AMBITION WEEK: Coaching Your Ambitious Direct Report to Not Be Hated...

Capitalist Note:  I'm tagging this week "Ambition Week", celebrating the people in your organization that want to dominate the world.  You know these people - they are the ones that often do great things, and occasionally put tire tracks across a teammates back in the process.  Are you better off with or without these people? Let's dig in and decide together...

Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.
--Bill Bradley

If you're like me, you love a direct report with ambition.  People with Ambition get shit done. Do they get shit done because they believe in you as a leader or they believe in themselves?

If you're asking that question, you're concerned with the wrong things.  Just celebrate the execution that comes with ambition and stop thinking so much. (the answer, btw, is that they believe in themselves and are motivated by moving their careers forward)

One problem that is universal related to direct reports with high ambition levels is that they can become hated by their peers - the folks they work with.  It's pretty simple to see why.  The folks with ambition treat life like a scoreboard and more often than not are low team (on a behavioral assessment).  Their peers want to do good work for the most part but don't have designs to rule the world.  Friction ensues. The team views the high ambition direct report like an opportunistic freak. A brown-noser. Someone that would run over his own mother for the next promotion.

So how do you coach your high ambition direct report to play nice with the lower ambition locals?

The key in my experience is to confront the reality with the high ambition direct report - you're looking to do great things.  You're driven.  You want to go places and you're willing to compete with anyone you need to in order to get there.  Start with that level set.

Then tell them they have to get purposeful with recognition of their peers.

If a high ambition direct report starts a weekly, informal pattern of recognition of their peers, a funny thing happens.  They start to look human to those around them.

But in order to make it work, you have to confront them and convince them that work life is not a zero sum game - just because you give kudos doesn't mean a high ambition FTE won't get the promotion or the sweet project assignment.  It actually makes them stronger, because in addition to all the great individual work they do, they start to be perceived as a good to great teammate, which unlocks some doors to management/leadership roles in a way that great individual work can't.

But that doesn't happen for the high ambition direct report unless you are honest with them about this:

1.  You're high ambition and would run over grandpa to win/survive/advance.

2. You're peers think you're a dick, and that's going to limit you.

3.  You're going to fix it by recognizing those around you on a weekly basis for great work, and you're going to reinforce that recognition by sharing your thoughts informally beyond the email you send, the shout out you make in a meeting, etc.

Don't be a dick, high ambition direct report.  Share the love and you'll actually get to where you want to go sooner.

Signed - KD

 


AMBITION WEEK: Value The Folks In Your Organization Who Are Dissatisfied (In a Good Way)...

Capitalist Note:  I'm tagging this week "Ambition Week", celebrating the people in your organization that want to dominate the world.  You know these people - they are the ones that often do great things, and occasionally put tire tracks across a teammates back in the process.  Are you better off with or without these people? Let's dig in and decide together...

"You go out to eat, can't pay, y'all can't leave
There's dishes in the back, he gotta roll up his sleeves
But while y'all washin', watch him
He gon' make it to a Benz out of that Datsun
He got that ambition, baby look in his eyes
This week he's moppin' floors, next week it's the fries.."

--Golddigger, Kanye West

Ambition.  As much as many of us are uncomfortable saying it's a value/feeling/potential factor we Ambition want in our organization, ambition is needed in your company in order to get good stuff done.

Here's the golden nugett from a few years back from Paul Hebert over at Fistful of Talent:

"Mad Men Season 5 started this past week.

Full disclosure, before this past week’s episode, I’ve watched a total of 6 minutes of Mad Men.  But the hype was too much for me to bear, so I DVR’d it and sat and watched it the other night.  It’s awright.

But… I liked it a lot more when I heard this line…

“Dissatisfaction is a symptom of ambition. It’s the coal that fuels the fire.”

The more I thought about it, the more I liked it and the more I figured there was a lesson in it.

And here’s the lesson IMHO:

If you work too hard to make every employee happy and satisfied, you create a group of people who never want anything to change."

Interesting and true in my eyes.  If everyone's satisfied with how things are going, who pushes the envelope and tries to change things for the good at your company?

Backstory: A few years back, I was doing a classic "section 2" in performance management for the company I was with.  As part of that exercise, we were trying to change the traditional company values we were rating people on (hard to do and pretty ineffective) to "potential factors", which are more like "DNA" strands you want to evaluate all your people on.  The things you value most across all employees, regardless of role.  

