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My definition of a personal brand is simple: It is your reputation. Period. Your reputation is created based on three things—what you say, what you do, and what others say about what you said and did. The good news is you already have a personal brand. That said, most of us want to continue to expand our influence and impact. The best way for you to do that is by effectively managing your brand. To that end here are my 9 C's for maintaining your personal brand.
People with successful brands are focused! They have definite purpose personally and professionally. Their goals are clear and well defined. Clarify for yourself what you want in every area of your life and recognize that you may need to shift your brand positioning to ensure alignment between your message and your intent. What are you trying to accomplish and what position does your brand need to achieve your goals?
Your brand message and image. Define what your brand stands for and what the "purchaser" can count on: leadership, integrity, trust, direct communication, etc. As your priorities change your message may need an update. What is do you want to be known for?
Givers Gain. This popular saying has a lot of truth behind it. The more you contribute to your world and community the more you gain in return. Many times in giving to the world you gain additional visibility and credibility to accomplish your goals. Make sure you give strategically and in alignment with what matters most to you. What is the contribution you intend to give back to the world?
Networking is about more than exchanging business cards. It is about making a connection. The best way to do this is to connect what you do to the needs of your audience. Be ready to connect how your unique skills and abilities will aide your clients, customers, or employers in exceeding their expectations. Who needs to know what your brand has to offer and how will you meet them?
No successful person does it alone. Creating a community of support and advocacy is critical. A personal board of advisors, establishing strong personal relationships with co-workers and industry colleagues, and having an appropriate personal support system will provide you with the foundation necessary to support you and your dreams. Who needs a seat at your executive board room table?
Confidence is built one step at a time. Start where you are with what you know. You have a unique talent or skill to bring tot he world. Hone your skills and expand your leadership capability. What do you need to do to increase your confidence?
Make sure everything you do is in line with your brand image. Inconsistencies may cause your target market (employer/colleagues/etc.) to distrust you and your skills. Sometimes it is the little things that trip you up: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, your email signature etc. Does your online presence match your desired brand image?
A brand's reputation is created based on repeated experience. Make sure that every day you are meeting your personal standard of excellence and performance. Being described as dependable happens as a result of consistent performance over time, not a one time event. Are you meeting your personal standard of performance everyday?
"It is not what you know but who." Are you a person of influence? Can you cause people to listen and take action? Are you sought after for advice and perspective from key players in your office? If the answer to these questions is yes, you are well on your way to establishing the clout and influence necessary to achieve your career success.
-Cornelia Shipley, Career Coach
Sleep. We all need it, but sometimes we have a hard time getting it. Sleep is an extremely important time for our bodies to relax and rejuvenate, but what do you do when you want to rest but can't seem to fall into it? We asked our WomenWorking.com community for their best advice, and here are a few of their responses...
Tap into something greater
This can be a great way to breath, reflect, and clear your thoughts. Meditating before bed can also help lower your heart rate as you prepare for sleep.
Positivity trumps fear
Negativity can weigh heavily on a person's mood. Having a positive mindset before bed can help you get rid of worry so you can fall asleep happy.
Lay next to someone who makes you feel safe
It's important to feel safe in your home. Sometimes just knowing that the person beside you will protect you is enough to put your mind at ease. If no one is there—a cuddly stuffed animal or pillow can do the trick.
Bright cell phone screens can be distracting and can trigger your brain into waking up. Put your technology to the side and allow yourself to disconnect until the morning.
If there are bright street lights outside your window, it can be hard to fall asleep. Blackout curtains keep the light from shining in.
Almost any herbal tea will help do the trick. Try chamomile or lemon verbena.
Babies are sung lullabies to help them fall asleep, but this can work at any stage in life. Music can be very calming and some find it soothing to listen to before falling asleep.
It doesn't have to be a book—try a magazine or the newspaper. Reading before bed allows the mind to focus and think without the distraction of technology.
Pen your thoughts
Journaling is a positive way to get your thoughts out before bed so they aren’t keeping you up at night. Try writing your thoughts down before going to bed.
