When I bring up the topic of play with clients, I usually hear a groan. Why? Because for many of us, play has become something we feel we should do rather than a tool to improve passion, purpose, connection, creativity, cognition, and innovation.Read More
I asked three people what comes to mind when they hear their coworkers laughing, and I got three different responses:
“Does it mean they are talking about me?”
“I wonder if any work is getting done…”
“Depending on where it is coming from, I think that people love working here.”
What do you think when you overhear laughter in your workplace?Read More
A long-time friend of mine recently lost an incredibly tight race for an elected position she had held for a long time. Knowing her tenacity and intelligence, as well as her dedication and commitment to completing some long-term and somewhat controversial projects, I could only imagine her disappointment as the results came in.Read More
I saw a great sign once at the Social Security office in Massachusetts. It said,
“Only have a quick question? So does everyone else. Go to the back of the line!”
It wasn’t great customer service perhaps, but if you are the one everyone comes to asking, “Hey got a minute for a quick question?” I bet you wish you could have this sign over your desk!Read More
When I was teaching English to farm workers, one thing that caused the most trouble were the idioms and phrases commonly used in the United States that make no sense or have no context outside of our culture.Read More
I was recently listening to someone share a hot button issue for them, a specific customer scenario that really got under her skin. As she described it, the tension in the room escalated. This person became so animated when describing the past situation that she became red faced with frustration. And because emotions spread like viruses, others in the room started getting tense.Read More
About 3 years ago I thought I found my business guru, the person who was going to help me turn all my gifts and talents into the “6 figure business” I desired, while only working a few hours a day. She had a system. All I had to do was believe in myself enough to pay her money and follow her advice. If I believed and followed well enough, I too could have a beach house, a Tesla, and all the vacation time I wanted.Read More
A question that I’m frequently asked is “How do you learn all this stuff?” That’s an easy answer. I read constantly.
So today I’m going to share with you the just some of the authors that are stacked up on my desk, my bedside table, and in my computer bag; I’m going to let you in on “what I’m into” right now!Read More
I was given a beautiful gift. I was invited by a client to walk with her as she processed feelings of great disappointment. She had been invited to apply for a new position. As a talented and hardworking professional she saw this as a great next step in her career. After a lengthy interview process, she was not selected.Read More
Life. There is so much that we could be doing. My friend, mentor, and co-author Dr. Mary Kay Stenger says that we are human beings, but we turn ourselves into human doings. And much of the doing is driven by the “shoulds” we shovel onto ourselves and accept from others.Read More
For nearly 13 years I had a job that I could not leave. The work was satisfying. I was recognized for my effort. But the pay wasn’t great. In fact, the organization was struggling, and in the last half-dozen or so years of my employment there, my salary decreased each year. Every employee would work harder than the year before as we’d try to keep the doors open, and each year we’d receive word that we’d have to take a furlough week or two—essentially an unpaid vacation. The promised retirement account sat unfunded. Emails would circulate at year-end stating how the leadership team had taken pay cuts and letting us know that health insurance contribution would increase, and there’d be no raises. And yet almost no one left.Read More
I’ve had a realization, a palm to forehead kind of thing. I’ve been referring to myself as a coach for so stinking long that I actually believe it. But when I stop and look at the facts (the clients I work with and the work I do with them), I realize that I’m actually a business consultant. I think I’ve avoided owning it because, well, being a business consultant sounds like I should “know it all” and I don’t.Read More
I had coffee with an acquaintance who also is a therapist. She was sharing how she sees more and more clients who are stuck in their work and how their inability to leave causes them to go into survival mode, resentfully counting the days until retirement. This stress of feeling stuck professionally wreaks havoc in many other areas of their lives, including physical and emotional well being and the ability to foster and maintain fulfilling relationships. Living in survival mode causes them to come up with strategies to cope, many of which may be considered passive aggressive or manipulative.Read More
Leading (and being a human) can be exhausting, particularly at year-end. To lead with ease, here are some simplistic (as in easy to understand, perhaps challenging to practice) tips to help you have smooth and calm sailing. I encourage you to apply the same techniques with family and friends. Simply substitute the words “family members,” “partner,” “kids,” or whomever, in place of “staff.”Read More
I was listening to Matt Mahan, CEO of the voter-empowerment app Brigade, on Dot Complicated with Randi Zuckerberg. He said something that hit me right in the third eye! He said that one of the lessons of the election is that—thanks to social media— we are all living in an echo chamber where the only opinions, voices, beliefs and perspectives that we read are ones that echo our own.Read More
Trader Joe’s has been hiring and cultivating perky new hires for many years. Article after article has been written documenting the success of this philosophy.
