Today’s Mokita: Incivility in the Workplace

You may have heard the word "incivility," which the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines as a "quality of state of being uncivil." A more familiar phrase would be rude behavior , used to describe words and actions that can lower employee engagement and harm the health of your workplace culture. What are the harmful behaviors that are going on in your...
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Part Two: How to "Fix" Accountability on Your Team

I want to go back to our original quote included in Part 1 of the Accountability blogs: " Our careers, our companies, our personal relationships, our very lives, succeed or fail, gradually then suddenly, one conversation at a time." If you'll notice, it says succeeds one conversation at a time. So just as we found that accountability can disappear ...
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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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Do You Have a Fear-Based Work Culture? Here’s How to Fix It!

If fear-based tactics are being used as a driver in your workplace, it could have a negative effect on your time, money, relationships, and psychological well-being. Do you know where your organization's culture currently stands? A Close Look at the Problem Fear can manifest in the workplace in many ways, but it typically occurs with a trickle-down...
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Navigating Identity Politics: Insight for Leaders

There is a phenomenon taking place where groups and individuals are shrinking rather than expanding their points of view, unwilling to consider someone else's perspective outside of their own social group—at work, in friendships, and within families. Political differences and polarization are threatening inclusion. And these rifts are happening in ...
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Work Faster!!! The Role of Urgency in Performance Management

  "Nature never hurries, yet everything is accomplished." –Lao Tzu Business is fast-paced. In order to keep up with and outshine the competition, we quickly rush to complete our goals, often while multitasking. On top of the busy work day, some also rush to work, rush to meetings, and rush to get home. If the idea of being told to mo...
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Why Your Traditional Diversity Training Program is Not Working

Each year, organizations invest a lot of time and millions of dollars into diversity programs. I hate to break it to you, but the return on both the investment and expectations of traditional diversity efforts is falling terribly short. As a baby boomer, my career followed the new path of diversity. It wasn’t about inclusion at all. It was about numbers. The intent was good. The thinking was that if you change the numbers you would change the culture. Fortunately, we have learned so much and still have so far to go. Traditional programs are still not touching on some of the most critical issues that need to be addressed. In 2016, in a speech to the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar, diversity consultant Verna Myers said, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being invited to dance.” Traditional programs are just an invitation to the party. They become hollow...
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Leadership Tips: Be Kind

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” ― Henry James Showing kindness in the workplace can get a bad rap. It can be mistaken as a weakness. Some believe it is an emotion we should not show. Don’t let this old school way of thinking misguide you. Being kind is the greatest gift we can give one another. It is an attribute that encompasses empathy and sympathy, while simultaneously building trust and respect. Kindness goes a long way and often takes very little energy on our parts. This week take every opportunity to be kindhearted to those you spend your days with. No act is too small and if the week provides you the chance to show your humanity in a large way – seize it!

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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How Your Body Language Impacts Workplace Conversations

“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson Whether you’re giving (or receiving) feedback, confronting a colleague, having a collaborative meeting, or just engaging in casual conversation, your body language matters. Body language alone can make or break a conversation. According to Psychologist World , human communication is 20% verbal and 80% non-verbal . Body language that doesn’t coincide with the message we intend to send can therefore lead to relationship ruptures, misunderstandings, and unwanted outcomes. Body language is the primary language of emotion, and how others perceive our emotion influences how our communication lands for them. A study by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at New York University and Princeton revealed that body language is an even more accurate determiner of judging emotion than facial expressions. In short, your body language plays a significant role in how...
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5 Easy Ways to Handle Conflict at Work

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Inc and explores five ways to handle conflict at work. Conflict isn’t always a bad thing. Challenging a colleague’s opinion and “interrogating their reality,” as Fierce CEO Susan Scott would say, can produce amazing business results. It is important to know how to have these conversations tactfully to avoid a full-blown argument that accomplishes little. Great leaders know how to facilitate these conversations and set aside ego while practicing patience and self-awareness. Per Geoffrey James, Inc, some tips for handling conflict at the office are: 1. Pick your battles carefully. Although no one should be exempt from these difficult conversations, from the intern to the CEO, it is always best to choose them carefully. It is devastating to the individual and their colleagues if everything turns into a conflict. 2. Admit when you’re wrong. A common mistake for new managers is the...
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When Heads Collide: 5 Tips for Managing Conflict

