Posted by Louellen Essex on September 04, 2014 in Communication, Leadership
Every leader has a preferred mode of communication that works well in many situations, while missing the mark in others. Both sending and receiving messages can be inhibited if the communicator is unaware of blind spots that create interference. Use the guidelines below to identify your communication style and be attuned to the warning signs when it’s working against you.
Posted by Louellen Essex on August 21, 2014 in Communication, Leadership, Managing Difficult Situations, Performance Management
Sometimes leaders have to be critical in an attempt to improve a situation created by staff, colleagues, or upper level leaders. How the message is delivered can make the difference between a productive conversation and a damaged relationship. Use this template to guide your thinking as you craft what you want to say when constructive criticism is necessary.
Posted by Louellen Essex on July 09, 2014 in Communication, Leadership, Managing Difficult Situations
Conflict is inevitable when people work together in an organization. In fact, it’s a good thing because it most often means that those involved care enough about the situation to express their differences or discontent. If mismanaged, however, it can lead to undesirable outcomes. By using the right approach in the right situation, leaders can effectively deal with conflict, increasing the odds that the dynamic becomes productive. Here are five approaches to managing conflict with guidelines for using each one.
Posted by Louellen Essex on June 05, 2014 in Communication, Managing Difficult Situations
Being open to what others have to say is one of the marks of a good leader. When the message is critical feedback, how leaders respond can either create on open communication environment or shut down interaction. While it may not always be easy to listen to criticism, it is essential to hone the skill of non-defensive listening and replying. Follow these guidelines to turn criticism into an opportunity to diminish your blind spots and build productive relationships with those around you.
Posted by Louellen Essex on May 22, 2014 in Communication, Managing Difficult Situations
Passive-aggressive people, rather than communicate openly about their negative feelings, operate subtlety in mean-spirited, maddening ways. This might include not acknowledging others, taking pot shots in meetings, or spreading rumors. The behavior can escalate to attempts to sabotage leaders or co-workers by deliberately missing deadlines, coming late to meetings, going over the boss’s head to complain, or opposing requests made of them. Passive-aggressive behavior in the work place can be destructive if not effectively managed. Use these strategies to reduce the negative impact and help the staff person learn productive ways to communicate.
Posted by Louellen Essex on March 13, 2014 in Change Management, Communication, Leadership
Most organizations are in the throes of multiple changes, requiring leaders at all levels to be masterful in how they communicate. Staff resistance can be exasperated by faulty change messages that do a poor job of explaining why something different is needed. With so much change in the works, everyone is touchy about adding one more thing to their overflowing plates. Ease the burden by following these change messaging guidelines.
Posted by Louellen Essex on March 06, 2014 in Communication, Managing Difficult Situations, Performance Management, Team Development
In a perfect work world, employees would manage their own conflict, maturely talking through issues in a professional, respectful manner. In reality, however, they often lack the necessary communication skills as well as the initiative to discuss their differences. Managers need to intervene, helping them clear the air so they can work together more effectively. Here’s a model you can use to facilitate these discussions.
Posted by Louellen Essex on February 27, 2014 in Communication, Leadership
Negotiation comes in many varieties. A competitive approach is aimed at you getting more than the other side gets – a win-lose outcome. A compromise means lose-lose, with both sides giving up something to get an acceptable solution. An integrative process creates a win-win, whereby both parties get the majority of what they want. Successful negotiators, as a backdrop to each situation they enter, focus on the integrative approach because their experience tells them it leads to better outcomes, more productive relationships, and on-going trust. To that end, here are the top 5 things they do.
Posted by Louellen Essex on February 13, 2014 in Communication, Managing Difficult Situations, Team Development
Many conditions, which can promote or inhibit effective conflict management, exist in every organization. The best leaders employ a carefully thought-out set of practices to ensure the work units they lead are successful when managing differences. By answering the following questions with yes, somewhat, or no, you can determine how likely your work unit is to effectively manage conflict.
Posted by Louellen Essex on February 06, 2014 in Communication, Leadership, Managing Difficult Situations, Performance Management
Top performers, by definition, tend to consistently do work that exceeds established standards. Holding themselves to high standards, they are driven to get outstanding results in all dimensions of the work they do. When top performers face the rare misstep, they typically self-regulate by moving quickly to own and repair the problem. Common wisdom about performance problems dictates that giving constructively critical feedback and assisting the staff person in creating solutions is a good way for leaders to work through the issue. For top performers, however, this may be the wrong approach . Assuming the slip up is not of career-derailing magnitude, here are some tips to appropriately help the top performer have a successful recovery.