Make Way for More Coaching in Your Culture

Posted by Cathy Reilly on Feb 7, 2017 9:00:00 AM

iStock_Coach wcredit.jpgDuring one of my job transitions, I went from a 30-person local firm to a 5,000+ employee-sized global company. It was an adjustment to say the least. I was hired by Debbie S., my new manager. Although we had an immediate rapport during the interview process, little did I know how lucky I was to have landed with Debbie as my manager. It turned out that Debbie spoke to me a lot on a regular basis, she was accessible, she provided guidance and readily shared valuable insights and knowledge with me. It’s one of the best work experiences I’ve ever had in my career. At the time, I didn’t term it as such, but she was my coach.

One of the predictions this year is that coaching inside companies will spread. Human Resources can help make way to creating a coaching culture by helping managers become better coaches. What’s propelling this trend?

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Topics: Management, Human Resources, Coaching

4 Simple Questions to Help You Conquer Work Interruptions

Posted by Cathy Reilly on Jan 12, 2017 9:22:39 AM

iStock-stress free interruptions blog 510231582.jpgPaying attention is essential to getting anything done, but it’s tough when your attention is constantly interrupted. Quoting Susan Cain from her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking “Another study, of 38,000 knowledge workers across different sectors, found that the simple act of being interrupted is one of the biggest barriers to productivity.”

Unfortunately, it seems like interruptions are multiplying exponentially in our hyper-connected world. Phone calls, voicemails, emails, text messages, unexpected visitors, impromptu meetings and minor emergencies disrupt our focus. Our attention spans are short enough, 8.25 seconds in fact, per the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. That’s less than a goldfish, who averages 9 seconds!

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Topics: Management, Human Resources

See What Happens When You Clean Up Your Work Desk

Posted by Cathy Reilly on Dec 8, 2016 9:04:38 AM

Clean Desk image w credit.jpg

Workplace disorder has its roots in a very familiar place. Your desk. Now a messy desk all on its own does not create chaos, nor is a messy desk a sure sign someone isn’t productive or successful. But, desktop clutter has a way of desensitizing your sense of organization. It reinforces the bad habit of having to search for what you need, and a “digging through the weeds” type routine. And desk disarray can lead to a bigger problem: clutter creep.

Clutter is a sneaky creature. It has a way of creeping and spreading into other areas. Before you know it, if you’re not careful, clutter has crawled into your projects, communications, processes and relationships at work to prevent you from getting work done in simple, effective and organized ways.

Want to bring order to your workplace? Start with merely cleaning up your desk. You might not be able to change things as you like at work, but you are in control of your desk. After all, that messy desk could be holding you back, generating clutter that spreads further than you realize, and slowing your progress. Decluttering it can become a metaphor for clearing your brain and your life. It can indicate a new start and readiness to change. It's a shot of empowerment and motivation right at your fingertips.

Here are 8 places where you can create order instead of spreading clutter:

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Topics: Management

The Magic of “Thank You” in the Workplace

Posted by Cathy Reilly on Nov 22, 2016 9:00:00 AM

iStock thank you bubble.jpgThe American tradition of Thanksgiving has its roots in the first simple meal that 50 English men and women and 90 Native Americans shared together in the fall of 1621 in New Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Pilgrims were not celebrating their abundance. They were simply grateful that they had barely survived their first crucial year in the Americas.  Since then Thanksgiving has become deeply embedded in the American psyche.  It reminds all Americans that we are a grateful people. It also shows the value that we attribute to a simple expression of gratitude.

While we readily give thanks to friends and family we rarely express it in the one place it can be most helpful. The workplace.

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Topics: Management


Posted by Cathy Reilly on Sep 8, 2016 12:00:00 PM

BLOG_POST_IMAGE.jpgIf you’re not a fan of HGTV’s show ‘Fixer Upper’ set in Waco, Texas, most likely it means that you just haven’t watched it yet. Once you do, you’ll easily see why it’s one of, if not . . . the most popular show on HGTV and continues to break viewership records.

The show’s stars, Chip and Joanna Gaines work with a different client couple in each weekly episode to not only find them a great fixer upper home, but to then transform it into one of the best on the block inside and out. Their joy and talent in what they do is not only obvious, it’s infectious. And, their work product is outstanding. From an HR perspective, the couple has gotten a lot exactly right about how they perform their jobs that can be applied all day long in human resources.

