Let's get one thing straight right off the bat: smart employees aren't loyal to their employers anymore. If the past few years have taught us anything, it's that there's no such thing as job security. But there are ways for you, as a manager, to improve your reports' commitment to the organization. Here's how to do it.
If you've ever tried to up your listening game, you know it's harder than it seems. It's not a matter of simply cultivating interest in what the speaker is saying, or suppressing the tendency to wait for your chance to talk. This week's roundup includes insight into why you can't become a better listener, just by listening harder – plus, how to improve, the right way, and an explanation of why all those productivity hacks aren't helping you to get more done.
Bad managers are the No. 1 reason workers leave their jobs, so the importance of having (and being) and good boss can't be overstated. The problem, of course, is that it's difficult to arrive at a consensus of what this means. What is it, exactly, that good managers do and bad managers don't?
The sound you heard yesterday was a cry of anguish going up in the PayScale offices, as the Seahawks lost the Super Bowl at the last possible moment. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell called a slant pass that resulted in quarterback Russell Wilson throwing an interception, giving the game to the Patriots ... and spurring a lot of not-even-Monday-morning quarterbacking by critics eager to point the finger at coach Pete Carroll. Carroll's response shows us a lot about how to handle bad calls in our own working life.
No one likes negative feedback -- either receiving it, or giving it. In fact, we might hate giving constructive criticism more than getting it; leadership development researchers Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman found that while 92 percent of respondents to a survey valued corrective feedback, most managers felt uncomfortable giving it. Comfort levels aside, it's obviously unlikely for performance to spontaneously improve, without direction from leaders. So what can you do, as a manager, to offer negative feedback that leads to positive results?
Introverts sometimes get a bad rap in today's business world, portrayed alternately as antisocial types who can't work on teams or reclusive geniuses that are best used in moderation. In fact, successful teams are often a mixture of extroverts and introverts. The key to supporting your more inner-directed reports is understanding what makes them tick and how to give them the best shot at success, both for their own sake and that of the company.
Given their druthers, many would prefer to work with a moderately cheerful colleague, instead of someone who tends to see the dark side of a situation, but maybe they should reconsider. Studies suggest that our gloomier colleagues might have a valuable perspective to offer -- one that relentlessly positive types might not be able to duplicate.
As long as workers can attribute their wins to luck, they don't have to feel bad about their losses. Of course, the downside to that is that they also don't get to take credit for their success. If you want to motivate your team to take responsibility, learn from their mistakes, and excel in their work, you might consider applying attribution theory.
Successful workplace leadership comes from strong and steady transformation of the group as a whole. View your job not as one cog in the wheel, but as part of a holistic department or company. This shift in perception might help you battle the single biggest thing standing between you and becoming a good leader: fear.
Whether you've been promoted from within or jumped ship to take a managerial job at a different organization, you're probably somewhat apprehensive about your new role. After all, we hear more about bad bosses than effective ones. Here's how to be one of the latter.