Conversation Chaos: The Hidden Villain in Your Workplace

Conversation Chaos: The Hidden Villain in Your Workplace
There's a villain in your organization. It's a Darth Vader, Wicked Witch, Sauron, or Lord Voldemort—and it's the reason why many of your most common workplace problems persist, including disengagement and poor performance. All issues in your organization have one thing in common: conversation chaos . Unproductive, unfocused, and ineffective communi...
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5 Ways to Improve Employee Development at Your Company

5 Ways to Improve Employee Development at Your Company
This week’s Friday resource comes from HuffPost and offers five ways to assist employees in their personal development. Many companies, especially start-ups, are often focused on short term growth to assure the business can stay afloat. But if businesses are to stick around for the long-run, employee development should be approached with a long-term mentality that comes with both short and long-term ROI benefits. Employees want to know their leaders have their best interests at heart. And for millennials, opportunity for development is a workplace necessity. Per David Hassell, “Your people are your company.” Here are 5 ways to improve development amongst your employees: 1. Professional Training “Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way. Depending on the role, formal employee training may be required to ensure competency and even excellence. Create a knowledge-base of critical information and best practices to pass on to new hires as you grow...
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3 Critical Questions to Ask Your Team About Vacation

3 Critical Questions to Ask Your Team About Vacation
Yesterday was the first official day of summer, and many employees are looking forward to planned vacations. Whether it’s hiking through Yellowstone, lounging around on a tropical island, or embracing a good old-fashioned staycation, talks of summer plans are taking over offices everywhere. Yet, the land of vacation relaxation is easier said than done based on the results of our new Fierce survey that launched earlier today. We surveyed over a thousand full-time employees across the U.S. and found some surprising variances in employee experiences around paid time off (PTO). From managerial support to stress reduction, we investigated various dynamics with paid time off and what gets in the way of employees truly enjoying vacation. Bottom line: people are not getting enough value from their vacations. And because of that, leaders, it is time for you to step up and have the necessary conversations. Research shows that vacation can improve...
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Leadership Tips: Develop Your Team While Away on Vacation

Leadership Tips: Develop Your Team While Away on Vacation
You can develop your team when you are away on vacation.   That sounds like a dream, right?  A magic pill that you would most definitely purchase if it existed, yeah? Well luckily, you don’t need a pill. It boils down to the conversations. As a leader, you need to take time off and recharge. This is necessary for your wellbeing as well as your team’s. A past Fierce Study revealed that more than 58 percent of respondents indicated that they received no stress relief from vacations. The goal of vacation is to enjoy and feel refreshed when you return. And your ability to relax and decompress is dependent on you, not the vacation itself. Surprising or not – there are currently responsibilities on your plate that your team members want to own. This should make you jump for joy When your team members develop, your team develops, and you...
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How to Be a Leader People Want to Follow

How to Be a Leader People Want to Follow
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Business Insider and lists seven ways you can become a more inspiring leader. Being in a position of leadership does not automatically qualify someone as a leader whom others trust or feel inspired by to produce their best work. The key to becoming a great leader is to first learn what makes a great leader and then carry out these qualities through actions. Per Jason DeMers, Business Insider contributor and founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, here are ways to effectively become a “follow-worthy” leader. 1. Show respect to those around you (even when you don’t feel like it). “True respect doesn’t depend on the other person doing something (or not doing something). It means recognizing that all people are inherently worthy of respect; even people who drive you crazy or who haven’t done a single thing to earn it. It means treating...
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Leadership Tips: Develop People Around You

Leadership Tips: Develop People Around You
"The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." - Harvey S. Firestone, Founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company Here at Fierce, we’re in the business of helping others grow. And our clients are on all different paths in supporting their people’s development, from offering very sophisticated development programs to just starting on the path of giving options. Regardless, the leaders we work with realize that developing their people is a critical piece for success. This isn’t just a “check the box” – employees crave it. According to EdenRed, 68% of workers say training and development is the most important workplace policy, followed by working hours flexibility (74%), then promotion of health at work (72%). I’d argue it goes beyond the policy, because people truly want growth opportunities. So you must ask yourself: If this perk is highly desired, how do I help aid others’ development?...
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Leadership Tips: Don’t Procrastinate with Your Conversations

Leadership Tips: Don’t Procrastinate with Your Conversations
What conversations are you currently stalling? At work? At home?   No one likes to admit it, yet we do often put off tasks and responsibilities. Many studies report that extreme procrastination affects over 20% of the population. Even if you aren’t in this group, the lure of waiting until tomorrow affects us all at times. An online survey by The Procrastination Research Group posed the question, “To what extent is procrastination having a negative impact on your happiness?” Of the 2,700 responses, 46% said “quite a bit” or “very much,” and 18% claimed “extreme negative effect.” And yet, there are real reasons we put off doing things that are important. When it comes to conversations, we often put off the vital ones we need to have for reasons like: It will take too long.   The other person can’t handle it.   It’s not the right time. Those are...
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Leadership Tips: Build Your Leaders Up

Leadership Tips: Build Your Leaders Up
In our often time-constrained, all-consuming routines as leaders, it can be hard to focus and help others around you. And when I say others, I mean other leaders – the people you aren’t normally focused on helping and supporting. It’s often assumed that this orphaned population of fellow leaders are “skilled to fend for themselves.” Hey, they are super talented and should have it figured out…that’s their job, right?! Well, we know that is not reality. Leaders are pressured in all directions – from the top, the side, and the bottom. And when you think about it, often it is hard for them to even know what they need in the middle of it all. I was recently talking with a leader in one of our client companies, and she is tasked with building a new middle manager training program. When I asked about the vision, she shared that more...
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Leadership Tips: Perhaps We Don't Need Work/Life Balance

Leadership Tips: Perhaps We Don
In business there is a lot of talk around work/life balance. To me, this topic is always too broad. I think for many, life is more fluid than that. In a world of constant connection, many of us work when we could be playing and play when we could be working. This week’s tip is about moving the conversation beyond looking at work/life balance as vacation and time at work. Rather than keeping those pieces apart, what would happen if we combined them more? Often people believe that you have to be really lucky to love what you do enough to not need a vacation from it. Perhaps in our current state of business, where 70% of Americans are disengaged at work, this is true. However, if your organization and your employees came to work each day as excited as they are to leave on Friday - what results could...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate a Woman in Your Life

Leadership Tips: Celebrate a Woman in Your Life
International Women’s Day is March 8th. As a women-owned business, Fierce wants to thank all of the women-owned businesses that make an impact in our community – from Seattle to around the globe. I want to shout out to Women in Real Life and PACE Staffing as some of our women-owned business partners who grow their businesses with brilliance and strength. In the United States, there continues to be a surge of women-owned businesses. According to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Business Report, there are nearly 11.3 million women-owned enterprises (up from 9.1 million in 2014), employing nearly 9 million workers and generating over $1.6 trillion in revenues. Between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms grew 45%. So I ask you: Do you have women entrepreneurs in your life? What have you learned from them? This week’s tip is to celebrate a woman in your life. Find a...
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Leadership Tips: Get Organized

Leadership Tips: Get Organized
According to a Wall Street Journal Report, office workers waste an average of 40% of their workday.  Not because they aren’t intelligent, but because they were never taught organizing skills to cope with the increasing workloads and demands. How much time do you waste during your day? Stephanie Winston, author of The Organized Executive, estimates a manager loses 1 hour/day to disorder, costing the business up to $4,000/year if earning $35,000/year – or $8,125/year at $65,000. Those are very tangible costs to businesses. And those costs don’t take into account the emotional toll. I know many leaders and executives who feel emotionally exhausted from the overload. On top of that, over time, this causes extreme burnout. This week’s tip is to focus on your organization in one specific area. Where do you feel that you waste the most time? For me at one point in my career, I felt my...
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Leadership Tips: Stop Stalling, It’s Time to Give Back

Leadership Tips: Stop Stalling, It’s Time to Give Back
When I talk with people in my network, they often say they want to give back more – give their time, their money, their expertise. But…they aren’t organized around it. Or…other things come up. Or…there are just too many options. And then, nothing happens. Well, now is the time to put some process around it and give back! Tomorrow is National Philanthropy Day . The day is meant to be a celebration of philanthropy—giving, volunteering and charitable engagement—that highlights the accomplishments, large and small, that philanthropy—and all those involved in the philanthropic process—makes to our society and our world. So, I ask: Are you giving back to your community at your desired capacity?   This week’s tip is to create a plan, if you aren’t. It doesn’t have to be in the form of dollars. There are so many ways to give back: Mentor a young person at your company...
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How To Take A Vacation From Work

