Leadership Development

Improve Your Life, In 30 Minutes, By Changing One Thing

I spent my entire formal education (and a ton of money) learning how to think and talk in complicated ways. I was convinced that it made me look smart and trustworthy and important.

When I graduated and began practicing clinical psychology I quickly learned that nobody really cares how smart you are if you can’t translate it into something they can use. I also learned that very few people care how much you know until the know how much you care. (more…)

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Leadership At The End Of The Day

Step 1

Select which questions from this list are most important for you. At the end of the day…

  • Have I used my time productively?
  • Have I accomplished important things?
  • Have I learned something useful?
  • Have I helped others become more capable?
  • Have I made a positive difference?
  • Have I advanced my values?
  • Have I acted with integrity?
  • Have I earned respect without instilling fear?
  • Have I nurtured relationships that I care about?
  • Have I taken care of me?
  • Have I asked for what I want?
  • Have I maintained my personal boundaries?
  • Did we have fun?
  • Did I make any new connections?
  • Did I discover something new and interesting?
  • Did I find a creative solution to a problem?
  • Did I take the time and space I needed to recharge?
  • Did I take time to imagine the possibilities?
  • Did I make the decisions required for my role?
  • Did I ask for direction when I needed it?
  • Have I done something exciting?
  • Did we seize opportunity?
  • Did I challenge myself?
  • Did I use my special skills to help others rise to the occasion?

Step 2

From the questions you selected as important for you, identify the ones for which you can say YES on a daily basis. Describe how you get to YES.

Step 3

If you did not answer YES to any of your important questions, describe what’s getting in your way.

Step 4

What will you do tomorrow to turn the NO answers into YES answers? What help will you ask for from others?

Step 5

Interview someone else about steps 1-4.

The foundation for leadership is arranging to get your psychological needs met every day in healthy ways. This way you can show up positive and productive and help others do the same.

At the end of the day, people who find the YES to their questions are happier and healthier. Teams who help each other find their YES are more engaged and productive.


Learn the science behind these questions in my new book, Seeing People Through: Unleash Your Leadership Potential with The Process Communication Model.

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Falling Up The Stairs: Mistaking Your Way to Excellence

When I was young I loved stairs! Going up I would try to leap over as many as I could in one giant lunge. Going down I’d hold on to the railings and see how many I could skip. One time I made it all the way down my grandmother’s staircase in two steps!

I’m grateful I’ve never had a bad accident on stairs. But I have fallen. Falling down the stairs is scary and dangerous. Falling backwards down the stairs is even worse – I’ve done that too. But what about falling up the stairs? Here’s what falling up the stairs has taught me about making mistakes.

The future meets you faster than expected. When you fall up the stairs your landing spot is closer than if you are walking on flat ground, so you hit sooner and learn quicker.

You are still making progress. When you fall up the stairs you are still ahead of where you started.

It doesn’t hurt as bad. Falling up the stairs isn’t as dangerous, and you rarely sustain long-lasting injuries.

Railings help. Having something (or someone) to hold on to boosts courage and makes it easier to get up.

What if we approached mistakes like we approach stairs. Climbing is how we make progress. Keeping it safe will get you there eventually, but that’s boring, predictable, and slow. When we get resourceful about how we climb, though, we increase our chance of making a mistake.

What if we took risks in ways that helped us fall up the stairs instead? Here are three tips for mistaking your way to excellence.

  1. Lean forward, lean in.
  2. Have your hands out, ready to respond.
  3. Pick yourself up quickly and adjust.
  4. Use your support system.

As a leader, parent, teacher, coach, mentor, or facilitator, how do you help your people fall up the stairs? You can help them get to the future faster while still making progress and minimizing the damage.

Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2020
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How To Make Your Personality More Resilient – Part 2

Personality science reveals that authentic emotional expression is the key to resilience during change. Taibi Kahler, PhD, originator of the Process Communication Model, discovered that humans often hunker down to avoid dealing with particular emotions. The paradox is that only by authentically experiencing these emotional issues can you unlock your personality to deal with what’s next.

Instead of hunkering down during crisis, open up and unlock the positive potential in your personality.

There are six personality types in each of us. One is primary. They all hunker down in their own way, and they all have their own emotional issue to face. I covered two of the types, Thinker and Persister, in last week’s post. Here are the other four. (more…)

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Compassion Re-Imagined for 2020

2020 will be a year of great challenge and great opportunity. Division and drama are at an all time high. Globally 85% of workers are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. Yet everywhere we travel around the world, leaders tell us they are craving positive connections and authentic relationships. They are tired of the drain and want their energy back! They are looking for a better way. (more…)

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Top 10 Blog Posts From 2019

Happy New Year! I want to send out a heartfelt thank you to all of my subscribers. I appreciate your support, your comments, and this remarkable community of people who care about better communication and more compassion at work. In keeping with tradition, here are the most read posts from my blog in 2019. (more…)

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Top 10 Fake News Stories of 2019

Top 10 Fake News Stories of 2019

The drama mavens would prefer that you to believe these fake narratives because they keep you small and afraid and willing to accept anything.

  1. Overnight success is just a click away
  2. Power builds safety
  3. Difference is the enemy
  4. There’s not enough to go around
  5. My beliefs are better
  6. Vulnerability is weak
  7. Life is a competition
  8. You don’t need anyone else
  9. Other people can make you feel good or bad
  10. A better phone camera will make you more popular

The Struggle Is Real

Struggle is not a bad thing. Conflict is not something to be avoided or used as a weapon. Diversity is not the enemy. Life isn’t supposed to be easy and fit into neat categories.

Compassion Headlines You Can Believe

Compassion is the practice of demonstrating that people are valuable, capable, and responsible. Compassion fosters connection, innovation, and purpose. Here are some news stories you can believe.

  • There’s a positive purpose for diversity
  • Conflict is natural and produces energy
  • The purpose of conflict is to create, not destroy
  • Connection, not division, is the key to our strength and survival
  • Vulnerability requires courage and builds trust
  • Leadership is about leveraging diverse gifts towards shared goals
  • There is plenty to go around when you adopt an abundance mindset
  • There are no shortcuts
  • You are 100% responsible for your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors
  • A better phone camera will reveal more of your imperfections

What if you embraced these true compassion stories for 2020. How could your life and your relationships change? How much better could you become as a leader?

Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2019

With The Compassion Mindset Course you can stop the drain of negative workplace interactions turn that energy into greater connection, engagement, and productivity.

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