New Managers: 6 Critical Steps You MUST Take When Promoted To Department Manager

October 7, 2015

Business leader explaining to his employees their tasksWhen you’ve just been promoted to the manager of a department, it can often feel like you’re drinking from a fire hose because everything is coming at you so fast and furiously. Getting started is all about getting organized and spending time trying to understand the most important aspects of the department first, before making any hasty decisions.

Here are six critical steps you MUST take when promoted into the role of a department manager: Read the rest of this entry »

Emotional Intelligence: How To Put It Into Action

September 30, 2015

iStock_000046255998_Medium_150You’ve probably heard the term “emotional intelligence” over the last few years, as it’s become a fairly typical topic of discussion in the workplace. For one of my clients (I’ll call her “Sue”), her boss told her that she needed to work on improving her emotional intelligence. But what exactly did that mean, Sue wondered. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Coach Others ‘In-The-Moment’

September 23, 2015

Team: two young beautiful female employees working together at desk.Some people will tell you that you must obtain formal training to be able to coach others. Yet when I think back to when I was growing up and early in my career, some of the best coaches I ever had never had any type of formal “coaching” training. And it’s only been fairly recently that certification training programs for career coaching came into existence.

While training can be helpful, you don’t necessarily need it to be able to help others. And that’s what coaching is all about… it’s about helping others (individuals/teams) achieve results or overcome obstacles to get from where they are now, to where they want to be in the future. This could be in their career, obtaining new skills, completing projects, overcoming issues in their personal life, playing sports, etc.

An approach I like to teach is what I call coaching “in-the-moment” – and it doesn’t require any lengthy training sessions. All it requires is the ability to observe others, ask questions and listen to their responses. One of my athletic coaches was a master at this. She would watch me perform one of my gymnastics routines, such as on the balance beam, and then she would ask me about it. Through this question and answer process, I was able to discover for myself the ways I could improve. Read the rest of this entry »

Part 2: How To Overcome Micromanager Tendencies

September 16, 2015

iStock_000032922910_Medium_150In last week’s blog (Part 1) I explained ten warning signs I use as a career coach to help me determine if someone is a micromanager. If you read that article and thought to yourself, “Uh-oh. I think I might be a micromanager” or if you’re coaching/mentoring someone with micromanager tendencies – then this blog is for you.

The first step to overcoming micromanager behaviors is… to forgive yourself. Yep. You read that right. To move forward in your personal development you need to acknowledge your past behaviors and then forgive yourself for them. No one is perfect and everyone is evolving at different rates, so don’t fixate on these past behaviors; start the process to overcome them. Read the rest of this entry »

Part 1: 10 Warning Signs Of A Micromanager

September 9, 2015

Depressed blonde senior employee dismissed in officeA friend of mine was recently asked by HR to mentor a more junior manager at the company where she worked. After a few discussions with “Tom” (name changed) she came to me for some advice.

“I’m pretty sure the main problem is that he’s a micromanager, but I want to make sure that’s the real issue before I discuss it with him,” she said. “When you’re working with clients as a career coach, what are the signs you look for that demonstrate someone is a micromanager?”

Lisa: When you’re the employee and it’s your boss who is a micromanager, the signs are usually pretty blatant (as is your frustration with your boss). But when you’re the person outside of a situation trying to diagnose the problem, it can be more difficult.

Here are 10 warning signs I use to help me determine if someone is a micromanager: Read the rest of this entry »

Ending Gender Bias: Why Richard Branson Says Everyone Should Take Meeting Notes, Not Just Women

September 2, 2015

Richard Branson_picture with notes_image from Virgin.com_150If you’re a female in the workforce, chances are high that, at some point, you’ll be asked to do “office housework” activities, such as taking notes during a meeting or fetching someone coffee. And while you might wish that gender bias no longer existed, it’s still epidemic in many companies around the world.

A female friend of mine is a computer engineer at a large, global corporation. The real-life story she related, while funny, is typical of what continues to happen to women everywhere. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Work For A Manager Who Is Younger Or Less Experienced Than You

August 26, 2015

Portrait of an Indian female office executive standing in an office.In last week’s blog I discussed how to manage people who are older or have more expertise than you. This week, I’m addressing the flip side – how to work for someone who is younger or less experienced.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of workers aged 65 and older increased 101 percent between 1977 and 2007, as more employees delayed their retirement for economic reasons. With a huge bolus of baby boomers still in the workforce, it’s likely that many employees will work for a younger boss at some point in their career. Here are tips to ensure a smooth working relationship with a younger boss. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Manage People Who Are Older Or Have More Expertise Than You

August 19, 2015

boss-vs-leader-150x150You were just promoted into a management position or asked to lead a project team – and you’re the youngest person in the group. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to managing people who are older or have more expertise than you.

When I began my career in the sales operations department at a large medical equipment company, I was like most college graduates – excited and willing to work hard to learn everything possible. Within a year, my employer acquired another company and I was chosen by management to work on integrating the sales operations departments of both companies. I was 23 years old.

To make matters worse, I was also petite in size (former gymnast) and had blonde hair. In baseball terms, you could say that I had three strikes against me: young, petite and blonde. Read the rest of this entry »

9 Steps To Banish Insecurity And Develop Self-Confidence

August 12, 2015

iStock_000049141866_Medium_150Have you ever felt like you’re stuck in a job you don’t like and can’t seem to get yourself out of the situation? That’s what happened to a reader, who felt that her lack of self-confidence was holding her back.

Question from a Reader: “How can I gain self-confidence? I’m smart and intelligent, I always have solutions for things at work and people keep telling me I’m good at what I do, but I don’t have confidence. I’m stuck in a job that doesn’t pay well just because I don’t have confidence. What can I do to change that?”

Lisa’s Response: The difficult part about trying to gain self-confidence is that before that can happen, you must dig deep, reflect on yourself and your life, and analyze the reasons why you feel like you lack confidence. Read the rest of this entry »

Stop Comparing Yourself To Others And Focus On You – Here’s How

August 5, 2015

iStock_000056325880_Medium_150When I met with a mentee recently, she looked sad and a bit depressed. When I asked her if anything was wrong, her shoulders sagged lower, and she said was feeling like a failure in her career and her life.

I was surprised by her comment because the last time we had spoken (a few months prior), she had been excited to share with me that she had received a pay raise, been given a leadership role on a new project in her department and had even been recognized and praised by her boss for her outstanding work. Read the rest of this entry »