Early in the year, many leaders will take their teams “off-site” for a day or more. An off-site meeting can be a great way to develop strategy, get creative, develop a team, learn and re-invigorate a team. Of course, they can also be like a sentence in purgatory if not planned and run well.

There is plenty of advice on how to run effective meetings, but not enough on planning. A well planned meeting can prevent a lot of the problems associated with bad meetings. Given that off-sites typically involve more time and people than regular team meetings, more thought needs to be put into preparation.

Here’s a few planning tips that will ensure your upcoming offsite is a fun, productive and rewarding experience, and doesn’t turn into an all-day meeting from hell.

1. Ask: “What is the overall purpose of the meeting?” Is it to develop a three-year strategy? (read more…)

The leaders I know and love are successful and well-meaning. However, they have the potential to be even more successful if they pay attention to seemingly good behaviors that can have unintended consequences.

They want to help others, and they’re dedicated to the success of their organizations. But sometimes their good intentions can go awry because of well-meaning behaviors toward others that are causing problems within the organization.

These nuanced behaviors seem like the right things to do, but there is a fine line between helping others and causing confusion, fear, anger and disengagement. Some examples of this overly helpful behavior and its unintended consequences can include:

  • Over-explaining in communication, causing confusion with key messages that are lost.
  • Asking too many questions that are advice in disguise (“Have you thought about XYZ?” or “What did you do about ABC?”), resulting in team members feeling interrogated and micromanaged.
  • Trusting people to get things done when they aren’t equipped with the skills to do them — things don’t get done or they’re poorly executed.
  • (read more…)

One could argue that as a practice, change management is becoming accepted in larger organizations as “something we need to implement to get people to change.” As a change practitioner of many years, this acceptance seems encouraging.

But do most leaders and organizations really understand the basic tenets of changing behavior? As we help business to implement change more quickly and more effectively, there are important truths that must be acknowledged and addressed.

Important truth No. 1 : People don’t want to change — understand why and address it

As human beings, change is hard for every one of us. Neuroscience teaches us that our brains associate change with mistakes, threats, and fear. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” right? The perceived risks (or fear) of changing can’t be overlooked because they map back to our basic human needs.

Tony Robbins identified six basic human needs and believes that everyone is — or can be — motivated by their desire to fulfill these needs. (read more…)

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How well do you motivate your people?

  • Extremely — they’re constantly fired up: 7.74%
  • Fairly — they’re motivated most of the time: 78.64%
  • Somewhat — I have to push to motivate them: 9.6%
  • Not very — it’s a struggle to motivate them: 4.02%

They look to you for motivation. Motivating and inspiring your people is one of the primary services you provide to your team. Sure, their paychecks matter but they need to see where they fit in and how their work contributes to a greater goal Given that, learning new ways to motivate and inspire your people should be high on your list of skills to build. While “most of the time” is good, the incremental value of “constant” motivation makes the difference between “good” and “great.”

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of “Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.” (read more…)

The new 20-something hire is walking down the hall with her eyes fixated on her phone screen again. Is this what the future of the workplace looks like? Maybe.

An estimated 36% of today’s workforce is millennials, wtih 46% expected by 2020.

Between baby boomers and millennials is a gap in workplace expectations and values. With such different values, how can these two generations work together? Here are a few suggestions for how boomers can better understand and work with millennial expectations:

View image | gettyimages.com

1. “Years of service? You mean two, right?”

Instead of the long tenure that baby boomers value, the millennial resume is peppered with shorter stints. Boomer hiring managers look at millennial resumes and scratch their heads. “Only eight months at the last job and four at the one before that? That doesn’t seem right,” the boomer says.

Job-hopping is normal for millennials. The last two decades have seen multiple recessions with weak recoveries. (read more…)