The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.
So, let’s go with some discoveries from the week!
#1 – Taking The Stress Out of Stressful Conversations
#2 – There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives
#3 – The Socially Intelligent Leader
#4 – How to Combat Virtual Meeting Fatigue
#5 – Smart Leaders Focus on Execution First and Strategy Second
Taking The Stress Out of Stressful Conversations
Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Holly Weeks
Summary: Sometimes—more often than we’d like—we have stressful conversations, those sensitive exchanges that can hurt or haunt us in ways no other kind of talking does. Stressful conversations are unavoidable in life, and in business, they can run the gamut from firing a subordinate to, curiously enough, receiving praise. But whatever the context, stressful conversations differ from other conversations because of the emotional loads they carry
“… Stressful conversations are never easy, but we can all fare better if, like Jacqueline, we prepare for them by developing greater awareness of our vulnerabilities and better techniques for handling ourselves…“
“… People think stressful conversations are inevitable. And they are. But that doesn’t mean they have to have bad resolutions…“
“… The advice and tools described in this article can be helpful in unilaterally reducing the strain of stressful conversations. All you have to do is try them. If one technique doesn’t work, try another. Find phrasing that feels natural. But keep practicing—you’ll find what works best for you…”
There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives
Source: Management Review
Author: George T. Doran
Summary: A characteristic of management excellence is a climate in which company officers and managers talk in terms of objectives. Management must also realize that the writing of objectives represents a new world to many managers. A clear objective should be specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.
“… From a behavioural point of view, too many of these managers’ objectives represent a threat to their position…”
“… Recognizing that objectives enable an organization to focus on problems, give the company a sense of direction, so why can’t most managers write meaningful objectives?…”
“… Managers are confused by all the verbiage from seminars, books, magazines, consultants and so on…”
The Socially Intelligent Leader
Source: Educational Leadership
Author: Daniel Goleman
Summary: New findings on the social nature of the brain reveal the need for principals to fashion a school culture of warmth and trust. Taking time to forge that human connection gave this leader more leverage than she had thought possible. The new field of social neuroscience suggests why a personable leadership style makes sense.
“… The person-to-person climate created by positive interactions can make principals more effective leaders—which in turn helps both teachers and students learn better…”
“… Effective leaders will extend the strengthening of a school community’s social intelligence to the interactions of students themselves, using any of the well-validated programs in social-emotional learning…”
“… The best leaders can deploy four or more of these leadership styles as needed; the poorest leaders tend to overuse the last two. Each style can be useful in a specific situation…”
How to Combat Virtual Meeting Fatigue
Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Katie Kavanagh, Nicole Voss, Liana Kreamer, and Steven G. Rogelberg
Summary: Last year, the world of work experienced a huge shift practically overnight as meeting attendees switched from rushing between conference rooms to rushing to find the right Zoom link. What exactly makes virtual meetings so draining, and what can leaders do to improve them?
“… While the medium of meetings has shifted for many of us, our need to come together in groups to collaborate, discuss project progress, and tackle work challenges is unchanged and ever-present…”
“… The vast majority of those surveyed reported feeling fatigued and drained during and after their virtual meetings — more so than with in-person meetings…”
“… Cancel unnecessary meetings and make necessary meetings shorter…”
Smart Leaders Focus on Execution First and Strategy Second
Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Summary: What is the perfect strategy? In this piece, the author argues that what matters most is not having the best strategy, but rather, how you implement the strategy you’ve got. She goes on to suggest that leaders whose strategies succeed tend to focus on four implementation imperatives:
“… They question everything, overhauling traditional organizational structures and processes if need be. They inform all their staff of the new strategy, but empower a few champions to lead it…“
“… They keep their relationships with frontline managers tight but the rules of execution lose…”
“… They quickly modify their strategies when things don’t go as planned (and things rarely go as planned)…”
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