What the Dog Saw During the Crisis

It all started at home before it started everywhere, I think.  It started to rain and thunder.  I hate rain and thunder, so I settled in my spot under the porch to wait it all out.  Then there was a big bang. The rain stopped. Then came a smell, then sirens.  Between the smell and the sirens, my master came home.  He looked concerned as he came through the garage and onto the porch. He didn’t so much as acknowledge me, he just looked up to the sky and then rushed inside.  Then the sirens came, and everyone was suddenly

3 Things Leaders Don’t Do in Times of Crisis

We are still in the midst of an unprecedented time in our country and world, with so many unknowns related to COVID-19 and its impact on quite literally everything. Last week, I wrote about 4 things leaders do in times of crisis based on my observations of leaders in action. Well, we’ve been on this train of crisis for over a week now locally, and just like there are observations about how to behave as a leader, I’ve been exposed to how not to behave as a leader during times of distress. Through further observations, here are three things leaders

4 Keys to Leading through Crisis

We are experiencing unprecedented times given the ever-evolving issues with COVID-19.  It is scary and unnerving for everyone, especially those leading during this time of crisis.   I’ve been watching a few leaders in action over these last few days.  Their actions have provided some insights into the courage, energy, and attitude that is required to inspire and influence others when things are uncertain, novel, and anxiety-ridden.  Here is what I’ve learned leaders need to do during all situations of leadership, but most especially when leading through a crisis:  1. Lead by Example:  First, leaders do what they say they will

Our Schedules Communicate Priorities

On a Sunday morning about 7 AM, I was in the middle of a run. It was a quiet, beautiful fall morning until I looped back around and through the sports and water park complex near my house.  Cars started driving by and turning into the parking lot by the tennis center. I could hear an abundance of tennis balls popping off rackets as, what seemed to be, many people warming up. I’ve run by on other Sunday mornings about that time to see what couldn’t be older than five and six-year-olds warming up for soccer matches. The minivans and

How to be Authentic with Your Appreciation at Work

What is your most desired love language- or language of appreciation- at work? The Motivating by Appreciation (MBA) Inventory assessment can help you and your colleagues discern this.  What makes giving and receiving appreciation at work so hard?  Often, it is the simple fact that we’ve been conditioned to follow the golden rule instead of the platinum one. The golden rule says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  So in context, if my language of appreciation is quality time, then the way I live the golden rule is to give you quality time because

Should We Throw Touch as a Love Language at Work out the Window?

The Five Love Languages for romantic relationships and parents and children can also be applied at work.  Adapted to be the Five Love Languages of Appreciation instead of love in the workplace, the approach is the same. Know what other people need and give them that.  Even though the developers of this concept replace “appreciation” for “love” when applied to the workplace, I have no problem with calling it love languages at work.  Our workplaces can and are better places when we show love in the right way and context everywhere we go.  Including the office. Especially in the office. 

How to Serve at Work (and at Home)

The sink is piled high with dishes. The trash is overflowing. Laundry hasn’t been done in days. The baby is crying, and the third grader needs help with homework.   And my husband is playing Xbox.  I don’t want to have to ask for help, I want him to notice I need help and do it.  My urge for him to read my mind and miraculously unload the dishes and clean out the sink without me having to ask is temporarily outweighed by how bad the dishes piled up are bothering me.  “Could you empty the dishwasher and reload it, please?”

The Way We Fail at Work with our Words and our Gifts

Expressing love at work may seem like a little too much.  But in reality, showing love is really showing people you care.  It isn’t about recognizing people’s accomplishments, it’s about appreciating people for who they are.  When we are talking about love at work, we are really talking about how to show people you appreciate them.  We talked about how to apply quality time as a love language at work on the blog last week. Quality time is a love language that is sometimes hard to know how to apply to work, but the love languages that are most and

4 Ways to Apply Quality Time at Work

“Would you rather me 1) give you a high five or 2) work on a puzzle with you?” I asked my five and nine-year-old over the holiday break.   It was one set of about twenty force choice questions from the Five Love Languages for Kids quiz I was giving them in order to explore how my husband and I can continue to be mindful of how we can best customize our parenting to each child.  Both easily answered, “Work on a puzzle with you.”  The Love Languages quiz started in romantic relationships and describes five primary love languages:  Physical Touch

6 Ways to Help Create Caring Instead of Callous Leaders

I have the opportunity to coach a lot of middle managers. Quite often they are middle-aged men, and I’m working with them because there is some issue with how they lead (or actually don’t lead) others.    Through some type of feedback mechanism, these men are described mildly as “aloof” or “disinterested” (always related to how they are with people, not necessarily the tasks or functions of their job) to more extreme words like “jerk” or “a**hole”.  I’m brought in most of the time to try to fix their “personality”. Making them more caring and a better leader of people is