A Workplace Communication Fable with Three Great Lessons

Challenging workplace conversations and even confrontations are inevitable. The key is to be at your best when many might be at their worst. Learn to tie these three together—own your message, manage yourself in the moment, and practice positive persuasion—and you have a bright communication future in front of you.

New Manager Development—Put Your Back Into It

New manager development in many organizations is ad hoc at best and non-existent at worst. And while short-term pressures often drive sudden decisions to move people into first-time manager roles, the potential for misfiring is high. For managers responsible for identifying and developing new managers, effort expended ahead of time in assessing the individual's fit for the role pays dividends for all parties. Of course, this takes some time and effort ahead of the need. As my old boss would say, "You have to put your back into it."

The High Cost of Feedback Left Unspoken

I fret over feedback poorly provided. I also recognize that not all feedback is worth listening to—a great deal depends upon the source and the motivations of the feedback giver. However, I worry a great deal about the incredible and immeasurable cost of important feedback never given. As Deming suggests, this value is unknown and unknowable. And that worries me.

By |2018-09-13T07:42:43+00:00September 12th, 2018|Career, Emerging Leaders, Leadership, Leadership Caffeine|0 Comments

Effective Leaders Understand the Need to Create an Emotional Connection to Strategy

It’s no secret that top leaders and their management teams struggle with strategy. After all, choosing a direction, saying “no” to other opportunities and then creating a blueprint for organization-wide involvement is one of the most difficult challenges of organizational life. This challenge is made easier however, when leadership ensures all employees have the opportunity to internalize and develop an emotional connection to the strategy.

The Curious Case of Translating Curiosity into Action in Your Organization

I love curious managers, teams, and individuals. Curiosity is the stardust of creation in our organizations. And while the questions and the explorations and the discoveries are all fascinating, what we as organizational leaders have our sights set on, is realizing ideas that turn into changes that promote positive outcomes. Here are three ideas to help improve your ideas-to-outcomes results:

When Proposing Change, Try Reducing the Threat Level First

Good managers work hard at pushing fear out of the workplace. Yet, even in the healthiest of organizations, fear’s close cousin, anxiety, worms its way into our consciousness and governs how we process and react to the idea of change and each other. Skilled change leaders in the workplace understand this human reaction to new and different ideas and work hard to reduce the threat level when proposing something new.

Art of Managing—The Never Ending Fight for Your Firm’s Future

Great management teams are hungry to win in the moment and relentless at building for the future. It takes discipline and deliberate efforts to separate the here and now from an imagined but uncertain future—yet success over time demands this effort and discipline. Here are four big behaviors of management teams succeeding today while fighting hard for a great future:

Stop Talking and Start Drawing to Create Communication Clarity at Work

When you're struggling to create clarity on an important topic or navigating a heated group discussion, it pays to stop talking and start drawing. This sudden shift in medium takes the negative energy out of discussion and focuses your audience on designing a way forward. Here are 7 tips to help you get to the whiteboard in pursuit of communication clarity: