JobDig Career Advice
JobDig presents expert tips and advice on all career related issues. Whether you're looking for a
new job or ways to improve your current career and life, our career experts have the answers. Learn
more about our career experts:
Newest Managing Articles
I've always loved the fairy tale, "The Emperor's New Clothes."
It's such a wonderful metaphor for situations in life in which one
person sees things one way and another person doesn't see it at
all. Take the example of organizational change. What one person can
visualize, another can't. And that's where resistance comes in.
"Resistance" is a word we use to describe what a person is doing
if they d...
I appreciated an article you wrote in which you cover hints for
new employees. I would be very interested in a column covering this
situation from the perspectives of the other parties as well; the
current employees and the manager. A particular problem I encounter
as a manager of technical employees is finding a way to help new
employees bring ideas from their former position into thei...
The yearly performance review can be a stressful time for
everyone. Employees don’t like to hear them and bosses
don’t like to prepare them. They’re difficult to do,
time consuming and don’t really allow both parties to walk
away feeling like something good was accomplished. In some cases,
it can be demoralizing and hurt the employee’s work
performance instead of bols...
Dear Joan: I have recently been promoted to a fairly senior
position in a large company. I’m wondering if you can give me
any tips for developing good working relationships with my new
peers. They are all experienced, strong leaders who run major parts
of our business.
I am in more of a support role. I have a new function and my
staff will interface with their people and make changes in thei...
“They used to say in the industry:
location, location, location. I say people, people, people; you
invest in stores, you invest in events, but investment in people is
the most important.” That strong statement is from Sidney
Toledano, the CEO of Dior, speaking in a recent interview in the Financial
Sometimes, as we read articles or books, there are certain words
or statements th...
I have a new hire that, just days short of reaching his
six-month probation period, lied to me three times in one
conversation. While verifying progress on a pilot program that was
his sole responsibility, I asked three project-specific questions.
There was no chance of miscommunication because the questions were:
Did you do step 1 and how did it go? “Yes, easy
Dear Joan: I work for a small business as a
supervisor. We have 75 employees who are very dedicated and we work
hard all year. A few of us were talking recently about how hard it
is to concentrate during the summer months. We live in Michigan and
when summer comes, it's hard to come to work when it's so nice
We were trying to think of some things that we could do that
would be fun t...
Have you ever attended a meeting as a guest but couldn’t
tell who the leader was, because multiple people asked their
teammates tough questions? I’ve been to a few where if I
hadn’t already known the leader, I wouldn’t have been
able to guess. Those meetings were attended by high-performing
teams where peer accountability was firmly entrenched. Everyone
expected the best of...
The best of the best project managers are part people-master and
Over at the
American Management Association, Tom Kendrick, author of
Project Management Problems and How to Solve Them, asked
readers how to assess if they have what it takes to be successful
project managers (PMs). What qualities do the
best PMs most frequently display?
best project managers ar...
Managers have been getting a lot of attention lately. They've
been the subject of hundreds of books on leadership, teamwork,
empowerment and excellence. They've been struggling to find their
place in the new order of things. It hasn't been easy. In years
past, when a manager said, "Jump!" employees said, "How high?"
Today, when a manager says, "Jump!" employees say, "Why?" because
they want to und...
One of the eternal quests of the modern business leader is the
search for the Holy Grail of worker motivation—as if
there’s just one secret, one formula or recipe, that will
instantly and permanently push a team’s productivity through
the roof. It’s a nice fantasy, but you quickly learn that
nothing works for everyone. Fortunately, most people respond well
to intrinsic rewa...
Team wide goal setting is crucial if you expect to maximize and
maintain your productivity. Your team members must always be clear
about what your goals are, and how you’ll get there; that
should be a given. But realize that some of your team members will
have a better understanding of goal-setting than others, so
it’s up to you to make sure they all stay on the same
One of the hobgoblins of teamwork is groupthink. This occurs
when a team rubber stamps the decisions of the team leader or a
particularly strong personality without debate. Groupthink destroys
creativity and innovation, and it often occurs because people have
learned that fighting for something isn’t worth the effort.
If they get punished for even trying, or no one listens to them
I wanted to comment on a column you wrote recently about a
regional director who was bright and competent but would have
unchecked temper tantrums and screaming fits. There seems to be two
mindsets concerning employees of this man's nature.
"Yes, he's a jerk, but he brings in over a million a year in
revenue." We have this situation in the company I work for. Never
“All their training is based on positive reinforcement. We
keep fish throughout the area and as part of our training routine,
we reinforce and reward with a fish. This is how we train them to
master a maneuver.”
This comment was from the trainer that trains the sea lions at
SeaWorld. I’m a big fan of certain channels such as Animal
Planet, Discovery and my all time favorite, Nati...
I am an office manager in a medium-sized company. Prior to this
promotion one year ago, I worked with the women I now supervise.
After my promotion, I had my share of resentment and jealousy from
these women. They have gotten much better and I finally can say I'm
beginning to enjoy supervision.
My problem centers around one woman who was out on a maternity
leave and who is now back. Sh...
Dear Joan:We have flextime at my place of
employment. You may choose to begin work any time (in half-hour
increments) between 7:00 am and 9:00 am, with the core hours being
9:00 to 3:30. The problem that we are confronted with is the
underwriting manager has elected to work the 8:00 to 4:30 shift. It
has been brought to his attention that there are people abusing the
flextime (we don't punch...
As we enter 2016, I’d like to pose a question to anyone
reading this who feels a bit overwhelmed: how will
youregaincontrolof your time?
I’ve spent most of my career providing answers to that
question, in terms of time management, self-discipline, setting
personal boundaries, intelligent use of new technology,
flexibility, speed, and more. The answers are many and
Effective teams are most often led by leaders who expect
innovation and therefore encourage diverse viewpoints.This is no
secret, despite the fact that—as cynics will surely point
out—we rarely practice the concept adequately. However, we
also let pettiness, bureaucracy, groupthink, disengagement,
laziness, and other failings hinder our creativity and slow us
down. Business as usual ru...
For many managers, the end of the year means performance review
time. A performance review discussion can leave the employee
feeling motivated and appreciated, but if it is poorly handled it
will do just the opposite, and it will damage the relationship.
Here are some common mistakes and how to avoid them:
Mistake: Only focusing on the last few months
or on a specific incident.
Solution: Keep an e...