Categories for Business/Leadership

Not Everyone Appreciates Your Type of Appreciation

One of the lessons that aspiring leaders and those who want to continue to develop their leadership abilities must learn is: to be an effective leader, you have to learn how to lead individuals who are different than you. If you don’t, you will only be able to gather and lead those who are similar to you in personality, perspective or ability; and this, in turn, limits what you can accomplish. Although at first the idea seems intriguing, you actually don’t want to lead a group of “Junior You’s”. You may be talented but you can’t do everything, and to... Continue reading...

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February 3, 2015 1:31 pm
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Your Appreciation is in Perpetual Beta

Appreciation isn’t just about recognition and it’s not reserved only for large corporations. Whether you’re an executive, a small business owner, or an employee, you express and receive appreciation.  The key question when you express appreciation is the other person receiving it with the same intent and value? Your Evolving Appreciation Learning that there are five languages of appreciation and especially learning your own personal language of appreciation provides growth and change in becoming more aware of how appreciation is communicated and received.  As you gain experiential knowledge through practice and doing, your appreciation changes and grows. My favorite saying... Continue reading...

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November 5, 2014 8:51 am
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Appreciation When You’re a Solopreneur

Appreciation is everything for your brand. How do you feel when someone genuinely appreciates you for your input/effort? It feels nice and warm, doesn’t it? That’s the kind of feeling you want customers and clients to associate with you. As a solopreneur, chances are you will perform a lot of the business’s tasks yourself, so you’ll probably relate with a lot more people than if you had a team working for you. As a business owner, you don’t need to be reminded on the importance of keeping customers happy. However, in the midst of all the tasks and appointments you... Continue reading...

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September 19, 2014 2:06 pm
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Are you dreading work this week? Do you want to know why?

The Labor Day weekend is past. Summer is officially over. And what do you have to look forward to? A week back at work, followed by another week at work, and another. Sound exciting? Or depressing? If you are like a majority of people in the U.S and Canada, you are not looking forward to work this week — and at least half of you are actually dreading returning to work. A critical question is: Do you know why? If you don’t, read on. A second key question is: Do you know how bad your workplace really is?Is it “normally... Continue reading...

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September 1, 2014 10:18 pm
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Should Appreciation Only Be Communicated When an Employee is Performing Well?

One of the most frequent questions I am asked when I’m conducting a training for a business is:  Should you show appreciation for someone who isn’t performing well? A tension exists in the world of recognition, employee engagement, and appreciation.  There are differences of opinion on the relationship between an employee’s performance and recognizing them.  Should you recognize an employee if they aren’t doing well in all areas of performance?  Is appreciation independent of performance? To address the issue, I think we need to keep two foundational principles in mind: The purpose of work is to provide goods or services to... Continue reading...

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August 11, 2014 12:31 pm
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Appreciating Your Team When You’re a Perfectionist

I admit. I’m a perfectionist. There’s always one flaw.  Or, there’s one more thing to fix or finish. It’s a part of who I am. And, because I focus on it for me, I also bring that same laser and cutting focus to my team. Being appreciative to team members at the workplace The more you are appreciative of the little things in your life and make it habit, the more it transcends to your relationships with others at work. For a long time, appreciation was not viewed as important in the workplace. However, research has shown that appreciation, more... Continue reading...

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August 4, 2014 2:03 pm
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Why “My boss is a jerk!” Isn’t Reason Enough to Hate Your Job

Two common mantras in our culture today are: “I hate my job” and “My boss is a jerk.” While both statements may be true, hating your job because your boss is a jerk isn’t going to lead anywhere good. According to Gallup, more than half of the U.S. workforce (or about 70 million employees) either are just enduring their job or actively hate where they work. With that level of dissatisfaction, it’s no surprise that we hear so many negative comments – either in personal conversations, through social media or the mainstream media. In other words, If you don’t like your job, welcome to... Continue reading...

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July 21, 2014 7:19 pm
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Healthy & Unhealthy Boundaries — Their Impact on Our Lives

I’ve been thinking about boundaries lately, and observing how significantly they impact our daily lives. The lack of boundaries in relationships (or attempts to overstep established boundaries) seem to be a frequent cause of relational tension. I would like to use the example of our physical body (our skin provides a boundary between our body and the world around us) to illustrate a few points about some characteristics of boundaries, and the purposes of boundaries. First, we need to acknowledge that one purpose of a boundary is to distinguish where an object/person starts and ends.  This is my body and... Continue reading...

