Want a Solution for Productive Conflict?

Workplace conflict is inevitable. It’s tempting to avoid these uncomfortable situations altogether, but there’s a much more effective solution!

With Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict assessment profile, learners will discover how to curb destructive behaviors so that conflict can become more productive. This is not your average conflict resolution program. Everything DiSC Productive Conflict offers highly personalized content that helps learners increase self-awareness around conflict behaviors and effectively respond to conflict situations, which ultimately improves workplace results and relationships.  You can take individually or as team (in tact teams or cross-company).

Your learners will:

  • Explore the destructive and productive conflict behaviors of each personality DiSC® styles
  • Understand how to manage your response to conflict situations
  • Discover communication strategies when engaging in productive conflict with colleagues

Interested to learn more? Check out the Everything DiSC-Productive Conflict brochure!

Questions? We are happy to help!  Email us at aha@ahaleadership.com

3 Major Presentation Mistakes… and How You Can Avoid Them!

Great leaders inspire others to be part of something bigger than themselves. One of the most powerful tools in a leader’s toolbox is effective presentations. Powerful presentations inspire audiences to do amazing things.

As a leader, you need to know how to avoid the doldrums of run-of-the-mill presentation to inspire your audience to be part of your vision. Here are three common pitfalls that lead to lackluster presentations… and how you can avoid them!


Pitfall #1: Letting the content drive. Presentations defined by content leave audiences feeling lost and confused. A presentation without a purpose is a lot like a song without a melody; things just won’t flow and the audience won’t stay tuned in for very long.

How to avoid it: Let the objective take the wheel.

Ask yourself: What do you want your audience to take away from this experience? From there, select content to present that supports the objective.


Pitfall #2: Ignoring emotions. Audiences are left unmoved and uninspired when presenters only focus on teaching them information while neglecting the audience’s emotional experience.

How to avoid it: Begin with the emotional journey you are asking your audience to take. Are you asking them to go from “this isn’t possible” to “this is possible and I should be part of it”? What will it take to get them from point A to B? How can you change their minds and their hearts?


 Pitfall #3: Omitting their role: Audiences feel disinterested and disconnected when they can’t see their role in the vision you are presenting.

How to avoid it: Provide a narrative that your audience can see themselves in. Personal stories or illustrative analogies help audiences recognize their role in carrying out your vision.

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools speak because they have to say something.” – Plato

10 Things that Require Zero Talent


Being a leader is about using influence to implement decisions and to gain support for ideas and vision. Especially when it comes to leadership, actions speak louder than words; and when it comes to changing behaviors, oftentimes the best way to lead is by example. You can set that example starting today by following the ten things that require zero talent:

  1. Be on time
  2. Make an effort
  3. Be high energy
  4. Have a positive attitude
  5. Be passionate
  6. Have a positive work ethic
  7. Have effective body language
  8. Be coachable
  9. Do extra
  10. Be prepared

Click here to download the full White Paper to learn about influence and power, as well as the three most effective ways to influence people.


“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Giving Up Control to Create Leaders

In our last newsletter, Assumptions that can Harm Your Coaching Culture; we focused on developing a coaching culture that inspires discovery, reflection, and persistence. This kinds of cultural shifts can require big changes in the landscape of leadership.

This powerful video explores one leader’s high stakes decision to let go of control, and empowering his crew to make decisions.

“Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves” -David Marquet

3 Steps to Improving Relationships

Empathy isn’t usually a trait that comes to mind when you think of professional relationships. However, Gail Gross, PhD., a family, relationship and child development expert and host of the PBS radio show Let’s Talk, says empathy is the most important characteristic of relationships, whether at work or with family and friends.

“If you can put yourself in the other person’s shoes, even if you don’t agree, then you can often see the issue from their perspective. This will then open the door for collaboration and communication,” Gross says, “If you are busy defending yourself, then you can’t hear what the other person has to say.”

