authenticity

Productivity And The Hard Truth About Time Management

Productivity And The Hard Truth About Time Management

This post first appeared on Forbes.com How well does the way you spend your time match your priorities? Better time management is a perennial coaching goal, as I’ve seen in hundreds of coaching engagements over the last fifteen years. It comes in several forms,...

read more
What To Do If You Get Emotionally Flooded At Work

What To Do If You Get Emotionally Flooded At Work

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Whether you were aware of it at the time or not, you have probably become emotionally flooded at one time or another. Flooding is when you become so emotionally overwhelmed that your ability to process information shuts...

read more
How To Build Conflict Skills—The Pinch/Crunch Model

How To Build Conflict Skills—The Pinch/Crunch Model

This post first appeared on Forbes.com We’ve all heard the clichés: Pick your battles. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Good advice, to a point, but for the conflict-averse, it is possible to be too selective about raising issues....

read more
The Hard Truth About Boundaries And Self Care

The Hard Truth About Boundaries And Self Care

This post first appeared on Forbes.com “There is always more to do. I constantly feel like I am letting people down.” This statement could have been made by almost any of my clients: Dirk, the VP of engineering at a tech company; or Sheena, a surgeon in a major clinic...

read more
What To Do When You Receive Contradictory Feedback

What To Do When You Receive Contradictory Feedback

This post first appeared on Forbes.com “Feedback is a gift.” We’ve all heard it, and it’s often true. At its best, feedback from our bosses and colleagues helps us understand our strengths, weaknesses and impact on others. It sheds light on our blindspots and provides...

read more
How To Create An Awesome Offsite Experience

How To Create An Awesome Offsite Experience

This post first appeared on Forbes.com As the summer draws to a close, many teams will be thinking about coming together for an offsite. The stakes for these gatherings are high. Employee engagement, collaboration and connection have faltered in the last three...

read more
Stop Telling Women To ‘Suck It Up’

Stop Telling Women To ‘Suck It Up’

This post first appeared on Forbes.com The “Barbie” movie’s over-the-top but incisive take on the impact of gender stereotyping on women’s lives hinted at, but did not delve deeply into the darker aspects and consequences of gender bias for women. But two...

read more
How To Prepare For Rejection

How To Prepare For Rejection

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Sergei is a 40-year old startup CEO looking to raise his next round of funding. Beth is a 30-year-old technical writer considering changing jobs. Maggie is a college sophomore rushing a sorority. What do they have in common? All...

read more
So You Messed Up? How To Repair With A Coworker

So You Messed Up? How To Repair With A Coworker

This post first appeared on Forbes.com You thought the meeting was fine. And then you hear from your manager that someone complained about your communication style. Now what? In situations that don’t rise to the level of an HR complaint but that leave a colleague with...

read more
5 Leadership Lessons From Ultimate Frisbee

5 Leadership Lessons From Ultimate Frisbee

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Author’s note: This post is personal, inspired by the Women’s Collegiate Division 3 Ultimate National Championships in Columbus, Ohio May 20-22, 2023. There was no chance they would win the championship. Seeded...

read more
How To Bounce Back After Being Passed Over For Promotion

How To Bounce Back After Being Passed Over For Promotion

This post first appeared on Forbes.com “I’m totally unmotivated to go to work. What do I do? ” Janelle (*name and identifying details changed) recently had a big, public disappointment at work—she was passed over for the top job in her organization. She was highly...

read more
How To Improve A Challenging Work Relationship

How To Improve A Challenging Work Relationship

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Relationships at work matter. Having friends on the job makes you happier, period. My first Big Law job (a grind) was made not just bearable, but actually fun by my two workplace pals, Dale and Tim. We supported each other...

read more
How To Network Effectively—Even When It Feels Weird

How To Network Effectively—Even When It Feels Weird

This post first appeared on Forbes.com “Relationships are a form of wealth that is under your control. You can create this wealth even if you start with nothing. And once you create it, no one can take it away,” asserts author and executive coach Michael Melcher in...

