Leadership

How to Make Good Choices in any Situation

Do you consistently make good choices? In other words, are you in control of your actions? Or do you let others determine your actions for you? The fact is that most people are simply responding to stimuli. This limits their ability to make good choices regarding their next move. Without knowing why you are doing something, you set yourself up to make poor decisions in the heat of the moment.

Consider these three very simplistic examples to illustrate the difference between making a thoughtful choice (and thus being in control of your actions) versus reacting to stimuli.

  1. Assume for a moment that you are looking forward to watching a special program on television. You have had your dinner and are
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Influence versus Force: Which Works Better to Encourage Change?

How many times have you interacted with someone who you deemed difficult and wished you could somehow encourage change in the person? Maybe it was a co-worker, a family member, or even a child. It’s natural to want others to change and be more agreeable or friendly or even more like us. But is it possible to make people change?

Many people try to encourage change in others by using force. Depending on the relationship, they may use dominance to initiate the change (as in an employer/employee relationship). Or they may use nagging and criticizing (as in a family relationship). Or they may use coercion, bribing, or punishment (as in a parent/child relationship). However, they quickly learn that none of … >>>

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How to Increase Student Engagement

Discipline problem often occur due to a lack of student engagement. If the teacher is promoting something interesting, students are quite capable of being engaged. So, instead of thinking, “I am going to control this disruptive behavior,” a more effective approach would be to think, “What can I do that is interesting to prevent students from misbehaving in the first place?” After all, curiosity is a great motivator.

The punishment mindset has many disadvantages, especially when you’re punishing due to student engagement issues. If punishment becomes arbitrary, any young person is going to feel angry and even disillusioned. When people in authority want others to behave responsibility, it is the leader’s responsibility to first behave in this same manner. The … >>>

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Leadership Styles: Mules and Horses

leadership stylesThere are many different leadership styles. Which one is best depends on the group you are leading.

Wymond Eckhardt was a long-time friend and National Park Ranger who spent months in the wilderness with his mule, “Molly.” (It is common to refer to all female mules as “mollies.”) Wymond was an expert in mules and their behavior. For many years, he was in charge of housing them for the annual Mule Day Parade in Bishop, California. Here are a few differences between a mule and a thoroughbred horse.

You get on a horse, and he’ll step into a hole. A mule will  go around it.  If a mule comes to a bridge with a hole in it, the mule won’t … >>>

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Leadership Key

Leadership Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Leadership would be easy if it weren’t for those we lead. As anyone in a leadership position knows, getting people to actually want to do the tasks you need them to do can be a challenge. Without their motivation to want the same goals and objectives as you have, people will not fully commit to what you want. So what does a leader do?

Unfortunately, many managers and leaders rely on external motivators to get people to do things. For example, using rewards as enticements and threats of punishment are approaches aimed at obtaining obedience and compliance. They overpower, rather than empower. Telling people what to do and then rewarding them if they do as expected, or threatening them if … >>>

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