Gross developed a 3-step process that can be used to improve ALL types of relationships when addressing conflict:

  1. When attempting to work out differences, meet in a neutral location, such as a conference room or restaurant. Do not meet in one party’s office because that puts one person in a power position. If the discussion is between family members, sit down together in the kitchen.
  2. Set ground rules before talking: Neither party can use hurtful language or personal attacks.
  3. Divide the time allowed for the discussion into thirds;
    • For the first third of the time, one person talks while the other is actively listening.
    • Then, for the second third of the time, the other person talks.
    • During the last third of the time, both parties work together to solve the problem. You don’t have to agree with each other, just collaborate on a compromise that has value for both people.

“At the end of the day, trust is based on experience.  By using empathy, you develop tremendous trust with your colleagues, significant other, or children.  The key to good relationship is mutuality, with no one winning and no one losing.” – Gail Gross


5 Steps for Getting More from Your Team

Managers are traditionally taught that the key to getting results is by holding employees accountable, yet the reality is the secret recipe to getting great results is to set clear expectations.

Bottom Line: In setting clear expectations, communication is vital to high performing teams – any communication challenges are easy to fix once you have identified it as the issue. Try these 5 steps instead of getting frustrated with your employees:

  1. First, know WHAT you WANT. Often we assume that others are being lazy or thoughtless when they don’t meet our needs. However, most likely we have not clarified in our own minds what it is that we want. Get clear on this first and communicating expectations will come easily.
  2. Explain what you DO want rather than what you DON’T. Rather than saying “Stop emailing me about urgent issues,” try, “When an issue is urgent, I would really appreciate it is you would call me or stop by my desk.”
  3. Clearly communicate expectations and ensure understanding. Ask the person to summarize or re-explain what it is you asked for. This helps to make sure you both are on the same page.
  4. Define your desired outcome. What do you want the end product or behavior to look like? Rather than telling an employee, “I need this ASAP” say, “I need this by 10 a.m.”
  5. Reward the positive and coach the negative. If your expectations are met, make sure you show appreciation. If not, before assuming the person intentionally disappointed you, clearly communicate what you were expecting.

“Communicate unto the other person that which you would want him to communicate unto you if your positions were reversed.” Aaron Goldman

6 Steps to Building Relationships with a Simple Note

Writing and receiving handwritten notes are becoming a lost art in today’s society. Yet this tradition of notes is a timeless act of appreciation in both our personal and professional lives. How unexpected and welcomed when you receive a note of appreciation from a client, teammate, etc.? It just feels good….and when you acknowledge and thank others, it’s a simple way to build relationships. You will stand out in that person’s mind, and it will make you feel good as well.

Here’s how to make the most of your thank you notes:

  1. Set the right mood. Select a salutation that matches the formality and intimacy of your relationship with the recipient. Make sure you address the recipient correctly.
  2. Be specific. Reference the exact gift or act of kindness in which you are thankful for. Express how it touched or affected you. Avoid referring to the specific amount of money given as a gift.
  3. Be authentic. Express genuine appreciation in a personal way. Strive to use the same tone you would use if you were speaking to the recipient in person.
  4. Use quality paper. Beautiful stationery shows the recipient that you care and also provides a more pleasurable writing experience.
  5. Write legibly. Take you time and use a good, smudge-free pen. If you’re not sure of what you want to say, write a draft before beginning the final version.
  6. Close with affection. “Sincerely” is a classic option, but you can use a warmer, more personal closing for more well-connected relationships.


Source: Experience Life- September 2015

300 Daily Emails is YOUR fault!

Ever feel overwhelmed with an overflowing inbox? Do you spend more time navigating a cluttered inbox than you should be? Have you ever considered that it may be YOUR fault? Don’t worry, there are some easy tips you can follow to take control of your inbox and no longer feel it is controlling you.

