10 Tips for Being Nonjudgmental

We are all judgmental.  It’s just human nature.  Even though it’s in our nature to judge, it’s not always helpful and often turns into a hindrance. There is a definite difference between making judgments and being judgmental. Being judgmental can keep us from building relationships, harm those relationships we already have and keep us isolated.  As Walt Whitman said “Be curious, not judgmental”. These 10 tips for being nonjudgmental from Sheri Van Dijk can help make the distinction. Remember that being nonjudgmental isn’t about turning a positive into a negative; it’s about being neutral, neither positive nor negative.. Reducing your negative judgments will reduce your level of anger and other painful emotions. Keep in mind that judging is like adding fuel to the fire of your emotion; it only increases your painful emotions. You can often reduce a behavior just by counting how often you’re engaging in that behavior. If you get overwhelmed
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How To Give a Compliment

Have you ever received a hollow compliment from someone? “You are doing a great job” – “Keep up the great work” While they mean well with those words, the truth is the compliment doesn’t do much for you and it doesn’t engender much respect or connection to them. As leaders, we are told to praise our people. As parents, we want to raise with praise. But I fear that all too often what we do is give hollow, meaningless compliments and no one is that much better for them. Not the giver nor the receiver. As a family, we started doing something a couple of years ago that has helped me learn to give genuine compliments. Every night before we go to bed, we say a family prayer. We rotate whose turn it is to say the prayer going in order of age. I go first, then my wife Sarah,
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5 Reasons Being A Jerk Is A Bad Idea

I’ve had a couple experiences this week that reminded me of the importance of being kind. With that thought I wanted to repost a blog I write a couple years ago – 5 Reasons Being A Jerk Is A Bad Idea: Over the last week the most shared video on social media has been the video of ESPN reporter Britt McHenry being a jerk to a clerk after her car was towed. If you haven’t seen the video you can see it here – https://abc13.com/news/espn-reporter-britt-mchenry-suspended-after-temper-tantrum-caught-on-video/665572/ It is disturbing. The video led to a swift one week suspension from ESPN but the result will probably be a lot bigger and longer lasting than a week suspension for Britt McHenry. It is going to take a long time for people to see her as anything other than a jerk. It will affect her career, relationships, and reputation. Which brings me to this
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Everybody Likes Gifts

Everybody likes gifts. They may say they don’t but they do. What’s not to like? The surprise. The fact that someone thought of you. Gifts are great. But can we give better gifts? A few weeks ago we had some friends join us for a little getaway at out cabin. We had brought a new set of dishes with us to replace the ones there and while we were unloading, we dropped two mugs and they shattered.  Definitely not a big deal.  We cleaned up and moved on.  During their stay, we casually mentioned that we wanted to plant some wild flowers in a field below the cabin. We had a wonderful weekend. We later received a thank you gift from them, two mugs, exactly replacing the ones that had broken and wildflower seeds! Their simple and thoughtful gift made my wife and I feel so grateful and important and definitely made us
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5 Powerfully Simple Presentation Tips

I get asked for presentation advice all the time, so here are five tips that will help make your presentations more engaging & effective.   Get Rid of Pleasantries – There is no need to talk about the weather, how grateful you are to be there, to apologize, or reintroduce yourself. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention so start with a question or jump into your content. Make it Conversational – Act like you are speaking to one person. Make it conversational. Ask questions. If it is a small group you might create dialogue, with a large audience ask questions and give a pause for people to think about the question. Keep them engaged in the conversation. Tell Stories – People love stories. Stories inspire, stories motivate—stories evoke emotion in people that causes them to respond, to take action, to adopt your ideas, and buy your
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Keep Buggering On

Sir Winston Churchill had a phrase that he used at the start of each day and at the end of every telephone conversation: Keep Buggering On (Keep Plodding On if in the presence of a lady). The British Bulldog, Churchill was never one to back down. He was as tenacious as they come and would take a hit and get back up swinging. It’s that spirit that got England (and maybe in even the Allied world) through World War II. That tenacity is integral to anything important — winning a war, starting a business, finishing a novel, raising a child, battling illness, making a living, running a marathon, learning the violin. Early on in the war, the current Prime Minister resigned and Churchill was appointed Prime Minister. He held the position through the difficult war era, but lost the reelection in 1945, the sentiment being that his success during wartime
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Why Leaders Fail

Last week I hosted an event with Dr. Clinton Longnecker where we discussed leadership with a group of 50 leaders from various companies in Salt Lake City, UT. One of the fascinating discussions stemmed from the question, Why Do Leaders Fail? There are probably a myriad of answers as to why leaders fail, but I want to boil it down to three “ins” that need to be out. 1. Incongruency 2. Incompetency 3. Inconsistency 1. Incongruency – when leaders are not congruent they erode their influence and create distrust. We see this when a leader’s action are contrary to their words. When the expectations or standards don’t apply to themselves, or when they don’t live the values they profess. To avoid failure in this area, leaders need to practice what they preach and set an example that people can follow. 2. Incompetency – when leaders haven’t developed the requisite knowledge
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Three Questions To Ask Yourself For Maximum Performance

In a conversation on adding value, New York Times bestselling author Brendan Burchard proposed three questions we should ask ourselves. As you finish a project, contribute to the team or look for ways to add value as a partner leader, I want you to ask yourself these three questions on a regular basis. I put it on a sticky note as I was writing my book Partnership is the New Leadership because I want the content to add enormous value. Answering all three in the affirmative will accomplish that goal. Question 1. Is what I am creating/contributing distinct? Is your contribution different in a significant way? Is it adding value in a way that no one else has done? Does it stand out? Does it look and feel aesthetically unique? Is it something that will impress people because it is coming from an angle that others haven’t thought of? It’s
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Don’t Make Others Feel Small

I was once having a conversation with my assistant about another person. She paused for a moment and said, “Can I be honest?” I said, “Of course.” en she said, “Every time I interact with him, I feel like he has somewhere more important to be. He makes me feel like I don’t matter, like he is having the conversation because he has to and not because he wants to and he is ready to move on as quickly as possible.” Have you ever felt that from someone else? I’m sure we all have at one time or another. But the more pertinent question is, have you ever done that to someone else? My friend Kevin Hall wrote a great book called Aspire. In the book he dissects the meaning of words and in the first chapter he introduces an Indian word – Genshai. Genshai means that you never treat
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Empathy Is A Powerful Leadership Tool

In 2017 I chose Empathy as my word for the year. I studied it and tried to apply it more in my interactions with people. What I discovered is how important empathy is for great leadership. If we understand that leadership begins and ends with people, then we understand the need to develop relationships, make connections, partner with our people, and show empathy. Empathy is the ability to mutually experience the thoughts, emotions, and direct experience of others. Empathy helps us lead individually not collectively. Empathy gives us unique insight into people. Empathy encourages leaders to understand the root cause behind poor performance. Empathy allows leaders to build and develop relationships with those they lead. Empathy as a state of mind breeds more listening, more understanding and, therefore, more leadership! When leadership is executed with empathy it changes lives. Bob Gay, who serves on the board of the Anasazi Foundation,
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