Tone Tools Design Goodwill in War Zones

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Ever have a day when every move became combat, and your setting a war zone? Or when online exchanges landed you at the center of firestorms? When problems arise, or innovation is shut out by impulsive retorts, the last place leaders look for solutions is within differences that caused battles in the first place. Have you seen it?

Tone Tools Build Goodwill in War Zones

Gary, a manufacturing manager, is typical of leaders we meet who see differences as a cause and poor tone as a given. Yikes!

Does flawed thinking  like Gary’s,  prevent solutions where you work?

Gary actually spoke for many in his industry when he told of constant problems because union reps, “stick their noses into everything, cause trouble for the entire company.” He went on, ”They make no effort to help with anything.” 

Even after Gary invited union reps to managerial meetings, he complained, they don’t give an inch. Instead, they demand pay increases and easier working conditions – regardless of the poor economy. Gary failed to recognize how tone on both sides became a barrier to talents merging between union and company managers.

Using the survey below, Gary identified tone toxins that drove union discontent.  After completing the tone survey, he admitted surprise to find that he too could be cynical at meetings.  More importantly,  Gary recognized several unused personal intelligences, that could strengthen his leadership to align shared vales between union and industry.

Survey Your Group’s Tone Temp

Tone survey to develop brainpowered differences:1. Do you foster diverse talents by learning from talented peers? Yes___ No ___If not – question, and wonder with people who have a keen eye for diverse talents.2. Do you target progress, by inviting input from diverse talents? Yes___ No ___If not – partner with others as equals to target improvements for innovation growth.3. Do personnel expect or cultivate quality differences? Yes___ No ___

If not – ask about specific details to show support people’s unique interests.

4. Do you jump at  opportunities to share cutting edge ideas? Yes___ No ___

If not –encourage multiple perspectives throughout your entire group.

5. Do you tend to celebrate what people do well? Yes___ No ___

If not – consider a fun way to support and showcase novelty.

6. Does your organization address people as talented capital? Yes___ No ___

If not – support and mimic staff who demonstrate good tone daily.

7. Do you support diverse facilitators of innovative ideas? Yes___ No ___

If not – listen more and partner more with leaders in different departments.

8. Do you share knowledge and offer frequent innovation tips? Yes___ No ___

If not –invite novel ideas in ways that reward staff and leaders to create exchanges.

9. Do you promote social media to increase caring and curiosity? Yes___ No ___

If not –appeal to IT experts to implement and engage innovative networks.

10. Do you drive innovation, as new engines moves vehicles forward? Yes___ No ___

If not –fuel original talents weekly, those often missed by non diverse organizations.


Two weeks later, Gary announced he’d affirm the union reps suggestions before sharing his own. He sent an email to thank them for attending meetings. After two weeks use of improved tone, Gary admitted to feeling more comfortable sharing experiences that pointed respectfully to different angles of the conflicts he felt at work. This time though, he asked What if…? kinds of questions, rather than offer personal opinions when issues arose with union reps.

Tone Turns Gunners into Givers

Surprised at the brainpower behind tone tools, Gary also found thoughtful recommendations from the same reps who’d made his job miserable prior to improved tone.

Eventually, Gary invited several resps to his office to brainstorm insights that might inspire a more productive exchange at the next meeting. It was Gary’s tone that shut out diverse views and caused workplace toxins from exchanges that should have been energizing.

By applying serotonin generating strategies that engaged differences at work, Gary approached union leaders more as colleagues who could collaborate solutions before problems or misunderstandings dragged down discussions at meetings.

Rather than risk toxic confrontations in public, Gary asked for union reps’ suggestions about productivity problems – prior to his next meeting. He discussed tone problems related to sinking workplace morale, and met with open minded responses and unique recommendations such as creating a blog where workers could brainstorm solutions when barriers arise.

Surprised by the positive feedback and practical suggestions that came back from union reps, Gary also placed union concerns as a priority  in the next meeting agenda. The result? Employees from several departments brainstormed winning solutions. Not only did the results help the company to move forward, Gary expressed surprise at how cooperative union reps became – once their issues were addressed collaboratively with tone that fostered different views.

