Workplace Wisdom

18 Jun 2019

How to Keep Your Cool with a Variety of Office Interrupters

I used to work with a guy who would stick his head into my office and say, “Got a minute?” Of course, he always took a whole lot more. All kinds of interrupters can steal your focus and make a tossed salad of your thoughts, from people stopping by your desk, to your boss wanting “just one more thing,” to colleagues literally breaking into your speech and your train of thought during a meeting. Unbelievably, most office workers are interrupted […]

11 Jun 2019

These Unexpected Lessons Help New Managers Be Successful

Being responsible for managers early in their careers is no picnic. There are so many things that they don’t know — and can mess up! Here are several crucial areas experienced managers often don’t think to explain, but which can save new managers — and therefore their bosses and team members — from a world of heartache and repair. Delegating isn’t leading. Most new managers start out by distributing or assigning work as if they’re sharing it, treating their team […]

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 […]

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? […]

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 […]

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 […]

12 Mar 2019

How To Recover From Stressful Workplace Problems In 5 Simple Steps

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com Whether you’ve been part of an uncomfortable conflict, gotten turned down by an important customer, or had to deliver bad news to your team, upsetting things happen at work almost every day. To be effective, you need to identify what you can control in the situation rather than ruminating over your reactions to the problem. These five tips will help you keep everything in proportion and get back to whatever else you need to do. Assess your […]

05 Mar 2019

What Should You Do When You Know a Project Is Bad?

Most projects and initiatives start out with carefully thought-out plans and a decent chance of success. But every once in a while, you get that sinking feeling that something is heading for a flop: not the kind of failure that comes from a reasonable experiment or despite a good effort, but one that results from misfires due to errors in analysis or lack of executional capability. Who has the responsibility to nix a bad project or debunk an unrealistic forecast? […]

26 Feb 2019

How to Respond When Employees Ignore Feedback

Don’t you get frustrated when you’ve told an employee a hundred times what you need them to do, or how they’re supposed to behave, yet it makes no difference? Or even worse, when the person tells you they understand, or says the magic words, “I’ll try to do better,” but nothing changes? The reason nothing is changing could be because you’re not taking a decisive, accurately targeted approach. First, consider that there’s a significant difference between dealing with someone who […]

 

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