Tag Archives: career

The Real Clash: Stay or Should I Go?

Burn outs are kinda cool in a hot rod. Not so much on the job. How to stay cooler.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — …career of 12 years…What constitutes “burn out”? How do you know if you are actually burned out and it would be wise to find a new course to pursue, or whether you just need a long vacation, and should stay put in the industry you spent so much time developing skills, contacts and your reputation in? Path Trekker

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Dear Path Trekker,

Check out what we told Miller Time about his job exhaustion.

As for what constitutes “job burn out,” as usual, I suggest you do review columns. This time, list all the things that first ignited, attracted and fueled you to and on your job. Second column, quickly jot all the things that frustrate you on the job and about your workplace. I’d rather you list emotions/feelings elicited than nit picky line items like “broken water cooler,” which may or may not translate as “dehydrated, listless and angry.” Half joking. Cross-check the two columns. This one is more a highly subjective look-see between the two columns to see which is: larger/longer, which items may be completely negated by something in the other column, and overall how each column makes you feel. Do this exercise again same time for the next four weeks. See if recognizing and shifting what you can has changed anything for you. Own what’s yours, weigh what you can’t control against your overall life needs and peace.

Meanwhile, a well-deserved, fun-filled (whatever that means to you) vacation away from the office is always a rejuvenating, reenergizing treat our culture doesn’t take as seriously as it should. Go expedia.com, orbitz.com, or Travelocity.com (among others) — do a staycation — but go forward, Path Trekker!

Stop and smell the rose essential oil,

BadWitch

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Dear Path Trekker,

Follow the tickle. The question is what inspires you and leads you t wan to spend your time in the activity.

The truth is whatever you choose to do will, no doubt, use some of the very skills and contacts you have honed over all these years. Though, you may decide the field you are in no longer serves, skills are transferable.

To start, yes, schedule a vacation. Give yourself time from the pressures of everyday to get a read on whether you enjoy the duties and opportunities available to you in your everyday career. Then it’s time you play Blue Sky/

What would you do if there were no limits? If money, security, social pressure and guilt were taken out of the work/life/career equation, what would you do with your time for work, fun, joy?

The questions to such answers may be unrealistic when normal life circumstances are applied, but it will start to point you in the right direction. You will see more clearly where your interest lie.

The key is to rest up and give yourself the time and space to figure out how you feel and what you want.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Dressed for Success? Or GNO?

When your smart friend makes inappropriate work clothes choices, how do you tell her it’s not Girl’s Night Out? Telling the empress she might be better off naked than hoochie.  — BadWitch

P.S. Happy Martin Luther King Day. Spread the Dream.

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I met my best friend at our work. Sometimes she dresses like a hoochie mama. Or like she’s ready for the club more than a meeting. How do I tell her? I don’t want to hurt her feelings.  — What Not to Wear

 

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Dear What Not to Wear,

It’s tough when your girlfriend thinks she’s amazing crazy, sexy, cool in the VIP lounge and the queen of the boardroom, too. Props for her confidence, but should someone’s self-esteem be tied to their sexuality, it can be an extra confusing line to tow. We know that no woman enjoys having anyone tell her she doesn’t look her best or most professional (and in certain environs, the line for appropriate women’s work apparel can be even thinner). Challenge! Be a BFF by telling your girl the truth but with the intention of helping her excel in the workplace by reinforcing the best of what makes her confident.

You know her personality best (and the healthy dosage of reality you can administer before she ODs and crashes), so keep that in mind while telling her something like this: “As your office BFF, you know how much I admire your skills and how smart you are here at work. But having gone clubbing with you, too, sometimes it seems to me that you confuse your two lives through your choice of work clothes. In the office I want your image to reflect your successful work, so I’m suggesting that you might consider clothes that people who aren’t your BFFs can recognize your smarts right away in. Maybe longer skirts and higher tops (fill-in-her-offenses), are more appropriate work clothes? The only reason I wanted to tell you this is so you can do something productive about it. I only ever have your best interest in mind.” Then drop it. If she is ready, she will take in what you suggest and enact her own spin on it, if not, she will probably still hear it subconsciously and file it away for later.

