Avoiding Professional Groupthink

Avoiding Professional Groupthink
Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that happens when someone or an in-group proposes a belief, action, or decision with great certainty, and others go along for the sake of harmony or to avoid conflict. As a result, dissenting viewpoints are suppressed, and independent thinking is strongly discouraged. While groupthink is generally thought to occur at the community or national level (for example, consider our political parties today), it also can be found within an agency or ... Read more
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Don’t Wait for Inspiration

Don’t Wait for Inspiration
A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper. –E.B. White The most prolific artists, writers, and otherwise productive workers do not wait for inspiration in order to begin their work. They simply begin. They may adhere to a schedule they’ve set for themselves to sit down and paint, practice, or put pen to paper. They may reward themselves once they’ve reached specific goals. They often set boundaries with friends and families and ... Read more
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Are Self-Imposed Boundaries Imprisoning Your Career

Are Self-Imposed Boundaries Imprisoning Your Career
We are all subject to boundaries of many types—geographic boundaries, legal boundaries, various rules and regulations, and the boundaries of good taste. All of these are essential to a well-functioning society. There are other boundaries, though, that are not essential, nor even useful. Many of these are self-imposed. Think, for a moment, about personal boundaries you have erected for yourself. Do they help or hinder you?  Do they have a positive effect, or are they limiting? Sometimes we ... Read more
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I’m Really an Imposter

I’m Really an Imposter
Scenario One The boss asks you to attend a meeting in her place. At first, you were pleased, but as the meeting room fills up, you realize that you are the youngest and least experienced person there. You’re an impostor. Scenario Two You spent years finishing your professional degree as a therapist. You landed the agency job you wanted, and now you are sitting across from a very troubled client. All of a sudden, you have that nagging thought that you’re not qualified to be a ... Read more
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Selling Yourself

Selling Yourself
It’s impossible to turn on your television or any news channel and not see and hear Presidential candidates talking about themselves and their accomplishments. They all claim outstanding records. They explain away any failures or inconsistencies in their past records. They take credit for a huge variety of successes from solving international crises to assisting small communities during difficult times. Regardless of fact checkers disputing what the candidates claim, they continue ... Read more
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No Problem

No Problem
I recently saw a poster that said, “Be the one who smiles, not the one who smiles back.” That made me think about several things. For example, how did smiling become a chore? When did that smile-back action become so awkward? You know the feeling. You’re minding your own business, in your usual hurry-up-and-get-this-chore done mode, and you happen to glance across the grocery store isle at an elderly woman or a child. She smiles. You feel obligated to smile back, but you ... Read more
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Looking Assertive vs. Being Assertive

Looking Assertive vs. Being Assertive
Recently I came across a statement  that claimed it is easier to look like an assertive woman than to be one. So how do you know if you actually are an assertive woman?  If you’re not one, how do you become one? Being assertive is not just how you dress, or how you speak, or the risks you take—even though all of these can be important. Being assertive is dependent on feeling self-confident, especially feeling confident about your own power. There may be external manifestations, but ... Read more
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Stop Pleasantly Surprising Yourself

Stop Pleasantly Surprising Yourself
There have been numerous times when I’ve written something for work and after submitting it, didn’t give it much thought. At some point I’ve needed to refer to the document I’ve written and after reviewing it, I’m pleasantly surprised at how good my writing is. Whether it’s written eloquently or contains an informed critique or detailed analysis, I’ve often thought to myself…“wow, this is really good.” The most recent time I engaged in this little ritual with myself I wondered how it’s ... Read more
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Traveling Men

Traveling Men
I’ve been traveling a good deal lately and I’ve been struck by the differences between many men and women when it comes to their behavior. It first caught my attention on a long flight across the country. There was some turbulence and the pilot turned on the fasten seat belt sign. The flight attendant followed this alert with an announcement for us to stay in our seats until we passed through the bumpy air. Fifteen minutes passed and a woman across the aisle from me passively asked the ... Read more
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Leadership Lacking

Leadership Lacking
This past weekend I attended the opening Little League game for a local team. It was only the first day of spring, miserable weather, and the plowed field was surrounded with piles of snow. The people in the bleachers were bundled up and cold. The players on the field were colder still. Yet, there was an aura of excitement for an activity that both the kids and parents were looking forward to after a long winter in the northeast. The head coach spoke to the group before the game started. He ... Read more
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