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Stephanie Taylor Christensen

Just as the coach of a losing team can be the force that keeps players giving their all down to the last second of the game, managers have an opportunity to make a significant impact on how their employees perceive times of challenge—even when the company chips are down.

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Finding qualified candidates requires an investment of time, energy and money from all involved in your organization’s recruitment, hiring and training functions—but your role as a manager doesn’t really begin until after employees have completed their new-hire paperwork.

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Employee one-on-ones are critical meetings leaders can leverage to understand employee interests, strengths and weaknesses; to build a sense of mutual trust and respect; and provide the support employees need. But like most meetings, there are some basic guidelines you and your employees should know and adhere to.

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Being a manager requires that you strike a number of sensitive balances with your team and peers: You want to develop authentic and respectful relationships, while maintaining professional boundaries. It’s a tall order.

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Though it’s respectful to give thought to your letter’s content, writing a recommendation that’s personal, relevant and helpful to the requestor doesn’t have to be laborious.

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These 3 simple phrases could transform your employee relationships.

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4 simple mind games that can improve your performance in the workplace.

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New to management? Here are 4 tips to help you establish authority.

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Stuck with formal performance evaluations? Put a positive spin on a tired system.

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You can be a better manager by just taking care of yourself.

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How to get your employees to believe in you, the organization and its mission.

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Here’s why declaring meetings a tech-free zone can make your team more productive.

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Determine what you can (and can’t) manage when employees ‘go at it.’

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There’s a considerable amount of science that suggests trying to escape from stress isn’t a beneficial tactic—and that some of it can even work to your advantage.

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Here are 4 mistakes managers make that drive top employees out the door.

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Being a successful manager is a combination of skill, training and experience. But much of it also depends on your ability to connect with others in a way that makes them feel valued, and heard.

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How to find the right words for those tense conversations with employees.

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Here are three of the hardest personality types you’ll come across at work—and how to manage them.

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Here are a few ways that simply being more present at work is the real key to optimal performance.

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Here are some amazingly simple changes you can put into place to become more effective at leading your staff—and more influential with the higher-ups.

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