Communicate with Confidence in the Workplace

The Top 10 Worst Words to Use in the Office

The tone you bring across while verbally communicating in the office is more revealing about your professionalism than you think. Your ability to communicate your needs and the needs of your team will play a vital role in the success of your career. Whether your communication is primarily within your organization or with outside vendors, the way you speak and the words you choose will be an invaluable tool to get what you want. I encourage you to choose your words wisely and follow these guidelines:


Become a Successful Leader by Listening

Take Your Management Skills to the Next Level

One of the major skills I encourage my management coaching clients to cultivate is how to listen. Developing this skill plays a vital role in bridging the gap between being a good manager and a great leader. These clients have shown tremendous growth from enriching their listening skills, and now I want to share my top tips with you, too! Here’s how to fine-tune your listening skills to truly understand the needs of your team like a great leader:



2017 California Labor Law Updates

Are you up-to-date??

Now that 2017 has rolled in, it is time to make sure your company is following all of the new labor laws going into effect. There are many resources to ensure that your HR department is abreast to the changes, including the United States Department of Labor website. Along with national labor laws, every state and city has their own unique laws to which companies must comply.

In this past year, both California and the San Francisco Bay Area have passed new laws that effect the majority of employers. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to penalties for not keeping up with compliance. I have broken down some of the important changes that are most applicable to you, my readers. Here’s what has and will change in 2017:


New Year, New Office Skills

Master Your Office Meetings!


Now that the New Year has arrived, it’s time to start working on our career resolutions and goals for 2017. We often feel that when a new year begins it gives us an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. We feel empowered to take on new challenges and set our sights high.

So, where to start?

There are many ways to begin building a stronger work presence, and one of the best ways that is too often overlooked is in office meetings. Meetings are the perfect platform to showcase your professional skills. Though they are simple day-today occurrences for many of us, they can also be one of the few opportunities to get real face-to-face time with your superiors and cross-functional teams. While they may not say it directly to you, your managers are observing you and noting your input. Your behavior can directly affect their opinions about your quality of work and what role you play within your team.

Read on to gain some new perspectives and insights regarding common
office meeting “Do’s and Don’ts:”


How to Turn Holiday Parties into Networking Opportunities

Be the life of the party & attract new contacts!


It’s that time of year when the twinkle lights are hung about the office and your coworkers bring in sugar cookies in festive little shapes to share with the team. The holiday season often brings a slew of parties and events that brighten the season. This can be a great opportunity to get involved with coworkers and industry partners outside of your immediate team and make some great networking contacts.

Everyone approaches office social events in different ways. While some may shy away, others know how to come alive and showcase their “outside of work” personality. It is social events like these that allow people to make deeper connections with their coworkers and build lasting relationships.

In most industries, the communities are small and close-knit. Start the New Year off by leaving people with positive memories of you; like bringing your famous homemade eggnog to the holiday party. Positive association can go a long way and it is very likely that they will remember you as not only a hard worker but also as a positive energy in the office. The next time they are looking to promote or hire a new team member, you just may be on the top of their list (all thanks to your delicious eggnog!).


Not sure how to start? Step outside your comfort zone and try these 5 networking tips this holiday season:


5 Ways to Be Kind

Get through the holidays with these important tips!


We are officially in the holiday season and for the next few weeks, it’s going to get busier by the day! Between the holiday parties, end of year reports, family obligations, and travel plans, it is easy to get lost in the stress and deadlines that often seem synonymous with this time of year. Not to mention the financial stress many people feel and the guilt around eating one too many cookies while trying to stick with a diet!


With everything going on, the true spirit of the holidays can easily take a back seat or get lost among the festivities. To me, the holidays are a time to remember and give thanks for all that we have. It is a time to spread positive sentiments and show appreciation for those in our lives. Because this is easier said than done, I have created a list that helps me stay focused on what is truly important to me; sharing kindness.

Here are my 5 go-to tips for being kind this holiday season and through the rest of the year:



How to Resolve Conflict Within Your Team

Stop team conflict in its tracks!


