voices

Get Over Your Discomfort and Learn to Deliver Effective Feedback

Learning to master feedback is every first-time manager’s bogeyman. It’s also an issue for many experienced managers. Experienced doesn’t mean good. We avoid it, dilute it, or (metaphorically) beat people over the head with it. We think that people don’t want to be told what they’re doing wrong. ... Read & React

I often say that leaders control the weather. However they show up is predictive of how everyone around them will show up. That’s especially true in times of chaos and fluidity. Scott Eblin

How Decluttering and Downsizing Could Help Agencies Get Off GAO’s High Risk List

by Marisa Banigan

The government has long struggled to effectively manage its real estate. Despite progress in recent years, federal real property management appeared once again on the Government Accountability ... Read & React

Why Is the Onus on Women to Curb Workplace Interruptions?

by Tasneem Raja

The recent spectacle of Senator Kamala Harris’s male colleagues repeatedly cutting her off at Senate Intelligence Committee hearings is the latest reminder of what several studies dating back to at least 1975 have shown, and what female professionals have been saying for decades: All too often, ... Read & React

Understanding These Three Principles Will Help You Develop True Intrinsic Motivation

by Sandra Knispel

What motivates us? Fear and punishment? Or money, fame, and power? One train of thought, called self-determination theory, starts from the idea that all humans have the natural—or intrinsic—tendency to behave in effective and healthful ways. Central to self-determination theory, or SDT, is the ... Read & React

9 Mistakes New Managers Should Avoid

Rookie manager mistakes. They’re predictable. They’re also mostly preventable. Here are nine that jump up and bite too many first-time managers. Forewarned is forearmed. Rookie Manager Mistake No. 1: Assuming you’ve been tapped for this new role to “shake things up.” Reality: In the history of ... Read & React

Good Managers Give Constructive Criticism — But Truly Masterful Leaders Offer Constructive Praise

by Leah Fessler

Getting feedback from your coworkers is scary. A leader at one of my previous jobs once said that my emotional stability fell somewhere between that of a squalling infant and pubescent teen. (Cool, cool.) Now research shows that not only are most managers bad at giving constructive ... Read & React

The Top 10 Challenges for New Managers

Some jobs are harder than others. Navigating the waters of your first-time manager position ranks high on the list. The initial few weeks (years) are what I term the early-awkward phase. Mastery isn’t an issue. Survival is. Mastery comes next decade. Maybe. Most individuals arrive at their ... Read & React

Power Causes Brain Damage

by Jerry Useem

If power were a prescription drug, it would come with a long list of known side effects. It can intoxicate. It can corrupt. It can even make Henry Kissinger believe that he’s sexually magnetic. But can it cause brain damage? When various lawmakers lit into John Stumpf at a congressional ... Read & React

What VA Really Needs

by Debra D'Agostino

Congress recently passed the bipartisan Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act after its last try at reforming the VA’s civil service system, the Choice Act, was deemed unconstitutional. This new effort appears not to violate the Constitution—a low threshold—but it also ... Read & React

Beyond Buyouts and RIFs: A More Effective Approach to Workforce Management

by Bill Valdez

On April 12, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum requiring agencies to develop plans to reduce their workforces. This has led many agencies to search in their talent management toolkit for help. The usual tools employed—reductions in force, Voluntary Early Retirement ... Read & React

The Essential Guide To Staying In Shape On Your Next Business Trip

Among the lies I tell myself before business trips are two old favorites: “I’ll stick to seltzer and lime at cocktail hour” and “I’m going to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to exercise.” Typically, neither happens (my most consistent travel workout is lugging my exercise gear through the airport). But ... Read & React