3 research-based tricks to help control emotions during critical conversations

3 research-based tricks to help control emotions during critical conversations

Maybe your particular upcoming critical conversation doesn’t involve a rude conversation counterpart like the one in the story I tell in this blog post. But regardless, it’s got your attention and you’re probably feeling anxiety-ridden about it. It’s got you in its grip, am I right?

So when you know that you have an upcoming challenging conversation that may lead to conflict, disappointment, and/or disagreement (initially), how do you manage your own emotions effectively to stay productive and not get caught up in the emotional reaction swirl of fight, flight, or freeze?

The key to not reacting emotionally in critical conversations is to learn to regulate our emotions. Here are three tricks from research to help us regulate our emotions during critical conversations:

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The common mistake we make during critical conversations and how to avoid it

The common mistake we make during critical conversations and how to avoid it

Often, we go into critical conversations with a certain predetermined outcome we want. And while it's really good to have a goal for what we want to accomplish in the conversation, there's a risk to becoming attached to a particular solution or approach.

What I suggest is that you have a goal for what you want to accomplish, but that you stay tentative and open about HOW you will accomplish it and allow that to be co-developed DURING the conversation, with full involvement from your conversation partner(s).

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Halelly goes to Hollywood

Halelly goes to Hollywood

In a recent podcast interview, my wise friend and goal setting guru Caroline Miller, MAPP, challenged me to share something I’m doing that is pushing me squarely outside my comfort zone that I consider a big scary risk. My answer was that starting my business was an example of doing that. But there was something else that was brewing and that I wasn’t yet ready to share...

And now I am…

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Who Cares Whose Idea it Was? Why People Love Your Idea Much Better if They Thought of it First

Who Cares Whose Idea it Was? Why People Love Your Idea Much Better if They Thought of it First

We like to get credit for our great ideas. It’s natural.

We all like to think our ideas are the best, most clever, and best fitting ones. Generally speaking, of course.

And that’s why we should try to give that experience to the people we are trying to influence or convince or co-create with. Because they’ll be more likely to get on board with the idea if it’s something they thought of. Or at least helped shape.

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The Top 10 Conversations Every Leader Should Have with Every Employee

The Top 10 Conversations Every Leader Should Have with Every Employee

Last week I visited sunny Ft. Lauderdale to speak at a financial services association’s conference about how to radically transform the way in which we do performance appraisals. The number one tip of the 5 best practices for a better performance management approach I shared with the audience is this: Make performance feedback an ongoing and informal practice. Ongoing, regular, and timely conversations with employees about performance, goals, career, and feedback contribute tremendously to their current and future level of performance and engagement at work. Here are my top 10 types of conversations that I think every leader should be having with every employee throughout each year:

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Is there such a thing as too much authenticity?

Is there such a thing as too much authenticity?

What does authenticity mean to you?

To me, it means being real, being the opposite of fake or pretentious.

It means being honest and open. It means being willing to be vulnerable and imperfect.

These are values that align with mine, which is why the construct of authenticity appeals to me. But a recent HBR article has brought new questions to mind that are shaking this idea up. Let's delve deeper and see what you think - is there maybe such a thing as too much authenticity?

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Harness the power of your emotional intelligence!

Harness the power of your emotional intelligence!

You've heard the term emotional intelligence (aka EQ) bandied around. Do you know what it means? If not, you might have fallen for the common myth that being emotionally intelligent means being more emotional. That's really not the case. What being emotionally intelligent actually means is becoming more aware of your own and others' emotions, increasing your capacity to manage your own emotions and take into account those of others, so that you can increase your ability to be more, not less, rational in your actions. Your communication and your relationships will improve when you harness your emotional intelligence!

Read this post to learn more about what EQ is and how to harness it for improved communication.

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5 Steps to Delegating Right and Reducing Your Stress

5 Steps to Delegating Right and Reducing Your Stress

Effective delegation is an essential supervisory skill. Any supervisor or manager must learn to delegate effectively in order to accomplish his or her goals. By definition, to supervise the work of others means that you have to take time away from the technical aspects of your job and tend to the people side of things. Therefore, because time resources are finite, you must remove some of the work you were previously able to accomplish on your own from your task-list in order to make time for performance management and leadership tasks. And because that work still must be completed, you will need to delegate it to your staff.

In this post I summarize the barriers and benefits of delegating, and offer a step-by-step process to help you delegate successfully.

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Don't Try This at Home: When Leading by Example Backfires

Don't Try This at Home: When Leading by Example Backfires

In this short "blog" (video blog) post, I describe the story of Charlie (made up name), a manager I coached and how he proudly led by example in a way that was going to backfire, big time. Learn about the unintended consequences he would have experienced and what I suggested that he try instead.

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What’s in a name: the what, why, and how of the name game for networking, personal branding, and building relationships

What’s in a name: the what, why, and how of the name game for networking, personal branding, and building relationships

When I teach my clients about networking, personal branding, communicating, and connecting meaningfully with others, the subject of names comes up often. Many, if not most, people I work with admit they have a hard time remembering names. Some people think it’s just the way it is, and some people feel ill-at-ease about it.

Here’s a brief summary of the “what”, “why”, and “how” of the name-game: what is wrapped up in names, why you should make an effort around names, and how to help others learn yours as well as how to learn and remember other people’s names more easily.

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7 Tips for Building Mentoring to Develop Employees and Raise Engagement

7 Tips for Building Mentoring to Develop Employees and Raise Engagement

When I decided I wanted to write a book, I was utterly terrified and baffled. Where do I start?

Thankfully, I’d learned years ago that I do not have to go it alone with new challenges: I called on a trusted mentor. Elaine Biech has written or edited more than 50 books. She knows about this thing! I’m grateful for the amazing insights Elaine shared with me to guide my book publishing process. I couldn't have done it as quickly or as well without her mentoring support.

Have you had a mentor or mentored someone? I actually devoted a whole chapter in Employee Development on a Shoestring to the idea that mentoring can be a wonderful tool to develop employees. It is also an amazing employee engagement booster. In this post, I’ll share some of the highlights with you about what mentoring is and why it’s helpful, who is the ideal candidate for this kind of relationship, and seven tips for creating a strong mentoring program and/or building a great mentoring relationships which will increase both learning and engagement in your organization, department, team, or even just yourself.

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How to Power Up Your Workplace Presentations

How to Power Up Your Workplace Presentations

Guest Post by Alexia Vernon: While there is little more painful than seeing and hearing a speaker deliver inaccurate, incomplete, or unhelpful content, one thing that is at least equally painful is when someone has so much expertise she or he doesn't know how to make it meaningful for an audience. Here are my top 3 ways to ensure that your next presentation, whether it’s just at a departmental meeting or in front of a large group of employees, is memorable AND translates into the action you want to see from your people.

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YES! We should ditch performance appraisals!

YES! We should ditch performance appraisals!

There’s a tide of supporting evidence rising for why we should really ditch performance appraisals as we know them. Over the past year, I’ve been lucky to work with two different large clients to help them do just that. Here’s what I’ve learned so far from the research, preparation, and roll-outs of these huge cultural changes:

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