“We look for three things when we hire people. We look for intelligence, we look for initiative or energy, and we look for integrity. And if they don't have the latter, the first two will kill you, because if you're going to get someone without integrity, you want them lazy and dumb.” — Warren Buffet
Investment icon Warren Buffet largely attributes his success to hiring the right people. And integrity is the one trait he values above all others. But, hiring managers “must dig hard in the interview process to get the answers they need to feel confident someone has the non-negotiable trait of integrity,” says executive coach Marcel Schwantes, writing in Inc.. Here are some suggested questions he proposes to get to the core of a person’s character:
How do you evaluate whether a potential hire has integrity? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
Many companies have employee recognition programs of some kind, but often they become just another box for managers to check. Instead of showing appreciation in a meaningful way, they are rote acknowledgements (e.g. a gift card for a work anniversary) disconnected from employees’ accomplishments.
Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Kerry Roberts Gibson, Kate O’Leary, and Joseph R. Weintraub, all of Babson College, revealed the results of a project in which they engaged with employees and managers through focus groups, survey questions, and learning sessions. According to employees, here’s what managers need to do more often:
“The best part of appreciation is that it’s free and doesn’t consume a lot of time,” say the authors. “Anyone at any level can offer appreciation. It can be directed toward an employee, a colleague, or a boss. But when leaders get involved in the effort, a culture of appreciation spreads more quickly.”
When was the last time you expressed appreciation at work, and how did you do it? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
Most of us have been in meetings that have gotten tense—maybe even gone off the rails. We've seen dueling monologues, hidden agendas and, sometimes, pure pandemonium as participants compete for attention and struggle for validation. But, according to Joseph Grenny, bestselling author and co-founder of VitalSmarts corporate training, “It can be surprisingly easy to bring order to a chaotic meeting — and to turn conflict back into conversation — if you know how.”
Grenny offers four steps for getting a derailed meeting back on track:
How did you handle the last tense meeting you were in? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
Even before the pandemic, job skills were evolving. Gartner Data found that the number of skills required for a single job was increasing by 10% per year. But what skills are most needed now, as many of us transition back from fully remote mode to what is likely to be some hybrid workplace?
Writing in Fast Company, Gwen Moran, creator of the website Bloom Anywhere, specifies essential skills that experts say employees will need:
Have you honed any of your skills over the past year, and which ones do you still need to work on? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
Values are core beliefs that affect our behavior and worldview. We tend to choose friends with similar values, but at work it can be more complicated. Writing in Fast Company, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzik, PhD and Becky Frankiewicz, both leaders at Manpower Group, say, ”If you want to live in an inclusive world that harnesses the power of psychological diversity, then you have to learn to accept, tolerate, and perhaps even embrace those who don’t share your values.”
Wondering how? The authors offer these tips:
Do you have co-workers who have values divergent from yours? How do you dialogue? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
There is no shortage of management experts telling us that leaders need to show
their vulnerability, being open and honest about who they are and how they feel.
But there is a limit to this advice, writes Jessica Stillman, in Fast Company. “Even just a little time in the business world is enough to reveal that over-sharing personal struggles can get you labeled unprofessional, and being too open with your worries just breeds useless fear.”
So how do you walk the line between being forthcoming and genuine, but not
burdening others with your problems or fears? Researcher, author, therapist and
TED speaker Brené Brown offered a succinct answer while speaking with Adam
Grant on the Worklife podcast: "Vulnerability minus boundaries is not
It’s constructive to share your own struggles to make others feel safer sharing theirs. It’s unhealthy if you want to unburden yourself and dump your worries and concerns on others. She suggests that before you decide to open up at work, you ask yourself if you are sharing your emotions and experiences to move your work, connections, or relationships forward? Or are you over-sharing by working your private stuff out with an audience? If the latter, stop talking.
Make sure professional sharing is always aimed at constructive goals and you'll walk the line between authenticity and self-absorption. Have you ever encountered an over-sharer at work, and how did you handle the situation? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
An influential study on management and leadership was conducted by Amy Edmondson, who researched hospital charge nurses. Edmondson found that high performance teams and well-respected nurse leaders reported more errors because the team felt psychologically safe to do so. On the teams led by less respected leaders, nurses hid their error rates out of fear. David Burkus, associate professor of leadership and innovation at Oral Roberts University and author of Under New Management, offers these strategies for ensuring that team members experience psychological safety.
Do you believe the people on your team feel safe? What have you done to help to contribute to psychological safety on your team? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
There is no such thing as overcommunication, argue Adam Bryant, managing director of Merryck & Co. and Kevin Sharer, former president, CEO, and chairman of Amgen. They describe overcommunication as a “key leadership lesson” in their new book, The CEO Test, an excerpt of which appears in Fast Company.
