Archive | June, 2012

“WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW” Webinar with Jill Geisler, July 11: “Challenging Conversations”

It's much easier for managers to give positive feedback than to tackle those tough conversations that are such an important part of the job.   That's  why Chapter 10 of "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW" is titled "You Can't Be Too Nice for a Tough Conversation." On July 11, at 2pm ET, we're going to share some of the key lessons of that chapter -- and much more --  in a live webinar. I'll  guide you through a step-by-step process that helps you deal with challenging conversations and deliver positive results.  To register for the webinar on Poynter's NewsU, just click on this link: Here's what we will cover in the session:
  • The key steps to prepare for a tough conversation and why skipping a step can trip you up
  • Why your first words are critical – and how to choose them wisely
  • How to deal with the “4 D’s”: denial, deflection, disruption and "dumping on the boss"
  • The surest ways to sabotage yourself in a tough talk
  • How to wrap up a conversation so it ends well for everyone
  • Why your ability to have difficult conversations can make for a happier workplace
To make things even more practical and interactive, we will set up a series of common scenarios managers face.  Working with NewsU's Vicki Krueger,  we will play out the scenarios -- but pause to let the participants in the audience decide how Vicki will respond.  Will she argue?  Shut down?  Become highly emotional?  You will decide -- and I will have to respond right there, the right way. There will also be a Q & A session afterward.  This webinar is open to aspiring great bosses in any field and every workplace. Once again, for more information on the webinar and to register, just click this link.
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Video: “WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW” Author Inducted into Wisconsin Broadcast Hall of Fame

It was a lovely evening in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, as the state broadcast association held its Hall of Fame banquet, honoring individuals for lifetime service to the industry.  It was a genuine thrill to be inducted into this group of professionals.  Among the past honorees were a professor who first got me interested in the broadcast side of journalism, and the man who hired me as a reporter and helped promote me to management. After a video history of the inductee is shown, each is asked to say a few words.   I was the last person in the group, so I made certain to keep my comments brief.  I decided to read a short passage from "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW" that seemed most appropriate for the event.  A friend captured it on cell phone video:
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“WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW” On “Daytime” Friday, June 22

Today I visited WFLA-TV in Tampa, where the syndicated program "Daytime" is produced.  Hosts Cyndi  Edwards and Lindsay MacDonald interviewed me about "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW."  Their questions were wisely framed from the employees' point of view: what do employees deserve from bosses and what things do they never forgive?  Daytime is recorded two days before its broadcast -- so my interview should appear on Friday, June 22.  The show airs at 10am in the Tampa Bay market, but 11 am in other parts of the country. Here's a link to where the show airs in cities across the USA Note from the green room: also there for the show taping today was a nice young man with an assortment of reptiles.  For the record, while I love animals, I did not ask to play with them.
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“WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW” – Library Journal’s Review!

"Library Journal" reviews "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW" in the magazine's current edition.  It goes without saying that librarians can be tough critics, since they see more books than anyone, and are often asked to suggest the best for their patrons.   So, what did the reviewer for "Library Journal" have to say?  I'm pleased to report that the verdict is good and Barnes and Noble is already featuring the review on its site.  Here's what the review says: "In the 1970s, Geisler (leadership & management, Poynter Instit.) was an energetic young reporter for a major market television station. After being promoted to news director, which required leading a staff of 50, she spent several decades honing her management skills in the news industry. Geisler draws her insights for this book from her curriculum at the Poynter Institute as well as the 360-degree feedback instrument she developed, a performance review that includes feedback from all levels of the organization, i.e., supervisors, staff, coworkers, and customers. Through reading the text, doing the exercises (which necessitate some serious soul-searching and self-critiquing), and putting her ideas into practice, readers can increase the level of happiness at the workplaces they manage. The examples she shares—both positive and negative employee critiques of bosses—are especially helpful in distinguishing between managerial behavior that will inspire rather than infuriate. VERDICT Though there are no earth-shattering revelations in these pages, Geisler offers sound advice for managers on how to be the kind of bosses employees like as well as respect. If her ideas were as easy to implement as they are to read, the workplace would indeed be much improved. -- Carol Elsen, Univ. of Wisconsin Libs., Whitewater"  
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“WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW” — Wisconsin Book Launch Party!

