Facing Conflict? Apply CPR

One of the challenges I hear about most often from clients is how to deliver what they see as negative feedback. And when I don’t hear about it, I often see the results of not giving timely and appropriate feedback: lack of alignment, unclear expectations, role confusion and frustrated managers. But feedback is the lifeblood of any team, so today I’m sharing the CPR method of giving constructive feedback. It’s a simple, 3-step method that makes it easier to give feedback and build trust on your team.
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Slow Down to Go Fast

As I was running up a steep hill coming out of the beautiful Don Valley ravine, I realized that I was doing exactly what I had recommended to a client: slowing down to go fast. In running, the best way to maintain top average speed is to adjust your pace to maintain effort on the hill – not speed – so that when you reach the top of the hill you’re ready to run at your normal pace. Work pace, especially before vacations, works the same way.
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Being Authentic at Work, Part 3 of 3

Google “authenticity at work,” and you get over 90 million hits. It’s clearly a topic that many of us care deeply about, and the advice on the subject is broad and contradictory (be yourself, don’t be yourself). Being inauthentic, as I described in part 1 of this series, can lead to stress and burnout. Sometimes, as I described in part 2, we need to adapt by revealing less of ourselves. This blog will look at what leaders and organizations can do to foster authenticity.
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Being Authentic at Work, Part 2 of 3

In my last blog, I asked the question of whether it’s possible to be fully authentic at work. That blog considered things we can do individually to bring more of our full selves to work to reduce the stress associated with having two identities, work and outside work, that can drift ever farther apart. Today I’d like to look at the ways in which we need to adapt to our organizations and to our direct managers.
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Being Authentic at Work, Part 1 of 3

Is it possible to be fully authentic at work? That question came up recently in a conversation with a vibrant and lighthearted friend who is adapting to a serious and reserved workplace. A few years ago, my answer to that question would have been an emphatic “No,” but it was exactly that attitude that led, at least in part, to a near burnout. I’ve since come to realize that the question of whether we can be authentic at work is complicated and sensitive, with no easy answers. Over the next several blogs, I’ll be exploring this question, starting today with what we can do as individuals to bring more of our full selves to work. In future blogs, I’ll be looking at how and when we need to adapt, and what organizations can do to create a culture that is more conducive to authenticity.
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3 Reasons We Forget to Delegate

While at my mother’s last week, preparing dinner for a family gathering, I learned something new about delegation. When my sister arrived while I was elbow deep in chicken, she asked if she could help. Everything seemed under control, so I told her I was fine. When she asked if I needed the cheese grated, I realized that I wasn’t nearly as good at delegating as I thought I was. This got me thinking about how I delegate – or don’t – at work, and the reasons that get in the way.
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When Conflict Builds Relationships

Conflict. Does the mere thought of it fill you with dread, that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach? Or does it fire you up as you think of all the great points you’ll score? Either way, if you think about the last time you faced conflict by avoiding it or going in guns a-blazin’, you’ll likely realize that neither you nor your adversary gained much from the encounter. There’s a better way to handle conflict so that it becomes a catalyst for building relationships instead of tearing them down.
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So You Made a Mistake?

A few years ago, I had a conversation with a client on a Friday afternoon and gave him the wrong information! Yes, I made a mistake, and then I beat myself up about it all weekend. By Sunday afternoon, I was sure I was unemployed and homeless. Of course, when I went back to work on Monday, I didn’t lose my job, and I set things right with the client. Now fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I attended a networking event, botched my introduction and then forgot to make new connections! Another mistake, but this time I applied the lesson to my next networking event, gave a good introduction and met several new people. I didn’t beat myself up about the mistake, and I was able to learn from it and perform better, faster. That’s what happens when you avoid the sabotage loop.
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I’m Right, You’re Right?

The world is going to hell in a handbasket. The world is becoming safer, more connected and interdependent. Whichever side of the debate you’re on, it seems the arguments lately have become very rancorous and bitter. As I talked to a client about it recently, we wondered, why do people find it so hard to accept difference? There’s no simple answer, but I think that we can all look for ways to build bridges. Because difference doesn’t only occur at the political level, but it happens in our teams, in our meetings, and in our homes. Learning how to bridge difference could have a huge impact on our ability to work and live well together.
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