Can I Teach Someone how to Be a Leader?

A colleague expressed it well: she knew how to teach technical tasks, like how to add a user account, but she doesn’t believe it’s possible to teach soft, squishy skills, like how to lead. As the creator and facilitator of our leadership development program, Gillespie Nimble, I’m going to shock you and say that I agree 100%.

And that’s why I’m a facilitator, not a teacher or instructor.

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How to Survive Feedback

Sometimes feedback is hard to take. In this post, I share four tips I tell new managers in our coaching sessions:

  • Remember that there’s a reason you were selected for this position.
  • Be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling at the moment. 
  • Look at the feedback from a distance.
  • Acknowledge what you need to acknowledge.
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Chronic Body Odor and Communication

Talking costs nothing, doesn’t trigger sensitivities to fragrance, and could actually solve the problem, instead of coating it in floral scent. However, it’s a lot harder to raise a sensitive issue than it is to spray an air freshener. As a new or seasoned manager, you’re going to face lots of difficult conversations. So, how do you address sensitive and difficult conversations with your direct reports? Let’s look at the technique we explore in Gillespie Nimble.

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Beyond the MBA: Three Interpersonal Skills Every Manager Should Master

“You are hired for your technical skills and fired for your lack of interpersonal skills.” Over the years, I’ve seen the truth of this play out time and again.

With that in mind, an article in Chief Learning Officer magazine[1] recently caught my eye. It posed the question: Are MBAs still a valuable development tool?

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Triangles Belong in Geometry, Not in Teams

First-time managers face a range of challenges—complicated dynamics with their colleagues, managing friends, establishing credibility, and sometimes, managing older or more experienced peers. In Gillespie’s work with new managers, we see one challenge again and again: triangulation. Triangulation happens when a new manager is faced with an uncomfortable situation and complains about it to a friend or ally, rather than talking to the source of the problem. This issue is prevalent throughout organizations and damaging to teams.

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Gaps in First-Time Manager Training

There are an incredible number of demands on the adult worker today. These demands leave only about 1% of a typical workweek available for training and development—that’s about 25 minutes a week! Some of the fault rests with the technology that’s supposed to make life easier. It also makes us more available to an overload of demands and responsibilities.

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My Mistakes as a New Manager: Part 2

Last week I shared with you my own mistakes and lessons learned as a first-time manager. I lacked the fundamental leadership skills needed to be in a management role, which caused a lot of difficulty for own job, my team, and my organization. We’ve opened this topic to the public to share mistakes they’ve made as a new manager, in order to reflect on how leadership development may have been useful for them.

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