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Your organization is stuck in the same pattern of pushing problems around, always putting out fires but never extinguishing them for good. Perhaps it’s time for a new way of thinking—systems thinking. It’s the problem-solving approach that rids your organization of nagging issues, once and for all. Peter Senge, author of the bestselling book The Fifth Discipline, says systems thinking is the process of understanding how interconnected elements influence one another within a whole—and how a change in one cog can throw the entire system out of whack. Systems thinking raises the question, what is going on here? When used, Read More

To collaborate … or not to collaborate. That is the question. Sure, the benefits of collaboration can be significant. Creative thinking. Employee engagement. Effective problem solving. Increased productivity. Job satisfaction. This list goes on. That’s when things run smoothly, operations are efficient, and individuals contribute unique perspectives. But collaboration has to be done well to be effective; studies show that bad collaboration is actually worse than no collaboration at all. There’s far more to collaboration than simply working together. You need to produce synergistic results—outcomes that would not be achieved otherwise. So there’s a right way to collaborate and a, Read More

On Thursday, April 9th, the HRDQ Construction Qrew will be back in action at our Second Annual Habitat for Humanity Build Day. Last year, we spent our Build Day doing demolition, prepping a house for rebuilding. We learned a lot about the hard work it takes to gut a house, and got to put into action some of the soft skills that we pitch in our product line. When wood is flying as you’re tearing down cabinets, or nails are exposed as old carpets come up, or you’re carrying heavy fixtures out with someone else, good, clear communication and collaboration are important skills to, Read More

Do the people in your organization cheer when a new change initiative is announced? Probably not. It’s natural to dislike organizational change, especially when you have no control over it. Whether it is an office move, the rollout of a new software system, revamped operating procedures, or a company merger, change management strikes feelings of fear, anger, resistance, and resentment into employees and managers. Before individuals can commit to an organizational change, they must first transition through a four-phase pattern of feelings and reactions: Denial, Resistance, Exploration, or Commitment. It’s much like the grieving process. Some will move quickly, some, Read More

President John F. Kennedy once said, “We cannot negotiate with those who say, ‘What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.’” Developing successful negotiation skills requires an understanding that the aim is to build productive alliances and explore mutual interests—not to crush the opponent. Whether people are battling over a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit reduction, striving to hit a tough profit margin goal, campaigning for a deadline extension, or selling ideas to a team, the same principles apply. Skilled negotiators know this and it’s what sets them apart from the rest. As a trainer, you can help individuals develop, Read More

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