Forgiveness: you can begin again tomorrow
Remember that if you are feeling down about something, tomorrow is a new day. There will be a new beginning, so don't stress all night over something that can be repaired tomorrow.
Compiled by WomenWorking.com Intern, Allison Perrine.
We have all been in that situation, the one where you know a colleague left a “ bad taste” in a clients mouth, or you “ heard” about a presentation that went wrong. When we get feedback about a colleague it can be hard to determine when and if we should share it. Feedback (not Wheaties) is the breakfast of champions - it is the one thing guaranteed to help people grow and develop when given well.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you consider when to provide feedback and how. They will allow you to invest in others and protect your reputation in the process.
Is it designed to move the person forward? Feedback is a gift to the receiver when there is no hidden agenda and you are invested in the person getting better. Period. If this is not the case, your feedback may fall on deaf ears and you may be perceived as inauthentic. To help the person move forward you have to be specific in the feedback. If you don’t know or have the details, this can be challenging. Make sure you get the facts and are clear about what needs to be different in the future BEFORE you give the feedback.
Will they hear you? Do you have credibility with the person, and is your relationship one where the person will actually listen to your feedback? If no is your answer, then you may not be heard. You have to have equity (or in Steven Covey terms a positive bank balance) with the person to ensure they will hear you. You also need to make sure you are sharing the feedback in a safe space (preferably in private) and that you have plenty of time for the person to ask questions and process what you are sharing.
What are the ramifications if they don't hear you? In the event that you give feedback and it is not heard, what is at risk for you and for the person you are providing the feedback to? Be prepared to share what is at risk for the person receiving the feedback. If you are putting your career at risk by providing feedback to someone with influence or authority over you, be very careful about the timing of the feedback and how you position it so that your personal reputation is not damaged.
How would you want to receive the feedback? I have clients who have given feedback about everything from body odor to poor professional performance and the old adage rings true, "It is not what you say but how you say it." Saying the tough stuff with grace and compassion can be critical to others receiving your gift and making positive change. Consider your message and package it in a way it can be easily received. If you know you are giving a message that may be hard to hear - say so, it will often make the listener more open to hearing what you have to say.
What is the opportunity for you? This may sound like a funny question, but I believe it is the most important. What can you learn about yourself based on what you are noticing about the other person. More often than not the negative things we dislike about another reside somewhere within us. Be willing to reflect on the message they may exist for you in what is making you uncomfortable. What is your colleague, friend, or bosses behavior triggering for you? Where is your opportunity to grow and transform who you are being in the world?
As you consider providing feedback to those who you do not manage or supervise, I would invite you to ask yourself these questions and let the answers guide the way in which you give feedback to others.
-Cornelia Shipley, Career Coach
Try this “sixty-second inventory” during the day to help you identify how you’re feeling and irritations that may be bothering you. Here’s what you do—pause several times during the day for a reality check, and ask yourself:
What am I feeling?
Actually pinpoint the feeling, such as being angry with your boss for not acknowledging the overtime hours you’ve put in lately, or being jealous of a friend who always seems to carve out time for a vacation when you can’t. If you have trouble identifying your feelings, call a friend and share what’s happening. She may be able to help.
How am I holding on?
You’ve identified what’s bothering you, and maybe it’s appropriate to take an action, like telling your friend, “I’m disappointed that you forgot about my dinner party.” But once you do this, let it go. Look at the consequences if you don’t—it drains your energy so that you can’t create what you truly want for yourself.
What am I grateful for in this moment?
To complete the letting-go process, reflect on what you have to be grateful for, right now. If you can’t think of anything, reflect on the things that you take for granted, such as a roof over your head or food in your refrigerator. Act as if there are a lot of things. (You know what will happen? That will become true for you.)
Adapted from Time for Me: Simple Pleasures for Women Who Do Too Much, by Helene Lerner, Simple Truths, 2015.
In this episode, Helene's guest is Denise Sena, a Project Leader at Merck. Growing up, Denise’s father pointed out how perceptive she was. She has developed her intuition and uses it to make important decisions.
Check out some of the highlights of the program here:
On why women aren't using their intuition more in business...
