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Staying Focused in a Noisy Open Office

Let’s face it: The open office can be a nightmare, especially when you’re working on something that requires your undivided attention. To make matters worse, your colleagues can be distracting — maybe they’re having loud conversations or their cell phones are constantly chirping. How can you make peace with your open office? How should you handle loud coworkers who are disturbing your focus? … [Read more...]

The Words and Phrases to Use — and to Avoid — When Talking to Customers

The key to any successful relationship is effective communication. In the business world, this means trying to understand what consumers and clients are saying, and responding to them in ways that reflect that understanding. For the most part, however, the way businesses have used language to persuade, satisfy, or rectify has been more art than science. Read more here Source hbr.org … [Read more...]

The Key to Career Growth: Surround Yourself with People Who Will Push You

When thinking about how to develop in our careers, most of us tend to focus on promotions, projects, courses, certifications. We seek out expanded roles, more senior titles, extra money. We overlook one very key piece of the learning puzzle:  proactively surrounding ourselves with people who will push us to succeed in unexpected ways and, in so doing, build genuinely rich, purposeful lives of … [Read more...]

A 6-Part Tool for Ranking and Assessing Risks

One of the most overused expressions thrown around by wannabe “Wall Street Rambos” is business is war. But sometimes war tactics really can help in business. Among these tactics is CARVER, a system for assessing and ranking threats and opportunities. Developed during World War II, CARVER (then one letter shorter and known as CARVE) was originally used by analysts to determine where bomber … [Read more...]

4 Ways Busy People Sabotage Themselves

You’ve left an important task undone for weeks. It’s hanging over you, causing daily anxiety. And yet instead of actually doing it, you do a hundred other tasks instead. Or you’ve been feeling guilty about not replying to an email, even though replying would only take 10 minutes. Read more here Source hbr.org … [Read more...]

Protecting Company Culture Means Having Rules for Email

A new study out of Virginia Tech University confirms something that just about every knowledge worker already knows: Dealing with after-hours emails produces anxiety that is damaging not only to the worker, but to their family. Read more here Source hbr.org … [Read more...]

Having a Growth Mindset Makes It Easier to Develop New Interests

“[T]echnology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”  — Steve Jobs Steve Jobs’s vision for Apple was rooted in the belief that the arts and sciences do not live in isolation. They complement and enhance each other. John Lasseter, chief creative officer at Pixar, echoed this … [Read more...]

How to Motivate Frontline Employees

One question that has long plagued organizations is how to improve performance among frontline workers, the people who actually drive customer experience. Our work with hundreds of companies offers a clear and simple answer. To show how it works, we’ll walk you through an example. In 2016 the leadership team of a national retail organization asked us to help boost their frontline … [Read more...]

How to Earn a Reputation as a Fair Manager

At some point in your career, you likely encountered a manager you believed was unfair. You probably thought to yourself, “When I’m a manager, I’m never going to be like that!” Now that you’ve been promoted to a management position, you’re probably dedicating significant amounts of time and energy to making unbiased decisions, but no doubt finding that the right balance is elusive. Sadly, there is … [Read more...]

What to Do When Each Department Uses Different Words to Describe the Same Thing

We’ve all experienced some version of this problem: Ask “how many customers do we have?” and the marketing team provides one answer, sales a second, and accounting a third. Each department trusts its own system, but when the task at hand requires that data be shared across silos, the company’s various systems simply do not talk to one and other. Read more here   … [Read more...]