Growth vs. Fixed Mindset: How Your Beliefs Impact You, Your Team, and Your Organization

My interest in growth and learning led me to the book " Mindset " by Carol Dweck. It has opened my eyes to the ways in which we as humans tend to limit our own potential, both individually and in our organizations. The concept of a fixed versus growth mindset is simple, yet the implications are massive. According to Dweck, how you approach learning...
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How to Combat Fear in 2018

"Thinking will not overcome fear but action will." –W. Clement Stone The start of a new year often comes with a new set of resolutions and meaningful changes we want to make in our lives, both at work and at home. When we try to put our intentions into action, we are often met with a universal barrier: fear. We all experience fear to some degree. I...
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Leadership Tips: Say It Out Loud

An old adage that I heard often growing up was think before you speak . This is a very valuable saying for me, because I am what you would call a classic "external processor." While that phrase has saved me from saying things that could have a negative impact, it has also encouraged me to self-edit and sometimes hesitate to voice opinions or concerns. This week's Fierce tip encourages you to say it out loud . This isn't about indulging in stream of consciousness, rather, it's about not over-analyzing. This week if you're in a meeting and you have an idea that you think could really move the team forward - speak up . Let go of needing to have a perfectly formed thought and allow others to influence and build off your inspiration. If your idea is met with a luke-warm reaction, don't get discouraged. As Albert Einstein said,...
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6 Ways to Integrate Play Into the Workplace

  This week's Friday resource comes from Inc. and offers 6 ways to incorporate play into the workplace. In the workplace, play has long been regarded as the opposite of work. Instead of placing them on opposite ends of the spectrum, what if we combined them? What if we could get work results from prioritizing play? Work that involves play allo...
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Leadership Tips: Have Fun Together

Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun. - Randy Pausch In our connected world with constant emails and social media, it is easy to never truly break away from work. Given that, you better have fun along the way. Or what’s the point of all this work? Having fun is not only good for your health, but it makes your team’s discretionary effort rise. The catch to having fun is…as a leader, you can’t force it. This week’s tip is to give your team a set budget to plan something fun together. Don’t put tons of criteria around it. It could be a happy hour, a lunch, a secret costume for team members to wear… whatever makes the team tick. It is a mistake to choose the events and outings for the team members. Let them own it. And go along for the ride.

5 Ways to Embrace Change at Work and in Life

This week’s Friday resource comes from Inc . and offers 5 ways to welcome change when it arises in the workplace and in our personal lives. Avoiding the unavoidable is a fight we can’t win. Change is unavoidable—and continual. The antidote for the negative feelings we have when change arises is to embrace it. What we are able to see when we give up the fight is that most changes are positive in the long run, and they have a purpose that can serve our personal growth and the growth of organizations. Changes often occur as a means of improvement and as the result of something “not working.” Per Rhett Power, Head Coach and Inc. contributor, here are some ways to let go of resistance to change: 1. Change is Inevitable and Embracing Change Encourages Development “Because we repel change, we sometimes go through life without ever living up to...
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Attention, Leaders: Strengthen Empathy by Dropping These 4 Words from Your Vocabulary

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” –Rudyard Kipling Humble, empathic leaders have been found to be the most successful . Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence , defines empathy as “having the ability to sense others’ feelings and how they see things.” Words, in conjunction with our behaviors, create empathy. When a leader uses words to label others, especially harsh or negative labels, it can be damaging to those on the receiving end on a deep, visceral level, not to mention damaging to any goal an organization is trying to achieve. To be a successful, empathic leader, it’s necessary to drop damaging labels from your vocabulary. Management Research Group reports that empathy is widely considered “the most important (out of 22) leadership behaviors.” When a leader embodies empathy and kindness, it allows employees to build trust, feel safe enough psychologically to contribute, and tap into...
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Leadership Tips: Be Kind

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” ― Henry James Showing kindness in the workplace can get a bad rap. It can be mistaken as a weakness. Some believe it is an emotion we should not show. Don’t let this old school way of thinking misguide you. Being kind is the greatest gift we can give one another. It is an attribute that encompasses empathy and sympathy, while simultaneously building trust and respect. Kindness goes a long way and often takes very little energy on our parts. This week take every opportunity to be kindhearted to those you spend your days with. No act is too small and if the week provides you the chance to show your humanity in a large way – seize it!

