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

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

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

Turn Performance Into a Partnership

partnership

Instead of associating performance with power, try a partnership approach for positive and lasting change. You may not like getting feedback, but you can’t deny its importance. Receiving robust feedback is a key driver of performance and leadership effectiveness. And when people ask for feedback, they are generally seen as more effective by their superiors and peers. There’s just one problem: Most of the time, feedback is hierarchical. One person (e.g. the manager) holds the power and directs the process while the other (e.g. the employee) takes cues from the top. When… Read More

Don’t Hire Without the “Wrapper Test”

hire

Your next hire should be able to pass this interview technique. 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… Read More

Giving Feedback That’s Radically Transparent

Honest feedback is a gift. Here’s how you can start delivering it. Giving transparent feedback is a challenge for most people. Want to know what radically transparent feedback looks like? Here’s an actual email sent to Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, by an employee named Jim Haskel: Ray –   You deserve a “D-” for your performance today in the meeting.  You did not prepare at all, because there is no way you could have and been that disorganized.   In the future, I/we would ask you to take some… Read More