Don’t Slam People’s Fingers in Your Open Door Policy

Have you ever had a leader or associate mention that if you ever needed them, their door was always open? And it was. But it turned out later, they were never in there. Or, they were in there, but they were always busy, maybe because they were studying spreadsheets or some other stimulating thing. Or,…

10 Ways to Kill (or Heal) a Telecommuting or Virtual Work Initiative

Whether it is caused by flooding in Alberta, snowstorms in Washington D.C., or fires in California, the need for clear continuity of operations plans (COOP) has brought renewed emphasis on telework and virtual working. Unfortunately, too many organizations jump into telework without a clear understanding of what is necessary for a successful telecommuting initiative. Here…

Autonomy or Accountability? 5 Ways to Use Honey Instead of Vinegar to Motivate Employees

Last week I met with a group of sales managers for a national retailer that is doing very well.  Turnover is low.  Same-store sales have been outpacing their peer group for five years.  Quarterly and annual financials have been excellent. The question they were asking was, “How do we keep our people motivated?”  I asked…

Challenging Conversations – Be Present AND Show It

Even if you’re fully present during a challenging conversation, the person you’re speaking with may not get the full benefit if your physical behavior does not demonstrate it. Being fully present—and showing it—demonstrates that you care and that you are interested in working together to resolve the matter at hand. You demonstrate you are fully…

Not All Goals Are Created Equal

I’ve just returned from the 5th International Conference on Self-Determination Theory.  The remarkable and often mind-blowing research on motivation that was shared and debated by 500 scholars from more than 38 countries will be impacting our world over the coming years.  But there are also little tidbits you can put into application immediately. For example, even…

3 Activities to Build Virtual Team Spirit

The more that virtual teams become our normal way of working, the more we realize how difficult it is to build the positive relationships so critical for team success.   A face-to-face meeting for team building is best, yet most teams can’t afford that luxury. So how do you build team spirit when you can’t have…