Leadership Training

Addicted To Power: Why Bad Leadership Habits Are Hard To Break

Date: January 20th, 2015

Blog Post By: William D. Stinnett, Ph.D.

“Every time I go to my boss with a new idea, she interrupts me with a reason why it won’t work. She never hears the whole idea. Why bother?” Just about every member of this manager’s team relayed some version of the same story. When confronted with the feedback from her team members, she responded that she had heard the same complaint during her last feedback session and had tried really hard to change her behavior. “I don’t want to be that kind of boss. I want to listen to my team members. I want to hear their ideas. I know it is frustrating for them but it is frustrating for me too.” I believed her.

...Read more

What To Do When Emotions Run High

Date: January 12th, 2015

Blog Post by:  Dr. Thomas Gordon (from his L.E.T. textbook)

When conflicts arise in human relationships, emotions often reach a high level and angry feelings are exchanged. During this stage, no one is in the proper mood for constructive problem-solving; they’re too wrapped up in feeling and ca’t do the kind of thinking required for effective problem-solving. This is when Active Listening is very useful—helping people get ther feelings off their chest, paving the way for subsequent problem-solving.

article-new_ds-photo_getty_article_41_168_78428666_XS_dropshadowWhen people are angry or upset, they want it to be known—as if to say, “You must understand how very angry or upset I am before I’m willing to try to solve the problem that made me upset.” Often people want to punish: “Look how angry or upset you’ve made me! Now aren’t you sorry?” Still another reason why people ventilate strong feelings in a conflict is to scare the other person into meeting all their demands: “If I show enough anger and yell loud enough, maybe I’ll get what I want.” This is not unlike a child’s temper tantrum, and, as parents know full well, the best strategy is to wait for the feelings to dissipate.

...Read more

What Can You Win with the No Lose Method?

Date: January 5th, 2015

Blog post by:  Excerpted from L.E.T. book by Dr. Thomas Gordon

What ARE the Benefits of the No-Lose Method?

Understandably, leaders want to know the benefits of the No-Lose Method before they make the effort to learn how to use it effectively. At the outset, I must emphasize that this method involves trade-offs: while it is easy enough to conceptualize, it is not easy to acquire competence in applying this method; it often takes more time to apply than the two win-lose methods; and there are special problems leaders will encounter when they use it. I will deal with these problems shortly. What about the benefits of the No-Lose Method?

...Read more

  • Increased Commitment to Carry Out the Decision

Listening to The Sound of Silence

Date: December 16th, 2014

Blog post by: Sheryl Wilde

quiet silence listening active listening“And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices
Never shared and no one dared…”

~From the Sound of Silence, by Simon and Garfunkel

Over the past few years, as I’ve cared for my aging parents in my home, I’ve learned a lot about listening. And here’s one of the most important lessons I’ve learned:

Sometimes feelings run so deep, there are no words to describe them – and these are often the times we most desperately need to be heard.

One evening, not long ago, I received a call from a distant relative. They had called to tell me my father’s last living sister had died. His other sister had died less than a month before, and his only brother, his identical twin, had died several months before that.

...Read more

How Do Leaders Get Followers

Date: December 9th, 2014

Posted by: Michelle Adams, written by Dr. Thomas Gordon

1. To survive, every person is engaged in a continuous struggle to satisfy needs or relieve tension.

2. Some means is required to satisfy a need (tools, food, money, physical strength, knowledge, etc.).

3. Most needs of individuals are satisfied in relationships with people or groups, so people and groups become the means we rely on most heavily for the satisfaction of our needs. (We do not grow our own food, make our own clothes, get our education by ourselves, etc.).

4. People actively seek out those relationships in which the other person is seen as having the means for satisfying their needs.

5. People join groups, then, because they hope that membership will offer them the means for satisfying their needs.Conversely, they leave groups when they no longer get their needs satisfied.

(image source)

...Read more

Everything You Need to Know About Confrontive I-Messages

Date: November 17th, 2014

Blog post by: Michelle Adams

confrontation confrontive i message leadership skills

When sending Confrontive I-Messages*, you DO want to:

1. Tell the other person why they’re causing you a problem, not what they should do to solve it. Give them a chance to be a helper for you.

2. Practice getting in touch with your real feelings. (Yes, feelings. They’re there and they influence how you make decisions, so you might as well get to know them, right?) If your I-Messages are usually angry, you probably don’t know the real feelings you’re experiencing when you have a problem. Ask yourself, “What do I fear?” or “Why am I annoyed?” or “What’s going on with me?” because lots of times the behavior that you find unacceptable threatens the loss of something you need.

3. Try a second I-Message that is stronger when you’ve not been responded to or if the first I-Message doesn’t work.

...Read more

What Kind of Organization Do You Want?

Date: November 11th, 2014

Blog post by: Michelle Adams

In choosing a leadership style, leaders cannot avoid facing another issue: what kind of organizations are we to have in our society? Organizations, after all, are made up of people whose leadership style will determine the psychological climate of the total organization. Repressive leaders make repressive organizations.

