Social Change and Employee Empowerment: Why Leaders Need to Embrace the Times

Social Change and Employee Empowerment: Why Leaders Need to Embrace the Times
Our recent Fierce survey revealed that conversations around current social movements, including #blacklivesmatter, #metoo, and #TimesUp, are happening. Unfortunately, most of these conversations are not happening at work. The survey also revealed that while employees still experience and witness discrimination, there has been a shift the past year ...
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From #BlackLivesMatter to #TimesUp: New Fierce Survey Reveals Conversations on Current Issues Are Missing in the Workplace

From #BlackLivesMatter to #TimesUp: New Fierce Survey Reveals Conversations on Current Issues Are Missing in the Workplace
Over the past year, a number of social and political movements intended to address inequality, including #metoo, #timesup, and #blacklivesmatter, have surfaced as a response to discrimination both inside and outside the workplace. We wanted to know the potential impact of these recent political and social movements have had and are continuing to ha...
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Hiring and Firing: When Work and Social Media Don’t Mix

Hiring and Firing: When Work and Social Media Don’t Mix
I'm sure you've heard some of the crazy stories about employees being fired for what they posted on social. Take for instance…. The Taco Bell employee who was fired for posting a picture of himself on social licking a stack of taco shells at work. The day care attendant who was let go when she posted, "I start my new job today. But I absolutel...
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Why a Self-Driven Approach Matters for Employee Development, and How to Integrate it

Why a Self-Driven Approach Matters for Employee Development, and How to Integrate it
There's no question whether organizations should prioritize professional development, especially if they want to retain talent. But not all organizations are having the types of growth conversations that put employees in the driver's seat and set them up for success. According to Gallup , 87% of millennials and 69% of non-millennials rate "pro...
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Is Technology Helpful or Harmful to the Personal Learning Experience?

Is Technology Helpful or Harmful to the Personal Learning Experience?
As technology continues to advance, people are asking questions about whether it benefits or takes away from how we as humans learn best. Right now, the impact of virtual options when it comes to learning and training is not 100% clear, and the verdict is still out. The number of variables is a big reason for this—what's being learned, how it's bei...
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What’s Missing from Your “Whole-Person” Approach to Leadership Development

What’s Missing from Your “Whole-Person” Approach to Leadership Development
The "whole-person" approach is a holistic way of looking at development and training—it takes into account the individual's vision for themselves in all areas of life and provides the supportive resources they need to help make that vision a reality. The intended result is self-actualization. This approach is often employed as a talent st...
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Are Your Conversations Succeeding or Failing? How to Identify Traps in Your Organization

Are Your Conversations Succeeding or Failing? How to Identify Traps in Your Organization
If important conversations are not succeeding or not happening in your organization, it's costing you more than you might realize. Our 2017 Fierce eBook in partnership with Quantum Workplace captured perceptions on workplace miscommunication and found that approximately 50% of employees rated their conversations as less than great. If miscommunicat...
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Want to Make Remote Work Work? Here’s the Success Factor

Want to Make Remote Work Work? Here’s the Success Factor
Digitally speaking, we are more connected to each other than ever before. And as technology continues to advance, so do our opportunities to successfully telecommute. Gallup reported that in 2016, 43% of employees in the U.S. worked from home at least some of the time, up from 39% in 2012. As mentioned in our 2018 predictions , we expect this perce...
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Increase Employee Engagement with These 5 Conversation Skills

Increase Employee Engagement with These 5 Conversation Skills
Our 2018 predictions released earlier this week (read them here ​ !) tell us one thing for certain: as we get ready to move into the new year, leadership will need to be willing and ready to have the sometimes tough but necessary conversations with their employees and fellow leaders. A 2016 ATD study revealed that 83% of respondents consider commun...
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A Close Look at Our 2018 Business Predictions: What to Expect, and How Leaders Can Prepare

A Close Look at Our 2018 Business Predictions: What to Expect, and How Leaders Can Prepare
Whether in our private lives or business, if there's one thing we know for sure, it's that change is inevitable. Each year we explore past and present trends as well as the ever-changing needs of individuals and organizations to forecast what we can expect to see as these changes unfold. As the current year comes to a close, we're turning our gaze ...
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Build an Intentional Culture: 3 Tips to Align Behavior with Company Values

Build an Intentional Culture: 3 Tips to Align Behavior with Company Values
Intention is our aim, our objective. It is defined as a determination to act in a certain way.   Let’s take a look at the word “act” here. While many organizations have core values that create intention, oftentimes the values are not cohesive with  leader and employee actions. In other words, there is a need to define how your employees behave in everyday situations if they are to demonstrate the company’s most critical values. It sounds so simple, yet it is often overlooked. Take “respect” as a value example.  Many of our clients share this value. However, to one employee, respect might mean telling someone the absolute hard facts that come to mind for a particular strategy. For example, tell them how it is – be a straight  shooter  –  it  is to their benefit . On the other hand, to another employee, respect might mean allowing someone the space and...
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Conversation Chaos: The Hidden Villain in Your Workplace

Conversation Chaos: The Hidden Villain in Your Workplace
There's a villain in your organization. It's a Darth Vader, Wicked Witch, Sauron, or Lord Voldemort—and it's the reason why many of your most common workplace problems persist, including disengagement and poor performance. All issues in your organization have one thing in common: conversation chaos . Unproductive, unfocused, and ineffective communi...
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Leadership Tips: Say What You Really Think

Leadership Tips: Say What You Really Think
Alethophobia is an intense, abnormal or illogical fear of the truth. In Fierce Leadership , Susan Scott asks, “How many times have you told someone – your boss, a colleague, a customer, your spouse – what you thought he or she wanted to hear, rather than what you were really thinking? Painted a false, rosy version of reality, glossing over problems or pretending they simply didn’t exist?” This happens often. The thing is…we have legitimate reasons for why we don’t want to fully disclose. Perhaps it has destroyed a relationship in your past, and you don’t want to do that again. Perhaps you have seen someone lose their job over disclosing more, and you happen to like your job. Maybe you truly don’t believe it is your place to say what you notice or feel (this is a popular one). The kicker is that not sharing the whole truth is...
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Improve Your Company Culture with These 3 Ways to Give Thanks

Improve Your Company Culture with These 3 Ways to Give Thanks
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, and for many, it is full of tradition. Whether at home or in the workplace, gratitude fills the air with the holiday season. For me, every Thanksgiving dinner, my family starts a conversation with the same question. We go around the table and ask: what are you most thankful for? This conversation is su...
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Leadership Tips: Have Fun Together

Leadership Tips: Have Fun Together
Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun. - Randy Pausch In our connected world with constant emails and social media, it is easy to never truly break away from work. Given that, you better have fun along the way. Or what’s the point of all this work? Having fun is not only good for your health, but it makes your team’s discretionary effort rise. The catch to having fun is…as a leader, you can’t force it. This week’s tip is to give your team a set budget to plan something fun together. Don’t put tons of criteria around it. It could be a happy hour, a lunch, a secret costume for team members to wear… whatever makes the team tick. It is a mistake to choose the events and outings for the team members. Let them own it. And go along for the ride.

3 Ways to Take the Scare Out of Your Conversations

3 Ways to Take the Scare Out of Your Conversations
Think of a conversation that you need to have that scares you. Perhaps it is a conversation with your boss about something she is doing that is not helpful. Or a conversation with a peer about what you are noticing that is not working for him. Or taking it home, perhaps it is a conversation with your spouse or family member to discuss something that you do not feel the other is willing to talk about. Ok, do you have a conversation in mind? Does the thought of this conversation make you want to evaporate? Or run out the door? Or go on vacation? If so, that's a good sign. These are the conversations I am talking about. I do understand the fear. There are legitimate reasons to be scared about having these conversations. Some people do not react well when confronted, regardless of how eloquent and thoughtful you are....
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Leadership Tips: Embrace Change

Leadership Tips: Embrace Change
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything . — George Bernard Shaw Change is hard. We all know. And we all have different tolerances for it, based on our experiences. I am the daughter of a Naval Officer, and growing up I lived in 12 houses before I was 18 years old. My friends joke and say that I was a “change manager” before I ever went into the human capital space. The thing is – change was always hard – even when I had a lot of it. We are deeply wired to stay in our comfort zone. However, I know I grew a lot, because I was continually uncomfortable. I had to be okay with being vulnerable and open to learning new things and making new friends. I remind myself of that. Where can you embrace variation in your life?...
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Leadership Tips: Go Deeper