Smart friends speak up with love,

BadWitch

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Dear What Not to Wear,

Much like telling a friend their mate is cheating on them, tread very carefully. If your friend is dressing like a “hootchie mama” obviously she draws a lot of her sense of self-worth from her sexiness. Asking her to tamp that down or letting her know you find it inappropriate, it may be taken as more of a personal slap than intended.

I find television to be very instructive. Style Network’s “How Do I look?” may be a great addition to your DVR cue. Then maybe a night with some wine, TV and well-placed comments. This show has friends tell friends when their “look” is inappropriate—either too trashy or, well, too trashy. The show even offers coaching for contestants, as well as makeovers, so you hear first-hand how to talk someone down off the Hootchie Mama Wagon.

Watch the show before-hand and decide whether you want to take your friend to dinner (definitely with wine) and discuss the issue of whether you want to do a covert, “Let’s watch some TV at my house. I saw the funniest new makeover show!” Perhaps check into some resources for personal shoppers and fashion consultants. Give your friend the opportunity to discover other sides about herself.

And lastly, somewhere in all this, let your friend know that she is a sexy, beautiful woman to the degree that flaunting her sexuality can create unnecessary competition, jealousies and unwanted attention. Let her know that you love and respect her. Let her know she’s sexy even wearing a garbage bag. Help her see her sexuality in more ways than a super short hemline and low cut blouse.

Be a friend. Tell the truth—one way or another.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

 

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

 

 

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Boss Throws Employee Under the Bus

What to do when the Boss Formerly Known as “Cool” goes gonzo berserk-o on you? Managing your manager in times of stress.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I have enjoyed my job with a company until recently. I truly believe in their mission but now I find my immediate boss is totally stressed out and throwing me under the bus for things he’s missed and that his boss is getting on him for. He’s been listing off a bunch of crap and cc’ing everyone in the management chain on it. I don’t agree with his comments, but not because I’m defensive. He’s just throwing me under the bus. How do I deal with this without losing my job I need so much? Run Over

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Dear Run Over,

Ah!, petty tyrants! It’s true what they say, that they are usually our biggest teachers in life. So congrats for the promotion to working with one now. …Having said that…

When the going is good, it’s easy to be a cool and fun boss, so I will cut his current bad “skills” some slack in this stressed time. This only means I’m suggesting you schedule a one-on-one with him to discuss the concerns you’ve outlined here. This isn’t about proving a thesis or giving a lecture, but rather to address then seek cues and clues as to length and duration of his said offensive behaviors, and mutually identify some possible solutions. This first meeting should primarily be an assessment to determine a direction for your next steps in the workplace. Even if he is completely and totally open to agreeing with you and admitting his ineffective management conduct (and he won’t), changing behaviors is a process. But should he respond other than with that miracle, you will want to very carefully understand where he is coming from, for your own good actions moving forward.

Email cc’g everyone with accusations (founded or unfounded) about you both meets usual protocol in many offices, as well as is unprofessional if the tone or outright accusation is wrong. I would highlight this in your conversation, because likely he received a good chew out from above, and he is very possibly covering his tracks behind him (a.k.a. CYA or self-preservation).

Let him know you are open to making improvements (tasks and relationships). Be objective, speak plainly but respectfully. Don’t interrupt each other. By the end of the meeting, you will know exactly what you must do next. Oh and document, document, document.

Dialogue means “two” and reciprocal,

BadWitch

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Dear Run Over,

There’s a lot of this “throwing under the bus” going around. My guess is your boss, who I will describe as a wimp with power, is either too scared for the safety of their own job or trapped in a perfectionist mindset that keeps him unable to fess up when it’s his fault. It takes a mature person to admit when they are wrong. Apparently, your boss still has some growing up to do.

It is horrible when you are feeling less motivated for he overall mission of the company because your immediate boss is unable o act in a mature manner. But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Surely, if you still want this job, you get that one person’s actions do not add up to the entire value of a company. Keep going.

My answer, be sure that you give your own answer to some of these email. It is not being defensive to either give your version of events or let the higher ups know critical pieces of information were missing when you were doing your piece of the work. Chances are your higher ups already know the problems with this manager. Give them the info they need to make the right decisions. Let them know that you are the scapegoat without actually pointing fingers. Just tell the truth with as little emotion as possible. Ask questions. Let your higher ups know you are trying to do the right thing.

