COVID-19: What have you learned? What will you change? How can I help?

damir-spanic-cMe5lwooOig-unsplashCOVID-19 has been a kick in the butt for many businesses. Some are not sure if they will make it. Others have tightened down the hatches and believe they can ride out the storm. Others are actively pursuing new opportunities to thrive on the other side. Remember the old saying: “Never let a crisis go to waste.”

Whether it’s survive or thrive, every company should ask where they rank on the continuum of flexible versus agile. What’s the difference? Flexibility means adapting to circumstances beyond your control. On the other hand, companies who are agile proactively change to take advantage of opportunities on the other side.  Where is your company on the continuum of flexible versus agile?

If you’re not sure, I have a few questions that can start the conversation:

  1. Describe what the new normal looks like on the other side of COVID for your industry and market?
  2. Based on your answer to the first question, what changes do you need to make now to set you up for success for the new normal?

As an example, some businesses believe virtual meetings will be a greater part of the new normal. How well do your people communicate in the virtual realm? Communicating virtually has specific nuances you need to be aware of and manage to ensure that it’s as powerful in person as it is across a computer connection. Communication is 55% body language, 38% tone of voice, and 7% words. How you set up your environment for a visual call can also makes a huge difference in how you’re perceived. Do your people know what changes they need to make to shine?

Leadership coaching and consulting can help prepare your team to be the best version of themselves for the new normal. Let’s have a conversation on what post-COVID might look like for your business, so we can set you and your team up for success.

About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at or by visiting her website at


How Leadership “Addiction” Impacts Team Performance Through a Crisis


When most people hear of addiction in the workplace, they think of drugs, alcohol, and maybe the overuse of technology where employees can’t seem to separate from their iPhones. Outside of work, people have addictions to shopping, love, food, and gambling. Regardless of the addiction, they have one thing in common—all provide a hit of one or more of the feel-good chemicals of serotonin, oxytocin, endorphins, and dopamine.

Our decisions in how to seek out these pleasure chemicals have a profound effect on what our leadership looks and feels like, not only to us, but to the teams we lead. Each chemical is triggered and released into our bloodstream in a different way. Some are self-serving and others selfless, and the balance we seek as leaders will shape company culture and how we lead out of a crisis. As a leader, what pleasure chemicals are you addicted to?

Sinek (2017) discusses how endorphins are the survival chemicals that help mask pain and keep us going even when we think we can’t go any farther. In this high-stress, performance-driven business world, endorphins have a powerful influence in mitigating cortisol. The dopamine high is the reward we receive after accomplishing an important task—it motivates us to keep trying to achieve a defined goal. Dopamine and endorphins are chemical highs that don’t require interaction with others.

On the opposite end of the pleasure-seeking continuum are the selfless chemicals that make us feel valued and keep teams feeling they’re in the Circle of Safety (Sinek, 2017). Serotonin is also known as the leadership chemical—making us feel strong and confident knowing someone likes or respects us based on our decisions and behaviors. Oxytocin, more commonly thought of as the “love” chemical, increases our empathy, makes us social, and expands our generosity, which in turn creates bonds of trust and friendship.

Where leaders choose to get their chemical fix influences company culture, their effectiveness, and how their teams ultimately feel about them. During a business crisis, it’s highly unlikely that a leader can single-handedly lead a company through it. It takes a dedicated team, who feels part of the Circle of Safety, to work tirelessly for their leader as they successfully pull through the crisis. Those leaders, who inspire that level of commitment, are likely those with a significant level of serotonin and oxytocin running through their veins.

Which chemicals are you addicted to? What re-balancing do you need to make? How will you lead differently?


Sinek, S. (2017). Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. Penguin Group: New York, NY

About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at or by visiting her website at

6 Sales Steps to Move Forward During a Business Crisis

cytonn-photography-n95VMLxqM2I-unsplashThe sales team is the frontline to revenue generation. When a crisis comes, and COVID-19 has certainly been a global business tsunami, the big question is: “How will the salesforce respond as customers cancel orders or stop purchasing.” Most will initially respond by hanging their heads low, throwing their hands up in the air, or mumbling there’s little they can do—a form of paralysis. Their leaders drive on self-preservation decisions and focus their energy on cost cutting in the form of furloughs or layoffs. These organizational responses divert the focus away from the customer, and customers are the only way a business will survive and thrive through the crisis.