Denise: It has a lot to do with the confidence women bring to the table. Most women believe their level of experience fuels their intuition. That's the case sometimes. But your intuition is your value system, your upbringing, and it's your moral compass. Women need to feel confident that they can listen to their inner voice.
Helene: Women are so often the givers. We give to our families, we give at work, we give to the community, but very often we relegate putting ourselves and our careers to the middle of the list. I think it's very important for women to upgrade themselves on their lists.
On listening your intuition...
Denise: It's really getting that mind, body, spirit connection and slowing down and listening to your inner voice.
I know for sure that at some point in your career you will experience a personal crisis. It could be anything from the loss of a loved one, a medical crisis, or a divorce. My crisis came just 5 days after my wedding when my mother unexpectedly passed away. I know from firsthand experience that the best way to get through a crisis is to have a plan. Here are some things to consider as you manage your career and life during times of personal challenge:
Do your job or take time off.
During a time of crisis you may not be able to focus effectively on work. If that is the case, be willing to take FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), personal leave, or vacation time to deal with whatever is going on. If you decide in the midst of the crisis to continue working, then you need to do your job and do it well. It may not be fair, but your colleagues will be evaluating how you handle yourself during this challenging time so make sure you maintain your peak level of performance.
Clarify what you need and ask for it.
Often during a crisis we forget that there are others around who can support us. But we have to tell them HOW they can help. For me, that meant everything from asking for space to having people send the acknowledgements on behalf of the family. You may need time off from work, someone to watch the kids, or bring a home cooked meal. Whatever you need, be willing to ask for it. Many companies have a ton of benefits to support employees during times of crisis, so make sure you fully leverage your benefits by asking what your situation qualifies for.
Decide on the details you will share.
Everyone does not need to know all the details of your personal crisis. Before sharing any details at work, decide what details you will share and with whom. You also want to decide how you will answer questions like: What Happened? Are you ok? Is there anything I can do? The more you rehearse your answers the less likely you will break down. Be prepared for the unexpected response when you do share. Your situation will have an impact on your colleagues and they may respond in a variety of ways and share things you did not know. Be prepared to hear about circumstances similar to your own that your colleagues have faced in the past.
Take care of yourself and set boundaries
If you have not been on a great self-care plan, now is the time to start. There are three things you can do immediately to start taking care of yourself: Eat right, exercise, get plenty of rest. Just doing those three things will help you have the energy you need to get through days ahead. As part of your self-care plan you will need to set strong boundaries. If you have to deal with your personal crisis at work, do so privately so your colleagues don’t over hear. Make sure when you get triggered or upset that you find an outlet outside of work you can call on to process your emotions. Your colleagues have their own challenges and may not have capacity to listen to your ongoing issue.
Doing these 4 things will help you to maintain your professional reputation while handling the personal crisis in your life.
-Cornelia Shipley, Career Coach
A few months ago I shared with womenworking.com the 3 questions to ask when evaluating a promotion opportunity. They were:
Does it give you additional exposure?
Can it help you enhance core skills like strategic planning?
Does the opportunity support your personal career objectives?
Now that the job market in some sectors like health care and technology are beginning to do significant recruiting, you may be asking yourself: Is it time for me to make a move? In addition to the questions above, there are a few other things to consider before you make the leap to what may appear to be “greener pastures.”
Does it position you for long-term success?
When making a move from one company to another, you want to take the long view. Remember your career is a marathon, not a sprint, so you want to make sure that the new role is setting you up for long term success. Ideally the job is a promotion in title, scope of work, and pay. If you are taking a lateral move (doing the same job for a new company) make sure you that you are moving to a more prestigious company with greater exposure and that the role offers significantly higher complexity.
Is it aligned with the legacy you want to leave?
World-renowned coach Marshall Goldsmith often shares that there are 3 things people are looking for: meaning, contribution, and joy. Many of us find meaning and contribution in the work we do and the legacy we are able to leave. As you consider new opportunities, make sure that the legacy you want to leave is possible. Do you want to be known as a change agent or innovator? Make sure the company has the opportunity for you to leave your mark on the organization.
