Categories for Leadership

7 Reasons Why Emotional Intelligence Will Continue to Be Highly Desired

According to the World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report, emotional intelligence will be one of the top 10 job skills in 2020 The awareness that emotional intelligence has become an important job skill, even surpassing technical ability, has been growing over the last number of years. A Career Builder Survey of more than 2,600 hiring managers and human resource professionals found the following: 71 percent stated they valued emotional intelligence in an employee over IQ 75 percent said they were more likely to promote a high EI worker 59 percent claimed they would not hire someone with a high... Continue reading...

July 20, 2017 9:45 pm
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For College Graduates: The Challenges of Finding a Job

  Recently, I am working with more and more young adults who are finding it difficult to find jobs in their desired career path. And it doesn’t really matter what area they are in — business, education, computer science, marketing, graphic design. Some are recent college graduates, while others have been out of school for a while. Some of these individuals have taken short-term (e.g. one or two year) positions and now they want to “move on” in their career. And I am hearing reports back from numerous young people across the country that finding a job is harder than... Continue reading...

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May 17, 2017 8:00 am
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What Leaders Need to Be Communicating to Their Workforce

Ask any worker in corporate America and most will tell you: business leaders could be communicating more effectively with their workforce. Data collected in an Interact/Harris poll shows that most leaders aren’t engaging in crucial communication moments that could help establish trust. In fact, 91% of employees who responded to the poll said communication issues drag executives down. Instead of using effective communication strategies, leaders often display a lack of emotional intelligence by micromanaging, being indecisive, and attempting to hide their mistakes. By comparison, effective leaders are intentional about communicating with their workforce. Here are 5 ways leaders can communicate... Continue reading...

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January 19, 2017 5:00 pm
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What Employees Don’t Like About the Holidays

Some people love the holiday season, while others really don’t. In fact, it seems that a growing number of people make comments like: “I hate the holidays!” (Maybe they are just more vocal about it.) To find out more specifics, last year we sent out a survey to find out what about the holiday season employees don’t like – partly for our own education, but also to see if there were practical ideas that when implemented could reduce employees’ irritation. And there are. Over 1,200 of our readers completed our survey (within 24 hours of it being sent out!) On... Continue reading...

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December 7, 2016 11:00 am
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Don’t Be a Turkey in How You Show Appreciation this Thanksgiving

Team leaders are often encouraged (“bombarded” is actually a better word) to communicate appreciation to colleagues during the Thanksgiving holiday season. Expressing thanks for a job well done is sure to be received well, right? Not necessarily. At times, clueless managers are at risk for saying “thanks” in ways that won’t be received well. They don’t really “get” appreciation and what the big deal is – but they try anyway, and often their actions seriously miss the mark and actually wind up being offensive. Here are some actions to avoid: The “I’m off. You’re not. Enjoy the weekend!” message. This... Continue reading...

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November 15, 2016 8:00 am
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Engage Others by Helping Them Understand You

Recently, I had the privilege of conducting some communication training for a group.  We had done some previous communication training together on foundational issues of listening, so they were ready to work on some additional skills for building relationships with others. The skill set we worked on was the ways you can assist the person with whom you are talking to better understand you. Providing the context of your thoughts was the skill we focused on.  When we give each other the context of our thoughts — that is, the reason or purpose of our sharing — this greatly enhances others’ ability tounderstand us.  And... Continue reading...

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October 19, 2016 8:00 am
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Characteristics of Highly Successful Individuals

I have had the opportunity to work closely with business teams comprised of highly talented and successful professionals. Some of these high-powered teams work together well and achieve amazing results, while some of the teams are struggling a bit in working together effectively. And one of the teams had to reorganize because the team members couldn’t figure out how to work together. I’ve made some observations as well as pulled some information from other sources, about what needs to happen for a team of All-Stars to be successful as a team. Characteristics of Successful Individuals First, let’s look at some... Continue reading...

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September 16, 2016 9:00 am
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Should Appreciation Be Performance-Based?

One of the most frequent questions I am asked when I’m conducting training for a business is: Should you show appreciation to someone who isn’t performing well? 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 customers... Continue reading...

