How to Fire Someone “We need to restructure your team, so find some reasons we can let go of 2 people as underperformers.” While this is not word for word accurate, I know some managers that were recently given this message. “The business is underperforming, so it is time to trim the fat. We don’t... Continue Reading →
Everyone wants to talk about Work Life Balance, but that might be impossible to achieve. Instead focus on a Love It / Loath it imbalance. Nine Lies - Lie #8
Its no longer possible to set a strategy in January, and hope that it remains unchanged throughout the year. Instead of creating static strategies, we need to be more dynamic in our strategic thinking. We need to create War Rooms.
Stop Asking for Feedback!!! Gathering feedback could be incredibly simple, but too many companies complicate it through 360 surveys, competency / skill matrixes, and fancy reports. On top of that research has proven that traditional feedback questions are biased and unreliable. That doesn’t mean that gathering feedback from your colleagues is bad. In this month’s Caveman in a Suit article, I dig into the right way to ask for feedback. Spoiler Alert… the trick is to make the feedback more subjective.
Improve Your Team's Performance by 3,000% (Nine Lies - Lie #5) One of my favorite research studies occurred in the 1920s-30s at the Hawthorne Electric facility in Illinois. The researchers were investigating different methods to increase the productivity of the workers. First they increased the brightness of the factory, and output went up. Then they... Continue Reading →
Always start with your craziest idea (comparison bias) I hate to admit this, but I am horrible at negotiations. Whenever we go to a yard sale or outdoor market, I dread haggling. Which makes my wife furious, because she is a natural born negotiator. She thinks I am insane for just accepting the initial price,... Continue Reading →
Followers make leaders. A person can have all the “ideal” leadership traits, but if no one follows them, then they aren’t a leader.
People are shaped by what we believe about them. When you expect more from others, they will deliver. This is known as the Pygmalion effect.
Stop cascading goals throughout your organization. Instead, cascade purpose, and empower your people to set goals that are aligned to that purpose.
Everyone believes they can identify people with “High Potential” for success, but research shows that it is just a lie we tell ourselves.
One of the most discussed topics in business literature is how to make a great Culture at your company. But your company's culture doesn't matter as much as you think it does. The reality is that employees care a lot more about their teammates and their manager.
Most people believe that great leaders can be broken down into a recipe list of competencies and skills. That is just a lie we tell ourselves, because the truth is too complex. The truth is that great leaders are unique, and there is no recipe for great leadership.
Don't overthink employee recognition. The best ways to recognize your employees is by doing 2 simple things: positive feedback and public recognition.
What is Strengths Based Leadership? It is the way to tap into every leaders unique strengths and ways they can contribute to their team’s / organization’s success.
All teams progress through 5 stages of team effectiveness: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, & Adjourning. The fifth step is the Adjourning stage.
All teams progress through 5 stages of team effectiveness: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, & Adjourning. The fourth step is the Performing stage.
All teams progress through 5 stages of team effectiveness: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, & Adjourning. The third step is the Norming stage.
All teams progress through 5 stages of team effectiveness: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, & Adjourning. The second step is the Storming stage.
All teams progress through 5 stages of team effectiveness: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, & Adjourning. The first step is the Forming stage.
These are the best leadership books of 2020 (so far...). These books are a great read, and will provide you simple takeaways that you can apply immediately.
These are the best leadership books of 2019. These books are a great read, and will provide you simple takeaways that you can apply immediately.
These are the best books about Psychological Safety. These books are a great read, and will provide you simple takeaways that you can apply immediately.
Respect for one another is the foundation of every high performing team. Here are 3 questions that will Build Respect within your team.
Asking a favor from an enemy (or even just a person you dislike) is a great way to turn around your relationship with that person.
COVID-19 is making it impossible to have frequent in person interactions. Here are ways you can build relationships and trust while social distancing.
Interruptions kill your ability to focus, and working from home due to COVID 19 is full of interruptions. Here is how to stop interruptions and focus.
4 Questions that Build Psychological Safety Overview: Objective = Psychological Safety has been proven to be a key component of high performing teams. These 4 questions will help build psychological safety within your team members.Team Size = Any group size will workTime = 60 minsDifficulty = MediumMaterials Required = NoPreparation Required = YesTechnology Required =... Continue Reading →
Working from Home does not always occur between 9-5. Create a Team Availability Calendar to know when your teammates are available to talk and have meetings
The Coat of Arms exercise is a great way to build deeper knowledge of your virtual colleagues, and do so in a fun and creative way.
The majority of people are not used to simultaneous collaboration on documents. Line Up is a fun to learn and practice collborating together.
In an office, it is easy to share stories from home, but in a virtual environment, we need to create water cooler moments, like the Two Pictures exercise.
