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Creating space for social time can strengthen your team

Laptop with an active zoom meeting on screen.
Laptop with an active zoom meeting on screen.

I met four of my best friends at work. This wasn’t by design. It just sort of happened after spending half of our waking hours working alongside one another. And, although we don’t work together currently, our connection — and our group chat — remains as alive as it was back when we did.

Research tells us that having best friends at work is a great thing for us and for our companies. Gallup found that women who strongly agree they have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged compared with the women who say otherwise, and we know that higher levels of engagement lead to a slew of desirable outcomes for organizations. …


Your team might be ‘catching’ your emotions at work.

How to be a Less Emotionally Contagious Leader Your team might be ‘catching’ your emotions at work.
How to be a Less Emotionally Contagious Leader Your team might be ‘catching’ your emotions at work.

I once worked for a leader who took the phrase ‘wearing your heart on your sleeve’ to a whole new level. Some labeled him as ‘passionate’ while others thought he just felt everything at work a bit more deeply than the rest of us.

Whatever the case, I started to notice that my mood at work was affected— sometimes even dictated — by his. And, it wasn’t just me. The entire team had started to joke about using his mood as a barometer for predicting how their days would unfold.

Turns out this is a bonafide psychological phenomenon called emotional contagion and it happens “when you mimic, usually without conscious effort, the emotions and expressions of people around you.” …


Because no job or company is perfect all the time.

How to Help Your Team Figure Out What They Value Most in a Job
How to Help Your Team Figure Out What They Value Most in a Job

Working for a failing company wears on you after a while, and I was no exception. It wasn’t exactly burnout that I was experiencing. I wasn’t plagued by exhaustion caused by excessive job-related stress. In fact, the job itself wasn’t a problem at all. I loved the work that I was doing.

But, I was tired.

Anyone who has spent time working in the retail industry the last few years can tell you that it’s been a rough ride. …


And get specific about what they can do to change that

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I know plenty of people who think they’re ready to be promoted. The only problem? Their bosses disagree. I know this, not because their bosses told them so, but because their bosses haven’t promoted them yet.

Actions speak louder than words, right?

Some leaders avoid the topic altogether, while others make promises that remain unfulfilled month after month as their employees stay in their stagnant seats with an ever-growing chip on their shoulders.

The employee can’t figure out why he isn’t being promoted, while his manager can’t figure out why in the world the employee thinks he’s ready for what’s next in the first place. …


“They just don’t realize your value” isn’t one of them.

4 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Promoted
4 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Promoted

As another year comes to a close and performance appraisals commence, many young professionals are walking out of their annual reviews feeling deflated and defeated.

Another year over — and another opportunity for a promotion missed.

Not being promoted when you think you deserve to be promoted is frustrating. But what makes that experience even more frustrating is working for a boss who can’t or won’t articulate why you’re not ready.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not making an excuse for those bosses and their incompetence. They should be able to tell you where you’re missing the mark and help formulate a roadmap to help you fix it. …


The best bosses I ever worked for didn’t toe the company line.

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Have you ever been asked to ‘own’ a company initiative that you played no part in developing? Historically, leaders have been expected to champion any and all company initiatives to their teams.

Whether or not they support those initiatives is irrelevant. They’re expected to toe the company line and get their team on board with the change, no matter how illogical, irrational, or just plain weird that change may be.

I think that mindset is outdated and wrong.

Why? Because the best bosses I have ever worked for didn’t do this. …


The difference between coaching and feedback.

This is How The Best Bosses Coach Their Teams The difference between coaching and feedback
This is How The Best Bosses Coach Their Teams The difference between coaching and feedback

Your boss walks into your office, sits down, cocks his head to one said, and says, “Hey, can I give you some feedback?” How do you feel at that moment? What kind of emotional response does this question elicit for you?

Most of us aren’t particularly looking forward to what comes next. On the contrary, most of us are probably bracing for impact. Perhaps this is because feedback is backward-looking and corrective which doesn’t leave much room for growth, or exploration, or possibility.

Your team is no different. They don’t want feedback; They want attention.

They want you to meet them where they are, sit alongside them to see things from their perspective, and then help them figure out how to adjust what they’re doing to achieve better outcomes. Doesn’t that sound nice? …


Learn how to respond to problems rather than react to them.

How to be a Responsive Leader for Your Team Learn how to respond to problems rather than react to them.
How to be a Responsive Leader for Your Team Learn how to respond to problems rather than react to them.

I can still remember one particular afternoon early in my career when I was interrupted by an unexpected visit from a leader I supported.

“I want her gone today,” he said.

One of his managers had just had an unprofessional outburst directed at her team and her boss had had enough. He stood in the doorway to my office, clearly angry and growing impatient. He wanted her fired, and he wanted it done immediately.

He was reacting. And, like falling dominoes, his reaction set off mine. Having taken on his frustrations with this employee as my own, I made a bee-line for my boss’ office. “So, can we just terminate her?” …

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