Yes, I’m writing about it: the Roe v. Wade decision

Many years ago when I was in college, I went with a friend to her abortion appointment. I cannot imagine what her life would have been like – hers and her boyfriend’s, who was 100% supportive – if she hadn’t been able to get an abortion. Much more recently, a young woman I know got an abortion, under circumstances I’ll …

Empathy, sympathy, compassion … and chiggers

Empathy is a Big Deal in leadership and management these days, and that’s a good thing. But there’s a lot of confusion still running rampant about what empathy actually is, how we can demonstrate it, and what it means in relation to sympathy and compassion. In fact, there’s so much confusion that Googling any of those terms, or a composite query of “empathy …

Do you compliment?

People whose efforts are rewarded are more engaged and do better work. Unsurprisingly, they’re happier, too, at work and at home. So here’s the question for leaders and managers: do you compliment? Do you acknowledge? Do you recognize? Compliments are, as Christopher Littlefield points out, “conflict prevention.” Littlefield knows whereof he speaks: he’s a conflict resolution expert, author, and founder …

We are not okay

I heard a horrifying and profoundly sad statistic this morning. Over 60,000 school-age kids have buried a parent during the pandemic. Sixty thousand. There have been over 889,000 deaths in the U.S. from covid, and over 5,616,000 deaths worldwide. Eight hundred eighty nine thousand in the U.S. Five million six hundred sixteen thousand worldwide. Someone on your team is dealing …

Twisties, anyone?

If you’ve been paying any attention at all to this year’s Olympics, you know that Simone Biles, considered the greatest gymnast of all time, withdrew from the all-around and, as of the time I’m writing this, is uncertain for the individual competitions. The public reaction has been predictably … intense. From those condemning her (I’m not going there) to those …

“Just” a business decision?

“It’s just a business decision.” That, my friend, is an excuse for doing something you know is going to hurt someone – maybe multiple someones – and not taking appropriate responsibility for it, nor finding a way to mitigate the impact. It’s never “JUST” a business decision.  Many (many) moons ago, I worked for a software company where the CEO …

Leadership and mental health

Employee mental health is the top priority for almost every HR person I’ve been in contact with recently. We’re not wired, mentally, emotionally, or physically, to undergo extended periods of uncertainty and stress. Yet what has this last year been, but … an extended period of uncertainty and stress? I’m sure I don’t need to convince you of that. So …

When things are deeply weird

As leaders, how are we to handle events that happen outside the company, but have a significant impact on our employees? This is a question that comes up more often than one might prefer. On 9/11, I was still working in corporate, an executive in a midsize technology company on the U.S. West Coast. We had a number of employees …

Stress, anxiety, exhaustion – it’s Pandemic Brain!

“What’s wrong with me?” More than one client has said that to me in the past few weeks. “What’s wrong with me?” One client is exhausted. Another is anxious – “for no reason.” And then there’s the lack of normal productivity, the difficulty thinking clearly, the unexpected challenge of making decisions. “I’m really lucky. I have a good job. I’m healthy. …

The most important leadership skill?

As a leader, which is more important: good people skills or good communication skills? Perhaps they’re inseparable. Perhaps it’s impossible to have good people skills without good communication skills – and if you’re a good communicator, you’re probably also good with people. “Communication” is often viewed as the ability to convince, negotiate, explain, and so on. Those are all great …