One leader behavior gets 88% more “above and beyond” performance.

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Compassionate Listening Makes You a Better Leader: 7 Listening Tips

When was the last time you really listened to someone? When was the last time someone really listened to you? Has it been a while? Do you remember how you felt after that conversation?

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Why New Leaders Make the “Villain Assumption” Plus 4 Ways to Make the Hero Assumption Instead

Do you ever think, “I don’t think this person cares about doing good work.” This is the Villain Assumption. Good leaders make the Hero Assumption instead.

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The Future of Work: 5 Ways Leadership Will Change in an AI Economy (Part 2)

There are 5 ways work will change in an AI economy. In our last post we looked at the ways AI and new technology is likely to impact our workplaces. Bottom line: work will change a LOT over the next 5-10 years

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The Future of Work: 5 Ways Leadership Will Change in an AI Economy

How are technology and artificial intelligence changing the future of work? In big ways. This means big challenges – and opportunities – for leaders.

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Simple Positive Affirmations for Work to Transform Your Team

While Stuart Smalley may be the king of positive affirmations, I’ve been talking about positive affirmations for work a lot more than usual the last few weeks…

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Change Your Perspective and Change Everything: Fall in Love with Your Job Part 3 of 3

Can you really change everything if you change your perspective?

Why not? There is one thing we know for sure. The way you see your self, your work, your friends, your world, has a direct connection to the way you feel about your self. Your work. Your friends. Your world. There are many things in life that are outside our control. But our perspective is not one of them. Change your perspective and you just might change everything.

This is the last bit of advice David Allan gives us on how to fall in love with your job. We wrote about the first two steps – hacking your job and improving relationships with coworkers – here and here.

People want to feel like their work is meaningful. We say that a lot these days. Do you believe it yet? Maybe you’re one of the people still trying to come around to that perspective. (Ah, perspective). We understand. Twenty years ago, few people required meaning to stay at a job. That doesn’t mean they didn’t crave it. Or didn’t feel the effects of the lack there of. It just means they wouldn’t quit their job over it. That’s not true anymore.

How to Get Along with Coworkers: Fall in Love with Your Job Part 2 of 3

If you can’t get along with coworkers you won’t love your job.

Recently we discussed David Allan’s first tip for falling in love with your job—hack it. This is part 2 of 3 in the How to Fall in Love with Your Job series.

Allan’s second tip has to do with how to get along with coworkers.

We all know that coworkers mostly fall into the “things about my job that I don’t have control over” category. We don’t get to pick who we work with. But the fact is, how we get along with coworkers (our relationships with them) has a direct impact on our daily lives. It can impact how we feel about ourselves and our work. And we do have control over how we choose to interact with people placed into our lives.

Here are three tips for how to get along with coworkers.

How to Fall In Love with Your Job: Part 1 of 3

You have the power to take control of your job.

More than half the people in the U.S. don’t like their jobs. This, according to the Conference Board Research Group in their most recent annual survey. What’s more, our nation has been hovering at this spot for at least the last 16 years.

It’s not that surprising though is it? Most people’s day jobs have very little to do with their passions. Sure, on occasion, we get a spark of accomplishment from our jobs. We enjoy a good challenge or creative brainstorming session. But for the most part, we work because we must work. And most days we’d prefer to be somewhere else. But we show up. We’re always going to show up. And if we’re going to show up, why not make the most of it?

Phil Featured in Fast Company Piece on Approachability

Earlier this week, Fast Company released an article all about learning how to put your team at ease. Gwen Moran, author of the piece, provides 8 simple ways to be more approachable and "fine-tune" your communication skills. Guess who kicked off the discussion? That's...

Approachability Window Tool | Approachability Minute

Relationships are a two way street.

This is what makes them so challenging. As a leader who wants to have great relationships with your team, it’s easy to think that knowing that about yourself is enough. But what about all the things you don’t know about yourself. The things people see in you that you don’t see in yourself.

Do us a quick favor? Get something in return.

We could really use your help. We want to make our content as relevant to our readers as possible. In order to do this, we need to know what's working for you and what's not. If you can spare a minute (it will literally take less than 60 seconds) please click here to...

Recognizing Gaps Tool | Approachability Minute

People are not just going to come up to you and say “Hey, I’m uncomfortable approaching you.”

That’s why it’s so important that we as leaders learn to recognize the signs associated with approachability. This is what our tool, the Recognizing Gaps Tool, is all about. It teaches you the three main areas to look at in order to discover just how comfortable your team members are with you. This is extremely important information to know as your level of approachability directly effects your knowledge of what is actually going on in your organization and amongst your team.

Stop the Turnover Madness: How to Make Your Employees Want to Stay

Turnover is expensive.

Turnover costs companies anywhere from 16% to over 300% of annual salary (for the highly skilled—the ones most likely to leave). Companies lose productivity, valuable organizational memory, relationships, and often intellectual property. Critical activities stall and die while searching for new talent.

What’s more, nearly 20% of employees will voluntarily quit their job this year. You read that right: 20%. Why? With mortgages to pay, kids to clothe and put through college, and stuff to buy, what makes a person so fed up that they quit?

