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.
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.
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.
- Overnight success is just a click away
- Power builds safety
- Difference is the enemy
- There’s not enough to go around
- My beliefs are better
- Vulnerability is weak
- Life is a competition
- You don’t need anyone else
- Other people can make you feel good or bad
- 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.
This year I launched my new podcast, OnCompassion with Dr. Nate. Learning leadership lessons from my guests has been so rewarding.
At the end of each episode I consolidate and share my top three takeaways. Here are several leadership lessons I thought were particularly rich.
The Action Is In The Interaction – Doug Conant
Leaders have 200-400 interactions per day of less than 2-min. Your legacy as a leader will be dependent on how you handle those interactions. Life is too fragmented and dynamic to rely on traditional approaches to communication – tomorrow’s leaders have to be fluid in the small moments.
Compassion Requires Boundaries – Laura Cole
Laura’s horse, Watson, has a habit of nibbling shirts. Yet successful executives at the top of their game allow him to bite holes in their shirts because they don’t want to be mean or don’t know how to stop it. Lack of boundaries isn’t nice. It deprives others of a more healthy way to interact with us and form a meaningful relationship. And, it invites us to form negative opinions of others who seem to disrespect our wants and needs.
Vulnerability Is A Secret Weapon – Jody Horner
With help from an executive coach, coupled with her desire to make more meaningful, positive connections with people, Jody went from believing that she needed to make sure there were no chinks in her armor – being professional to a fault – to showing more of her real self at work. What she experienced was that her credibility as a leader went through the roof.
Will you help me raise awareness of OnCompassion With Dr. Nate? Subscribe, rate on iTunes, and share with your tribe. New episodes will launch every month. Thanks for your help!
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2019
This SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey found that less than 30% of employees surveyed were satisfied with their organization’s recognition efforts. Among organizations who had a formal recognition program, less than 50% were satisfied.
How can it be that even among organizations who are making the effort and have good intentions, less than half of their employees are satisfied?
Two mistakes can kill even the best-intentioned recognition efforts; Focus on recognition instead of motivation, and selective hearing which leads to prejudice.
What’s the difference between leadership and manipulation? This two-part series explores this very question using Donald Trump as the case study. In Part One I introduced the topic and shared three of the six tactics that skilled manipulators use to get what they want. Here are the other three, along with positive leadership lessons.
I get a lot of requests to write about Donald Trump’s personality. Let’s start with an update to two articles I wrote in 2016 during Donald Trump’s campaign for president.
Trump is good. I mean, really good. When it comes to imposing his will on others, without their awareness or permission, Trump is one of the best I’ve ever seen in this generation. Webster defines manipulation like this:
Manipulation is to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage.
Last Spring I attended an introductory coaching course offered by the Coactive Training Institute. The two facilitators, both experienced coaches, were extremely gifted at establishing rapport. They were able to create a safe place for the 25 plus participants to open up and explore difficult issues. And, they had something more. Both of them had an uncanny knack for adjusting the way they communicated depending on the personality of the person with whom they were interacting. I noticed one situation where one facilitator gave a participant high-five and exchanged joking banter. With another person, she sat down next to her and exchange warm, nurturing conversation.
This pattern continued through out the three days as they “read” the audience and individualized their communication and motivation for each person in the room. Furthermore, these two professionals demonstrated keen self-awareness and self-management around their own needs, preferences, and distress. Somehow they managed to be themselves by letting their personality shine through, while still adjusting to others.
Adaptive Communication and Coaching
I imagine what I experienced from these gifted coaches was an extension of the adaptive communication skills they use in their one-on-one coaching relationships.
Adaptive communication is the ability to recognize individual differences in personality and communication and adapt our approach accordingly.
Some people are naturally good at it. Some develop it through experience. The rest of us can either wing it and take our chances, or learn how to do it. Ideally, coaches could fast-track their skills in this area since it is fundamental to developing rapport and nurturing an effective coaching alliance.
Adaptive communication does not depend on a formal profile on the other person, although these can be incredibly helpful to the coaching process.
Adaptive communication requires the ability to assess and decode verbal and nonverbal communication and discern patterns correlating with someone’s personality structure.
