Monday, August 30, 2010

Finding brilliance

When people don't think like we do, we think they're stupid:

Okay, maybe these folks are not too bright. Nonetheless, we have to find ways to persuade others who do not think the way we do. One way is to find the brilliance in everyone and speak to that -- are they really good at numbers and not so good with people? Are they great at sports? Computer technology? Find what they're really good at and see if you can approach them from that perspective.

Any ideas?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Leading a team in conflict?

In today's Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business School Publishing (sign up here --, we are advised that if our team is in conflict, we should "focus on team norms.. . Use team norms to guide behavior."

This is great advice, and it really works! However, it depends upon your team already having norms in place. If you haven't done so yet, call a team meeting -- perhaps bring in lunch? -- and hash out the guidelines you all agree to follow as a team. Some ideas include:
1) we agree to decide most things by majority vote and highly critical things by collaboration
2) we agree to avoid side conversations in meetings
3) we agree to provide all members with meeting agendas 24 hours before meetings
4) we agree that when two members of our team are in conflict, the full team will work together to resolve it
5) we agree to discuss all ideas brought to the table, not discounting any until we've fully explored them

Work together as a team to determine group ground rules so that you and anyone on the team has something to refer back to when challenges arise. It is much more comfortable -- particularly for a very polite or a low-level person on the team -- to say, "hey guys, we agreed that we'd avoid side conversations in meetings; could we focus on our agenda now and then whatever is being discussed on the side can be brought to the full group?" than it is for that same person to say, "hey, stop interrupting, it's annoying!" Most likely, nothing will be said and the behavior will worsen.

What team norms does your team follow and how did you develop them?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

does showing your feelings make you weak?

"Not often in the story of mankind does a man arrive on earth who is both steel and velvet, who is as hard as rock and soft as drifting fog, who holds in his heart and mind the paradox of terrible storm and peace unspeakable and perfect."

Carl Sandburg on 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth

Monday, August 2, 2010

People do not do what you want over the long term . . .

. . . because you tell them to or because you give them the facts.

If you're still stuck on the "what" of what you want them to do, watch this video: