Is Employment Really At-Will?

One of the questions I often help employers work through is can they terminate an employee. And too often I hear “But we’re in an at-will state” or “we’re an at-will employer”. At-will employment is often misinterpreted to mean that an employer can terminate an employee whenever they please, and while at-will employment policies do state that the employee or employer can terminate employment at any time, with or without cause, and with or without notice, there are limitations to that on the part of the employer.  First, all states are at-will employment states. Some states have added legislation that

Tails and Tales of Remote Work

“I’m sorry, I’m working from home and my dog is barking.” How many times have you said or heard this lately? I have a mini schnauzer with a not-so-mini personality, so I’m an experienced “I’m sorry my dog is barking” professional. So is the HR leader who said that exact sentence on our call this morning.  By now, many of us have been working remotely for months. Some for years. We’ve adopted new methods, like wearing pajama shorts under that sharp shirt and blazer because no one really ever sees below our shoulders. We’ve found a new rhythm. We work

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

Leaders, So What Is Skill and What Is Will?

Related Blog Posts: Leaders, Know the Skill and Will of Those You Lead The Lactation Consultant For the Love, Leave Me Alone!: How (Not) to Lead When Skill and Will Are High Tell 🡪Show 🡪 Do: Leading when Someone has High Will and Low Skill Find Another Seat (or Challenge) or Get Off the Bus? How to Lead when Skill is High but Will is Low A Final Thought on Leading for Skill and Will: It’s a Long Term Game, Not a Short One

A Final Thought on Leading for Skill and Will: It’s a Long Term Game, Not a Short One

I’m on a plane with my third-grade son, traveling to Washington D.C. He is taking a math test beside me.  We are headed up to our nation’s capital for a work conference I have, and he and my dad are along for the ride.  He’s coming to actually see some of the things he’s been learning in school about government and democracy.  With the trip being counted as a “field trip” for him instead of an absence, the schoolwork, including tests he’s missing, come with us. He is to complete them and return them for grading the Monday after we arrive

Find Another Seat (or Challenge) or Get Off the Bus? How to Lead when Skill is High but Will is Low

We’ve all seen someone there before.  We’ve most likely also been there before ourselves.  One of the most, if not the most knowledgeable and experienced person in the room.  The one that can do the task or assignment with his or her eyes closed. Possibly the smartest person in the room.  But somehow, they are also the most disinterested person in the room.  Whether this disengagement comes from boredom or burnout, you can’t be sure, but it is obvious they’d rather be anywhere doing anything other than what they are really good at doing.   You need them to do it,

Tell 🡪Show 🡪 Do: Leading when Someone has High Will and Low Skill

I watched my friend resist the urge to buckle her toddler into her stroller.  She could have done it well and much quicker than her little one, but she took a deep breath and said, “Ok, you buckle yourself in just like I showed you.”  The precious little girl smiled up at her and said, “Okay mommy!” with pure joy.    The same was true with my five-year-old who has wanted so badly to put her hair up in a ponytail holder by herself.   I walked out to the car the other day and she beamed with pride. While waiting

The Number One Thing that Leads to Team Success

The last three books about workplace effectiveness I’ve read have all discussed it.  Two of our clients are having lots of trouble with it. It is what research shows us leads to team success more than any other factor.  It is the concept of psychological safety.  According to Amy Edmondson, a lead researcher on the topic, “Psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.”  And according to research conducted by Google:  Following the success of Google’s Project Oxygen research where the People Analytics team studied what makes a great

Can I Get Your Attention?

I’m the mother of three boys. Two teenagers and one about to hit that “preteen” stage. Most days I want to bang my head against the wall. I feel like I need a support group for moms of teens. I miss when they were little and hung on my every word. Now I’m lucky if I can get them to take the earbuds out long enough to hear anything I say.  We recently went on vacation and I forced them to put their phones away and engage in conversation with me. That request got me dirty looks and eye rolls.

Leaders, Know the Skill and Will of Those You Lead

I’ve found myself talking about skill and will a lot lately.  Whether it be in one-on-one leadership coaching sessions or in group training, the conversation is often directed towards customizing a leadership approach based on the needs of the person being “led”.  Much of our basic leadership training modules focus on customization based on personality, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. A person’s level of skill in doing a job or task and a person’s will to do the job or task (which includes aspects of personality) are critical to success.  So what is skill and what