Truth is the higher ups as probably less than impressed that these issues keep crossing their desk. Your boss needs to realize the sign of a good manager is the ability to help their team get things right. Training up underlings leads to a crack team where everyone is invested in the outcome. Pointing fingers and waiting to throw people under the bus every time something goes wrong leads to decreased productivity. Your team should not be working on pins and needles. If you are constantly waiting for the axe to drop, you’ll be questioning your work rather than really working to do your best. No one likes to be waiting to see whether there job will be threatened every time they make a mistake.

Face it, your boss is a wimp who doesn’t understand that the truly powerful empower the people who work for them for the best of all. He’s too focused on taking credit for everything done well and throwing you under the bus for anything wrong. Do your best work and let the higher ups know what’s going on—for your sanity and your job!

Good luck,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Quitting Low Principles. Job Rock is a Hard Place

Is there any right market to quit your job for your principles?   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Our office is a bit Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I can’t stand it. I don’t mean this officially but there is a culture that gays and some people with differing political opinions from the bosses keep quiet. This bothers me. Do you think I should consider quitting for my principles in this markets? Gag Ordered

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Dear Gag Ordered,

Interesting way to pose your question, Gag Ordered. If your bosses’ opinions are so strong as to be openly culturized, I would think that this isn’t a new phenomenon and either you just raised your head out of the sand to notice it (or were called out on the mat personally), or that your own sense of priorities has been awakened possibly for the first time in your life. Therefore, I don’t think it matters what we think regarding your employer’s practices or the state of the economy, but rather how you feel about whatever real issue concerns you so much. If it truly is about a political or sexual orientation matter, that’s one thing. If it is about your new awakening and sensitization to your own intolerance for repression, dishonesty or emotional lying, that is an entirely different (and larger) thing that has little to nothing to do with this or any job market. Weigh your priorities (by definition, your bills are already on that scale), be discerning not overwhelmed.

Tibi ipsi esto fidelis (To thine own self be true),

BadWitch

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Dear Gag Ordered,

I can understand wanting a work environment with like minded people, but let’s not be crazy.

I mean, I get your ire and the feeling you just can’t take it anymore. However, practicality should win out. If you are unhappy, start to look for a new job in a more tolerant, liberal company, but until you have a new job, sit down, shut up and keep rolling. If nothing else, appreciate that Right-wing oppressors are paying for the rent and lifestyles of their undercover left wing liberals, gay and atheist employees. That’s karma.

Also, remember, you work at this company to support the mission, to gain wisdom and experience and to further your career. Use it. Do so. At the same time, explore companies known for liberal leaning. Check out Top Companies to work for and find companies that align mission beyond the web page to day to day interactions and decent treatment of employees.

I know it can be difficult to seemingly put your morals and your heart on the shelf from 9-5 everyday, but again, remember the karma. Takes most of the sting out of it.

Happy job hunting. The right place is out there for you somewhere. Just be sure you have a safe place to land before you jump. For your own peace of mind.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Image: istockphoto/Kutay Tanir

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Mean Girls, Forgiveness & Rising Above

Ever notice, just when you feel you’ve accomplished a thing you were working on..in comes some bad bitch of a situation to test you? Mmmm mmm mm.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — A woman who was very mean…to me was transferred but now after a year and a half is returning to our branch. Now I’m her boss. I have to admit how hard it is for me to deal fairly with her when small things come up I have to mediate or manage. It’s funny how the big things are easier for me to stay cool with her about. I worked hard for this title and I need ideas not to blow my stack at this biotch over the little things, can you help? — Big & Small

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Dear Big & Small,

The best business advice was given to me as a 17-year old freshman doing a class interview with a professional broadcaster in a major market. In touring me around the station, she pointed at a fishbowl office set high, front and center overseeing the entire floor. “See that woman? I’m so glad I was nice to her when she was the receptionist, because now she’s my boss.” Instantly I understood that it wasn’t about having the right-butt-to-kiss instincts, but to evenly and consistently be kind and professional to everyone (and thereby, be a professional myself) I encountered in the workplace. I really took that to heart, and I’d like to think that I conduct myself that way to this day. I have seen firsthand the odd looks of some who think I am going to be a bitch, and then either the relief or continued discombobulation. But I’m clear about my motives, and that’s what counts. I am of the mind that no one – no matter their station in life — is better or lower than me, and vice versa. Now, Big & Small, I know this might sound Pollyana-ish of your ole BadWitch, but it’s not. I actually (if not naively) believe we are all connected. That everything (including: we do) is connected.