"If we aren't going to be afraid of conflict, we have to see it as thinking, and then we have to get really good at it." –Margaret Heffernan Since January, we’ve focused our content heavily on creating more robust inclusion in the workplace. The main idea is this: inclusive cultures require collaboration and diversity of thought, where each team member has an equal opportunity to share their perspective. But what can you do as a leader when perspectives collide, causing friction between team members? Starkly opposing views can potentially stagnate timelines and cause friction—especially when one or more people hold particularly passionate views about a topic or high-stakes decision. Conflict can be productive, but in its midst, we want to assure we're making decisions effectively, maintaining (or reestablishing) a sense of team unity during the decision-making process, and patching any tension that may arise during and after heads have collided....
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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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6 Ways to Conquer the Fear of Confrontations

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by and provides six ways to conquer fear of confrontation. Whether we like to admit or not, most of us are guilty of avoiding a conversation that we know will be difficult. Excuses enter our heads, like “not wanting to rock the boat,” and we convince ourselves that things will eventually change. Wrong. Whether it is a work conflict or a relationship issue, you owe it to yourself (and the other person) to have the difficult conversation to move the relationship forward. Amy Morin, psychotherapist and Forbes contributor, shares some effective ways of overcoming a fear of confrontation: Identify the problems with being a pushover. It is difficult for someone to change behavior if they do not see how it is negatively affecting them. Writing down all the problems you experience by avoiding confrontation can help you understand the impact it has...
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3 Steps to Help You Confront Your Boss

Confronting someone is scary . It can be even scarier to confront your boss. Often the anxiety you feel is strong enough to make you want to bury your head in the sand, no matter what the issue. It's understandable to be afraid of confronting your boss. If the conversation goes awry, you may worry that it will put your job at stake. This is, of course, a worst-case scenario. From our experience here at Fierce, we can honestly tell you that this outcome is incredibly rare. More often than not, confrontation conversations lead to positive change. The truth is, how receptive they are to the conversation plays into how successful they will be as a leader and the kind of culture they want to create for the company. There is a lot at stake for everyone—not just you. Despite the intimidation you may feel, avoiding confronting your boss can...
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Leadership Tips: Don’t Point Fingers

A fierce leader does not blame others. A fierce leader asks, listens, and describes what has happened – without laying blame (that’s the hard part). I've worked with leaders in my past who would throw the first person they could under the bus when something went awry. Do you work with someone like that? Or more importantly - are you that person pointing the finger? If you are, I understand how tempting it is to share the juicy faults or issues, to share what really happened and lay out all the missteps. It's great gossip fodder. And besides that, it is often REALITY.  It is very hard to take responsibility for results that aren't necessarily completely in your control. There are prices you pay, though. When you blame someone else, people trust you less. And in today’s workplace – trust is a scarce resource. According to a new Edelman “Trust...
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3 Tips to Build an All-Star Team

As we get closer to Super Bowl Sunday, there is a lot of talk about teams. Who will win? Who will have their head in the game? Just like in athletics, building a high-performing team in your organization requires effort and heart. When you are part of one, you feel it. Some people call it “being in the flow”. All-star teams do not happen by luck. To build them, they take practice, discipline, and the ability to learn from mistakes. The difference between an A team and an A+ team is the difference between a million in revenue and a billion in revenue.” – Paul English, Kayak Say Thank You The reality is that many people do not spend enough time appreciating one another. A great exercise that we have used internally at Fierce requires each individual to sit at the front of the room in a chair for two...
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3 Thankless Offices and What to Do

