fbpx

Category Archives for "Archive"

Dog retrieving bumper from river
Feb 15

Accountability: Taking Ownership, Taking Action

Archive

Peter Smith, CEO & president of AMERICAN SYSTEMS

Peter Smith, CEO & president of AMERICAN SYSTEMS

​Accountability can be a bit of a corporate buzzword these days. What does it mean? How can ​implementing a focus on accountability ​improve the ​workplace culture? What would your office look like if each team member too personal responsibility for seeing, owning, and solving problems?

​Peter Smith is the president and CEO of AMERICAN SYSTEMS, an engineering and IT solutions firm that specializes in complex national priority projects for the government. He joined me to talk about how ​focusing on the culture at AMERICAN SYSTEMS has had a dramatic impact on the company's key results and provided other benefits as well:

  • ​Greater transparency and openness
  • Enhanced teamwork and trust
  • More effective communication
  • Better execution and follow-through
  • Sharper clarity
  • Tighter focus on results

​AMERICAN SYSTEMS used ideas and strategies from Partners in Leadership, the authors of the Oz Principle and Change the Culture, Change the Game.

Sometimes people are uncomfortable with the word "accountability." It can sound critical, too judgmental. Yes, taking action to improve your workplace will require some changes, but it isn't about pointing out the flaws in others; it's about seeing opportunities for improvement and making a personal commitment to doing your best work.

​I​t helps to come together as a team to decide on some shared values. For AMERICAN SYSTEMS, they chose four:

  • ​Be engaged
  • ​Better together
  • Create opportunities
  • Bid smart

Having shared values is invaluable. When If friction crops up between coworkers, the values create a common ground to build upon. Our conversation touched briefly on the most typical reasons people get ruffled feathers--perceived threats to their status, certainty, autonomy, relationships, or fairness.

The gorgeous dog above helps me remember those five variables.

​Think about the last issue in your workplace. I'll bet you a dog biscuit that it was related to one of these. 

​​How do you take personal responsibility for improving your work environment? How about your personal relationships? What ​values would bring your team together? 

Share what you do and how it helps you in the comments below.


Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Share this show on Twitter or Facebook.
  • ​Read the transcript here.

To help out the show:

Jennifer Blossom, OTD, OTR, talked with Colleen Pelar on UNLEASHED (at work & home) about nurturing behavior and the role self-care plays in caring for others. www.colleenpelar.com/10
Feb 01

Nurturing: Showing Your Connection through Caring Behavior

Archive

Jennifer Blossom, OTD, OTR, talked with Colleen Pelar on UNLEASHED (at work & home) about nurturing behavior and the role self-care plays in caring for others. www.colleenpelar.com/10

Jennifer Blossom, OTD, OTR joined me to talk about nurturing, which is not something most of us think about in a work-related context. But it should be.

​Take a moment to think of your favorite co-worker. How does that person support you? How does he or she help fill you up on challenging days?

​In what ways do you support others? What are the small things that can make a big difference?


Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Share this show on Twitter or Facebook.

To help out the show:

Amy Morris, PE, PTOE, is president of T3 Design, transportation engineering company dedicated to solving traffic problems. She talked with Colleen Pelar on the UNLEASHED (at work & home) podcast about why problem-solving isn't as clear-cut as many think and shared tips for improving your problem-solving skills. Another fascinating look at the behavior of dogs and of people.
Jan 04

Problem-Solving: Figuring Out How to Figure Things Out

Archive

Problem-solving requires objectivity, curiosity, and creativity.

Traffic is one of the biggest problems we face each day. When just getting from point A to point B is a headache, imagine how much less energy we have to focus on our own projects and priorities.

​Fortunately for folks in the mid-Atlantic region, we've got an excellent problem-solver looking for ways to make travel easier for us. 

Amy Morris, PE, PTOE, is the president of T3 Design, a transportation engineering firm based in Northern Virginia. (What are those crazy letters after her name, you ask? PE stands for professional engineer, which means she's ​met all the criteria in terms of book knowledge and professional experience to qualify for licensure, and PTOE stands for professional traffic operations engineer, which is the highest licensing available in traffic engineering. In other words, Amy knows her stuff.)

​I invited Amy to talk about problem-solving because she is great at it, and I wanted to learn her secrets.

Amy Morris, PE, PTOE, is president of T3 Design, transportation engineering company dedicated to solving traffic problems. She talked with Colleen Pelar on the UNLEASHED (at work & home) podcast about why problem-solving isn't as clear-cut as many think and shared tips for improving your problem-solving skills. Another fascinating look at the behavior of dogs and of people.

