9 Habits That Destroy Workplace Relationships

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Entrepreneur and shares nine habits that can destroy workplace relationships and how to avoid these slip-ups. It is well known that if you work a full-time job, chances are you’re spending more time with your “work family” than your immediate family. Due to the sheer amount of time spent with your colleagues, it is important to the individual employees and the business to have amicable relationships. There are countless reasons for forging strong bonds with coworkers. It boosts office morale, increases productivity, and most importantly – builds trust. If the reasons for creating these bonds at work are clear, what can get in the way of them? Per John Rampton, Entrepreneur, some nasty habits that can lead to strained relationships include: 1. Gossiping – Although the watercooler chat can be tempting sometimes, it’s best to avoid topics that include other colleagues. Gossip...
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The Power of Friendship in the Workplace

Are you having a so-called “hangover” from chocolate, hearts and all the love from Valentine’s Day? If the focus yesterday was on romantic love, let’s focus today on your coworkers, who may also be friends. Current research reveals that all types of relationships with coworkers play an increasingly significant role in job satisfaction. We released a new study at Fierce, Inc. with over a thousand individuals surveyed to gain insight into the impact of relationships between coworkers. While the line between friend and coworker can be thin, most employees have embraced the dual title for those they work with. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed consider two or more coworkers friends, with no significant differences between male and female respondents. Fierce has found both in working with clients, along with a renowned Gallup poll, that the most productive employees and workgroups take this a step further and have a best friend...
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Leadership Tips: It’s the Week of Love - Share Appreciation at Home

This is the week of love in the United States. Valentine’s Day turns to the personal sides of our lives more than the professional, and to some, that may seem inappropriate for the workplace. However, I argue, with greater significance than ever, we must care about our employees’ relationships outside of the workplace. Gone are the days that our personal lives don’t intertwine with our workplace conversations. In fact, it is directly related to personal satisfaction at work. Last year, we surveyed 1,000 working women about work/life balance, and 82.6% shared that having a fulfilling relationship with their partner was the primary attribute of having it all. In Fierce Conversations , Susan Scott shares that we must discard the idea that our home and office conversations are quite different. She says, "When you squeeze an orange, what comes out of it? Orange juice. Why? Because that's what's inside it…When we...
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Workplace Appreciation: How to Create Warm Fuzzies

"The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated." -William James Who can honestly say they don’t appreciate a warm fuzzy from time to time? This past holiday season at the Fierce office, we participated in a gratitude exercise where each person was instructed to express their appreciation for their randomly-assigned gratitude partner. We were given the name of our partner beforehand and then met as an entire company to verbally deliver our gratitude. As you can imagine, the room was filled with an abundance of warm fuzzies that day—warm fuzzies that gave us a burst of energy and a feeling of unity as we transitioned into the new year. Sometimes we operate in the workplace not knowing whether our efforts are noticed by others. When our efforts are noticed, the acknowledgment we receive has the power to increase our motivation by letting us know we’re respected...
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Leadership Tips: Address Your Mokitas

Mokita is a Papua New Guinean term for something that  everyone knows but no one talks about .  Papua New Guineans measure the health of their tribes by how many mokitas they have. The fewer mokitas, the healthier the tribe. In other words, the tribes that can talk about the difficult topics are the most healthy. We have this concept in America. It’s called the elephant in the room. That thing that we know and feel compelled to not talk about, because the consequences may not be “pleasant.” The family gathering may have its own special elephant while your team meetings may have another. Mokitas can show up everywhere. One could be that your one team member is always late, and although it has negative impact on everyone, no one ever says anything. It could be that your mother always pressures you on a particular topic, and no one ever...
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How to Make Microlearning Matter

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and explains how to make microlearning matter to your organization. Microlearning, or “self-directed learning,” is gaining popularity within organizations around the globe. In an increasingly regionalized workforce, the ability to get remote teams together in-person for professional training can be difficult. In a world where people are constantly consuming information through video and mobile technology, microlearning can enable significant employee growth without significant time investments. An employee can learn about new industry trends on their morning commute or read a new recipe for dinner on their lunch break. The phrase “just google it” is a common answer to any burning question, and employees can learn on-demand from a plethora of online resources. New online learning platforms like the one founded by Harvard and MIT named edX allows people all over the world to access high-quality...
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What it Takes to be a Top Training Company

