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Column Archives

An index of columns by Katherine Hammer

May 2001
Making the Cut: Managing the Layoff Process
Despite rumors to the contrary, most managers suffer sleepless nights and bouts of uncertainty while deciding which employees to cut. Learn how to make the layoff process a smooth one for you and your employees.

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April 2001
Learning to Reperceive
I hereby nominate “reperceive” for inclusion in the pocketbook of essential business terms. We review, revise, rethink, revisit, and reexperience nearly every waking moment, yet we don’t reperceive nearly enough. Find out why.

March 2001
When We Fail
Most people, myself included, must suffer public embarrassment or personal crisis before they examine the root causes of those types of failures.

February 2001
You’re Not Here to Be Liked
I felt like a bitch for imposing my high standards on unambitious co-workers until my manager shared this advice 20 years ago: “You’re not here to be liked. You’re here to be respected. Keep doing what you believe is right.”

January 2001
When Honesty’s Not the Best Policy
Conventional wisdom says that employees remain loyal and effective when given accurate information about their employers’ financial status and goals. But the following examples illustrate how candor can compromise a company’s goals and productivity.

December 2000
The Perils of a Personality Culture
Character and personality certainly contribute to or detract from a group’s harmony and productivity, but a manager must resist the temptation to assemble teams according to personality fit alone. Here’s why.

November 2000
In Praise of Criticism
Being critical and offering criticism are two distinct acts. Bad-mouthing a Survivor cast member is one thing. Looking a colleague in the eye and spelling out her limitations is another one entirely …

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September 2000
Taking a Balanced View
We would all rather praise than criticize because it’s emotionally easier. But providing constructive criticism is also an essential skill for any manager who wishes to avoid a messy termination like Chad’s. Even when an employee is worthy of praise, I believe a manager must maintain a balanced outlook and act accordingly.

July 2000
Making the Call When a Manager Needs to Leave
Few experiences drain a person’s emotions more than a divorce. The loss of trust and common vision evokes a devastating sense of grief that I have endured only three times in my professional life — when I made the decisions to terminate once-valued and loyal managers and then carried out my decisions.

June 2000
What’s So Hard About Building a Good Management Team?
Organizations always need leaders — individuals who can emotionally forge individuals into a committed team focussed on one goal. However, at a certain stage, organizations also need generals — individuals who balance process and risk in order to maximize the organization’s chance for success.

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