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Understanding Why We Overreact at Work

Dirk was puzzled about what just happened. To the best of his knowledge, he had only asked Jerome (a recently hired senior executive), to deal more proactively with some of the company’s clients. But Jerome had suddenly become angry, defensive, and stalked out of his office.<p>Jerome, for his part, …

Psychology

A More Humane Approach to Firing People

Every manager knows the termination playbook: Be direct, keep it short, walk the employee out the door, shut down access to email, and so on. Having led three businesses, managed thousands of employees, and overseen hundreds of terminations, I had always followed the playbook drilled into me by …

5 Things to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed by Your Workload

Do your to-do lists stretch on and on — and on? Do you dread checking email on Friday afternoons, worried about seeing messages piling up when you’re just trying to get out the door? Or maybe you’ve noticed that anxiety is preventing you from concentrating on whatever you’re currently doing. You …

Self-help

3 Ways to Improve Your Decision Making

To make a good decision, you need to have a sense of two things: how different choices change the likelihood of different outcomes and how desirable each of those outcomes is. In other words, as Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb have written, decision making requires both prediction and …

How to Lead When You’re Feeling Afraid

I’d known Jeff (not his real name) for many years, as a client and as a friend, but I’d never seen him so thrown. I could feel his fear, his sense of uncertainty.<p>And it was with good reason.<p>Jeff was the head of sales for a company whose product was, more or less, impossible to sell.<p>His company, …

Leadership

8 Ways to Read (a Lot) More Books This Year

How much do you read?<p>For most of my adult life I read maybe five books a year — if I was lucky. I’d read a couple on vacation and I’d always have a few slow burners hanging around the bedside table for months.<p>And then last year I surprised myself by reading 50 books. This year I’m on pace for 100. …

What to Do When You’re Feeling Distracted at Work

Sometimes there’s so much going on in your life, and the world, that you can’t focus. What can you do when every time you sit down at your desk, you feel distracted? How can you get back to feeling focused and productive?<p><b>What the Experts Say</b><br>Feeling distracted and unproductive is something most …

What One Company Learned from Forcing Employees to Use Their Vacation Time

Have you ever felt burned out at work <i>after</i> a vacation? I’m not talking about being exhausted from fighting with your family at Walt Disney World all week. I’m talking about how <i>you knew</i>, the whole time walking around Epcot, that a world of work was waiting for you upon your return.<p>Our vacation …

Faculty Summer Reading Recommendations

Harvard Business School faculty members share their summer reading lists, pulling from the worlds of science, history, and fiction to inform their …

Pressure Doesn’t Have to Turn into Stress

When I was in my late twenties, I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Doctors operated and told me to hope for the best. I returned to Japan, where I was working, and tried to forget about it. The tumors returned a year later, this time in my liver. After a long search, the surgeons found a new …

A Harvard negotiations expert explains why Trump failed to get a heath-care deal

By Jena McGregor<p>Jena McGregor<p>Reporter covering leadership issues in the headlines<p>Email Bio Follow<p>A number of parties share the blame for the Republicans' failed effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act: The GOP's hard-line Freedom Caucus. More moderate Republicans who couldn't get …

Donald Trump

How to Tell Your Boss You Have Too Much Work

These days it seems like most people have too much on their plate. Everyone complains about feeling overworked. So how do you tell your boss you simply have too much to do? No one wants to come across as lazy, uncommitted, or not a team player. How can you protect your image as a hard worker while …

How to Tackle Your Toughest Decisions

Christopher DeLorenzo<p>Every manager makes tough calls—it comes with the job. And the toughest calls come in the gray areas—situations where you and your team have worked hard to gather the facts and done the best analysis you can, but you still don’t know what to do. It’s easy to become paralyzed in …

6 of the Best Thickening Shampoos for Men

PRODUCTS AIMED TO MAKE YOUR HAIR FULLER, SILKY AND HEALTHIER<p><b>Some of you are lucky enough to be gifted with a head of thick hair,</b> however It’s …

Breathing Is the Key to Persuasive Public Speaking

Have you ever wondered why two people can say exactly the same thing in a meeting, but only one of them gets credit for it? Many times it’s the way we <i>sound</i> that makes the difference between whether or not we are actually <i>heard</i>.<p>We all know when someone sounds nervous or confident. Think about the …

How to Motivate Yourself When Your Boss Doesn’t

Let’s face it: some bosses are not inspiring. They don’t motivate us to perform at our best — let alone improve our skills. What should you do if your boss is too hands-off, ambivalent, or downright demotivating? How can you keep your engagement up and your own professional goals on track? Is it …

Get People to Listen to You When You’re Not Seen as an Expert

One of the most powerful forms of influence, according to psychologist Robert Cialdini’s famous analysis, is authority — often derived from perceived expertise. When a doctor advises us to exercise more, or a Nobel Laureate raises questions about a certain economic policy, we’re likely to pay much …

Reading List: Midcareer Crisis Series

HBR recently ran a series on midcareer crises and asked experts to tackle tough questions like: Should you consider a more fulfilling job with a pay cut when you’ve got a mortgage, bills, and college savings to worry about? How do you get the training or education you need to switch careers if …

How to Stay Productive When Everything Goes to $&@%#

<b>Takeaway</b>: A few weeks ago, I broke my ankle traveling overseas. For a couple of weeks my productivity was shot, but what worked better than anything …