As part of that exercise, we did broad brainstorming as a leadership team - coming up with 37 potential factors to whittle down to the 5 or 6 we would eventually go live with.  The ones you would expect were there - innovative, driven, etc.

2 members of the leadership team came up with - and were adamant about including - ambition in that list.

You would have thought that they did something unmentionable to the American flag.

As it turns out, the rest of the team couldn't get past the fact that ambition comes with some negative baggage - sometimes people act in self-serving ways, a zero-sum game mentality can be rewarded, etc. No matter how the 2 leadership team members came back to the positives associated with ambition, the others couldn't get over the negative attributes associated with its use as a potential factor.

But ambition is real and gets results, just like Mad Men and Paul outline above.  

It takes a gutsy company to include ambition in a performance system.  But, whether you put it on paper or not, you're likely rewarding ambition behind the scences in your company.


Jobvite 2018 Recruiting Benchmark Report: How Do Your Funnels Look?

If there's one ATS that does a nice job reporting trends, it's Jobvite

Every year they release a Recruiting Benchmark Report offering a unique combination of data and guidance: summary and analysis of industry benchmark data, along with strategic advice to help you measure, improve and optimize every step of the recruiting funnel.

They've got the data - the report is based on quantitative and qualitative analysis of 2017 data from Jobvite’s massive database of more than 55 million job seekers and 17 million applications and includes year-over-year benchmark data by company size, by revenue, by source of applicants and hires, and by industry. The report is objective, it’s free, and it’s your guide on how to improve your recruiting process.

Go download the Jobvite 2018 Recruiting Benchmark Report by clicking here!!!!

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Now onto my analysis form the report.  Based on companies that use their system, here's what Jobvite shows as the benchmarked state of the Recruiting Funnel - namely, how many applicants companies are getting and how many they interview to get a hire on average.  

Here's the 3 year tracking data from Jobvite (email subscribers click through if you don't see the image below):

Jobvite2018funnel

What's it all mean?  Here's what I see:

--Applicants per job are down, which makes sense given the hot economy.

--Companies are interviewing an average of 3.5 candidates per job to get a hire, and 90% of the offers are being accepted. 

--Time to fill is down slightly even as the economy continues to heat up, which may mean companies are settling for less than stellar talent at times.

This data matches what we saw at Kinetix (my recruiting company) across 4500 hires for clients last year.  At Kinetix, our data follows our Show/Screen/Hire model, which goes something like this:

Need an overview/executive summary metric that makes sense?  Here's a metric you can provide that's part metric, part statement and part "please look at the big picture."  I call it "The Screen/Show/Hire Statement", and it's designed to take all the noise out of your recruiting metrics.  Here's a real life example of how that plays out at Kinetix (my recruiting company):

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 3.17.43 PM

So that's the recruiting funnel for a single department in an RPO relationship, and it could also be an annual report overall for a smaller RPO engagement.

There's a lot of info in that picture, but the lead is what you see in box at top - "We screen 49 candidates, show you 7 to 8, you hire 1."

That's The Screen/Show/Hire Statement, and it's designed to show you how healthy a search process is.  Those numbers mean for this client we would make 7 submittals, and out of those 7 submittals, the hiring manager would make 1 hire.  

The Screen/Show/Hire Statement is more of a headline than a metric, but it belongs in the metric family because I haven't seen it.  It's designed to report the number and say, "how do you feel about that?"

The recruiting funnel we show for one of our clients is pretty average - we generally show 6-7 candidates via submittal, our clients interview 3 and hire one.

So the missing link to the Jobvite data - and a question you should ask from a recruiting service level perspective - is how many resumes/submittals are your recruiters providing to your hiring managers?  If it's more than our number (6 to 7), odds are your recruiters are asking the hiring managers to do the real work of recruiting, which isn't great from branding perspective for your HR/recruiting team.

Great data in this report -go check it out now!  Download here!

 


Decision Time: Are you Selling a Job or Your Skills as a Recruiter On The First Call?

If you recruit for a living, we've all been there.  You're having trouble filling a position, so you've turned to sourcing candidates.  You end up with a target list of 5 candidates, and now the time comes for the initial cold calls.

Which poses an interesting question - Are you selling a job or your skills as a recruiter on that first call? Compliments-for-girls

It matters more than you might think.

