work

Endless Options and the Hopelessness of Getting it Right

Schitt’s Creek . . . The Great British Baking Show . . . Peaky Blinders . . . El Camino . . . Surf’s Up . . . Ancient Aliens . . . Mary Poppins Returns . . . You’re going to watch Netflix. Easy decision. Which show? Not so easy. How much time, on…

“How is everything going for you?”

“Is there anything else I can help you with?” This question has been hammered into the DNA of everyone who’s ever worked with customers and clients. Why? So that the company can make sure its customers are satisfied. And uncover more opportunities to sell. But that phrase has become essentially as ineffective at ensuring customer satisfaction…

8 Strategies for When You’re WAY TOO BUSY

Do you remember the busiest month of your life? A time where you over-committed yourself for a few weeks? Maybe it was a project at work, too many classes in school, a bunch of events–or a mixture of everything. A time when you felt like every day you just woke up, immediately hit the gas…

Leaders, Treat Your People Well Because…

Research overwhelmingly supports the theory that giving your people the very best treatment is good for your bottom line. Investing more in making your people happy bears great returns long term. So we treat our people well because that way we will be richer. And there is nothing wrong with that. May I just suggest the idea…

When in conflict: 1 question you HAVE to answer

Fight or flight. Adrenaline’s pumping. You’ve been pushed and you’re ready to push back. STOP! Remember to ask yourself one question! It’s a question we forget about all the time, but it’s what really matters to you in a conflict. We have a tendency to make knee jerk decisions before we stop and think. And…

When People Speak Poorly About Themselves

A team member came to me: “I’m so sorry! This client entered this information wrong, so it didn’t work correctly in our system. Stupid me tried to fix it, but I didn’t realize that undoing it would undo some other parts of their entry that needed to stay. That’s just me being stupid, not thinking.…

“Come See Me in My Office”

The dreaded invitation. “Come see me in my office.” When you’re the one inviting, here are a few truths to remember… Your employee didn’t wake up this morning intending to make life miserable for you or anyone else. Your employee is trying. If not, there’s a much deeper problem that’s been simmering for a long time. Your…

5 Game-Changing Steps for Effective Conflict Resolution

Conflict. Here’s a topic for everybody! “I hate confrontation.” If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this sentence. Or better yet, a dime for every conflict I’ve watched NOT happen because it’s too difficult. Conflict in itself isn’t bad. It can actually lead to all kinds of creative ideas, breakthroughs, growth, and…

Life’s Not All a Concert

I’ve had a dream since childhood of performing piano in front of a crowd. I imagine playing so beautifully and masterfully that it captivates the listeners. What’s an impressive skill or feat you dream of? What would your big talent show moment look like? I daydream of being fluent in a bunch of languages, too.…

Need Someone to Change? 5 Things to Know

When I was younger and knew everything, I was pretty sure I could change everybody’s minds by arguing with them using things like logic. When I was a little less young and naive, but still knew just about everything, I thought I could still kind of control people’s beliefs and actions by appealing to their…

Dissonance and a Trip to the Grocery Store

Dissonance. Noun. “A tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious or unsuitable elements.” A couple recent humorous experiences on the receiving end of customer service have gotten me thinking about the disastrous role dissonance plays in business.     Waiting in line for a cashier at a grocery store, I got to observe a…

You Have No Idea What’s Really Going On

I recently ran across a Yelp review from back when I managed a particular restaurant location. The review was scathing. And I agreed with pretty much all of it. What rubbed me the wrong way was that the critic ended with: “Let’s all boycott this location until they get a manager in there who actually…

Rip the Band-Aid Off

My manager recently sat down with me and expressed concern that I just didn’t seem like myself lately. She said I hadn’t seemed as happy and carefree as usual over the last few weeks. And she was worried it might be rubbing off on others. Her concern was completely fair, and I think we got…

Synergy, or not being too full of yourself

I’ve learned lately to see myself the same way I diagnose other people in professional settings: “He thinks that way because…” Each one of us is different, unique, and brings our own strengths to the table. Each one of us also has our own blind spots. None of us see the world completely objectively–certainly not…

Re-Reexamining: Is That REALLY What You Want?

Like most kids, I had a plethora of career plans by the time I was about 7. I was going to be a zookeeper, I was going to pilot a spaceship, I was going to be a cowboy, and I was going to be a detective (I even had my briefcase picked out–a plastic hot…

3 Questions I Ask On the Balcony

Isn’t it funny how we usually know exactly what our opinion is when someone else tells us about their problems–that we can tell them exactly “what I would do if I were you”–but when we find ourselves in those same situations, we feel completely lost? It’s because when you’re emotionally involved in a situation, things…

If another human can…

I’d like to be a professional writer and public speaker who helps make the world a better place. BUT. I’m SCARED. I’m scared that I don’t have what it takes. So I often find myself giving up. I hold myself back. Out of fear. Do you ever find you’re not trying because you don’t want…

Watching the clock

Almost done with work. Almost the weekend. Almost time to eat. Almost time to go. Almost bed time. Almost done with this workout. Almost done with classes. Then, it will be better. Someday. When all the stars have aligned, our lives will begin. In that perfect moment, we’ll be alive. We’ll be happy. We’ll want to…

Cover Up or Own Up?

When you feel you’ve done something wrong at work–made a mistake, compromised your integrity, failed to deliver, hurt somebody–what do you do? Step one is honestly evaluating. Did I do something wrong? Did I make a mistake? How did this happen? Step two is the one that we always screw up. Usually, we wait. Hold our breath. Brush it…

Why Can’t You Talk About It?

Countless times, I’ve heard people say “I can’t say it” or “I can’t talk about it”–or worst of all, “I’m not supposed to tell anyone.” Who says??? With a very few obvious exceptions (like corporate information that makes your company competitive or like national security and military secrets), you CAN talk about anything you feel you…

Urgent vs important

Can you imagine the feeling, finishing up a task, sitting back, and thinking to yourself, “Hmm… I literally have nothing left to do today!” That would be really weird, right??? Life just needs to slow down. Right? But I have a hundred things to do today. So much to catch up on. So much to…

Ethics

When you accomplish or get something by putting people at risk, when you could accomplish or get it through a little more effort or sacrifice without putting people at risk–that is not called being productive, successful, or thrifty. In my opinion, that is just called being lazy and selfish. Some situations are sticky because life isn’t…

Standing up to bullying

You don’t need to be strong to stand up to bullying. You don’t need to be confident to stand up to bullying. It’s okay if your hands are shaking and you’re choking up. It’s okay if you are panicking. It’s okay if you have to write yourself a script and practice your words a bunch…

A Note for People Who Keep Not Getting Hired

I’ve been looking for a way to say something–writing and scrapping blog posts, mulling it over for a while–maybe I’ll just say it as simply and bluntly as possible: Lots and lots of people get told “We went with another candidate we felt was a better fit for the position.” You’ve probably been told this.…