Leadership Tips: Go Deeper
How many times a week do you have a conversation that just stays at the surface? With your colleagues? With your family? With your friends? It happens often. Even when we are in conversation, we can breeze past each other altogether. The thing is: We are craving depth each day. We are craving real. We want people to care.  Joseph Pine said, "The experience of being understood, versus interpreted, is so compelling you can charge admission.” This week's tip is to seek to understand and go deeper in your conversations.  Where do you tend to have the most superficial conversations? Focus there. Ask more questions. Really listen. That's where the understanding happens.

New Research: The State of Miscommunication - 6 Insights on Effective Workplace Communication

New Research: The State of Miscommunication - 6 Insights on Effective Workplace Communication
We’re excited to announce Quantum Workplace's launch of the Fierce + Quantum eBook on the state of miscommunication in the workplace. The free eBook dives deep into the issues of miscommunication and offers solutions for creating more engagement and clarity in one-on-ones, team meetings, and organization-wide. We wanted to conduct this research on miscommunication to fully understand the impact it’s having on organizations, including the costs (time, money, engagement, relationships, productivity, and more), and explore how effective conversations can help. Fierce + Quantum Quantum helps organizations retain top talent, motivate performance, understand turnover, and build magnetic cultures. Their studies reveal that communication is indeed at the heart of employee engagement. Fierce and Quantum have both researched employee engagement in the past, and have weighed in on the conversations needed to improve engagement and workplace culture. In preparation for this eBook, Quantum Workplace and Fierce Conversations designed a survey to capture...
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Fierce Summit 2017: Day 2 Highlights

Fierce Summit 2017: Day 2 Highlights
Day two of the fabulous Fierce Summit has come to an end, and today’s sessions came with powerful takeaways. Starting from earliest to latest… Regent Cornell: How to Build a Culture Ultimate Software’s tagline “People First” wasn’t drummed up by the marketing team to win awards or sell more widgets. It’s the way things are done at this fast-growing cloud computing company that landed it a top spot on Fortune’s 2016 List of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” With a personal story that was both humorous and insightful, Regent Cornell revealed the five distinguishing characteristics of ‘Best Companies’ and demonstrated the bottom-line impact of putting People First: 1. Gratitude, 2. Respect, 3. Engagement, 4. Authenticity, and 5. Trust. Learn more about how Ultimate Software made the list here . Susan Scott: Become a Great Conversationalist In this intimate session, Fierce founder and CEO Susan Scott made the connection...
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Fierce Summit 2017: Day 1 Highlights

Fierce Summit 2017: Day 1 Highlights
The Fierce Summit has finally arrived! This one-of-a-kind leadership and learning event has been anticipated throughout the year by both the Fierce community and those who are new to Fierce. The event is taking place in the wake of much time, commitment, and TLC on behalf of the Fierce team, our clients, attendees, and speakers. After our special facilitator day on Tuesday the 12th, this was our first day of the official two-day event hosted at the W Hotel in downtown Seattle. Our speakers were carefully chosen for their messages--messages that are both inspiring and on the cutting edge of leadership. These powerful messages resonated with their audience today in a way that I believe will leave a lasting impact. Here are some notable speaker highlights from day one: Juliet Funt: Activity is Not Productivity: Raising Execution Through Reclaiming WhiteSpace After Susan Scott’s warm and insightful introduction, Juliet Funt, founder...
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Leadership Tips: Stop Your Excuses. You are the Culture.

