right Questions

What if the questions your organization is asking on employee engagement surveys actually are further disengaging your employees rather than engaging them? Studies conducted by business consultant and coach Marshall Goldsmith show that employee engagement surveys actually may cause the employee to focus more on the faults of the manager or the company rather than … Continue reading

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My Favorite Things of 2015: This Year’s Hot Toddy Culture

As I reflect on my favorite things of 2015, one question keeps haunting me: Why would anyone care? It is a tradition that I have repeated each year, and I’ve come to enjoy the opportunity to reflect on what mattered to me during the past year. I am very aware that some of my friends … Continue reading

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Work as a Calling: How Southwest Airlines Hires the Right People

Southwest Airlines consistently hires people who represent its service-oriented and humorous culture well. How? An insistence on hiring for values and personality, and the candidate must exhibit these qualities before being hired. A recent blog article describes how Southwest Airlines does it over and over again. Key to their success: Over 70% of Southwest Airlines employees describe … Continue reading

Don’t Say That … Say This

  Words matter. Words reflect how we see ourselves (“No problem” can suggest “I didn’t really do anything special for you”), or how we see the customer (“Help” implies that I see you as someone who has a problem who is incapable of solving it for themselves). Words can re-emphasize what is negative about an … Continue reading

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