The 10, nah, 4 things employees want more than a raise

Good managers are vigilant about what employees need - because it really is about making them better. Now, consider this headline from a very good web site: Ten things employees want more than a raise … Hmmm, I thought. Ten? It's hard to believe there are 10 things employees want more than a raise. I think most employees would put getting a raise right at or near the top of any list of … [Read more...]

The real reason good communication is so hard to come by

People are busy, so I’ll try to make this point quickly and clearly: Good communication is a two-way street. Sometimes it is a three-way street, and sometimes four  … or even ten. But at a minimum, it's just like the tango. It takes two. At its most basic, a message goes out and it must be received and understood by the other person for it to be an effective communication. And in that … [Read more...]

One mouth, two ears … you do the math

We have two ears and one mouth so we may listen more and talk less. – Epictetus Or is it … We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say. – Zeno of Citium Or maybe … We have two ears and only one tongue in order that we may hear more and speak less. – Diogenes Laërtius When philosophers know their words could be memorialized through the centuries, shouldn't … [Read more...]

3 questions to ask before dealing with a difficult person

Every organization seems to have (at least) one difficult person. They come in all shapes and sizes: the know it all, the chronic complainer, the passive-aggressive who always buys into your plan, then sets off in his own direction. Short of firing them (hmmmmm), what do you do? Let’s stipulate that we are all difficult from time to time. But is being difficult really just in the eye of … [Read more...]

Headline, Hints or Storyteller? What’s your communication style?

Communication is the basis for all workplace success. Thankfully, it’s a tool every manager can afford. It fits your budget. As managers we really have no good excuse for not having at least an adequate supply of communication sitting around someplace. It’s putting it to good use that takes some effort. (If you haven’t seen communication for a while, or wonder who had it last, ask around. … [Read more...]

The best story to tell is the one about you

One thing that never goes out of fashion is good storytelling. In fact, it's all the rage right now. Storytelling is the next-new-big-skill-thing on LinkedIn. You know you have truly arrived as a manager if others have “endorsed” you for it. Science probably would tell us that storytelling is in our genes. It has been around since the dawn of civilization, when compelling storytelling … [Read more...]

The 4 things all good employees want from work

“You give people what they want, and they’ll come out for it.” -- Harry Cohn, Founder, Columbia Pictures It's great advice. Same goes for the workplace. Give employees what they want, and they’ll work hard for it. But do you know what employees want? Here are some things employees say they want - along with some ideas on how to make it happen. Clear Direction People hate when  someone is … [Read more...]

Communication lessons from the Land of Oz

You’re searching for the perfect movie when you come across this blurb: Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets, then teams up with three strangers to kill again. Ugh, you think, “am I really up for another heart-stopping, crime-thriller about a murderous millennial?” No? Good, because this is  actually a real-life teaser for the 1939 All-American … [Read more...]

6 management mistakes that undermine leadership

Successful managers are forever shuffling and prioritizing. You know the story -- the best laid plans get laid to waste, and new efforts and initiatives await your attention. It's true that the higher you go, the harder the winds blow. So remember when things are hectic and pressures mount to not stray far from a half-dozen fundamental management tactics that will help to see you … [Read more...]

Imagine that! Email ban forced people to talk face-to-face

Here's a quick tale of the CEO who did the unthinkable: He banned email and instead forced his employees to communicate for one week the old-fashioned way – face-to-face. Did the email ban work? Or was it a flop? Believe it or not, the move actually boosted productivity and revealed when email communication is absolutely necessary. Shayne Hughes, CEO at Learning for Leadership, was the … [Read more...]