Blog posts written by Mike Labun

Why Do Some Leaders Make Poor Decisions?

Mike Labun

Sometimes leaders make poor decisions. Human history is littered with stories of decisions that make you wonder, Why did they think that would be a good idea? “Leaders are human beings, just like the rest of us,” is what people often say. Indeed, it’s true that our tendency to see our leaders with halos around their heads is part of … Read More

How to Stop the Cycle of Disrespect

Mike Labun

cycle of disrespect, disrespectful behaviour, coworker, conflict, retaliation, negativity, conversation, communication

How do you react when someone is disrespectful towards you at work? It’s easy to get caught in a cycle of disrespect because our natural inclination is to respond aggressively or defensively. This is because human beings tend to mirror each other. But with negative behaviours like disrespect, we often go a step further and escalate the situation. For example: … Read More

How to Talk About Performance Issues with Your Coworker

Mike Labun

how to talk about performance issues with a coworker, performance management, conflict resolution, giving feedback

Have you ever heard of “tell, tell, silence, yell”? This happens when we repeatedly ask a coworker to correct something, and then if they don’t, we give up until we can’t take it anymore. This may even cause us to accidentally yell or do something else drastic we’d eventually have to apologize for. No matter how resourceful, practiced, or trained … Read More

A Leader’s Job: Finding Meaning in Helping Others Find Meaning

Mike Labun

Image of someone pointing to open, achieve leadership training

Do you find your work meaningful? There are undoubtedly many factors that influence whether you find meaning in your work – the balance between time spent alone vs. time spent with people, your stress level, and even the degree of novelty, creativity, and physical activity all seem to play a role. It’s important that the job fits with who you … Read More

High Stakes Civility

Mike Labun

­­­When stakes are high and your performance matters most, you and your team will likely get stressed. But how will you treat each other? Will you all take a deep breath, make sure communication is respectful and straightforward, and motivate each other by using language that acknowledges that you’re all in it together? Or, will you become short with each … Read More

Do You Have to Like Your Colleagues?

Mike Labun

Image of two angry people working on computers, ACHIEVE Leadership Training

As a workplace mediator I’m sometimes asked, “Do I have to like the people I work with?” I’m always tempted to tell them “No” – that they just have to do their jobs – but that wouldn’t quite be true. I say this because effective communication requires positive interactions among team members. Imagine that Adrian and Bobby work for you, … Read More

How to Make Your Mission Meaningful

Mike Labun

Image of man in front of a target, ACHIEVE leadership training

Your organization’s mission and values should provide clarity for workers, helping everyone “row in the same direction.” But sometimes they don’t. I once worked in a human resources office with a multi-national corporation of 3,500 employees. I’ll call the company “Big International.” While Big was built on a foundation of hard work and had some good products that were prominent … Read More

10 Strategies for Detecting and Responding to Lying

Mike Labun

person in elegant blue suit has crossed fingers behind her back as a form of hand gesture when people are telling lies

Here’s the shocking news: We may not think of ourselves as liars, but we have all lied. Most of us lie just a little bit to make others feel better, simplify explanations by omitting details, or exaggerate to get a small reward such as admiration from our peers. Our own bending of the truth (lying) makes it difficult to spot … Read More

5 Techniques to Help Fight Focus Fatigue

Mike Labun

man with laptop and coffee against blurry blue skyline

I gazed at the 30 expectant faces. I opened my mouth to speak but the words weren’t there. My sentences began with “Um,” or “Uuuh…”. I had written the presentation, but it was coming out as slowly as an 8-year-old goes to bed. When I finally found the words, they weren’t quite what I wanted to say. I tried to … Read More

Guidance for Managing Your Team’s Emotional Climate

Mike Labun

52328670 - shot of young people sitting at a table discussing new and creative business ideas. smiling sitting with colleagues in a meeting.

Great teams start with great leaders who give their team clarity of purpose, use intrinsic motivation as a primary motivator, and consider people’s personal work styles. Great Leaders provide an atmosphere where people can build quality relationships and engage in meaningful work. They encourage fun, collaboration, honest mutual feedback, and hold people accountable to get stuff done. The bedrock of … Read More