no_cat Articles

Never Bring Your Boss Only One Solution To A Problem

Whenever you're pitching your boss (or a customer or a colleague) a solution to a problem, NEVER bring them only one solution.

It sounds strange, but offering only one solution can drastically increase your frustration and stress. And it significantly damages your problem-solving and creative abilities!

Watch the video to learn how this works, and what to do instead!




Posted by Mark Murphy on 13 January, 2021 no_cat, no_recent, sb_ad_30, sb_ad_5, sb_ad_9 | 0 comments | Read more →

3 Phrases That Great Presenters DON’T Say


Whenever you make a presentation, you want to use really concrete words.

Allan Paivio is the scientist who pioneered the concept of concrete words. In one of my favorite studies, Paivio analyzed peoples’ ability to remember concrete words vs. abstract words.

Concrete words have high “imagery value,” that is you can picture that to which they refer For example, words like road, bridge, clown and even picture, are all pretty concrete. But words like condition, amount, request and purpose are all pretty abstract.  

Abstract words/phrases also include "core competencies," "strategic vision," and "value added." And that's why the best presenters avoid those phrases (and others like them)!

Paivio paired concrete nouns and adjectives and tested them against paired abstract nouns and adjectives, to see which words were easier to recall.

In every case, recall was better for concrete word pairs than it was for abstract word pairs. It’s just easier to remember “happy clown” and “spittle-flecked lips” than it is “essential nutrient” or “significant result.” In fact, and this is critical, you’ll remember totally unrelated concrete word pairs way better than you’ll remember related abstract word pairs.

Across Paivio’s experiments, concrete words could be remembered as much as 2-3 times more frequently than the abstract words.

Now here’s the real kicker; almost every presenter in business suffers from abstract word disease. Let me share some of the actual abstract word pairs tested in Paivio’s study:

  • Complete set
  • Annual event
  • Useful purpose
  • Original finding
  • Critical condition
  • Reasonable request
  • Constant attention
  • Adequate amount
  • Significant result
  • Possible guess

If you’ve ever sat through a corporate presentation, I guarantee you’ve seen word pairs like this (if not these exact ones). Over and over again people deliver presentations using abstract language. Then they look around bewildered as to why nobody remembers what they said. And the reason is because they are using language that is guaranteed not to be remembered.

Think about how many times you've sat through presentations using abstract words/phrases like "core competencies," "strategic vision," and "value added." It's tough to remember what was said in those presentations because the language was so abstract!  

I’ve had the word choice conversation with a lot of CEOs. And while hundreds of them have gotten it no problem, there are thousands more that failed to achieve “significant results” on their goal-setting memos because they obtusely refused to give “constant attention” to this issue. See how easy it is to slip in that abstract language without even noticing? It’s a disease. If you want presentations that people actually remember, you had better address your abstract word disease and fast.

So the next time you’re about to give a presentation, ask yourself this question: Could the people listening to me draw a picture of what I’m saying?



Posted by Mark Murphy on 11 January, 2021 no_cat, no_recent, sb_ad_30, sb_ad_4, sb_ad_5 | 0 comments | Read more →

Here's How Many Hours Per Week Leaders Need To Spend With Their Employees

A study of more than 30,000 people reveals the exact amount of time that leaders need to spend with their employees in order to increase their engagement, inspiration and innovation!
Posted by Mark Murphy on 14 December, 2020 no_cat, no_recent, sb_ad_30, sb_ad_5, sb_ad_9 | 0 comments | Read more →

You Must Conduct Your Performance Reviews In This Order [Video]


Posted by Mark Murphy on 03 November, 2020 no_cat, no_recent, sb_ad_27, sb_ad_30 | 0 comments | Read more →

This Psychological Quirk Explains Why Many Leaders Struggle To Compliment Their Employees

There is a psychological phenomenon that helps explain why many managers don’t recognize, let alone praise, employees’ great work. And it’s called 'reason-based choice.'
Posted by Mark Murphy on 30 September, 2020 no_cat, no_recent, sb_ad_30, sb_ad_5 | 0 comments | Read more →

When Your Employees Are Remote, You Have To Stop The Butt-In-Seat Mentality

There's an insidious attitude permeating many companies; that when employees have their butts-in-their-seats, it means they're productive. But if you've ever seen studies on actual employee productivity, or if you've ever forced yourself to sit at your desk for eight straight hours, you know that having a butt-in-the-seat does not equal productivity.

Posted by Mark Murphy on 27 August, 2020 no_cat, sb_ad_30, sb_ad_5 | 0 comments | Read more →

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance occurs when someone holds two psychologically inconsistent beliefs (or attitudes or opinions) that create an unpleasant mental tension.
Posted by Mark Murphy on 17 June, 2020 no_cat, sb_ad_30, sb_ad_5 | 0 comments | Read more →

Resiliency Test: How Do You Respond To Adversity?

Resiliency is your ability to quickly bounce back from failure, adversity, rejection, etc. But how do you handle these situations? Take the Resiliency Test and find out...

Posted by Mark Murphy on 18 April, 2020 no_cat, no_recent, Quizzes, sb_ad_30, sb_ad_5 | 0 comments | Read more →

Remote Employee Productivity Hack

The top remote employees (e.g., writers, creatives, freelancers, etc.) have long known the best way to be productive when working from home. And it's a technique that you need to teach your 'suddenly remote' employees now!


remote employee masterclass




Posted by Mark Murphy on 08 April, 2020 no_cat, no_recent, sb_ad_25, sb_ad_30, sb_ad_5, sb_ad_6, sb_ad_7, sb_ad_8, sb_ad_9, Video | 0 comments | Read more →

Types Of Power Quiz: Do You Use Referent Power, Reward Power, Coercive Power, Legitimate Power, Expert Power or Information Power?

Ambitious employees and aspiring leaders often ask “what are the various types of power?" and "how do I get more power?" Beginning in the late 1950s, psychologists John R. P. French and Bertram Raven famously identified 6 types of power: Referent Power, Reward Power, Coercive Power, Legitimate Power, Expert Power, and Information Power. Before we explore each type (and their pros and cons), take the quiz to see which types of power you tend to use most frequently!

Posted by Mark Murphy on 02 March, 2020 no_cat, Quizzes, sb_ad_30, sb_ad_5 | 0 comments | Read more →
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