Front line employees are often required to ask customers for information without understanding why.  If they don’t know the rationale behind the questions, they are left to their own devices when responding to pushback.   In her Ted Talk, Tamekia Mizladi Smith, suggests that companies design frontline employee training around the acronym GRACE. That’s G-R-A-C-E.   Here’s what it […]

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A standard question asked in job interviews is “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”  How you answer that question can reveal more than what may appear on the surface.   Answering the strengths part is often easy.  You likely have a good sense of what you do well and can express it positively.  But when explaining your weaknesses, rather […]

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Conflict is natural and inevitable. Our comfort level with addressing it determines our response and the outcome.  Here are 11 tips for making it constructive, from Executive Coach Helen Baxter-Southworth and team dynamics expert Russ Forrester. Move toward conflict, not away from it.   Deal with conflict openly and above board, not behind the scenes.   Surface the conflict […]

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There’s an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”  Going together means delegating to or collaborating with others. But doing so successfully can be challenging.  Executive coach Helen Baxter-Southworth and team dynamics expert Russ Forrester say these five values and behaviors hold the key to working […]

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A study at the University of Basel in Switzerland suggests that if you set attainable goals, you’ll experience more satisfaction.  The findings imply that setting goals that you believe you can achieve will make you feel more in control, which will lead to greater well-being. As you and I know from experience, setting attainable goals is […]

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At some point in our lives, most us feel broken.  If we lose a job, a loved-one or suffer a debilitating illness, we can begin to believe that this is our new and permanent normal. Oprah.com contributor Mark Nepo offers these four tips that will help you turn loss into strength. Accept the weather. Being tossed and turned […]

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Often, leaders are extroverts with lots of charisma and energy. But two related studies from Ohio State University reveal that there are limits to how effective that personality trait can be.  The two subject groups included 260 undergraduate students and 337 employees at a large Chinese retail company. The research found that extroverted leaders tended to […]

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Harvard Business Review contributor Michael Watkins says your first steps after starting a new job can determine if you’ll succeed or constantly face uphill battles.  To provide focus and intent, he says to ask yourself these five questions. How will I create value?  Find out what each stakeholder you’re tied to expects you to accomplish and when, […]

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While Business Insider’s list of seven things people who’ve hit success milestones by age 35 have mastered isn’t groundbreaking, little reminders are always helpful, no matter your age. It’s okay to ask for advice. Let go of that fear of not having the answers.  The world is complicated and no one knows everything.   Dedicate time every […]

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If you have an employee who takes up more than their fair share of time, a recent Society of Human Resource Management article says you first need to understand why before you can take appropriate steps. The employee may be insecure or lack the necessary experience to complete the assigned task.  Insecurity can come from low […]

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No matter how big or small your company is, you’re impacted by the growing wave of disruption.  But if you’ve been around for a while, you can assess your current status and future potential by answering these five questions from The Insurgence Group. How have the dynamics of your industry and key trends changed over the […]

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Where does your company stand? Do you consider your company to be an incumbent or a disruptor?  Is your company the stalwart in your marketplace? Or the insurgent, looking to change the way your industry conducts business.   According to the Insurgence Group’s Rondo Moses, if you’re not disrupting, you’re likely in trouble. The evidence:  fifty-five percent of companies on […]

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Harvard Business Review contributors Tony Schwartz and Emily Pines of the Energy Project warn that at all times, we have two selves operating simultaneously.  There’s the self governed by our pre-frontal cortex.  It controls executive brain functions like planning and strategy. It’s calm, measured and rational.  This is the self of which we are most aware.    Our other […]

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At all times, two parts of our brain are governing how we behave.  We’re aware of the rational, deliberate self that is ruled by the prefrontal cortex.  But the threat protector, ruled by the amygdala, reacts beneath the surface causing us to lash out inexplicably.  That self is enabled by the inner lawyer, which rationalizes, deflects and blames.  […]

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Delivering negative feedback or criticism is rarely easy.  Receiving it may be even more difficult.  But researchers at University of Toronto found that how people receive criticism depends greatly on the source.   Through field and lab experiments, they discovered that when negative feedback comes from a boss or a peer, the receiver’s creativity level drops.  The researchers concluded […]

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Many think procrastination comes from laziness or poor time management. But a recent New York Times article lays the blame on the negative emotions we associate with the thing we’re putting off.  Here are two ways experts say we can get to that thing we’re avoiding. Brown University’s Dr. Judson Brewer says you must first tackle the risk/ […]

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Procrastination can be a challenge.  Most of us have something we tend to hate doing and, therefore, put off. In a recent New York Timesarticle, Charlotte Lieberman shared insight from several experts on the subject. They surmised that procrastination is not a matter of poor time management or laziness.  Its roots are emotional. Members of the Procrastination Research Group […]

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Researchers at the UK’s University of Exeter have found that having a high-quality relationship with employees is good.  But, to build loyalty, leaders have to make employees feel like their relationship with them is important.   While I often encourage my clients and podcast listeners to look within for validation, let’s also remember that we’re members of […]

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Didn’t get that promotion or great job for which you had applied?  New York Times Smarter Living Editor Tim Herrera says it’s okay to feel bad about it, but don’t get stuck there. Here are some ways he says you can reframe and grow. Stop obsessing about “what if” by writing down three things that recently […]

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