Friday, September 11, 2015

Summer Reading

I had a tremendous reading summer and have been on a bit of a non-fiction kick.  A few of the books I have read multiple times, they have been so good.

None of these books are career specific.  Each can apply to anyone in any profession and they are worth not only reading but owning.  I have purchased each of these books; they were not advanced copies or even gifts.

Just Listen
Mark Goulston is a psychiatrist with an incredible ability to not only listen but truly hear people.  He opens the book with a story of a hostage negotiator (how is that for a line grab?) and doesn't let up.  This is such a powerful book that I recommend it wherever I go.

The Happiness Advantage Shawn Achor
I borrowed this book from the library.  It was so good that I bought it.  In discussions with friends, we all agree that we aren't crazy about the word "happiness" but his research on happiness (at Harvard, no less) and its impact in the workplace is fantastic.  If you want to know a little more, watch his TED talk. Watch it a couple of times because he 1) talks fast and 2) is so hilarious that you will miss some of his jokes.

Fierce Conversations 
This is an author with whom I was unfamiliar.  I have read the book several times and started the user guide in back.  She outlines conversations, real authentic conversations that include be here, prepared to be nowhere else; obey your instinct; take responsibility for your emotional wake; let silence do the heavy lifting.  (I especially love this one).  I will actually be in conversations and hear in my head, let the silence do the heavy lifting.

If you have time to read and invest in yourself, consider these fantastic books.  

Thursday, July 30, 2015

book review - Changing the Conversation

This review is LONG overdue.  For many reasons but mainly due in part because I have read it three times.

The full title is Changing the Conversation: The 17 Principles of Conflict Resolution by Dana Caspersen.

The first page is so good that I copied it and put it up in my office.  The author outlines the anti-principles of conflict and the principles of resolution.  In the principles of resolution, she divides it into three areas: facilitate listening and speaking, change the conversation, and look for ways forward.

The book is full of useful tips, stories, and ideas along with practical ways to practice.  And awesome advice like, "if you are making things worse, stop."

I laughed out loud at this. Because sometimes, we do make it worse.

Along with great content, the book is also beautifully designed.  And sometimes, she doesn't use capital letters and that makes me love the book even more.

This book is a keeper.  I was provided an advanced copy free of charge but it's so good that I recommend it without any hesitation.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The neurobiology of trauma

For international women's day, here is the opportunity for education.  Our brains change during trauma.  This is worth all 90 minutes.  Every single minute.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Good questions

After a wonderful summer off from blogging, here I am. I had wonderful down time. Went to a LEAN conference. Read some great books. Sat on the beach.

Now I am back at it.

One of my favorite podcasts is the Andy Stanley Leadership podcast.  It's fabulous.

In one of his previous podcasts, he discussed permission-giving questions.  These are the questions he  asks his employees:

1. What are you most excited about right now?
2. What do you wish you could spend more time on?
3. What's most challenging? Generally a systems problem.
4. Anything bugging you? Home, person, etc
5. What can I do to help you?

Simple yet great questions.

I get a few inquiries from readers and just people in general asking what questions are good questions to ask a supervisor. Especially a supervisor that doesn't give much feedback.  These are my favorites:

What do you want me to keep doing?
What do you want me to start doing?
What do you want me to stop doing?

Simple yet great questions.

Give 'em a try!

Friday, May 23, 2014


What do you make?  It's such a personal question and when I see the question on job postings and application requirements, it makes me seethe.  A little. Or more than a little.

I say one human resources position that required a complete salary history for every position listed on the resume.  Those not including salary histories would not be considered.

What the?

  < rant >

Here is the thing.  What I make is absolutely none of your business.  You aren't entitled to know my salary history nor do you have any right to ask me what I make now.

If you, human resources people, make it a requirement to provide, you are saying a lot.  About you. The word that comes to mind is lazy.

What I expect of good employers is to conduct compensation studies, evaluate market conditions, and  offer fair salaries.  It's not that hard.  Lots and lots of professional organizations can help with salary surveys.

Quit expecting job applicants to do your work for you.

< /rant >