Don’t Let Change Manage You: 4 Characteristics of a Change Agent

Some people love change. Some people hate change. Some people are just along for the ride. No matter where you fall in the continuum, we know that change is difficult – because change necessarily involves loss. In the workplace, change can mean loss of job security, loss of relationships, loss of identity, loss of routine, loss of benefits, the list goes on and on. We stand to lose a lot when change comes around. We are all too familiar with the loss that change brings, which is why many of us show some sort of resistance to it. This resistance can look very different from person to person, however. Some resistance is intellectual – where you might disagree with a conclusion or a decision being made. Some resistance is emotional – where you might be reacting out of fear or anxiety for what the change might mean for you. Despite the threat of loss, we know that not everyone responds to change in the same way. There are generally three ‘characters’ who might show up when a change occurs. One is the Resistor. This person is having a very difficult time with the change and has strong emotions related [...]

2016-12-15T15:32:16+00:00By |Leadership|

How to Prevent Your Survival Mechanism from Backfiring

Our bodies are wonderful organisms. We are specially designed to recognize threats in our environments and prepare ourselves to eliminate the threat either by running away from it or by attacking it. This is what is commonly known as the Fight or Flight response. This response is a finely tuned survival mechanism that increases the odds that we will live to fight (or flee) another day. If this mechanism is for our good, how does it backfire on us? Let’s look at a day in the life of James. He wakes up late, having slept through his alarm. In his rush to get to an important meeting on time, he gets pulled over and receives a speeding ticket. He shows up late to the meeting and his boss had to pinch hit for him on an important presentation. After the meeting, his boss asks him to see him at his office before he goes home that day. James tries to take a moment over lunch to decompress from his frustrating morning only to realize that he was supposed to have dialed in to a vital call with a client at 11am. You may have experienced some days like this. [...]

2016-12-15T15:32:16+00:00By |Leadership|

Three Ways to Create Bad Relationships at Work (and How to Fix Them)

You may have heard the phrase, “If it wasn’t for the people, work would be great.”  Although many point to their peers and coworkers as providing a strong sense of camaraderie and meaning in the workplace, often the biggest complaints are aimed at peers and coworkers.  In fact, usually when someone resigns from a company, it is as a result of interpersonal issues in the workplace.  Why is it that some of these relationships can go so well and be so rewarding while others can be so frustrating and destructive? When considering how people interact with each other in the workplace, there are four main approaches people can take, most of which only serve to create relational problems.  The approaches are as follows: Passive – This approach is friendly and wants to be liked.  They also desperately want to avoid conflict.  As a result, they are generally seen as team players and flexible, but can also be doormats to people who are prone to taking advantage of other people’s good will.  There are times when this approach may be appropriate, but if you’re always this way, you’ll find that more and more people will cross your boundaries. Passive-Aggressive – [...]

2016-12-15T15:32:16+00:00By |Leadership|

Developing a Mindset for Success

Over the past 10 years, I’ve been interested in how we perceive our world through the lens of our personal life journey and through our experience in organizations where we have worked. Both of these are a source for the mindset we find ourselves most comfortable in adopting. In addition our experience of what helps us succeed as leaders shapes and fixes our mindsets and these intuitively drive our behavior and approach. This can be helpful, providing us with quick solutions to what is facing us. Unfortunately as changes happen around us, these shortcuts can be our downfall In 1997 Larry Greiner’s seminal work “Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow” was reproduced in the Harvard Business Review. He re-affirmed that major phases of growth can be seen in organizations. Organizations evolve in stages and change through revolution in the form of crises. He defines the consecutive phases and crises as follows: Creativity - leadership Direction - autonomy Delegation - control Coordination – red tape Collaboration – in 1997 he proposed that the crisis following this phase is one of growth and requires a networked organization solution. He observes that leaders in each phase develop approaches that are adaptive for [...]

2016-12-15T15:32:16+00:00By |Leadership|