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10 Ways to survive the new supervisor nightmare

10 Ways to survive the new supervisor nightmare

  So your time has come and you're officially the new supervisor!    Of course you are feeling both excited and perhaps a bit scared at the same time. You want to make a good impression and you want people to like you, but you recognize a need for discipline...

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Stop spending 80% of your time on one bad egg

Stop spending 80% of your time on one bad egg

Ever notice how there are those "bad eggs" on your team who, like vacuums, seem to suck not only your energy, but everyone's energy? Learning to deal with the "bad eggs" on our teams can feel like a trap.  It's easy to think that with just a little more coaching or...

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Live your work life as if you could die tomorrow

Live your work life as if you could die tomorrow

Recently I have been reminded of the importance of death... When we think about our own death and what might be our legacy after we have left this world, it can have a big impact on how we live daily. It has a lot of weight on how we treat people at work, in our...

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Courageous conversations you wish you’d had

Courageous conversations you wish you’d had

Have you ever found yourself wishing you would have had a conversation that could have made a difference for you and for the other person? Maybe you wish you had told that wonderful colleague you appreciated her but were afraid it might be taken the wrong way or “go...

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To stop the talent drain, develop your own leadership

To stop the talent drain, develop your own leadership

Your leadership actions are predictors of your organization’s success. If you are in any kind of a management position right now, sit down with a pen and paper and take five minutes to write down your answer to this question: Why would anyone want to follow me? If you...

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Is it true that some people can’t be motivated?

Is it true that some people can’t be motivated?

Ever found yourself asking this question?  It's one that I am often asked, usually by someone who is frustrated with an employee who seems to have a lot of motivation issues, and usually when the asker has already decided that the answer to the question is "YES." Now...

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Build Powerful Engaged Teams

Build Powerful Engaged Teams

Outstanding teamwork doesn’t just happen. The core competency of management is to truly appreciate your staff and make the team more powerful than individual workers to produce business goals. Training is not enough. You can develop the individual until the cows come...

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Getting through to your boss

Getting through to your boss

Have you experienced any of these issues with your boss? Your boss tells you to do something that is completely the opposite, or in contradiction to what he/she told you to do earlier Your boss forgets what he/she asks, and repeats things you already know, or doesn’t...

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The need to be right versus the need to know

The need to be right versus the need to know

In his book How to win friends and influence people, Dale Carnegie writes that one of the biggest obstacles to living a happy life is allowing the need to be right to take over the need to know. Most of us will defend our beliefs to the death, even when all evidence...

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Want more confidence? Try these steps!

Want more confidence? Try these steps!

Have you ever found yourself watching someone else participate easily in a conversation with a stranger and wondered, “How did he/she do that?” Or perhaps you watched a presenter put forth a series of ideas with brilliant logic, a great sense of humour, or...

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Channeling your inner “scary leader”

Channeling your inner “scary leader”

Lots of people come to me with their workplace issues and management dilemmas. I listen patiently and help them come to a few conclusions about their next steps. Upon reflection, I would say that 99% of the managers seeking my advice have problems because they have an...

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7 Barriers to communication and a lesson from YouTube

7 Barriers to communication and a lesson from YouTube

Ask employees in any workplace what the company’s biggest internal problem is and the majority  will say without hesitation, “communication,” (insert eye rolling and groans here). Why is it that although we are social beings and enjoy being around other humans, we...

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The power of a true vacation, and why you should harness it

The power of a true vacation, and why you should harness it

“You can’t do a good job if a job is all you do.” - Artifact Uprising “A vacation is over when you begin to yearn for your work.” - Morris Fishbein I have a confession to make. Since I started my business 10 years ago I have only taken one vacation – ONE vacation, ONE...

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Overcoming talent blindness

Overcoming talent blindness

The Webster dictionary defines talent as "a special ability that allows a person to do something well."  We all have some special abilities that help us do things well and we are actually full of latent, undeveloped talents Why learn to see talent in others? Dave...

