Ross BlakeAbout Ross Blake

I’ve never wanted to be average.

Instead, I’ve typically wanted to learn, think, invent, and accomplish more. Why not look for and use all of the potential that we have? Seems like we’re cheating ourselves if we don’t.  (Admittedly, this hasn’t always been easy for me).

One of the things that I like most about my work is helping people learn new skills so they use more of the abilities and potential they already have. I believe most managers and employees want to do this; they just need improved ways of doing so, often involving communication.  (Some estimates say that people only use 10% of their given intelligence and capabilities!).

Some things I’ve accomplished

 I’m always reading and working on something; here are some things I’ve done.

 *Developed a skill and written a book (based on employee input), about giving them performance feedback to gain cooperation instead of their defensiveness.

 *Determined that delivering coaching or feedback in a “vacuum,” or without first establishing mutually-beneficial work relationships with employees, isn’t effective. One of my first efforts with new groups is making it safe for employees to talk; creating 2-way communication; and developing coaching and feedback agreements.

*Basing communication skills for managers on this premise: how they’d want their own boss to communicate with them.

*Developed “in the moment” performance coaching to achieve the real purpose of performance appraisals: improving employee performance between them. And without using much time, a key concern of managers.

*Created a second highly needed and effective form of positive feedback that goes beyond praise for a job well done: helping employees understand and feel the value of the work they do. Greatly improves engagement and motivation.

*Developed a process and manual to help employers reduce the high costs of employee turnover while increasing retention.

Three of my proudest achievements

 1) One of my clients recently stated that I helped them develop and receive an award as one of the “Best Places to Work for in New York 2017.” (It doesn’t get any better than this for me.)

2) Being selected as a speaker at both the New York and Pennsylvania State SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) Annual Conferences in 2015.

3) Literally helping several capable people who were at direct risk of losing their jobs keep them after they used the communication and relationship building skills that I taught them.  (It also doesn’t get any better than this for me as well).

My working philosophy works

These are basic to me; there are others, but these are the most important ones:

> If I serve my clients, including their participants and management well, I’ll be as successful as I want to be.

 > I desire to problem-solve and develop solutions for clients, not deliver “check off the list” training.

> Provide practical skills that organizations aren’t, and often can’t get, elsewhere.

> Work with your people so that they want to work with me, not because they have to.

My own education and training

 > I’m a proud graduate of Ohio University, where I became a more knowledgeable, and better, person.

> Certified to deliver the DISC instrument.

 > Certified in the LEA, or Leadership Effectiveness Analysis instrument through Management Research Group.

> Numerous seminars and reading on my own; it seems that I’m always reading two, if not three, books at the same time.

 > An immense amount of learning gained by working with outstanding clients and their employee, manager, and executive participants. Plus wise colleagues.

 > International travel; I haven’t done enough of it, but it’s taught me that as people, we’re all much more alike than we are different.

My extracurricular activities are there, but they’re not all that unusual.

I enjoy the fine and performing arts.

I like to stay active and in motion, with bicycling, hiking, and cross country skiing.

Baking great bread and making great ice cream are goals.

Desire to travel to more countries.

By now you know me pretty well.

 And if I sound like someone you might want to potentially work with. I’m pretty much of a “what you see is what you get” person.

 Free people to communicate & do more productive work.

Conversations at Work helps people in organizations have the workplace
conversations they’ve been avoiding—and improve productivity.

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