Monday, November 22, 2010

Blind Spots-A Wake-up Call to Reality

Many of us act as though we all see the same reality, yet the truth is we don't. Human Beings have cognitive biases or blind spots.

Blind spots are ways that our mind becomes blocked from seeing reality as it is - blinding us from seeing the real truth about ourselves in relation to others. Once we form a conclusion, we become blind to alternatives, even if they are right in front of their eyes.

Emily Pronin, a social psychologist, along with colleagues Daniel Lin and Lee Ross, at Princeton University's Department of Psychology, created the term "blind spots."  The bias blind spot is named after the visual blind spot.

Passing the Ball

There is a classic experiment that demonstrates one level of blind spots that can be attributed to awareness and focused-attention. When people are instructed to count how many passes the people in white shirts make on the basketball court, they often get the number of passes correct, but fail to see the person in the black bear suit walking right in front of their eyes. Hard to believe but true!

Take awareness test!

Blind Spots & Denial

However, the story of blind spots gets more interesting when we factor in our cognitive biases that come from our social needs to look good in the eyes of others.

When people operate with blind spots, coupled with a strong ego, they often refuse to adjust their course even in the face of opposition from trusted advisors,  or incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.

Two well-known examples of blind spots are Henry Ford and A&P. Ford's success with the Model-T blinded him to the desires of his customers, and gave the fledging General Motors an opportunity to capture a winning share of the automobile market with a broader range of models and options. And the executives at A&P stuck with the grocery chain's private label products even as their customers defected en masse to supermarkets that carried the national brands they saw advertised on TV.


The good news is that companies can recover from denial; even when they seem permanently wedded to their histories, their philosophies, or their belief systems. IBM, which had gotten caught up in its own "bureau-pathology," learned to conquer arrogance and overcome its history and culture, under the leadership of Louis Gerstner.

Intel, DuPont, and Coca-Cola, are more examples of corporations caught in denial traps when launching new products. They demonstrated that when corporate management has strong convictions, or worse yet hubris about their points of view, they can become blind to their customer's needs - needs that are right in front of their very eyes.

Seeing the real truth is an art and a science. When we get the balance right between what we think is true and what is really true - we are managing our blind spots with integrity, and wisdom.

Fortunately, these well-known brands did not live in denial very long. It was only a passing phase, and they recovered from it by revisiting reality with an open mind. Blind spots explain why the "smartest people in the room" (as Enron's top executives were famously called) can sometimes be very dumb. They do not see the light - they are not open to changing their minds.

The Power of Coaching to Dissolve Blind Spots

Denial and Blind spots are one of the primary reasons why Executive Coaching is so vital for leaders, and why peer coaching is equally important for employees to practice. Coaching can effectively uncover and deal with blind spots and denial and give the decision-makers a fresh perspective on how to handle executive challenges.

Coaching can also help individuals gain a broader and more 'realistic perspective' about situations and themselves. Executive, Team and Organizational Coaching can help leaders calibrate with the world around them, giving them reality checkpoints that position them  to navigate the real world with wisdom and insight.

From time to time, we all need a wake-up call to be sure that we do not allow ourselves to confuse our denial maps with the actual territory.

Check Yourself

Here are 7 Common Blind spots:
  1. Denial of Reality - Feeling so strong about our own beliefs that we deny the beliefs of others, or deny facts right in front of our eyes.
  2. Control - Seeing ourselves as being more responsible for things than we actually are, or having more control over things and events than we truly do.
  3. Made-Up Memories - Making decisions based on memories that did not happen. Often we confuse our imaginations, or our dreams, with reality.  
  4. Reality Distortions - Distorting reality to conform to preconceptions.
  5. Know it All - Thinking that we know more than what we really do. (We simply don't know what we don't know.)
  6. Listening Only to Validate What We Know -  Failure to listen to others.
  7. Undervaluing What We Do Know - Listening too much to others, and allowing others' beliefs to talk us out of our beliefs; or in some cases cause us not to trust our instincts.
Neuro-tips: Removing Blind Spots 

Tip #1 - It Takes Thought to Learn

The brain does not always allow us to hear all the facts if they do not fit our prior understanding of a concept. To learn new facts, you must be actively open to accepting opposition.