Sales Team Mindset

What can companies do to lead through the crisis? Stop blaming, criticizing, and making excuses about COVID-19 and what it’s doing to its business. Why? Because it shows a lack of having a 100% responsibility mindset. Those with a 100% responsibility mindset don’t blame, criticize and make excuses. They focus positive energy on what they can do to move forward.

What can you do? Create a vision of what your company will look like on the other side of the crisis. Feed the vision with positive energy and affirmation. Every crisis creates opportunity for something new, so focus on being part of the “bigger and better.”

Sales Team Next Steps

Below are 6 steps a sales team can deploy to make the new vision a reality:

  1. Make a list of attributes (knowledge, solutions, and skills) that your business and sales team can bring to your customers. Sometimes you need to be your own champion and remind yourself of how good you are and the value you offer.
  2. Get in front of your customers (in person, video, phone calls, and follow-up texts). Let them know you are thinking about them on a human level during these times of crisis. Show some empathetic listening. Let them know they’re not forgotten just because they’re not ordering.
  3. Ask questions! Open-ended questions! Ask them what they are wrestling with. What’s unknown? What new problems are they focused on solving? What information do they need to know and now?
  4. Share how you can help them solve their problems. Get out your list (in your mind) from step 1 and start sharing, discussing, and asking more questions to see where the conversation goes.
  5. Put another appointment on your calendar to reach out again and repeat steps 1-4. And don’t let too much time go by.
  6. Bonus Step: Don’t hesitate to reach out to new customers. Some of those attributes from your list may be desperately needed with customers who don’t know you or who haven’t seen you in awhile.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach and business consultant with an extensive background in leadership and sales. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can engage Sandra as your coach by reaching out to

6 Tips in Leading a Remote Team Via Virtual Meetings


COVID-19 has forced individuals and teams into a new structure of working—remote. Some have already mastered the art of virtual operations, while many others haven’t yet. Even those experts in scheduling, navigating, and sharing documents on Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and WebEx, are now part of teams where members are less experienced at maneuvering in this virtual world.

Virtual meetings have become a practical tool to continue the work by those healthy enough to do so while keeping them safe. Frequent video meetings can be used to help everyone feel included, aligned, and moving toward their goals. Leading a successful virtual team meeting during these unprecedented times is an important skill and somewhat different than leading an in-person meeting in normal times.

Leaders who are leading a remote team via video call meetings should consider the following:

  1. Invest time learning the virtual meeting technology so you waste less team time learning the mechanics on the job. You will also become a resource for other team members. Practice with other family members at home to gain proficiency.
  2. Schedule time to connect with other team members before the start of the agenda. Have everyone share one funny or positive event. Let everyone know they are welcome to join at any time during the first 15 minutes which will be more social and a time to check-in.
  3. Now more than ever it’s necessary to create an agenda and issue it prior to the meeting so the group is clear on what will be discussed and how they can effectively prepare.
  4. Plan virtual meetings that are shorter and more interactive and save information sharing for email and text.
  5. Encourage use of the video component of the meeting so everyone can see faces and make it feel more like a face-to-face meeting. Studies show that how we communicate is 7% words, 38% tone of voice, and 55% body language. Video allows us to more clearly understand the message.
  6. Review and eliminate non-value add meetings. Many meetings have ceased to bring the value they once did. They served their purpose and now might be the right time to retire them. Turning a routine meeting into a virtual meeting can sometimes give you the perspective on its true value.

Some studies forecast that after COVID-19 runs its course, more people will be working remotely than ever before. Develop your skills now, and you will be in a better position to lead your remote team members well.

About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at or by visiting her website at

What’s Your Listening Score?

mimi-thian-lp1AKIUV3yo-unsplashListening is a powerful communication skill that affects your leadership influence and relationships. When you listen well, people notice. Why? Because most people don’t practice good listening. Instead, they typically focus on being heard.

