4 Ways to Build a Culture of Trust


Too often, I see people at work trying to avoid feelings of discomfort or pain, or showing others that they don’t feel difficult emotions. I believe this is a critical mistake. Our emotions – including pain – allow us to become vulnerable and build trust with each other. Our office recently gathered for a session on reconciliation, prompted by our … Read More

The Power of Emotional Contagion at Work


emotion, emotion contagion, influence at work, workplace culture, leadership

This week I have been thinking about the influence workplaces can have on our emotions. Our environment influences how we feel, which, in turn, affects how motivated we are to tackle the challenges of our work. Just as you can pick up accents or vocal quirks from being around certain people, you can also pick up others’ emotions. Emotions rapidly … Read More

Why You Should Build Your Team’s Emotional Intelligence


The impact of emotional intelligence on personal and professional wellbeing, as well as productivity, is beyond debate. It is, without a doubt, a difference-making variable. Emotionally intelligent people are able to assess their own emotions and the emotions of others, and then use that information to guide their words and actions. [1] Did you know that emotional intelligence can also … Read More

“Feedback” Is Not a Bad Word


feedback, coaching, leadership, workplace culture

Recently, I have read several articles on why feedback does not work. While I agree that there are ways to give feedback that can make it less useful – and in some cases it may even worsen a situation – in my experience, the right kind of feedback given in the right manner is an impetus for learning and growth. … Read More

Three Questions for Getting Your Rituals Right


An organization’s rituals are a reflection of its values and intentions. They help build camaraderie, they communicate our expectations about how to behave, and they give us a sense of being a part of a unique and special place. Rituals tell new employees a lot about what the organization is like and how they should behave. We have two new … Read More

5 Practical Ways to Make Work Meaningful


employee engagement, meaningful work, workplace culture, leadership, management, supervision

[Excerpt from The Culture Question] Motivation and employee engagement are on the minds of many leaders we meet. However, we rarely hear leaders make the connection between motivation and meaningful work. As one of the key ingredients of employee engagement, fulfilling work greatly increases workplace motivation. When an employee’s work is meaningful, they will be motivated to challenge themselves and … Read More

Employee Engagement Starts with Culture


employee engagement, motivation, motivating employees, workplace culture, leadership

Research consistently shows that customer service, innovation, and meeting organizational goals are natural outcomes when employee engagement is high. In our book, The Culture Question, my co-authors and I conducted a survey of over 2,400 people to explore what makes a workplace healthy and engaging. When we asked participants about what makes them feel engaged at work, we heard a … Read More

Does Your Organization Have a Safety Net?


On our honeymoon, my husband and I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge – my feet tingled for the entire drive (I am slightly afraid of heights). The experience is memorable not only because of the physical sensations that accompanied the trek, but also for the impressive nature of the structure. Spanning over 4000 feet, and with its highest point … Read More

Why Do You Work?


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Excerpt from The Culture Question: Why do you work? Why does anyone work? Ask your friends and coworkers, and you are likely to get a variety of answers. But sooner or later, most people will say something along the lines of, “To pay the bills.” Let’s begin by acknowledging that most of us do not, and could not, work for … Read More

How to Create a Culture of Improvement


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As a youth, I showed horses. The judge would stand in the center of the arena as we rode around and at the end of the class, riders would line up in the center and winners would ride forward to receive their award as the audience clapped. For many years, I stayed in the center of the arena and left … Read More