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  1. Think of discretionary effort as the more in the “I got more” GEICO commercials.  Discretionary Effort is defined as performance that is above and beyond the minimum requirements of a job. More importantly, the discretionary effort of employees is earned, by the organization and by leaders, in how they interact with employees.  In a recent article, the authors looked at how rapport-building behaviors influence performance a..

  2. It has probably happened to you, but you just didn’t know it by name: Ghosting. Ghosting is the act of actively ignoring or dodging attempts to be contacted through various mediums—e.g., texts, phone calls, WhatsApp, LinkedIn…you get the idea. In its simplest form, ghosting is NOT responding. In the science of human behavior, ghosting is a good example of another cool term: Extinction...

  3. “I told you to do it this way.” “Weren’t you in the training where we learned how to do this correctly?” “Why do you keep doing this?” “I thought I was clear about how I wanted this done.”..

  4. A failed change initiative is costly—wasted time and money on failed implementation, lost ROI on the projected results of the change, and decreased trust from employees in leadership’s ability to bring about effective change. Given these avoidable losses, leadership should look for and remove the following three roadblocks to prevent a failed change initiative...

  5. Language is truly a double-edged sword.  Language allows us to cooperate, plan, coordinate, describe the future, talk about the past, and it even allows us to describe interactions between the environment and behavior so that a person does not need to experience direct consequences to learn (e.g...

  6. A topic that often comes up while discussing behavioral consequences with leaders is that of self-consequences. In other words, can a person provide consequences to themselves for their own behavior? The answer to that question is yes and in fact we each do precisely that hundreds or even thousands of times per day. Perhaps more importantly, those self-consequences are particularly powerful in terms of the impact they have on our behavior, in large part because they are immediate—they happen during or very soon after the behavior in question...

  7. Once upon a time, organizations treated culture change like any number of other corporate initiatives:  There were project plans, timelines, communication strategies, and roll-outs.  Leaders were earnestly counseled to establish a case-for-change, describe the “burning platform” as a metaphor for the need for change, and lay out a compelling vision for the future...

  8. We have all heard of the Peter Principle—“Observation that in an organizational hierarchy people tend to rise to "their level of incompetence." Thus, as people are promoted, they become progressively less effective because good performance in one job does not guarantee similar performance in another.” When an employee reaches a level of incompetence, what are organizations to do with that incompetent employee?..

  9. Do people change culture, or does culture change people? When I meet with a group of leaders, I often begin with this question. It’s a fun question for groups to wrestle with, and inevitably, they find their way to the same answer: it’s both. People can change the culture through their behavior, which can then influence the behavior of others...

  10. When it comes to developing employees and improving performance, coaching and delivering feedback are critical actions for achieving desired results. In fact today, most organizations expect their leadership to focus on coaching and improving performance. Although I am a big proponent of this, I often see new, and even seasoned leaders make a big mistake when it comes to coaching their people: assuming that their position alone is enough to earn them the right to coach...

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