Thirty years ago, Roger Fisher and William Ury published their bestselling negotiating book, Getting to Yes. One of the key strategies they espoused was to resolve the easiest issues first and work toward the more difficult ones. By the time you reach the most critical issue, they argued, you will already have momentum by coming to agreement on the smaller
Keith, a colleague of mine, tells the story of going to work in a retail store where the staff seemed to wear whatever was most comfortable, regardless of appearance. After a couple of weeks of trying to fit in by wearing casual clothes, it dawned on him that doing the opposite might be the better strategy. Without saying anything, he
My daughter, Erin, is about to graduate with a master’s degree in student personnel administration. She applied for a job at a Midwest university that will pay about $45,000 per year. With benefits and so on, it will probably cost the taxpayers in that state $60,000. If she remains in the position for three years, those making the selection are
One recent Sunday, my wife and I went out for breakfast at a chain restaurant that specializes in pancakes. Tammy, the young woman at the front counter, seemed to be doing everything – seating guests, cashing out checks, refilling coffee cups and clearing tables. It was obvious that more than one server had not shown up for the shift.
Allison, a young acquaintance of mine, works for a university in the Midwest. This past September, Lori, her highly-organized and somewhat demanding supervisor moved on. Lori was replaced by Tasha, someone so laid back that it’s driving Allison nuts. Allison is a hardworking soul who feels responsible for making sure things go well, even when those around her fail to
Last week, I was in conversation with a colleague about whether to hire a new digital media manager. I said, “My intuition is to sign the agreement, but I’m worried that she’ll skip out the minute something better comes along.” “What is the difference between intuition and worry,” he asked. That posed an interesting distinction that we all tend to
You hear people say it all the time – “I’m just sooo busy!” Yes, we all make more decisions these days. But are they the decisions that really count? In reality, most of these choices have little, if any, effect on our long-term outcomes. But then there are the decisions that can impact our job, our relationships or our pocketbook.
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
Yes, you read that correctly. As I speak with employers every week, one of the concerns they mention is the apprehension many new graduates display when compelled to make a decision for which there is no right answer. Sometimes this apprehension takes the form of endless questions. Sometimes it appears to be a lack of urgency. Sometimes it looks like
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,”