Ribbers and Waringa (2015) define seven levels of listening which are:

  1. Continually interrupts people, impatient when listening, wants to hear him- or herself talk, doesn’t get to the point easily
  2. Restrains him- or herself enough to listen but with visible signs of impatience, prefers to talk about own experiences
  3. Listens to others, polite and observes standard conversational etiquette, reactive conversational partner, doesn’t actively draw out others to talk
  4. Lets others talk, asks for clarifications, prefers to keep conversations about business
  5. Always takes the time to willingly listen, comes across as interested in the other person, gives appropriate feedback
  6. Gets people talking, exchanges information, listens well to others while giving natural responses, asks questions to get to the heart of the subject
  7. Expresses sensitivity to the needs of others, makes time for people, asks questions to clarify, gives feedback, shows involvement

We can’t always listen at a level seven, and frankly, not all conversations require a seven. However, we should be holistically aware of where we tend to operate and decide whether we need to focus on improving our listening skill. These listening definitions can also help us identify which conversations require which level of listening in order to improve the outcome for both speaker and listener. With a defined scale as reference, it’s easier to target and measure improvement.


Ribbers, A., & Waringa, A. (2015). E-Coaching: Theory and Practice for a New Online Approach to Coaching. New York, NY: Routledge.

About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at or visiting her website at

Leadership Ideas Worth Sharing

 When a leader get better, everyone wins!


Global Leadership Summit was packed with a wealth of leadership principles, strategies, tactics, and messages delivered from an all-star leadership faculty. If you missed the speakers, I’ve captured some key highlights. Read through these concepts and decide which ones resonate with you. Which ones might you want to put into action?

Craig Groeschel (Co-founder and Senior Pastor, Life Church)

  • Leaders have influence. Everyone has influence, so everyone is a leader. Leaders can learn from anyone.
  • False assumption: better always costs more. The truth: investing more eventually gives a diminishing return. Leaders look for ways to bend the curve by increasing value with lower costs.
  • Practice GETMO: Good Enough To Move On. Perfection is often the enemy of progress.
  • Think inside the box. Constraints drive creativity by eliminating options.
  • You have everything you need to do everything you are called to do.
  • If you had everything you wanted, you might miss what you really need.
  • Burn the ships: eliminate options to turn back.
  • If you commit to the what and are consumed with the why, you’ll figure out the how.

Bozoma Saint John (CMO, Endeavor)

  • Creating company culture is 100% everyone’s responsibility.
  • Show up in your most brilliant, authentic self.

Ben Sherwood (Former Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks)

  • The speed of change can be daunting for leadership, and leader cannot be afraid to lose.
  • Leaders in crisis need to know:
    • The study of asymmetrical conflict shows that the stronger side wins when conventional tactics are used in conventional conflict; whereas, unconventional tactics win 63% of the time in unconventional conflict.
    • The theory of 10/80/10: in a crisis, 10% if the people will emerge as leaders, 80% will freeze and wait for someone to tell them what to do, and 10% will engage in negative behavior.
  • Leadership secret: unlock team performance by “connecting”

Liz Bohannon (Co-founder & Co-CEO, Sseko Designs)

  • Beginner’s Luck is the supposed phenomenon of novices experiencing success; wheres, Beginner’s Pluck is spirited and determined courage.
  • Good leaders turn the stages of learning into a continuous cycle:
    • unconscious incompetence: you don’t know what you don’t know
    • conscious incompetence: ouch, you know what you don’t know
    • conscious competence: I can do it, but it takes effort
    • unconscious competence: I’m so good I can do this in my sleep. Good
  • Leaders don’t choose comfort.
  • You’re never going to find your passion; you’re going to build it.
  • Dream small, not big. Small dreams have a surprising power. Dreaming small will allow you to take the next step.
  • Leaders are not the heroes for others but help others be the heroes of their own life.

Jason Dorsey (#1 Rated Gen Z & Millennial Researcher & Speaker)

The Center of Generational Kinetics is the #1 generational research and consulting center studying the WHY behind the behaviors.

