Phrases that make you look weak

January 27, 2021
One thing that will quickly make you a doormat boss is using phrases that suggest you have a brittle spine. Employees pick up on the wimpiness and take over the show. Avoid these lines, and stay in charge.

Hmmm, that doesn’t sound right

January 27, 2021
Suppose you find yourself on the receiving end of feedback that’s, well, questionable. After all, under-pressure employees have been known to deliver information that’s wrong, hard to understand, and occasionally purposefully untrue. If what you’re hearing is suspicious, these tactics may help.

2 questions for ‘stay’ interviews

January 27, 2021
“Stay” interviews are a good tool for promoting employee retention, but their success rides on asking the right questions. These two can help you hold a productive conversation.

Three is not company

December 23, 2020
Imagine that you’re in your office talking with one of your staffers. Another employee sticks his head in and asks you to answer a “quick” question. You do, but your quick answer turns into a new discussion. As a result, the original employee has been what journalist Leigh Buchanan calls “triangulated.”

Patch the cracks in discussions

December 23, 2020
Group discussions (larger than, say, three or four people) can be exciting and productive but also frustrating. Just as there are more ideas available, there are also more side tracks to wander onto. And though much can be accomplished with a clear agenda and preparation, there are still two major traps to recognize and respond to.

Tailor your talks to each person

December 23, 2020
Employees need to be treated as individuals, which is easier said than done when you’re managing several people in a busy workplace. One way to handle this diversity is to use these guidelines to create an equal but unique approach to each person.

Workers mum on problems? What to do

December 23, 2020
To avoid being caught flat-footed when a project hits a snag, you need to understand why employees may not report potential problems.

Scuttlebutt may hold bits of truth

November 25, 2020
Here’s a common situation: An employee informs you of a co-worker’s faults or misdeeds. Although most of the tale sounds like gossip, some details sound as though they could be true. Certainly you don’t want to support gossip, but you have to get at the truth. Try this approach.

Verbally attacked? How to reply

November 25, 2020
When tempers flare in the workplace, your response tells employees a lot about the kind of behavior that’s acceptable. Keep your cool, and try some of these replies.

Turn spats into constructive dialogues

November 11, 2020
Office conflicts don’t have to be destructive. For example, imagine that two employees disagree over the best way to complete a task or solve a problem, can’t resolve their quarrel, and dump it in your lap. To help these two get back to work quickly, try this approach.