Originally published by: Dr.Travis Bradberry, Feb 27, 2017, on: www.linkedin.com

TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that the best bosses have a lot in common. In particular, 90% of them are skilled at managing their emotions in order to stay focused, calm, and productive.

These folks have high emotional intelligence (EQ), a skill set that’s critical to achieving your dreams. It also happens to make them great to work for.

It’s through a leader’s actions—what he or she does and says on a daily basis—that the essence of great leadership becomes apparent. Behavior can change, and leaders who work to improve themselves get results.

While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that great bosses employ, what follows are ten of the best. Some of these may seem obvious, but the real challenge lies in recognizing when you need to use them and having the wherewithal to actually do so.

1. They’re Composed

Great bosses are composed because they constantly monitor their emotions, they understand them, and they use this knowledge in the moment to react to challenging situations with self-control. When things go downhill, they are persistently calm and frustratingly content (frustrating to those who aren’t, at least). They know that no matter how good or bad things get, everything changes with time. All they can do is adapt and adjust to stay happy and in control.

2. They’re Graceful

Graceful people are the perfect combination of strong and gentle. They don’t resort to intimidation, anger, or manipulation to get a point across because their gentle, self-assured nature gets the job done. The word gentle often carries a negative connotation (especially in the workplace), but in reality, it’s the gentleness of being graceful that gives ultra successful leaders their power. They’re approachable, likeable, and easy to get along with—all qualities that make people highly amenable to their ideas.

3. They’re Knowledgeable

Great bosses know more than others do because they’re constantly working to increase their self-awareness. They vow constant growth. Whenever they have a spare moment, they fill it with self-education. They don’t do this because it’s “the right thing to do”; they do it because it’s their passion. They’re always looking for opportunities to improve and new things to learn about themselves and the world around them. Instead of succumbing to their fear of looking stupid, truly exceptional people just ask the questions on their mind, because they would rather learn something new than appear smart.

4. They’re Honest

Great bosses trust that honesty and integrity, though painful at times, always work out for the best in the long run. They know that honesty allows for genuine connections with people in a way that dishonesty can’t and that lying always comes back to bite you in the end. In fact, a Notre Dame study showed that people who often lied experienced more mental health problems than their more honest counterparts.

5. They’re Deliberate

Great bosses reach decisions by thinking things out, seeking advice from others, and sleeping on it. They know that (as studies show) impulsively relying too much on gut-instinct is ineffective and misleading. Being able to slow down and logically think things through makes all the difference.

6. They Speak with Certainty

It’s rare to hear great bosses utter things like “Um,” “I’m not sure,” and “I think.” Successful leaders speak assertively because they know that it’s difficult to get people to listen to you if you can’t deliver your ideas with conviction.

7. They Use Positive Body Language

Becoming cognizant of your gestures, expressions, and tone of voice (and making certain they’re positive) draws people to you like ants to a picnic. Using an enthusiastic tone, uncrossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning towards the person who’s speaking are all forms of positive body language that super successful people use to draw others in. Positive body language makes all the difference in a conversation because how you say something can be more important than what you say.

8. They’re Confident

Successful leaders like to challenge themselves and compete, even when their efforts yield only small victories. Small victories build new androgen receptors in the areas of the brain responsible for reward and motivation. The increase in androgen receptors increases the influence of testosterone, which further increases their confidence and eagerness to tackle future challenges. When you achieve a series of small victories, the boost in your confidence can last for months.

9. They’re Fearless

Fear is nothing more than a lingering emotion that’s fueled by your imagination. Danger is real. It’s the uncomfortable rush of adrenaline you get when you almost step in front of a bus. Fear is a choice. Exceptional leaders know this better than anyone does, so they flip fear on its head. Instead of letting fear take over, they are addicted to the euphoric feeling they get from conquering their fears.

10. They’re Grateful

Ultra successful leaders know that it took a lot of ambition, passion, and hard work to get where they are in life. They also know that their mentors, colleagues, families, and friends all played a huge role in their success. Instead of basking in the glory of achievement, these leaders recognize others for the wonderful things they’ve done for them.

Bringing It All Together

These habits can make any of us more successful if we use them every day. Give them a try and see where they take you.

Originally published by: Dr. Travis Bradberry, Feb 13, 2016, on: linkedin.com

One of the most popular Dilbert comic strips in the cartoon’s history begins with Dilbert’s boss relaying senior leadership’s explanation for the company’s low profits. In response to his boss, Dilbert asks incredulously, “So they’re saying that profits went up because of great leadership and down because of a weak economy?” To which Dilbert’s boss replies, “These meetings will go faster if you stop putting things in context.”