Work on overcoming your emotional issues around this woman’s bad behavior(s), de-program your hot buttons around people who dis you in the smallest, pettiest (coincidence?, you be the judge) ways and times, and own your own power – both the strength and weakness of it — and work on your own responses to deflate the hold and power you give her over you. It’s obvious someone thought you were better suited to manage than she was, so in one measurable way it appears you have more skills than her.

“If it’s not paradoxical, it’s not true.” — Shunryu Suzuki

Raising yourself up is a real promotion,

BadWitch

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Dear Big & Small,

Well. Clearly, it is you who have had the last laugh. After all, you’re her boss. Maybe it is time to let the past go and be smug and happy in the present. I’m not saying this woman EVER has to be considered your friends (puh-leaze!), but holding on to how she was may actually put your job in jeopardy.

Someone once said, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Guess what, it doesn’t work that way. You are driving up your blood pressure and stressing yourself out over some woman who now works for you! Face it, stress is linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, immune dysfunction and more. You really willing to let this chick you don’t even like drive you up a few clothing sizes? Please, let it go.

In the present moment you may still be a smug—and, yes, it will feel THAT good. But let the old pain and hurt that make you want to blow up at this woman over slight things go. It can make you sick, fat and jobless if left to continue unchecked. And, apparently, you don’t think she’s worth all THAT, do you?

Follow this link to a post I wrote for OwningPink.com. At the bottom of the post is a link to an audio file of a guided visualization that can help you move on. Listen to it a few times. If you are still stressed at the sight of this woman after running this visualization, say, at least once a day for 5-7 days, I suggest buying the entire Less Stress, More Life program to find ways to better understand what is stressing you out, how to respond rather than react and how to find a calm, internal oasis even though she’s there to work with every day.

The truth is, she may have been mean to you, but now you have the power to change this situation. Use it…wisely.

Happy De-Stressing,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Job Offer Relocate or Reject & Stay?

When partners can’t agree on one’s job offer that affects both, the job at hand is to choose the best compromise.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — My wife has a (lateral) job offer from her firm that necessitates our relocating across the country. We know no one in that state, its job prospects for me are on par with most any other state, we could buy a lot of house there by selling ours here, and we have one preschool child. Here’s the kicker, I want her to pull the trigger more than she seems to want to. She seems satisfied with her work but I think they’re trying to save her job with this offer. I fear she will stay and then get laid off and we need both salaries. We’ve talked and talked but just can’t come to agreement. Suggestions?  Worried Hubby

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Dear Worried Hubby,

Since you say you’ve both talked it through so much, let’s not debate the merits of your wife taking this job as you’d like. Let’s have you two honestly explore your individual fears around both her scenarios: accepting and rejecting the offer.

It sounds simple but I like a good pro/con-type list for such quandries, and especially if I’m in one with someone else. Writing it out will help you two see your own and each other’s underlying fears more clearly and completely, and that allows you both to connect the dots to your actual line items of financial impact, realistic stability of her company/current job,  your age(s) to starting over elsewhere, the tax benefits between your current versus a more inexpensive home, and so much more. I am suggesting this list be developed and written as objectively as possible, and using different color pens will help you see each other’s points all the clearer.

Your primary challenge is not to be right, but to untangle the emotions from this situation, to make the best decision for your family together you know how.

More teamwork, less worry,

BadWitch

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Dear Worried Hubby,

There is more to moving than the bottom line. I get what your concerns are, and they are valid. However, I think you may be overlooking your wife’s concerns.

Yes, you can have more house, but your salary in this new place is not guaranteed. And the amount of that salary will probably be commensurate with the state, as opposed to what you are making now where you are. Also, you will have no support.  That may not seem like much now, but no one to ask for last minute help. No one to invite over for pizza, beer and communing that you know you can let down all your pretenses with and just hang. Babysitters, schools, friends will all have to be vetted again in the hopes of carving out a niche in a community you can really feel at home in. You are ready to make this leap, but my guess is, your wife may not be as ready to be cut adrift in a strange new place.

