"changing your image"

Changing Your Image Isn’t as Easy as Changing Your Socks

We all form impressions about the people we interact with. At work, these professional images can be based on years of dealings or just a couple of random interactions. Is your own professional reputation what you want it to be? Like most people, I’d like colleagues to think I’m smart, confident, approachable, honest, flexible, friendly, optimistic and … strong. Now, let’s make a leap and…

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small talk

This Is Why Small Talk Can Be Such a Big Deal In Business

Some people ask me, “Why should I learn to make small talk?” The answer is simple. Seven seconds. Experts tell us that’s how long it takes to make a first impression.  No pressure … really. There you are, stranded in the elevator with a co-worker you’ve never met. Neither of you say a word … the elevator stops, and you both exit. That’s a lost…

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This Is the Brilliant Way Smart Employees Become the Boss’s Favorite at the Office

Other than yourself, no one has a bigger impact on your career than your direct supervisor. That’s why it’s critical that you build a strong relationship that ensures your boss is on your side. We understand that this is easier to do with some bosses than others. But we guarantee that no matter what your boss is like, if you follow these 5 steps, your…

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office personalities

How to Deal With These Six Crazy Office Personalities – Without Going Crazy Yourself!

You may consider yourself a patient and tolerant person. But, when you encounter difficult office personalities who annoy or frustrate you, it can be challenging and stressful. The key to communicating and working with difficult people is to focus on the thing you have 100 percent control over — your reaction to them. You have to change how you react to people before you can…

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difficult employees

How to Turn Even the Most Difficult Employees Around

Difficult employees. Every workplace has them, and the common cry resounds, “Why can’t we just fire them?” Why? Because firing people is expensive. Termination means you’re throwing all that employee’s training, experience, and corporate knowledge away. Add in the time and overall cost of searching for a replacement, interviewing all the candidates, screening them, hiring them, training them, and getting them up to the level…

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Is Office Etiquette and Courtesy Outdated?

Sorry to bother you, but this will only take a moment. Your friends here at SkillPath would like to remind you that September is National Courtesy Month—a time to be more courteous to others. So, how about you making a fresh pot of coffee for your co-workers when you take the last cup, instead of leaving a ¼-inch of java in the bottom of the…

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team building fails

Team Building Fails That Someone Thought Would Be Brilliant

Managers love team building. They put stupid goals in your annual performance review around team building, don’t they? But, there are a few things that strike dread in the hearts of employees more than team-building exercises that no one but bosses love.  We’re not talking about billionaire bosses that lavish cars, diamonds and vacations on employees to keep morale high, but those times where management…

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change management, leadership

How Good Leadership Facilitates Change at the Office

We live in interesting times. It seems as though we get daily updates on leadership around the world—both good and bad—on the news. Whether it is a terrorist attack in a city or a once-in-a-lifetime weather event causing massive destruction, we see examples of great leadership stepping forward for people. We also see the flip side, unfortunately, and see where leadership is sorely lacking. The…

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"coaching employees"

Organizations Win When They Use a Coaching Management Style

Fifty-one percent of employed adults in the U.S. admit they are either actively looking for new jobs or are keeping an eye out for new job opportunities. This Gallup statistic points to the growing competition for talent and the lack of worker loyalty. Now let’s take a look at some of the top reasons people give for quitting their jobs. They don’t like their boss…

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multiple bosses, front desk, interruptions

20 Tricks to Slowing Down (or Possibly Even Stopping) Interruptions at the Office

An overflowing inbox … a mountain of papers … a team needing feedback … and a packed calendar — can you get it all done? Not if people keep interrupting you! You’ve got to find ways for stopping interruptions before you go crazy. It’s always important to be civil and polite to your co-workers. But sometimes you simply don’t have time to stand around and…

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Urgency Bias and Completion Bias: Friend or Foe to Your Productivity?

I carefully closed the last drawer in my kitchen, and sighed with satisfaction. While not the most exhilarating task, organizing these drawers felt like the perfect start to my day. Sure, I had bigger fish to fry. I needed to put a contract together for a vendor for my small home-based business. I had taxes due in a couple weeks. And the finishing touches on…

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Doing Well by Doing Good: Let this Concept Help Build Momentum for Your New Business

Entrepreneurship is not a solo sport. And the richest experiences come when we share it with others. That’s why, more and more frequently, entrepreneurs are making conscious decisions to build their businesses with an eye toward lending a hand in solving real-world problems, using their knowledge and expertise to create innovative, sustainable change or through simply giving back and supporting others. Even dream ventures that…

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Effective Teamwork: 8 Simple Characteristics of a Great Team

Teamwork is essential in today’s business world. It is an important ingredient of successful organizations, and for that reason, it’s important for everyone to work successfully with one another. Effective teamwork doesn’t just happen—it takes good problem-solving skills, decision making, communication and interpersonal skills. Making a great team requires a completely new set of soft skills that don’t come easily. Members have to be able to voice…

