Communication

Help! I’m not funny!

September 13, 2018
Q. I give a lot of presentations and am always envious of people who can evoke a laugh in all the right spots. I myself just don’t have that skill. Can it be learned?

Dump that snazzy video equipment!

September 6, 2018
Many an office will splurge on a nice video camera, light kit and editing system with dreams of hitting their company intranet, website or YouTube with snazzy content. But struggling with complicated hardware is often overkill because of the way videos are produced or perceived these days.

Deliver stronger briefings

August 22, 2018
When people ask you to “brief” them on something, make sure you get to the point—without sacrificing completeness and clarity. Follow these rules.

Is MBWA now DOA?

August 9, 2018
Q. I used to hear a lot about “management by walking around,” but not so much anymore. Has it become passe?

‘You’re choosing sheet cake over us?’

August 9, 2018
Q. I just had a top person tell me he won’t be attending an absolutely vital meeting next month because he’d promised to be there for his kid’s birthday. When I pushed him a little, he said it was a thing he “really needed to do.” Do I respect this guy totally or think of him as lacking in what it takes to bring him up to the higher levels?

You cannot beat this motivational line

August 9, 2018
People really do know it when a leader shows up. Such was the case for Capt. Benjamin Tupper of the Army National Guard, who found himself surrounded by the Taliban in Afghanistan, in a firefight and just about at the end of his rope.

The limits of what money can buy

August 9, 2018
Sure, you can initially attract people with the promise of financial reward. But to retain and motivate the best people, you must tap into how they feel about the work itself.

The dangers of getting locked in

August 9, 2018
Deals loading many benefits into the future may get very wispy indeed as that future arrives.

The case for backing down

August 9, 2018
Q. I have pushed pretty hard in salary negotiations for a job with a new company. In my last discussion with the HR person, he presented some convincing evidence suggesting that the high figure I tried to justify is off the mark. Given how hard I pushed for the higher salary, I am hesitant to back down at this point. Wouldn’t doing so make me look bad?

Avoiding the quiet trap of ‘appreciation depletion’

August 3, 2018
When we watch a puppy push its head forward eagerly at the promise of being scratched by a caring hand, guess what? We’re watching ourselves. Walking around in a $400 suit doesn’t make us want that gentle head scratch any less.