Posts Tagged ‘Neuroscience’

Guys and Dolls and Leadership

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Yesterday I presented at the Delaware SHRM Conference. As always, it was a delight to be with a group of professionals who want to make a difference and find new ways of doing a complex job.Being in Human Resources is much like being a psychologist at heart. People come to you for a myriad of reasons, not just to check on their benefits packages.

In fact, the benefits are so often about getting help with handling conflict and how to get along with the opposite gender. That, as a matter of fact was the subject of my presentation “Radical Relating: How Men and Women Do It Right”.

Here is one of the fascinating bits of research I found as I was preparing for the day. We are wired differently. Now, that’s not big news. We all know THAT! What is interesting is that it shows up in how we play as kids.


Real Leaders Practice Safe Stress ™

Friday, February 26th, 2010


Stress and anxiety have been at the boiling point for the last year, and depending where you live, the weather has been the proverbial icing on the cake.


Cultural Sensitivity

Friday, January 8th, 2010


As I was writing my Elegant Leadership blog about the poor choice of language from Michael Steele, of the Republican Party, I was reminded of a powerful scenario from a Leadership in Action program I led years ago.


There was a group of 24 business people from various organizations who gathered together for a week to understand leadership capabilities from an experiential perspective.


Leadership and Pattern Awareness

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

I spent some time during the holidays checking out how people either crave new situations, or are almost addicted to repeating patterns from the past – New Year’s Eve is a perfect example. We were on a plane from San Francisco to Albuquerque. I could feel a sense of anticipation as we walked through the mostly empty concourse on our way to the car.

As we moved from passenger only, to the meet and greet side, I heard a lovely woman greet her husband? lover? With “I was afraid you would not get here till after the New Year started.” They still had half an hour till the bells would toll and fireworks began. I wondered if this could really make a difference for their relationship.
Then I noticed I was getting anxious. Our luggage was first off and we got the car quickly. Yet, we still would have been too late for the global peace meditation we wanted to join. So, we got in the car for the hour drive to our home outside of Santa Fe.

Interesting how patterns work. At ten before the witching hour of twelve, we started the countdown.  And as the few early fireworks began to light the sky with the full blue moon as background, we pulled over to the side of the road for the hearty ritual of a goodbye kiss to 2009 and a welcoming glad you are here kiss for 2010. It felt good, and in some far corner of my mind, it really did make a difference.


Elegant Leadership

Thursday, December 31st, 2009


I am so delighted to introduce you to my new blog “Elegant Leadership” that will be posted at after the New Year. Since I love to write I will have a more personal blog at to include thoughts and ideas about relationships, health, and education, as well as business.

Elegant Leadership will include all my newest research concerning leadership. I will suggest the best books, articles, and unique individuals I can find to help you on the difficult daily journey of being the best leader you can be.

Why did I choose the title “elegant leadership”? I honestly think it chose me. I woke up with the term, like a drum beat, repeating over and over in my head. Maybe I had a dream about it, not sure. All I know is,  I love the word “elegant” as it is used in scientific realms. In nature elegant signifies finding the simplest and most precise way of responding.


Yes to Helping

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

imagesWe know from neuroscience that we impact each other. If there are lots of happy people around we tend to pick up the “happiness vibe” and smile more. If there is lots of anger, well, we can become part of the yelling mob.

Two examples are dramatically evident these days and they both have to do with healthcare. One is the redundant scene played throughout the country where combative people are screaming at elected officials for beginning the push ideas for a new form of heath care in this country. Fear and anger are obvious in the Town Hall meetings. There is no room for real discussion, only accusations and recriminations.

Another example of heath care is taking place this week in Los Angeles where doctors, nurses, dentists, and technicians have set up shop to give free medical attention to those who cannot afford it. The lines are long, the days are long, and yet there is no yelling and taunting. Goodwill seems to abound as those who need treatment receive it and those who have the skills offer to treat.


Leadership and Legacy

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

obama-and-his-motherEver smack yourself on the side of the head and say “Not again”! Why do we do what we do over and over? After all we are at the top of the food chain, aren’t we? Smart and getting smarter with all the technology at our fingertips? So, what is it that keeps behavior patterns making us look and feel stupid?

Like, what made President Obama utter the words “the police acted stupidly” when asked about Professor Gates and Sgt. Crowley? Obama is a man who thinks before he even clears his throat. He has a great capacity to pause and wait as he searches for the best words, best phrases. He is very conscious of his role as a leader. His leadership skills, leadership techniques are stellar.

Yet, some old pattern must have erupted when the words “acted stupidly” jumped from his lips. To me he looked like he wanted to grab those words and take them back, or maybe, just maybe these words were said to cast a broad shadow. Once out they cannot be recaptured. They float in the stratosphere and anyone can get them, make what they want from them.


Putting Salve On A Pain in the —- Boss

Thursday, July 16th, 2009


There are lots of blogs and articles about bully bosses and how to handle them. Most end by saying either “leave” or “suck it up and stay”. Are there any other options that might work better? First, it is important to understand what is underneath the nasty bad boss syndrome. Persecutors NEED TO FEEL IMPORTANT. They tend to dominate conversations and want to be the center of attention. They expect those who work with and for them to help maintain their “most important status”. They love to find fault with other people’s work and will make snide comments in front of others.

The difference between persecutors and tough bosses is significant. Tough bosses will set a high bar and offer challenges. Bully/persecuting bosses give and withhold information as a means of exercising power.  You know the differences between tough and persecutor bosses by the tightness in your gut when you have to deal with them. While you may feel tense with a tough boss, you feel incapacitated and often physically ill with a bully boss.


Leadership Strategies for the “Gotta Go” Crowd

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
Woman Holding Ears_Transparent

The Avoider

The avoider pattern is a BIG one. It is super prevalent in today’s culture as a way of handling conflict and stress. Avoiders are aware of problems, yet won’t talk about them. When listening to an avoider you will here “I’ll get back to you, I have to think about it, don’t call me I’ll call you, and the famous gotta go”.

Avoiders hate to be blamed for anything, and they are prone to walk away rather than admit responsibility for a problem. You can know an avoider by the willingness to take charge that is until there is a big wind, and then they hand over the helm, relinquish control, and fade as far into the background as possible.


Let Freedom In

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Think about when you learned about freedom and the meaning of independence. How old were you? Who encouraged you? Was it an easy passing of the baton or a tug of war? Each of us accepts or rejects the idea of freedom based on how we are given or have to grab what we want and need. There are a myriad of images surrounding Independence Day.

I remember when I was thirteen and let my mother know I would rather go shopping with my friends and that I was capable of picking out some sweaters without her guidance. Ah, Freedom!

I remember when I finally got to take out the family car ALONE. The sense of freedom lasted until I bumped into the car in front of me while waiting for the light to change.  The belligerent man motioned me to move to the side of the road so he could examine the damage (there was none!) I was not sure I wanted all that independence.