Enough! Stop Labeling Your Difficult People.

labeling peopleThe Negotiator.

The Complainer.

The Know-it-Alls, Whiners, and Fit-Throwers.

It seems, in an effort to simplify how to deal with challenging customers, co-workers, or employees, we are regularly encouraged to apply labels to various “difficult personality types.” At least once a day my Twitter feed includes a link to a blog post or management article trumpeting the “7 Difficult Personalities & How to Deal With Them.” Entire training programs have been built around helping participants recognize and understand a set of descriptive categories so they can then pick a corresponding coping strategy. Continue reading

5 Retreat Activities to Ignite Team Performance

retreat“Saying I don’t have time to attend training is like saying I don’t have time to stop driving the car to fill up for gas.”

If I knew the source of this quote I would gladly credit him or her for this pithy analogy. I’ve shared this quote repeatedly during my career because it highlights, quite nicely, the flaw in the “I don’t have time” argument. If you don’t set time aside to refuel, you eventually won’t go anywhere. Continue reading

It’s Time to Plan your Spring Retreat

springCould it be?

Mild temperatures. More daylight. Flecks of green appearing across the landscape. Have we finally seen the last gasp of a long, tedious winter?

Shhhhh! Don’t say it too loudly. We don’t want to jinx anything. But we may actually, finally, thankfully be here. Spring. The season of hope, rebirth, and renewal. Take a breath. Drink it in. At long last, it’s time to…

RETREAT!

No, no, no, I don’t mean retreat as in “run away!”  I mean, RETREAT: withdraw, gather, and regroup from what is difficult. A spring retreat may be just what your team needs to overcome challenges and reinvigorate their performance.

Why plan a spring retreat? They can be powerful tools when planned and executed thoughtfully. Retreats are the chance to attend to the care and feeding of your team. They demonstrate your commitment and investment to understanding and meeting team needs. They enhance discourse- often helping focus on purpose, issues, strategy, or growth. Retreats can be what I call “fun with a purpose,” a chance to showcase the unique personalities, talents, skills, and knowledge of the team as a whole.

Retreats can be grand affairs that take teams away from work to unique places or they can take place in the conference room down the hall. They can be a week long, a day or two, or even just a half day. They can be filled with exercises, activities, presentations, teambuilding, and any number of eccentric components, or they can simply be a discussion- of what’s working, what’s not, and how to improve. What your retreat looks like and what happens there is entirely up to you and will likely be based on your budget and what you can logistically pull off.

As we emerge from the grey isolation of an unusually long winter, ask yourself: “Would my team benefit from a retreat?”  If so…then get to planning!  And don’t worry- I’m here to help. Come back to the blog next week for 5 Retreat Activities to Ignite Team Performance.