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Working or Shirking from Home?

Working or Shirking from Home?

Posted in Crucial Conversations

As the coronavirus sends more of us home, business casual dress goes from slacks to jeans to sweats to pajamas. Before the coronavirus, a lot of companies were hesitant to let people work from home. “Working from home” rhymes too closely with “Shirking from home.” It includes surfing,...


Crucial Skills for Crucial Times

Crucial Skills for Crucial Times

Posted in Crucial Conversations

When I went to bed a few nights ago, life was strange enough already. Offices and businesses were shuttered. Friends and family were cloistered many more hours each day in our homes. A general unease had us listening to recycled news for hours on end. But I got to sleep. My plan was to hit...


How to Manage Newly-Remote Teams

How to Manage Newly-Remote Teams

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, In the past week, our entire workforce has been sent home. I manage a small team and I’m feeling a bit at a loss on how to most effectively keep the team afloat, positive, and accountable given the new normal. Our team is used to working face-to-face and seems our success...


How to Be There for a Dying Friend

How to Be There for a Dying Friend

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Joseph, How do you best help a friend that has only days to live? I assume being a good listener is important, but is there anything helpful that I should say? Signed, Hoping to Help _____________________ Dear Hoping, For purposes of my response, I’m going to assume this is a close...


Confronting a Sick Colleague

Confronting a Sick Colleague

Posted in Crucial Accountability

Dear Crucial Skills, With the recent H1N1 scare, I would appreciate any advice on approaching colleagues in a healthcare institution—usually managers and MDs—to stay home when they are sick rather than feel obligated to come to work. I would also appreciate any advice on motivating them to...


Who’s the Smartest Team in the Room?

Who’s the Smartest Team in the Room?

Posted in Crucial Conversations

We’re excited to welcome a new contributor to the Crucial Skills Newsletter. Please enjoy a special introduction to Brian Wansink from author Joseph Grenny. A Message from Joseph Grenny If you haven’t met him yet, I want to be the first to introduce one of my newest VitalSmarts colleagues. I...


Unconscious Bias in Science

Unconscious Bias in Science

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I work with scientific communications. My team leader dismisses any scientific paper that doesn’t agree with her beliefs or the company’s messaging, regardless of the quality of the research. On top of that, she always interrupts us when we’re trying to present the...


How to Turn a Resolution into a Habit

How to Turn a Resolution into a Habit

Posted in The Power of Habit

Dear Crucial Skills, What does science say about resolutions? Do they work? Every New Year I see my friends, coworkers, and relatives make resolutions—and then often follow through for as much as two weeks! And then, as we all know, they often fall back into their old habits. I’ve done the...


Doing the Right Thing

Doing the Right Thing

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, Here’s my struggle: I work for a very well respected company that prides itself on doing the right thing, always having integrity, etc. I recently discovered that one of the HR employee conference rooms has a hidden video camera. The vast majority of employees who meet...


How to Be More Decisive

How to Be More Decisive

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Justin, Many tasks I work on involve getting info and answers from colleagues. I’ll initiate the contact and let them know what I need, then move on to my next task. And of course, as soon as I’m immersed in that next task, I’ll hear back from them. Here’s my dilemma: I can’t decide if...


My Coworker is Late Every Day. What Can I Do?

My Coworker is Late Every Day. What Can I Do?

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, My coworker walks in after 8:00 a.m. every single day. They never get to work on time and are five to fifteen minutes late every single day. I have spoken to my manager who has spoken to my coworker several times but my coworker goes back to their old behavior. I am...


Asking for a Raise

Asking for a Raise

Posted in Crucial Accountability

Dear Crucial Skills, How can I convince my manager to give me the promotion and pay raise I am owed? This year I came back into mainstream office activity after resolving some personal problems. I got more and more responsibility over the course of the year and my supervisor reassured me he...