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Top 10 Toughest Questions - Asked and Answered

Explore Some of the Questions Employers Ask about Employees


Regular emails from readers ask hundreds of questions each year. Patterns emerge about the toughest situations you face in your organizations. These are the ten toughest, but most frequent, questions you send my way. I've written a how-to piece to answer each question you’ve asked. These articles address and answer your toughest questions.

1. How to Deal With a Negative Coworker: Negativity Matters

How to Deal With a Negative Coworker
Copyright Sean Fel
Some people exude negativity. They don’t like their jobs or they don’t like their company. Their bosses are always jerks and they are always treated unfairly. The company is always going down the tube and customers are worthless. You know these negative Neds and Nellies – every organization has some – and you can best address their impact on you via avoidance.

2. How to Implement Strategic Planning: Vision Statement, Mission Statement, Values

How to Implement Strategic Planning
Copyright Digital Vision / Getty Images
In an earlier article, I gave you a strategic planning framework, samples, and examples for creating your organization’s mission statement, vision statement, and more. As a result of the strategic planning article, people ask: now that I know what all of this strategic planning should look like, how do I actually make strategic planning happen in my organization? This strategic planning question strikes at the heart of how to make change of any kind happen in your organization. Find out how.

3. When Management Systems Fail: Why Employees Don’t Do What You Want Them to Do

Why Employees Don't Do What You Want Them to Do
Copyright Joshua Blake
Managers perennially ask why employees don’t do what they are supposed to do. While part of the responsibility falls on choices individual employees make, managers need to shoulder part of the blame, too. Employees want to succeed at work. I don’t know a single person who gets up in the morning and says, “I think I’ll go to work to fail today.” Many of the reasons employee responsibility fails is due to a failure in the employee management systems.

4. How Do You Know When It's Time for You to Go?

Time to Quit Your Job?
Copyright Marcin Balcerzak
Are you feeling increasingly unhappy about your job? Do you find yourself day dreaming about other things you could be doing with the time you spend at work? Do you dread the thought of Monday mornings? Then it may be time for you to quit your job. Take a look.

5. Personal Courage and Conflict Resolution at Work

Practice Courage to Resolve Conflict
Diego Cervo
Practicing personal courage is necessary if you want to really resolve conflicts at work. Many people are afraid of conflict resolution. They feel threatened by conflict resolution because they may not get what they want if the other party gets what they want. Even in the best circumstances, conflict resolution is uncomfortable because people are usually unskilled.

6. Workplace Conflict Resolution: Managing Your Human Resources

Mediate and Resolve Conflict
Eileen Bach / Getty Images
As an organization leader, manager or supervisor, you are responsible for creating a work environment that enables people to thrive. If turf wars, conflicts, disagreements and differences of opinion escalate into interpersonal conflict, you must intervene immediately. Conflict resolution, with you as mediator, is essential. Conflict resolution is an immediate priority for your organization.

7. Achieve Your Dreams: Six Steps: Accomplish Your Goals and Resolutions

Accomplish Your Goals and Resolutions
Copyright Trista Weibell
Don't let your goals and resolutions fall by the wayside. Chances are that to achieve your dreams and live a life you love, those goals and resolutions are crucial. Goal setting and goal achievement are easier if you follow these six steps for effective and successful goal setting and resolution accomplishment.

8. Rise Above the Fray: Dealing With Difficult People at Work

Dealing With Difficult People at Work
Copyright Getty Images / John Foxx
Difficult people do exist at work. Difficult people come in every variety and no workplace is without them. How difficult a person is for you to deal with depends on your self-esteem, your self-confidence and your professional courage. Dealing with difficult people is easier when the person is just generally obnoxious or when the behavior affects more than one person. Dealing with difficult people is much tougher when they are attacking you or undermining your professional contribution.

9. Bad to the Bone: Dealing With a Bad Boss or Bad Managers

Dealing With a Bad Boss
Copyright Mary Gascho
You're weary. You're frustrated. You're unhappy. You're demotivated. Your interaction with your boss leaves you cold. He's a bully, intrusive, controlling, picky and petty. He takes credit for your work, never provides positive feedback and misses each meeting he schedules with you. He's a bad boss, bad to the bone. Dealing with less than effective managers, or just plain bad managers and bad bosses, is a challenge too many employees face. These ideas will help you deal with your bad boss.

10. Twelve Tips for Team Building

Team Building Tips
Copyright Lise Gagne
People in every workplace talk about building the team, working as a team, and my team, but few understand how to create the experience of team work or how to develop an effective team. Here are twelve tips for building successful work teams.
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