How To Take A Vacation From Work
Congratulations. You are gainfully employed. The primary focus of your organization is growth, and you have some knee-buckling goals to deliver. If you fail, darkness will cover the earth, the stock value will plummet and chaos will reign. Meanwhile, a talented colleague is vying for your job. And you could sure use a vacation! Hence, a few suggestions: Take one. Dammit! When your body and brain are running on fumes, you can’t do your best work. [tweetable text="It’s important to step away from time to time – physically and mentally" tweet="“It’s important to step away from time to time – physically and mentally” via @fierce_inc"]  –  so that you can return refreshed, energized. In fact, schedule three trips for the future. Each time you take one, add on another so that you always have something wonderful to anticipate. Check the dates with your boss and then put them on your...
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Leadership Tips: Identify Your Top Time Takers

Leadership Tips: Identify Your Top Time Takers
Most leaders I talk with believe that there are not enough hours in the day. Oftentimes, they talk about a disliked portion of their job and then proceed to delegate it to someone on their team. I have talked about that activity of dele-dumping before. This is not how to approach delegation. It shouldn’t feel like being “dumped on”. And it shouldn’t create a negative connotation with something that can help grow an employee. Having a responsibility delegated to a team member should feel like a privilege. It is development. So how do you avoid the dreaded dump ? You must look more closely at what’s on your plate. Oftentimes delegation is approached with the notion that there are items on your plate that you know are either not your passion or clearly not what you are best at . The complication is that responsibilities that you are passionate about...
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Business Meetings – The Case for Face-to-Face

Business Meetings – The Case for Face-to-Face
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes Insights and discusses the importance of face-to-face interactions as opposed to virtual meetings. As businesses continue to heal from the economic downturn, travel budgets continue to have slow growth within organizations. Currently businesses rely heavily on technology for internal communication, which has replaced interactions that were once had in-person. Although virtual meetings and conferences cut down on costs initially, are they actually costing companies more in the end? Common answers for a preference towards technology-enabled meetings include saving time, money, and increasing flexibility in location and timing. These are all very practical answers. Saving money and time is crucial to any business – but what are these virtual meetings missing? The answer: The human element. After surveying over 750 business executives, the data shows that face-to-face meetings build stronger, more meaningful business relationships, an enhanced ability to read crucial body language,...
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Leadership Tips: Stop Your Useless One-on-One Meetings

Leadership Tips: Stop Your Useless One-on-One Meetings
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams When people think about being a leader and inspiring others, doing something unique often comes to mind. At its core, this is a well-guided strategy. You want to have your own personal style and not be like everyone else. The flaw in going to that reasoning, however, is that the everyday interactions and conversations are often overlooked. While paying attention to the big picture, you can miss the smaller pieces that sometimes make the most impact. So I ask: Do you have regular meetings with your team members or peers that inspire them? Oftentimes, when I talk with people in organizations, the answer is no . In fact, when the people are honest, they say they aren’t inspired by the conversation either. What a waste. Come on,...
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Leaders, Curb Your Stress - Find Your Magic Hour

Leaders, Curb Your Stress - Find Your Magic Hour
April is Stress Awareness Month. When reflecting on your life, how would you rank your stress level from 1-10? Under wraps? Off the charts? What causes it? Among U.S. adults, work is the second most common source of stress, just behind money, according to the 2014 Stress in America survey from the American Psychological Association. And yes, those go hand in hand, so it is a double punch. With all of the obligations and demands of leaders today, it is more critical than ever for you to make some time for yourself and your goals. Leaders, to bust your stress, find your magic hour each work day. Find an hour that you can focus on specific deliverables of your own. Block this time on your calendar and keep it precious. It is quiet time. Time where there aren’t meetings, one-on-ones, and all of your team’s demands. Do not allow the...
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Leadership Tips: Practice Patience - Relationships Aren’t Built Instantly

Leadership Tips: Practice Patience - Relationships Aren’t Built Instantly
We get what we want at a faster speed than ever before. Amazon delivers items in one hour. Starbucks provides coffee through a drive through. Uber arrives at your doorstep in a matter of minutes to take you anywhere you need to go. The list goes on and on; there are on-demand services for walking dogs, receiving massages, house cleaning, etc. While our accessibility to products increases, we must remember that people are not things . To share a moment, to build a relationship, to better understand one another, there is not an on-demand option. It requires many conversations...and patience. Patience is becoming a rare mineral in this bustling world we live in. Practice more patience in your conversations. Patience with yourself when a conversation doesn’t go the way you want it to. Patience with someone who brings an issue to you that seems unfounded. Patience with someone who tells...
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There’s a Proven Link Between Effective Leadership and Getting Enough Sleep

