Earning Trust: The Value of Small Promises

In this Quick Take, you will learn how people feel when their boss makes a promise and breaks it, why it’s the frequency of promises – not their size -- that helps you earn trust and credibility from your people, and why it’s best to make lots of small promises that are easy to keep.

How to Deliver Good News – and Not So Good News – To Your Team

You have some good news and some bad news to share with your team. On the plus side, a key project they’ve been working on is getting rave reviews from customers. What’s more, you’ve just learned that the project is a finalist for a prestigious industry award. Even better, the team was able to deliver it on time and under budget. On the downside, the company is having a tough year, and raises and bonuses must be deferred for three months. Meanwhile, employees will face somewhat higher deductibles and co-pays under the new health plan. And a key leader of the team will be taking a job at a different company. In this Quick Take, you will learn how people perceive “serial gains” and “serial losses” differently, why a series of similar events creates a powerful impact on the mind, the best way to deliver bad news, and the best way to deliver good news.

Working with Other Departments: How to Win Over “Porcupines”

Working with people in other departments – or other organizations -- takes a subtle touch. You need their help, but your influence is limited. You’re not their coach or their supervisor. You don’t hire them, fire them, promote them or pay them. So how do you influence them? In this Quick Take, you will learn a counterintuitive approach that can help you build a better working relationship with “porcupine” colleagues in other departments or organizations, the psychological principle that makes this approach work, and what this counterintuitive truth reveals about how we make personal connections.

How to Get Buy-in for Change

What’s the best way to introduce a potentially disruptive change? Should you announce the change and immediately implement it? Announce the change and delay the implementation? Or Announce the change and gradually phase it in? In this Quick Take, you will learn a proven way to introduce and implement disruptive change, why this method will maximize employee buy-in, and the psychology behind people’s acceptance of change.

Persuasion: Getting Employees, Bosses and Colleagues to See the Light

You can’t be a successful leader without mastering the art of persuasion. You have to get subordinates, peers, and even bosses to see things your way – that is, the way you believe best serves organizational goals. But it’s hard. People see things differently than you do. In this Quick Take you will learn the most persuasive way to communicate hard truths to employees, colleagues and senior management, how to present evidence in a way that’s less likely to lead to a debate, and why we’re more persuasive when we communicate in the brain’s 'native language.'

How to be an Idea Catalyst, Not an Idea Killer

Leaders get where they are by being competent and confident. In certain situations projecting confidence and authority is necessary -- for example, in a crisis, when a time-sensitive project is behind schedule, or when rallying the troops behind a new initiative. But sometimes too much confidence can backfire, by shutting down contributions by the people on your team. In this Quick Take, you will learn when it’s important for a leader to appear capable and confident and when it’s important to dial it back

Handling Excruciatingly Difficult Conversations

A lot of people love playing a leadership role until … the day comes when there’s a problem in the organization and somebody needs to sit down with an employee and have a really difficult conversation – say, for example, he or she has terrible body odor that coworkers complain about. You don’t want to do it. You’re looking up and down the ranks to find someone else who’ll break the news. But guess what? They’re all looking at YOU. This Quick Take will give you a template you can apply whenever you have to confront an employee about a performance problem, the use of foul language, inappropriate physical contact, excessive use of perfume, unconscious rude behavior, or a host of other problems.
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