Tip #2 - Effectively Working Together
Partners who were considered controlling were perceived as critical and rude, and their advice was generally rejected and not trusted. When the same partners showed appreciation, a feeling of rapport and trust developed, creating a deep 'WE-centric' bond.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Meaningful Communication Prevents Fear

NEURO-TIP: Successful communication has the ability to meld minds through the experience of neural coupling, which is experienced when the listener’s brain mirrors the activity of the speaker’ brain.*

As you step up into higher levels of leadership, the challenges undoubtedly multiply. One of the most significant challenges will be managing the increase in the number of interactions and new relationships that come with leading a larger team of say 100 to even 1,000.

Staying connected and sustaining relationships while driving for results across a growing employee base is a hurdle, but it must be jumped to successfully hit the ground running as an influential leader in any company. Taking the time for personal interactions with employees is how good leaders of the past became great leaders in history.

It is a leader’s thoughtful interactions with their team that will create an environment balanced with both personal communication and results driven communication; this is ultimately at the heart of being a “humanizing leader.”

It’s amazing how often I find leaders trapped into thinking the higher they go up the corporate ladder, the tougher they need to be. Ironically, the opposite is actually true.

As leadership titles get bigger – from director to VP to EVP to CEO – they increase in the weight they carry, which is also known as positional power (discussed further in this older post). As a result of this growth, the members of the leader’s team tend to refrain from healthy push back and from challenging his/her authority. To offset these sorts of problems associated with positional power, leaders need to thoughtfully connect with their employees at a more personal level and encourage open and honest conversation.

These are a few identifiers that may help you evaluate if your employees fear your positional power:
  • Perpetual deference to your authority
  • Fear of speaking up
  • Avoiding talking about challenges and difficult issues – fear of disappointing the boss

Ask Yourself where You Stand

How can you build an environment where people feel safe to speak up, to challenge issues together, and to put difficult conversations on the table? How can you create an environment that thrives on the humanity?

Practices for yourself:
  • Remember that relationships are the building blocks for success
  • Catch yourself criticizing people
  • Make it a habit to find what can be appreciated in every person

    Practices with your staff:
    • Point out things people are doing well
    • Cultivate an environment that’s safe for people to speak honestly and openly with one another
    • Be specific about what you’re giving others feedback on
    • Be timely with your feedback, and sensitive to its impact
    • Give coaching in private

    *Biological Sciences - Neuroscience - Social Sciences - Psychological and Cognitive Sciences:
    · Greg J. Stephens,
    · Lauren J. Silbert,
    · and Uri Hasson
    Speaker–listener neural coupling underlies successful communication PNAS 2010 107 (32) 14425-14430; published ahead of print July 26, 2010, doi:10.1073/pnas.1008662107

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    How is Your World Labeled?

    I was destined to be a child psychologist. I did my Research Fellowship in Child Development and was heading into a Ph.D. program in Human Behavior and Development - and then I had a change of mind.

    I lived in Kansas at the time, and my husband Rich was getting his Ph.D. in Medicinal, Bio and Pharmaceutical Chemistry - and I took a job at the Bess Stone Center, a Center for Mentally Disabled Adults. On my first day at work, I was introduced to Larry, a 24-year-old mentally challenged adult. He was very tall and thin. Perhaps the most striking feature of his appearance was the wide suspenders that held up his pants. His teeth protruded and his head was over-sized. 

    "His name is Larry," Mary Jean said to me. "He is 24 but has the mind of a 2-year-old." He doesn't talk. He just grunts. As she spoke those words, his head tilted, and I immediately knew he understood her harsh words. Larry looked different, and even though his outward appearance was unusual; I was about to learn that there was much wisdom beneath his surface.

    Larry, who did not possess the ability to communicate through words, put his talents to work. He made an invention by inserting the 'foil' from the inside of a ketchup bottle top into a clothespin. Larry could gaze into the small foil 'rear view mirror' for a fully encompassing view of the world. He used his invention to watch the man who came to polish our floors once a week. Larry watched the up-and-down motion in his 'rear-view' mirror, and once his mind mapped the rhythm he was able to imitate floor polishing even when the polisher was not there.

