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Getting People to Help You

<b>Heidi Grant,</b> a social psychologist, explains the right ways and wrong ways to ask colleagues for help. She says people are much more likely to lend us a hand than we think they are; they just want it to be a rewarding experience. Grant is the author of <i>Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help …

How to Identify and Tell Your Most Powerful Stories

When I ask executives what their favorite speech is, Steve Jobs’s Stanford commencement address is always at the top of the list. Many think of Jobs’s talk as their favorite because it is incredibly moving <b>—</b> thanks to the stories it contains.<p>Execs love to hear talks like this, but few are …

Middle School

How Are You Protecting Your High Performers from Burnout?

A little over a year ago, a high-performing specialist at one of the largest technologies companies — we’ll call him Santiago — was given an opportunity no high performer could turn down: an opportunity to play a manager role on a project he really cared about. The director told him, “You care …

Burnout

The Most Productive Meetings Have Fewer Than 8 People

There are many problems with the way most meetings are run. One of the most political is the invite list. Deciding who to include can be tough but too many managers default to including everyone. In an effort to not make anyone feel left out, they unknowingly decrease the quality of the meeting. …

The Terrible Question Too Many Employers Ask Job Candidates

<i>The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute</i> …

Nonverbal Cues Get Employees to Open Up—or Shut Down

Studies on power posing show that intentionally adjusting your body posture, facial expressions, and voice can help you express your ideas and concerns and win greater influence. This is true no matter what title or position you hold. Simply comporting yourself <i>as if</i> you’re a rung or two higher …

Silicon Valley just had a 'binders full of women' moment

Is it really 2015?<p>Or maybe it's 2012, when Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney explained during a debate how he found women for his leadership team as governor when only men had applied. He got "binders full of women" to help find the right ones.<p>Silicon Valley is having yet another Mitt …

How to Negotiate with Someone More Powerful than You

<i>HBR STAFF</i><p>Going into a negotiation with someone who holds more power than you do can be a daunting prospect. Whether you are asking your boss for a new assignment or attempting to land a major business deal with a client, your approach to the negotiation can dramatically affect your chances of …

Getting to Si, Ja, Oui, Hai, and Da

Tim Carr, an American working for a defense company based in the midwestern United States, was about to enter a sensitive bargaining session with a high-level Saudi Arabian customer, but he wasn’t particularly concerned. Carr was an experienced negotiator and was well-trained in basic principles: …

Emotion and the Art of Negotiation

It is, without question, my favorite day of the semester—the day when I teach my MBA students a negotiation exercise called “Honoring the Contract.”<p>I assign students to partners, and each reads a different account of a (fictitious) troubled relationship between a supplier (a manufacturer of …

What to Do with All the Business Cards from Your Last Conference

Business travel should be about relationship building, but so often the stress of dealing with logistics and the anxiety of meeting a whole whack of new people keep it from being an effective way to connect, especially at conferences. Using social tools can focus your on-the-road time on the people …

The Best Jobs Now Require You To Be A People Person

And that’s better news for women than for men.<p>Are you good at math? A computer whiz? Well, great! Presumably your “hard skills” are a surefire ticket …

How to Win Friends and Influence People with User-Centered Copywriting

Whether you’re writing marketing copy or UX copy, your goal is to get the user to take action. But in order to get users to act, you need to overcome …

UX Design

For Better Presentations, Start with a Villain

Many executives start presentations about products or initiatives with a vague theme statement, often expressed with as much pith as a puff of smoke: “We have a new focus on customer satisfaction,” or “Our current strategic goals are execution and innovation.” But this approach is not only lacking …

How to Give a Data-Heavy Presentation

<i>HBR STAFF</i><p>Data storytelling has become a powerful part of the communications toolkit, allowing both journalists and marketers to communicate key messages by using data and data visualization to drive articles, blog posts, and reports. But the power of data storytelling isn’t limited to written …

