Defusing Hostile Interactions

“I’m the front desk person for a child protection agency. Clients come to our office after their children have been taken from them. They are angry, confused, embarrassed, and want their kids back. They don’t see themselves as responsible for what happened. In their view, our agency did this to them. 

“These clients often yell and swear at me. I still need to be professional and polite. I’ve been in my job for just a couple of months and already the stress is getting to me. What can I do to defuse these hostile interactions?

Making Progress on Wicked Problems

This week, we’re revisiting Naomi, a public sector leader facing a truly wicked problem. 

She’s just lost half her team as the result of a big reduction in force in her agency.  She’s working long hours, as are the remaining members of her team. She knows none of them can continue this pace but she hasn’t figured out a way forward. She’s afraid her standards of quality and timeliness are going to slip.

How to Get What Really Matters to You

“I am so frustrated,” Shawna declared.

“What’s going on?” Roger asked.

“Three years ago I did some training for a company in Maryland. It was a one-time event that went very well. Eight months ago, they contacted me again and asked if I could do a similar event. I agreed and we scheduled it. The day of the training, I showed up at their site and nothing was set up. The room was a mess and no one knew anything about the training.

Creating a Culture of Integrity One Relationship at a Time

Have you been following the Volkswagen emissions scandal (also dubbed “Dieselgate”)? If so, you know that VW has gotten caught intentionally programming many of their diesel engines to meet emissions tests only during lab testing. Emissions during driving were up to 40 times higher. 

VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned from his position and is also stepping down as head of the Porsche holding company that owns a majority of VW stock.

Lighten Up

I just finished a glorious two-week vacation. The weather was almost too perfect, if that’s possible. After a week of blue skies, with temps in the low 80s, I was ready to take a day off and putter around the house. But I’m not complaining. It was exactly the vacation I had envisioned. Plus I got a chance to read an interesting book that floated to the top of my stack just before heading to the Vineyard.