Leonard Wheeler

Author / Speaker / Coach

Latest News

Changing Your Emotional Temperature

Last week, I introduced the concept of taking one’s emotional temperature at a specific time each day to gauge where you are, what led you to this state, and how it may impact the rest of your day. So the next question is, now what? The next step is to change your emotional temperature.

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Performance Barriers

Last week I spoke at my last two events for the year. The Q&A and discussion for each event I speak at is unpredictable and at one of the events, I got several questions regarding this topic of performance barriers.

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Power of Appreciation

This is by no means a new topic. Who can really argue that showing appreciation to others – friends, family, coworkers, employees and others – is not a good thing? So why is it still an issue we see recurring in exit interviews of employees and in failed or unhealthy relationships? The most common answer is lack of time. And I think we can all safely label that as terrible excuse. My take is that we do not really understand the true value of appreciation, and this devalues its role and priority in day to day interactions.

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Gossip vs Constructive Feedback

Giving feedback continues to be one of the more challenging tasks for many leaders. Recipients struggle with the process just as much, as emotional temperatures typically rise during the process. It is my contention that the primary onus of this process belongs to the giver of the feedback. I have noted that all too often the feedback given has not gone through the due diligence process required so that it is in fact received for its intended purpose – for improvement. I call this feedback Gossip Feedback. This feedback usually starts with “I heard that” or “Someone said” or “I feel that” and lack credibility and objectivity.

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Happiness Part 2

Last week, I offered a simple neurological definition of Happiness – the constant pursuit of eliminating fear in how we feel, think, and do. This week, let’s discuss where and how fear manifests itself so that you can recognize those experiences both as they occur and preferably, before they occur. There are three distinctive scenarios for causality of fear: (1) those that we cause (2) those that others cause and (3) those that a situation causes.

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Workplace Athletes

As someone who lives both in the business workplace and in the professional sports world, I often get asked what the similarities and differences are between the two. I have answered this question in many ways but now realize that the biggest difference is in Performance Management.

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The Science of Non Verbal Communication

I have read for years that what we communicate non-verbally is about 90% of what the audience interprets. It was not until recently that I ran into the neuroscience to corroborate this widely-held view. In a study of brain activity, subjects were shown 3-5 minute videos of people speaking to them. Their brains were attached to scanners that allowed neuroscientists to see visually both the level of activity in the brain, and also the specific locations (neuropathways) of the activity. In the study, the same videos were shown twice; once with the audio on and another with it off. The sequence were altered with different speakers. The results showed that the activity levels were essentially the same with or without audio. In other words, the actual verbal words used accounted for very little of what the listener’s brain was processing. This proved the belief that our actual words play only a small role in communication.

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All Emotions are Contagious

So you walk into an office and your boss is visibly unhappy about something. Or you are an athlete, and your team member is upset, or a fellow competitor starts to get under your skin. The probability that you will subsequently adopt the emotions of the environment and people around you is very high, and mostly subconscious. We have “mirror neurons” in our brain that simply mimic the emotions of people around us. Why would we be designed for this? Because our physiological makeup was not wired for the world many of us live in today. It was designed so that when we saw danger in someone else, whether rational or justified, we would trust that danger as a sign for us to fight or flight. And for thousands of years, that served us well as a survival mechanism.

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Beyond the Locker Room

Developing your game plan for life's transitions