Thinking Out Loud

The “Mary Barras” of the World

Much was made in the media about Mary Barra being selected as the next CEO of General Motors. She is the first woman to run a major auto manufacturing company, and in that industry at the age of 51 she is relatively young.

Having grown up in Detroit, I was also interested that she attended General Motor’s Institute where some of my high school friends also received their engineering degrees. It was prestigious to attend GMI because it guaranteed a first rate education, a job at GM after graduating, and apprentice/intern jobs during the summer while you were a student. Not a bad deal. Read More

Introverts and Extroverts, Revisited


Some years ago I wrote a post about introverts and extroverts to clarify the relationships between introversion, extroversion, interpersonal, and intrapersonal processing (click here). I think it’s time to revisit the discussion, furthering it a bit.

Those who are strong interpersonally, the thinking-out-loud-seeking-engagement types can be introverts or extroverts. Likewise, the intrapersonally strong—those who need to seek inner clarity before they meaningfully engage with others—can also be either introverts or extroverts.  Read More

Professional Development Conversations

The Maine Association of Nonprofits offers a wide range of SkillBuilder programs as part of their effort to strengthen the workplace in nonprofit organizations. On October 31, 2013, I’ll be presenting a program (click here) in Lewiston, Maine on Communication Styles and The Professional Development conversation. Professional development conversations can have a strong impact on company culture, investing in the individual and the organization. But too often, supervisors without proper training conduct these conversations in a cursory manner. The Communication Styles Framework gives them some concrete tools to engage in a meaningful, mutually beneficial conversation and builds a stronger working relationship.


That’s Not What I Was Looking For!

Lisa leads a project team consisting of six people that includes Sam. Sam produces consistently good work and is well liked by everyone, but frequently, he presents a piece of work to Lisa and hears the following statement, “That’s not what I was looking for.” Of course they both are frustrated when this occurs and together review what was said, what was heard, and then try to restate and clarify the misunderstandings and move on. Eventually, Lisa is pleased with Sam’s work. To be clear, it’s not the quality of the work that is in question: Sam does good quality work; but it truly is not what Lisa was looking for.  Read More