Are You Listening to Your Team?

Are You Listening to Your Team?

Written by Corinne Jameson-Kuehl

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understandthey listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen Covey.

We are naturally wired to “listen” to someone speaking for the purpose of answering them or exchanging information.  Often times, we simply need to do that (or what is called Level I listening) but what separates great leaders from leaders is the ability to conversate with the power of listening enveloped with powerful questions to really understand and influence the intent of their culture.

What does it mean to really listen to a person’s words and to respond with the intent of empathy and understanding?

A good place to start is exampled in the book, “Conversational Intelligence” by Judith Glaser where she discusses her method called STAR skills which builds skills that achieve results by first building rapport.  This done by getting on the “same page” with the speaker and then listening without judgment to pay full attention and setting aside any bias or negative thoughts. The listener asks sincere discovery questions with curiosity. Lastly, reinforcing success and dramatizing the message elevates trust with storytelling and encouragement.

How does someone start to create this style of communication in the workplace?  Most owners feel all they do is “put out fires” and have “transactional conversations” when it comes to employee complaints and concerns in the culture.  It seems foreign to consider listening at level II which is advocating and establishing trust in a conversation. Can I trust you to listen to me and is there any possible influence?

The power of silence in level III listening really elevates the partnering and co-discovery process. This is where the change really can occur and success can be achieved more than imagined.  The conversation is “we” centered and team involved.

Examples of powerful questions:

  1. How can we have better accuracy?
  2. As your leader, what can I do specifically to assist you with those goals?
  3. How will you show your effort in establishing a better relationship with your co-worker?
  4. Tell me more about…

The benefits of implementing better listening coupled with powerful questions really encourage the leader to lead without stress by emotional hijacking. This logical exchange builds trust within the culture and employees start to keep themselves accountable and the “Rush for drama” is less and less.  It starts with a leader willing to truly listen with understanding.

Who is the Pot-Stirrer in Your Business?

Who is the Pot-Stirrer in Your Business?

By Corinne (Corey) Jameson-Kuehl

Today, more than ever, people are stressed and our businesses are affected just as much as any other workplace. It seems I am getting calls weekly asking for “how to deal with a toxic team member”…or how to work with someone who simply is negative.

Check yourself first:
During an emotion, are we able to assess how we are feeling in the moment and identify the “pause” to evaluate the response? Perhaps it’s the rude sharp statement from a co-worker or employee. Do we add to the drama by “lashing back” or do we ask for some time to process this and ask to address this concern over the lunch hour, or the following day?

Assess yourself as you present to others:
Are you looking at your boss, employee, a co-worker with grace? Everyone is tired from COVID, politics, and students being home, not home, etc. Regulate the way you look at someone else. Are you empathic to them as you witness their words and actions? Ask questions. What are they struggling with that is making their current situation challenging? Be a present-in-the-moment lister. Find compassionate solutions.

There are always situations where direct communication needs to occur. I certainly do not advocate tolerating abuse or repeated patterns of disrespect. There are certainly times where a patterned behavior needs to be called out and dealt with consequences and an action plan or perhaps the team member needs to be released. The evaluation of how to handle a person’s continued toxicity is to evaluate:

  1. Is this person aware and does not care?
  2. How is this affecting the team’s working environment? For example, does the atmosphere appear “lighter” when they are not there?

Anything that is affecting the culture to the point of physical illness, extreme stressful thoughts, and other employees exciting because they do not want to be with that person is indeed grounds for the direct communication-action plan process.

Let me know if I can help.

“Communication is Everything.” -Lee Iacocca

3 Tips to Improve Poor Employee Engagement

3 Tips to Improve Poor Employee Engagement

We all know that finding new employees takes a lot of time and resources. Keep the team you have engaged and happy, and the effort will pay off in so many ways. 

Jill Meyer-Lippert

The popular job site recently conducted a survey of 1,250 currently employed American adults. The results revealed nearly one in four workers plans to seek a new job with a different employer in 2022. While most reported they want to search for better pay and benefits (50%), next was their desire for a position they feel more passionate about (42%). Of those who are planning employment changes, 61% are already actively applying.1 With the continued labor shortage, 2022 may be a wakeup call for organizations to evaluate what they can do to improve employee retention.

