No. 123 – How to recognize life patterns and make better choices

lifechoice
Consider the dozens of life and career choices you've made over the years. Try to remember how and why you make those choices. What were you expecting at the time? How did the reality match up with your expectations? Did the choice of school, career, job, or spouse worked out better than you dreamed – or far worse? What do you know now that you wis...
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No. 122 – Can You Go Home Again?

rehire-me
An interesting effect of the changing business landscape has been a change in the attitude toward departed employees. In the past, many companies treated those who'd left (whether voluntarily or involuntarily) as pariahs, traitors, or losers. Today, they're generally considered a pool of potentially desirable rehires. After all, if you leave Compan...
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No. 121 – What is the Best Thing You Can Do While Job Hunting?

looking-for-work
If possible, stay employed while job hunting. Although it's more important to be employable than employed, there is still a positive bias toward someone currently employed. Although this bias can seem irrational, it's human nature to want what's in demand. That's why people tend to flock to the most popular movies, buy the books on the best-seller ...
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No. 120 – Manage Your Personal Brand: Online and Offline

personal-brand
It's estimated that the work force is comprised of approximately one-third Millennials, one-third GenX, and one-third Boomers – with a few Traditionalists not ready to walk off the playing field. It's a little funky, frankly. You are in one of those groups. Regardless of your age or time in the workplace, in your pursuit to be better, you have to s...
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No. 119 – To Be Confident, Start by Acting Confident

Sometimes people take offense about "acting the part," as if doing so means that they are fakes. Anyone who has children knows parenting is a fake-it-til-you-make-it experience. Surely confidence deserves the same pass. Comparable fake-it-till-you-make-it action is also what most enterprises are built on. (By the way, a good time to start your acti...
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No. 118 – What Does Self-Confidence Look Like?

The person with confidence is the person we turn to when problems of any kind arise. One of the chiefs I interviewed put it this way: "The CEO weapon of choice is a display of self-confidence." In the business press, confident-appearing CEOs are written about with descriptions like these: •  "He spoke with such tremendous confidence and certai...
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No. 117 – You’re In Control of What Goes On Inside Your Head

Your mind manages all of your life: your outlook, how you approach situations, and how you interact and work with others. It's a feeling of great freedom to think whatever you want. Sure, there are random thoughts that come and go that you can't do anything about. But the ones you put in and hold, you control. Outside of having brain damage, diseas...
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No. 116 – Integrity Trumps All

You already know this, but just a reminder: Nothing baffles people full of tricks and duplicities more than simple straightforward integrity. For example, if you have pledged against texting or talking on your cell phone while driving, also refrain from doing these similarly distracting things behind the wheel: scratching off a lottery ticket, read...
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No. 115 – Confidence or Arrogance?

It's arrogance, not confidence, when you: •  Assume you know it all •  Think you're smarter than others •  Don't listen and learn •  Are full of bluster; too sure of yourself in every situation without reason •  Abuse your power, or browbeat, demean, or put down other people •  Act superior •  Think "I'm special. ...
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No. 114 – Bullies Aren’t Worth Your Time and Effort

Always have your antenna up, because bullying is omnipresent among human beings. Nevertheless, don't fight every fight with bullies, and don't try to win all the fights you pick. Ask yourself: •  Is this important? •  Is my anger appropriate? •  Is my anger modifiable? •  Is this worth taking action? •  How do I see myself ...
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No. 113 – 14 Ways to Spot a Business Bully

Four out of five of us will experience a coworker who tries to bully or backstab. In all walks of life, there are people who pull time away in political maneuvering, grabbing resources, and creating distractions. These people can get your eyes watering: •  They secretly present your ideas as theirs. •  They take credit for your work to he...
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No. 112 – Make Apology When Necessary

When you need to make an apology for something: •  Take action sooner rather than later. •  Don't avoid and skirt the issue (the way some politicians do when they routinely refer to their mistakes as "oversights") •  Think through what you want to say. •  Phrase it carefully, write it down, and rehearse it. •  Plan where, w...
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No. 111 – Leaders Project a Good Attitude

It's okay to wear an enthusiastic, upbeat attitude on your sleeve. That's a constructive and productive point of view when coupled with plans to make it happen. A positive, optimistic approach will improve the outcome of any situation you are in, even if you're the only one who has one. Yes, I know that life is frequently one darn negative thing af...
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No. 109 – What Pitfalls Should Virtual Executives Beware Of?

