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So You Say You Want Your Feedback Straight Up

Feedback Straight Up

The concept of feedback is something that comes up often in our team building and corporate training programs, and nine time out of ten, participants say that they want their feedback one way — straight up. Don’t beat around the bush, use metaphors, or hem and haw, just give it to me straight, they say. Fire it off — I can take it. But what people say and what people want – or are ready to handle – are often quite different. I mean, if I were to write myself as a character in a crime novel, I’d be the

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Posted in Communication, Communication & Feedback

Walking Meetings: The Benefits of Moving and Talking

Walking Meetings: The Benefits of Moving and Talking

We’re a species of walkers. Evolutionarily, we have spent the bulk of our development in nomadic tribes, walking the earth in search of resources, using our spatial reasoning skills to navigate our landscape. Today, we spend the bulk of our modern lives in wheeled office chairs and rely more on Google Maps for navigation and GrubHub for food foraging. This is a shame, though, because we were designed to move.

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Posted in Communication & Feedback, Out & About

The Importance of Sales in Everyday Life

The Importance of Sales in Everyday Life

We’re all in sales, like it or not. And most of us don’t like it. When we hear the word sales we often conjure up images of oh-so-smug and sleazy car salesmen or aggressive, boiler-room type telemarketers. Or Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross espousing the importance of the ABCs — Always. Be. Closing. Some of us have traumatic relationships with sales. For me, it began with having to sell tickets to my pop-warner football games – me, a sweaty palmed and trembling twelve year old awaiting door-to-door rejection (sadly, my parents accounted for the bulk of my sales). For

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Posted in Communication, Communication & Feedback, Corporate Training, Leadership

Conflict Resolution: Why Ask Why?

Conflict Resolution: Why Ask Why?

Once I was asked what one thing an individual could do that would improve his or her ability to solve problems. My short answer…Be curious! I learned the importance of this virtue while serving on the roster of certified mediators for the supreme court of Virginia, which included some very interesting experiences at the general district court level. One of my favorite cases involved a representative from an animal shelter and a woman who had recently adopted a cat. The animal shelter was demanding that the cat be returned because the new owner had apparently violated the terms of the adoption

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Posted in Communication & Feedback, Corporate Training

Conflict at Work: The Cost and Value

Conflict at Work: The Cost and Value

Did you realize we spend close to three hours of our work week dealing with conflict? According to a 2008 survey by CPP , publishers of the popular Myers-Briggs® assessment, conflict accounts for 2.8 hours of our work week. When you add up the hours and multiply it by the average hourly wage of $17.95, we’re talking about $360 Billion dollars in paid employee time. With that in mind, it’s important for managers to address conflict meaningfully. And that does not mean stifling it.

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Posted in Communication, Communication & Feedback, Corporate Training, Teamwork

The Importance of Achieving Flow for Happiness at Work

Flow - Happiness at Work - Map of Everyday Experience

True happiness at work pretty much boils down to one word: flow. Flow is the name of the book by psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (mee-hy cheek-sent-mə-hy-ee), wherein he describes “a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation. It is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter.” (source) Furthermore, Csíkszentmihályi contends that being in this state of flow is the key to happiness, and that a state of flow is often associated with the best moments of our life. Imagine the time you raced down the

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Posted in Assessments & Profiles, Communication & Feedback, Corporate Training, Leadership

How to Give Feedback Effectively

How to Give Feedback

Giving feedback is rarely something that we look forward to, but rather something we often avoid or mildly dread. Unfortunately, the word itself has become loaded with baggage. When we hear the word feedback, most of us think of it as a lightly-veiled, corporate euphemism for criticism. Despite the negative connotations, it’s undeniable that feedback is a valuable tool for improving employee and management team performance. And part of the reason that we dread it so much is that we’re doing it wrong. Here are some helpful tips that will assure that you provide feedback effectively.

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Posted in Communication, Communication & Feedback

Why Face-to-Face meetings will never go out of style

Many of our customers are geographically dispersed and rely on Skype, conference calls and virtual meetings to stay connected. We have been told that our brand of training and team building may soon be replaced by headsets and videoconferencing—that companies can’t afford to bring their far-flung teams together to meet—that some consider spending time together to be a waste of time. We believe the opposite and see the power of the f2f on a daily basis. Memorable shared experience: An adventure, a fun outing or a good laugh all accelerate bonding and build community.

Posted in Communication & Feedback, Trends