In a candid conversation, a client shared his concern that he and others don’t ask the right questions when getting updates from direct reports. He said, “We ask yes/no questions that don’t encourage introspection. Questions like, ‘Is the project done?’ Or, ‘Do you have what you need?’” Instead, he suggested, and I agree, that we […]

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Recently, a client confided that she tends to present green project dashboards. Green means everything is moving forward, as expected. In taking her all-green, all-good approach, she fails to share the full reality. She wants to present an image of one who is able to handle big challenges. As we continued talking, the realization dawned […]

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Can You Communicate Reasons for Change To Your Team? Leadership expert John Maxwell said, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” The pace at which change occurs today can be mind-blowing, unsettling, even overwhelming. For people affected by change, who are outside the inner circle and aren’t privy to the “why” of a specific shift in […]

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 Are you preparing for an interview and salary negotiation? Here are ten things Forbes.com says NOT to say if you want the job at the salary you desire. I have a lot of other companies trying to recruit me. If you hire me, I’ll be an amazing employee. I’ll make you glad you hired […]

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 Your Important Work After the Big Hire You’ve just completed a lengthy hiring process that included internal and external candidates. For someone in your company, getting that job would have meant a promotion. Even though you can start celebrating finding your ideal hire, you also have to break the news to a fellow employee […]

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 Simple words and phrases that we use every day can stand in the way of moving up. In an interview with Crystal Barnett, a senior HR specialist, Fast Company looked at eight phrases that send the wrong signals. Here are a few. Starting sentences with the word “honestly” signals that an attack is about […]

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 It’s wise to think through a sticky, difficult to discuss issue, before raising it for open dialogue. Developed by the late Harvard Professor Chris Argyris, here’s an exercise that can help you think through hard to discuss topics, and perhaps find the clarity and courage to surface them for dialogue: Identify the specific situation […]

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 Do You Really Communicate As Effectively? William Butler Yeats once said, “Think like a wise man, but communicate in the language of the people.” While you could interpret, “language of the people” in a lot of ways, in my view, Yeats is saying know your audience and speak to them so they will understand. […]

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  Of the over 40 videos on my website, tmgspeaks.com, the most popular one is, “How to Listen More and Talk Less.” I’m delighted that people are interested in becoming better listeners. It seems, at times, that the scales are tipping dramatically away from “listening to understand,” and toward “listening to respond.” The two modes […]

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Regular One-On-Ones Could Prevent Future Crises Few leaders have the luxury of exclusively leading people. Typically, leaders have extensive to-do lists of their own. But, as a leader, your highest priority is supporting, motivating, guiding and inspiring the people who report to you. If you’re not already holding regular one-on-ones with key members of your […]

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What Made Businesses Great In 2001 Still Works Today Jim Collin’s book “Good to Great” was written in 2001. The “Level 5 Leaders” he wrote about were most effective at producing high returns. But by their very nature, Level 5 Leaders aren’t in the headlines. Their accomplishments are rarely showcased as examples of success. But […]

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 Based On A Tweet from Paul Osincup A Twitter post that whizzed through my stream read, “When addressing conflict with others, remind yourself — curious not furious.” It can be difficult to calmly and respectfully get to the bottom of an issue in the heat of battle. Our natural response is to put up […]

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In addition to meeting day-to-day goals, leaders are responsible for developing and communicating vision – the broader organization’s vision, as well as their department’s. Successful leaders revisit their vision often with staff and make sure their team can articulate the priorities that drive business results. If you’re in a leadership role, have you’ve taken the […]

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Should You Rip Off the Bandaid or Let Them Down Easy? When you have to deliver bad news, do you just launch in, full force, or offer a polite pre-amble to buffer what’s about to come? Researchers at Brigham Young and South Alabama Universities found that recipients of bad news prefer the direct and clear […]

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A recent study by researchers at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, INSEAD and Columbia looked at how power dynamics affect one’s ability to persuade. They found that successful persuasion depends on how powerful or powerless the speaker’s audience feels. The researchers measured responses to “high power” communication that focused on competency and skillfulness, and “Low […]

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Soft Skills For The Future The folks at Fast Company talked to job experts to find out what skills will be most important to employers in the future. Here are five that you may or may not see in the job posting. Storytelling – being able to figure out the needs of stakeholders and then […]

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The ease with which an email can be sent, and the rush to move on to the next task, can be a dangerous combination. The result can be emails that fuel the fire rather than move the process forward. So, if you haven’t read the sender’s entire email and understand the message, pause before you […]

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Part 1 I enjoy ads and commercials. The good ones stick with me. I’m impacted by their images, sounds and words. The best ones have a dramatic tagline or slogan – a succinct, repeatable core message about the product or service that conveys the essence of what the company wants you to believe and remember. […]

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My book, LIES That Limit, makes it clear that mindset – what we believe, how we think – is everything. Mindset is the composite of our beliefs and assumptions – our theory about life, other people, even ourselves. We feel safe when we make choices consistent with our story about the way things are. Yet, […]

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Increase Your Chances of Success Before You Take On The Boss Speaking truth to power is important, and risky. Often, it’s hard to understand when and why speaking up might backfire. Harvard Business Review contributors Megan Reitz and John Higgins suggest asking yourself these questions before confronting someone above you. How much do you believe […]

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