Gratitude is in the air this time of year. While we all want it, the harsh reality is that many work environments can be quite thankless. From “always busy” managers to ever changing agendas, feeling recognized is a scarce commodity at times. With an emphasis on meeting deadlines and hitting revenue or sales goals, especially at the end of the year, the numbers seem to get all the attention. However, that intense focus on numbers rather than the people driving them may be what ultimately costs a company its success. The health of the organization and the bottom line are directly affected by the strength and satisfaction of each individual. In fact, employees that are happy are 10 to 12 percent more productive , so ensuring employee happiness is critical to the long-term success of any organization. Last week during a status update call, we were discussing a client’s employee...
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Advice to Young Women

We’re a women-owned business. And proud of it. As part of our work, we focus on developing, training, and investing in young women and girls around the world through corporations, non-profits, and education systems. When we look at issues for young women today, bullying comes to the top of the list. We are not neutral about how to solve for this. We believe that children and young adults need to learn the skills to navigate their lives – with advocates and adversaries to their success. So what does our staff want to share with young women today? Fellow Fierceling, Ashley Wolf, has interviewed some of our staff about advice they have for young women, and two major themes arose. Speak Your Truth. At Fierce, speaking your truth is about being authentic. With media and many other influences pushing against them, it is especially important for young women today to learn...
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4 Ways Smart Leaders Are Shaking up Their Culture

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on The Huffington Post and outlines four ways to revamp your work culture to help retain and attract new talent. A 2015 study by Deloitte found that more than 50% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, while 90% want to use their skills for good. This shift has made company culture one of the most important factors in attracting top talent to a business. The challenge is how you maintain a balance between satisfying new talent and keeping your current employees happy. 4 Ways Smart Leaders Are Shaking up Their Culture recommends creating a collaborative learning environment where employees can engage with leaders at all levels of the company, at their own pace. This will ensure organizations’ talent delivers on business outcomes today and in the future, while also creating a more inclusive...
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Don’t Lie to Yourself: 3 Myths about Toxic Workplace Cultures

Toxic workplace cultures can make or break a company. It can be the difference between innovation or routine. Happiness or disappointment. Growth or decay. There’s some significant bottom line impact to boot. Low-level engagement within companies results in a 33 percent decrease in operating income and an 11 percent decrease in earnings growth, as stated in this Entrepreneur article . If we are not addressing the issues around low engagement and unhealthy behaviors, we are making costly mistakes. And sometimes, our mistakes may not be as obvious as they seem. Here are three of the top myths that leaders we work with say: There will be a spontaneous change. In the depths of our hearts, we, leaders, sometimes wish that one day we could walk into our offices and the negative behaviors/people would just be gone. And then, it is affirmed once more, that they still exist. They may have...
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The Emotional Impulses That Poison Healthy Teams

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and outlines five common mistakes people make when working in a collaborative setting. Whether we like it or not, the days of the individual contributor and working in silos are gone. Think about your last big project. How many people did you rely on? Did you negotiate roles, resources, or timelines? In everything we do, we are increasingly dependent on people. Sadly, most of us cringe at the thought of working on a team. How can we change our experience for the better? The Emotional Impulses That Poison Healthy Teams suggests focusing on our own actions. Ultimately, it is your choice whether or not to take responsibility for the way you show up and what you do. Are you aware of your emotional wake? “If you want to mess with people’s minds and kill a team’s spirit, focus on...
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Leaders, Stay Away from 3 Toxic Employee Traps

/trap/ noun: trap; plural noun: traps — an unpleasant situation from which it is hard to escape In a new Fierce Survey released today, we found four out of five employees believe leaders don’t do enough to combat toxic employees. Do your employees think that about you? It’s time to wake up and be aware that the potential for toxicity in your organization is everywhere. And it is your job, leader, to make sure you don’t fall into any of the traps that create negativity. Trap #1 Employees feel undervalued. Employees who feel disposable, commoditized, or who don’t understand their role within an organization often hold on to negative energy. This negative energy can be poisonous when spread amongst other colleagues. Tip: Ask each member of your team how and when they feel most valued. Get curious and learn what matters to the people you work with every day. Make...
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Leadership Tips: Bust the Negative Attitude

