Archive for May, 2011

What happens when someone hasn’t developed good listening skills? Here are some typical conversations that create stress at work and home:

Example 1: Manuel sits down with Chris, one of his direct reports, to describe a new assignment. As he explains, the nature of the job requires that Chris weighs the quality of the project against the ultimate goal of meeting costs and timelines. When he finishes the explanation, he asks Chris if he is prepared to take on the assignment.

  • Chris:  Sure, I’m ready. I just don’t understand exactly what you are asking me to do.
  • Manuel: What part of it don’t you understand?
  • Chris:  Well, actually, I don’t understand what you are saying about costs, time, and budget. Would you please explain it again?
  • Manuel:  [Sigh!]

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Preface: It’s difficult to increase employee motivation when we don’t know how to motivate ourselves to achieve our own goals. A steady theme in this blog is about motivating ourselves to do those things that we want to do, but are finding it difficult to actually get done. (See, for example, How to achieve your goals despite yourself.) The article below by Marshall Goldsmith attracted my attention because he has an interesting take on how we can motivate ourselves — by harnessing our “mojo” or positive spirit. Learning to do this will decrease our stress at work and increase our potential for joy, or at least satisfaction.

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