Are you spinning?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 26, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Conflict, Confidence, Leadership, Relationships

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As we work with leaders in various roles and types of organizations, one theme that we encounter across the leadership landscape is guilt. Leaders are often trapped by feelings of guilt. You can likely relate to experiences like this:


  • You need to talk to a staff member about missing too much time at work, but you feel guilty because you know the staff member is going through a difficult time at home.
  • You must address a performance issue with a team member who is failing to complete a project on time, but you think that you are at least partly to blame for not providing enough oversight and follow-up.
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The Pillars of Conscious Communication

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 19, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Dale Allen posted in Confidence, Leadership, Relationships

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To help our clients, The Leadership Group developed the following Pillars of Conscious Communication. Use these tools to transform your relationship with yourself and with others

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Who wants to learn 'how to have difficult conversations?'

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 28, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Conflict, Confidence, Leadership, Influence, Relationships

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This is something I hear often yet no one really wants to know how to have DIFFICULT conversations. We want to minimize the difficult part.

So..You know WHAT to say—but HOW will you say it?

When giving some tough news i.e. reorginization or layoffs at work or wanting to speak with family members or friends during some rough patches, we are often looking for some words to guide the conversation(s) we are about to have. 

Many of our executive clients and managers are given scripts at work, as a guide and they tell us those scripts provide an element of predictability that can feel comforting.

Yet, some of the leaders we work with review their scripts or practice conversations with us with a growing sense of unease, overwhelm and apprehension. Why?

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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

[fa icon="calendar'] May 17, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Confidence, Leadership, Influence, Relationships

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It was in 1943 that Abraham Maslow first developed his ever-popular pyramid that prioritized human need and, although there are many applications for the hierarchy, it is certainly exercised often by leaders. After all, the role of the leader is to interact with people in a way that motivates them to achieve a common goal. What better way to inspire people than to understand their needs and help to achieve them?

In the original hierarchy, social needs were depicted as the third type of need in order, following physiological needs (food, water, shelter, air, sleep, and sex) and the need for safety and security. Social needs, of course, represented the need for friendship and family, which took priority over the needs for esteem and self-actualization.


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Leadership and Life Lessons

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 26, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Dale Allen posted in Conflict, Confidence, Leadership, Relationships

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There is no refund on time—once you’ve spent it, it’s gone.


Using your time more consciously, will give you the edge you need to achieve more in your world…


Have you ever had those days when things just don’t go according to plan? You find yourself going from meeting to meeting instead of leading, learning and delivering. You are conflicted, because you don’t want to miss a meeting, but going to meetings prevents you from getting stuff done.


During university, I had a summer job working at Hostess Potato Chip Factory in my hometown. I had never worked in a factory before and was truly excited to learn how things were made. The enormity of the factory was impressive: everything was new to me including working nights, the great money, the assembly lines, the smell of tons and tons of potatoes, and the complexity of the machines. It all wowed me. My job was to pack bags of chips into boxes and put the filled boxes on a palette.


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Conscious Ways to Experience Better Use of Time

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 19, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Conflict, Influence, Relationships

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I have taken time management courses and taught productivity courses for years, yet I still watch myself and others struggle with time's elusive ways, leaving us stranded with more work at the end of a day. Like many of you, I do all the right stuff: I have memorized the 4-hour work week, prioritized, said "no," delegated, used a timer and I can't seem to get it all done. It's stressful, frustrating—a little bit like running a race without a finish line. So, what is up?! How do we end the stressful race?


While you cannot “manage time,” the nature of your thoughts will change how you CHOOSE to use your time.


Conscious communication is more than just a way of speaking, it is a conscious practice that requires you to notice:

  • The thinking that precedes your CHOICES
  • which lead toy your ACTIONS
  • and the RESULTS that you experience


Ever get the sense that you are 'chasing the clock'? Do you ever have feelings of stress, guilt and fear? Have you ever found that when you are trying to keep up, get things done and negotiate daily living, you leave little time for conscious, healthy, presencing experiences?


