Overcoming “the meeting syndrome” is difficult for a few firms. Many companies where meetings were scheduled nearly back-to-back and every day of the week with anyone and everyone they could get to attend. Some of these meetings were to discuss important information, such as a new project to be launched, update the business plan, or to brainstorm new ways of bringing in customers.

However, the majority of these meeting are for more insignificant items that would be better handled in a different way, such as meetings twice a week to receive status updates on an ongoing project, to review notifications sent out to the company, or even to go over how a spreadsheet should be structured for an upcoming project.

Creating a change in how the company works will require some time and can be challenging, but it is possible to change the culture to one that is more productive, engaging, and informative.

There are certainly true business needs to hold meetings. Here are five questions to ask to help determine if a meeting is needed, who should attend, when it should be held, and how long it should be.

1: Who is in charge of the meeting? There should always be one person in charge of the meeting. This person should determine how often, where, and whom the meeting should consist of. This person is also in charge of the agenda for the meeting, so if someone has something to add (or take away from) the agenda, they will know who to contact. If an attendee cannot make the meeting he or she will know who to contact to let them know and to receive additional updates from the meeting.

2: Is a meeting truly necessary? There are times when a meeting with the head of every department is not needed. An example of this might be project status updates. Determine if a meeting is truly necessary, or if obtaining and disseminating the status updates could be done via email, calling the appropriate individuals in charge of sending the updates, or even by visiting the offices or cubicles of those individuals to obtain the update. Sending an email with all updates can be an efficient use of time and it would waste less time of the people working on the project, and would lessen the risk of stifling the project progress.

3: Who should be invited to the meeting? Inviting unnecessary people will waste their time, will detract from the meeting as they may be more inclined to do other work during the actual meeting, and will likely not want them to attend your meetings where their presence is really necessary. Within this question, you should also determine who should be required and who should be optional. If you always require everyone to attend, you will likely have low attendance, especially from directors and executives. If you give non-necessary attendees an option to attend if they would like, they will have the option to make that decision on their own (which they like to do anyway).

4: How long should the meeting be? Setting a time limit will help the meeting end on time, will help attendees plan accordingly, and will help ensure the room is available for other meetings on time. Most people have a difficult time sitting in a meeting for more than an hour. If the topics will only take 30 minutes to cover, then schedule a 30 minute meeting, and if all topics are not covered a follow-up email (or meeting, if there must be one) can be expected and scheduled accordingly. If it must be a 2+ hour meeting, ensure there are breaks scheduled to allow attendees to stretch, use the restroom, smoke, or grab a cup of coffee or tea prior to continuing. A 10 minute break is a good length because anything less would result in attendees coming back late and disrupting the meeting.

5: It’s Friday; do I have to go to this meeting? There are times when Friday meetings shouldn’t be held. Personally, I believe that Friday meetings should only be held to go over the week (i.e. sales, production, etc.), should be as short as possible, and should be held in the morning. This will allow required attendees to plan their day, give them time to wrap up projects before the weekend, and give them time to setup meetings or conversations for the following week.

Asking these questions will help determine when, where, and how to hold meetings that are more meaningful to all attendees. Helping to change the habits of the company can be challenging, but leading by example can show others how to plan meetings that benefit all involve.

For more information on how to overcome communication challenges in the workplace, please visit my blog at http://www.doortraining.co.in/solutions/training/people-effectiveness

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Failure is a buzzword in Silicon Valley. Dave McClure, founder of over 500 startups, had this to say about failure in an often cited Fast Company article: “We’re here trying to ‘manufacture fail’ on a regular basis…being able to figure out what people hate and turn that into what people love…if you’re not willing to take the risk of failing…you’re never going to figure out what the right path is to success.”

learn and grow

Being able to learn from both success and failure is an Own It best practice, but most people and organizations still struggle to get it right. First, they don’t spend enough time understanding and communicating their success. And second, they don’t see mistakes as an integral part of taking “the risk of failing,” which is a Solve It best practice. Taking accountability for failure means recognizing that many of our most important lessons in life and work come from trial and error. Jim Owens, former CEO of Caterpillar Inc., is often remembered for reminding leaders that their most important lessons come from their toughest losses. But only if we learn from them.

