Tag Archives | training and development

Consistency Is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds

Are you a flip-flopper? Do you evolve, or just stay the same? “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything,” wrote George Bernard Shaw. (Hobgoblin: the mischievous, frightening and sometimes dangerous spirits.) In career development, it’s usually the little things that derail a manager or exec. Thus, I typically focus on granular career issues. […]

Continue Reading

Four Reasons Why Managing Data Scientists Is Different. . . Even Unique

Managing smart professionals can be difficult, but managing data science professionals can be even more difficult. Cultural differences–understanding how a culture thinks–are rarely clear to most business people, other than when they surface in difficulties. So understanding these differences early on limits the potential for friction and conflict. MIT’s Roger Stein lays out a number […]

Continue Reading

No, You Can’t Become a Better Listener by Listening Harder

Listening is far more difficult, more fatiguing and often more frustrating than talking. But no, you can’t become a better listener by listening harder. And furthermore, even the best listeners have to bite their tongues to stop from reacting, interrupting or verbally identifying with the person talking. But there are a few simple ways to make […]

Continue Reading

When Your Best Career Theory Is Wrong. Dead Wrong!

As a research-based consultant, I’m used to getting my ideas tweaked by new research. After all, I think of myself as a fairly flexible, open guy, so a small adjustment to my theories and ideas is usually illuminating. But unknown to Harvard’s Rosabeth Kanter, she took a Shillelagh, a big club to one of my big […]

Continue Reading

Why Should You Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer?

It wasn’t the Godfather’s Michael Corleone who first uttered this well-known dictum. Actually, it came from Machiavelli in “The Prince,” the definitive primer for how to be a dictator. You’d think that with my easy-going optimism, I’d never write a blog on this subject.  But, au contraire! As a manager or leader it is inevitable […]

Continue Reading

Why How We Fight Matters Most

Analysis of business conversations inevitably reveals that they are chock full of misunderstanding, differences of opinion and inherent disagreement. Yet, it has been more than a dozen years since anything significant on managing conflict has been created. But in a recent and highly awarded study UVA’s Kristin Behfar and her colleagues have provided a new, […]

Continue Reading

Five Keys to Interpersonal Sensitivity

In a fascinating study, Rod Hart and Don Burks studied the relationship between “expressive” communication and “instrumental” or “rhetorical communication.” Expressive communication is very attractive in business because it involves frankness, honesty, openheartedness and non-manipulative intentions. As attractive as it is, it rarely provides people with effective means for creating and managing relationships—very important tools […]

Continue Reading

The Marshmallow Test. . . .

Or, how innate is willpower? Back in the 1960s, Walter Mischel created a simple, but ingenious, experiment to study delayed gratification. The now famous “marshmallow test” presented a group of four and five-year-old kids from Stanford University’s nursery school with a difficult challenge. They were left alone with a treat of marshmallows. They were told they […]

Continue Reading

When Silence Always Beats Talk

Silence, when supported by intelligent questioning, is easily one of the most useful interpersonal tools in the managerial repertoire. Silence inevitably beats talk for enhancing higher order thinking, including complex analysis, evaluation, creativity, problem solving and decision making. The problem is that managers are either ignorant of its use, or—more significantly—the magnitude of change required […]

Continue Reading