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Stay Calm during a tough conversation by grounding yourself

  Having a tense conversation brings up a lot of negative emotions, leaving you feeling like an active volcano. To prevent an outburst and stay in control of your emotions, physically ground yourself in your environment. One of the best ways to do this is to stand up and walk around, which activates the thinking part of your brain. If you and your counterpart are seated at a table, and suddenly standing up seems awkward, you might say, “I feel like I need to stretch. Mind if I walk around a bit?” If that doesn’t feel comfortable, you can do small physical things like crossing two fingers or placing your feet firmly on the floor and noticing what it feels like. Mindfulness experts call these actions “anchoring.” Whatever you can do to focus on your physical presence and your senses will help you stay grounded and get through that tough conversation. Source: From “How to Control Your Emotions During a Difficult Conversation,” by Amy Gallo   &nbs ...

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Ask Meaningful Questions to Help Employees Discover their Passion

  Employees who are enthusiastic about their work are more diligent and productive. But not everyone knows which aspects of their job they’re most excited about. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to push them to find out. Help employees reflect on their work by asking them thoughtful questions. For example, before the person tackles a new project, you might ask, “What are ways you hope to develop, learn, or grow with this experience?” After key milestones you can inquire, “What was especially rewarding, meaningful, or inspiring about that initiative?” And during performance reviews or career development conversations, you can ask, “What have you really enjoyed working on this year? What would you like to do more of?” Then help the person make connections between their answers so that they can better understand what exactly they love about their work.   Source: Adapted From “How to Help Someone Discover Work That Excites Them,&rdq ...

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To Land a Speaking Gig, Demonstrate your Expertise


To get your first speaking gig, you might be tempted to market yourself as a public speaker. But that approach could actually diminish your credibility. Audiences want to hear from authorities in a field, so conferences and other events aren’t looking for “speakers” as much as they’re seeking experts. You can establish your brand as an expert by using inbound marketing techniques — that is, by attracting potential clients to you. Start by creating content that demonstrates your expertise to people in your field. This could mean writing an article, making a video, or hosting a networking event. Then ask your contacts to recommend you as a speaker. For example, a client could mention you to her professional association, or a friend who spoke at a conference last year could recommend you to the organizers.


Source: Adapted From “How to Land Your First Paid Speaking Gig,” by Dorie Clark



Dismantle office politics by being transparent

  Office politics can be toxic, and they thrive on secrecy. If you want to stop the backroom dealing and posturing in your organization, commit to being transparent in all of your interactions. Think about the larger motives behind your actions, and consider the message your behavior is conveying. Are you showing people that you care most about your ego, reputation, and position? Or that you’re focused on what’s best for the organization and your colleagues? If you’ve been acting in a way that you’re not proud of, say so, and change your ways. Going forward, be explicit about your intentions  explain why you’re calling a meeting, raising a sensitive issue, or disagreeing with a colleague. Don’t force others to read between the lines, which can lead to misinterpretation and gossip. Be open about your motives. You can’t expect an organization to operate at a higher moral level than the one you hold yourself to. Source: Adapted from “Ye ...

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Schedule time for reflective thinking every week

  When you’ve got a packed calendar and an overflowing inbox, it’s tough to find time to think. But improving the quality of your ideas requires unstructured, reflective thinking. This activity helps you examine your assumptions and draw connections between pieces of information. How can you make the time to do it? It depends on your individual schedule and rhythm. You might build reflection into a single day, designating Monday mornings, for example, as your time to think and organize the rest of your week. Or you might spread the time over the week, carving out 90 minutes on three days. You can also combine your reflective thinking with another activity, such as taking an afternoon walk or drinking a morning cup of coffee. Whatever strategy you choose, make sure the time is a regularly scheduled and protected event on your calendar, uninterrupted by emails, calls, or meetings. Source: Adapted from “How to Regain the Lost Art of Reflection,” by Martin Reeves et al. ...

