Honest reflection is powerful

January is a natural time to reflect on what we have accomplished, what we intend to accomplish, and how we might work to improve ourselves. One of my favorite articles on personal development is “My Life as a Knowledge Worker” by the late management educator and author Peter F. Drucker. The article appeared in Inc. Magazine in February [...]

HIGH-PERFORMANCE TEAMS PART III: ONE MORE PUZZLE PIECE

In the first two parts in this series, we built upon the work done by a Google research team that identified two key elements present in high performing teams. 1.    Psychological safety—people felt safe to talk. 2.    Broad participation—all team members have equal opportunity to contribute to the group conversation. The third element of being a high-performing [...]

HIGH-PERFORMING TEAMS PART II: GAINING BROAD PARTICIPATION

This is the second post in a three-part series based on a study about teams by Google. Researchers completed an intensive two-year study of more than 180 teams looking for the key characteristics of their high-performing teams. The New York Times article on the Google study is worth your time. Two elements stood out: 1. Psychological safety—people felt [...]

HIGH-PERFORMING TEAMS PART I: CREATING SPACE WHERE EVERYONE FEELS SAFE

A group of researchers at Google completed an intensive two-year study of more than 180 teams looking for the key characteristics of their high-performing teams. The New York Times article on the study is worth your time. Two elements stood out: 1. Psychological safety—people felt safe to talk. 2. Broad participation—all team members have equal opportunity [...]

Ask Paul: What are the keys to meetings?

Q: Hello, I’m getting lots of value out of your book. Next week, I’m meeting with many of the new supervisors in our organization. I’d like to have a couple of slides in my presentation that get them thinking about running better meetings. What do you think is most important? – Ganesh  Thanks for the question, [...]

Jazz, Wisdom, and Swing

One of my favorite quotes is from Charlie Bird Parker about playing jazz: “You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.” I don’t play an instrument, but I understand jazz to be something that finds [...]

Ask Paul: I cancelled 8 of my last 10 staff meetings because they included only information sharing. Now, my managers say they miss the opportunity to interact with their peers. Thoughts?

Thank you for the question, Wes. First, I give you credit for choosing to respect the time of your managers by being thoughtful about whether or not to meet. Questioning the value of sharing information is also a step in the right direction. Second, the path to making your meetings a competitive advantage is bound [...]

Making a Difference, One Meeting at a Time

Most of us walk into meetings concerned about one person – ourselves. We’re not usually looking out for other participants or thinking about how to support the person leading the meeting. We sit where we feel most comfortable, and we speak when we feel like it or not at all. This is natural, of course, [...]

Make Your Meetings Shorter, Here’s How!

Everyone wants fewer meetings, and there’s a tremendous amount of attention right now on how to achieve that. A worthy goal, but a misguided one. Instead of focusing on limiting meetings, we should be trying to spend less time in the meetings that are already on the schedule. My motto: get in, get the work [...]