Brent Gleeson, a Forbes contributor, first learned about effective leadership in chaotic environments as a Navy SEAL. “Many, if not all, of those basic principles apply in business and life in general,” he says. Among the most widely applicable lessons he cites:
They know the difference between “activity” and “results”: SEAL teams say, “find work.” If you find yourself at the end of your To Do list, that’s not when your contribution to the team ends. Make a new list of priorities and execute -- not busy work, but activities that align with team goals.
In most organizations, compensation is not made public, but what if you stumble on information that alerts you that a peer is making more than you in a similar position? Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Rebecca Knight, a senior correspondent at Insider and former Wesleyan University lecturer, suggests what to do — and not do — in this situation.
As for the don’ts: Don't be rash or rude. Don't mention your higher-paid coworker by name (focus on you). And don't stay in a job any longer than you must if your company refuses to pay you market value for your role.
Have you ever had to address a salary discrepancy? How did the situation resolve? To join the conversation, click "comments" above. We would love to get your feedback.
Are some of your employees about to hand in their notice? Timothy M. Gardner, management professor at Utah State, and Peter W. Horn, management professor at Arizona State, identified numerous “pre-quitting behaviors“ that are often tip-offs that a resignation could be in the offing in the next 12 months.
Just like poker players exhibit various “tells” that reflect the strength of their hands, workplace “tells” can signal future turnover. Through detailed questionnaires administered to managers, the authors distilled the most common pre-quitting behaviors.
“Typically,” say the authors, “organizations handle a turnover problem with large scale interventions to improve departmental or firm-level commitment, job satisfaction, and job engagement. These strategies may work, but they take time to design and implement. Thinking in terms of the turnover risk of specific employees allows you to invest your time and resources in those employees who create the most value and are actually at risk of leaving.” One technique is to use what are called “stay interviews.” Instead of conducting only exit interviews to learn what caused good employees to quit, hold regular one-on-one interviews with current high-performing employees to learn what keeps them and what could be changed to keep them from straying.
Are any of your employees exhibiting signs of quitting, and what action might you take to get them to reconsider? To join the conversation, click "comments" above. We would love to get your feedback and hear about your experiences!
Listening to your employees and incorporating their feedback is important to you and to the culture of your organization. But sending out an employee survey once a year is not sufficient, says Carrie McKeegan, CEO and Cofounder of Greenback Expat Tax Services -- especially among remote teams who find it harder to build relationships. Collecting feedback on an ongoing basis will allow you to address roadblocks head-on, encourage creativity and collaboration, and drive innovation. Here are things you can do:
Romantic partnerships can be challenging in the best of times. And two years of pandemic togetherness have not made things easier for some. Writing in The New York Times, in an adaptation of that paper’s “Seven Day Love Challenge”, Tara Parker-Pope points out that even the strongest relationship can use an occasional tune-up. Among the strategies she suggests is practicing gratitude together.
“Write down three things about your partner for which you feel grateful. Take a moment to read what you wrote about each other. Are you surprised about your partner’s feelings? Talk about these moments of gratitude and how they make you feel more connected to each other.”
Showing gratitude on a daily basis is a common mindfulness practice proven to boost happiness, help us get better sleep and even reduce illness. And gratitude exercises can not only make us feel closer to our romantic partners, but also to our friends and co-workers.
In general, people who express gratitude together are more satisfied in their relationships. So consider gratitude a “booster shot” for any relationship you want to keep healthy.
When was the last time you shared feelings of gratitude with your partner, co-worker or friend? To join the conversation, click "comments" above. We would love to hear your feedback!
Few of us like to admit it when we make a mistake. We’ve been trained since our childhood school years that only “correct answers” get rewarded. But two things are true: 1) Everyone makes mistakes, and 2) admitting to errors can actually be very beneficial.
Writing in Inc. , Ken Sterling, executive vice president of Bigspeak, contends that “admitting mistakes has the best rewards for you in the long term -- especially for your leadership style and building trust with those around you.” Great leaders, be they CEOs, elected officials, or even quarterbacks, take ownership of their errors and avoid blaming others. So, “If you want to become a better leader, it starts by being accountable…Ultimately, we are involved in creating, promoting, or allowing each situation we find ourselves in. When we realize this, it's quite empowering, actually. Otherwise, if it's not our fault, we're really saying we are victims.”
Leaders who refuse to be accountable create what Sterling calls a culture of fear. And fear leads to silence. People who are afraid of being blamed, don't want to speak up or contribute ideas. To do so would be equivalent to putting a target on their backs. What's more, failing to acknowledge mistakes pretty much ensures the mistakes will be repeated. Writes Sterling, “The key to learning -- be it martial arts, team sports, sales, or leadership -- is owning your errors. If you don't admit the mistake to yourself, then how can you ever improve on it?”
Owning one’s errors builds trust, and trust builds strong relationships. Research has repeatedly shown that employees want to trust their leaders and when that trust is there, leader honesty drives employees to be honest as well. “Candor is at the heart of good management and positive work culture. Imagine being a leader who can admit to personally messing up, and who sends the message that in this organization, you can mess up, too. It's liberating.”
When was the last time you admitted to a mistake, and how did that go? When did your boss last admit to a mistake? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
Are you a good listener? When we pose this question to people in our learning events, most rate themselves as “above average” (a mathematical impossibility). When we ask what good listening consists of, the most common themes are: not interrupting, letting others know you are listening by using nonverbal encouragers (“uh-huh”, “mmm-hmm”) and paraphrasing, by repeating back what the other person has said.
