Winter thoughts on faith and career

This week I've been all about staying indoors - partly because the weather crashed again last night with several inches of new snow and temps below 20, and partly because I have felt a pull to be still and consider what it is that I am doing.  As much as I've been dreaming of summer and being outdoors often (distracting myself from the present), the this snowy winter has served a special purpose that I'm only just coming to appreciate....more

Do You Work with a Bully?

Bullies have been haunting school playgrounds since the beginning of time. Thankfully, we’re at a point where most schools simply don’t tolerate bullying behavior and are proactive about snuffing it out.But, what about the bullies that are all grown up and now work down the hall?Workplace bullies aren’t putting stink-bombs in lockers or posting mean comments on Facebook, but they are harmful to your organization. Their behavior is often subtle and can easily go undetected. Here are the signs that you have a company bully:...more

How a Little Testosterone Goes a Long Way for Professional Women

As a professional woman, do you find yourself taking remarks by co-workers or clients too personally?  Overwhelmed by work load?  Doubting your abilities to be successful in a new project or position?If so, you're far from alone.  Difficult work relationships, too much to do, and lack of confidence can drag down every professional woman at some point in her career....more

What the Wee Ones Taught Me: How Motherhood Made Me a Better Executive

Kids always ask, “Why?” first closely followed by “How?” as in “Why do we do things this way [brush our teeth up and down]” and then “How [does a tooth brush remove plaque]?” Sometimes these one word questions are asked with the bright spark of genuine inquisitiveness and sometimes with the not so subtle whine of “Why are you making me do this???”...more

The Jubilee Professional Conference: Combining our Faith and Career lives

Nine days ago I would have had no idea what the title of the post was about. Yesterday, I experienced the fireworks of what happens when your faith life and your career life meet up and have a sit-down together....more

7 Ways To Become A Better Active Listener

Active listening is an essential skill for developing your career and building relationships. If leadership is the next step in your career, start thinking about your own challenges you’ve had when speaking to a team member, your boss or any stakeholder within the organization. Consider how paying acute attention to what your audience is really looking for helps your career in the following ways:Define your personal brandGain buy-in from key stakeholdersPromote your brand, services and productsNavigate through difficult situationsMotivate and engage your teams and multiple departmentsLearn and gain new perspectives for your continuous improvementFollow directionsActive listening is a challenging skill requiring consistent practice. Your emotions, experiences, workload and knowledge are just a few examples of what clouds intentional listening and adds bias during conversations. When you are focused on listening, the point is to gather information and gain perspective so you can accurately respond to what your audience needs.As a career coach, I practice my active listening skills on a regular and consistent basis. Below are the steps I apply to continuously improve my active listening skills needed to help my clients dig deep and discover the solutions to their own challenges from within.Stay present. This requires self-awareness and realizing when your mind begins to wander to your own to-do lists, where you want to go to lunch, or that show you watched the other day. When this happens, reel yourself back to the conversation you are having.Don’t plan your rebuttal or response while your audience is talking. This goes back to staying present–if you are already thinking about how you’re going to respond, you are not listening. You will have time to think of your response after they finish speaking.Don’t be judgmental or emotional. During your conversation, your audience might say something that strikes a chord or hurts your feelings. Instead of reacting, remind yourself of your role in the conversation–to gain perspective and gather information. An example of this type of situation could be when you’re receiving performance feedback. Don’t take it personally, and focus on the content of the message instead.Show your audience you are listening by using verbal and nonverbal cues. Eye contact and engaged body language shows the person you are paying attention. If you are on the phone, your audience will feel engaged when you say, “Ok”, “Uh-huh” or “I’m listening”, occasionally during pauses in the conversation.Let the person finish speaking without interruption. If there is something you didn’t understand during the conversation, ask when they finish. This lets your audience know you care about their thoughts and you are taking the time to engage.Ask questions and offer feedback. Beginning your responses with, “It sounds like…” or “I’m hearing…” lets your audience know what you are understanding from the conversation. In addition, it lets your audience know which points of the conversation needs clarification or something they overlooked.Respond with your audience in mind. After taking the time to listen to your audience’s situation, feedback, thoughts or concerns, share your thoughts without including your own agenda. Treat the person you’re speaking to the way he or she would like to be treated.Active listening takes time and practice, and these steps can be applied any time you have a conversation with someone, whether at home or work. You’ll know when you’re active listening skills are improving when you observe others seeking your counsel or people recognize you as a good listener.Are you finding it difficult to remove your judgment, bias or emotions from crucial conversations at work and home? Schedule a consultation with me to learn how you can overcome this to define your personal brand and improve all relationships in your life....more

When Your Leader Keeps You Hidden

                        All of us have been managed by someone at some point in our career. Many of us are managed today. We all report to someone or some entity no matter what level we are in an organization.Also we all know what it means to do a good job but the recognition of that good job is only known by our immediate manager....more

The Cure for A Horrible Day

Have you ever been punched in the stomach with so much force that your tongue gets stuck in your throat, then someone dumps ice cold water down your back? Yeah, me neither. But, in this moment I feel like I could relate. ...more

Make Your 2015 Rock by Quitting. Yes, Quitting!

Right now you are likely thinking about New Year's resolutions.  But get this:  ...more