Group Dynamic

Alan Feirer's thoughts on leadership issues

Archive for the ‘Leadership problems’ Category

Winter Holiday Sensitivity

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No new post until January 8, but until then, please read this:

Winter Cheer?


Written by Alan Feirer

December 18th, 2013 at 12:38 pm

DiSC in Action – Email Manners and Mirroring…

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Screen shot 2011-10-07 at 8.07.51 AMSome past posts have talked about some good email practices:



Now, let’s put those concepts in line with DiSC as a tool for communicating.

In the first post, there were two different styles trying to connect, and by tailoring the email to match that, the communication was more effective.

Tip – when emailing friends, peers, or supervisors, mirror their DiSC style for effective communication.

The second post highlights the evolving norm in workplace correspondence.  Now, let’s put a DiSC slant on it:

Tip – start working toward adopting a “DC” approach to emails, and if you lead, start training your team to do the same.

The “D” helps keep things short and action-focused, and the “C” strips away the fluff.  And, this is the new norm, so using the approach is kind, polite, and savvy.  Teaching others to use it helps make communications much more efficient.

Do you have any other ways you apply DiSC to email communication?

Bonus tip — do your correspondents a favor by giving them a deadline to respond, or telling them there is no need.  (e.g.: “no need to reply” or “no reply needed” or “please let me know by 2pm” or “can you please respond by Friday noon?”)

Everything DiSC Workplace Map

Written by Alan Feirer

October 30th, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Effective Leaders Say it All…

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A true staff meeting story:

Tyler turned to Tykeshia and said “I never Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

February 13th, 2013 at 12:13 pm

The Group Dynamic Primer. Chapter Zero: Rock-Bottom

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I was despondent. Poor me. “My people” weren’t engaged.  They didn’t get me; they weren’t loyal, they weren’t receptive, they were leaving me, and it wasn’t my fault.  They just needed to give me more time, to get to know me…

Except… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

September 5th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Effective leaders know when to ignore the tone…

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“Samantha, please reinstate the afternoon tea and coffee cart for the residents, starting in November.”

Samantha [delivered with sarcastic tone and an eye roll] : “Well, sure, why not. Last time we tried it, Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

August 29th, 2012 at 11:48 am

For those who don’t get it…

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Something that occasionally presents itself in the world of leadership is that there is one person, also a leader, who doesn’t “get it.”

Maybe it’s another teacher, a member of administration or your direct supervisor. They see what you are doing, they know that those you lead appreciate what you’re doing, but for one reason or another, they don’t think it applies to them. It’s usually one of the following: they think they’re already doing it,  they think their team is doing fine and they don’t have the time to “waste,” or they think their way is better.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

August 8th, 2012 at 8:00 am

The Olympics of Dedication

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The Olympics have a way of shining a new light on the meaning of dedication.

The opening ceremonies were comprised of one spectacular vignette after another, with thousands of performers, musicians and athletes knowing exactly where to go and what to do during every minute of their moment in the spotlight. That’s dedication.

Every commercial that runs during the Olympic Games tells the athlete’s tale of foregoing dessert, not watching TV, not skipping a single day’s workout in order to be the best. That’s dedication.

Then there was the Chinese farmer who spent the last two years traveling to London via rickshaw just to see the Olympic games. A little extreme, but yes – that’s dedication.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

August 1st, 2012 at 8:00 am

Fear and vision.

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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without ThinkingFreakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (P.S.)

Fear paralyzes; sometimes we allow it to, calling it “caution.” It’s good to be cautious.  Not so good to be paralyzed. Either by over-analysis OR fear.

(Though, extreme analysis can combat fear; see Freakonomics for the statistics on child restraints…)

A good nugget from Tim Ferriss’s Four-Hour Workweek is this (paraphrased):

The thought of the “worst-case scenario” keeps us from acting, yet the worst-case scenario almost Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

July 25th, 2012 at 7:32 am

Leaders make clumsy attempts to do the right thing.

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Clumsy attempts at self improvement are better than smooth successes at nailing the status quo.

A good, and immediate, example is Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

June 27th, 2012 at 7:03 am

Effective Leaders Overcommunicate

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An email I received yesterday:

I would be interested in your thoughts about too much Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

June 21st, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Why do student leadership?

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About a third of my work in leadership training is with youth organizations, with an emphasis on true empowerment of youth leaders to contribute to the organization’s work.  It takes effort, so I was recently asked “Is it worth all the effort to have student leadership?”

I said yes, and here is my full answer:

Many would agree that it isn’t worth Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

June 7th, 2012 at 1:49 pm

A thing that (wordy) leaders can say…

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If you’re a leader, you’re likely an expert on something.

If you’re an expert, people come to you for advice and opinion.

And you might find yourself talking and talking and talking.

Then, you realize that you’re talking too much, and listening too little.  You know better, but you’re stuck.  What can you do?

Here’s a phrase that works in nearly every situation:

I don’t know; what do YOU think?

This will force you to stop, and will dignify the people you serve, and build relationships.

But I don’t know – what do YOU think?

Written by Alan Feirer

May 17th, 2012 at 6:58 am