What you can demand from a demanding boss

Don't let one toxic team member take everyone down | practice | What you can demand from a demanding boss
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October 31, 2023
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Leading the Way
Don't let one toxic team member take everyone down
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Use a "Fire Board" to list out problems in need of solving -- starting with the worst one first -- to prevent negativity from festering within your team, writes speaker and coach Anthony Iannarino. In addition, do not allow one toxic team member to drive others away; instead, work with them to improve and if they don't, "you must remove them from your team before others fall under their spell and become negative themselves," Iannarino advises.
Full Story: Chief Executive (10/27) 
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Put it into practice: Be sure everyone on your team knows their responsibilities, and they are trained and knowledgeable about their role, lest they, or others, begin to grumble, Iannarino recommends. "Employees who are not clear about their roles and responsibilities are more likely to be dissatisfied with their jobs."
Attracting, retaining and engaging quality employees of all generations are three leading challenges that companies face in today's employment landscape. Luckily, supporting pet-owning employees improves their work experience—and positively affects these key metrics for employers. Find out more.
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Smarter Communication
Hold a demanding boss at bay by consistently turning in good work, anticipating their needs, assuming they want you to succeed and discussing clear roles with them, writes Dan Rockwell. If that doesn't work, tell them how their treatment of you feels -- without accusatory words -- and ask "if there is something you can do to earn a little more autonomy," Rockwell advises.
Full Story: Leadership Freak (10/27) 
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Put it into practice: Chances are good that your boss really wants to support you, but there may be miscommunication going on about roles and responsibilities, Rockwell writes. "Only an idiot-boss wants competent people to feel incompetent. Press the issue gently."
Is your voice undermining your success as a speaker?
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Good body language is part of every speaker's ability to project confidence and authority, but so is the tone, tenor and quality of their voice, writes Gary Genard, who recommends taking professional advice on how to relax your jaw and lips, speak clearly and avoid trailing off at the end of your sentences. "Your voice is thus an excellent barometer of how simply and honestly you are getting across to people," Genard notes.
Full Story: The Genard Method (10/29) 
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Put it into practice: When you want to get your point across but need more confidence in your argument, your voice may become tight or strained, leading others to discount your words. "To speak with impact and influence, you must acquire the tools of full vocal expressiveness," Genard writes.
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SmartPulse
How comfortable are you with understanding and negotiating contracts?
Extremely: I may as well be an attorney
 15.19%
Very: I get all the business elements and most of the legal ones
 43.46%
Somewhat: I'm hesitant to engage with much of the legal terms
 22.79%
Not very: I'll only get involved if I have to
 11.39%
Not at all: I want my attorney!
 7.17%
Get to know the fine print. Forty-one percent of you report being either somewhat (or less than that) comfortable with understanding and negotiating contracts. The thing is, if it's your name on the signature line, you're accountable for the terms being agreed to whether or not you had an attorney involved. As the ultimate signatory of the agreement, you're well-advised to get familiar with every term that's included in the document.

While some may seem confusing or arcane, a good attorney will be willing to walk you through every clause and explain it in easy-to-understand terms. You may find terms in there you don't want to agree to from a business perspective that your attorney is willing to agree to because they don't fully appreciate the business implications too.

Negotiating an agreement carries on well beyond the initial handshake. If you don't understand the final agreement, you might find some nasty surprises down the road when elements of that contract get pulled out. You don't have to be an attorney but you should understand what they're advising you to sign.

-- Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, which includes TITAN -- the firm's e-learning platform. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a West Point graduate and author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."
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In Their Own Words
CEOs must always consider the human element in all of their decisions -- not just "black and white numbers on a page," -- which means asking questions and creating personal connections with those involved and affected, says Nikhil Eapen, CEO of StarHub. "If I cannot fully engage with everyone I meet, then I will not be able to succeed in this job," Eapen says.
Full Story: McKinsey (10/23) 
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Daily Diversion
Bella, a 14-year-old tabby, sets a record with her purr
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Bella, a 14-year-old tabby cat in the UK, is the new Guinness record holder for the loudest purr of any living domestic cat, registering at 54.59 decibels, which is as loud as a kettle boiling. Two other cats, Smokey and Merlin, still hold the record of loudest purr ever at 67.8 decibels, set first in 2011 and matched by Merlin four years later.
Full Story: HuffPost (10/21) 
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SmartBrief Podcast Network
Dr. Patrick Gruber, the CEO of Gevo, explains how sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) fits into the wider energy ecosystem, what it will take for SAF to see wider adoption and the hurdles that might be standing in the way. Gruber also details how Gevo, which has partnered with carriers like American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Hawaiian Airlines to expand the SAF market, is developing fuels with the potential to be carbon negative.
Full Story: Renewable Energy SmartPod (10/24) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
"Trick or treat, smell my feet, gimme something good to eat!" In a 2023 National Retail Federation survey, which pet costume ranks first?
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About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
As the old adage goes, "One bad apple can spoil the bunch." In terms of apples, that's true because a rotting apple emits gases absorbed by the good apples, and they, too, begin to rot.

What's true of apples seems doubly true with your teams. One person emitting the "gas" of negativity can infect the entire demeanor and attitude of your whole team, rotting their productivity and morale from the inside out.

I've experienced this phenomenon firsthand in several jobs, but what destroys morale the fastest is a toxic boss who either perpetuates the rot through their attitude or refuses to pluck the bad apple from the bunch. Anthony Iannarino's advice is sound -- address problems early, make sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities and handle the bad apple by rehabilitating them or showing them the door.

How have you dealt with bad apples on your team? Tell me!

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note. And remember to send me photos of your pets, your office and where you spend your time off.
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writer
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