Conversations at WorkConversations at work can often feel more like political debates and battles between egos. People with strong points of view argue and debate without anyone moving toward solutions or common goals.

Collaboration is difficult when conversations are competitive. Instead of dialoging together, co-workers try to outdo each other. Without fully listening, people are forming their own thoughts, just waiting their turn to jump in.

A common response to new ideas is often “No,” or “Yes, but…” followed by, “That wouldn’t work and I’ll tell you why.”

What if we could improve conversation skills so that everyone — supervisors, team leaders or individuals — connects more by engaging in creative, collaborative dialogue? Instead of debating differences and promoting our own opinions, the discussions would be supportive, friendly and fun.

Here’s a suggestion: Simply replace “No” with a response of “Yes, and…” can make all the difference. This conversational rule comes from improvisational theater. The way improv comedians are trained turns out to be excellent for improving conversations at work as well.

This article explores how the rules of improv comedy improve conversations at work to increase innovation, creativity and confidence.

This is a brief synopsis of a 875 word article and 3 Article Nuggets*, suitable for consultants’ newsletters for executives and leaders in organizations. It is available for purchase with full reprint rights, which means you may put your name on it and use it in your newsletters, blogs or other marketing materials. You may also modify it and add your personal experiences and perspectives.

The complete article includes these important concepts:

  • The Rules of Improv Comedy
  • Rule # 1: “Yes, and…”

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Strengths Based LeadershipWhich leadership style will prevail in the future?

If you want to improve employee engagement and productivity while reducing turnover, your organization must build on individual and team strengths: strengths-based leadership will prevail in the future as the key leadership style.

Nearly a decade ago, Gallup unveiled the results of a 30-year research project on leadership strengths. More than 3 million people have since taken the StrengthsFinder assessment, which forms the core of several noteworthy books:

  1. Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton (Free Press, 2001)
  2. StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath (Gallup Press, 2007)
  3. Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance by Marcus Buckingham (Free Press, 2007)

In Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow, New York Times-bestselling author Tom Rath and leadership consultant Barry Conchie reveal the results of extensive Gallup research. Based on their analyses, three keys to effective leadership emerge:

  1. Know your strengths—and invest in others’ strengths.
  2. Hire people with the right strengths for your team.
  3. Understand and meet your followers’ four basic needs: trust, compassion, stability and hope.

This article suggests using strengths for managing and strengths-based leadership to build stronger, more productive, teams. 

This is a brief synopsis of a 1,425-word and a 900-word article and 5 Article Nuggets*, suitable for consultants’ newsletters for executives and leaders in organizations. It is available for purchase with full reprint rights, which means you may put your name on it and use it in your newsletters, blogs or other marketing materials. You may also modify it and add your personal experiences and perspectives.

The complete article includes these important concepts:

  • 3 Keys to Effective Leadership
  • Measuring Strengths
  • Defining Strengths
  • Finding Your Strengths
  • 34 Personal Strengths
  • Gallup Leadership Strengths
  • Growing Strengths for the Future

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