Where Do You Draw the Line?

If you want to have an innovative, collaborative, high-performing organization, then you need people with different perspectives who feel comfortable sharing their ideas. But what if those perspectives end up being damaging to your working environment? If performance drops because of the sharing of ideas, doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Open communication in the workplace […]

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Don’t Hesitate to Communicate

Every country in Asia has its own culture, but there are a few common elements throughout them, especially within East Asia. One of these elements can be very damaging to your organization’s performance: a lot of people – not all, but many – are very shy about communicating openly, and that’s bad whether we are […]

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Things You Might Keep To Yourself

The folks at Ladders, a career consultancy, shared a recent article called 8 Things Smart People Never Reveal About Themselves At Work. It’s an interesting list, and as much as we want to communicate openly with our colleagues as a way to enhance collaboration, there are some lines it might be best not to cross. […]

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What’s The Point If You Cannot Make A Point?

I once heard a great philosopher (I think it was Jerry Seinfeld) say that research has shown the #1 fear people have is public speaking; #2 is dying. “That means,” he said, “that most people would rather be the guest of honor at a funeral than the one giving the eulogy.” A bit extreme? Perhaps. […]

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Writing is the Right Thing to Do

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Back at the end of 2008 I was asked to give a talk at a Singaporean university about the likely impact of President Obama’s election on international relations. A couple days before, one of the organizer’s assistants wrote and asked me for a bio. She wrote, “I was going to pull something from online, but […]

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Blanket Parties

Far be it from me to advocate violence in the workplace. But… There was a time when it was not uncommon in the US military (in fact, it probably was not uncommon in the Roman legions 2000 years ago) to have a blanket party. Generally speaking, it was employed when a member of a unit […]

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Hidden Communication

“Let me tell you how things REALLY get done around here.” How many times have you heard that? One question I have often heard is, “if the way we REALLY do things works so well, shouldn’t we make that our official way of doing business?” Well…yes and no. Organizations have processes within them that are […]

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Making New Relationships

There is the organizational chart, and then there are the ways things REALLY get done, and the two might not even be remotely similar in your organization. Whether it’s the case that roles are clearly defined, or instead that you have to know someone who knows someone in order to get anything done, your employees […]

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Leave the Yoga Talk for the Studio

So here’s a thought: if your people are going to be working late, do not announce your own departure with “well, I’m going to try and catch my yoga class.” Your employees might have a yoga class too, a class that they are missing because they are working to meet a deadline set by you, […]

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Not Everybody Knows What You Mean

You walk into the local outlet of a major sandwich chain restaurant and they start rattling off the options quickly in a monotone voice, while doing other things. They have a pretty efficient assembly line, and they need to keep it moving. The problem is, you have never been there before, and you need a […]

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