Great leadership is indeed a difficult thing to pin down and understand. You know a great leader when you’re working for one, but even they can have a hard time explaining the specifics of what they do that makes their leadership so effective.

Great leaders change us for the better. They see more in us than we see in ourselves, and they help us learn to see it too. They dream big and show us all the great things we can accomplish.

Great leadership is dynamic; it melds a variety of unique skills into an integrated whole. Great leadership is also founded in good habits. What follows are the essential habits that exceptional leaders rely on every day. Give them a try and see where they take your leadership skills.

Effective Communication

“The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.” —Joseph Priestley

Communication is the real work of leadership. It’s a fundamental element of how leaders accomplish their goals each and every day. You simply can’t become a great leader until you are a great communicator.

Great communicators inspire people. They create a connection with their followers that is real, emotional, and personal, regardless of any physical distance between them. Great communicators forge this connection through an understanding of people and an ability to speak directly to their needs.


“Courage is the first virtue that makes all other virtues possible.” —Aristotle

People will wait to see if a leader is courageous before they’re willing to follow his or her lead. People need courage in their leaders. They need someone who can make difficult decisions and watch over the good of the group. They need a leader who will stay the course when things get tough. People are far more likely to show courage themselves when their leaders do the same.

For the courageous leader adversity is a welcome test. Like a blacksmith’s molding of a red-hot iron, adversity is a trial by fire that refines leaders and sharpens their game. Adversity emboldens courageous leaders and leaves them more committed to their strategic direction.

Leaders who lack courage simply toe the company line. They follow the safest paththe path of least resistancebecause they’d rather cover their backside than lead.

Adherence to the Golden Rule +1

“The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become.” – Jon Wolfgang von Goethe

The Golden Rule – treat others as you want to be treated – assumes that all people are the same. It assumes that, if you treat your followers the way you would want a leader to treat you, they’ll be happy. It ignores that people are motivated by vastly different things. One person loves public recognition, while another loathes being the center of attention.

Great leaders don’t treat people how they themselves want to be treated. Instead, they take the Golden Rule a step further and treat each person as he or she would like to be treated. Great leaders learn what makes people tick, recognize their needs in the moment, and adapt their leadership style accordingly.


“It is absurd that a man should rule others, who cannot rule himself.” —Latin Proverb

Contrary to what Dilbert might have us believe, leaders’ gaps in self-awareness are rarely due to deceitful, Machiavellian motives, or severe character deficits. In most cases, leaderslike everyone elseview themselves in a more favorable light than other people do.

Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence, a skill that 90% of top performing leaders possess in abundance. Great leaders’ high self-awareness means they have a clear and accurate image not just of their leadership style, but also of their own strengths and weaknesses. They know where they shine and where they’re weak, and they have effective strategies for leaning into their strengths and compensating for their weaknesses.


“If you just work on stuff that you like and are passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Passion and enthusiasm are contagious. So are boredom and apathy. No one wants to work for a boss that’s unexcited about his or her job, or even one who’s just going through the motions. Great leaders are passionate about what they do, and they strive to share that passion with everyone around them.


“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis

Great leaders are humble. They don’t allow their position of authority to make them feel that they are better than anyone else. As such, they don’t hesitate to jump in and do the dirty work when needed, and they won’t ask their followers to do anything they wouldn’t be willing to do themselves.


“A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.” —John Maxwell

Great leaders are generous. They share credit and offer enthusiastic praise. They’re as committed to their followers’ success as they are to their own. They want to inspire all of their employees to achieve their personal best – not just because it will make the team more successful, but because they care about each person as an individual.


“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” —Reverend Theodore Hesburgh

Great leaders know that having a clear vision isn’t enough. You have to make that vision come alive so that your followers can see it just as clearly as you do. Great leaders do that by telling stories and painting verbal pictures so that everyone can understand not just where they’re going, but what it will look and feel like when they get there. This inspires others to internalize the vision and make it their own.


“Just be who you are and speak from your guts and heart – it’s all a man has.” – Hubert Humphrey

Authenticity refers to being honest in all things – not just what you say and do, but who you are. When you’re authentic, your words and actions align with who you claim to be. Your followers shouldn’t be compelled to spend time trying to figure out if you have ulterior motives. Any time they spend doing so erodes their confidence in you and in their ability to execute.

Leaders who are authentic are transparent and forthcoming. They aren’t perfect, but they earn people’s respect by walking their talk.


“Management is like holding a dove in your hand. Squeeze too hard and you kill it, not hard enough and it flies away.” – Tommy Lasorda

Great leaders make it clear that they welcome challenges, criticism, and viewpoints other than their own. They know that an environment where people are afraid to speak up, offer insight, and ask good questions is destined for failure. By ensuring that they are approachable, great leaders facilitate the flow of great ideas throughout the organization.