Virtual teams need to be more upfront on how they work together. This exercise is designed to help your team set its communication best practices.
In an office it is easy to see someone's mood, but in virtual teams it is not always possible. So use this Four-Word Snapshot to check-in with your team.
Virtual Team Tips: Best Practices from Remote Workers At my current company, Unity Technologies, over 20% of our employees work remotely full time or some days of the week. Needless to say, we have some experts on how to be effective while working from home. Unfortunately not every company has so many people working from... Continue Reading →
5 Tips on How to Work From Home Due to the Coronavirus, more and more companies are starting to recommend their employees work from home. And while this may be a temporary situation, working from home is becoming more and more popular. A 2019 Gallup survey found that 43% of Americans work from home occasionally,... Continue Reading →
Cults are incredibly effective at onboarding. Businesses should replicate their "love bombing" technique to effectively recruit and keep members engaged.
"Bad" people can teach us "Good" leadership traits. While pirates captains had reputations for ruthlessness, they also lead their ships democratically.
When making New Year's Resolutions, we recommend that you ask yourself questions regarding 7 different aspects of your life.
Problem = 30% of of employees don't trust their employer, and 50% say their leaders lack empathy. Solution = 3 ways to build professional relationships.
This mini-curriculum is a 3 Step series of videos and exercises to help you improve your Active Listening skills.
65% of employees say they need more feedback in their jobs, and 39% feel they are unappreciated at work. So what can you do about it? Start by giving some Fierce Feedback.
How to ensure the best ideas win: Do you like meetings? I mean, honestly… do you? At one time, I often felt that meetings were the bane of my existence. We would spend an hour talking in circles, and walk out in more disagreement then when we walked in. And in the rare instances I... Continue Reading →
At work, specialized experts are more valued than broad generalists, but is this a good thing? The average expert is a horrible predictor. 25% of the time they say something is impossible to happen, it nonetheless happens. Read more about how we overvalue expertise.
A lot of today's commercials are built around 1 concept: sex sells. But true persuasion comes from adapting your communications to fit other people's styles
98% of people have felt admitted that they have felt shy at one point or another. That means almost everyone you know feels shy in certain times and situations. Imagine what you could do with your social life or your career if you didn’t let even a little bit of shyness slow you down.
If your calendar looks like mine, there is just no time to sit in all your meetings and do all the work that is expected of you. Obviously one solution is just to say ‘No’ to more meetings, but having fewer meetings might not be possible for your situation. If you cannot say ‘No’ or delegate your meetings, then you can still save your precious time by improving the effectiveness of your meetings. And I’ve found that the best way to hold effective meetings is stop having ad hoc meetings, and instead prepare for your meetings by asking these 5 questions.
In this article we will introduce the 5 conflict mindsets, and how you can use these mindsets to manage your conflicts in a more positive and professional manner. In the end, the goal of this article is for you to manage a conflict as painlessly as possible so that both parties are stronger, wiser, and able to move on.
A successful team is built off strong relationships, and there is no way you can succeed if your colleagues do not trust each other. Build your trust by how you relate to people (sensitive trust) and by having a proven track record (sensible trust). You can also improve your trust by pulling the different leavers of the trust equation. Without the trust of your team you will not succeed.
We all know them, we’ve all worked with them, and they are a part of every job. They are the colleagues who are really challenging to work with. Just being miserable while you wait for them to quit or be fired is not an option. Take ownership for trying to make you relationship better. Because if you don’t do it, no one will do it for you.
Your answers to these brainteasers might impacted by the time of day Meet Linda. She’s a 31 year old, single, outspoken, and very bright. In college, Linda majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and participated in antinuclear demonstrations. Before I tell you more about… Continue Reading →
Too often people people over estimate the value of their own things. By understanding this bias, you can make sure you aren’t falling victim to its traps.
Your gut is a bad judge of talent for hiring people. Instead implement these 3 pragmatic solutions that are proven to be a better selection techniques.
The 10 beliefs of Google, how we can learn from them, and how we can apply the mindset to other industries.
