July 28, 2017 / Articles We Like / Stress / Work-Life Integration

On “How to Deal with a Boss Who Stresses You Out”

We’ve all had issues with a toxic boss at one point or another, but consistently dealing with a bad leader can make going to work each morning a stressful task.

In his recent Harvard Business Review article, “How to Deal with a Boss Who Stresses You Out,” Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic shares some practical coping strategies for managing your boss’s dark side. Ultimately, even Dr. Chamorro agrees that the only sure way to stay on the good side of a volatile boss is by being an indispensable and valuable resource.

What do you think of his recommendations?

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April 7, 2015 / Leadership

Ask Mariposa | Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Andrea asks: I’ve been working in my industry for about 18 years and have aspirations for advancement. I joined my current company 9 months ago in my position as a mid-level manager. I was excited to join and hit the ground running. Soon after I started, I learned that the CEO was stepping down. An interim CEO was named until a permanent replacement could be found.  Eventually the company hired an external leader, and as it turns out, I know this person from a previous development program we were in together and am not impressed. I would prefer to work in a company with a CEO I can learn from. Our new leaders are young, untested, and in my opinion, unprepared for the realities of some of the systemic challenges among the staff. I have opportunities for a lateral move with other companies but am not sure if I should leave after just one year in position. I’m also concerned that my chances for advancement will be hindered with this new leader. What advice do you have for me?

Sue Bethanis, CEO, responds:

Thanks for your question, it’s a good one, and one we hear often. It is also a hard question to respond to without a little bit more context, because it is certainly not a black and white situation.  There are many things to weigh before you would choose to leave.  Here are some questions to think about:

  1. Are you set in your opinion about the CEO? For example, are there one or two things you could learn from him/her? What are some things you could possibly learn from each other?
  2. How long has the CEO been in the position, and could you give him/her 90 days to see if he/she hits the ground running in the positive way you didn’t expect?
  3. If you do want to leave, is the leaving after one year an issue for you because it will look like you’re jumping around? Instead of worrying too much about that, try focusing on doing everything you can to ensure you are supporting the current company in its efforts to succeed and the company is supporting you.
  4. As a mid-level manager, I am assuming you aren’t reporting directly to the new CEO, and instead reporting to someone else. If this is the case, and you have a good working relationship with your manager, this is golden, and I suggest putting more weight on that.

I hope the questions I have posed are helpful to you. Happy to discuss further offline.  Good luck to you!

 

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July 3, 2014 / Coaching Skills

The Art of Receiving Feedback

Recently I wrote about the importance of giving feedback to your direct reports and others—openly, candidly and in a way that’s actionable for them. I think 50% of the feedback equation rests on the side of managers, who have to be willing and skilled in giving it.  Today I want to share a few tips on the other 50% of the equation: how to ask for and receive feedback.  How you receive feedback helps set the tone for your whole team.

  • Ask for feedback more than once a year
  • Listen to the feedback with everything you’ve got
  • Clarify the feedback
  • Say thank you

To read more, visit the Sierra Leadership blog.

 

About the Author:

Eric Nitzberg, M.T.S., is the Principal of Sierra Leadership and an Executive Leadership Coach at Mariposa Leadership, Inc. Visit his blog.

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May 30, 2014 / Coaching Skills

Saving Your Job

Sometimes I coach leaders who are afraid they are at risk of being fired.  They may have good evidence to support this. For example, they may have just been transferred to a different department or moved to a more junior position; or they may have gotten direct feedback from their boss, HR, or others that there is a problem with their performance.  They may also just “Have a feeling.”  If this sounds like you, here are a few tips:

  1. Find out what your most important stakeholders want you to do differently.
  2. Write down your goals for change.
  3. Do your very best to work on the areas your stakeholders care about.
  4. Look for other ways to shift perception.
  5. Stay positive and take care of yourself.

To read more on these tips, visit the Sierra Leadership blog.

 

About the Author:

Eric Nitzberg, M.T.S., is the Principal of Sierra Leadership and an Executive Leadership Coach at Mariposa Leadership, Inc.  Visit his blog.

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February 18, 2014 / Coaching Skills / Leadership

The Introvert CEO

Michael asks: I was just named CEO of a small software startup company. I have a fairly introverted personality and realize this new role will require me to move more out of my comfort zone. Any tips?

Therese Tong, PCC, Executive Leadership Coach, responds:

Congrats!

Let’s start with a few assumptions around how your introversion might be showing up:

  • Telling yourself you cannot handle certain situations or leadership roles as well as an extrovert
  • Wanting to say something but not finding the words in the moment
  • Feeling that you need to be more at ease with all the networking and external conversations that come with being CEO

Reasons For and Motivation
Remember the reasons that motivated you to take this role. To make a bigger impact in the company’s success? In the industry? In people’s lives? Every time you catch yourself hesitating or worrying about stepping ‘out of my comfort zone’ – shift your thinking from ‘my comfort zone’ to these motivations and to the ‘others’ involved. See your desired outcome and take the step.

What you are doing here is observing your interpretation

[thinking, head] about an action, retraining your mind to focus differently and also getting in touch with the motivation [feeling, heart] that propels action [will, body].

Use the Gifts of Introverts
As an introvert, you have insight and have thought through issues with clarity and depth. Perhaps you are not as gregarious as the extrovert in selling your idea but you care about others and have great support with close friends and colleagues. From this foundation of insight and care, give voice to your thoughts and what you believe can happen. You can also use your gift of curiosity – when struggling for something to say in a social situation, just get curious and ask a question.

Return to Now
In a room full of too many people – imagine yourself talking to one person in the room, feel the connection you have with this one person; gently and slowly include two, three, four … other people in your dialogue. If you notice any discomfort or anxiety arising, take a deep breath, wiggle your toes. Return to the here and now – your body and the one person you want to share this idea with. Returning to the sense you have in your body, for example, your breath or wiggling your toes can be practiced anytime, especially when stepping out of your comfort zone.

