The Science of Career Success

For the last twenty-plus years, we’ve studied the most influential and respected employees in more than 50 companies across dozens of industries. As we observed these people clamoring to climb the corporate ladder, we discovered a few startling trends. One of the most disconcerting: 87 percent of the employees we surveyed said they have bosses [...]

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Communicating with Apathetic Teenagers

I just watched Joseph Grenny’s “How to Hold Those You Love Accountable” video and although I thought it was good, I would like to know how to deal with teenagers who don’t see things as clearly. Both kids in the example well up in tears and seem extremely mature in their response. What happens when [...]


Atoning for Past Mistakes | Vital Smarts

  Dear Vital Smarts,   I’ve recently taken the Crucial Conversations Training in an effort to improve my communication skills with my coworkers. However, I’ve been cautioned that I already burned a few bridges and that some of my coworkers are hesitant to work with me on projects. To be honest, I don’t really blame [...]

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Crucial Accountability – Transforming a Negative Environment

Dear VitalSmarts, I am a mid-level manager in human services, and support a twenty-one person staff. Nineteen of these team members have a professional approach to their work, manage their emotions appropriately, and are respectful to others. However, two team members are constantly negative, complaining, and disrespectful. I have addressed these behaviors with them, but [...]


What to Do With Accountability when You Lack Authority

Dear VitalSmarts, My supervisor often gives me leadership responsibility for projects involving multiple departments. However, my position is not viewed as one of authority. As a result, I struggle to get results from others when I ask them to do something. When I present my lack of progress and ask for assistance, I’m told I [...]

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