The Causes of Employee Negativity

This week’s Friday resource comes from The Balance and identifies the leading causes of employee negativity. Negativity is one of the leading causes of stress in the workplace . It decreases employee morale, productivity, job satisfaction, and work quality, which results in big costs to organizations. While negativity can stem from many various sources, research has identified five primary causes. Identifying the source of negativity can help employers both prevent negativity and address existing negativity in a constructive way through understanding, empathy, and action. Per Susan M. Heathfield, The Balance, here are some interesting insights into the causes of employee negativity: “A recent study answers the question about what causes employee negativity. The study, conducted by Towers Perrin and researchers Gang & Gang, surveyed a randomly selected group of 1,100 employees and 300 senior Human Resources executives working for mid-sized and large-sized companies in the United States and Canada. Participants...
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How to Address Employee Toxicity: 3 Fierce Tips

You know the one. The one who frequently complains. Gossips. Blames others. Leaves people hanging. Today we released our recent survey results from a thousand full-time employees across the U.S. who weighed in on toxic employees. Cited by the majority of respondents, a negative attitude is the most toxic and most detrimental trait an employee can have. And more than three-quarters (76%) say a special talent or skill never or infrequently outweighs the impact of a co-worker’s negativity. I completely agree with our respondents. I have personally witnessed how a toxic employee can bring a whole team down. Toxic employees wreak havoc on an organization. First and foremost, they increase stress, according to those surveyed, followed by decreasing overall job satisfaction. For the organization as a whole, respondents believe a toxic employee decreases morale, followed by decreasing productivity, and decreasing the quality of work product. For women, toxic employees have...
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Cut Your Victim Bonding

  We all love to victim bond at times. Victim bonding occurs when people get together and talk about how horrible a situation is. At its core, it is consistent with talking about the situation rather than doing anything to change it.   Common foreplay for victim bonding looks like this:   Person A: Oh, you are having trouble with Bill?   Person B: Yes, absolutely. Are you having trouble with Bill? He’s horrible. He never gives me enough resources.   Person A: Me either! Oh, let me tell you this story…   And so the bond begins. It feels so good. It feels so right. Someone actually “gets it” or “gets you”.   Let’s pause on that.   The quote “misery likes company” applies to this situation. Essentially, you are not only choosing misery, you are choosing to have someone else’s misery in your life as well. Is that...
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Leadership Tips: Invite Negative Emotions

It is common to feel discomfort when dealing with other people’s emotions in the workplace. The old saying - leave your emotions at the door – can be a real invitation. I’m sure you know someone that you wish would take this advice more often. The problem with that statement is that many leaders want some emotions…and don’t want others. Most leaders welcome a lot of laughing, smiling, cheering, and all the happy emotions. And yet, they would want to modify that statement to: Leave your negative emotions at the door . It is not always fun to deal with disappointment, anger, frustration, what would be considered negative emotions. However, recent research has shown that negative thoughts and emotions play a critical role in helping us to understand our experiences. And hence, they fuel decision-making. In today’s workplace, leaders who are not comfortable with negative emotions are typically less able...
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How to be Fierce in 3 Challenging Work Conversations

We all need to have them at some point. Those pesky, dreaded conversations. You know, the ones that can be awkward or uncomfortable or come with a crazy mix of emotions. When these unwelcome, challenging situations enter your life, your first instinct may be to run away, either physically or mentally. Once you think about the impracticality of escaping, you may minimize the issue – oh it isn’t that bad. Or I’ll just see if it happens again. Or I just will deal with this on my own. While this is a reality for many of us, I contend that those conversations you want to run from are the very ones you need to have. Why? Well firstly, you spend the majority of your time with the people at work, so from a practical perspective, you can only avoid these conversations so much. Secondly, HR Magazine reported that in a...
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Leadership Tips: Take It Personally

In Fierce Conversations, we believe the phrases “Don’t take this personally” and “Don’t take yourself so seriously” are misguided suggestions. Do take it personally; do take yourself seriously. Work is deeply personal. And so is leading others. Leading anything in your life, for that matter. Instead of turning the other direction when your idea is rejected or something doesn’t go your way, stick with it. It is important to lean into those situations. Don’t shut yourself down or brush it off. For example, when one of my team’s marketing concepts is scrutinized, it is impossible to not feel some emotion or level of disappointment. Instead of becoming apathetic, acknowledge that the work is personal. And that we want to get it right, because we all care. (If we didn’t care, there wouldn’t be emotions.) And then the next step is to get curious and ask questions. This week’s tip is...
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How Your Body Language Impacts Workplace Conversations

“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson Whether you’re giving (or receiving) feedback, confronting a colleague, having a collaborative meeting, or just engaging in casual conversation, your body language matters. Body language alone can make or break a conversation. According to Psychologist World , human communication is 20% verbal and 80% non-verbal . Body language that doesn’t coincide with the message we intend to send can therefore lead to relationship ruptures, misunderstandings, and unwanted outcomes. Body language is the primary language of emotion, and how others perceive our emotion influences how our communication lands for them. A study by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at New York University and Princeton revealed that body language is an even more accurate determiner of judging emotion than facial expressions. In short, your body language plays a significant role in how...
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How to Prepare for Workplace Changes Brought on by Millennials and Gen Z

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Business Journals and examines how companies can prepare for changes brought on by Millennials in the workplace. Much has been said about Millennials in the workplace for better or worse. One thing is certain—with a new wave of workers claiming most jobs in the United States, changes are sure to occur. As the older generations of managers begin to retire, Millennials are stepping into leadership roles and filling the void. The biggest question being asked by companies and leaders that are transferring their knowledge to the next generation is, are they prepared? “According to a recent Randstad global study, one of the top things that millennials feel their educations did not prepare them for is managing other people.” Although a lack of experience and training may be prevalent, the desire to become leaders and earn the respect of their peers within...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate Your All-Stars

It is common for organizations and teams to lean on their all-stars to take them to new levels. That is to be expected. However, we often see that in organizations, the all-stars burn out the quickest. They are also the ones most poached, and they leave for bigger opportunities. We understand that, because the all-stars are the employees you want to replicate. The all-stars are the ones that will always do the extra work . They take on that one extra project. They do one more client engagement. They go above and beyond. It is important to recognize the value all-stars bring to your team and organization. I once worked with a vendor at Microsoft who was famous for burning out his top talent. He would just keep piling on more projects, more engagements, more talks, while leaving other team members who needed more help and development room to have...
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4 Ways Your Company Benefits From Giving Back

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Entrepreneur and showcases four ways that a company can benefit from giving back to the community. Although charitable acts are supposed to be made for selfless reasons, without the anticipation of a return on investment, there are rewards for businesses that give back. Per John Boitnott, Entrepreneur Contributor, some of the ways companies can gain from giving back include: 1. Building respect and a good reputation in the community. The relationships formed through giving back to local organizations can add great value to businesses. When other people and businesses see the positive impact of charitable efforts, they want to support the company. Goodwill can go a very long way, and solidify a business as a steward to the community. 2. Improving the community. It goes without saying that giving back to the local community makes it a better place to work and...
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Going Deeper with Accountability

Accountability is a huge challenge in business today . The Workplace Accountability Study recently revealed that 82% of respondents have no ability to hold others accountable, but 91% of people rank accountability as one of the top development needs they’d like to see at their organization.  So simply put, we all want accountability, but we feel we don’t have the ability to get it. At Fierce, we’ve worked with thousands of leaders and organizations over the years to help them create the business culture they want and more importantly, need, to get results. We’ve heard leaders describe accountability as culpability, responsibility, wrong doing, and “blame.” In other words, I need to know who to blame if this all goes wrong. And it is true – the majority of people attach some level of fault and blame to the word accountability . Accountability is something that you must choose every day....
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Everything Is Possible with Momentum Thinking

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by  Huffington Post and explains the benefits of “momentum thinking” and how this approach can open doors in all facets of your life. In recent years there has been a lot of talk about the benefits and conversely the harm that positive thinking can bring while at work. Although phycologists and executive coaches can argue both sides of the debate, a new approach is gaining traction. That approach is momentum thinking.  Momentum thinking focuses on possibilities rather than expectations. Humans are inherently limiting their potential in work and life when they set expectations. When you set expectations for how your business will perform this year or your life will eventually turn out – you are limiting your potential by pre-determining the outcome. “There’s no way to be open to all possibilities if you don’t trust in what you can’t control.” Jeffrey Shaw believes...
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Leadership Tips: Nurture Positive Thinking

Tomorrow is Positive Thinking Day. At Fierce, we talk about context - the lens in which you view the world. Your context is formed by your beliefs, experiences, and truths. It is how you see the world and how you interpret what happens to you while living in it. What we fundamentally know is that our context determines how we experience the content of our lives. It is the difference in believing in scarcity or abundance. In fear or hope. In loneliness or being loved. Some researchers, like Martin Seligman, frame positive thinking in terms of an explanatory style. People with optimistic explanatory styles will often give themselves credit when good things happen as well as think negative events are temporary and not normal. Negative explanatory styles are the opposite. Which category do you fall into? This week’s tip is to focus on positive thinking. Give yourself credit when credit...
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Great Managers Can Fix Broken Performance Management Systems

This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Gallup.com and discusses how high performing managers can fix broken performance management systems. A Gallup study on The State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders revealed that companies hiring managers based on their talents and fit for the role see “a 48% increase in profitability, a 22% increase in productivity, a 30% increase in employee engagement scores, a 17% increase in customer engagement scores and a 19% decrease in turnover.” So what are these high performing managers getting right? They focus on building engagement and employee growth through developing their strengths – not correcting weaknesses. When an employee’s strengths are leveraged, they are more engaged because they are contributing at a higher level. This leads to higher retention rates and happier employees. Additionally, great managers understand the human element, and how to motivate by building genuine relationships with their...
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The Power of Context in Performance Management

Our beliefs, attitudes, and biases create a filter in which we view the world. At Fierce, we call this context . While it is unconscious, context affects everything we experience daily. What we believe determines how we interpret the world around us, and yes, it has a direct impact on the results we are – or are not – getting in our lives. Context shouldn’t be ignored during a performance management discussion. Before you begin the conversation, examine your context around the individual and the situation. Is it negative or positive? Ask yourself these questions: What are my beliefs (context) about this individual?   Are there beliefs that I am holding skewing the way I am preparing to approach this conversation?   What context does this person hold about me? This conversation? This company? What you believe to be true about people determines how you interact with them and how...
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Leadership Tips: Practice Patience - Relationships Aren’t Built Instantly

We get what we want at a faster speed than ever before. Amazon delivers items in one hour. Starbucks provides coffee through a drive through. Uber arrives at your doorstep in a matter of minutes to take you anywhere you need to go. The list goes on and on; there are on-demand services for walking dogs, receiving massages, house cleaning, etc. While our accessibility to products increases, we must remember that people are not things . To share a moment, to build a relationship, to better understand one another, there is not an on-demand option. It requires many conversations...and patience. Patience is becoming a rare mineral in this bustling world we live in. Practice more patience in your conversations. Patience with yourself when a conversation doesn’t go the way you want it to. Patience with someone who brings an issue to you that seems unfounded. Patience with someone who tells...
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Leadership Tips: Say “No” More

When you look at your life – at home and at work – what is one thing you do that makes your heart sing? Is it learning to speak a new language? Spending quality time with your partner? Volunteering? Reading more books? It is your job to make time for that thing . No one else will. You can point and say that you are too busy at work, or the kids take that time, or you are too tired. And no one is going to prioritize your time for you except you . It isn’t an easy task to make the time for what is most important. When I think about this internal challenge, I always think of what Iain Thomas said: And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, 'This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry...
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Leadership Tips: Create Positive Change

One of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. is, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” In our modern world, this isn’t just about allocating hours to volunteering. This means focusing on the overall, big picture – finding something specific outside of your individual interest. So I ask: What are you doing for others? For your team? For your overall company? For your family? For strangers? I recently hosted a vision board party, and many people shared that their goal for 2016 was to focus on giving their time and skills for the benefit of others. One couple mentioned wanting to focus on the homelessness issue in Seattle. And I know they will. Mainly because they not only identified it as a goal, but they are creating a plan to do it. Oftentimes, developing more of the plan is what is missing...
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Don’t Lie to Yourself: 3 Myths about Toxic Workplace Cultures

Toxic workplace cultures can make or break a company. It can be the difference between innovation or routine. Happiness or disappointment. Growth or decay. There’s some significant bottom line impact to boot. Low-level engagement within companies results in a 33 percent decrease in operating income and an 11 percent decrease in earnings growth, as stated in this Entrepreneur article . If we are not addressing the issues around low engagement and unhealthy behaviors, we are making costly mistakes. And sometimes, our mistakes may not be as obvious as they seem. Here are three of the top myths that leaders we work with say: There will be a spontaneous change. In the depths of our hearts, we, leaders, sometimes wish that one day we could walk into our offices and the negative behaviors/people would just be gone. And then, it is affirmed once more, that they still exist. They may have...
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3 Tips for a Happier Team

Are you happy? Is your team happy? Happy can sometimes feel like a soft word. Or something that feels pretty abstract. James Key Lim, chief executive of Delivering Happiness at Work, has shared the findings from a large meta-analysis study that happy employees have on average 31% higher productivity, their sales are 37% higher, and their creativity is some three times higher than less-happy workers. Those are some pretty impressive stats. Given that, below are three ways that we at Fierce work with leaders to create happier teams. Solicit your team’s input and get curious. According to 80 percent of respondents from a Fierce survey on characteristics of good bosses, taking action to request input around ideas and strategies is one of the most vital things managers can do to create great relationships.   Tip: Have an hour one-on-one conversation with every person who reports to you. Use some of...
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The Emotional Impulses That Poison Healthy Teams

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and outlines five common mistakes people make when working in a collaborative setting. Whether we like it or not, the days of the individual contributor and working in silos are gone. Think about your last big project. How many people did you rely on? Did you negotiate roles, resources, or timelines? In everything we do, we are increasingly dependent on people. Sadly, most of us cringe at the thought of working on a team. How can we change our experience for the better? The Emotional Impulses That Poison Healthy Teams suggests focusing on our own actions. Ultimately, it is your choice whether or not to take responsibility for the way you show up and what you do. Are you aware of your emotional wake? “If you want to mess with people’s minds and kill a team’s spirit, focus on...
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Leadership Tips: Make Happiness a Habit

The Secret Society of Happy People – yes they are a real group – declared August “Happiness Happens Months” in 1999. What a beautiful concept! So let’s make happiness happen this month. How can you bring more happiness to your team? To your friends? To your home? In this busy, always-on-the-go world, I am continuing to step away from my phone more. And focusing on finding happiness in every moment. In his recent blog , Richard Branson said, “But don’t just seek happiness when you’re down. Happiness shouldn’t be a goal, it should be a habit. Take the focus off doing, and start being every day. Be loving, be grateful, be helpful, and be a spectator to your own thoughts.” Well said, Sir Branson. This week’s tip is to make happiness a habit. Find ways  to enjoy the moments every day. Where will you focus?

Leaders, Stay Away from 3 Toxic Employee Traps

/trap/ noun: trap; plural noun: traps — an unpleasant situation from which it is hard to escape In a new Fierce Survey released today, we found four out of five employees believe leaders don’t do enough to combat toxic employees. Do your employees think that about you? It’s time to wake up and be aware that the potential for toxicity in your organization is everywhere. And it is your job, leader, to make sure you don’t fall into any of the traps that create negativity. Trap #1 Employees feel undervalued. Employees who feel disposable, commoditized, or who don’t understand their role within an organization often hold on to negative energy. This negative energy can be poisonous when spread amongst other colleagues. Tip: Ask each member of your team how and when they feel most valued. Get curious and learn what matters to the people you work with every day. Make...
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Let’s Talk About Toxic Employees: Do You Know Any?

At ATD International Conference & Expo yesterday , Fierce Founder and CEO, Susan Scott, rocked the house in her session Toxic Employees: The Best Techniques for Managing Them . She discussed how we've all worked with toxic employees, and how perhaps, at one point we've even been one. There are key trends that create toxic employees in the workplace. They include when people: Are disengaged.   Feel overworked.   Feel stressed.   Feel undervalued.   Are given anonymous feedback. Which one do you see most in your organization? What do you notice about toxic employees? Take our Toxic Employee survey here . It explores how you and your employer feel about the attitudes of colleagues, positive and negative, and how these attitudes impact workplace relationships, culture, and the bottom line. We’re excited to hear your thoughts. If you attended the ATD session yesterday, what were your takeaways?