Here’s what taking accountability for failure looks like to us:
• See It: View the failure from every possible angle until you  understand it.
• Own It: Embrace failure like Edison did when he said “I have just discovered another way that doesn’t work.”
• Solve It: Continue to ask “What else can I do?” and apply the lessons you’ve learned to help you achieve the results you want.
• Do It: Keep moving forward until you can make success happen.

Business failure will never end, in fact it’s growing every day. However,  leaders, as well as organizations, who are faster and smarter at taking accountability for learning from their failure and who continue to take the necessary risks to grow despite it win big in the marketplace. IDEO founder David Kelley approaches failure as a vital ingredient for success, encouraging his people to become comfortable with bad ideas. Why? He firmly believes that people will always miss good ideas unless they have the freedom to pursue bad ideas.

To learn more about taking accountability for failure, we invite you to join our Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review the stories and cases studies of actual people and organizations.

See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It, and Accountability Community are registered trademarks of Partners In Leadership, Inc. All other trademarks and registered trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

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A number of years ago at the conclusion of a two-day REAL Conversation class, two elderly gentlemen waited for me after class. After everyone left, they approached me and thanked me for the session. I asked them what had been most memorable and helpful for them. One of them perked up and said, “Before this class, neither one of us had spoken to one another for the last 21 years!” When I asked how that had happened, the other man said, “Funny thing is, we can’t remember now what we did that made each other so angry!”

improve your relationships

Can you imagine working in the same company, team, or location and being so mad that you don’t talk to another person for that long? Think of how much effort it would take to go out of your way not to speak with someone for that long, not to mention the emotional toll it would take to be that angry for that long.

Often when I have the opportunity to coach an executive to improve their communication skills, they will bring up a work-related or personal situation where the relationship has been damaged or strained. When this occurs, I like to ask this question, “How long are you willing to wait for the other person to rebuild the relationship?” They usually come to recognize that if they decide to do nothing to heal or improve that relationship, then nothing will ever change.

All of us have a relationship or two that could use some attention. Unless you consciously and deliberately weigh in on the cost of that relationship and make a decision to improve it, nothing will change.

Here are 10 tips for helping to improve the vitality and quality of your relationships:

1.  Be aware: — Sometimes we are clueless. Not because we want to be, but because we just don’t stop and think and recognize where we are and what needs to be improved. You need to personally reflect upon the quality of your relationships, and be candidly honest with yourself about what is not working. When you can identify where you need to put your attention and focus, you will be able to start the healing process.

2.  Acknowledge Your Part: — Whether you want to admit it or not, you did or said something or you didn’t do or say anything and that has helped you arrive at the place where you are. To completely understand the situation, you will need to explore the understanding of the other person. However, you need to identify anything you may have done or said that has contributed to the current status of the relationship.

3.  Engage in Conversation: – This is the hard part. You may have to surrender your ego, your desire to be right, your desire to be in control, or whatever is driving you. If you can suspend your thinking and approach the conversation with a spirit of learning and understanding, then things will go much better than you anticipated.

You also might want to use a respectful Attention Check such as, “I’d like to talk about what we could do to improve our relationship. Can we do that?” Don’t worry, they won’t say “No!” People are usually so shocked by another’s willingness to engage them that they will accept your invitation.

4.  Invite Their Perspective: – Because you have thought through the current situation and understand your perspective, invite them to share their perspective first. This will allow you to gain insight into their thinking which will allow you to know what you need to share or not share when it is your turn to talk about your perspective.

5.  Ask Questions and Listen: – As they are sharing their perspective, you must be totally present and really listen to what they are telling you. This isn’t something that you can “fake it, until you make it.” Ask questions to deepen your understanding, clarify what you have heard, or explore examples of behavior. Don’t assume anything. Ask and listen to understand.

