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Are there people around you who consistently miss deadlines, perform below your expectations, or frustrate you with irritating behavior and negative attitudes?  Have you talked to them? Did your conversations make a difference?Probably not! There are many conversations in which we think we have been clear on how we feel about someone's behavior or attitude and we think we have agreed on what will change. But nothing does. How often have you said in frustration, ‘We’ve talked about this over and over! Why is it still happening?’ Conversations must get to the real problems to have any hope of solving…
There are many things that managers dislike about performance appraisal interviews with staff. One of the most dreaded is the woman who breaks down in tears at the first hint of critical feedback.I’m not talking about the one-off event where one party, the manager, is a little insensitive; and the other party, the employee, is a little overly sensitive. This is usually nothing more than a blip in an otherwise good relationship; a blip that tissues, tea and apologies from both parties can fix. I’m talking about women who, at the drop of a tear, can avoid being held to…
I’ve just received a mail on some interesting research from the authors of Crucial Conversations: (Patterson, Grenny et al, McGraw Hill 2002)Based on an online survey of 549 people in USA, the research team found that 25 % of people put in between four and six extra hours of work each week because of colleagues who are slacking off. 93% of the respondents say they have at least one co-worker who is not performing as well as they should; and 80% of people say that the quality of their own work declines when they pick up work that should be…
President Barack Obama recently awarded former Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha with the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest honor for courage. In 2009 Ramesha and about 50 American soldiers faced more than 300 Taliban forces at Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan. Outpost Keating had been built at the bottom of three steep mountains, providing the enemy with a tactical advantage. The Taliban assault was from 360 degrees and the higher ground. Romesha's leadership was crucial in regaining control of the camp after it was overrun by the Taliban. Romesha himself is humble and laconic, still haunted by the deaths of…
Judging by the number of really tough conversations I have encountered amongst friends and colleagues since the year began; life is complicated. Many of these conversations are pivotal to our jobs and relationships. It’s tough to handle them constructively.  Do any of them sound familiar? Young woman who needs to ask her manager to clarify her job responsibilities: but fears she might sound stupid or without initiative. How do you tell a friend that the unhappy relationship she is in will, in your opinion, never be any better? Or do you say anything at all? A team leader whose staff…