How to avoid these five common body language mistakes

It's all about context: view them in clusters, evaluate them in relation to what is being said, assess them for consistency and filter them for cultural influences

How to avoid these five common body language mistakesHumans are genetically programmed to look for facial and behavioural cues and to quickly understand their meaning. We see someone gesture and automatically make a judgment about the intention of that gesture. And we've been doing this for a long time. As a species, we knew how to win friends and influence people – or…

Emerging from the swamp of dysfunctional business relationships

Anyone who tells you that they have a magic bullet, silver or otherwise, for complex and systemic problems belongs in a travelling fair

Emerging from the swamp of dysfunctional business relationshipsAs I looked round the room at my executive team, the acid in my stomach got worse. Dave, our Operations VP, was convinced that Erica from Finance was out to get him: ‘you watch what happens at the end of the quarter, she squirrels the provisions away and makes me look bad, she wants to…

5 sure-fire ways to destroy organizational excellence

Building and sustaining organizational excellence requires exceptional people dedicated to the task

5 sure-fire ways to destroy organizational excellenceA blog from a couple of years back by marketing guru and all-round provocative thinker Seth Godin entitled The fruitless search for extraordinary people willing to take ordinary jobs took me back to a boardroom conversation about executive pay. Every company has a ‘compensation philosophy’ that it uses to guide how it sets the pay…

How unforgettable leaders inspire loyalty

Inspiring loyalty takes leaders with insight into the human heart and sensitivity toward the hopes and aspirations of others

How unforgettable leaders inspire loyaltyThink loyalty is dead? Think again. Loyalty may not look like it did 20 years ago – when companies offered career-long employment and workers unquestioningly followed orders – but loyalty is far from deceased. Loyalty is an intrinsic human characteristic based on emotional attachment that can be tapped, nurtured and developed. Inspiring loyalty takes leaders…

7 habits of highly unsuccessful people

Advice on retaining your sanity in the face of a complete idiot

7 habits of highly unsuccessful peopleDo you: 1: Never miss an opportunity to educate those around you? Call attention to mistakes they have made and make sure everyone else knows about those mistakes?. Don't hesitate to point out when someone (a colleague, an employee, the clerk at the local hardware store, an airline pilot, the prime minister) is wrong and…

The 5 key attitudes of a successful entrepreneur

Do you eat failure for breakfast?

The 5 key attitudes of a successful entrepreneurTurns out your attitude is the most important factor in your success or failure as an entrepreneur. Not personality. And not character. Oh sure, whether you are outgoing or risk averse, full-to-the-brim with new ideas or resilient – can all make a difference. Vince Fowler is a Calgary-based leadership coach, speaker and owner of Vested…

Annual reviews only feed corporate paranoia

The whole employee rating process is a recipe for disaster

Annual reviews only feed corporate paranoiaI was 23 when I got my first promotion, to Acting Assistant Labour Relations Manager in the UK’s Health Service. My boss’s gift to me was my one and only report, Megan, 20 years old, grumpy, difficult and the department’s secretary. My first task in my new position was to deliver her end of year…

Focus on your goals to put them within reach

You get what you’re fixated on, so get rid of the negative thoughts and distractions and focus on what's important to you

Focus on your goals to put them within reachThe news is filled with folks complaining. From politics to economics and everything in between, people are focused on what we don’t have rather than what we do. It’s such a deeply-rooted problem that it makes me wonder if our focus is the primary culprit for all the unhappiness we perceive. When we imagine ourselves…

Relax, everything is going to turn out just fine

Burning desires are tense; detachment is relaxed and open. Get what you want by stressing less about outcomes

Relax, everything is going to turn out just fineSome of the biggest conflicts we face are about the frustration we feel when we don’t follow through and achieve what we’ve set our minds on. This causes us to become prickly in our relationships and take our irritation out on others. When I first started working in law enforcement, there were all kinds of…

Painful lessons in effective leadership

The mad and the bad have no place in any organisation

Painful lessons in effective leadershipI had just joined a factory in England’s industrial heartland and my new Managing Director – let’s call him Neil – was five foot two, 240 pounds of explosive malevolence. He was an ex-purchasing director whose winning formula was to squeeze his miserable suppliers into penury and he was honing his approach with his new…