read more
How To Stay Motivated And Be Happier At Work

How To Stay Motivated And Be Happier At Work

This post first appeared on Forbes.com “That’s why they call it work,” as dads and managers have quipped for years in response to the complaints of young workers. Meaning: don’t expect it to be fun or easy (and quit your whining!) But when work feels like a slog...

read more
Why We Are (Still) Talking About Quiet Quitting

Why We Are (Still) Talking About Quiet Quitting

This post first appeared on Forbes.com First it was the “great resignation.” Now it is “quiet quitting.” From TikTok to NPR, the notion of workers setting boundaries—doing the work that they are paid for and expecting to be paid for the work they do—has...

read more
Quiet Quitting—It’s All In The Attitude

Quiet Quitting—It’s All In The Attitude

This post first appeared on Forbes.com The recent TikTok trend, widely covered in the media, “quiet quitting” is really not that new at all (cue Office Space the movie). Work has always been greedy for our time and effort, employers have sought to pay as...

read more
Imposter Syndrome Upside? Not Exactly…

Imposter Syndrome Upside? Not Exactly…

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Could “Imposter Syndrome” have an upside? Research reported in the Harvard Business Review and other media outlets indicates that imposter thoughts—thinking ”that you are not as competent as others...

read more
The Trap Of Being A Hard Worker

The Trap Of Being A Hard Worker

This post first appeared on Forbes. Even good qualities can be limiting.  Darius (not his real name), a VP in engineering in a Bay Area fintech company, read the first page of his 360 feedback review. “Hard-working. Trustworthy. Reliable. Even-keeled. Loyal....

read more
How To Quit Your Job (Without Quitting Your Job)

How To Quit Your Job (Without Quitting Your Job)

This article was originally published on Forbes.com “Maybe I should just quit my job.” I heard this from not one, but two executive coaching clients last week. Both are high achievers. Both love some aspects of their jobs but find others almost unbearable. And...

read more
The Four Cs of Decision Making

The Four Cs of Decision Making

In a world of abundant data and complex organizational dynamics, many companies and organizations struggle with a proliferation of meetings in which inefficient processes lead to uneven quality in decisions. This is discouraging and annoying for participants and...

read more
Leadership and Being Uncool

Leadership and Being Uncool

This post first appeared on Forbes. “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” This is one of my all-time favorite movie lines, spoken by Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Creem magazine’s editor Lester...

read more
How to Overcome Your Fear of Looking Stupid at Work

How to Overcome Your Fear of Looking Stupid at Work

This post first appeared on Forbes. How much is fear a driver for your behavior? Fear and anxiety are pervasive themes in many of my coaching engagements. Whether a client is working on communication, prioritization, delegation or other leadership challenges, fear is...

read more
Don’t Be So Sure: The Perils of Certainty

Don’t Be So Sure: The Perils of Certainty

This post first appeared on Forbes.com. I was certain that my flight to Chicago was at 10:30, so I aimed to leave for the airport by 9:00. But at 8:30 when I checked to verify the exact takeoff time, my chest seized up. My flight was leaving in less than an...

read more
When Should You Take No For an Answer?

When Should You Take No For an Answer?

This post first appeared on Forbes.com The consequences of overwork are evident in my coaching practice. In startups, established companies and nonprofits I see teams in a constant state of fire-fighting and leaders who are unable to prioritize, where the quality of...

read more
How to Prepare for Critical Feedback

How to Prepare for Critical Feedback

This post first appeared on Forbes.com “I’m totally terrified,” said a colleague. Was she skydiving or going for a big job interview? Nope. She was preparing to receive feedback—in this case from an interdisciplinary group of experts who were reviewing a draft of her...

read more
Overworked? A People Pleaser’s Guide to Saying No

Overworked? A People Pleaser’s Guide to Saying No

This post first appeared on Forbes.com “I have more work than I can possibly do, my team is stretched to the breaking point, and the requests keep coming,” said an executive coaching client in a large tech company, her eyes welling with tears. She was not the only one...