New practices from brainpowered tools below began to build goodwill in what had been union-industry war zones. How so? When Gary focused on how mirror neurons work for or against leaders (see # 5 below) he facilitated successful solutions from unexpected places – union reps.

Before long, leaders across several departments offered innovative suggestions for working closer with union reps.  The same leaders who seemed to be most of the  problem initially, now became a key part of the shared solution, much to Gary’s surprise.

25  Ways to Celebrate  Brainpowered Tone Tools

Gary plans to use these tools to combine the best of union and industry interests with mutual dividends. What groups will you bring together to foster organizational growth?

1 – Facilitate strengths – Pass Talking Stick at meetings to get positive ideas for new ventures. Replace fears, fueled by dangerous cortisol, with profitable adventures fueled by serotonin. Run highly interactive meetings to show confidence in others. Brainstorm innovative components so that all speak and feel heard.  Avoid defaulting back to ruts – by shifting up meeting facilitators.  Then offer positive feedback on their facilitation strengths.

2 – Encourage differences. Join social media networks to discover new trends for workplace rejuvenation. Help your team to avoid relying on their basal ganglia’s natural ruts for careless tone. Foster online results that engage serotonin, the miracle drug for workplace success.

3 – Ask advice from novices at times, for mind-bending revelations opened by questions to people who differ.  Growth comes to any organization where youthful interests lead novel ventures in shared directions at work.

4 – Risk  to win cutting edge advances, and the dopamine your brain requires to risk well, tends to follow.  Take failures in stride and reward excellence each time it surfaces, to keep risks alive and winning.

5 –Lead change. Become a leader you’d like others to see in you.  People will then copycat the best because brains come equipped with mirror neurons – an inner mechanism to mimic actions of people around you. Each time you act like a genius, your brain – and others –  build new neuron pathways for similar actions.

6 – Build goodwill . across differences. Use whole brain approaches to solve problems and motivate whole brain solutions by including those who differ or disagree. Multiple intelligence tools  can be gauged and engaged through Mita growth survey.

7 – Tacckle problems with solutions more in mind to engage curiosity for rejuvenated practices that replace broken systems. Act opposite even one habit that holds back innovation,  and new solutions stand a chance.  Reflect together first, then apply change suggestions that move yourself and others into a better place.

8. Listen more to discover what promotes or reduces listening at work. Listen for positive tone that helps people segue into doable solutions from different angles to resolve stubborn problems.

9 – Foster growth and move past former distractions, because the brain comes equipped with a neural bottleneck that thwarts multi-tasking according to research.

10 –Seek feedback and recognize the universal problem behind sinking morale and plummeting productivity? 75% of employees claim to be disengaged work.  Poor tone destroys capabilities.  Seek long range benefits by jumpstarting peace plans, where opposing views are welcomed,  rather than settle for one side. Then track and share peaceful resolutions achieved.

11 – Reward novelty by introducing and modeling one change weekly at work. Novelty ratchets up the collective IQ of any group and moves groups beyond gridlock or mere compromise.

12 – Capitalize on gender and race differences by seeking benefits from male and female brains and by using unique insights from both. Lead in ways that fuse racial differences into mutual dividends, and support minorities as facilitators.

13 – Chill with ethical people to show value-based-brainpower that sustains growth for all. Not only does the moral brain shape culture – but workplace ethics also shape brains. Contribute to an valued climate by supporting others’ talent beyond personal plans for financial rewards without ethical results.

14 – Hire older workers and expect agility because we now know how plasticity helps seniors to grow new brainpower daily – rather than waste wisdom by settling for old-age-bagel-gumming.

15- Facilitate winning solutions for people who differ and discourage bullying. Increase peaceful solutions to see violence and conflict fade in favor of inclusion. Change up one routine to create space for inspiration and growth.  Improve your brain’s executive skills by leading one shared solution weekly in order to prompt curiosity that sustains growth and squashes stagnation.