How is the company culture?
It is not enough to read the recruiting brochure. You need to make sure that the company’s culture will meet your needs. Does the organization share your values? Do you see women like you in leadership positions you aspire to? Are people in the organization succeeding using the work/life balance programs you want to take advantage of? Are women advancing at the rate you aspire to move? These are just a few of the questions you will want answers to before you say yes to that new opportunity.
Take some time to reflect on these questions as you consider changing organizations. Remember to take the long view of your career as you plan for future roles.
-Cornelia Shipley, Career Coach
Although the struggle for equality and fair pay is still ongoing, women ARE making strides in the workplace. With all we master as executives, entrepreneurs, and for some of us, mothers, many women still deal with a real challenge when it comes to their image. Choosing what to wear to meetings, business dinners, or to the office day-to-day is a task and project of its own.
The definition of a boss is a leader who completes an action with authority and finesse. Yet when it comes to looks “she” often makes a lot of mistakes. From dressing too casually to not giving attention to proper fit. Most executive women win awards and honors for their achievements in business, however none ever make it onto a best-dressed list. “She” certainly could if she applied the same confidence she has in her work to how she looks while at work.
Whether your office is casual and creative or buttoned-up and sophisticated, every women should get inspired to raise the stakes on her executive boss style. It’s too often overlooked. A quality presentation of yourself is an important component of the direction your professional life goes. Remember first impressions! Remember that people are sizing you up from the door before you EVER get a chance to say a word. Appearances are vital!
How to look smart and polished for work: Boss Bylaws 101
Pantsuits: Pantsuits are the staple in chic and modern work wear. You don’t have to channel your masculine side in order to be taken seriously and respected, however, the mixing of masculine styles with a dash of femininity is definitely a hot trend. Beauty in the structural or textural details can make all the difference to mastering menswear inspired classics. Accessories are an important element that can elevate and set your pantsuit look apart. When wearing a pant suit, there are a few key style tricks you can use to give off that Boss Look fabulous appeal. Be ready to be respected AND awed at the same time with this style.
Metallic accessories shows you’re a risk taker and confident. I love metallic shoes with classic colors suits.
Brightly colored or Stylish Handbags can lift the traditional colors in suiting to give a fresh and new lift to an otherwise ordinary look.
Colored Suits: whether you go racer red or soft and feminine with pastels, breaking out of the regular 3B’s (Blue-Black-Beige) is a Smart Style Savvy decision. Not only will you make heads turn, but you’ll showoff your aptitude to step out of the box and take risks… that pay off! Boss moves!
Pamela Watson is an experienced stylist who currently works as the trend expert for Builders of Style, where she prepares A-list clients for red carpet events, music videos, concerts and award shows. Check our her fashion blog here. Have a question for Pamela? Ask below!
This is the fifth part of my discussion with Samantha Saperstein, Chief Marketing Officer for Commercial Banking, JPMorgan Chase.
We discuss attracting and building sponsor relationships, and what they mean for your own growth.
Watch part one HERE, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for future videos.
Summer's almost here, and for some of us it already feels like it. Let's plan to make this summer the best one yet!
Video Editor: Michelle Purpura
If you're feeling stuck, wondering if "this is it," or just aware that there has to be more to life than this, it's time to make a change. I know it can be scary, but when we create positive change in our lives, the results are undeniably powerful. Here are the first three steps you can take today to ignite your passion, purpose, and potential so you can live the life you always imagined.
Step 1: Hone Your Mindset
It is my belief that you will only reach the level of success you believe you can achieve. "You can only have the success in life you believe you are worth." If you don't believe that you are worth more than what you have right now, you will never move beyond your status quo. Start by upgrading your mindset. Use affirmations like, "I am worthy of everything I want and desire." This is the first and most critical step to achieving it! If you are a yogi or meditate, keep up the practice and continue to expand your belief in yourself and your endless capability.
Step 2: Craft Your Vision
Without a vision, “any road will take you there.” You have to have a vision for yourself that is holistic, integrated, and looks beyond just your career. Ask yourself questions like:
Use the answers to formulate a vision for your life that excites you and inspires you to take action.
