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Listening

14 Jan

 

 

 

The Big Three people management skills

 

  1.   Manage your say/do ratio
  2.   Give and receive feedback
  3.   Listen, listen, listen

 

Listening is the hardest to learn. Great article in the WSJ on listening.

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Parenting To Managing

16 Dec

On occasion people ask “What’s the difference between parenting and managing?” after along pause I reply “Children are shorter.” This reply is neither entirely facetious nor does it apply to teenagers.

A recent interview in the New York Times provides explicit support for this proposition.

Could it be that women will eventually be shown to be better managers because they have more hands-on experience with children?

 

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

Parenting and Managing

15 Oct

In meetings, people occasionally ask “What’s the difference between managing and parenting?” I pause for a long second and say: Children are shorter. A recent Corner Office article in the New York Times has an excellent conversation about this topic.

For a more explicit  perspective, but one very much in agreement with the former here is 700 words on How parenting and managing inform each other.

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

When the temperature rises – the light dims

6 Aug

Recently a colleague mentioned that his teen-age daughter had obtained her driver’s license, promptly backed out the driveway, hit the neighbor’s car – then drove off.  Dad learned about it when the neighbor came over.  He is a gentle man, but he was pretty upset!  Sounds like conflict, something familiar to managers.

Conflict feeds on HEAT and SPEED. The emotional temperature goes up and drives too-rapid reactions.  This is a one-two punch that produces transient stupidity.

When the daughter came home, mom suggested an over-night cool down and asked daughter to suggest what penalty dad and mom should consider.  In the morning daughter suggested a harsh penalty.  The parents asked for an apology to the neighbor, were able to enact a milder punishment and re-assured the daughter that they still loved her and had confidence in her driving.

This is an example of a wise management process:

• This partnership works (managers need to collaborate).

• Someone understood that some cool-off and slow-down time was needed (managers take heed)

• The parents invited the daughter to take some responsibility for the decisions by asking for her recommendation (this won’t work with all teens or employees).

• In the morning everyone was cooler and emotion wasn’t driving decision making.

• The parents concluded by asking their daughter what she learned and re-assured her of their love (managers re-assure and show respect).

For more detail check out the full story.

Major point:  Managing heat and speed is an important people skill.

Consider this when you are hot:  “Sleep on it.

The similarities between effective managing and good parenting are often striking.

Management Self-Test

30 Jul

 

 

If you ask a room full of professionals who have at least 20 years of experience “have you ever worked for the boss from hell,”  about 40 – 60% will raise their hands.  If you ask entrepreneurs, 90% will raise their hands. There is explicit evidence that the quality of a person’s boss has a dramatic effect on how they preform and on how they feel. For Japanese salarymen, upwardly mobile professionals, the stress levels at work can become so high that the Japanese have a term to describe the worst effect – work death. One little known characteristic of these managers is they are oblivious to their effects on their direct reports. Having interviewed literally thousands of people in organizations, I have compiled a list of the most onerous behaviors of such managers and the three origins these characteristics. Perhaps the worst thing that can happen to an employee is to have a boss with all three of these attributes. Do you have any of these attributes?

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

 

Managing Up and Down

9 Apr

 

 

 

 

People are often surprised when I note that there are some managers who are very good to their bosses and treat their direct reports very badly. They are also surprised to hear that it’s hard for executives to identify this problem especially if they are not familiar with tools such as skip-level meetings (see Beyond Luck for an example of how to run good skip-level meetings). Here is an interesting article on this topic from a recent New York Times.

 

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Good News About Millennials

29 Jan


Victor Frankel and the word “meaning” are prominent in this NY Times optimistic article about the GenYs.  Victor Frankel wrote a book entitled Man’s Search For Meaning that demonstrated the power of belief, positive and negative, in influencing behavior. The first half of this book is an extraordinary example of existential philosophy aka expectations.

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

Get Rid Of Performance Reviews

10 Jul

 

Why is it that HR managers often have to nag managers into doing their performance reviews?  Could it be that the annual performance review has some flaws that managers know – but attorneys don’t?  For a provocative article on the problems of making annual reviews work, consider a recent article in the WSJ entitled Get Rid of Performance Reviews.

 Or better yet go to What Did You Say – Feedback?

If you must do annual reviews, consider these four questions:

  • What have you accomplished this last year, make your best case?
  • What haven’t you accomplished? Why?
  • What do you hope to accomplish this upcoming year?
  • How can I help you?

 

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

Parenting and Managing: A Useful Comparison

26 Jun

Occasionally in a management development meeting someone will ask “What’s the difference between managing and parenting.  Pausing for dramatic effect I will answer children are shorter.  For an overall treatment of this issue go to How Parenting and Managing Inform One Another in the Corridor Business Journal.

 

For those of you who would like some more specific advice, the WSJ had an excellent in-depth article about what works and doesn’t work in parenting of children in an article entitled Smarter Ways To Discipline Children.  Of course if you have not socialized your children by the time they reach the teen years, good luck.

 

 There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

 

The Problems & Prospects of Favoritism

12 Jun

 Or “it’s all about how your do it!”  A recent article in the WSJ about favoritism brought to mind the observation that some people can get most things right whereas others can get almost nothing right.  It’s not what they do it’s how they do it.”  The article explore this issue with some sensitivity. However, there is an important omission: Internal competition if a value de-motivator.  When you set people to compete with each other in organizations, especially if the organizations are opaque, the easiest way to win is to  make the other person lose.  The easiest way to make the other person lose is to not share critical information.  Food for thought.

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.