Get Out of Your Head to be a Good Leader

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Thinking Man - ShutterstockAs a leader, do you believe your job is all about using your intelligence? I work with a team leader who believes just that. I’ll call him “Martin”, and he manages a team that builds software. He thinks he’s a good leader because he’s really smart. He can recall facts that others have forgotten, he can quickly do math in his head, and he’s very articulate. The ...

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Combat Negativity by Bringing the Positive to Life

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Enliven the PositiveDoes it seem like some people choose to be negative? In many ways it’s our basic nature, but it has damaging consequences to our creative and cognitive performance. Here’s a remedy for shifting a team’s emotions from negative to positive, but it requires understanding a bit about our conscious minds.

Understand Conscious Awareness

Our conscious minds are attracted to the emotional. Our cognitive and emotional systems constantly process a ...

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Boost Employee Engagement by Allowing Angry Outbursts

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EmoticonsPhil, a systems analyst at General Engines, is irate. He’s on the team that supports technology for the sales group, and his boss, Jonathan, just told the team the company is not going to fund tablets for the salespeople. The sales staff is counting on Phil to get them the tablets, and he had been planning to roll them out at ...

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Reduce Distracting Worries in Your Team

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WorryTom’s got a full agenda to cover so he gets to the conference room a few minutes early to make sure the powerpoint is ready. Joe and Bill are already there, and they’re obviously grumbling and moaning about something. He hears “they are idiots” and “how can they be so stupid”, while they snarl and shake their heads. Tom’s going to need to get them focused on the meeting ...

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Does Expression of Anger Help a Team?

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AngerDavid, a web developer at General Engines, has always been feisty, with strong opinions about what should be built on the website. But right now he is pissed. His manager, Laura, just told his team they’re not getting the budget increase they requested. David shouts “customers are going to be irate when we don’t deliver the features they want!” He continues, in a heated voice, to complain that they’re ...

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Desensitizing Your Team to Fear

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Fear-and-Negativity-copyI remember the day a colleague plodded into my team meeting and moaned “John Price has just been appointed CEO”.  Our entire team became paralyzed with fear. We knew the leaders of our company’s three divisions, who always competed more than cooperated, had been vying for the open CEO spot. Price was from the “other” division, our rivals, and openly didn’t like our group. Now he was going to ...

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The Emotion of Business Agility

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I shake my head in frustration when I see business leaders try to get employees to accept a change initiative by convincing them of the business case. Although this is the classic way to overcome employee resistance, it’s trying to quell fear with logic, and that’s really difficult to do. Employees don’t like change because it introduces fear of the unknown, and employees accept ...

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What’s the First Step in Saving a Flailing Company (or Nation)?

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Boost the energy of its people.  All results flow from the energy of the people. When people are wrapped up in fear and frustration, they simply can’t compete. They miss opportunities, are unable to fully focus on their goals, and have poor judgment. In contrast, when people experience positive emotions and especially when they are heartfelt, they can see opportunities that others miss, focus on tasks with ...

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The Secret to Team Spirit

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We’ve all seen some teams, whether in sports, music or business, whose performance transcends the normal. It’s as though the team members have each surpassed any personal performance limitations and are cooperating at some unseen energetic level. What is the key to team spirit and can we intentionally create it?

As a leader of project teams, I admit that I can get impatient with the slow process of team development, ...

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A Better Definition of Winning

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Most of us like to win, yet our beliefs about winning are posing a huge risk to our organizations. We believe that winning requires that we make someone else lose. This means that in order to win, we actively harm the other players or at least ensure that we don’t help them, even when helping them would benefit a greater cause. We teach this mode of winning to our ...

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