The secret trick to gaining agreement at work

April 11, 2018

You spent a lot of time preparing your presentation for the upcoming meeting. You thought you had everything ready and a pretty persuasive argument.

You started your presentation strong, but then someone asked a tough question and your voice faltered as you tried to answer. Then someone else brought up something you hadn’t thought of. Suddenly, the rest of the managers in the room jumped in with their own questions.

Nothing during the meeting went as you’d expected and you walked away from the meeting without the approval you’d wanted. Has this ever happened to you? Read the rest of this entry »

5 steps to getting your boss on board with your idea

March 28, 2018

“I feel like I’m stuck in this endless loop with my manager. I keep trying to explain to him something that needs to be changed, but he just doesn’t seem to get it,” my mentee told me over the phone one day. “I don’t know what else he wants and even he doesn’t seem to know what additional information he wants. He just keeps asking me for more information each time we meet.”

Ever felt like that? Like you’re on a hamster wheel going around and around? Sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s how you structure your recommendation so your boss can see the logic behind your thought process. Read the rest of this entry »

5 characteristics of a positive workplace

March 14, 2018

Maybe you’re interviewing for a new job and wondering what the workplace environment is like. Maybe you’re new to an organization and wondering what you got yourself into. Or maybe you’ve been working at a company for several years and are looking around your office thinking, “Hmm…”

No matter what your situation, here are five characteristics of a positive workplace and the signs to look for: Read the rest of this entry »

How to Turn Adversity into Advantage

February 28, 2018

It was a cold, snowy day and my flight home was delayed due to the weather. I was sitting in a drafty airport holding a cup of coffee and warming my hands, hoping the caffeine jolt would wake up my tired brain.

I had just finished a very long, very difficult global project. You know the type – not enough resources (people or budget), not enough time, and overly-ambitious expectations from the executive team.

After finally finishing what had turned out to be one of the most difficult projects in my career, I thought I would be in good spirits on my flight home. Instead, I felt like I had just been given a career death sentence. Read the rest of this entry »

When Your Day Isn’t Going Well, Do a Quick Re-Boot

February 14, 2018

As my career coaching client rushed in the door for our lunch meeting, her eyes darted around the coffee shop until she found me. Hurrying over, she sank into the chair across the table. “Wow, what a crazy morning,” she commented. “I don’t think anything has gone the way I’d hoped today.”

When she pulled out her notepad and pen from her bag, she bumped the table, dropping both on the floor. “See what I mean? Nothing is going right.”

In a word, my client was frazzled. Ever had one of those days? Read the rest of this entry »

Management Versus Leadership Skills: Psst… You Need Them Both

January 31, 2018

Recently, I was sitting at dinner in between two friends who were having a disagreement about which skill set was more important, management skills or leadership skills.

It felt a little bit like watching a tennis match, with the ball being swatted back and forth from one person to another. The friend on my right would make an excellent point about management skills and then the friend on my left would counter with a reason supporting the need for leadership skills. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Options To Shake Up Your 2018 Resolutions

January 3, 2018

You survived the holiday season and your in-law’s lengthy visit. Now, everywhere you go, people seem to be talking about their 2018 New Year’s resolutions.

You’ve thought about setting some goals for the New Year, but if completing last year’s list of resolutions didn’t go very well then you’re not alone. Before you give up on your goal-setting efforts, how about trying something different? Read the rest of this entry »

Get yourself out of office Grinch mode

December 19, 2017

“Good morning!” you called out to your co-worker as she took off her coat and settled into her chair in the cubicle next to yours.

“What’s good about it?” came her mumbled response.

During the staff meeting later that morning, your boss shared that you and your colleague were selected to participate on a cross-functional project team. You were excited, but she moaned, “Great. As if I don’t already have enough to do.”

Thinking you could cheer her up, you invited her to lunch at the restaurant down the street. Enjoying the short walk in the cold rain, you wished out loud that it would snow soon. Your colleague responded with all the reasons why she hates it when it snows. Sound familiar? Read the rest of this entry »

8 tips for those frazzled by work, family and holiday stress

December 13, 2017

Your boss just asked you to work late tonight to finish an important report.

Your significant other texted to ask if you’d stop for milk and eggs at the grocery store on your way home from work (whenever you finally leave the office).

Your parents will arrive for the holidays on Friday and you still need to find time to clean the house. And finish the Christmas shopping. And do the laundry. And decorate the house. And wrap the presents. And finish two big projects at work. And…

Feeling your stress level rising just thinking about everything you need to accomplish before Christmas? Here are eight tips to reduce stress, so you can spend more time enjoying the holidays. Read the rest of this entry »

Throw a company party with less risk of liability

December 6, 2017

You volunteered to lead the planning committee for the company’s upcoming holiday party, thinking it would be a great way to demonstrate your fabulous project management skills to the senior management team.

The committee has been working diligently on preparations for the event for several months now, and everything has been running smoothly. You were finally starting to breathe a sigh of relief (and look forward to the event), until you started to hear office party horror stories about past events.

The two employees who got into a drunken fist fight in the men’s bathroom.

The employee who threw up in a potted plant just outside the hotel ballroom and then almost fell down a flight of stairs.

The drunken dirty dancing, with someone’s bra being thrown in the air across the dance floor.

Now you’re having second thoughts about the open bar. You’re also wondering about liability to the company if anything bad happens. Read the rest of this entry »