It happens. Negativity can gradually, then suddenly, creep into your team, your office, even your home. Negativity is often underestimated on an everyday level, however, its impact can be quite large. In fact, a 2012 Fierce survey shared that 78% of the respondents cited a negative attitude as the key trait of a toxic employee. Negativity trumped gossiping, laziness, and passive-aggressiveness. Can you think of someone in your life that is consistently negative? Urban Dictionary defines a Negative Nancy as “someone who commonly whines, complains, or looks at the bad side of things.” A Negative Nancy or Negative Nick does not approach situations with solutions or ideas, but rather, examples of why the situations are so horrible. In short: We don’t need these people in our lives. Why do we put up with it? This week’s tip is to address a negative attitude with someone in your life before it...
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What Managers Can Do When Employees Engage in Conflict

This week’s Fierce resource was published on and was written by Kevin Mason. What Managers Can Do When Employees Engage in Conflict outlines five tips to help resolve conflict in a productive manner. Think of the last time you were angry, how hard was it for you to listen? To be present in the conversation? Often the biggest challenge is to check our egos and emotions at the door to have a more productive and honest conversation. As leaders, we should all be encouraging our teams to have direct conversations to enrich each relationship. Think of a time when you needed to have a difficult conversation, how did you handle it? What would you do differently? Join Fierce and the Human Capital Institute on Wednesday, April 8th at 1 pm for a webcast: Fierce Conversations: How to Address Toxic Employees. “ Focus on listening – It is not necessary...
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Leadership Tips: Confront a Toxic Coworker

It is the gossiper . It is the victim . It is the slacker . Toxic employees show up in many forms. Fierce conducted a survey on toxic employees a little over a year ago. Out of 1,000 executives and employees, 30 percent argue with coworkers once a month, and 55 percent feel that a negative supervisor, peer, and employee are all equally detrimental to the morale of an organization. So what do you do about those troublemakers? Sixty-two percent said they opt to confront toxic coworkers. It is important to have the conversation on the impact of the behavior – not just for the relationship, but also for yourself. This week’s tip is to confront a toxic coworker. If offering constructive feedback has not made the situation improve, it’s time for a direct conversation. It is a skill to confront well. One tip: it is important to name the...
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Difficult Coworker? One Quick Way To Turn The Relationship Around

Do you fight at work? Fist fights are rare but toe-to-toe yelling matches, stonewalling, passive resistance and backbiting are all too common in the workplace. Do you think that if so-and-so weren’t so stubborn or political, your job would be much easier? If so, you aren’t alone. Nearly one-third of executives and employees argue with a co-worker at least once a month , according to a survey of 1,000 workers by Fierce Inc ., a Seattle leadership development and training company specializing in workplace communication. Work warfare, even in the form of passive resistance, wastes energy, lowers morale and reduces productivity. You can be a high performer individually but adversarial relationships with your co-workers can cause loss of trust up and down the management chain, and damage your products and customer relationships. As an executive coach, I’m privy to many of my clients’ struggles with their colleagues. My inbox contains...
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Leadership Tips: Say Sorry First

We all do it. We say something we don't exactly mean . Or we do something in the heat of the moment. We are human - it happens. What really matters is what you do after. Do you hold onto it and want the other person to come to his or her 'senses'? Or do you lean in and open the conversation to make it right? This week's tip is to say sorry first when something has not gone the way you intended. If you can't in the heat of the moment, go back to it when you are ready. In the spirit of the holidays and bringing 2014 to a close, let forgiveness and compassion be the gifts you give. It sounds cliché. However, we all know these gifts can be the hardest to give. The bonus? It is a gift to yourself too. You can travel light.