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great leaders

Why Great Leaders Are Always Surrounded By Spectacular Employees

One of the most satisfying things about being “the boss” is having good employees. However, it’s even better to help a good employee become a spectacular employee. As hard as it can be sometimes to recruit and maintain top talent, the seeds of helping another person achieve excellence and high levels of performance makes it all worthwhile. If you look at any of the great…

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Networking 101: 9 Tips For Starting Conversations With New People

Networking and social events fill the business world. From enormous industry trade shows to smaller, more casual work parties or meetings, they’re hard to avoid. And avoiding them is just what many people would rather do. But take it from a former wallflower: With a little practice and a bit of bravery, you can become comfortable starting conversations with strangers. In fact, you may even…

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Negotiating Well Gives Women Entrepreneurs an Edge

There’s power in knowing how to negotiate well. And for female entrepreneurs, there will be many times in your new business endeavor when you need to use solid negotiating skills. But, for many women, negotiation is seen as conflict. It makes them uncomfortable, maybe even hesitant. (There’s always the chance of hearing the dreaded “no.”) Nothing could be further from the truth. The best outcome…

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Networking Tips for Women Starting Businesses

“Who you know” is critical to entrepreneurial success. So, when you’re starting a business, think about how you can build a vibrant, professional network. Everyone, regardless of personality or demeanor, can benefit from a base of strong business connections. If you’ve previously been uncomfortable networking, try to shake off this mindset and start seeing it as a necessary part of building a business—an opportunity to…

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How to Get Better at Thinking on Your Feet

Most of us can think back to a time when we were in a meeting, reception or other business situation where we were caught off guard when someone asked a question or asked us to “say a few words” or “give a brief explanation” in front of a large group. I’ll never forget one of the first times this happened to me. I was at…

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A Look Back From a SkillPath Summer 2018 Intern

Internships. Every college upper classman has a love/hate relationship with them. Whether it’s searching for the perfect match or starting on your first day, stress and excitement come as we approach the “real” world. The expectations can be high. But in reality, not many of us know what to expect. One of the best feelings for my junior year of college, was knowing early that…

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How to Create the Brand That Will Lead to New Business Success

Why do you buy certain products? Perhaps you buy Lexus® because you value safety and reliability. Or purchase Nike® products because they’re synonymous with fitness and health. Most of us buy from brands that connect with us and make us feel good about our purchases. Building a strong brand and communicating that brand consistently in all the right places, should be top considerations for a…

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Does Starting a Business Feel Too Risky to You?

When Darcy Blake, at the age of 15, walked into a radio station in Bismarck, North Dakota, she already knew she wanted to be a television or radio reporter. She took a risk and asked if she could spend some time learning from them. The news director promptly sent her to City Hall to cover a council meeting—with instructions to call him as soon as…

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organizational innovation

When CEOs Want Organizational Innovation, They Do This …

To achieve outstanding results, it is important to understand what psychologists call the “pull to equilibrium.” The “pull” is that place inside us all that does not like change and prefers to stay where we are (because it is “known”)—even if we are unhappy or not getting the results we want. The “pull to equilibrium” is the enemy of organizational innovation, courage and speedy execution….

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emotional intelligence

Emotional Intelligence Gives Workers the Confidence to Speak Up

Personality and emotions are hardwired in each of us. You can’t control how something makes you feel, but some people are better at controlling how they react. Others have learned to read people’s emotions and effectively influence those reactions as well. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is often seen as a hidden quality that makes people successful beyond their measurable IQ. Good leaders and strong managers rely…

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money fears

3 Shared Money Fears of Many Daring Female Entrepreneurs

Making your dream of business ownership a reality means understanding the money. And money fears are the most significant reasons given when I ask someone why they haven’t pursued their business idea. If the terms financials, startup costs, revenues, balance sheets, budgets, etc., cause you anxiety, you’re not alone. For most women considering the launch of their own business, their financial concerns fall into three…

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ideal, having it all

Why Women Need to Break Free of the Ideal of Having It All

“I have never met a woman, or man, who stated emphatically, ‘Yes, I have it all.’ Because no matter what any of us has—and how grateful we are for what we have—no one has it all.” This Sheryl Sandberg quote reminds us that the concept of work-life balance as an ideal to strive for is overrated and that’s OK. The very notion of having it…

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risky, female entrepreneur

Does Starting a Business Feel Too Risky to You?