Across hundreds of interviews with CEOs, one of the most consistent themes the authors heard is a “growing recognition that they must make an extra effort to close the gap between how much they think they need to communicate and what their employees want and need from them.” The more people you are addressing the simpler and shorter your message needs to be.
Although saying the same thing over and over can seem tedious to the one saying it, don't stop! It’s important to feed people’s desire to know…not just their need. If leaders aren’t sharing much, then employees will supply their own narrative.
“Leaders must be prepared to be teased for endlessly repeating the strategy,” the authors advise. “If your employees roll their eyes and say what you’re going to say before you open your mouth, consider that a victory because they have internalized the message.”
Is there a message that you repeatedly share with employees? Are there messages you could be sharing more often? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
Most people would deny indulging in workplace gossip. However, Deborah Grayson Riegel, a communication coach and instructor at Wharton Business School, says people engage in this destructive practice without realizing it. If you have ever participated in a “confirmation expedition” by asking a colleague to confirm your negative experience of a third party (”Have you noticed Sam in accounting never replies to emails?”), or welcomed a similar inquiry from a coworker, you could be contributing to a climate of eroding trust, hurt feelings, damaged reputations, and divisiveness—in other words, you might be gossiping.
Gossip is a way of bonding by excluding others, of venting, and of validating our own beliefs, so the urge to engage in it is strong. But talking behind backs undermines an open, honest culture. How can we stop doing something wrong that feels so right? Riegel has this advice:
Have you ever interacted with a colleague regarding negative impressions about a coworker? How might that conversation have been more productive? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
Much of the job hunt process involves waiting. After you score an interview, you might feel the urge to follow-up, so be smart about it. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Art Markman, Ph.D. professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas, Austin and author of Bring Your Brain to Work: Using Cognitive Science to Get a Job, Do it Well, and Advance Your Career, posits four situations where it may be in your best interest to send the hiring manager a note:
How do you like job applicants to follow up with you after an interview? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
If you find yourself feeling drained after a long Zoom session, or perhaps a series of them, Stanford researchers say you are in good company. Video chat platforms have features that inadvertently exhaust the human body and mind. In the first peer-reviewed article that systematically deconstructs Zoom fatigue from a psychological perspective, Professor Jeremy Bailenson highlights why videoconferencing can be exhausting, and offers ideas for mitigation:
To evaluate your level of Zoom Fatigue, you can take a 15-item questionnaire, click here.
How exhausting do you find videoconferencing and what are you doing about it? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
Being a leader involves getting buy-in for your decisions, even from those who may not agree with you. In recent research by Harvard Business School professor Laura Huang and Harvard MBA student Ryan Yu for Huang’s new book, Edge: Turning Adversity Into Advantage, 60 leaders were observed and interviewed as they tried to change minds of people who initially disagreed with them. Depending on what was driving their detractor’s resistance, they approached the situation with one of the following three targeted strategies:
What strategies have you used to identify the source of a colleague’s objections to your ideas and change their mind? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
We only know one thing for sure about post-pandemic workplaces: They will be different. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Laura Empson, professor at London’s Case Business School and Jennifer Howard- Grenville, professor at the Cambridge Judge Business School, define this pandemic as a liminal experience, an “in between” occurrence that disrupts normal life for a prolonged time and from which those who have survived return transformed. Such experiences are disturbing, but “also represent potent opportunities for reflection, discovery, and even reinvention.”
In the post-Covid world, leaders should not try to recreate their pre-Covid cultures, say the authors. Since people will return with unanswered questions and potentially incompatible expectations, leaders need to recognize this and consider how to respond. They suggest steps leaders can take now to prepare their organizations to emerge stronger in the post-pandemic world.
How do you think your workplace might alter after the pandemic, and how do you
plan to sustain the best changes? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, more energetic, collaborate better, suffer less stress and stay with their employers longer. So affirms research conducted by Paul J. Zak, founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies, Professor of Economics, Psychology, and Management at Claremont Graduate University, and CEO of Immersion Neuroscience. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Zak identifies eight measurable behaviors that foster trust:
“Ultimately,” Zak says, “you cultivate trust by setting a clear direction, giving people what they need…and getting out of their way.”
Does your organization inspire trust, and how does that affect performance? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
Anxiety about public speaking may be so universal because it is “baked in.” Harkening back to prehistoric times, the brain’s amygdala, a kind of panic button, activates when we perceive we are being watched. The solution, says Sarah Gershman, president of Green Room Speakers and a professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, is to turn our attention away from ourselves and toward helping the audience.
Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Gershman offers advice on shifting from a self-conscious mode to a generous one:
“We know the power of generosity to give us a sense of fulfillment, purpose, and meaning,” writes Gersham. “Generosity is just as powerful in speaking. It turns a nerve-wracking and even painful experience into one of giving and helping others. A generous speaker is calmer, more relaxed, and — most important — more effective at reaching the audience and making the desired impact.”
What is your greatest concern when you speak in public, and why? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.