What’s Your Leadership Mindset on Empathy & Expectations?

Having high expectations of people. Being empathetic. I’ve written about this balancing act before. Are they in conflict with each other, or are they actually complementary? When they seem to be in conflict with each other, which way should we lean? No greater example illustrates this than something I’ve been struggling with lately. In three particular instances (two recent, one a few years ago) I’ve had someone tell me and/or a family member that they are going to do something or take care of something. Not one of these things has been followed through on. Being that one of my first

The Changing World of Work: Is the Policy Going to Die?

You all know I hate policies for the sake of policies. Rules follower I am not, so when I see that one of the potential trends in the way work is changing is a swing away from policies, I get excited. Now throwing policies out the window isn’t being adopted by all, case in point this experience I had recently but with the need for innovation and adaptability in order to attract and retain talent and therefore meet customer needs, trends are arising to simplify or scratch policies all together. For example, companies like Netflix have scratched vacation and sick

Goal Setting for Students

I’ve always been a list maker. I love to make a list at the end of each work day, so I can draw a red line through item after time the following work day. And, by the way, I don’t just do this for work. I do it for everything: grocery list, kid’s activities for the week, Christmas shopping list, cleaning for the week and the list goes on and on. I’m the queen of lists. That being said, even though I’m a list maker, I’m still not as organized as I would like to be. But, when I began

3 Questions for Balancing Empathy and Expectations as a Leader

Quite a while ago, I wrote about the “Es of LEadership” with empathy being one of them.  Not included in these essential “Es” was “expectations”.   And as the article on empathy points to, sometimes managing expectations and having empathy seem to be in direct conflict. Setting, communicating, monitoring and maintaining expectations is a critical skill for leaders.  We must maximize performance of others through effectively setting expectations high and constantly pushing others to reach higher.  When we do so, we provide meaningful and challenging work, which has been shown to increase worker satisfaction leading to higher productivity (and profits). Yet

How Personality Assessment Can Help You Be A Better Leader

“This is why I’m not married anymore,” said a participant in a recent leadership training class.   She was partly kidding, but it was obvious that the results of her personality assessment, which were being used to launch the leadership training series we were conducting for her company, had struck a cord. Her personality assessment showed that she was a highly dominant, take charge, get it done kind of person.  These characteristics had served her well in her role in finance with the organization, but she realized that maybe her personality had impacted the success of her marriage. In another conversation

Now don’t go changing your compensation structure without….

You’re worried you’re not attracting the right talent or that you aren’t able to keep good talent around for long and you think it might be because of your salary structure.   Before you launch into a compensation structure overhaul (we’ll tell you how to do this next week on the blog), you need to: Know for sure that the reason you are having the problems you are having is in fact compensation related.  It may be that all your supervisors are jerks and people may leave even if you paid them twice as much.  Surveying employees, especially through exit

Leaders are Noticers

“The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention.”  John Green, The Fault in Our Stars According to my editorial calendar, I’m supposed to be writing about job shadowing today, but I’ve noticed something. In the past week I’ve had conversations with three people about their work.  One just quit. One is DONE with her work and is planning her quit, and one just realized she wants to quit, but hasn’t started the plotting of her exodus yet. (By the time I see her again next week though, I imagine

The What and Why of Competencies as Seen through CDF Training and SHRM’s new move

The HR world has been all a buzz with SHRM’s announcement of a switch to a competency-based certification. In an email to members, the SHRM CEO stated,  “We believe a competency-based certification is the new standard for HR professionals around the globe. Our members have told us this; and we have listened.” Regardless of whether or not you agree or disagree with SHRM’s move, competency models are prevalent.  The career development world has been competency-based through its Career Development Facilitator Training for quite some time. What is a competency? Good ole Wikipedia provides us with this definition: “A competency is

2 Reasons You Should Consider Dual Career Ladders

Being in a leadership role seems to be the ideal in most companies. Leading is what people strive for, and in most cases I think this is the norm because it is the only path by which advancement can take place. Want to move up and get paid more? Well then you have to lead and manage others. Another way to help people grow A client we’re working with is considering dual career ladders for the organization. With this organizational structure, there are advancement opportunities into the traditional route of leadership, but there is also a path by which people

4 Steps for Handling and Diffusing Conflict

Last week, I had to share some information with someone that was unpleasant. I was nervous about how to deliver the message, but I went back to the steps I recommend to leadership coaching clients when they have to deliver and discuss issues that involve conflict. This is a very common issue that leaders have to navigate, and the best method to handle or diffuse conflict is to address it. The worst thing that can be done is to ignore. If you’re struggling with how to handle a situation head on, use these steps to make it easier: 1.  Get