stressors

Your Top 5 Stressors (And How to Send Them Packing)

Jen Roberts Engagement, Stress

How do you feel most days at work? If you’re like many executives, your first reaction to this question was probably, “Stressed.” That’s unfortunate. And, unfortunately, it’s incredibly common. Where does your stress come from? Usually, we feel that stress comes from out there, and is caused by people and situations. Pressure exists for everyone. We all have deadlines, workloads, and responsibilities to others. It’s not really pressure that causes the pain you feel every day. It’s what your mind does with that pressure that turns it into stress. The truth is that much of your stress is self-inflicted. Yes, you read that right… I hate to break it to you, but you’re probably bringing a lot of this on yourself. You certainly don’t do this to yourself on purpose. Nobody wants to have more stress in their life! It’s often just the byproduct of trying to be a good …

performance reviews

Performance Reviews: From Transactional to Transformational

Jen Roberts Communication, Engagement, Leadership, Productivity, Stress

As a leader, how do you usually feel when the time for performance reviews rolls around? Let’s be honest. Most leaders don’t enjoy the performance review process for several reasons. Usually, they feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of meetings they have to hold in a short period of time. Often these conversations are also tied to employees’ compensation. With many companies making budget cuts these meetings can be tough when you don’t feel like you have much to offer beyond praise. The result is that many leaders end up viewing the performance review process as tedious and time consuming (and it shows). Employees, on the other hand, can fall on both sides of the fence when it comes to performance reviews. Mostly, employees just want a chance to sit down and chat with you, offer up some ideas, and walk away feeling like it’s worth getting up each morning. …

Micro-Management Creates Macro-Problems!

Jen Roberts Engagement, Leadership, Productivity

Micromanager. Just that word alone might make you have a visceral reaction. Along the path of our careers, we’ve all probably encountered the dreaded micromanager. You know, the boss who always seems to be looking over your shoulder, inspecting, controlling, or criticizing everything you do. But have you ever stopped to wonder if you’re one, too? Yikes! Leaders micromanage for lots of reasons, not all of which are to intentionally make your work life difficult (I know this might be hard to believe!) Some of the most common reasons for micromanaging are often well-intentioned but leaders fail to see the negative effects these behaviors bring about. For example, leaders might micromanage because of: Concern about the details of a project (and ultimately feeling responsible) Feeling like they’re the only one who can do a particular task (or perform it best/fastest) Time or performance pressures from others Insecurity about his/her own …

Culture of Recognition

5 Ways to Build a Culture of Recognition (Without Salary Hikes)

Jen Roberts Engagement, Leadership

I have two elementary-aged children who are great students and also play sports. At their age, recognition is a given.  Parents, teachers, and coaches recognize their accomplishments like getting good grades on a test or report card or scoring a goal at the game. Why? To build their self esteem, boost their confidence, and to simply celebrate. Something shifts, however, as we become adults and enter “the real world” and suddenly all that praise comes to a screeching halt.  Do adults not need recognition anymore because they earn a paycheck?  Does your job ever seem like a thankless endeavor? Your employees may feel the same way.  Oftentimes, leaders feel that “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” In other words, as long as everything is going well, there’s no need to point anything out to employees. It’s when problems arise that employees hear about it and the challenges begin. It can certainly …

communication

What You Hear is What you Get: Communication Lessons for Leaders

Jen Roberts Communication, Engagement, Leadership

In business, effective communication is crucial to your success. Most leaders aspire to be viewed as effective, if not eloquent speakers and writers. Leaders are called to communicate in myriad ways every day. You use these skills to resolve conflicts, convey ideas, inspire your team, defend decisions, and hold performance and development conversations, to name a few. When you consider all the ways to become a better communicator, what most likely comes to mind are things like improving your ability to influence and persuade others, being able to “think on your feet” and appear competent and articulate, speaking with ease in front of large groups, or sharing your expertise to garner respect. All of these aspects of communication are concerned with the delivery of your message, regardless of the modality you use. It’s interesting that the most important part of communication (the part that matters to others, anyway) doesn’t require …

communicate

7 Reasons Technology Might Be Hurting The Way You Communicate With Your Team

Jen Roberts Communication, Leadership

How do you typically communicate with your team members? Most leaders use technology as their go-to communication method, which is understandable given the global nature of business. But how effective is communication when technology replaces the human interaction? Many of the subtle nuances of direct communication are lost in translation when leaders rely too heavily on electronic methods of communication such as email, text messaging, and Skype. Just because a message is sent does not ensure receipt or an accurate interpretation of its meaning. And this lack of connection can affect everything from employee engagement to your bottom line. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” ~George Bernard Shaw Click the link below to read my newest Forbes Coaches Council publication that addresses how technology may be hurting your ability to communicate as effectively as you’d like: Seven Reasons Technology Might Be Hurting …

Winning leadership brand

3 Factors to Create a Winning Leadership Brand

Jen Roberts Communication, Engagement, Leadership

When you think of a typical career trajectory, most people start out as individual contributors—the doers of the office—and aspire to getting promoted one day. However, many people don’t CHOOSE to be a leader with intention (they take on the role because it’s the next logical step). Once in a position of power, they often feel they’ve arrived. In leadership, there is no arrival. You’ve probably heard the famous Woody Allen quote, “Eighty percent of success is just showing up.” Have you ever stopped to wonder how you “show up” as a leader? I hear people all the time complaining about their employees’ behaviors: they can’t be trusted, they aren’t good communicators, or they just don’t perform up to par. Here’s the reality: Much of what you see in your environment is a reflection of how you lead, both good and bad. Remember that employees often model the leadership behaviors …