Monthly Archives May 2014

No News Isn’t Always Good News

Published previously on LinkedIn. We have several idioms in English that express the basic sentiment that in the absence of more information people assume the best. “No news is good news” and other similar truisms are only true for maybe 1/3 or less of the population (the optimistic extroverts). What we know about the temperament of different people in the workplace dictates our understanding of this principle. For the outgoing positive extroverts in the office, this is their default setting. With no additional information, they will almost always assume the best. For them, the saying is pretty accurate. But, for
Read More

Diversity and Workplace Conflict

We humans are incredibly diverse as a species. Our differences exist on so many different levels, they are hard to meaningfully enumerate. These differences, diversity, are what makes life interesting and challenging. On our worst days in our exasperation, we say to ourselves, “Why can’t she be more like me?” We breathe a silent request for greater similarity and uniformity. I speak and write often on the subject of interpersonal conflict (its nature, development, prevention and resolution) in the workplace. By far, the most frequent answer I receive to the question, “What causes conflict?” is this idea of differences or
Read More

Coming Out of the Closet

Published previously on LinkedIn We store things in closets. They aren’t made for people; they are made for things. Perhaps the reason people are found in closets has to do with the way we have failed to treat them as people and instead have treated them as if they were things. This is yet another aspect of what Simon Sinek calls “the problem of abstraction,” not seeing people as people. I’ve never much liked closets. The closet is a place of darkness, of isolation. There are no windows. It doesn’t necessarily smell good. The air doesn’t move. It doesn’t feel
Read More

Don’t Be a George!

I spoke this morning at the Future of Leadership event in Boise, Idaho on the subject of The Yin and Yang of Complete Leadership. My theme was the need for us to regain healthy balance between the complimentary aspects of introverted and extroverted leadership styles. As a starting point for the discussion, I chose George III of England, a notoriously bad example of leadership. George’s leadership directly contributed to the need and desire for the American colonies to get out from under his oppressive reign. As a leader, he utterly failed. We would do well to learn from three of
Read More