Management

  • Focus Pocus

    Last week I attended the Ellucian Live conference. Seeing so many long-time friends and colleagues and the event returning to its pre-COVID attendance levels was exciting. I was also amazed how many people walked around the convention center staring at their phones. Don’t get me wrong – I love my iPhone. I get massive productivity…

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  • Conquering Your Calendar

    While I intensely dislike the slogan “Work smarter, not harder,” the phrase resonates with me when it comes to managing your calendar. If you have ever felt like your calendar leads you around like a dog on a leash, or you’ve felt a rush of dopamine because you figured out how to squeeze another meeting…

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  • Building Bridges

    Recently a leader gave me feedback on a coaching conversation that he found particularly impactful. “When you raised both hands and commented on the ‘Us vs. Them’ culture between the two departments, everything clicked, and I realized what I would do next time.” Today I’ll unpack the learning we unlocked together. The Scenario I’ll leave…

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  • A Tale of Two Paths

    Today’s topic has been on my backlog for a while. Over the years, I’ve had countless mentoring conversations with managers struggling with handling an underperforming employee. Often I find they drag their heels and are hesitant to take action, as I have done with bringing this topic to my blog. While these are complex and…

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  • Valuing Every Voice

    Have you ever seen a story like this? The Acme Software company was in crisis. A deliverable to a strategic client was critically behind, and no one saw a path to getting it back on schedule. Senior leadership and the project team came together to brainstorm options. The team debated vigorously for two hours and…

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  • Promises, Promises

    Leaders get their job done through language. We have spent the past few weeks examining a set of language distinctions called speech acts. We are more effective leaders and humans when we master these distinctions: Today we’ll cover one final distinction – promises (commitments). We waste time and energy when we fail to manage promises…

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  • I Do Declare

    Last week we talked about speech acts and learned the distinctions between assertions (facts) and assessments (stories). In his book, Language and the Pursuit of Happiness, Chalmers Brothers points out that with assertions, first comes the world, and then comes the word. We use language to describe the world. With declarations, the word comes first. Through our declarations,…

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  • Just The Facts

    One key learning from my ontological coaching training is a set of distinctions called Speech Acts. These were introduced by philosopher John Searles and expanded by individuals, including Humberto Maturana and Fernando Flores. The speech acts outline a set of daily constructs we use in language, including assertions, assessments, declarations, requests, offers, and promises. Language is one…

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  • Face-to-Face

    One silver lining to the pandemic is that it showed us how effectively we could leverage video conferencing and remote work across a much more comprehensive range of activities than we were previously willing to embrace. As a coach, I am grateful for this. Most of my coachees live nowhere near me and would not…

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  • Your 360 Feedback

    360 feedback is an excellent tool for getting honest, candid feedback from your colleagues. I conduct 360 feedback interviews for every organizational coaching engagement to gain insights into the coachee’s superpowers and their kryptonite. This process is richer than one issued by the organization because the interviewees know that the only person who sees the…

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