Here are 5 reasons why:

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Topics: Management


Posted by Cathy Reilly on Aug 24, 2016 12:00:00 PM

8.24.16_blog_boy_w.mask_for_boost_employee_willpower_325x216_iStock_84649983_SMALL_1.jpg“Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

We love our “can-do” slogans. While they may provide that spark of positivity that helps us keep going, how far will they really take us on their own?

Here’s the reality.

Willpower tires easily, like a muscle. You usually can’t change your behavior simply by resolving to do something. If that were true New Year’s resolutions would actually work.

It’s not that can-do thinking is bad. It just that it can only take you to the point where you “can’t do”. Then help is needed. As a manager or HR professional dealing with the people side of organizations, you need to understand how to give this kind of help to employees.

Tasked with daily responsibilities and deadlines, employees are often asked to do more, and to do so with less. Sometimes it’s best NOT to ask more from your employees, but to focus instead on making it easier for them to do their work.

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Topics: Management

Great Coaches Know How to Do This One Essential Thing

Posted by Cathy Reilly on Aug 10, 2016 8:00:00 AM


Jonas Salk said, “What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question.” In other words, “Good questions lead to better answers.”

Ask, don’t tell. 

A great coach builds a habit of asking questions. They also think less of what a habit can do for them, and more about how the new habit will help the people they care about. 

In the workplace, managers and leaders knowingly or not, are coaching. They love to give advice. That’s how they’re programmed. Managers have spent years delivering advice and getting promoted and praised for it. They believe it’s their job to tell employees what to do, even compliant ones. This generally doesn’t work for the simple reason people don’t like being told what to do. It neither inspires nor engages. 

Managers need to change their coaching habit from telling to asking. 

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Topics: Management


Posted by Cathy Reilly on Jul 27, 2016 1:40:56 PM

Winston Churchill said, “We shape our buildings and thereafter they shape us.” 

The same applies to habits. Form a habit, and it begins to form you, for better or for worse.

Habits are where our lives and careers and bodies are made. If you want to change, change your habits.

What is a habit? It’s doing one thing consistently and repeatedly until it changes your behavior. Crash diets don’t work because they don’t change habits. No, the way to get in shape is to go to the gym every single day. Do that for a month and you will start doing something that might begin to change your life. “Exercise spills over,” said James Prochaska, a University of Rhode Island researcher. “There’s something about it that makes other habits easier.” One shift in a daily habit might mean a reinvention of how you see yourself. 

What’s true for people is true for organizations. You build a good organization with good habits. If an organization wants to change its employee’s habits, it must first change its own.

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Topics: Management

How To Inspire Females To Have The Courage To Be Leaders

Posted by Cathy Reilly on Mar 2, 2016 8:30:00 AM

woman_leader_istock_79262801_image.jpgHome-making is no longer the predominant occupation for women. Gone are the days of checkered aprons and ironing board resumes. Women now make up 46.8 percent of the workforce, according to the Current Population Survey from the The Bureau of Labor Statistics by the United States Department of Labor.

The fact that women make up nearly half of the workforce is a concrete improvement from the past. However, when it comes to leadership, women have margins to grow considering only 39.2 percent of women in the workforce are in management positions.

Many Americans believe that there should be more female leaders. In fact, 1,835 adults said that women are more compassionate and organized than men and equally as honest, intelligent, ambitious and decisive, according to 2015 ​Women and Leadership​ report by Pew Research Center.

There is no reason why women cannot be in more leadership positions, however, there are a number of factors affecting their opportunity in those roles. Here are four ways companies can help women become leaders:

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Topics: Management

How to Make Your Slacker Employee an All-Star

Posted by Cathy Reilly on Feb 3, 2016 8:30:00 AM

AndreyPopov;iStockYou’ve just about had it with the office slacker. She’s not really lousy at her job, but she doesn’t seem to care about it. She gets the work done, but she always takes shortcuts and her performance isn’t what you expect. In fact, her tendency to take the easy way out is catching on with the rest of the team.

But what if I told you that your slacker employee may not be a slacker at all? What if she is just not getting what she needs out of you to reach her full potential? 

Only 31.5 percent of U.S. employees are engaged, according to a 2014 Gallup survey of more than 8,000 working adults. But, when you look beneath the surface, employers and managers have a direct effect on employee productivity, whether it’s the environment they provide or how they motivate and guide employees.

Therefore, to make any slacker employee an all-star worker, you have to be sure employees have what they need to succeed.

Here are four ways to improve employee productivity and engagement:

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Topics: Management