Improve Customer Relationships Through Acts Of Kindness In 2013

December 26, 2012

I’ve never been one who spends a lot of time contemplating or writing a long list of New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, at the end of each December I enjoy looking back at the year and considering the most important things I learned. What stood out the most for me during 2012 was summed up perfectly by Bill Taylor in the title of a blog he wrote for Harvard Business Review, “It’s More Important to Be Kind than Clever.” Read the rest of this entry »

4 Ways To Improve Your Hiring Process

December 19, 2012

When I was a corporate executive in the area of strategic planning, I quickly learned a very important lesson – the best way to ensure strategy implementation is to hire the right people into the company. I suppose that’s why I’m always surprised at the casual and often lackadaisical attitude many managers take when it comes to hiring. Look around and what you’ll notice is at the heart of most great companies is an incredibly strong emphasis on the hiring process. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Questions That Will Make You Better In Business And Your Career

December 12, 2012

After helping a client prepare for a major presentation in front of a large crowd at an industry meeting, we sat down to discuss how it went. She immediately turned to me and said, “How did I do? Is there anything I could have done better?”

I smiled but didn’t answer her. That’s because there are three questions I wanted her to think about, so she could determine her own lessons from the situation. Do you know what those three questions are and how they can make you better in business? Read the rest of this entry »

Twitter: A New Age for Customer Service

December 5, 2012

Social media has offered a new way for businesses to interact with both current and potential customers. Sanda Belaire, a manager at Nordstrom’s flagship store in Seattle, knows firsthand how beneficial it is to form these online relationships. She has used her socially savvy skills to promote both the company she works for and herself professionally.

Utilizing Twitter, Sanda has increased social media interactions for Nordstrom and grown her own following. Check out this 1:1 interview for an inside look at how one of the largest department stores in the country utilizes social media. Sanda lends useful advice on growing a Twitter following both as a company and personally, how to best use Twitter as a customer service tool and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Overcome The 5 Main Reasons People Resist Change

November 28, 2012

A career coaching client, newly promoted into a management position, called me to discuss a situation at work. “We had to reduce expenses within the company so I made some changes in the organizational structure of the department by consolidating a few positions, putting several projects on hold, cancelling one project, and letting a few people go,” she explained. “I didn’t think it would be any big deal, but some employees in the department are acting like I’m as ruthless as Attila the Hun. Several are avoiding me and a few have become downright hostile in their attitude towards me. I don’t understand why they’re acting this way.”

Leadership is about leading, but it’s also about implementing change, as my client found out. While many people like to joke that the only constant in business is change, change has an interesting way of affecting people that can often result in resistance. This resistance can range from fairly subtle, such as avoidance or passive aggressive behavior, all the way to outright defiance, hostility, and sabotage. The best way to avoid resistance to change? Seek to uncover potential resistance prior to implementing change. Read the rest of this entry »

Build A Personal Brand, Not Just A Career

November 21, 2012

Companies spend a lot of money and effort to build their brands. Why is building a brand name important? As brand strategist and author Laura Ries notes, a brand is “a name that stands for something in prospects’ minds. Nordstrom stands for ‘shoes.’ Zappos stands for ‘internet shoes.’ Google stands for ‘search.’” But what about building a personal brand? Can taking the time to build a personal brand help women achieve their career aspirations? Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s new CEO, is an example of how personal brand building can positively impact your career. Read the rest of this entry »

Tips For Young Women Transitioning From College To Real World Jobs

November 19, 2012

By the time you graduate from college, you’ve probably mastered doing well in school. What you may not have mastered, however, is succeeding in the workforce. What you’ve learned in school will matter when you start your first job out of college, but it won’t be the only thing that matters.

You’ll have to learn a number of new, practical skills and challenge yourself in a number of new ways. The first several months of working as a recent graduate will be a period of adjustment. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make your transition from college to your first real world job easier. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Reduce Workplace Gender Segregation And Help Women Obtain Higher Paying Jobs

November 7, 2012

Researchers have previously demonstrated that approximately half of the pay gap between men and women (women earn about 20% less) is due to women having a tendency to work in different occupations and industries than men, a phenomenon called “gender segregation.” But what causes this gender segregation?

Wharton management professor Matthew Bidwell and Roxana Barbulescu, a management professor at McGill University in Montreal, decided to find out and what they uncovered is that negative employer behavior isn’t the only cause of gender segregation. “How women view the employment landscape even before starting the job application process” can lead them to choose different jobs than their male counterparts, thus further promoting gender segregation. Read the rest of this entry »