Tag: making decisions

25
Sep

The Role of Intuition in the Top 15

A few weeks, I recommended employers identify the 15 weekly or monthly decisions made in front-line positions and teaching the process for resolving each to brand-new hires. In response to that post, someone asked how intuition would play a role in that practice. “That’s a great question,” I thought. So, allow me to answer it here. First, we have to

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18
Sep

Top Decision Makers Lead with Reason Rather Than Rules

Think about the last time, you heard someone say. “I’m sorry, the rules say we can’t do that.” What you were trying to accomplish was perfectly reasonable. Yet a policy had been put into place to prevent it. We sometimes laugh at the absurdity of these situations. But we also feel an underlying frustration at our lack of control. Over

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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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28
Aug

The Magic of Freedom Within a Framework

One of the questions I get from time to time is, “How do I provide the freedom to make decisions without losing control?” This question coincides with the employees’ question, “How far can we go in making a decision without crossing some imaginary line?” Ranjay Gulati, writing in a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review, observes, “Leaders cling to

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21
Aug

Customer Utensils? It’s Not on the Checklist

I frequent a particular fast-food chain because I like their salads. But I’ve noticed a little detail that can be annoying, yet easily fixed. That’s the issue of placing plastic utensils in the to-go orders. Twice in the past three visits, I have forgotten to grab a fork before leaving the store. In both cases I’ve ended up someplace and

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15
Aug

Well Intentioned But Tuned Out

I was sitting in a booth at a fast-food restaurant grabbing a bite to eat. The store manager was in the next booth with five of her employees, holding a staff meeting. She was going on and on though the topics she needed to cover. It appeared to be a list of about ten items – “This policy has been

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7
Aug

Don’t Fix the Cat’s Leg

Deanna is my hair stylist. She is a sweet twenty-something who sometimes overshares as she gives me a trim. Last week, she and another colleague were going back and forth about how to raise $4000. Ask friends? Create a go-fund-me campaign? Beg your parents for a loan? My curiosity got the better of me and asked what the $4000 was

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22
Jan

Have Your Young Professionals Learned How to Fail?

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

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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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