At Fierce, we know the various issues that can arise when building training programs. It can be difficult for organizations to build a program that is both meaningful and impactful. On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Fierce was at the Training Conference & Expo in San Diego, where the Top 125 Training Companies received awards for their exceptional training program designs and results. We are honored to work with Van Meter, Inc., who won a position on the prestigious list. I interviewed Jenn Bleil, Learning & Development Manager at Van Meter, Inc. She shared insights about what makes their training effective and how Fierce helps Van Meter achieve its goals. What do you attribute as the reason for Van Meter's success in training? As a 100% employee-owned company, we believe our greatest asset is our people. Our success in training is due to our commitment to helping our people...
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Leadership Tips: Create Self-Directed Learning Opportunities

Learning has always been a lifeline for me. Like many others in our digital age, I’m constantly looking for ways to learn throughout my day. When I ask my friend for a new workout at the gym, I’m learning something that will help me with my fitness goals. On my commute in, I watch videos and read articles on how to “up” my game in the latest digital marketing innovation. While thinking about what to cook for dinner, I search the web for a new recipe and watch short tutorials on how to prep. Throughout my day, the opportunity for micro-learning—small, bite-sized learning—shows up. This micro-learning trend is showing up in the workplace too. We see a continued emphasis in the workplace for employees to drive their own learning, and more than ever in 2017. Some of this is due to technology and ease of access, while some is a...
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How to Create an Action Plan to Achieve Your Goals

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Balance and talks about how to create an action plan that will help you achieve your lofty goals in 2017. We all know that setting goals is important for personal and professional development. It can be much more difficult to identify specific tactics that work to move the needle towards achieving your goals. For starters, try writing down your goals and placing them close to your desk. This may seem minor, but a surprisingly small percentage of people physically write down their goals. The act of writing the goal down solidifies it and forces you to revisit your goals every time you see them staring at you. Leslie Truex, The Balance, offers six steps that can help create an action plan towards achieving goals. For starters, you must make sure your goals are SMART. “Here is a basic definition of SMART...
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Have Goals for 2017? Here’s Why Planning is Paramount

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Whether you intend to grow revenue, improve your professional relationships, or gain knowledge in your field, one thing is for sure: planning is paramount. Without it, your desire will exist as nothing more than just that—a desire. Would you chart the Atlantic Ocean on a sailboat without planning your route, equipment and provisions? You wouldn’t if you want to make it across. Individual and collective goals in the workplace are no different. Without a plan, both the vision and the action are without direction. To avoid becoming stranded in the middle of the figurative ocean this year, apply the following tips to help steer the course of your goals. Write it Down Until you write something down, it exists in the cluttered recesses of your mind. And according to research, writing down your goals will make you far...
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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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Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by HBR.org and explains why diverse teams work smarter and more efficiently. Organizations must stop seeing workplace diversity and inclusion as a box to check off and instead truly understand the business impact that a diverse workplace can have on a business. “A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean.” Per David Rock and Heidi Grant, HBR, a few key reasons diverse teams perform better than homogenous team are: They Focus on Facts. The idea of diverse perspectives creating innovative ideas is nothing new. Working with colleagues that have different backgrounds and think differently tasks our brains to think of challenges and obstacles in a different light. With diverse views come constant revisiting of facts that allow...
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How to Leverage Millennial Strengths

Statistics show that millennials now make up more than half of the current workforce . And in case you haven’t noticed, millennials have received a wave of criticism recently in the news, via social media and in the workplace. This recent uptick in criticism is no doubt connected to the rise in working millennials who are mixing and mingling with individuals from previous generations. Workplace friction has resulted. Older generations may be stumped as to how to accommodate and deal with the supposed millennial mentality, while millennials may be feeling frustrated, marginalized and unappreciated by their employers. A recent blog from Born Again Minimalist goes so far as to say that millennials are experiencing a type of cultural gaslighting: “Generations before us completely drove the bus into a lake and it’s somehow our fault everybody’s drowning...the millennial generation has been tasked with fixing the broken system we inherited and chastised...
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Leadership Tips: Be Inclusive

