Why Can’t They Just Do What I Tell Them?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading
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Because they (and you and I) are wired to seek delight, growth, and freedom. How is doing what we say they should do at all in line with that wiring?

“But we’re paying them to do their jobs. Isn’t that good enough?” we might ask.

All the evidence says, “Nope. Certainly not these days.” And it’s not just the Millennials.

So we have to go for win-win. We have to include what they want in what we want.

How? Luckily, it’s not as daunting as it might seem. More on that tomorrow.

For now, try this exercise: how many times today did you ask your team, colleagues, boss, and clients to do something you wanted (needed, hoped for) them to do? And how many times did you listen to what–however large or small–they wanted, needed, or desired?

 

In your corner,

Mike

That Impulse to Help

Posted Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
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At least once today, we each will see someone with a need that we can very easily fill. We will know instantly what they need and what we should do. It will be something on the order of a small kindness: a smile, an encouragement, a caution, an answer, a small favor, an acknowledgement.

But our histories and habits will stop us. To avoid some perceived threat (there are many and they follow what is for each of us a familiar pattern) in the situation, we will override our impulse and not follow through with the help.

The good news is that we are neither our histories nor our habits. We can catch those impulses to help and pause. We can then see that following through on these impulses is not a threat but a joy. And we will soon learn that regularly following through is an investment that pays us back again and again.

 

In your corner,

Mike

Make the Call

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading
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For the most part, we will benefit by making the decision then making that right rather than hemming and hawing to make the right decision.

Make the call, good leader.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Making a decision right means committing to it and following through with deep confidence (not hyperbole or bravado) that you’re on (or even making) the right path.

The Wise Manager

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The new manager asks or tells people what to do and wonders, “Why won’t they do what I want?” Telling louder or more nicely works but just for a while.

The wise manager discovers what makes a win (big, long-term and small, near-term) for them then asks something like, “How can we both get what we want here?” The new manager thinks this is a colossal waste of time. But the wise manager knows that asking and telling people what to do takes much, much longer.

 

In your corner,

Mike

Is Work a Drain?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, Sweetspot
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If work is a drain, then we are not working in our SweetSpot. That is, we are not using our talents, not engaging our motivators, not getting our needs met, and/or not serving others.

When we work in our SweetSpot, we have all the energy we need.

 

In your corner,

Mike

Email Etiquette Rule #6

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action
Reading time: 2 min.

Email remains a vital business tool. And, for many reasons, it is one we love to hate. If we all follow a few etiquette rules, email can become much more useful and much less painful.

Here is Email Etiquette Rule #6:

Say less.

Given their busyness, we cannot expect our readers to spend lots of time with our emails. We will have more impact if we limit both the length and frequency of the emails we send.

A good rule of thumb for the length of an email is one screenful. If our readers need to scroll, we may lose their attention. If you have more to say, set a meeting or pick up the phone.

The right frequency of emails depends on your relationship with each reader and the projects you’re working on. One rough measure of good email frequency is the number of times you’d speak to your reader if there was no email. Pretend it’s 1987 and no one has email. If someone sat 50 paces away from your desk, how often would you speak to them live or over the phone? Send emails roughly as frequently.

When we limit how much we email, what we do send stands out.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Of course, attached documents are usually longer than one screenful. If your email includes a request of your reader to review a document, make sure the text introducing the document stays within one screenful.

Email Etiquette Rule #5

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action
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Email remains a vital business tool. And, for many reasons, it is one we love to hate. If we all follow a few etiquette rules, email can become much more useful and much less painful.

Here is Email Etiquette Rule #5:

Cautiously Copy.

CCs are a pain. We receive tons of them and they often aren’t that important. Chances are that if we filter out the emails we are cc’d on, we will have significantly less email to handle without much negative impact.

So let’s give our readers a break and limit the number of CC’d email we send. Here are a few guidelines:

  • If you need someone to do something with (act on or respond to) your email, include them in the TO: not the CC:.
  • If you don’t need someone to do something with your email but simply want them to be aware, don’t include them on the original email at all. Instead, forward the email you sent with a brief explanation of why you think they need to read/watch/hear this information.  Yes, CCing is easier, but this approach is more likely to work.
  • If you are sending a CC to get someone in trouble or keep yourself out of trouble, rethink. Do you really need to throw someone under the bus? Instead of CCing to cover yourself, is there a conversation you can have with the person you wish to inform? Or is there a direct email you can send?
  • There is one very good use of a CC: CC someone when praising them to their boss.
  • Use BCCs with as much or more caution.

 

Think of CC as meaning Cautiously Copy.

 

In your corner,

Mike