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Welcome to Merge's Monthly Mega Minute — a bite-sized, yet substantial and practical, nugget of information that you can use immediately to enhance your professional and personal success.

When a senior manager asks you the time, don't describe how a watch works

I've always said that it's important to modify your approach when you're communicating upward. And I was reminded of it recently when I overheard a leader in a client organization giving advice to one of his staff. He said, "When a senior manager asks you the time, don't describe how a watch works". I chuckled to myself because it was such an apt description for the deep pit that so many subject matter experts stumble into.

As managers rise in the leadership ranks in organizations, by necessity, they need to focus more on strategic issues and less on the minutiae. So they count on the subject matter experts around them to study the details and make recommendations. However, when people are specialists or authorities in their areas, there is a predisposition to "vomit data" — to share everything they know about a subject or topic. But the reality is that, almost always, the degree of knowledge an expert has is far more detailed and comprehensive than what is required for a senior manager to understand the situation and make a decision.

So when communicating upwards to senior management, seek to present information in concise statements that are brief and to the point. Respond in succinct sound bites; think bullet points. When it comes to communicating upwards, your ultimate objective should be to keep senior managers in the loop, but without giving them the extended version.

As always, I would love to hear about your reaction to this Mega Minute. Do you agree? Or do you have a different perspective? Please share your thoughts on the blog at www.turningmanagersintoleaders.com/blog and tell us whether you are the one delivering the information, or the one receiving it.


Are you guilty of micro-managing? in The Globe & Mail

Merge's latest column in The Globe and Mail got a few reactions! The topic was bosses who micro-manage. Find out if you're one of them in Guilty of micromanaging? Stop before it's too late. And if you are, you'll also learn four ideas on how to ease up ... just a little.

Our latest how-to video series focusing on motivating employees continues

Since the last issue of the Mega Minute, Merge has produced three more videos in this series offering specific tips on how to motivate employees.

Last chance! Open-enrollment leadership training events in Calgary this month

Merge is now in her third year of partnering with CPA Alberta to deliver a series of "open enrollment" full-day leadership training programs in Edmonton and Calgary. The last two events for Calgary are coming up at the end of the month! Check our website for the details.


Turning Managers into Leaders


That Merge is one of only 59 Canadians to have earned the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional credential?

Merge is a proud professional member of both the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and the Global Speakers Federation, and holds her Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation. The CSP designation is an international measure of speaking and platform excellence and is awarded only to those accomplished speakers who meet strict criteria and have a proven record of delivering client satisfaction. Less than 12% of the speakers who belong to the worldwide federation hold this professional designation, and Merge is one of only 59 Canadians who has earned the Certified Speaking Professional credential. You can obtain more information about the CSP designation here.

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