Courage to Assert New Behavior to Get What You Want

by Sandra Ford Walston

Jill demonstrated her talents and caught the attention of a city manager. When he phoned Jill to discuss an administrative position, she knew that negotiating the salary would be difficult. “He saw me as someone who could assist him with furthering the organization’s vision. Initially, his offers were below my requirements, but I kept asking for more money. He knew I was ready and willing to walk out the door. So he finally caved in.”asserting new behavior with equal pay

An important step toward professional and financial success is learning to negotiate. Communicating face-to-face or via telephone can prove effective in helping to overcome invisibility and maximize your exposure. Try to avoid email correspondence, which greatly increases the chances for misunderstanding.

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Leadership Free Speech and Gay Rights

by Helen Whelan

​I’ll admit I’m a little sensitive to bias. Who isn’t when you’re on the receiving end?

In this case, it’s that perception of you that guides invisible decisions with very visible results.  If a hiring manager doesn’t like women, Asians, blacks, gays, (pick your distinction) and you come in the door and you’re one of those, you could find yourself rejected for your next great gig or promotion. (You definitely would have dodged a bullet but it hurts nonetheless).  It’s tough enough to win based on facts, but when perceptions creep in, how do you fight that? As much as we try to be data-centric and take these biases out of our decision-making, they creep back in with a vengeance.Mozilla

I  think that’s why the controversy around Mozilla’s CEO, Brendan Eich hit such a nerve with me. Eich has just stepped down from a very short-lived stint as the CEO of Mozilla because of the controversy around his support of Proposition 8 that would have banned same-sex marriage in California. People have argued for his right to free speech and others have said he’s on the wrong side of history, discriminating against gays and their right to be treated fairly and equally as heterosexuals.

It may be because I run a leadership development video training business and all-things leadership fascinate me. I work with some very well-intentioned folks who try to guide their organizations to make fair decisions on talent. But, in this case, it’s also because I spent a large part of my early years as a TV reporter covering business and leaders.

So, when I hear people say he has a right to free speech, I don’t take that lightly. Of course, he does!  BUT…

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Loss and Failure,Increasing Your Batting Average at Work

by Richard French

The number of youth players in baseball has been declining over the last several years. It’s hard. You hit a round ball with a round bat and it’s a game of attrition and failure. There is no place to hide out in baseball. When you’re in the batter’s box, it’s you alone against the pitcher and his team behind him. Yes, your coaches, teammates and fans can support you but there’s only room for one in the batter’s box. And you can ask God for help but you’re still the only one that can swing the bat.sports leadership skills

In any other endeavor, a “success” score of 3 out of 10 would be considered a failure, be it an Econ mid-term, free throws from the foul line, or closing percentage in a sales position. But 3 out of 10 in baseball could get you into the Hall of Fame.

Learning to deal with failure, that long walk from the batter’s box back to the dugout with your head held high, is something that could benefit us all. In today’s world of “everyone gets a trophy,” learning how to face failure, become resilient and try again is the real prize. We’re not always going to get a hit, or score the winning run, or even catch the ball. That’s life. We’re going to fail at some point, or in some cases, many points. It’s about getting back in the batter’s box and not being afraid of striking out again.

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Should Mozilla’s CEO’s Support for Banning Same Sex Marriage Cost Him His Job?

Update: Sorry for the spoiler.  Mozilla’s CEO resigned.  Still, a lesson to be learned on separating your personal beliefs from your role as a leader…especially when it comes to other people’s rights.

There’s a _hit storm in full rage at Mozilla, the maker of the browser Firefox.

Seems their newly appointed CEO, Brendan Eich, who co-founded Mozilla, gave $1000 to the failed Proposition 8 campaign in California that wanted to ban same-sex marriage by defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.

Mozilla employees and now websites like OKCupid, an online dating site, are publicly admonishing Eich and Mozilla. In Fact, OKCupid has asked its nearly one million users a day to download a different browser than Firefox to access their site.

The message from OkCupid about Mozilla.

“Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there’s a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we’re asserting ourselves today. This is why: we’ve devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.” OK Cupid

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Want Greater Influence? Then, Listen Up.

by Judith E. Glaser

When driving to a new location, we often stop at a gas station to ask for directions, use our GPS or a handy paper map to navigate unfamiliar territory. If we get lost, we need only refer back to the map to find our way.DecisionMaking. kraifreedom

Listening can be approached the same way.

