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By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Build better teams & individuals: Management Tips

Build better teams

This week’s first tip takes aim at our unquestioning love of teams. For the last half century, building a team to handle issues has been the de facto response to big challenges at work.

The idea is simple. Two heads (or three or four) are better than one. More experience and more ideas make for more effective decision making, right?

Not necessarily. First, there are many ineffective ways to build teams. From staffing and training to recognition and rewards, we don’t always think about all the issues that should be involved when building a team.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Learn from bad experiences: Management Tips

Learn from bad workplace experiences

It’s reality: Even our leaders can make mistakes. Working for some leaders can prove to be particularly challenging. It could be due to their questionable competence, sketchy ethics, or a generally bad attitude—but if these traits sound familiar, then you just may have the proverbial “bad boss.”

The good news is that you can learn a lot from a bad boss. If you aspire to run the department, or the organization, or even start your own company, then listen up! Great mentors will help you accelerate your growth, but bad examples around you can help even more. The negative emotions their behaviors stir up force us to pay attention. So take notes, be kind and cautious in response to their crazy behavior, and spend all the time you need to plot your escape. Soon enough, you’ll have your shot—and a long list of things you won’t do when you’re the new leader.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hiring talent: Management Tips

Management Tips

It’s sometimes shocking how useful honesty can be, yet we often avoid it. Take hiring talent as an example. We should be honest to ensure that candidates know exactly what they are getting into. But instead of telling them about team quirks, odd office dynamics, and long hours driven by client needs, we often lie. We push out polished and agreed–upon images about a team and company that don’t exist in the real world. We tell them everything we can think of that is good about us, but nothing that sounds remotely imperfect or strange.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Communication at work: Management Tips

Management Tips

Communication at work is a lot like trust: Both take time to build but can be lost in a moment.

In this week’s first tip, I’ll tell you several phrases you should avoid saying at work. Here’s one: “That’s not my job.” Even when it’s true, it’s never helpful. It draws lines, sounds combative, and otherwise turns people off. So one part of effective communication is choosing the right things to say, while another is avoiding troubling or unproductive phrases.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Building a better team retreat: Management Tips

Management Tips

Explore Management Tips at lynda.com.

One of the biggest potential wastes of time and money in corporate America is the team-building retreat. Retreats are rarely well planned well or correctly facilitated. The result is that teams often dread attending retreats, considering them either a waste of time or, best case, merely some “fun time” away from the office. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If handled correctly, team retreats can be productive, educational events that strengthen team bonds and encourage creativity.

My first management tip this week looks at the planning phase of a successful team retreat. It starts with being honest about what the team needs; a dose of fun is always helpful, but it should be bundled with serious, targeted learning. Is your team’s key issue trust? A lack of candor? Greater accountability? Brainstorm on the possible learning areas you could tackle, talk to your team, and choose a relevant topic.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How to motivate and persuade: Management Tips

Management Tips

Explore Management Tips at lynda.com.

This week we’ll focus on various aspects of motivation. The first tip is a classic method of bonding with the team. I like to call it motivating by getting your hands dirty.

Many bosses overindulge in “being the boss,” happy they no longer have to do the work they used to do. They don’t have to build things; they manage people who build things. They don’t have to write code; they manage people who write code. You get the idea.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Moving past workplace challenges: Management Tips

Getting past challenges in the workplace

Explore Management Tips at lynda.com.

What are your biggest challenges at work? Two common workplace challenges are working with people you don’t like, and knowing when and how to stop putting effort into projects that aren’t working—so you can instead focus your attention where it truly matters.

The first tip this week is about working with someone you don’t enjoy; this can drain your energy quickly unless you make a conscious choice to approach the situation constructively. Your don’t have to become buddies with unpleasant coworkers, but you can learn to recognize their positive traits instead of letting their negative ones get the best of you.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Achieving work-life balance: Management Tips

Management Tips

Explore Management Tips at lynda.com.

Leaders often feel lonely. That might surprise many of you, as we associate leadership with status, power, fun, and success.

But loneliness is almost inevitable among leaders, since there are fewer and fewer people working at each successively higher level in an organization. Leaders also make decisions that affect those below them, which can create a divide and further the feeling of isolation.

But loneliness doesn’t have to be a significant problem in your professional life. My first video this week will help explain why.

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