End Workplace Misunderstandings: 5 Ways to Listen More Effectively

Ever witness an epic clash between two people you thought were both heroes and thought, This could all have been avoided if they would just listen to each other?

Forget the grappling hook – effective listening is one of the most important skills in the superhero manager’s tool belt. It might not help you scale walls, but it can stop two major enemies –  conflict and confusion – before they have time to set in and wreak havoc on employees.

Here are a five ways you can improve your listening skills and stop misunderstandings before they snowball into the next Batman vs. Superman. [Read more…]

How to Give Constructive Feedback

One of the toughest parts of a manager’s job is giving employees constructive feedback. But it’s also one of the most important superpowers managers must improve.

Without good feedback, workers won’t grow. Whether it’s positive or negative, employees need to know where they stand. For our purposes, we’ll use the example of a superhero who has excelled at giving feedback: Charles “Professor X” Xavier, the founder and leader of the X-Men.

For years, Professor X has run a private school that trains mutants and turns them into superheroes like you. It’s not an easy job – he just makes it look easy. Here are four tips to give better feedback like the leader of the X-Men: [Read more…]

The Five Management Powers That Make You Superman

Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound! All pretty solid descriptors for your management style, right? It’s time to take off those glasses, Clark Kent – we all know you’re Superman!

But just because you’ve got heat vision and ice breath doesn’t mean you know how to use them. Workplace villains are powerful, but you’re super, and you need to keep your management powers sharp. [Read more…]

Friends don’t let friends become Bill Lumbergh

As a reader of our blog, we consider you a friend. And as a friend, we feel it’s our obligation to arm you with info – to ensure you do not become Bill Lumbergh.

Now you may say, “C’mon, Mike.  There’s no way someone as loved as me can become as despised as Bill Lumbergh.”

It doesn’t happen overnight. It starts with a “what’s happening? and then “I’m going to need you to come in tomorrow” – and all of a sudden you think it’s a good idea to have a Hawaiian Shirt Day.

We can all learn some lessons from Bill Lumbergh’s management style. Here’s a few: [Read more…]

New manager is drowning? 4 strategies to keep ’em swimming

New manager doesn’t receive the needed coaching

It often happens. An employee is a rock star – and gets promoted to be a new manager based on their strong individual performance. But nobody really checks to see if they’ve got that one critical management skill – the ability to communicate.

The assumption is that the new manager is such a strong individual performer that they will be able to overcome any weakness in their communication.

Not true. Poor communication by managers is one of the most common reasons employees jump ship, according to a recent study of over 20,000 exit interviews. Here are 4 areas of focus that are critical for increasing motivation and productivity: [Read more…]