Navigational Listening”  is the style of listening that makes us better executives. It accepts that listening is not an end in itself but part of a process that ends in a decision, strategy or change in behavior or viewpoint.

Salespeople listen for customer concerns. Lawyers listen for their opponent’s faulty logic. Psychiatrists listen for unconscious motivations. Training has taught all of them not to listen at face value, and to use the time lag between their hearing and subsequent speaking to properly evaluate what is being said. At the same time, they don’t dismiss their emotional response to the speaker, their “feel” for the situation, or their hunch of what might happen next.

A framework telling them how to influence a person’s thinking from Point A to Point B also guides these professionals.

In sales, the marketing rep wants to influence a customer with no interest to one ready to buy. The lawyer tries to influence the jury to his or her point of view. The psychiatrist works to influence the patient toward new insights about personal behavior, motivations or a view of the world.

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Selective Listening and How it Can Derail Our Business

by Judith E. Glaser

Try to recall a recent situation when you were a listener. It may have been a speech delivered by an executive, a discussion with a subordinate or an explanation from a peer.

Did you listen to facts or to specific words? Selective Listening and its effect of business
Did you paraphrase these words in your mind? Did the situation lead to new impressions, feelings and ideas? Were you affected by how the speaker stood, the volume of her voice or her appearance? Did the speaker’s emotional tone bother you? Were you evaluating his effectiveness as a communicator? Or were you so preoccupied that you didn’t listen at all, or only heard a little of what was said?

The listening adult’s mind is never blank or completely impartial. Our listening is influenced by events, relationships and experiences—all adding to what we hear and its meaning.  As objective as we would like to think we are when we listen, we actually are not.

Our physical and emotional states - being tired, angry, elated or stressful –  predisposes us to selective listening.

We hear one-seventh as fast as we think. While our mind has the time to listen, evidence suggests that we don’t always use that time well. Traditionally, ineffective listening has been viewed as a hearing problem. However, as we gain important new insight into the effect of listening well or poorly on the effectiveness of an organization, we recognize that ineffective listening is much more than just a hearing problem.

Listening is perhaps the most important component of communication for a manager. Done well, it will enable you to collect information for timely and effective decision-making. Done poorly, and you’ll draw the wrong conclusions.

Three of the most common listening mistakes that can derail our success in business

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Are Your Best Managers Hiding in Plain Sight?

by Helen Whelan

Over 80 % of the managers in companies aren’t cut out to be managers.  That’s according to several Gallup studies of hundreds of organizations, 27 million employees and more than 2.5 million work units over the past two decades.

Gallup found that companies get it wrong 82% of the time in who they name to be
TiredBusinessFolks.Ambromanager.  When you think that managers are directly responsible for employee engagement, this is a frightening statistic. Employee engagement is at an all time low of 30%. Just think what that means when it comes to customer service, sales, production, absenteeism, safety incidents…you name it for what makes a business work.

“Of the approximately 100 million people in America who hold full-time jobs, 30 million (30%) are engaged and inspired at work, so we can assume they have a great boss. At the other end of the spectrum are roughly 20 million (20%) employees who are actively disengaged. These employees, who have bosses from hell that make them miserable, roam the halls spreading discontent. The other 50 million (50%) American workers are not engaged. They’re just kind of present, but not inspired by their work or their managers.” State of the American Workplace, Gallup

Here are some good video trainings to help your managers be more effective:

So, what talent does it take to be a good manager?  It’s not what most bosses think.

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Are you a Giver or a Taker?

by Helen Whelan

Have you ever met a “taker”?

That’s the person who asks for a favor, help with a project, an introduction, you name it…but when you reach out to him or her, they’re too busy? They treat relationship as a transaction to “get” something.  As a result, how do you react next time they come around? Do you help them? Ignore the request? Or, do you match their energy and become a taker too?Are you a give or taker?

Stephen Covey, author of the perennial best-seller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, writes about creating the ability to make change happen by changing our own behavior. If you’ve ever taken a transformational training or read about human potential, you’ll know the concept of  ”There is no other person out there; there’s just you.” It’s all about how you are behaving in the world and the results that get created based on your behavior.

