Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Leaders Institute on television.

I love working with The Leaders Institute.  Their  2 hour Build a Bike events build stronger teams and create great memories for colleagues at work,  (and for happy local kids). 

UNC masters students build bikes for kids

Monday, July 28, 2014

Do we have the courage to create the lives we truly want?

This six minute interview offers a dose of truth. Author Greg McKeown's new book Essentialism, gives us this awesome challenge: pursue only those things that are truly important — and eliminate everything else. Listen below for some other great tips on getting our lives back.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ancient Emotional Intelligence

“Do not conquer the world with force, for force only causes resistance. Thorns spring up when an army passes. Years of misery follow a great victory. Do only what needs to be done without using violence.”- Tao Te Ching

I led a wonderful virtual workshop on assertiveness yesterday.  Many participants spoke of their desire to "do what needs to be done" without slipping into aggressiveness.   It's true that force can yield an immediate "victory" but teams and companies can pay a price for brutal management styles.

During one of my Emotional Intelligence workshops a group of managers insisted that they had to yell at their workers.  Later, the HR manager mentioned that the company had several safety violations.  I saw a link between the stressed (and resentful?) worker and an unsafe facility.

Do we manage our own emotional reactions instead of taking out our fear and anger on others?  Do we use the least amount of force necessary to achieve our goals?

Monday, July 14, 2014

What doesn't kill me.....

While preparing for an upcoming workshop I came across some research on resiliency --the ability to “bounce back” after hardships.  Dr. Mark Seery’s studies show that moderate adversity early in life can actually help us develop resilience and cope with life’s challenges.  The study suggests that the adage, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” is psychologically true.  Researchers offer the example of children contacting germs in play and how this helps their immune systems grow stronger.

In my garden I’m finding the same lesson.  Last year our terrier, Reggie, in his hunt for chipmunks dug up a lanky raspberry bush.  The bush looked half-dead but I covered it with dirt and fenced off the area.  The bush had grown vigorously but had produced only a few tiny raspberries in its first few years.
This year, instead of growing more canes, the bush is much more compact, and has produced many very large, luscious berries. 

On the other hand, my spinach lacks resiliency.  It can’t seem to thrive even in a shady spot during our cooler summer.  It has bolted almost immediately. 

 The work of emotional intelligence can guide us toward changing dysfunctional thought patterns that hamper our ability to bounce back from life’s changes and challenges.

How resilient are we to the hardships of life?  Can we  appreciate our daily annoyances and smaller challenges for the gift they may offer? 

© 2014 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Maybe Training isn't the Answer. Have you considered "Dynamic Faciliation?"

Dynamic facilitation is a structured discussion that sees all team members as having valuable insight into their complex challenges. The simple but powerful format allows old gridlocks and frustrations to be acknowledged and released. The process can help groups arrive together at creative, practical, and elegant solutions to challenging issues.

Does your team have an issue that could benefit from a facilitated discussion?

Thanks to Jim Rough for this great image.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fun team building events from The Leader's Institute!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Are you speaking with clarity?

Fewer words often lead to better communication.
Consider these word counts!

— Pythagorean Theorem = 24 words
— The 10 Commandments = 179 words
— The Gettysburg Address = 286 words
— The Declaration of Independence = 1,300 words
— U.S. Government regulations on the sale of cabbage = 26,911 words!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Tension is who you think you should be. 
Relaxation is who you are.
~Chinese Proverb

Friday, March 7, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What is the difference between a dream and a goal?

Dreams can become goals once they're written down.  

Are you writing down goals to guide you?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

First skill of emotional intelligence -- Self Awareness

“Without self-awareness, you cannot understand your strengths and weaknesses, your ‘super
powers’ versus your ‘kryptonite,’  It is self-awareness that allows the best business-builders to
walk the tightrope of leadership: projecting conviction while simultaneously remaining
humble enough to be open to new ideas and opposing opinions.”
--Anthony K. Tjan, “How Leaders Become Self-Aware,” Harvard Business Review, HBR Blog
Network, July 19, 2012.