Leadership Training

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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9 Things Your Employees Need to Hear From You

Date: July 28th, 2014

Blog post by: Scott Seroka

In my role as a brand consultant, I do quite a few employee insight assessments. These assessments are questionnaires and interviews I facilitate to gain insights on how employees perceive their brand in twelve different categories, and I also gain a deep understanding of how they feel about the company’s leadership.

Employee Praise LeadershipI have reviewed thousands of assessments in my career and have consistently found that one of the top three things employees crave most from their employers that they rarely receive is “better” communication. Better in the sense of being high quality, timely, meaningful, informative and frequent. And this desire for better communication should not be surprising – consultants and counselors have cited poor communication for years as the #1 reason for conflict in relationships and poor employee morale.

Based on my experience and overwhelming evidence, I have created a list of what I believe are the top nine things employees need to hear from their leaders:

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How to Stop Attracting Problems with One Small Change

Date: July 22nd, 2014

Blog post by: Scott Seroka

If you’re in a leadership position and perpetually find yourself under an inordinate amount of stress, as you seem to attract more than your fair share of problems, it may be self-inflicted.

When we are promoted into positions of leadership, we naturally understand our lives may be filled with a few more headaches as additional, heavier responsibilities are placed upon us. Why else would we be earning the big bucks? Think about it – as newly anointed leaders, we no longer have the luxury of worrying only about ourselves – we are also expected to manage others to ensure department goals are met and projects are completed to expectation. If we don’t perform, game over.

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What Would Aliens Say About Our Communication?

Date: July 15th, 2014

Blog post by: Scott Seroka

If aliens are looking down at us from another planet and watching how we interact with each other, they would likely conclude that humans prefer interacting with devices and computers instead of with one another, face-to-face. The sad fact is that their conclusion would be correct. Just think – the very technology that was developed to help us become more efficient so we could spend more personal time with family and friends has turned on us, making us less social, and more isolated than ever.

This is equally troubling in the workplace where we are expected to interact with one another, build trusting relationships, communicate meaningful information and strategize within work teams to accomplish objectives. This is becoming increasingly difficult, as so many people not only rely on technology to communicate, it is, in some cases preferred, if not required. What mediums of communication do we have to choose from? I’ve narrowed it down to the four below, in the order of usage and popularity as I perceive it.

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How to Create a Better Climate at Work

Date: July 9th, 2014

Posted by: Michelle Adams

Most leaders have the technical expertise to do their jobs effectively. In fact, that’s usually the reason they were promoted to a leadership position in the first place. But technical know-how is only part of what it takes to be an effective leader–and an effective coach. Many managers and executives may be surprised to learn that it’s not the most important part. Technical expertise and knowledge are prerequisites to good leadership; they’re necessary, but they’re not sufficient.

working together2_dropshadowThe ability to relate with and motivate the people who report to the leader is far more important. Much research shows that when people work in a climate of respect, caring, honesty, collaboration, cooperation and trust, they maximize their contributions to the organization.

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The Unintended Consequences of Helping Others

Date: July 7th, 2014

Blog post by: Scott Seroka

Most of us have at least a few kind bones in our bodies and are naturally inclined to help people who appear to be in some sort of trouble, at least to the extent we are able to help. We help our kids when they have trouble with their homework (or at least we try), we help our colleagues out when they need support with workload, and we make ourselves available to our friends when they ask us to help them move. With rare exception, most of us are good, kind souls.

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On Leadership, by Dr. Thomas Gordon*

Date: July 1st, 2014

Posted by: Michelle Adams

Tom Gordon_color-funeralbookletphoto w dropshadow(The following is from writings just found, literally tucked away in a filing cabinet, printed on that purple mimeographed stuff—you “old schoolers” know what I am talking about. What a find! While I continue my treasure hunt, I am posting some for you now.)

Leadership is too much related to one’s personality, one’s basic attitudes and values. Consequently, becoming a different kind of leader requires fundamental changes in the inner core of the person, as opposed to simply their outward behavior.

Such a change will occur only through frequent exposures to new situations, through a kind of painstaking experimentation with different methods, and through honest examination and evaluation of one’s attitudes toward self and others.

‘Techniques’ will help, of course, but they can be effective only if they become an implementation of the leader’s own philosophy and temperament. There is a reason for stressing the intimate relationship between one’s patterns of leadership and their philosophy and temperament.

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5 Reasons to Stop Encouraging Someone into a Leadership Position

Date: June 16th, 2014

Blog post by: Scott Seroka

Smiling coworkers_dropshadow

 

Every company has top performing employees who get along exceptionally well with colleagues and customers. They seem to have all those “people skills” needed to be a great leader – polished communication skills, Active Listeners, great at motivating team members to achieve lofty objectives, and with such admired skills, they intuitively know how to quickly extinguish conflict. You may be thinking of someone who is poised to fill a much needed leadership role in your company, and you may be encouraging him or her to accept a position in management. But what if that ideal person has rejected your offers, not wanting to have anything to do with the additional responsibilities associated with being burdened by a management title? What do you do?

If you happen to find yourself stuck in this situation, consider the following five reasons to cease and desist…

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How To Increase Productive Work Time

Date: June 10th, 2014

Posted by: Michelle Adams

So how DO you increase productive work time? Well, in Gordon Model land, we have a variety of skills to choose from: different types of I-Messages, Active Listening and the Method III Problem-Solving process. Specifically, here’s what I am talking about.

Using Dr. Gordon’s Behavior Window, depending on where we are in this window, we decide what skill we’re going to use and when. We’d like to ideally live in the No-Problem Area of this window. So how do we stay in this area? How do we increase this area so we can be as productive as possible?

Try these on for size–these are some skills to use when you’re in this area that can help you stay there:

Well, I declare!

Declarative I-Messages: These are your self-disclosures to others about your beliefs, ideas, likes, dislikes, feelings, reactions, attitudes, intentions.

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