Thinking Out Loud

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

Work / Life Balance

Maintaining a balance between your work and outside life is a popular topic these days. HR professionals, bloggers, health care professionals, counselors, and others constantly discuss the importance of and how to achieve a balance. Much of the discussion has to do with the accumulated stress and subsequent fallout without balance. Balance, however, is a tricky word in this context. The dictionary definition for the balance tool provides a clear image that can help us visualize the problem:an instrument for weighing: as a beam that is supported freely in the center and has two pans of equal weight suspended from its ends.” Theoretically, then, if we pile all the stress on one side of the beam, we should be able to pile a whole bunch of other stuff on the other side of that beam to create balance.  This implies that we can achieve equilibrium if we find the right counterbalancing stuff.  Read More

Leadership & Communication Styles

The Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development is sponsoring a workshop on Aligning Leadership and Communication Styles. This is the second program I’ve done at MCED. Don Gooding is the Executive Director, a true visionary and hardworking guy. The education and support they give to entrepreneurs is exceptional–real hands on involvement. The program that I’m presenting will help leaders understand their communication strengths, how best to use those strengths, and explore the obstacles they encounter that interfere with effective communication.  Visit the MCED website (click here) to learn more about them and the workshop.