Best response to negative feedback

June 24, 2019

The Management Tip of the Day via  Article

The Best Response to Negative Feedback Is a Simple One

“Many of us get defensive in response to negative feedback. We play the victim, sink into denial, or blame our circumstances — but these behaviors let our egos get in the way of important learning. Here’s a better way to respond, no matter what the feedback is or who’s giving it: ‘I really appreciate you taking the time and the effort to tell me. Thank you.’ This response may seem simple (and it is), but it shows people you’re open to hearing what they have to say. As a result, they will be far more likely to speak directly to you when they have an issue, as opposed to going to your boss behind your back. That means you’ll have the chance to respond and improve the situation before it gets any worse. The added benefit? This response dramatically increases your ability to listen. When you stop defending against feedback externally, you stop defending against it internally, too.

Adapted from ‘13 Ways We Justify, Rationalize, or Ignore Negative Feedback,’ by Peter Bregman”

A theft

June 24, 2019

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

Dwight D. EisenhowerFrom a speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953
34th president of US 1953-1961 (1890 – 1969)


The ethics of leadership

June 24, 2019

By Steve Keating via  Article

“Here is one irrefutable fact about leadership: an organization and the bulk of the people who work in it will seldom be more ethical than the organization’s leadership.

When key leaders in an organization demonstrate less than ethical behavior it gives permission for the entire organization to behave the same way. (Think Wells Fargo for a current example)

Truly ethical leaders know that ethics are not a part time kind of thing. They don’t talk about business ethics or personal ethics, they simply talk and demonstrate ethics at all times. They know that you either are ethical all the time or you are not ethical. There is no in between.

Ethical leaders always do what’s right. There may be some dispute about exactly what ‘right’ is but they do what they believe is right. They do it regardless of the consequences. They don’t seek popularity, they practice ethics.

Ethical leaders show respect for their people. They listen to them, truly listen without prejudging what they might say. They value differing points of view and when they must overrule or choose an opposing viewpoint they do so with respect and compassion.

Ethical leaders know that they primarily lead by example whether they intend to or not. They understand that their people will do what the leader does far faster than they will do what the leader says. They set an ethical example in everything they do and hold high expectations that everyone in their organization will do the same.

Ethical leaders do not accept unethical behavior from anyone in their organization. They don’t overlook violations in an attempt to avoid confrontations. They are consistent when applying policies even when it’s inconvenient for them.

Ethical leaders hold themselves accountable. They allow everyone in their organization to hold them accountable as well. They are transparent and open with their actions and in their communications. Their actions match their words…always.

The term ‘ethical leader’ is actually redundant. The fact is, if you’re not ethical then you may hold a position of leadership but you most certainly are not an Authentic Leader.”

The secret of effective motivation

June 24, 2019

By Amy Wrzesniewski and Barry Schwartz via  Article

“THERE are two kinds of motive for engaging in any activity: internal and instrumental. If a scientist conducts research because she wants to discover important facts about the world, that’s an internal motive, since discovering facts is inherently related to the activity of research. If she conducts research because she wants to achieve scholarly renown, that’s an instrumental motive, since the relation between fame and research is not so inherent. Often, people have both internal and instrumental motives for doing what they do.

What mix of motives — internal or instrumental or both — is most conducive to success? …

We analyzed data drawn from 11,320 cadets in nine entering classes at the United States Military Academy at West Point, all of whom rated how much each of a set of motives influenced their decision to attend the academy. The motives included things like a desire to get a good job later in life (an instrumental motive) and a desire to be trained as a leader in the United States Army (an internal motive). …

We found, unsurprisingly, that the stronger their internal reasons were to attend West Point, the more likely cadets were to graduate and become commissioned officers. Also unsurprisingly, cadets with internal motives did better in the military (as evidenced by early promotion recommendations) than did those without internal motives and were also more likely to stay in the military after their five years of mandatory service — unless (and this is the surprising part) they also had strong instrumental motives.

Remarkably, cadets with strong internal and strong instrumental motives for attending West Point performed worse on every measure than did those with strong internal motives but weak instrumental ones. They were less likely to graduate, less outstanding as military officers and less committed to staying in the military.

