Will Cellphone Videos Limit Cop Promotions?

Last week I wrote about how important it is for us to know how to tell stories in less than 400 words, which, if spoken, is about four minutes. So today let me tell you an amusing 400 word story about why one older policeman might be glad we didn’t have 24/7 police video recordings in the 1970s. Policeman Thankful No Cellphones in 1970s I wonder how many of today’s police officers will never be promoted to police chief because of a publicly released cellphone video.  And I don’t mean a video of something bad they did, but rather of [...]

By | 2017-06-06T11:48:33+00:00 June 6th, 2017|Ethics, Human Behavior|

Leading the Bullies Among Us

A few weeks ago I was at a meeting with over 200 people in the room. The last item on the agenda was for the group to agree on a future meeting site and there were three locations to choose from. As the speaker began to briefly describe the second choice a familiar voice boomed his interruption from the back of the room, “Only vote for that one if you like to watch grass grow!” There were a few chuckles and then the speaker finished his presentation and a vote was had.  As no surprise to me the second location [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:46+00:00 March 8th, 2017|Bullies & Misbehavior, Human Behavior|

Deal With Problems One-on-One, Not in Group

Last week I saw this recurring behavior, again. And, every time I see it, I recognize it as a symptom of a supervisor who is avoiding conflict. It is something all supervisors, including me, have done at some point in our careers. What was it? It was a “training” for a whole team of mostly experienced, competent people on a topic that only one person was deficient. As I looked around at the faces of the people in the group, I saw each person become more and more disengaged. It was a waste of valuable time. A few years ago [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:46+00:00 March 2nd, 2017|Bullies & Misbehavior, Conflict Resolution, Uncategorized|

Final Thoughts About Trump’s Brand Value

Last November I wrote about how I thought Donald Trump was not running for President, he was running to increase the value of his brand name. In that article Trump is Running for His Brand, Not for President I postulated that because of the free media attention Trump knew he would receive, he would stay in the campaign until he started to lose, and then take his toys and go home. Since then two interesting things have happened. First, he won the Republican Primary, much to my and many others’ surprise. But, second, like relatives staying too long on a [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:47+00:00 October 20th, 2016|Bullies & Misbehavior, Human Behavior|

The Link between Grit and Success – Part 2

According to Angela Duckworth, Grit is the product of our passion for something and the perseverance we have to pursue it long-term. In my last article I introduced you to Duckworth and her research into grit. I also gave you a link to her free and quick Grit Assessment, which takes less than five minutes. In this article I will recap the assessment and then share tips from Duckworth on how we can develop grit in ourselves and when we coach others. Grit Assessment.  When Duckworth designed the grit assessment, she structured 10 questions that help us understand whether we [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:48+00:00 August 25th, 2016|Human Behavior|

The Link between Grit and Success – Part 1

Every four years when I watch the Olympics I am inspired by the personal stories of how hard these top athletes have worked. For every one of their stories there are hundreds of stories of talented athletes who never get there. They might be just as talented, but may not have the “grit” it takes to succeed. For decades psychologists have been studying what makes high achievers successful. Every year or so a new theory and book comes out that gives us more insight. This month I have been reading a terrific book called Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:48+00:00 August 11th, 2016|Human Behavior, Uncategorized|

Lessons from a Lost Cell Phone and a Mattress in the Road

Photo by Jamie Street What moves you or me to take action? Over the last week this question has crossed my mind several times as I pondered human behavior involving a lost cell phone and a mattress in the road. A few weeks ago while riding my mountain bike on a familiar trail near our lake house I lost my cell phone. I noticed it was gone about halfway where I turn around and head back over the same trail. So on the way back I looked for it and didn’t find it. I wondered if I had [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:48+00:00 August 4th, 2016|Ethics, Human Behavior|

Lessons Learned from a Motorcycle Skills Test

Owning and riding a motorcycle has been on my bucket list for several years. I had been hesitant to move forward because of the obvious safety hazards. No doubt this hesitancy was helped along by both my cousin, an emergency room physician in Boston, who calls them “donorcycles,” and Patti, who reminded me of my family responsibilities. Last month with the encouragement of Patti, who apparently is now less worried about family responsibilities and more worried about me sitting around the house after I retire in a few years, I bought a Honda PCX 150. Okay, technically it is a [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:49+00:00 June 8th, 2016|Learning Styles & Skills|

Switchtracking Derails Receiving Feedback

Feedback is tricky business. For it to work effectively both the receiver and the giver have to be fully engaged. And we have to watch out for how our unconscious self can derail the process. Last week I was introduced to a feedback term called switchtracking on a fairly new podcast called the Hidden Brain (Episode 1, September 2015 ) hosted by Shankar Vedantam. Vedantam is a science correspondant on NPR and usually reports on human behavior and the social sciences. Switchtracking. The term switchtracking is described by author Sheila Heen as the process most receivers of feedback begin when [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:49+00:00 April 14th, 2016|Conflict Resolution, Human Behavior|

Let it Go

On Sunday night I settled down to do some reading. I picked-up my i-Phone to shut it down and there were three e-mails showing. I usually hit delete-delete-delete and deal with them in the morning. Unfortunately, though, I could see the first few words of one of the e-mails and I thought “urghhhh.” Have you ever had that happen to you? The next day I was talking with someone else who was wrestling with a similar situation, although it was a voice mail. This person asked me how I deal with these types of situations. And this is what I [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:50+00:00 March 23rd, 2016|Conflict Resolution, Human Behavior|

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