Teach Teachers How to Create Magic

This talk was originally shared on and was created by Christopher Emdin. What happens when there is lack of inspiration in a classroom?   Teach Teachers How to Create Magic shares insight for how to engage students through the use of what many think is magic- the ability to create collaborative, courageous environments where students are leaning in to the conversation and listening with intent for what's to come. Classrooms where students are learning and teachers feel good about the difference they are making.  Does this sound like your classroom? Who do you know who has a classroom like this? Look for those who inspire you. " What do rap shows, barbershop banter, and Sunday services have in common?  They all hold the secret magic to enthrall and teach at the same time — and it’s a skill we often don't teach to educators." Watch the 7 minute Tedtalk...
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5 Incredibly Easy Ways to Spread Kindness, Every Day

This week's Fierce Resource was originally published on and was written by Catherine Pearson. 5 Incredibly Easy Ways to Spread Kindness, Every Day  highlights simple ways to not only show kindness to others, but to show kindness to yourself. Sometimes forgiving someone for how they talked to you or apologizing for not being the best friend, colleague, or partner can be the one thing that makes your entire day better and strengthens the relationships that surround you. How will you spread kindness throughout your week? Month? Year? "Fortunately, research has shown that smaller acts can have serious payoffs as well, both on the giving and receiving end. Everyday kindness has been linked to everything from  improved happiness to decreased inflammation in the body,  as David Hamilton, author of  Why Kindness Is Good For You  has explained." Read the full article here . 

Mentoring as a Leadership Development Tool

This week's Fierce Resource was first published on the Training Magazine website and was written by Douglas F. Dell, SVP e-learning Services, of the Crawford & Company . Mentoring as a Leadership Development Tool explores the Crawford Mentoring Model and provides actionable next steps, around 5 areas, on how to begin to use mentoring as a leadership development tool. "How do you improve an emerging leader’s knowledge, networking savvy, and perspective of an organization? The answer is mentoring. By identifying learning goals, leveraging relationships, encouraging active participation, and measuring results, a mentoring program that draws on your existing pool of talent can provide a solution no classroom can deliver. When a recent hire or veteran employee enters a new organization, the speed with which they assimilate by gaining knowledge, building relationships, and applying prior learning to their new environment creates human capital ROI." To read the full article, click here...
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Culture at Work: The Tyranny of "Unwritten Rules"

This week's Fierce Resource was first published on the Forbes website and was written by Rodger Dean Duncan . C ulture at Work: The Tyranny of "Unwritten Rules"   explores the power of actions over words, and what a great impact the unspoken truths can have on a culture. For leaders this is critical. And you might not realize the signs your employees are picking up on until you ask. "As Yogi Berra famously noted, you can observe a lot by watching. What are the artifacts in your environment that tell you something about the culture? These include things like dress codes, reserved parking spaces, the size of people’s offices, and other tangible clues about how values are operationalized. You can also learn a lot by listening. Listen to the conversations in the hallways and employee cafeteria. Listen to the stories people tell. Listen to the legends perpetuated. The things...
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The RIGHT Way to Deal with a Toxic Colleague

This week's Fierce Resource was first published on the Women's Health magazine website and was written by Alison Goldman. The RIGHT Way to Deal with a Toxic Colleague , features our most recent Fierce survey that focused on the effects of toxic employees. The article provides 5 tips on how to handle a toxic colleague so they don't negatively impact your work experience. "Do you have a cube neighbor who’s a major Debbie Downer or Negative Ned? You’re not alone if your colleagues put a serious cramp in your work-week: Seventy-eight percent of people say that a coworker’s negative attitude is “extremely debilitating” to team morale, according to a recent survey conducted by Fierce, Inc., a leadership development and training company. Fierce, Inc., talked to more than 1,000 customers about what they call “toxic employees” for the survey." To read the full article, click here .

