Coach’s Corner Blog

Archive for the "Relationships – Building and Maintaining Them" Category

Friends at Work: The Importance of Investing in Relationships

September 17, 2015 by Leave a Comment

Early in my career I enjoyed a really plum assignment. I managed 27 sales compensation plans for the multiple channels of sales our organization had globally. This job afforded me the chance to work with people in the field and to travel with them to their events. I was also rather popular when I showed up with the checks in my in my briefcase. One day, the global head of our function informed me that I was going to move from that role to work for a fellow named Jim, who I can truly say I feared. I was pretty sure I respected him, but I kno... Continue Reading

Dealing with NoNos: Confronting Negativity That Destroys Productivity

June 26, 2015 by Leave a Comment

I was discussing change management with a client and I referred him to an excellent book on the topic, A Sense of Urgency, by John Kotter of Harvard. (Kotter, 2008) An important idea that Prof. Kotter introduced was the difference between Skeptics versus NoNos, those folks in an organization whose resistance to change of almost any sort can reduce the needed sense of urgency to confront serious issues. These can often be very bright and capable people who have had considerable success and have been admired, but they are locked in to ways of... Continue Reading

The No Asshole Rule

February 17, 2015 by Leave a Comment

I am very proud of my association with Paul Purcell, President and CEO of Robert W. Baird & Co., which is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I met Paul shortly after he was named President of Baird, over 17 years ago. Baird has grown and prospered remarkably well under Paul's leadership and total revenues now top $1 Billion. More importantly, Baird has been recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the Top 100 Places to Work for the last eleven years. One thing Paul has consistently spoken about – a key part of his leadership... Continue Reading

Empathy in Business: Overcoming the Distance Between You and “Others”

January 21, 2015 by Leave a Comment

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said. - Peter Drucker In a discussion with a client late last year we spoke of the difference between having power and having influence. His role did not command a large staff or a large budget, but he did lead a technical team that managed a very specialized type of interface that was critical to many products. So he didn't make things happen by his power, but by his ability to influence other people. To expand and reinforce his influence, he and I spoke a great deal abou... Continue Reading

Tis the Giving Season – 3 Steps to Giving as a Leader

December 10, 2014 by Leave a Comment

You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give. - Winston Churchill Just two weeks ago it was Thanksgiving. I always thought of Thanksgiving as the official beginning of the holiday season and it begins with us giving thanks for the bounty that we have in our lives. Much of the rest of the holiday season is very much focused on the giving that occurs over the next month. We give parties, we give bonuses (hopefully) and we plan for our gift-giving to our loved ones. Okay, I must admit we all think a little bit about th... Continue Reading

Focus on Impact, Not Activity – A Model for Improved Customer Satisfaction

November 12, 2014 by Leave a Comment

I got a note today from a friend who I had done quite a bit of work with on Habitat for Humanity projects over the years. She and her team were looking for ways to get a fresh look at how to present their value proposition to a long-standing client that had decided to put the work out for bid. This was not a negative reflection on my friend's organization, but the client was just "kicking tires" to see what was out there. We chatted about the need to ensure that the client consistently feels they are getting value for their dollar. I men... Continue Reading

Allies vs. Adversaries: A Framework for Discussing Relationships

October 1, 2014 by Leave a Comment

Have you ever been a little stumped when someone asked how you would describe your work relationship with a coworker? Developing and maintaining strong relationships is a key part of organizational success. You have to be able to network internally within your company to exert influence and make things happen and good relationships will always facilitate your ability to do this. I had a female client who struggled to summarize how she felt about a colleague. She admired his experience, work ethic, creativity and communication skills, but... Continue Reading

What’s Wrong with Being Passive Aggressive?

September 10, 2014 by Leave a Comment

A client asked me this question recently when I discussed with them how perhaps they needed to be more consistently assertive in their interactions in the workplace. There was obvious confusion about what the term passive-aggressive meant when we had a good dialogue about that. In this post I’d like to clarify the distinctions between assertiveness, aggressiveness and being passive. I do not believe one can ever be too assertive but you have to be clear on the distinctions. My client was actually considering the concept of passive-aggr... Continue Reading