Jan watched with dismay as her employee Henry forged ahead in his presentation to the senior leadership team, failing to read the body language that should have been signaling to him that the group was clearly not buying in to the foundational rationale for his proposal. She tried to catch his attention, but even when she did, he did not seem to pick up on her concern, and kept right on going. Finally, Jan stepped in. “Let me add some information about Henry’s rationale for this proposal,” she said, and took over the description of the research that had anchored the proposal. When she was sure the leaders were back on board, she asked Henry to proceed. All the questions after that point were addressed to Jan, not to Henry. Continue reading
- A popular executive in a crucial role was suddenly no longer with the company. He was critical to relationships with key customers, and those relationships will make or break a new product to be launched shortly. There is chaos and speculation about why he left and what it will mean for the new product – and fear that it could signal other departures. The executive was dismissed for an ethics breach. You as his boss know you need to communicate in order to settle the troops, but what can you say?
Yolanda argued long and eloquently with her peer vice presidents about a proposal that she felt was risky, inconsistent with company values, and would have a negative effect on employees, causing layoffs that she felt were unnecessary. Despite her well-reasoned thinking, the majority of her colleagues supported the proposal, and a decision was made to move forward with it. The CEO asked the vice presidents to work out a strong communication plan to their reports, and begin the process of communicating the decision immediately, so that the proposal’s implementation would not be delayed. Continue reading
Now there’s an oxymoron, right – powerful meetings? We associate meetings with inefficiency, boredom, groupthink, and circular conversations. They are the subject of everything from coffee room complaints to comic strip fodder. But they don’t have to be. At its best, a meeting unleashes the collaborative power of multiple minds to generate ideas, solutions, and innovations that could never have been created out of the work of one person. It’s just that the generative power of meetings is a rare occurrence. Why is that? Continue reading
Conversations are the workhorses of our business (and personal) lives. They help us to understand, to negotiate, to influence, to express emotion, to build rapport and trust. Continue reading