Dianna Booher

Dianna Booher works with organizations to improve their productivity through clear communication and with individuals to increase their impact by a stronger executive presence.

Did you ever play a game as a child when you made up the rules as you went along?  I’m guessing that those evolving rules often proved to be a source of contention!

Leaders at work find the same to be true. When managers decide to disregard their moral compass as the official business handbook, they begin to make up the rules as they move along. Anything can happen, and the situation frequently proves to be a source of conflict.

Managers hear questions every day.  Some serious; some trivial.  “Are the merger rumors true?” “How much is our budget being cut?”  “Can we extend our deadline a couple of days?”  “Is our team going to have to work over the weekend?”

But the ONE question that you have to answer correctly every single time is this:  “What are you working on?”

It’s particularly crucial that you give the answer right when responding to your own boss. But your reputation can also suffer when you blow that question with your colleagues.

Have you ever met a manager who intended to motivate staff but instead demoralized them?  Most have no idea of their negative effect. And that’s definitely not their intention. In talking with such managers or those who report to them, what surfaces are habits, attitudes, practices, and skill deficiencies that lead employees to disrespect, disengage, and decide to leave them for a more pleasant workplace.

The first day I sauntered into Miss Amos’s English class, I was scared. Not because of the subject or because this was my first day in a big city school—I was startled by her face. My first thought: Did some terrible disease do this to her?

“He’s fast on his feet” or “She has a clear head on her shoulders.” “He’s definitely a thought-leader in the industry.” These current kudos pique a leader’s attention. After all, leaders look to hire, promote, and listen to those who think clearly and communicate well.

But what if you’re naturally quiet and slow to speak up in a crowd?  How do people really gauge how well you think—particularly when your interactions are brief and infrequent?  Can you still convey the same sense of being an astute, clear thinker as your more outgoing colleagues?

I think you can.

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