Your Team Thinks You’re Closed-Minded? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, I am a marketing manager at large consumer goods manufacturing company. I have ten direct reports and a couple of dotted-line people who work on big internal communications projects. Things move fast around here. The HR team recently did an engagement survey of my team and one of the dimensions was something along…

The Problem with Being a Problem Solver

Clients are often surprised when I tell them, “The problem with being a good problem solver is that everything looks like a problem!” It usually comes up when these leaders are describing how they are assisting colleagues or direct reports by fixing what they perceive needs fixing. They describe being met with resistance, defensiveness, and…

New Survey Data Shows Managers Not Meeting Employee Expectations in Three Key Areas

New survey data just published in the July/August issue of Training magazine shows a serious gap between employee desires and reality when it comes to goal setting, goal review, and performance feedback from their managers. More than 700 of the magazine’s subscribers were asked what they wanted out of their individual meetings with their managers…

54% of Managers Use Only One Style When Providing Direction and Support for Their People

The amount of direction and support people receive from their manager directly impacts the efficiency and quality of their work. Without it, people are left to their own devices, have to fake it until they make it, and learn primarily through trial and error. Eventually people get there—but it comes with a cost, says Ann…

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,…

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…