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Grading on a Curve Undermines Performance

Posted by on Jul 18, 2012 | 0 comments

Microsoft offers a lesson on how not to conduct performance reviews. Its evaluation process, called “stack ranking” — essentially grading on a curve — has had a disastrous effect on morale, performance, and innovation, reports Kurt Eichenwald in “How Microsoft Lost Its Mojo.” His article in the August Vanity Fair describes a system in which managers are permitted to give only a few employees top reviews, while the majority receive mediocre reviews, and a few receive poor ratings. This structure sets up a competition among employees and fosters an...

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Men Don’t Have It All, Either

Posted by on Jun 25, 2012 | 1 comment

Anne-Marie Slaughter’s heavily Tweeted cover story in the current issue of the Atlantic Monthly, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” publicly and very personally acknowledges what most women in the corporate trenches already know: it is incredibly difficult to climb the professional ladder and be a hands-on mother.  I agree. What I take issue with is not her contention that women can’t have it all, but the implication that men can. Yes, women are wildly under-represented in the corridors of power and over-represented on the carpool circuit. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that the men...

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Networking is Not a Dirty Word

Posted by on Dec 1, 2011 | 0 comments

Networking is Not a Dirty Word

Many of my career coaching clients cringe at the word “networking.” But I think networking gets a bad rap. When undertaken in the right spirit, building relationships can be fun as well as helpful. And you don’t have to be Keith Ferrazi to do it.

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No More Mister Nice Guy?

Posted by on Aug 22, 2011 | 1 comment

Nice guys earn significantly lower salaries than less agreeable men (though still more than women, regardless of their agreeableness) reports a new study by Timothy A. Judge, Beth A. Livingston, and Charlice Hurst in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Whether you are surprised or unsurprised, dismayed or vindicated, you may be wondering whether this information should lead you to try to change your workplace behavior or persona. Bottom line: if you want to get a raise, should you act like a jerk? No. Instead, the authors of the study recommend that we adopt a “flexible...

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