When Darcy Blake, at the age of 15, walked into a radio station in Bismarck, North Dakota, she already knew she wanted to be a television or radio reporter. She took a risk and asked if she could spend some time learning from them. The news director promptly sent her to City Hall to cover a council meeting—with instructions to call him as soon as…

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questions, starting a business

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start a Successful Business

Turning your dream of business ownership into reality begins with a carefully crafted vision. What do you want your business to be? By asking yourself some important questions about your plans, talents and desires, your business concept can begin to take shape. “Everybody has a million-dollar idea; it’s just a matter of pursuing it.” I love this sentiment offered by Spanx creator Sara Blakely. Her…

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Creating the Mindset for Success as a Female Entrepreneur

There are many ways for women to find entrepreneurial success. You don’t have to have a “light bulb” idea for a new and unique product. You don’t have to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. You may not even need to have a boatload of money to plow into the business. But you do have to commit to being an entrepreneur. Success begins with the right…

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women entrepreneurs

Women Entrepreneurs: What’s Keeping You From Starting the Business of Your Dreams?

Business ownership is on the rise. And while women and men do face many of the same challenges when starting a business, there are some unique and specific concerns holding back women entrepreneurs. If you’re a woman who’s often thought about starting your own business, you know the pull of entrepreneurship—giving life to a dream—having a blank canvas that is yours to create, yours to…

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Four Simple Ways to Let Go of Fear at the Office (and in Life)

Everyone has heard about the fear of failure, but most don’t think much about the opposite side of the same coin: The fear of success. People who fear success may feel as though they don’t deserve the recognition they have already achieved. They carry an overwhelming feeling of guilt or phoniness that is difficult to get over. But, just as with any other phobia that…

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diversity

How to Embrace Diversity and Inclusion at the Office

We’re in an ever-changing work environment today—the world is smaller and a homogeneous workplace rarely exists. Today, leaders deal with a variety of employees across generational and cultural lines, each with their own values, beliefs, work ethics and needs. Successful organizations embrace diversity and strive for inclusion among their employees. The mosaic of people who bring a variety of backgrounds, styles and perspectives are assets…

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questions

This Is How Clever People Answer Questions From Others

Whether it’s during a job interview or a meeting, you need to always be ready to answer any question. Yet, even the most qualified professionals can blurt out an unprofessional response now and again. Too often, people answer with a timid “I don’t know,” and inadvertently do more harm than good. Why is it so hard to answer even simple questions sometimes? To prevent this…

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feel welcome, onboarding, reward

7 Body Language Tips That Will Increase Your Influence at the Office

No matter how hard you work to gain respect at your workplace, if you don’t have influential body language, you’re sending a bad message and throwing all your hard work out the window. In face-to-face communication, research shows that your words account for only 7% percent of your interaction—38% is in your tone of voice, and 55% is in your non-verbal cues, or body language….

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fourth of july

A Good Old-fashioned Fourth of July in America Quiz

If you’re reading this at work on Monday, then you didn’t get Monday or Tuesday off before the Fourth of July holiday on Wednesday. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun today. In honor of our nation’s 242nd birthday, here is a 30-question quiz to test your knowledge of the Good Old U, S, of A!  Many of the questions appear on…

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great meetings, bad meetings

This is How Smart People Run Great Meetings at the Office

So by now you’ve impatiently glanced at your watch for the fifth time in the last 20 minutes. Your colleague sitting next to you is fixated on the clock on the wall. At the end of the meeting table, two alpha males are having a pointless, totally off the wall argument trying to prove which one has a bigger … obnoxious personality. And every other…

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social media

Webinar Wednesday – NEW TOPIC – Using Social Media to Improve Customer Service

Join us in July for an exciting new social media webinar that can improve your organization’s customer service immediately! The stakes are high when you interact with (or ignore) customers online. Everything is magnified and visible to thousands through reviews, shares, likes and retweets. And customers’ expectations are rising. They’re online—searching, reading reviews, looking for answers and expecting you to be there fast when they need…

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learning analytics, training

How to Prove Your Training Is Effective Using Analytics

As the CEO of the leading training company in the world, other business leaders constantly ask me about how they can better evaluate the effectiveness of their training programs. They know training their employees is critical to thrive in business today. However, they’re never quite sure if they’re getting the biggest return on their investment. They’re searching for a way to calculate learning analytics and…

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social media fail

These Are the 5 Killer Social Media Mistakes Companies Make

The social media mistakes some companies make—such as the one Snapchat had earlier this year—should be a lesson to everyone about why it is critical to closely monitor and proofread everything your company sends out. In March 2018, Snapchat enraged the public when it ran an ad that mocked Rihanna’s domestic abuse. In 2009, the news broke that Chris Brown had brutally beaten Rihanna during an argument before The Grammy…

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think, thinking, ideas

This Is How Smart Companies Encourage Strategic Thinking

As a manager, have you ever told a member of your staff to start thinking more strategically and “big picture”? Did you get a blank stare back like a deer in the headlights when you did? Do you think your employee may have been wondering what in the world you were asking them to do? If so, don’t worry … even veteran managers and supervisors…

