Courage, Empowerment or Bravery—What’s the Difference?

by Sandra Ford Walston

People have frequently asked me, “Is courage the same as empowerment and bravery?” I don’t think so. Here is how I believe these vitally important concepts are distinctly different.Courageous leadership

Courage is an internal process. It occurs when you make a conscious decision to tap into and use your inner “reservoir” of heart, which you might not have even realized you have.

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Howard Schultz’s Connection and Leadership

Howard Schultz is featured on the cover of Time and, as usual, he talks and cares about much more than how Starbucks will make more money. (Although he goes into that too). Here’s a sampling from his interview:Howard Schultz

On how businesses should operate in America: “I think the private sector simply has to take a larger role than they have in the past. Our responsibility goes beyond the P&L and our stock price…. If half the country or at least a third of the country doesn’t have the same opportunities as the rest going forward, then the country won’t survive. That’s not socialism.”

Following is our previous story about Howard Schultz’s leadership style.

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Business Training Videos the Netflix Way

Have a heavy-duty training schedule? Lots of employees with different learning objectives? Want to onboard new hires, yet need to provide compliance training or a new leadership training?

Whether you’re trying to get your team around faster growth initiatives and preventing burnout, training new leaders or training on ethics, did you know you can “rent” video trainings and switch them out monthly, if needed?

business training video library

Video Training Library. Search or view “Categories” or “Producers”

This is a self-serve video “jukebox” with free online video previews. Check out the “Categories” or look for trainings by Producer.  You can also do a search on training topics and you’ll find video trainings from safety to ethics to business management and much more.

Of course, if you have questions or want a human to help you find the best training, call (888) 380-5491 or email us.

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Courageous or Heroic?

While many claim that courage and heroic are synonymous, commingling them as such does a disservice to the concept of courage. Firefighter Captain Mary agrees, “People notice heroes dealing with disaster and emergency responses. When a civilian dials 911 for help, it’s a day from hell for his/her life. But, it’s no big deal to me. I don’t appreciate it when my career is integrated or associated with disasters much less heroism. I am a skilled professional doing my job.”Everyday courage

Most of the time, courage is misapplied to focus on fictional drama or soap opera sagas, unrelenting sorrow, sensationalism, famous people or the historically deceased. For the rest of us, notions of courage as only extreme heroism diminish the opportunities to claim and display the heartfelt value of courage in us all.

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Are your people afraid? How to minimize fear and maximize trust

by Judith E. Glaser

Are your people afraid?

I’m not asking if you are a bully or a bad boss, or about the fear about being punished for a well-thought-out plan or product launch that fails. I’m talking about something more visceral: anxiety caused by the concern that something drastic — layoff, firing, pay cut or demotion—will happen.IMG_1041

Everyone is somewhat fragile at the core. We secretly worry that tomorrow may be our last day. Uncertainty and volatility induce fear, and fear impedes people from doing their best work. Fear impacts our sense of identity and causes us to doubt our ability to achieve.. Our biggest fear is the fear of failure in the eyes of others; failure to be perceived as capable, valuable, powerful, smart, and poised to handle the challenges your organization is facing.

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2 Strategies for Reframing to Make Positive Change

by Judith Glaser

To create change, courageous leaders jump in and embrace the process as 4 leadership traits for competitive advantagean opportunity. They also create the space for open communication and collaboration with their teams.  In the previous three steps, you learned to recognize and release old baggage filled with toxic experiences that negatively undermine and denigrate relationships, and replace them with new meanings that positively uplift and inspire relationships — empowering a new sense of optimism and effectiveness.

Two more strategies for effectively managing change

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3 Effective Strategies for Changing a Workplace Culture

by Judith E. Glaser

The more we talk about change, the more we talk about all the problems and challenges that can emerge – resulting in negative mindsets which trigger “fear hormones” and “threat networks” in our brains. No wonder change is so difficult. fear of change

By the time we are ready to take action we are frozen in place. Culture transformation is an advanced leadership skill.  The primary way to change a culture is to use your Conversational Intelligence to create an environment that infuses energy and commitment into relationships, teams, and the whole organization.

Too often we get stuck in habit patterns of “talking about,” but not creating, change. However, you can shift the way you think about change the same way that successful leaders use to navigate their own journeys…

Three Strategies for Changing Workplace Culture

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Two Female Approaches to Workplace Abuse

by Sandra Ford Walston

Bec’s “courage style” won her several good project manager and engineering jobs and contracts, but it also lost her at least one or two lucrative job opportunities. While working at an aerospace corporation, Bec experienced the stress and worry of making a tough decision: whether or not to file formal gender discrimination charges against her company.

Setting denial aside, she said, “I spoke out gracefully and wrote professionally via the How to handle workplace abuse or the toxic boss.formal corporate channels. I exercised the ‘Just Say No’ attitude to injustice, gender discrimination and retaliation against me and other women at that company. For taking that strong stand in my truth, I was fired. Following the rules of the legal system, I stood in my courage. I stood by my true being—strong and direct.”

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How to Become More Influential

We all love to hear ourselves talk. Our brains actually light up and we feel good. But, if  we are blinded by our own thoughts, we’re not leaving room for others to contribute. They turn off. Think how this affects “how deals get done, projects get run, and profits get earned”, writes Judith E. Glaser.

Here’s her formula for recognizing your own blind spots and become a more effective communicator and influencer:


• Assuming that others see what you see, feel what you feel, and think what you think, since that’s rarely the case

• Failing to recognize that emotions, such as fear and distrust, change how you and others interpret and talk about reality

• Thinking you understand and remember what others say, when you really only remember what you think about what they’ve said.

• Underestimating your own propensity to have conversational blind spots


• Paying attention to and minimizing the time you “own” the conversational space

• Sharing that space by asking open-ended discovery questions, to which you don’t know the answers, so you stay curious (i.e., What influenced your thinking?)

• Listening non-judgmentally to the answers

• Asking follow-up questions

Judith E. GlaserJudith E. Glaser is CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc. and Chairman of The Creating WE Institute. She is an Organizational Anthropologist, and consults to Fortune 500 Companies. Judith is the author of 4 best-selling business books, including her newest,Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (Bibliomotion, 2013) Visit;; or call 212-307-4386.

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What Your Brain Does When Someone Talks Too Much

.. think of this next time you have a big sales pitch or you’re trying to influence someone to your point of view.

by Judith E. Glaser

Conversational Blind Spots at Work

Twenty-eight years ago I began my first experiment in what I call conversational intelligence. I was hired by Union Carbide to work with 17 high-powered sales executives in danger of losing a bid for a key contract. My job was to figure out how they could raise their game and beat the other seven competitors.

blind spots derailing your career?

For more than two weeks I had them role-play potential conversations with “customers” and I charted what they said. The patterns were clear: The executives used “telling statements” 85 percent of the time, leaving a paltry 15 percent for questions. What’s more, almost all the questions they asked were actually statements in disguise. They were talking and talking, trying to bring their counterparts around to their point of view, all the time thinking that they were still conducting good, productive conversations.

Having spent thousands of hours observing executives in similar, real-world situations — from prospecting to performance reviews, business development to innovation — I can tell you this is a common problem. People often think they’re talking to each other when they’re really talking past each other. They carry on monologues, not dialogues.

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