Did You Ask?

We were recently talking with a friend about some of the things we want to do with our business. We were saying that we need to further expand our reach in the world—continuing to build the number of people who receive these posts, expanding the impact we have with our trainings, and responding to the need for individuals around our country and, indeed, the world, for help in claiming their power and stepping into their leadership in every aspect of…

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Focusing Your Attention

Last week we asked you to notice the different ways in which you pay attention to others. We asked that you watch how you show up in person as well as when reading notes and emails from people in your life. The choice to bring a deep, focused attention to others in your life is an important one. It’s not that we think you need to bring this same level of attention to all situations, but we do believe you…

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Pay Attention

Giving someone the benefit of your full attention is a true gift and, unfortunately, it is becoming a rare occurrence. If you think about the level of demand and pace faced by people today, it is amazing that any of us are able to pay attention to others at all. When interacting with others, most of us are quick to make decisions and to judge things as right or wrong, and once that occurs, it’s nearly impossible to pay attention…

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When Rumors Swirl

We were recently contacted by a client of ours who was shaken to have heard that there were rumors about what he was doing within his organization that had no basis in reality. Last year, another client of ours (an introvert who must get time alone to refuel and to think clearly) came to us to talk about the feedback that she’d gotten that she was being described as arrogant and unwilling to work collaboratively within her organization. And, one…

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Being Asked to Do Something Outside Your Wheelhouse

A couple of weeks ago we wrote a post on Personal Agility and a lot of you wrote back with specific questions about how to develop your personal agility in various situations. Last Monday, we wrote about how to handle critical feedback or a vote of no confidence from your team. This week we want to address what you can do when someone with authority asks you to take on something outside of your skill set. For some people, being…

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What To Do When You Get A Vote of ‘No Confidence’ from Your Team

Since our last post, we have heard from a number of you that you loved the post on Personal Agility and have been struggling to become more agile in your life and work. Over the next few weeks, we are going to address some of the areas you identified as challenging. Personal agility requires the ability to learn and to lead – to influence your world and be influenced by your world. For many of you, a central part of…

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Your Words are Just Part of the Communication

A number of you wrote describing your efforts over the past years to communicate effectively and clearly—and how, despite your efforts, others didn’t hear you accurately, got reactive before you even finished, or just didn’t get it. Communication can be frustrating. No matter how thoughtful and clear you are there are times when others will not hear the message you intend to send. If we take a moment to think about what we know about humans, you might begin to understand…

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“Can’t they just know what I’m thinking?”

Over the past few months we have had several executives say (in almost these exact words), “I’m getting grief for not communicating effectively—but I don’t have time to explain every thought!” We are in a time where every person we talk with describes feeling frazzled, overwhelmed with demands, and say they barely have a minute to breathe, let alone pause to consider how to communicate with the people in their lives. We understand the sentiment—it can be a challenge to…

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Leader in the Air

Recently, we took a cross-country flight and on the flight we witnessed an extraordinary leader in action. Let us explain: At Carpenter Smith Consulting we define leadership as a willingness to influence your world and a willingness to be influenced by your world (or in this case, a plane with 180 passengers on board). One of the things we see in great leaders is that they are in relationship with the people they lead even if it’s not face-to-face. As…

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Having “Difficult” Conversations

We were recently asked, “What can a new manager do when they need to have a difficult conversation?”  As we thought about this, we were struck by how we’d all like to think that it’s just new managers who struggle with this, but in fact, people from seasoned CEOs to soccer coaches to spouses and kids all struggle with having difficult conversations and, as a result, often avoid the important conversations that can contribute to creating greater connection, development of…

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