So, if you’re being a taker, most likely takers are entering your world.  You’ll know it because your relationships and communication are transaction-based. It’s all based on “WIIFM” – What’s in it for me? As a leader, this is exhausting. There’s really no flow,  just a lot of work to make the transactions work.

Then, there are the “givers”. You probably have come across people like this. They help because it’s just what they do. It’s in their DNA. They empathize. They genuinely connect. They somehow know how to enrich or even calm a stressful situation through effective relationship and communication skills. Customer service training videos actually show this behavior in action: calming angry retail customers or an irate patient in a healthcare situation. (Some of the videos are hilarious but not at all far from reality!)

But, sometimes, it’s hard to “elevate.” We just react, give into our feelings, to slights or perceived offense. We’re human. You meet a taker and that side of us can easily surface. We match that energy. We become a taker too.

Experience a “giver” and it’s a different story.  They take the time, however small, to help when they can. They aren’t trying to get something but if they needed something, I, for one, would scramble to be the first in line to help.   I actually keep these people in my mind and heart, looking for opportunities to help them.  I’m sure I’m not alone.  Maybe that’s why so many of them are successful.

Who do you want to be?  What kind of people do you want entering your world?

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Helen Whelan is the founder of Success Television, a leadership development media company. She is a passionate advocate of using media to empower people in their journey of personal and professional growth . You can follow her on Twitter @SuccessTV.

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Personal Leadership Skills to Catapult Your Career

by Sandra Ford Walston

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right–for you’ll be criticized anyway.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“Doing” generally involves a list of things to accomplish : earn another certification, land a new account, secure another promotion. In fact, our fast-paced culture encourages us to identify ourselves by what we do.

Unfortunately, doing can become a career trap with the tools of the modern office serving as a high-tech hamster wheel. This incessant multi-tasking not only leads to unfocused, error-prone work, it also narrows the possibility to perceive your true Self beneath the scripted layers of ego personality, defined by what you do.

We are so wrapped up in what we are doing, we choke any joy or self-fulfillment.

Career Path

Wayne Teasdale writes in The Mystic Heart, “By contrast, ‘being’ comes from a peaceful inner space that reveals our deepest, most genuine identity. The depths of our being, where we come face to face with ourselves, our weaknesses, and with ultimate mystery.” Eckhart Tolle, author of A New Earth, shares this viewpoint from a different angle: “The collective disease of humanity is that people are so engrossed in what happens, so hypnotized by the world of fluctuating forms, so absorbed in the content of their lives, they have forgotten the essence, that which is beyond content, beyond form, beyond thought.”

“Just do it,” does not cut it anymore.

Rediscovering our heart and spirit requires the stillness of being. Once a state of being is achieved, the necessary actions flow naturally, efficiently and without effort.

To allow your true Self to manifest its best possible work requires your mind to be still and present (i.e., instead of replaying past moments or projecting future events.) As your introspective practice (meditation, journaling) quiets your mind, you can begin to manifest fulfillment and satisfaction at work by eliminating the old scripts, the obstacles that shape and limit your perceptions about your life.

Stillness offers you the opportunity to recognize and transcend those limiting perceptions.

Being requires contemplative practice, a discipline that forces us to unplug and slow down so that we can discern the way to our true identities.  Living more deeply, we begin to diminish setbacks and to recognize the obstacles that undermine our ability to follow a vibrant, rewarding career path.

Because this place of being defies mental understanding, each person must experience it in his or her own integral way. By adopting a contemplative practice, we stop, both physically and mentally, and focus our attention internally, opening ourselves to the deeper levels of our being. We diminish StuckThinking™ in exchange for a new state of consciousness; hence, a new identity.

