In a recent Interact/Harris Poll of some 1000 U.S. workers, 91% of the respondents said communication issues prevent leaders from being as effective as they might be. The most frequent issues noted in the survey were:
Goals & Practices
Marshall Goldsmith, one of the best known executive coaches in the U.S., has just published a new book, Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts, Becoming the Person You want to Be. One of the things that caught my eye in one of the book’s reviews that I read, was a practice Goldsmith has to bring significant discipline into his life. He’s practiced it for years. At the end of each day, he has a friend call him and ask the same 22 questions each day. He doesn’t just answer each question, he also relates what he has done that day for each question on a scale from
Today’s Tuesday Reading, Be Nice!, is based on Christine Porath’s June 19, 2015, New York Times Sunday Review essay, No Time to Be Nice at Work. Porath is an associate professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
In the Harvard Business School 2015 winter term, Frances Frei, UPS Foundation Professor of Service Management at HBS, and Amy Schulman, Senior Lecturer in Technology and Operations Management, also at HBS, taught a new course “Why You Should Care: Creating the Conditions for Excellence” to a group with equal numbers of law and management students. The purpose of the course was to help the business and law students help each other define and achieve their own interpretations of success.
I hope that everyone is taking advantage of the summer weather. My reflection for this week has to do with taking actual vacations from work in just as meaningful and purposeful a way as tackling a major project or presentation. This is a new approach to vacations for me because recently I have become rather half-committed to cutting ties with email and thinking about work while away.
Last week we began a series of Tuesday Readings on the subject of feedback: Feedback in the workplace is the sharing of information between co-workers about the impact that their behavior is having on the team’s results, its processes, and/or its relationships. It can be positive in the form of affirmation of specific good work a co-worker is doing. Or, it can be in the form of correction needed in specific aspects of the work being done.
“We all live in the world with only the vaguest notion of our impact, and sometimes that matters. Clearly, when we’re effective or helpful, we ought to know it. And when our actions are working against us or others, we ought to know that too. Given how most of us put our heads down and barrel through, sometimes it falls on another person to let us in on what everyone else knows and we probably don’t. So, feedback is a good thing, when it is done right. … Make it specific, behavioral, non-judgmental, and about things people can control.”
In addition to all of the things you have to do in your job is the important responsibility of managing the relationship with your boss. It takes time and energy. And, managing it is as important as any of your work, and doing it well can simplify your job by eliminating future problems.
“Character is the tree. Reputation is the shadow.” — Abraham Lincoln
Earlier this month, Fred Kiel’s new book, Return on Character, caught my attention. Kiel is co-founder and principal at the KRW Research Institute which focuses on creating character-driven leadership cultures.
Today’s Tuesday Reading focuses on managing difficult conversations. Most likely each of us will have at least one difficult conversation today. We’ve all had difficult conversations that have gone badly and we instinctly fear that the one on the horizon will do so as well. Today’s reading is actually a video produced by Fred Kofman. He is Professor of Leadership at the Univer