5 Wacky Termination Cases—and Their Lessons

You might think that inappropriate touching, over-the-top profanity or publicly undressing in one’s place of employment would be obvious grounds for firing. Think again. Unbelievable but true, these wacky termination cases teach lessons that are universal and relevant. Don’t assume that your company won’t face a wrongful termination suit. Instead, take the time to make — and follow! — smart policies in order to withstand …

How to Be a Better HR Leader

Too often HR professionals don’t understand their employer’s operation or what really makes it tick. Gaining intimate knowledge of an employer’s business operations helps HR professionals craft effective solutions and provide valuable advice, which in turn promotes trust and collaboration between HR and employees. In this article I share insider tips from accomplished HR professionals: Ask questions, immerse yourself and be curious! Read …

Excerpt from my new book

Beginning in 1980 when I was a first-year law student at the University of Chicago working in the employment discrimination section of a legal aid clinic, I represented some colorful clients. After representing a tall, handsome, hospital orderly who fondled his patients and a smug teacher who threw his student against the wall, I was hooked on employment law and studying why people in the workplace do what …

True Tales from the Trenches: Legal and Management Lessons for HR

Ignoring problems in the workplace often makes them worse. In this SHRM article I share a few dramatic stories of the sometimes painful lessons I learned from my decades working to keep employers out of court. These cautionary tales are excerpted from my new book, Hard-Won Wisdom: True Stories from the Management Trenches (AMACOM, available Nov. 2016). Read more here.

Finding Passion for Your Work, One Story at a Time

Paul Smith is a keynote speaker, corporate trainer, and former director and 20-year veteran of the Procter & Gamble Company. He understands that to get people to love their jobs it’s best to help them find passion for their work. One of the more effective and creative ways to do that is through storytelling. In this story Paul explains how, to his great …

How Do You Solve the Labor Shortage in Blue Collar Jobs? Hire Women!

Ellen Voie, President of Women In Trucking Association, discusses how to maximize employment opportunity for women in the trucking and logistics industries. She suggests that we listen to female workers and find out why they have not been considering a career in blue-collar jobs. Then, we need to be creative in addressing those concerns, including showing them how successful they can be and how …

Manage by Learning to Ski

Ski instructors teach you to put your weight forward on your skis, toward that frightening downhill slope. This makes no sense at first and seems a sure recipe for disaster, yet if you stay with it, you happily discover it works. Indeed, only by doing the opposite of what your instinct says can you control speed, direction and stay upright. …

Short-Term Vs. Long-Term Conflict Resolution

When was the last time you had a conflict with someone? It was probably over a current disagreement or issue. Yet was the intensity of the conflict and difficulty of resolving it due to some past issue or grievance that wasn’t articulated? So often, what prevents us from successfully resolving current conflicts stems from past grievances that aren’t addressed. This …