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7 Ways to Use Conscious Communication to Minimize Conflict

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 21, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Conflict, Relationships

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What are you REALLY saying?

All day long you compose emails, send texts, lead meetings, contribute on conference calls, debate with your colleagues, connect with clients or other departments…the list goes on.

We can spend the majority of our day communicating. Whenever two or more people are in communication, there is the opportunity for conflict i.e. differences of perspective, opinions or ideas, to bloom. We have been taught that conflict is bad. Yet I have had a different experience. I realize that when there is tension/conflict of thought, their is an opportunity for new ideas to be created. How do we be with the tension that arises in recurring conflict long enough to let new ideas flourish and thus improve our productivity?


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Conversation (not Discussion): Building Trust Through Talk

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 8, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Conflict, Leadership, Relationships

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In a recent Group Coaching Call, we discussed “motivating higher performance through conversation”. The choice of the word conversation was intentional, and the leaders on the call agreed that performance, engagement, and relationships in the workplace could benefit from more conversation and less of other types of interactions that we label “discussion,” “feedback sessions,” and “performance reviews.”  Semantics, you may say, but the focus is really on the intention inspiring the interaction.  Not corrective, rather creative!

The leaders identified how thinking about an interaction (for example with a colleague or staff member) as a conversation changes the focus and allows for a more authentic and vulnerable interaction to occur—one that is more likely to inspire and engage than traditional modes of interaction often used in the workplace. As one call participant, a facilitator, said:


With Conversation, You're Both There...


“Employees and managers have lives outside of work and that whole person shows up at work. 'Conversation' implies informal, two-way give and take, authentic exploration, a level playing field. It also implies shared responsibility, not just one up, one down. In a conversation, you’re both there as the whole person. I think people are afraid of what 'conversation’ implies because we have conversations socially, but at work we have ‘discussions’ and ‘reviews’ and ‘sessions.’ Shifting to ‘conversation’ can move us forward so much.”


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Co-Creative Leadership

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 7, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Dale Allen posted in Leadership, Relationships

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As a leadership coach and process facilitator, I’ve had the chance lately to witness effective leadership (and change) as a co-creative process. We’ve written in the past about how leadership is a creative act; co-creation adds a new dimension to the interactions and conversations that comprise leadership.

Co-creation is the act of working together with one or more other people to create something new, something different—something better. The creative process is inherently curious because it seeks to discover new things—new ways of thinking, of perceiving, of doing. I’ve witnessed how powerful that type of curiosity can be in the context of leadership and the context of creating positive change.


Curiosity Breeds Connection

Because curiosity is a desire purely to learn and discover, it is unhampered by judgment and unfiltered  by expectations. When a leader approaches interactions and change from a position of creative curiosity, conscious communication and discovery occur.

Curiosity and discovery are open, inviting processes with great room to welcome perspectives, ideas, and participation from others. This seeds the process of co-creation, in which a team together takes a journey to a new, different, and better place.


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You Should Stop Being Too Busy

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 16, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Dale Allen posted in Leadership, Relationships

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Do you wear being "busy" like a badge?


Being really busy and being too busy are things we often hear from our clients. When we feel like we are too busy, our performance starts to suffer and our stress levels increase.


We are dedicated to helping people grow, expand their perspective and take their career and business to the next level, so I was captivated by some points in this blog post on this topic of busy-ness on the Harvard Business Review’s website. We're happy to have shared some of the key points from this post for you here.


The author, Meredith Fineman, is a publicist and writer living in Washington, DC, and she has a bone to pick with people who complain about how busy they are. She writes, “there seems to be a constant exchange, even a one-upping, of just how much we have on our plates when we communicate about our work.”


Indeed, it seems as though we have come to associate being busy with being important. Feeling important gives us a feeling of status and human beings welcome any chance we have to create the impression of having status. It used to be that expensive cars, clothes and jewellery were the status symbols par excellence, but now we have a new contender: busy-ness.


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