People Management

Scaling civility as your business grows

February 9, 2022
One of the most critical steps is to launch a startup with a recognition of the need for a code of conduct specifying how the startup’s members will interact with each other, with customers, with suppliers. Some startups call it their “rules”; others identify it as their value statement. I call it a framework for civility.

Avoid a role in the ‘drama triangle’

January 12, 2022
We’re all players in the drama triangle occasionally. Where the problem lies is when you get stuck in it and can’t move on.

Never say never (really)

December 8, 2021
Lose the terms “always” and “never” when discussing a problem with someone’s job performance or attitude.

The 6 triggers that make people stop listening

December 8, 2021
Workplace culture expert Tracy Butz writes that there are preparations we must make before entering into any difficult conversation. Avoid these six common conflict triggers—land mines that, if set off, simply make people stop listening to you.

Avoid martyrs—and avoiding becoming one

November 10, 2021
Do you work with a martyr-leader? Or do you suspect that you might be one? Let’s examine the criteria.

How can a grumpy veteran lead a newbie?

October 13, 2021
Q: Sometimes I think I’m doomed as a leader because I listen to what far younger people are saying and I think, “You just don’t get it. You don’t have any life experience. Just wait 20 years and see if you still believe your nonsense.” Am I just a hopeless dinosaur?

For hotheads, establish ground rules

October 13, 2021
Q: I was ready to interview a potential CFO with excellent qualifications when one of his references mentioned that while he was terrific, he also had “a bit of a temper.” I figure that this means it’s actually a big one. How do I bring up my concerns in the interview?

Learn the first law of trial attorneys

October 13, 2021
Of the myriad techniques that trial attorneys learn, perhaps the most important is this: Never ask a question to which you do not already know the answer. Open-ended, ultimate-type questions such as “Why?” are, for example, strictly forbidden.

Are you a loud listener?

September 8, 2021
You call yourself a “business leader.” However, if your team members cannot characterize your relationship with them as a fluid, ongoing conversation, then you’re little more than an actor delivering a boring monologue on a stage that’s about to collapse.

When you should (and shouldn’t) change the way an employee works

August 27, 2021
Asking an employee to reform more than one or two behaviors at a time can quickly overwhelm and demotivate them, no matter how calm and accepting they may seem. Here, then, is a checklist to use when deciding if employee behavior needs change.