dr carl robinson

The Currency of Success - Interpersonal Intelligence™

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Better Boss Basics & Innovation 5 Key Habits

Fall is in the air, and it is a good time to take stock of your professional role, priorities and influence. What has worked well for you, so far this year? What changes have you made in your management style that made you more effective? What have you tried for the first time?

We all want to be in the “good boss” category, but what can you do to get there, and use your “good boss” status to strengthen and grow your organization?

Practice being happy to see people at work. Start to greet your own subordinates and other employees by name, and make sure they know you are glad to see them, even as you pass them in the hallway. Consistently taking this one step will round the edges off of the next situation you need to address.

The people you don’t directly manage, work with or work for are often the most critical in solving a cross-departmental situation or in bringing your name up in a positive light.

Keep yourself from being reactive. When an employee shares a situation with you, don’t make the assumption that your input or help is needed. Make a point of asking if they would like you to take action or if they are just seeking your empathy. If empathy is called for, listen actively and give them the encouragement they seek.

If action is being requested, make a conscious decision whether you want to get involved, or if your time is better spent counseling the employee and sending them on their way to give it a try on their own. In short, resist the urge to get involved in everything. Sometimes holding back will give you the time and space you need, and will help your employees grow in new ways.

Get buy-in where possible, but sometimes you need to make the call. It is common management knowledge that your results will be better if your team buys in to the plan, project or decision that it is faced with. Authentic collaboration is priceless, right? The fact is, sometimes you can’t spend the time and energy it might take to rehash the decision that needs to be made.

Give the team members the opportunity to get involved with a solution, but if it doesn’t happen, don’t over discuss the topic. Put it to rest. You are the boss, and sometimes it makes the most sense to get the team moving on a plan or solution more than it does to get their vote of approval.

Use these take-aways to revamp how you interact with others, spend your time and determine your team’s priorities.

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Top 5 Habits of Innovators

“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”
~William Pollard

Did you know that at most executives don’t feel personally responsible for being innovative? They feel that they are personally responsible for facilitating innovation, which is entirely different from actually coming up with the grand concepts that have created unique new business models and products.

So, what makes innovators different? Are innovators born or made? According to studies of identical twins separated at birth, our ability to think creatively comes one-third from genetics; but two-thirds of the innovation skill set comes through learning.

According to a six-year study conducted by Harvard Business Review authors, there are five habits that reveal the underpinnings of creative thinking. These habits are embraced by innovators such as Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines and Peter Thiel of PayPal. Would you like to share in the secret? Here we go:

1. Associating
The ability to successfully connect seemingly unrelated issues, ideas or questions from different fields.

2. Questioning
Constantly asking questions that challenge common wisdom.

3. Observing
Scrutinizing common phenomena-looking out for common behaviors and figuring out how things could be done differently.

4. Experimenting
Actively trying out new ideas by creating prototypes and launching pilots. (Think of Edison who said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve simply found 10,000 ways that do not work.”).

5. Networking
Devoting time and energy to finding and testing new ideas through a network of individuals and organizations.

Adapting these behaviors will boost your level of innovation. And what motivates innovators? According to one study, innovators actively desire to change the status quo, and they regularly take risks to make change happen. So, what are you waiting for? Start your innovation education today.

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Situation Room

Sharon was recently promoted to branch manager at a well-respected, local insurance company. She has worked hard to reach this level; she knows the insurance business inside and out. However, as the manager of over 30 employees in her office, she has found that much of her position does not relate to what she knows about the industry. To her surprise, she spends most of her time handling conflict and morale issues.

Today, she has to confront Jim, an angry account manager. He is disgruntled, because a client who was originally his account has moved her business to another account rep. Although she did so because she didn’t receive the service she wanted from Jim, he feels cheated, and is, of course, bitter about losing the commission on a long-standing customer account. The situation between the two agents is causing tension at the office, and it even seems like they are about to blow up at each other.

Like many of us, Sharon has been putting off this confrontation, in hopes that it would go away. The result is that the tension is now much worse than it was two weeks ago. she has to handle the situation with savi, but her strengths do not lie in the realm of emotional intelligence.

If you were Sharon, how would you handle this situation? Share your solution!

If you send in a solution, I’ll reward you with a free opportunity to take the Emotional Intelligence Profile. It’s a leadership oriented assessment and development tool.

Featured Tool
Janus Performance Management & Development System w/CD
The Janus Performance Management System is an extensive performance management support system for organizations to ensure that individuals and teams are focused and assisted in achieving personal and enterprise wide goals and objectives.

Janus is a fully integrated suite of materials that will help individuals, teams, and whole organizations set effective performance goals, build competency standards, and conduct an effective appraisal.

The system provides a comprehensive, step-by-step approach for both appraisees and appraisers, with training material, coaching guides, forms, and templates.

Seven training modules are included:

  • Introduction to the Performance Management System
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Learn more.


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