Workplace Wisdom

08 Nov 2016

How to Cope with Post-Election Impact in the Workplace

I’m writing this post a few days before the historic presidential election of 2016. No matter who wins, an enormous number of people are going to feel horrified and upset. After all of the heated rhetoric and breaks with political history, it may be even more difficult than usual for people of differing belief systems, social preferences, and cultures to find the necessary middle ground to get back to transacting business and cooperating on projects. And I’m not just talking […]

11 Oct 2016

What Are the Best Ways Leaders Make Up Their Minds?

Smart, effective decision-making is one of the most important and complex parts of team or organizational leadership. Leaders make up their minds based on what they already believe and the way they operate; then they deliver the decisions according to their personal style. I’ve worked with all kinds of leaders including profit-seeking, consensus-seeking, excitement-seeking, control-seeking, risk-avoidant, and conflict-avoidant; each of these styles can be both positive and negative, depending on the circumstance. Fast, Slow, or In Between? Not surprisingly, many […]

05 Oct 2016

How to Help Micromanagers Get Better Results

Some managers who’ve risen through the ranks become overly controlling once they begin to exercise authority. They squelch subordinates’ ability to take risks, develop, and contribute, both individually and collectively. Here are two examples I’ve worked with recently: The Dictatorial Isolationist Anastasia is a transactional, concrete kind of boss. Relationships and fresh thinking don’t impress her. She relates quality of performance to hours worked, visible effort, and immediate responsiveness. Appropriate outcomes aren’t sufficient; she only cares about whether team members […]

20 Sep 2016

How Can I Help You If I’m Not Listening to You?

“Andy, you’re not listening to me, bro!” I heard this accusation delivered in the hall outside my office in a very tense tone by a fellow with a very tense face. There’s a mortgage brokerage on my floor, and sometimes, when the phone reps are having a hard time with a borrower, they leave their office and talk on their mobiles or headsets in the hallway. Real estate transactions can be stressful. They involve big money, huge commitments, and multiple […]

06 Sep 2016

When We Misread Cues and Get Things Wrong

We like to think we understand what’s going on. But sometimes we get things completely wrong. Take a look at this very short video about how, even with the best intentions, our attempts to understand, please, and get things right can fall short — resulting in confusion, disappointment, and maybe even a little shock. Note the boy’s facial expressions. We’ve all experienced the boy’s feeling of optimism suddenly turning to dread. Seeing this video reminded me of a troubling experience […]

23 Aug 2016

10 Unexpected Lessons: Launching My New Website

As a professional, get-things-done type, I pictured my rebranding and website relaunch project like this: plan the project, hire and supervise providers, deal with occasional setbacks, and be generally pleased with the result four to six months later. That’s not how it worked out. It took three copywriters, four photographers, and three different design groups — and over three years. I needed to get it wrong — repeatedly — to learn how to get it right. Yearnings and Learnings I […]

12 Jul 2016

“Diversity and Inclusion” Programs Are Failing. Now What?

Research from McKinsey confirms that diversity leads to better financial results, competitive advantage, employee satisfaction, and other success factors. But a Deloitte report shows that most organizations aren’t prepared to deliver on that promise. All too often, people with differences feel required to assimilate to be accepted. They adopt “covering” behaviors in the face of the dominant culture’s norms, suppressing their own natural actions and responses. Not assimilating can mean being judged as uncooperative or a poor fit, and possibly […]

14 Jun 2016

Getting Our Signals Crossed at Work

One day last week after lunch, while walking back to my office, I noticed a man parking in the last of four curbside spots in front of the Post Office. He maneuvered a bit and then stopped his car just as another car pulled up, right behind him where there was no official spot. The windows in the second car were open, so I could hear the driver exclaiming to her passenger: “What’s he doing?! Why doesn’t he move up!?” […]

10 May 2016

How to Connect the “Triple-A Way”

“I love your prints!” I said to the two brightly attired women who were exiting the lobby of my office building just ahead of me. “You look wonderful together!” They were startled — and delighted! I could hear them chattering to each other as I walked away: “Wasn’t that nice! Well, we do look good!” Although they hadn’t seemed to be feeling particularly positive when I first saw them, now they were smiling and nodding to each other, looking as […]

26 Apr 2016

Which Kind of Helper Would You Rather Be?

One day last week, in New York City for meetings, I was waiting in line at a subway MetroCard machine, and noticed that the woman behind me was practically vibrating with anger and frustration. Technically, she was just trying to help. Or at least that’s what she may have thought, in some part of her mind. But in the real world, she was waving her arms and shouting a stream of invective at the people at the head of the […]

 

Subscribe To Workplace Wisdom

 

First Name (required)

Last Name (required)

Email (required)

Weekly Blogs

Monthly Compilation