COVID or Conflict? 4 tips for managing both situations.



Normally I coach leaders to resolve conflicts of all sizes, or facilitate resolution with them. I got to thinking about the strategies I teach (and use myself) in conflicts and realized that the current situation is putting those strategies to good use....

Will your business go on?



Speaking with a client today who is concerned about the virus’ effect on current business operations, I asked, “Will there be more business? Will your organization be able to survive this?” and she said yes, absolutely. But what hadn’t happened...

5 Tips for managers of remote staff



The current health crisis has caused many organizations to send people home to work. Your business still needs to run and you’re trying to do your part for public health. That’s great. But it may be making some of you itchy. Not all jobs are...

Manager Mistake of the Month



“Don’t forget to get that report in tomorrow!” “Don’t forget to get me those numbers! “Don’t forget to send me that article!” People love to tell me what happens at work and this month I have heard this...

Employees Are Not Mind-Readers

Credit: Natasha Connell on UnSplash

Well, I guess if their job is with the circus, as a clairvoyant … But for most people in business today, it works better if you don’t assume. Managers often say things to me like, “My employee has an MBA and experience.  She should know...

“My Door Is Always Open”​



Ah, the “open door” policy. If I think of it as an equation, here’s what it looks like to me: Stated “Open Door” + Manager repeats it often (It’s a policy so it’s mandated) / # of times employee is conflicted about going in + Strength of stink-eye given by Manager / Cost to replace the good employee who…

5-Star Game



There’s a trend in measuring “customer satisfaction” – the 5-Star Game.  It happened at the dentist. During a first visit to a new dentist in my new town, before they provide any actual services other than an assessment of my oral integrity,...

“One Year to Live” (or How Google Changed Everything)



It’s October 1, 2017 and I’m visiting Eugene, Oregon to see if I want to live there.  After four days I am sold.  Before I fly back to Atlanta to prepare for yet another cross-country move, I decide to play “One Year to Live.” Sometimes LinkedIn...

Aaarrggh, meetings!

I must rant about meetings. Leaders talk all the time about efficiency and productivity and the bottom line.  Everyone talks about how busy we all are.  Yet the long slow death of time-sucking, useless meetings continues in American business. Case:  The...

Stop Trying to Figure It OUT!

An employee, who up to this point has done a good job, starts making mistakes. The manager reaches the last straw, throws up her hands, and asks me, “Can you help me figure out why he’s doing this?!” No. But I listen to the story. She...

What Are You Paying Managers To Do?

People tell me things. They tell me what happens at work. The difficult situations that come up with managers, mostly. Take, for example, a big healthcare organization. A doctor is in charge of an internal program but has no expertise in it, so naturally...

Blowing Bubbles

In a recent post about Triathlon I talked about learning how to swim at age 40 so I could race.  My best effort initially was a modified doggy paddle and that simply would not do. The first thing the swim teacher taught me was to blow bubbles.  I must...

Hooked on Adrenaline

a·dren·al·ine əˈdren(ə)lən/ noun a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion. 16 months ago I made...

Come in, we’re open

Have you heard of “Speaking Circles“?  It’s “public speaking with ease and pleasure in front of any group.”  The principles include being yourself, speaking without a script, being present with your listeners one at a...

“I Like How You Did That”

Pop quiz:  “I like how you did that!” – Positive feedback or not? Textbook says … no. I know, I know, it sounds positive.  Affirming. A client recently started a new job.  Her new boss created the position and it requires expertise...

How Management is like Triathlon

A triathlon is a three-sport race:  Swim, Bike, Run.  Always in that order.  Many triathletes begin with strong skills in biking or running, making the swim an obstacle to a greater or lesser degree.  But as endurance athlete, speaker, author, and...

Reviving the Blog

I recently led a live leadership development program for a group of managers and executives.  It’s a start-up and most of the participants had little or no formal training in leading people.  It was a most positive and rewarding way for me to start...

“Can’t You Take A Joke?”

Have you ever been the recipient of sarcasm? Unwanted teasing? I’m not necessarily talking about the illegal kind, AKA sexual harassment. Rather, I’m talking about the smart remarks and teasing, poking fun and “just messin’...

Emergency

As I drove away from my home on Friday, the day of the West Coast tsunami warnings, I wondered if my home would still be here when I got back. I live about half a mile from the Santa Cruz small craft harbor. It sustained much damage and is now mostly...

Reality TV

I read an article recently that really set me off. I got hooked by one comment the author made, that it’s better to be useless than to be different, IF you want to keep your job. This bothers me for oh so many reasons. The idealist in me rails...

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