Strategic Conversations Online Workshop

“This is a great way to help with those leaders who may struggle addressing issues with employees. This gives them a clear guide and can take some of the guess work out of it.” – Strategic Conversations graduate

To learn more and enroll: Strategic Conversations Online Workshop

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the importance of intentional communication into the very forefront of our lives. Whether you are communicating sensitive information to your teams, providing coaching to an individual team member or relaying critical material to your leaders, those leading intentional and strategic conversations need to understand and follow specific steps ensure these conversations will bring about the intended results.

This session will outline a model to lead intentional conversations and allow participants to practice the model in real time.

Our next session will be June 10 at 2 pm EDT.

  • This 2.5-hour program will be delivered online via Zoom and a specific link will be sent after registration
  • A worksheet and session pre-work will be sent to each participant prior to the session
  • A mic, webcam and high-speed internet are required to fully participate
  • This class is limited to 6 participants to ensure adequate skill practice
  • The entire session will be recorded and participants will receive the video for review

To learn more and enroll: Strategic Conversations Online Workshop

Thanks for reading!


Now is not the time for radio silence

I don’t know who needs to hear this.

Scratch that. I know EXACTLY who needs to hear this.

  • Managers who are afraid to talk to furloughed or laid-off employees
  • Managers who think they have nothing to say
  • Managers who want their teams to return to work engaged and enthused

I know you are a caring person if you are reading this blog. Tell me if this email I recently received doesn’t break your heart.

“I was furloughed 6 weeks ago. Access to my work email and information was removed. In addition, I have not heard from my boss and or employer during this period of time. In complete honesty, it has been a difficult pill to swallow because I am not in the communication loop. I recognize from a legal perspective why the communication line has been cut off, however I’m not allowed to talk work with anyone; that would include my seasonal staff. So I have a lot of concerns about staff engagement and retention.”

I wish this was the only example. I had a gut-wrenching conversation the day before this popped into my inbox with another friend who was in the same situation. And another just a week before that. C’mon people, we can do better. We have to do better.

If communication is the #1 thing that determines success or failure during the good times, it becomes even MORE important in the difficult times.

Even for furloughed employees, you ask? YES! It’s true you can’t talk to them about work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to them at all!  In one conversation I had, a concerned manager said he was told by corporate that he couldn’t call to check in on his team, one of which had a family member diagnosed with COVID-19. Seriously? Where is your humanity?

I asked a lawyer about this and you know what she said? “You have a right to be human”. There. Make the call.

For those who don’t know what to say or don’t feel they have anything to talk about with your employees, just say something. Your employees are craving connection right now, just like your guests are craving entertainment. You’ve put up weekly youtube videos for your guests about home school resources and what you are doing to keep them safe. Put that same energy into your employees.

If you don’t think this communication/connection thing is important, you may also be under the impression that your best employees will want to sit at home on unemployment because they can make more money that way. If you are worried about that, you likely have not done a good enough job engaging with them, and dare I say, you may have a bigger employee retention problem than just competing with unemployment.

Why? Because people who are truly engaged, bought in, and share a purpose DO NOT want to sit home doing nothing. It might seem attractive in the short term, but that’s because you have not made your case for the long term benefit of coming back to work.

All this communication also gives you the chance to discuss with your employees what you are doing to keep them safe. It’s true that some people will not want to come back to work because they don’t feel safe. Don’t rely on them filling in the blanks about what they think you are or are not doing to protect them. Be explicit. Get their input. Understand their point of view.

While many discussions are turning to reopening at this point, we are by no means out of the woods.  It’s not too late to fire up the communication machine and get cracking. And by the way, I am NOT talking about a text or a blast email. I’m talking about real conversations where you can hear their voice and maybe even see their face.

RELATED: Situational Employee Engagement Webinar

Now is not the time for radio silence. We have to do better.

Thanks for reading.

To see what others are doing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, check out the AttractionPros COVID-19 Video Series.


Life with a canine guides us through the re-onboarding process

I’ve had and trained dogs before, and I’ve on-boarded people before, but never have these two concepts collided SO HARD as they have in the last month.

Meet Otis, a 4 month-old Border Collie/Basset Hound mix we adopted in late March. For those who know dog breeds, you can probably guess his personality: really smart but kind of lazy and stubborn.

So, we started with the dog training, which is NOT about training the dog. It’s about training the humans to learn to think like a dog so we can better communicate with him. This is where these worlds collided…

Organizational training should not be ONLY about teaching employees about their job and their roles… leaders should also be LEARNING about the employees so they can speak their language.

In other words, training an employee should NOT be a one-way venture. BOTH sides should actively be in the learning mode. Ah-ha!

This is especially true now as facilities are anticipating coming back online in a post-COVID-19 world.

So what I have learned from “onboarding” Otis that would help you as you onboard or re-onboard your teams in the coming weeks and months?

  • Like I said above, let’s look at the training process as a two-way proposition. You WILL NOT be able to bring your folks in and tell them the new information and expect results. Just because I tell Otis to sit, that doesn’t mean he is going to do it. Your protocols are not the same, and I would dare to say that your teams are not the same. More than ever you will have to focus on how your employees are reacting to coming back to work and the “new normals” in order to get the best performance.
  • This means you’ll have to be even MORE diligent and consistent with your messaging. One day Otis may respond well to a command followed by a treat, the next day maybe not. Over time, the more consistent I can be with my expectations, messaging and communication, the better results we’ll get. If you do not consistently reiterate your standards and expectations (in a few different modes) the performance of your employees will be haphazard.  If you are promising your guests that you will be cleaning and sanitizing on a more aggressive schedule (for example), “haphazard” doesn’t jive with that.
  • Encouragement is KING. Do you have any earthly idea how many times I’ve said, “good boy” in the last 1.5 months? I don’t, but I know it’s a TON. Why so much? Because dogs respond to positivity and a friendly tone of voice. They also respond to firm reprimands, which we have had to do, but the scales have tipped toward encouragement SO much more often. Encourage the behavior that you want – where have I heard that before? As your employees come back, they may be scared, they may be apprehensive, they may be unsure if they should even be at work. This is your time to summon up as much compassion and empathy as possible and encourage the behaviors YOU want to see.  Will you have to correct people, sure. But do that in an encouraging way, too.  Focus on getting better in the future rather than reliving a mistake of the past. Leave the firm reprimands for the stuff that really deserves it – like if their safety is in jeopardy.
  • While you are doing all of this, you will need to re-learn (or learn) how your employees communicate and the best way to respond. When we first brought Otis home, we didn’t know his “tell” for when he had to go to the bathroom. We had a few accidents, so we started taking him out just about every hour or so until we learned what he was trying to tell us. When there was an accident, did we get angry and stuff his nose in his pee spot? No. We did our best to remain calm, we picked him up immediately and took him outside. We can’t get mad at him because he doesn’t know the expectation, so we have to A. be consistent with our reactions and B. watch more closely for his signals so we could avoid the accident in the first place. I know you are going to have a lot on your plate when you re-open, and watching, caring for and anticipating the needs of your employees should be at the top of your list.

In some ways, I think if you have had to shut down you are at an advantage over places like grocery stores who have been open this entire time. They fell into a new normal, you get to plan for it.

And plan for it you should! Plan for your guests and their experience, but also plan for your employee’s experience.

If you need help navigating any of these preparations, I’m happy to assist. You can call/text 407-435-8084 or email

Thanks for reading!

Did you miss the Situational Employee Engagement Webinar?  You’re in luck. We recorded it just for you! Click here or the picture below.