read more
Phrasing Matters: How To Be A Constructive Critic

Phrasing Matters: How To Be A Constructive Critic

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Are you great at spotting the flaw in the plan? Do you default to criticism rather than appreciation? If so, you could be bringing down the motivation on your team or getting a reputation as a complainer, and it may be time for...

read more
How To Take Charge And Navigate An Unexpected Change

How To Take Charge And Navigate An Unexpected Change

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Sometimes you need a push. You may not know you need it—you may even resent it—but a push helps (sometimes forces) you to change and can ultimately take you in a good direction. We coaches love to talk about...

read more
Scary Schedule? How to Regain Control Of Your Calendar

Scary Schedule? How to Regain Control Of Your Calendar

This post first appeared on Forbes.com. “My calendar is out of control! I have so many meetings that I can’t get my work done.” This sentiment has become increasingly common among managers and leaders. The need to work collaboratively and cross-functionally has led to...

read more
Choosing Delight

Choosing Delight

Ross Gay’s Book of Delights is an invitation. Starting and ending on his birthday, the poet wrote an essay a day about the things, people and events that struck his delight - a smile from the person selling him a bus ticket, a song on the radio, his garden, a turn of...

read more
Tell Your Story as a Novel from Different Points of View

Tell Your Story as a Novel from Different Points of View

Stories have power. We humans are narrative creatures. Our stories anchor us to our identities and help us understand ourselves. When we are in a new relationship, we dole out our stories as a way of inviting someone to know us, and if you’ve been with someone for a...

read more
You can’t tell by looking at me …….

You can’t tell by looking at me …….

We all wear masks. They consist of the parts of ourselves that we gladly show to others - qualities, attributes, feelings, and experiences that we choose to reveal in a given setting. We also have parts of ourselves that we don’t talk about or show. Maybe because...

read more
My White Fragility and What I’m Going to Do About It

My White Fragility and What I’m Going to Do About It

I am white. That is to say, the pale pinkish color of my skin that Crayola used to call "flesh" puts me in the socially constructed category of “whiteness.” But I don’t typically think of myself as having a race. If you ask me to describe myself, there are lots of...

read more
Approach your career like an artist

Approach your career like an artist

When you are feeling stuck, uncertain, and afraid of taking action, you would do well to remember Diebenkorn’s  “Notes to Myself on Beginning a Painting.” Number 7 is: “Mistakes can’t be erased, but they move you from your present position.” He was, of course,...

read more
Experiencing Grief and Joy at the Holidays

Experiencing Grief and Joy at the Holidays

The following is a Perspective I recorded for KQED. You can listen to it here. I’m a holiday person. Starting with the Thanksgiving ritual of going around the table and ending with staying up ‘til midnight on New Year’s Eve, I treasure the traditions of the season....

read more
From the Culture Desk: When Startups Get Political

From the Culture Desk: When Startups Get Political

“It was great in the early days. Then things got political.” This is a common lament from my startup clients. When pressed to define “political,” the answers can get a bit fuzzy. Most find it hard to pinpoint, but, as Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said of...

read more
Get Your Gratitude On – For Its Own Sake

Get Your Gratitude On – For Its Own Sake

All over the country this week bloggers are holding forth on the subject of gratitude. And I’m all for gratitude, not just in November, but daily, maybe even hourly. But too often gratitude is touted not as an end in itself but because it will help you achieve some...

read more
Details, Details…..Confession of a Former Associate

Details, Details…..Confession of a Former Associate

It's really hard to excel at something that you don't like. At my first law job after my clerkship, I was one of forty lawyers to join a prestigious 450-lawyer firm. As our training ground, we newbies were distributed throughout the firm and assigned to help more...

read more
It’s Not All About You

It’s Not All About You

California may very well be the cradle of the "spiritual but not religious" movement, if you can call it a movement. Many of us are are more inclined to spend our weekends hiking or mountain-biking than in a church, synagogue or mosque. And we are not alone. The Pew...