Step 3: Define Success for Yourself
So much of my work involves helping people define success for themselves. Is your idea of success your own or are you going after things your family, spouse, employer, or the media has told you will make you successful? Success is an individual thing and you have to be willing to move beyond the noise in your head to define success for yourself. Seeing what works for you may not work for someone else. It's as personal as your fingerprint or your DNA. Be willing to determine how you will know you are successful. Think about how your outside interests, family, and friends impact your vision of success.
Taking these three steps will help you take a giant leap towards creating a life you love to live!
-Cornelia Shipley, Career Coach
Landing a seat on the company Board of Director’s does not just happen. You have to prepare now (the earlier in your career the better) to claim your seat at the table. What follows are the 11 things you can do to position yourself for a successful board bid:
Communicate. The first step is to communicate (verbally and through your actions) the value that you would bring to a board. Let people know the benefits of your service to their organization.
Inform. Let your community know that you are ready and willing to serve on a board. You will need sponsorship and you can never start too early.
Request Support. Reach out to your leadership and get support from them for your board aspirations. They will likely be able to not only help prepare you but also connect you to opportunities. The higher you are in your organization the easier this will be so make sure you time your support request appropriately for the culture of your organization.
Evaluate. Consider board opportunities through the lens of what you wish to accomplish through your board service. Have clear criteria for when you will accept a board seat and the role you wish to play on the board.
Serve. Hone your experience and expert status by serving on a non-profit, academic or professional association board.
Network. Create relationships with influencers to deepen your connection to the board. Gather mentors, coaches, and sponsors with board connections to help you on your path.
Establish relationships. In particular, you should also establish relationships with search firms and existing Directors who can advocate for you to join the board.
Demonstrate peak performance. Always perform at your peak - a board will not want to bring on someone who is not at the top of their game!
Go Global. Enhance your understanding of the global market by taking a global assignment with HIGH exposure to emerging markets and markets critical for your companies’ success.
Educate Yourself. Be sure you know the roles and responsibilities of being a Director so that you are prepared to fulfill them when the time comes.
Gain Experience. It's important to have profit and loss leadership experience in your industry or field so take that broadening assignment that allows you to understand how your company and industry make money.
Becoming a Director starts with you - your skills, your expertise, your network, and your value. Most importantly, it is about you creating advocacy for your seat in the boardroom. Set yourself up for success and start positioning yourself for board service today!
-Cornelia Shipley, Career Coach
Burning out is easier than it should be. The advancement of technology was originally supposed to allow us to work less, but in practice that hasn’t exactly worked out. Now we’re expected to be available 24/7 through cell phones, email and video chats, so it shouldn’t be surprising that people are working themselves into the ground. If that’s how it’s going for you now, there are things you can do to ease the situation. And they don’t have to include a walk around the neighborhood.
As soon as you realize you’re getting burned out on a project, the best thing you can do is take a break. You can’t always take a physical break away from your desk, so mastering the art of a mental break is crucial. Meditation, of course, is wonderful for this, but it can be difficult to master. Even the act of practicing meditation can help you get your focus back. If that isn’t your thing, simply taking five minutes to look out a window or visualize your favorite vacation is a good way to reset.
It’s easy to get stuck in busy work. Emails, phone calls and non-urgent paperwork can eat through hours of a day, and leave you feeling like you hardly accomplished a thing. That’s why having a set routine can be beneficial. If you have set times to check email and leave the paperwork for the last hour of work, you can easily spend most of your time doing what’s most important.
No matter what, there comes a time when the paperwork needs to be finished. If you’re struggling with busy work that can be done by someone else, see if they’re up for the task. It might be something small, like matching up receipts, or even something at home. In addition to taking some work off your plate, it also makes you seem more approachable. Hiring a cleaning service was the best thing I ever did; I can come home and relax instead of worrying about a dirty kitchen.
Sleep It Off
Sleep is undervalued in our society, but it’s the number one thing you can do to improve your ability to function. Sleep loss is associated with quite a few personal issues, including delayed reaction times, difficulty with focus and creative thinking, and numerous long-term health diseases. Aiming for a minimum of seven hours every night can have a drastic effect on how you feel.
