Leadership and Communication Talks

Encouraging Future Leaders

Leadership development is about helping others to grow. As leaders, how are we creating opportunities for other leaders to emerge and allowing them to grow? In our journeys, we’ve gone from feeling “no one is stepping up” to recognizing that today’s leaders show up in a different way if you expand your view to see them. It’s rare to find someone like yourself to handle certain responsibilities, and being open to new ideas and new practices can pave the way for more leaders to emerge. Regardless of title or role, teams and groups can evolve from “leadership from a few” to becoming “leaderful.”

This workshop was co-developed with Zach Cannon. It has been presented at:

  • DevOps Days Dallas

Everyday Beliefs Come True—Creating Greatness through the Stories We Tell

How engaged, innovative, and resilient is your organization? Are your teams feeling like victims of change? Do you find yourself trying to rescue people? In our experience, how people respond to change impacts their ability to deliver greatness. We can choose to change, or change can be forced upon us—in either case, we can focus on the outcomes we wish to create as a result of the change. Have you discovered your teams’ power to become great?

Nobody is the villain in their own story, and yet many teams get in their own way. The stories we tell ourselves have the ability to hold us back or propel us forward. Whether it’s folklore, gossip, or coffee talk, what gets said can perpetuate the ways things are. Focusing on problems can drive reactive behaviors. And in organizational transformations, the key to change lies in communication.

Allison and Michael will share a model to recognize what kind of stories your teams are telling themselves in their everyday conversations. Noticing the current perspective teams are speaking from enables us to help them shift into more proactive, empowered, and creative thinking. Join this interactive workshop to learn how to listen to a team and coach them to become greater through the words they use. Amplify the positive results of an organizational transformation by becoming a co-creator or coach for your teams.

This talk was co-developed with Michael Jesse. It has been presented at:

  • Agile Maine Day

  • deliver:Agile

Getting Real without Getting Fired - Saying things in a way people can hear

Are important words often left unsaid at your place of work? Do you feel like you're navigating a complex maze in conversations? Does your message tend to miss the mark with co-workers, who increasingly seem to be impediments to reaching your goals? Are these unspeakable truths in your workplace that you wish someone would resolve for you?

Trust and communication issues within the workplace can hollow out an organization. Invisible lines get drawn. Alternate forms of communication open up to subvert perceived rivals. Allies are recruited, reinforcing an us vs. them behavior cycle. Organizations are suffering from a lack of trust, and it's costing them speed, productivity, and collaboration. What can YOU do about it?

Regardless of your title, you can be a leader in your organization, and a leader's first job is to inspire trust. In this session, Allison and Marcus will share models to evaluate your own behaviors and facilitate activities to help you find your voice for speaking the truth in a way that builds trust. Softening the truth can feel comfortable in low trust environments--it's simpler, nicer, and can make you look like a team player. It can also lead to miscommunication, undelivered news, and blame shifting. On the other hand, saying the truth in all of its ugliness is risky and potentially career-limiting. Finding the sweet spot of communication to become a trusted leader takes self-awareness and practice. Attend this workshop and learn to recognize how your behavior is building trust--or not--and practice speaking hard truths so that others can hear it.

This talk was co-developed with Marcus King. It has been presented at:

  • Agile Dev East

  • Agile Dev West

  • Scrum Gathering Minneapolis

  • CodeMash

  • Agile 2017

  • Dallas Agile Leadership Network

Motivating People through the Language of Appreciation

›Agile leaders want to build projects around motivated people, give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. Understanding the power of appreciation languages and how the people react to the regular use (or lack of use) of these languages in the workplace can be a key component to creating a culture and environment filled with motivated individuals who feel valued and supported.

This workshop was co-developed with Cherie Silas. It has been presented at:

  • PMI Professional Development Day in Fort Worth

  • 8th Annual UTDallas Project Management Symposium