The First Time

There is a Maya Angelou quote that, for me, contains a lot of wisdom. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Emotional intelligence is key to your career success. Sure, you can stumble forward without it. However, understanding the people and environment you work in propels your way to success. What does her quote mean? It means no rose-colored glasses, no rationalizations, no benefit of the doubt and no fooling yourself when you size up the actions of people who surround you.

If someone has shown you that they are not to be trusted, what can you do? It is enough to see them as they are and stay mindful when dealing with them. You do not have to act on what you know. Key here is your awareness and letting what you know about a person be part of your actions and decisions regarding them.

Knowing the players in your workplace helps you function better and watch out for your own interests. Do not be fooled.


photo: raw pixel,

Time To Retreat?

Some see retreat as a failure. Others see it as a strategic win. How do you view retreating?

Pulling away from something is not a failure in itself. It can be the best answer to a situation that is not working for you. Some have a hard and fast view of retreating – you can find many quotes that say “never retreat”. What if you realize you are going in a wrong direction? What if you are up against a no-win situation? Are you supposed to keep going until you drop, just for the sake of never giving up?

Not necessarily. You are supposed to make the best of every situation you are in. Sometimes, retreating is the best course. Temporarily retreating allows you to rethink and regroup. Retreating for good lets you put your energies to something that will pay off for you.

Deciding when to retreat is a serious undertaking. It requires your discernment and strategic skill. You do not need a ban on retreating. Instead, you need the ability to perceive when it is the right time to retreat.


photo: Jad Limcaco,

On Point

What does it take for you to be “on point”? Being on point increases your influence, productivity, self-confidence and effectiveness.

There is a lot in our world that can pull you off point. These things can be: creating distractions, unsettled emotions, stress and anxiety, poor preparation, being tired, losing focus, being late, falling into dull routine or disliking what you are doing.

Keep yourself on point by being aware of what you need to be at your best!


photo: WayneChristensen,


Have you ever found yourself tightly squeezed by one or more people or situations? Life and work can certainly create such circumstances.

When you find yourself pressed, get yourself fully to the present moment so that you can see what is going on. Then, take a look at what is happening and how it is affecting you. Do you know which way you want to go? Do you see no good way out? When you find yourself squeezed, keep your best interests in the forefront. Do not allow them to be bullied or rerouted by the pressure. Allow yourself to respond, not react. When you react you are rigid, so to speak. When you respond, you are in control.

Actually, being squeezed can bring good results. It can help you change form, move forward or strengthen your resolve. Next time you are squeezed, make the most of it!


photo: gate74,

Who Defines You?

Do you create who you are or do you allow those around you to define you? It is easy to default to your experiences, surroundings or the people you interact with when considering who you are. You are not what surrounds you or what others say you are. You are you.

If I asked you today who you are, how would you answer? How much of your answer would be rooted in your values, hopes and personal reality? Avoid abdicating to others. Create your life the way you want it to be and define yourself.


photo: dougandpetegardening,

Nothing Left To Try

Have you ever been in a situation where you run out of ideas and are stalled in place? What did you do?

When there is nothing left to try there are options, even if solutions are elusive. You can give up on the situation and take action accordingly. You can solicit help by getting ideas from others. You can try again, in a different way.

The key is to stay moving. Stalling or stopping in defeat does not serve you. Stay in motion and stalling is no longer an option.


Photo: TeroVesalainen,


If you are to have a productive and fulfilling year, what must you do? You deal with things that are urgent in many areas. Do you consider yourself enough of a priority to make your well-being an urgent matter?

Pick one or two actions that can bring you closer to having 2018 be the year you want it to be. Make them urgent and you will get them done!


photo: geralt,

Say Goodbye To Your 2017 Tolerations

What did you tolerate in 2017 that you can do without in 2018? Tolerations are a key concept in the coaching profession. They may not stand out or get your attention readily, but you can be sure they are slowly draining your energy. A toleration may be something as simple as a messy office or something more complex, such as a promotion that never comes.

Start by identifying anything you tolerated in 2017 and make a commitment to eliminate it. Tolerations, once identified, are not difficult to eliminate. Set your intention and enjoy the freedom you gain in 2018 from letting tolerations go!

For more on tolerations, see my blog posts, Manager Tolerations  and Ten Manager Tolerations You Can Do Without.


photo: stevepb,

Are You Plugged In?

To lead effectively, it is essential to be aware of what is around you. Doing so, allows you to gauge what are the best decisions and actions to make in a given situation. Operating in a vacuum brings you alone to the table. Plugging in to personalities, cultural values, sensitivities, agendas, relevant facts and desired outcomes allows you to make decisions and take actions that move a situation forward.

How plugged in are you as you work and manage each day?


photo: hrohmann,

10 Ways To Rein In Your Overthinking

1. Try 15 minutes of silence at the beginning or end of day. Work up to it, if 15 minutes is a lot for you right now.

2. Find ways to recognize when you are overthinking.

3. When you are overthinking, stop and get yourself fully into the present moment.

4. Try writing things down instead of keeping them in your head.

5. Try an app such as Calm 

6. Before you go to sleep just “be”. Do not read or otherwise tax your mind.

7. Observe if there is a pattern in your overthinking, such as in specific situations, at certain times or for certain subjects.

8. Put some focus on balance. Are you countering stress with exercise and relaxation?

9. Determine if reluctance to make decisions is contributing to your overthinking.

10. Do not allow your mind to be king or queen. Acknowledge that the physical, emotional and ethereal aspects of your life are equally important.


photo: Macdongtran,