  • Parenting styles and natural relationships with technology are the only two parameters that shape generations.
    • Parenting influences everything. Entitlement is a learned behavior, reinforced in schools, and now culturally acceptable.
    • Technology is only new if you have the reference of remembering what it was like before.
  • Generations are not defined by chronological years but predictable behavioral changes. Cuspers are in between behavioral changes.
  • Millennials are the largest generation currently in the workforce and the only generation to split into two segments (Mega-llennials and Me-llennials). Many are experiencing significant delays in real-world traction (adulting): marriage, jobs/careers, and parenthood. By age 30, the two Millennial population segment can no longer relate to each other.
  • Millennials are tech dependent, not tech savvy.
  • Gen-X are squeezed between taking care of parents and kids, naturally skeptical, and are typically the glue of the organization.
  • Boomers know geography, define and measure work output in hours/week, believe there are no shortcuts to success, and are focused on policies and procedures.
  • Gen Z’s parents are Gen X or older Millennials. Their philosophy to parenting is you will not end up like those entitled Millennials. Gen Z are practical with money, shop in thrift stores, and in some cases are leap frogging Millennials.
  • Leadership tips to manage the Gen Z: (1) provide specific examples of the performance you expect—how it looks, (2) drive on the outcome—they do not think linearly—show the end first, and (3) provide quick-hit feedback.
  • Every generation brings something to the table and all generations lead.

Danielle Strickland (Pastor, Author, Justice Advocate)

  • Leaders not just survive but are part of transformational change.
  • Transformational change starts with your beliefs. Beliefs shape values which leads to action and then results. A leader’s beliefs are the roots from which everything grows. Is it true what you believe? Or is it faulty?
  • Stages of transformational change: (1) comfortable, (2) unsettled and disruptive, (3) chaos (scary and exciting), (4) less scared/more exciting, and (5) new normal.
  • Embrace the process of change. Disruption is not a threat but an invitation to a new normal. And leaders should not be afraid to ask for help.

Devon Franklin (CEO, Franklin Entertainment)

  • BE YOU: own and cultivate your own recipe for success versus stealing someone else’s.
  • The key to leadership is the struggle with our difference, because our difference is our destiny. Difference can be painful, because sometimes it’s hard to stand out. Your difference looks good on you. Own who you are.
  • Keep differences sharp and not sanded down. Your difference is your key to enter into your destiny.
  • Stop being quiet, use your voice. Resist the exchange for what makes you different with what is common in order to fit in.
  • Don’t be afraid of discomfort. Discomfort means you are on the right path. Don’t retreat, keep going.
  • How to own your difference: (1) admit you are different, (2) do not confuse someone else’s distinctiveness for your own, (3) hang with those who encourage your difference, and (4) be salt and light. Shake your creativity on others and take your light where it is dark and where no one else will go.
  • Your difference makes a difference.

Patrick Lencioni (CEO, The Table Group, and Best-selling Author)

  • Leadership is a privilege. You need to know your “why” to be the leader. If you don’t know your why, your “how” won’t matter. What is the motivation behind why you want to lead?
  • There are two types of leader motivations: servant leader and reward-based.
  • Reward-centered leaders have common behaviors of abdicating responsibility and delegating what only they should do, and this hurts people. Characteristics of the reward-centered leader: (1) avoids and pushes uncomfortable conversations onto others, (2) doesn’t coach direct reports, (3) is unaware of what the team is working on, (4) doesn’t align the team, (5) runs poor meetings which lead to poor decisions, (6) avoids team building because not comfortable with emotions, and (7) under communicates.
  • Servant leadership is the only kind of leadership. If you are the reward-centered leader, do the right thing by either leaning into leadership or resigning.

Chris Voss (Former FBI Hostage Negotiator, CEO of The Black Swan Group)

  • If the words “I want …” or “I need …” are coming out of your mouth, you are negotiating.
  • Negotiation is a learned skill.
  • Negotiation is about connecting and collaborating. Tactical empathy—everyone wants to be heard and understood. Empathy—understand where people are coming from and communicating that to them.
  • Listening is a martial art. Mirroring is tactical listening and responding to the other person. Effective pauses give people the chance to respond.
  • Calibrate to a “no” versus a forced “yes”. When a person can say “no” they feel emotionally safe and protected and are able to continue in the negotiation.
  • The words “that’s right …” continues the conversation; whereas, “you’re right …” stops the conversation. The fastest way to end a conversation is to say, “You’re right.”
  • If you are “likeable”, you are 6 times more likely to make a deal.
  • You want to understand why someone is asking for something. “What makes you want that?” is a better question than “Why do you want that?”
  • When a negotiation is slipping away, you want to say, “It doesn’t feel like I’ve earned your trust.” This keeps the negotiation going.
  • Ask HOW questions, because it gets people thinking.
  • Genuine curiosity is the counter for when fear creeps into the negotiation.