It seems that no matter where I go, there is tension in the air. No matter which political camp you side with, there is a continued conversation and often conflict around the issue. While I think these conversations are healthy and necessary to have, one place that it can cause more harm than good is the workplace.


Since the election, I have received emails and calls from clients asking for advice on how to navigate this sensitive topic. The main reason I am hearing for wanting to find a resolution is because of its effect on people’s teams. Team conflict is manifesting through different ways such as workers feeling unsure about their job security, having a hard time sympathizing with their teammates, and even feeling bullied by the opposing side.  This seems like a hard item to cope with since it is rooted deep in people’s morals, but the good news is, you have the ability to end team conflict now. Whether dealing with a divide between team members, a tiff over promotions, or feelings around who was elected president, there are a few key strategies to help reunite your team and get everyone moving forward on the same page.


Want To Keep Your Millennial Workers?

Avoid these three phrases! 

It’s easy to want to give younger generations advice, and it seems like Millennials have been given more tips on what to say, how to act, and how not to behave than any other generation. They have also been one of the most researched groups so far due to their significant purchasing power and domination of the workforce. So then why are there still so many hiccups in the workplace between Millennials and previous generations?


I think one of the major issues is that we are always telling Millennials what to do, how to say something, or how they should act. But what we are not doing is looking at how we can help bridge this generational gap. Whether we want to admit it or not, Millennials are here to stay, and we better figure out sooner rather than later how to get along in the workplace, or we will end up losing top talent to our competitors.


The main reason my Millennial candidates give for wanting to leave their current jobs is the challenges with managers or team members they could not overcome. From these conversations, I have found that if generation X and Boomers can avoid a few key phrases, Millennials would be much more willing to stay on the job.


Here are three key phrases to avoid if you want to keep your Millennial workforce:


Hiring A Diverse Team

Are you making this big hiring mistake?


It’s no surprise that companies with higher levels of diversity outperform their less diverse counterparts by 35%. McKinsey found that “companies with racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above the national average.” Gender diversity also plays a role in helping to increase financial returns by 15%. While both of these statistics are highly important and are now looked at when hiring employees, there is another type of diversity that often goes overlooked. Can you guess what that is?


The answer is diversely hiring personality types; such as introverts and extroverts. Most people think of personality types when it comes to different kinds of jobs. Sales people, marketers, and recruiters tend to be extroverted while engineers, financial analysts, and IT specialists are more introverted. The reality is that many companies hire extroverts over introverts, regardless of the position. This may actually be a fatal hiring mistake.


The book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking that came out in 2012 shed light on the capabilities of introverts in the workplace. More recently, HBR released a study that found introverts and extroverts to be equally as powerful as leaders.  Even more profound is the paper titled “The Downfall of Extroverts and Rise of Neurotics” which found that extroverts tend to under perform and make less of an impact on their teams in the long run, whereas introverts end up contributing more and making a more favorable impression on their teams.


How do you go about hiring a more diverse team that allows both introverts and extroverts an equal chance at getting the job? Since our initial instincts tend to lead us toward favoring extroverts, here are my top tips for hiring introverts:


Take A Break From Email Without The Guilt!

Here’s how you can ignore email WITHOUT feeling guilty…


Have you ever emailed a coworker and never received a response, even though you seem them in the office daily? Did this make you feel bad? Chances are, you answered yes! Try not to take it personally, at some point or another we have all hit that wall when it comes to managing our overflowing inboxes.


It really is a challenge to reply to every single email as soon as it hits your inbox. I struggle, as most people do, with an overflowing inbox that doesn’t magically stop growing once the clock strikes 5:00pm on Friday evening. Like myself, 52% of Americans check their email before and after work hours. The main reasons that keep me tethered to my email late at night is the feeling that if I don’t respond, then I may miss a business opportunity, disappoint someone, or be completely overwhelmed by coming back to a flooded inbox. With the guilt from not answering emails added to the guilt of not being able to spend more time with my family, I’d had enough!


So, I have come up with a few great steps that have allowed me to get a better hold on my inbox so I can actually enjoy my free-time: