15 Questions That Can Dramatically Improve Any Relationship at Work

We all feel challenged at one time or another by colleagues, managers, clients, or customers. When we don’t take into account differences in expectations, communication styles, and priorities, we can set our relationships up to be plagued by hurt feelings and chronic frustration. In her book, Make Difficult People Disappear: How to Deal with Stressful Behavior and Eliminate…Continue reading 15 Questions That Can Dramatically Improve Any Relationship at Work

3 Questions That Will Quickly Uncover Your Employees’ Motivation

Every time I teach workshops for managers, I hear one question over and over: “How can I motivate my employees?” It’s an important question. Motivated employees are more likely to think creatively, go above and beyond, hold themselves and others accountable for results, work autonomously, want to learn and grow, feel personally connected to the company, and ultimately…Continue reading 3 Questions That Will Quickly Uncover Your Employees’ Motivation

3 Ways Leaders Can Help Middle Managers Get Better at Feedback

Giving and receiving developmental feedback from anyone is challenging. And for middle managers, this can be especially tricky. Why? First of all, many middle managers wrestle with the transition from peer to supervisor. They worry that their former colleagues may not see them as having earned their new authority, or that these colleagues resent them for having been promoted (especially…Continue reading 3 Ways Leaders Can Help Middle Managers Get Better at Feedback

Don’t Worry, Nothing Will Go Wrong . . . Go Wrong . . . Go Wrong

The other day in my (Ellen’s) Jazzercise class, the instructor suddenly had a problem to confront: One of the songs in her 60-minute set of routines had been suddenly sucked up into “the cloud” and would no longer play on her iPhone. What were her choices? Try for a sing-along? Do a lot of whistling?…Continue reading Don’t Worry, Nothing Will Go Wrong . . . Go Wrong . . . Go Wrong

Why ‘Emotional Impact’ Should Be One of Your Team’s Most Important Metrics

For many leaders and teams, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a core indicator of success. KPIs serve as the foundation for performance evaluations, compensation, promotions, and can even point to the health (or lack thereof) of the company overall. At their best, KPIs can facilitate clear, relevant, timely communication for you and your teams about what outcomes matter most,…Continue reading Why ‘Emotional Impact’ Should Be One of Your Team’s Most Important Metrics

The Best Public Speakers Do This 1 Thing Regularly (and You Should Too)

For many people, making presentations is fraught with a fear of being judged (which, let’s face it, you are), concerns about being caught unprepared, and the risk of ruining your reputation. As British judge Sir George Jessel once remarked, “The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops…until you stand up to…Continue reading The Best Public Speakers Do This 1 Thing Regularly (and You Should Too)

The 1 Thing You Must Do When Stress at Work Takes Its Toll

“I can’t believe I’m feeling anxious for my team meeting, and for no good reason!” “My heart is pounding thinking about this sales call. When will I get a grip?” “I always freak out during presentations. I’m such a wimp!” Do any of these sound familiar? If you struggle with anxiety at work, chances are, you’re…Continue reading The 1 Thing You Must Do When Stress at Work Takes Its Toll

The Simple Mistake You’re Making in Delivering Feedback That You Can Fix Today

Nobody likes giving negative feedback or delivering potentially disappointing news to a direct report. And while many individual contributors know that they actually need negative feedback to get better at their jobs, they typically don’t relish the idea of finding out that they’re falling short of expectations. Nevertheless, negative feedback– when delivered carefully and thoughtfully– can help individuals and teams course correct,…Continue reading The Simple Mistake You’re Making in Delivering Feedback That You Can Fix Today

How to Bring Up the Elephant in the Room Without Losing Your Courage (or Your Job)

A typical work day for most of us is filled with conversations. Managers and direct reports discuss what work needs to be accomplished, by when, and what success should look like. Colleagues talk about the impact that recent changes are having on their roles and their teams. Leaders articulate their vision for the company’s future, and how to…Continue reading How to Bring Up the Elephant in the Room Without Losing Your Courage (or Your Job)

30 Workplace Situations That Lead to Conflict (and What to Do About Them)

Having conflict at work is inevitable. With all of us managing so many competing priorities, negotiating limited resources, and aiming to be both tactical and strategic, it’s amazing that any work gets done at all. And despite the fact that so many situational, organizational, and systemic issues in our companies contribute to our stress, we tend to…Continue reading 30 Workplace Situations That Lead to Conflict (and What to Do About Them)

3 Ways to Be a More Approachable Leader

You’re busy. You’re stressed. You’re overworked and under-resourced. It’s one thing to feel that way. It’s another thing to share those feelings with your colleagues honestly, openly, and without blaming others. Neither of those will likely undermine your impact and credibility as a leader. What will? Acting out on these feelings in a way that makes others reluctant, or even…Continue reading 3 Ways to Be a More Approachable Leader