Aja Brown (Mayor of Compton, California)

  • Vision is the vehicle to creating momentum
  • Collaboration is the momentum multiplier to move on mission

Jia Jiang (Best-selling Author, Entrepreneur)

Concepts in how to use or interpret rejection:

  • Rejection is a numbers game. Ask enough times and eventually someone will say yes.
  • Rejection is the opinion of the rejecter only.
  • Rejection is an opportunity for growth. When you embrace rejection, you gain confidence.

Todd Henry (Founder of Accidental Creative and Leadership Consultant)

  • Creative professionals are prolific, brilliant, and healthy. If you are missing one component you poor results:
    • Prolific + Brilliant – Healthy = Fried
    • Healthy + Brilliant – Prolific = Unreliable
    • Prolific + Healthy – Brilliant = Fired
  • Leading your teams on two dimensions: (1) stability (clarity + protection) and (2) challenge (permission + faith). Based on these two dimensions, teams can be categorized into one of four groups:
    • Angry: high challenge/low stability
    • Lost: low challenge/low stability
    • Stuck: low challenge/high stability
    • Thrive: high challenge/high stability
  • Leaders will be rewarded with the best work of their team, if they can move members into the thriving category.
  • Trust is the currency of a creative team. Leaders forfeit trust by declaring things that are undeclarable and being a superhero.
  • Leaders move from leading by control to leading to influence. Focus on bounded autonomy—principles under which to do work.

Krish Kandiah (Founder, Home for Good)

  • Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.

Jo Sexton (Author, Leadership Coach)

  • U.S. organizations are facing a burnout crisis.
  • Fifty percent of CEOs feel lonely, and 60% say loneliness affects their leadership.
  • Questions every leader should be asking themselves: (1) who were you before people told you who you were, (2) what would your body say if it could talk to you, and (3) who are your people?

Bear Grylls (Adventurer, Writer, and TV Host)

  • The first failure gives you freedom.
  • Our fears make us real and relatable.
  • True wealth is found in our relationships.

Craig Groeschel (Co-founder and Senior Pastor, Life Church)

  • Kindness changes people. The fastest way to change people’s minds is to connect with their hearts.
  • Knowledge alone rarely leads to action. Knowledge leads to conclusions, and emotions leads to action. Three important questions: what do I want them to know, feel, and do?
  • Share stories purposefully. Stories stick, but facts fade. We have two processors: emotional and logical. Emotional is the default processor. When you use a story, you connect the heart of emotions to the strength of the logical—igniting a power action. “Let me tell you a story…” is an opener that gets people’s attention.
  • Choose words deliberately, because the words you choose determine the emotions people will feel. When crafting vision and values, use powerful words.
  • Share vulnerability deliberately but don’t overshare. We may impress people with our strengths, but we connect through our weaknesses. Show people what’s in your heart. People would rather follow a leader who is real versus right.

About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by reaching out to her at or by visiting her website at

The Power of Cognitive Diversity to Solve Problems

cognitive diversity

Inclusion & Diversity is a hot topic in today’s business environment that holds the underlying belief that diversity will result in better decisions and outcome. The inherent thinking is that diversity, as embraced in the components of age, gender, and ethnicity, will provide different perspectives, points of view, and approaches that will enhance a company’s ability to solve problems and grow. The concept sounds logical, but surprisingly, research doesn’t support that differences in age, gender, and ethnicity, by itself, contribute to higher team performance. Reynolds and Lewis (2017) found that demographic diversity had no correlation with team performance.

The research found that the highest performing teams had diversity in perspectives and methods of processing information when working with new, uncertain, and complex problems (Reynolds & Lewis, 2017). Referred to as Cognitive Diversity, what the best performing teams had in common were the: (1) ability to leverage existing and generate new knowledge and (2) preference to use their own expertise and put into effect the know-how and ideas of others.

