lenses of leadership

Is Your Boss a Bookcase?

A NOTE FROM LINDA: I’m writing today to share with you a way to understand people that can help you, even under the most trying circumstances, maintain your perspective and choose your responses.  It’s an unusual post as it’s based on a way of thinking that helped me navigate my divorce with more wisdom (or at least with less crazy!). When I was going through my divorce, I made a commitment to myself to do it ‘well.’ We had young…

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when fear grabs you by the throat

When FEAR Grabs You By the Throat

This week, we got a call from a client who asked to meet immediately. He came into the office and said he was “freaked out” after a meeting with a key client. He explained that, as a consultant himself, he’d gone to meet with a client—an important and quite large corporate client—and the COO had implied there were concerns about a project he’d worked on for the company. He said that he’d been professional and open in the conversation, but…

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One of the most significant struggles our clients report is feeling busy beyond belief. From overworked, under-resourced managers to busy working parents, to business owners who are struggling to stay above water, we know that people are busy and stressed. What can you do? It can certainly help to take a break over the weekend or get out with friends for an evening, but to really make a dent in your busy-ness factor, you will need to start engaging in…

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People Are Different

We recently had an interaction with a client that was an important (and shocking) reminder of how different we are from one another. One of the things that we know is that humans have a tendency to believe that others are just like us; they want what we want, feel what we feel, and see what we see. This is often most obvious in a primary relationship. Most of us show people we love that we love them in the…

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What If I Miss The People Stuff?

Over the past 5 weeks, we have been talking about Daniel Goleman’s four components of Emotional Intelligence and how to translate each into action. We have gotten wonderful comments and questions in response to the posts—thank you. One question in particular called for an answer and that question is: “What if I just miss the people stuff?” A number of you commented that, while you really appreciate Goleman’s work and our tips about how to implement that work, you still…

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Empathy: Why You Need It to Succeed

A couple of weeks ago, we shared the four traits that Daniel Goleman found are essential to emotional intelligence. Each week since then, we’ve been coaching you on how to translate the ideas of emotional intelligence into actual behaviors and practices. Many people have told us that Goleman’s four traits make sense and are important but then they get stuck trying to figure out what they actually need to do to succeed. So to help you move from theory to…

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The Leader in You and Empathy

Those of you who know us know that we believe that leaders exist at all levels of an organization and in all walks of life.  We believe that leadership is a way of being in the world.  It requires a willingness to influence the world (not stand on the sidelines and complain) and to be influenced by the world (not stand impervious to the events and lives playing out around you.) We are passionate about finding the key nuggets of…

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Emotional Data

Last week we talked about the difference between using your emotional response to gather data about what is going on for you and creating emotional drama. We defined drama as the uncontrolled or unconscious expression of emotions, often in ways that exaggerate the importance of what has happened. Drama is the antithesis of healthy emotional expression; it’s the seeping of emotions into the workplace, through covert means, as a result of people not believing they have been heard or understood…

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In Every Person, A Universe

There is a wonderful quote from Elie Wiesel, “We must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph.”  As coaches and consultants, our world is working with people and their secrets, treasures, anguish, and triumphs. It is an honor and a privilege to do this work and to be able to open the hearts and minds of the people we work with…

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Powerful, Focused and Afraid, Oh My!

We have been working with an extraordinary executive who is powerful, thoughtful, effective, focused and afraid.    “What?” . . . you may ask, “how do those five words end up in the same sentence?”   Fear is a central part of the survival mechanism the brain has used to keep us safe since the dawn of time.  We feel fear quickly and intensely because from the perspective of evolution, it is what kept us alive.    Like the rest…

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