Leadership Tips: Stop Your Excuses. You are the Culture.
Having a positive culture has real impact on business and your happiness at work. In fact, a  Columbia University study  shows that the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with rich company culture is a mere 13.9 percent, whereas the probability of job turnover in poor company cultures is 48.4 percent. That makes a huge difference…not just for the employer, but also for the fellow employees. Although people cerebrally understand culture's importance, people tend to talk about culture as something external.  For instance, a statement I often encounter when we are discussing fierce is: “My culture doesn't encourage transparent, direct communication, so I can't have those kinds of conversations with my executive team right now.” Sometimes that also sounds like, “If my company's culture was different, I would be different.” Or “If other people modeled those behaviors, I could do them too.” What I hear is   “Look at...
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Leadership Tips: Hold Yourself Able

Leadership Tips: Hold Yourself Able
At Fierce, we believe that accountability is a bias towards action: an attitude, a personal, private, non-negotiable choice about how to live your life. The reality is, as much as you may want to, you can’t hold someone accountable. In Fierce Accountability , we talk about the difference between holding someone accountable and holding someone able. When you hold someone able, you choose to recognize the capacity of each person you are connecting with to achieve the goals you agreed upon. Where can you take a more accountable position in your life? At work? On certain projects? With your partner? With your kids? This week’s tip is to hold yourself able with your commitments. Trust and make the choices you need to make for the important relationships and objectives in your life right now. You are the only one who can.

How to Address Employee Toxicity: 3 Fierce Tips

How to Address Employee Toxicity: 3 Fierce Tips
You know the one. The one who frequently complains. Gossips. Blames others. Leaves people hanging. Today we released our recent survey results from a thousand full-time employees across the U.S. who weighed in on toxic employees. Cited by the majority of respondents, a negative attitude is the most toxic and most detrimental trait an employee can have. And more than three-quarters (76%) say a special talent or skill never or infrequently outweighs the impact of a co-worker’s negativity. I completely agree with our respondents. I have personally witnessed how a toxic employee can bring a whole team down. Toxic employees wreak havoc on an organization. First and foremost, they increase stress, according to those surveyed, followed by decreasing overall job satisfaction. For the organization as a whole, respondents believe a toxic employee decreases morale, followed by decreasing productivity, and decreasing the quality of work product. For women, toxic employees have...
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Leadership Tips: Know They Can Handle It  

Leadership Tips: Know They Can Handle It  
Excuses, excuses, excuses. People make excuses all the time when it comes to not having the conversations they need to have. We hear this everywhere regardless of one’s title, location, or status. One of the most common justifications to not have the conversation is the other person can’t handle it . Responses look like: They’ll get hurt. They’ll get defensive. They won’t talk about it. The irony of this excuse is that the person saying it is the one who is scared, uncertain, or assumptive about the outcome. Don’t get me wrong, there are absolutely valid reasons for feeling tentative. You may have been burned in the past. Maybe Johnny in the Finance Department spoke up, and he is no longer with your company. Maybe someone in your family continues to show up the same way every time things get tough. So given those realities, there is absolutely skill in...
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Cut Your Victim Bonding

Cut Your Victim Bonding
  We all love to victim bond at times. Victim bonding occurs when people get together and talk about how horrible a situation is. At its core, it is consistent with talking about the situation rather than doing anything to change it.   Common foreplay for victim bonding looks like this:   Person A: Oh, you are having trouble with Bill?   Person B: Yes, absolutely. Are you having trouble with Bill? He’s horrible. He never gives me enough resources.   Person A: Me either! Oh, let me tell you this story…   And so the bond begins. It feels so good. It feels so right. Someone actually “gets it” or “gets you”.   Let’s pause on that.   The quote “misery likes company” applies to this situation. Essentially, you are not only choosing misery, you are choosing to have someone else’s misery in your life as well. Is that...
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Leadership Tips: Invite Negative Emotions

Leadership Tips: Invite Negative Emotions
It is common to feel discomfort when dealing with other people’s emotions in the workplace. The old saying - leave your emotions at the door – can be a real invitation. I’m sure you know someone that you wish would take this advice more often. The problem with that statement is that many leaders want some emotions…and don’t want others. Most leaders welcome a lot of laughing, smiling, cheering, and all the happy emotions. And yet, they would want to modify that statement to: Leave your negative emotions at the door . It is not always fun to deal with disappointment, anger, frustration, what would be considered negative emotions. However, recent research has shown that negative thoughts and emotions play a critical role in helping us to understand our experiences. And hence, they fuel decision-making. In today’s workplace, leaders who are not comfortable with negative emotions are typically less able...
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Improve Two Relationships through Conversation