There’s a high positive correlation of cognitive diversity with performance, which is independent of education, culture, and other social conditioning (Reynolds & Lewis, 2017). A person’s cognitive approach is an internal trait that’s hard to identify in the hiring process, so companies typically focus on other attributes. Unfortunately, people have a tendency to bring others aboard who think and express themselves the same way as they do. It’s also not uncommon for those who think and reason differently than the prevailing culture to suppress their different ways of looking at things in order to fit in and be part of the team.

Successful companies encourage cognitive diversity by making it safe for their employees to express their natural cognitive tendencies and authentic selves. With authenticity and leadership as two of my top five core values, I truly believe that servant leaders lead with authenticity and help others lead with theirs as well.


Reynolds, A., Lewis, D. (2017). Team Solves Problems Faster When They’re More Cognitively Diverse. Harvard Business Review

About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at or by visiting her website at


Why Innovative Businesses Offer Coaching for All Professionals

Coaching Has Power

Competition drives businesses to innovative—but innovation isn’t just for the products and services they market. Innovation also includes how companies get the product to market. With “people operations” being a large cost to the bottom line, businesses are looking for ways to reduce pay or get more productivity from their employees. With change comes opportunities as well as challenges. With a changing mix of generational work preferences and soft skills, business leadership should be asking how the increase in remote working, competition for talent, and managerial coaching will affect their profitability in the future.

Remote Working

In more recent history, the open-floor plan with cubicles and few closed-door offices exploded throughout corporate America, touted by consultants as the next best thing to sliced bread as far as office design went. C-Suite took their bait on the selling points of innovation and productivity. How that concept passed any reasonableness test still baffles me today, but it’s easily explained as a cost reduction exercise in rent per employee under the disguise of collaboration. Open floors drove people to mediate their circumstances by either working from their home office or donning headphones to block noise and distracting hallway conversations. I would argue that employee collaboration took a step back, as technology allowed employees to work more remotely and independently.

Some employees who enjoy the freedom of working from a home office express feel less connected from their co-workers. Without face-to-face engagement, relationship bonds can weaken, and in many cases, remote employees never forge a relationship with new employees. Remote staff have limited opportunities for casual conversations in the break room while grabbing a cup of coffee or in the conference room before a meeting. Connection is built in small interactions over time and keeps the team accountable to each other.

Generational Work Preferences

Technology has enabled people to isolate themselves while working remotely. Even when a boss requires an employee to work in a cubicle, email and SharePoint allow one to communicate without a verbal conversation. Need to learn something new? YouTube probably has an instructional video.

Effective communication requires one to use all parts: words, tone of voice, and body language. Did you know that words comprised only 7% of the message? How much is lost in translation when one primarily uses email and other forms of word-based technology to convey messages.

A teacher recently shared that with every incoming 4th grade class, the students resist more and more when asked to work in groups. They beg to do the assignment by themselves. What happened to the days when the teacher announced a group project, and the kids responded by raising their hands and pleading who they could work with. Are soft skills under attack and underdeveloped based on the technology advances?

Managerial Coaching

Technology has also shifted the responsibilities of supervisors by pushing more administrative duties onto their plates. Managers had to make room for these tasks, and in some cases, even added work assignments to the mix for the sake of increased productivity. What would you think was prioritized out of their day? If you answered, “time coaching their team and helping their direct reports be successful,” you’d be correct. Managers would like to spend 25% of their time coaching, yet many have no time left over other than to make sure the work gets done.

A Professional Coach Is One Solution

How will businesses respond to the changing work climate? They can certainly restructure work and put coaching at the forefront of a manager’s responsibilities. Given the prolonged impact of technology, some managers have never developed the skill of coaching or perhaps need a refresher. A professional coach can help a manager learn to be a better coach for his or her team.

A second option is to make business and leadership coaching available as an investment for all professional employees. In the past, coaching has been reserved for top executives, but the benefits of coaching can be leveraged at any level so long as someone wants to be coached. Many employees like the confidentiality afforded in a coaching relationship and feel less vulnerable asking for help from a coach as opposed to their direct manager.

Coaching Can Be Justified

Companies offer tuition reimbursement, training, and other educational options as a benefit to attract talent. Many also budget for personnel development. How much does your company spend per person on employee education and training? Coaching can be a value-add to this portfolio. Personalized coaching is a win-win and can be a company differentiator in attracting top talent, because it sends the message that we value you and want to invest in you if you are willing to invest in yourself.

