What do you mean “Just”?

I have a client who is dealing with a bad boss. Her boss gets hysterical over inconsequential things, doesn’t plan well or communicate with the staff and is putting the organization at risk.

Her life is spent putting out fires while his is spent lighting them.

Although she has bravely spoken up and alerted the people above him, this will take a while. Continue reading

5 Ways That Valentine’s Day Can Improve Your Professional Life

We begin every year with new resolutions and a commitment to making positive changes in our life. A fresh start! Healthier habits! Better relationships! Then it’s January 3rd …

Well for better relationships, we get to try again starting on February 14th.

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Waiting for a Crisis to do Something Seems Kinda Dumb

In speaking with a new networking connection, I was telling her that my speaking or training aims to help people create more collaborative environments. She told me that she didn’t need my services because she didn’t have any toxic environments to fix at the moment.

She was surprised at my response. Continue reading

The Truth About Stigma For Mental Health Workers

Having worked in mental health and as a crisis worker, I have seen the back storage room of the store. It’s not good news. Bell Let’s Talk day (January 25th) is a reminder of how much we need to blow the lid off the stigma of mental Illness, for everyone.

I am thinking of a woman that I really admire. She had spent most of her social worker years helping people afflicted with different mental health disorders. Continue reading

It’s Not Easy Dealing With The Holiday Scrooge At Work

workplace scrooge(As published in Huffington Post)

Susan was a fellow office manager. She was given a budget to decorate for Christmas and as she transformed our offices with green and tinsel, she also loudly voiced what a waste of time and money this was. To her, Christmas was about family – not work. The daily snippy comments were annoying.
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Free Yourself From Emotional Blackmail At Work And At Home

emotional blackmail(Published in Huffington Post)

As a recovering doormat, I struggled with setting boundaries.  But first, I needed to figure out when my boundaries were actually being crossed. When working as a counselor in mental health, I got a crash course on personality disorders. These disorders have a strong element of emotional blackmail to them where another’s boundaries are unimportant. This was an eye opener! Continue reading

Managing Negative Employees

eeyore_by_buildthemskywards-d4x4808(Published in Huffington Post)

Oh no. You can hear them coming down the hall and are wishing you could hide under your desk. Being on a team project with them can feel like there’s no escaping them. You know who I’m talking about: the nay-sayers and folks who seem to go around thinking there’s a contest to be won for complaining or seeing the worst out of every situation.

I remember a friend’s husband being one of the most negative people I have ever met. If you said the sun was shining, he’d start talking about global warming. Any idea you had that made you feel inspired and motivated, he could throw cold water on it and prove to you why it would not work and the plain pointlessness of it all. Continue reading

Tips on Cooling the Drama Queen at Work

Lisa called me to get some advice about a colleague named Wendy whom she called a drama queen. (Both names are pseudonyms.)  She started pointing out several exchanges and I asked her to just describe the last one.

As Lisa described what happened, she became emotional and declared that the woman hates her and is probably trying to have her lose her job. Continue reading

Vacations! Whoopee! Can you unplug completely?

Boss drives me crazyWhen I overheard those friends in a restaurant booth talking about the boss going away, I chuckled.

Twenty years ago, as an office manager for a controlling and intense financial professional, the whole staff would look forward to his business trips and vacations.

When he was away, I would give each of my staff a “mental health day” at home. They needed to recuperate from the intensity of pleasing this impossible to please person. I insisted that they go home and catch their breath. Continue reading