From here, a coach can adapt how he/she connects, motivates, and proactively deals with distress behavior. This skill goes far beyond rapport, and helps coaches create a strong, trusting, working relationship that greatly improves the chances of helping clients achieve their goals. As it was with my coach trainers, it also helps coaches with their own self-care and self-management, a critical component of healthy, ethical coaching.
PCM: A Framework for Adaptive Communication in Coaching
Using the framework of Process Communication Model (PCM®), a behavior-based model of personality and communication, coaches can predict with high-levels of accuracy how to individualize their approach in order to quickly build rapport, enhance communication, properly motivate clients, and anticipate and respond proactively to sabotage behavior.
There are six different personality types that a coach might encounter. For each, I’ll outline how to quickly establish rapport, how to motivate them towards positive behavior change, what types of sabotage behavior is most likely, and how to respond positively. I will also include comments on self-care if this happens to be the coach’s personality preference. I’ll introduce two of the six types in this article, the other four will be covered in the follow-up article.
CAVEAT: Before reading further, I want to caution that none of the six types explained below exist in isolation. We all have all six within us, arranged in a preferred, set order. And, we all have types that are more developed, more primary, and a stronger driver of our behavior. As a coach, you will likely experience one predominant type, and one or two other secondary types displayed in coaching. The predominant type will come into the foreground especially when personal/professional motivation is in focus and during distress.
Every coach has a sweet spot and a blind spot. Sweet spots are where a coach can leverage their own strengths, but can also unconsciously assume that others see and experience with world that same way. Blind spots are where a coach can’t relate to a personality type that’s less developed in themselves, so they unconsciously have negative bias.
PCM represents personality like a six-floor condominium, with a preferred base floor, and five other floors arranged in a preferred, set order. Each floor has corresponding communication, motivation, and distress patterns. These are evident by decoding language structure and nonverbal communication. Connecting with, and leveraging a person’s communication profile can greatly enhance rapport, motivation, and success in coaching.
Logical, responsible, and organized, Thinkers want data and facts so that they can form logical conclusions. Logic is their communication currency. Small-talk, sharing feelings, and playful exchanges are aversive because they want a structured, linear flow that connects the dots. In distress they will disrupt by over controlling, dominating conversation with excessive over-explaining, and criticizing the logic of the coach’s and others’ ideas. Motivate them towards positive behavior by acknowledging their hard work and respect the value of their time. If you are a Thinker coach, be careful of imposing your need for structure on other personality types. Take time every day to make note of your accomplishments. Respect your own time and don’t over-commit.
Compassionate, sensitive, and warm, Harmonizers seek harmony. They embrace relationships and anything that will help people get along better. Compassion is their communication currency. They love intimate environments where they feel safe to speak up. In distress they can interfere with the coaching process by losing assertiveness, not asking for what they want, and avoiding conflict. Motivate them towards positive behavior by affirming them as a person, attending to creature comforts, and showing you care about them unconditionally. If this is you, give yourself permission to take elegant care of you and hold firm to boundaries. Be careful not to take things to personally, and practice leaving your clients’ problems at the door.
Tune in to Part 2 to learn about the other four Kahler Types and how to adapt your communication for better engagement in coaching.
Does faith have a place in leadership? Absolutely!
Faith is believing in something you can’t yet see. Faith is moving forward even though you don’t know how it will turn out. These three acts of faith work together to support great leadership.
Leaders get a bad rap for firing people, as if they enjoy it. Most leaders we work with dread it. They agonize over the decision. They hate the impact that their actions can have on a person’s life, their team, and the company. They want to make friends, not enemies.
Yeah, there are those few ruthless leaders who get rid of people way too soon. They’re the exception. Usually a leader keeps people too long.
Why don’t leaders make the call?
- They are afraid of the conflict.
- They blame themselves.
- They don’t want to admit a poor hiring decision or inability to correct the problem.
A leader’s job is to;
- Foster a safe, supportive environment so employees don’t hold back.
- Facilitate collaborative problem-solving so employees take ownership for performance.
- Clarify purpose and goals so employees see how they fit into the big picture and what you want from them.
So, ask yourself:
- Have you provided a safe, supportive environment where they can tell you what’s really going on?
- Have they been give clear feedback about their behavior or performance and how it’s affecting others?
- Have they been offered resources and support to change?
If the answer is yes to all three and the behavior still hasn’t changed, it’s time to let them go. If you answer NO to any of these, it’s time to look in the mirror.