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Human Resources

How to Facilitate an Appreciation Circle

Appreciation

You shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you really mean it. Then you should say it a lot. People forget that. ~ Jessica, Age 8 Studies have found that practicing appreciation can improve relationshps and motivate employees.  It can also increase wellness and lessen stress. In short, regular appreciation will not only boost performance and engagement, but also improve an employee’s health and well-being. There are certainly many ways to show appreciation.One of my favorites to use with a work group is to facilitate an appreciation circle. Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable Participating in an appreciation circle can be uncomfortable for some at

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Atta-Girl: Why You Should Have an Appreciation Notebook

Appreciation Notebook

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have access to all the kind words of appreciation and encouragement that anyone has ever said to us? You know, on those days where you wonder why you do what you do, or when life sends a curve ball your way. Or when you just need to be reminded that people do appreciate the work you’ve done. Many years ago, when I was having a bad day at work, a mentor of mine told me about an “Atta-Boy” file he had started.  He collected all the nice emails, cards, awards, sticky notes, and

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Clarifying Your Message: Three Steps to Effective Communication

Cornerstone Coaching and Training

I didn’t understand, based on the words that were said. ~ Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion One of the most common communication mistakes we make, and the easiest to fix, is how to better clarify what we mean to say. More often than not, when we communicate, the person we are talking to will not  really understand what you are trying to say. Or maybe they weren’t really listening.  Then they they don’t ask questions to make sure they understand. The result can be misunderstandings, hurt feelings, unanswered requests, and even damaged relationships.  You can increase the understanding by learning three

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It’s a Wrap: Ending Meetings Well

Abrupt endings, or meetings that run over and don’t get finished can make for frustration, confusion and quite possibly end in a lot of re-work the next time you meet.  Or worse. It could mean that the meeting was perceived as a total waste of time. So it’s not only important to run your meeting well, but also to end it well. Here are some tips for making sure your meeting met your objectives, added value, and the next steps and follow-up are clear. Good meeting, everyone! Include in your agenda time at the end for the meeting to wrap up.  If

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Writing Performance Evaluations that Matter

Over the years as a subordinate and as a supervisor as all levels, I’ve learned that most performance evaluations are a better reflection of the person writing the evaluation than it is of the person being evaluated. I’ve recieve formal and informal performance evaluations that I have read over and over because they either 1) upset me by the language used , the way it was written, and the focus on the negative; or 2) because it made me feel good about the work I was doing and my goals for the future. Pretty radical extremes. The difference? How well

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10 Ways to be a More Positive Communicator

Cornerstone Coaching and Training

You never know when one kind act, or one word of encouragement, can change a life forever. – Zig Ziglar One of the most powerful ways to improve relationships is to simply be a more positive communicator. Positive communication is contagious and brings out the best in yourself and in those around you. When you practice positive communication, people are more likely to listen to you, the conversation goes better, and the results can be transforming. The following is an excerpt  from my book, Dancing with Strangers,  and puts the concept to work: 10 ways to be a more positive communicator 1.

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Conflict Communication: Should I have this conversation?

Cornerstone Coaching and Training

Author’s note: The following is an encore blog – originally written Sept. 2010.  Since then, we’ve fallen in love with Kauai and return every other year… The first time my husband and I went on vacation to Kauai, we stayed in a studio apartment attached to a private home. We decided not to stay in a resort hotel so we could have some real peace and quiet. The first morning we were there, we were woken up by a rooster crowing loudly in the yard at oh, about 4:00 a.m. Okay, we were on vacation, and vacation to me means

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Communication Skills and the 55 Percent

Cornerstone Coaching and Training

I didn’t really say everything I said. – Yogi Berra It’s been a while since I’ve gotten back to basics so I’m refreshing one of my early blogs that really hones in on that.  It all starts with this: successful communication is a package deal. It’s in the words you speak, in the tone of your voice and in the language of your body. One study conducted at UCLA found that the impact of communication is: 7% = words spoken/written + 38% = percent tone of voice + 55% = percent body language  Let’s talk about the 55 percent If most of

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6 Steps to Help you Handle Conflict

Cornerstone Coaching and Training

Conflict is unavoidable. It’s all around us. It happens every day. And, if you are like most of us, you try hard to avoid it. Most of us aren’t comfortable dealing with conflict when it happens. We remain silent and hope it will go away – letting a small thing eventually turn into a bigger one. Others like to jump to anger right away. Recently I backed out of a parking lot and “almost” scrapped a really nice convertible.  In my defense, he was parked crooked. As I started to pull away a man came running towards me yelling at

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Communication Tools: The Power of Micro-Connects

Cornerstone Coaching and Training

I can live one or two months  on one good compliment – Mark Twain One of the deepest human needs is to feel appreciated.  It’s what makes us feel valued. It’s what makes us happy and it’s what motivates us.  We live in a culture that is appreciation deprived.  Studies show that up to 70% of workers feel they are not appreciated. But, the good news is that when you give appreciation to someone on a regular and informal basis, you will see a 40% increase in their performance. Wow! Why don’t we do more of that? Mostly it’s because we

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