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186: Leaders with Heart Assume Positive Intent

leaders assume positive intent
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In this episode, Heather interviews Barbara Lovejoy SHRM-CP, PHR, who is the Director of Human Resources at Otelco. Barbara’s parents instilled in her a passion for leadership and caring for others at an early age. Today, as Director of Human Resources, she strives to remain true to that behavior. As a leader, Barbara believes everyone has the best of intentions – and that’s how she approaches her work. She is a strong believer that most people on most days show up and truly try their best. She leads with positive intent. This 35-minute conversation is rich with information, plus, Barbara asks Heather two juicy questions as part of a new segment called “Ask Heather Anything”.


Key Takeaways: 

  • Building deeper connections with your teams leads to greater results
  • The best way to lead people is to truly understand who they are as a whole
  • Assuming positive intent results in less conflicts
  • Leading with trust creates a sense of belonging and transparency
The best way to be able to support people and lead people is to truly have an understanding of their whole being. – Barbara Lovejoy #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Barbara has served in HR for over 20 years in various roles and industries, including not-for-profit, healthcare, and currently, telecommunications. She is most passionate about Leadership Development and Culture Creation, and Sustainability. In her current role, she serves as the Director of HR and supports a team of 4 HR professionals. She also volunteers her time serving on the Board of Directors for the local SHRM Affiliate chapter, Central Maine Human Resource Association. In fact, she will be moving into the President role in January. Barbara currently holds dual HR certification from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). Barbara also has her Bachelor of Science degree in Leadership Organizational Studies from the University of Southern Maine. 

When she is not busy at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband Mark and two fur babies, Baxter and Sydney. She and her husband have started investing in real estate, and her favorite part is conceptualizing layout, color coordination, landscape, and décor. Barbara also enjoys her own company and loves the idea of curling up on a couch and reading a good book.

Lead with Trust

I have a tendency to trust immediately. Most of the time I give people 100% of my trust. Truthfully, I don’t really make them earn it. Because for the most part, I do think that people want to come to work every day and do the very best they can. So I think that’s an element of the type of leader that I am. Additionally, my team members would say that I am very transparent in that aspect. I really try to find a way to connect with them on a personal level, not overstepping but definitely being personal. It’s important to find an additional way to connect with your teams, which I try to do with every team member.

assume positive intent leaders

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