Improve Two Relationships through Conversation
The conversation is the relationship. It is such a simple five word sentence. Yet, the depth and applicability of this concept is powerful. The quality of your conversations dictate the quality of your relationships. Think of all the relationships in your life. With those, imagine that you must put the quality of your conversations on a scale of 1 being most satisfying to 10 being least satisfying. Where would those conversations land? Given all the relationships you may have on that scale, ask yourself:  As a leader, what kind of conversations are you having? Are they developmental and supportive? Or skeptical and controlling?   As a team member, what kind of conversations are you having? Are they collaborative and robust? Or superficial and frustrated?   As a friend, what kind of conversations are you having? Are they thoughtful and compassionate? Or assumptive and insincere   As an individual, what kind...
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Leadership Tips: Pay Attention to Your Influence

Leadership Tips: Pay Attention to Your Influence
What effect do you want to have on others when you leave a room or call? This week, you have the opportunity to infinitely inspire others…or do the opposite. At Fierce, one of the concepts is to take responsibility for your emotional wake. An emotional wake is what is remembered after you have left a conversation. It can be an afterglow, aftertaste, or aftermath. Which one do you choose? This week’s tip is to pay attention to your emotional wake, so that you are able to tune in and take responsibility for it.  All in all, what effects do you want to have on others this week?

How to be Fierce in 3 Challenging Work Conversations

How to be Fierce in 3 Challenging Work Conversations
We all need to have them at some point. Those pesky, dreaded conversations. You know, the ones that can be awkward or uncomfortable or come with a crazy mix of emotions. When these unwelcome, challenging situations enter your life, your first instinct may be to run away, either physically or mentally. Once you think about the impracticality of escaping, you may minimize the issue – oh it isn’t that bad. Or I’ll just see if it happens again. Or I just will deal with this on my own. While this is a reality for many of us, I contend that those conversations you want to run from are the very ones you need to have. Why? Well firstly, you spend the majority of your time with the people at work, so from a practical perspective, you can only avoid these conversations so much. Secondly, HR Magazine reported that in a...
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Leadership Tips: Ask What Else

Leadership Tips: Ask What Else
  In our coaching model, we instruct you to ask “ what else? ” at least 3 times in different parts of the conversation. Each time you ask, you are going deeper into the question. You are exploring – unlocking new territory.   The need to ask “ what else?” is everywhere.   For example, think about when someone asks you: How’s it going?   How do you usually respond?   When I ask people this, the initial answer is usually very surface. Examples: Work is busy but good. Family is good. Vacation was good.   This conversation is always different when I ask “what else?” after they give me the first, ceremonial answer. Only after the “ what else” does something juicier come out. It is almost like “ what else” translates to “ no, really, I want to know.”   This week’s tip is to concentrate on where...
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3 Critical Questions to Ask Your Team About Vacation

3 Critical Questions to Ask Your Team About Vacation
Yesterday was the first official day of summer, and many employees are looking forward to planned vacations. Whether it’s hiking through Yellowstone, lounging around on a tropical island, or embracing a good old-fashioned staycation, talks of summer plans are taking over offices everywhere. Yet, the land of vacation relaxation is easier said than done based on the results of our new Fierce survey that launched earlier today. We surveyed over a thousand full-time employees across the U.S. and found some surprising variances in employee experiences around paid time off (PTO). From managerial support to stress reduction, we investigated various dynamics with paid time off and what gets in the way of employees truly enjoying vacation. Bottom line: people are not getting enough value from their vacations. And because of that, leaders, it is time for you to step up and have the necessary conversations. Research shows that vacation can improve...
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Leadership Tips: Develop Your Team While Away on Vacation

Leadership Tips: Develop Your Team While Away on Vacation
You can develop your team when you are away on vacation.   That sounds like a dream, right?  A magic pill that you would most definitely purchase if it existed, yeah? Well luckily, you don’t need a pill. It boils down to the conversations. As a leader, you need to take time off and recharge. This is necessary for your wellbeing as well as your team’s. A past Fierce Study revealed that more than 58 percent of respondents indicated that they received no stress relief from vacations. The goal of vacation is to enjoy and feel refreshed when you return. And your ability to relax and decompress is dependent on you, not the vacation itself. Surprising or not – there are currently responsibilities on your plate that your team members want to own. This should make you jump for joy When your team members develop, your team develops, and you...
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Leadership Tips: Take It Personally

