Hoagland instituted a seminar series called "Square Talk" that takes
place the last Wednesday of each month at the Main Street Lincoln
Main Street Lincoln is dedicated to preserving and revitalizing
the historic district of downtown Lincoln. Hoagland, who was
appointed executive director in December 2012, brings to the job a
long and rich history of running nationally known businesses in
telecommunications and the arts. He has also been a successful
athletic coach at Lincoln College.
Hoagland's idea of a seminar series to help businesses thrive and
grow comes directly from his own company, the Jacy Group, a business
development consultancy that he founded several years ago. His
intent was to make his extensive knowledge, garnered over the last
25 years in business, available to business owners.
As Hoagland explains it, "the Jacy Group helps entrepreneurs
understand the fundamentals of running a great business, grow that
business, and in the process take control of the business and their
The current focus of Main Street Lincoln -- along with Lincoln
Mayor Keith Snyder, the city of Lincoln and its Historic
Preservation Commission, with the support of the Lincoln/Logan
County Chamber of Commerce and the Lincoln & Logan County
Development Partnership -- is to revitalize downtown Lincoln, a goal
that will benefit the entire community.
One part of this focus is the Square Talk series, which Hoagland
began in April. The first three meetings focused on helping
retailers present their businesses in the best possible light,
marketing their businesses, and attracting customers and employees
who will ensure their success.
The current quarter began with what Hoagland calls "Crucial
"We all face the almost daily need to have an important
conversation about our businesses or even on a personal level," he
A crucial conversation may be between two people, or in a group
setting among employees, or even between a business owner and
customers. The most important starting point, according to Hoagland,
is to produce a safe environment where a crucial conversation can
take place. Without the safe environment, those taking part can feel
uneasy and in one way or another, drop out of the conversation.
The person responsible for facilitating the crucial conversation
must ensure that the participants feel comfortable enough to speak
what is in their heart. Hoagland stressed this issue several times.
Speaking from the heart ensures that what is important to a person,
what they really want, gets said. If a comfortable, trusting
atmosphere is not in place, people can feel threatened and nothing
constructive will occur.
Hoagland discussed the signs of a conversation that is going off
the rails and what to look for in the conduct of the participants.
When the signs are there that a conversation is no longer focused on
the important issue, the situation must be turned around.
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Hoagland was quick to point out that a crucial conversation is
not just a business tool.
"The techniques used to ensure that a crucial conversation takes
place successfully can be used in personal relationships," he said.
Square Talk is not just Bill Hoagland standing in front of an
audience giving a lecture. He wants and encourages participants to
tell their stories and see how the techniques he brings to the
discussion can be used in a practical way. His mission is to give a
path for the attendees to attain their goals and give them the tools
to use in crucial and sometimes stressful situations. When the tools
are mastered, a person can move to action and get the desired
The 90-minute Square Talk sessions are offered by Hoagland and
Main Street Lincoln on the last Wednesday of each month from 11:30
a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Main Street Lincoln office, upstairs at 101
1/2 S. Kickapoo, Suite 13.
The next session will be Aug. 28 and is entitled "Crucial
Does an hour and a half sound like a long time to sit? Well, you
will find that the session flies by as this engaging business
educator provides information vital to business owners.
Coming up in August: "Crucial Confrontations"
Tools for resolving broken promises, violated expectations and
Behind the problems that regularly plague families, teams and
organizations are individuals who either can't or won't deal with
failed promises. The reason is that they're afraid to talk face to
face about difficult but important issues, and as their fear of
confrontation prevents them from resolving these issues, simple
problems grow into chronic problems.
In this session you will learn:
How to master your
How to describe
problems in ways that don't cause defensiveness.
How to motivate
others without using threats.
How to deal with
violated expectations without harming relationships.
How to talk to
your direct reports face to face when they don't live up to a
How to help others want to take action.
You may contact the Main Street Lincoln office at 217-732-2929
for more information.
To find out about
programs planned for the remainder of the year, see the news release
from this spring: