Do you compliment?

People whose efforts are rewarded are more engaged and do better work. Unsurprisingly, they’re happier, too, at work and at home. So here’s the question for leaders and managers: do you compliment? Do you acknowledge? Do you recognize? Compliments are, as Christopher Littlefield points out, “conflict prevention.” Littlefield knows whereof he speaks: he’s a conflict resolution expert, author, and founder …

The missing skill for leadership and life

Let’s talk about listening. (See what I did there?) I’ve said over and over again that we need to teach communication skills in grade school, high school, college, and postgrad – all the way through and all the way up. There are classes in writing, public speaking, presentations, negotiation, and so on, but all those classes focus on specific types …

Want better meetings?

Of course you do. We all want better meetings. We want people to be present, focused, attentive, and collaborative. I’m not going to give you all the usual advice about only scheduling meetings when absolutely necessary, only inviting the relevant people, and making sure you have an agenda – and then sticking to it. (Yes, I know you see what …

Two thirds say they have no idea…

This morning, reading through my various email newsletters, I came across some … I won’t say shocking, because I’m neither surprised nor shocked; I’ll say concerning data in FAST COMPANY magazine’s “Compass” newsletter. They cited a McKinsey survey that indicates that This is a problem. Maybe you haven’t set your strategy yet. Okay, you’re running a tad (!) late on …

A simple preventive for employee turnover

Want to prevent employee turnover? Keep your best employees engaged? Avoid the really high cost of hiring replacements? Say “Thank you.” According to Eric Mosley of WorkHuman, as heard in an interview on Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead podcast, just five thank-yous  in a year reduces the likelihood of turnover by a bit more than half, from 15% to 7%. …

Hey. Thanks!

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the United States. Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to “be thankful” for what we have. Depending on how you look at it, we either have a lot to be thankful for, or notsomuch, or somewhere in between. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary, and I’m not here to tell you how you “should” …

Do your first-line managers know?

Your first-line managers are your first line of defense against misinformation and rumor. They’re the ones to whom employees look for critical information. How are you managing employee safety? What are the new processes for performance evaluation? Can employees be reimbursed for home-office expenses? Are there flextime options for parents whose kids are learning at home, instead of in school? …

But I don’t know what to say!

I was gently taken to task last week by a Black friend who said she “would have welcomed a message” from me when the Black Lives Matter protests started after the police murder of George Floyd. I won’t deny it: that stung, and it should have stung. I deserved it. The challenge for so many of us white people is both …

Micromanaging: a communication problem?

Most people have had to work for or with a micromanager at some point in their career. (If you’re one of the lucky few who haven’t, congratulations – and I hope your luck holds!) Micromanagement, according to Wikipedia, is: a management style whereby a manager closely observes and/or controls and/or reminds the work of his/her subordinates or employees. Micromanagement is …

Brainstorming … with a remote team

Trying to figure out how to brainstorm on video? Wondering what you can do to pull your remote team into a brainstorming session that will actually work? (Yes, your suspicion that brainstorming sessions are often less than wonderfully effective is true!) In this video, I share my two top approaches for effective brainstorming with remote team – OR in person. And …