What kind of leadership style is required so all members of the organization feel their needs are respected? It is inconsistent with the philosophy of leadership advocated in our leadership training program that an organization exists solely for the realization of the needs and goals of its leaders. So leaders must find ways to enlist the participation of group members in making decisions that will result in mutual need satisfaction of management and employees, leaders and group members.

Businesswoman Addressing Multi-Cultural Office Staff Meeting

...Read more

Improve Your Active Listening By Avoiding These Common Errors

Date: October 28th, 2014

Blog post by: Michelle Adams

conversation of two businesspeopleActive Listening was a term coined by Dr. Richard Farson—the concept of Active Listening was created by Dr. Carl Rogers and finally, it was popularized and brought into the main stream by Dr. Thomas Gordon.

What IS Active Listening? It is your verbal feedback to the sender of the message–of your understanding of what the sender said and how they felt about it, taking into account their non-verbal cues as well (body language, tone of voice, etc.). Period. Nothin’ else.

Okay, so here are the following eight mistakes that result from the listener’s failing to stay in touch with the sender’s feelings or the inability to keep the listener’s own feelings out of the listening process.


Sender: “I’m pretty upset with my neighbors about the weeds and junk in their yard.”

Here are the eight common listening faults (within two categories) to try and stay away from when Active Listening:

...Read more

How to Keep Your Humanity in the Digital Age

Date: October 20th, 2014

Blog Post by: Scott Seroka

This is a distraction...Somewhere back in time it became socially acceptable to be in the presence of another and stare at a smartphone to see what others are doing instead of holding a conversation with the person sitting inches away from us. Somewhere back in time it became acceptable to repeatedly pick up a phone and check for emails and texts in the middle of a meeting. Some of our customers expect us to keep our smartphones at our side, no matter where we are, awaiting their message. In many office environments, people email and message each other even though the person they are communicating with is on the other side of their wall. And it’s only going to get more common with new wearable technology like Google glass and watches that are digitally tethered to cell phones.

...Read more

How the Gordon Model Can Help Your Company Succeed – Stories from Two Clients

Date: October 13th, 2014

Blog post by: Michelle Adams

Once people experience the Gordon Model (LET, Synergistic Selling, etc.) for themselves, they see that yes, it really does work–and it does help people and companies become more productive. Really.

Listen to what these people have to say—not because they’re nice testimonials but because they share some insights and wisdom that are a good reminder. I hope you find them helpful!:

Gordon Model Business Growth“Our workplaces become our home away from home, which means that our co-workers and customers become our work family, for better or worse and everything in between. Our differences help weave the collaborative fabric of our organizations and businesses. In a perfect world our ability to communicate and get along with each other should enhance those relationships and the richness of the work fabric. LET serves as a vehicle and way of interacting to assist with the real ups and downs of people dealing with people.

...Read more

How to Bond with Every One of Your Employees with This One Skill

Date: October 7th, 2014

Blog Post by: Scott Seroka

If you think for a minute about the people you feel the most connected to and the ones you trust the most, they likely all share one fundamental communications skill: Active Listening.

active listening leadership effectiveness trainingActive Listening is the act of feeding back what we have heard, in our own words, to let the other person know we acknowledge and understand what they are saying. This skill receives a lot of attention in leadership training because it is the quickest and easiest way to bond with colleagues, employees, and quite frankly, everyone in our lives. If you’re not convinced, think about the frustration you felt the last time you were talking to someone and they were distracted by the chime of an incoming email or text, or worse, they had that deer in the headlights look because their mind was light years away. When we don’t listen, it can come off as insulting, uncaring, and being detached.

...Read more

Pushing Through the Fear of Employee Feedback

Date: September 30th, 2014

Blog Post by: Scott Seroka

Motivational speaker Tony Robbins emphasizes that feelings of fear are much more powerful than feelings of pleasure. Fear is what prevents us from doing many things in life – fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of making the wrong decision and its perceived dire consequences. On this note, one of my favorite sayings is, “Those who fear they will suffer already suffer because of their fear.” Fear can be especially crippling for people who are inclined to be pessimistic.

...Read more

The Perils of Asking Employees to Serve Two Masters

Date: September 22nd, 2014

Blog Post by: Scott Seroka

Imagine growing up in a household where your parents had completely different parenting styles—a household where your parents bickered about what the family was going to do for the day and one where each was always trying to trump the other just to make a point while you, the child, were always caught in the middle, wondering what you were supposed to do. I’ll assume that your head would have been spinning every day in confusion and frustration.

employees workplace conflict at work leader effectiveness gordon trainingNow think about what it would be like to work in an environment where two or more leaders whom you perceive to have equal authority, each give you different instructions, directions, goals, and tasks–an environment where you were always in fear of being accused of not working on the right project or not following proper instruction. I’ll assume that you would be in a state of constant confusion and anxiety, and that you would quickly reach your boiling point and quit.

