Blog Archives

Tools for developing a vibrant, productive & cohesive working team

How to Create Team Harmony with an Email Protocol

George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Tiny teams can work fine for years with purely informal communication — called “mutual adjustment.” This is shown when two friends wash dishes

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Manager as Universal Adapter – How to Adapt to Different Communication Styles

“Why should I talk to each of my people differently?” fumed Chris. “Shouldn’t I be treating them all the same?” Yes and no. As a manager, you’ll be more effective when you adapt yourself to the thinking and communication styles of each

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Top Five Books for Leadership Mindset and Behaviors

Regarding Leadership Mindset and Behaviors — A colleague asks: “What are your top five (in order) leadership books, specifically, talking about mindset, behaviours and leadership culture? Not looking for systems or processes but the human side.” Great question. The greatest predictor

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How to Do Simple Succession Planning

The term “succession plan” must sound daunting, based on how few people make them. Here’s a quick way to make a perfectly adequate succession plan for your entire organization in about 15 minutes (per manager). The Three Steps to Simple

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How to Eliminate People Problems

Most of us who manage people, will have people problems. Yet most of the things we identify as “people problems” are not. They’re systems problems. Here are the five systems problems you must address in order to eliminate people problems.

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Working in Sync – with Whit Mitchell

We can judge education and points of wisdom by their impact on long term success. If you were to go back to 11 of your clients 25 years later, what would you find? How would they remember you? That’s what

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How to Give Daily Performance Feedback

A manager at a call center asked me: My direct reports are asking for daily recognition. How can I do that most effectively? I consider “recognition” to be “positive performance feedback.” The best managers give daily performance feedback, often in just

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How to Add Positivity to your Team

I often talk about what leaders can do. What about followers?  If you’re a team member and you’d like to add positivity to your team, what might you do? First Build Relationships In order to build relationships with your peers

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Is This Employee Right? (Re: the Employee is Always Right)

In response to Why Your Employee Is Always Right, a reader writes in: We are a tutoring centre. Everyone works 5 days a week, and sometimes must work a few hours on a 6th day. These extra hours are called OT

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Pete Friedes on Becoming a Best Boss

I interview Pete Friedes, author of “The 2R Manager” about Becoming a Best Boss. We discuss Relating and Requiring, the two behavior sets of effective managers — and how to learn your own style and improve. Learn your own default

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How to Help Your Staff Solve Their Own Problems

Here’s how to help your staff solve their own problems. At a recent talk to HR Directors, I asked if they saw leaders trying to solve every problem, instead of delegating to and empowering staff. Every head nodded. Every single

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Out of Crisis – Stop Fighting Fires

E-Book PDF: Open in New Window | Download (342.3KB) What if being in chaos was optional? What if crisis, or chaos, or “firefighting,” or feeling behind schedule, behind the press of constantly emerging problems, could be stopped? It can.  It’s

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How to Best Include People in Decisions

Tim walked out of his team’s weekly meeting in a daze. It was supposed to be a routine meeting. It turned into a debacle. Five minutes in, Susie had hijacked the meeting to blurt out a litany of complaints she

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How to Get More from a Staff Member

Whether you’re a CEO or a front line manager, you should always be trying to get more out of the people who report to you. (As a worker, you should always be looking for ways to contribute more and increase

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Mandatory Corporate Fun

I was asked, “Some employees resent ‘forced fun’ outings. Is there a better way to help team members connect? What are some examples of innovative ideas for teams to connect?” If you really want your team members to connect, there

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