Boost Employee Engagement by Allowing Angry Outbursts

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EmoticonsPhil, a systems analyst at General Engines, is irate. He’s on the team that supports technology for the sales group, and his boss, Jonathan, just told the team the company is not going to fund tablets for the salespeople. The sales staff is counting on Phil to get them the tablets, and he had been planning to roll them out at ...

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Reduce Distracting Worries in Your Team

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WorryTom’s got a full agenda to cover so he gets to the conference room a few minutes early to make sure the powerpoint is ready. Joe and Bill are already there, and they’re obviously grumbling and moaning about something. He hears “they are idiots” and “how can they be so stupid”, while they snarl and shake their heads. Tom’s going to need to get them focused on the meeting ...

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Does Expression of Anger Help a Team?

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AngerDavid, a web developer at General Engines, has always been feisty, with strong opinions about what should be built on the website. But right now he is pissed. His manager, Laura, just told his team they’re not getting the budget increase they requested. David shouts “customers are going to be irate when we don’t deliver the features they want!” He continues, in a heated voice, to complain that they’re ...

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Here’s a Tip for Assembling Your Dream Team

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Team AbstractHow do you get the best people on your team and keep them there? Sure, it pays to be using the latest technology and have an attractive reward system, but it’s also largely influenced by something more primal: the way it feels to be part of your team. Teams generate an emotional signature that heavily influences who is drawn to join them. Consider the story of Steven, an ...

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Desensitizing Your Team to Fear

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Fear-and-Negativity-copyI remember the day a colleague plodded into my team meeting and moaned “John Price has just been appointed CEO”.  Our entire team became paralyzed with fear. We knew the leaders of our company’s three divisions, who always competed more than cooperated, had been vying for the open CEO spot. Price was from the “other” division, our rivals, and openly didn’t like our group. Now he was going to ...

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Energize Your Team in 3 Quick Steps

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EnergyTyler trudges into the office, worrying about the disgruntled team he leads. He works hard at being a good leader, and his team likes him a bunch, but there’s too much negative influence out of his control. Upper management keeps changing technologies, priorities and staffing levels, all of which challenge his team’s sense of mastery and security, and at ...

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Team Conflict Lessons from the 4th Grade

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School ChildrenI witnessed an argument among teammates the other day that made me realize how inept we are at dealing with emotions in the workplace. In fact, grade school kids are better equipped than most adults at resolving conflict.

I was working with a team that’s building software, and they were planning their next big meeting with their client. Mitch, an analyst fresh out of college, wanted to demo the ...

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Make Your Team More Attractive to Clients

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How can you make sure your team gets chosen to do the hot projects? And when your team bids for a new client, how can you make sure you get selected over the competition? Sure, you have to prove your ability to deliver, but your success in getting selected is also largely influenced by something more primal: the way it feels to work with your team.

As a leader ...

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A Quick Fix for Team Burnout

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Laura is a seasoned project manager who was recently hired to lead a large project critical to the success of a company. She was assigned a very competent and professional team, most of whom had been with the company for many years. They were smart and professional, but the problem was they were burned out. For them, this was another project in a long line of projects. ...

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Inclusivity: the Key to Handling Complexity

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I was recently in the Middle East, in Amman, Jordan, having lunch at a local restaurant. At the next table, there was a woman in full burka seated with three men. The men were chatting away while the woman sat there struggling to eat and drink through her burka. I could have easily been irritated by the limitations that her ...

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