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Showing posts from February, 2014

Facilitating Ain't Lecturing

     As a facilitator and trainer, I realize that both lend themselves to less skilled people turning each role into a college classroom for bored teens just trying to get through to the next class.  Facilitating requires that the facilitator guide discussion, control the environment where the discussion takes place, and generally move the discourse along.  A good facilitator is almost invisible in the room.  They take charge and step in and out of the discussion at the right times.  They step in to ask questions that open the floor up to the participants' opinions and learning.  They make sure the entire meeting runs on time and no one bogs down the flow.  They step out when appropriate to direct the attention to the people who matter in the discourse.  They shut down the talkers, command respect for the speakers and themselves, and they bring their own personal style or touch (professionalism, humor).      A trainer acts in much the same way and also contributes wisdom and learn

Taming the Tongue

     You don't have to be a bible reader or believer to know that the following statement is true in the book of James:  "...but no man can tame the tongue.  It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."  Seem a little strong?  Not really.  It's one of those hard truths we don't like to face.  As much as we like to think we can control what we say, many of us fail at it.  We don't often think before we speak, and that lack of forethought has ruined many a relationship.  How many apology tours have you seen in the media these past few years with notable people having to smooth over some ill-spoken statement based on their biases?  How many celebrities have had to make nice with GLAAD because of some homophobic slur or with some minority organization because of racially charged words toward a particular ethnic group?  It happens regularly because the tongue seems to take on a life of its own.  And with the ubiquitous use of cameras and social media these days,

Sharper Development In the News

I was grateful to moderate this important meeting. The city manager has a tough choice to make. Police chief candidates face tough questions at public forum - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Weather Postpones Sharper Development Solutions’ Women’s Leadership Forum for One Week

Weather Postpones Sharper Development Solutions’ Women’s Leadership Forum for One Week Check out this press release.  And if you're interested, register to attend.  It's going to be a dynamic session that will and can change the lives of the people who are willing to invest in their success.  Only those who are willing to do the work will reap the rewards.  Find out how. Register at (803) 622-4511.

The Language of Love

     So it's Valentine's Day and couples are expressing their feelings to the one they love all day long.  Gifts, flowers, candy, and all manner of expressions of amour abound today.  Let me take advantage of the occasion, and challenge everyone to stop for a minute and consider your love language when talking to those with which you do not have an intimate connection.  As you know, it is easy to tell someone you are attracted to or committed to that you love them.  Well, at least most times it is.  Some people we love out of obligation because they are family, and some we are actually in love with.  Some we started out loving and somewhere along the way fell out of love, but we're hanging on to the relationship for reasons we can't explain.  I get it.  Today is tough for you because you're expected to express something you may not feel.  (Sigh) So now you have to tell a lie.  Let's consider this complicated issue.      Whether you are in the situation just des

When Words Are Wasted on Excuses

     Recently, I experienced slack customer service from a company with which I'd just started doing business.  I'd been asked to do an event with them.  I was supposed to provide the training, and they were in charge of marketing.  They dropped the ball on the marketing so registration was slow.  They decided to cancel without consulting me.  After a series of missteps following that poor decision, I was left frustrated and determined I wouldn't be working with them again.  I expressed my concerns to the contact person, and the response came via an email--a long one, packed with excuses.  There was something about a mishap with the phone system, a failed attempt at reaching me by phone earlier in the week (I found no evidence of this), and other commitments that got in the way of her following up.  None of these were of concern to me, of course.  They were not my problems.  Most customers feel that way.  They don't want to hear why things went wrong on the vendor's