The Battle Between Healthy and Toxic Workplaces

(Interpersonal Skills, Leadership) Permanent link
05.24.16 Hazmat

An interesting juxtaposition has developed -- the simultaneous focus in the world of work on toxic workplaces and creating positive work environments.

Our book on toxic workplaces and the subsequent training we created on how to avoid becoming a toxic workplace (or survive one you are currently in) are growing in popularity and interest. And I am asked more and more to speak to professional associations and write on the topic.

At the same time, there is a growing body of literature on how to create a positive workplace environment (sometimes labeled as workplace culture or climate).

One might mistakenly conclude that the two types of work settings are just opposites of one another:

  • If you create a positive atmosphere, the workplace won't be toxic, OR
  • If a work environment isn't toxic, then it must be a positive environment.

Neither conclusion is necessarily true. Why?  Because a truly toxic workplace is comprised of more than negativity alone (poor communication, dysfunctional patterns, lack of accountability). Similarly, there can still be lot of unhealthy communication, decision-making and leadership even when people relate in a cheerful manner. Read more...

Personal Foundation: Extending Boundaries

(Interpersonal Skills, Leadership, Communication) Permanent link

04.05.16 BoundryThis article is the fourth part of a 10-part series that is designed to guide you in building a foundation that will support you in your professional and personal goals. If you have been following the series you will know that we have already covered three issues. If we can stop losing energy to unresolved issues, if we can truly operate authentically when we have restored integrity and we have the confidence, personal power and attractiveness that comes with getting our needs met we have really begun to set the foundation for a strong career and life.

The next step is to establish or extend boundaries.

Boundaries are imaginary lines we establish around ourselves to protect us from the unhealthy or damaging behavior of others. I touched on this concept briefly in the discussion about needs. In any sizable population of people there will be a number of individuals whose behavior can be unhealthy or damaging. In my time as a Club Manager and my years as a Coach working with Clubs, I found that Clubs are not an exception to this rule. If you manage a Club where there are no members or staff members who have displayed these kinds of behaviors, please contact me. I would love to talk to you. The reality is that you will have to deal with them and some protection is needed or it is easy to become resentful, defensive and less effective. Read more...


Appreciation by Managers Isn’t Enough

(Interpersonal Skills, Leadership) Permanent link

08_04_15_175wMost employee recognition programs place a lot, if not all, of the responsibility for recognizing good work of their team members squarely on the shoulders of managers or supervisions. This is unfortunate and, actually, creates unwanted negative effects. Read more...

In the Name of Customer Service

(Interpersonal Skills) Permanent link

7_28_15_175wDid you know that you are 33 percent more likely to increase someone’s customer service experience by simply saying their name? Like most people, I enjoy hearing someone use my name. It makes me feel appreciated and respected. This is the same feeling I want to give to my customers. Read more...

Appreciating Your Staff Makes Good Business Sense

(Interpersonal Skills) Permanent link

5_28_15_175wEvery good hospitality manager knows that their club experience is only as good as the employees that run it. The time and other resources it takes to help qualified employees feel appreciated for their contributions is significant; however, the payoff is worth it and it’s not as hard as one would think. Read more...

Keep Communication Cool at Your Clubs – Avoid the Fire Terms!

(Interpersonal Skills) Permanent link

04_28_15_175wBeing angry makes you human. Being prepared makes you a professional. At your clubs, your staff and especially your members have a different level of freedom to express aggravation.

During moments of striving to resolve miscommunications at your club; certain words are said that can be fuel to an already potentially volatile situation. These words can be harmless in their intention. If emotions are high, when our logic is low, these words can increase defensiveness. These words are called “fire terms,” because they ignite and caused heated emotional stress.

I have had the privilege of working with club professionals for 19 years. Here are some of the fire terms I have heard and the suggestions recommended to avoid them.  Read more...

Leadership Boldness – The New Gamechanger Skill

(Interpersonal Skills, Leadership) Permanent link

4_2_15_175wAll great leaders, whether in the current arena, or throughout history, have one thing in common – their willingness to take risks and be different. Essentially, being bold! Emerging leaders and executives come across articles and studies, many of which reinforce the importance bold leadership, but how exactly does one do it? What does it take to be a bold leader? Let’s take a look. Read more...

Another Way to Experience Coaching

(Interpersonal Skills) Permanent link

03_24_15_175wIn 2003 I was asked to develop a coaching program that could enhance the professionalism and security of managers, and enhance the lives that they brought to their clubs. When I was asked to create something that could benefit many thousands of people, it seemed like a daunting task. The traditional way to coach people was to have one-on-one coaching sessions that were half an hour to an hour long.  Read more...

This information is provided for informational purposes only. The contents are presented with no warranty, either expressed or implied by the Club Managers Association of America. No legal responsibility is assumed for the outcome of decisions, commitments or obligations made on the basis of this information. If your club is faced with a question concerning legal issues, you should contact the club’s legal counsel for the specific application of the law to your situation.