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September 12, 2016 12:08 pm
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How to Find Good Employees: 3 Ways Communicating Appreciation Can Help

The news is repetitive and blaring:  employers are complaining about the inability to find qualified applicants for positions that need to be filled.  The discussion is rather ironic — having 10+ million workers who can’t find work, while employers report they can’t find potential employees who meet the needs they have. The issue impacts multiple industries.  The key term to understand: qualified applicants.  “Qualified” does not just mean educated or trained; it also involves character. As one employer told me, they can’t find workers who can meet all three conditions necessary to work there:  a) they have the training necessary... Continue reading...

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August 31, 2016 2:01 pm
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Why Cynicism is Good for The Workplace

It seems counterintuitive, but cynicism can be a positive influence in our workplaces. How? When people are cynical, they are giving us honest feedback about how they really feel. When was the last time that you heard a cynical remark from a colleague and you accused them of not being honest regarding how they really feel? (Aside from the sarcastic remark: “So, Janice, tells us how you really feel!”) Cynicism communicates from the heart, so you don’t have to question whether the person is being honest with their comment. Cynical remarks give us a reality check with what was said,... Continue reading...

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August 22, 2016 12:16 pm
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6 Essentials for Full Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a big problem for organizations today. Research has shown that the vast majority of employees are not engaged, thus they aren’t giving their best efforts or aligning their behavior with organizational goals. A helpful way to understand how to engage employees is to consider the six universal human needs to thrive at work: respect, recognition, belonging, autonomy, personal growth and meaning. These are needs that people long to have met. And even if people are not consciously aware of them, subconsciously our human bodies are wired to have these needs met. When they are not met over time, it... Continue reading...

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July 19, 2016 2:00 am
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Addressing Workplace Incivility

While actively showing appreciation to colleagues helps create a more positive workplace, creating a workplace culture involves additional components.  Creating a workplace culture where people truly feel valued also involves eliminating behaviors that make people feel devalued. One of the worst culprits for making people feel devalued is disrespectful, condescending and rude behavior. Obviously, physical aggression is wrong. Less obvious is verbal abuse, especially if it is not clear that the instigator intended to harm the target. Remember the childhood phrase “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me?” The truth is, words can and... Continue reading...

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June 1, 2016 10:35 am
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How Appreciation Builds Resiliency

The U.S. government and all branches of the armed forces have identified the development of resiliency as a key goal to strengthen our military personnel over the long term. As a result, for the past 10 years both research and resources have been focused on determining how to make service members more able to “bounce back” after experiencing stressful and/or traumatic events during their service. Much research and emphasis has been focused on identifying individual characteristics, coping skills, and environmental factors that can help servicemen and women: a) become more prepared to manage the stressful events experienced in life; b)... Continue reading...

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May 18, 2016 1:38 pm
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Conflict Without Casualties: A Field Guide for Leading With Compassionate Accountability

I (Nate) have always had a problem with the notion of conflict reduction, management, or mediation. All of these concepts imply that conflict is something to be lessened or eradicated, as if it’s fundamentally a bad thing. I’m not surprised that many people would view conflict this way. Look around: Divisive political rhetoric, religious polarization, and global ideological warfare. Everywhere you look, conflict is generating casualties. Negative conflict, manifested as workplace drama, costs the US economy over $350 billion per year in the currency of broken relationships, dysfunctional teams, morale and engagement problems, and failure to thrive. I believe that... Continue reading...

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May 6, 2016 1:27 pm
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2, 4, 6, 8 – Who Do We Appreciate? | Advice for Small Businesses

Have you ever had school day memories float back into your mind? They can pop in at the strangest times. I remember many celebratory events at school, both academic and sports related. At each kind of occasion a bunch of classmates would spontaneously burst into a cheerleading rendition of, “2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – Who do we appreciate?” Then they would spell out the name of the person being celebrated and loudly pronounce their name at the end of the cheer. It stirred up everyone’s enthusiasm then and still brings back pleasant memories to me now. Top... Continue reading...

April 25, 2016 10:03 am
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Leading with Character: Gratitude

Definition of Gratitude Gratitude is being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks. Why Gratitude Matters The word gratitude is based on the Latin root gratia which means “grace,” “graciousness,” and “gratefulness.” Religious thinkers and moral philosophers throughout history have long appreciated gratitude. Only recently, however, have scientists come to appreciate the positive influence gratitude has on human and organizational performance. Neuroscience research has shown that positive environments improve the human brain’s ability to solve problems and think creatively. An environment where people possess the character strength of gratitude tends to be... Continue reading...

