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November 2022


PMC is delighted to assist Nemanick Leadership Consulting again this year in delivering Leadership for Achievement, a professional development program for surgeons, researchers, and others in the Department of Orthopedics at Washington University’s School of Medicine. The Department of Orthopedics is a national leader in the delivery of high-quality orthopedic care, as well as innovative clinical, basic, and translational research. The program kicks off this month and continues through May 2023. Paul Paese, of PMC, will be teaching “Critical Conversations,” a module on how to think and respond more productively – and with fewer unintended consequences – in challenging workplace conversations.

October 2022

NHHC logoJust returned from the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) in Washington, DC. Located in the Washington Navy Yard, the NHHC’s mission priorities are to (a) serve as the institutional memory of the U.S. Navy, (b) discern and document lessons learned from naval military history, and (c) locate and protect lost U.S. Navy ships and aircraft. NHHC retained WashU at Brookings to provide instruction on conflict resolution to their senior executives. The instructor retained for this purpose was Paul Paese, of PMC. Paul thoroughly enjoyed the experience and came away with a deeper appreciation of what “commitment to mission” really means and how much our populace owes to the men and women in career-long military service.

September 2022


This month we give a shout-out to the Rotary Club of Kirkwood, Missouri, which is holding its annual 5K/10K run on Saturday, September 10. As a longtime member and former president of the club, Paul Paese (of PMC) remains an active and dedicated member of Kirkwood Rotary. The Kirkwood club fully embraces the Rotary International motto of “service above self,” and is committed to helping others both locally and internationally. The Kirkwood Rotary Ramble is a race through the streets of Kirkwood to raise money for local charities. The race takes place every year on the Saturday one week prior to the Kirkwood Greentree Festival. The club offers certified 5k and 10k courses, plus a School Challenge program for students. The theme of the race is changed every year to match that of the annual Kirkwood Greentree Festival, and participants are encouraged to dress up to match the festival theme. So, if you’re a runner or walker interested in supporting local charities while having a fun, healthy time, please consider participating in this year’s race! Click here to register for the race.

August 2022

listeningWe’ve noticed a consistent gap in workplace conversations. To convey understanding, most people use easy phrases like “I understand,” “I appreciate that,” or “I get it,” and often say these phrases repeatedly in an effort to show that they understand. Few go so far as to offer a brief re-cap by saying something like, “Forgive me, but let me check if I’m tracking…”, and then asking if their re-cap is on target.  Why bother with the extra effort? Well, maybe you think you understand, but in reality you don’t fully grasp what the other is saying. Or maybe the other person can’t find the right words and could use your help finding them. By 1) re-capping what you think the other person is saying, 2) asking him or her if you’ve got it right, 3) repeating these first two steps if necessary, and 4) ultimately getting an affirmative response, you’re showing that you understand. This practice is particularly important when others have been talking for a while, and especially if they’ve been repeating themselves. While it may seem unnecessary to check your understanding when others have been repeating themselves, this is exactly when checking may be the most helpful. Why? Because repetition is often a signal that the other person doesn’t feel heard, or believes you’re missing their point. Paraphrasing and getting confirmation usually ends the repetition because now you’ve shown that you understand, and the other person sees that further repetition isn’t needed. So our recommendation is simple: If the conversation is important and your goal is to understand others and have them feel understood, show that you understand first. Don’t just say “I understand.”

July 2022

NSAlogoBack at NSA, virtually, this month to teach Conflict Resolution again. Excited to work with these distinguished executives, via WashU at Brookings, for a second time this year! Grateful to Olin Business School and The Brookings Institution for this continued opportunity.

June 2022

strengthLeaders need strength to be successful. While this obvious truth is widely recognized, opinions differ on what constitutes “strength.” In the eyes of many, strength means standing firm, winning your position, exuding confidence, and minimizing vulnerability. At PMC, our clients are often surprised to hear that we see vulnerability as a key source of leadership strength. Which is stronger, a leader who advocates a position and stands firm until others bend? Or a leader who advocates a position while remaining open to different views, even inviting challenge from others? Leaders who take the path of openness will naturally feel vulnerable. Paradoxically, this vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, but rather a clear indication of leadership strength.