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Mean Girls – in the Workplace?

In the past month, I’ve had two clients contact me with almost the exact same problem. A female employee, newer to the job, was quitting or had quit because of two other women in the office excluding them, not supporting them, and essentially, being mean. I have to admit hearing the stories took me right back to school where there always seemed to be a group of girls who were very cliquish. If you were in with them, great! You probably had an easy time of it. If you weren’t, your school experience could have been like a nightmare. Because of our cyber-world, bullying among kids has gotten much increased attention. But what is happening with otherwise, very capable adults, acting like children in the workplace? Without going too much into the psychology of the characters in this scenario (though there is clearly a perpetrator, victim, and savior) and... Read More

How To Handle Stinging Criticism

Usually when I publish an article or blog post, I get very positive feedback.  Everything from “you go girl” to “that was exactly what I needed to hear.”   However, once in awhile someone will react badly to something I’ve written and take the opportunity to let me know about it and usually not in such positive terms.  These are some actual emails I’ve received:   “It’s sad to see what you’ve become.” (from a former friend who shared the same religious upbringing as me) “You are preoccupied with success and money.” (from a reader who accused me of using money-mongering quotes) “Your marketing has gotten too SPAM-like for me.” (from a colleague who asked to be unsubscribed and yet has since re-subscribed)   I’ll be the first to admit that these criticisms sting.  Ironically, years ago I washesitating publishing a newsletter for this very reason. I was so afraid... Read More

Layoffs – How to Avoid Adding Insult to Injury

This week, I borrow some great advice from Joseph Grenny, co-author of “Crucial Conversations.”   Q: Dear Joseph, Our company probably has layoffs coming up. Some employees will lose their jobs, and most remaining employees will have to take on extra work to keep things going. Some of our employees have been in the same position for more than 20 years.   The “you are getting laid off” conversation is stressful, with potential for silence and/or violence, as well as wrongful termination lawsuits. Our attorney advises that the less said during those conversations, the better.   Our administrators are really dreading these conversations. Do you have any advice for them? ~ Bad News   A: Dear Bad News, Let’s be clear—getting laid off is horrible. It fills the laid off person with uncertainty. It throws a family into turmoil. It makes people doubt their worth and capacity. It spreads... Read More

7 Signs that a Pink Slip is Coming!

7 Signs that a Pink Slip is Coming! It was my first ‘real’ job and after only nine months and one quick promotion, I thought I would be there forever.  To say I was blindsided when I was “let go” is an understatement.  I was beyond shocked.  I never saw it coming. I spent the rest of that day wandering around in a fog.  I kept going over and over the whole nine months and wondering what I had missed. Well a couple more “lay-offs” in my professional career and I started to realize that there are always signs when you’re about to be fired.  I noticed it with other people – I just wasn’t aware of when they were happening to me. So along with a few excerpts from an article on msn.com, I want to share with you what I think are the top seven signs that a pink slip might be coming. 1 –... Read More

How Do You Compare With Great Leaders?

How Do You Compare With Great Leaders? In our last article, we talked about Vision being the one characteristic most often associated with great leadership.  One definition of leadership is the ability to turn a dream or vision of a desired future into a reality – with and through the cooperation of other people. The list below contains three more critical qualities of great leaders.  There are a few suggestions of how to develop these qualities in yourself or in others.  To turn this into an interactive exercise, rate yourself on these qualities 1-10, 10 being the highest.  Then take this list to five of your closest associates and ask them to honestly rate your skill level.  Be sure to discuss any gaps in your scores, being open and gracious to the feedback you’ve asked for. 1) Integrity – If you ask people what integrity means, the majority will reply, “Honesty.”  While honesty is a component... Read More

Do You Have The #1 Quality of Great Leaders

Do You Have The #1 Quality of Great Leaders Too often leadership development has been a process of turning out exact replicas of a certain personality type.  Commanding, egocentric and persuasive leaders have, in the past, been seen as ideal.  Even years after the corporate scandals of Enron and WorldCom, where some of these larger-than-life personalities were at the very root of the problem, one would think we’d be over our infatuation with charismatic leaders. Of course there are common qualities that great leaders possess: courage, integrity, tenacity, just to name a few.  But these traits can come in many different forms.  One could argue that the leadership styles of Mahatma Ghandi, Lee Iaccoca and Colin Powell are vastly different while there are some traits they all had in common. The question is can these traits be developed? Is something as intangible as integrity teachable? Or is it an innate quality that you either have or you don’t? ... Read More

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