How to Manage Mavericks, Cynics, Divas and Other Difficult People

ihwx.fc9b05df-dddb-4c29-a399-330c78377c64.200.175The control-freak, the narcissist, the slacker, the cynic… Difficult people are the worst part of a manager’s job. Whether it comes from direct reports or people above, outbursts, irrational demands, griping and other disruptions need to be dealt with –– and it’s your responsibility to do it. Leading the Unleadable turns this dreaded chore into a straightforward process that gently yet effectively improves behaviors. Written by an insider in the tech industry, where personality issues routinely wreck projects, Alan Willett reveals a core truth: Most people actually want to contribute results, not cause headaches. Once you realize the potential for change, the Willett’s simple steps and examples explain how to right even the most hopeless situations. You’ll learn how to master the necessary mindset; explain the problem calmly in a short feedback session; get a commitment to change and follow up; coach others to replicate the process; and develop the situational awareness required to spot trouble even earlier in the future. Every manager has “problem people.” What sets great managers apart is how they turn them into productive team players. Prepare to transform the troublesome into the tremendous.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• What it means to accept the call of exceptional leadership.
• How to take action and follow through with troublesome employees.
• Key criteria for deciding whether to remove or improve an employee.
• How to prevent problems by setting the bar high.

Follow-Up Q&A with Best-Selling Author, Patty Azzarello

Image result for patty azzarello moveOn Thursday, March 2nd, Soundview hosted a webinar with Patty Azzarello, author of Move: How Decisive Leaders Execute Strategy Despite Obstacles, Setbacks, and Stalls.

Patty was kind enough to provide further insights on executing strategy:


Join us for our next Soundview Live webinar on Thursday, March 9th, How to Become the Person Others Follow, with author and speaker, Joshua Spodek. Click here to register.


 

Q: Can you describe the tools used to address the details revealed in the conversations that represent major influencers to the conversation and that need to be shared globally.

A: What needs to be shared globally? More than you think!

We all have a tendency to take for granted what we know ourselves. It is not interesting to us because we already know it. 

It is a valuable and important habit to keep track of the things you are learning and seeing when you have conversations with colleagues, customers, management, media, sales and service people, headquarters people. We are all global employees. When we are learning something we need to always keep in mind our global counterparts and make an effort to share our information with them.

When I was running sales and marketing for a global business unit, every day someone in my headquarters organization would come to me for approval of a plan. My first question would always be, “what did the people in Europe and Asia say about this?”. I asked this question of someone in my organization almost every day for more than a year. Get in the habit of listening on purpose and sharing information on purpose. Share more than you personally think is interesting. And remember not to only share information globally, also make an effort to create genuine rapport and conversation with your global counterparts. 

Friday Book Review! 5 Habits to Lead from Your Heart

Image result for 5 habits to lead from your heartHow do you choose to react to experiences both good and bad? According to Johnny Covey, author of 5 Habits to Lead from Your Heart, there are two choices to make: You can react with your head or you can react with your heart. When you react with your head, he writes, you are mostly trying to protect yourself. In essence, you are acting out of fear or self-preservation. A better alternative, Covey argues, is to react with your heart instead — to focus on progressing instead of protecting. Covey uses this dichotomous choice in response to experience to build a head-to-heart framework. Across the top of the framework are his three Ps of progress: previous, present and possible. The present is the experience you are reacting to, Covey writes, and the other two Ps represent the different choices: the “head” choice to retreat to the comfort of the past (the previous) or the “heart” choice to reach for the possible. Under previous and possible, Covey places the three phases of experience: think, feel and do. Thus, faced with an experience, one can react by thinking, feeling and doing what was done previously or, on the contrary, by thinking, feeling and doing something new, ambitious and courageous so that you can progress. Covey’s five habits are intended to lead his readers to choose possible over previous.