Sandra Ford WalstonSandra Ford Walston is known as The Courage Expert and innovator of StuckThinking™. Featured on the speaker circuit as witty, provocative, concrete and insightful, she has sparked positive change the lives of thousands of leaders each year. She found that there is a direct correlation between your success quotient and your courage quotient. She is the internationally published author of bestseller COURAGE The Heart and Spirit of Every Woman, the follow-up bookSTUCKand FACE IT! All three books are based 20 years of original courage research. She is certified in the Enneagram and MBTI® and she is a Newfield Network coach. Please visit

Watch this YouTube: Courageous Leadership

Follow me on Twitter @courageexpert and Facebook

© Sandra Walston

All Rights Reserved

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5 Communication Tips to Resolve Workplace Conflict

Going from Distrust to Trust Using Conversational Intelligence

By Judith E. Glaser

Have you ever trusted someone only to find they stabbed you in the back?  Or, have you found someone doesn’t trust you even though you have their best interest at heart? It seems trust in a currency that is in high demand, but short supply.managing workplace conflict through effective communication skills

Daily headlines suggest we are becoming mired in distrust, at high cost to our organizations. As our trust bank accounts are depleted, we run out of currency to invest in the future. And trust is not a currency we can easily print to offset the deficit.

Sadly, many individuals, teams, and organizations operate in a perpetual state of distrust and fear. If we were to visualize this, we’d see a door that guards the entrance to our inner self. When we feel trust, we readily open that door, leading to an open exchange with someone else. When we distrust someone, thinking that he or she is somehow a threat, we slam our door quickly and begin to defend ourselves.

Conversational Intelligence is our hardwired ability for understanding how to create trust. While it may take many steps over time to restore lost trust, we can start by…

Taking Five Steps to Build Trust Using Conversational Intelligence

Step 1: Transparency. Be open and transparent about what’s on your mind. Transparency quells the primitive brain, which reacts to fear, threat, and loss. But when we create conditions favorable for trust, people begin to talk openly about their fears. Transparency is also about sharing our intentions so people don’t misinterpret them. Communicate openly with others to quell threats. Send messages of trust that the amygdala understands: “I trust you will not harm me.”

Step 2: Relationship. Extend the olive branch, even with foes. Extending trust sends messages of friendship to the brain that shift the energy toward appreciation. We know from researchers at the HeartMath Institute that focusing positive energy toward a person (Heart Appreciation) shifts our attention to seek connectivity, reduces the fear of power-over energy, and builds power-with connectivity. This feeling is then understood by others. The heart brain is activated and we sense positive signals of friendship. Partnering Conversations shifts relationships from judgment to respect and enables people to collaborate productively.

When we feel respected and appreciated, the mirror neurons located below the prefrontal cortex activate, enabling us to identify and empathize with others. We stimulate our ability for bonding and collaborating, meaning that levels of oxytocin are increasing. This influx of neurochemicals reinforces trust.

Step 3: Understanding. We learn people’s thoughts by understanding their needs and emotions. Understanding their perspective, we can honor them. I believe understanding means we “stand under” the same view of the world. People trust us when they believe we have their best interest at heart. Seek to understand their perspective by listening, without judgment, and connect to their reality.

Step 4: Shared Success. Create a vision of shared success with others. With a common view of success, we intuitively trust that others’ decisions will be similar to ours, and that conflicts will work out fairly. Our neocortex functions to help us shape strategies for success. However, when we are attached to being right, we reveal an agenda. Such entrenchment leads to distrust. Trying to persuade others to want our success only creates resistance.

Step 5: Testing assumptions and telling the truth. Test perceptions and assumptions about reality. Close the gaps between what you expect and what you get. When truth is discovered together, one shared view of the world emerges. Engage the prefrontal cortex—the executive brain—by shaping conversations that show you the world from another’s perspective. Only then can you can see the bigger picture. You’re not attached to being right and finding fault. Truth-telling starts with being able to see the truth about your own behavior.

Conversational Intelligence – TRUST Rituals
We are designed for connection with others, but when trust is broken we recoil. Conversational Intelligence shows that because we are designed to be social, our brains are sensitive to the signals of trust and distrust. When you use the TRUST Model effectively, you send signals of trust to others that they will pick up on as you openly engage. You activate the trust networks in your own brain, located in the prefrontal cortex, strengthening your capacity to connect with others in healthy and supportive ways.

By listening to connect, and by learning to see the world from another’s perspective, you can attain the highest level of relationship with others. You will connect with people differently—and your conversations will reflect this new and powerful insight.

Judith GlaserJudith E. Glaser is the CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc. and the Chairman of The Creating WE Institute. She is an Organizational Anthropologist and the author of the best selling book Conversational Intelligence (Bibliomotion, 2013), as well as a consultant to Fortune 500 companies.;;

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