Tag Archives: challenges

Conflict Resolution - Performance Management

Performance Management: Is Your Workplace in a Pickle?

Like over 30 million other Americans, I have been playing pickleball. I am bad. I don’t say that to be coy, modest, or kind, I am truly not a very good player. What I love about both my husband and the group I play with is they are very, very encouraging. I hear on the pickleball court in the evenings what I hear in organizations during the day, both the good and the bad.

For the most part I hear encouragement like “Good idea!” which is a lovely way to say, “You missed it, but you at least know where to stand.” Or “Good try!” Or “Now you’ve got it.” I am both amazed and impressed by the different ways this supportive group encourages.

One night I had a new partner. She was so kind and supportive of me, but when she herself missed the ball, she called herself an idiot, stupid, or a loser. Another player suggested, “If you start encouraging yourself the way you encourage Karen, your game will improve.” She heard the feedback and I can only imagine that her play has improved as well.

Sadly, not everyone in our group is so supportive. One member said to me “You have absolutely no hand eye coordination. You should hit against a board about 200 times a day, every day for about 3 months and then come back. My spouse did this and it helped.” My takeaway from that interaction was, “You need to learn about Carol Dweck and the growth mindset.”

Carol Dweck wrote a Mindset: A New Psychology of Success. In the book, Dweck says that those who see learning as an ever-evolving and fun process have greater life and career satisfaction. They aren’t expecting life to be easy so they aren’t easily frustrated when life becomes challenging. I discuss Dr. Dweck’s research in my programs and I use it in my life. I notice during performance discussions that those who are expecting work to be challenging are more open to feedback.

Now on the court I say to myself, “I don’t serve consistently, YET.” It’s helped my game. What growth mindset phrases have helped you in your work and life?

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Diversity and Inclusion - Leadership - Performance Management

It’s Just Lunch, Or Is It?

In order to create a respectful and inclusive culture, organizations need to provide regular diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training. But once you have had that basic training, how can you mix it up and make it relevant year after year?

At Concordia Consulting, we have found a way! We have adapted actual situations that we have been asked to remedy by changing them just enough to protect those involved. Then we implement the scenarios using a case-study approach to bring our training to life.

Want to try one? 

Ava was conducting an all-day strategic planning session with her organization. Eleven members of the management team and the CEO were in the room. During a break, lunch arrived for the group and the receptionist began unpacking the food. The CEO said, “Did we order that veggie junk for Arjun?” Everyone, except the CEO, was uncomfortable. Nothing was said, although some participants made an awkward laugh. Fifteen minutes later referring to the Indian spices, the CEO said, “What is that horrible smell? Oh, I know, it’s that Indian stuff,” and he rolled his eyes. Again, the group stayed silent.  


  • As a member of the management team, how should you handle this situation?
  • As an attendee at the meeting, is there anything you could do in the moment?
  • If you were Arjun, how would you have handled the comments?
  • After the meeting, is there anything you could or should do?
  • What further actions, if any, should be taken?  

Have you ever witnessed a similar situation in your organization? Please let me know how you would deal with this scenario, as well as how effectively you think your organization might handle it. We will be sharing similar experiences in the months to come. If you would like facilitated training with us, we will customize a program specifically for your organization’s circumstances and culture.

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Employee Engagement - Performance Management

Little Organization, Big Values

About 30 years ago, my then accountant Corrin casually said to me, “Over time, businesses start to reflect the values and personalities of their leaders.” I was fascinated by this comment. “Really?” I asked. “Yes,” Corrin continued, “Employees need to feel passionate about what they do and they need to feel a connection to the mission. Without that, employees don’t stick around.”

And likewise, clients and customers are attracted to organizations that share their beliefs and values. 

A study conducted by Cone Communications found that 87% of consumers said they would purchase a product because a company supported an issue they cared about. In addition, 76% of consumers said they would boycott a company if it supported an issue contrary to their beliefs.

Now, rather than wait for the leader’s values to trickle down, organizations are becoming purposeful about communicating and acting on their core beliefs. Many organizations already have taken the time and energy to develop their vision and mission statements, and now they are drafting statements about how they will serve their communities and contribute to making the world a better place. A new and growing trend is to hire a C-Suite executive, often referred to as the Chief Purpose Officer, to help define and communicate these messages both internally and externally.  

But what if your company is small and you can’t devote a senior level position to engagement? Here are some techniques you can implement as a leader at any level.

  • If you do not already have a vision and mission statement, develop one! The method you use will demonstrate a lot about your organization. Will you involve everyone in the discussions? Just the senior leaders? Only the CEO?  
  • Communicate your vision and mission everywhere…on your website, in your newsletter, through your employee communications, and to your customers and clients. If you manufacture a product, put at least part of your mission statement on the product.
  • Find a nonprofit or community organization that your company will actively support. Determine how much time, money, and additional resources you will devote to the group.  
  • Create an engagement survey and identify ways to connect with your employees and encourage their commitment to the mission.  
  • Make engagement a part of your attraction and retention strategies.

My accountant Corrin was right. Engagement is the key to retaining and motivating both your employees and your customers. Please share with me the strategies employed in your organization. Are they successful?

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