Communication

Giving and Receiving Gifts in Conversation

By: Jim Bruce
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Welcome to 2010!  I trust that each of you had a wonderful time with family and friends.  Just before Christmas Roger Schwartz published “Giving and Receiving Gifts in Conversation” in his Fundamental Change newsletter.  I found the article so thought provoking that I have published it here as this week's reading  by permission.

Two Decembers ago, I wrote about giving and receiving gifts. Many readers found it helpful as they prepared for the holidays, so I have begun sharing the article each December:

Using Curiosity to Create Accountability with Powerful People

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s Tuesday Reading is a piece which I reproduce below “Using Curiosity to Create Accountability with Powerful People” by Roger Schwarz of the Skilled Facilitator.

In his piece, Schwarz notes that when people are accountable to you, you [should] expect then to explain the key decisions and actions they have taken.  Yet, when we are talking with people who have more power than we do, we stop asking questions, we stop being curious.  In this piece, Scvhwarz suggests four questions that you might ask in these situations along with ways to set the context.

 

How to Give a Lousy Presentation

By: Jim Bruce
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This week’s Tuesday Reading is from BusinessWeek’s August 25, 2009 Communications Column:  “How to Give a Lousy Presentation”. 

We all make a lot of presentations.  And, I know that you are like me and know that you are able to do better most of the time.  This piece gives you 15 excellent ways to make a lousy presentation.  It thereby gives each of us a set of solid reminders for all of us.

You're a Success, Now Get Down to Work

By: Jim Bruce
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For this week’s Tuesday Reading, we turn to the Career Strategies Column in the Wall Street Journal for a short piece “You’re a Success, Now Get Down to work”.

Near the end of this piece, its author Alexandra Levit writes:  “Just because you’re skilled or talented in a particular area doesn’t mean you should simply pass go and collect your $200.”  Or, as Marshall Goldsmith puts it, “Strong leaders don’t coast.”

So what do you need to do:

How to Identify Employee's Hidden Talents

By: Jim Bruce
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There’s lots of advice on finding and attracting staff and on identifying and retaining top performers you already have.  Stephen DeMaio, in a recent blog entry – “How to Identify Employees’ Hidden Talents” – argues that it is even more important to look for your current staff's hidden strengths to find new skills and talents that have value to the organization.

DeMano suggests four approaches:

Influence: Connecting with People

By: Jim Bruce
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John Maxwell, a very prolific writer on leadership, is the author of our Tuesday Reading for today:  “Influence:  Connecting with People”.

Maxwell’s thesis is straightforward;  ... “until leaders learn the art of connection, their influence remains minimal.”  To help us make connections, he offers eight practical steps:

1.  Don’t take people for granted.

2.  Possess a difference-maker mindset.

3.  Initiate movement toward people;  take the first step.

There's No Need to Bat .900

By: Jim Bruce
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Recently, Adam Bryant, writer for the New York Times’ Coner Office column, interviewed John Donahoe, president and chief executive of eBay for the past year.  The condensed interview is today’s Turesday Reading – “There’s No Need to Bat .900.

Donahoe has a lot of good advice:

•  You can’t change people.  …  Allyou can do is help them help themselves.

Stay Out of the Bunker

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s Tuesday Reading is “Stay Out of the Bunker”from the New York Times Under New Management column.  There Kelly Holland says that even though this may be a very challenging time for managers, employees still need leadership if they are to function effectively.  She suggests seven behaviors for leaders:

Don't Just Check the Box

By: Jim Bruce
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How often have you laid out for your team, perhaps in a presentation followed by a clearly written document, a future state for the team as well as the strategies for getting there.  And, you wait, and wait, and nothing happens.

This is the situation that Marshall Goldsmith addresses in “Don’t Just Check the Box”.  Though written four years ago, his advice is as timely today as it was in 2005.

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