Decision making process

22
Oct

What are You Teaching Your People About Mastery?

Byron and Kelly showed up at my house this week to replace our 38-year-old furnace. As I watched with fascination, they removed the old beast from a very tight spot and installed the new unit. Then came the process of fabricating the sheet metal plenums that attach the new furnace to the air conditioner and the exhaust stack. Each time

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11
Sep

Asking the Uncomfortable Questions

We’ve all been there. You’re discussing something with a colleague, an employee, or a vendor. The two of you seem to be making a decision as you hash out the issue. Yet, your intuition tells you something is missing. Maybe it’s a critical insight that’s been left unsaid. Perhaps you can see that the other person is hesitating because they

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6
Sep

Want Them to Learn? Hang Up on Them!

Kevin is a service supervisor for a mid-sized mechanical contracting firm. He has six technicians visiting customers every day. As new technicians joined his team over the past couple of years, more and more of his communication with the field would go like this – The phone would ring. He would answer it. The technician on the other end would

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31
Jul

Teach Your New People the Top 15

It happens all the time. A new hire arrives for the first day of work. The supervisor rattles off a list of responsibilities and resources. The newbie nods over and over. The supervisor says, “You got that?” The newbie answers, “Yup.” And the supervisor says, “Good. Let’s get to work.” Then the newbie bombards the supervisor with endless questions for

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2
Jan

Are You Wrapping Your Kids in a Burlap Blanket?

My wife and I and our friends, Bill and LuAnn, were sharing stories about our twenty-something kids. As we discussed the normal trials and challenges these young people face, we wondered out loud about the balance between saving them and teaching them to “sink or swim.” “We’ve always tried to wrap our kids in a burlap blanket,” said Bill. I

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18
Dec

Where is Your Locus of Control?

One recent morning, I was standing next to a woman in a local café. She appeared agitated, but I didn’t really think about it as I added a bit of cream to my coffee. A few seconds later, one of the staff approached her. “I’m sorry for the delay,” he said. “We’ll have the order ready in ten more minutes,”

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14
Nov

The Blessings and Curses of Conveniences

Dan, a senior executive, recently told me of driving around in his prized 1977 Chevy pickup with his 16-year-old grandson. “Hey Grandpa,” the young man said, while holding a latte, “Where are the cup holders?” “We didn’t have cup holders forty years ago,” answered Dan who then added, “Roll down the window. Let’s get some air in here.” It took

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7
Nov

Have You Ended Up as a Manager Instead Leader?

Michael has been in the industry for the past fifteen years and working for his present employer the past three. In addition to a degree in finance, he’s earned a master’s in leadership development. As he’s worked with his team and observed what goes on in the rest of the organization, he’s become impatient to implement some basic ideas that

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16
Oct

Is Too Much Information Your Worst Enemy?

When was the last time you complained about dealing with too much information? Chances are, it was in the past week, if not the past day. Information overload not only produces a sense of stress and tension, it prevents us from doing our best work. Research by psychologists Daniel Kahnemann and Amos Tversky has demonstrated that people are unable to

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8
Oct

Becoming Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

When was the last time you felt uncomfortable before making a decision? Chances are, you get a little twinge of cold sweats anytime you’re faced with the unknown. You’re not alone, of course. All our brains focus on security and comfort before anything else. So if you’re uncertain about something, the limbic system jumps in and says, “Don’t do it!

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