There’s a Proven Link Between Effective Leadership and Getting Enough Sleep
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on the Harvard Business Review and explores the link between sleep and leadership. Being an effective leader requires a lot of skills, including an ability to be present, communicate effectively, and a strong emotional intelligence. But before we can do all that, we first have to take care of ourselves. That means getting some much needed shut eye. And many of us aren’t getting enough of it. According to the article There’s a Proven Link Between Effective Leadership and Getting Enough Sleep , sleep deficiencies can undermine important forms of leadership behavior and eventually hurt financial performance. What is sleep loss costing you? “Sleep deprivation impairs the ability to focus attention selectively: Research shows that after roughly 17 to 19 hours of wakefulness (say, at 11 PM or 1 AM for someone who got up at 6 AM), individual performance on a range...
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Be Your Own Best Advocate

Be Your Own Best Advocate
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and explores why it is so difficult for people to negotiate on their own behalf. As a leader in your organization, you spend countless hours negotiating contracts with clients, wrangling outside vendors, and advocating for your department. But when was the last time you capitalized on an opportunity for yourself? Advocating for your own needs is just as important as closing a big deal. It not only drives career fulfillment, but also has the potential to spark positive organizational change. Regardless of how strongly we feel about an opportunity, negotiating on our own behalf feels much less comfortable than negotiating on behalf of an organization. Be Your Own Best Advocate recommends building a strategy for everyday negotiations that focuses on four steps: recognize, prepare, initiate, and navigate. How do you recognize negotiation opportunities? “The issue should be important to...
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5 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Summer Work Routine

5 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Summer Work Routine
Let’s be honest. Sometimes the summer work routine can drag you down. You are at the office grinding, while you longingly stalk your colleagues on social media - sailing in the Caribbean or camping in Yellowstone. Summer vacation jealousy rears its ugly head. So…how do you deal?   Use the summer as a reason and time to explore different ways you can work. It is a great time to take advantage of more daylight, and other people’s vacation time to get ahead. Here are five routine shifts to try: Change your hours. Experiment with when you work. Perhaps the sunshine in the morning makes it easier for you to wake up. Go to the office early, so you can leave and enjoy more of the afternoon sunshine. If you can’t change your hours, run errands or pay bills early in the morning, so you can play after work. Work somewhere...
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Leadership Tips: Take a Vacation

Leadership Tips: Take a Vacation
It is that time of year. Winter has melted away, and the sun is out. Start thinking about a break or a trip you want to take this year. Do you want to spend time in your own town? Sail in the Caribbean? Climb a mountain? Lay on a beach in Hawaii? The opportunities are endless. So I ask: Are you really going to take advantage of your paid time off? Many people don’t. A few months ago, I read a Forbes article that highlights that very fact. More than forty percent of American workers who received paid time off did not take all of their allotted time last year, despite the obvious personal benefits, according to “An Assessment of Paid Time Off in the U.S.” commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, a trade group, and completed by Oxford Economics. Why do people not take the time? There is a...
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Leadership Tips: Delegate, Don’t Dele-Dump

Leadership Tips: Delegate, Don’t Dele-Dump
What does “delegate that” mean in your organization? For most organizations, that statement means get rid of a task you currently own as fast as possible. Often times, this is more of what one of our clients fondly calls “dele-dumping”. This is when you say, “ Let me take all of these tasks that waste my time and throw them on your desk.” This may be accomplished without making eye contact as you run away as fast as you can. It is almost like a drive by. The thing is: Delegation is an often misused or under-utilized form of development – whether in the office or at home. When you look at delegation that way, it may get some juices flowing. What is currently on your plate that if someone else had that responsibility, you would be freed up to take on something else? In that circumstance, both people have...
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Be Fierce: Find Relaxation in your Efforts

Be Fierce: Find Relaxation in your Efforts
In a recent class, my yoga teacher asked us to “find the relaxation in the effort,” letting go of stress and tension even in the midst of our hardest work.   I needed to hear this. As the new year started, excited about new projects at work and at home, I’ve been eager to do my best and work hard. With this effort, though, I noticed over the past week my shoulders creeping up to my ears and staying there, holding in that internal tension. Even now as you read this, you can check in. Where are you holding tension? Where do you hold tension in your body, mind, and relationships? Then, consider pausing. Take a moment to breathe and relax in the midst of your work. At Fierce, one of Susan Scott’s transformational ideas is, “All conversations are with myself, and sometimes they involve other people.” What conversations are...
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Teacher Spends Two Days as a Student and is Shocked at What She Learns

