Because I’m an advocate of full transparency, I must make a confession: I felt a bit like Captain Obvious this month, using the DRIVEN blog to detail the importance of our culturally-embedded social skills….you know, those interactions of professionalism that stand as a “given” in any arena. And yet, I felt responsible to proceed because…

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Since human relationships are directly tied to culture, it makes sense that refined social skills are vital for a healthy work environment. Culture dictates our sense of safety and acceptance, which directly impacts workplace productivity and engagement. In my recent article Clever Conversation: The Positive Effects of Social Skills on Office Culture, I offered an…

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Welcome 2018! With the arrival of yet another brand-new year, I’m reminded of the many ways in which I’m fortunate….in business, and in life. But nothing seems quite as poignant at this moment as setting the tone for the year to come by defining it in advance with just one important word. It’s that time,…

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Vincent Van Gogh famously said, “Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives, and we obey them without realizing it.” The first part of his statement comes across as dramatic, and rightly so. This tortured artist suffered greatly from depression and loneliness. But once we recognize, absorb and accept…

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By now, you may have read the first part of my drama-laden case study featuring Lizette, David and Richard, wherein a workplace assumption lead to a betrayal that amounted to a breach of workplace trust. The valuable lesson is that it all could have been prevented if Lizette had stepped back and asked a simple…

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Asking questions to better understand a person’s point of view is not as simple as it sounds. It requires the discipline of keeping an open mind. It’s our reflex to project thoughts and feelings onto another, resulting in statements like, “It must have been difficult”, or “I’ll bet you’re furious”. These are the sorts of…

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Ah, the deceptive blind spot. Each of us is plagued by a few, which serve as big barriers to clear communications and a workplace culture of trust. That is, unless we actively arrange for those blind spots to be revealed to us, and follow up by taking ownership. As we’ve learned through exploring the topic,…

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You are in control. The opportunity to create strong and safe relationships at the office and across departments is yours for the taking. You may ask: How could something that so few professionals have mastered be so simple for you or me? The answer is also simple. It’s called the practice of mindfulness and empathy.…

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Have you ever noticed that when you learn a new trendy word, you start hearing the word used all the time? A similar thing just happened to me with a car color. The VW Beetle now comes in a soothing yellow that resembles Peeps candy from Eastertime. I first noticed it last week, and I’ve…

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Last week, I think I may have heard a groan as you read about self-imposed distractions. I could imagine the emotional turmoil in contemplating how you distract yourself as much as you’re distracted by others. Though after that initial sting, it makes sense, right? Which makes it worth investing some more emotion in changing your…

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