6.  Apologize: — Offering an apology is not assuming blame for the entire situation. For example, if you were unclear in giving directions, then you would say, “I apologize for not being more clear.” If you did or said something that may have been offensive, then you would say, “I apologize that I offended you.” It doesn’t matter if you didn’t intend offense. Usually, offense is taken where none was given. And don’t make your apology about them. I once had someone say to me, “I’m sorry that you didn’t understand me.” I almost laughed out loud because their “apology” really did nothing more than assign the misunderstanding to me.

7.  Be Sincere: – I have found that sincerity will carry the day. If you aren’t sincere in wanting to improve the relationship, no matter what you say won’t work. If you sincerely want to improve and deepen your relationship with a person, they will know because that is the energy that you project.

8. Be Forgiving: — Sometimes the reason we become angry with another person is because we are angry with ourselves, often more so than being angry with the other person. First, forgive yourself. Second, forgive the other person for what they may have done or said. If your harbor ill feelings or strong, negative emotions for another person, you are going to do damage to yourself. You don’t need to carry that around with you. If you can forgive the other person, you will create a space for any number of wonderful gifts to come into your life. Obviously positive attracts positive, and the negative attracts the negative. You want to be a positive attractor.

9.  Identify a Plan: — Going forward, you may need to identify a specific plan to improve the relationship—how you will speak or what you might need to do differently. Be sure that you both agree about who will do what and when and be as specific as you can.

10.  Make Time: — Think of the quality relationships that you currently have. Great relationships take time and effort. Be sure that you make time to improve the relationship and know that things just don’t get better by themselves. You have to be actively and intentionally engaged to make things different. This may take time with some individuals, particularly where lots of past, negative baggage exists.

Having healthy, loving, supportive relationships in our lives is what makes life worth living. After all, when we leave this existence all we take with us is what we’ve learned and our relationships. Taking the time to nurture and grow your relationships is well worth the effort.

Re-blogged From


About The Author: –

John, President of DialogueWORKS

has over 20 years of consulting and training experience in a variety of industries. John holds graduate degrees in both law and organizational behavior. He has designed and developed courses for numerous Fortune 500 companies, assembling content and tailoring it to meet each client’s specific needs.

For more information you can call us at 1800-102-1345(Toll Free) or visit us at DialogueWORKS India

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People who enter a coaching relationship are trying to shift something either in their work-life, their personal-life, or both. Before coming into the coaching relationship, the client has already considered the implications of discussing the issue with those closest to him or her: spouse, colleague, boss, friend, etc.

The problem with trying to work through an issue with those people closest to you is that they each will have an opinion on why you should or should not change. Many of these people also bring to the conversation some type of baggage or potential future threat.

professional-coachingA professional coach is trained to put personal opinions aside, and to focus on you – your word choice, body language, and overall energy. We provide you with a space in which you can allow those bottled up emotions and thoughts to come out, and you are able to look at them, talk about them, and ultimately decide what works for you and what you want to release. The coach is trained to be non-judgmental, and while they may ask you clarifying questions, they will not tell you that something is right or wrong.

When we try to just think through an issue on our own, we get caught up in our own mental models and way of thinking. Sometimes explaining those thoughts to another person allows us to hear it in a different way. Maybe it made perfect sense in your head, but saying it out loud, and having the coach echo it back to you, causes you to see it in a different light — promoting discovery.

Coaching provides a vehicle for change and personal growth. Sometimes the coach will see that there is a strong emotion attached to your issue, and, utilizing the tools of her craft, the coach will ask questions that help you look at those emotions and find a path through the turmoil to a place of peace and comfort.

Coaching is not about giving advice, but it allows you, the client, to look at what is really going on, and to say what you need to say without any repercussions to your close relationships at home and at work. Coaching is not therapy – we aren’t going to ask about your relationship with your mother, or enquire about your childhood. The past is not the focus – only where you are at today, and where you want to be in the future.

Coaching is an investment that pays handsome dividends. You are worth it!