Teacher Spends Two Days as a Student and is Shocked at What She Learns
This week's Fierce Resource was originally published on The Washington Post and was written by Valerie Strauss. Do you ever reminisce about what things could have been like...what you might do if you had the chance to do it all over again? Teacher Spends Two Days as a Student and is Shocked at What She Learns explores what the classroom is like for high school students and perhaps what may just be in the way of learning. As society shifts, workplaces are becoming more modernized, so shouldn't the classroom as well? Imagine a classroom that functioned like Google. What would happen if students were expected to show up and work say, 75% of the time and the other 25% was focused on creativity, development, or connecting? What could you change in your classroom or school to make learning more engaging?  "I waited 14 years to do something that I should...
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The Art of Balance: Cultivating a Sustainable Workplace

The Art of Balance: Cultivating a Sustainable Workplace
With the three key ingredients of trust, conversation, and flexibility, organizations can take meaningful steps toward easing the work/life issues plaguing the American workforce. Work/life balance discussions have taken on a new urgency lately, thanks in large part to Arianna Huffington’s bestselling book, “Thrive.” The book begins with her personal “wake-up call.” She found herself lying in a pool of blood after collapsing from exhaustion and lack of sleep. Her demanding and lucrative career overpowered her—the weight eventually crushing her ability to keep up. While this is a dramatic and high-profile example, this same scenario plays out day after day with average Joes and Janes. We may not crumple to our knees like Arianna, but the upward spike of stress reported by employees is sobering. And slowly, but surely, it’s taking a toll. The third annual 2013  Work Stress Survey , conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College,...
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Leadership Tips: Tap Into Your Inner Child

Leadership Tips: Tap Into Your Inner Child
He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  – Albert Einstein Being around children has a way of reminding you that the world is pretty amazing. Whether discovering a new bug or tying shoes for the first time, children oftentimes are in awe of how great it feels to be alive. Along the way, we adults, start to take it for granted. We love leaders and people who bring out our inner child. They unlock joy for us. Who in your life reminds you that you can do the ”impossible”? Who helps you cultivate your creativity? This week’s tip is to take a moment to be in awe of someone or something around you. Practice the art of living in the moment.

12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans

12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans
This week's Fierce resource comes from Marc and Angel Hack Life  and was written by Angel Chernoff.  12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans  shares habits of those who have reached great success in their lives; self-made leaders like Bill Gates, Oprah, and J.K. Rowling. While it's often impossible to complete multiple rituals in a day, there are certainly habits, practices, and actions that are in fact our own personalized rituals. Even the cup of coffee you have each morning when you arrive to your office. So, what rituals do you practice that are healthy and productive? How about unhealthy rituals that you can change today? "The result of enormous success is often pretty noisy – lots of people talking, writing and sharing stories about it.  The actual process of achieving enormous success, on the other hand, is far more discreet.  But it’s this process that happens quietly, behind-the-scenes, that...
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The C-Level's Recipe for Work-Life Balance

The C-Level
Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this eZanga.com  article by Megan Ingenbrandt. It was originally posted here . Add a dash of relaxation, and a pinch of hard work, and that should be the perfect recipe for balancing work and home, right? Wrong! With a growing family, a social life, and a full-time job, it can be hard for anyone to find the perfect balance between work and home. But when you’re running the business, it can be even tougher. C-levels and entrepreneurs need breaks too, but how do they find the time? Do they let the two worlds cross over, or leave them separate? Is there a perfect recipe to balancing work and home life? eZanga’s owners, Rich and Beth Kahn, try to keep the business out of their home, while others take a quite different approach – they turn the business into a family affair! Add a...
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Build a High Performing Team in 30 Minutes

Build a High Performing Team in 30 Minutes
This week's Fierce Resource comes from Forbes.com  and was written by Kristi Hedges. As strategy planning sessions are on the horizon for 2015, here are some tips to Build a High Performing Team in 30 Minutes . When is the last time you brought your team together to evaluate what processes are working or not? If you can't remember the last time you had open conversations about how your team is functioning, you may be in the dark on what is positively or negatively impacting your team. What is the most important conversation you will have with your team in the next month? How often do you check in with the whole team to measure satisfaction? "Changing team behavior, once ingrained, is no small feat. A lot of social nuance goes into creating the culture of any group, and once it’s established, can be hard to affect . Cultures rest on spoken...
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More Women Give Up on "Having It All"

More Women Give Up on "Having It All"
Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this article by Brian O'Connell and was originally posted on  TheStreet.com . NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) — Can working woman "have it all" in the workplace and home? Maybe not. Many women have given up thinking it's an option. Exhibit "A" for that case is a  study  from Seattle-based  Fierce  saying that 70% of U.S. working woman call trying to achieve a satisfying work/life balance "a major cause of stress." For decades ads have said women in the workplace  could  have it all ,  and that it was all a matter of having the right clothes, car or cup of yogurt. Maybe working women were buying that pitch 20 years ago, but today the majority seem to see "having it all" as a false promise and a goal destined to go unfulfilled. To think otherwise risks "taking a serious toll" on women's...
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A Message From the Mountaintop on the Value of Work-Life Balance