The exact methods they use to create and maintain perky customer service people is a tightly held secret, however, it is no secret that getting hired at a TJ’s is highly competitive. Salary and benefits are generous compared to most other employers—particularly in the grocery store arena but also in most other corporate markets.
I’ve written about this topic before. It is deep and multifaceted. It has the ability to trip us up again and again. It can be a roadblock or gateway depending on if we are looking inside or outside. I know because I’ve danced with it for years.
What am I talking about? Judgment.
Someone commented to me recently that I use the word “judgment” or “judge” frequently. I use it as I’m attempting to understand communication and styles. I use it as I’m reflecting on my own willingness to stretch or to take a positive risk. And I use it when I’m trying to make sense of the world around me.Read More
Think about all the changes that have occurred in how we work over the past 5 years, 2 years, 6 months, or even since yesterday!
Heck, when I started working in offices, “cc” truly meant a piece of carbon paper (nasty stuff) inserted between white paper in the roll of the typewriter so that as each key was struck (manually), an image was created on the second piece of paper. That is how we created copies. Then the documents were put in envelopes and actually mailed through the U.S. Postal Service to their destination. And we waited several days for the response, again via mail (because phone calls were expensive and fax machines were more like ticker tape).Read More
Everyone we encounter—even those we encounter through the media—have the ability to teach us about ourselves, especially if we can become nonjudgmental observers. This is true with our political candidates too. This is not a piece about who is better suited to become president but is instead about what we, as observers, can learn about how we care and manage ourselves in tumultuous dialogues.
I recently went to Harlow’s in downtown Sacramento to see Café Musique, a self-described gypsy, wild classical band that has been performing together for ten plus years and hails from my former home base of San Luis Obispo County.
I’m not a big classical music fan, and I have barely any awareness of the composers or songs that are reworked and performed in their sets. But I am a giant, goosebumps-on-my-arms, shivers-down-my-spine fan of passion and purpose. And passion and purpose make up the golden thread that is the magic of the Café Musique.Read More
Willful blindness is a term that originates from legislation passed in the 19th century and is based on the concept of personal responsibility, and more specifically “if you could have known, and should have known, something that instead you strove not to see.” Author Margaret Heffernan reminds us in her book by the same name—Willful Blindness—that this behavior is a choice. It is also the path of least resistance, which in my interpretation creates the thinking errors and blind spots we use to construct barriers to empowerment and fulfillment.
My mind is eager to indulge in willful blindness, as we’ve just learned that our very dear dog, Rosie, has cancer with a short life expectancy—we’re talking weeks. My mind wants to delve into grief and hopelessness; my willful blindness statements are “It’s hopeless. I’m helpless. There is nothing I can do.”Read More
I find myself having to ask people to repeat things they’ve just said and sometimes feel like I never heard certain pieces of information shared previously. I go into a room having no idea why I went in, and I’m having a hard time finding words or phrases that were just on the tip of my tongue.
Why? I’m in transition!
I seem to want to endlessly play Solitaire on my phone or stare mindlessly at Facebook. I’m drawn to bowls of ice cream, macaroni and cheese, and other comfort foods like a moth to a flame.
Exciting and yet uncomfortable! Transition!Read More