Say What?

Understanding your personal communication style — and tailoring your messages to ensure that co-workers get the true meaning — can help you avoid serious management problems.

The Art of the Interview

Like Barbara Walters questioning a celebrity, managers can elicit valuable information from job candidates by artfully conducting an interview. Here’s how to sharpen your technique.

Surviving (and Thriving) With Difficult Co-Workers

Of all the people you work with, who would you least like to be stranded alone with on a desert island? While your worst nightmare is an unlikely scenario, problem people are permanent workplace fixtures, leaving you nowhere to run. Learning some emotional survival skills can help ease the pain of close encounters you can’t avoid.

A Kinder, Gentler (Legal) Way of Firing

Firing an employee can be painful, emotional and, if done incorrectly, costly. Following some basic procedures and acting as a corporate humanitarian rather than a corporate assassin can help you avoid the agony of a legal battle.

Corporate Turf Wars

Do you let ego and basic survival instincts dictate your workplace behavior? Are co-workers playing destructive power games that undermine your efforts? Being territorial isn’t always all bad, but if taken too far, it can work against you in today’s collaborative team environment.

Gifts That Keep on Giving

Keeping valued employees is a key part of your job. So what can you do to recognize a job well done when money is tight?

Good Job – Kind of, Sort of

Jim-Bob strives to be on time for meetings. Myrtle keeps improving her accuracy. What’s wrong with these word pictures of employee performance? If they’re part of a formal performance review, they send mixed signals – signals that could come back to haunt you in lawsuits. Here’s how to make your employee performance reviews accomplish their goals.

Measures of Value

Intellectual capital – the knowledge, information, intellectual property and experience that can be used to careate wealth – may revolutionize business reporting. But how can such intangibles be measured, and how can those measures be used without opening the door to potential abuse and litigation?

Fail-Safe Hiring

Some new approaches to hiring can help you snag and keep top talent.

Editor’s Note: this was written in 1999 during the labor shortage, but some of the advice offered is of long-lasting value.

The Language of Leadership

Never confuse talking and communicating. A little self-examination about what you say – and how you say it – can mean the difference between a listener tuning you out and hanging on your every word.

Position of Strength

When companies retain consultants to help implement strategic initiatives, they often fall into the trap of giving up too much control and overpaying for solutions that don’t work. Here’s how to strengthen consulting engagements and get your money’s worth out of expensive hired muscle.

The Art of Arguing

Lawyers do it, sports agents do it and finance executives do it – though some might not want to admit it. “Argue” has become a politically incorrect word, but skillful arguing is as necessary for career success as sound financial analysis. Here are pointers from pros of dispute resolution.

Editor’s Note: though written from a finance perspective, the advice is universal

Everyone’s a Critic

Few would argue with the claim that when it comes to criticism, ’tis better to give than to receive. Why then is criticizing employee performance so hard? Here are 10 ways to elevate criticism to a constructive level.

Clone Rangers

What makes your top performers so productive? If you knew, you could hire more people like them. Traditional measures can’t unlock the mysteries, because they don’t reflect human nature and job experience, but some companies are coming closer to answering this question.

Orchestrating a Comeback

Companies keep sending employees overseas and losing them shortly after their return. This brain drain carries a high price tag – and it’s often avoidable.