A Message From the Mountaintop on the Value of Work-Life Balance
This week's Fierce Resource comes from TLNT.com  and was written by Ron Thomas. A Message From the Mountaintop on the Value of Work-Life Balance explores the ongoing debate of work-life balance and provides tips for evaluating what is important to you. Balancing our lives, much like balancing a scale is not an easy task, it takes effort to get it close to right. Where do you need balance in your life? What are you overlooking that is important to you? "With work-life balance on everyone’s agenda today, I wonder sometimes how we got to this current level of insanity . I have friends who quit certain industries because  the industry MO  was to pull all-nighters, or close to it." To read the full article, click here .

7 Ways to Create a Happier Workforce

7 Ways to Create a Happier Workforce
This week's Fierce Resource comes from the HR Insights Blog on  YourERC.com . 7 Ways to Create a Happier Workforce provides ideas on how to increase employee happiness that inevitably increases engagement and impacts the bottom line. One of the key ideas to attaining a healthy and happy mentality is knowing how to manage your workload and take care of your own personal self.  When managers and leadership model a balanced approach to work and life, employees will see this and follow suit. How do you model your work-life balance? " Research points to the fact that happier employees are more productive, creative, and committed (Lyubomirsky & King, “The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?”). Additionally, some studies show that  happier  people tend to receive better performance evaluations and higher compensation. Happier employees are also more likely to stay at their organizations. In his book, The...
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Unplug to Recharge: 3 Tips for a Successful Summer Vacation

Unplug to Recharge: 3 Tips for a Successful Summer Vacation
Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, is currently writing a column for  Business 2  Community . We wanted to share with you her  most recent article , published Friday, June 27th. School’s out for summer leaving corporate hallways nearly as desolate as their high school counterparts, as families and individuals alike break out to enjoy the long summer days ahead. Unfortunately, many will return to the office as depleted, if not more so, than before they left. A survey conducted here at Fierce, Inc. found that 58 percent of workers feel absolutely no reduction in stress from their vacations, and 28 percent return even more stressed. Not exactly the outcome one would hope for. Here are some tips to ensure this year’s vacation provides ample relief: 1)    Communicate Intention . In a society that has adopted a 365/24/7 work-available mindset, it’s important to set clear expectations for how much (or how little!)...
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Arianna Huffington on Why Entrepreneurs Make Bad Decisions

Arianna Huffington on Why Entrepreneurs Make Bad Decisions
This week’s Fierce Resource comes from Inc.com and was written by Graham Winfrey .     Arianna Huffington on Why Entrepreneurs Make Bad Decisions introduces a series of video tips from her book, “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder”.  Arianna explores reasons why entrepreneurs make bad decisions and what it takes to avoid burn out and thrive in an era where we can stay plugged in 24/7.   So what does it take to make good decisions and be successful? Flexibility and a willingness to be nimble - you don’t know what you don’t know. Strength in team building and finding diverse perspectives to challenge your common beliefs. And the ability to collaborate often.   A significant fourth? Believing in yourself and being okay with failing along the way. We never intend to set ourselves up for failure, and at...
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What It Means To Lead

What It Means To Lead
Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, is currently writing a column for  Business 2  Community . We wanted to share with you her  most recent article , published Wednesday, June 11th.  Recently in May, I was honored to present at the Women in Real Life (WiRL)  Leadership Summit  on the topic of “Leadership Beyond Title.” As an executive myself, I’ve seen my fair share of those who lead  through  title (borrowed authority) and those who lead  free  of title (earned authority). The former typically run a short-lived course with hit-or-miss results, the latter a long-term life cycle with predictable success. Always the curious type, I dove deeper into exploring the differences between these two leaders and what sets them apart. As a first stop, I hit up the dictionary to see what we are telling ourselves about leadership and came across a gem. While the definition of “leader” was a bit rigid...
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Leadership Tips: Identify Your Undiscussables

Leadership Tips: Identify Your Undiscussables
One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity. –  Albert Schweitzer Think of the biggest "things" you need to accomplish in the next month. It is inevitable that you can foresee things that may get in your way of accomplishing them. It may be lack of time, resources, partners, or even motivation to do what is on your plate. The questions are: What conversations do you need to have? What needs to be addressed to hit your marks? This week's tip is to identify your undiscussables and take action.  Undiscussables are the topics that you and others have been avoiding at home or at work. These are the topics that will get in your way of moving forward. To get started, write down the name of each person and a sentence or two about the topic for the conversation. Now, it is in your...
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Take Our Feedback Poll

