management

Safer Conversations with Management

You have what you believe is an important thought to share with management. You’re concerned though that management may dislike your message. How do you assess how safe it is to share your thought with management? It’s certainly perilous if management regularly scowls, aims their finger at you and fires words such as: “You have […]

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Coaching Whiners

Ban whining. It’s destructive communication inside organizations. Why is whining destructive? How can a whiny complaint be transformed into a constructive, actionable proposal? You ask Anthony, who reports to you, “How are things going?” Anthony unloads on you like a dump truck unloading fertilizer, “I’m sick and tired of the mandatory meetings that your management […]

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Catch Them Doing It Right

First published in the Management Chronicles of Better Software Magazine, January – February, 2008 issue. It’s also posted on the stickyminds website. <> A smile formed on Eleanor’s face as she saw me approach her doorway. She and I were meeting to discuss her views on recognizing and rewarding employees. She had been my manager […]

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Segment Your Audience

Tips for managers who speak to large audiences about change. 1. Know your audience The members of your audience aren’t like you. They don’t think like you. They don’t act like you. They are a mix of people who have different roles. They like to know that you are aware of them and their role […]

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Manager is Junior Engineering

My friend Mitch was telling me this morning more about how his company was losing hundreds of millions of dollars because they couldn’t execute their plans (see my earlier post Key Person Won’t Participate). He mentioned that he had a one-on-one meeting with his manager to discuss how his work would drastically alter one-third of […]

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Tell Me What You Want Me To Do

Are you overwhelmed by a mountain of email? I suggest you take a page out of the playbook of my colleague Eric Sperley who knows how to ask for what he wants. Eric sent the following message to the people who reported to him: Guys, Look, I am getting well over 250 emails a day. […]

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The Recipe for an Effective Proposal

Does management reject your ideas? A typical cause for rejection is a failure to frame the idea effectively. Frame your idea effectively and it becomes a proposal, which will demand consideration by management. What is the recipe and key ingredients for an effective proposal? The key ingredients are X (the idea), Y (the benefits), and […]

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Problems: Cope, Manage or Solve?

When faced with a problem, I suggest considering three strategies: Coping Managing Solving Let’s apply the strategies to the situation where you have a new pet who defecates in your house. You (I hope) don’t like poop on the floors of your house. You could cope with the problem by cleaning up the poop. Your […]

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Elements of Effective Management

I am fortunate to have worked on a team led by Anne Cawley early in my career. Experience working with her enabled me to know, rather than speculate, about the power of an effective manager. What elements of her management style made her effective? Congruence: She conversed with members of her team as equals rather […]

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Rethinking Employee Rewards 2 of 3

In my first entry on employee rewards, I emphasized the importance of knowing the recipient well enough to reward them with something that is meaningful to them. But there is more to effective reward programs than providing a meaningful award. Let’s take a step back and explore answers to the questions: What is the purpose […]

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