If you're selling a job, you're selling a commodity.  The candidate on the other end of the line doesn't know you, and if you're simply pitching the job, you're like every other recruiter that has the guts to actually make a cold call.  It's great that you made a call, but you still look like part of the pack if all you do is sell the job.

But there's another way.  Maybe you should sell your skills as a recruiter in helping people not just find a job, but the right job. The logical next step in someone's career. That would be value add for the candidate on the other side of the phone.

How do you start to do that when today still finds you calling them for the first time?  The simplest way to get started on this track is to understand their background and actually have a take why this job might be the right next step in their career.  Do that and then incorporate the reason you think the job is right for them by talking about something specific in their background that you like and think is a match - in the first 60 seconds of your call.

Compliment the work they've already done. Tell them why that work and experience makes them perfect for the job you have.

Do that and you're no longer a commodity.

Get busy selling or get busy dying.


Today's Career Sermon: Get Out of Your Own Head... (#workhuman)

Capitalist Note:  I'm spending the first couple of days of this week at WorkHuman in Austin.  Put on by Globoforce, WorkHuman is the most progressive HR Conference available, with past shows focused on emerging trends like mindfulness, meditation and more - the leading edge of people practices and how HR can build them.  It's also hard to get a free Diet Coke at WorkHuman, because that stuff is bad for you - but healthy options are available and free.  One of the best shows I attend, highly recommended.

I thought Cy Wakeman won WorkHuman.  Crazy lineup of speakers, Cy didn't have the prime-time slot, but she won.  Intersection of leadership and practical advice.  Thanks Cy.

This post is inspired by Cy Wakeman.

Get out of your own f###ing head at work.  You're making up agendas, politics and intent of the people around you.  Some of it's true, most of it isn't.  And you can't change any of it.

You're wasting time.

You can assume positive intent if that makes you feel better.

A better way to phrase that is that the world isn't out to get you.  The world, even at your own company, barely knows who you are.  You think it's about you.  It's not.  You think it's one way, it's actually the other way.

People are thinking about themselves, not plotting against you.  And yes, a lot of them suck.  But you can't change any of it.

The only thing you can control is you.  So do you and stop wasting time.  

It's probably time to stop analyzing the intent of others.  Let's do great work.


Does Drama at Work Cost the Average Worker 2.5 Hours Per Day? #workhuman

Capitalist Note:  I'm spending the first couple of days of this week at WorkHuman in Austin.  Put on by Globoforce, WorkHuman is the most progressive HR Conference available, with past shows focused on emerging trends like mindfulness, meditation and more - the leading edge of people practices and how HR can build them.  It's also hard to get a free Diet Coke at WorkHuman, because that stuff is bad for you - but healthy options are available and free.  One of the best shows I attend, highly recommended.

Stop me when you've heard this before.  

You're a manager of people/leader.  You're walking in one day and you get stopped dead in your tracks.  Allison wants to talk with you.  Allison has been known to get wound up and need some vent Tonytime with you on a periodic basis.

You've been trained by the world that you need to be a good listener as a manager.  So you invite Allison into your office and let her unload- you let her vent.

45 minutes later, you don't feel like you've really done anything to help.  You're concerned about a couple of things that Allison has said, but when you try to talk about some actions you can take, Allison says the following:

"I don't want you to do anything with this - I just needed someone to talk to"

F###. You walked in at 8am - it's now 8:50.  Allison feels better - at least for today.  You don't.

Did you do the right thing by allowing Allison to vent?

I had the chance to listen to Cy Wakeman talk Monday afternoon at WorkHuman in Austin.  For those of you that don't know her, here's the 411 on Cy via her own site:

What if you could diffuse workplace drama and be happier at work and in life? The great news is...now, you can!

Cy's research shows that the average worker spends 2.5 hours per day on drama.  Either interacting with others or just being worked up on their own.  She feels activities like the one described by me above with "Allison", while well intentioned by you and me, are actually net negative to the workplace.

Cy believes that rather than engaging in that vent sessions to let someone unload, you need to hold them accountable for what they can control.  One of the ways she recommends you do that to an individual that wants to b*tch is to diffuse the drama and ask “what does great look like” to get the person in front of you back to action.

"What does great look like?"

The concept is that someone wants to complain to you.  Many times they're wanting to complain about things they can't control, or realities they've made up in their own mind.  The question "what does great look like?" is designed to get them back to action.

