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Three Steps to Prepare for a Difficult Conversation #PersonalEffectiveness #Managementtips

Posted by Matt Collins – May 1st 2014

Difficult conversations are an inevitable part of any manager’s job.

Here are three steps to keep those tough conversations productive, not combative:

** Decide on a realistic outcome. Remember, you and your counterpart may want different things. Think about your desired outcome rather than accomplishing everything on your personal agenda.
** Focus on the future. What is your ultimate goal? Describe it and the benefits of your vision. If this is a review conversation, explain how you’d like to work with your employee going forward.
** Identify what’s in the way. With the future as your backdrop, articulate what is interfering with reaching the goal. This helps to keep the conversation away from personal barbs and focused on making positive changes.

Develop All Your Leaders (Even Those Who Aren’t Managers)

By Matt Collins, Wed 23rd April

Most organizations have outstanding individual contributors — developers, salespeople, engineers — who wield great influence and offer critical support to the firm. Though they don’t have managerial titles, their departure would be a huge loss. These individuals meet the criteria for true leaders, but when it comes to leadership development opportunities, they may fall off the radar because they don’t supervise anyone. Even if they have chosen not to pursue a management path, they will still benefit from leadership development — as will your company.

Leadership development can make them better team players, improve their communication skills, and teach them to be better coaches. What’s more, as they become more effective interpersonally, they may embrace their management potential and pursue formal leadership roles.

Boost Performance by Managing Mindfully #Managementtips #Personaleffectiveness

Mindfulness is the process of actively noticing new things. Paying attention to what’s going on around you, instead of operating on auto-pilot, can reduce stress, unlock creativity, and boost performance. To be more mindful and encourage the practice within your team:

• Make not knowing okay. Encourage your team to ask, “Why? What are the benefits of doing it this way versus another way?” Such questioning helps you recognize and take advantage of new opportunities.

• Imagine that your thoughts are completely transparent. If they were, you wouldn’t think awful things about other people; you’d find a way to understand their perspectives.

• Remember that stress comes from how you look at events, not from the events themselves. If you feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities, question the belief that you’re the only one who can do a task or that there’s only one way to do it.


Motivate Employees Set in Their Ways #Managementtips #PersonalEffectiveness

Posted by Matt Collins

Employees who are slow to react can be frustrating, especially in environments where it’s imperative to respond and adapt to change quickly. However, don’t assume these slow pokes are trying to undermine progress or resist change. They may have very good reasons for their response times. Next time you’re waiting on someone’s input, go talk to him. Explain that you are all under pressure and that you value knowing his response.

Ask that he get back to you quickly — within a day or so. He may have a thoughtful rationale for proceeding cautiously, or when he realizes that the matter is in his hands, he may speed things up.

SEVEN REASONS SMART LEADERS GET DUMB #Leadership #PersonalEffectiveness

By Matt Collins – 3rd April 2014 

There are at least seven dumbing effects of power.


* Reduces the complexity of your thinking. You over-simplify.
* Limits your ability to consider alternatives. You decide quickly and validate your decisions.
* Permits you to treat people like objects who get things done rather than human beings.
* Closes your ears. Powerful people minimize what others know.
* Decreases your interest in others. You matter more.
* Inspires preoccupation with self. The world revolves around you.
* Struggles to understand the perspective of others.
The most dangerous danger of dumb leadership:

Dumb leaders create dumb organizations.

Powerful leaders wrongly believe they have the answers. In reality, “80% of of an organization’s potential for improvement lies in front-line ideas.” (The Idea-Driven Organization)

Getting smart requires humility.

Humble leaders are smarter than arrogant.

Identify, promote, and hire humble people.

8 ways to spot humility:

* How do you talk about co-workers?
* How do co-workers talk about you?
* How do you support others?
* How do you celebrate the accomplishments of others?
* How much attention do you require?
* How much time do you spend talking about yourself?
* How much time do you spend calmly listening?
* How well do you tolerate working behind the scenes?

7 ways to develop humble organizations:



* Remove physical barriers that create inaccessibility.
* Limit bureaucracy and sign-offs.
* Locate managers and leaders closer to the front line.
* Develop transparency. Everyone knows how everyone is doing. Secrets protect inequity.
* Expect more execution and less talk. Talking without execution encourages arrogance.
* Look to the front-line for answers first.