Posts tagged with “kindness”


Faking It: An Essential Management Competency

In our culture, which extols the merits of authenticity and transparency in everything from TED talks about leadership to advertisements for our food, it may seem a bit contrarian to make a case for the virtues of faking it. But I’d like to try.   Suppose you are the manager of a busy gift store at the height of the ...

Dealing with Negative People at Work

People who have a persistent propensity to complain, find fault and judge others harshly can sap your energy and optimism if you are not careful. One of my EAP clients recently compared the effect of a colleague’s unrelenting negativity to a toxic cloud of second hand smoke: irritating, suffocating, and pervasive. It got me thinking about how challenging it can ...

Today I Believe in Miracles

Today, as Spaceship Earth orbits the sun at the unimaginable speed of 67,000 miles per hour, a new passenger has come aboard. He is my first grandson, Isaiah Kenneth Sagor, and the story of how he came into being is, like all births, a historical miracle defying comprehension. Isaiah’s great-grandmother, Sylvia age 91, found her passage into this world only ...

Six Goals Worth Failing At

“When one aged Zen master was asked to relate his biography, he exclaimed, “Just one mistake after another!”  from Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das. The experience of each day changes us, even those routine days that seem to be nudging us toward nothing in particular. Like water smoothing a stone, the accumulation of daily experiences and choices ...

Responding to a Crying Employee

Let’s begin with the iconic image of Tom Hanks as the exasperated coach of a woman’s baseball team in the movie A League of Their Own, declaring “There’s no crying in baseball!” This image resonates for so many men because, let’s be honest here, some of us are flummoxed by tears and uncertain about how to respond to a person ...

Thoughts for a Happier Life

Ethel Weiss is the primary (and sole) investigator for the longest running research project in the country on the subject of happiness and job satisfaction. When I tell you that the study is being conducted in Massachusetts you might reasonably suspect that the Harvard Business School or M.I.T. have something to do with it, but they don’t. Ethel’s extraordinary research ...

‘Tis the Season to be Civil

I am concerned about the escalating lack of civility that surrounds us in our everyday life. Incivility at work has many different forms. We see everything from the gossiping coworker to the intimidating bully. Then there are the supervisors who take credit for your work but never give credit and the managers who are dismissive and rude and will not ...

The Gift of Great Expectations: (What I Learned About Work By Winning the Lottery: Part 3)

“Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same.” Franz Peter Schubert Today’s post is the third in a series. Part 1 explained how I won the Listserve lottery and earned the prize of polling 25,000 strangers about their feelings about work. Part 2 looked at some of the answers I received ...

What Discourages You Most In Your Job? (What I Learned About Work By Winning The Lottery: Part 2)

“If management stopped demotivating their employees then they wouldn’t have to worry so much about motivating them.” W. Edwards Deming If you read my blog post last week you know that I was the winner of The Listserve email lottery and as a result had the opportunity to ask 5 questions to a diverse group of 25,000 strangers. This week ...

What I Learned About Work By Winning the Lottery: Part 1

What would you want to say if you had the chance to send an email to 25,000 strangers dispersed across planet earth? That’s the question that faced me last week and I had 48 hours to decide what to do with this opportunity. The Listserve is an email lottery. One person every day has a chance to broadcast a message ...

Don’t Let the White Truck Win

As I pull into my office parking lot every morning, I often see this monstrosity of a white Chevy Silverado parked in a fashion that is just infuriating and a huge inconvenience to every person who needs to enter this lot.  Whoever drives this truck, parks it in such a manner that it is hidden by some bushes and by ...

A Time To Reconnect With Estranged Family & Friends

This has been a week of strong emotions. The sudden and wanton destruction of lives at the Boston Marathon finish line briefly shattered our sense of safety and compelled us to think about our shared human mortality and vulnerability. We reached out urgently to connect with friends and family members in Boston. Most of us were overjoyed to learn our ...

The Kindness Challenge

The signature of Tom Peter’s iconic first book, “In Search of Excellence” was the following 6 words: “Hard is soft. Soft is hard”. He was talking about how “hard” financial numbers can be easily manipulated and “hard” business plans can be nothing more than fabricated flights of fancy. The true hard stuff, he maintains, is something business often undervalues as ...