​Amy says there's no magic involved. First and foremost, being a good problem-solver requires an ability to really define the problem. That's tougher than it sounds. 

In many cases, we look at the symptoms of a problem as the problem itself. In some cases, relieving the symptoms will fix the issue, but often we find ​ourselves sucked into a game of whack-a-mole as we try to address symptom after symptom without ever addressing the underlying issue.

This is where the objectivity, curiosity, and creativity come in. ​Some folks are more naturally suited to enjoy the challenge of exploring a problem's parameters and seeking improvements, but all of us can get better at these skills. (In addition to her amazing problem-solving skills, Amy's also known for her honesty, so I'll take her word for it that I too can get better at wrestling with complicated issues.)

I hope you enjoy this wide-ranging discussion that touched on everything from paper airplanes to HR practices to Soduku puzzles to the negative effects of frustration to the joys of hanging out with a dog. Trust me, it all ties together!

Amy Morris, PE, PTOE, is president of T3 Design, transportation engineering company dedicated to solving traffic problems. She talked with Colleen Pelar on the UNLEASHED (at work & home) podcast about why problem-solving isn't as clear-cut as many think and shared tips for improving your problem-solving skills. Another fascinating look at the behavior of dogs and of people.

​What are your best strategies for defining and solving problems? How do you know when you've found the right answer?

Share what you do and how it helps you in the comments below.


Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Share this show on Twitter or Facebook.
  • ​Read the transcript here.

To help out the show:

Nov 23

Persuasion: First Demonstrate Value

Archive

Persuasion is really about teamwork. It starts with demonstrating value, showing the other person how your idea, product, or service will benefit them, and then being really clear about how to move forward.

Julie Holmes is an entrepreneur, sales leader, and speaker. She has lots of great tips for building your persuasive skills. No slimey sales talk here.

Instead Julie believes that building strong relationships is the key, and she encourages everyone to start first by giving to build rapport and trust. The themes of building trust and rapport come up often on UNLEASHED; check out the cooperation, feedback, and consent episodes.

In addition to being a sales pro, Julie also loves doing trick training with her vizsla, Echo. Would you like to see Echo do a few tricks? Check out the video links below.

Echo, au natural

"Have I earned the hot dog yet?"

What strategies ​do you use to be persuasive?

Share what you do and how it helps you in the comments below.


Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Share this show on Twitter or Facebook.

To help out the show:

Nov 09

Enthusiasm: Your Mindset Matters

Archive

​​Enthusiasm creates energy and motivation. Dogs are excellent at showing enthusiasm, but people frequently feel the need to hold back a bit.

Mike Schmidtmann, a peer group facilitator and business coach, is a master of enthusiasm. In this wide-ranging discussion, he shares his ideas about enthusiasm and how it can help you reach your goals. He says, "You get that feedback loop going where you're more positive, which means other people react more positively to you, which pumps you up even more."

Enthusiasm and joy don't come as naturally as they do for our dogs, but they're within reach. What would happen if you approached your relationships (at work and at home) with a good attitude and and open heart?

​Mike loves the Daily Q's app (inspired by Marshall Goldsmith's book, Triggers) and gives himself a daily score on a 1-10 scale on these questions:

  • ​Was I engaged?
  • Did I build positive relationships?
  • Did I declutter today (to improve focus)?
  • Did I have fun today? (This question stumps far too many people!)
  • Did I exercise?
  • Did I pay attention to my family? (Many people get so focused on their business that they let their most important social connections slide.)

By taking a moment to rate his day, he's adding a level of intentionality to be sure he's living a life that matches his morals and guiding  principles.

I do something very similar. I use the Day One journaling app and start each day with these questions:

  • List three gratitudes from the past 24 hours
  • What have I accomplished in the past 24 hours?
  • What were my struggles or challenges? What caused them? What are the possible solutions?
  • Did I learn anything in the past 24 hours?
  • What would make the next 24 hours great?

What are your strategies for ​making sure you show up as your best, most enthusiastic self?

Share what you do and how it helps you in the comments below.

​Meet Mike's dogs

Mike Schmidtmann's dog, Danny

Danny, the diggity dog, has great enthusiasm for life!

Mike Schmidtmann's dog, Razz, a service dog

Razz, a Shiloh shepherd, is Mike's wife's service dog.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Share this show on Twitter or Facebook.

To help out the show:

Cooperation - two dogs jumping in unison
Oct 09

Cooperation is the Key to Strong Relationships

Archive

​We spend a lot of time in our own heads, pursuing our own goals. We're hesitant to share ideas or resources because we're operating from a scarcity mindset.