16 – Tame the amygdala for tone’s sake. Act calmly under pressure and your brain stores that reaction for the next flare-up, allowing you to come up with innovative alternatives in pressured settings.  Research shows that the brain comes equipped with chemicals to tame the amygdala, and it starts with snipping that urge for kneejerk reactions.

17 – Laugh at little things. Gain brain benefits from enzymes emitted with humor that respects all, laughs at self and diminishes none.

18- Use people’s names as you communicate. Add value and release chemicals for well being through using people’s names. Speak people’s names in their presence, and research confirms you also spark their brain’s sense of worth. Sound like a tone tactic to add value today?

19 – Remember more by outsourcing facts through creating lists, and using other memory devices such as sketching new ideas as you hear them.  Or apply new facts to what you already do, and welcome  novelty that research now teaches will literally stretch your  working memory.

20 – Discourage cynical encounters. Model tone tools to open opportunities not available to critics who counter creativity with cynicism. Expect to find one growth possibility in unexpected setbacks. Engage cynics in the kind of solutions that lands your ventures like gifted pilots land jets on emergency runways.

21 – Make mistakes into stepping stones to success. Move past regrets that shut down brainpower – by doing guilt’s opposite. How so?  Step past prior mistakes and build forward on lessons learned from the past. Glance into rearview windows, but gaze into windshields.

22 – Stretch working memory – Design with specialists to move past technical glitches into innovative results. Learn a technology communication to engage the brain’s innate ability to use new mechanical tools. Engage smart skills that combine hard and soft traditional aptitudes to form brainpowered leadership tools for whole brain ventures. For instance, integrate what’s traditionally separated (such as different departments) by proposing innovative initiatives that originate from increased brainpower across multiple skills.

23 – Reconfigure people as capital for higher ROI. Position people as capital at the center, and expect increased innovation ROI at the edges. Replace one limiting myth (such as more myth that more money makes for finer  performance) with a new reality (such as improved talents will add more profits for all). Refuse to settle for living traditional myths that limit innovative progress.

24 – Cross pollinate brainpower between novices and experts to boost creativity in both. Move younger people into experienced pathways for growth, encouraging them to teach as they learn from experts. Integrate people, departments, career field, and developmental levels. Collaborate to fix broken systems by offering your talents boldly. Support diverse brains from many backgrounds to replace broken systems with high-performing tools.

25 – Increase leadership IQ by doing one alternative act daily. Move leadership brainpower up a notch since we now know that IQ is not fixed. It’s fluid and grows daily for those who act in the opposite direction of broken practices, rigid routines and ruts.

Make one significant change weekly from these brainpowered tools, and watch one workplace problem at a time slip away – while you tapping into mind-bending  resources rather than mere methodological reasoning. Then hear and value success stories shared, to keep growth alive.

How will you equip yourself and others for innovative advantages this week, in spite of setbacks you’ll likely encounter?

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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset

4 thoughts on “Tone Tools Design Goodwill in War Zones

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  3. Ellen Weber

    Wow Fred – thanks – you add huge value here in that you came to the crux instantly – and it’s interesting to me that we accept gridlock and compromise rather than use the tone that opens new windows to innovation!

    Imagine if our national leaders learned the skills and allowed more of the brain equipment to lead – take this nation to new innovative heights? Imagine if we each did that in our firms today.

    Actually – you’ve inspired me to give tone a new shot in the busy day I have ahead! You really get at the good stuff, and I value your wisdom! Ellen

  4. Fred H Schlegel

    Great points Ellen. It is so easy to see the flaws in others that our own hand in poor working environments can be easily missed. This approach appears to have helped Gary instill trust among the various stakeholders which allows them to feel more comfortable contributing. When discussions have an undercurrent of zero sum gain results (My ideas will hurt you, yours will hurt me or worse – My ideas will help you, yours will hurt me) groundbreaking ideas can rarely gain traction.

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