LEARNING FROM GIRAFFES: Be social (Part 2 of 5)

Giraffes are social. And when they socialize, they like to be informal and mix things up. Giraffes move into and out of herds; they don’t stick with one group or develop territories (known as cliques or ingroups and outgroups in the workplace). Think of giraffes as being socially-fluid. What do you do at work? Do you

LEARNING FROM GIRAFFES: Be uniquely YOU (Part 1 of 5)

Giraffes are odd looking. They are disproportionate with their long necks and comparatively teeny heads. Their necks are too long to allow them to bend over to drink without splaying their legs. They tower over all other mammals at about 15-20 feet. And the list goes on. YET, as odd or awkward as they may

BECOME A BETTER COWORKER: Define and Communicate Boundaries (Part 4 of 4)

What boundaries are we taught to respect throughout our lives?  A quick brainstorm produced this list: Drive on this side of the dotted line. Obey the speed limit. Stay in your yard. Listen to your parents. Don’t swear at work. Don’t take what isn’t yours. Do what you were hired to do. and right now,

BECOME A BETTER COWORKER: Latitude for Mistake-making (Part 2 of 4)

If you are perfect, stop reading. There is nothing in this article for you. On second thought, this article is probably more for you than it is for anyone else. (Because no one is perfect.) If you make mistakes, keep reading. If you struggle when coworkers screw up, keep reading. If you are fine working

  • Photo credit: Tsahi Levent-Levi

The Importance of Asking Questions: Show Interest (Part 6 of 6)

As the last article in this series of The Importance of Asking Questions, I want to get back to basics. The basics of healthy, helpful conversation. I have become acutely aware of the number of conversations I have that are one-way conversations. The type of conversation that are primarily about the other person. The kind

THE IMPORTANCE OF ASKING QUESTIONS: Asking the Right Questions (Part 4 of 6)

For the past few weeks I’ve been writing about the importance of asking questions to connect the dots, solve the right problem, and seek understanding.  What I haven’t written about yet is how to ask the RIGHT questions. I think its an important part, don’t you? Recently, I saw this brilliant graphic by Yulia Kosarenko

THE IMPORTANCE OF ASKING QUESTIONS: Seeking Understanding (Part 3 of 6)

Look above.  Do you find these phrases annoying? Frustrating? Irritating? In my opinion, if you have SAID or HEARD these phrases even once, that is one time too many! It’s like this folks—If you find yourself saying things like the aforementioned phrases, people aren’t doing a very good job of seeking understanding.  And guess what?

THE IMPORTANCE OF ASKING QUESTIONS: Solving the Right Problem (Part 2 of 6)

Hours of meetings, research, and effort ONLY to find out it was the WRONG problem. I remember this happening with a client a number of years ago when I delivered training on employee engagement.  The goal of the training was to “empower employees to work together better by building trust with each other”. Great! I

THE IMPORTANCE OF ASKING QUESTIONS: Connecting the Dots (Part 1 of 6)

A theme popped up this past week when I was teaching classes on Strengths-based Leadership and running meetings that don’t suck. The class discussions led me to pull out Socratic questioning information in all three classes. This was not planned. Then I noticed the topic of questions coming up in my personal life too. Several