mysum

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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: …

How to Make Sure You’re Heard in a Difficult Conversation

<i>HBR STAFF</i><p>A difficult conversation has to be a two-way street. You’re unlikely to come to a resolution if you don’t hear the other person out. But equally important when addressing a conflict is getting your message across. So after you’ve thoroughly listened to your counterpart, increase the …

How Making Time for Books Made Me Feel Less Busy

Six months ago, I found myself drowning in a flood of easy information. The internet—and all the lovely things on it, things like Wikipedia, Twitter, podcasts, the New Yorker, email, TED Talks, Facebook, Youtube, Buzzfeed occasionally, and yes, even the Harvard Business Review—provide unlimited …

To Improve Your Focus, Notice How You Lose It

We’ve all been there. You try to focus on a task and soon you’re looking out the window, wondering about dinner, analyzing your golf game, fantasizing about your lover. How did your mind end up in Cancun, when you were supposed to be thinking about first-quarter strategy?<p>The normal act of …

The Evolving Cyberthreat

Jimmy Zombie<p>Cybercrime is one of the hottest topics of the digital age. Media outlets are full of stories about retailers, governments, tech companies, celebrities, ordinary people—everything and everyone—getting hacked. Even baseball teams are hacking their rivals now. And the latest series in the …

The Best Leaders Are Constant Learners

As Juan Manuel Fangio exited the chicane before the blind Tabac corner in the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix, he stomped on the brake. It was a counterintuitive reaction for a racing driver exiting a corner — but one that likely saved his life. By slowing down he avoided plowing into a multi-car pile-up, …

Learning

How to Turn a Bad Day Around

Let’s face it. Life can be full of frustrations—an argument with your teenager over breakfast, a missed train, or even just a spilled coffee can make you wish you could crawl back into bed. How can you change your mood when you’ve started your day off on the wrong foot? How do you stop annoyances …

How to Build the Social Ties You Need at Work

Relationships at work matter. Getting along with your coworkers not only makes your days more pleasant but also makes you better at your job. So what should you do if you realize you’re eating lunch alone every day or that you don’t even exchange pleasantries with your colleagues? How can you build …

Do You Know Who Holds Your Office Together?

A happily married couple we know advises that you should treat your spouse at least as well as you do a stranger. This advice holds true at work as well. What would it look like if managers were as polite and nurturing to one another and their subordinates as they are to customers? What if C-suite …

3 Ways to Encourage Smarter Teamwork

Business problems today are too big for any one person to solve. Agile teams are much more effective at solving problems than are lone geniuses. So why do we still reward the smartest people in the room more so than those who excel at working with others? You know who I’m talking about: the people …

The Reason Smart People Sometimes Struggle with “Aha” Moments

HBR STAFF<p>I’m increasingly jealous of people with fantastic working memories — as psychologists define it, the ability to ”hold and manipulate information in a temporary active state.” These people can get where they’re going without constantly staring at the GPS, can remember new people’s names …

Stress Is Your Brain Trying to Avoid Something

Stress exists in every workplace, and all of us have probably tried a few trendy stress-management approaches. But rather than trying the latest fad, it may be more effective to understand how stress works and where it comes from, so that you can create your own methods for dealing with it.<p>Stress …

How to Stop Overplanning (Even If You’re a Perfectionist)

When done well, daily and weekly planning rituals can help you travel gracefully through life in a peaceful, intentional manner. But sometimes, overplanning your day-to-day activities can make you a neurotic, stressed-out person who feels like you would have been better off if you hadn’t planned …

9 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Introverts And Extroverts

Despite how easy it is to share our thoughts on social media, nothing will ever beat face-to-face conversation. And when we have the opportunity to directly engage with friends, family, colleagues or neighbors -- whether it’s over a cup of coffee or at the dinner table -- we could all use a little …

Behavioral Sciences

Your food porn could have a new home on Google Maps

It seems like Google wants to know what you had for dinner. According to <i>Android Police</i>, the company is testing a new feature in its Maps app that will detect when photos are taken at restaurants and other places that serve food, and offer to attach them to the establishment's location. For now, the …

