Posts tagged with “relationships”


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5 Strategies for Effective Self-Care

As a full-time clinician and mother to 3 young children, the term “self-care” always sent me a strong message that I was too self-indulgent when I should be solely focused on the needs of my children and my clients.  So I stopped listening to advice on this subject and I stopped trying. Each time I set a goal in this ...
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Journaling: A Powerful Technique for Stress Reduction and Goal Achievement

I have been journaling for a few years now and it has turned out to be one of the best methods I have ever come across for reducing stress and achieving increased clarity and about goals, relationships and problems. I write longhand in a notebook trying to get onto the page whatever is on my mind at the moment but ...
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Five Tips for Dealing with a Bad Boss

Bad bosses are an unwelcome, but all too common, feature of the American workplace. Work environments have an abundance of stressors, but having a bad boss may be the worst. Consider the fact that approximately 50% of American workers have left their jobs in order to get away from a bad boss. Furthermore, according to Gallup’s 2017 State of the ...
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5 (More) Tips for a Successful Two Career Marriage (Part 2)

According to the Department of Labor, 61.1% of married-couple families in 2016 had both parents working. In my counseling work, and in my role as husband to a working wife, I bear witness daily to the power spouses have to support or undermine their partners. As I enter my 50th year of marriage, still working and still married to a ...
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The Effects of Stress on Employee Health, Engagement and Productivity

It’s not a shocker to learn that a blog with a name like stress.health.business. (inaugurated in 2012) has featured more posts about stress than any other topic. However, you may be surprised to see how many different dimensions there are to the stress/productivity/health relationship. So, as we commence our 6th year of the blog, I have anthologized a diverse sampling ...

The Connection Between Management Talent & Employee Performance

Many organizations try to boost employee productivity by using traditional analytic approaches which focus on strategic planning, goal setting and process efficiency measures. These methods reflect the belief that better systems, planning and processes lead to better employee performance. Other organizations emphasize improving employee benefits, perks, compensation, and schedules as a means to increase productivity. This approach reflects the belief ...

Frontline Managers, People Skills & EAPs: A Winning Formula for Improving Employee Engagement

What happens when you have a winning product and/or business strategy but your managers have poor people skills? Lost opportunity is what happens. Failure to capitalize is what happens. Your business loses is what happens. Even the best business strategies do not implement themselves. They require communication, coordination, alignment, and efficiency. In other words, they require leaders with strong people ...

Faking It: An Essential Management Competency

In our culture, which extols the merits of authenticity and transparency in everything from TED talks about leadership to advertisements for our food, it may seem a bit contrarian to make a case for the virtues of faking it. But I’d like to try.   Suppose you are the manager of a busy gift store at the height of the ...

What You Should Know About Fighting With Your Boss

Work environments have an abundance of stressors, but having a boss who behaves badly may be the worst. The experience of being treated unfairly or rudely is always unpleasant, but when it comes at the hands of someone who has significant power over your income and career it can be devastating. The problem is often compounded by the well-meaning, but ...

Dealing with Negative People at Work

People who have a persistent propensity to complain, find fault and judge others harshly can sap your energy and optimism if you are not careful. One of my EAP clients recently compared the effect of a colleague’s unrelenting negativity to a toxic cloud of second hand smoke: irritating, suffocating, and pervasive. It got me thinking about how challenging it can ...

Seven Resolutions Worth Keeping in 2015

If someone foolishly launched into a litany of excuses and rationalizations around my former colleague Nancy, she loved to proclaim: “If wishes were dishes, the whole world would be a kitchen.” Invariably, she would follow up with an emphatic and melodic: “Woulda! Coulda! Shoulda!”. I was thinking about Nancy when I was assembling this short list of resolutions worth keeping ...

Thanksgiving 2014

        I am thankful for a family that loves me even though I am so reliably imperfect. I am thankful for a profession which allows me to share meaningful moments in the lives of others. I am thankful for the hopeful and excited smile I receive from my granddaughter each time she greets me. I am thankful ...

Employees, Customers, Leadership & Social Media: Lessons from the #MarketBasket Debacle

The current Market Basket saga features product and customer shortages but there certainly is no lack of compelling story lines and business lessons here. The intricate melodrama of the Demoulas’ family feud, the emergence of a rank and file army supporting a fired CEO and the suspense concerning how and when all the complicated elements will be resolved have captured, ...

Six Goals Worth Failing At

“When one aged Zen master was asked to relate his biography, he exclaimed, “Just one mistake after another!”  from Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das. The experience of each day changes us, even those routine days that seem to be nudging us toward nothing in particular. Like water smoothing a stone, the accumulation of daily experiences and choices ...

The Work Week Obstacle Course: Juggling, Interruptions & Stress

Stress is a modern plague responsible for 75% to 90% of all doctor’s office visits. OSHA has declared it a workplace hazard costing American business $300 billion annually. Conventional wisdom blames work, and its toxic stew of constant deadlines, excessive workloads, 24/7 connectivity and globalization, as the primary stressor in contemporary life. However, new research, recently published in the Journal ...

Act Like an Asteroid is Coming Your Way

There is nothing better than an impending disaster to clarify the distinction between the essential and the trivial. When total annihilation is on the horizon no one is wasting any time worrying about whether it’s going to rain this weekend. The standard formula for disaster movies builds upon the stark choices offered by the threat of total calamity. In response ...