Take Our Feedback Poll
This week’s Fierce Resource comes from Fierce, Inc . and is focused on feedback. May marks a special month for Fierce as we launch our new conversation module: Fierce Feedback . Feedback was created to help companies drive performance, enrich relationships, and create strong, highly functioning teams. When given on a timely basis, feedback transforms cultures. How do you feel about feedback? Take our feedback poll . Join the conversation : Think of a time when someone’s feedback impacted the trajectory of your career. Tell us your story on our blog or share with us on Social; we can be found on Twitter , Facebook , LinkedIn , Google+ , and Instagram . Use  #fiercefeedback . We look forward to reading your story!

3 Ways to Work Meditation Into Your Busy Day

3 Ways to Work Meditation Into Your Busy Day
This week's Fierce Resource was first published on Inc.com  and was written by Jessica Stillman. 3 Ways to Work Meditation Into Your Busy Day  shares techniques on how to be mindful and incorporate more meditation into your days. Although it may seem impossible at times, there are small ways to help breakthrough the noise. "No doubt you’ve noticed that mindfulness and  meditation  have moved out of the monastery and into corporate America.  The topic is so hot that Wisdom 2.0, a conference, started in 2009, dedicated to exploring how to be more mindful about our technology use, now has a waiting list that runs into the hundreds. There are meditation apps galore, and organizations from Google to the Marine Corps have embraced the idea of promoting mindfulness. Some longtime meditators and Buddhists are even complaining that this new frenzy is corrupting the real  meaning of mindfulness ." To read the...
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Leadership Tips: Practice Mindfulness

Leadership Tips: Practice Mindfulness
The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. - Henry Miller It is so easy in this busy, nonstop world to always keep moving and not pay attention while we do it.  We can go from one place to another - constantly checking off our "to-do's". We've all been there. And yet, the problem is when we stay there, when we auto-pilot through our lives. There are a lot of reasons that we can use to justify this as okay. However, deep down, we are making compromises for our health - for our mental and physical well-being. You deserve more, and so do others around you. This week, focus on being aware. Be aware of the relationships around you. Be aware of how you feel. Listen to the sounds around you.  Take some time to pause and just be ....
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Peer Development: 3 Reasons to Help Other Leaders Be More Effective

Peer Development: 3 Reasons to Help Other Leaders Be More Effective
Most leaders are not opposed to receiving feedback or learning from others. However time is precious, and with so much to do, continuing to develop yourself and other leaders can be overwhelming. Many will wait for HR or Leadership Development to bring the training to them; don’t be one of those leaders. Sometimes organizations don’t do a great job at leveraging the amazing talent that is found within their walls. The talent within can be used to develop tools for others. At the end of the day, who knows what you’re going through better than those working alongside you, striving to attain the same goals? Below are 3 easy ways to start developing other leaders, and in turn, yourself. #1: Create learning groups. Use this time to share your strengths, to help others in areas they might be struggling, to talk strategy, and to even brainstorm. This collective conversation builds...
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A Thanksgiving Conversation

A Thanksgiving Conversation
  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, and for many, it is full of traditions. At our office, we had a Fiercegiving potluck yesterday, and over the lunch table, we were talking about our favorite dishes and traditions. For me, every Thanksgiving dinner, my family starts a conversation with the same question. We go around the table and ask: what are you most thankful for? Everyone is expected to participate and contribute. There is no “pass” to answering the question. As a young girl in my booster seat, my answers usually involved extreme gratitude for my Barbies, the cranberry sauce, my cat – naturally, all of things that made my world so sweet and fun. As the years have passed, my answers shifted to being thankful for living in the same city as my family, for my health, for creating silly memories together, and for sustaining the traditions we...
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Leadership Tips: Focus on Learning

Leadership Tips: Focus on Learning
Abigail Adams said, “Learning is not achieved by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” Adams makes it sound like work, and we all know that in our busy, fast-paced lives, taking the time to learn something new can be difficult. With Monday here, we all have our to-do lists for the week. And yet, it is essential that we take a few moments to pan back and make sure there is room in the week to grow. This week's challenge is to focus on something specific to learn. What do you want to learn? Do you want to create a new way to do something you always do? Or take time to understand why a process is currently in place? Regardless of what you choose, schedule the time on your calendar. The benefits may surprise you.