Why we should all think like the Founder of a company: Imagine you are the owner of a bakery. How would you feel if a competing bakery opened up across the street from you? Would you feel happy about the new competition? Most likely you’d be incredibly frustrated and stressed. The other bakery will be… Continue Reading →
3 Conversations: The first time I led I team I made a lot of mistakes. I didn’t prioritize my team. I felt like by delegating power to them, and giving them space I was empowering them. The truth was I was ignoring them. The problem wasn’t the daily tasks, because they were fine with my… Continue Reading →
Trump: If you even keep a little track of the US politics nowadays, you might notice a disturbing trend: dishonesty is not only becoming a normal thing, it is being celebrated in the Republican party. Trump is famously (or infamously) known for his constant mistruths or downright lies. As of July 2018, he had amassed… Continue Reading →
Free is never free: Imagine you walk into a store, and a workers approachs you. They say “Congratulations, we are doing a special promotion and you won. You can either choose a free $10 gift certificate, or you can spend $7 right now and receive a $20 gift certificate.” As you read this scenario, what… Continue Reading →
4 LIES That Leaders Tell Themselves Managing people is tough. I should know. Not only have I been building leadership development programs for over a decade, I myself have gone through my own management difficulties. And for the first 3 years of being a people manager, I really failed at it. If I am honest… Continue Reading →
Why you should be SAD at work: This might sound provocative, but sadness can actually be beneficial in a modern workplace. Unfortunately, we are taught from a young age that sadness is a bad thing, and that we must always strive for happiness. This “Cult of Happiness” starts when we are young children. When you… Continue Reading →
Happiness isn’t just an abstract concept we feel. There are scientific foundations for our happiness, and that means there are things we can do every day to be happier.
Misreading the Tea Leaves: Editor’s Note – This article follows a simple format. The first section is about a fictional company Smart Kitchen and Cindy their CHRO. This story helps us present real-life situations where biased decision making occurs. After we introduce a concept through Cindy and her colleagues, we will present the science behind… Continue Reading →
“Unless anyone has any objections…” – Part 1 Groupthink: Cindy was having a really busy Monday morning at Smart Kitchen. She had just gotten off of the phone with two of her HR managers; one wanted to tell her that one of the company’s top talents had just resigned, and the other wanted to complain… Continue Reading →
Company Takeover: Obtaining power is something a lot of people desire, but few people actively study how power dynamics work in an organization. I have found this topic fascinating through my career, and these 5 books have transformed how I ‘play the game’. But be warned, these books are not for the faint of heart…. Continue Reading →
Lies: “The Dow goes from 18,599 on November 9, 2016 to 25,075 [on Jan 5th 2018], for a new all time Record. Jumped 1,000 points in last 5 weeks. Record fastest 1,000 point move in history. This is all about the Make America Great Again agenda!” (Donald Trump Tweet on Jan 5,2018) Donald Trump is… Continue Reading →
Death Spiral of Conflict: “It just gets worse and worse! Every time we need to work together, we end up arguing and disagreeing!” I was talking to friend who was a leader in a pharmaceutical company, and she was describing a relationship with a colleague that had derailed. Their conflict had continued to escalate, and… Continue Reading →
65% of you would kill someone if ordered to: When I think of evilness in the world, immediately my mind is drawn to murders, rapes, genocides, etc… It is easy to picture the incarnation of evil as Hitler or a serial killer. But over the past few months, the #MeToo movement has been showing us… Continue Reading →
Stop Paying Attention: How many times this month have you been sitting in meetings wondering “Really? This is an important usage of our time? Why are we even discussing this? Why can’t someone just make an executive decision and inform the rest of us?” For me it sometimes feels like a weekly occurrence. Meetings never… Continue Reading →
Sucked at Something: Last week I heard something that made me laugh, mad, and cry in the span of 30 seconds. Donald Trump gave an interview to the New York Times where he stated “I know more about the big bills than any president that’s ever been in office. Whether its health care and taxes. … Continue Reading →
Performance ratings: “What was your performance rating this year? Did you get a 3? Or a 4?” Ending the calendar year often signals time for performance appraisals and those of us who have been in a company that used individual performance ratings are familiar with these kinds of questions. Especially when the rating comes with… Continue Reading →
The news is fake: In today’s political climate (Trumpism, Brexit, Danish Folk Party, etc…), there seems to fewer and fewer generally held facts. Each party seems to have their own version of facts that just magically support their opinions. If it confirms their beliefs than it is the truth. If it doesn’t than it is… Continue Reading →
The Planning Fallacy: I once saw a leader at Company X admit that 90% of his company’s strategic projects were behind schedule or not living up to the original expectations. Even though these were the top focus areas of company, they still weren’t delivering. When I came back to the leader a year later, his… Continue Reading →
Chances are that either you or some of your colleagues are working for a psychopath. And I don’t mean it in the name calling way. I mean in a diagnosable way. Don’t believe me, consider the following studies: A study of supply chain managers in different companies indicated between 3% and 21% of them were… Continue Reading →
Training is not the answer: I’ve spent over a decade working with leaders on how to develop their people. 99% of the time their best idea is to put the employee in a training course. Even HR partners pivot straight to training as the main source of people development. What’s infuriating is that the majority… Continue Reading →
One of the companies I worked for had humbleness as one of its core values. We were meant to be humble in how we dealt with our customers, our colleagues, and as leaders. While it is a great aspiration, being humble was not something I saw a lot of in my career. I am not… Continue Reading →