Career Advice, Leadership, Management

How to use negative feedback to be a better leader

A few weeks ago, I gave constructive feedback to a colleague.  Although those types of conversations are never easy, the discussion went well. Looking back on our meeting, I attribute its success to my detailed pre-planning.

At the close of our meeting, I was feeling good about our time together, but then something unexpected happened: This employee said they had feedback for me. My colleague then shared two examples of when I had recently let them down. The feedback stung. While I had planned to give feedback, I certainly hadn’t planned to receive it. I was thrown off guard and immediately felt hurt because I could empathize with this person’s concerns. They were right — I could have handled a few things differently than I had.

Continue reading “How to use negative feedback to be a better leader”

Career Advice

3 manageable steps that help battle stress and avoid burnout

Last month was one of my most stressful months this year. Work was tense, my home life was chaotic, and my personal and professional calendar was jam-packed. Looking back on the month, I have to give myself some well-deserved kudos.

Although I was faced with a lot of challenges and commitments, I endured and did so gracefully. I never lost my cool, I never got run-down and I never missed a beat. If this had been five years ago, I would have been burnt out and sick in bed writing out sorry cards to all the people who had to deal with my frazzled, angry and impatient behavior. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating, but you get my point.

In the event you are ever faced with a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, week, or month you may benefit from learning about some of the steps I took to get ready.

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Career Advice

Why being too confident is a bad thing—and how you can fix it

Recently, my son Aaron finally learned how to ride a bike on his own. He was so proud! Every time he made it down the street and back he became more confident—but unfortunately, that confidence quickly morphed into cockiness.

Not even an hour after he learned to ride a bike, he attempted to ride it one-handed all in an effort to show off in front of our neighbors. Needless to say, that didn’t work out, and within seconds of raising his hand he (and his bike) fell to the ground.

That day, my son not only learned how to ride his bike, but he also learned a valuable lesson—don’t be overconfident. Continue reading “Why being too confident is a bad thing—and how you can fix it”

Career Advice

3 awesome networking tips to help you reach your goals

Last week, I opened my tea bag and read the inspirational quote attached to it as I always do—only this time instead of feeling inspired, I felt aggravated. The quote read, “Don’t ask and everything will come.”

I felt, and still feel, this is lousy advice and cringe at the idea of people believing it. If you want to succeed, especially in the workplace, you have to advocate for yourself, get support from others and ask for help.

Rather than sitting around and waiting for things to happen (as my tea bag brilliantly suggests), these networking tips will actually help you make things happen. Continue reading “3 awesome networking tips to help you reach your goals”

Career Advice

3 ways to make yourself more memorable at work

I attribute a lot of my professional success to being memorable—and that comes with leaving people with a lasting impression. When you can become the topic of conversation because of your “memorability factor,” you’ll find yourself being introduced to a lot of new people and getting invited to a lot of new meetings, work projects and events.

My memorability factor has allowed me to grow, develop and network—helping me to become the supported and accomplished leader I am today.

You can achieve this too. Here’s how.

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Career Advice

3 work lessons I learned in my 20s that saved my career

I’m thankful for all of the great career lessons I learned in my 20s. Thanks to the poor decisions and mistakes I made (and yes, there were a lot of those) I started off my 30s feeling prepared to kick butt in the workplace. As I reflect back on what many people refer to as “their selfish years,” here are three of the most important lessons I learned.

You won’t make it if you fake it

In my early 20s, I was overly concerned with giving others the impression I was smart and knew it all. Even if I didn’t understand what someone was saying or asking I would nod my head and act as if I did.

This behavior backfired in a few ways—I’d leave meetings confused, disengaged and unprepared to work on my action items AND there were times I had to confess that I pretended to know something.

Continue reading “3 work lessons I learned in my 20s that saved my career”