2 Perspectives: Tips for Adding a New Team Member

2 Perspectives: Tips for Adding a New Team Member
Adding new members to a team is full of emotion and opportunity. Here, we explore two perspectives on the topic: the leader's and the team member's. As a leader, adding a new team member is an exciting and important time. It is an opportunity to revisit goals and achievements with your current team, while reiterating the vision and direction for the future. Be strategic and open. Oftentimes, leaders do not take the time to fully prepare for the change. Here are three tips for a leader to keep in mind when on-boarding a new team member: Set clear expectations for success. There is nothing worse than feeling frustrated that you are not on the same page with what is needed and wanted from new team members. This is on you. Invest the time to write down expectations and describe what success looks like, so everyone can feel grounded.   Celebrate...
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Goals that Stretch Your Comfort Zone

Goals that Stretch Your Comfort Zone
When we set goals for ourselves that stretch our limits, we challenge our boundaries and break down the box we can often put ourselves in. When you give yourself or your team a stretch goal, and allow everyone the chance to dream big, it provides an entirely different point of view on how to approach your day-to-day life. At Fierce, we have two strategy sessions each year where we collaborate together and innovate. As a company it is our time to stretch our comfort zone, and to not only discuss what is immediately possible, but also to dream about what could be possible. In this meeting we are asked to show up and share how we would like to see the company stretch itself. At the last strategy session in January, it felt like such a daunting task. The night before, as I anxiously prepared, I contemplated other big thinkers...
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Learning through Conversations

Learning through Conversations
Savvy businesses have learned that in order to keep their employees engaged, they need to provide continual learning opportunities. These same savvy companies usually provide continued academic learning options, seminars, workshops, and training to develop their talent and keep a competitive edge.  However, they might just be missing another learning opportunity, and that is investing in important quality time for their employees to have different types of conversations together. It can be hard to make the case for quality time to have conversations. The world moves fast, and it is common for many to leave the office with a mounting to-do list waiting for them the next day. However, within your organization you probably have a wealth of knowledge that lives in the minds of your employees and is not written down. A productive way to unlock this information and increase engagement is to allow opportunities for teams and other...
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Is Unlimited Time Off Overblown?

Is Unlimited Time Off Overblown?
This week's Fierce Resource was first published on the SharedHR blog and features Fierce President and CEO, Halley Bock . Is Unlimited Time Off Overblown? explores the pro's and con's of an open-ended PTO policy. "Halley Bock, CEO of Fierce, Inc., says that upon switching to an unlimited time off policy in June 2012, her staff has given a lot of positive feedback, and she believes the new policy has helped boost employee productivity and enthusiasm for work. When employees have more freedom around work, they are more energized at their job because they choose to be there." What do you think? To read the full blog, click here .

What Successful People Do with the First Hour of Their Work Day

What Successful People Do with the First Hour of Their Work Day
This week's Fierce Resource was first published in August of 2012 on the Fast Company website and was listed on LinkedIn's 12 Most Popular Stories of 2012 . What Successful People Do with the First Hour of Their Work Day , written by Kevin Purdy , gives insight on some great ways to manage your time. "Remember when you used to have a period at the beginning of every day to think about your schedule, catch up with friends, maybe knock out a few tasks? It was called home room, and it went away after high school. But many successful people schedule themselves a kind of grown-up home room every day. You should too." To read the full article, click here .

How to Stay Present

How to Stay Present
Do you believe you can multi-task and still stay present in a conversation? Many of us think we are better at it than we really are. In the age of iPhones, Twitter, and every kind of on-demand product, it is easy to want to check-in on multiple modes of communication all the time. The issue is that always checking-in comes with a cost. Often, when you do not stop what you are doing and pay attention to someone, the message you indirectly send is that he or she is not important enough to stop what you’re doing. Is that your intention? If not, it’s time to focus. (If it is your intention, that is a different blog topic.) As a leader, it is your job to be aware and stay connected with your team.  Here are three tips to be more present: 1. Make a schedule. Set a specific time...
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Make Employee Vacations Work for You

Make Employee Vacations Work for You
This week's Fierce Resource was first published on the Bud to Boss Blog - a blog dedicated to being an online portal with all the resources you need to survive – and thrive – as a new supervisor. Make Employee Vacations Work for You , written by Amy Beth Miller, explores how supervisors can make the most of their employees time off. Using findings from Fierce's recent survey on paid time off, this blog provides helpful tips to make vacation a positive experience for both the individual and the organization. "Instead of making do when an employee takes time off, seize the opportunity to make your team stronger...Allow your employees to forget about work during their vacations, so they can return energized and ready to dig in again." To read the full blog click here .