One of our Fierce predictions this year is that diversity and inclusion initiatives and programs will continue to grow. With the current global and political climate, it is becoming known that the convergence of competing views can be volatile when the skills are absent and the expectations are not set. The goal is to foster inclusion in the workplace, and furthermore, to ensure individual workers do not feel marginalized, unsupported, or unwanted. In addition to the cultural and emotional benefits of inclusion, there are bottom line implications. McKinsey research Diversity Matters examined proprietary data sets for 366 public companies in various countries. They found: Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.   Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective...
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How to Creatively Celebrate Your Team's Wins

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and shares different tactics to creatively celebrate your team’s wins and sustain motivation. In a business environment that is continuously gaining momentum and moving at a torrent pace, it can be difficult to slow down and celebrate the team victories and milestones. Much has been written about what truly motivates our changing workforce, and the answer is not a monetary value. A study by Glassdoor found that more than half of employees would stay longer at their company if their bosses showed more appreciation. Although it can be difficult to find time to stop and take notice of the little wins, it could be the difference between one of your all-star performers hunkering down for the long-haul or leaving. Chris Myers, CEO of BodeTree, believes that intangibles are a huge motivator for retaining his top performing employees. Money will always be...
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3 Tips for Deeper Conversations in Your Team Meetings

If you’re a connected leader, chances are you meet with your team weekly or bi-weekly to touch base and talk shop. While the details of the meeting will vary from leader to leader, the goal is usually the same: share ideas, innovate, and strategize. However, when speaking with our clients, it’s common to hear that hosting meaningful meetings can be tough. Typically the conversations stay surface level. Below are three tips you can apply to make the conversations within your group meetings more robust and deliberate while still having fun along the way. Tip #1: Not All Agendas Are Created Equal While there might be some logistical details that need to be covered in your meetings, they shouldn’t be put to the group in the same way as an idea that needs real creative thought around it. In our Team program, we use an idea prep form that breaks out what the...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate Your All-Stars

It is common for organizations and teams to lean on their all-stars to take them to new levels. That is to be expected. However, we often see that in organizations, the all-stars burn out the quickest. They are also the ones most poached, and they leave for bigger opportunities. We understand that, because the all-stars are the employees you want to replicate. The all-stars are the ones that will always do the extra work . They take on that one extra project. They do one more client engagement. They go above and beyond. It is important to recognize the value all-stars bring to your team and organization. I once worked with a vendor at Microsoft who was famous for burning out his top talent. He would just keep piling on more projects, more engagements, more talks, while leaving other team members who needed more help and development room to have...
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10 Ways to Start 2017 Off Right

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Inc.com and shares ten practical New Year’s resolutions that you can actually accomplish in 2017.  It can be very tempting to start the New Year off with grandiose plans that include overly ambitious resolutions. The reason that most people cannot fulfill their New Year resolutions is simply because they set the bar too high. It is always a great idea to get healthy and save money, but be practical. Start with a 10K instead of diving right into that marathon you want to run. Per Rhett Power, Inc., try to improve your 2017 by setting resolutions and goals that can be accomplished and add real value to your life. A few of these modest resolutions include: Reconnect.  Try to call up someone you have been missing and would like to catch up with. It doesn’t have to be an all-day extravaganza. Simply...
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How to Replace Fear with Achievement in 2017

"Thinking will not overcome fear but action will." -W. Clement Stone Fear is a common barrier that exists between where you are and where you want to be. We all experience fear to some degree. It doesn't always manifest as sweaty palms or heart palpitations, either. Sometimes the presence of fear is subtle and sneaky, finding its way into areas of your life where it often goes unnoticed. If you’ve come up with a list of New Year’s resolutions that you want to bring to fruition but one or many of them seem intimidating (which is often the case when it comes to conversations or confrontation), it may be beneficial to turn towards the barrier rather than try to ignore or bypass it. Doing so can help propel you forward toward your goals with greater force, whereas unacknowledged fear can feel like strong winds pushing against you as you try...
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Leadership Tips: Make Your Conversation Resolution

