Perceiving Perception

Perception WEB SML“There are things known and there are things unknown,
  and in between are the doors of perception.”
~~ Aldous Huxley, British Author 1894-1963

Understanding others can open doors to better communication, cooperation, and empathy. Empathy comes from one of the five dimensions of Emotional Intelligence and the external component of Emotional Quotient – Social Awareness. Having empathy makes us better people. But can we truly “walk a mile in another person’s shoes?” Can we truly understand another person’s behaviors, thoughts, feelings, motivators, and mental states?

Communication,, Perception

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Measuring and Managing Conflict

Conflict 2 WEB SML

People are an organization’s greatest asset. These same people can also be the source of some of your greatest frustrations including conflict. You can read about some of the most common types of conflicts here. In addition, conflict can be costly.

An article by Helmut Buss suggests that these costs are often unmanaged as many organizations see them as being unmeasurable, part of the cost of doing business, or fail to realize how conflict adds to costs. Here are some ways Mr. Buss suggests that conflict can eat into your profits.


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Balancing Bias for Better Decision Making

bcgd bal WEB SML

Executives and CEOs make many decisions every day. It is impossible to give each of those decisions any deep analytical attention. We make some decisions under stressful conditions. We make other decisions with no real precedent as a guideline. We make other decisions because someone “wants it done that way.” Complicating decision making even further is the fact that we all make decisions with both logic and bias – even strategic decisions. Sometimes a decision has so much input that we’re not even sure what we were trying to solve in the first place. Oftentimes, it’s at this point that inaction rings the death knell for that issue and no decision comes forth. Is there a better way to make decisions?

Decision Making,, Bias

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How a CEO Can Ensure the Executive Team is One

Not a Team WEB SMLA team is a team, right? All teams share certain traits, skill sets, working in tandem, and the fact that they have a job to do and they should do it well, and get along while they’re doing it. Are executive teams any different? Well yes and no, maybe, and it depends.

It’s obvious that the executive team has more riding on its decisions and that it serves as a role model for the rest of the teams in the organization. Or maybe it should be obvious. It’s not always clear that the executive team sees itself in this light. In fact, executive teams are often not on the same page when it comes to strategic plans or goals. In fact, according to one study, CEOs see the executive team as performing well. The team, not so much as over 50% of non-CEOs think the executive team is performing poorly. So much for performing like a team.

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Why Good Team Selection is Critical

Team Selection 2 WEB SMLOften in this blog topics center around hiring the right person. But once on board, selecting the right people for teams is just as important. While you want to give the makeup of the larger team serious consideration, the makeup of work teams can be critical. In other words, teamwork is where the rubber meets the road.

The reason for this is that in the larger organizational team the bigger picture may be the focus in terms of theories, strategies, and even brainstorming. While in smaller or work teams, the work is the dissecting, organizing, testing, and implementation of those theories, strategies, and innovative ideas.

The point is that for a group of people we call teams to be able to work together, the right chemistry of personalities, skills, talents, and attributes must come together much like an orchestra plays in harmony by delivering the right notes, at the right level, at the right time. Notice I didn’t say without conflict.

Teams,, Teambuilding,

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Difficult People: Causes and Cures

Diff People WEB SMLWe all can have our moments. Moments when we are happy, sad, miffed, and difficult. If an employee who usually exhibits relatively happy and cooperative behavior and suddenly or unexpectedly shifts behaviors for the worst, then it’s probably due to some out of the ordinary happenstance.  This employee may need some time off or require services such as a counselor or legal advice that is outside our skill set as managers. It’s those employees who exhibit consistently difficult behavior that are the issue.

These employees try our patience and emotions. However, patience and controlling our emotions are of paramount necessity to help handle these trying people. This is increasingly difficult to pull off when dealing with these types of behaviors is a daily occurrence. Let’s look at some of the causes and cures of these difficult personalities.

Diffcult Conversations,, Managing,, Difficult People

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6 Ideas for a Successful Employee Development Program

EE Deve WEB SMLOne of the biggest contributors to poor employee engagement is the lack of a structured employee development program. Several sources suggest that about half of organizations have no employee development program. Some that do have such a program, describe it as broken, or outdated.

Just as with anything, creating an employee development plan involves strategy and prework. This prework begins long before anyone makes a hire, advertises an opening, writes a job description, or even before someone decides what positions the organization will fill. What ideas can an organization implement to ensure that an employee development program is successful?

Talent Management,, Strategic Planning,, Employee Development

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Turnover Wears Two Faces

Two Faces WEB SMLOrganizations often lament high turnover and its costs. Indeed, it can be costly and there is a plethora of information on the internet, in books, white papers, and studies to assure you of this fact. But is all turnover bad? The truth is that turnover wears two faces as there is both good and bad turnover. OK, before you have me put in a straight jacket, hear me out.

Here’s a question for you, if a poor performer, toxic employee, or a bad fit for your culture quits, is that good or bad? It will no doubt be good. Now it may be that the toxic employee, just as an example, was there a long time and had become a sacred cow, that employee may take a lot of knowledge out of the organization. Losing the knowledge is bad, but you only have yourself to blame for allowing the toxic employee to remain as long as they did. In fact, the toxic employee may have been the cause of good, highly productive, and other knowledgeable employees leaving in the past and that’s bad. Thus, the two faces of turnover. What do these two faces look like?

Hiring,, Turnover,

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