Damage Control After an Office Showdown

This week's Fierce Resource was published this week on both the Wall Street Journal website and in their publication, and was written by Sue Shellenbarger . Damage Control After an Official Office Showdown explores how office showdowns affect morale. The piece features Fierce CEO & President, Halley Bock , and references our most recent Fierce Survey, of more than a 1,000 participants, about toxic employees. "Some 30% of executives and employees argue with a co-worker at least once a month, according to a recent survey of 1,000 workers by Fierce Inc., a Seattle leadership development and training company specializing in workplace communication. A small number of those arguments escalate into emotional screaming matches that no one can win, says Halley Bock, the company's president." To read the full article, click here .

Fierce Survey: Toxic Employees

Toxic employees, we've all worked with them, perhaps, at one point we've even been one. Today we launch our newest Fierce Survey titled, "Toxic Employees" . This survey will explore how you and your employer feel about the attitudes of staff, positive and negative, and how these attitudes impact workplace relationships, culture, and the bottom line. What are the traits you love and disdain in coworkers? And how do you and your organization deal with colleagues that are constantly negative? Please take our brief survey today, by clicking here . Also we would love to hear your thoughts on the blog about toxic employees - how do they impact your organization?

3 Tips to Be a Leader Who Shares Success

Think about a leader in your life who people deeply commit their time, talents, and hearts to. I’m talking about the kind of leader who draws out the greatness in others – even when people do not believe in their own greatness.  This kind of leader thrives on creating an environment where people are all in. In  Pour Your Heart Into It,  Howard Schultz says, “Success is empty if you arrive at the finish line alone. The best reward is to get there surrounded by winners. The more winners you bring with you – whether they are employees, customers, share-holders, or supporters – the more gratifying the victory.” How do you become the leader who shares the wins? Here are three tips to consider: 1.  Give credit where credit is due . This is absolutely critical. If you do not give credit, there is no way that you will be...
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5 Ways to Get Employees to Love Your Leaders

In honor of Valentine's Day, this week's Fierce Resource was written by Fierce President and CEO, Halley Bock and was published yesterday on the Talent Management website. 5 Ways to Get Employees to Love Your Leaders provides simple tips that focus on strengthening the relationship between leader and employee. "Communication is at the core of the employee-supervisor relationship. Talent managers and leaders can help facilitate positive — if not loving — working relationships by building an honest, autonomous workplace culture. When employees feel appreciated, they are more engaged and productive, leading to better business results and a happier, healthier work environment." To read the full article, click here.

Confronting an Employee? 3 Communication Mistakes Managers Make

This week's Fierce Resource was first published on the The Daily Muse website and was written by Fierce CEO & President, Halley Bock . Confronting an Employee? 3 Communication Mistakes Managers Make explores the three most common errors managers make when having a confrontation conversation and how to use the conversation to enrich the relationship. "Yes, when it comes to confrontation, it can be a frightening world out there for leaders. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be so tough—and if we stop making some highly unfortunate communication mistakes, it can get a whole lot easier. Here are three of the most common errors managers commit, and tips on what you can do instead—so neither you nor your erring employee has to dread the conversation." To read the full article and learn all three tips, click here .

Office Gossip - It’s All Fun and Games Until You’re Fired

This week’s Fierce Resource was published Wednesday of this week in The Grindstone online. Office Gossip: It's All Fun and Games Until You're Fired explores gossip and its effect on workplace cultures. A study conducted this year by Careerbuilder found that 35% of workers feel bullied. This article provides tips for how to think about and handle gossip. “Companies may have different levels of tolerance toward gossiping, but if you have created an honest, open work environment, gossiping is no longer necessary,” Halley Bock (President & CEO, Fierce, Inc.) said. “If employees feel comfortable giving feedback and competing viewpoints are appreciated, then there is no need to go behind someone’s back to criticize or disagree.” To read the full article, click here .

