Are You Caring or Care-Taking?

Man pointing out an error to his colleagueOne of the subtle undercurrents of an increased emphasis on caring work environments is boundary confusion about caring.  If we’re supposed to be more empathetic leaders focused on developing others, where is the dividing line between guiding and parenting our employees; between helping and ‘fixing’; between supporting a colleague and taking on his problems? Continue reading

The Generative Power of Curiosity

little child with leafAs the fall leaves finished their descent to the ground, two-year-old Abigail picked up a handful of the bright red maple leaves and sat down on the sidewalk.  She spread out the leaves and studied them for several minutes, turning them over and over.  Then she began to arrange them, alternating right-side-up leaves with wrong-side-up leaves into a pleasing patchwork design. Continue reading

Back to the Playground: Building Your Social Skills

Kids having fun“For all the jobs that machines can now do — whether performing surgery, driving cars or serving food — they still lack one distinctly human trait. They have no social skills.  Yet skills like cooperation, empathy and flexibility have become increasingly vital in modern-day work. Occupations that require strong social skills have grown much more than others since 1980, according to new research. And the only occupations that have shown consistent wage growth since 2000 require both cognitive and social skills.” Continue reading

Real Men (and Women) Set Boundaries

Fotolia_93546854_XSCongressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin recently garnered attention for his acceptance of the nomination for House Speaker.  Ryan was already successful, having chaired two influential committees and been tapped as a vice-presidential candidate.  His nomination wasn’t a surprise, but his terms for accepting the role prompted a lot of discussion.  In agreeing to consider a nomination, Mr. Ryan told House Republicans he envisioned redefining the job as one more focused on communicating the party’s message, with less time spent on the road raising money.  He further staked his boundaries with the ultimatum, “I cannot and will not give up my family time.” Continue reading