Are you interested in professional coaching OR Become A Professional Coach

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DCDP workshops are highly facilitative, challenging yet fun. Through a combination of discussions, action learning and experiential learning, you will learn how to become a better coach.

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Jim has been a member of a product development team for the last year. He got along well with everyone except for the team’s leader, Mary. For some reason, Mary has the tendency to cut Jim off during their team discussions, finish his sentences, and play devil’s advocate. In fact, Mary has frequently said, “No offense Jim, but I just have to play devil’s advocate here!” Then off Mary goes berating Jim’s idea with little, if any, evidence to support her opposing view. Unfortunately, no one has come to Jim’s aid probably because no one wants to end up on Mary’s bad side and be on the receiving end of her rude behavior. Finally, Jim has mustered the courage to talk to Mary about her actions.

We have all been in a situation like Jim’s where we have the opportunity to speak up and improve an irritating situation or remain silent and continue to endure the person’s obnoxious behavior.

In the hope of sharing what may be on your mind in a way that improves whatever situation you may be in, here are few tips to help you prepare the conversation and decrease the stress that often accompanies the decision to talk about something that matters to you.

Prepare or Beware. If you will take a few moments to think about the conversation you need to hold, you will greatly improve the likelihood that the conversation will go well. The reason people go to fight or flight is because they are not prepared. You need to answer the following questions that will help you assess the conversation more thoroughly.

  • “What do you want the outcome of the conversation to be?”
  • “What do I know about this person and how they might respond to this topic?”
  • “What is the current status of our relationship?”
  • “What has been happening or what are the facts of the current situation?”
  • “What is my reasonable interpretation of the facts in this situation?”
  • “What would I like to have happen going forward?”

Answering these questions will give you clarity about the situation and help you begin to prepare what you might say to achieve the desired results. Answering these questions will increase your awareness of how the conversation might go and what you might do to improve the outcome.

Clarify Your Mindset. We come from a certain space at a certain time. For example, if you are angry with the person to whom you need to speak, that will be the underlying energy that will pervade everything you say and do. To dissipate any ill feelings that you may have toward an individual, you might finish this sentence a number of times: “I am angry with (person’s name) because….”

Once you have answered the question a number of times, you will have a more objective view of your mindset in the moment, and you can assess your thinking for accuracy. Remember, it only takes one piece of data that runs contrary to what you are thinking and you must admit that your assumptions may be in doubt.

Create an Attention Check. An attention check is created by finishing the sentence, “I’d like to talk about…. Can we do that?” You are essentially stating your intention for the conversation and then asking the person’s permission to engage in a conversation on a particular topic. In the example above, Jim could say, “I’d like to talk about our working relationship. Can we do that for a minute?” Such a statement will totally focus Mary’s attention on the topic at hand.

Identify the Facts. After using an Attention Check to start the conversation, you will want to share the facts of the situation. Using phrases like, “I noticed…,” “I observed…,” or “I heard…,” will keep you grounded in factual statements. So in the situation above, if you were Jim, you might say, “I noticed in yesterday’s meeting that you finished my statements on three different occasions and ended the meeting in announcing that you wanted to play devil’s advocate.”

If you go to identify the facts in a given situation and you can’t identify any, then you may be making assumptions without the facts that form the basis for your thinking.

Prepare a Respectful Interpretation. Given the facts in your current situation, ask yourself this question, “What would be a logical explanation for what this person is saying or doing?” After generating a few responses to your question, take one of your responses and create a respectful interpretation by beginning with, “I wonder if….” For example, Jim might say, “I wonder if my ideas lack some credibility from your perspective.”

After sharing a respectful interpretation, you will want to end in a question to invite the person to respond to the interpretation that you shared. Such a question to confirm your thinking might be, “Is that true?”

Ask Questions. If you take a moment to identify what you want to know, you will know what questions you need to ask. For example, as I just mentioned above you might want the person to confirm or dis-confirm your previous interpretation. Then you will want to ask any number of questions that will help you clearly understand the other person’s perspective.

