What it Means to be Professional

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading

We think being professional includes remaining detached and objective. Only this way, the thinking goes, can professionals exhibit their technical competence and do their job. But every one of us longs to be heard, understood, and valued. We want human connection. Doctors who remain detached and objective are more likely to get sued for malpractice. […]

How Vulnerable Are You?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Can, Leading, Sales and Influence

Vulnerability, intimacy, caring, and emotional risk. Mostly we’ve learned to avoid these at work. But, adopted with care, these become our power tools. They build trust which builds all great organizations and differentiates us in the marketplace. You see, work is intensely personal, human. These tools help us navigate the important issues and emotions we […]


Posted Leave a commentPosted in Can, We

At the bottom of every problem there is at least one emotion. We are uncomfortable (even fearful) approaching and acknowledging such emotions in ourselves and in others. Yet the problem will persist until we do. This conundrum costs us dearly in energy wasted trying not to feel the emotions, in unresolved problems lingering, and in […]

Engaging Heroes

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We

People move when we engage their emotions. Yet we too often default to logic, authority, or habit. Not so moving. To engage their emotions, try telling a story with them as the hero. Include a bit about where they are now, where they could possibly go next, and why. Say something about the challenges they […]

Dealing With Irrationality

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Can, Leading

A good chunk of our lives is irrational. Many of our (mostly habitual) thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors come from the fears (or, more accurately, the fear of fears) that we’ve held since we were very young. This is part of the inheritance we all share as humans. So we can’t expect ourselves and each other […]

Give and Get

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Can, Success

The sages tell us that the best way to get what we want is to give it to others first. Sounds like an odd approach. How can we give something away that we don’t have? The trick is to change the currency of exchange from material to emotional. Instead of giving and getting stuff or […]


Let’s Get Emotional

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Can, We

We think or have been told that being emotional (especially at work) is bad. We are uncomfortable when we or others express too much. In subtle and not-so-subtle ways, we encourage each other to avoid being emotional. Being logical, technical, business-like is the right way, we surmise. Not so. We are emotional creatures. Most of the […]


Say What You Notice

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Leading, We

No matter how we may deny it, we totally can sense another person’s emotions. And we usually do a poor job responding to what we sense. We tiptoe or navigate around their emotions. We ignore them or plow through them. We do all that because we don’t want to feel their emotions (they feel quite […]