Keeping yourself healthy should be a non-negotiable priority, but many people let it fall by the wayside. Feeling bad and burning out, especially if it happens often, means you need to take a look at your whole life, not only work. Aspects like a good diet and exercise routine are two of the most important things you can do to keep yourself healthy and prevent burnout. Make time for them and guard them religiously. You might be amazed at the changes you see.
Sarah Landrum is a marketing specialist and freelance writer trying to balance her career and writing with a social life and staying healthy – and trying to avoid burnout. She is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to sharing advice on all things career. Subscribe to her blog or follow her on Twitter @SarahLandrum for more great tips.
As a leader, you are often responsible for helping navigate your team through intense times of change and stress. It's important that you be an example of courage for your team to follow in order to navigate these challenges effectively. Here are 7 simple ways to bring out your inner Lioness Leader and show courage under stress:
Take the necessary action. Often times in stressful and challenging situations people are unwilling or unable to make a decision and take action. This is especially true when personnel issues arise. If you have a poor performer on your team be willing to first and foremost TELL THEM! Be clear and specific about what they can do to improve and when you need to see improvement. If your employee fails to shift in the allotted time be willing to make the tough call and help your employee find something they are better suited to do. Your team will appreciate your decisive action and the clarity with which you give feedback and set expectations.
Don't be an ostrich. Ostriches stick their head in the sand to avoid what's happening around them. As a lioness leader, be willing to face challenges head on. Craft an action plan designed to move you and your team forward.
Communicate Clearly. If you "beat around the bush," it may signal that you lack the confidence to say what needs to be said, which may decrease your team's confidence in you and your ability to make decisions. Have the courage to have authentic conversations (even when they're difficult). Your team will admire you for this and know that they can trust you to be open, honest and clear with them.
Invite feedback. The higher you rise in your organization the tougher it may be for you to get clear, specific, and direct feedback about everything from customer opinions about your product to issues with your performance and leadership style. Be willing and open to how others see things. Ask for perspective and be open to their responses.
Be a change agent. In every way possible, be willing to share your innovation and creativity . Challenge the status quo with new ideas and be willing to be an early adopter of new technology and process change in your organization.
Share the spotlight. Lionesses aren't stingy. Give credit and praise to those around you. Be willing to thank your team, mentors, boss and supporters for their help. This will inspire more great work from your team, which will have long-term positive impact on your overall productivity and results.
Drive accountability for yourself and others. Creating a culture of accountability starts by holding yourself accountable for the commitments you make. This act alone serves as both an example and a strong support for you holding your team and colleagues accountable. Now there's no reason to be mean, and every reason to be clear and kind.
These 7 actions will help you to demonstrate courage in the most stressful of situations while enhancing your personal brand and professional reputation.
-Cornelia Shipley, Career Coach
There are very few things as wonderful as a Grandma's love. See our heartfelt video in honor of Mother's Day. Video editor Michelle Purpura.
Management and leadership go hand in hand, however they are not the same thing. It's important to understand the difference, the role you are currently playing, and what behavior is called for in the moment. Here are some easy guidelines to determine what side of the coin you are on and how to shift when necessary.
|Focus on process||Focus on people|
|Short-term perspective||Long-range view|
|Asks 'how' or 'when'||Asks 'why' and 'what'|
|Focus on the bottom-line
||Focus on the future|
|Follows established protocols||Creates original protocols to follow|
|Follows the leader||Leads the pack|
|Does things the right way
||Does the right things|
|Maintains and accepts status quo||Challenges the status quo and develops new ways|
|Relies on control of the team||Inspires trust and confidence from the team|
|Administers and plans||Innovates and motivates|
Take a look at the list above. As an aspiring leader, focus on the leader behaviors and strive to shift from manager to leader. Leadership happens at every level of an organization, so make sure you demonstrate these behaviors regardless of your job title. Your team will know you are their leader through your actions.
