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…]

3 Secrets to Choosing Your Battles Wisely

Batman has the Joker. Spiderman has the Green Goblin. Superman has Lex Luthor.

Just because you’re a hero doesn’t mean you have to get along with everybody.

Conflicts happen. These superheroes had their nemeses, and, as the hero of your workplace, you probably have yours.

Whether it’s a difference of opinion, conflicting personalities, or even a flat-out argument, people don’t agree all the time – especially when there are multiple people clamoring for leadership, eager to prove themselves. (If a group was meant to have more than one leader, Professor X and Magneto probably would’ve gotten along a whole lot better!) [Read more…]

When good employee’s success becomes negative

Shy, but eager, employee lets success go to her head

Part of being a good manager is coaxing average performers to overachieve.

And generally that’s a good thing.

But with some employees, a little success can go to their heads – and create major headaches for managers. [Read more…]

Natural-born whiner: When other employees have had enough

Will minor complaints escalate into something bigger?

Some folks are just natural-born whiners. It makes no difference how well things are going, they always find small, annoying things to complain about.

While most of it is harmless, it can wear on your patience. And if allowed to continue, it could fester into a wider morale problem. [Read more…]

Good worker, bad attitude: How one employee can hurt morale

Prima donna dashes off scathing e-mail that blasts co-worker

We chuckle when we read about celebrity prima donnas, but it’s not so funny when the prima donnas work for us.

You know the type: Lots of talent, quality work, but arrogant and totally self-absorbed.

They’re the greatest. Everyone else stinks. [Read more…]

Managing Conflict in the Workplace: What is and isn’t Working

75% of managers polled – recently told us that conflict in their organization is negatively impacting productivity. This poll was from a recent presentation from Guy Harris of the Recovering Engineer.

In Guy’s presentation, he described how unresolved conflict kills your team. It leads to:
1. Poor decision making
2. Poor employee engagement
3. Distractions
4. Lost time
5. Poor information flow

The good news is – it doesn’t have to be this way. Harris described a 5-step plan to resolve conflict in your workplace. [Read more…]

Co-worker throws teammate under the bus: What should you do now?

The Scenario

“Save me some caffeine, Gina,” HR director Stu Capper joked as he walked into the break room.

“Just started a fresh pot. It’ll be ready in a few,” Gina said. “So let’s talk while we wait on it.”

“OK, what’s up?” Stu asked her.

“I’ve got a big problem with my new assignment.” [Read more…]

What to do when you want to strangle someone?

We have all been there. Someone wrongs us in the workplace – and we want them to know.

Not only do we want them to know – we want them to realize they wronged the WRONG person!!!

To strangle or not to strangle: That is the question

We all know strangling will not end well. So what should you do? What should you say? How can you get your point across – without losing it? [Read more…]

Know-it-all supervisor has good ideas, but driving everyone crazy

The Scenario

“Alright, Stu, I’ve got a head-scratcher for you,”said VP Courtney Krewson, pulling up a chair next to HR manager Stu Capper’s desk in Stu’s office.

Stu rubbed his eyes. It’d been a long day already – and it was only noon.

“What’s on your mind, Courtney?” he asked.

“I’ve been having trouble handling Ben Rosen’s attitude,” said Courtey gingerly. [Read more…]

Workplace gossip feels like high school: What to do?

New employee runs head first into the office blabbermouths

Every company has a gossip monger. But sometimes those blabbermouths do more than spread rumors – they shut out new employees.

And when those motor mouths get catty, it can hurt the morale of new hires.

That’s the situation manager Valerie Robbins found herself in when two of her best workers were overheard talking about the new guy. [Read more…]