The Art of Listening

It’s not new information to remind people of the importance of listening. We have reiterated the power of listening on this blog many times. So what’s with another post about listening? Listening is power. Active listening, aka curious listening, is first and foremost about connection. Whereas listening can be used for evil, the intention of … Read more

Leaders are Direct but Not Blunt

In a recent session, participants were defining moments that changed their own leadership trajectories, and it evolved into a discussion about learning the difference between “direct” and “blunt.” It occurred to us that leaders can sometimes find bluntness and directness to be synonymous. They’re not. And we reached a general conclusion: Most people (but not … Read more

Leaders Never Stop Being Specific and Asking for What They Want

This is one of the best articles I’ve read on this topic. You can tell it was written by someone with an advanced degree—there is some complexity in the language—but it is all in pursuit of precision, so I can get behind that. Something new I learned from this article: It works to pay managers … Read more

The Danger of Focusing Only on Business Outcomes

This article from a few months ago continues to hold my interest. Written pre-covid, the article makes this point: Asking, “What’s the ROI?” is dangerous if it’s your only consideration. Big data and the ease of collecting information can woo us into making decisions based only on numbers. Data is important, but values are more … Read more

Some Additional Thoughts on One-on-Ones

In The Effective Manager, Mark Horstman shares data on the value on one-on-ones. In their research, which has been replicated multiple times, they found that results and retention improve by about 10% when managers implement weekly one-on-ones. Another finding is that managers who are consistent with one-on-ones with their people tend to get promoted at … Read more

Things Successful Leaders Avoid Saying (Part 16)

I was re-reading the outstanding Flawless Consulting by Peter Block and appreciated how he outlined the issues underlying phrases like: “These people” OR “Those people” (followed by) “don’t understand” OR “need to understand.” WHAT THESE PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND… So, what’s wrong with this? It separates the leader from the people they lead, diminishes a leader’s … Read more

The Importance of Being Known

Chris McQueen, former Google employee, delivered a keynote address on some of the best practices his unit has learned, and I’ll share two of them with you. This week, I’ll offer some thoughts on generating solid team relationships. Next week, we’ll touch on the magic of three particular words. As most of you know, I’m … Read more

Why are We Still Talking About This?

I’ve written before about insights from Fred Kofman’s The Meaning Revolution, and I will keep doing so from time to time. It’s full of gold. But one page, one paragraph specifically, made me kinda mad. From page 50: “Study after study concludes that a caring manager is essential to employee engagement. Employees want their managers … Read more

Leaders Make It Easy To Know Them

Some leaders are open and transparent with others, and some are more private. But if that privacy is segregating their personal life and history to such an extent that their team feels like they don’t know them, then that leader is at a disadvantage. Leaders who make it easy to get to know them have an easier time developing relationship … Read more