Congratulations for arriving to the new year! You are in this exact place as a result of all of your conversations in 2016. Yes all of them. The successful and the failed ones. The clean and the messy ones. The ones with tears and the ones with laughs. The ones you had to redo. Each conversation brought you one step closer to this very moment, these exact results. So I ask:When you look back, are you happy with the results this past year? What relationships are the most fulfilling? What achievements are you most proud of? What do you wish you would have approached differently? Who deserved more of your time? When we take it seriously that we are navigating our lives one conversation at a time, it makes it less daunting to take on change because we know our job is to just show up, present and awake, for...
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Susan's Note for the End of Year

Fierce. At first, the name evokes the straightening of spines and deep breaths taken as we walk towards danger. Perhaps it sounds like the yowl of a bobcat, smells like fear, inspires anxiety. And then a piece within our internal kaleidoscope shifts, and we see that a fierce conversation is one in which we come out from behind ourselves, into our conversations, and make them real. So when someone asks if I’m suggesting that all of our conversations should be fierce, the answer is YES! Why be real on Mondays and false on Tuesdays? Why share thoughts or concerns with family and withhold them at work? But it isn’t easy, being real. I love this passage from Martin Marten , by Brian Doyle. It turns out that having a conversation with someone you like and respect is harder as you go deeper, isn’t that so? Conversations are easy on the...
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Fierce 2017 Workplace Predictions

It’s that time again. Each year, top leaders within organizations are forced to address issues that take place both internally with the world as a whole. 2016 was no exception. From political climate shifts to new industry disruptors, change is continuing to be the new “normal” in the workplace. When we look into 2017, we see: Diversity and inclusion initiatives and programs will be expanded:  Whatever your political views entail, there is no denying the great divide that has taken over much of our country due to this year's presidential election. This confluence of beliefs can create issues in the workplace if individual workers feel marginalized, unsupported, or even fearful.  Taking control of this conversation is key for organizations to not only maintain the well-being of their employees, but to ensure that their workplace is one of acceptance across the board. Fierce anticipates that in the coming year there will...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate Your Team

We are in the 2016 home stretch. Now is a fantastic time to rally your team together and celebrate this year’s successes. As a leader, when you think about this year’s accomplishments, you probably go straight to the major business outcomes, from excellent talent acquisition to product launches to client retention. Those all should definitely be celebrated. And here I am encouraging you to go deeper on the individual level with your team members. Understand what they like celebrating and give them the attention they deserve. Here are three exercises to explore. Choose one or do all. Perhaps let each of your team members choose their own activity. The main point is to focus, learn, and celebrate. Reflect in a month-to-month format. Have your team member list their major accomplishments in each month of 2016. Encourage them to look back on calendars, emails, and notes. Oftentimes we are moving so...
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Tips for Networking at Holiday Parties

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes.com and discusses how you can leverage the annual holiday office party to network like a pro. There is a lot more to gain from the annual office holiday party than a few pounds from booze and hors d'oeuvres. Chiefly, career advancement. The annual holiday party is a great opportunity to rub elbows with colleagues outside of your normal circle, allowing for great networking opportunities within your company and your colleagues’ networks. Per Alison Doyle, The Balance, there are some simple rules to follow if you are to make the most of these networking opportunities. The first rule, never say no to a holiday party. Chances are your company will require you to attend, but don’t be so quick to turn down an invite to join a friend’s or partner’s. You never know what connections you will establish. Secondly, bring something you...
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3 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Holiday Festivities

It is a wonderful time of year to connect with yourself and each other. It can also be a time of year that is challenging. Stress can start to pile up from end of year pressure, family trips, commitments, large to-do lists, and a growing need to prepare for the upcoming year. Don’t be hard on yourself. When you commit to going to a holiday event, be conscious of the choices you are making. Choose to enjoy how you are spending your time and get out of your comfort zone. When all else fails, lean on these three tips to get more out of your holiday events: Be present. With the holiday frenzy, it can be hard to enjoy the celebrations when you are trying to wrap up last minute projects and get approvals from others. Use this time to learn something new about the people you work with. When...
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Leadership Tips: Connect on a Deeper Level

