Workplace Wisdom

16 May 2017

What to Do When Priorities Are in Conflict

Expand your market share. Increase your margin. Reorganize your team. Given the constant drumbeat of new and changing initiatives, it’s reasonable to wonder which priorities are truly the most important. I hear about this from clients with great frequency: “We just can’t get to everything.” “We’re not making enough progress.” “We do a new strat plan every few years, but we don’t seem to have moved any further.” Try Not to Lose Your Way It’s hard to work on more […]

25 Mar 2014

How to Give Employees a Sense of Direction

Most employees want to know where their leaders are headed before they’ll follow with energy and enthusiasm. When they can’t tell where you’re going or how you plan to get there, they’ll feel like they’re being left to wander — or even being abandoned — and they’ll become disheartened or disillusioned. So if you’re the leader, how can you get everyone on a single path — not in lockstep, but headed in the same general, purposeful direction? The Leadership Compass […]

13 Nov 2012

How to Handle Workplace Tantrums and Meltdowns

A manager in a creative industry wrote in to ask how she can deal with a colleague who regularly throws hissy fits, all of which follow a similar pattern. The Hisser has a periodic and appropriate need for certain staff resources, but he never discusses them in advance. Then, when it’s late in the process, the Hisser dramatizes his needs with actual yelling and screaming, as if there will be truly horrible outcomes if he doesn’t get what he wants […]

30 Oct 2012

How Can You Get Your Manager to Let You Help?

I heard from a middle manager who struggles with his senior manager’s unclear delegation and occasional absence of direction. The senior manager constantly shifts assignments, switching up what’s urgent today and what’s important tomorrow with virtually no notice — and does this so consistently that it almost feels as if the confusion is intentional. Middle likes to do well, wants to be a team player, and cares about managing his own schedule in a measured, non-frantic way, so he emails […]

25 May 2010

A Question of How to Say “No”

When I did a webinar, “Self Management in Frantic Times”, the most popular question that attendees sent in advance had to do with how to say “No.” No, because the request was illogical or unworkable. No, if I just can’t get to it right now on top of everything else. No, until the conditions are better so the payoff will be greater. It’s hard to say “No” — and have it stick. Almost everyone wants to be a good sport, […]


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