The Follow-up

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January 2012

The Follow-up
I have had the privilege of offering a platinum- level suite of leadership skills to businesses around the country. The program is called, Leader Effectiveness Training© (L.E.T.). Created and designed by the late Dr. Thomas Gordon, this program has enabled me to impact leaders and organizations with both skills and theory that increases leader productivity/effectiveness in the workplace, the marketplace and as an added bonus – at home by the fireplace.

Most of the success or lack thereof to be experienced throughout one’s career can be attributed to the ability to form and grow effective relationships both inside the organization and out. The comprehensive L.E.T. course is all about advantaging leaders with an enhanced ability to strengthen those relationships. There is a small but powerful discussion within the class content about the ability to “go back and clean it up”. In its simplest form this means circling back and revisiting a misunderstanding or misspeak for the good of the relationship.

So, please consider your most vital relationships. Is there anyone who might benefit from your circling back? Anyone who might be in need of your follow-up? Please take some time to think.


Circling back or the follow-up is one of the more powerful tools any leader or executive can possess. Going back to the person with whom you may have had a less-than-ideal exchange tells the other that they are worth it, particularly when you were the one who instigated the misspeak. Whether it was comments in a meeting, an email that was sent off prematurely or an annual review gone bad, you have taken it to your mental “review booth” (not just for football) and would like to reverse the outcome to get it right.

Some reasons not to engage in the follow-up are understandable; you don’t want the other to think you’re apologizing, or insecure, or you don’t want to cause more of a problem, or you don’t have time for this, or you’d rather just move on, or… (fill in your own). But Gordon states that, “asking for a second chance to treat the relationship better, is often just as effective as doing it right the first time. Sometimes it is even more so.”

In the workplace and marketplace, the ability to build healthy and productive relationships not only makes you and your organization money, but it helps you amass a relational fortune.


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