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The Power of Negative Thinking

20 Feb

This article introduces, without mentioning it, behavioral economics.  This is an approach that posits “rational” decision making is nonsense and recognizes that most decisions are emotional to a greater or lesser extent.  It also overthrows the idea that our emotions are totally under our personal control, they most assuredly are not.  Although people are able, under some conditions, to manage their emotions to a large extent. For an in-depth discussion of this, go to the “Psychology of You” section in Beyond IQ.

Consider this, rather than just conceptualizing the worst possible outcome, imagine the best and the worst.  If you are skilled at guesstimating the future what occurs will probably lie between these two extremes.  This is a best case/worst case scenario and it effectively, as much as is possible, manages your expectations.  Food for thought.

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A Dollop of Common Sense

6 Feb

Reading about management and leadership I rarely encounter content in an article that leaves me in total agreement.  This article is filled with common sense advice that is on-target in every respect

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.

Five Tune-Ups For 2013

9 Jan

Here are five tools to tune up your functioning in the New Year.

  1. Ban “reply all.”
  2. Practice the “hard stuff.”
  3. Use the power of Persuasion.
  4. Learn to be annoying.
  5. Re-do your  “to-do” list.

There’s more in-depth at the WSJ site and a link to even more ideas for managerial and personal improvement.

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.

Performance Review: Getting It Right

10 Oct

Timely, accurate and thoughtfully delivered one-on-one feedback is probably the best choice for managing most people. However, it is reasonable to accrue ongoing records of an employees’ performance across time.  This is particularly true if you have management and employee development programs and if you have serious succession process.

It is also important to have a formal conversation regarding the person’s professional development.  When done skillfully PA can motivate the person and strengthen your relationship with her.

PA is controversial because it is a “good idea, to often badly done.”  This link takes you to an article that explores some of the major “badly done” aspects of performance appraisal and suggest a simple and powerful process for carrying out satisfactory Pas.

Office Politics: Who you know or …..

19 Sep

The answer to the perennial question in the world of work: What’s more important, What you know or who you know” is YES.

An article from the WSJ reframes  “office politics” in a way that makes them more understandable, and less frightening and intractable.  Here is the definition of healthy “office politics:”

Building relationships and networks

Not picking fights over trivial issues

Informing others about your accomplishments

Asking for advice and help

These are ethical “can dos” that help you to understand and master organizational dynamics.  For a more in-depth discussion go to:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904060604576570574190457198.html

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.

Smart vs Bright

18 Apr

When it comes to relationships have you noticed how some managers seem able to make anything work whereas others manage to botch everything they try?  Look at the “Manager From Hell” blogs for examples.  I invite you to contribute one of you own stories if you have a particularly insensitive manager.  In Beyond Luck I note that a poor manger can use almost any well-designed and well-intentioned tool to do harm.

There is a compelling explanation of why this happens and it is related to the nature of knowledge.  Knowledge comes in three flavors, explicit, tacit and scientific.  Explicit knowledge is “book learning.”  Tacit knowledge is “experiential learning.  Tacit or intuitive knowledge has a high sensitivity to emotion.

Great managers know how their actions will make people feel and in most human interactions “emotion trumps reason.”  Learning to read, predict and manage the emotional environment is EQ, “emotional intelligence.”

Have you also noticed how some people can be very intelligent but also very dumb?  Examples abound of people who are high performers yet their insensitivity to others wreaks havoc in organizations.

If you are about to become a manager or are a new manager, I suggest you read “Becoming the Boss.”  It will help you realign your 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

How Employees Fail #9: Beginning Progressive Counseling

7 Mar

At some point in working with a non-performer you will realize that although you are thoughtful and systematic in your approach, they are not improving.  If you begin intensive counseling/coaching someone and see no improvement in their behavior within 6 weeks, you are probably not going to see any.  This is the time to begin thinking about the issue if a different way: Progressive counseling.

Here are some general principles that can save you some grief:

• Give some thought to what might be the worst possible outcome. People who have nothing, have nothing to lose and will do anything.

• Get others involved, you do not want to take on a troublesome employee without support.  You need to actively engage your chain of command.  If you have HR, work with them.

• You must build a document trail, some of this must be shared with the employee.

Often troublesome people will know your policies better than you, don’t have a good process reversed because you cannot show documentation.

Next week, the stages of progressive counseling.