Leadership Tips: Take It Personally
In Fierce Conversations, we believe the phrases “Don’t take this personally” and “Don’t take yourself so seriously” are misguided suggestions. Do take it personally; do take yourself seriously. Work is deeply personal. And so is leading others. Leading anything in your life, for that matter. Instead of turning the other direction when your idea is rejected or something doesn’t go your way, stick with it. It is important to lean into those situations. Don’t shut yourself down or brush it off. For example, when one of my team’s marketing concepts is scrutinized, it is impossible to not feel some emotion or level of disappointment. Instead of becoming apathetic, acknowledge that the work is personal. And that we want to get it right, because we all care. (If we didn’t care, there wouldn’t be emotions.) And then the next step is to get curious and ask questions. This week’s tip is...
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Leadership Tips: Develop People Around You

Leadership Tips: Develop People Around You
"The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." - Harvey S. Firestone, Founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company Here at Fierce, we’re in the business of helping others grow. And our clients are on all different paths in supporting their people’s development, from offering very sophisticated development programs to just starting on the path of giving options. Regardless, the leaders we work with realize that developing their people is a critical piece for success. This isn’t just a “check the box” – employees crave it. According to EdenRed, 68% of workers say training and development is the most important workplace policy, followed by working hours flexibility (74%), then promotion of health at work (72%). I’d argue it goes beyond the policy, because people truly want growth opportunities. So you must ask yourself: If this perk is highly desired, how do I help aid others’ development?...
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An Event for All Fierce Fans: 3 Reasons to Attend

An Event for All Fierce Fans: 3 Reasons to Attend
The Fierce community has spoken, and the resounding advice to us was: bring us together! Tell us what you are thinking. Take a stand on how our organizations and world can become more fierce together. Given that, we are very excited to announce the launch of the Fierce Summit, a learning event for the fierce community and fans. It will be in Seattle, WA on September 13th and 14th. Here is the official site with more details. If you are a Fierce facilitator, please join us September 12th for a special day to take your facilitation to the next level. It is an investment of time and money, and it will be worth it. Here are three reasons to attend: 1. Network with a worldwide Fierce Community. The Fierce Summit is a rare opportunity to network with new and long-time Fierce community members from around the globe. You will make...
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Leadership Tips: Don’t Procrastinate with Your Conversations

Leadership Tips: Don’t Procrastinate with Your Conversations
What conversations are you currently stalling? At work? At home?   No one likes to admit it, yet we do often put off tasks and responsibilities. Many studies report that extreme procrastination affects over 20% of the population. Even if you aren’t in this group, the lure of waiting until tomorrow affects us all at times. An online survey by The Procrastination Research Group posed the question, “To what extent is procrastination having a negative impact on your happiness?” Of the 2,700 responses, 46% said “quite a bit” or “very much,” and 18% claimed “extreme negative effect.” And yet, there are real reasons we put off doing things that are important. When it comes to conversations, we often put off the vital ones we need to have for reasons like: It will take too long.   The other person can’t handle it.   It’s not the right time. Those are...
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Leadership Tips: Decide What is Important

Leadership Tips: Decide What is Important
Arianna Huffington’s book  Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder , makes a compelling case to redefine what success means in today’s world. The book gave me some tips and tricks to personally redefine success for myself. Success means different things for different people. And at the end of the day, we only have so many hours to focus on what we think is important. One of my favorite quotes that Huffington included in Thrive is: "And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, 'This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!' "And each day, it's up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, "No. This is what's important.'" -  Iain Thomas So I ask you: What...
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Leadership Tips: Build Your Leaders Up

Leadership Tips: Build Your Leaders Up
In our often time-constrained, all-consuming routines as leaders, it can be hard to focus and help others around you. And when I say others, I mean other leaders – the people you aren’t normally focused on helping and supporting. It’s often assumed that this orphaned population of fellow leaders are “skilled to fend for themselves.” Hey, they are super talented and should have it figured out…that’s their job, right?! Well, we know that is not reality. Leaders are pressured in all directions – from the top, the side, and the bottom. And when you think about it, often it is hard for them to even know what they need in the middle of it all. I was recently talking with a leader in one of our client companies, and she is tasked with building a new middle manager training program. When I asked about the vision, she shared that more...
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Leadership Tips: Check-In Now