The holidays tend to bring people together. However, being physically together can be a very different experience than truly connecting. For instance, how many times have you had coffee with someone and he or she is paying attention to technology? How many times have you been at an event and someone looks right past you to see who else is in the room? How about the times when a family member asks you how everything is, and you give the safe, small answer?   These are all missed opportunities to connect. And the impact on your relationships is probably greater than you think.   Take the longest study of human development, the ongoing Grant Study , which is a decades-long project that began following the lives of Harvard University men selected in 1938 – among them President John F. Kennedy and former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee – and tracked...
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How Millennials Are Disrupting the Workforce -- For The Better

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes.com and discusses how millennials are disrupting the workforce in a positive way.   Millennials often get a bad rap for being difficult to work with, and some of justified. Millennials in the workforce often carry with them a sense of entitlement that has been well documented. What hasn’t been discussed as much are the positive impacts that millennials are having on organizations. One of the ways that millennials are changing the workplace for the better is in their ability to anticipate and embrace change. Most millennials entered the workforce just prior to or during the economic recession and learned that change is constant and part of today’s business landscape. This has made millennials adept at problem solving and allows them to work at high levels in chaotic ever-changing While many are accused of being serial job hoppers, much of this hopping...
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Change is the New Normal

Change is the new “normal” for organizations and leaders alike, from structural change to leadership change to industry disruption. And yet, data shows that 70% of organizational change initiatives fail. Why? Because we order people to change rather than engage them through conversation. We engage their heads and not their hearts. So how can leaders today not simply “manage” change, but rather excel through it – and lead their teams to do the same? Join Beth Wagner, Master Facilitator, as she unlocks 3 Fierce strategies that will help you, your team, and your organization thrive in times of change. Register here.

The Decline of the Office Holiday Party

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Bloomberg and discusses the decline of the holiday office party. Approximately 65% of organizations are currently providing their employees with an annual holiday party. This is down from 83% in 1998, per a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study. While some of the decline is attributed to the lean years of the economic downturn, the economy continues to recover, yet more and more companies are opting out of the year end soiree. “Unlike in 2009, companies aren't opting out for financial reasons. This year, only 6 percent of respondents cited budget constraints as a reason for cutting the party, down from 20 percent in 2009, at the height of financial crisis austerity.” So, what is the reason? A theory per Evren Esen, director of survey programs at the SHRM is people are not longing for a holiday party . Many organizations...
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Office Holiday Party Do’s & Don’ts

One of the few times of the year everyone from the interns to the CEO can be in the same room is during the annual office holiday party. While some find this tradition a bit of a chore, if you give it a chance, these get-togethers can not only be fun, but can also be a great chance to have conversations practically impossible any other time of the year. There are, however, some things to keep in mind as you head out with your colleagues to celebrate all you’ve accomplished in 2016.  Here are some tips to ensure you make the most of this year’s party: What to do: Get to know your executives/your employees. Office parties provide some of the greatest opportunities for the leadership team to interact casually with employees from all different levels of the company. For employees, take the time to approach executives, remind them of...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate a Leader in Your Life

Woodrow Wilson said, "You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand." Think of the leaders in your life. The ones that push you and stretch you in new ways. Who do you have in your life that enables you to live with greater vision? Have you said thank you to any of them lately? With our go-go culture, it can be difficult to take the time to celebrate. On top of that, it can be easy to think that the acknowledgment is not needed, or that the person already knows what you would say. But trust me, it is always a good time to pause and share appreciation. When...
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5 Hacks for Growing Your Team's Capacity

In times of constant change, we, as leaders, are often challenged with doing more with less . It can often be a reality – less resources, less people, and more ambitious goals. You can look at this from a negative lens. Or you can see the opportunity. Below are five ways to generate learning opportunities, and in turn, build your team’s capacity. 1. Conduct quarterly growth conversations. It is interesting how so many companies focus on growth and development within the first sixty days of a person’s role, and then it quickly turns to quotas and KPIs. Where did the development go? Be intentional about growth and have conversations on a regular basis about it. 2. Create stretch assignments. Look at projects in new ways. While you may worry about someone getting “off task”, it is often the opposite when someone is doing something different that interests them. It often...
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Inspire Your Black Friday Workforce: Lessons From Retailers Who've Done It Right

