Leadership Training

This Ain’t McTraining—It’s Gonna Take Some Practice—But It’s Worth It

Date: February 24th, 2015

Blog posted by: Michelle Adams

Question:  How long does it take for people to learn and use the skills of listening and I-language? Are there any shortcuts?

Answer: We’ll use the famous non-answer answer:  it depends. It’s a matter of breaking habits, biting one’s tongue, stopping and starting over when you catch yourself repeating old patterns. I don’t know any shortcuts unless it would be checking your Leadership training learning stages skillsintentions as you go about your life. Knowing what you intend, it seems to me, pushes you in that direction. If you intend to understand what people say you may be able to transcend technique.  If you intend to take responsibility for your thoughts and feelings you’ll express them in I-language (read “I-Messages”).

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Life Skills You Really Ought to Have at Work

Date: February 18th, 2015

Blog Posted by: Michelle Adams (excerpted from Be Your Best)

Effective self-disclosure involves knowing what you value, need and want, appropriately telling others about your thoughts and feelings, and initiating action to get your needs met. You act assertively by communicating and acting honestly and directly in a way that does not violate the rights of others or block them from meeting their needs.

Assertive messages are referred to (in Gordon Model land) as l-Messages*. An I-Message is a communication which describes you. It expresses your feelings and experience, not your judgment, evaluation or interpretation of others.

An I-Message is authentic, honest, and congruent. It reflects the actual strength of your thoughts and feelings. It is clear, understandable, and to the point, not masked in indirect or vague language.

What we teach in our workshops, will help you develop your skill in communicating four types of I-Messages — each appropriate for a different purpose and context. These self-disclosing messages are:

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The Revolution of Human Relationships at Work

Date: February 10th, 2015

Blog posted by:  Michelle Adams (excerpted from the L.E.T. book by Dr. Thomas Gordon)

No person who has kept abreast of what is happening in organizations and institutions in our society can escape the conclusion that a revolution has started—a human relations revolution of great significance. People want to be treated with respect and with dignity; people are demanding to have a strong voice in their own working lives; people are less willing to be coerced and exploited; people want the right to achieve ­self-­respect in their work and have work that is meaningful and rewarding; people are rebelling against inhuman working environments in very human ways—by ­job-­hopping, absenteeism, apathetic attitudes, antagonism, and malicious mischief.

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On Loons and Leadership

Date: February 3rd, 2015

Blog Post by: Sheryl Wilde

A soft, swirling mist lingered over the lake. A gentle breeze whispered, only to me, its secrets from ages past. Then, I heard it – echoing eerily through the pre-dawn stillness – the long, mournful wail of a Great Northern Loon. It was a sound felt as much as heard. A sound my soul has never forgotten.

As a child, I spent a lot of time by myself exploring the shores of Blue Waters Lake in Minnesota. It was a more innocent time then, a time when a young girl could venture off on her own without the fears of today.

I often walked the narrow, rock-strewn path down to the lake to watch the sunrise. I loved to sit on the beach in the early morning hours and just listen to the sound of the world before mankind made its imprint on the new day.

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Who Should Be On Your Team?

Date: January 27th, 2015

Blog Posted by: Michelle Adams

If you are going to build a team and use it to help you manage and solve problems, it is important for you to decide who is to be on the team and, equally important, for them to know, too.

Often the answer is determined simply by the organizational chart—all those for whom you are directly responsible, your total work group.

Some leaders, however, have been assigned additional people who perform certain “staff” functions, as opposed to “line” functions—administrative assistants, H.R. directors, legal advisors, staff assistants.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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  • 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.

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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)

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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.

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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

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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.

Example:

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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…..?

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