Set Expectations and Allow Quiet Time
As CEO you will have a schedule full of conversations, big and small. For your sanity, you will need to protect adequate quiet time to decompress and reflect. Be clear with your administrative assistant, your direct reports and/or family at home that you must carve out alone time in order to thrive.

Give the above a try and let us know how it has helped you be more courageous to step into some different actions.

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January 31, 2014 / Articles We Like

On "Customer Experience: How To Manage What You Don’t Own"

This article by Erik Long & Will Carter resonates because many businesses today rely on a complex web of external partnerships to deliver value for the customer. While external partnerships are often not within an organization’s direct control, certainly they can be influenced – and they must be – as they are part of the ecosystem delivering on the organization’s brand promise.

The CMO.com article Customer Experience: How to Manage What You Don’t Own shares insights and tips that leaders can apply across all aspects of business, from marketing to human resources, to improve the customer experience. Read it now.

What actions are you taking to identify and influence your company’s unowned touch points? What tools have you used like journey mapping? What other tools do you use to capture and understand your customers’ experience?

Comment below! Or pose a question via Ask Mariposa.

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January 29, 2014 / Design Thinking / Creativity / Innovation / HR / Talent Management

How Design Thinking Changes the Way HR Implements Programs

Most HR professionals understand the pitfalls of implementing an HR program. To circumvent failure, HR professionals often conduct a needs assessment to inform direction, maybe conduct a pilot program, and then move to implement when given a “thumb’s up.”

A design thinking mentality shifts that. Whether designing a product, service or experience, the core principle behind the success of design thinking is “fail fast.” For HR professionals, this changes how “buttoned up” your program will be before piloting, or even before rolling it out.  The point is to test the program and via observation and feedback, gather data on an ongoing basis to continue to improve.  Why do this?  Because “customer-driven” programs are the most successful.

To innovate the way you implement HR and Talent Management programs, join us in our new Using Design Thinking in HR & Talent Management workshop

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January 2, 2014 / Book Reviews

Book Review | Solving Problems with Design Thinking: Ten Stories of What Works

solving problems w DTSolving Problems with Design Thinking:  Ten Stories of What Works
By Jeanne Liedtka, Andrew King & Kevin Bennett

Head: (5 out of 5)
Heart: (4 out of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (5 out of 5)

Design thinking is a creative problem solving method, which emphasizes the importance of discovery before solution using user-driven, empathetic market research approaches and real-world experiments. This method expands the boundaries of problem definition and solution generation, making it a novel approach for organizations to use for solving business problems. However, outside of the design environment, where design thinking is the norm, most leaders need an understanding of how to apply it to problems that are not product-focused.

The ten stories featured in this book showcase how design thinking works to produce innovative solutions to challenges such as internal process redesign, deepening customer engagement and addressing social issues. As a blueprint, these stories illustrate processes and tools used. The authors build on the work of Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie’s Designing for Growth, to offer a clear path for implementation.

Leaders interested in using more innovative methods to solve sticky business problems will want to read this book. Buy it now.

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December 21, 2013 / Articles We Like

On: "4 Essential Ingredients in Consumer Storytelling"

We share this article by Diane Hessan because businesses that use narrative to communicate consumer stories can create real meaning for employees and decision makers, inspiring them to action by altering perceptions and assumptions.  Storytelling is a synthesis of all sources of customer information, not just one person’s account, however inspiring, and offers insights to help businesses move in the right direction.

In the inc. article, “4 Essential Ingredients in Consumer Storytelling,” the author outlines four key ingredients for creating consumer stories that resonate:

  1. Get personal and build relationships.
  2. Plan deliberately and explore from different angles.
  3. Use human intuition to find the story that matters.
  4. Evoke emotions that inspire action.

Read more about these ingredients now.

What actions have you been inspired to take as a result of consumer narratives?

Comment below! Or pose a question via Ask Mariposa.

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September 5, 2013 / Coaching Skills

Learn the Skills of “Assess” for Effective Leadership Team Development

Developing your leadership team is best done through effective and frequent coaching. We recently shared two ways rapport benefits leadership team development through coaching.  And establishing rapport is the critical first step in our In-The-Moment Coaching model.   So what happens next?

Understand the problem that needs solving.  This occurs in the “Assess” step in our In-The-Moment (ITM) Coaching model.  Here are three reasons leaders who learn the skills of Assess are highly effective at leadership team development through ITM Coaching.

  • They understand they aren’t on point to solve the problem.  Assess is exploring another person’s perspective on a situation in order to understand the current frame and uncovering the most important problem that needs solving right now.  Once it’s uncovered, the leader’s job is to help him/her arrive at a solution to address it.  This is “teaching others to fish,” which boosts the level of motivation, accountability, and engagement in taking action.
  • They open up thinking with strategic questions.  The key to successfully assess is through the use of open-ended questions.  Leaders who allow open-ended questions to emerge from a place of curiosity rather than a defined set of questions receive more information that helps them set the problem.
  • They pick up on nuances by staying present.  In Assess, the leader’s job is not only to ask questions and listen, but to notice how the situation is being described, the other person’s reaction to it and motivations.   Specifically, they are listening for specific word usage that implies constraints on thinking and views on others.  By staying present in the conversation, leaders are able to pick up on these cues, ask the right questions and quickly set the most important problem that needs solving.

Successful leadership team development through ITM Coaching relies on learning how to stay in Assess versus solving others’ problems for them. For more tips to help you do this and other how-to’s on ITM Coaching, download the free Executive Guide to In-The-Moment Coaching.

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