Leadership Tips: Check-In Now
Step back and reflect on all of the people you will interact with this week - inside and outside of work. Do you have a gut feeling about something that needs to be talked about? Now is the time to do something about it. I'm not saying that your instinct about a situation is necessarily correct.   Many times our instincts are fueled by our own fears or thoughts around a certain situation. What you may perceive as an issue, may be something entirely unrelated. However...what if it isn't? Is it worth glazing over? This week's tip is to connect with the person you most need to check-in with.   Be specific and share what you sense. The worst that can happen is you are wrong. Just be prepared to be.

Revised and Updated Fierce Conversations Launches Today

Revised and Updated Fierce Conversations Launches Today
At the core of Fierce, and really at the core of relationship, are Fierce conversations. This idea originated years ago with our founder and CEO, Susan Scott, whose now famous statement launched an entire organization: While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship, or a life, any single conversation absolutely can. In addition to launching Fierce, a company helping thousands of business leaders directly, Susan also published Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time which has sold a half a million copies to date. Today, we are excited to announce an extensively revised and updated version is now available . The updated version offers guidance for navigating changes that are happening in the workplace, including the shifting expectations of employees. Some key additions to the book include: • Insight into how and when to...
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Leadership Tips: Ask for Feedback as a Leader

Leadership Tips: Ask for Feedback as a Leader
“Asking others for input increases their expectation that you will change in a positive way.” – Joseph Folkman, The Power of Feedback The world is constantly changing around you. An important employee leaves your team. A key client shifted the whole program for their upcoming session. A new company launches to compete with your core product. Your computer crashes. All before noon. Big or small fluctuations happen every minute of the day. Leaders must be able to track the trends with their teams and organizations. Feedback is important data in our daily lives, so we need to solicit input. So I ask: How much feedback are you receiving from your employees? My guess would be not enough. And if that is true, you need to ask. The higher up you are in the organization, the more removed you may be from how you are really doing from others’ perspectives. This...
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Leadership Tips: Use the Power of Change

Leadership Tips: Use the Power of Change
Last year, I was in New York at the Conference Board’s Annual Change and Transformation Conference. Although it was almost a year ago, the core themes discussed have proved to be true in the workplace: Constant change is the new normal. We have many beliefs about change, and at the end of the day, we as humans don’t particularly like change. It’s uncomfortable. The issue is that we don’t truly understand change and how we react. Warren Parry, Managing Director at Accenture Strategy, shared research that was completed over the last 15 years about 250 change initiatives in more than 150 organizations. What struck me was two particular myths that he debunked about change. The first myth is that too much change, too fast, is destructive . According to their research, the highest-performing organizations really excel in change. Typically, high-performing companies have more frequent change taking place. The second myth is...
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Leadership Tips: Bust Generation Stereotypes

Leadership Tips: Bust Generation Stereotypes
The media is buzzing every day with news of the latest epidemic of generational conflict. Millennials are flipping things completely upside down while the boomers stand sternly, clenching status quo. Well, how much is this really happening? I've traveled to several conferences and corporate events, and during that time, I had several conversations about generations in the workforce. Most people say the generational gap is a real one but admitted to knowing people who don't fall into their generations' stereotypes. So I ask you: When have you defied your generation's stereotypes? When have others around you?  I am an “older” millennial, yet I hold some very “boomer” values and tendencies. In our Fierce Generations workshop, we do a values exercise in which participants choose values most important to them. The beauty is that most people walk away from the training acknowledging that they have values from all the different generations. There...
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5 Biggest Takeaways from LAMP