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and shares lessons learned from retailers who have trained and inspired Black Friday workers the right way. In the wake of a contrasting election many retailers are wondering if it will be business as usual, or if consumer spending will be impacted. For shoppers, Cyber Monday is becoming a more attractive option as opposed to long lines and consumer chaos in retail stores. So how do retailers stay competitive and keep employees motivated to deliver a great consumer experience? Meghan Biro, Forbes Contributor, provides four leadership tactics that can help to manage employee motivation on Black Friday. Two of them are: 1. Be transparent. The success of a retailer on Black Friday comes down to customer service. Are your employees engaged? If not, chances are your business will suffer. This starts from the top down. For employees to remain engaged amongst...
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Leadership Tips: Foster Gratitude Together

Last week I was at Ernst & Young’s Strategic Growth Forum, where CEOs and executives came together to talk about new trends in business. Specifically, the theme was growth requires ingenuity. In the sessions, the topics ranged from business effects of the current American election to overcoming funding challenges to leading with purpose. It was inspiring, and many of the entrepreneurs stated gratitude for their opportunities, peers, and successes. Showing gratitude was a common theme. Interestingly, a 2015 study published in the International Business Research journal showed that collective gratitude is important for organizations. What do they mean by collective gratitude? They defined it as “group’s shared positive emotional state recognizing and being thankful for the good things happen”. When organizations are collectively grateful, it can reduce turnover intention, foster employees’ organizational commitment, and help in “eliminating the toxic workplace emotions, attitudes and negative emotions such as envy, anger and...
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4 Ways Your Company Benefits From Giving Back

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Entrepreneur and showcases four ways that a company can benefit from giving back to the community. Although charitable acts are supposed to be made for selfless reasons, without the anticipation of a return on investment, there are rewards for businesses that give back. Per John Boitnott, Entrepreneur Contributor, some of the ways companies can gain from giving back include: 1. Building respect and a good reputation in the community. The relationships formed through giving back to local organizations can add great value to businesses. When other people and businesses see the positive impact of charitable efforts, they want to support the company. Goodwill can go a very long way, and solidify a business as a steward to the community. 2. Improving the community. It goes without saying that giving back to the local community makes it a better place to work and...
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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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Using Emotional Intelligence Is a Woman Leader's Secret Weapon

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes.com and explains why using emotional intelligence is a woman leader’s secret weapon. In the article, LaRae Quy, former FBI counterintelligence agent talks about the role emotional intelligence (EQ) played in her career advancement within the FBI. Unlike many of her colleagues, Quy advanced her career and became an organizational leader by having a strong voice, not the loudest. Quy’s deviation from the FBI norm – tactics including aggressive, bullying behavior that relies heavily on intimidation to be effective allowed her to be extremely successful in her role. “Loud, boisterous, and pushy behavior may get attention, but it certainly does not get respect.” Quy provides four reasons emotional intelligence can be a woman leaders most powerful tool. Two are: Women Have Permission to Be Emotionally Intelligent; Men, Not So Much “Women in the workforce need to grab success however they can, but...
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Post Election Hangover? A Challenge for You

Do you have a post-election hangover? There is a good chance you do. And, there is also a good chance that you are in the office with someone who feels differently than you do about the outcome of the election. It can feel awkward to interact with that person, especially if you engaged in prior discussions around your choices. This scenario of not seeing eye-to-eye is likely to pop up in all different scenes in your life – the office, school, church, grocery store, etc. The reality is, it is easy to point the finger. To disagree. To shut out. It is much harder to entertain an idea that competes with your own. To be curious. To be open. Given that, I wanted to share an excerpt from Fierce’s Founder, Susan Scott in Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time : What each...
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Leadership Tips: Build Emotional Capital