read more
My New Hero

My New Hero

This post first appeared on the Perspectives series on KQED.  You can listen here. Rushing to change into my street clothes after a morning swim, I heard “can I help you with that?” I looked up to see a young woman reaching out to help an older lady  pull her shirt...

read more
Life on the Other Side of the Finish Line

Life on the Other Side of the Finish Line

Last weekend I completed the Bike MS Waves to Wine ride -- the longest cycling event of my life -- and I raised nearly $4000 for the MS Society. I feel strong and happy and proud. (I hesitate to admit that I feel proud, because my good New England upbringing taught me...

read more
From The Obvious Files: Get More Sleep (+ Some Tips)

From The Obvious Files: Get More Sleep (+ Some Tips)

This morning, I watched my beloved and bleary-eyed husband pour orange juice into his empty bowl. When the kids and I started howling with laughter, he realized what he was doing, grinned, and spooned his oatmeal into his glass and sat down to eat, slurping juice from...

read more
Can You Afford Coaching?

Can You Afford Coaching?

A friend of mine recently asked, "Do you find that the people who most need coaching can least afford it?" and it got me thinking about money and about the value of coaching. The question of what you can afford it highly subjective and value-laden. Look at any budget...

read more
The Secret of Goal Setting: Values Alignment

The Secret of Goal Setting: Values Alignment

One of the first things we do in a coaching relationship -- whether it is career coaching, leadership development, team coaching, or personal life coaching -- is set goals. Like most coaches, I encourage my clients to (1) be very specific about their goals, (2) make...

read more
What Do You Want?

What Do You Want?

One of the first questions I ask new and prospective clients is "what do you want?" More often than not, the answer is: "I don't know," or "I'm not sure." The first phase of coaching then focuses on clarifying what the client wants so that he or she can begin to move...

read more
Follow Tina Fey’s Advice: Say Yes, And…..

Follow Tina Fey’s Advice: Say Yes, And…..

There are a number of lessons I will take from Tina Fey's memoir, Bossy Pants. Stay away from the paper cups in male writers' offices at Saturday Night Live is one.** Another is that fame and fortune do not make women immune to the often agonizing trade-offs between...

read more
Grading on a Curve Undermines Performance

Grading on a Curve Undermines Performance

Microsoft offers a lesson on how not to conduct performance reviews. Its evaluation process, called "stack ranking" -- essentially grading on a curve -- has had a disastrous effect on morale, performance, and innovation, reports Kurt Eichenwald in "How Microsoft Lost...

read more
Going Pro

Going Pro

If you read my last blog, you know that I am battling resistance. Today it has taken on many forms, from errands to housework to the season finale of "Smash." And now it has gelled into writer's block. I have several ideas,  each of which has some merit, but none of...

read more
Battling Resistance

Battling Resistance

Today I'm writing about the ways in which we stop ourselves from pursuing what we want: resistance in all its forms. Sometimes it is personified as our gremlin, saboteur, or negative voice that tells us that we are not capable of doing or creating what we want or that...

read more
Summer Camp is a Big Step for Parents, Too

Summer Camp is a Big Step for Parents, Too

On Sunday we delivered our nine-year-old daughter to the bus that will take her to sleep-away camp for the first time.  It was far from a tearful goodbye – she was first in line to get on and gave me a warm but brief hug before boarding. I smiled bravely and waved at...

read more
Re-Defining Having It All

Re-Defining Having It All

I feel the need to explain myself. My last two posts on the topic of Having It All -- both which might be interpreted as discouraging -- are probably not very good marketing for someone in my profession. After all, my job as a coach is to help people dream big and...

read more
Having It All Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Having It All Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

What do we mean by "having it all," anyway? What ever happened to “enough”? Anne-Marie Slaughter's Atlantic Monthly article, which I already blogged about earlier this week, asserts that we are lying to young women when we tell them that they can have it all. Instead...

read more
Men Don’t Have It All, Either

Men Don’t Have It All, Either

Anne-Marie Slaughter’s heavily Tweeted cover story in the current issue of the Atlantic Monthly, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” publicly and very personally acknowledges what most women in the corporate trenches already know: it is incredibly difficult to climb...

read more
Mentoring Others Pays Off

Mentoring Others Pays Off

Mentoring and coaching others turns out to be more than just good Karma. A recent study of high-potential employees, Leaders Pay it Forward, found that those who mentored or coached less experienced colleagues advanced their careers and earned more than their peers...

read more
When Is It OK to Settle for Less Than Your Dream Job?

