Managing Hourly Employees: Two Stories

by Shaun Kieran

I usually use the term “battlefield promotion” with my tongue in my cheek when I’m discussing managerial careers, but Jim’s situation was almost literally true.   Jim worked at one of those “quick oil change” places.  He’d taken the job in early May, right as he was finishing his Junior year of college, and planned […]

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Emotional Intelligence: Meet Phil

by Shaun Kieran

I once had a client we’ll call Phil, who came to see me because, as he put it, “Work is starting to get to me, and I’m not handling things the way I should.” He was a supervisor in a blue collar environment, mostly men, but an increasing number of women.  My usual strategy of […]

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Dear Ray: Counsel to a Newbie

by Shaun Kieran

Dear Ray: I remember our last chat in the lobby outside the auditorium waiting for the main speaker to close out the conference. You seemed a little wistful compared to our previous encounters, and I wondered whether being up to your Adams apple in clients now is more of a cold shower than you’d anticipated. […]

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EI meet Phil III

by Shaun Kieran

Privately, I affectionately refer to people like Phil as “lunkheads,” and sure, some of them do have a small dark side like the rest of us, – but still, they’re mostly decent people who’ve embraced their “character,” and are usually just looking to play out the string. Phil liked me enough to go farther down the road […]

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Emotional Intelligence: Meet Phil II

by Shaun Kieran

Phil’s boss wanted me to “fix” him, but what that really meant wasn’t clear.   Phil had been there going on 18 years, had outlasted several management makeovers, and an ownership change. Even though there were no barriers to firing him, like a union or strict seniority policies, there was no stomach for it either. […]

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Managing is not for sissies

by Shaun Kieran

Not everyone takes to managing. I’ve seen highly competent people, responsible for big projects involving huge dollar amounts, totally fall apart when called upon to deal with a “people” problem in the workplace. Too often, they “handle” it by simply not handling it, letting it play out, then – when the situation has broken wide-open […]

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Managing and Parenting, Different (but the Same)

by Shaun Kieran

People can get really cranked up over this one!  Frankly, I’d avoid the comparison if it didn’t keep coming up, and wasn’t so obviously true: peoples’ feelings about work colleagues – up and down the line – spring from very elemental needs — acceptance, approval, identity, and self-preservation (among others.)  So when I’m talking to […]

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No Retorts, Please

by Shaun Kieran

 I spend more time than I should stating what should be basic and obvious to supervisors: don’t be overly concerned about having a quick “comeback” when talking to an employee. Our culture seems to nudge people to respond instantly – no hesitation – for fear of appearing weak.   So when a supervisor speaks to an employee […]

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Why so much bad Management?

by Shaun Kieran

Here’s a link to my comment on David Maister’s excellent blog added to a long thread about why bad management persists. http://davidmaister.com/blog/477/Why-Does-Bad-Management-Thrive-So-Much

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Appreciative Inquiry: A Conversation with Bob Siegfried

by Shaun Kieran

Here’s the link to a fairly long ( 1hr 20 min) conversation I had with Bob Siegfried about Appreciative Inquiry.  My plan is to learn Audacity well enough to edit it down.  

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