August 3rd, 2015
“It felt like I had no choice.” These words were spoken by a successful corporate executive who managed million-dollar high-tech projects, and pioneered new ways of communicating within her organization and for her clients.
She was describing what can happen when we don’t have good boundaries.
“I resented feeling like I had to say ‘yes’ to every request, no matter what,” she continued, “I watched colleagues heading out to lunch, going home at a reasonable hour, while feeling like I had to make the client happy at any cost.”
You might think this was an expectation within her corporate culture. It wasn’t. As she came to realize, it was a question of her own boundaries — or lack thereof. Read the rest of this entry »
July 2nd, 2015
Can you imagine going through your workday without being able to communicate verbally? It would be nearly impossible, wouldn’t it?
For most of us, talking is so easy that we just do it without thinking about it. We have a general idea of what we want to say, we say it, and we move on.
And yet we’ve all experienced what happens when communication goes astray: misunderstandings, unintended consequences, missed opportunities, and general frustration. It doesn’t have to be like that! Read the rest of this entry »
June 29th, 2015
“It’s easier to just do it myself.” Have you ever heard that said? And be honest: have you ever said it?
It can feel true. Teaching what you know takes time and energy that are hard to spare from the everyday demands of your job. And teaching what you know isn’t part of most people’s job descriptions. So why not just do it (whatever “it” is) yourself, rather than teaching someone else?
There are many reasons – and here are three questions to consider if you’ve been saying “it’s easier to do it myself.” Read the rest of this entry »
June 8th, 2015
If you have the responsibility of leading and influencing others, it’s important that you remain aware of the impact you have on them in the area of integrity and ethics. Employees who see ethical behavior modeled by their manager or supervisor are more likely to act in kind. Additionally, employees who rate their leader as “ethical” typically have greater job satisfaction and higher levels of commitment.
Here are 10 guidelines for ethical leadership, along with corresponding action steps to help you put the guidelines into practice: Read the rest of this entry »
May 12th, 2015
Transparency in business – it’s become quite the buzzword. And like all buzzwords, it’s easy to think of it as just another fad. It’s also easy for an organization to pay lip service to the idea without ever following through. But transparency is important for everyone: employees, leaders, customers, and — for publicly-held companies — stockholders.
Here’s how it impacts each group.
When employees are clear about the “why” behind their assigned projects and tasks, they’re much more prepared to do what needs to be done – which could include them making suggestions for improvements that would otherwise never have been imagined, simply because there wasn’t enough information available.
Educate every employee about the importance and relevance of what they’re asked to do, and you’ll have a more motivated, thoughtful, and productive workforce. Keep them in the dark, and you’re inviting mistakes, lackadaisical performance, and disengagement.
Read the rest of this entry »
April 22nd, 2015
Click to see larger image.
A recent survey conducted by Training Magazine and The Ken Blanchard Companies revealed that 89% of people want to meet with their manager on at least a monthly basis.
Some managers get this and instinctively find time once a month (if not more) to sit down and chat with their direct reports. Other managers….well, not so much. For those managers, help is here.
This infographic highlights some of the important elements of effective One-on-Ones. (to view this graphic as a PDF with larger text, click here: 8 Tips for Effective Informal Performance Discussions.)
Recommended Training Resource
Discussing Performance – Through a realistic scenario showing both sides of a performance discussion, this video program explains how to make them painless, but effective, for everyone concerned.
April 8th, 2015
Put people into a situation where they disagree, and pretty soon they’re squaring off at each other, each one digging in their heels and working hard to find reasons why they’re right and the other person is wrong.
We all do it. We do it in business meetings, in customer service situations, with colleagues, and even with the people we love most. It seems logical. After all, we want to win the argument. We want the other person to back down, to admit that we know best, to go along with what we want. Of course, that’s exactly what the other person wants as well. So there you are, each of you getting more and more frustrated and angry. In extreme cases, the conversation gets destructive and relationships fall apart.
And yet, there’s one simple concept that changes the whole scenario. What if neither of you was the enemy? What if, despite the fact that you’re disagreeing about something, you could come together as partners to find a way through, instead of battling it out?
It’s a radical shift that creates radical results. And you don’t even have to tell the other person what you’re doing. Just say to yourself, “This person is not the enemy,” and see how it changes how you feel and think, and what you say and do.
Recommended training resource: The barriers that go up between departments and individuals within an organization are destructive, and they can seem insurmountable. Of course, so too, did the Berlin Wall. In our program Tearing Down Walls, renowned management consultant, author, and speaker Dr. Stephen R. Covey uses the tearing down of the Berlin Wall as a powerful metaphor for the ways that people within organizations can break down the barriers between departments.
March 24th, 2015
Time. As the saying goes, we all get the same amount: 24 hours in each day.
How come some people get so much done and others struggle to make the day’s priorities match up with the available hours?
We’ve identified three common causes, which we call “time leaks.”
You know the experience of focus: you’re immersed in what you’re doing, you look up after what feels like mere moments to discover that far more time has passed, AND you realize you’ve made monumental progress.
The time leak is lack of focus: getting coffee, chatting with colleagues, maybe even distracting yourself with Facebook or Twitter.
Become consciously aware of where your time is going, and you’ll find you can easily plug this time leak to create more focus in your day. Read the rest of this entry »
February 3rd, 2015
Change is a constant. Whether it’s the annual stress of open enrollment for health care (“Wait, what? My coverage is changing again?”) or an unexpected shift in your job focus (“But I thought the lime green widget was a priority. When did we change to the purple gizmo?”) — the one certainty is that change is going to happen.
And there’s one thing we do have control over: how we respond to change, even when it comes at us out of the blue.
We can get stuck being a victim. You know those people, right? They’re the ones holding a pity party in the break room. Or, we can respond positively and keep moving forward. You know those people, too. They’re the ones who are more fun and interesting to be around!
Here are five tips for staying out of a victim mindset, even when it seems like everything is blowing up around you. Read the rest of this entry »