*Communication

Linda Dulye's picture

Does Your Team Have These Four Personality Types?

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team meeting.jpgAt one time, Paul Maritz, then at Microsoft, now the president and CEO of software company VMware, managed more than 10,000 people. It didn't start out that way, of course; his first team, in 1986, consisted of 13 employees.

Over time Maritz has noticed what he calls an inevitable "amalgam of personalities that really enable the group to function at a high level." 

Here's how he described them:

 

Linda Dulye's picture

Running the Rumor Mill

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watercooler.jpg

We read an interesting article in theHarvard Business Review recently that highlights research conducted at the University of Kentucky around the workplace rumor mill.

The two researchers -- both doctoral candidates -- found that "gossip can benefit individuals and organizations, though managers often consider all of it to be derogatory and tend to punish gossipers with lower performance ratings."

What's more, the research shows that managers have more gossip partners at work -- an average of 7.4 versus 3.9 -- than non-supervisors.

Fascinating stuff.

Linda Dulye's picture

Give Your Skip-Level Meetings a Makeover

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skiplevel.jpgLast year in this space we trumpeted the skip-level meeting as a powerful tool in a leader's workbench. We think the skip-level is such a valuable tool that it deserves another look and, in some cases, a makeover.

Just to recap, from the employee's perspective, a skip-level is a chance to share their background, experience and career aspirations.

For a manager, it offers a closer look at the people in their broader team, identify high-potential employees and gather unfiltered feedback on key initiatives and day-to-day operations. In the spirit of continuous improvement, here are three ways to reenergize your skip-levels to get more value from them.

Linda Dulye's picture

What's Your Team's Customer Satisfaction Score?

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These days it seems as if everyone wants to know your opinion. Whether it's a sticker on your pizza box or a phone survey after you call your cable company, the opportunity to provide feedback on your experience has never been greater.

If you customers -- internal clients you support or external customers who buy from you -- were to give you a customer satisfaction score, what would it be? Are you providing your customers a chance to weigh in?

Here are some ways to make sure that you're delivering the quality support your customers demand -- and require.

Linda Dulye's picture

Be Honest: Do You Use Email to Cover Your Back?

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We once heard someone refer to the "cc:" field in an email message as the place where you can be "electronically passive aggressive." For many, the field is nothing more than a place to add a recipient purely as an FYI. But some use it to cover their back. Think about it: Want to show that you have the support of your boss on a thorny issue? Send a note to your colleagues -- and cc: your boss. 
 
It's perfect, right? Not exactly.
 
In the New York Times' Corner Office series, Kasper Rorsted, the chief executive of Henkel, the consumer and industrial products company based in Düsseldorf, Germany, talked about his decreasing use of email and his disregard for messages on which he's copied.
Linda Dulye's picture

Going Viral Behind the Firewall: A Dulye & Co. Whitepaper

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When you hear about viral communication, it's usually a YouTube video that gathers steam as friends pass it on or is mentioned on newscasts. But it doesn't have to be a funny video involving piano-playing birds. Viral communication can have tremendous impact on organizational communications.

By definition, a viral communication is information that gets passed around informally -- the message could originate with mass distribution, but its defining quality is the way it is then forwarded from friend to friend or colleague to colleague as an item of interest. 

Linda Dulye's picture

Use SMS to Capture Questions at Your Next Employee Meeting

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Are you using all the technology available to you to receive employee feedback? I know what you're thinking: Do we actually need more channels for feedback? The answer is yes, if you use these new avenues strategically.
 
We got to thinking about this recently at an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game. The National League club posted two enormous banners in opposite corners of the ballpark providing fans with a way to report unruly spectators in their area. We've included a photo here. Using SMS (a.k.a., text messaging) fans can send stadium security a message with section and row information.
Linda Dulye's picture

Simplify Program Metrics to Drive Clear Performance Path

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Don't look now, but the midway point of 2010 is a month or so away. For many of us that means time to schedule mid-year reviews and it's an excellent opportunity to gauge your team's progress against key objectives. 
 
As you're planning reviews, here's something else to ask yourself: Does your team know what they are being evaluated on – and are those criteria easy to grasp? Most organizations have a structured approach to performance reviews but sometimes employees need clear expectations about how projects goals will be measured.
 
In a recent Bloomberg Business Week article on General Motors' CEO Ed Whitacre, we learn that he cut in half the number criteria used to rate his staff.
Linda Dulye's picture

Build Trust and Stay Close to the Action

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It happens a lot in business: a person moves up the organizational ladder and quickly forgets the challenges and frustrations of working on the lower rungs.
 
That's not the case of Andrew Cosslett, chief executive of InterContinental Hotels Group. In a recent interview he recalled his early days as a sales person deep within the Unilever organization and shares a promise he made to himself.
Linda Dulye's picture

4 Tips for Communicating a Selection

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Earlier this week, the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball championships were decided at the end of two thrilling tournaments. But before the tip-off of March Madness comes Selection Sunday, when the schools learn whether they are in or out of the tourney.

Within moments of the final selections being announced, the analysis begins about which teams made it and which teams didn’t. For teams that won’t be playing in the Big Dance, they are left to wonder why – and may never find out for sure.

In organizations, it’s critical that whenever a selection is made – a key hire or selection to a high-profile project – that we communicate to those who were selected and those that weren’t. Here are five tips for ensuring that you don’t leave questions unanswered when making your selection.