Workplace Wisdom

13 Aug 2019

How to Shift from Asking for Trust to Being Trustworthy

Twice in the last couple of weeks, senior leaders have asked me for examples of trust-building exercises, or instructions for running trust facilitations, as a way to create trust among a group of people who don’t know each other or don’t already trust each other. But as I said to them, please don’t ask your employees to trust you, or their other managers. Likewise, don’t ask your leadership team to ensure that employees trust their managers or senior leaders — […]

06 Aug 2019

Here Are 3 Ways HR Can Improve Its Credibility

This article originally appeared on Forbes. HR leaders have a tough job: They have to make and enforce rules that protect the organization, while simultaneously supporting employees as people. These responsibilities can often be in conflict, creating discomfort for both HR and employees. Despite the commitment and care of most HR professionals, the business press is full of articles like “HR Is Not Your Friend. Here’s Why” and the EEOC estimates that “75 percent of all workplace harassment incidents go unreported […]

30 Jul 2019

How to Be Your Own Best Colleague

For years, we’ve heard that it’s crucial to have a friend at work. I’ve seen it in my own practice: Whenever I interview groups of employees, in very different kinds of organizations, I ask, “What’s good about this place? Why do you stay?” The most frequent and consistent answer I hear is “Because of the people.” But not everyone has someone at work who’s a true friend — someone who has their back, helps them think things through, and hangs […]

23 Jul 2019

Why Leaders Fail to Make Succession Plans – And What to Do About It

This article originally appeared on The European Financial Review. Boards and executive teams may lament the lack of a succession plan for the business, but struggle to find the time or approaches that will ensure a successful future. It can be stressful and disruptive to consider the departure of the CEO and the risks of business transition, but following some straightforward steps will help smooth the way. Over the last 10 years, research has shown that more than 50% of […]

09 Jul 2019

Managing an Underperformer in a Family Business

This article originally appeared on hbr.org. In family businesses, leaders sometimes make hiring and staffing decisions based on relationship and obligation as much as on competence and experience. After all, one purpose of these firms is to provide employment for family members. But that doesn’t mean all family members perform effectively. A few may feel so entitled or untouchable that they slack off or stop collaborating, and sometimes they get a pass for their mistakes or behaviors. At times, they may […]

25 Jun 2019

What to Do When Your Direct Report Starts Crying (Besides Panic)

This article originally appeared on The Muse. There’s more and more media coverage and management literature today about the importance of authenticity at work. There’s a book and an accompanying TEDx talk called “Bring Your Whole Self to Work” by a fellow named Mike Robbins, and a completely separate TED talk called “Why You Should Bring Your Whole Self to Work” by Dan Clay. Generation by generation, people are learning to be more of who they are, and not to […]

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 […]

28 May 2019

How to Avoid the Damage a “Working Manager” Can Do to Your Team

Does your company rely on “working managers” who simultaneously do the job they supervise? Many companies do, without being aware of the downsides. Working managers are most often found in small companies, where even those in leadership have to roll up their sleeves and pitch in to get the work done, whether it’s packing and shipping merchandise that must go out immediately, answering phone calls whenever it gets busy, or designing web pages —while being responsible for the work of […]

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 […]

 

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