Workplace Wisdom Blog

16 Oct 2019

Here Is a New Way to Stop Saying “But”

A dear client and I were having a call the other day, discussing some development that one of his subordinates needed. “I’m going to tell her that this is good,” he said, “but I need her to do these other things as well,” and he laid out the problem that really needed attention. I was surprised. “You really think she’s going to buy that?” “No,” he answered, and laughed, because it was so obvious. No Buts About It: “But” Means […]

10 Oct 2019

When You Have to Generate Your Own Advice

When I ran into a local café to pick up some lunch, I saw a young woman who used to work there. She was visiting old colleagues after her first month as a first-year college student. I asked how things were going, and she described a situation full of real worry and stress. Not only was there a financial aid problem, but she had not yet had a meeting with her advisor, and without that crucial oversight she had registered […]

02 Oct 2019

Why Can’t Corporate Communications Be Better for People?

The other day an email with the innocuous subject line “Update from Skillshare” hit my inbox. Usually, I ignore the messages I get from online education providers. But I’d posted a course on Skillshare, back when the platform was new, and periodically I’d hear about a few dollars going to my PayPal account  or get a good review — my favorite called the class a “surprise gem,” and praised my “warmth and passion for good leadership” and the number of […]

24 Sep 2019

Managing an Employee Who Wants to Impress You All the Time

This article originally appeared on Every leader knows they shouldn’t play favorites — it can lead to dissatisfaction and discord on a team. There are even some surprising disadvantages for the person who is the focus of the boss’s special attention. But there will always be team members who want to make it into your inner circle, and sometimes a subordinate can be singularly focused on pleasing you and gaining your favor. This kind of courtship usually comes from fear, and […]


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