  • “Reply to All” does not apply to all situations. Be careful to use this feature only when it is absolutely necessary. Replying to all can create lengthy email chains that are not always needed. This can contribute to an overflowing inbox.
  • Make sure you address each question in an email reply. The way you respond to emails can also affect the size of your inbox. If you diligently respond to each question asked in an email, you prevent further emails asking the very same things.
  • Share your calendar!  Sharing your calendar with your team is another effective way of communication and planning. By sharing your calendar, your team members are able to check your availability and use meeting requests instead of emails to plan meetings or conference calls. This feature removes these types of requests from your, already cluttered, inbox.
  • Set parameters with your team. By this simple task of designating tasks within your team, members will know whom to “cc” on which emails.
  • Have a good email signature.  Your email signature is a very important feature. It should contain all of your contact information so no one will have to ask for you phone number, email, website, mailing address, etc. This information should be presented in a clear and concise way and be easy to copy/paste.
  • Use subject lines wisely. By using specific subject lines that directly reflect the content of your email, the recipient’s attention can be obtained sooner. This allows for a quick response to emails and helps when you are searching through your inbox for a particular set of information.

Success Magazine -November 2015

Rev Up Productivity and Your Communication Superpower!

Are you working effectively as a leader with your team? With your peers? With your leader? These key relationships don’t just happen…effective relationships are built over time. Let us help you improve your impact with others.


Using a customized Everything DiSC® assessment, a research-validated learning model, participants learn to understand and appreciate the ‘styles’ of people they work with. The result…is more effective and productive working relationships, communication and business results.

You can use Everything DiSC® to:

  • Build Strong Teams – Understanding each team members’ communication preference and work better as a team.
  • Communicate More Effectively – The tool provides customized strategies for approaching others you want to develop or deepen a relationship, when problems need to be solved or when things get tense.
  • On-board New Team Members –Understand the communication style of your new leader and to learn about how to work effectively with your new teammates.
  • Improve Communication Between Two Very Different People – The Everything DiSC® comparison report provides a direct comparison between two team members that may not see eye to eye.
  • Motivate, Delegate to and Develop Team Members – Leaders learn specific strategies for working with each person on their team.
  • And so much more….

WHY is it so effective?  Click here  to watch a video (4 minutes).


It’s Impactful…What Our Clients Say

  • “Gives great insight as to what makes others tick and to help understand how to work better with
  • “I will be more observant of others attributes – I will learn to communicate better with others.”
  • “Good things come from knowing more about people surrounding you.”
  • “I will adapt my interactions based on the other person’s style. Focus on increasing workplace effectiveness.”
  • “Very helpful to understand how people think in order for us to efficiently achieve our common goal.”
  • “Wow! This was really eye-opening!”

 To learn more about customizing a development program for you…

Contact Robyn Marcotte at 248.882.2354 or Robyn@ahaleadership.com.

How to Build Rapport

Why is building rapport vital in leadership?

As John C. Maxwell once said, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Rapport is defined as a close and harmonious relationship in which the people understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well with each other (Websters). Building rapport and engaging people takes practice and much of it is based on intuition.  Below are some tips:

  1. Make a memorable impression.  Dress appropriately for the occasion, smile, make eye contact and show enthusiasm for what you doing – when you enjoy what you do, it shows.
  2. Be genuine.  “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”- Oscar Wilde.  You are unique with special gifts and talents – use them. not try to mimic something you are not.
  3. Show interest in hearing what others are thinking.  Ask questions.  Don’t think of a reply while the other person is talking; it limits hearing what is being said.  Be people-focused, not self-focused.
  4. Find common ground.  Use open-ended questions to discover sincere, common experiences or ways to connect based on similar interests.
  5. It’s all in the name!  Remember the other person’s name and use it in the conversation.  It’s a powerful word to the other person.
  6. Consider asking for help with a simple, non-invasive request.  People feel naturally connected to those that ask for help.
  7. Give genuine compliments.  This can go a long way towards building rapport and people appreciate it.
  8. Mirror body language.  Subtly mimicking same posture and body movements, gestures, and facial expressions helps build rapport by appearing in agreement or in support with the other person.
  9. Lose the ego.  Avoid correcting people or saying anything that could be interpreted as one-upmanship.
  10. Consider small gifts.  When people are offered something whether a physical token or with time and support, they often feel the desire to help you in return , or are more receptive to what you have to say.
  11. Have a positive attitude – this helps ensure the other person walks away feeling better for having talked with you.

How are you going to practice building rapport today?  Practice, practice, practice … makes perfect.