Your Accent is Showing

Your Accent is Showing
Most people don’t grow up thinking they have an accent, and we don’t always know how local phrases can identify our place of origin or give personal clues about us. For example, I spent most of my formative years in Pennsylvania Dutch country and didn’t move away until college. After graduation, I was excited to have my first real job, and equally excited to have professional colleagues. I was invited to go to lunch with some co-workers and replied I would join them as ... Read more
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Building Each Other Up While Breaking Down Barriers

Building Each Other Up While Breaking Down Barriers
“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.“ – V. Davis If you watched the Emmy’s last night (or even just caught some of todays’ highlights and buzz), you are likely aware that Viola Davis made history by becoming the first Black woman to win an Emmy for a leading role in a drama.  Whether or not you watch her show or are familiar with her work, is secondary to what her presence on that particular stage and the display of sisterhood that went on last ... Read more
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What Was I Saying? The Power of Self-Talk

What Was I Saying? The Power of Self-Talk
As so often happens, I find myself sitting at an airport waiting for a cross country flight. Since I am flying east to west coast today, I needed to get up in the middle of the night and arrive at the airport before sunrise. Sitting in my hotel room, trying to get motivated, a phrase from a Beckett novel that I had read somewhere went through my mind. “I can’t go on. I must go on. I’ll go on,” and, of course, I did. The phrase made me think of self-talk—that internal ... 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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When Mentoring Goes Bad

When Mentoring Goes Bad
You were excited to meet one of the leaders in your field. He said he liked the project you just presented and that the topic was of special interest to him. He gave you his business card and suggested you give him a call next week so you can talk further. You think this might be the big break you have been waiting for—your chance to have the attention and support of a giant who can help you move up that career ladder. You are hoping you have found a mentor. You do call, and he is ... Read more
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Reversing a Bad Decision

Reversing a Bad Decision
We do it all the time-—make a decision and then rethink it. Sometimes, we completely reverse it. Most decisions are personal and small. Will you go to your high school reunion?  Will you join a gym? Will you spend vacation with your parents? Other decisions, such as buying a house or changing jobs, are bigger and can have a bigger impact. In the workplace, decisions carry their own consequences. Each day, you probably make many small decisions, most of them so routine that they are barely ... Read more
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When to Lead, When to Follow

When to Lead, When to Follow
I recently saw a young woman wearing a t-shirt that said, “Follow the leader.” What made the shirt a bit different was that the word “Follow” had been crossed off, and the word “Be” was written above it. We often see children playing “follow the leader.” It’s an age-old game that small children seem to enjoy. What’s most interesting is who gets to be the leader and how those decisions get made. Every now and then, an individual  is ... Read more
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Butter is Good for You and Stress May Be Even Better

Butter is Good for You and Stress May Be Even Better
Butter is one of my favorite foods. Put it on a piece of toast and it becomes my very top food choice. For years, experts made us feel guilty about eating butter. It was a “death” food. Then, last year, it all reversed, and the cover of Time magazine (June 23, 2014) had a headline of “Eat Butter.” The subtitle was “Scientists Labeled Fat the Enemy. Why They Were Wrong.” What wonderful news. No more olive oil or dry toast. It was certainly a day for butter ... Read more
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Ice Breaker or Bad Break?

Ice Breaker or Bad Break?
Before you attend a meeting, it’s often a good idea to think about how you will introduce yourself. The meeting leader usually gives clues such as asking each person to give a one sentence introduction or a short paragraph on your role in the work group. Sometimes, though, the facilitator decides to use an “ice breaking” question. These can take a variety of forms and are meant to help the attendees get to know one another. Whether you love or hate this sort of activity, ... Read more
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3 Steps for Success by Association

3 Steps for Success by Association
One of the best pieces of career advice I can give to a new professional is to be involved in your professional association. Whatever it is that you do or are interested in doing,   I can guarantee that there is an association for it. Step 1: Association Identification You may wonder how to find the right association to join. According to the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), there were 90,908 trade and professional associations in 2009. Regardless of your professional ... Read more
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