I love December. It’s my favorite month because it usually means two of my favorite things are happening: (1) reflection on the most meaningful parts of our lives, and (2) vision casting for the future and setting big goals.

But as a person who loves the rhythm of the seasons and the closure that the new year brings, this December has felt so strange to me. In many ways, it doesn’t feel like the year is even going to end.

In a typical December, you can feel the energy that comes when people reflect on and close the chapter of…

As I’ve been talking with clients, friends and family over the past week, one theme I keep hearing is how exhausted everyone feels all day, every single day. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one.

Hearing that others were feeling it too got me thinking about what many of us are collectively experiencing as we’re settling into work rhythms that include non-stop virtual meetings.

The newness and novelty has worn off. We aren’t quite as amused by quirky Zoom backgrounds as we were four weeks ago. We aren’t as thrilled that we get to wear pajama pants and dress shirts…

“They didn’t cover this in my MBA program.”

A friend of mine — an exceptional leader I might add, said this to me the other day as we discussed how she’s adjusting to leading a team in the age of COVID-19. She laughed, though exasperated, and followed it up with:

“All those organizational leadership classes definitely did not prepare me to lead through a global pandemic.”

Although we were able to laugh together, this conversation got me thinking about leaders just like her, all over the globe, who are doing their very best to manage through a season of unprecedented…

“Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you’re in control, they’re in control.” — Tom Landry

Leading through crisis requires composure, strategy, and great communication. Right now managers across the world are being asked to prepare for and execute on leading their teams remotely due to the impact of COVID-19. For those who have never led remote workers before, and even for those who have, this challenge can feel overwhelming. …

It’s the last week of school for my kids, and if you’re anything like us, you’re running on fumes and fast food right about now. We’re all exhausted and crawling across the finish line, hopeful that summer will provide much needed rest for our family.

Just like the personal reflection that comes with the New Year, or the excitement and anticipation of a new school year, there is something powerful about the change of seasons, and summer is no exception.

Whether you’re working outside or inside the home this summer, this season typically allows for more time to focus on…

2 quick questions you should ask yourself about employee relationships

For most of us, we spend more time with our coworkers and employees than we do our closest friends and family, and these working relationships often make or break workplace culture, employee engagement and employee job satisfaction. If we don’t feel part of a thriving community at work, we’re more likely to develop feelings of loneliness and isolation, which often leads to burnout.

Far too many managers assume that employee relationships will develop on their own, and that workplace culture will work itself out as long as they put the right people in the right roles. But the research suggests…

“Archetypal managers tell people what to do; coaches ask questions that help their people move forward.” -Vipula Gandhi, Gallup

“I’m just not good at this.”

I’ve heard this phrase countless times as I’ve trained and mentored others over the years. I’ve heard it from team members who were genuinely in over their heads and I’ve heard it from employees who were exceptional in their roles. Discouragement does not discriminate.

I used to think that my discouraged team members just needed all the affirmation and all the motivational speeches. When they were vulnerable enough to share insecurities, fears, and perceived or…

How to send nonverbal messages that build trust and connection

Imagine a workplace in which you are never quite sure if you should approach your leader or not. You can’t quite put your finger on why, but it just always seems like it’s not the right time to bring a question or idea to him. In fact, while you would love to get his feedback or insight, you’re afraid that you’ll annoy or frustrate him if you interrupt his work-flow or bring a problem to his door. In short, you are anxious to approach him unless invited. …

3 Steps to more productive conflict management

“If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of interpersonal relations, it would be this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

-Dr. Steven R Covey

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Covey argues that most of us don’t listen with the intent to understand one another. Rather, we listen with the intent to reply.

I’m definitely guilty of that more than I’d like to admit.

How about you?

Think back to the last argument you had with…

Make this small change to your email messages for a big ROI

Every semester I stand in front of thousands of 18–22 year old college students and make them repeat the following back to me:

“Email messages are not text-messages!”

Granted, I’m talking to individuals who are just starting to learn how to navigate professional interactions. But some of the emails I get from them are something else:

hey what are u teaching today

i need the notes from class

im sry I didn’t make it to class

Needless to say, I’m on a personal mission to teach them the power of a well-crafted, personalized…

LeAnne Lagasse

Workplace Culture Strategist & Consultant | Co-Owner of ROI Talent Development | Former COMS Prof @ Texas Tech University | leanne@roitalentdev.com

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