“The ancient Romans had a tradition: Whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible: He stood under the arch.” – Michael Armstrong

Great leaders have their followers’ backs. They don’t try to shift blame, and they don’t avoid shame when they fail. They’re never afraid to say, “The buck stops here,” and they earn people’s trust by backing them up.

A Sense Of Purpose

“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” – Ken Kesey

Whereas vision is a clear idea of where you’re going, a sense of purpose refers to an understanding of why you’re going there. People like to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Great leaders give people that feeling.

Bringing It All Together

Becoming a great leader doesn’t mean that you have to incorporate all of these traits at once. Focus on one or two at a time; each incremental improvement will make you more effective. It’s okay if you “act” some of these qualities at first. The more you practice, the more instinctive it will become, and the more you’ll internalize your new leadership style.

Originally published by: Dr. Travis Bradberry, Jun 30, 2016, on: linkedin.com

It’s pretty incredible how often you hear managers complaining about their best employees leaving, and they really do have something to complain about—few things are as costly and disruptive as good people walking out the door.

Managers tend to blame their turnover problems on everything under the sun, while ignoring the crux of the matter: people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.

The sad thing is that this can easily be avoided. All that’s required is a new perspective and some extra effort on the manager’s part.

Organizations know how important it is to have motivated, engaged employees, but most fail to hold managers accountable for making it happen.

When they don’t, the bottom line suffers.

Research from the University of California found that motivated employees were 31% more productive, had 37% higher sales, and were three times more creative than demotivated employees. They were also 87% less likely to quit, according to a Corporate Leadership Council study on over 50,000 people.

Gallup research shows that a mind-boggling 70% of an employee’s motivation is influenced by his or her manager. So, let’s take a look at some of the worst things that managers do that send good people packing.

They overwork people. Nothing burns good employees out quite like overworking them. It’s so tempting to work your best people hard that managers frequently fall into this trap. Overworking good employees is perplexing; it makes them feel as if they’re being punished for great performance. Overworking employees is also counterproductive. New research from Stanford shows that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that you don’t get anything out of working more.

If you must increase how much work your talented employees are doing, you’d better increase their status as well. Talented employees will take on a bigger workload, but they won’t stay if their job suffocates them in the process. Raises, promotions, and title-changes are all acceptable ways to increase workload. If you simply increase workload because people are talented, without changing a thing, they will seek another job that gives them what they deserve.

They don’t recognize contributions and reward good work. It’s easy to underestimate the power of a pat on the back, especially with top performers who are intrinsically motivated. Everyone likes kudos, none more so than those who work hard and give their all. Managers need to communicate with their people to find out what makes them feel good (for some, it’s a raise; for others, it’s public recognition) and then to reward them for a job well done. With top performers, this will happen often if you’re doing it right.

They fail to develop people’s skills. When managers are asked about their inattention to employees, they try to excuse themselves, using words such as “trust,” “autonomy,” and “empowerment.” This is complete nonsense. Good managers manage, no matter how talented the employee. They pay attention and are constantly listening and giving feedback.

Management may have a beginning, but it certainly has no end. When you have a talented employee, it’s up to you to keep finding areas in which they can improve to expand their skill set. The most talented employees want feedback—more so than the less talented ones—and it’s your job to keep it coming. If you don’t, your best people will grow bored and complacent.

They don’t care about their employees. More than half of people who leave their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. Smart companies make certain their managers know how to balance being professional with being human. These are the bosses who celebrate an employee’s success, empathize with those going through hard times, and challenge people, even when it hurts. Bosses who fail to really care will always have high turnover rates. It’s impossible to work for someone eight-plus hours a day when they aren’t personally involved and don’t care about anything other than your production yield.

They don’t honor their commitments. Making promises to people places you on the fine line that lies between making them very happy and watching them walk out the door. When you uphold a commitment, you grow in the eyes of your employees because you prove yourself to be trustworthy and honorable (two very important qualities in a boss). But when you disregard your commitment, you come across as slimy, uncaring, and disrespectful. After all, if the boss doesn’t honor his or her commitments, why should everyone else?

They hire and promote the wrong people. Good, hard-working employees want to work with like-minded professionals. When managers don’t do the hard work of hiring good people, it’s a major demotivator for those stuck working alongside them. Promoting the wrong people is even worse. When you work your tail off only to get passed over for a promotion that’s given to someone who glad-handed their way to the top­­­­­­­, it’s a massive insult. No wonder it makes good people leave.