In his book, Employee Leaps: Leveraging Engagement by Applying Positive Strategies, Kevin E. Phillips writes, “When a person is engaged, dedication to their craft, desire to achieve, and relentless commitment to make a difference is palpable. You can see it, hear it, and feel it, and it is contagious!”

While the term employee engagement may be used interchangeably with employee satisfaction or employee happiness, the phrases are different in terms of a company’s success. While happy or satisfied employees may enjoy their workplace, happiness does not necessarily indicate they’re emotionally invested in its success.

Employee engagement, however, describes the level of enthusiasm and commitment workers feel toward their jobs. Their focus is not solely on their paycheck or the next promotion, but rather on the organization’s goals. In short, they are enthusiastically invested in their work and the company.2

Benefits of engaged employees include:3

  • Customer loyalty and engagement
  • Profitability
  • Productivity (sales)
  • Productivity (production records and evaluations)
  • Lower turnover
  • Fewer safety incidents (accidents)
  • Less absenteeism
  • Less shrinkage (theft)
  • Improved quality of work
  • Improved wellbeing (thriving employees)
  • Higher levels of organizational citizenship (participation)

Despite the value of employee engagement for business outcome, I should note that a recent Gallup survey showed a decline for the first time in more than a decade during the second half of 2021, with managers and health-care workers having the steepest drop in engagement.4

How to increase employee engagement4

Clear expectations

Employees reported one of the largest declines was in basic needs, such as knowing what is expected of them, having the right materials and equipment to do their jobs, and opportunities to do what they do best. Reviewing duties and expectations of each role should be an ongoing ritual to best leverage strengths.

Open and frequent communication from leadership

The role of supervisors has become even more important during the pandemic. They must help employees navigate the frequent changes throughout the pandemic, while preserving team morale. Clear messaging from the top helps avoid confusion among team members.

Engage your leaders

Managers who are not engaged in the business cannot effectively lead others. It’s the owner’s responsibility to ensure that leaders receive the information, tools, and support they need to excel. Rather than using energy to find new hires, invest time and attention in your current employees and this will provide immeasurable dividends. Now is the time to focus on employee retention and what your current team needs to feel committed to the success of your practice.


  1. 1 in 4 workers plan on quitting in 2022, as Great Resignation continues. Resume Builder. Updated January 3, 2022.
  2. Kruse K. What is employee engagement? Forbes. June 22, 2012.
  3. Harter JK, Schmidt FL, Agrawal S, Blue A, et al. The relationship between engagement at work and organizational outcomes. October 2020.
  4. Harter J. U.S. employee engagement drops for first year in a decade. Gallup. January 22, 2022.

Why it’s time to deal with employee burnout

Why it’s time to deal with employee burnout

On-the-job burnout—already a problem for many businesses—has become more amplified because of the pandemic. Here’s what can you do to help keep employees motivated.

written by: Jill Meyer-Lippert

What can employers do to stop keep employees motivated and happy?

Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, recently caused a social media stir with his prediction of “the great resignation.” An increasing number of workers are expected to quit their jobs due to “pandemic-related epiphanies”—about family time, remote work, commuting, passion projects, life and death, and what it all means. While some turnover is a normal part of business, many businesses are experiencing staffing needs beyond the norm.

To ebb the flow, it’s important for bosses to learn to recognize signs of employee dissatisfaction and burnout and to develop strategies to reduce the negative impacts on employee health, productivity, and team culture.

How to recognize burnout

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines burnout as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It’s characterized by three dimensions—feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, reduced professional efficacy, and increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job.

Burnout has become a common condition. The 2021 Mind the Workplace report, created by the non-profit organization Mental Health America, measured the perceptions of more than 5,000 employees across 17 industries in the United States about mental health-related issues in the workplace, including burnout. The results were staggering.

The survey shows that nearly 83% of respondents report feeling emotionally drained from their work, while more than 43% of employees agree that they feel more callous toward people since they started their job.

Some common signs of burnout include:

● Reduced productivity
● Absenteeism
● Increasing numbers of errors
● Lack of interest or enthusiasm
● Negative moods and attitudes
● Cynicism toward coworkers

Once burnout is identified, how can leaders intervene in a positive way?

