4 Contradictions the Best Employees Understand by the MOJO Company

Here’s an excerpt from a great post.  Follow the link below to read the entire post.


The best employees understand that you should be insatiably curious, but question with a positive purpose.

I believe some degree of curiosity is an absolutely indispensable trait in successful employees, leaders, and human beings. Often, that curiosity will manifest itself in the form of questions and questioning. I think that’s great; I really do. As I’ve stated elsewhere a time or twelve, questions can be used in so many positive ways and toward so many positive ends, even if others might not understand them in the moment. But at the same time, we always have to be self-aware and ask ourselves why we’re asking stuff. The best employees are curious about things and ask questions with a positive purpose, meaning that in many cases, they’re trying to figure things out so that then they can take action and make something positive happen.

Contrast this with what I’d call “complaining questioners.” Those are the folks who tend to question everything, but with no discernible point or purpose other than what seems to be complaining about things; and even after receiving answers, they don’t seem to then take the information and do anything positive. They simply move on to the next series of things to question.

– See more at: http://themojocompany.com/2016/03/4-contradictions-best-employees-understand/#sthash.6TMXkziM.dpuf

2 Words That Drive Bosses Crazy


by Geoffrey James

About a year ago, I pointed out that the words “I will try…” mean that person using those words is secretly planning to fail. (And, yes, I did quote Yoda in the post.)

Earlier today, a colleague of mine (the management consultant Sylvia LaFair) pointed out two additional words that also guarantee failure:

“Yeah, but…”

Bosses hate hearing those two words because employees use them to reject good advice that they don’t want to hear. It works like this:

– The employee comes in with a complaint.
– The boss explains how to address the problem.
– The employee says “Yeah, but…” followed by a reason why that solution won’t work.
– The boss explains how to overcome that objection.
– The employee says “Yeah, but…” followed by a reason why THAT won’t work.
– Etc.

The back-and-forth continues until one of two things happens:

– The employee wears the boss down to the point where there’s no longer an action plan and both the employee and the boss are helpless. Failure is now inevitable.
– The boss gets frustrated and says, “Just do what I say, dammit” and the employee feels resentful and angry, and takes action half-heartedly. Failure is now inevitable.

Neither of those outcomes is ideal. Fortunately, there’s an easy way for bosses to avoid the “Yeah, but…” syndrome:

1. Get the entire complaint on the table.

When an employee comes in with a complaint, don’t leap immediately to providing your advice, even if the solution seems obvious to you. Instead, ask a few questions that flesh out the complaint, especially questions that surface how the employee feels about the situation. Examples:

– When you think about this what else comes in your mind?
– What drove you to bring this to my attention right now?
– How would you feel if we could come up with a workable solution?

Getting everything on the table makes it more difficult for the complaint to dribble out in a series of “Yeah, but…” responses.

2. Ask the employee how he or she would solve the problem.

Note that the complaint is now a problem, which implies that there is a solution.

In most cases, simply getting the entire problem onto the table will help the employee to see what he or she needs to do to address the problem, even if it’s just something like “suck it up and move on.”

In some cases, the employee will say: “I don’t know what to do.” If this happens, respond with, “Well, if you did know what to do, what would that be?” This restatement of the question can often “short-circuit” self-defeating mental helplessness.

In either case, listen quietly to whatever the employee has to say, then move to Step 3.

If the employee remains stuck on “I don’t know,” say something like, “I can tell you’re really frustrated.” Then move to Step 3.

3. Provide your best advice.

Start by saying something like this: “I am now going to give you my opinion of how we should address this problem. After I give you my opinion, I’m willing to answer questions about how we might implement it, but that’s all.”

Provide your best advice, incorporating (when practical) whatever suggestions the employee surfaced in Step 2. Then ask: “Any questions?”

If the employee responds with implementation questions, answer them to the best of your ability.

However, if the employee starts explaining why your advice won’t work (aka “Yeah, but…”), hold up your hands, palm outwards, and say: “That’s my best advice. I’d like you to try it for [period of time] and if, after you’ve made that effort, we can revisit the issue then.”

End the meeting or move onto another topic.

Why This Works

The process above allows you and the employee to turn complaints into problems and find possible solutions to those problems. It draws upon the creativity of the employee both to understand the entire problem and to devise a workable solution.

Worst case, the process ends with “that’s my best advice.” While that’s functionally similar to “Just do what I say, dammit,” it’s less likely to create resentment, especially when the employee feels that he or she has been “heard out.”


9 Subtle Traits Of The Most Talented Leaders

by Jeff Haden

Good bosses look good on paper. Great bosses look great in person; their actions show their value.
Yet some bosses go even farther. They’re remarkable—not because of what you see them do but what you don’t see them do.

Where remarkable bosses are concerned, what you see is far from all you get:

1. They forgive… and they forget

When an employee makes a mistake—especially a major mistake—it’s easy to forever view that employee through the perspective of that mistake.
I know. I’ve done it.
But one mistake, or one weakness, is just one part of the whole person.
Great bosses are able to step back, set aside a mistake, and think about the whole employee.
Remarkable bosses are also able to forget that mistake, because they know that viewing any employee through the lens of one incident may forever impact how they treat that employee.
And they know the employee will be able to tell.
To forgive may be divine, but to forget can be even more divine.

2. They transform company goals into the employees’ personal goals.

Great bosses inspire their employees to achieve company goals.
Remarkable bosses make their employees feel that what they do will benefit them as much as it does the company. After all, whom will you work harder for: A company or yourself?

Whether they get professional development, an opportunity to grow, a chance to shine, a chance to flex their favorite business muscles, employees who feel a sense of personal purpose almost always outperform employees who feel a sense of company purpose. And they have a lot more fun doing it. Remarkable bosses know their employees well enough to tap the personal, not just the professional.

3. They look past the action to the emotion and motivation.

Sometimes employees make mistakes or simply do the wrong thing. Sometimes they take over projects or roles without approval or justification. Sometimes they jockey for position, play political games, or ignore company objectives in pursuit of personal goals.

When that happens it’s easy to assume they don’t listen or don’t care. But almost always there’s a deeper reason: They feel stifled, they feel they have no control, they feel marginalized or frustrated—or maybe they are just trying to find a sense of meaning in their work that pay rates and titles can never provide.

Effective bosses deal with actions. Remarkable bosses search for the underlying issues that, when overcome, lead to much bigger change for the better.

4. They support without seeking credit.

A customer is upset. A vendor feels shortchanged. A coworker is frustrated. Whatever the issue, good bosses support their employees. They know that to do otherwise undermines the employee’s credibility and possibly authority.

Afterword, most bosses will say to the employee, “Listen, I took up for you, but…”
Remarkable bosses don’t say anything. They feel supporting their employees—even if that shines a negative spotlight on themselves—is the right thing to do and is therefore unremarkable.

Even though we all know it isn’t.

5. They make fewer public decisions.

When a decision needs to be made, most of the time the best person to make that decision isn’t the boss. Most of the time the best person is the employee closest to the issue. Decisiveness is a quality of a good boss. Remarkable bosses can be decisive but often in a different way: They decide they aren’t the right person and then decide who is the right person. They do it not because they don’t want to avoid making those decisions but because they know they shouldn’t make those decisions.

6. They don’t see control as a reward.

Many people desperately want to be the boss so they can finally call the shots.
Remarkable bosses don’t care about control. As a result they aren’t seen to exercise control.
They’re seen as a person who helps.

Read more: http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/9-hidden-qualities-of-remarkable-bosses-mon.html#ixzz2LCiZYspl