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Emily Bass inspires great leadership

Words Matter

Why do certain people at work bother me so much?

Why do certain people at work bother me so much?

different in your work day when you are not impacted

What will be different in your work day when you are not impacted by the jerk at work?

We all come off like jerks at one point or another. We don’t mean it, but it happens. Our differences make this happen and thank goodness for our differences, right?

Different in your work day when you are not impacted

So, what do you do when you work with someone who rubs you the wrong way? The person probably isn’t really a jerk, or at least let’s agree he or she doesn’t want to be a jerk…but they rub you that way.
Work can be stressful, and stress brings out our least favorable behaviors. Eckhart Tolle says, when you can be around those who push your buttons and let it pass through you, you are enlightened. I can’t claim to be enlightened but I can claim to be more tolerant of the differences in others because of a few things I’ve learned about myself and others.


So, how do we not let the jerk at work get to us?


  • Understand what they want and need – and give it to them:if they are detail oriented, respect that and don’t be vague; if they are social butterflies then plan for a few minutes of socializing; if they are direct, then be direct; if saying hello every time you pass them in the hall makes the relationship better for them, then say hello.
  • Understand what you want and need and then share that information with them:if you know you need things to move fast and they prefer a slower pace, prepare to slow down and ask them to prepare to speed up.
  • Learn to admire the differences of others:If you really want to make your work environment more pleasant, adapt to meet the needs of others – you need them for their differences.


It is a choice we make in every interaction whether to adapt to the other or not. I notice when I am in a good place and conscious, it’s easy. When I am not in a good place and choose not to adapt, I may just be the jerk. As my friend Sammye says, “I try, and I like that about myself!”


Emily Bass inspires great leadership using assessment-based strategies forExecutive CoachingEssential Skills Workshops and her one-of-a-kind Adventure Leadership Summit. Join Emily on Facebook, LinkedIn and stay connected by reading her Blog.

Are you aware of how others perceive you?

Are you aware of how others perceive you?

Many people think they know how they impact others but do they really?


See if you can identify the different behavioral styles in yourself and your coworkers simply by being observant of how each enters the office each morning…


  1. Style 1 slips in, goes right to their desk and gets to work.
  2. Style 2 greets every person at their desk and socializes with those willing.
  3. Style 3 jumps right into a work conversation without a greeting or acknowledgement if the other person is available.
  4. Style 4 passively checks to make sure everyone is ok and if he or she can do anything for anyone.


Are you aware of how others perceive you?

Are you able to recognize elements of yourself and others in these scenarios? Can you see how style 1, for example, might be impacted by styles 2, 3, and 4? For instance, if style 2 comes in and interrupts style 1, how do you think it will impact their work environment?
Let’s use the example of a meeting:


  1. Style 1 tends to be early or on time, has a notebook and quietly takes a seat. They do not say much unless asked and the response is factual and backed up by data and resources.
  2. Style 2 talks on the way into the meeting, through the meeting, and as they leave the meeting. They will hang around to socialize and will bring enthusiasm and fun to the meeting. They have big picture ideas and will leave the details to others.
  3. Style 3 gets right to the point, moves things quickly, interrupts those who speak slowly and concisely, and are not afraid to challenge ideas and think out of the box.
  4. Style 4 brings inclusion and steadiness to the meeting, making sure everyone is heard and often becomes a natural mediator. They will be sure to take notes and share.


Do you recognize elements of yourself and your coworkers in these examples?


We are all a blend of these styles and we all have a dominant style that is easily observable by others. Each style brings benefits and challenges to work relationships as well as brings value to the meeting and team. Each style impacts other styles in opportunistic ways.


In my coaching and my workshops, I see people and relationships transform when awareness and acceptance of different behavioral styles is present.


Action Step: Pay attention to that Are you aware of how others perceive you by noticing how your behavioral style impacts others and how other’s styles impact you.

Emily Bass inspires great leadership using assessment-based strategies forExecutive Coaching ,Essential Skills Workshops and her one-of-a-kind Adventure Leadership Summit. Join Emily on Facebook, LinkedIn and stay connected by reading her Blog.

Millennials: Entitled or Evolved

Millennials: Entitled or Evolved?

Millennials: Entitled or Evolved?

I appreciate Millennials for pioneering a new work environment and embracing how the world has evolved.

In my experience managing, being managed by, counseling, coaching, training and parenting Millennials, here are my own generalizations about this generation:

·     They are unabashedly open to the differences in themselves and others.

·     They don’t settle for a job; they require their work have meaning and impact.

·     They expect proportional compensation to their time and talent.

·     They care about people, the environment, and the future.

·     They take advantage of opportunities to focus on self-actualization.

·     They view professional development as a natural part of their career.

·     They are more concerned about being good rather than being seen as good.

·     They are collaborative rather than competitive.

·     They are opportunists—but not necessarily at the expense of others.

As I see it, Millennials are simply taking advantage of the opportunities other generations have made available to them. Each new generation has the opportunity to do more because they have more. Each generation is doing more – it’s just that the more differs from the previous generation’s more Millennials: Entitled or Evolved.