Thirty-seven percent of all U.S. workers do some form of telecommuting according to Gallup, which means that many executives are managing employees virtually at least part of the time. What should managers watch out for in the digital realm? Thinking they can get away with sloppy thinking, writing, responding, dress, planning, integrity, dispositio...
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No. 108 – 7 Benefits of Your Positive Attitude

If you "sing" at work as Warren Buffet says he does, it shows in person and online. When you look, think, and act with deep cheerfulness, you: •  Lighten yours and others' burdens •  Increase your physical, mental, and emotional energy •  Have a better chance of fighting off a cold (scientists say) •  Make experiences delightful...
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No. 107 – Virtual Meeting Prep Pays Off

Before you join in a video conference or virtual meeting of any kind, think through the ramifications of what's about to happen. Take at least a little time to create a positive impression with your visual surroundings and make the exchange productive for all. Outline your objective. Rehearse your points so that you can: • Inform and "tell, not sel...
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No. 106 - 12 Reasons Why It's Important to Ask Questions

Asking questions is a basic leadership requirement. Whether you are leading, managing, job interviewing, negotiation, selling, influencing or just engaging, your question asking is more important than your question answering.Here are some ways you can benefit from asking the right questions: Find out what the other people care about, value, like, and dislike Distinguish yourself from the know-it-alls Flatter others, and maintain their self-esteem Show interest in others rather than coming across as just trying to get what you want Get a more honest assessment of the situation Avoid jumping to conclusions and making false assumptions Help guide people to arrive at the answer you want Buy yourself time Handle surprise and attack by asking for clarification instead of jumping into a defensive mode Persuade better Reinforce, clarify, or correct what you think you know Test and verify what they know~DebraP.S. If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.
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No. 105 - Communication Chaos

With all the communication tools available to us, there is still massive mutual mystification when it comes to clearly understanding each other. Many factors contribute to that, not the least being the languages people speak in our diverse workforce. A US Census report on findings from 2009-2013 found that sixty million Americans speak languages other than English at home; they speak some 300-plus different languages.For example, in:-New York = 192 different languages-San Francisco = 163 different languages-Dallas = 156 different languagesSo in addition to the more common German, French, Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese, you have: Havasupi, Swahili, Onondaga, Bengali, Picuris, Hindi, Tungus, Hawaiian, Bengali, Pima, Amharic, Serbian, Tamil, Indonesian, Malayalan, Kiowa, Pidgin, Croatian, French Creole, Samoan and Mandarin — as a small sample.Even if you speak English you have to work at being understood, as writer David Burge, puts it, “Yes. English can be weird. It can be understood through tough thorough thought, though.”~DebraP.S.  If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.
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No. 104 - International Personal Bonding

There is about a 100 percent possibility that in the course of your day you will be communicating with someone from a different country who has had a different cultural upbringing and who speaks a different first language than you do.As one of my coaching clients explained, “I was with team members on a call today in which one person was in California and one was in Nepal, and I was in Washington, D.C. I’ve worked with these people for three years, and I’ve never met them.”There are as many ways to behave toward and with people as there are countries on the earth. And even within each country, there are regional variations of the larger culture. You cannot cover every single base, but you can have an approach that works with every single constituent: Accept differences. Be respectful and extra polite in words and tone. Use an appropriate level of formal title: Dr., Professor, Mr.,Mrs., Ms., Madame, Mssr., and so on. Use lots of “pleases” and “thank-yous.” Don’t be loud and pushy. Minimize being overly direct and abrupt. Use straightforward terminology, not big words. Slow down; speak up.That same coaching client said, “My secret to success is to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in the other person’s language. Even if my pronunciation is clumsy, people appreciate the effort.”~DebraP.S.  If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.
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No. 103 - Slow Down and Have an Urgent Calm

Don’t be quick, fast, or in a hurry (all the time).Be unhurried (within reason, of course). Be markedly unrushed. Slow down when you talk, walk, respond, ask a question, enter a room, shake hands, and leave a room. Be confident enough to take time. Move only when necessary.If you slow down, you’ll go a lot faster.The more time you give yourself, the more status people will give you. Quick, jerky motions make you look nervous. Plus, when you talk and move fast, it’s hard for people to absorb what you’re saying. Pause as if you mean it. Don’t let other people take you out of your calm. Talk at a slowed-down pace, but think fast. Be quiet so you can see and hear more.One of my coaching clients told me, “Our CEO has a distinct sense of self-containment. He’s never in a hurry, but he’s still a beat faster than most people.”Your composure will be contagious. People will ask you fewer questions and challenge or attack you less when you’re calm and slowed down.~ DebraP.S. If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.
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