June 14th -- a beautiful Thursday night in Mequon, Wisconsin, and a wonderful crowd at the Next Chapter Book Store.  Family, friends, colleagues, (yes, including people who worked for me) gathered to help celebrate the launch of "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW."   The event was kicked off by Julie Moos, the editor of  She is the person who helped me develop the "What Great Bosses Know" columns and podcasts that led to the development of the book. Julie is a wonderful editor and beloved friend, so it was very special to have her fly to Wisconsin from St. Petersburg for the event.  Here are a few of my favorite shots from the evening:

Julie Moos kicks off the festivitiesMy turn to readThey must have come for the food!

Andy Potos greets Virgil Dominic

With brother Jack, his wife Joyce and daughter JoannaHow to thank an editor!Son Noah drove in from Indy!Book signing!

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Listen: Milwaukee Public Radio Interviews Jill Geisler about “WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW”

What tips do I have to help bosses grow?  Listen to this interview on "Lake Effect" -- from WUWM-FM, the public radio station in Milwaukee.  I'm interviewed by host Mitch Teich.  In this conversation, we talk about the training managers need but often don't receive, management communication tips and traps, the importance of emotional intelligence and what great bosses do that set them apart. This was a fun conversation, especially because it took place right in my own home town, where I gained my first experience as a manager. You can listen to the interview on this player:
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“WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW” – Kindle’s Business Management Best Seller!

Colleagues who have written books warned me about it -- the "Amazon-check" habit that authors develop when a book is published.  Now I know why.  Every now and then there's the joyful discovery like today's.  This is the business management section of the Kindle store, where "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW" has found its way to #1 today.  It's a wonderful milestone, for however long it may last.  What's really important is that people may be investing in some critical training; new ideas to help them build positive and powerful workplace cultures. If you happen to be one of those who helped nudge the book up the list today, my sincere thanks to you.  Please feel free to share your feedback -- either here on this site, on the "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW" Facebook page. Some people have been sending me photos of themselves with their books, and I've been posting them to the Facebook page.  Join us!  
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Great Bosses vs. Evil Twins

On the road to becoming a great boss, you'll probably meet your "Evil Twin."  That's the person others see but you don't -- not unless someone calls it to your attention. It can happen when you, with perfectly good intentions, do or say something that people take in an entirely different way than you intended.  It happens to managers all the time. I write about this phenomenon in "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW" because I think it is critical for managers to understand how easily their actions can be misinterpreted.  Once they understand this, there are things they can easily do to banish those Evil Twins.  In conjunction with the release of WORK HAPPY, I published a special column and podcast on Poynter. org that offers tips and shares some new research on the power of good intentions.  If you'd like to learn more, here's a link to that column.  And if you want to learn LOTS more, well, I'd suggest you consider investing in a certain book.
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“WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW” Is a “Hot New Release,” according to Amazon!

Here's what's business book section looked like this morning -- June 8, 2012! Both the hard copy and Kindle versions of "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW" are displayed as "Hot New Releases."  It's always encouraging to see that kind of showcasing, isn't it? It's been interesting hearing from people who have very particular preferences about how they consume books.  Some just love the convenience of an instant download, readable on a small, portable device.  Others don't feel they have a complete reading experience unless they can feel a book in their hands.  What's your preferred mode of book reading?
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A Conversation about Great Bosses on WUWM’s “Lake Effect”

You're looking at the studios of WUWM, the public radio station in my home town of Milwaukee.  Host Mitch Teich invited me in for an interview about "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW" for the station's local news and public affairs show, "Lake Effect."    Public radio is a wonderful venue for authors.  Editors at my publishing house, Hachette, tell me that public radio listeners tend to be avid readers. "Lake Effect" airs on Wednesdays at 10am Central time, and as of this writing, the book interview is scheduled to air on Wednesday, June 13th. Thanks, Mitch, for being well-prepared and asking great questions about how bosses become great!
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