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Concentrate Better by Starting a Mindfulness Routine

  Sometimes it feels impossible to stay focused at work. Mindfulness can help. Studies have shown that people who have a mindfulness routine are less distractible and better at concentrating. You can develop your own routine by scheduling three 10-minute mindfulness sessions throughout your day. Put everything aside — close your email and the door to your office or a conference room — and bring your full attention to your breath. Don’t try to control it; just sense the full in-breath and the full out-breath. Of course, your mind is likely to wander — that’s normal. Don’t judge yourself for these runaway thoughts. Simply guide your attention back to your breathing and start over with the next breath. It’s the act of returning your focus to the breath that strengthens the brain’s circuitry of concentration — and eventually helps you better control your attention.   Source: Adapted from “Here’s What Mindfulness Is (and Isn&rs ...

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Before Negotiations, Ask yourself what you don’t know

  Negotiations are won in the preparation. And a key part of preparing is figuring out what relevant information you don’t have. Of course, you need to research your counterpart, their organization, and the context, but think about what details might be useful. Make a list of questions to ask your counterpart that, once answered, will help you unlock new solutions and propose a deal that meets everyone’s needs. For example, you might ask about the other deals the person is involved in, their company’s long-term goals, or why the company needs your services. And consider what information your counterpart might want about you. Go into the negotiation with a curiosity mindset. Admitting that the other person has more information than you can be unnerving, but it can also lead to new possibilities. The discovery of new information — on both sides of the table — provides opportunities for creative solutions.     Source: Adapted from “The Most Overused ...

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To mentor a Narcissist, Try being Kind

  Working with a narcissist is hard, but mentoring one can be especially challenging. Your instinct as a mentor may be to criticize the narcissist, to put them in their place, but this typically makes a self-absorbed person defensive — prompting even more problematic behavior. Try some empathy instead: Recognize that narcissism is often a byproduct of insecurity, then work hard to convey affirmation and understanding. You might say things like, “We’re really lucky to have you here. It must be hard when others don’t seem to appreciate your contributions.” And position your mentee’s problematic qualities in a positive way. For example, you could frame arrogance and entitlement as unusually high self-confidence. By demonstrating respect and acceptance, you can lower the person’s defenses, opening the door to meaningful dialogue and greater self-awareness. Source: Adapted from “How to Mentor a Narcissist,” by W. Brad Johnson and D ...

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What is your most urgent and important work?


We all think we have too much to do, and not enough time to do it. But you’ll never feel on top of things if you don’t have clear priorities in the first place. Start assessing your priorities by taking inventory of the work you do: Which tasks are more (or less) urgent? Which are the most (or least) important? This inventory will prepare you to make concrete to-do lists for the tasks that truly need your attention. It will also help you answer the question, “How is my time best spent right now?” Focus on the tasks that are both urgent and important, and get rid of tasks that are neither by delegating them — or not doing them at all. And don’t neglect the tasks that are important but less urgent. Be sure these activities move up on your to-do list, or they may never get done

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Source: Adapted from “Stop Letting Email Control Your Work Day,” by Paul A. Argenti

Don’t let stress turn you into a jerk

  When you’re under intense stress, it’s normal to have a short fuse. But don’t take your stress out on whoever happens to be nearby — whether it’s your assistant, family members, or direct reports. Making them bear the brunt of your frustrations will strain your relationships and hinder your resilience. Even if what’s stressing you out is out of your control — intense workload, changing regulatory requirements, a market slowdown — how you treat other people isn’t. Next time you’re under pressure, and you’re tempted to raise your voice, take a deep breath and remember not to direct your frustrations at people who don’t deserve it. See your colleagues and family members as the allies they’re trying to be. Source: Adapted from “The Better You Know Yourself, the More Resilient You’ll Be,” by Ron Carucci <personalization-placement class="personalization-placement" data-placement-id="books_re ...

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