The Awesome Leader Blog

I write about anything that can help leaders gain a snappy, specific set of skills for managing up and managing teams.

How to Have a Heart-to-Heart Conversation

eq peers workplace Oct 08, 2019

Do you have an employee or a peer who is in pain and needs some very honest advice? 

In your battle-scarred life as a leader, knowing when and how to have a heart-to heart-talk is critical to your success and to help your employees stay focused and engaged. 

However, having an effective heart-to-heart conversation is not something most companies provide on the job training for. And, who wants to prepare to have a heart-to-heart? No one.

Instead, we usually learn how to have them through trial and error, often making mistakes along the way. 

In my work coaching leaders, I see that knowing how to have these intimate and oftentimes intense conversations is a necessary skill. 

So, I’m going to show you a straightforward, foolproof way to cut to the chase so both you and your employees come out ahead in such conversations. 

First, let’s talk about what we mean by a “heart-to-heart” conversation. 

I define a heart-to-heart conversation...

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Clashing Personalities at Work

eq personalities workplace Oct 01, 2019

We’ve all been there: dealing with the one person at work we just can’t get along with. No matter what we do and say, things don’t get easier. This person just seems different in every way from you. Their personality, wow, you simply don’t get them, and they probably don’t get you either. 

If you don’t work directly together or interact often, it’s not a big deal. So as long as you avoid each other, you can usually keep the peace fairly easily. 

But what about when that’s not an option? What about when it’s someone you do work directly with—such as a peer? 

You need to deal with it. And that doesn’t mean planting seeds in that person’s head for a possible transfer or forwarding their LinkedIn profile to recruiters at other companies.  

Depending on how overt these battles are, they can quickly drag everyone’s productivity—yours, your peers, and the team you are both part...

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Delegate Now to Save Time Later

Having a team to support you is an incredible opportunity, and you need to take advantage of the talents of your direct reports. Delegating—taking things off your plate and handing them off to others—is key to team, company, and individual success.

You get that. You know that part of your job is to hand tasks off to our team. So, it should be smooth sailing for us for the rest of your career. Just take those boring tasks that no one wants to do and hand them off to someone else. 

Ahh, if only it were that easy. What no one tells you when you get promoted is that delegation is much harder than you think it’s going to be. 

Why is it so hard to delegate appropriately? Here is my short answer: you head and heart make it hard to delegate. You think too much about what others will think when you delegate.

Stop worrying about delegation and just do it. Keep reading for some tips on how to choose what to delegate and how to do it effectively. 

 

#1....

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Managing Negativity: What to Do with the Complainer

behavior eq managing Sep 17, 2019

As a manager, a huge part of your job is to work with all kinds of people, with all kinds of temperaments. An amazing manager is able to recognize and use the strengths of each employee, finding a way to make the varying skills and personalities that make up their team work in harmony. It feels right. It sounds right. Yet just like the wrong note played in a song can create dissonance, so too can having to manage an employee who seems to only bring negativity to work with them. 

I’m sure you’ve encountered this type of person in your time as a manager: the naysayer, the person who shoots down every idea, the one who pushes back on everything asked of them. They complain about most everything and everyone. 

This kind of behavior is much more than annoying. It’s obstructive and depleting to everyone who shares the environment. And maybe even more: it can be infectious, like the flu running wild through each team. It lowers the morale of an entire team and...

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Say One Thing and Do Another: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive Employees

behavior eq workplace Sep 10, 2019

Have you seen this behavior in your workplace recently? 

  • The silent treatment. Someone hiding resentment by saying nothing about their true feelings or emitting just a few snide comments.
  • A coworker who says one thing, such as, “I’ll take care of that” but in reality does something completely different, like ignore your request
  • Someone sullenly completing tasks she has agreed to execute but complaining the whole time. 

These are perfect examples of passive-aggressive behavior. 

It’s maddening, underhanded, sneaky behavior.

I don’t think passive-aggressive behavior has a place in any work environment, but I see it all the time. We’ve all grown up, supposedly, but we hang on to childish behaviors we honed on the playground. 

Why do people act this way? 

The majority of people who exhibit passive-aggressive behavior have a negative reaction to something--a topic, a task, a person, something. They don’t like something....

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