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leadership

Webinar Wednesday – NEW – Leadership Skills for Administrative Professionals

As your boss’s key support person, are you ready to take on a leadership role when needed? Without an official leadership title, this can be tricky. Your ability to influence those around you positively and confidently is key. And that takes assertiveness, persuasive communication and big-picture thinking—all valuable leadership qualities. Join other successful, future-focused admins for a one-hour, can’t-miss leadership Webinar. Build off-the-charts “soft skills” so you’re…

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This Is How to Disagree With Your Boss and Earn Respect

As a leader, the worst thing to surround yourself with are “Yes” men and women who blindly follow every directive without question. While it may feed the ego for some bosses, it is usually bad for the organization. Everyone, especially in management, needs people who will question things from time to time and offer alternative ways to do things. However, it’s difficult to disagree with…

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workloads, summer stress

How to Take Summer Stress Out of the Office

Summer is here, which usually means vacation time for you and your co-workers. While vacations are great and necessary for maintaining sanity, they also increase your workload. Either you’re trying like mad to get ahead and clean your desk off for those two weeks you’re spending in the mountains or visiting grandma, or you’re covering for someone else who is gone (but probably NOT visiting…

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delegate, delegating, delegation

8 Mistakes Smart Managers Never Make When Delegating Work

Delegating is an important part of being a manager. But, it can be tricky if you aren’t able to let it go. Most employees can’t stand it when you hand them something to do and hover nearby to see how it’s going. But, in your mind, you’re doing the right thing. After all, what if the employee fails to do it right?  You’re pretty sure…

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change management

Webinar Wednesday – NEW TOPIC – Managing Employees’ Resistance to Change

Vibrant organizations constantly change and evolve. But when employees cling to old procedures or outdated technologies, it can slow progress. When change makes them nervous, afraid or resistant, “new ventures” fall flat without ever really getting a fair shot. While fear of the unknown is normal, you need employees who easily let go of “the old” and bravely embrace “the new.” You can help them. Be…

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employee feedback

How to Give Great Employee Feedback That Sticks

The best managers provide effective employee feedback to their staff frequently. Not just during performance reviews or before important projects begin, but constantly. Knowing how to give valuable feedback that doesn’t go in one ear and out the other is the key to increasing employee engagement and productivity. (Yes, employees will actually appreciate criticism when given to them the right way. Shocking, I know!) The problem…

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small talk

This Is How Those Cool People Make Small Talk Look Easy

For just a minute, I want you to imagine yourself walking into a room of 100 strangers for a meet-and-greet at a local hotel ballroom. I’m standing just inside the door with a large stack of $10 bills. I tell you that I will give you $10 for every stranger you make small talk with over the next two hours. However, you have to tell…

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negative feedback

How to Put a Positive Spin on Negative Feedback

A manager’s motivation for giving negative feedback to an employee should be to encourage change — to help the employee grow, get better results, or stop doing something that is holding back success. While there are obviously differences in people’s receptiveness to corrective feedback, in general, research shows that people believe constructive criticism is essential to their career development. Millennials, in fact, crave feedback. Some…

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This Is How Great Managers Nurture Employee Motivation

If employee motivation were as easy as handing out a few rewards as a bonus for a job well done, a manager’s job would be simple. You could set up your rewards program, sit back, and watch it happen. As a manager, you know that guiding employees to greatness works nothing like that. You must learn how to motivate people. And the first lesson is…

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writing skills

6 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Writing Skill (and Look More Professional)

Do you think you need to improve your business writing skill? More importantly, does your boss or co-workers think you need to improve your business writing skill? I once worked with a guy in sales that looked good and sounded great when he talked to you. Yet, he never was anything more than an average salesperson, always sitting in the middle of the sales numbers…

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doughnuts, donuts

Which Doughnut Are You at the Office?

Every year, the first Friday in June is National Doughnut Day.  Other than honoring my favorite forbidden food, the genesis of the day has an absolutely fascinating history that most people have forgotten or never knew. It celebrates the doughnut and honors the Salvation Army Lassies, the women that served doughnuts to soldiers during WWI. In 1917, four American women ventured to within a couple miles…

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difficult employee

When Good Workers Go Sideways: How to Turn Difficult Employees Around

Difficult employees. Every workplace has them, and the common cry resounds, “Why can’t we just fire them?” Why? Because firing people is expensive. Termination means you’re throwing all that employee’s training, experience, and corporate knowledge away. Add in the time and overall cost of searching for a replacement, interviewing all the candidates, screening them, hiring them, training them, and getting them up to the level…

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engaged employees

Webinar Wednesdays – NEW TOPIC – Dr. Bob Nelson Presents Strategies for Better Engaging Your Employees

Help people do better what they do best.” This advice from Bob Nelson reminds organizations that when workers are engaged, there’s a big advantage. But Gallup places the number of engaged employees nationwide at a low 32 percent. The rest? They’re uninvolved, unenthused and uncommitted to their jobs or workplaces. One manager (you!) can change this. Join us for an amazing one-hour Webinar as Dr. Bob…