    I asked him if he wanted to 'try it' and sure enough, Larry polished the floors everyday and became the best floor polishers ever. Then he took me outside and motioned with his arms that he wanted to polish the grass. After it clicked in, I realized he wanted to transfer his new found skills to learn to mow the grass. And he did. He became the best grass mower we had ever seen!

    Larry's energy and passion for learning became contagious. Soon enough, everyone at the Bess Stone Center became alive in a new way. Bertha wanted to play the piano, and she did, in her own way. Albert wanted to have 'money in his pocket' and so Mary Jean gave him money to carry to the store for food shopping. Mark wanted to build a house, and so we gave him some wood to build a miniature house which upon its completion was donated by the Bess Stone Center to its 'sister home' for mentally disabled children. The local newspaper heard about the change at Bess Stone and wrote a feature story, which greatly inspired our small town in Kansas. 

    Larry taught me about trust. Rather than see him as a 'retarded adult' with no capabilities to do much of anything, I saw him as a whole, creative human being. At the movement of contact, I experienced him as someone special, someone I wanted to get to know and understand, and someone of value.  Larry changed my life. He was one of the reasons I wanted to understand more about how our minds work, how our brains work, and why we do what we do.
    Music to Your Ears

    We can acquire wisdom from everyone. A man sat at a Metro station in Washington, D.C. and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

    Three minutes went by and a middle-aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried on to meet his schedule.

    A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw money into the till and without stopping, continued to walk.

    A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly, he was late for work.

    The one who paid the most attention was a 3-year-old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped and looked at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. Several other children repeated this action, yet all the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

    In the 45 minutes the musician played, only six people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

    No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

    Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston, and the seats averaged $100.

    This is a real story. Joshua Bell played incognito in the Metro station and was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. 

    Think about the labels that frame your world - narrow your appreciation, and stop you from seeing others through a lens of their strengths.
    • How do labels influence you?
    • What do you perceive and why?
    • Do you stop to appreciate what is going on around you?
    • What blinds you? What influences your sense of reality?
    • Do you recognize the talents of others in an unexpected context?

     Judith E. Glaser is the Author of two best selling business books:

    Creating WE: Change I-Thinking to We-Thinking & Build a Healthy Thriving Organization - winner of the Bronze Award in the Leadership Category of the 2008 Axiom Business Book Awards, and The DNA of Leadership; the DVD and Workshop titled The Leadership Secret of Gregory Goose; and editor and contributor of 42 Rule for Creating WE, an Amazon bestseller.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Set the Context for Community

    NEURO-TIP: When we say ‘no’ or reject people, our bodies go into self-defense, turning on our proactive-disengagement system, but when we say ‘yes’, our bodies turn on the social engagement system that connects us to others.*

    As you reflect on the condition of your organization’s culture, you must understand the dynamic tension between protecting what you have and creating what you aspire to have. Understanding the pushes and pulls of these tensions gives you a better handle on driving energy in positive ways and reducing the negative pull of downward spirals.

    Consider the following 'I' vs. 'WE' behaviors that might be holding back your organization from becoming what you know it can be:

    Exclusive: Power-over
    1. Only talk to those one level up; corner office; get my coffee
    2. Senior executives own the strategy; information kept close to the vest
    3. Using status to impress; keep the distance
    4. Exclusion; closed doors
    5. Lack of respect

    Inclusive: Power-with
    1. Senior executives discuss the strategy with employees
    2. Information about company’s health, wealth and business strategy shared with employees
    3. Employees included in change process; involved, engaged, empowered
    4. Inclusion, open door policy
    5. Respect abounds

    To shift an organization from exclusion to inclusion, a leader must be willing to help people understand the direction of the company and how to be a part of creating success. Discourage “we-they” thinking.

    Help reduce your co-workers fear and stress caused by exclusion by cultivating an inclusive work environment. Set a positive and inclusive tone and help people feel that they are all working together toward common goals and strategies. Create a sense of “WE are all in this together.”

    How does your company fair on the inclusion/exclusion spectrum? What are the practices that are holding back company progress without you even realizing it?

