Effective Leaders Know the Science Behind Their Behavior

Lynn had dreaded this meeting with her team. Frowning, she looked around the conference table and said, “I’ve got bad news. Upper management told me this team’s performance is unacceptable. We have to pull up our numbers by the end of this quarter, or heads will roll. I’ve decided to make major changes. First, all vacations for the rest of the quarter are cancelled. I expect each of you to be here focused on work. Second, you will meet your weekly goals, no matter how many hours it takes.”

Don’t Make Bad Situations Worse

Whatever you think of the content of Lynn’s message to her team, it’s clear that how she delivered it made a bad situation worse.»

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How to Coach a Dictatorial Leader

Behind his back, Allen’s staff called him “Mr. My-Way-or-the-Highway.” Full of demands, Allen ruled his department with an iron fist, making every decision big and small with little input from others. Allen’s staff had ideas for improving their workflow, but didn’t dare make suggestions. During a company-wide party, several of Allen’s direct reports cornered the head of HR, complaining about Allen’s heavy-handed leadership.

Dictator-like Leaders Don’t Always Get Results

Allen has much in common with leaders I discussed with my friend and colleagueDaniel Siegel during our Brainpower webinar series. Dr. Siegel described Michael Rutter’s classic studies of school leadership’s impact on performance.»

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Don’t Let a Bully Boss Affect Your Mental Health

How can I use emotional intelligence or Mindsight to manage a bully boss?

That’s what a Brainpower webinar participant asked me and my friend and colleague Dan Siegel during a recent webcast. I’d like to expand on the brief response I gave during the webinar.

First, let’s be clear about definitions. The Workplace Bullying Institute uses this description in their work:

“Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, or work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done, or verbal abuse.”

Obviously, someone who fits this definition can occupy any position in an organization.»

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Glad, Mad, Sad? Teams Catch a Leader’s Mood

‘When my mind is full of anger, other people catch it like the flu.’

If you’re like me, you’ve been on both sides of this experience shared by an organizational leader I know. I have been the angry person who infects the moods of those around him. And, I’ve been the one whose feelings plummet in the presence of Sad Sally or Pissed-off Pete.

What we’ve experienced is called emotional contagion. It happens whenever people interact, regardless of whether we’re with one person, in a group, or in an organization. Our brains and bodies react to the feelings of the people around us because we all have a social brain

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Specs for Microsoft’s Next CEO

There are three kinds of focus every leader needs:

1) an inner focus for self-awareness and self-management;

2) a focus on others for empathy, clear communication and interpersonal effectiveness;

3) and a systems focus, reading the outer world in order to come up with an effective strategy.

At Microsoft a failure in a wider focus seems to have had negative consequences: the company missed chances to lead every major tech development of the last several years, from search and the cloud to social and mobile computing. During those years the stock lost more than half its value.»

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Bonding creates high-performance teams

The emotional intelligence model can be looked at in terms of what it means to be intelligent about emotions, which is being self-aware, knowing your own feelings, and why you feel that way. It’s about managing those emotions. But it’s also sensing how other people are feeling, knowing the other person’s emotions, and then finally managing all those emotions in the way that is best for everyone.

How does managing emotions come into play when building high-performing teams? I spoke with IMD professor, George Kohlrieser for my Leadership: A Master Class series about the importance of a leader’s EI skills in creating solid, dynamic bonds within a team.»

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Putting Brain Science to Work in Your Company

Every manager faces the same challenge–how do you get the most from the people on your team? In his latest book, “The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights,” author and psychologist Daniel Goleman says the key is to keep your employees in the “flow.”

People operate in three neurological states, says Goleman. The first, disengagement, occurs when employees are in a low-motivation state where they are distracted and inattentive to the task at hand. “Disengagement is rife in the manufacturing sector because so many people are not inspired, motivated or engaged in the work they do. They just do good enough to keep the job,” he says.»

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Want Creative Workers? Loosen the Reins, Boss

Philip Glass, the contemporary composer, works on his new compositions only between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. That’s the time, he says, when his creative ideas come to him. When filmmaker George Lucas needs to write or edit a script, he sequesters himself in a small cottage behind his house where he gets no calls or visitors.

A lesson in managing creativity can be found in the work discipline of such inventive geniuses: A protected bubble in time and space fosters the imaginative spirit.

That notion challenges some prevailing wisdom–particularly the assumption that upping the pressure on workers will squeeze more innovative thinking out of them.»

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