How To Show Appreciation To Your Remote Team

Offer personalized thanks, work flexibility and career-advancing support. While good leaders routinely look for ways to show appreciation to their employees, current conditions have made it harder – and perhaps even more important – to recognize the contributions of others. A prolonged work-from-home order or staggered return to the office means less visibility for some workers who may already fear they’re being overlooked. For others, receiving positive feedback or other forms of validation can provide a momentary and much-needed boost at a time when job-related stress and uncertainty remain high.   A little appreciation goes a long way…. Read More

How To Deliver Difficult Feedback When You’re Working Apart

It starts with better planning, problem solving and partnership. While it’s certainly preferable to share corrective feedback face to face, current conditions may not allow it. The sustained shift to remote work has crimped the communications of many leaders, especially when they’re called upon to share difficult news from a distance. The result: Low-grade, infrequent feedback that often resembles a “praise sandwich” and glosses over the delicate but necessary information employees sometimes need to hear.  Withholding feedback comes at a cost. A study by CEB showed that companies with a culture of open communication had… Read More

How To Prepare For a Difficult Conversation You Can’t Have in Person

Originally appeared at Inc. There’s no easy way to handle a difficult conversation. Whether you’re facing a high-stakes negotiation, delivering delicate feedback, or seizing a new opportunity, the words we share can have unmistakable impact. And with so many daily interactions now forced online, the physical distance and emotional detachment can make these virtual exchanges even harder. Delivering a well-placed message takes skill and savvy, but good communication starts with clear thinking, careful planning, and calibrated emotions. Here are four ways business owners and leaders can prepare for tough conversations with greater intention and reflection, especially when they… Read More

How to Communicate In Times of Change and Uncertainty

Change is a constant in every business, but managing through change can be highly volatile. Whether it’s the arrival of new management, disruptive technologies, or customer tastes, leaders must act decisively to pivot with the market while allaying fears and pushback from team members who cling to legacy thinking and behaviors. How effectively leaders respond to these challenges can be the difference between widespread chaos or calm. As a communications speaker and consultant, I’ve noticed that the most skillful and sensitive leaders take a coach approach to managing change cycles. They demonstrate empathy but provide the right amount of challenge and support…. Read More

Are You A Mind-Changer?

Originally appeared at Inc. It’s not easy to win people over. Whether you’re pitching to a skeptical investor, negotiating with a tough client, or sharing feedback with your team, the act of persuading others can drain time, emotion and resources — and doesn’t always produce a favorable result. People often resist information that doesn’t conform to their tastes or views, making it difficult for competing messages and ideas to break through. But according to Wharton professor Jonah Berger, we’re going about persuasion the wrong way. In his new book, The Catalyst, Berger argues that our default ‘push’ approach to persuasion,… Read More

Brainwriting vs. Brainstorming

brainwriting

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

hire

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

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

How One Post-It Note Reshaped A Culture

This article originally appeared at Inc. Culture is the stealth force of organizational behavior. Positive cultures can lift people to higher levels of performance, while negative cultures can deflate even high-performing people. There’s little doubt that “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” as Peter Drucker famously put it. But what can leaders do to create a culture that doesn’t eat its own people? According to a 2013 study on motivation and culture by the American Psychological Association, it starts with just 19 words: “I am giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know you can reach them.”… Read More

4 Simple Ways Leaders Can Energize Their Teams

This article originally appeared at Inc. As leaders fend off Zoom fatigue and other work-from-home challenges, a host of familiar problems are starting to resurface. Hiring challenges, workplace conflicts, productivity drags — these time-sucking traps can distract leaders from becoming a source of energy and inspiration for the people they lead.  Without requiring significant time or resources, here are four ways leaders can supercharge their teams in the year ahead — and boost the way employees feel, grow, work and create, whether they’re working from home or back in the office. Develop a gratitude habit. Research shows that the simple act… Read More