Have you ever heard these words?

“You need a coach.”

Have you said them to someone you manage?

What did they mean?

Typically when I hear leaders say:

“I think Andy needs some coaching…”

…what they really mean is something like,

“Andy just isn’t cutting it. I’m throwing up my hands. Maybe a coach can turn this situation around.”

Watching the Olympics this year, I’m hoping leaders everywhere around the world are noticing the same thing I am.

First impressions make a difference. Take the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio for example.

Before the games even began concerns about poor air and water conditions, traffic, security and theft plagued the Brazilian city. You didn’t have to look far to find a story of Olympic athletes struggling with their accommodations at the Olympic Village.

I recently encountered a person who’s researching policies to ensure that humor in the workplace remains civil. I’m a major proponent of humor in life, and there’s plenty of research verifying the health benefits of humor and laughter. It’s no surprise, then, that there are curmudgeons out there who want to control it. To read a Mayo Clinic article on the health benefits of humor click here. It’s a blessing to have people in the workplace who laugh easily and who like to make others laugh.

This post is for readers in the United States of America. As everyone knows, we’re a very litigious society, and litigation is not only expensive, but also it’s time consuming, and it fosters a great deal of negativity. You want to avoid it even when you can win. In my experience, much work-related litigation can be avoided. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

As I write this post on July 9, 2016, the USA is in the midst of bitter, extreme political partisanship. Our society at this moment is polarized. This post is not about that, but what’s going on in businesses and other organizations, it seems to me, reflects this larger societal trend. “Compromise” has become a dirty word. There are too many “us and them” mentalities, too many fear-based behaviors, too much demonizing of “them,” or him, or her, and too many adversarial relationships. It’s unhealthy and it’s very costly. People are out of focus. They’re diverting a huge amount of productive time to unproductive behaviors.

As usual, I don’t think I have the answer, but this is a classic situation in which the struggle to find answers — the struggle itself — creates immense value. We must not shrink from this challenge. Without the struggle, answers will not emerge.