Their leaders.

The fact is that to a very large degree your relationship with your people is the difference between whether people stay or go. That’s what makes leadership such a tough gig. You are the glue.

What can we do to stop the turnover madness?

Active Disengagement: 3 Ways Leaders Can Turn It Around

Active disengagement costs US companies between $450 and $550 billion annually. Does active disengagement at your company contribute to that shockingly high number? I've got bad news - it does. Every company does its share. Because we all have actively disengaged...

Rare Video Shows How Steve Jobs Responds to (Blistering) Criticism

As leaders, criticism is inevitable.

Criticism is inevitable because mistakes are inevitable. We are going to overlook some things that we should have paid more attention to. We are going to make decisions that prove to be the wrong ones. We are going to say things that we shouldn’t have said. We will fall short at times. We’re human.

Accepting that reality is the first step to being able to respond to criticism with steady assurance, class, and understanding. The video above shows Steve Jobs doing just that.

Don’t Roll the Dice: Four Keys to a Winning Change Management Strategy

Failure to successfully implement change projects is killing companies.

Change projects are inevitable because change is inevitable. You must spend time innovating and implementing new processes if you want to stay ahead of your competition. The problem is, even those companies that are great at innovation tend to break down when it comes to implementation. In fact, only 56 percent of strategic initiatives meet their original goals and business intent.

How can we change that?

The answer most leader experts, managers, and academics have been giving in recent years is for teams to focus more on soft skills throughout their change efforts. In truth, it seems like soft skills—qualities like self-awareness, relationship building, effective communication, and the ability to create trust and motivate others—have become the catch-all for your leader problems. And while we are big proponents of soft skills in leadership (after all, our main message is leader approachability), the fact is nothing is a catch-all. You have got to learn to strike the right balance in applying your soft skills while not forgetting to consider and look to hard factors as well.

Guess What Behavior Led to 84% Fewer Workplace Accidents?

Learning to be vulnerable at work decreases workplace accidents. I'll admit it, this story had me scratching my head. I've spent a lot of time working with companies in tough safety environments. When I think of safety programs I think of systematic, uncompromising,...

7 Keys to Being a Leader Your Team Can Trust

Trust is the most vital aspect of any relationship.

If you don’t trust someone it is extremely hard to get past that feeling and get any quality work done. Mistrust causes stress and distraction. It leads to politics and disengagement. And sometimes we find ourselves wanting to trust a leader or a coworker – but not feeling as though we can.

For some professions (the military, police and fire departments, heavy equipment operators, and healthcare professionals to name just a few) trust can be a matter of life or death. These leaders and teams must have trust for physical safety.

In most professions the stakes aren’t that high. But trust is still really important. For my team trust is essential for peace of mind. Without it we cannot perform our best.

Changing the Way We Innovate

Businesses need to innovate.

When you’re not innovating, you’re not growing. And in a world where the next new thing is always just around the corner, to innovate even more important. It seems dramatic, but it’s the reality of today’s market – just look at what almost happened to Unilever had they not bought out Dollar Shave Club (click here to read our article on it).

How do we create employees and departments that innovate?

George E. L. Barbee recently came out with a book entitled 63 Innovation Nuggets. In Barbee’s 45 year business career, he was responsible for innovation with multiple Fortune 100 companies: Gillette, General Electric, PepsiCo, IBM and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He knows how to build teams that innovate and thrive.

This white paper lays out twelve of those nuggets. I’m not going to go into all of them here, but I do want to discuss the nuggets that stuck out most to me.

First off, Barbee starts by making the point that most of us are far more innovative than we think we are. This is because most of us associate innovation with invention. And while that is true, you don’t have to invent something to innovate. All you have to do is pay attention. Observe what’s around you. And then transfer what you observed to another category where it can be applied.

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What Others Say About Approachable Leadership

Here is what others have to say about recent Approachable Leadership Keynotes and Workshops.

Great Interactive Session, New Techniques

"I recently attended the Approachable Leadership Session with Phil Wilson at the CUE Conference in Denver. It was a great session. I loved the interactive sessions, they really help you learn some new techniques. Phil does a great job involving the participants and keeping everything moving at a great pace. I am so enthralled with this training that I brought Phil to our location to put my troops thru the paces for approachable leadership!"
Laurie Galmeyer, Director of Human Resources, ETFN

Masterful Approach Captured Audience

“Phil is masterful in his approach and paints a compelling vision. He has the ability to capture an audience’s attention and take them on a journey through images and anecdotes. Whether you have 1 or 100 supervisors in your organization, I would recommend Phil Wilson’s “Approachable Leadership” session. And learning how to live longer and make more money wasn’t so bad either.” 
W. Alex Koch, Manager of Positive Associate Relations, TJX

Demystifies Leadership, Use Lessons Every Day

“Your workshop  demystified what connecting with another human being – whether an employee, client, or spouse – can be like.  I’ve used his 3-question strategy every day, both in my personal and professional relationships, to become a better coach, sister, and friend.”

Lori Broyles, Business and Entrepreneurial Services Coordinator, Francis Tuttle Technology Center

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