Thus,"What does great look like?" is followed by "what part of that can you control?", then followed by the guidance "go do some of that.  Now.  You'll feel better"

My description of the technique provided by Cy is from 30,000 feet.  Go to her site at the link above and there's books with much more detail, tools and process to cut through the drama, take on fewer vent sessions and just 180 people back into action.

Cy Wakeman is a smart, smart person. The hard part for HR leaders in eliminating ego and drama in the workplace is transferring her techniques to the average manager of people. Possible? Yes. Hard? Yeah....

Allison: "We Need to talk."  <starts ranting about something your manager of people knows will take 45 minutes to diffuse>

Your Manager of People (MOP): " I know what you're talking about.  What does Great Look Like?"

Allison: <taken aback by the interruption> <Thinking>

Allison: "It would be great if you and the other members of the leadership team would smarten up and fire the two people I'm talking about."

Your MOP: <wishing he had read Cy's book - the one you gave him>

The point?  Cy's got some great thoughts and eliminating drama is a great aspirational goal.  The devil is in the details - to get the best results, you'll need to arm your managers with not only the question to regain control of the conversation, but the techniques to overcome all the sidetracks they'll encounter.

What does great look like?

That depends on who you ask.   

 

 

 


HBR Says Women Experience More Incivility than Men at Work — Especially from Other Women (KD at #workhuman)

Capitalist Note:  I'm spending the first couple of days of this week at WorkHuman in Austin.  Put on by Globoforce, WorkHuman is the most progressive HR Conference available, with past shows focused on emerging trends like mindfulness, meditation and more - the leading edge of people practices and how HR can build them.  It's also hard to get a free Diet Coke at WorkHuman, because that stuff is bad for you - but healthy options are available and free.  One of the best shows I attend, highly recommended.

I've been to WorkHuman one time a couple of years ago, and I'm back this year. It's a great show, but it has a very progressive lean, and you have to be ready for that.  For me, it's a great shock out of the day-to-day way Pradawe normally think as traditional HR practitioners.  Couple of funny memories from the first time I attended the show, both of which occurred during Q&A and tell you more about the average state of HR, not WorkHuman:

1--A HR manager type from Zappos asked a question from the audience - her question was interrupted by applause, because she was from ZAPPOS.  Only in HR, my friends.  Even the classiness and deep thinking of WorkHuman can't stop that reaction.  Everybody drink.

2--Another HR Manager type asked a question about - and I'm not making this up - making her workplace meditation sessions/rooms mandatory for people because participation was low.

Mandatory meditation sessions?  Welcome to the intersection of great thoughts/HR content brought to you by Workhuman (mindfulness and meditation) and average HR attempting to find their way to deliver on some of the ideas shared (make that s*** mandatory). 

But if you listen closely, you'll figure out that WorkHuman is unlike any other HR show within 2 hours into the show.

Every year, WorkHuman evolves. One of the highlights of Workhuman this year is a #metoo panel, described below:

The #MeToo movement brought to light human behaviors that have no place in a human workplace. We are bringing together the leading voices of this movement in a historic panel discussion on sexual harassment, respect, and equality in the workplace. This panel will focus on these critical issues facing HR leaders today and organizations can drive changes and build cultures where everyone feels safe and empowered.

This discussion will be moderated by top-rated Wharton professor and best-selling author Adam Grant, a long-time advocate for workplace equality. Panel participants include actress and humanitarian Ashley Judd, gender equity advocate Tarana Burke, and other soon-to-be-announced guests.

I'm fascinated that Grant and Ronan Farrow (one of the TBD panelists) - two white guys - make up half this panel (Grant's moderating, but I'm counting him).  I'm confident they'll do a great job, but the danger for them is real.  One wrong turn and it's going to be harsh for them, like the time Matt Damon did some #mansplaining of this own on a diversity panel.  Part of me feels like including guys on the panel is a lot like NASCAR (I've been to a race one time), where people just wait for the inevitable crash.  Imagine the focus in the room when these guys speak.  It's a form of inclusion, even if many in the audience will be guarded every time one of the guys speaks:

"What did he just say?"

That's going to be interesting to me.  But I will say this - WorkHuman stretches your boundaries, and that's the whole point. Growth and getting exposed to ideas and perspectives you don't encounter every day is the currency of this show.

Here's another recent item related to some of the conversation that will/should happen at WorkHuman...