They don’t let people pursue their passions. Talented employees are passionate. Providing opportunities for them to pursue their passions improves their productivity and job satisfaction. But many managers want people to work within a little box. These managers fear that productivity will decline if they let people expand their focus and pursue their passions. This fear is unfounded. Studies show that people who are able to pursue their passions at work experience flow, a euphoric state of mind that is five times more productive than the norm.

They fail to engage creativity. The most talented employees seek to improve everything they touch. If you take away their ability to change and improve things because you’re only comfortable with the status quo, this makes them hate their jobs. Caging up this innate desire to create not only limits them, it limits you.

They don’t challenge people intellectually. Great bosses challenge their employees to accomplish things that seem inconceivable at first. Instead of setting mundane, incremental goals, they set lofty goals that push people out of their comfort zones. Then, good managers do everything in their power to help them succeed. When talented and intelligent people find themselves doing things that are too easy or boring, they seek other jobs that will challenge their intellects.

Bringing It All Together

If you want your best people to stay, you need to think carefully about how you treat them. While good employees are as tough as nails, their talent gives them an abundance of options. You need to make them want to work for you.

What other mistakes cause great employees to leave? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

Originally published by: Dr. Travis Bradberry, Jan 23, 2017, on: linkedin.com

Difficult people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, strife, and worst of all stress.

Studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain. Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of neurons in the hippocampus—an important brain area responsible for reasoning and memory. Weeks of stress cause reversible damage to neuronal dendrites (the small “arms” that brain cells use to communicate with each other), and months of stress can permanently destroy neurons. Stress is a formidable threat to your success—when stress gets out of control, your brain and your performance suffer.

Most sources of stress at work are easy to identify. If your non-profit is working to land a grant that your organization needs to function, you’re bound to feel stress and likely know how to manage it. It’s the unexpected sources of stress that take you by surprise and harm you the most.

Recent research from the Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany found that exposure to stimuli that cause strong negative emotions—the same kind of exposure you get when dealing with difficult people—caused subjects’ brains to have a massive stress response. Whether it’s negativity, cruelty, the victim syndrome, or just plain craziness, difficult people drive your brain into a stressed-out state that should be avoided at all costs.

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. One of their greatest gifts is the ability to neutralize difficult people. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ to keep difficult people at bay.

While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that smart people employ when dealing with difficult people, what follows are some of the best. To deal with difficult people effectively, you need an approach that enables you, across the board, to control what you can and eliminate what you can’t. The important thing to remember is that you are in control of far more than you realize.

They set limits. Complainers and negative people are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral.

You can avoid this only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Think of it this way: if the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

They rise above. Difficult people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it; their behavior truly goes against reason. So why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix? The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps. Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Distance yourself from them emotionally and approach your interactions like they’re a science project (or you’re their shrink, if you prefer the analogy). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos—only the facts.

They stay aware of their emotions. Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognize when it’s happening. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations where you’ll need to regroup and choose the best way forward. This is fine and you shouldn’t be afraid to buy yourself some time to do so.

Think of it this way—if a mentally unstable person approaches you on the street and tells you he’s John F. Kennedy, you’re unlikely to set him straight. When you find yourself with a coworker who is engaged in similarly derailed thinking, sometimes it’s best to just smile and nod. If you’re going to have to straighten them out, it’s better to give yourself some time to plan the best way to go about it.

They establish boundaries. This is the area where most people tend to sell themselves short. They feel like because they work or live with someone, they have no way to control the chaos. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you’ve found your way to Rise Above a person, you’ll begin to find their behavior more predictable and easier to understand. This will equip you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them and when you don’t. For example, even if you work with someone closely on a project team, that doesn’t mean that you need to have the same level of one-on-one interaction with them that you have with other team members.

You can establish a boundary, but you’ll have to do so consciously and proactively. If you let things happen naturally, you are bound to find yourself constantly embroiled in difficult conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to encroach upon them, which they will.

They don’t die in the fight. Smart people know how important it is to live to fight another day, especially when your foe is a toxic individual. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.

They don’t focus on problems—only solutions. Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and reduces stress.

When it comes to toxic people, fixating on how crazy and difficult they are gives them power over you. Quit thinking about how troubling your difficult person is, and focus instead on how you’re going to go about handling them. This makes you more effective by putting you in control, and it will reduce the amount of stress you experience when interacting with them.

They don’t forget. Emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn’t mean that they forget. Forgiveness requires letting go of what’s happened so that you can move on. It doesn’t mean you’ll give a wrongdoer another chance. Smart people are unwilling to be bogged down unnecessarily by others’ mistakes, so they let them go quickly and are assertive in protecting themselves from future harm.