Making the Right Choices

The first habit is to Be Courageous. For Covey, this is the foundational habit of leading from your heart. Covey describes, as an example, the decision he and his wife made to become foster parents — when at the time they had four children aged 5, 3, 2 and 7 months. Their heads told them not to become foster parents (as did many of their friends and family). However, Covey writes, they took the plunge and became foster parents to two girls, who are now teenagers thriving in the Covey household. Covey’s second habit is to Be You. In this section, Covey urges readers to understand why they feel the way they do (their core motivations), what they are good at doing and how they think about things. In each of these areas, Coveys offers four archetypes. For example, “visionaries,” “thinkers,” “artists” and “researchers” are the do archetypes, each having different strengths. “Managers,” “project managers,” “organizers” and “playmakers” think differently. And our core motives, Covey writes, will lead each one of us to be a “producer,” “people” person, “playful” person or “peaceful” person.

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Friday Book Review! Invisible Influence by Jonah Berger

 

invisible-influence-9781476759692_hrWho Makes Our Decisions?

In a provocative new book called Invisible Influence, Wharton professor Jonah Berger explains that we are not the independent thinkers making well-informed decisions and choices that we might think we are. The reason is that many of our decisions and choices are made based on what others are doing. This is called social influence, and in Invisible Influence, Berger demonstrates, through scores of stories and academic research, the power of others on our decisions.

What Makes a Hit

For example, Berger describes an experiment by Princeton sociologist Matthew Salganik based on a website where people could download free music (actual but obscure music that no one knew). Salganik provided a list of songs to choose from, and included in the list how many other people had downloaded the song. Eventually certain songs began to attract more and more downloads, while other songs elicited much less interest. Over time, the chasm between the popular and unpopular songs grew wider and wider. Most people were attracted to the songs that most people had already downloaded.

However, the most surprising stage of Salganik’s experiment was yet to come. Salganik, writes Berger, decided to create eight different websites but with exactly the same list of songs and the same rules. Only the listeners were different. Over time, the same chasm between popular and unpopular songs appeared. The popular and unpopular songs, however, were different for each of the eight websites. Salganik thus demonstrated that if any song started to gain momentum, the mimicry gene kicked in: People decided that was the song they liked best. (Quality plays a role, but smaller than we might think).

Click here to continue reading this review, or sign up for our FREE Executive Book Alert newsletter to receive business book reviews in your inbox every month!

 

Join us for our next Soundview Live webinar! Tuesday, August 23rd

Creating Memorable Content to Influence Decisions

Date: Tuesday, August 23
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Carmen Simon, PhD

Register here

Audiences forget up to 90% of what you communicate. How can your employees and customers decide to act on your message if they only remember a tenth of it? How do you know which tenth they’ll remember? How will you stay on their minds long enough to spark the action you need?

In this Soundview Live webinar, Creating Memorable Content to Influence Decisions, Carmen Simon draws on the latest research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology to show us how to develop content that speaks to people’s hearts, stays in their heads and influences their decisions.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to create cues that attract attention and connect with your audience’s needs
  • How to use memory-influencing variables to control what your audience remembers
  • How to turn today’s intentions into tomorrow’s actions

The Principles of Decision-Making

Next week will be all about decision-making at Soundview Live. Our two speakers will be talking about very different issues within the decision-making process.

Mark Hefner – The Advantage Strategy Paradigm: July 28th

In this Soundview Live webinar Mark Hefner explains the principles that can guide all executives in the decisions and actions they take related to developing, planning, and executing strategy. Principles provide a broad context for strategic action and guidelines that can be communicated and taught at all levels of the organization, eventually becoming part of the organization’s culture.

Marlene Chism – How to Increase Leadership Effectiveness: July 30th

In this Soundview Live webinar Marlene Chism introduces just the model the corporate world needs in decision making. Using case studies, checklists, and examples from various levels of hierarchy in leadership and from a variety of industries, Chism introduces the mindset shifts and practical skills needed to develop enlightened leaders, whose decision making flows from a much more grounded and aligned place.

If you want to strengthen your decision-making skills, or would like to host a decision training time with your staff, then register for these two events over the lunch-hour.

As always, these webinar are free for subscribers. And if you’re not yet a subscriber, you can Subscribe to our Online Edition for what it would cost for just these two events, and receive our summaries and a year of weekly webinars.