Micromessaging: Why Great Leadership is Beyond Words / Edition 1

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Should you sweat the small stuff?

Absolutely, says Stephen Young-especially when it comes to those critical behaviors that can make or break performance. The reason is simple: no matter what you think you're saying, your words, gestures, and tone of voice can actually communicate something entirely different.

Too often, negative micromessages undermine morale, business opportunities, and ultimately your organization. Micromessaging examines the nuanced behaviors that we all blindly use and react to in our dealings with others. Yet as Young points out, these micromessages can reveal a lot about our own-and our superiors'-biases and preconceived notions. Learning how to constructively address these behaviors can bring about positive change.

Young offers a common language for encouraging open discussion in the workplace, along with skills to identify and address familiar micromessages; tools for deploying microadvantages; and real-life workplace scenarios, self-assessments, and solutions that help readers interpret and alter ingrained behaviors and their effects. He delivers valuable information on

  • Cruicial leadership skills and how to acquire them
  • Universal workplace cultural issues
  • How expectations affect the performance of others
  • Ways to speak fairly, not falsely
  • Techniques that eliminate group think
  • How to reset the "filters" you use to "screen" others

Based on research from MIT, Young's approach has already helped numerous Fortune 500 clients, including Merck, Intel, Lockheed Martin, Starbucks, IBM, Boeing, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Cisco, and Raytheon to increase leadership effectiveness. With its proven wisdom, you can experience what so many business executives worldwide have discovered and make it a powerful part of your leadership skill set.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Here are three new titles handling various aspects of corporate communication, a subject about which there seems more and more to communicate. Negotiation expert Brodow (Beating the Success Trap) has put his popular corporate Negotiation Boot Camp seminar into book form, offering a 12-week course (a chapter a week) wherein "recruits" learn different skills until they can intrepidly tackle the trickiest negotiations. While his building blocks have relevance in the workplace with clients, staff, and management, Brodow's advice, garnered from the streets of his hometown of Brooklyn, NY, and his Fortune 500 clients, proves handy for everyday situations as well. Readers, for instance, will learn about buying a car or negotiating medical fees. Professional facilitator Dressler (president, Blue Wing Consulting) offers up a simple formula to help managers implement a cooperative process of consensus decision making. He outlines the best conditions for attempting it and makes clear when his formula is unlikely to be the best tool. Dressler works through the preparation process, explains how to deal with disagreements, explores obstacles to consensus, and offers tips on the dynamics of meetings. He views consensus as an excellent method for motivating employees as they help to craft their organizations through the decision-making process. We've probably all been guilty of exchanging sly looks with colleagues during an interminable meeting. But what happens when it's the boss rolling her eyes while you're doing the talking? Organizational guru Young (former senior VP, JPMorgan Chase) explores the nearly subliminal messages that managers send to their staff. Micro-messages are those simple, subtle gestures and expressions that give away what we're really thinking. Malcolm Gladwell's Blink covered a certain amount of this territory, but Young is more concerned with workplace implications as he coaches managers on better and fairer ways to communicate. He explores "microinequities," i.e., visually or verbally telegraphed signals that make people feel rotten and contribute to underperformance. "Microadvantages," on the other hand, are gestures of praise or encouragement that give people a warm feeling and make them want to perform well. This is an engaging and enlightening work with implications not only for managers but also for anyone in-or under-a position of authority. Negotiation is recommended for larger public business collections; the slim but highly practical Consensus is recommended for academic and larger public business collections. Micromessaging is highly recommended for the same.-Carol J. Elsen, Univ. of Wisconsin-Whitewater Libs. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071467575
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 189,189
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

For more than a decade, organizational guru Stephen Young has brought his powerful message about micromessaging and leadership to executives in businesses spanning fifteen countries. In 2002, Young founded Insight Education Systems, a management consulting firm specializing in leadership and organizational development, applying these concepts to nearly 10% of the Fortune 500 and many of their CEOs and leadership teams. Previously, as Senior Vice President at JP Morgan Chase he managed the firm's worldwide diversity strategy. Under his leadership, the company garnered numerous awards including the Catalyst Award and Fortune magazine's list of Top 50 Companies for Minorities, and it was ranked as the #1 company for diversity by Inc. magazine.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2007

    Insightful advice

    Micromessages are those subtle ¿ and sometimes not-so-subtle ¿ nonverbal messages that people send through body language, tone of voice and the way they inflect words. Micromessages signal at an immediate gut level how people feel about each other. You can use nice words when speaking to other people, but if at the same time you inadvertently send out negative micromessages, those nonverbal signals will have a more enduring impact than anything you say. Managers, supervisors and other leaders should become avid students of their own facial expressions, styles of personal engagement, body language and other nonverbal communicative attributes. Then they should try to send positive micromessages, not harmful ones that breed resentment and undermine performance. This book is easy to read and understand, but we believe that it delivers an important lesson: Micromessages matter, so mind your unspoken communications. Those small signals have a large reverberation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2008

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