Your Employees Are Not Clairvoyant

Does your team have clearly defined roles, responsibilities and expectations for performance? If it doesn’t, it’s a recipe for confusion and misunderstandings. Think about it: if people don’t have clarity about what their supposed to do and how they’ll be evaluated, they’re walking around in the dark.

Consider these examples

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Relax – Relate – Release

I was standing in line at the pharmacy and the man in front of me was disruptive and disrespectful to the person helping him. After he left, she and her co-worker were commenting on what had happened. As I approached to get my prescription, she greeted me, zen-like, saying “Relax – relate – release.”

Of course, I was immediately drawn in, and wanted to know more about this mantra. Had they had customer service training? Did she read about this in a book? Perhaps she had seen something on the internet?

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Do You Think You’re Always Right? Well, Think Again…

I was facilitating a management offsite with a goal of improving communication among leaders. During the discussion, one of the participants enthusiastically said that she was open to the ideas of others as long as people realized that her opinions were the right ones.

What?!?

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Getting Over the Hump: Activation Energy and Executive Time Management

I’m sure this isn’t so hard to do but imagine yourself staring at a mountain of tasks. You know you need to climb this mountain but taking that first step feels overwhelming. This mental hurdle is like the concept of activation energy in chemistry – the initial energy needed to start a reaction. In our daily lives, activation energy applies to getting started on tasks, especially those we find daunting.

For executives, this can be particularly true. Big decisions, complex projects, and endless to-do lists can create a high activation energy, making it difficult to even begin. This is where understanding activation energy becomes a powerful tool for time management.

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Leaders on Parade

One of the questions I’ve received over the years is whether a leader needs to be “on” all the time. When the question arises, it’s usually because the person is uncomfortable needing to be “on” when they are not officially on the job.

In a nutshell, yes, you need to be on. Like it or not, it’s almost like being “on parade” when others watch you from afar.

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Workplace Drama

How often does your staff create distractions with an avalanche of finger-pointing and accusations? “He said” this and “she did” that and “I don’t know anything about this” are expressions that pop up.

If you hear these types of phrases occasionally, it’s normal and controllable. But if these expressions occur regularly or increasingly over time, you may be a party to workplace drama.

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The Dichotomy of a Beloved Employee

One of my friends is the managing partner of a busy medical practice that has several doctors, a variety of specialists, and an often-hectic reception area. One of his employees has been a front desk icon to the patients.

This person, who I’ll call Greg, is the epitome of client service. He is exactly the kind of employee who makes a medical practice shine, especially during times of stress. He is warm, compassionate, efficient, and always has a good sense of humor.

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Hurry Up and Wait

Let’s be honest: have you ever repeatedly pushed an elevator button magically expecting that the elevator will arrive faster?

All of us have done this. This week I observed several examples of this that reminded me how often people get stressed over things they have no control over. One happened on the subway platform when a passenger got extremely upset when the oncoming train wasn’t his line.

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First Quarter: Look Back and Look Ahead

“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”
– Walt Disney

The first quarter of 2024 is coming to an end and after you get your breath, it’s worthwhile to look back and review the past three months. Here is a brief checklist to use as a guide and to set yourself up for a strong year

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