About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at or by visiting her website at



Why You Should Take the Myers-Briggs Preference Test

Myers-BriggsYou may have heard people share their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) 4-letter code and wondered (1) what would it measure about me and (2) how could I use the information. MBTI measures how a person prefers to (1) take in or gather information, (2) make decisions and come to conclusions, (3) direct and receive energy, and (4) organize and approach the world. Although people routinely choose behaviors opposite of their natural preferences, knowledge of preferences can explain the source of personal satisfaction and discord among colleagues and family. The power of preferences allows people to make more informed choices.

What Does MBTI Measure?

MBTI measures aspects of your core personality and how you are naturally wired, independent of your circumstances and environment. With four pairs of opposite dimensions, there are a total of 16 personality combinations. The four opposing personality traits are:

Extroversion (E) – Introversion (I)

[where you get your energy]

Sensing (S) – Intuition (N)

[how you take in information]

Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)

[how you make decisions]

Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)

[how you approach your world]

These four dimensions are used to create your 4-letter preference code. MBTI is a reliable and valid instrument where 2/3 of all people have the same letter designation when they retake it more than once. [Note: I have taken the MBTI in my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s and self-validated as an ENTJ each time.]

How Would I Use My Results?

People use their MTBI results to improve individual performance as well as to work more collaboratively in teams. MBTI can be helpful in a variety of life situations:

  • Work Style
  • Decision-Making
  • Reaction to Stress
  • Communication Style
  • Leadership Style
  • Approach to Change
  • Team Style
  • Conflict Style
  • Career Preferences

With greater self-awareness and understanding of your personal preferences you can:

  • Improve communication and teamwork as you gain awareness of the personality differences you see in others
  • Work more effectively with those who may approach problems and decisions very differently than you
  • Navigate your work and personal relationships with more insight and effectiveness
  • Understand your preference for learning and work cultures and the activities and work you most enjoy
  • More successfully manage every day conflicts and stresses that work and life can bring
  • Achieve greater satisfaction by choosing a job or career that aligns with your preferences

How Can I Learn My Results?

A Certified Myers-Briggs® Administrator can send you a link to take an online survey after determining what report would be of most interest. After you take a 20- to 30-minute survey, the administrator will receive your results, schedule a coaching session to unpack your report, and help you determine how you might want to apply the knowledge.

About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at or by reaching out to her at

Global Leadership Summit 2018: Rasmus Ankersen’s Leadership Points on Complacency

Success - Comfort Zone signpost isolated on white background

Where is Nokia now? At one point it owned nearly 50% of the global smartphone market share. What happened? Did they get complacent? At Global Leadership Summit, Rasmus Ankersen shared several leadership points that may challenge your beliefs in what contributes to success and the role complacency has in business outcomes.

  1. Companies keep themselves relevant and fresh by keeping complacency out. When an organization becomes successful, its fight isn’t necessarily with its competitors but with itself to remain relevant. Sandi asks,Are you fighting complacency? If not, should you be?”
  2. Outcome Bias: The assumption that good results are always the outcome of good decisions and performance, and “everyone” gets what they deserve. Sandi asks, “Are you overconfident in what contributes to your results?”
  3. Success has a huge amount of randomness. Luck is turned into genius when leaders mistakenly confuse good market conditions for good leadership. Sandi asks, “Are you confusing your abilities with luck?”
  4. Never blindly trust success. Treat success with the same skepticism as failure. Sandi asks, “Are you questioning how you became successful? If not, should you?”
  5. A performance center should not be designed for comfort but for hard work. When organizations become successful, sometimes comfort becomes more important than improvement. Sandi asks, “How comfortable is your office environment?”
  6. When organizations become forces in their industry, they should rethink their purpose. By expanding their world, they will make themselves smaller. Sandi asks, “How can you redefine your market or competition in a way that makes you seem smaller?”

Fighting self-complacency when you’re a large competitor in your industry is difficult. Think about AT&T who hesitated to make the transition into cellular telecommunication. If they hadn’t bought Cingular Wireless when they did, they might have ended up like Nokia. My leadership challenge is to “lean into the discomfort,” and never assume you’re as good as you think you are. A heavy spoonful of humility will keep your mind sharp.

About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at or by visiting her website at