Adverse Outcomes

This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures

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Sometimes you get adverse outcomes.  They can be hard to deal with.  I find that beating around the bush as delivering that information doesn’t work very well.  It makes it worse, and hiding the information from the people that are waiting or relying on it makes you look bad.

I don’t think it makes sense to sugar coat it either.  You don’t need to be mean or spiteful.  Just be clear, transparent, and direct.

Life is not always a bowl of cherries and if you have been in the business world a while you know with positive comes negative.

Brad Feld advocates sharing a cleaned up board deck with employees after a board meeting.  I think this is a good idea and here is why.  When people choose to work for a startup, they are assuming a lot of personal risks.  They Continue reading “Adverse Outcomes”

Why Business Jargon Isn’t All Bad

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Anne Curzan, English professor at the University of Michigan, studies the evolution of language. While many of us roll our eyes at bizspeak — from synergy to value-add to operationalize — Curzan defends business jargon. She says the words we say around the office speak volumes about our organizations and our working relationships. She shares how to use jargon more deliberately, explains the origin of some annoying or amusing buzzwords, and discusses how English became the global business language and how that could change.

The Secret to Leading Organizational Change Is Empathy

This post is by Patti Sanchez from

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I’m working with a CEO who’s in the midst of rethinking her company’s strategy so it can better meet customer demands and thrive financially. These are major changes that will affect every aspect of how the firm operates — from the services it offers to the structure of her organization.

When I sat down with the CEO and her executive team to think through their communication plan, I asked not about the change itself, but about how her employees might feel about what’s ahead. We started with her team because, in my work as a communication consultant, I’ve observed the same thing time and time again: how information is communicated to employees during a change matters more than what information is communicated. A lack of audience empathy when conveying news about an organizational transformation can cause it to fail.

Studies on organizational change show that leaders across

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When You and Your Friend Both Want the Same Promotion

This post is by Emma Seppälä from

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Research generally shows that having friends at work can increase productivity and engagement. However, a new study by Wharton researchers Julianna Pillemer and Nancy Rothbard finds that there can be a dark side to having friends at work, especially if what’s best for the friendship conflicts with what’s best for the organization.

Take this example: Suppose two colleagues, let’s call them Lata and Andreshave worked on the same team for over five years and are close friends. They’ve supported and coached each other whenever work challenges come up for one of them. They get together with their families on weekends. And they both cherish having a close friend who is also a colleague.

Recently, however, a point of tension came up for Lata and Andres. Their supervisor told Lata that they were both being considered for a major promotion and whoever received the job would

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The Benefits of Laughing in the Office

This post is by Betty-Ann Heggie from

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While on an investor tour in Europe, I ended a busy day by joining my boss at a nice restaurant. After he said something funny, I responded in my typical style — throwing back my head and letting out hearty, unabashed laughter. People were taken aback. They turned to stare at me.

I asked my red-faced boss whether my laughter had embarrassed him. “It is pretty loud,” he muttered under his breath.

Later that evening, I castigated myself. I lay awake, wondering how many other times my laugh might have caused discomfort in professional situations. Should I try to mute it? Should I give up my executive position and transfer back to sales, which had a more jovial atmosphere? Should I find a new job?

By sunrise, I made a decision: I loved to laugh. I’d keep it and my job. I’d stay true to my authentic

Continue reading “The Benefits of Laughing in the Office”