Here is an excerpt from an article written by Guy Kawasaki for the Harvard Business Review blog. To read the complete article, check out the wealth of free resources, and sign up for a subscription to HBR email alerts, please click here.
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Enchantment defines a relationship with employees that is deep, delightful, and long-lasting. If you can enchant your employees, they will work harder, longer, and smarter for you — and, ideally, you for them too. Here are the ten best ways to enchant your employees.
[Here are the first five. To read the complete article, please click here.]
Provide a MAP. In Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink explains the big three of what employees want from a boss: an opportunity to Master new skills while working Autonomously towards a high Purpose. There are lots of other things that might attract employees, but a MAP is what really enchants them.
Empower them to do what’s right. A logical offshoot of autonomous work is that you trust your employee enough to make the right decision for customers. When you show this level of trust and empower employees, they do the best work that they can.
Judge your results and their intentions. Most managers are harsher judges of the results of their employees than they are of their own results: “You didn’t meet quota, but I really tried to meet mine.” This is the opposite of what an enchanting manager does. Be a tougher judge of your results than your employees.
Address your shortcomings first. Now that you know what to judge, now you need to know what to fix. No employee is perfect, but neither are you. Before you pontificate about what your employees should fix, talk about how you could have done a better job yourself.
Suck it up. Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs
is an enchanting guy. Why is he enchanting? It’s because he’s willing to suck it up and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Nothing is too dirty for him. Employees need to know that you’ll do the dirty, hard, and frustrating jobs too.
If you embrace these ten recommendations and truly aspire to enchant your employees, you’ll be a much better boss, and the world will be a kinder, gentler, and happier place.
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To read the complete article, please click here.
Here is an article written by Travis Bradberry for Talent Management magazine in which he recommends four steps to manage workplace arguments. To check out all the resources and sign up for a free subscription to the TM and Chief Learning Officer magazines published by MedfiaTec, please click here.
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Arguments, disagreements and differences of opinion are unavoidable facts of working life. Our inability to see eye-to-eye is so central to the human condition that some clashes stem from our physiology more than our free will.
A recent study published in Current Biology that was conducted by the University College London Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience found significant anatomical differences in the brains of liberals and conservatives that contributed to their opposing political beliefs. It appears the human race is built for conflict. So, what’s a talent manager to do?
When your opinions don’t mesh well with those of the person sitting across from you, the mark you leave on the situation comes from how well you understand and manage your emotions — not from what you say to prove your point. When emotions are allowed to run haywire during a disagreement, things discombobulate very quickly and the discussion goes nowhere.
From the boardroom to the break room, arguments will inevitably surface, and the key to enabling employees to handle these situations well is emotional intelligence, or EQ. Employees who are trained to argue with emotional intelligence will accomplish two things:
1) The argument itself will be far more rational and productive. Removing their strong emotions from the equation by following the steps outlined below will keep them from fanning the flames of discord. Regardless of how agitated the other party is, when someone remains calm, people are forced to lean further in this direction than they would have otherwise.
2) The argument will do less damage to the working relationship. Disagreements are fine, as long as they are conducted with consideration and respect. When someone explodes with emotion and says things that are better left unsaid, it has a lasting, negative impact on the relationship. However, if the person approached a disagreement with emotional intelligence, it has the opposite effect: It strengthens the relationship by showing the other person respect even when there’s disagreement with his or her opinion.
Talent managers can lead by example: When they find themselves in the middle of a disagreement, they can take the emotional high road for the greater good of the relationship. It’s critical to avoid being defensive, remain open and practice the following strategies.
[Here are two of four steps to manage workplace arguments. To read the complete article, please click here.]
Ask good questions. People want to be heard; if they don’t feel heard, frustration rises. Managers can beat frustration to the punch and ask the other party to elaborate on his or her point of view. Even if the other person has already gone on and on about his or her opinions, it’s critical to ask good questions about what he or she thinks and why he or she has reached these conclusions. Managers must control their own feelings as needed and focus on understanding where the other person is coming from. By asking for input, they will show that they care about the other person’s opinions and have an interest in learning more about his or her beliefs. This act establishes respect as the foundation for the discussion.
Resist the urge to plan comebacks and rebuttals. A person’s brain cannot listen well and prepare to speak at the same time. Managers must use their self-management skills to silence their inner voice and direct their attention to the person while he or she is speaking. The key is to focus their energy on what’s required to engage in an emotionally intelligent discussion or argument. When they do the opposite – by focusing on winning the argument, or at least sneaking a barb in – they are engaging in an unproductive habit.
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The popular historian David McCullough says textbooks have become “so politically correct as to be comic.” Meanwhile, the likes of Thomas Edison get little attention.
‘We’re raising young people who are, by and large, historically illiterate,” David McCullough tells me on a recent afternoon in a quiet meeting room at the Boston Public Library. Having lectured at more than 100 colleges and universities over the past 25 years, he says, “I know how much these young people—even at the most esteemed institutions of higher learning—don’t know.” Slowly, he shakes his head in dismay. “It’s shocking.”
He’s right. This week, the Department of Education released the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress, which found that only 12% of high-school seniors have a firm grasp of our nation’s history. And consider: Just 2% of those students understand the significance of Brown v. Board of Education.
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“History is a source of strength,” he says. “It sets higher standards for all of us.” But helping to ensure that the next generation measures up, he says, will be a daunting task.
One problem is personnel. “People who come out of college with a degree in education and not a degree in a subject are severely handicapped in their capacity to teach effectively,” Mr. McCullough argues. “Because they’re often assigned to teach subjects about which they know little or nothing.” The great teachers love what they’re teaching, he says, and “you can’t love something you don’t know anymore than you can love someone you don’t know.”
Another problem is method. “History is often taught in categories—women’s history, African American history, environmental history—so that many of the students have no sense of chronology. They have no idea what followed what.”
What’s more, many textbooks have become “so politically correct as to be comic. Very minor characters that are currently fashionable are given considerable space, whereas people of major consequence farther back”—such as, say, Thomas Edison—”are given very little space or none at all.”
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Mr. McCullough learned to write from a series of great teachers, most notably Thornton Wilder, the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and novelist who was also a resident scholar at Yale, where Mr. McCullough graduated in 1951. To this day, he remembers Wilder’s teaching that a good writer preserves “an air of freedom” in his prose, so that the reader won’t know how a story will end—even if he’s reading a history book.
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Mr. McCullough advises us to concentrate on grade school. “Grade school children, as we all know, can learn a foreign language in a flash,” he says. “They can learn anything in a flash. The brain at that stage in life is like a sponge. And one of the ways they get it is through art: drawing, making things out of clay, constructing models, and dramatic productions. If you play the part of Abigail Adams or Johnny Appleseed in a fourth-grade play, you’re never going to forget it as long as you live.”
“We’re too concentrated on having our children learn the answers,” he summarizes. “I would teach them how to ask questions—because that’s how you learn.”
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To read the complete interview, please click here.
Mr. Bolduc is a fellow at the National Review Institute.