They squash negative self-talk. Sometimes you absorb the negativity of other people. There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad about how someone is treating you, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either intensify the negativity or help you move past it. Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary, and self-defeating. It sends you into a downward emotional spiral that is difficult to pull out of. You should avoid negative self-talk at all costs.

They get some sleep. I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. A good night’s sleep makes you more positive, creative, and proactive in your approach to toxic people, giving you the perspective you need to deal effectively with them.

They use their support system. It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To deal with toxic people, you need to recognize the weaknesses in your approach to them. This means tapping into your support system to gain perspective on a challenging person. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as explaining the situation can lead to a new perspective. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation.

Bringing It All Together

Before you get this system to work brilliantly, you’re going to have to pass some tests. Most of the time, you will find yourself tested by touchy interactions with problem people. Thankfully, the plasticity of the brain allows it to mold and change as you practice new behaviors, even when you fail. Implementing these healthy, stress-relieving techniques for dealing with difficult people will train your brain to handle stress more effectively and decrease the likelihood of ill effects.

Originally published by: Stacey, Dec 14, 2016, on: fierceinc.com


Change is the new “normal” for organizations and leaders alike, from structural change to leadership change to industry disruption. And yet, data shows that 70% of organizational change initiatives fail.

Why? Because we order people to change rather than engage them through conversation. We engage their heads and not their hearts. So how can leaders today not simply “manage” change, but rather excel through it – and lead their teams to do the same?


Originally published by: Alison Doyle, Dec 19, 2016, on: thebalance.com

Demonstrating Your Accomplishments During a Management Interview

If you are preparing for an interview for a management position, you have obviously interviewed successfully in the past. Even with your experience though, it can be helpful to review likely interview questions, and check out some interview tips. The more prepared you are for your interview, the more polished you’ll appear, and you’ll be more likely to move forward in the hiring process.

What You Will Be Asked

An interview for a management position will consist of questions about your experience, management style, what you’ve accomplished in the past and what your expectations are for the future.

The hiring manager will ask questions to determine how well you will fit into the organization, and how effective you’ll be in the position.

To craft your answers, share anecdotes and specific examples from your previous work experiences to show the interviewer how you capably handled situations and worked with a team. Tailor specific responses so your job qualifications will come through loud and clear.

Areas of Focus for Manager Interview Questions

When interviewing managers, most interviewers will focus on two distinct aspects of the managerial experience – chiefly getting results and dealing with people. Both are equally important. If you can’t deal with managing different personalities in team environments and under stress, nothing else you do will matter. On the other hand, if you get too far into the weeds dealing with people’s personal problems, you’re unlikely to be able to help the organization achieve its goals.

 It’s also important to prepare for standard interview questions, in addition to management-oriented questions. Hiring managers still want to know how you’ve conquered challenges in the past, what your long-term plans are for your career, and whether you’ll fit into the corporate culture. As a manager, you’ll set the tone for your team.

If you don’t share the organization’s values, goals, and culture, you won’t be able to lead effectively.

Prepare for these common manager interview questions:

Manager Interview Questions and Answers

  • Describe how you managed a problem employee. – Best Answers
  • Do you prefer to work independently or on a team? – Best Answers
  • How do you evaluate success? – Best Answers
  • How do you handle stress and pressure? – Best Answers
  • How do you plan to achieve those goals? – Best Answers
  • If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say? Best Answers
  • If you knew a manager is 100 percent wrong about something, how would you handle it? – Best Answers
  • Share some examples of the ways in which you’ve impacted worker safety. – Best Answers
  • Tell me about yourself. – Best Answers
  • What applicable attributes and experience do you have? – Best Answers
  • What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you? – Best Answers
  • What are your goals for the next five years? Ten years? – Best Answers
  • What are your salary expectations? – Best Answers
  • What can you contribute to this company? – Best Answers
  • What can you do for this company? – Best Answers
  • What do people often criticize about you? – Best Answers
  • What do you expect from a manager? – Best Answers
  • What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make? – Best Answers
  • What is your greatest strength? – Best Answers
  • What is your greatest weakness? – Best Answers
  • What major challenges and problems have you faced? How did you handle them? – Best Answers
  • What motivates you? – Best Answers
  • What strategies would you use to motivate your team? – Best Answers
  • What was it like working for your manager? – Best Answers
  • What was most and least rewarding about your last position? – Best Answers
  • What was your biggest accomplishment and failure in this position? – Best Answers
  • What were your responsibilities at your current (or last) positions? – Best Answers
  • What were your starting and final levels of compensation? – Best Answers
  • Who was your best manager and who was the worst? – Best Answers
  • Why are you leaving (did you leave) your job? – Best Answers
  • Why are you the best person for the job? – Best Answers
  • Why should we hire you? – Best Answers


Originally published by: Sally Hogshead, Feb 23, 2017, on: howtofascinate.com

In a crowded, busy, distracted world… how can you design an experience that your audience will never forget? How can you inspire even the most jaded audiences?