A recent study by HBR showed the following - Women Experience More Incivility at Work Especially from Other Women - which is a finding I'm assuming will be addressed indirectly by the #metoo panel.  Here's some snippets from that study that play into the #metoo panel:

Most employees, at one point or another, have been the victim of incivility at work. Ranging from snarky comments or rude interruptions to being disrespected in a brusque email, organizations can be breeding grounds for this type of behavior. Compared to more egregious forms of workplace mistreatment like sexual harassment, incivility — which is classified as low-intensity deviance at work — may seem minor. Yet, the costs of incivility can add up.

One finding that has been frequently documented is that women tend to report experiencing more incivility at work than their male counterparts. However, it has been unclear to as to who is perpetrating the mistreatment towards women at work. Some have theorized that men may be the culprits, as men are the more dominant social class in society and may feel as though they have the power to mistreat women. Perhaps as more overt forms of mistreatment like sexual harassment have become legally prohibited and socially taboo, subtle forms of discrimination in the form of incivility may increasingly occur within the workplace. Others, however, have theorized and suggested that women may be mistreating other women because they are more likely to view each other as competition for advancement opportunities in companies.

Our research examined these two opposing views by conducting three complementary studies. These studies involved rather large samples, surveying between 400 and over 600 U.S. employees per study, across a variety of service operations and time periods. In each study, we consistently found that women reported experiencing more incivility from other women than from their male coworkers. Examples of this incivility included being addressed in unprofessional terms, having derogatory comments directed toward them, being put down in a condescending way, and being ignored or excluded from professional camaraderie.

The question, though, is why? Why would women be more susceptible to this treatment from other women? Our research suggests that when women acted more assertively at work — expressing opinions in meetings, assigning people to tasks, and taking charge — they were even more likely to report receiving uncivil treatment from other women at work. We suspect that it may be that women acting assertively contradicts the norms that women must be warm and nurturing rather than emphatic and dominant. This means that women who take charge at work may suffer backlash in the form of being interpersonally mistreated.

It may also be the case that these assertive behaviors are viewed as ruthless by other women; given that women are more likely to compare themselves against each other, these behaviors may signal competition, eliciting incivility as a response.

HR has been said to be 70%+ female.  I can tell you that I've seen women in HR treat their female departmental peers harshly, and I can also tell you that I never felt like I received that same treatment as a guy - which I now can code as Incivility based on the HBR article.  Thanks, HBR!

The guys in HR get passes a lot of times from women in HR.  Women in HR don't always get the same courtesy from other women in HR.

You can go read the entire article on the study here.  I'm guessing the topic of woman to woman incivility will come up in the panel.  

But if I was one of those guys on the panel, I'd wait for the females bring it up.

More notes to follow from #workhuman in Austin.  Put this one on your list of shows to attend in the future.

 


White People and College Admission - David Hogg Edition...

In case you missed it this week, David Hogg, a self-appointed spokesman for gun control, revealed on Tuesday that four universities he has applied to have rejected his application.

The Florida high school student, a survivor of the February 14 shooting in Parkland who recently helped organize the March For Our Lives, said four different campuses in the University of California school system have turned him down: UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine.

Of course, he did a little more than just report that fact- he alluded that the rejections might somehow be linked to his recent advocacy.  More from TMZ:

"It's not been too great for me and some of the other members of the movement, like Ryan Deitsch," he said, according to TMZ.

Hogg said he had been accepted at Florida Atlantic University, Cal Poly and Cal State San Marcos.

"If colleges want to support us in that, great, if they don't it doesn't matter, we're still going to change the world," he said.

Clearly, Hogg is using his public profile as an opportunity to point to the fact that he thinks the universities did one of two things - they either didn't admit him because of his advocacy, or they failed to factor it into his candicacy for admission.

Of course, that's just the tip of the iceberg - uber conservative commentator Laura Ingraham took it a big step further and accused Hogg of whining via this tweet:

At which point Hogg mobilized his following and started a boycott vs Ingraham's talk show.  In a hat top to where we are, the boycott had immediate legs and Ingraham was forced to apologize.

Welcome to 2018.

Was Hogg whining? No.  But he was using his platform to throw some shots towards the schools in question - undoubtedly.

