Leadership Perspectives

7 questions to see if communication issues are damaging your team’s productivity

The purpose of a team is to utilize diverse talents, experience, and world views to make better plans, arrive at sounder conclusions, and solve thornier problems than one might be able to do on one’s own. That diversity of thought and experience is what makes teams so effective, yet it is the very same thing […]

Don’t tell me what you can’t do for me

Ever notice how hardwired we are to respond to someone who is positive?  Want proof?  Doesn’t your heart lift just a bit every time you happen to catch a few bars of Happy?  You know it. “Because I’m happy, Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof, Because I’m happy, Clap along […]

That’s a fact! (Isn’t it?)

Leaders need to exercise caution in regards to what they accept – or put out into the world – as fact.  The problem is that often what people state as fact is something else altogether. In a recent leadership workshop that I facilitated, the team started discussing the concept of objective truth backed up with […]

Speaking your truth with courage and compassion

Most of us learned at an early age not to let everything that pops into our heads come out of our mouths.  Thinking before one speaks is generally a good idea.  It can keep us from saying things that we will later regret. But can self-censorship go too far?  Absolutely. Do you find that you […]

DC’s Eight Wonders of Effective Communication

Ask many leaders to tell you what they really want to work on, in terms of improving their on-the-job performance, and Communication, with a big capital C, invariably shows up on a lot of people’s lists.  Sometimes leaders mean that they need to start telling people about things, being more transparent, and sharing with others […]

How to make an effective request

Sometimes things – jobs, friendships, marriages, employee behavior or even our boss’s behavior – aren’t what we want them to be.  Often, we resort to complaining about it, usually to the people who have the least amount of power to change the situation. Last time, I talked about the importance of making requests rather than […]

A complaint is just a request not spoken. Have you made your request?

A colleague of mine once said that a complaint is just a request not spoken.  This stuck with me, partly because I help leaders learn how to make appropriate requests, and also because I am repeatedly struck by how much complaining some people do without really ever seeming to do anything about the things that […]

Talking about what matters

Last night I had a peculiar dream. I was driving on a wide, two-lane commercial road near my home.  Suddenly, in front of me, there was an elephant.  I mean a real honest-to-goodness live elephant.  He was in my lane, staring straight at me, and he did not look happy. As I slowed down and […]

To communicate better, rewrite your conversations

Have you ever had a conversation and then wished you could have a do-over?  Perhaps you struggled to succinctly express your point, observed that your words did not have the impact that you intended, or left a conversation feeling dissatisfied? This happens to leaders all the time.  Many leaders who are extroverts find out what […]

Why we really don’t listen very well

Leaders, you know how important listening is.  And you probably know some distinctions around “active listening.”  But if you are like many leaders, you still don’t listen very well. March is International Listening Awareness Month.  One key to better listening awareness is understanding the barriers to listening and working to overcome those barriers. The are […]