1. Why We Shouldn’t Be Giving Advice

    June 20, 2016 by Elaine Suess

    The ability to communicate well impacts everything we do at work. Expertise in what I call Conversational Leadership extends even beyond work.

    “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” James Humes

    A critical element of Conversational Leadership is whether you’re most often asking questions or giving advice.

    Advice As Pain

    While I don’t have the research reference to share with you, a friend who studies the brain recently shared with me that giving advice lights up the same area of the brain that pain does. Ouch!

    advice (more…)


  2. Curiosity and the Effective Leader

    September 25, 2015 by Elaine Suess

    Some of you may remember the phrase from the National Enquirer – “enquiring minds want to know.”  However, most of you likely have not heard of positive change approach Appreciative Inquiry (AI). It starts with curiosity, as did the Enquirer, but then dramatically diverges. Curiosity, in the case of AI, did not kill the cat, but instead, increased its knowledge and propelled it to heights.

    The Challenge

    Meeting with “Tom” over a period of months in a coaching engagement revealed difficulty with an employee seemed to be representative of Gallup’s actively disengaged research numbers on employees — not willing to give an extra minute to work, not interested in the work, and not a “team player.”  In discussing the power of inquiry, “Tom” courageously decided to try the Appreciative approach with what he considered to be this difficult employee. (more…)


  3. Leadership Lessons From Wicked Tuna

    August 27, 2015 by Elaine Suess

    I don’t watch television very often, but when I do it’s more channel flipping than anything. Recently, the “dial” landed on the show Wicked Tuna.

    I know, but it’s on the National Geographic channel so it must be interesting. Plus, I had questions:  1. How big are the tuna? (they’re much bigger than what’s in my StarKist can) 2. How much will they weigh? (some can be almost 500 lbs!) 3. What struggles will the crew go through? (big waves, disagreements, broken windows)

    The Show

    Here’s what happens on the show, and why this is but one of many leadership lessons from the Wickedest of all Tuna. (more…)


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