Monday, September 22, 2014
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
How to Get Your Big Idea Into the Marketplace
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
How to Turn Around Miserable Workers
Is it just me, or are American workers complaining more loudly than ever?
There are the protests by food workers demanding better wages, of course, but even in my local grocery store or doctor's office I hear a lot of complaining by workers.
It's not unusual to hear employees criticizing actions by a managers or bad-mouthing a co-worker. It just goes to show the level of their unhappiness that they would so vocally complain in front of outsiders, I think,
Many years ago I interviewed Patrick Lencioni about his book, "Three Signs of Miserable Job." He says those signs are:
1. The people you work with don’t know you or care about you.
2. You don’t know how your job matters to others.
3. You can’t assess how you’re doing in your job.
Workers who are miserable are less productive, efficient, and more likely to have physical ailments that affect their professional and personal lives. With the increasing focus on remaining competitive in a global marketplace, Lencioni points out that managers should ask themselves what they can do to guard against workers becoming miserable in their jobs. As part of a self-assessment, he suggests managers ask themselves:
• Do I really know my people? Their interests? How they spend their spare time? Where they are in their lives?
• Do they know who their work impacts, and how?
• Do they know how to assess their own progress or success?
Finally, he says bosses should develop a plan to do a better job of getting to know and understand employees. He suggests one-on-one meetings, team sessions and clearly outlining what is trying to be achieved.
While this seems like a simple concept, Lencioni says that many companies and managers miss the boat. He also has a deeper message to impart to those in charge:
“By helping people find fulfillment in their work, and helping them succeed in whatever they’re doing, a manager can have a profound impact on the emotional, financial, physical, and spiritual health of workers and their families,” he says. “That is nothing short of a gift from God.”
Amen to that.
Friday, September 5, 2014
How Leaders Can Keep "No" From Being a Buzz Kill
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Is Your Need to Be "Right" Hurting Your Career?
When you were in school, did your teacher instruct you to choose the “wrong” answer on a test?
What about at work? Does your boss now tell you to try and make "wrong" decisions?
From the time we are children, we are counseled to make the “right” choices, and how to look “right” and how to do the “right” thing. That often continues in the workplace, that need to always be "right."
And, the more “right” we are, the more likely we are to become rigid in our way of thinking. But here’s something to think about: By denying there is anything left to learn, we undermine ourselves and our companies.
Failing to acknowledge that other people may have the right answer can really affect an individual’s and an organization’s success. The most successful people, after all, often challenge others to come up with a better idea and then learn from that input.
Of course, letting go of being “right” all the time takes courage. It's not easy to admit that you don't have all the right answers, and embracing the ideas of others can be scary. But once you've made that initial move, keep thinking about how you view "right" and "wrong" answers.
You may find yourself letting go of a lot of stress when you can become more flexible in your thinking. As part of this process:
• Define what winning looks like to you. Think about what you really want, how you feel about certain issues in your work and personal life and why certain outcomes are so important to you. Would a different outcome really be the end of the world?
• Look at how often your need to be right really interferes with what you want. If you shut people down by interrupting them with your “right” solution, or they turn away because you have proven them “wrong,” note this interaction in a journal. Keep track of what happened, your reaction and any negative outcome. Did the interaction result in a less creative outcome or hurt a relationship with a co-worker?.
• Ask questions. Instead of jumping in with the answer all the time, become more curious. Ask others what they think, and give them a chance to respond. Only then should you offer your opinion.
• See the world in shades of gray. Consider how often your thinking is automatically “right versus wrong.” Try to look at all sides of the issue before making a decision.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Friday, August 22, 2014
How to Salvage a Bad Job Interview
There's no better feeling than coming out of a job interview and feeling like you nailed it. You and the interviewer clicked, everyone seemed very impressed with your resume and abilities, and there was plenty of positive body language.
On the other hand, there is no worse feeling than knowing that you messed up -- that somewhere in the interview you really bombed and possibly blew your chances of getting a job you really want. You head home,deeply depressed, ready to beat your head against the nearest wall for being such a numbskull.
But before you put that knot on your head, consider that you may be able to salvage the situation. So maybe you called someone by the wrong name or showed up late for the interview -- you still may be able to recover and put yourself in serious contention for the job.
If you feel like you've made a bad first impression, you need to:
- Assess the damage. Take a hard look at how badly you may have hurt your chances, and whether it was a big deal -- or no one else really noticed.
- Act quickly. Don't give the bad impression time to sink in. Take immediate steps to correct it.
- Re-establish your qualifications. If you follow-up with a phone call or e-mail, use it as a chance to again outline your skills and experienced. Keep it succinct -- babbling will only make things worse.
- Apologize. Don't go overboard, but if you made a glaring error, then you should offer a sincere "I'm sorry."
- Use humor carefully. You can make the situation worse by joking about it.
- Prepare for the next shot. Chances are, you'll be given another chance to interview with someone else, so take steps to make sure you don't repeat your missteps.
What suggestions do you have for recovering from a bad first impression?