But when we step back to take a broader view, we often find people we could partner with in mutually beneficial ways.

​Sonia Patterson, the CEO and founder of Impact Wisdom, has traveled to more than 70 countries to manage and lead community development programs focused on sustainability. (Pictured below is Sultan, the village dog she adopted in the Peace Corps.) She joined me to talk about cooperation.

​​P.S. Don't forget to listen to episode 1 about humor and episode 3 about giving feedback​ too! Many more UNLEASHED episodes will be released in the weeks to come!

Sonia Patterson's dog, Sultan

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Share this show on Twitter or Facebook.

To help out the show:

Laura Leydon's dog, Brinkley
Oct 09

Humor Enhances Learning & Connection

Archive

​Humor can bring us together. It's a great way to get people to listen​, learn, and engage with one another.

Laura Leydon

Few people know that better than Laura Leydon, a special education resource teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia. ​Laura considers humor one of the main tools she uses to help struggling high school students master their coursework.

But even more, she uses humor to help them navigate real life. Because let's face it, there's a lot of drama in high school--and a lot of drama in adult life too.

Humor gives us a little distance, a space to observe behavior and reflect on what’s happening. And it just makes things more fun. (Laura's dog, Brinkley, clearly agrees. That's him rolling around in the photo above.)

​How do you use humor to engage with people at work? What role does humor play in your home life?

​P.S. Don't forget to listen to episode 2 about cooperation and episode 3 about giving feedback​ too! Many more UNLEASHED episodes will be released in the weeks to come!

quote from Laura Leydon

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Share this show on Twitter or Facebook.

To help out the show:

<iframe src="https://www.podbean.com/media/player/b76hs-7617ff?from=yiiadmin&skin=1&btn-skin=104&share=1&fonts=Helvetica&auto=0&download=0&rtl=0" scrolling="no" data-name="pb-iframe-player" height="100" frameborder="0" width="100%"></iframe>
UNLEASHED (at work & home) with Colleen Pelar
Oct 08

UNLEASHED (at work & home)

Archive

Explore the world of human behavior through the lens of a dog trainer

The UNLEASHED (at work & home) podcast empowers you to take charge of personal development. Each episode sheds insight into the world of human behavior by talking with a variety of experts about their work, their successes, their frustrations … and their love of dogs. Are you ready to be more productive, more positive, and more personally empowered? Get ready to be UNLEASHED!

Have you ever wished that your boss, coworkers, or customers liked you as much as your dog does? Look, you're pretty incredible. Your dog thinks so, right? Your dog says you are kind, thoughtful, caring, responsible, trustworthy, dependable, gentle, compassionate, and smart.

He's right. That's exactly who you are in your interactions with him.

Get that same unconditional support from people at work and home by harnessing your Awareness of Behavior. (Far too often we simply REACT straight from our reptile brains — rather than RESPOND to a situation with nuance and style.) Put a greater focus on observation to become truly aware of your choices. Master them and be well on your way to being the superhero your dog already knows you are.

Hosted by Colleen Pelar, the UNLEASHED (at work & home) podcast will downward dog into a litter of topics on human behavior ranging from cooperation to crisis control.  We’ll take command of issues that specifically and directly impact your everyday life — and your pack.

The goal of each episode is for the listener to feel like they are ready for anything life puts in front of us — we’ve got the self-awareness and knowledge to follow our nose and trust our instincts. 

​Check out all of the episodes here.


Meet the Host: Colleen Pelar

Colleen Pelar is a professional development and personal growth expert who inspires people to live their BEST lives through a lifelong journey of self-discovery. With behavioral psychology at the core, Colleen’s programs help thousands of people overcome obstacles, push past plateaus, and leap into their most authentic lives.

In each episode, Colleen looks at a single behavior trait through the lens of a dog trainer to discuss aspects of human behavior. She brings into play dogs (and dog training) to provide endless analogies for exploring human behavior. She interviews a variety of fascinating people to uncover their strategies and suggestions that help people overcome toxic beliefs and get better at being a human. 

Colleen Pelar

Thanks for Listening to UNLEASHED (at work & home)!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Share this show on Twitter or Facebook.

To help out the show:

<iframe src="https://www.podbean.com/media/player/b76hs-7617ff?from=yiiadmin&skin=1&btn-skin=104&share=1&fonts=Helvetica&auto=0&download=0&rtl=0" scrolling="no" data-name="pb-iframe-player" height="100" frameborder="0" width="100%"></iframe>
>