Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 23rd 2015 Contents him compliments.
Instead, you have to help him own a com-
pliment. Instead of giving broad praise like,
"You re really good at your job," focus on
something specific he has done well. Then
help him to see his strengths. Ask: "What
does that compliment mean to you? Why
do you think I m choosing to give it to you?"
You can also help someone own a com-
pliment given by someone else. For example,
you might say, "I heard John tell you that
you did a good job with the quarterly report.
Why do you think he said that? What do
you think he was particularly impressed
(Adapted from "Overcoming the Toughest
Common Coaching Challenges," by Amy
Use mind mapping to
spark new ideas
Like brainstorming, mind mapping helps
teams come up with ideas quickly when
starting from scratch.
It lets people think associatively and visu-
ally to develop a constellation of intercon-
nected ideas. Your team can generate more
connections between ideas using mind map-
ping than by brainstorming or simply listing
Start by writing a keyword or concept
relevant to the situation at hand in the center
of a blank page or whiteboard. Have your
team free-associate by adding words that
relate to the original concept.
Don t evaluate or judge any ideas; even
the most outlandish words or phrases can
generate fresh thinking. Connect your ideas
by drawing lines between them. Encourage
your team to use colors to indicate action
items, ideas, doubts and other factors. You ll
end up with a visual mind map, which is
a messy web of related concepts. Have the
team discuss it so everyone understands
each other s viewpoints and what comes
(Adapted from "Innovative Teams" from
the 20-Minute Manager series.)
@2015 Harvard Business School Pub-
lishing Corp. Distributed by the New York
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JULY 23 • 2015
Know when it's time to
start looking for a new job
We re wired to avoid change; even when we re
unhappy. That s why it s so difficult to leave a job,
no matter how uninspiring or monotonous it may
be. But sometimes a career switch is in your best
interest. A few key signs can help you decide to make
• You re not learning. Studies have shown that the
happiest progression to old age involves work that
stimulates the mind into continuous learning.
• You re underperforming. If you could do your
job in your sleep, you re almost certainly underper-
forming. Sooner or later, this will harm your résumé
and employability. You re better off finding a job that
entices you to perform at your highest level.
• You feel undervalued. You won t enjoy your work
unless you feel appreciated, especially by your manager.
And feeling undervalued makes you more likely to
burn out and engage in counterproductive work
behaviours, like absenteeism and sabotage.
(Adapted from "5 Signs It s Time for a New Job,"
by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic.)
Ask the right questions to
put problems in context
Being too immersed in a problem makes it harder
for you to see the overall context behind it, which
can lead to feeling stuck. To expand your view of the
problem, try asking elevating questions. These types
of questions raise broader issues and highlight the
For example, you can ask, "Taking a step back,
what are the larger issues?" or "Are we even addressing
the right issue?" Using this approach, a discussion
on issues like margin decline and decreasing customer
satisfaction could turn into a broader discussion of
corporate strategy through an elevating question like,
"Instead of talking about these issues separately, what
are the larger trends we should be concerned about?
How do they all tie together?"
These questions take you to a higher playing field
where you can better see connections between indi-
(Adapted from "Relearning the Art of Asking Ques-
tions," by Tom Pohlmann and Neethi Mary Thomas.)
Don't sugarcoat bad news
for your employees
The way you deliver bad news greatly affects
whether employees will accept it. You have to be
direct and avoid mixed messages.
Watch your body language to make sure that your
nonverbal cues aren t implying something different
from what you re saying. So, for example, even if the
news presents an obvious setback for everyone, you
need to confidently convey the information and leave
no room for interpretation; which means no confusing
signals like slumping shoulders, avoiding eye contact
or fidgeting. It helps to rehearse what you re going
to say with a friend who can give you feedback on
how you appear.
And while you want to be thoughtful and caring,
don t sugarcoat the news. This makes it more difficult
for people to digest the information. Instead, focus
on the decision and explain clearly why it s happening.
(Adapted from "How to Deliver Bad News to Your
Employees," by Amy Gallo.)
Help an employee
Employees who lack confidence can be hard to
coach, but that doesn t mean you shouldn t try. Help-
ing a talented employee shed his insecurities sets
him up to achieve what he s capable of. But it won t
help to call out his low self-esteem or to simply pay
TIPS & TALKING POINTS
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