It’s tough to impress your clients and audiences. Expectations are higher, and attention spans are shorter. How to keep people off their iPhones, and on topic?

Taking meetings from “uninspired” to “unforgettable”

In this battle for attention, you can design unforgettable meetings, once you find new ways to fascinate.

When you fascinate your participants, they’re more likely to learn, retain, and apply what they’ve experienced. They reach for higher levels of learning, and eagerly share ideas. Your participants become raving fans.

How exactly can you achieve this? Can anyone design an unforgettable experience? If so, what’s the process?

7 ways to turn any meeting into a fascinating experience

A quick glimpse inside the seven ways that you can design fascinating experiences:

1. PASSION: Build emotional connections.
Heighten your participants’ emotional connection to a topic by developing ways for them to bond. People are far less likely to forget emotions than facts. A few examples: Opt for ways to heighten the five senses: through colorful locations, delicious food, and music. Select a speaker with a heartfelt personal story. Avoid focusing on cold, hard facts in your content, because these dampen emotion. Any type of learning can make people feel passionately about the subject matter, once you tap into the brain’s hardwired patterns.

2. INNOVATION: Surprise and delight with creativity.
Tweak the norms. Incorporate humor. Make the planning experience fun for your client and team. When people experience something new, they are more likely to tell others about it because it’s noteworthy. For instance, instead of the standard conference format, defy expectations and experiment with something out-of-the-box, such as witty marketing materials, or unexpected exotic cuisine.

3. POWER: Allow them to control part of the experience.
Empower participants to confidently network and make new connections. 90% of introductions fail to lead to future connections because people simply don’t know how to open a conversation. With a few simple tools, attendees can stop feeling unconfident and start building their network. For instance, add a conversation starter to each nametag.

4. PRESTIGE: Impress them with a new standard.
Find one way to over-deliver. Increase their perceived value of sharing in this moment. Instead of making everything good, find one element they’ll never forget. For instance, curate the guest list to increase demand, or invest in the best possible opening speaker or performer. A Virtuoso conference surprised attendees when Frances Ford Coppola walked on stage as the closing keynote, and an Epsilon meeting wowed executives with a performance by Jewel.

5. ALERT: Teach with precise data and facts.
Sometimes, an emotional approach isn’t the most effective. When delivering a complex analysis of a problem, it’s more effective to avoid the warm-and-fuzzy, and instead, impress with a crisp analysis, impressive charts and graphs, and precise results.

6. MYSTIQUE: Arouse curiosity to learn more.
Hint at what’s to come, but don’t give it all away. Get them leaning forward in their seats, so they can’t wait to find out what’s next in the agenda. Get them buzzing. Curiosity is an incredibly powerful motivator. An increased desire to learn more gets people “hooked,” so they stay involved. The TED conference, for instance, never reveals exactly how speakers are chosen, which adds to the allure of the unknown. What about keeping the keynote speaker or closing party performer a secret?

7. TRUST: Rely on traditional patterns, such as familiar hotels, or standard foods.
Sometimes, the wisest choice is to go with what’s worked in the past. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, build trust by repeating a familiar format. Incorporate traditions, and repeat stories of shared history.

By applying one or more of these seven tools, anyone can make a meeting go from uninspired to unforgettable. Think of this system as a new shortcut to earning and keeping anyone’s attention.


Originally published by: Travis Bradberry, Nov 30, 2016, on: www.forbes.com

But managers tend to blame their turnover problems on everything under the sun while ignoring the crux of the matter: people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.

Bad management does not discriminate based on salary or job title. A Fortune 500 executive team can experience more dissatisfaction and turnover than the baristas at a local coffee shop. The more demanding your job is and the less control you have over what you do, the more likely you are to suffer. A study by the American Psychological Association found that people whose work meets both these criteria are more likely to experience exhaustion, poor sleep, anxiety, and depression.

The sad thing is that this suffering can easily be avoided. All that’s required is a new perspective and some extra effort on the manager’s part to give employees autonomy and make their work feel less demanding. To get there, managers must understand what they’re doing to kill morale. The following practices are the worst offenders, and they must be abolished if you’re going to hang on to good employees.

Withholding praise. It’s easy to underestimate the power of a pat on the back, especially with top performers who are intrinsically motivated. Everyone likes kudos, none more so than those who work hard and give their all. Managers need to communicate with their people to find out what makes them feel good (for some, it’s a raise; for others, it’s public recognition) and then to reward them for a job well done. With top performers, this will happen often if you’re doing it right. This doesn’t mean that managers need to praise people for showing up on time or working an eight-hour day—these things are the price of entry—but a boss who does not give praise to dedicated employees erodes their commitment to the job.