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is awareness of yourself and your impact on others around you. EQ allows you to build relationships and drive results. Kendra Cherry, a psychology expert, discusses the differences between IQ and EQ in her article “ IQ or EQ: Which One Is More Important? ” She cites research that shows EQ plays a bigger role than a person’s intelligence in determining their success or failure at work. In fact, TalentSmart tested emotional intelligence alongside 33 other important workplace skills, and found that EQ is the strongest predictor of performance, When considering this fact, your ability to have conversations with emotions and increased understanding is not a soft skill. It is directly correlated to the results you achieve…or don’t. And it’s a significant factor. This week’s tip is to build emotional capital with people important to you. Avoid taking a withdrawal from people’s emotional bank accounts, and instead,...
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6 Ways to Conquer the Fear of Confrontations

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes.com and provides six ways to conquer fear of confrontation. Whether we like to admit or not, most of us are guilty of avoiding a conversation that we know will be difficult. Excuses enter our heads, like “not wanting to rock the boat,” and we convince ourselves that things will eventually change. Wrong. Whether it is a work conflict or a relationship issue, you owe it to yourself (and the other person) to have the difficult conversation to move the relationship forward. Amy Morin, psychotherapist and Forbes contributor, shares some effective ways of overcoming a fear of confrontation: Identify the problems with being a pushover. It is difficult for someone to change behavior if they do not see how it is negatively affecting them. Writing down all the problems you experience by avoiding confrontation can help you understand the impact it has...
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2 Reminders to Take the Scare out of Your Conversations

There are legitimate reasons to be scared about having some conversations. Let’s be honest - some people do not react well when confronted, regardless of how eloquent and thoughtful you are. Sometimes, certain discussions are not career-enhancing, depending on your colleagues and boss. This is reality. However, what is also reality is that the cost of not having the conversation is much greater than the risk of it going badly.  These needed conversations weigh you down. You know this. Science tells you this. So, here are two tips to overcome the scary nature of some exchanges:  Prepare accordingly.  Whether it is a feedback or confrontation conversation, preparation is key for having the conversation align with your intention. Here at Fierce we teach the preparation piece for various conversations, and oftentimes, people tell us that it is our magic. The goal is to make your conversations authentic and drive the results you want. So,...
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Leadership Tips: Have a Scary Conversation

In the vein of Halloween’s ghosts, gremlins, and other frightening characters, think of something that is equally scary: a conversation you are avoiding. Perhaps it is a conversation with your boss about something she is doing that is not helpful. Or a conversation with a peer about what you are noticing that is not working for him. Or taking it home, maybe it is a conversation with your spouse or family member to discuss something that you do not feel the other is willing to talk about. Ok, do you have that conversation in mind? Does the thought of this conversation make you want to evaporate? Or run out the door? Or go on vacation? If so, that's a good sign. This week’s tip is to stop stalling and have the scary conversation now. Why? Because you own the fear, and the cost of not having the conversation is much...
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How to Design a Corporate Wellness Plan That Actually Works

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review and discusses why so many corporate wellness programs fail, and explains how to create ones that stick. There is a lot of discussion around “wellness programs,” also known as workplace health promotion programs and their effectiveness. A wellness program, like any other company-wide initiative, can only be successful if it is designed and executed properly. Many times, organizations try to pass off a single effort or one-time event as a complete wellness program – these are destined for failure. Employees need follow-up and structure to continue making smart decisions about their health. To figure out what is working, and what isn’t, HBR prepared a report, “From Evidence to Practice: Workplace Wellness that Works.” Hector De La Torre and Ron Goetzel, Ph.D., Harvard Business Review, identified certain trends that led to successful and failed programs. Per Torre and Goetzel, a...
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Common Pitfalls for Managers Building Accountability

Daniel, a young manager, frequently finds himself frustrated that his team is not delivering projects on deadline. He doesn’t know how to fix it, and often uses a repertoire of different tactics to try to combat it. However, it seems that every time someone comes to him with a setback, he validates their reasoning. When asked about his approach, Daniel feels that he is being empathetic – a key trait for successful leaders. It wasn’t that long ago that Daniel was standing in their shoes. When Daniel is listening to his team, he understands the reasoning behind their comments.  There’s truth to the excuses . He finds himself saying things like “Oh, I know the budget isn’t where it should be”.  Or “Oh, I understand we do have a lot of projects on the table.”  His frustration lies in the fact that while the excuses keep coming, the results stay...
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Leadership Tips: Stay Healthy

