Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Leader as Middle Man

I was out visiting clients last week and had three different people in three different companies tell me basically the same story:

My manager came to me and said that a coworker had gone to them to complain about me and my manager wanted me to know about it but I wasn't supposed to know so I was asked not to say anything to the employee who complained.

Leaders. What are you doing?

What is the point of letting an employee know that others are complaining about them if you then tie their hands and not let them address the issue directly? All you are doing is creating stress for the employee, resentment between them and their coworker, and leaves your employee with the impression that you are a gossip.  

Here are three better ways to deal with this situation:

1. Tell the employee who has come to you to complain that you are surprised to hear this about their coworker (loyal to the absent) and say, "Let's have Melissa come in here right now so we can get to the bottom of it." This forces the person complaining to own their feedback with the person it really needs to be directed to.

2. Tell the employee that you are sorry to hear that they are struggling with their coworker but they need to have a conversation with the person about it directly, instead of using you as a middle man. Offer to help them prepare for the meeting or even role play it with them in advance, but do not offer to have the meeting for them.

3. Tell the employee that you will let the coworker know that they have come to you to complain and that you will tell the coworker to have a meeting with them to clear the air. Do not offer confidentiality or anonymity, tell them that the employee will know who complained about them and that you will be requiring a meeting between them.  

Any of these approaches allows the people involved to deal with their issues directly and openly and eliminates the gossip mill or pattern of conflict that can never be resolved when complaints are made in the shadows of secrecy.  And ultimately, you show up as a stronger leader.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Penumbra Team Trains 100 Global Leaders

We had the great pleasure of being invited for a second year to provide training for the 100 top global leaders at an international drilling technology company. Led by our wonderful Pamela Sumner, the team did a great job with a keynote, customized breakout sessions, case studies and skills practices!

Steve Calandro, Rhonda Askeland, Pam Sumner and Steve Friedlein

Monday, February 10, 2014

UConn and Emotional Intelligence

It was a pleasure to speak at UConn in late January as a featured guest of The School of Business, Career Center. I also want to thank the event sponsor, Target, who has a dedicated commitment to supporting continuous education. We had some great questions from the students in the audience and I feel strongly that the earlier in life people are exposed to the emotional intelligence competency and can build their skillset, all the better for everyone!

Special thanks to the whole team who made this happen: Allie LaVista, Lorraine Liswell, Kathy Hendrickson, Lauren Harrigan and Deborah Smith. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

EQ at the Department of Transportation

I have had a warm place in my heart for the DoT ever since they passed the "3 Hour Tarmac Delay" regulatory ruling which paved the way for the airline passenger's bill of rights to be written into law. I had the great pleasure of meeting several leaders within the DoT and FAA last week as we discussed the power of EQ over Ego. The participants were very engaged, asked great questions and we had a blast together.

I especially want to thank the great staff at Hooks Book Events, and Maria Hernandez and Brian Crewe from Department of Transportation for their assistance. It was a great day!  

Monday, February 3, 2014

FinCEN and EQ

Through the gracious help of Hooks Book Events I had the pleasure last week of speaking to an agency within the US Department of the Treasury about the dynamics of Ego vs EQ.

I met some wonderful people there and enjoyed my time with them. And I hope everyone enjoys
their books!
 Frederick W. Reynolds, Deputy Director, Jen Shirkani, and Chris Mattis, Director Office of Training