Workplace Wisdom

21 May 2019

How to Handle a Glitch in the Chain of Command

If your job is in the middle of an organization —as a senior manager, a director, an assistant VP, or even a VP with a couple of levels between you and the CEO — then you’re in leadership, even though you’re not at the top. When you’re in the middle, from time to time, you’ll probably get a direction that rings wrong or gives you a bad feeling, and it’s often hard to know what to do when that happens. […]

14 May 2019

Here Are the Reasons Leaders Feel Like No One Listens

Why is it that leaders often believe they’ve given clear direction, while the rank-and-file remains practically unaware that there’s been any communication at all? I just got an email from a mid-level manager who’s in the midst of a change initiative. He noted that although “those among the senior leadership felt they had communicated the change, allowed for inclusion and involvement and felt positive about the process,” the staff feel strongly that “they had zero voice, were not included in […]

07 May 2019

How to Help Inexperienced Young Employees Be Successful

Seasoned workers often complain about the unrealistic expectations and mistaken judgments of young, inexperienced employees. Yet organizations need junior people, beginners who aren’t aware of, or even interested in, everything their predecessors have done for the last 10 years. But you can ease junior employees’ entry, help them be more productive, and encourage their receptivity to senior colleagues’ intentions and concerns. Here are some ways to start young staffers off on the right foot and keep them on track. Point […]

30 Apr 2019

How to Make Sure You’re Leading When You’re a People-Pleaser

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. Good leaders tend to be skilled at satisfying their customers and supporting their colleagues. But if these positive approaches are taken too far they can backfire, and strong leaders can turn into weak people pleasers. Leaders who try too hard to be “nice” can also come across as lacking integrity.  Their facial microexpressions and other physical reactions alert colleagues that they’re not really on the level. That’s especially true when leaders try to avoid seeming […]

23 Apr 2019

This Is What to Do If an Employment Relationship Deteriorates

No job is meant to be “until death do us part.” Employment is a theoretical deal: The employer is willing to pay a certain amount of money for an employee’s successful execution of a set of roles and responsibilities. But often these relationships sour. I’ve observed many employees who have outlasted their welcome or let their performance slide. Whose Responsibility Is It, Anyway? In some cases, responsibility falls on the employee. They may have outside interests or concerns that distract […]

16 Apr 2019

This Is What Happens When a Leadership Team Falls Out of Alignment

Misaligned leadership eventually disrupts teams and their work, putting employees at cross purposes, log-jamming initiatives, and making people at all levels feel stalemated or overwhelmed with negotiating daily details. Even misaligned leaders themselves can feel disconcerted and annoyed. It’s obvious that when people have to fight their way through their jobs every day, they’re not likely to have any energy or headspace for new ideas or improvements. So why do so many organizations tolerate this situation? Is Your Leadership Misaligned? […]

09 Apr 2019

How to Work for a Boss Who Has Unrealistic Expectations

This article originally appeared on hbr.org. Whether your manager is a front-line supervisor or the CEO, every leader occasionally has unrealistic expectations. But some bosses are unrealistic most of the time. They don’t take into account the facts on the ground, or they habitually refer to their past experiences at other companies rather than to the people and events in the current organization, or perhaps they report to someone who’s even more aggressive or overly optimistic than they are. When you […]

02 Apr 2019

How To Rise To The Occasion After Negative Feedback

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. It’s hard to take criticism well. When we’re receiving negative feedback, it’s common to flash back to past experiences of being found wanting from times as early as childhood. And some experts say our reaction to being criticized is related to the feelings of being physically assaulted. Unfortunately, it’s hard to implement even the most well-meaning feedback if we can’t bear to hear it, or try to push it away and deny its merits. To do a […]

27 Mar 2019

How to Prepare for an Unexpected, Unwanted and Unwelcome Business Setback

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com Like most entrepreneurs, I’m dependent on both computer and human support. But sometimes that support can fail — big time. Over the last 10 weeks, I’ve taken significant hits in both of these areas, despite strong efforts at advance planning. The business and I survived, but it has been 10 weeks, and counting, of distraction. Of course, I’m not alone: Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Hengchen Dai of the Anderson School of Management at UCLA said that, […]

19 Mar 2019

How to Get a New Employee Off on the Right Foot

“What do I need to do to make sure James gets off to a good start?” my client asked. Leaders talk a lot about setting people up for success, but most onboarding seems to focus on documentation for HR files, occasionally on formal task training and only rarely on “how things work here.” Employees who aren’t part of a large training group are often left to figure things out on their own. That’s why I’m always happy when a manager […]

 

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