Why the Clamor for Leadership Transparency Is Childish and Unrealistic

Employees in business yearn for transparency. They say that it’s a leadership requirement. Yet being open about what’s really going on is not realistic. Transparency does not and will not ever exist in executive suites around the globe. Here’s why.

There will always be pockets of transparency. For example, a friend of mine runs a successful technology business with 40 employees and has completely open books. He shares all financial information with all employees every two weeks, including… Read the full article >

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Meeting Happiness: Is it Possible?

We spend much of our lives in meetings. That is not bad in itself – we need to collaborate on important matters. Yet, if not run well, these meetings lower morale and reduce productivity. Our recent research of over 300 professionals on happiness and productive teams found that well run meetings are positively correlated to productive teams and happy employees. Here are 3 ways to create it.

3 Ways to Create Meeting Happiness: If you want to create meeting happiness, which creates happy and productive teams, here is what to do:

1. Name it –… Read the full article >

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5 Counterintuitive Techniques to Transform Your Team Meetings

Unfortunately, many of the basic meeting-management techniques that leaders use fail to result in effective meetings. Even with an agenda, and strong task leadership, there is one huge problem that gets in the way: people!  If there were robots in the meeting, well then it might all work smoothly.  But people don’t act like leaders want them to in meetings.  Distractions, group think, lack of comfort with conflict, overly quiet people, overly talkative people, and other things that are human nature get in the way of having a good meeting.


Here are 5… Read the full article >

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Checklist for Change Messages

This checklist can be used while creating a change message. It is intended to help leaders ensure they create the highest impact message possible.

What kind of change is it?

*New Structure (i.e. Reorganizations, Layoffs, Outsourcing, Merger, New Teams)
*New Project (i.e. ERP/ Software Rollouts, Process Improvement, Innovation)
*New Leader (i.e. Succession, Merger/Acquisition, New Team Members)
*New Strategy (i.e. New Markets, New Positioning, New Products/Services)

What is the nature of the message?

*Announcing Change
*Identify what is changing and what is not
*Get clear on why the change is important to the business/team/customer/employees
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9 Change Communication Best Practices

While there are no magic words that fit every situation, there are some best practices we have discovered over the years.

1. Build trust before change. The time to start building trusting relationships is before you need them! In times of change, the trust between you and your people is critical. If you don’t have trust, it may be too late to have real communication. Employees who trust you will hear the perfect phrases as you intend them. This will create meaningful dialogue. However, if your relationship with them is damaged from past errors, employees may hear any phrase… Read the full article >

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8 Guidelines for Communicating Change Virtually


Today’s organizational changes involve employees spread around regions, countries, and continents. Virtual tools like GoToWebinar, Skype, blogs, and Facebook offer a terrific amount of added flexibility to communicate with people. Yet, there are also many limitations and challenges when communicating change in this new digital world.

In principal, all the rules of communicating change apply in virtual situations. In fact, they are amplified because when you are not face-to-face, it is more critical to follow all of the guidelines…. Read the full article >

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Three Common Mistakes Leaders Make When Communicating Change


We have seen leaders fail in communicating change in three basic ways: not telling enough, not listening enough, and not telling the truth enough.

Not Telling Enough

Leaders are usually ahead of the people they are leading. They usually know information before employees and have thought through situations before employees even know what is going on. This can lead them to forget that employees do not know what they know. The result is many leaders do not communicate enough…. Read the full article >

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Balancing Information, Emotions, and Action

Within any change message, there are three distinct parts: the information or data to be shared, the emotion of the conversation, and the action that needs to be taken. These parts need to be carefully balanced to successfully support a change initiative.


People need information during change–the hard, cold facts. This information might include the details of the new procedures, processes, and plans as well as who will be doing what and when. These pieces… Read the full article >

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Launching Change


After all the hard work of deliberating and designing changes, the time for unveiling them to the organization has arrived. This usually begins with someone higher in the organization than you announcing what is being done. Maybe it is a downsizing or merger announced through the media. Perhaps an e-mail from the CEO or a division head informs you about a reorganization. An electronic town hall may be created with all employees in your division around the world… Read the full article >

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How Listening Impacts Conflict


If someone disagrees with us – part of the frustration in the conflict comes from feeling like the other person doesn’t understand. They are not listening.

Lack of listening of either side escalates conflict. Before you tell them you disagree or make your point again, a small bit of listening will go a long way to increase understanding and reduce conflict.

Jim Haynes, former NYC policeman, sees it this way. Jim worked for 13 years in law enforcement on… Read the full article >

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