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vacation

How to Best Prepare at the Office For Going on Summer Vacation

Memorial Day officially turns the calendar to summer, even though spring still has about 3-1/2 weeks left in it. You’re excited because this year the thoughts of lying on that beach, hiking through the mountains, visiting wine country or spending a week or two holed up at home fixing and painting everything in sight leaves you in a state of bliss.  But there’s a not-so-neat…

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gatekeeper

Webinar Wednesday – NEW TOPIC – Gatekeeping Strategies for Front Desk Professionals

Amazing front desk professionals make the job look so easy. They greet every visitor and caller (even the impatient or angry ones) with a genuine smile and an unruffled demeanor. But underneath, they’re smoothly assessing and prioritizing. “Should this person be given access?” Gatekeeping is a vastly underrated skill but for the people it helps, the front desk personnel are heroes. When you work the…

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This Is the Reason Why Successful Companies Are Full of Questions

Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows how much I value open communication throughout an organization. I’ve always felt that when a company, its leaders, and its staff have open lines of communication from top to bottom, there are virtually no challenges they cannot overcome. And, a critical piece of that mindset is creating an environment where questions are not…

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powerful words, i did it

3 Powerful Words You Should Say at the Office

What are three of the most powerful words in the English language? No, it’s not the three that immediately spring to mind. While telling your spouse, significant other or partner, “I love you,” is always a good idea, saying that to people at work will just lead to a rash of sexual harassment lawsuits and probable termination. Let’s rephrase the question to, “What are the…

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receive criticism

10 Professional Ways to Receive Criticism and Feedback

The other evening I was having dinner at my favorite local burger joint when I witnessed a master class in how to receive criticism from, of all things, a 16-year old waitress. It was a busy Friday night and an elderly lady at the booth next to me was intent on giving the waitress a piece of her mind. While the woman unloaded on the…

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data presentation

Webinar Wednesday – NEW TOPIC – Show and Sell: 7 Secrets to Excel® Data Presentation

Data has the power to convince. But for that to happen, it has to be clear and visually powerful. You need charts and graphs that show the story. And in today’s need-it-yesterday, zettabyte-filled workplace, simplifying mountains of statistics takes planning and know-how. That’s why we created this webinar to give you seven secrets to Excel® Data Presentation! Set yourself apart by becoming adept at translating data into the actionable…

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crisis leadership

6 Crisis Leadership Lessons That Will Keep Your Organization on the Right Path

Whenever I give leadership talks to various groups—especially to college kids just beginning their journeys—I invariably hear how it’s easier to lead when times are good, but they want to know what to do when times are bad. Don’t get me wrong, I feel blessed to be in a leadership position with truly great people around me. However, being the leader is never “easy.” Immensely…

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personal brand

This Is How You Can Create a Great Personal Brand (And Why You Should)

In the world of business, many people see themselves as a product or a commodity to sell, but this is not what a personal brand is all about. Personal branding is about taking the cookie-cutter approach to business out of the equation and creating a meaningful professional profile so you can be known as a distinguished professional. The way to craft your personal brand is…

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remembering names

7 Stunning Secrets to Remembering Names For Forgetful Fools

Full confession: I suck at remembering names of people I meet. Always have and probably always would have until I learned these seven little tricks from my ex-wife, the school teacher. She not only has to learn 25 new student names every year, but also multiple sets of parents and step-parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents and more. She taught me that one of the best business…

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Webinar Wednesday – NEW TOPIC – Strategies for Managing Interruptions

You have a packed to-do list, but every time you dig in, someone or something interrupts you. Sound familiar? Some everyday distractions are welcome. But when you’re deeply focused, concentrating and sailing toward completion, interruptions can frustrate you and slow you down. You need a proven and foolproof system for managing interruptions. Scientists who study the effect of disruptions say workers spend as much as…

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feel welcome, onboarding, reward

Onboarding Practices That Will Make Your Employees Feel Wanted

Last week, I looked at the lazy onboarding mistakes that many companies make even when they have the best intentions. Research proves that companies that do onboarding right have higher employee engagement, loyalty and productivity. They also have much lower turnover. In short, making employees feel wanted and appreciated, even before they start working for you, pays off in the short- and long-term. Today, we’ll look…

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mesothelioma, workplace hazards

3 Hidden Ways Your Workplace Could (Literally) Be Killing You

This week (May 6 – 12) is North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, bringing awareness to the consequences of workplace hazards. Now, while that might not be as warm and fuzzy a topic as National Pet Week (also May 6 – 12), it doesn’t diminish its importance. NAOSH Week is a reminder why everyone should pay close attention to safety and illness issues at…

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introvert

This is How One Quiet Introvert Learned to Speak Up in Meetings

Everyone’s been stuck in meetings that are dominated by one or two people. They’re comfortable and confident and say anything that comes to mind. Meanwhile, you, the introvert, take great notes, analyze remarks the others make, and come up with some great ideas for solving the issues being discussed. The only problem is that those ideas remain stuck in your head because you aren’t contributing…

