‘Told’ is the word most linked to negative hospital reviews on Yelp


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When looking at hospital reviews on Yelp, researchers found the word most associated with negative reviews, including those with one-star ratings, was “told,” a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found.

The researchers, from Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine, analyzed 51,376 reviews for 1,566 U.S. hospitals and found the word “told” appeared in 20 percent of the posts (9,578 in total). Reviews that included the word “told” averaged 1.78 stars out of five stars.

The one-star reviews the researchers saw that contained “told” highlighted frustrations about information that was ostensibly shared (“They never told me the cost of any of the procedures”), anger at a lack of listening (“I told her I did not want to discuss it any more but she persisted to badger me”) and feelings of futility (“Some examined me and told me there was nothing they could do for me”).

“Oftentimes, words such as ‘told’ hint at a breakdown in communication,” Anish Agarwal, MD, a National Clinician Scholars fellow and emergency medicine physician at Penn Medicine, said in a news release. “I suspect that patients are not feeling listened to or heard and this could be driving poor experiences and low reviews.”

For the positive hospital reviews, the word “friendly” was found in about 11 percent of them (5,594 in all). Along with the word “great,” “friendly” correlated the most with five-star reviews. In these reviews, patients often focused on hospital staff’s demeanor and attentiveness (“The entire staff was very friendly and made sure we were taken care of”).

“Patients value communication highly in their overall experience when they’re in the hospital,” Dr. Agarwal said. “As healthcare transitions to being more patient-centered, I think hospitals and providers need to continue to work on how we improve communication, how we listen and how we approach all patient interactions.”





3 Ways to Identify Arrogant Leaders

I recently heard a great speaker in Atlanta named Clay Scroggins (Author, How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge). He made this point:

“Arrogant people don’t ask questions.”

I had to think about that.  Test it against my experience.  See if it was an exaggeration – or could it be so?

He went on to say….”they not only don’t ask you questions, they do not ask themselves questions either.”

Hmmm. Thinking over all the arrogant people I’ve ever met.  List very long. May take a while to conclude.

(a minute passes)

Dang.  I think it’s true!!!

Here are three easy ways to find out if a leader is arrogant…


Count the number of things the leader came to TELL you, compared to the number of open-ended questions they ASKED you.  Anything  above a 3:1 ratio may indicate a problem (just a hunch).

A surrogate for this test would be – how long did they talk relative to how long they listened.  Try this in your next project meeting with your supervisor.


If you think you are working for someone arrogant, take note of how many times they declare things to the organization that they do not actually know to be true.

  1. “We will launch a new product by X.”
  2. “We will have that problem solved by Friday.”
  3. “We will overcome this adversity.” (Just to mention a few possibilities.)


Ask the leader to share one of their most difficult experiences and what they learned from it.  If they can’t think of one, well, you know what that means.

Another version of this test?  Ask them to name your three children at the next company picnic.  If they smile, nervous laugh, and walk away…


  1. Listen carefully.
  2. Ask inquiring questions.
  3. Know yourself and know your team members.

That’s humility.  And it drives performance.

Serve well.

What are some signs that a leader is arrogant?

How might leaders practice humility?





Three C’s for Listening Like a Leader


Listening is a vast ocean surrounded by empty beaches.

I’ve been paying attention to listening, both my own and others. You’re more likely to meet a red-crested tree rat* than to meet someone who actually listens.

5 reasons shallow listening is normal:

  1. Desire. Listening is such a bother.
  2. Ignorance. You might listen if you knew how.
  3. Time. Hurry up. The clock’s ticking.
  4. Energy. You don’t have energy to listen deeply.
  5. Discipline. On a list of “hard things to do,” listening is near the top.

Set the stage for deep listening:

Unfocused conversations feel like chasing chickens.

Establish conversational direction or you’ll end up exhausted and disappointed.

  1. What’s on your agenda today?
  2. What good thing might come from our conversation?
  3. What would you like to accomplish during this conversation?
  4. What’s important for you to bring up during this conversation? What’s important to you about that?

Three C’s for listening like a leader:

#1. Character.

#2. Calmness.

Breathe deeply.

Although listening takes energy, it requires a calm spirit.

Inner agitation blocks listening.

#3. Compartmentalization.

Set a fence around your listening space. You don’t have anything else to do except attend to the person speaking.

Explain time limits before you begin. Because listening requires rigor, you might need to set short-time limits.

After explaining limits, attend fully.

The character of a listening leader:

#1. Courage.

Churchill put it this way, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

#2. Compassion.

“Compassion is the quality of having positive intentions for others. … It’s the ability to understand others and use that as a catalyst for supportive action.”**

#3. Confidence.

Insecurity seems to loosen tongues and close ears.

#4. Openness.

A closed mind lies behind closed ears.

Poor listening is a character issue.

What’s one thing you could do that would make you a better listener?


42 Inspiring Quotes That Demonstrate the Importance of Emotional Intelligence


EQ is often cited as the difference between winners and losers. Use these quotes to up your game.

As far as I know, my MBA program didn’t teach any classes in emotional intelligence. While I got a solid education, I can’t help but think that I might have been served better by taking a course or two in EQ. After all, study after study has shown that emotional intelligence is the different between a successful CEO and an also-ran.

Here are some of the best quotes to inspire you to become a more emotionally intelligent leader:

  1. The only way to change someone’s mind is to connect with them from the heart.
    -Rasheed Ogunlaru
  2. Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. -Jack Welch
  3. In my 35 years in business, I have always trusted my emotions. I have always believed that by touching emotion you get the best people to work with you, the best clients to inspire you, the best partners and most devoted customers.
    -Kevin Roberts
  4. When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion. -Dale Carnegie
  5. When our emotional health is in a bad state, so is our level of self-esteem. We have to slow down and deal with what is troubling us, so that we can enjoy the simple joy of being happy and at peace with ourselves. -Jess C. Scott
  6. No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.
    -Theodore Roosevelt
  7. Never react emotionally to criticism. Analyze yourself to determine whether it is justified. If it is, correct yourself. Otherwise, go on about your business. -Norman Vincent Peale
  8. When you listen with empathy to another person, you give that person psychological air. -Stephen R. Covey
  9. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution. -Kahlil Gibran
  10.  Remember that failure is an event, not a person. -Zig Ziglar
  11. Unleash in the right time and place before you explode at the wrong time and place. -Oli Anderson
  12. Emotional intelligent people use self-awareness to their advantage to assess a situation, get perspective, listen without judgment, process, and hold back from reacting head on. At times, it means the decision to sit on your decision. By thinking over your situation rationally, without drama, you’ll eventually arrive at other, more sane conclusions. –Marcel Schwantes
  13. It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently. -Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  14. People with high EQs master their emotions because they understand them, and they use an extensive vocabulary of feelings to do so. –Travis Bradberry
  15. The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and influence their actions. -John Hancock
  16. Any person capable of angering you becomes your master. -Epictetus
  17. Every time we allow someone to move us with anger, we teach them to be angry.  -Barry Neil Kaufman
  18. Maturity is achieved when a person postpones immediate pleasures for long-term values. -Joshua L. Liebman
  19. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. -Leo Buscaglia
  20. Emotions can get in the way or get you on the way. -Mavis Mazhura
  21. Experience is not what happens to you–it’s how you interpret what happens to you. -Aldous Huxley
  22. Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. -Bill Gates
  23. Don’t let the baggage from your past–heavy with fear, guilt, and anger–slow you down.  -Maddy Malhotra
  24. Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. -Charles J. Sykes
  25. It isn’t stress that makes us fall–it’s how we respond to stressful events.
    -Wayde Goodall
  26. Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame. -Benjamin Franklin
  27. Pausing helps you refrain from making a permanent decision based on a temporary emotion. –Justin Bariso
  28. No doubt emotional intelligence is more rare than book smarts, but my experience says it is actually more important in the making of a leader. You just can’t ignore it. -Jack Welch
  29. Quick to judge, quick to anger, slow to understand … prejudice, fear, and ignorance walk hand in hand. -Peart
  30. Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs. -Charlotte Brontë
  31. The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions. -Donald Calne
  32. Change happens in the boiler room of our emotions–so find out how to light their fires. -Jeff Dewar
  33. If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far. -Daniel Goleman
  34. Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got.  -Janis Joplin
  35. Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one’s awareness of one’s ignorance.
    -Anthony de Mello
  36. The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.
    -Carl R. Rogers
  37. I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing. -Socrates
  38. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, do we have the right to laugh at others? -C.H. Hamel
  39. We are at our most powerful the moment we no longer need to be powerful. -Eric Micha’el Leventhal
  40. When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. -Ernest Hemingway
  41. Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone … just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had. -F. Scott Fitzgerald
  42. Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. -C.G. Jung

What’s your favorite quote about emotional intelligence that needs to be added to this list? What inspires you to develop your EQ further on an ongoing basis?


The Gifts of Leadership: How to Give Advice That People Respect

the surprising truth about giving advice

People don’t want advice. They want the pain to go away. They want to keep doing the same thing but get different results.

The world is full of answer-givers, but who can find a skillful advisor?

The surprising truth about giving advice is it’s more about listening than talking.

What kind of advisor are you?

  1. Expert. You know something others need to know. Perhaps you have relevant technical knowledge.
  2. Experienced. You’ve been there and done that. You’ve failed and learned.
  3. Skilled. You have relevant abilities?
    • Problem-solving.
    • Conflict-resolution.
    • Option-generating.
    • Question-asking.
  4. Outsider. You see things differently. Perhaps you’re older or younger, married or single, on the front-line or in management, or from a different culture.


Don’t fall in love with giving advice.

Give advice from a position of humility. It’s heady to have someone seek your advice. Keep your feet on the ground.

Avoid these seven advice-givers.

#1. Needy advisors rush to answers. Good advice begins by exploring and defining problems. People who are eager to tell people what to do, don’t know the real problem.

Explore roots, not just fruits. There are symptoms to problems and there are root causes.

#2. Hard-headed advisors make up their minds quickly and defend their position.

#3. Inept advisors neglect values and strengths. Advice needs to fit the advisee. Generic advice should be presented as guiding principles that anyone might use.

#4. Bungling advisors think it’s all about advice and forget about energy. Good advice fits the situation AND lights people up.

#5. Incompetent advisors always have an answer. Instead say, “I don’t know, but lets figure it out.”

#6. Self-centered advisors talk about themselves more than asking about others.

#7. Confused advisors have it all together. They don’t have their own issues, challenges, and problems. Problem free advisors are blind, ignorant, arrogant, or all three.

Anyone who has it all together, doesn’t.

How might you turn the above warnings into suggestions for giving advice that people respect?

What are the qualities of skillful advisors?



Ten Signs Your Boss Appreciates You — And Ten Signs They Don’t


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