Articles in Category: Blog

Four Ways to Close the Communication Gap

Written by Donna Pearring Posted in Blog

Four Ways to Close the Communication Gap

One can easily argue that honing our communications skills is one thing we can all do to increase our success and achieve the results that we want.  It may not be the only thing we need to do, however, working on improving our communications skills and interpersonal interactions will always prove to be a positive and enlightening endeavor.

The communication gap is not just a generational phenomenon. It exists in every type of interaction – between parent and child, boss and employee, teacher and student, husband and wife, between siblings, friends, neighbors, colleagues and on and on...  There is a constant struggle in our communications to have our message be perceived as we intended.  If you have ever found yourself saying, “That is not what I meant” or “I believe you misunderstood what I was trying to convey”, then you have experienced the communication gap. The key is to create awareness around the fact that the gap exists and then work to modify your behavior to close the gap.

Why You Should Invest In Your Millennials

Written by Ariel Vaughan Posted in Blog

Why You Should Invest In Your Millennials

Entitled, lazy, self-absorbed, and spoiled are words I often hear about millennials. Millennials, myself included, would beg to differ. We see ourselves as ambitious, creative, passionate and risk-takers.

Millennials value purpose and passion in their careers and yes, they will go out looking for it. 44% of millennials say they will leave their current position within two years. It’s not because we’re not loyal enough, it’s because we are looking for a company that best fits our needs so that we can settle down and be loyal. 

Add Coaching to the Leadership Toolbelt

Posted in Blog

Add Coaching to the Leadership Toolbelt

There is no argument that effective leadership requires a variety of competencies in the leader’s toolbelt. Some of these tools include effective communication, inspiring, directing, creating vision, strategic thinking, building relationships, adaptability, drive, execution and emotional intelligence. Coaching is a relatively new tool for the leadership toolbelt. Like all the other leadership competencies mentioned, coaching is not the only tool for leaders; however, it is an important one.

There are many misconceptions of what coaching is and even how to use it, and leaders often think they are coaching when they are not. For example, a leader meets with a team member to discuss a challenge, situation or area for improvement and basically tells the employee how to resolve the problem. He or she may tell a story of resolving a similar situation. Next, the leader encourages the team member to “get out there and make the changes.”

Does this scenario sound familiar? Although this approach may have a place in leadership (in fact, it’s more like mentoring), too often, it becomes overused. When a leadership competency is overused, it becomes a weakness.

Read the article in it's entirety here: http://www.trainingindustry.com/blog/blog-entries/add-coaching-to-the-leadership-toolbelt.aspx

Get to Know Your Coach: Tony Marbury

Posted in Blog

Get to Know Your Coach: Tony Marbury
What is a recent challenge you’ve overcome in your professional life? What resources did you use to help you through this?

 
The company I had been working for in an executive leadership role relocated to another city. My family and I decided that we would not move.  I took a position with a company as a junior manager in a very unhealthy environment.  Every level above me had very little experience and no leadership/management training. Trying to use my experience, coaching and training was not being accepted.  Coaching up one level is not always an easy task, but coaching up two or three levels seems like an impossible feat. I used my life-long team building skills to keep my team and those around me as healthy as possible.  This was very successful but did very little to give me the support I needed to deal with senior management.  My wife, who is a very effective manager and leadership coach helped me focus on the big picture and cope with the day-to-day while other fellow MSB colleagues coached me to draw from all the qualities that make me an effective leader, coach, and person.  My wife and I were reminiscing not too long ago and came to a realization that all that we experienced leading into and during these events were preparation for the position that I hold today.

 

Is there a book that you’ve been recently reading? What book is on your bedside table or in your briefcase? 

I am a very active person, up early to exercise, and in the evening if I sit, I’m out like a light.  So, I don’t get a chance to read many books.  The books that I have read in the last year or two are:

  • Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
  • Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr
  • ITIL Foundation Study Guide
  • ADKAR: How to Implement Successful Change in our Personal Lives and Professional Careers (in preparation for major implementation)
 
I have recently started listening to audible books from my favorite author Anne Rice.

 
Any new apps or websites that you go to?

My daughters recently turned me on to Snapchat, which is proving to be an incredible resource to keeping in touch with them while they are away at college.

 
How do you get ready for a meeting? 

 
I am an avid Lencioni follower, and one of my favorite books that I have read at least five times is Death by Meeting.  I would like to say that I approach every meeting with structure, but the truth is I only interject when the meetings are unhealthy or when my help is solicited.  The one thing I try to do most of the time is to arrive early and prepare myself for the meeting.  Usually, I am no different than anyone else running down the hall to the meeting room while talking on the phone dealing with an issue.

 

Please express an opinion or thoughts on technology in the workplace. 

I have been in the technology field for more than 25 years in many different specialized areas.  For the sake of brevity, I feel for any company to be able to grow and thrive for the employees, shareholders, customers and the world, technology has to become a part of the core fabric of the workplace.  It remains a division along with all the others and this has to change.  Let me explain…you need technology for successful financial practices.  You need technology for successful marketing practices, for successful HR practices, research and development, etc., etc.  Technology is the tool that enables us to be experts and really great at anything we do.

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