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Webinar Wednesday – NEW TOPIC – Create a Successful Reverse Mentoring Program

Technology change is accelerating. This quickening pace can leave some of your most trusted, experienced employees behind. On the other hand, many inexperienced young workers are fearlessly tech savvy but lacking in industry knowledge and business acumen. Pair the two and create a collaborative talent share that benefits both types of workers. It’s a highly effective technique called reverse mentoring. Discover how to tap the…

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onboarding

What Your Employees Want You to Know About Your Lazy Onboarding

Many years ago, before it was called onboarding, companies used to call the process of welcoming new employees “orientation.” And believe it or not, they did it much worse than companies now. During the first three-quarters of the 20th century, the employee mindset was that you’d grow old and die with the company. Organizations didn’t put much effort into welcoming new people because buzzwords like…

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handling outbursts from coworkers

How to Handle an Outburst From a Co-Worker Like a Pro

Difficult times, such as pay cuts, salary freezes, loss of bonuses, layoffs or organizational change causes great stress among employees. No matter what environment you’re in, chances are your team gets anxious … burned out … and feels disconnected. You probably feel the same way from time to time. You know that leads to lower morale, decreased productivity, diminishing employee performance, and ultimately a decline in…

2 comments
multiple bosses, front desk, interruptions

This is How Brilliant Assistants Keep Multiple Bosses Happy

Even when reporting to just one boss, administrative assistants are responsible for a myriad of duties to that boss. In addition, include the admin’s unofficial role as the organizer and mother hen for the rest of the department, keeping them happy and on track as well. Now, imagine being the assistant for multiple bosses and you’ve just increased the responsibilities—and the stress—exponentially. So how do successful administrative…

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message, communication, get out of your own way

How to Get Out of the Way of Your Message So It’s Clear

As a CEO, I’ve always believed that excellent communication channels and a clear message will alleviate many, if not most, of the problems that exist between management and staff. I’ve seen it far too often … managers take communication with their staff for granted. They devote their energies upwards by catering to their superiors. Their focus swings too far towards big-picture efforts, and they communicate…

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negotiate, negotiator, argument, winning arguments

11 Simple Tricks That Will Make You a Terrific Negotiator

Whether you’re arguing at work with a co-worker or having a tense negotiation, there are times when you can blow your cool and suddenly find the situation slipping away. For most people, that’s when the adrenaline starts flowing, the blood pressure rises, and the voice modulation breaks down. Now you’re unexpectedly yelling, and at that point, you’ve lost whatever you were trying to get. The key to…

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maintain positive attitude

12 Actions That Will Keep Your Positive Attitude Thriving

Almost everyone enjoys working with people with a positive attitude. We’re pretty sure we can’t say that absolutely everyone enjoys it, because there’s always that one man or woman in every company that just have to be negative. We like to call them Mr. or Ms. Cranky Pants, but that’s just us. The thing is … attitude is a choice. The difference between thriving at…

0 comments

Webinar Wednesday – NEW TOPIC – Legalities of Job Postings and Hiring Processes

When you’re trying to fill a job opening, your focus is on finding the best candidate. It’s easy to make small missteps in your job postings and interviews—missteps that can turn off good people … make the job or your organization look less than amazing … or worse, be unintentionally discriminatory. Recruiting effectively—and legally—is vital to the future of your organization. And it means getting…

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diversity, diversity in the workplace, promoting diversity

5 Steps That Will Promote Diversity in Your Workplace

While race might be the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of the word “diversity,” it really encompasses much more than that. Added to the diversity of different races and ethnicities, there are gender considerations, age groups, religion, education, fashion, beliefs, diet and a variety of other choices that make us all very different. Smart businesses try to promote diversity in…

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time management tricks, relax, stress free time management

Time Management Tricks That Will Make You Relax at the Office

Time management doesn’t come easily to everyone, and in today’s workplace, it’s a battle to stay on task and productive. If you feel the crush of workloads and personal life pressures, here are some strategies to help. The keys to overcoming wasted time are identifying its sources and avoiding temptations. The benefits of effective time management, of course, is a lot less stress in your…

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The Best of the Worst Excuses For Not Filing Your Tax Return on Time

According to irs.gov, the United States Internal Revenue Service expects to receive more than 152 million individual tax returns in 2018. As of March 23, they had received just over 86 million. That means me and 66 million of my friends will probably start to do our taxes this weekend. Or, maybe Monday since the deadline is on Tuesday. Among those 152 million, there will…

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Webinar Wednesday – NEW TOPIC – Constructive Ways to Manage Anger

Everyone gets mad at work from time to time. And most of us have never really been taught how to deal with these feelings. Bottling them up is stressful. And over time, repeatedly biting your tongue can build to unhealthy rage or angry outbursts. You need constructive ways to manage anger before it blows up out of control. Whether you’re managing your own anger or…

