Monthly Archives: December 2016

Employee Motivation in 2017: Are Handy Generational Labels Losing Value?

Young business team in a meeting discussing progress of the company. Creative professionals sitting around a table in office.

No one’s a generation-bot.  As organizational leaders assess employee engagement, or lack of it, that recognition will help.

Millennials have won some real trophies. Back to that near the end of this 1.3-minute read. ;-|

My clients who are planning their 2017 team retreats share a few big concerns this year, most of them around employee engagement. We’re talking about motivation, work ethic and communication, and about the relationships between team members of the Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer generations.

read more

The Opinion Reflex: Take Command

Close-up of people communicating while sitting in circle and gesturing

In a recent post I suggested that most of think that we’re better listeners than others are. And, if you asked six people about that, you’d likely get not just six answers, but six –or more – opinions on the subject.

As I see it, we tend to have an Opinion Reflex. Nearly everything we hear prompts us to pull up our position on the subject – based mostly on what we already know, or think, or feel. I suspect that we judge, evaluate and take sides almost automatically, maybe even before we’ve heard the whole story.  The Opinion Reflex is a powerful, overwhelming habit, one that can kill genuine listening, and therefore genuine conversation. I’d love to be a world-class listener all the time – well, a lot of the time! – but whenever that reflex takes over, forget it.

read more

Good Listener? You? 3 Ways to be Sure

Young manager interviewing a potential worker

Ask the next six people you see, “Are you a good listener?” and you’ll likely hear six kinds of “yes.”  It’s a quality that most of us take pride in, like being a good driver or a bad liar.

But if you then ask, “Are most people good listeners?” you’ll get far fewer positive responses.

Which probably means that some of us don’t listen as well as we think we do.  We do know that good listeners pay attention, ask questions, and exhibit encouraging non-verbal cues while maintaining an open mind.  Easy!  But how do we know we’re doing all that? By checking our own behavior in real time.

read more