Considering the previous interpretation, Jim might want to ask Mary why she feels she always has to play an adversarial role when considering his ideas, why she cuts him off, or why she feels inclined to finish his sentences. There is a mindset that is driving Mary’s behavior. If Jim never asks questions to try to understand Mary’s thinking, neither he nor Mary may ever come to understand what assumptions are behind her  behavior.

Summarize to Connect. After you have asked the questions that will help you understand the other person, take a moment to summarize what you have heard, where you agree and disagree, or what is important to both yourself and the other person. When you finish summarizing, ask the person if you have summarized accurately. Don’t worry if you miss something in your summary. The other person will usually add further clarity about what you may have misunderstood.

Build and Finalize a Plan. The reason that you have decided to hold this potentially difficult conversation is because you want something to change or improve. It is critical that you both agree on a plan of action going forward and that you are both committed to that plan. In Jim’s case, he may want Mary to let him finish his thoughts, provide data that may call his ideas or proposals into question, or be spoken to in a respectful tone during problem-solving conversations that take place with the team. Being willing to explore and create a solution together is the key to achieving more positive results.

It is important that you take a moment and think through these tips for holding any difficult conversation. If you would like to explore these ideas in greater depth, they are covered in my book, Overcoming Fake Talk.

Hopefully you can use the eight tips above to improve the effectiveness of your most challenging conversations. Like anything else that you desire to improve, you need to dive in, make the attempt, and learn from your mistakes. If you will make the effort, I know that the quality of your conversations will greatly improve.

Re-blogged From


About The Author: –

John, President of DialogueWORKS

has over 20 years of consulting and training experience in a variety of industries. John holds graduate degrees in both law and organizational behavior. He has designed and developed courses for numerous Fortune 500 companies, assembling content and tailoring it to meet each client’s specific needs.

For more information you can call us at 1800-102-1345(Toll Free) or visit us at DialogueWORKS India


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Being able to speak what you need is something you start learning from the time you’re born. Are you hungry? Cry a little bit and get a bottle. As the years go by, the voice becomes the important communication tool. Our skills are refined with age and practice, and by the time we are adults and pursue our careers, we are able to distinctively voice what it is we want out of life.

However, not many of us have the capabilities to convincingly convey our wants and needs through communication skills. Further practice in the development of your communications skills is imperative in areas like business. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business owner or in charge of a multinational conglomerate, the ability to effectively communicate is crucial. The main idea is to convey your message in the best possible way, hopefully generating a proactive response.

Effective CommunicationWhether you’re speaking to individuals or large groups, the art of communication is important; and not solely vocal communication skills – although they’re most used – written and electronic communication is also very important in the business world. For starters, you need to grasp what communication at this level actual is before you can hope to improve on it.

Communication, through written words, non-verbal actions and spoken words, is the mechanism used to establish and modify relationships. In order to improve on your skills and help create more business opportunities, you have to start by bringing a better attitude to the conversation. You should manifest constructive attitudes and be honest, optimistic and patient with people who aren’t necessarily on the same page.

Although conveying your point is important, the “listening” aspect of communicating is equally as important. If you’re speaking or being spoken to, make eye contact with the person/people involved in the conversation. You don’t have to stare directly at them for extended periods, but eye contact shows that your attention isn’t wavering. This then encourages people and shows them that you’re a trustworthy person who listens.

Being essentially personable is a great way to enhance your skills and excel in the business world. Oh, the dreaded body language! You should always be aware of your posture while speaking, especially if promoting business ideas to interested parties. Your eyes and voice can be strong, but if your body language is telling a different story, that’s the one that the audience is going to hear.

Make sure that you’re not carrying a posture that will read as if you’re uninterested; this goes for speaking and listening to others. Be in command of your body during conversations. Never mince words and always say what you mean and mean what you say. It’s important that a communicator comes across as confident, but it’s even more important that they come across as commanding.