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This Is How Great Bosses Know What and When to Delegate

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and the topic of delegation came up. He never delegates anything, which made him a little horrified to hear that I had just given an important organizational project to one of my staff. His opinion was that the task was “too big” for the person I gave it to—solely judging that on the person’s…

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How to Work with a Know-It-All at the Office

Do you work with a know-it-all at the office? If so, does this scenario sound familiar to you? Ashley has been doing her current job for three years. She’s an experienced employee and rarely has to ask for help. Her boss has delegated additional projects to her and she’s proud to have completed them all successfully. She’s also filled in for the boss when he’s…

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5 Tips That Will Make Your Virtual Team Run Like Clockwork

Back in 2013, Virgin CEO, Richard Branson, famously said that working in an office would soon be a “thing of the past.” Today, as the Baby Boomer generation with the “60-hour work week” mentality and contempt for telecommuting employees leaves management and heads off into retirement, the rise of virtual employees will soon transform into virtual teams that must be managed and kept productive. Are…

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Webinar Wednesday – NEW TOPIC – Managing Millennials and a Younger Workforce

What makes employees in their 20s and 30s tick? Is there something about traditional workplaces that turns them off? What drives them? How is managing Millennials any different than managing other generations? Are they victims of “ageism” or are they their own worst enemies? If you’re managing Millennials and the generation behind them (Generation Z), understanding their unique strengths and knowing which workplace perks matter…

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Your Greatest Business Investment Is in Yourself

We’ve all been there. Life and work gets crazy and you start having to prioritize tasks. The problem is, most of us prioritize work and family over ourselves, so it gets easy to skip that Thursday workout at the gym (“I’ll make it up on Tuesday”). Or, you put off reading that new best-selling business book you downloaded a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately short-term…

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4 Fundamentals of Giving Fabulous Employee Feedback at the Office

The best managers provide fantastic employee feedback to their staffs frequently … not just during performance reviews or before important projects begin. Knowing how to give valuable feedback that won’t go in one ear and out the other is the key to increasing employee happiness and productivity. (Yes, employees will actually appreciate criticism when given to them the right way. Shocker!) The problem is, many managers…

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10 Awesome Tips That Will Make You Much More Productive, Satisfied and Happy

Time has always been a sneaky little thing when it comes to you staying productive. Mentally, you’ve made it through St. Patrick’s Day and still have great expectations for 2018 that get you excited. You’ve got your taxes done well before April 15 and are feeling good! However, reality says major league baseball is starting, which means school will be out before you know it,…

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Webinar Wednesday – GREAT NEW TOPIC – Navigating Gossip and Grapevines in the Workplace

People talk. And while speculation about a new boss, a merger or new products is common and even healthy, gossip can get more personal and more damaging. And sometimes, if the chatter is about you, it can be isolating and hurtful. What can you do … short of simply ignoring everyone around you and being out of the loop completely? Join us for a new,…

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Tips and Techniques That Will Project Confidence at the Office

I have probably interviewed hundreds of people in my time and one thing that always puts one candidate in front of another is confidence. Confident people tend to be very self-motivated, have good self-esteem and don’t mind taking a calculated risk. They are not afraid of making a mistake because it’s a learning experience, not a failure. Confident people are critical to a company’s success…

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argument, negotiate, negotiator, remembering names

Body Language 101: Building Your Credibility and Coolness Factor

Did you know that most people are barely listening to a word you’re saying? But, man oh man, they are picking up on your body language big time. It’s estimated that about 55 percent of communication is body language, 38 percent is your tone of voice and only 7 percent are the actual words coming out of your mouth. Using the right body language is…

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office personalities

5 Smart Strategies for Cooling Off in a Conflict at the Office

“My wife, Mary, and I have been married for 47 years and not once have we had an argument serious enough to consider divorce. Murder, yes, but divorce, never.” — Jack Benny, Comedian (1894-1974) As with any marriage or long-term relationship, conflict with a coworker, supervisor, or manager is inevitable. Managed intelligently, conflict can turn from a hair-raising dilemma to an important building block toward…

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Webinar Wednesday – NEW TOPIC – Employee Offboarding: Procedures for Departing Workers

Most people probably leave your organization under good circumstances—no HR escort out the door needed. So, you probably haven’t given a lot of thought to the exit process. They turn in a laptop. Their work is reassigned. You finalize their last paycheck. And they slip away … quietly. This wouldn’t happen if your company had an effective offboarding program. Additionally, along with the employee leaving,…

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Top Strategies That Will Strengthen Your Professional Network

Do you find yourself lacking power within your organization? Do people who own accessibility and influence often drown out your ideas to people in power? Welcome to the real world in 2018. The workplace rarely provides a level playing field for competing ideas and it tips towards those who have put in the time and effort to network within upper management. Not every company operates…