Overworking people. Nothing burns good employees out quite like overworking them. It’s so tempting to work the best people hard that managers frequently fall into this trap. Overworking good employees is perplexing for them as it makes them feel as if they’re being punished for their great performance. Overworking employees is also counterproductive. New research from Stanford showed that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that you don’t get anything out of working more. Talented employees will take on a bigger workload, but they won’t stay if their job suffocates them in the process. Raises, promotions, and title-changes are all acceptable ways to increase workload. If managers simply increase workload because people are talented, without changing a thing, these employees will seek another job that gives them what they deserve.

Holding people back. As an employee, you want to bring value to your job, and you do so with a unique set of skills and experience. So how is it that you can do your job so well that you become irreplaceable? This happens when managers sacrifice your upward mobility for their best interests. If you’re looking for your next career opportunity, and your boss is unwilling to let you move up the ladder, your enthusiasm is bound to wane. Taking away opportunities for advancement is a serious morale killer.

Management may have a beginning, but it certainly has no end. When blessed with a talented employee, it’s the manager’s job to keep finding areas in which they can improve to expand their skill set and further their career. The most talented employees want feedback—more so than the less talented ones—and it’s a manager’s job to keep it coming. Otherwise, people grow bored and complacent.

Playing the blame game. A boss who is too proud to admit a mistake or who singles out individuals in front of the group creates a culture that is riddled with fear and anxiety. It’s impossible to bring your best to your work when you’re walking on eggshells. Instead of pointing fingers when something goes wrong, good managers work collaboratively with their team and focus on solutions. They pull people aside to discuss slip-ups instead of publicly shaming them, and they’re willing to accept responsibility for mistakes made under their leadership.

Frequent threats of firing. Some managers use threats of termination to keep you in line and to scare you into performing better. This is a lazy and shortsighted way of motivating people. People who feel disposable are quick to find another job where they’ll be valued and will receive the respect that they deserve.

Not letting people pursue their passions. Talented employees are passionate. Providing opportunities for them to pursue their passions improves their productivity and job satisfaction, but many managers want people to work within a little box. These managers fear that productivity will decline if they let people expand their focus and pursue their passions. This fear is unfounded. Studies have shown that people who are able to pursue their passions at work experience flow, a euphoric state of mind that is five times more productive than the norm.

Bringing It All Together

If managers want their best people to stay, they need to think carefully about how they treat them. While good employees are as tough as nails, their talent gives them an abundance of options. Managers need to make people want to work for them.

Originally published by: Maria Gee, Sep 22, 2016, on: blog.harri.com

Maintaining the ideal work-life balance is difficult for nearly all professionals, especially in the 24/7 world of hospitality.  Keeping your personal and restaurant life in check is no easy task if you have one day off a week and are otherwise “on” the rest of the time.  Taking some steps to avoid taking on more than you can chew can help you from feeling overwhelmed.  Many people will argue that being a restaurant manager is a not just a hospitality job, but a stressful lifestyle.  However, there are some steps you can take a to make a difference and lift (at least some) stress off your shoulders.


Yes, hospitality is the ultimate team sport and as a hospitality manager you are the captain.  With that being said, self-care is not selfish.  If you’re the type of person who lives and breathes by his or her calendar, check if you have any space at all for the upcoming week to “recharge”.  Maintain your sanity by doing something for YOU each day, even if it’s for 15 mins – grab a coffee, go for a walk, even call your family (remember them?).  Of course, saying you will do it is only halfway there, hence your calendar.  Actively schedule 15 – 30 mins of “Me Time” once a day, slowly but surely your eyebrows will begin to unfurrow and you’ll spare a few hairs from going grey.  Even better, schedule a workout or some downtime before your shift.  Preventing yourself from getting overly stressed, seems unavoidable on a Friday at at 8 PM when you’re 2 servers and 3 cooks down.  Trust that when you invest a little bit of time to re-energize yourself, and put your needs first then everything falls into place.


    Being a restaurant manager means you spend a majority of your day putting out everyone else’s fires.  It comes with the territory, that’s something we cannot help.  However, having the “Don’t worry, I got this” attitude towards everything can take its toll on your life.  This is especially true of digging staff out of holes, there are times when you have to let staff figure out some problems for themselves.  If a host does not have table numbers memorized four weeks in, then you need to delegate to a more senior host or maitre’d in the meantime, instead of seating guests yourself (then obviously reevaluate his or her training). Sure, doing things a certain way is important, but it is a true testament to your management skills when staff can navigate themselves through a service.  Saying “no” to certain tasks can be a gift sometimes, and certainly if you’re holding down the fort for a double shift. If you are more visual, using your calendar to approximate task timelines can be extremely useful.  The fear of letting your restaurant and staff down may keep you from saying no, this is not the case at all.  Realizing your limitations is more efficient to yourself, the restaurant, and the quality of the service.