In this episode, Helene's guest is Jill Campbell, COO, Cox Communications. Early on, Jill learned the importance of listening from her father. He said, “God gave you one mouth and two ears. There’s a reason for that.” Today she shares her tips on how to hear what’s really going on to get ahead.
On listening as gift…
HELENE: Artful listening goes beyond hearing the words a person is saying, it is about picking up on other cues, such as tone of voice and what’s not being said. Listening is not only good for business, it’s the greatest gift we can give people.
On being aware…
JILL: For me, listening is being completely present in the moment and focused on the person who is speaking, not thinking about what you’re going to say. Discern what they’re trying to tell you and what they’re not saying, so you can draw them out.
A personal note from Helene…
I think Jill is one of the most amazing leaders. She’s someone who speaks from both the head and the heart. We need more like her.
To hear more from Helene and Jill, click here.
Mother's Day is around the corner! We asked the WomenWorking community what they loved most about their mothers, and here are some of their thoughtful answers...
Video editor: Michelle Purpura
As a leader, everything you do has an impact on your team’s performance. You may think you hide it well, but unfortunately your stress level can also make a huge impact on your team. These are 3 key signs to watch out for in regards to the impact your stress is having on your team (and your family):
Decreased productivity. Are your team members missing deadlines or taking longer to get routine tasks completed? Are you noticing that your team seems generally more distracted or maybe your children seem irritable and distant? Be willing to check in with your team (and your family) by asking this question: Have you noticed anything different about me in the past few (days, weeks, months)? This question (if you are open to the answer) may allow your team to disclose the impact you are having on them and give you some insight into how you can begin to shift your behavior.
Your team is disconnected. Are you noticing that your once cohesive team is now short tempered and there is a lot of infighting? Your once collaborating team seems to have imploded. Suddenly your team is behaving in ways that are either creating delays or leading to internal sabotage. Pay attention to the mood of your team and take action to recreate connection and cohesion. This may be a great time for team-building activities or to have them work with an outside facilitator or coach to improve communication.
Increased turnover. Employees don’t leave companies they leave managers – bad managers to be more specific. Now you may not be a bad manager but your stress may be impacting your employees in ways that are inviting them to leave. You may be creating an unpleasant environment where your team simply no longer wishes to engage. If you notice your team is experiencing a mass exodus, look inward to see if your stress level may be a mitigating factor. Work with a mentor or coach to get the feedback and create an action plan to decrease the stressful environment on your team.
If you are under stress, know that if you are not careful it will negatively impact those around you. As a leader, it is your responsibility to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your team. If you start to notice any of these signs, be wiling to make the changes necessary to eliminate your stress and the impact it is having on your team.
-Cornelia Shipley, Career Coach
Jean Chatzky, NBC's Financial Editor for the Today Show, is an expert on smart spending. Here are her tips for keeping your spending in check and your wallet happy.
If you're saving 5% or more, you're happier. Ideally, you should be saving about 10% when you're starting out, and 15% if you're more established. If that sounds like too much for you, just increase what you're currently doing by 2%. Jean says, “Then the next time you get a raise, or when that 2% starts to feel easy, increase again by 2%. Eventually you'll get to where you need to be.”
Pay your bills as they come in. Don't put them in a pile and pay them once or twice a month. “If you pay a bill when it comes in, you'll adjust your spending for the rest of the month,” Jean advises. If you let the bills sit around, you might get halfway into the month before realizing you've gone over-budget.
Get familiar with your credit score. Your credit score affects all of your financial endeavors, so it's important to have a good one: 720 and above is the goal. You can find out yours for free by visiting savvymoney.com. If you don't like what you see, start spending less to boost your score. Jean says, “Nothing happens overnight. If you pay your bills on time and spend less of the credit you have available, your score will go up.”
Set up a time every week to go over finances. If you have a spouse or partner, have a meeting once a week to ensure that everyone is on the same page. You will feel good when all the guesswork is taken out of your finances and you’re confident that you're ahead of the game.
Information is power when it comes to money. There are tons of resources available online, like calculators to help you figure out how much to set aside for retirement, how much you should be saving, etc. One of these resources is Jean's weekly newsletter.
For more information, visit Jean’s website.