Become a generative listener

            There is a kind of non-listening that goes on in our society and organizations that is distracted and disjointed, and often marked by interruptions. This non-listening doesn’t focus on the person speaking. Rather, the listeners try their hardest to get their ideas into the conversation. If you’ve experienced this, […]

Read More

Coaching is more than asking questions

I’ve seen a lot written and said about how important it is for people managers to coach the people around them. Often, the enthusiasm about coaching is anchored in leaders asking more questions rather than telling others what to do. Asking, not telling, is an admirable way to lead others, and is an important skill […]

Read More

When solving problems can get you killed

Last week I had the pleasure of spending time with local non-profit leaders, teaching them to incorporate real coaching into their management/leadership tool kit.  Within a couple of hours, the group was well grounded in the pillars of “real coaching” – listening, asking powerful questions, and moving the coachee to action. Once we moved beyond […]

Read More

Listening to make a difference

I have been obsessed with the simple act of listening for a long time. Not because I’m good at it (I’m not) or because it’s an essential part of my craft (it is). I’ve always known that my preoccupation has to do with the fact that like many of you, I’ve recognized that the times […]

Read More

Pull closer to people

Like so many, I woke up on the morning of November 9 anxious to hear the final results of the election. I spent the day in a fog of confusion and a whole lot of other emotions that prevented a productive work day. My husband, adult daughters and their partners were similarly working through their […]

Read More

Your discomfort is whispering to you

With the scariest of holiday seasons behind us, it’s time to talk about fear. Not the running-away-screaming variety, but the smaller, uncomfortable kind that you may avoid in our workplace like: Having difficult conversations Giving honest feedback Asking for feedback Speaking truth to power Making a sincere apology Being honest about your vulnerabilities These are […]

Read More

When you need to really listen

We could all become better listeners. Most importantly, leaders must learn to really listen. Really listening means: Waiting for other(s) to finish speaking before speaking Keeping the focus of the conversation away from yourself Asking open ended and non-judging questions that are relevant to the conversation Giving advice sparingly, if at all Noticing emotional cues […]

Read More