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April 18, 2016 2:01 pm
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How to Create a Culture of Love at Work: 2 Myths & 4 Practices

You’ve probably been there at some point in your life—working in an environment where people treat each other rudely, betray trust, or exhibit indifference toward co-workers. A friend of mine who is a marketing executive described one of his bosses as a “screamer.” I’ve had clients who sought out therapy primarily because their work environment was causing so much stress. A manager I recently met with was struggling with how to handle a co-worker who repeatedly puts him down publicly in front of his peers. In a recent case study, when a nurse with a long tenure informed her supervisor that her... Continue reading...

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April 13, 2016 10:00 am
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Customer Appreciation Gives Business Owners the Advantage

How do you feel when someone genuinely appreciates you for your input or 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 business owner, chances are you will perform a lot of the business’ tasks yourself, so you’ll probably relate with a lot more people than if you had a team working for you. You don’t need to be reminded of the importance of keeping customers happy. However, in the midst of all the tasks and appointments you have to keep, you might forget to... Continue reading...

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March 25, 2016 7:00 am
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The Importance of Top Down “Buy In”

My name is George Gotschall and I have been in management for about 35 years in both corporate and private enterprise.  I am currently the owner of a placement agency and a consulting company helping organizations choose their next employee wisely. In November 2014, Dr. White and Tim Hepner introduced me to the concept of Appreciation at Work and I fell in love with it!  Treating people like individuals, what a concept!  Since I am a certified behavioral analyst, the idea fit perfectly with the behavioral surveys I sell to my clients. The concept of treating employees like human beings with families,... Continue reading...

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February 9, 2016 7:00 am
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Don’t Forget—People are People, Not Machines or Rats in a Maze

Recently, I had the privilege to meet and listen to Ginger Hardage, Senior Vice President of Culture and Communications for Southwest Airlines. (I happened to be the morning keynote speaker and she was the afternoon keynote speaker.) One phrase used to describe Southwest Airlines was that they were “in the customer service business and just happened to use airplanes to help people get where they want.” Ginger’s presentation was a refreshing reminder that truly successful enterprises understand that their primary calling is to serve the customer and, that by doing so, they will be profitable.   (As opposed to the seemingly... Continue reading...

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January 17, 2016 2:50 pm
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The Importance of Appreciation During the Dark Days of Winter

Now that we are fully into the New Year and facing those long, dark winter days with cold weather and few days off from work, leaders need to take a hard look at how to support and encourage team members. This is the time of year (especially for those who like sunlight) that people often drag themselves through the day. As a psychologist who trains leaders and colleagues on how to effectively communicate appreciation in the workplace, let me offer some suggestions. Understand the nature of discouragement and burnout Discouragement and burnout, over the long haul, come from a combination... Continue reading...

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January 5, 2016 7:00 am
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Appreciation in an International Multi-Cultural Organization

Recently, I had the privilege to provide training in communicating authentic appreciation to the management and supervisors of an elite international organization.  Functioning within the tourism and hospitality industries, the staff (in one location) come from over 40 countries and six continents. As I approached the training, I was interested to see and hear if the staff desired to be appreciated for their work.  Additionally, I wanted to find out whether communicating appreciation in the workplace was relevant across many cultures.  Finally, I was curious to learn various ways employees felt comfortable receiving appreciation and what the challenges might be... Continue reading...

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July 29, 2015 11:47 am
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Two-Way Communication: Essential to Employee Engagement

Doug Conant, former turn-around CEO of the Campbell Soup Company, and Keven Kruse, a serial entrepreneur and popular keynote speaker, have something in common. Both believe that two-way communication is essential to employee engagement. Since employee engagement drives job satisfaction, high productivity, and low turnover, it is worth taking a minute or two to consider their perspective. What is employee engagement? It is the emotional connection that an employee has to the organization and its goals. A 2011 Gallup poll found that only 29% of the workforce is engaged at work. That means that more than two-thirds of people are... Continue reading...

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April 8, 2015 2:00 am
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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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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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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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Improving Your Communication: Making It Easier for Others to Understand You

Recently, I had the privilege of conducting some communication training for a group in Northern California.  We had done some previous communication training together on foundational issues of listening, so they were ready to work on some additional skills for building relationships with others.  The skill set we worked on was the ways you can assist the person with whom you are talking to better understand you. Providing the context of your thoughts was the skill we focused on.  When we give each other the context of our thoughts — that is, the reason or purpose of our sharing —... Continue reading...

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June 23, 2014 4:46 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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