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June 4, 2014 9:30 am
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A Major Obstacle to Growing as a Leader: Blaming Others

Since I have worked as a psychologist and business coach over the past 20 years, I have had the opportunity to observe and interact with thousands of individuals and groups. Obviously, some people are more healthy and functional than others. We all have problems, so the existence or experience of having difficulties in our lives is not the factor which discriminates between individuals who are doing well in their lives and those who are having ongoing, significant challenges. There are individuals who (for whatever reason) live their lives according to a different set of rules — principles which really do... Continue reading...

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May 22, 2014 5:55 pm
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Value Others to be Valuable

We’ve all heard the phrase, “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”  It’s a myth. It’s just not true. In our hyper-connected world, whether or not you have the best mousetrap doesn’t get you the business, land you the job or even make you memorable. It might make you visible and that’s about as far as the “best mousetrap” will get you. The phrase needs amendment to read, “even if you have the best mousetrap in the world if people don’t know you, or like you and trust you – then they’re not... Continue reading...

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May 14, 2014 2:37 pm
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So You Want to Work at Google? How to Make Your Workplace “The” Place to Work

So you want to work at Google? Or Apple? Or one of the “cool” places where they have free food, flexible work hours, and an informal work environment?  But the challenge is – you don’t live near Silicon Valley or have the skill set they require. (The second issue is the real limitation, isn’t it?) So what can you do where you work currently?  Even though you may not be the owner of your company, or even a high level executive, you can help make your workplace become “the” place to work.  Really. It is all about influence. We all... Continue reading...

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April 20, 2014 8:39 pm
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Solution #2 for Finding Good Employees: Train Your Current Employees

In a prior post on the challenges employers are having in finding qualified applicants for the positions they need to fill, I shared that there are three strategies that, over time, can help employers and managers address this problem.  The first solution is to keep your valued employees by making sure they feel appreciated. The second way to fill empty slots in your organization is to train and mentor current employees who have potential but who need to grow. We often have employees who are “okay” but who have an area of deficiency or a character quality they need to... Continue reading...

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April 7, 2014 10:34 am
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Why Authenticity is All You Need During the Holidays

We all feel a lot of pressure regarding things we “should do” during the holidays — for our family, friends, co-workers, clients, boss.  It gets to the point that the expectations feel overwhelming, and the temptation is just to “shut down” and do nothing (for anyone!)  This is typically not a good solution. Let me offer an alternative solution to you: be yourself.  Be genuinely you during the holidays.   Don’t try to impress people.  Don’t do things just to “look good” or because “you are supposed to”. Let me explain.  There is more than enough “image management” going on in... Continue reading...

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December 5, 2013 11:16 pm
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What Does the “I Quit” Viral Video Tell Us? (Resend)

Friends, I am aware that the links to the two video clips did not work (they somehow got changed in the posting process).  I have corrected the links and you should be able to view the videos now.  Sorry for the inconvenience! *     *      *     *     *     * About a week ago, a frustrated young professional posted a video announcing and celebrating her quitting her job (ironically, at a company who creates videos to be watched on the Internet).  If you haven’t seen the video yet, please click here and take two minutes to watch it.  Why?  Well, first, it... Continue reading...

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October 10, 2013 8:30 am
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VideoBlog Interview with David Hassell (cited by Forbes as “The Most Connected Man You Don’t Know in Silicon Valley”)

Friends, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by David Hassell of 15Five.com for his blog. David is a young entrepreneur and sports enthusiast who was recently on the cover of Forbes magazine and cited as “the most connected man you don’t know in Silicon Valley”. I was able to share some of the lessons we have been learning about the workplace over the past couple of years, including the fact that most employee recognition programs don’t have much impact on individual team members feeling valued and appreciated. The interview is short (< 15 minutes). I hope you’ll take the... Continue reading...

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June 19, 2013 1:49 pm
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Perspectives on Perseverance

One of the benefits I receive from the work I do with family-owned businesses and successful business leaders is the opportunity to hear their life (and business’ life) story, and learn from them (hopefully!) . One of the questions we typically ask in our interviews is: “To what do you attribute your financial and business success?” Common answers are “perseverance”,  “sticking to it over the long haul”, “continuing to do what we knew was right”.  (Other frequent responses are: “being in the right place at the right time”, “luck”, “God’s blessing”,  depending on their worldview.) It is often helpful to... Continue reading...

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February 10, 2013 9:56 pm
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The Dangerous Pathway of Rescuing Others from Their Choices

I have been working with families, kids, teens and young adults for 30 years now.  One of the most common challenges I see individuals experience is knowing when to let their family members experience the results of their choices and when to intervene and “rescue” them from the negative consequences they will be facing. (Interestingly, the situation often occurs with adult siblings, as well as the more common incidents with children – regardless of their age.) The pattern can start subtly and innocently (for example, taking Johnny’s report to school for him when he left it home accidentally) but, if... Continue reading...

