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In the topic 'Communicating, Motivating & Influencing'


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Webinar: 6 Key Ingredients for Inspirational Leadership – Discover Your Personal Recipe!

What does it take to be an inspiring leader? Positive and perky? Pep talks? High fives? I was invited by a hall of fame NFL quarterback to give a leadership presentation to his senior management team in their offices. He was building a very successful national company on a high growth trajectory. As we toured […]

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The Unlikable Leader: 7 Ways to Improve Employee/Boss Relationships

Can a leader be highly effective (increase productivity, profitability, service/quality levels, boost safety, etc.) without being liked? Less effective leaders often think so. They might declare “it’s not a popularity contest, I don’t care if people like me; my job is to get results.” Unlikable leaders get results alright — poor and unlikable results. Zenger […]

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Communication Confusion: Balancing Electronic and Human Connections

Does your team/organization need more communication? Would you like to get more e-mails? Most workshop participants give an emphatic yes in response to the first question and a deafening no to the second. Yet when told that team/organization members want more communication many leaders respond with ccing more people or sending more e-mails. During the […]

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The Quality of our Communication Determines the Quality of our Lives and Workplaces

Ironically, in today’s age of instantaneous communication and technologies that have made us a global village, communication breakdowns are the single biggest complaint we hear from our Clients. It’s a complex issue with both cause and effect tightly intertwined. In many cases, people don’t have the skills to address tough issues with each other. And […]

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Six Different Pathways to Inspirational Leadership

A few months ago in Charismatic Leadership is Vastly Overrated I quoted from a European study published in Sloan Management Review on the downside of charisma. I also quoted Good to Great author, Jim Collins, reporting on his findings that charisma can be more of a leadership liability than an asset. Despite the mounting proof […]

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Charismatic Leadership Is Vastly Overrated

With last week’s death of the “Iron Lady,” former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, many world leaders and commentators looked back on her forceful and charismatic personality. Charismatic leadership is a popular media stereotype of strong leadership. As much as I’ve enjoyed reading Fortune magazine for the past few decades, they keep adding to this […]

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Draw from Sales Training to Develop Critical Influencing Skills

Persuasion and influence skills have always been a big part of leadership effectiveness. In today’s complex and matrix organizations these skills are central to our success. There are many people and situations that we don’t have direct control over. This could be upward to more senior leaders, outward to our peers and other departments, and […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on… Involved Leadership

The messenger must be the message. The most effective communication is face-to-face. But the most believable communication is behavior. We would all much rather see than hear a sermon. Many well intentioned managers lead change or improvement efforts that are all about changing everyone else while they carry on pretty much as before. They’re preaching […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…..Education and Communication to the “Why Generation”

Failing to understand, believe, and share a sense of urgency for why higher levels of customer service – or other organizational transformations are needed – is a major reason the failure rate for change and renewal efforts hovers around 60 – 75%. Today’s younger generations of workers have an even higher need to buy-in to […]

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Improving Customer Service: Avoid These Common Pitfalls and Traps to Education and Communication

My last blog post (The Why Generation) argued for investing much more time and effort in getting today’s younger generations of workers to understand and buy-in to why changes are needed in the programs, products, or services they support or provide. Strong and continuous education and communications is critical.  If you’re leading efforts to improve […]

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The Why Generation: Engage Today’s Workers as Change Partners or Watch Them Turn Off Customers

There’s lots of talk these days about effectively leading Generation X, Y and other demographic groups in today’s workplace. While each group has varying needs and interests, a very common need is understanding why team or organization changes are needed. Parents and teachers from “The Boomer Generation” spent more time than their parents ever did […]

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Tone of Voice: It’s All in How We’re Saying It

Most people want and appreciate a boss or work colleague who is direct and to the point. But it’s about the way that’s conveyed. We’ve all found ourselves resisting someone else not because of what they are saying, but how they are saying it. They may strike us as arrogant, unfeeling, rude, or overly critical. […]

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Bridging the Credibility Gap

Credibility, trust, and integrity are becoming ever larger issues with management teams at all organizational levels. People are looking for more from their leaders. As they fail to get the leadership they crave, a large credibility gap is opening up. In many cases, it’s becoming a chasm. For example, nearly fifty percent of people don’t […]

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Information versus Communication

Many managers are great at supplying information, but they’re not so good at communication. In this “information age,” our organizational lives are overflowing with e-mails, voice mails, phone calls, newsletters, books, articles, manuals, and web pages. Like the sailor marooned in a lifeboat on the high seas, we have water, water everywhere, but not a […]

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Tips and Techniques for Inspiring Through Verbal Communications

Build a repertoire of teachable stories. Collect and catalogue the best examples of your organization’s key principles in action. Circulate those stories inside and outside your organization through the media (where appropriate). Write up collections of case studies illustrating tough decisions, trade-offs, outstanding performance, dealing effectively with changes, etc. Embed the stories in training and […]

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E-mail Peeves and Protocols

Most managers are doing far too little to mitigate the destructive and wasteful effects of e-mail misuse. Like a B-movie, the e-mail monster keeps growing larger and consuming more time and resources (“E-zilla: The Insatiable Beast”). Some of the more common abuses I hear about in my workshops are: CC-ing the World” – far too […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm…on Stories, Mythology, and Metaphors

“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” – Muriel Rukeyser, American novelist, poet, biographer, and screenwriter   “Wherever a story comes from, whether it is a familiar myth or a private memory, the retelling exemplifies the making of a connection from one pattern to another: a potential translation in which narrative becomes parable and […]

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