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Archive for the ‘ Leadership ’ Category


Are You Trainable?

Posted by Mimi Meredith at Friday, February 3rd, 2012 5:56 pm
Well of course you are! But do you welcome the opportunities as they arise? Having our minds stretched makes a bit room for more information, but that doesn't often happen for many of us because stretching hurts. Here are some simple steps to make the most of each learning opportunity. Remember that Significant Learning Opportunities, as Jim Fay calls them, are often wrapped up in times we'd rather avoid...accidents, failures, broken relationships...but if we allow those times to be something we simply survive, we never harvest the lesson and allow ourselves to grow from them. Look for some of the most significant opportunities to come from people who irritate you. The thing that irritates you in them is likely a strong trait you carry as well (we'll get into all the egoesque theory in that another day...feel free to use egoesque...I kind of like it). Turn off your filter and listen to understand. In a horrible moment, don't say something chirpy like, "Boy, oh boy are we going to look back and laugh at what we learned today!" People… Click here for the rest of the post



Course Correcting Conversations

Posted by Mimi Meredith at Friday, January 6th, 2012 11:35 am
It's Family Friday. Today, I'm thinking about an important communication skill for creating positive culture at work and at home. In both places, it's not our ability to outline a vision or articulate expected behaviors that counts as much of our skill in keeping everyone motivated and on track to fulfill that mission. How do you have those difficult conversations? How do you guide without micromanagement? How do you get rid of the bathwater and keep the baby safe? (Sorry, but that metaphor always generates images of wet, airborne infants that are somewhat disturbing!) I've talked before about the dangers of over correction, but what happens when corrective measures have to be taken? Here are some simple strategies. See what you think. First, identify and consistently communicate the criteria for behavior. It pains me to overhear parents walking into a big event with a child saying, "remember what we talked about..." or a supervisor to an employee saying, "I know you won't let me down on this, Jane," as he or she receives a huge assignment. People will respond… Click here for the rest of the post



What Makes a Star Performer?

Posted by Mimi Meredith at Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 8:09 am
For at least 12 years, the same man has served as the crosswalk guard at an intersection between our middle school and high school. I am sure there must have been days he was sick, or had a replacement, but I don't recall ever seeing anyone else at that corner. He's always seemed "older", yet he hasn't visibly aged in the12 years I've been passing his corner. He rarely smiles. He doesn't wave at all the passing cars. He'll occasionally wave back, but not often. In the early years of taking my boys and their friends to school, it used to be my personal challenge to make him smile back at me. But usually, he remained focused on the traffic and the students...you know...doing his job. I don't know that keeping middle school students safe and orderly requires a cheerful countenance. It's interesting how we rate work. I have personally championed movements to "hire friendly people" and I'm really great at teaching people the benefits of positive engagement. But tell me, would this stoic-looking man who has taken his post… Click here for the rest of the post



What You See is What You Get!

Posted by Mimi Meredith at Friday, December 30th, 2011 10:46 am
My top ten thoughts moving into the new year... If what you see is bleak and discouraging, fix it. It will take work and patience...a lot of it. Sometimes your efforts don't pay off in the ways you expect or as quickly as you'd like. This used to be less of a surprise to people, but then we became a society conditioned for immediate gratification and ease of operation. So make this a year for less whining and more working. If you want to see more kindness, more love, more patience...then practice it. I can't tell you how much time I've wasted wishing a situation would improve without first working to improve myself. See number one. If you don't like what you see everyday and option number one isn't working, see it differently. Maybe you've conditioned yourself to focus on the negative in a situation or a soul. Changing your perspective may even mean you see another person's view. (Yikes...that sounds so uncomfortable and awkward. And what if it means I wasn't completely right?) So go find a new view.… Click here for the rest of the post



Created Any Good Misunderstandings Lately?

Posted by Mimi Meredith at Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 12:16 pm
"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."  George Bernard Shaw You speak. You write. You've communicated. But were you understood? What if you weren't? What if the enthusiastic response you anticipate instead is an awkward silence? What if you continue to have a gap between intention and implementation? There are times when we know we've been misunderstood. Those are the fortunate times, because we can respond. But what response will clarify, calm and clear the way for more effective action? When you've been misunderstood, Do Not Repeat yourself. It worked so well the first time, why not just use the same message over and over? Surely it will break through eventually? No, but eventually, everyone will nod their heads in agreement simply to get you to shut up. Belittle. "I thought I made myself perfectly clear." Meaning...you idiot, anyone can understand this! If the message has left someone confused, it is less about their inability to understand and more about your ability to be understood. If you don't need buy-in; don't want to… Click here for the rest of the post