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9 Things I Learned from My First Difficult Conversation

Did you know 35 percent of managers would rather skydive for the first time than address a problem with their team at work? That’s according to the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution. Effective leaders must know how to conduct difficult conversations with employees. Because of the common perception that conflict at work is bad, it’s…

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7 Ways to Ask Questions like a Coach

Leaders should be more coach-like. I’m probably not the first person who has penned those words in a blog post. My guess is that you’ve heard that advice before—possibly even tried being more coach-like with your team members and direct reports but ultimately realized that it takes a lot of time to do well. A…

Kern River Rafting

Plan More, Hurry Less when Navigating Whitewater

I went whitewater rafting down the Kern River this week with my husband and friends. (That’s me, underwater, at the front of the boat.) We had our choice of several guides, and we all agreed the guy with the grey hair looked like he had more experience than anyone else. We were correct. Our guide,…

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Customer Service: The Importance of Sharing Stories

All companies will tell you that customer service is one of their top priorities. But what does great customer service look like in your organization? If employees don’t know, they are each left to their own interpretation. That leads to an uneven experience for customers. A good way to address this situation is to provide…

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Feel Like Your Time Is Running Out? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, I’m a general manager at a big consulting firm. I’m doing well and I’ve been working with a coach for about four months. My biggest issue is although I’m on track, I don’t yet have a win under my belt. I’m involved in some big deals and my peers would say I’m adding…

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Operational Leadership: Better Conversations Are the Key

Good operational leadership is a consistent process of providing clear goals, coaching, and review to make sure people are clear about their tasks, have the direction and support they need to succeed, and get feedback on how they are doing along the way. But the results of a Blanchard survey suggest that leaders are falling…