When Is It OK to Settle for Less Than Your Dream Job?

I believe in going for it, following your muse, pursuing your dreams -- not playing small or "settling." But sometimes, it's right to take a job that is not your dream job. But don't despair -- you can make such a pragmatic choice without giving up on your vision. The...

read more
Get Out of the Box, Literally

Get Out of the Box, Literally

I confess, I have come to loathe the phrase “think outside the box.” My quibble is not with the concept, but with the overuse of the metaphor. Now it turns out that the value of thinking outside the box is not just metaphorical – it is literal. New research described...

read more
Marriage Confidential — Provocative but Unsatisfying

Marriage Confidential — Provocative but Unsatisfying

Pamela Haag's Marriage Confidential is a promising and provocative but ultimately disappointing exploration of modern marriage. In what she calls the “post-romantic” era of marriage the author introduces the concept of the “semi-happy” or “low-conflict” marriage – a...

read more
Ask the Right Questions

Ask the Right Questions

Sometimes, asking “why?” can be a trap. A typical individual coaching client comes to me wanting to do something (it could be anything – find a job, write a book, earn a promotion, get in shape) and looking for my help. Very likely by the time he comes to me, he has...

read more
Revive Your Flagging Resolution

Revive Your Flagging Resolution

Overheard conversation between two regulars in the elevator of 24 hour Fitness gym on January 3: “Crowded today.” “Yup. It's all those New Year's resolutions.” “Uh-huh, but don't worry, it won't last long.” It seems that built into the whole idea of New Years...

read more
Making the Most of Your Offsite

Making the Most of Your Offsite

Three days of togetherness doesn't make up of 362 days of overwork. And all the rah-rah "team building" in the world is no substitute for listening to and acknowledging your employees. To be effective, an off-site employee retreat must address the needs of the...

read more
What’s the Use of Myers-Briggs™ (MBTI)?

What’s the Use of Myers-Briggs™ (MBTI)?

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is one of the most widely used assessment tools in business and management settings, as well as in personal and career development. Its long history and use, including ongoing research and development, make it a remarkably reliable and...

read more
Mindfulness Lesson on Ice

Mindfulness Lesson on Ice

Today at the ice rink, the present moment collided with the past and the future. And I'm not talking about science fiction here. I received a lesson in mindfulness. For the first half hour of our family outing I skated slowly, holding hands and guiding each of my...

read more
Conflict Avoidance is a Warning Signal

Conflict Avoidance is a Warning Signal

The absence of conflict may be a sign that something is wrong with your team. This may sound counter-intuitive at first, but it’s true. In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, author Patrick Lencioni sets up a pyramid of indicators of team dysfunction read more…

read more
Networking is Not a Dirty Word

Networking is Not a Dirty Word

Many of my career coaching clients cringe at the word “networking.” But I think networking gets a bad rap. When undertaken in the right spirit, building relationships can be fun as well as helpful. And you don’t have to be Keith Ferrazi to do it.

read more
Thinking Like an Owner

Thinking Like an Owner

My husband and I recently hosted a company party for the biotech startup where he works. When the CEO, who was picking up the tab for the event, offered to pay for carpet cleaning, I joked, “Thanks, but I don't want to increase your burn rate.” He chuckled, “That's...

read more
No More Mister Nice Guy?

No More Mister Nice Guy?

Nice guys earn significantly lower salaries than less agreeable men (though still more than women, regardless of their agreeableness) reports a new study by Timothy A. Judge, Beth A. Livingston, and Charlice Hurst in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology....

read more