Amazon Is Right That Disagreement Results in Better Decisions

Kenneth Andersson for HBR<p>When I worked in the federal government, I was amazed at the large numbers of factual errors in widely-read stories, even in the best newspapers. As a colleague of mine, a staunch Democrat, observed in 2009, “I now think that at least half of the things I most disliked …

You’re Already More Persuasive than You Think

It’s amazing the opportunities we miss because we doubt our own powers of persuasion.<p>Our bosses make shortsighted decisions, but we don’t suggest an alternative, figuring they wouldn’t listen anyway. Or we have an idea that would require a group effort, but we don’t try to sell our peers on it, …

The Top Complaints from Employees About Their Leaders

If you’re the kind of boss who fails to make genuine connections with your direct reports, take heed: 91% of employees say communication issues can drag executives down, according to results from our new Interact/Harris Poll, which was conducted online with roughly 1,000 U.S. workers.<p>In the survey, …

What You Miss When You Take Notes on Your Laptop

HBR STAFF<p>Even in my relatively short foray into office life, I notice that few people bring a pen and notebook to meetings. I’ve been told that over the years, the spiral notebooks and pens once prevalent during weekly meetings have been replaced with laptops and slim, touch-screen tablets.<p>I …

How to Manage People Who Are Smarter than You

The best managers hire smart people to work for them. But what if your direct reports are smarter than you? How do you manage people who have more experience or more knowledge? How do you coach them if you don’t have the same level of expertise?<p><b>What the Experts Say</b> <br>Getting promoted to a job that …

What Only the CEO Can Do

I became Procter & Gamble’s CEO in June 2000, in the midst of a crisis. On March 7 of that year the company had announced that it would not meet its projected third-quarter earnings, and the stock price plummeted from $86 to $60 in one day, leading the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a 374-point …

7 Ways to Improve Employee Development Programs

Making the right investments in learning and development programs has never been more important – or more of a challenge – for business leaders.<p>Unfortunately, despite spending approximately $164.2 billion dollars on learning and development programs, many executives still grapple with how to …

Create a Conversation, Not a Presentation

Nicholas Blechman for HBR<p>When I worked as a consultant, I was perennially guilty of “the great unveil” in presentations—that tendency to want to save key findings for the last moment and then reveal them, expecting a satisfying moment of awe. My team and I would work tirelessly to drive to the …

Write a Resume Summary That'll Stop Recruiters in Their Tracks

How long will recruiters spend on your résumé before deciding to toss it in the recycle bin? Six seconds, says online job search site The Ladders. That’s about 20 to 30 words.<p>So how do you write those first few lines of your resume—the summary section—to compel the recruiter to keep reading? How do …

The Best Presentations Are Tailored to the Audience

Nicholas Blechman for HBR<p><i>When preparing a presentation, we all remember to think about the basics: what you want to say, the data you need to back it up, any visuals that might help. But what about the people you’re presenting to? The following excerpt from the book</i> Presentations <i>will help you</i> …

People Offer Better Ideas When They Can’t See What Others Suggest

Companies from BMW to Kraft have invested a good deal in soliciting “open innovation” ideas from consumers, but the results have been underwhelming: Of the more than 23,000 ideas gathered by Dell’s Idea Storm site, only 2% have been put to use, and Starbucks has implemented an even smaller fraction …

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 …

A Quick Guide to Avoiding Common Writing Errors

You’re looking at an e-mail you just wrote, and you’re not sure whether you have the right word: Do you want affect or effect? Further or farther? Gray or grey? Getting it wrong can make you look bad — people do judge you by the way you write — but you also don’t have all day to look up words. It …

Case Study: Is a Promotion Worth Hiding Who You Are?

Cliff Mills<p>“I have some news,” David Lee told his team member Mark Brown. David was the president of the U.S. division of the Korean conglomerate Hanguk Industries, where Mark, a vice president of technology, reported to him.<p>“Good news?” Mark asked.<p>“That depends, I guess,” David said, looking a …

Ace the Assessment

Ryan Chapman<p>If you thought your test-taking days ended when you left school, think again. Recent research shows that about 76% of organizations with more than 100 employees rely on assessment tools such as aptitude and personality tests for external hiring. That figure is expected to climb to 88% …