However, new research, conducted by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman of the Zenger/Folkman Leadership Development Group, suggests that these behaviors fall far short of describing great listening skills.
Their four main findings:
Not every conversation requires the highest levels of listening, but many conversations would benefit from greater focus and from the intention to listen interactively.
As a listener have you engaged in any of these practices? What else has worked for you? To join the conversation, click "comments" above. We would love to hear your feedback.
A manager’s job and communication style must change as their team expands. Writing in The Harvard Business Review, Julia Zhuo, vice president of design at Facebook and author of The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks To You, explores some of the necessary adaptations.
Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin notes that people would come from far and wide to hear Abe Lincoln speak, even when he was simply a prairie lawyer. From his “stage” atop a tree stump, Lincoln “could simultaneously educate, entertain, and move his audiences,” she writes. Although times have changed, human nature has not, and Lincoln’s speaking techniques are as compelling as ever.
Writing In The Harvard Business Review, Harvard instructor and communication author Carmine Gallo credits Lincoln’s gift for storytelling as key to his ability to captivate audiences. She goes on to enumerate some key differences between mere “presenters” and compelling storytellers.
What might you do to add elements of great storytelling to your next presentation? To join the conversation, click "comments" above. We would love to hear from you.
Today’s world is primed for instant gratification. We often feel pressure to reply immediately to emails and texts, and even in conversation. We fear “dead air” and so hasten to say no something…anything...even when responding to a complex question.
However, numerous business leaders—notably Apple’s Tim Cook and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos—are known for taking a pause in conversation in order to carefully consider what they will say next. Justin Bariso, author of EQ Applied, writing in Inc., notes that while those on the receiving end of 10, 20, even 30 seconds of silence may feel uncomfortable at first, their reward is a thoughtfully considered answer…the result of critical thinking that would be impossible without taking time.
According to Bariso, embracing “awkward silence” allows us to:
When was the last time you allowed a buffer of silence before addressing a complicated topic—and how do you feel when others do so? To join the conversation, click "comments" above. We would love to hear from you!
A recent study showed 57 percent of employees quit because of their boss. Another 14 percent have left multiple jobs because of their managers and an additional 32 percent have seriously considered leaving because of their manager. “This suggests companies could be looking in the wrong place as they search for opportunities to attract, retain and grow talent,” says Carina Parisella, Workforce Tribe Leader at ANZ.
Parisella cites a Google study, Project Aristotle, on building the perfect team that proved human bonds matter as much at work as anywhere else. “The behaviors that create psychological safety — conversational turn-taking and empathy — are part of the same unwritten rules we often turn to as individuals when we need to establish a bond,” the study found. “And those human bonds matter as much at work as anywhere else. In fact, they sometimes matter more.”
While some may think an empathic, approachable leader cannot be strong and bold, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in her book Leading With Empathy, emphasizes her desire to lead with kindness: “I think one of the sad things that I’ve seen in political leadership is – because we’ve placed over time so much emphasis on notions of assertiveness and strength – that we probably have assumed that it means you can’t have those other qualities of kindness and empathy. And yet, when you think about all the big challenges that we face in the world, that’s probably the quality we need the most.”
The same holds true for business leaders. “Work is a big part of our lives [and] being happy and whole at work means I am truly living”, says Parisella. “If you can spread a bit of kindness and joy at work, then do it – the evidence tells us that performance and productivity will only increase.”
Have you ever had a kindhearted leader at work, and how did that impact your experience? To join the conversation, click "comments" just above the photo. We'd like to get your feedback.
Do you try to avoid arguing with your partner? If so you are hardly alone. Many couples go out of their way to avoid quarrels. But Janice Webb, PhD., a therapist writing in Psychology Today shares research suggesting that this avoidance can be a self-defeating strategy. “Suppressed feelings of frustration, annoyance, anger, or hurt may build up enough to cause a major eruption or lie under the surface for decades, driving a couple farther and farther apart.”
Webb compares healthy arguing to a bolt of lightning: “Just like lightning crystallizes the electric charge and clears it from the air during a storm, fights can calm relationships by crystallizing and clearing the negative emotion between the partners.”
There is a natural cycle that characterizes a healthy relationship, says the author: harmony (which cannot last forever) rupture (the challenging part), and repair. The repair process strengthens a relationship in three ways:
To join the conversation, click "comments" above, we’d really like to get your feedback.
For a leader who wants to inspire, few things are more important than communicating with employees in a positive way. Writing in Inc., Marcel Schwantes, founder and Chief Human officer of Leadership From the Core, says “there are certain undeniable phrases that, if we use them more often with team members, will result in an increase in trust and loyalty.”
Schwantes offers five examples of what great leaders will genuinely put into words to engage minds and hearts:
When was the last time you used one of these phrases, or heard your manager use one? What was the impact? To join the conversation, click "comments" above (just below the picture). We would really to hear your feedback.
During conflict, it’s typical to move into a “flight or fight response.” Our brain is ‘hijacked’ by our amygdala, seat of fear and anxiety, and we may lose access to rational thinking. Our face may redden and our speech quicken — and because of “mirror neurons” the person to whom we are speaking may become agitated as well. However, writing in the Harvard Business Review, Amy Gallo, author of The HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict, says, “It’s possible to interrupt this physical response, manage your emotions, and clear the way for a productive discussion.”
Here are some tips for calming yourself down once you’ve gotten worked up:
How did you handle the last conversation you had when you were “worked up” and what do you wish you might have done differently? To join the conversation, click "comments" above (just below the picture). We would really like to hear your feedback.