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This is How Men and Women Are Wired to React Differently at the Office

Saying that men and women handle emotions differently is like saying ice is cold. Men and women are just wired differently. There is hardly a man or woman reading this that hasn’t been frustrated by the opposite sex.  We’ve all had a time when we tried to understand the emotional reaction of someone of the opposite gender. Or we tried to get the opposite gender…

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Minimizing Distractions at Work During March Madness® Time

Chances are, if you’re not a sports fan, the next three weeks are going to be tough for you and you’re going to need a way of minimizing distractions at work. Tens of millions of people across the country get swept up in “March Madness®”—the three week long NCAA Men’s Basketball championship tournament. It is estimated that nearly 51 million American workers (about 20 percent…

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Webinar Wednesday – NEW TOPIC – Problem Solving and Decision Making for Administrative Professionals

It takes practice to stay calm, to find the best solution to a problem … especially when you’re under pressure. And, as an administrative professional, your job frequently puts you in the hot seat: The apologetic speaker who cancels two days before the annual meeting, an explosive client, your boss’s missing presentation—it’s something new every day! When analyzing obstacles and finding answers is such a…

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How to Guide and Lead a Successful Diverse, Multigenerational Team

We’re in an ever-changing work environment today—the world is smaller and a homogeneous workplace rarely exists. Today, leaders deal with a variety of employees across generational and cultural lines, each with their own values, beliefs, work ethics and needs. It is the mosaic of people who bring a variety of backgrounds, styles and perspectives as assets to whatever team or organization with which they interact….

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This is Why Successful Businesses Still Utilize Company Retreats

There is a lot of talk going around about the efficacy of corporate retreats. Some people question whether retreats are relevant today. Personally, I think that is a silly question. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American companies lose about $3 billion a year a year due to the effects of negative attitudes and behaviors. This cost is defined primarily in terms of increased…

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18 Brilliant Ways People Deal With Stress at the Office

We all know that a little stress is a good thing because it gets us moving. A little stress stimulates the brain, which gets the body revved up, and that makes us more alert and productive. Of course, too much stress for too long is detrimental to our health and can lead to serious mental and physiological issues, including anxiety, depression, heart attacks or death….

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Webinar Wednesday – NEW TOPIC – New Strategies for Finding and Recruiting Employees

When your organization has a job opening and you can’t find the right candidate, it’s frustrating. It can also disrupt growth … and overload and hurt the morale of existing workers. The current talent drain that many businesses are experiencing makes recruiting employees more difficult than it has been in years. But high-quality candidates are out there! It’s a matter of finding them and steering…

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This is How a Smart Boss Stops Being a Micromanager

“I perform better under a strict micromanager!” Quote from no employee, ever.   When you hear the word, “micromanager”, what is the image that immediately springs to mind? For most people, it’s the figure of a forlorn employee sitting at his or her desk as an overbearing supervisor behind them leans over the employee’s shoulder watching them work intently. A favorite cartoon panel of mine…

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This is How Companies Sabotage Their Employee Recognition Process

March 2 was Employee Appreciation Day and while many companies do a great job of recognizing their employees, others are ineffective and their employee recognition programs backfire. Instead of putting a little more effort and creativity into their recognition process, these companies retreat to older programs that aren’t successful in rewarding, recognizing or motivating employees. According to Brandon Hall Group’s rewards and recognition research, the…

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Capitalization Mistakes That Will Make You Look Foolish at the Office

In one of my former lives, I was the editor for a fantasy sports web site that only had one full-time writer (me), and between 20 to 30 freelance writers at any time. Of those 30, there were exactly ZERO professional writers in the group. Instead, I had doctors, lawyers, a boatload of accountants (go figure), salespersons, and IT people—all of whom were brilliant in their…

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Webinar Wednesday – BRAND NEW – FMLA Medical Certification: How to Administer Leave, Minimize Abuse and Prevent Lawsuits

When an employee has a serious health condition and requests leave, the last thing you want to do is be insensitive. But most managers and HR professionals know that FMLA-protected leave needs a solid paper trail so that both you and your employee know what’s expected. Medical certification is key to this trail … particularly if, at any point, you begin to suspect abuse or…

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To Stay Connected, Make Sure You Never Leave the Loop

“Knowledge is power.” Sir Francis Bacon “Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.”  Anton Chekhov   With all apologies to Sir Francis Bacon, most of us have known that knowledge is power since we were kids. We’d find out a great secret from overhearing mom and dad talk about summer vacation plans and we’d decide to tell our brother, but not…

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7 Reasons Your Staff Has Performance Problems and What You Can Do About It

When an employee isn’t meeting expectations because of any number of performance problems, the first step in helping them improve is to find out why. Sometimes simply getting to the source of the performance problems and fixing it can turn things around. As you think about helping poor performers improve, consider what might be getting in their way. Here are seven common causes of performance…

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