It is that time of year again in North America. The days are shorter, and you most likely go into the office when it is still dark. And leave when it is dark too. It’s called winter. The seasonal change can often foster reflection and nesting, which are very positive. However, if your office is like Fierce’s headquarters lately, people are battling colds, and the collaborative goal is to keep them from spreading ( easier said than done) . Office health and wellbeing has been a growing topic of focus in the past few years. You can see it from Arianna Huffington’s focus on sleep to the growing revolution of mindfulness to the at-your-fingertips access to personal health, employees are paying attention. The  2016 Consumer Health Mindset Report  reveals that while employees perceive that health and wellness support through their employers has improved — there is still room to grow....
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12 Different Strategies for Dealing with a Boss Who Plays Favorites

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Muse  and provides twelve strategies for dealing with a boss who consistently plays favorites. Whether you have had a boss that played favorites or have witnessed it in some capacity, those managers are out there, and it is important to know how to deal with them. It is human nature to be drawn towards certain people or personalities, but it is up to the individual leader to act in a professional manner and treat all of their direct reports with the same amount of attention and enthusiasm. If you find yourself in a situation like this, it can be damaging on multiple levels. Perception of lower self-worth swirl around with the knowledge that your journey towards promotion may be significantly harder than some of your peers within the organization. Stacey Gawronski, The Muse, offers some steps you can take to navigate...
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3 Steps to Help You Confront Your Boss

Confronting someone is scary . It can be even scarier to confront your boss. Often the anxiety you feel is strong enough to make you want to bury your head in the sand, no matter what the issue. It's understandable to be afraid of confronting your boss. If the conversation goes awry, you may worry that it will put your job at stake. This is, of course, a worst-case scenario. From our experience here at Fierce, we can honestly tell you that this outcome is incredibly rare. More often than not, confrontation conversations lead to positive change. The truth is, how receptive they are to the conversation plays into how successful they will be as a leader and the kind of culture they want to create for the company. There is a lot at stake for everyone—not just you. Despite the intimidation you may feel, avoiding confronting your boss can...
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Leadership Tips: Take Time to Talk with Your Boss

Today is National Boss’s Day, and whether you loathe or admire yours, it’s a good time to reflect on the role this individual plays in your life. There are identified areas that contribute to a healthier employee-boss relationship, and one of them is continuously giving and acting on feedback. A few years ago, we conducted a Fierce Survey exploring employee-supervisor relationships . Eighty percent of respondents who reported a good employee-supervisor relationship claim that the most important thing a boss can do to create a positive working relationship is to both solicit and value their input. Among respondents who claimed to have a poor relationship with their boss, 42 percent stated that one of the top reasons the relationship was strained was due to their boss’ failure to listen or take their input into account. If you do not feel your boss listens or takes your input seriously, it is...
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How to Create Organization Habits That You Will Actually Stick To

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Fast Company and explains how to create organization habits that will stick. Everyone wants to be more organized. Whether it is a constantly overflowing inbox, or that stack of documents on your desk that never seems to dwindle. The issue is finding organizational practices that you can actually sustain in a business world that can be chaotic. Many leaders and business professionals feel there is never enough time in the day, yet they devote little or no time to the biggest time saver available to them: organization. Leo Babauta, Fast Company, offers some tips for forming habits of organization that can last. There are countless options for tools and software to accomplish these various tips, so it is a matter of finding what works best for you and your needs. A few of the habits are: Create a place for everything. Whether...
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Going Deeper with Accountability

Accountability is a huge challenge in business today . The Workplace Accountability Study recently revealed that 82% of respondents have no ability to hold others accountable, but 91% of people rank accountability as one of the top development needs they’d like to see at their organization.  So simply put, we all want accountability, but we feel we don’t have the ability to get it. At Fierce, we’ve worked with thousands of leaders and organizations over the years to help them create the business culture they want and more importantly, need, to get results. We’ve heard leaders describe accountability as culpability, responsibility, wrong doing, and “blame.” In other words, I need to know who to blame if this all goes wrong. And it is true – the majority of people attach some level of fault and blame to the word accountability . Accountability is something that you must choose every day....
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