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OSU Leadership Center

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


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By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
  • "Individuals talk openly about their strengths and their weaknesses.
  • People offer both support and challenge in meetings, clarifying intention and asking questions without appearing judgmental.
  • People know more about each other than just their names.
  • There are references to people's lives outside the workplace (images, artwork, etc.).
  • People seem to assume positive intent with one another.
  • Competition is focused on winning in the market or against the competition rather than internally.
  • Team leaders and people managers walk the talk.
  • Talking to is balanced with listening to.
  • People admit mistakes and discuss learning (p. 172-173)."

What are some additional characteristics of trust-based relationships?


From:  Carrick, M. & Dunaway, C. (2017). Fit matters: how to love your job. Palmyra, VA: Maven House Press.


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Tags: leadership, trust, leaders
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By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

 “Build skill in perceptive engagement, the capacity to take another person’s perspective and discern what would be helpful.

  • Cultivate capacity for attunement, which involves being aware of another person while simultaneously staying in touch with our own somatic senses and experiences. It heightens our sense of interconnection.
  • Develop empathic listening, the capacity to tune in to feelings of concern as we hear another person’s perspectives and experiences. It allows us to be present without needing to fix, solve, or intervene.
  • Foster mindfulness, an awareness of changing conditions in ourselves and others on a moment-to-moment basis. It helps us to remain calm and steady in the face of suffering - our own as well as that of others.
  • Empathy at work helps us to ‘feel our way forward’ together and motivates compassion (p. 123-124).”

What are you doing to encourage empathy in your organization?

From: Worline, M.C., & Dutton, J.E. (2017). Awakening compassion at work. Oakland CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

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Tags: empathy, leaders, leadership, leadership skills, culture, listening
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By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

Do ethical leaders influence their employees’ attitudes and behaviors? The answer is a resounding yes. Being an ethical leader is an important end in itself because it is simply the right thing to do to try to live in accordance with one’s values. But it also has tangible benefits for both employees and leaders. Research demonstrates that when employees view their leader as ethical, they are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and report greater commitment to their organization. Employees are also more likely to view their work as important and meaningful. Ethical leaders influence their employees’ behavior too. Ethical leaders promote behavior that is desirable, but not required by one’s job description, that aims to help others in the organization. Employees who are led by ethical leaders are less likely to engage in unethical behaviors, ranging from a minor indiscretion such as being late to a serious criminal offense such as stealing large sums of money. Finally, when employees report that their leader is ethical, they actually perform better on the job.

Why are ethical leaders so effective in influencing their employees? One explanation relates to the norm of reciprocity, which governs much of human behavior. It prescribes that when one person is treated well by another, they are obliged to reciprocate with positive behavior. Another explanation is that when employees are led by ethical leaders, they are more likely to identify with their group and organization, subsequently behaving in ways to help the collective. A final explanation is that employees often look to their work environment to determine the appropriate way to behave. Ethical leaders serve as role models, and employees learn how to act in their group or organization. Because ethical leaders engender reciprocity, an increased sense of identity, and serve as models for appropriate conduct, employees are more likely to feel good about their job and act in ways that serve the leader and the organization (p. 153-155).”

What are some ways that leaders demonstrate their ethics?



From: Dutton, J.E., & Spreitzer, G.M. (2014). How to be a positive leader: small actions, big impact. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

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By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, March 05th, 2019

"The first way that gratitude makes us resilient is that it keeps us hopeful. Gratitude is a game of contrasts. Our circumstances look a certain way; then something happens to improve them. Gratitude happens when we take notice of the distance between the two. Suddenly, we have something to be thankful for. That process teaches us something critical about life. While our circumstances might be bad, they can also get better. And our stories prove it to us again and again. Gratitude keeps us positive, optimistic, and able to keep coming back for more when life throws obstacles in our way.

Next, gratitude reminds us we have agency. Because gratitude involves giving thanks for what others have done for us, this might seem counterintuitive. But that's an illusion. You know what they say about unopened gifts. If we didn't use our agency to receive and act on what others have done for us, we wouldn't have benefitted.

Gratitude also improves our patience. A lot of times we take the easy way out because we're impatient. Achieving big goals takes time and effort. We're apt to cut corners or bail when we face difficulties. Thankfully, gratitude can keep us in the game (p. 119-120)."

What are ways that you show gratitude?


From: Hyatt, M. (2018). Your best year ever: a 5-step plan for achieving your most important goals. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.