For Leaders

The best way to focus a team. Why every team needs a Big Arrow. (Know Where You’re Going: Define Your Big Arrow)

We are all incredibly busy. The level of busyness in organizations, and the overwhelming number of priorities people have is driving us all crazy. And, counterintuitively, all that busyness is actually stalling our teams and organizations. While every individual might be productive, they’re moving in different directions – they’re not aligned – so collectively they’re not moving the organization forward. Not for lack of effort or hard work, but for lack of a Big Arrow. It’s a simple process to fix a complicated problem. And it works.

Why you should be “emotional” at work

Most of us (maybe all of us) have negative connotations about what it means to be emotional – lots of drama, unpredictable, out of control. But here’s the thing: our drama-filled emotional outbursts come from our inability to feel and contain the emotion. When we can’t feel and contain it, it spills over, creating a big mess. But being emotional doesn’t mean you have to express everything. Counter-intuitively, the more emotions you’re willing to acknowledge–the more you’re willing to feel–the more control you have over what you express.

The five building blocks for creating a culture of accountability (Creating Accountability: Five Building Blocks For a Culture of Accountability)

We often look at accountability as a matter of blame, but getting angry with people only reduces performance and motivation. The secret to creating accountability is clarity in five specific areas. With these five building blocks, leaders can identify the cracks in their own accountability processes and create a culture where things get done.

The best way to start a difficult conversation (Lead with the Punchline: How to Start a Hard Conversation)

You know that uneasy feeling that comes as you say something risky? We go out of our way to avoid those “cringe moments” because we’re afraid to seem cruel or thoughtless, but, ultimately, we just make the process worse. The solution? Lead with the punchline. It’s more considerate, and you’ll find yourself genuinely connecting with people (even when they’re not thrilled about what you have to say).

How to ask for feedback (Stay Curious About Yourself: How to Ask for Feedback That Will Actually Help You)

It’s tough to receive critical feedback, but it might also be the fastest way to uncover your blind spots. There’s a better way to ask for and respond to feedback, and with five simple tips, you can transform this routinely unpleasant experience into a learned skill.

How to help people recover and perform after their mistakes, failures and struggles (Improving Performance After A Critical Error (PACE): How to React When Someone Disappoints)

Nothing gets our blood boiling like when one of our team members drops the ball. But are you holding them accountable, or just punishing them? Responding in anger feels right, but almost always makes things worse. Stop. Take a breath. What outcome do you want? Follow the three steps in this chapter to build trust, increase performance, and actually get the outcome you want.

What are four things senior leaders should focus on? (Focus Where It Matters: Four Areas To Focus Your Attention)

How many times have you come out of a meeting feeling like it was a waste of time? When senior leadership gets together in the same room, there should be something big to show for it. There are only four things that a leadership meeting should focus on–learn them here, and turn your meetings into an arena where your organization’s most meaningful work is getting done.

For Everyone

How to skillfully tell people hard truths in a way that they can hear it (Skillful Communication in the Heat of the Moment: Outsmart Your Next Angry Outburst)

Betrayal, concern, anger, frustration, embarrassment: in the heat of the moment, we’re almost never going to say the right thing. We forget than skillful communication is always meant to deepen connections. To avoid making a bad situation worse, plan your communications thoughtfully and give others the benefit of the doubt. There are four questions you can ask yourself when you’re provoked to ensure that every word you say or send moves the conversation in the right direction–towards support, trust, and positive outcomes.

Why Emotional Courage and not Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence is the most intellectual way of addressing emotions, thinking about emotions rather than feeling emotions. While it’s important to understand why it’s important to be emotionally savvy, Emotional Intelligence does little to advance our ability to act more effectively in the moment. Emotional Courage is the capacity to feel more. It’s the muscle that allows us to take risks, weather storms, and connect with others. It’s what allows us to access our higher mind in the midst of intense emotion–and unlock all the benefits of Emotional Intelligence.

Why sometimes, it’s best to be inauthentic (Try Something Different: The Unexpected Power of Inauthenticity)

Usually, we can see a bad conversation coming a mile away. We know that our reaction is only going to make matters worse, but we have to say something… It’s like we’re stuck in a dance. How do we break out of the pattern of poor communication? The answer is counterintuitive – sometimes, showing up in a new way, a more productive way, feels unnatural. We have to deal with feeling inauthentic when we are learning new behaviors–and that takes courage.

Three ways to help indecisive people make faster decisions (Make a Decision: Act Boldly to Get Moving)

Indecision is a killer. Deliberating over decisions (large and small) costs us time, opportunities, and peace of mind. But there’s a number of simple strategies we can use to make decisions easier. First, turn whatever small decisions you can into a routine. Then, create rules for yourself so you don’t have to over-analyze every one of your responses. But for the biggest decisions, decisions that require collaboration and have tremendous consequences, the strategy that works best might be the most surprising–set a timer.

How to finally have that hard conversation you’ve been putting off (Use Fear as a Guide: How to Talk About What You Most Dread)

You have a problem–a bungled project, an unhappy client, a subordinate gunning for your job. But you’re afraid if you bring it up, you’ll only make the problem worse–confirm your fears. There’s a right way to deal with our dread–and turn it into the catalyst that resolves our most pressing concerns.


Leading with Emotional Courage: How to Have Hard Conversations, Create Accountability, and Inspire Action on Your Most Important Work By Peter Bregman, is published by Wiley

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