If you don’t sound like you believe in your proposed business venture, who else is going to? Your tone and confidence in yourself can sell ideas to even the harshest of critics. Always have a belief in the things you bring to the table and the courage to say them. Lastly, remember that practice makes perfect. Good communication skills don’t happen overnight. You have to implement the principles of good communication if you expect good things to happen.

For more info call us at 1800-102-1345 (Toll Free) or visit us at our communication skills training page.

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People often ask me for tips on how to give “negative feedback”—which is something that apparently no one enjoys either giving or receiving. Constructive feedback, on the other hand, which is feedback that helps people grow and improve, is on everyone’s most wanted list. So what’s the difference between negative feedback and constructive feedback? The challenge you face when you give someone this helpful feedback is to speak in a way that allows people to hear and understand your message without causing them to become defensive, resistant, or emotional.

Some people advocate a “rip off the Band-Aid” approach to providing feedback. This approach can be traumatic—it hurts the receiver and causes more avoidance and denial every time it happens.

how to give feedback

Other people promote the “feedback sandwich” approach in which you sandwich the negative message between a positive message up front and another positive message at the end of the conversation. This approach feels like manipulation, and recipients learn to discount the positive feedback that begins and ends the exchange—even if it is authentic. The initial positive statement acts as a setup for the negativity of the real message that is to follow.

Here are a number of tips that will help you improve the quality of your constructive feedback conversations—and increase the likelihood that your feedback will produce the desired results;

1.Clarify your “come from”:

When you provide constructive feedback, your attitude and thought process must come from a space of help and support. Most people are painfully aware when they have performed poorly, and approaching a person with an attitude of frustration or anger will do more harm than good, both to the person and to the relationship. People instinctively shut down when they are approached with negativity and strong emotion. Approach the conversation clearly from the perspective of helping the individual grow and develop. Your positive approach will set a positive tone for the entire conversation.

 2. Identify the facts:

To provide clear and helpful feedback about an individual’s performance, you have to know exactly what happened and the consequences that followed from their behavior. If you do not have concrete examples of what a person did, it will be difficult for him or her to know what to improve upon or change. When your feedback is vague, you run the risk of speaking in broad generalities or personal interpretations. No one knows what to do without specifics.

3.Move the person forward:

When we provide feedback, we have a tendency to ask questions that force people to defend themselves, such as “Why did you do that?” A far more effective approach is to ask questions that stimulate thinking and help the person move forward into the future: “What would you do differently next time to improve your results?” This question allows the person to look at what they did, learn from the outcome, and think about what they need to change to improve their results.

4. Build accountability

The objective in a feedback conversation is to establish a clear and specific plan to improve performance or change behavior. Having a clear-cut plan in mind before holding the conversation is a good start, but don’t be surprised if you learn something that will change your original plan during the course of the conversation. If the individual finds it difficult to create a plan that will improve their results, you may have to step in and help them build the plan. If you step in, be sure that you explain why you are asking them to follow a particular course of action.

5. Don’t assume anything DialogueWORKS logo

We generally assume that we have been understood, or that we understand why someone behaved in a certain way. We also assume that once we have given clear directions, the problem will not occur again. Identify your own assumptions and challenge them by asking yourself or the other person a series of questions. Listen carefully to the answers to those questions, for they will let you know whether or not you have been clearly understood.

6. Assess the quality of your relationship

If the other person knows that you care about them, they will interpret what you say as a reflection of the importance your relationship. Everyone finds it gratifying to know that the people they work for appreciate the contributions they make. If the only time you ever speak to a person is when they have done something wrong, you are missing a huge opportunity. Make time to mention the good things that people do and celebrate their successes. This will improve the quality of your relationship, and also increase their commitment to achieve results.

7. Express your support

People want to know that you have their back. They want to know that they can come to you when they have questions, concerns, or challenges. If you are approachable and continue to reinforce your desire to help them succeed, you will increase the degree of openness and collaboration that is invested in achieving results.

The purpose of feedback is to improve performance and achieve desired results. People want to be successful in what they do, and very few people, if any, intentionally go out of their way to perform poorly. As a leader, manager, parent, or spouse you should recognize that you have a huge impact on how people perform and the satisfaction of that journey. Improving your ability to provide constructive feedback will pay huge dividends.


