Messed Up Big Time At Work? How To Recover

November 15, 2017

“I feel horrible about my behavior,” my client told me over the telephone. “During our project team meeting today, I yelled at someone and made her cry.”

I asked what prompted his behavior.

“I was feeling really frustrated because we can’t afford to miss the go-live date for the new IT system,” he explained. “Management is counting on us and I felt like she wasn’t listening to me and didn’t care about resolving the issues we’ve run into. That’s when I lost it and yelled at her.” Read the rest of this entry »

2 Skills The People Manager Of The Future Will Need

October 25, 2017

I was having a conversation with the head of a local technology company recently and she asked me an interesting question.

She said they were going to start their long-range strategic planning during the second half of this year, and wanted to know what I thought were the most important skills her managers would need in the future (2020 and beyond).

I told her I thought she should train every manager on how to be a great coach and teach them how to act like an internal consultant. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Improve Your Organization’s Employee Engagement Scores

October 18, 2017

Just as workplaces are changing – more people working remotely, more digital communication taking place, companies moving to more open floor plans without assigned spaces – the way we look at employee engagement needs to change.

Employee engagement shouldn’t be an annual survey with managers left on their own to figure out how they can earn higher scores the next year. Employee engagement needs to start at the executive levels and move from being an abstract annual survey to becoming an ingrained part of your company’s culture and part of the daily work of each people manager throughout your organization. Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s What Makes A Great Manager So Great

October 11, 2017

What it takes to become a great people manager might surprise you.

It surprised Google when it embarked on a data-mining project to uncover the top attributes of effective Google managers. After analyzing performance reviews, feedback surveys and nominations for top-manager awards, they uncovered eight habits that were consistent in highly effective Google managers. Read the rest of this entry »

Stuck In Your Career? Additional Education Might Be The Answer

September 27, 2017

“I feel like I’m stuck in my role as an administrative assistant,” a mentee once told me. “I don’t want to be an administrative assistant for my entire career, but I feel like I’m not being taken seriously when I say I’d like to move into a different role.”

Ever felt that way? That you’re stuck in a job because the people around you have become so comfortable with the work you do?

For “Sarah,” it was a combination of two things. First, she had been in her current role for six years and the management team she supported had come to rely on her skills and advice, which made them nervous at the thought of having to replace her. Read the rest of this entry »

What The Hiring Manager Is Really Thinking (About You) During That Job Interview

September 20, 2017

You finished your job interview and sighed in relief as you walked out of the office building. You felt like it went well, but had a difficult time trying to read the face of the hiring manager during the discussion.

You tried paying attention to the interviewers’ nonverbal cues for important clues as to what she thought of you. But you couldn’t seem to get a read on the hiring manager, based on her nonverbal communication. She would be a great poker player, you thought to yourself.

Even though you came to the interview prepared, you’re feeling like there was more that the hiring manager was thinking about you than just the questions she was asking.

Sound familiar? You’re right. Sure, hiring managers are listening to your answers, but they’re also going beyond the questions and answers to try to figure out if you’ll be the best person for the job.

Most likely, the hiring manager will be secretly evaluating your IQ, EQ, CQ and AQ. Let’s break those down. Read the rest of this entry »

Feeling Miserable In Your Job? 3 Ways To Find Meaning

September 13, 2017

“I don’t think I can do my job anymore,” a client told me one day. “I just can’t take it anymore.”

It wasn’t that she hated her job, couldn’t do her job or had received poor feedback from her manager. “Annie” had become despondent at what she felt was the monotony of her work. Every day for the last seven years she had gotten out of bed and gone to her job as a patient care coordinator at a Seattle medical facility.

“It’s the same thing over and over, day after day. All my days seem to blend together into one boring blur of activity,” she said. “I feel like my life doesn’t have a purpose. Like I’m sleepwalking through my days at work.”

My heart went out to her because I had also experienced similar feelings about jobs at different points in my career. Each time this happened, I gravitated back to a book I had read at a young age, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl. Read the rest of this entry »

New People Manager? Define Which Kind You Intend To Be

August 30, 2017

Excited because you were just promoted into a people manager role? Congrats. Now you’ll want to think about the type of manager you’d like to be.

Many people don’t do this. They jump from individual contributor to people manager, diving into the new job responsibilities.

That’s not always a bad thing, but it can help you in the long run if you take a little time to consider the types of managers you’ve had and to define the kind of people manager you intend to be. Read the rest of this entry »

Bid to impress at work backfires – now what?

August 23, 2017

“I’m not sure what to do,” my client told me. “I wanted to show that I was a team player in my new role, so I’ve been taking on more and more projects.”

“Kate” set her coffee down and rubbed her blood-shot eyes, shaking her head.

“Now I feel like I’ve dug myself into a hole I can’t get out of, because there just isn’t enough time to get everything done. I’m drowning.”

Kate had started a new job a few months ago and, wanting to do well, she showed her eagerness to take on additional work and participate in lots of projects. On the positive side, this had given her the opportunity to get to know many employees and demonstrate her skills to her manager.

On the downside, in the process of trying to become well-liked, she had overextended herself. Now she was behind schedule on several projects. Her likeability factor was sliding, because she was the hold-up for a few high-visibility projects. Read the rest of this entry »

Why You Should Stop Trying To ‘Fake It Till You Make It’

August 16, 2017

They seem to be almost everywhere on the Internet these days – articles explaining how you can fake your way to success.

There are tips on ways to look smarter than you really are, how to look more important during meetings, how to sound like you know what you’re talking about (even when you don’t), and how you can show authority by striking a power pose or taking up more physical space during meetings.

But here’s the thing, faking it will never get you the career success as quickly as hard work and a career development plan. Because faking it leaves out the most critical part of the equation: Effort. Read the rest of this entry »