Humbler Ways To Make A Bold First Impression

Landing a new job, especially a promotion, can be an exciting career move — but not without its share of complications. This can be particularly true for leaders whose zeal for racking up early wins can be perceived as threatening to those who don’t know them or their intentions, setting up these leaders and their teams for potential conflict and friction.  Instead of waiting for acclimation, new leaders can take control of their own image with deliberate and proactive actions that demonstrate humility and earnestness — qualities that go a long way… Read More

Beating Unconscious Bias At Your Next Performance Review

Unconscious bias can get in the way of effective feedback and performance reviews. Here’s how to fix that before it’s too late. Measuring employee performance can be a daunting task, especially for managers who feel they lack the skill and time to evaluate the capabilities of others. The challenge of assessing work and delivering feedback is made harder by the subtle but significant biases we carry around in our heads. These cognitive traps can cloud our judgment and complicate decisions about pay and promotion. While a number of my clients have taken… Read More

Brainwriting vs. Brainstorming

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This article originally appeared in Inc. For decades, leaders have relied on brainstorming to solve their toughest creative challenges. But simply throwing teams together with hopes they’ll produce a breakthrough idea is counterproductive.   Not only does brainstorming often lead to conformity, but decades of research show that people tend to produce fewer ideas than they would working alone. And while certain adjustments can help, it’s time we gave brainstorming a much-needed fix. Instead of everyone talking at the same time, try to get everyone writing at the same time–an idea generating process called “brainwriting.” Bump Up Ideas With brainwriting, individuals are given time… Read More

How To Spot Your Your Next Hire In 10 Seconds

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This article originally appeared in Inc. Hiring the right person for your business or team is one of the most critical decisions you’ll make. The effects on resources and morale can be significant: According to a recent survey by Robert Half, the high costs of even one bad hire include time lost to training, increased team stress, and diminished faith in the leader. It may even cause illicit activity to spread. And while due diligence helps, interviews that rely on heavily scripted and surface-level questions often fail to predict how someone will actually behave on the job. Here’s… Read More

Try a Feedback “WRAP” Instead Of A Praise Sandwich

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This article originally appeared in Inc. Giving feedback, especially when it’s critical, is a difficult but necessary function of managing people. Managers who don’t want to come across as confrontational will often resort to a “praise sandwich,” tucking negative feedback between two compliments. And while it remains a popular option, the praise sandwich is a stale choice. Not only do some people find this manner of feedback less reliable, they are often more likely to focus on the praise at the end of the sandwich instead of the critique in the middle — serving neither the feedback giver nor… Read More

Why “Mirror Holders” Give Great Feedback

This article originally appeared in Inc. Getting others to accept our feedback, especially when it’s negative, can be challenging. And while it certainly helps to share feedback that’s timely, specific, and growth-oriented, the best way to get others to be receptive to feedback is to describe a future they can still change and control. Too often, managers share feedback that’s rooted in the past and prescriptive in nature. If you want your message to produce a more positive and meaningful result, start by changing your feedback mindset. In short: Become a “mirror holder,” not a “window… Read More

How Young Leaders Level Up

This article originally appeared in Inc. For young workers, moving into a leadership role is an exciting and fulfilling step, but not without its share of complications. Whether managing distractions or delivering valuable feedback, new leaders can feel overwhelmed by the demands of their new position. As new leaders learn to level up and begin to engage their teams, it’s important not to overlook basic principles like these: 1. When you ask for advice, mean it. Bringing others into the decision-making process is smart practice: Not only does it improve the quality of decisions, it also motivates others… Read More

Steph Curry and The Power Of Growth Mindset

This article originally appeared in Inc. Throughout his career, NBA star Steph Curry has demonstrated key lessons in leadership and mental toughness–not to mention, the power of a positive team culture. And as the NBA post-season heats up, Curry is taking aim at the value of a growth mindset. “Everything that I do great right now,” Curry recently told the Wall Street Journal. “I want to do even better.” That’s a neat summary of a growth mindset, the belief that basic qualities can be cultivated and improved through ongoing effort. As research by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has shown, people… Read More

3 Ways Leaders Build Winning Teams

This article originally appeared in Inc. All managers want their teams to take ownership, work collaboratively and exhibit growth mindset. But what concrete steps can they take to supercharge others and bring out their best? In my work with leadership teams, I’ve noticed that managers of high-performing teams consistently broaden and build the talents of the people around them. These leaders recognize that making adjustments to their management style is the key to building winning teams.  They play to people’s strengths. In a survey I conducted among nearly 500 employees in the professional services industry, members of high-achieving… Read More

A Small Act of Gratitude Can Produce Big Results

This article originally appeared at Inc. Good leaders are constantly looking for ways to boost their employees’ sense of engagement and shared purpose. But you don’t need grand gestures to make people happier or more productive. In fact, the biggest payoff may come in small packaging. The handwritten thank you note. It’s a practice that has gained traction with executives at major companies. During his tenure as CEO of Campbell’s Soup, Douglas Conant delivered close to 30,000 handwritten notes to employees at all levels of the company, from senior executives to maintenance staff. Mark Zuckerberg made it his personal goal… Read More