This Middle Manager is Between a Rock and a Hard Place

When your Boss is not paying attention to what you need, and you are managing a group of people who want to become a team, what do you do? Claire paved the way.

Productive Communication Works!

A woman who had been waiting for an executive in another department to make a budget decision finally stopped waiting and… communicated productively. Good work, Kelly!

How to Save Time: Make Better Requests to Get Better Promises

How to get what you want from others? Here’s how to make a more effective request. It takes a bit of practice, but you’ll see the benefits early and they will continue to increase.

When a Team is – And Is Not – a Team

We talk a lot about teams, and sometimes send people off bungee jumping as a “team-building exercise”. Sounds like fun. But a team is something that needs thought – and practice – to design and implement. It is simple, but not always easy. Still, when you need a team, it’s worth knowing what works.

What You Want & By When: Managers, Leaders, and Schedules

One manager in a recent MBA class was provoked by a discussion about the importance of using schedules, and offered her opinion on the difference between leaders and managers. “I want to be a leader,” she said, “not a manager. What does scheduling have to do with leadership?” Good question, actually. We were talking about […]

What’s the Source of the “Productivity Deficit”?

The Marketplace newsletter has an answer for a question I hadn’t thought to ask: “Why are workers less productive?” It seems the output produced for each hour of labor worked (aka non-farm business productivity) dropped in the second quarter of 2015. It’s the third quarter in a row with a decline in US labor productivity. Innovations like smartphones and 3D printing […]

That Difficult Client Talk – Part I

Dear Reggie, First, the bad news. You’ve been blaming your staff and technical teams for not doing their jobs well, but you have not considered that you might be the problem. So I’m here to tell you that you are breaking almost every rule of good management. I’m telling you because you said to me, […]

Do As I Say! (or, Why We Don’t Get What We Want)

People mostly do what you ask. So think about what you really want before you make a request.

Why We Don’t Put Deadlines into Our Requests  

Is it pushy to ask for what you want? Not if you’re pleasant about it. In fact, you might be doing them a service.

The Hard Work of Making Good Requests: Part II 

The first rule for getting what you want is to Pay Attention to spelling out exactly what you want. Then make a request for it.