Learning and Development

Five Strategies For More Spectacular Failures

MichaelJordanEverybody fails. The question isn’t if or when, but how. How spectacular are your failures?  Here are five strategies to increase the chance of your failures becoming something spectacular.

Don’t make it personal

Failures are about everything EXCEPT a person’s worth. It may feel embarrassing, painful, discouraging, or even justified, and it’s not about who you are as a person. If you or others make it personal, they are derailing the possibility of learning. (more…)

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Top Five Leadership Blog Posts of 2015

If you are a busy leader, I’m guessing you want top quality, curated information that you can use immediately. Many of my blog readers wish they could read all of the posts but don’t always get around to it. So here they are, the top five most viewed “Next from Nate” posts 2015.

#5: Why Leaders Don’t Fix, and Fixers Don’t Lead

#4: Two Mistakes That Will Kill Your Employee Recognition Program

#3: One Simple Way to Improve Your Communication

#2: Revealing The Six Drivers of Authenticity

And, the most read post of the year, by a big margin… (more…)

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How Do Positive And Negative Interactions Change Your Brain?

Research has shown that positive and negative interactions have powerful and distinct impacts on brain chemistry. Harvard Business Review recently published an article on the neurochemistry of positive conversations. The research looked at what happens in a person’s brain following positive and negative interactions.

Following negative interactions, levels of cortisol spiked and stayed elevated for over 24 hours.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that serves to shut down the thinking center of the brain and activate conflict-aversion and protection behaviors. (more…)

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Four Rituals Guaranteed To Make You A Better Leader

Most stress comes from trying to control things that are out of our control; the weather, the economy, the stock market, the competition, the latest trends, what’s popular, other people’s behavior. When we focus on these external forces we become reactive and assume a victim role, finding ourselves feeling helpless, stressed out, anxious, and frantic. The more we try, the worse it gets.

The most successful people spend effort on what they can control, the rituals that prepare them for success.

How do successful people prepare? (more…)

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Resourcefulness: Stop Giving Fish Away!

“Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he’ll eat for the rest of his life.” – Chinese Proverb

I used to think my dad came up with this proverb. I heard him say it all the time when I was a child growing up on a farm in rural Zaire. My parents were missionaries and their purpose was to help develop sustainable ways for local Africans to have good nutrition, a safe water supply, and basic rural healthcare. My dad brought rabbits to Africa. Rabbits are high in protein, easy to care for, breed rapidly, eat green stuff, and their waste products are great for gardens. Perfect for a tropical climate! My father helped develop systems for local Africans to raise rabbits in a way that fit into their culture and helped supplement a low-protein diet. (more…)

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Three Essential Compassion Skills for Leaders

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know my enthusiasm for the concept of compassionate accountability. It all starts with the recognition that Drama at work or at home is an energy vampire and that simply avoiding it isn’t the mark of a great leader.

Compassion is the antidote and the core competency to lead out of drama, and means a whole lot more than having empathy and being nice.


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Five Trainer Habits That Separate the Best From the Rest

I train, I train trainers, and I train trainers of trainers. This is my role as a Certifying Master Trainer in the Process Communication Model. I’ve worked with the entire spectrum of trainers, from novice to world-class. I’ve experienced the thrill of delighted and engaged participants, the agony of failure as a trainer, and everything in between.

It takes a certain set of attributes to be a good trainer. Comfort in front of people, knowledge of the subject matter, experience, a passion for learning, interest in people. I’d say these are the minimum pre-requisites. Anyone in a learning and development role should have these attributes. I’ve worked with hundreds of trainers who have these attributes and still aren’t great at what they do. Regardless of what field they are in or what they are training, the most exceptional trainers I’ve met share these five qualities.  (more…)

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It Takes Three to Tango! Exposing The Three Roles of Drama

It takes three to tango! In other blogs I’ve written about Karpman’s Drama Triangle and the three roles that people play to perpetuate the negative conflict of drama. I’ve proposed a working definition of drama. Now it’s time to expose the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors associated with these roles. The purpose of this post is to help trainers, leaders, and other change agents identify when drama is occurring in order to stop it. (more…)

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