Remembering My Friend & Colleague

I met Steve Mellor in the mid-1980’s when he was a young HR professional and I was a green EAP consultant. We bonded immediately as allies and comrades learning to make a place for ourselves in the corporate world. Along the way, we also took time to compare notes on the joys and challenges of being husbands and dads. Later ...

The Difference Between a Tough Boss and a Workplace Bully

Joan Venocchi wrote an op-ed piece in the Boston Globe last week about the curious case of Kelly Greenberg, the embattled head coach of the Boston University woman’s basketball team. It seems that her players just can’t agree on the question of whether she is a bully. Ms. Greenberg has been accused of driving four players to quit this year’s ...

Feedback 101: The Most Important Course You Never Took

“A skilled [feedback] giver is great, but mostly our lives are populated by everyone else, folks who aren’t so skilled, have their own issues, or are too busy to really give us the time we need. If you’re going to take charge of your own learning you’ve got to get good at learning from these people too. A skillful and ...

Strategies for Staying Energized: What I Learned from Winning The Lottery (Part 4)

Last October, I had an opportunity to ask 25,000 strangers five questions concerning their attitudes and feelings about work. Today’s post reviews some of the responses I received to one of those questions: “What are your strategies for balancing the demands of work with those of your personal life?” As you might expect, there is great variability in how people ...

‘Tis the Season to be Civil

I am concerned about the escalating lack of civility that surrounds us in our everyday life. Incivility at work has many different forms. We see everything from the gossiping coworker to the intimidating bully. Then there are the supervisors who take credit for your work but never give credit and the managers who are dismissive and rude and will not ...

The Gift of Great Expectations: (What I Learned About Work By Winning the Lottery: Part 3)

“Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same.” Franz Peter Schubert Today’s post is the third in a series. Part 1 explained how I won the Listserve lottery and earned the prize of polling 25,000 strangers about their feelings about work. Part 2 looked at some of the answers I received ...

Thanksgiving 2013

I am thankful for a family that loves me even though I am so reliably imperfect. I am thankful for a profession which allows me to share meaningful moments in the lives of my clients. I am thankful for the hopeful and excited smile I receive from my granddaughter each time she greets me. I am thankful for public libraries ...

Money Can Buy You Happiness?

If you were to ask a group of people if money can buy you happiness, I expect about half of them would say, “Of course it can” (while speculating on what kind of idiot asks a question with such an obvious answer). I think the other half would be just as convinced in the opposite direction: “Of course it can’t!” ...

Marriage and the Workplace

A few weeks ago the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that Dr. James Knight had a right to fire his dental assistant Melissa Nelson because Dr. Knight’s spouse (based on his admission of an attraction to Ms. Nelson) viewed the relationship as a threat to their marriage. Ms. Nelson, who had been an excellent employee for 10 years, filed a gender ...

Seven Tips for Addressing Conflicts with Coworkers

In my role as an EAP consultant I have a front row seat for observing the damaging effects of workplace conflict on individuals and organizations. Destructive conflicts should not be confused with the constructive process of conflict that often propels creativity and innovation. Constructive conflict is based on a spirited competition of ideas and strategies and aims to improve the ...

Three Grandfathers

I hope that you had a wonderful Father’s Day and were able to share some old memories and perhaps create some new ones as well. Now that I have completed my ascent to that third rung on the generational ladder, I feel a keener appreciation for the lifelong reach of my grandfathers’ influence. My grandfathers, Jack and Sam, had very ...

Seven Tips for Managing Conflicts between Coworkers

When conflict becomes mean spirited and starts including personal attacks, group morale can quickly move to the dark side, the bane of every manager.  Recently I was asked to help two employees resolve a conflict that was having a negative impact on everyone around them.  Routine tasks were still getting done but the tension in the group cast a long ...

A Time To Reconnect With Estranged Family & Friends

This has been a week of strong emotions. The sudden and wanton destruction of lives at the Boston Marathon finish line briefly shattered our sense of safety and compelled us to think about our shared human mortality and vulnerability. We reached out urgently to connect with friends and family members in Boston. Most of us were overjoyed to learn our ...

A Wealth Of Information Creates A Poverty Of Attention

We are increasingly awash in information. The remote gives us faster access to the information on television and Google gives us instantaneous access to the expanding universe of internet based information. Our phones, email and social media give us continuous and real time updates on our friends, family, acquaintances and colleagues. We are buyers and sellers in an information economy. ...

Opiate of the Mrs. – 5 Tips For A Successful Two Career Marriage

In a couple of weeks I will celebrate my 44th wedding anniversary. I’m not bragging. Honestly, I feel lucky that I didn’t screw it up when I think how very young and immature and needy I was at the outset. Like all marriages, mine dodged a few bullets along the way and should be considered a work in progress, but ...

The Kindness Challenge

The signature of Tom Peter’s iconic first book, “In Search of Excellence” was the following 6 words: “Hard is soft. Soft is hard”. He was talking about how “hard” financial numbers can be easily manipulated and “hard” business plans can be nothing more than fabricated flights of fancy. The true hard stuff, he maintains, is something business often undervalues as ...