The implications of this finding are significant. Whenever a person performs a task well, there are typically both internal and instrumental consequences. A conscientious student learns (internal) and gets good grades (instrumental). A skilled doctor cures patients (internal) and makes a good living (instrumental). But just because activities can have both internal and instrumental consequences does not mean that the people who thrive in these activities have both internal and instrumental motives.

Our study suggests that efforts should be made to structure activities so that instrumental consequences do not become motives. Helping people focus on the meaning and impact of their work, rather than on, say, the financial returns it will bring, may be the best way to improve not only the quality of their work but also — counterintuitive though it may seem — their financial success.”


See youself

June 17, 2019

By Dan Rockwell via  Article

The Mirrors That Help You See Yourself

“Ego sees others but not itself. Egoless is a silly myth. Ego serves leaders well when self-interest drives service. But ego has a dark side.

You have an ego problem if:

  1. Fault-finding comes naturally, but affirmation is like choking on mosquitoes.
  2. Taking offense is an Olympic sport with you. Are you easily offended?
  3. You’re too busy or important for conversations.
  4. Correction from others offends you.
  5. You give explanations when someone corrects you.
  6. The problem is always ‘out there’.
  7. Giving advice is an exercise in recreation. It’s your attempt at getting people to be more like you.


Others are mirrors.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. Carl Jung

The things that irritate you about others often reflect your own weaknesses. I see this in the clash of controlling people. Controlling people hate each other.


Ask yourself, ‘What might I learn about myself?’ when someone irritates me. Others help you see yourself. You won’t become self-aware by meditating under a tree. You see yourself when you brush against people. …

Helping others see themselves:

#1. Maintain emotional calm when bringing up sensitive issues.

#2. Explain how you learned to see yourself in others. Lead by example.

#3. Be curious.

  • Who irritates you?
  • How might you share some of their irritating qualities?
  • What advice would you give to that irritating other?
  • How might that advice apply to you?

You connect with others when you accept your own imperfections.”

The dumbing down of America

June 17, 2019

“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or my grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantative content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.”

– Carl Sagan  Source


Email’s pernicious effect

June 17, 2019

By Tim McMahon via   Article

Rules to reduce inefficiencies of email

Email is having an increasingly pernicious effect. Not only is it having a perceptible effect on productivity, it’s skewing what it is we focus on. The immediate increasingly crowds out the important.” — Noreena Hertz

“Email was not designed to be a collaboration tool, yet so many people use it that way. From managing projects to troubleshooting a problem, neverending email threads become inefficient, confusing, and bad for productivity. With many collaboration and project management products now available, email should never be the place you turn in order to stay on top of tasks and projects.

I thought I would shares some rules that can help you reduce the inefficiencies that email can cause.  Some “Organizational Rules” to Reduce E-mail Waste 

Rule 1 – Limit “CC’s” to only those that are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. Make a rule that employees can choose to BLOCK all CC e-mails. 

Rule 2 – No more than two “cycles” back and forth between correspondents. If the issue is not resolved by that point, USE THE TELEPHONE! 

Rule 3 – No unnecessary forwarding of attachments; use a hyperlink instead. 

Rule 4 – Always include the POINT and URGENCY of the e-mail in both the subject line and the first few lines of the text. 

Rule 5 – Consider using the first few sentences of an e-mail as an ABSTRACT that summarizes the remainder of the communication. Below the abstract, add additional detail with the comment, “More detail follows…”. 

Rule 6 – KEEP IT BRIEF! No e-mail should be more than 20 lines in length (consider using a network filter to block any that are longer). 

Rule 7 – Start the subject line with “ACTION” whenever immediate action is required by the addressee. Actions should be identified at the beginning of the e-mail. 

Rule 8 – Try using the SUBJECT LINE to communicate the ENTIRE message, followed by “EOM” which stands for “End of Message”. 

Rule 9 – Limit the number of times during the day that you cleanup or respond to e-mails. Turn off the e-mail alarm, so YOU control when you deal with e-mail.”