In the U.S., we tend to focus heavily on one or the other: deficits or strengths. A child art prodigy may spend her days in the learning center to become an average speller. A standout soccer player may spend so much time playing that sport and traveling to games that he loses his passion for the game and sports in general. We are a culture of excess, and sometimes that excess can take the joy out of a strength or make a weakness feel overwhelming.
Organizational psychologist Chris Argyris, a Harvard professor, uses what he calls the “Ladder of Inference” to explain how we take actions based upon beliefs–and how our beliefs, in turn, lead us to select observational data.
Chances are you won’t have to wring that neck either, since that person will know it is his responsibility to ensure the action is completed on time and well. If he encounters problems along the way, he will be more likely to address them immediately than wait until the reporting date. When its their neck on the line, people tend to take the right and necessary actions.
When death comes like the hungry bear in autumn when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse to buy me, and snaps his purse shut; when death comes like the measle-pox; when death comes like an iceberg between the shoulder blades, I want to step through the door full of curiosity, […]
Are you still serving SHIT sandwiches during performance reviews? Or are you providing positive and negative feedback when it is most useful and meaningful? When it happens.
Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Laureate and founder of behavioral economics, says that we have two selves: our experiencing self and our memory self. Our experiencing self likes to be happy in the moment—with people we like, in a comfortable environment, and engaging in fun activities. Our memory self is more interested in goal attainment than comfort and familiarity; it seeks out experiences that make for good, memorable stories.
As a teenager, I found myself with 16 others on the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Maine in a 30-foot pulling boat with 12-foot swells and no tiller or rudder. The seas were getting rougher and the sky was crackling with lightning and thunder. We were scared, wet, and tired. We were unprotected from […]
A business partnership is a system. Sometimes that system resembles a couple or family system. And like any couple or family, there may be one over-functioning and one under-functioning person in the partnership. Often the over-functioning one does a great job of compensating for the other’s dysfunction, but that doesn’t mean that it’s healthy to […]
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” In Snow White, the queen has it all seemingly–privilege, power, wealth, and beauty. She’s just not quite as fair as Snow White. That shouldn’t be a problem, right? Just shrug it off. Take your second place trophy for fairest in the land and […]
Pecking Order The term “pecking order” was introduced by Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe in 1921 under the German terms Hackordnung or Hackliste, and brought into English in 1927. Schjelderup-Ebbe studied chickens and how they express dominance via pecking. He found that chickens typically have a pecking order that runs 15 deep. This pecking order allows for a more effective use of energy and […]
Positive to Negative Ratio of affirmation to criticisms is call the Losada Ratio. Changing your positive to negative ratio can have a dramatic outcome for your business and your marriage.
Suit-able Leadership Your wife says your wardrobe is handicapping you professionally. You respond by finding a wardrobe consultant. He eyes your wide-lapel suit and room-for-two pleated pants and says, “Listen, Italian would be perfect!” What does that mean? It means he loves Italian. But do you–or could you? If you prefer to wear socks […]
The right word may be effective, but no word is ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.– Mark Twain Pausing is undervalued and underutilized by leaders. There’s a tendency when someone asks us a question to enter a “me” mindset. “Now it’s my turn,” our brains tend to think. As a result, we […]
“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”–Jonathan Swift As leaders, we can feel too visible–both when things go wrong (and people seek someone to blame) and when things go well (and people want to give us too much credit). More often, though, we don’t feel visible enough. We feel like we’re […]