Soft Skills: Teaching Proactive Learning

Before any individual can possibly succeed at “critical thinking,” that person has to know some things. That way will have something — anything really — about which to think critically. Step one: Know something! Or know how to do something! Or have an appreciation for multiple competing perspectives about something — anything!

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Break Free from the Vicious Cycle of “Firefighting” and “Managing on Autopilot”

Any manager will tell you, firefighting is part of the job. It’s very hard to break the cycle because when there is an urgent problem, it simply must be addressed. Things do go wrong – fires occur. If you are the manager, you are in charge. You lead the fight. Everybody has to grab a…

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The Fundamentals Are All You Need

Every day in my work with leaders and managers, I ask some form of the question: “What’s your biggest challenge as a manager?” Like clockwork, the same basic challenges and concerns come up over and over again – the same 27. Maybe it’s the superstar whom the manager is afraid of losing. The slacker whom…

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Become a Teaching-Style Manager

So, you’ve embraced the basics of high-structure, high-substance management. You meet regularly with your direct reports in order to manage performance as well as ongoing projects. But you feel that you want to take your leadership to the next level. How can you do that?

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What Is High-Structure, High-Substance Dialogue?

Managing people is always getting harder, yet our research shows that that when things are going wrong in a management relationship, almost always, the common denominator is unstructured, low substance, hit-or-miss communication.

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