Coaching Through COVID — Managing People During Coronavirus

Around the world, 2020 is going to be remembered as extraordinarily difficult. The coronavirus pandemic has passed the six-month mark, and impacted millions around the world. Sadly, it’s not only not over, it’s very possibly going to have another wave this autumn. With a vaccine months away, at best, we have to learn to live with COVID-19 as a new way of life, not an event to get past. In our work lives, that affects a lot of how we do things. Managing people during coronavirus, for example, is now largely done remotely. And we need to do

Signs of a Leader (Hint: They might not be the boss.)

This is the first part of a two-part series. Next time: how to find leaders worth following.

It’s a simple question, but perhaps not an easy answer – what are the signs of a leader, as opposed to just a “boss”? Are you just someone people report to? It’s different to head up a team on an organisational chart, to put in performance reviews and assign work to people. Yes, you’re the boss.

But being a leader isn’t really about any of that. You can be a leader even

Ho, Ho. . .Hold On — Holiday Party Etiquette at the Office

I really don’t like sounding preachy. So I wasn’t even going to post anything like this. But the truth is, missteps in holiday party etiquette at the office find their way to my desk every year. Every. Year. For 25 years. So…I decided I’d just give you a few ideas about how not to become a Christmas tale. Consider it my gift to you. You might wish you could exchange it for something more fun. I understand.

How to keep your holiday party etiquette at the office festive not foolish:

Millennials have changed the workforce in countless ways. That’s not all bad, of course, and Gen X leaders should embrace Millennial corporate values (some of them, anyway). Millennials have changed the face of companies, literally, with more diverse employees. They’ve changed employee expectations, with more emphasis on things they care about, like CSR efforts and a voice in their career. And they generally have questioned – even rejected — many of the professional norms (read: restraints) around dress codes, organization charts and communication style.

Here are three ways that Gen X leaders should embrace Millennial

Men at Work: We need men to mentor women in the workplace

One of the challenges of initiatives regarding promotion of women in the workplace is that it can feel like a chicken and egg problem. Studies show that women in positions of power are more likely than men to hire and promote other women. And there are obvious reasons for women to mentor women. And in the era MeToo, it seems a particularly dicey time to encourage men to mentor women in the workplace. But as I wrote in a prior post about the challenges of female leadership, just 7% of the CEOs in the FTSE 100 are

Why Using 360-Degree Feedback in Performance Evaluations Gets Poor Marks

First in a two-part series. This is the first of two posts about 360-degree feedback in performance evaluations. This week we discuss why this method of assessing performance is problematic. Next time: better ways to use this feedback to improve individual business relationships.

Someone asked me recently about performance evaluations, specifically, whether 360-degree feedback in performance evaluations was useful. The argument in favour of them is that by getting a feedback from not only your manager, but also your direct reports, internal clients, external clients, peers and . . . whomever else you can

Cultural fit matters. But maybe it’s time to call it cultural add.

The other day, a friend of mine told me about a new employee at her office. The woman on first glance was just another twenty-something new hire with what my friend called “appropriate business look”. Apparently the woman had an unremarkable hairstyle in a natural-looking colour (“no streaks of purple or green”), simple jewelry (“only her ears were pierced”), and a tailored, silk blouse. At the meeting, she was articulate and well-informed on the subject matter, with insightful questions and useful ideas. Then, when she raised her hand to make a point . . .she revealed a sleeve

Smells Like Team Spirit: How to Unify a Diverse Team in the Workplace

Smells Like Team Spirit: How to Unify a Diverse Team in the Workplace

I’ve been asked more and more frequently how managers can be sure they are being sensitive and inclusive. In almost all cases, I get the question from well-meaning, but fairly stressed executives, often men, usually in their late 40s to early 50s. They have teams that include women, LGBT members, and international employees. ‘

While they all appreciate and actively look for diversity, they recognize their own limitations in being able to identify opportunities to celebrate and unify a diverse team with such different backgrounds and experiences. While more than 70% of executives are white men, the increasing diversity of

Finding Middle Ground in a Divided Workplace

Finding Middle Ground in a Divided Workplace

I was recently asked to give advice to a professional that was really struggling with the best way to succeed in a divided workplace. She asked:  “At my job, you can tell that employees are divided in many ways. I’m not the type of person to fall into groups because it’s what everyone expects or it’s how you get things done. So, how can I get ahead, as an individual, without compromising my character?”

A divided workplace is tricky business – here’s how to use your head and keep your soul:

It’s totally understandable why you’d like to be a grown-up and

Get Prepared for Gen Z — By Going Back, to the Future

Get Prepared for Gen Z — By Going Back, to the Future

As we round out the second decade of the 21st century, employers are pretty confident that they are finally comfortable with The Millennial Employee. More or less. Like the Y2K fears that entered corporate corridors just before them, they seemed a uniquely turn-of-the-century phenomenon that we only knew we could not fully prepare for.

It turned out that our systems were much more forward compatible than their humans – when’s the last time you heard about the Y2K bug? – who have struggled for over a decade to fully understand and integrate Millennial employees.

To be fair, accommodating three such distinct generations brought unprecedented challenges. So, let’s try four. Because Gen Z has started entering the workforce — and is coming to an interview near you. Are you prepared for Gen Z employees?