Leadership Tips: Bust the Negative Attitude

It happens. Negativity can gradually, then suddenly, creep into your team, your office, even your home. Negativity is often underestimated on an everyday level, however, its impact can be quite large. In fact, a 2012 Fierce survey shared that 78% of the respondents cited a negative attitude as the key trait of a toxic employee. Negativity trumped gossiping, laziness, and passive-aggressiveness. Can you think of someone in your life that is consistently negative? Urban Dictionary defines a Negative Nancy as “someone who commonly whines, complains, or looks at the bad side of things.” A Negative Nancy or Negative Nick does not approach situations with solutions or ideas, but rather, examples of why the situations are so horrible. In short: We don’t need these people in our lives. Why do we put up with it? This week’s tip is to address a negative attitude with someone in your life before it...
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What Managers Can Do When Employees Engage in Conflict

This week’s Fierce resource was published on TLNT.com and was written by Kevin Mason. What Managers Can Do When Employees Engage in Conflict outlines five tips to help resolve conflict in a productive manner. Think of the last time you were angry, how hard was it for you to listen? To be present in the conversation? Often the biggest challenge is to check our egos and emotions at the door to have a more productive and honest conversation. As leaders, we should all be encouraging our teams to have direct conversations to enrich each relationship. Think of a time when you needed to have a difficult conversation, how did you handle it? What would you do differently? Join Fierce and the Human Capital Institute on Wednesday, April 8th at 1 pm for a webcast: Fierce Conversations: How to Address Toxic Employees. “ Focus on listening – It is not necessary...
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Leadership Tips: Confront a Toxic Coworker

It is the gossiper . It is the victim . It is the slacker . Toxic employees show up in many forms. Fierce conducted a survey on toxic employees a little over a year ago. Out of 1,000 executives and employees, 30 percent argue with coworkers once a month, and 55 percent feel that a negative supervisor, peer, and employee are all equally detrimental to the morale of an organization. So what do you do about those troublemakers? Sixty-two percent said they opt to confront toxic coworkers. It is important to have the conversation on the impact of the behavior – not just for the relationship, but also for yourself. This week’s tip is to confront a toxic coworker. If offering constructive feedback has not made the situation improve, it’s time for a direct conversation. It is a skill to confront well. One tip: it is important to name the...
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The Naked Truth: How to Uncover An Insecure Leader

This week's Fierce resource was published on Inc.com and was written by Lolly Daskal, President & CEO, Lead From Within. The Naked Truth: How to Uncover An Insecure Leader  reveals the damage of working with an insecure leader and the impact it has on teams and organizations. We can all be a little insecure at times, in fact walking into a meeting and discussing marketing tactics when we are on the sales team may seem out of our wheelhouse and the truth is that's OK. If everyone knew everything, organizations wouldn't get very far. The trick? Be comfortable not knowing the answer and allowing someone else to be the expert. In each of our Fierce programs we teach people how to make room for conversations to take place. That is where growth happens. What is the impact of an insecure leader? What happens when no one speaks up? " Insecure leaders are...
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Developing Resilience

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on MindTools.com . Developing Resilience   looks at what it takes to bounce back from a not so pleasant event, a bad experience, or frankly a conversation that didn't go so well. What is it that allows you to move forward and not dwell on the past? Or are you someone who analyzes and assesses a situation till you've figured out what went wrong? We all know someone who becomes consumed with "figuring it out" and the truth is, sometimes we need to just let it go and move on. Think about one thing you want to change in your life. Now make sure you think about how you will achieve it, instead of what's standing in your way. " Resilient people view a difficulty as a challenge, not as a paralyzing event. They look at their failures and mistakes as lessons to be learned from,...
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7 Daily Mantras to Boost Your Productivity

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on FastCompany.com and was written by Faisal Hoque. Fifteen days into the year and we are all thinking about the same thing. How we are going to achieve our goals and quotas for the year, right? 7 Daily Mantras to Boost Your Productivity shares ideas on how to do just that. Don't let your stretch goals overwhelm you, take it day by day and set yourself up for success. Many people don't believe they need a plan for reaching their goals, and my thought is, those people are pushing their luck. One day it won't be as easy. Think about: What you can focus on that will really support your goals. What is it? Create SMART goals to help you get there. "If we want to be productive with our time and manage it well, we need to spend our time working toward achieving smaller goals...
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Leadership Tips: Have Grace with Yourself

It is the first full week of 2015. So I ask: How much pressure have you put on yourself for this week, this month, this year? It is the season. This time of year tends to be packed full of new goals, resolutions, and desires to be different. Are you trying to be healthier? Be more on time? Do what you say you will? Go see more of the world? Be happier with the everyday moments? Whatever it is, you aren’t alone. Whatever your goal is, treasure it. And ask yourself: How realistic is it? What will get in my way? Break it down, so that you can see progress and have small wins. We shouldn’t expect things to change overnight, so why do you expect yourself to? This week’s tip is to have grace with yourself and make your goals realistic. Having grace is not easy. When you start...
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Leadership Tips: Say Sorry First

We all do it. We say something we don't exactly mean . Or we do something in the heat of the moment. We are human - it happens. What really matters is what you do after. Do you hold onto it and want the other person to come to his or her 'senses'? Or do you lean in and open the conversation to make it right? This week's tip is to say sorry first when something has not gone the way you intended. If you can't in the heat of the moment, go back to it when you are ready. In the spirit of the holidays and bringing 2014 to a close, let forgiveness and compassion be the gifts you give. It sounds cliché. However, we all know these gifts can be the hardest to give. The bonus? It is a gift to yourself too. You can travel light.

5 Incredibly Easy Ways to Spread Kindness, Every Day

This week's Fierce Resource was originally published on Huffingtonpost.com and was written by Catherine Pearson. 5 Incredibly Easy Ways to Spread Kindness, Every Day  highlights simple ways to not only show kindness to others, but to show kindness to yourself. Sometimes forgiving someone for how they talked to you or apologizing for not being the best friend, colleague, or partner can be the one thing that makes your entire day better and strengthens the relationships that surround you. How will you spread kindness throughout your week? Month? Year? "Fortunately, research has shown that smaller acts can have serious payoffs as well, both on the giving and receiving end. Everyday kindness has been linked to everything from  improved happiness to decreased inflammation in the body,  as David Hamilton, author of  Why Kindness Is Good For You  has explained." Read the full article here . 

How to Manage Different Generations

This article was originally published on The Wall Street Journal  can be found here . How to Manage Different Generations is still a common theme throughout the leadership and development space and has been for several years. The question still exists, how do you manage a multigenerational workforce? Well, the answer may be more simple than it appears. How about a spoonful of communication, prompted with a big question: how do we connect and what should we be talking about? Start with the question- what knowledge do we need to retain for our company to exist? Think: history of the company, strategic decisions, and what the future holds. " Facilitate mentoring between different aged employees to encourage more cross-generational interaction . Younger employees should learn to seek the experience and wisdom offered by senior employees. Older employees should learn to be open to the fresh perspectives offered by younger employees."...
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Motivating the Negative Nancy on Your Team

Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this Entrepreneur  article by Zeynep Ilgaz. It was originally posted here . At my previous job, I worked with a team on an important project. Our group was cohesive, except for one teammate. Nothing was good enough for her. Had the members of the team thought things through before setting the project's timeline? Why was he in on our meetings? How did we think we could do this better than dozens of others who had tried before? Her bad attitude left us feeling like we were running on a hamster wheel, drained from trying to please someone who couldn't be pleased -- with no end in sight. As the motivation waned, the work suffered. Finally the issue had to be addressed for the team's productivity. That was the first time I experienced how contagious negativity can be in the workplace. It can spread like wildfire and affect...
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Corrective Leadership: How Should Managers Use Praise and Criticism to Improve Performance?

Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this CFA Magazine  article by Lori Pizzani. It was originally posted  here . Which would you rather hear from your boss: praise or criticism? Now ask yourself: Which has more impact on your job and career? Does criticism or a compliment resonate longer with you and teach you more? The results of a survey of more than 2,500 employees from various companies around the globe found that 57% of participants preferred negative feedback from their bosses and 43% preferred positive feedback. For the purposes of the survey, negative feedback included suggestions for improvement, exploration of new and better ways to do things, and pointing out something that was done in a less-than-optimal way. Positive feedback included praise, reinforcement, and congratulatory comments. Professional services firm Zenger Folkman in Salt Lake City released the results in February 2014. Why would employees prefer to hear negative...
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7 Ways to Create a Happier Workforce

This week's Fierce Resource comes from the HR Insights Blog on  YourERC.com . 7 Ways to Create a Happier Workforce provides ideas on how to increase employee happiness that inevitably increases engagement and impacts the bottom line. One of the key ideas to attaining a healthy and happy mentality is knowing how to manage your workload and take care of your own personal self.  When managers and leadership model a balanced approach to work and life, employees will see this and follow suit. How do you model your work-life balance? " Research points to the fact that happier employees are more productive, creative, and committed (Lyubomirsky & King, “The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?”). Additionally, some studies show that  happier  people tend to receive better performance evaluations and higher compensation. Happier employees are also more likely to stay at their organizations. In his book, The...
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5 Company Culture Hacks for a Happier Workforce

Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this Inc.com  article by Ilya Pozin. It was originally posted here . What do chocolate, puppies, and a brisk walk have in common? These things can all make us happier throughout the day, and they can all be incorporated into your  company culture  to inspire a happier workforce. Company culture is suddenly a business buzzword, but it shouldn't be hard to see why. Recently,  Gallup found 70 percent of American workers were disengaged  on the job, costing the economy an estimated $550 billion in lost productivity. The average worker is only staying in a job for about  4.4 years  before hopping to a better opportunity. Great company culture can keep people productive and help you retain your best employees. So what do most top-notch company cultures have in common? Let's call it the happiness factor. Research has found happy employees work harder and...
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Toxic Employees: To Confront or Not Confront?

Toxic employees (a.k.a., “actively disengaged” employees) remain a significant concern for organizations across the globe. According to Gallup’s 2013  State of the Workplace  study, a mere 13 percent of the global workforce is engaged. That leaves 87 percent to the negative side of the spectrum—63 percent being unengaged and 24 percent actively disengaged. While the unengaged are a concern, it is the actively disengaged who pose the largest risk to organizational health. These are the people who are unhappy; unproductive; and make concerted, daily efforts to ensure everyone is  clear  about their unhappiness. Thus, the well-coined moniker, toxic employee. In another recent  survey  performed by Fierce, Inc., the collateral damage created by toxic employees was stated loud and clear. Forty-eight percent of respondents felt that toxic employees decrease morale; 27 percent said they decrease productivity; 17 percent cited an increase in stress; and 8 percent noted increased distractions. That’s a...
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Leadership Tips: Assume Good Intent

Have you ever had a time that you assumed a person was intentionally avoiding you and then later learned that the situation had nothing to do with you at all? Most of us have. A year after graduation, I was working for the University of Washington and was leading a group of students for a study abroad program. There was a young woman, Laura, who continually did not respond promptly to emails and phone calls. I started to assume that she didn’t care. Not only that, but I gave opportunities to other students instead of her, because I thought she wouldn’t want them. In a long overdue one-on-one meeting, I asked her questions about it and learned that her family was going through a crisis. She didn’t know how to juggle. It was a major smack in my face. How could I have made those assumptions about her? Why on...
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Top 5 to Thrive from WiRL Founder

This week’s Fierce Resource was first published on WiRLSummit.com and was written by Mitch Shepard, Founder & Creative Force behind Women in Real Life (WiRL). Top 5 To Thrive shares powerful and practical steps to building a successful career and life with intention. The key to evaluating what is real today begins with the conversations you have with yourself. Although these conversations are sometimes easier to push aside, once we dig in we find comfort in knowing. “Whether you realize it or not, the things you value most are RUNNING YOUR LIFE. If you’re living true to your TOP values, you likely feel a sense of ease, peace of mind, happiness and confidence when making decisions. If you’ve strayed from your most cherished values, you may be feeling sad, guilty, overwhelmed, conflicted and/or unfulfilled. Can you see how there’s great power in knowing explicitly what your values are? The knowledge...
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3 Ways to Work Meditation Into Your Busy Day

This week's Fierce Resource was first published on Inc.com  and was written by Jessica Stillman. 3 Ways to Work Meditation Into Your Busy Day  shares techniques on how to be mindful and incorporate more meditation into your days. Although it may seem impossible at times, there are small ways to help breakthrough the noise. "No doubt you’ve noticed that mindfulness and  meditation  have moved out of the monastery and into corporate America.  The topic is so hot that Wisdom 2.0, a conference, started in 2009, dedicated to exploring how to be more mindful about our technology use, now has a waiting list that runs into the hundreds. There are meditation apps galore, and organizations from Google to the Marine Corps have embraced the idea of promoting mindfulness. Some longtime meditators and Buddhists are even complaining that this new frenzy is corrupting the real  meaning of mindfulness ." To read the...
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