Leadership Insights

Team leadership in times of a crisis

What Do Your People Need From You This Week?

How can you show up for your people during this deeply unsettling time? What do they need most from you this week?

While you need to focus on your business, caring for your people should be at the top of your list. They are counting on you for information, stability, and compassion.

Based on my many years advising companies during crises as the CEO of my Employee Assistance Program and on input from current clients who are exceptional leaders, here are my suggestions for helping your people during this time of uncertainty.

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Communicate to your employees in these unprecedented times

How You Can Manage Anxiety in this Time of Crisis

The world-wide spread of COVID-19 has upended our lives.

We are now living in a state of global anxiety, both more disconnected and connected than ever before. People are worried in a way they never anticipated and their anxiety levels rise and fall with the frequent news alerts and community closings. We have not experienced an event like this in our lifetime.

The consequences of the transmission of the virus and the resulting uncertainty has resulted in continuous anxiety across the globe. The alarming and sometimes conflicting news reports are difficult to ignore. Worrying may be a barely audible buzz in the back of our minds or it may be front and center panic.

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Being a Newbie Executive Coaching Client

I tried paddle boarding for the first time last year. And I loved it! I admit it wasn’t easy at first. I fell off within the first few minutes. My legs felt wobbly for quite a while—it really takes core strength to stay upright. And it was a windy day so I didn’t move very far.

Whatever the challenge, I decided paddle boarding was something I wanted to master and I would just go with the flow. I would be a newbie, a learner, and enjoy the process. It turned out to be so much fun I’m planning on buying my own board this year.

How does this relate to executive coaching? Developing into an exceptional leadership also requires newbie status. This isn’t always simple for my clients who are experts in their fields. Being a learner means not being the best. It means being on the way.Continue reading

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Favorite Books, Podcasts, and TED Talks

I am addicted to learning—and therefore to books, podcasts, and Ted Talks. Here are a few of my current favorites...

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“Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Intuition.”
Michael Maboussin
Harvard Business Press, 2013

This book is a great resource for leaders who want to enhance their decision-making skills. Maboussin is chief investment strategist at Legg Mason Capital Management. He is also an adjunct professor of finance at Columbia Business School. In this succinct book, he shares eight common decision-making mistakes and reveals strategies to help you avoid your particular tendencies in repeating these mistakes. It’s an important book to read whenever you are in the midst of making a complex decision.

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Anxiety and fear

What Challenging Conversation Has Your Name On It?

What difficult conversation is sitting on a shelf patiently waiting for you? How long has it been there?

Many people avoid challenging conversations as long as they can. They try their best to minimize the issue or hope the person will move away—but those strategies rarely work.

Challenging conversations are often delayed because they pose unique problems. In Crucial Conversations, Kerry Paterson and his co-authors highlight three main obstacles:

• The stakes are high.
• Opinions differ.
• Emotions are strong.

Given these factors, it’s easy to understand why these conversations are seen as difficult.

Often it is the lead-up to the talk that is so tough. The obsessing. The endless run-throughs of dialogue in your head. The constantly worrying about what could go wrong.

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