Naomi Karten is a highly experienced speaker and seminar leader who draws from her psychology and IT backgrounds to help organizations improve customer satisfaction, manage change, and strengthen teamwork. She has delivered seminars and keynotes to more than 100,000 people internationally. Naomi's newest books are Presentation Skills for Technical Professionals and Changing How You Manage and Communicate Change. Her other books and ebooks include Managing Expectations, Communication Gaps and How to Close Them, and How to Survive, Excel and Advance as an Introvert. Readers have described her newsletter, Perceptions & Realities, as lively, informative, and a breath of fresh air. She is a regular columnist for TechWell.com. When not working, Naomi's passion is skiing deep powder. Contact her at [email protected] or via her Web site, www.nkarten.com.
You may be totally serious about your job yet give the impression that you’re not. Laughter and fun help some people tackle the high-priority, stress-inducing problems they face every day, but it can also be misinterpreted by others that they aren't taking their work seriously. How are people perceiving your behavior?
It seems like the only way some customers know how to communicate is to accuse, complain, and verbally attack. This only gets worse if there are delays. But when you do your best to build trust with customers early on, they are more likely to accept explanations about setbacks, even if they don’t fully understand them.
The tendency to look back and think you know what contributed to a success is called survivorship bias. It occurs when you make a decision or take some action based on past successes while ignoring past failures. That's why it's important to approach reports of successful projects with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Many people can’t take all the vacation time they’re entitled to. Some take it, but they're so constantly in contact that they might as well be in the office. Taking time off reduces stress, improves focus, and even increases productivity once you're back at work, so even if you can't travel, take your vacation time.
NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month—is a month off, but it’s not too soon to commit to participate. The goal is to write 50,000 words (about 175 pages) during November. That may seem crazy, but there's lots of guidance and support available online and in local writer chapters. Break through that writer's block!
Simply listening to what a new boss says can be a good way to detect what’s important to them. Instead of bombarding the boss with an overview of your accomplishments or a declaration of what you view as significant, start by paying attention. You’ll be showing an interest in their needs and demonstrating your value.
It's not easy to give tough feedback. But delaying, withholding, or sugarcoating critical feedback is ultimately a disservice—to the individual, the team, and the work involved. Giving timely, constructive feedback is one of the most important roles of any manager. Here’s how to handle these delicate situations.