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Why GTD is Horizon Independent

Why GTD is Horizon Independent

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, Why does Getting Things Done® focus on the “weeds” rather than the higher-level stuff? Why don’t we start with goals and vision and then make our way to day-to-day work? Sincerely,Aspirational ______________________ Dear Aspirational, I appreciate your question....


How to Mentor a Bully

How to Mentor a Bully

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I am mentoring an individual who is in a supervisory position. She is very forthright with her direction and criticism of those under her. She has a good relationship with most of the people she works with, but those with soft-spoken personalities often accuse her of...


Additional Tips for Addressing Self-Centered Behavior

Additional Tips for Addressing Self-Centered Behavior

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I think you missed part of the question that Fed Up posted a while back. As I understood it, Fed Up also asked how to deal with self-centered coworkers (bosses as well as cohorts, team members, and subordinates) whose conversations and discussions are based on I, me,...


To Be Productive, Learn to Say No

To Be Productive, Learn to Say No

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I recently read your post about the person who is overcommitted. You suggested ways for him to manage his to-do list. I think they’re really helpful ideas. But what about those of us on the other end of that relationship? I work with a group of great, creative, and...


Rock Stars Still Sleep in Buses—and Other Graduation Thoughts

Rock Stars Still Sleep in Buses—and Other Graduation Thoughts

Posted in Kerrying On

This week my wife and I attended a graduation exercise. I’d rate it just below running naked through an apiary. Don’t get me wrong, the music was lovely. The student speakers were refreshing and on point. But the adult speakers . . . whew. It’s hard enough to listen to hundreds of names of...


How to Work With a Self-Centered Person

How to Work With a Self-Centered Person

Posted in Crucial Accountability

Dear Crucial Skills, What do you do about someone who is so self-centered that everything is all about him? This happens to be my 14-year-old son, but I’ve also seen this pattern with co-workers and managers where I work. Sometimes, I wonder whether the world is filling up...


How to Tell Someone You’re Offended

How to Tell Someone You’re Offended

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, Our company was recently acquired and I was asked to be on the transition team to merge the two companies. This project required that I work with several members of the parent company throughout the weekend and late into the night. I was trying my best to be chummy and...


What To Do When Coworkers Monopolize Your Meetings

What To Do When Coworkers Monopolize Your Meetings

Posted in Influencer

Dear Crucial Skills, I work at a university where there is significant group work in the form of meetings or committees. In some of these meetings, a few people have a significant and vocal opinion about every agenda item. Every single one, every single time. I’ve noticed that these...


What To Do When Perceptions Aren’t Reality

What To Do When Perceptions Aren’t Reality

Posted in Influencer

Dear Crucial Skills, For the past five years or so, I’ve often heard the phrase “perception is reality” and it makes me cringe. On one hand, I can see that in the heat of the moment it is very helpful to understand what the other person is feeling or perceiving to gain common ground and...


How to Manage Awkward Social Situations

How to Manage Awkward Social Situations

Posted in Crucial Accountability

Dear Crucial Skills, I was at a nail salon with my daughter, daughter-in-law, and my elderly mother. The salon was packed. We have used this salon many times in the past. They tend to manage their schedule well. A woman entered the salon and started yelling at one of the owners who was in...


May Day Redemption

May Day Redemption

Posted in Kerrying On

The following article was first published on April 26, 2016 by Kerry Patterson of www.vitalsmarts.com  In the fall of 1952, my mom carefully dressed me in my yellow raingear, kissed me on the cheek, and sent me down the long road that would take me to Larrabee Elementary School. There, far...


What to Say When Your Boss Pulls Rank

What to Say When Your Boss Pulls Rank

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, How do you have a crucial conversation when someone pulls rank and shuts down dialogue by saying something like, “Because I’m the boss!”? I’m in a situation where I would like to discuss better solutions, but when I do, the other person uses her authority to stop...