Managing People at Work

Sometimes it seems like putting out fires is the most important task in our job descriptions as managers. How well do you handle crises that break up your workflow? Take this quiz and find out.

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A recent survey by the staffing firm The Creative Group asked managers, “What’s the most unusual reason you’ve heard from an employee quitting his or her job?” Here are some choice responses:

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“We’re living through a historically steep leadership learning curve. Unfortunately, we’re learning from unbelievably poor examples of leadership.” So writes consultant and leadership coach Dan Coughlin in his book, Corporate Catalysts.

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In his book Corporate Catalysts, author Dan Coughlin identifies 20 leadership tools—”different ways to influence the way other people think. They are very simple ideas; that’s the point. Being a great leader is not complicated.” Here’s a sampling:

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“At one time or another, most of us have avoided saying no by saying yes,” writes Rick Brenner. “We do this in spite of our experience that the price we pay for agreeing to do something we don’t believe in is often far too high.” Here are some suggestions from Brenner on how to say no when you need to:

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You sigh and turn to Erin. “That was the registrar’s office at State. Seems our boy Jason is not actually enrolled there—and hasn’t been for two years.”

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Successful managers are the ones who’ve decided that the discomfort of giving criticism is less painful than the consequences of poor performance. Here’s what you’ll see if you watch them in action.

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We’ve all been in meetings that wasted our time. And we’ve said so—after the meeting, when it was too late. Here’s how to get that feedback on your own meetings when you need it:

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For decades, managers in the U.S. have been challenged by the tricky issue of religion in the workplace. If every worker has a legally protected right to religious freedom, what does an employer do when different workers’ religious beliefs (or lack of them) come into conflict?

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Here are the “seemingly small behaviors … that would apply anywhere” that Dennis Snow says define a true professional.

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