More on “As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Have It Stick”

September 28, 2011 - by: Mike Maslanka 0 COMMENTS

Employment law attorney Mike Maslanka of Dallas takes a look at the chapter on having difficult conversations with employees from  As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Have It Stick by Peter Meyers and Shann Nix.

Previously, I wrote about As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Have It Stick by Peter Meyers and Shann Nix, but it’s so good, I thought it deserved revisiting. There is a great chapter on conducting conversations with employees, and I wanted to tell you about it. They call it “Bridges to Dialogue.” It’s essentially a step-by-step process on dealing with employee issues. First, the authors advise you to define your outcome. They write that you should tell yourself that by the end of a conversation with an employee, the employee will do “X” or you will be on the road to “X.”

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As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Have It Stick

August 31, 2011 - by: Mike Maslanka 0 COMMENTS

Employment law attorney Mike Maslanka reviews As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Have It Stick by Peter Meyers and Shann Nix.

If you’re thinking about a presentation you need to give, take a look at As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Have It Stick, a new book by Peter Meyers and Shann Nix. Unfortunately, when you’re about to give a presentation, your reptile brain tells you to focus on your fears because that is how you will survive. After all, it worked 30,000 years ago. But Meyers and Nix advise against becoming a hostage to your fears. When we do that, we ask ourselves the wrong questions ― e.g., What is missing from my talk? Will I forget what to say? Will the audience find out I’m not as smart as they think I am?

Instead, the authors toss out this idea: Ask yourself questions that are embedded with positive presumptions ― e.g., What is the best part of this presentation? What am I most passionate about in this material? How can I make a difference? Meyers and Nix note that “positive presumption” questions aren’t positive thinking, which they describe as “trying to hypnotize yourself into a different mindset.” By contrast, positive presumption questions force you to think of new possibilities and shift your thinking from “Will I succeed?” to “How will I succeed?” The final advice is to wire your brain with the right questions well before the event.

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Unthinking: The Surprising Forces Behind What We Buy

August 24, 2011 - by: Mike Maslanka 1 COMMENTS

Employment law attorney Mike Maslanka reviews Harry Beckwith’s book Unthinking: The Surprising Forces Behind What We Buy.

Take a look at Harry Beckwith’s insightful new book Unthinking: The Surprising Forces Behind What We BuyMarketing Consumer Behavior Books). The book reminds me of a quote from Dr. Samuel Johnson: “It is always better to remind than to lecture.”


Beckwith sketches out an experiment in which researchers filmed people going to a movie, counting how many had their seatbelts buckled. Before the movie started, the audience was shown a graphic film of auto accidents. The movie’s message: See what happens when you don’t buckle up. The researchers then counted how many of the moviegoers buckled up on their way home. Morepeople left without buckling up than had arrived without their seatbelts fastened.

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Categories: Communication / Review

Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements

June 08, 2011 - by: Wendi Watts 0 COMMENTS

HR Hero Line editor Wendi Watts reviews Brains on Fire by Robbin Phillips, Greg Cordell, and Geno Church, finding useful insight into engaging both employees and customers.

Do your customers and employees love you? Do you love your customers and employees?

Most HR people would readily admit that a large number of their employees are burned out from all the layoffs, hiring freezes, and constraints the economy has put on businesses. When employees are doing the same work that used to be done by three or four (or more) employees and they haven’t had a raise in more than a year — more than three or four years for some — is it realistic to think that you can get employees passionate about doing their jobs, interacting with your customers, and working for your organization? Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements says, yes.

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Buy-in: Saving Your Good Ideas from Getting Shot Down

May 11, 2011 - by: Mike Maslanka 0 COMMENTS


Employment law attorney Michael P. Maslanka reviews Buy-in: Saving Your Good Ideas from Getting Shot Down by John P. Kotter, finding that it gives good advice on handling common objections to new ideas.

I highly recommend John P. Kotter’s new book Buy-In: Saving Your Good Idea from Getting Shot Down, which teaches you how to save an idea under attack by coworkers. First , he says don’t fire back if your idea is attacked. Instead, make efforts to understand the person’s point of view and respond respectfully.

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Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization

November 03, 2010 - by: Sarah Hulsey 2 COMMENTS

Sarah Hulsey, PHR, reviews Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization by David Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright, finding it insightful and a must-read for HR and management at all levels.

It isn’t often that I read a business management book that I can’t stop talking about, but I absolutely loved Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization by David Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright.  Over a 10-year period, the trio studied 24,000 individuals in 24 organizations, researching employee behavior in terms of the groups they form (tribes) and those who assume leadership roles (tribal leaders).  In particular, the authors wanted to find some link between the tribes and their leaders that explains how great leaders emerge, develop new skills, and leave a standing legacy where they work.

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Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

March 24, 2010 - by: Mike Maslanka 1 COMMENTS

Employment law attorney Michael Maslanka reviews Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, finding it both interesting and useful. Maslanka particularly focuses on the authors’ idea of fighting “the negative” by focusing on “bright spots.”

In the book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, authors Chip and Dan Heath use a great acronym: “TBU” — true, but useless. They astutely note that people find it easy to list their organization’s problems and why the problems can’t be solved, then basically say, “I’m helpless, you’re helpless. We’re all helpless.” It’s the way we’re wired.

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Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust

February 24, 2010 - by: admin 0 COMMENTS

HR Hero Line editor Wendi Watts reviews the book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogran and Julien Smith. She says that the book is not a how-to book on social networking or social media, but rather an insightful look at the concept of trust and how you win trust in the digital age.

A long time ago, in a land where network television ruled and all phones had a cord, the rules of mass communication were simple. Building influence, improving your reputation, and earning customers’ trust required lots of money, talent, and time to get your message out to the masses. Today, in less than two minutes you (or your unhappy customer or irate employees) can set up a Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace account at no cost and build your own mass audience. And your friends or followers can spread your message to their audience with just the click of a mouse.

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Gung Ho! Turn On People in Any Organization

February 17, 2010 - by: Carol Hacker 0 COMMENTS

Sarah Hulsey, PHR, reviews the book Gung Ho! Turn On the People in Any Organization by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles, finding it easy to read but more appropriate for a novice HR practitioner than the seasoned professional.

I just finished reading Gung Ho! Turn On the People in Any Organization by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles (the authors that brought you Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service).  The book recounts the story of a plant called Walton Works #2, and the imminent plant closure and layoffs of its 1500 employees.  Desperate to save the factory, General Manager Peggy Sinclair learns a new technique, called “Gung Ho,” from finishing department manager Andy Longclaw.  As Peggy learns the technique, she applies it to Walton Works #2, ultimately resulting in saving the factory, increasing productivity, and creating unbelievable enthusiasm amongst the employees.

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The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It

February 03, 2010 - by: 0 COMMENTS

Employment law attorney Michael P. Maslanka reviews the book The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It by Christine Pearson and Christine Porath.

I’ve been reading an interesting book, The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It by Christine Pearson and Christine Porath. It’s a good read, and I recommend it.

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