Make your message matter

Feedback needs to deliver more than just a strong message. In case you haven’t noticed, feedback has made a comeback. What was once a system of “command and control” has shifted to a dynamic of “converse and connect.” Leaders are paying more attention to the message of feedback by holding themselves accountable to basic norms: Is it clear? Is it intentional? Does it tackle the tough issues, or simply dodge and disguise them? Feedback today is exchanged more frequently and with greater frequency than in years past. And more people, particularly individual… Read More

Mental Health and Wellbeing Still Matter

The return to work has redefined the way leaders operate within and beyond the office, but one thing hasn’t changed: Mental health and wellbeing still matter. A recent study by Mind Share Partners, in partnership with Qualtrics and SAP, showed a decline in the mental health of nearly half of respondents since the onset of the pandemic. Nationwide, almost half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. We all know someone who’s reeling from a rise in workplace-related anxiety and stress.  It could even be us. While treatment of serious mental health… Read More

Prepare for difficult conversations

conversation

Bring a high-touch approach to high stakes encounters. You’re about to have a difficult conversation with your boss, colleague or loved one. Are you ready? Succeeding at high-stakes communication takes skill and savvy, but it also requires a plan of action — an intentional effort to understand what others need and how to meet and manage their expectations. With the right amount of planning and preparation, it’s possible to engage others with greater calm and control. Using some behavioral science and a bit of common sense, you can take charge of these… Read More

Turn stress into strength

Stress can be a tool, not just a toxin. Here’s how to re-work your relationship with stress. We often hear about the negative impact of stress—how it can raise our blood pressure, interfere with sleep, increase our anxiety levels, and even damage the brain. And it’s true: Stress can have a negative impact on our overall state of health. But is all stress bad? Could it be that the stress you’re feeling as you struggle to meet a deadline, brace for performance feedback, or fret over your child’s math homework can actually be… Read More

Feedforward: Look forward, not back

Good feedback look forward, not back. Getting others to accept our feedback can prove challenging, especially when it’s critical. Worried that their feedback may lead to hurt feelings or diminished productivity, managers resort to face-saving techniques like the “praise sandwich” that end up doing more harm than good. The result is a wobbly feedback culture built largely upon evasion, confusion, and self-delusion. This dynamic can change with a better message — and a bolder mindset. Based on my research and work with leadership teams, I’ve found that when performance conversations are powered by partnership, the landscape shifts…. Read More

The Art of Persuasion

Persuasion works best when you help others convince themselves. Really good salespeople know how to persuade their prospects. But they don’t do it by pushing them harder. Instead, they push away the hard issues — the barriers that keep others from taking action. You don’t need to be manipulative to win people over. All it takes is a better understanding of how people make decisions. Persuasion is part art, part smarts. Stick with these principles of persuasion, and you’ll end up getting more of what you want by giving others more of… Read More

Tame Your To-Do List

We can do more by getting more out of our lists. Here’s how. Ever get to the end of your day and realize that your to-do list is barely done? I’ve definitely had my share of days when I feel super busy but strangely unproductive. And when I look at that list and see all the things that aren’t crossed off, I get a sinking feeling of frustration and guilt. But instead of beating ourselves up for not paring our list down, there are steps we can take to make sure that… Read More

Dealing with Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is inevitable, but how we deal with it is up to us. Getting negative feedback, especially from those we respect and trust, can quickly become an emotional train wreck that leaves us feeling hurt, helpless, and even a little bit hopeless. And when critical feedback is repeated over time, researchers have found that it can diminish our productivity, motivation and even our prospects for employment. The good news? We can flip the script on negative feedback by changing the story. While we can’t control what happens to us, we can… Read More

Make innovation a discipline

Innovation is about small shifts, not huge transformations. There are lots of reasons why companies find it so hard to stay ahead of the innovation curve: Legacy thinking, insufficient allocation of time and resources, siloed cultures. But the biggest barrier to innovation is the belief that it somehow can only be practiced by a select few (the in-house “geniuses” and “visionaries”) under specific conditions (formal, scheduled brainstorms) and must produce sweeping, sensational change (“big bangs”). This belief not only reinforces unhelpful assumptions about where big ideas come from, but strips organizations of… Read More

How to “AIM” for better goals

black and white dartboard

Setting goals is good. Supporting and delivering on them is better. Here’s how. The only thing more cliché than setting New Year’s resolutions? Breaking them. According to a recent study, less than 20% of us actually manage to follow through. More than one-third of our resolutions are abandoned by February. And after falling off the wagon a few times, we tend to further weaken our willpower with self-limiting thoughts. It’s no wonder why so many people have decided to quit making resolutions altogether and set goals instead. But even then, we need… Read More