Would you like to learn more about how do you hold effective conversations that get real results?


Learn how to improve Business Results through effective and improved dialogue skills. Then join our DialogueWORKS certification training program!

DialogueWORKS Certification
23rd – 26th Sep 2014

This course addresses the dialogue skills that are so critical to individual and organizational results

DialogueWORKS CertificationThrough this program you will learn how to :

  • Learn the four essential dialogue skills for holding any difficult conversation.
  • Assess your conversational strengths and weaknesses.
  • Recognize the source of inaccurate thinking, which drives blame, self-justification, and lack of accountability.
  • Identify your erroneous personal assumptions.
  • Clarify intent to create more focused execution, outcomes, and intended results.
  • Learn to recognize and defuse the source of “hot” or emotional reactions by uncovering individuals’ perceptions of violated values.
  • Learn and apply a simple conversational framework for providing feedback that builds effective solutions, improves performance, and increases accountability.

To know more click below

DialogueWORKS Certification

Register here

For more information call at 1800-102-1345 (toll free) or mail us at info@doortraining.co.in or visit us at http://www.doortraining.co.in

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We often hear this question: “How do you get accountability to stick?” Or this longer version: “We’ve tried repeatedly over the years to get our people to take more accountability for their behavior and results, but we haven’t been able to make it stick—how do you make it sticky?”

Of course, there are a number of critical success factors when it comes to making accountability stick—such as a common language and framework for discussing accountability, a crystal clear definition of desired results, personal choice and commitment, positive rather than negative applications of accountability, proven implementation tools and skills, and determined follow-up—but the secret to making accountability “sticky” is integration. Taking accountability has to become part of the DNA of your leaders, your people, and your entire organization. It needs to be woven continuously into daily activities.

cultural accountabilityIt was for this very reason and purpose that we developed the simple, basic, and easy-to-implement Steps To Accountability—See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It—including cogent descriptions of Above The Line and Below The Line behavior and attitudes. This is the central model of the book The Oz Principle and the primary vehicle or method for making accountability stick in individuals and organizations.

When people in an organization begin using the language of Above The Line, Below The Line, See It, Own It, Solve It, and Do It on a daily basis, they start building a common awareness and commitment around staying Above The Line and Seeing It, Owning It, Solving It, and Doing It.

What emerges from such awareness and commitment is a whole new approach to work and results. People begin monitoring and correcting themselves while encouraging and helping others to stay Above The Line in order to achieve the desired results. Consequently, accountability becomes internalized in every individual and integrated into every activity.

When people begin weaving Above The Line, Below The Line, and See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It language into their daily work activities, they take a crucial first step toward building a Culture of Accountability and creating a work environment where accountability sticks.

For more information on making accountability stick and Creating a Culture of Accountability, we invite you to join the Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review actual client case studies.

Steps To Accountability, See It, Own It, Solve, It, Do It, Above The Line, Below The Line, Culture of Accountability, Creating A Culture Of Accountability, and Accountability Community are all registered trademarks of Partners In Leadership, Inc.

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All of us at one time or another have had the opportunity to work with or for someone that we would label as a jerk, idiot, or moron.  And we have all probably been a jerk at some point to those with whom we associate.

Do you know people that display the characteristics listed below? Are you guilty of any of these behaviors yourself? If so, what do you think is the payoff for behaving in such a manner?  After all, we behave the way we do if we perceive that there is something we can get for doing so.  I hope thinking about these behaviors will provide a degree of mental preparation and readiness that will assist you with your next difficult encounter.

The Interrogator:

These individuals ask questions for the sake of asking questions, not because they want to learn anything.  They are often trying to challenge people’s intelligence or make them look unprepared or inept in front of others.  Sometimes their questions feel like a frontal assault. They may ask a number of questions and never give the person an opportunity to answer.

jerk placeWhat to Do:

Be prepared with facts and data.  Sometimes these individuals don’t want to accept what they are hearing or are trying to elevate themselves in some way.  If you can support or substantiate your statements with evidence, they will find it more difficult to discredit you.