Check in with employees

Take time to ask your employees how things are going. Are team members feeling properly trained and supported? Practice talking with them rather than talking to them. Employees need to feel secure that their replies won’t be dismissed or met with retaliation.

Encourage time off

Vacations and downtime allow team members to recharge and invest in their own physical and mental well-being, and this carries over to make a healthy work environment.

Evaluate pay and benefits

Take an honest look at how your employees are compensated. Are you staying competitive with other businesses in your area?

Focus on team-building

Are your employees having fun? While work needs to be serious at times, nurturing positive relationships between your employees creates a better atmosphere for all. Schedule activities for team members to build trust by getting to know and understand each other better on a personal level.

Exit interviews

Don’t bury your head in the sand. There is great value in asking for feedback from employees who choose to pursue other avenues. If you don’t know that a problem exists, you will not be prepared to prevent it from negatively affecting someone else.

Being mindful of your practice culture and employee happiness can provide countless returns. Creating a supportive environment is an investment in the future success of your team members and company at large.

Be Thankful for Your Personality Type

Keeping political peace within your business

Keeping political peace within your business

While 2020 has provided ample reasons for tensions to run high within businesses, many may feel like the presidential election has added a heightened level of anxiety and potential for conflict. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, of 522 working Americans surveyed in 2019, almost half personally experienced a political disagreement at work.

Between other team members and patients who have differing views, how can we reduce political conflict and stress within the workplace?

Respect that others have a right to not agree with you

Personal experiences, news platforms, and other informational sources that we utilize help to shape our views. While it’s tempting to want to educate others on why they are wrong about a particular topic that you may feel passionately about, it’s important to consider if doing so may damage your relationship and add more stress to your environment. What will arguing accomplish? Do you truly believe that you will change his or her mind by being forceful with your opinion? Chances are high that the answer is No.

Some things are better left unsaid

If you are put on the spot to share your political beliefs, you can respectfully decline to answer. Practice a standard response, such as I appreciate you asking but I prefer to keep that private.

It is wise for owners and managers to set healthy boundaries for their team. While staff members have every right to their own views and opinions, providing policies on how they are expressed within the workplace avoids feelings of harassment.

Know when to walk away

If you begin to feel a physical reaction to a discussion, like a racing heart or sweaty palms, recognize that you are entering the “fight-or-flight” response. Try to end the conversation as politely as possible. Openly recognize that you have a difference of opinion but you prefer to focus on work-related subjects rather than debate. If your coworker or patient cannot accept a polite end to the conversation, document the experience and bring it to the attention of your owner or manager.

It is also important to be aware of your words or actions are eliciting the fight-or-flight response in someone else. Be observant of their reactions and alter your behavior to avoid making others feel uncomfortable. Recognize that we all deserve to feel safe within the workplace.

Practice self-care

How we spend time outside of work affects our ability to handle stressful situations. Are you spending your free time focusing on the political tension or surrounding yourself with people who do? Take an inventory of your daily routines and reevaluate how your habits are serving both your physical and emotional health and wellness.

In the end, we cannot control what others believe or value. We can only control ourselves. Avoiding heated political discussions in the workplace is important to maintaining a positive and productive environment.

Is Social Media Helping or Hurting Your Employment Opportunities?

Why Assess STRESS?

Who is the Pot-Stirrer in Your Business?

Are You Listening to Your Team?


Are You Listening to Your Team?

April 15, 2022

Are You Listening to Your Team? Written by Corinne Jameson-Kuehl “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen Covey. We are naturally wired to “listen” to someone speaking for the purpose of answering them or […]

Read More

Who is the Pot-Stirrer in Your Business?

March 30, 2022

Who is the Pot-Stirrer in Your Business? By Corinne (Corey) Jameson-Kuehl Today, more than ever, people are stressed and our businesses are affected just as much as any other workplace. It seems I am getting calls weekly asking for “how […]

Read More

3 Tips to Improve Poor Employee Engagement

March 4, 2022

3 Tips to Improve Poor Employee Engagement We all know that finding new employees takes a lot of time and resources. Keep the team you have engaged and happy, and the effort will pay off in so many ways.  Jill […]

Read More