    *Neuro-tip Source:
    Receptive-Reactive State of Being
    Researcher: Daniel Siegl, MD
    July 2010

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    An Approach Whose Time Has Come

    NEURO-TIP: Stress early in life can have damaging effects on our ability to manage stress as adults.*

    We are experiencing unprecedented changes in the world. Businesses and our global communities are more challenged than ever before. It feels like there has been a sudden and profound interruption in business continuity. I call this The Edge.

    At the edge-our moments of greatest challenge-we often feel like we are losing control, and we are unable to see a clear path to success. It’s a crossroads we arrive at when we are faced with decisions too difficult to make alone, when our resources are few, and our old approaches no longer produce results that yield success.

    At the edge, we can turn away from others and try to handle the challenges from our own vantage point, or we can turn to others for help.

    I-centric leadership suggests that a leader should have the answers and direct and guide the organization to solutions. I-centric leaders expect solutions to come from the top of the organization and be given to the employees for implementation.

    We-centric leadership says that a leader doesn't have all the answers, and therefore needs to learn how to involve the entire organization in successfully coming up with the strategies for success. I call this new inclusive approach "WE-Centric" Leadership.

    More than ever before, we need to understand how to Create WE. A central premise behind Creating WE is that an organization's ability to get to its next level of greatness is determined by the climate of the culture, which is determined by the quality of the relationships. The quality of relationships is determined by the quality of conversations.
    Conversations connect one person to another – one team to another. When negativity, lack of trust, fear, dictating and focus on the past are the “reality of our conversations” they:

    - insidiously eat away at our heart and soul,
    - limit our access to new wisdom and knowledge,
    - close down our access to our spirit and passion,
    - interrupt the catalytic nature of positive relationships, and
    - block the serendipity of new encounters.

    Setting a positive tone in our conversations enables us to connect with others at deep levels not always visible to the human eye. The more our interactions are trusting, and positive and supportive of courage-taking acts, and the more we live in the present rather than the past, the greater are our chances of tapping the most incredible and powerful energy we have to create the next generation innovation - which is a "WE" phenomena.

    Creating WE goes to the root of the problem, showing how self-centered, unimaginative, non-collaborative “I-centric” work environments cause “territorialism” to form in the workplace, dooming companies to failure.

    On the larger socio-political stage, Creating WE provides a new way of approaching conflict, collaboration and co-creation that has the power to unlock the “genetic code” for positive human dynamics – turning fear into optimism and "power-over" into "power-with."

    How much unnecessary stress are you creating in your workplace? How can you instead contribute to a more "WE-centric" work environment?

    *Stress endured early in life can influence the quality of physical and mental health in adulthood, such as by causing hormonal alterations associated with mood and cognitive disorders. But until now, scientists did not understand the mechanism by which early life experiences can produce such long-lasting effects. According to a common hypothesis, the environment affects mental heath by causing alterations to the physical properties of the genome that influence gene expression -- the epigenome. Indeed, research suggests that DNA methylation, one of the most intensely studied forms of epigenetics, may explain why maternal care has a long-term influence on behavior and hormones.

    Neuro-tip Source:
    Stress & Epigenetic Changes
    The Scientist Researchers: molecular biologists Chris Murgatroyd and Dietmar Spengler of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Germany November 2009

    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    The World is Getting Smaller

    This month I had the incredible opportunity to speak in Dubai to an audience of over 450 people for the 9th HR Conference put on by Etisalat Academy, the largest single-source provider of training and development solutions in the Middle East.

    The attendees included hundreds of forward thinking HR Executives, who wanted to learn more about how HR can take the lead in supporting the C-suite in creating alignment and transformation in their businesses. In addition, in the audience was almost 100 Senior Executives, who were eager to step up and partner with HR. In the front row, there were eight high level diplomats - some of the top people ruling Dubai, who wanted to know 'what was new and groundbreaking.'

    As it turned out, the original keynote speaker took ill - I became the opening keynote. Fortunately, my topic - The Alignment Journey - was a perfect set up for the other speakers who covered topics from Innovation and Creativity, to Social Learning, Filling the Pipeline and Pro-activity.
    The city of Dubai is everything you see in magazines and on TV. I called it Miami on steroids when I first saw it in daylight after my 16-hour flight. Its skyline, created by the world's best architects - is magnificent.