If you are dealing with a barrage of questions, you can slow this interaction down by turning the tables and asking them questions.  For example, you might try some of these:

“What specifically do you want to know?”

“Could you give me an example of what you meant by ‘unprepared?’”

“What do you want to know by asking these questions?”

Sometimes answering a question with a question will force the other person to think about what is most important rather than using questions as a means of making a point.

The Intimidator:

These folks often have a very abrasive style.  They are rough around the edges and are often accused of being too direct, cold, and blunt.  They also don’t hesitate to “dress down” or confront an individual in front of others.  They may also just blurt out “unfiltered” thinking or criticism without concern for others. People who use this style of communication become angry if they don’t get what they want, or if people don’t keep their commitments.

What to Do:

Don’t take these people personally if they confront you about something.  Remember, behind the emotion is a value they feel has been violated.  Ask questions to help them move from a place of irrational reaction to discover the issue behind their emotional outburst.  Remain calm and don’t be drawn in by reacting to their attack. If it’s not possible to excuse yourself from the situation, let them vent and make plans to talk at a later time when they have calmed down and are more rational.  If there is a high level of trust between you and this person, and the timing is right, you may be able to talk with this person about their behavior.

The Micromanager:

We’ve all known people who have a hard time delegating tasks to other people.  Because they want to guarantee success, they constantly check up on people or may even do the work for them.  Those working with these types of managers are often frustrated and feel that the manager doesn’t trust them to do their job.

What to Do:

Formulate a specific plan for completing the task with checklists and timelines.  Identify your goals and the options you have chosen to achieve the goals.  Seek their approval and take action.  Check in frequently and regularly to report results.  Ask for clarification and specifics of anything they are asking you to do.

As a river guide, I found that I could increase my credibility and the amount of tips offered at the end of the trip by telling my clients what I would do, doing it, and then telling them what I did. These tactics will increase their confidence in you while reassuring them that you can deliver great results and follow through on your commitments.

The Blamer:

One of my first managers in business was a blamer.  She blamed me when I did what she asked and things didn’t turn out as she had hoped.  She blamed me when things went well because she thought I could have achieved more.

Unfortunately, some managers often blame others to avoid responsibility and to escape the spotlight being shined on their poor performance.

What to Do:

Make a plan that your boss agrees to.  Document it and get it in writing.  When customer demands change the priorities and the plan, get that in writing.  Don’t assume anything and ask questions to clarify.  Be sure and document any changes that are made.  This can help interrupt the blame cycle when things don’t go as planned.

Workplace or Jerkplace

The Sycophant:

This individual goes out of their way to praise powerful people to get their support and approval.  Their relationships with higher-ups afford them a high degree of protection from the consequences of their poor performance or bad behavior.  They usually offer false praise to those who work for them as a strategy for manipulating others to achieve their goals.

What to Do:

You need to document the consequences and outcomes of their behavior if you expect to be believed.  Often the reason these people offer praise is because they seek praise themselves.  Look for opportunities to express sincere praise that adds value for the good things they do.  Don’t believe everything they tell you.  These individuals are often highly negative or critical of others while seemingly praising you.  Because such behavior is self-serving, you don’t want to get caught up in speaking negatively about others, ever.

There are numerous behaviors that you might find offensive as you work with others. Taking a moment to notice what is happening in your dealings with them and then carefully planning a strategy to handle such difficult people will improve the quality of your interactions as you work to build a career and deliver optimal results.

Re-blogged From


About The Author: –
John, president of DialogueWORKS

has over 20 years of consulting and training experience in a variety of industries. John holds graduate degrees in both law and organizational behavior. He has designed and developed courses for numerous Fortune 500 companies, assembling content and tailoring it to meet each client’s specific needs.

For more information you can call us at 1800-102-1345(Toll Free) or visit us at DialogueWORKS India

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