Perhaps you two can work out how you are both feeling about your options in a couple of lists. One lists is your pro and con list on moving, another is hers. The next list is ideas for making it work if you stay and she gets laid off. Another may be lists of possible job opportunities and starting salaries in the new state. Get a better sense of all the factors. Do you know % of joblessness in the new state vs. where you are? Do you know whether there are more jobs in your wife’s field or yours? Who will have an easier time finding new work?

Both of you should start applying to jobs—she should look where you are now and you should look in this new place. See who starts to get positive feedback. Maybe she finds work where you are now, doesn’t have to give up her community and you two don’t need to incorporate the chaos of moving into your lives. Or maybe you get some great results from your new job search and spark her interest. Seems like you both need more real world research to know what the best choice is.

I know you are worried and looking for the best possible outcome for your family. Trust that your wife is as well. Now, investigate so you can make decisions based on real world opportunities rather than unrealized fears. It’s the best way to put that worry energy to good use and limit regret.

Mantra: We both want what is best for the family. We will not react from fear, but from knowns. If we act together, we can make it through whatever changes are ahead because we are a family.

Happy researching,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Booster Shot: Team Building Fun

Not all team building activities need be forced, formal or make eyes roll. Having fun in the office together builds healthy bonding and productivity.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — What can I do to boost the morale of my team? I’m a supervisor who’s more hands-on with face time than our department manager who travels a lot and I know I can have her blessing if I present solid ideas. We actually have a pretty strong rapport but I want to keep them happy and engaged. Do you have any non-monetary ideas for a busy professional but not corporate environment.Booster Shot

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Dear Booster Shot,

I take your question seriously, but I think it’s cute. Make sure you do this more for your team’s morale than your own popularity and/or advancement, and whatever you do will be a sure-fire winner. The main suggestion I have for you is to put yourself in your team’s collective shoes and think like it does on most days. You know better than me what your professional environment is like and will/can tolerate, and more importantly…could use more of. So I say: make it fun, make it low-key and don’t over-think the thing — the more natural and spontaneous, the better. We used to improvise water bottle bowling with a random Nerf ball. We threw up a tape of something or other, spanning between a cubicle wall and the actual wall and limboed under it (be careful; those of us who participated were fit and not litigiously minded). Another of my offices consisted of several music lovers, so maybe something around a music trivia game would have been fun. Whatever we did, we did spontaneously, had a blast, and I never had to actually tell people (who only participated if they needed and wanted to) to get back to work, which they did willingly, refreshed, refocused and more productively than ever. After all that some people will need to hear this: yes, we booked multi-million dollars of business in this atmosphere. Occasional informal communal silliness can be a breath of fresh air especially in an office with windows that don’t open!

Group “hug,”

BadWitch

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Dear Booster Shot,

I love where your head is at! In this economy some managers completely forget the importance of boosting team morale for best product output. You have no idea how many people I’ve heard from who complain about bosses and managers threatening them, rather than inspiring best work.  Kudos to you!

OK, that said, answering your question, your attitude and wanting a warm, cooperative work environment has already gone a long way towards creating that environment. People can feel whether a manager is invested and willing to give back or not. Your willingness helps foster willingness in your employees.

Now, to keep that moving without capital investment, ask for feedback. Creative juice meetings designed for feedback on current projects or upcoming projects will help your staff to feel like valued members of the team. There is nothing worse than feeling like another meaningless cog in the wheel. When asked to participate with ideas and input on company projects, staff feel needed and important members of the team with something to offer. That is the best way to keep them invested.

Also, strangely enough food works wonders for making folks feel appreciated. I know, you want a no financial investment idea, but I gotta tell you, Friday morning bagels are a cost effective way to say, “You are appreciated.” It’s not something you need to do regularly, just a once in a while, “thanks for working so hard” gesture. And, further surprise, you’ll get much office gratitude for the food and the appreciation.

You know Booster Shot, I just have to say, you are doing a great job. Keep up the good work! (Felt good, right? Well, I meant it. Now pass that sentiment on to staff in the moment when they deserve it. They’ll feel it too.)

Mantra: My attitude affects work from the top down. If I am invested, appreciative and supportive of my staff, I inspire my staff to be invested, appreciative and supportive of  the team and our work environment.

Great job,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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