Try Surprising Yourself More Often

Try Surprising Yourself More Often
When was the last time you actually surprised yourself—when you did something “out of character?” Maybe you were spontaneous about an event or a trip. Perhaps you made a quick decision or purchase, foregoing your usual time for deliberation. Maybe you spoke up at work when you disagreed with someone. Was the action or outcome positive—perhaps even exhilarating—or were you upset with yourself for “throwing caution to the wind”? Take a few minutes to think about your ... Read more
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I Hate Small Talk. How Important is it in the Workplace?

I Hate Small Talk. How Important is it in the Workplace?
A colleague recently mentioned that not only does he not like making small talk, he doesn’t even like hearing it. We all engage in it every day. How important is it in the workplace? Think about the person who comes into the office in the morning and greets everyone by name and asks how the weekend was. Do you consider that a nuisance or simple friendliness? Contrast that to the woman who walks in with her head down, not acknowledging anyone. Do people assume she is shy, unfriendly, ... Read more
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The Downside of Falling Into Leadership

The Downside of Falling Into Leadership
Your supervisor or manager is leaving. Perhaps she has been promoted, or she decided to retire, or she has found a position elsewhere. Regardless, you were surprised when management called you in and asked you to temporarily fill in for her until a replacement can be hired. It seemed politically inadvisable to decline the request, and, in truth, you were quite flattered and excited. You want to be a team player, and you think you are a good fit for the permanent position. You readily agreed ... Read more
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We are Always Judging and Being Judged

We are Always Judging and Being Judged
We judge people every time we meet them, every moment we are with them. And you are judged in return.  Sometimes our judgments are faulty. Think of a recent example when you misjudged someone. How did it happen. Did you make a quick appraisal—based on your first impression—that they were arrogant, frivolous, not very smart, unsophisticated, inexperienced, or lacking in understanding about a situation? Or did you rely on the previous opinions or labels from others, on what you had heard ... Read more
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Avoiding Negative Optics

Avoiding Negative Optics
Recently, President Trump arrived 20 minutes late for a Gender Equality Advisory Committee meeting at the G7 Summit in Quebec. His entrance was disruptive and rude, and it was documented in news reports around the world. The optics were especially negative. Think back to a recent meeting at your workplace. Was anyone late? Were you late? If so, what optic did your lateness provide for others? A few possible scenarios include: 1. You were viewed as someone who thinks she is self-important. ... Read more
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What’s Your Hurry?

What’s Your Hurry?
“What’s your hurry?” “You have plenty of time to get ahead in your career.” “Take some time for fun.” “Why would you change jobs when you can coast in the one you have?” “Don’t be so competitive.” “Stop pushing yourself so hard.” Perhaps friends and relatives have made statements like those above  to you. Perhaps they are well meaning and they do feel like you are working too much. Or, perhaps they ... Read more
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If You Want to Be Heard, Listen

If You Want to Be Heard, Listen
You are in a staff meeting with your boss. She details a possible situation that might occur and is asking for ways to address it. You have an idea that you think might work. Your hand quickly goes up and you speak forcefully. Two of your colleagues begin shaking their heads “no.” As soon as you finish, the negative responses start. There are some things you hadn’t thought about—a couple of weaknesses in your plan, but you still feel the need to defend your idea. The ... Read more
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Power and Sexual Misconduct

Power and Sexual Misconduct
Today the media is filled with pundits talking about sexual misconduct. Examples drawn from Capitol Hill include Roy Moore (Senate candidate from Alabama), Al Franken (Senator from Minnesota), past Presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush, and current President Donald Trump. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner recently started a 21-month prison sentence for sexting with a minor. We also watched Fox News terminate CEO Roger Ailes and political commentator Bill O’Reilly for their ... Read more
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How Useful is Rethinking?

How Useful is Rethinking?
You’ve been the lead on a big project. You inspired and encouraged your team. You planned carefully and stayed within budget. You’ve tried to be a big thinker while paying attention to details. All seems to be in order for the final presentation, but you have an uneasy feeling that something isn’t quite right. Are you just tired, or is there really something you missed? You and the team are anxious to have the project finished and on your boss’ desk, You don’t ... Read more
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Is Face-to-Face Networking Really Necessary?

Is Face-to-Face Networking Really Necessary?
You’re a networking whiz. You have “likes” and followers galore—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, even Pinterest. Everyone knows you, everyone that is except for colleagues throughout your organization or professional field. You remember them. They are the ones who identify the up-and-coming talent, and who make decisions about promotions and opportunities for growth and advancement. They don’t spend their time trolling the web or evaluating personal posts of ... Read more
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