The Essential Guide to Crafting a Work Email

You, like me, probably rattle off emails quickly, all day (and sometimes all night) long. And that means the people receiving your emails are doing exactly the same thing. Whether this is good or bad for us, generally speaking, is an open question. But until we all get better at dealing with email …

How Women Can Show Passion at Work Without Seeming “Emotional”

One of our coaching clients, a VP at a consumer products company, was abruptly silenced when she tried to make a point at a recent executive committee meeting. The problem? She was passionate — and it didn’t go over well.<p>Sales at the organization had plummeted, and the group was discussing the …

How to Create an Emotional Connection With Remote Employees

Co-workers who don't work at headquarters often struggle to feel connected to the overall company culture. Here's a proven way to help bridge the social and emotional distance.<p>What's the difference between a remote team that performs like a happy, cohesive unit and one that performs poorly?<p>Tsedal …

You Really Can Change Your Reputation at Work

Do you ever feel that people have the wrong impression of you at work? Maybe you’ve been pegged as arrogant after you advocated for your project or as a pushover after a negotiation gone awry. How can you change others’ perceptions of you? Should you directly address the reputation you want to …

What are the best tips and hacks for speaking with eloquence and sophistication?

<i>Answer by Nicolas Cole on Quora.</i><p>I’ve been very fortunate to have been given various opportunities at the very young age of 25 to learn beside some …

Our management tip of the day: Motivating employees requires persuasion, not direction http://t.co/JMp7TWGTiY

Today's management tip: If you want to get someone's attention, make your point quickly http://t.co/UImuSGqw8R

Create a Culture Where Difficult Conversations Aren’t So Hard

Photo by TOM EVERSLEY<p>I worked as a consultant for many years before becoming the CEO of Red Hat. One of the most surprising aspects of that work was that people would open up to me, an outsider, about all the elephants in the room — but they were too polite or embarrassed to call out the obvious …

Being Professionally Personable on Facebook

When people talk about using social media to advance their careers, they’re usually talking about LinkedIn, Twitter, or maybe their blog. But the reality is that more people use Facebook than any other social network, which means that sooner or later, you need a Facebook strategy for your …

Giving Feedback When You’re Conflict Averse

“Conflict avoiders are generally people who value harmony in the workplace,” writes Amy Gallo in the <i>HBR Guide to Managing Conflict at Work.</i> ”When they sense a disagreement brewing, they will often try to placate the other person or change the topic. These aren’t passive behaviors, but active things …

How to Keep Support for Your Project from Evaporating

Even years later, I still consider it my biggest professional failure: a company-wide employee training program that I’d developed and put through several rounds of vetting was shot down at the last minute. It was a painful surprise, and it changed the way I’ve sought support for new initiatives …

How to Give Tough Feedback That Helps People Grow

Over the years, I’ve asked hundreds of executive students what skills they believe are essential for leaders. “The ability to give tough feedback” comes up frequently. But what exactly is “tough feedback”? The phrase connotes bad news, like when you have to tell a team member that they’ve screwed …

Is How You Deliver Feedback Doing More Harm than Good?

Feedback is key to improving performance. And yet when feedback sessions are poorly delivered, they harm employee engagement and productivity levels. A seminal meta-analysis suggested that although almost 70% of feedback recipients will perform above average, 30% of feedback interventions actually</i> …

A 6-Part Structure for Giving Clear and Actionable Feedback

Robert was the head of an East Coast insurance company. His greatest asset was his large, extroverted personality. He was the classic glad-handing, backslapping, high-energy salesman. His problem was a familiar one, too: a great salesman – even one with charisma — doesn’t necessarily make a great …

Improve Your Writing to Improve Your Credibility

People jump to all kinds of conclusions about you when they read documents you have written. They decide, for instance, how smart, how creative, how well organized, how trustworthy, and how considerate you are. And once they have made up their minds, it is hard to get them to see you differently. …