Author Archive

Building a better team retreat: Management Tips

Published by | Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
Management Tips

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One of the biggest potential wastes of time and money in corporate America is the team-building retreat. Retreats are rarely well planned well or correctly facilitated. The result is that teams often dread attending retreats, considering them either a waste of time or, best case, merely some “fun time” away from the office. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If handled correctly, team retreats can be productive, educational events that strengthen team bonds and encourage creativity.

My first management tip this week looks at the planning phase of a successful team retreat. It starts with being honest about what the team needs; a dose of fun is always helpful, but it should be bundled with serious, targeted learning. Is your team’s key issue trust? A lack of candor? Greater accountability? Brainstorm on the possible learning areas you could tackle, talk to your team, and choose a relevant topic.

How to motivate and persuade: Management Tips

Published by | Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
Management Tips

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This week we’ll focus on various aspects of motivation. The first tip is a classic method of bonding with the team. I like to call it motivating by getting your hands dirty.

Many bosses overindulge in “being the boss,” happy they no longer have to do the work they used to do. They don’t have to build things; they manage people who build things. They don’t have to write code; they manage people who write code. You get the idea.

Moving past workplace challenges: Management Tips

Published by | Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Getting past challenges in the workplace

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What are your biggest challenges at work? Two common workplace challenges are working with people you don’t like, and knowing when and how to stop putting effort into projects that aren’t working—so you can instead focus your attention where it truly matters.

The first tip this week is about working with someone you don’t enjoy; this can drain your energy quickly unless you make a conscious choice to approach the situation constructively. Your don’t have to become buddies with unpleasant coworkers, but you can learn to recognize their positive traits instead of letting their negative ones get the best of you.

Achieving work-life balance: Management Tips

Published by | Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Management Tips

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Leaders often feel lonely. That might surprise many of you, as we associate leadership with status, power, fun, and success.

But loneliness is almost inevitable among leaders, since there are fewer and fewer people working at each successively higher level in an organization. Leaders also make decisions that affect those below them, which can create a divide and further the feeling of isolation.

But loneliness doesn’t have to be a significant problem in your professional life. My first video this week will help explain why.

The destination workplace: Management Tips

Published by | Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Management Tips

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Want a working environment that attracts talent? One where team members feel real commitment? Build a “destination workplace”—an organization with purpose, enlightened leadership, engaged employees, and of course competitive wages and benefits.

In this week’s first management tip, I’ll show you how to begin creating this kind of environment by establishing deeper connections with your team. In particular, we’ll focus on connecting with the most far-flung members—the groups and individuals working remotely. It’s important to know when and how to reach out to your remote employees to inform them, seek their input, and acknowledge their efforts. Each year technology allows more and more professionals to work anywhere, anytime, but theirs can quickly become an isolated experience. Don’t let them feel left out of the family!

Storytelling in the workplace: Management Tips

Published by | Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Storytelling in the office

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This week we’ll dive into one of my favorite topics: storytelling. Using stories as a communication device can ensure that your message is understood and remembered. Why is that? Good stories inspire the listener, tap into emotions, and involve characters who are dealing with issues the listener truly cares about. When you capture your listeners’ emotions, they listen—and become truly engaged.

Improve your brainstorming: Management Tips

Published by | Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Improve your brainstorming

Civility and politeness are great traits to have in an office environment—but when it comes to brainstorming, they also undermine creativity in a group setting.

This week’s first tip turns brainstorming on its head. It’s often said that harnessing the power of combined ideas and conversation yields more creative results than the same number of people working alone, but it isn’t necessarily true. In fact, when groups fall victim to common brainstorming pitfalls, they aren’t any more creative than individuals. My first tip this week can help you and your team brainstorm successfully.

Understanding motivation at work: Management Tips

Published by | Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

No matter how much talent your team members have, you’ll only get their best efforts when everyone feels properly motivated.

Many practicing managers are misinformed about what it means to motivate a team. They think that yelling or screaming or threatening will motivate people. They think that simply offering money will motivate people. Not true. Fear–based tactics can get you short-term compliance—but they’ll undermine your team’s long-term commitment and motivation. And money can be a useful motivator, but it’s often just a distraction that interferes with focusing on the inherent purpose of our work.