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January 13, 2013 9:24 pm
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The Commonalities between Healthy Organizations & Successful Individuals

Recently, I was privileged to hear Patrick Lencioni speak at the Willow Creek Association Leadership Summit, and I have also been reading his excellent book, The Advantage. Patrick believes that, while most companies and organizations have the technical and knowledge aspects of business down, “the advantage” the more successful organizations and businesses have is being a “healthy organization”.  He defines healthy organizations as being characterized by: Minimal politics Minimal confusion High levels of productivity High staff morale, and Low staff turnover (among good employees). Patrick’s research and professional experience indicates that when a company has their intellectual side (strategy, marketing,... Continue reading...

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August 26, 2012 8:40 pm
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5 Tips for Improving Your Workplace

Labor Day used to be a day to recognize the benefits of organized labor and, more broadly, celebrate the American work ethic. More recently, however, it serves as a painful reminder of the deterioration of the American workplace. The national statistics, with unemployment between 9 percent and 17 percent depending on whom you ask, are bad enough. But even for the employed, work has become a barely bearable chore, with only 45 percent of workers in a recent survey saying they were happy with their careers. Many companies have withheld raises and bonuses over the past two years while reducing... Continue reading...

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September 5, 2011 12:26 pm
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Lessons Learned from Media Interviews

In the past two weeks since the launch of Dr. Chapman’s and my book, the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, I have had over 20 media interviews — radio (mostly), TV, and print.  It has been a fun and interesting experience — and I have more to do in the coming weeks. I thought I would share some of the lessons and observations I have made from these interviews with radio & TV hosts, and magazine writers. Most people understand and agree that appreciation in the workplace is needed and can be extremely impactful. Everyone sees that the... Continue reading...

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August 13, 2011 11:04 am
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Too Much Information — Tips for Managing Information Overload

“TMI”  (“too much information”) is a message teens and young adults sometimes send to their peers — or even their parents.  But usually it is used in the context of  “that is more personal or detailed information about that situation than I ever wanted to know.” As is becoming more and more obvious, however, “too much information” is an issue that is affecting the quality of our lives.  There is no longer any doubt that there is far more information available and being generated than anyone can process. But how we deal with information overload is partially related to our... Continue reading...

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July 17, 2011 5:46 pm
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The Attitude of Learning — Demonstrated by a 70 year old World Leader

Wow.  There are some life experiences that almost take your breath away.  I’m not talking about riding a rollercoaster, or seeing an outstanding artistic performance.  But a quieter experience, that upon reflection, has a deep impact on you.  This week I had one of those. I had the privilege of going to New York City to help facilitate a discussion among 20+ extremely bright, very successful individuals as part of an event sponsored by Princeton University (I had the opportunity to be there as a result of a friend’s invitation.) So, here we were in this conference room, seated around... Continue reading...

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May 4, 2011 7:46 pm
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Making Difficult Decisions – Some Principles for Our Leaders to Consider

Our political leaders have some very difficult issues to manage: Not enough tax revenue to pay for commitments made; The need to cut expenditures, with the accompanying result of displeasing (and even angering) constituents in the areas reduced; Seemingly unrealistic expectations from the general public – wanting “less government” and reduced taxes, but still wanting the same level of services provided; Rules and regulations which have accumulated over the years that, on the one hand, provide some protection for consumers but, on the other hand, drive up the costs of production for goods and services; Probable inefficiencies and waste in areas of... Continue reading...

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February 24, 2011 4:26 pm
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Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen,… Understanding Social Change

If you are like me, you may be intrigued by the events of the past two weeks in the Middle East.  The rapid social change that is happening (or trying to happen) in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, and potentially other countries is both fascinating, curious, and sometimes scary. I clearly have little knowledge or expertise of Middle Eastern politics or of Arab cultures (they are not unitary, you know.  Just like there are cultural differences among Western countries.)  But there are some common themes that may be helpful to watch for as we watch, hear or read the news. People... Continue reading...

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February 4, 2011 8:22 pm
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Do You Communicate in Morse Code, FM radio waves or HDTV?

The fact that people have different communication styles in not news. However, I have found a “word picture” that seems to really help individuals get a better sense of how different they are from others, and also gives a clearer understanding on the challenges they have in communicating effectively with those close to them. There is a wide range in how each of us: a) think about the world around us; b) create messages in our minds; c) communicate what we are thinking; and d) decode and interpret the messages we receive. Essentially, we each are “wired” differently, and that... Continue reading...

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January 1, 0201 2:27 pm
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