Compromise gets a bad rap, but it’s an essential leadership skill. And you can’t do it effectively without understanding the other side’s point of view. Don’t let your ego prevent you from seeing the merits of their case. Instead, ask open-ended questions to stimulate conversation. Try “Why do you feel that way?” or “How can we do it better?” or “Help me understand the issue more clearly.” If talking doesn’t work, experience the other individual’s perspective firsthand. For example, visit your colleague’s office to understand the forces and people that are shaping her point of view. Meet with her boss. If you still run into roadblocks, maintain respect. This lays the foundation for mutual trust, which makes compromise — now or later — much easier.
Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “Compromising When Compromise Is Hard” by John Baldoni.
To turn off the sound effects that accompanies an app notification, go to Settings -> Notifications, and select an app on the notification list. Finally toggle off the setting labeled Sounds (note that this option can be customized per app).
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Communication is a two-way exercise. Without knowing something about your readers, you’ll rarely get your ideas across. Consider their goals and priorities and what motivates them. Depending on what your recipients value, your tone will change and so will your content. Highlight the things they care about most. If you’re writing a memo to colleagues, for example, consider how they’ll interpret what you’re saying based on their levels in the organization. Or if you’re responding to a client’s request for proposal, address every need outlined in the RFP — but also think about the client’s industry, company size, and culture. To make this easier, consider choosing an intelligent, non-specialist member of the audience — or invent one — and focus on writing for that person. Your message will be more accessible and persuasive to all your readers as a result.
Today’s Management Tip was adapted from the HBR Guide to Better Business Writing.
No one likes a difficult conversation with the boss, but it can be a valuable tool for building a trusting relationship. Try these four steps the next time you need to share upsetting news:
• Describe the problem. Provide a general overview and show the specific impact it has on your work and the company’s goals.
• Identify your solution. Explain how you’ve already tried to solve the problem and what you’ve learned from those attempts. Recommend a specific approach, along with alternatives to give your manager options.
• Discuss the benefits. Focus on concrete examples of how your idea will succeed. If you have tested your approach on a small scale with good results, share that information.
• Accept responsibility. Demonstrate your commitment to ensuring success. Work with your manager to develop a final action plan.
Today’s Management Tip was adapted from the HBR Guide to Managing Up and Across.
Sometimes it’s nice to have apps on a separate page. You do not need to fill a page with apps to move on to the next page, simply drag the desired app to the far right of the page and it will open up a new page.
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Has your inbox reached its size limit? Have you lost track of who’s waiting for a response? Most people struggle to stay on top of e-mail. Here are three tactics that might help:
1. Reply by phone. Quick calls can often eliminate dozens of e-mails. A five-minute chat may be more efficient than crafting a message that adequately explains the situation.
2. Do not copy. If a message you’re sending requires a recipient’s attention, include that person in the “to” field; if not, leave them off entirely. Tell colleagues to do the same.
3. Put down the smartphone. When you have a few minutes between meetings, don’t respond to e-mail on your mobile’s tiny keyboard. Wait until you’re back at your desk or with your laptop or tablet, when you can craft a better response in less time.
Today’s Management Tip was adapted from the HBR Guide to Getting the Right Work Done.
The higher up you go in an organization, the more important is to connect with your employees on a personal level. Show people you work with that there is more to your relationship than the job. Here are three ways to forge these connections:
• Give your undivided attention. This sounds simple, but it’s easy to overlook when you are overloaded with ringing phones and packed inboxes. In conversations, put everything down and focus exclusively on what’s being said.
• Remember emotions are contagious. If you’re feeling particularly anxious or negative, make an effort to quarantine yourself. When you’re feeling especially buoyant, go to more meetings and spend more time with others.
• Get out there. Even if you’re an introvert, reach out to people, engage them in discussion, and actively provide feedback. You can’t connect from behind a closed office door.
Today’s Management Tip was adapted from Three Ways Leaders Make Emotional Connections