Are you a Conflict Avoider, Enabler, or Intervener?

Are you a Conflict Avoider, Enabler, or Intervener?
Each of us responds to conflict in our own way. Many people are uncomfortable with conflict. They try hard to avoid it, sometimes even denying that it exists. Others see conflict as a necessary part of everyday life, especially work life, and they become fairly adept at defusing it or negotiating compromises. Others are excellent manipulators, and they attempt to resolve the conflict by manipulating others or the situation, sometimes in an underhanded way. Still others use the power of ... Read more
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Every Pitch Has a Purpose

Every Pitch Has a Purpose
Recently I was watching a high school baseball game. One young pitcher was quite talented, and several people were talking about how well he used and sequenced different types of pitches (for those of you who don’t follow baseball — curved balls, change-up, fast balls, etc.). One man made the statement, “Every pitch has a purpose.” That made me think about the various types of pitches and how important they can be in our professional careers. We have all heard ... Read more
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Tell Me About Your Health Insurance

Tell Me About Your Health Insurance
You have just been offered a new job. You ask about the salary, the probation period, and vacation time. The human resources representative mentions there is also  a health insurance plan, but you are young and healthy, and it doesn’t seem nearly as important as the other benefits. Aren’t most health plans fairly alike any way? Actually, no. Health plans are quite variable. As someone prominent said quite recently, “Who knew health insurance was so complex?” You may ... Read more
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Surviving a Lunch Job Interview

Surviving a Lunch Job Interview
Job interviews are hard. You should  be at the top of your game  regarding good communication and careful self-promotion. You should research and choose astute and insightful questions. You need to appear interested, but not overly eager, and you need to blend respect and engagement. No matter how hard a regular office interview is, being interviewed during a meal adds a layer of stress and caution. Interaction during a meal may appear less formal, but you should never think it is less ... Read more
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Is Your Stress Real or Manufactured?

Is Your Stress Real or Manufactured?
April is Stress Awareness Month (who knew?). I am a bit surprised that we need a special month to highlight stress. It seems like stress is front and center in our lives on a daily basis. In addition, there is a huge anti-stress industry out there that bombards us with options and products from massages to gyms to meditation to essential oils. There are many causes of stress — financial stress, relationship stress, and work stress are big ones. Often  stress in one area compounds ... Read more
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Is Integrity Dead?

Is Integrity Dead?
We witness more and more national events that lack integrity, that include cheating, untruths, and cover-ups. Even concepts like “fake news” and “alternative facts” have crept into our daily lexicon. We have experts denying the importance of climate change. We turn a blind eye toward starving children in Africa and other countries. We revise standards downward as opportune. What we see in the media makes us wonder if anything is real anymore. We see manufacturing ... Read more
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Expertise: Do You Really Have Any?

Expertise: Do You Really Have Any?
There’s a new book out called “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters” by Tom Nichols (2017). In it Nichols states: “These are dangerous times. Never have so many people had access to so much knowledge , and yet been so resistant to learning anything.” “That reminded me of Malcolm Gladwell’s book from a decade ago (2008) that dealt with becoming an expert. In “Outliers: The Story of ... Read more
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Don’t Create Your Own Crisis

Don’t Create Your Own Crisis
Sometimes life seems like one crisis after another. Think of the phrases we commonly use when we are under stress: spinning out of control; falling to pieces; in over my head. Most of the problems we have to deal with on a daily basis are not actual crises. They may cause some stress, but a real crisis goes beyond that. By definition, a crisis is an upset in steady state or homeostasis. During a crisis, a person’s usual coping mechanisms fail. In fact, they don’t even know how ... Read more
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It Was Your Idea. Why Is He Getting the Credit?

It Was Your Idea. Why Is He Getting the Credit?
I recently saw a cartoon about a woman sitting at a conference table with a group of men. The caption said, “When will Lisa’s suggestion be heard?” The answer was, “When Jeff repeats it.” Does that happen in your workplace? Do you ever hear yourself saying (usually quietly), Didn’t I just say that?” Would it make any difference if your boss were a woman (or vice versa)? What can you do to be more of a force at a meeting? What would it take to be ... Read more
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Don’t Overlook Office History

Don’t Overlook Office History
You have just begun a new job. While it is new to you, several other individuals have held the position previously. All that’s left of their efforts and time of employment are a few file drawers of old documents and some files stored on the hard drive. You are anxious to get settled in and make the office space your own. You would like to get rid of the saved files. Can you just toss them, or can they be put in a file box and stored somewhere? The leftover files may be useless—or they ... Read more
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