I write about anything that can help leaders gain a snappy, specific set of skills for managing up and managing teams.
A client gave me this sign. We are both obsessed with words and how to use them.
I spend all day talking. Or listening to someone else talk. I think about what to say back to an executive, guiding them in what they say or write.
I make it easier for them to communicate. To get it out, get it sorted, get their desires, asks, and concerns out.
Many days around 7 pm, I feel as if I lose my ability to speak. I can no longer help someone think about what to say or what to write.
Silence is my preferred language for the first 30 minutes upon returning home (and for the short commute from my one-person office suite).
My kids are teenagers, so silence is frequently the language of the house.
I try not to read into it. Even when my kids don’t speak, they say a lot—with their faces.
I can push and get answers from them when I need to. And since I live with them and have known them so long, I...
Yes, I'm pulling these three together. Keep reading.
In April, I shared my thoughts about leaders we need to recognize. I wrote about how I needed to remind myself that there are awesome leaders out there, and they are working hard to move us (us = communities, cities, states, provinces, and countries—heck, the world) forward in a safe for all manner.
Before I share ideas on how messy leadership is, a few new (and fun) items to share:
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...
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...
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...
Have you seen this behavior in your workplace recently?
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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I have the conversations listed and sample questions to get you going today.
Even if you’re not a new manager, you may be surprised that you’ve never had some of these conversations. So, start talking, manager!
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