The problem is he's throwing general shots at the system.  Here's the reality of college admission in 2018 mixed with Hogg's circumstances, which is a talent issue that has and should be debated at some length:

1. Hogg's a white kid from a family with some meansThis article on his dad describes the fact his dad retired from the FBI and moved to Florida, which people generally don't do unless they are doing OK.

2. Hogg makes no mention of the other barometer for admission - ACT/SAT test scores.  The fact that he didn't provide that tells me it's not an uber-high score, which is 100% OK.  You know how many game changers have ACT scores in the 20's?  LOTS.  At the end of the day, it's more about being smart enough, mixing it with work ethic/hustle that others don't have and kicking ass in your career.  Hogg's already proven he has what it takes via what he's done in the media.  So you got a 27... You're fine.  But you left that out when you talked to TMZ.

3. White people are generally adjusting to a new reality in college admissions.  A +4.0 GPA doesn't really guarantee anyone much these days, even when combined with 30+ ACT score.  See this post by my friend Tim Sackett to get a sense, and be sure to read the comments which are full of opinions about the admission process.

4.  Hogg's alluding to the fact that his gun rights advocacy might have been held against him by UCLA and others.  My gut tells me it wasn't factored in at all and he was left to compete with others on merit, and that UCLA and others either made this decision consciously or didn't even catch his fame in the process. You're telling me that universities (usually liberal) wouldn't want Hogg (from a law enforcement family, yet still vocal and active as anti-gun)  as part of their incoming class?  Please...

There's a lot of lessons in this.  First up, in 2018, a kid like David Hogg can take down a famous talk show host, which is amazing but somehow expected. Also, white people are having a hard time adjusting to the new admissions scene, which I'm getting ready to go through with two sons of my own.

Wish me luck.  And if my kids don't get into their primary schools, like Tom Cruise once concluded in Risky Business, 'Looks like University of Illinois".  Video below - worth watching. 


Saying Nothing Why Talking a Lot - The Long Con of Bull**** Tag Lines...

The Capitalist is at the beach this week. 

But let's talk about the art of corporate Bullsh*t tag lines.  Corporate tag lines are the sayings/statements that appear in big font on primary pages to corporate websites.  I've got a guy on my team that might or might not be good at these.  We like to collect them in their natural habitat - corporate America - and evaluate them on their own merits.  They generally fall into one of three types:

1--Total Bullsh*t

2--Half real and half Bullsh*t

3--Really good stuff that is Bullsh*t if you slow down and read it closely - but it made you believe it when you read it at a glance.

The goal, of course, is #3 - because even thought it might be Bullsh*t - you felt it, deep down in your soul.  It made you believe.  That's the long con of corporate Bullsh*t tag lines.

I'll leave you with this - take a look at the 4 taglines that listing below and tell me which one is real and actually exists in nature (on a corporate website).  You might be surprised to hear which one it is.  Here are your choices:

1--SIZE NO LONGER MATTERS - INTENT DOES.

2--HELPING OTHERS IS THE KEY TO HELPING YOURSELF

3--MEETING TO PLAN, PLANNING TO MEET

4--YOUR BRAND IS AN EXPERIENCE - THE EXPERIENCE IS YOUR BRAND

Which one is active in the real world?

Only the corporate Bullsh*t artist knows.   I like them all, but I should, since I created at least 2 of them.

Hit me in the comments and let's see how good of corporate Bullsh*t artist you are.

 


Who Sucked Out The Feeling? You Did.

Look around could it bring somebody down
If I never made a sound again?

Who sucked out the feeling?

--Sucked Out by Superdrag

Quick thought while I'm on vacation.  Let's say you're on a conference call, you've got 3 people in a room and either another person or team on the other line.  Something comes up you're not sure about or perhaps you have a disagreement on your end - in your room.  To resolve the issue, you make the decision to mute your line so you can discuss on your end without being heard.

You just sucked all the good times and trust out of the relationship.  If not forever, for awhile.

I'm not talking about two sides battling on an issue.  I'm talking about two or more parties working for a common good, be it a project, an initiative or a product launch.  

You muted your line. #Interesting

Who sucked out the feeling? You did.  We'll be on the other end feeling small.  Holler when it's time for the kids to come back in the room!

Unless you're negotiating an armistice to an armed conflict or a legal matter, just tell people you're going to discuss and get back to them.  That feels 100 times better than a 2-minute mute session.

Enjoy the Superdrag video below.  If you've heard this cut, tell me you haven't screamed the chorus along with the lead singer of average talent.