    Minds Wide Open

    The conference was in a spectacular hotel located on the Palms, another real estate phenomenon. The audience was eager to listen, and I was ready to share my ideas and frameworks. The interpreter sat in the back of the room in a small booth. Half of the audience understood English; the rest listened through the headsets provided.

    My talk contained ideas about a 'new normal' that is emerging around the world. "We are at a time of great change, and the world is discovering we are all connected. Creating environments for candid and caring conversations to take place is essential for all leaders, all countries, and for the world to experience and create shared success."

    I talked about the Neuroscience of WE, and the Wisdom of the Five Brains, and how we are connected through conversations. I introduced the notion of "I-centric" and "WE-centric" leadership. This struck a cord, which I learned later was because many of the concepts about the power of the heart, lie deep inside of the Koran. I stepped into a new world of dialogue and conversation - an intersection of business, science and religion - in an auditorium with strangers eager to hear and learn what is fresh and provocative and worthy of discussion...

    Turning Doubt into Understanding

    During my keynote, one of the Sheiks in the front row raised his hand and asked if I could 'roll back my slides.' He realized I was presenting some new ideas and he wanted to understand the true depth of my comments. He wanted to delve deeper into the distinctions between an "I-centric" and a "WE-centric" leader.

    He asked about how I defined "I and WE" and he wanted to know what was good and what was not good about I-centric and WE-centric. He asked out of curiosity, and eagerness to learn, not in a challenging or judgmental way. We were in a dialogue with 450 people listening. I had no idea how important our sharing of ideas was until much later.

    I said that when leader's derail - and when their companies start to fail, it's when the leader makes themselves the center of the universe and the dynamics within the organization become all about pleasing the boss. However, when it's "WE-centric" - the company mission and the relationship with their customer become the center of the universe - all work together to achieve outrageous goals. Winning takes on a new definition - and the profits follow. The room was silent - heads were bobbing in agreement - something I will never forget.

    We talked a lot about 'having a voice' - and how hierarchy and fear of authority can cause people to feel afraid to speak up. I talked about how important it is for leaders to set the tone, and encourage pushback. I shared that too often 'leaders are the last to know' because people are afraid of them - and so all the observations and ideas that employees might contribute get lost behind the leader's power. When this happens a company starts to disconnect from reality - denial sets in and businesses, at the extreme, go out of business.

    Transformation of Everyday Life

    My session finished after much interaction with the audience about power, winning, neuroscience of leadership, and the human behavior behind 'why we do what we do.' During the breaks, attendees came over to tell me how thoughtful and provocative the session was. Most of all, people talked about how my session touched their heart.

    What I pieced together by the session close was that I gave them a new framework to 'include their heart' in an explanation of how we connect with others - how we connect to history - how we connect to the future. While I was speaking, the audience was listening through a broader lens of history which was more steeped in strong religious beliefs than the place I was speaking from - science and business. As our two perspectives joined in a spirit of open discovery, it ignited a new way of talking about science, relations, life and the future.

    After the meeting and my profound conversations with the participants - I saw Dubai in a new way. I saw the people as compassionate, intimate, open, generous of spirit and deeply willing to learn. I felt welcomed, appreciated, and understood.

     Judith E. Glaser is the Author of two best selling business books:

    Creating WE: Change I-Thinking to We-Thinking & Build a Healthy Thriving Organization - winner of the Bronze Award in the Leadership Category of the 2008 Axiom Business Book Awards, and The DNA of Leadership; the DVD and Workshop titled The Leadership Secret of Gregory Goose; and editor and contributor of 42 Rule for Creating WE, an Amazon bestseller.

    Contact: 212-307-4386


    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    New Wisdom to Think About

    Anger ManagementConventional wisdom has suggested that it's better not to talk about negative emotions as a way of handling them. So, we turn to alternative strategies such as holding our negative emotions in (as suggested by Anger Management and Emotional Intelligence programs), suppressing them, managing them, or sharing them with others (gossip/triangulation) just to get them out.

    However, recent discoveries at neuroscience research centers are revealing how to handle negative emotions in new and healthy ways. This updated wisdom takes us down another path. Rather than suppressing or ignoring emotions, which only damages our internal healthy functioning, we need to learn to express our emotions in constructive ways. Learning how to label emotions in healthy ways has a big impact on emotions - both for the speaker and the receiver.