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Measuring for results: Three key principles

Measuring for results: Three key principles

We all know it is important to measure for results, but often we don’t know what to measure or how to interpret the metrics. Another issue is knowing what to do – how to change our behaviour – based on the metrics. QUESTION 1: HOW CAN I UNDERSTAND METRICS SIMPLY?...

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8 Social assumptions and what to do about them

8 Social assumptions and what to do about them

Have you noticed yourself or others making any of these kinds of statements? “Why do we need _________? I would never use it.” “Back in the day when we only had two TV channels…”  “What barriers? I didn’t have any issues.” “It’s because people have no (insert virtue...

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Biology and business: genes and employee performance

Biology and business: genes and employee performance

Biology, employee performance, and business systems have more in common than you may think. According to the book “The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins (first published in 1978 and widely accepted as the most significant communication about the basics of inheritance...

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Why do people follow bad leaders and what can you do about it?

Why do people follow bad leaders and what can you do about it?

Most of us have either experienced or currently work with bosses who are incompetent, tyrannical or vindictive. You may have asked yourself how someone so incompetent ended up in a position of power. Or you may wonder why everyone seems to put up with the tyranny of a...

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Me biased? 3 strategies to find out

Me biased? 3 strategies to find out

It is pretty easy to tell other people what they should do, how they should fix a work issue and how to fix their personality foibles. We can quickly see when someone else is so much in favour of a person or a project they can’t see the forest for the trees. We can...

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The Myth of “Old School” Management

The Myth of “Old School” Management

It always irritates me when I hear people excuse a manager’s poor performance by saying “don’t worry about (insert name of bad manager here), he/she is ‘old school.'" What does that really mean when someone describes a decision maker as ‘old school?' My initial list...

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Linking Training, Organizational Climate and Business Outcomes

Linking Training, Organizational Climate and Business Outcomes

Statistics about training investments increasing company net worth, particularly in the area of high capital and skilled worker training, are widely known. However research on training and organizational effects is still relatively new. Tharenou, Saks and Moore...

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Supervisory Basics 2: Setting Clear Expectations

Supervisory Basics 2: Setting Clear Expectations

When you are an employee, you expect your team leader to let you know what your job is and to teach you how to get that job done. Many supervisors make the mistake of assuming their team already knows what to do and they get upset when team members don’t do what...

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Productivity challenge: Your employees are not your family

Productivity challenge: Your employees are not your family

The news is not good. It appears the Alberta approach to improving productivity is to throw more people, money and material resources at the issue without considering - or measuring for - the consequences. Financial Post’s July 25th story by Yadullah Hussein about oil...

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The paternalism checklist for women and men

The paternalism checklist for women and men

Isn’t paternalism a good thing? Paternalism. Isn’t that what you do if you are a father? Well, not exactly. To have  fatherly or “paternal” feelings towards someone is, at its root, kind and loving: it implies interest in the well-being and development of children and...

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Evaluating the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion efforts

Evaluating the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion efforts

They say, “what you measure grows.” But before measuring begins, when you start paying attention to something, it’s importance in your thinking increases. Let’s say you want to buy a car for example. Suddenly you notice things about cars you never noticed before and...

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5 planning strategies to build leadership from within

5 planning strategies to build leadership from within

Internal leadership development is something many companies fall short on. Bruce Anderson from the International Institute of Directors and Managers states that barriers to leadership building from within stem from a lack of: Time to coach Accountability with regard...

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5 Megatrends to rock your world – and mine

5 Megatrends to rock your world – and mine

At the Manufacturing Leadership Executive Summit this year, Frost and Sullivan’s megatrends and disruptive technologies presentations had some particularly close to home themes for me. As a business owner working in industry managerial training, e-learning and...

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Supervisory survival basics series Part 1: Giving direction

Supervisory survival basics series Part 1: Giving direction

Being good at your job has its downside. People usually come into their first managerial positions because they are good at what they are already doing. Decision makers identify them as responsible, committed and technically competent. With those company-friendly...

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Keeping your foreign workers

Keeping your foreign workers

It is tough to find quality workers these days. You probably have invested quite a bit in recruiting, hiring and setting up for foreign workers in your company. But how do you keep them? Many skilled workers from other countries will take any job and put up with...

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