Workplace Wisdom

17 Jul 2018

Are You Hiring the Best Candidate for the Job or the One You Like the Most?

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. There’s no perfect test (yet) to discern who will be the best possible hire. Even after preparing thorough job descriptions and formal assessments covering everything from personality to hand-eye-coordination, it’s a challenge to sort through the way people present themselves in interviews and in their resumes. During the screening and interviewing process, employers can be distracted by multiple kinds of bias and their own personal taste and preferences. It’s also easy to fall into […]

10 Jul 2018

Focus on Tasks, Not Emotions, to Save Money on Conflict

“Conflict costs businesses a ton of money,” management guru Steve Caldwell observed while interviewing me recently. Caldwell is a team leadership coach, the author of Manager Mojo: Be the Leader that Others Want to Follow, and the creator of the podcast Manager Mojo, where he highlights commonsense solutions to management and leadership issues. These lightly edited excerpts from our conversation create a through-line from the reasons for conflict to tips for reducing the disruption and expense that conflict causes. How […]

03 Jul 2018

5 Tactics That Will Help You Adjust to Your New Leader

Let’s say, you’ve been working hard, minding your own business, and suddenly you learn that you’re going to have a new boss. Maybe your old boss is leaving, or perhaps you’ve been reorganized. Whatever the reason for the change, you’re worried — which is both reasonable and practical — about how you and your new boss will get along, whether your work will be disrupted, and if your career will suffer or be supported. On top of your purely personal […]

19 Jun 2018

This Is Why Being an Employee Is Not Like Being a Navy SEAL

An up-and-coming manager at one of my client companies asked for help with a longstanding employee. Over time, his behavior had become problematic for other employees — and sometimes for customers as well. In addition to making more and more mistakes and creating conflict with co-workers, he had begun ignoring his manager’s feedback and doing juvenile things like claiming he didn’t have time to get his work done while blatantly engaging in social media and other online diversions during work […]

12 Jun 2018

7 Signs You May Need to Leave Your Original Team Members Behind

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. As your business grows, so do its needs for talent and skill. But, over time, your business’s needs may outpace the skills of your founding and core employees, and your very success can become a barrier to scaling and continuing success. The needs of every growing business will vary, but after working with privately held and family-owned businesses for 30 years, I’ve seen certain patterns come up again and again. If your employees aren’t also […]

29 May 2018

5 Things to Do If Someone You Just Promoted Messes Up

No matter how high our hopes are for a newly promoted manager, things often go remarkably wrong. Sometimes it’s the new manager’s attitude or belief. For instance, I’ve worked with a previously responsible employee who viewed his promotion as justification to stop handling details, because they’re for “lower-level people.” Another newly promoted employee saw her promotion as validation of her work and herself as she was, and decided she no longer needed to learn new skills. Promotions can also bring […]

22 May 2018

How to Work with Ambitious Employees When There’s No Growth Opportunity

When you’re lucky enough to employ someone who has the capacity to do superior work and then grow past the job, but you haven’t got an appropriate outlet for them, it can be a challenge to keep them in the company, let alone within your work group. One of my clients got in touch recently to discuss what to do about two very different team members who’ve told him they are interested in growing beyond their current roles. Case 1: […]

15 May 2018

What to Do If Your Boss Is Getting Forgetful

Leaders always have a lot on their minds, so perhaps they can be forgiven if they occasionally mistake a date or time, or don’t remember asking you to stop or start something. But a pattern of repeated or even periodic forgetting can have a negative impact on your work — and on you. For example, it’s disruptive if you and your boss have agreed to a particular sequence of events or a set of priorities, and you’re tootling along, getting […]

01 May 2018

Why You Need to Stop Covering for Your B+ Employees

When you inherit incumbent staff members, you almost never get all grade-A players. But if you wind up with too many people who are stuck at B+ or lower, it can be tough to achieve all the results you’re responsible for. I’m currently working with a leader who’s been reassigned — at a higher level — back to her old group. She reviewed her team members’ strengths and weaknesses with me, and identified who needed which kinds of development. Several […]

24 Apr 2018

How to Deal with a Colleague Who Threatens You

“I won’t oppose you now, but if anything goes wrong, I’ll go toe-to-toe with you.” My colleague was already standing practically toe-to-toe with me — and besides being much taller and stronger than I, he was leaning forward and speaking in a threatening tone. He disagreed strongly with a decision I was making, but had neither the authority nor the group support to counter it. If he wasn’t actually going to take a swing at me (and of course he […]

 

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