Maybe managing calendars is not your thing.  Let’s put your MBA in Philosophy and concentration in Metaphysics to good use right now, just kidding (kind of). Think of your life as a jar.  Place some large rocks the jar to reach the top, it seems full right? Some would say so, but now picture placing smaller rocks into the jar, then pouring in gravel, sand and finally water until the jar’s contents are up to the brim.  Now it’s actually full.  The lesson of the jar metaphor is to begin with larger priorities and work to the smallest tasks, or not everything will fit into your life.  If you began with water, the whole jar would overflow if you dropped even one large rock in.  To put this lesson in action, simplify your life by starting with the big stuff first.   Write down 3 “big” tasks or decisions you must accomplish everyday, then follow with less important tasks, smaller tasks, then fun, etc.  Even if you make the list in your phone on the train during your commute to work, it will set you up for a productive shift.


    Even though Sheryl Sandberg is not on the floor of a restaurant on a daily basis, in her widely discussed book, Lean In, the COO of Facebook, writes about a poster in the Facebook offices that reads, “Done is better than Perfect”.  Getting a task done is usually better than scrutinizing over its imperfections.  Many people describe themselves as perfectionists, hospitality managers are no exception.  While this trait can be positive, it can inhibit getting things done in a timely manner.  Sure, your new server on Table 22 served drinks to the man before the woman who are clearly on a date, and it makes your eye twitch with annoyance.  However, you can address that at pre-shift tomorrow to all of your servers, because you have 10 minutes to write your shift notes before close which is more important.  Of course, quality is extremely important, but time is everything.  If the server completely forgot to put in the order the couple’s drinks, causing them to walk out, that would be a different story.  The mission is to get everything done as well and efficiently as possible, but know that done is indeed better than perfect.


    Being hopelessly addicted to glowing screens is the plight of our generation in the workplace, we are extremely fortunate in this sense.  As great as accessibility can be, constantly being “on” can be less than helpful when trying to maintain a better work-life balance.  When you have left your shift and sent your last email, immediately logout of your work email.  If there is a real emergency in the restaurant then the manager on duty is perfectly capable of calling or texting you.  There are various studies show that our brain activity increases from looking at screens all day, and your smartphone is as addictive as some drugs and alcohol.  So, obviously receiving continuous notifications from work emails can amplify this.  The worst thing you can do is still be logged into you your work email on your day off and being active on it! This creates the idea that you are always “on” and never stop working.   Then no one will leave you alone, making for a terrible day off.  So for your staff and your own sanity, save your emails and tasks for in restaurant only – or as much as you can.  The key to a healthy work-life balance is changing things a little at a time, and at the end of the day it’s all about progress.

Originally published by: Tim Sanders, Aug 16, 2016, on: linkedin.com

Too many people sabotage their career by being too efficient with their time.  They fill up their daily schedule with meetings and phone calls, thinking that they are being highly productive.  The result is a week of conversations, with little time left to “work on work.”

A recent IBM survey of over 1000 CEO’s found that creativity was the top skill required for leadership success.  This makes sense, as innovation is the prescription for dealing with a highly disruptive business environment.  Technology, media, globalization all come together to put creative demands on leaders and manager everywhere.

The problem is, creative thinking requires a lot of white space on your calendar.  It’s not something you can schedule or squeeze in on a long flight or a Sunday afternoon.  Filmmaker David Lynch believes that “It takes four hours to get one hour of creative work done.”  By that he means that we must enter into a problem consideration mode for extended periods of time to induce free association…which leads to innovative business solutions.

But if your calendar is full of every call request and meeting invitation that comes your way, you won’t have any time to think.  This is why I block out two hours of unscheduled time daily to work on my projects, research problems, white board solutions and passively think creatively while doing low mental-requirement tasks.  It’s in these gaps where our breakthroughs occur.

As a leader, you aren’t paid to meet or talk to others.  You are paid to think.  Einstein, Edison and Jobs put their feet up on their desk or took long walks to actively consider solutions – and that’s where their eureka moments happened.

Make every meeting and calendar item fight for its life.  Pick the ones that are truly business drivers.  Limit your “getting to know you” lunches and out-of-office meetings to one a week and make them count!  If you find enough time during your most fruitful mental states (M-F days), you’ll achieve the creative breakthroughs you need to make your mark.