Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2016

The Language of Inclusion

     Greta took a 360-degree survey at the suggestion of her boss.  In an effort to get her to see herself through the eyes of others, she needed to know how she was performing as a leader.  The survey would allow her to compare how she saw herself to how her boss, peers, direct reports, and "others" saw her.  Greta rated herself as open and inclusive.  She felt like she invited people's input and was sociable and encouraged dialogue.  But when she looked at the feedback from her raters, she was shocked by what she saw.      Her direct reports saw her as anything but inclusive.  They rated her low in areas like "being open to input, showing diplomacy" and "creating a positive environment".  Greta thought she was doing a great job in making her team feel like she valued them and their opinions.  She had no idea other people didn't see her the same way.  She wanted to talk to her team and find out why this was the first indication she was re

Taking the Sting Out of Emails

     One of the biggest challenges with writing emails is getting to the point without offending someone.  I dare to guess that millions of times a day somebody is misinterpreting the tone of an email and taking what is "said" personally.  We all know that emails lack inflection and visual acuity so it is easy for someone to perceive what was intended in the wrong way.  Without the benefit of hearing a person's voice inflection and seeing their facial expressions, words can often come across harsh and insensitive when written in haste or without much context to support the message.  This is probably one of the most widely known pitfalls about emails but the least considered when a person receives an email they don't like.  We don't often say, "Maybe the sender didn't mean it this way so I shouldn't take it personal."  We're more likely to take the message at face value and balk at its tone.      There are three things to remember about em