Bring Me a Rock

My husband has a great analogy for ineffective communication that goes like this:  It’s like when they say, “Bring me a rock”. You go outside, grab the first rock you see, and take it to them. They say “No, we need a different rock.” You go back outside, grab a different rock, take it back, and they say “No, not that rock. It needs to be gray.” And so on and so forth until you eventually figure out that they wanted a big, round, gray rock from the bottom of the Mississippi River. How were you supposed to know that?

Today I Was Biased

This morning my 16-year-old informed me that tomorrow is “Senior Day” for Homecoming week and as part of the SGA leadership team, he has to dress up as a senior citizen. The immediate image in my head was that of an old man with a branded t-shirt, khaki pants held up by wide suspenders, and clunky white tennis shoes. So that’s what we went with. Why that’s the image that popped into my mind, I don’t know. My dad is 71, he’s a senior citizen, and he’s never dressed like that. My uncles don’t dress like that. In fact, no

Board Service; What is my role?

Over the past few months, we’ve had several requests to facilitate training for boards of directors. Just last week, I met with a relatively newly formed board. They were receptive, attentive, and appreciative of the nuggets of information I shared. Source: National Council of Nonprofits   Board governance is the primary purpose of a board. They aren’t tasked with handling the day-to-day activities, such as staffing. Every training I’ve done has been organized by a competent, engaged director hired by the board. Boards should focus on the mission of the organization, be transparent and make financial decisions that are in

Are You (or Someone You Know) a Jerk at Work?

coworkers

We’re fortunate to work with hundreds of different people across industries and state lines, and we learn something new with each project and grow personally from every relationship. We also hear many, many stories about bad managers and toxic coworkers. Back in 2019, Lorrie addressed the question, Are Your Top Employees Also Your Most Toxic?.  When I’m facilitating leadership or communication training, I often get the feedback, “I think I can try these strategies and behaviors with most of my coworkers, but what do I do with someone who is just a jerk?”. If we have the opportunity for more

Feed Your Future With Feedback & Feedforward

Next week, I’m talking about Feedback and Feedforward at the Tennessee SHRM Conference. While preparing for this session, I’m reflecting on my own feedback and feedforward skills. Am I following my own advice in giving meaningful feedback and practicing feedforward? If I do receive input from others, am I following up and actually implementing any change? Are you?  Just this morning, I received (unsolicited) feedback from my husband that I have not been practicing what I preach in work-life balance. I enjoy my work, paid and volunteer, so much that I have found myself with a plate that isn’t just

4 Reasons Why Bad Experiences are the Best Lessons in Leadership

David Letterman most likely had it right when he said, “Life experience is the best teacher.”  But I’d add a word and say that BAD life experiences are probably the best teacher, at least when you’re trying to grow in leadership and you’re willing to learn from them.  Our Horizon Point team had a discussion about something related to this concept in a meeting based on some client experience that I can’t even recall now. This led to the idea of using this theme for a blog post.   My team encouraged me to write about the lessons learned from difficult

Unlimited Paid Time Off- The What, How, and Most Importantly, the Why

  If you believe employees need strict rules and enforcement to be productive, hiring and retaining high-performance people will be a challenge for you. You hired these people for their tenacity and talents. Get out of the way and let them be great. Deal with any people who choose not to meet expectations on a case-by-case basis.”  Sue Bingham, HBR article   My husband came home one day and told me about a conversation he had with a friend about her company’s recent switch to unlimited paid time off (PTO). “Is that really a thing?” he asked me. “Yep,” I

Benefits Benchmarks: North Central Alabama

A few weeks ago, I asked the question “Are Employees Utilizing Those New Perks?” and highlighted benchmarking as a critical activity for evaluating workplace benefits. Now, we have the published results from the 2022 North Central Alabama Wage & Benefit Survey! First up, Average Benefit-Cost Per Employee (Annual) increased 25% over 2021. Employers reported an average of $16,608 spent annually per employee in benefits, compared to $12,459 one year ago. Some hot categories for increased benefits spending are Child Care Support, Adoption Support, Pet Insurance, and Elder Care Support. These types of benefits are increasingly attractive, and the Huntsville/Madison County

3 Leadership Lessons from Garth Brooks

We call them strong Those who can face this world alone Who seem to get by on their own Those who will never take the fall We call them weak Who are unable to resist The slightest chance love might exist And for that forsake it all They’re so hell-bent on giving, walking a wire Convinced it’s not living if you stand outside the fire Standing outside the fire Standing outside the fire Life is not tried it is merely survived If you’re standing outside the fire Garth Brooks- Standing Outside the Fire   My husband and I attended a

Building the Bridge Between Survive and Thrive in the Workplace

Oftentimes getting from one place to another requires a bridge to cross. A connection point between two things that seem unconnected or so far apart they can’t be reached by conventional means is necessary. These “bridges” are often grounded in both sides of what they are trying to connect. They are meaningless and useless if they don’t have two sides for anchoring. So is true of meeting survival needs and getting to “thrive” needs in the workplace. Relational needs are the bridge. Relational needs have roots and support in both survive and thrive and they provide a way between the two.  Meeting relational needs is the