...Read more

How Leader Effectiveness Training Saved This Man 24K

Date: September 16th, 2014

Blog post by:  Joseph Wilmot

Can you place a dollar amount on the value of the L.E.T. skills? Over the course of my career I cannot even guess, but I can approximate its value to me last month (July of 2014): $24,000. That was the month in which I was trying to convince the project manager of the shopping center where I was opening a new store that the building permit he insisted I had to apply for wasn’t really needed. I knew I didn’t need it. I’d consulted with the county and my architect and I had researched it. I had a printout of the code in my briefcase and was ready to offer it to prove that this guy was an idiot and didn’t know what he was talking about. But he was being very “difficult”.

...Read more

Help! I Can’t Stop Solving!

Date: September 8th, 2014

Blog post by: Michelle Adams

For those of you who took a Gordon Model workshop (L.E.T., P.E.T., Synergistic Selling, etc.), you will recall (I hope!) the concept of Problem Ownership.  For many of us—and maybe even most of us—our tendency, our desire—is to solve, fix things for other people when we see them struggling or they’re upset (when they are in the “Other Owns” area of our Behavior Window).

leader leadership gordon model problem solving at workOur aim is to help, to ease their pain, right?  Or perhaps…this problem-solving thing we do is really to ease our own pain, because we’re too uncomfortable with the situation the other person is experiencing?  Or maybe it’s officially a part of our job right?  To solve problems.  If I am a leader or a manager or a parent—that’s what I do—I fix stuff so we can all get along with our lives right…..?

...Read more

Are You a Vacation Hater?

Date: September 2nd, 2014

Blog Post By: Anonymous

You may be one. And it’s probably because everyone seems to request his or her vacation at the worst possible time. There may be an industry conference to prepare for, a large customer order that needs to be fulfilled or things are just “crazy busy.” Being down a person for a day or week just adds more stress on everyone else.

employee vacation time off leadership effectivenessVacations are also expensive because that employee sitting on a fishing boat staring at a bobber or reading their iPad’s while slathered in SPF 1,000 are still getting paid even though they are not producing anything. You may be even more frustrated when you need to hire a temp to cover for them, adding a layer of cost that eats away at your bottom line.

...Read more

A Peaceful Score Composed for Thomas Gordon

Date: August 25th, 2014

Posted by: Michelle Adams

Today’s Blog, in honor of our beloved, wonderful and brilliant founder, Dr. Thomas Gordon (March, 11, 1918 – August 26, 2002).

Active Listening? He introduced it to the world with P.E.T.
I-Messages? His creation.
Behavior Window? 100% Tom.
Communication Roadblocks? Yup, from him, too.

This is a partial list of his contributions that continue to help people around the globe.

Unofficial info? He loved to tell super bad puns, made it a point to relate to every person he came in contact with and wanted to know their stories. Any time there was a child near by, he would get down on their level to talk with them.

He was indeed a great man with a great legacy and we’re doing more than carrying on his legacy—we made it ours and we are on a mission to help the world get along better.

...Read more

The Emerging Trend of Routine Terminations

Date: August 18th, 2014

Blog Post by: Scott Seroka

If you’re a CEO, small business owner or entrepreneur, you operate in a different world than most others. You get up every morning fighting the good fight to make sure your business succeeds. If it fails, there is no mattress to fall back on which is why you may constantly remind yourself, even in the most turbulent times, that failure is not an option. No matter what industry you’re in, you face more and more competition, technology continues to change the way consumers interact with brands, and sales is the lifeblood that needs to keep flowing in order to keep your business going. Most importantly, you need the best employees you can find to acquire new customer relationships, build great products, lead in innovation and service your customers until they fall in love with your brand.

...Read more

What To Do When Office Friendships Backfire

Date: August 12th, 2014

Blog Post by: Scott Seroka

How many times have we heard about the importance of building the right culture to fit our organization’s profile? If you’re like me, probably more times that you can shake an iPhone at. Building the right culture is no small task—it requires us to search out and hire people who share similar values, beliefs, attitudes and ethics. Why is this so important? People who share more similarities than differences work better together and hence, are much more productive. Put them all together for 40 or more hours per week and friendships will inevitably develop. Most will remain strictly professional, but a few may develop into stronger, and more personal long-term relationships.

office friendships friends at work conflict leadershipThis is all fine and dandy, as long as those friendships are built on the same hierarchal level. However, when strong, personal friendships begin to develop between managers and employees, dangerous and risky lines will be crossed, and such relationships are often unsustainable, destined to implode. It’s up to the manager to define and draw which lines not to cross for six obvious reasons:

...Read more

Your Leadership Style Is Communicated in Unexpected Ways

Date: August 4th, 2014

Blog post by:  Anonymous

It was April 17, 2011 when Elaina spotted an ad on monster.com for an account executive position at an advertising agency. Her vast experience and long list of qualifications seemed to be perfectly aligned with what the agency was looking for – she had more than fifteen years of experience representing BtoC accounts and had a an impressive track record of helping her clients get plenty of press coverage and win awards.

Elaina enthusiastically submitted her resume along with some very strong references, feeling very optimistic about the prospect of winning an interview. To her delight, she received an email from the agency’s hiring manager at 8:08 that same evening and was ecstatic because she hasn’t been gainfully employed since her former employer closed its doors right before the prior years’ Thanksgiving holiday. The interview was scheduled for the following day, which gave her little time to prepare for it.

...Read more