5 Biggest Takeaways from LAMP
The relationship between Fierce and GAMA International has been built on a common vision: to support and develop field leaders in the insurance and financial services industry. In this industry, recruiting, maintaining, and sustaining relationships between employees is one of the biggest challenges—keeping the lines of communication open between the field offices and the corporate office can be difficult. This challenge is where Fierce conversations can play a transformative role. The financial industry is also shifting, and organizations are coming together as a community to tackle the tough challenges that accompany change. Fierce attended GAMA’s 2017 LAMP , themed “Ignite Change.” During the four-day event that included general session speakers and conversations with field leaders, we learned a great deal about how the financial industry is changing. Here are our five biggest takeaways that financial and insurance organizations should keep in mind, with highlights from event speakers. 1. Culture is...
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New Fierce Survey Reveals Millennials Embrace the Benefits of Diversity

New Fierce Survey Reveals Millennials Embrace the Benefits of Diversity
The current political and global climate has led to an increase in conversations about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends , the number of executives who cited inclusion as a top priority has risen 32% in the last three years, and over two-thirds of executives rate diversity and inclusion as an important issue. We surveyed over a thousand individuals nationwide to gain a better understanding of how people perceive the benefits of workplace diversity. We also explored issues relating to discrimination and safety in the workplace. We thought it was interesting that over 40% of survey respondents believe their organization would benefit from greater diversity. This number increased to 55% amongst those 18-29, however, decreased to just 30% of those 60+. A clear disconnect exists here between generations, as younger individuals seemingly place a greater value on diversity than those older. This...
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Leadership Tips: Reflect on Your Generation

Leadership Tips: Reflect on Your Generation
I am proud to be a millennial. And this is despite the many demoralizing stereotypes. It may be weird, but yes, I do prefer face-to-face conversations when I have a difficult topic to talk about with someone. I also am not a serial job hopper; I can actually be loyal to a fault. I also don’t expect to get something unless I work very hard, and then if I achieve it, I work more to share gratitude for all the people who inevitably helped along the way. Yes, I am not the stereotypical millennial. However, I do not believe the publicized generalizations apply to most of my millennial peers. That’s the thing - it is an amazing time to be in business. Sometimes it seems easiest to just keep bucketing people in a way that “makes sense” and allows us to feel more comfortable. The landscape is constantly changing, and...
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Leadership Tips: Ask Your Team

Leadership Tips: Ask Your Team
"Unity is strength . . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved." -Mattie Stepanek Think about a time that a leader in your organization has made a decision without consulting the people it affected. How was the decision received? Was there resistance? Most of the time, when there is an issue with a decision, it is because people’s opinions and concerns were not addressed in the first place. People ultimately want to know that their perspectives matter. The engagement piece is more important than the final outcome. At Fierce, we have a culture committee – composed of cross department members – that is focused on bringing our core values to life. They explore and recommend opportunities from recognition programs to mentorship to coordinating our company-wide fantasy draft team. Why do we have this group? Because it is critical for our team members to help steer how...
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Women Leadership: A Reason, a Caution, and a Bottom Line

Women Leadership: A Reason, a Caution, and a Bottom Line
On this International Women's Day, I want to celebrate women all around the world. This day makes me reflect on the strong women leaders in my life who have propelled my career and have forever changed me—for the better. I am so grateful to you. You know who you are. Based on recent articles that struck me, I want to offer some considerations for propelling women into leadership roles. Let’s start with the current February 2017 stats. According to Catalyst, of the S&P 500 companies, 5.4% of CEOs are women, 9.5% of top earners are women, 19.9% of board seats are women, 25.1% of executive officers are women, and 36.4% of middle management are women. Given that the total employee base is 44.3% women, there is continual opportunity for women to rise to the higher managerial and leadership levels. These numbers have increased significantly in the last few years. This...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate a Woman in Your Life

Leadership Tips: Celebrate a Woman in Your Life
International Women’s Day is March 8th. As a women-owned business, Fierce wants to thank all of the women-owned businesses that make an impact in our community – from Seattle to around the globe. I want to shout out to Women in Real Life and PACE Staffing as some of our women-owned business partners who grow their businesses with brilliance and strength. In the United States, there continues to be a surge of women-owned businesses. According to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Business Report, there are nearly 11.3 million women-owned enterprises (up from 9.1 million in 2014), employing nearly 9 million workers and generating over $1.6 trillion in revenues. Between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms grew 45%. So I ask you: Do you have women entrepreneurs in your life? What have you learned from them? This week’s tip is to celebrate a woman in your life. Find a...
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