I write about anything that can help leaders gain a snappy, specific set of skills for managing up and managing teams.
A client gave me this sign. We are both obsessed with words and how to use them.
I spend all day talking. Or listening to someone else talk. I think about what to say back to an executive, guiding them in what they say or write.
I make it easier for them to communicate. To get it out, get it sorted, get their desires, asks, and concerns out.
Many days around 7 pm, I feel as if I lose my ability to speak. I can no longer help someone think about what to say or what to write.
Silence is my preferred language for the first 30 minutes upon returning home (and for the short commute from my one-person office suite).
My kids are teenagers, so silence is frequently the language of the house.
I try not to read into it. Even when my kids don’t speak, they say a lot—with their faces.
I can push and get answers from them when I need to. And since I live with them and have known them so long, I...
"We approach everything asking one question: given my agenda, will this help me, or will this hurt me? If the answer is neither, it's white noise." -Lisa Cron
I'm reading a fabulous book called Story or Die by Lisa Cron.
I'm learning a lot about using the power of story to influence decisions in my 1:1 and team coaching work.
I know people love stories. I know humans respond well to, "Let me tell you a story" or "It's time for a story."
I know having a beginning, middle, and end helps people follow what someone's saying.
But I didn't know much about how the brain wants a story. And how it reacts to stories.
And how it reacts to facts. (They are second-class, compared to story.)
As an executive coach, I've long considered myself a co-storyteller. Someone who helps others to tell stories.
If the story comes from me, it's about getting people to change their behavior as leaders.
I want these leaders to understand these...
Languishing is the Verb of the Month . . . And Your High Performers Know It
Do You Feel This Way?
Frustrated yet kinda focused. Working but not as productive as before. Not depressed yet not really happy. Lost in thought and really looking forward to another night on the couch with Netflix.
I hear the above from CEOs, founders, VPs, new managers, individual contributors, friends, neighbors . . . most everyone.
Does any of it sound familiar to you?
Adam Grant's recent New York Times piece is a "don't miss it you'll love it" article.
Yes, I need less trite language to express how important this piece is you, your team, and your company. Anyway, please read it.
Grant, author of Give and Take, writes about this funk we're all in.
It's not burnout or depression or hopelessness, but it's definitely something.
Here's what it is: languishing.
Languishing was coined by Corey Keyes, a sociologist who was trying to figure out why people who weren't stress weren't thriving either. They were...
You Have Ideas: Put Them Into Start, Stop Continue
Start, Stop, Continue is one of my favorite brainstorming and organizing techniques.
I use it often in executive coaching discussions, and over the past month, I’ve been using it to spring clean my mind and my business.
Let me explain.
I’m sure you’ve found yourself feeling like this at some time, probably recently.
You want to say something, you need to tackle something, you have something brewing in your mind, you have ideas for brainstorming yet somehow putting them on paper or in a Miro board or typing them feels too hard.
The problem seems too big to get ideas out. Because your ideas feel small. Or too simple. Or too few for, again, a big problem.
You have stuff to say, but you need categories or prompts to begin to organize and validate your thoughts.
This is where and how the model of Start, Stop, Continue comes to your rescue.
It’s as simple as it looks and sounds.
I’m a bit angry, and I have some thoughts that you will find useful if 1) you are a leader and/or 2) you need to learn about what good leaders do (and what bad ones tend to never think about).
If you want the one-sentence version of this newsletter in one sentence, here it is: be clear on who you are, what you do, and then what you say.
This story starts with someone who had a title, gave it up, and now is adopting the title that once belonged to the CIO: the Chief Information Officer.
Prince Harry (yes, that prince) is in the news again. He’s the new Chief Impact Officer for BetterUp. BetterUp is (their website says so) described like this: “The BetterUp experience brings together world-class coaching, AI technology, and behavioral science experts to deliver change at scale.”
Harry is a royal, a former military officer, a friend of Oprah’s, a husband, a dad, and, oh, yeah, a guy with Spotify and Netflix deals.
It's the truth. We (you, me, humans) aren't great at talking.
Most of us get a failing grade at conversations because we:
#5 is my favorite one to tackle with clients. They often want to break down what they are “going to tell” others.
Here’s a peek into how that plays out in a coaching conversation:
Client: "I'm going to tell [insert most anything]."
Leila: “Cool. You go and . . . tell them. And then what?”
C-level person/Founder/VP/leader: “What do you mean ‘and then what’...
Most of us agree that building trust is essential at all levels of our careers.
And most of us don’t give much thought to how to go about building trust. We assume that people will see our work, see that we’re good at it, and then start to trust us. Bingo. Trust built!
That's far from how it works.
Building trust doesn’t have to be complicated, and it’s something you need to be aware of and be actively working to make happen. Since most of us are continuing to work from home, it’s even more important to ensure your employees know that you’re there still for them and that they can still rely on you.
During 2020 it was easy to think, “We just need to get through this year.” As a result, you might have put off some necessary and hard work around building trust with your team.
I get it! It was difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that how we had to work in 2020 was the way we would be working in 2021.
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Even if you’re not a new manager, you may be surprised that you’ve never had some of these conversations. So, start talking, manager!
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