    Careful labeling of an emotion enables us to regulate the emotion. If the emotion is "rage" or "frustration"- labeling it causes the rage and frustration to settle down. Constructive labeling enables the speaker and listener to clarify the emotional distress. It prevents the speaker from bringing a higher emotional tone to the situation and brings a more logical frame of reference to the situation. This practice regulates the brain and provides a calming effect.

    AmygdalaLearning how to label emotions and express our discomfort enables us to quell the fear and pain centers of the brain (amygdala) and activates our reasoning and forward-thinking centers in the brain (prefrontal cortex) where our strategic and social skills reside. Our pleasure centers are more closely linked to the prefrontal cortex, so we feel better when we come up with more effective strategies for handling our emotions and creating new strategies for the future.


    We are at a critical inflection point in the world today. In this WE-centric universe we need to acknowledge our vital role and responsibilities to each other on our journey. Our new WE-centric world is built on candor and caring, which expand positive powers in the world. In a WE-centric world, leaders understand that human beings are designed to be social. We either pull people toward us, or we push them away.

    Rejection = pushing people away and is experienced as pain by those rejected. Compassion and caring = pulling people toward us is experienced as pleasure by those who are accepted. You can become a game-changer and shift your culture into a "WE-centric" culture by applying these neuro-tips at work.

    NEURO-TIP #1: Our brains are designed to be social

    Our brains are designed to be social. Our need for belonging is as or more powerful than our need for safety. When we are rejected, we experience pain in the same centers in the brain and body as when we break a leg. Being emotionally orphaned is more painful than death. When others show us love, respect, and honor us, it triggers the same centers in the brain as when we eat chocolate, have sex, or are on drugs. Understanding this dynamic will change how you lead.

    QUESTION: Knowing that our brains are designed to be social, what Leadershift could you make in your life starting tomorrow to create greater positive connectivity with others at work?

    NEURO-TIP #2: Appreciation reshapes our neural networks to give us a broader perspective of the world

    When we feel sad, depressed, alone, fearful and disconnected from others, our mind closes down. Messages from the amygdala say "protect" and our brains are hardwired and designed to protect us from harm. Through co-creating conversations that focus on how we can tackle our challenges and difficult situations together, we activate an appreciative mindset. Our neural chemistry changes; we 'turn off' the fear-based neuro-messages from the amygdala, and 'turn on' the brain connections that feed up into the prefrontal cortex - our 'executive brain.' We see that our 'perspective has shifted' and it's because that part of our brain - our prefrontal cortex - is now engaged.

    QUESTION: Knowing that appreciation is the food that enhances the health of our brains, minds and souls, what Co-creating Conversations could you initiate tomorrow and with whom - that could shift the feel of your workplace from judging to appreciating?

    NEURO-TIP #3: We avoid what is painful; we engage in what is pleasurable

    From birth, we learn to avoid physical pain and move toward physical pleasure. We learn to protect ourselves from ego pain, building habits and patterns of behavior that protect us from feeling belittled, embarrassed, or devalued.

    At work this tendency translates into avoiding a person who appears to compete with you when you speak up, to avoid a boss who sends you silent signals of disappointment. Pain can also come from what you anticipate-not from what is real. If you imagine that telling colleagues they are annoying you will lead to a fight or argument, just the thought of having that conversation will produce the social pain of being rejected or being in an uncomfortable conversation. We often avoid the conversation and hold the frustration inside. The feared implications of pain become so real for us that we turn to avoidance, since confronting a person with a difficult conversation may lead to yelling, rejection, or embarrassment.

    QUESTION: Knowing that avoiding others to avoid perceived pain of a difficult conversation may only create greater pain down the road, what person and what conversation could you have starting tomorrow to build greater trust and candor with a colleague?

     Judith E. Glaser is the Author of two best selling business books:

    Creating WE: Change I-Thinking to We-Thinking & Build a Healthy Thriving Organization - winner of the Bronze Award in the Leadership Category of the 2008 Axiom Business Book Awards, and The DNA of Leadership; the DVD and Workshop titled The Leadership Secret of Gregory Goose; and editor and contributor of 42 Rule for Creating WE, a newly published Amazon bestseller.

    Contact: 212-307-4386