So why is this generation labeled entitled when they’re simply doing as they’ve been encouraged to do?


A good example of how the needs of each generation has evolved is in what my friend Adam said to his father about his own children:

“Dad, just because you had to walk to school uphill, both ways, doesn’t mean my kids are lazy for taking the bus.”

Mark Snow, VP Program Development at Assessments 24×7 points out that Millennials are far from lazy, they are opportunists – just as every generation has been. Each has taken advantage of the opportunities the generation before made available, as they should.

In short, Mark uses Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to highlight the focus for each generation:

– The Silent generation sought the basic physiological needs such as food.

– The Boomers sought security and love.

– The Gen Xers sought influence and esteem.

– Now, because they have food, security, love, influence, confidence and esteem – the Millennials have the opportunity to focus on deeper connection, meaning, and self-actualization.

So, does this mean Millennials are entitled or evolved?

I say we celebrate evolving from foraging for food and water to foraging to quench our passion. Let’s celebrate the courage and tenacity of previous generations and encourage up and coming generations to take advantage of feeling safe and loved, confident and capable.

To quote Mark Snow, “…[Millennials: Entitled or Evolved?] don’t need to be figured out. They need to be given the keys.”

I encourage you to read his full article on LinkedIn: “Millennials: Entitled or Evolved?: I’m p sure they’re ready for the big stage, TBH. But are we?


Emily Bass inspires great leadership by seeing the potential in others and helping them move forward among the challenges of the work place and in learning environments. She is currently fulfilling her passion to make the dreams of others come true though her Adventure Leadership Summit, Assessment-based Executive Coaching and Essential Skills Workshops.

Part 6: Communication When Coaching An Athlete Versus Coaching An Executive

Coaching An Athlete Versus Coaching An Executive

Photo by Shiro Hatori

Communication When Coaching An Athlete Versus Coaching An Executive

Establishing Communication

Communication is probably the single most important skill I work on with clients.  No matter the type of coaching, establishing communication with clear meaning and intention is vital for success.


Developing key words and phrases that hold pre-established meaning adds great value in any coaching relationship. One example in ski coaching includes creating easily repeatable code words to be used while the skier is moving down the mountain. Using the word “fold” communicates to the skier to begin flexing at the ankles and knees.  Establishing the word “fold” and its meaning was done in the learning part of the coaching process; creating an efficient way to communicate while moving down the hill.


Executives also benefit from creating key words to use when entering situations with pressure or conflict. I worked with one administrative who recited “listen” during staff meetings – he became regarded as a great listener.  When working with a very dynamic and fast paced administrative needing lots of space to formulate clear thoughts, we established she would use the code word “processing” so I knew when to let long silences pass in support of her flow of thought Coaching An Athlete Versus Coaching An Executive.


Coaching Skills

The executive coach uses process skills instead of subject matter expertise to develop an executive’s soft skills.  The executive coach uses the process of questioning, listening, and reflecting what the executive already knows.  This process empowers the administrative to unleash existing knowledge in a way that moves them toward their self-identified goals.


The sports coach most often has the ability to  physically demonstrate or play back a video of the athlete and compare unwanted  movement to wanted movement. This tool isn’t readily used in the executive world because the new skills being developed are often more introspective rather than extro-spective. Sports coaches, most often, have physically experienced what they are teaching and are able to use that experience to communicate verbally and/or physically with the athletes.  In contrast, the executive coach may or may not have the same job skills as the executive. The point being, soft skills are soft skills and are experienced by all.


Another important difference when coaching in the executive world is that the leader may not be the sole content expert and tends to be more of a generalist who not only needs to grasp what others are doing but needs to learn from them as well. This opens a new dimension of communication in the executive world that isn’t necessarily there in the sports coaching world.


Roles of the Coach

The role of each type of coach also presents a difference that effects communication:

The ski coach is teaching whereas the executive coach is partnering.

The ski coach is telling whereas the executive coach is listening.

The ski coach is more often developing new skills whereas the executive coach is more often fostering already present skills and creating an environment for self-awareness.

As a result of these differences, the communication is different. Ultimately, the sports coach assesses the student whereas the executive coach supports the executive to assess him or her self.


The similarity for both coaches is in creating awareness and action for improvement.


Whether with the executive or the athlete, a learning environment impacts communication. I identify as a doer more than a thinker and prefer a quicker communication style. Recently though, in a learning situation, I became more thoughtful and detail oriented. I needed more time to formulate my answers. The experience was a good reminder of the importance of adapting one’s communication style to the receiver – especially in the learning environment for  Coaching An Athlete Versus Coaching An Executive.


In Part 7, we will cover Learning Styles, Personality Styles, and Environment

How can we make the learning from professional development stick?

learning from professional development stick?

Learning from professional development stick?

I was recently asked by the CFO of a tech company, How can we make the learning from the professional development events we do, stick? So I went ahead and wrote this article…

Check out this article on LinkedIn: How can we make the learning from Professional Development Stick