3 Steps to Embrace Being Confronted

It’s never fun or easy being confronted. For many, our instinct is to deny, defend, or deflect what is being put before us. At Fierce, we believe confrontation conversations are healthy and can be rewarding. However, it does take skill and practice to ensure the conversation is productive and moving the relationship forward. Below are three tips to help you achieve this. #1: Take a Breath and Listen Whether you saw this conversation coming or not, it is normal to have some physiological reaction to it while it is happening. Take a moment and breathe. Literally, deep breath in, deep breath out. Once you’re grounded, resist the inclination to become defensive and focus on listening. This is not easy to do, yet this conversation could be an amazing opportunity to learn something about yourself. #2:  Take Time with the Process Give yourself and the person confronting you permission to move...
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A Workplace You're Entitled To

We are all entitled. We have certain laws in place to make sure we all have a safe work environment, fair wages, and to not be discriminated against due to the color of our skin, our gender, or our sexual orientation. These are our rights in many places in the world, and should be everywhere. We should also have work cultures that have open and honest communication. To spend each day engaged on a visceral level, being part of a place that dignifies hard work, day in and day out, whether your job is a lineman, teacher, or CEO. Creating a workplace that embraces this type of communication, happens through the participation of each employee. People make a culture. People drive whether an organization will be productive, innovative, and committed. So why are there organizations that employ amazing people and don’t have amazing cultures? It all relies on the conversations...
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Conversation is the Anti-Bullying Solution

October is Anti-Bullying month . While the topic has national attention, let’s engage in conversations on how communities are going to handle bullying issues across our country. Having children of my own, and being a former educator, it’s a topic that is near and dear to my heart. As I gear up to head off to this year’s 2011 Annual Learning Forward conference with Fierce, where our Founder Susan Scott will be doing a session on Accountability, I can’t help but step back and see how important, now more than ever, it is for teachers and administrators to create an environment for our children where personal accountability is not just talked about, but actually occurring. Our children’s safety, academic growth and the school environment are dependent on it. Being personally accountable involves having the conversations that need to occur. Bullying becomes an issue when conversations aren’t happening or are ignored...
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Effective Teamwork Starts with Understanding Your Team's Brain

How important is it for a team to have an understanding of each other as individuals? I ask this question because I hear a lot of conversations about how to create effective teamwork environments and I wonder if being effective starts with a basic understanding of the people who surround you? Recently, at Fierce, we took part in an assessment offered by Herrmann International . Their assessment tool is The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® and it “profiles learning and thinking preferences through the framework of the Whole Brain® Model ” . After our team took the assessment, we met with Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, founder and CEO of Herrmann International, and debriefed with her about our results. The findings were amazing! What was so incredible about the experience, to me, was that it allowed you to see yourself and your team through a new context. The science of the assessment covers a wide...
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How to Confront: 3 Traps to Avoid

There are two places where confrontation can go seriously awry . The first is when you initially confront someone and deliver your message. Hopefully, you’ve done your homework around this and are using the 60-second Opening Statement from our Confrontation Model . If you are, congratulations! You’ve avoided pitfall #1. The second opportunity for things to go sideways is immediately after Step #1 above. Sorry folks, no one said this would be easy! The great news is that navigating the whitewater is simple once you’re aware of the upcoming traps . Okay. You’ve delivered your statement and it’s their turn to speak. Lets assume you are confronting someone in customer service whose behavior towards a client was a little lacking, shall we say. Here are the 3 most common tactics you will encounter and an example of each : Deny : “It wasn’t me, you must have me confused with...
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How to Confront: First, Prepare!

Close your eyes and picture someone whose behavior you need to confront. It could be a spouse, co-worker, friend, boss. Perhaps they’ve said or done something where once is too much, and if it’s left unresolved, it could potentially damage the relationship. Now imagine that person is standing right outside your door at this very moment, waiting for you to confront them. What do you feel? I would guess nervous, anxious, fearful? The truth is, most of us are uncomfortable with confrontation. I certainly was until I learned a few key steps outlined in FIERCE CONVERSATIONS . This best-selling book by Fierce founder and CEO Susan Scott has done wonders to take the edge off confrontation, and it's now a conversation I welcome rather than avoid. If you enter a confrontation without preparing beforehand, your fears of it going badly are more likely to come true. The conversation may steer...
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