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People and Teams Stories
Smiling woman holding a large box, photo by bruce mars Thinking Inside the Box before Venturing Outside It

In their rush to solve a problem, teams often overlook conventional methods in favor of out-of-the-box ideas. But sometimes, the old standbys—thinking first, reviewing criteria, and asking questions—work the best. Before jumping to creative tactics, start by examining the possibilities readily available inside the box.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Email icon showing 99 unread messages How to Slim Down Your Bloated Email Inbox

If you're spending too much time checking and answering your email—and frankly, who doesn't feel that way—you may just need to revamp your email routine. Here are some techniques for getting a handle on your messages, including better prioritization and categorization. You may even get to the coveted inbox zero.

Beth Romanik's picture
Beth Romanik
Manager with tape over her mouth Things Managers Should Never Say

Managers have to communicate regularly with the people they're managing. However, managers also need to try harder to be mindful of what they are saying, instead of speaking before they think. Here are some things a manager should never say—avoid these lines and people will be more likely to follow your lead.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Caution tape stretching across a construction site 5 Pitfalls Agile Coaches Must Avoid

Successful agile teams often have a coach driving continuous improvement. While some coaches are effective initially, many eventually succumb to pitfalls that inhibit their team’s growth and fail to compel any lasting changes. Here are five common pitfalls of agile coaches in most projects that fail to improve.

Alan Crouch's picture
Alan Crouch
Microphone Send the Right Message: Monitor Your Choice of Voice

When we communicate with our coworkers, what’s important in getting our point across is not just what we say, but how we say it. Most of the time, we intuitively moderate our tone to convey friendliness, seriousness, or disappointment, but that can change when we're stressed. Be sure you're sending the right message.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Three coworkers laughing in their office, photo by Priscilla Du Preez Why Laughter Is a Sign of Creative, Productive Teams

Laughter is a sign that people feel relaxed and safe. In a workplace, safety leads to environments that enable more idea generation and innovation, so one approach to improving teammates' creativity and connection is to encourage laughter. But how can you do that so it doesn't feel forced? Steve Berczuk has some ideas.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Five coworkers fist-bumping in a culture of continuous improvement Building a Culture of Continuous Improvement

A culture of continuous improvement means you are open to improving how you build and deliver. You don't accept the status quo; you choose how to work and feel empowered to change it if it no longer makes sense. Kevin Goldsmith gives some ideas for frameworks to adopt in order to move toward this people-first culture.

Kevin Goldsmith's picture
Kevin Goldsmith
Woman looking at question marks on a chalkboard What Intelligent People Say Instead of “I Don’t Know”

It takes a certain level of self-confidence to admit to not knowing something when people view you as the expert. Still, if you don’t know the answer and you (or others) think you should, you have some options other than “I don’t know.” These alternative responses are more useful to you and to your questioner.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten