Personal Mastery

High Quality Connections

High Quality Connections

Building Relationships With Only 5 Minutes to Spare

You walk into work and immediately begin contemplating the overwhelming number of tasks you have to accomplish that day. After grabbing a quick cup of coffee, you sit at your desk and start to tackle your to-do list. With a never ending supply of emails and a bucket list of time sensitive deliverables, taking the time to make small talk with your co-workers seems out of the question...  

The Power of Grit

The Power of Grit

The New Variable That Might Be Just as Important as Intelligence

We all have accomplishments in our lives that we are particularly proud of - moments that helped to define and shape us as individuals.  But why do we feel proud of those accomplishments?  More likely than not, it isn’t because they were things that came easy for us, and each accomplishment probably didn’t happen all in one day. For me, some of my proudest accomplishments occur when I am rock climbing...

Relational Savvy

Relational Savvy

Using Your Network to Rise to the Top

Are you reaching your growth and development goals at work? Is your career advancing at the pace you would like it to? For many people, the answer to these questions is a resounding no. They are disappointed time and again as they are passed up for promotions in favor of external candidates who are assumed to be better equipped for the challenge. Fortunately, this does not have to be the case.

Fairness

Fairness

Fair Treatment Cultivates a Sense of Belonging

Think of the last time you felt really mad. What was it about? Chances are, you experienced some type of injustice. In fact, most people’s top response to what makes them angry in life and at work is ‘unfair treatment’ (Törestad, 1990). There is a place for directed anger that can inspire action to make necessary change. But generally, it’s nice to work in a place that doesn’t make you frustrated daily.  

Self-Efficacy Boost

Self-Efficacy Boost

Pump Yourself Up: Self-Efficacy and Performance

Over the years of learning about psychology in the workplace there were two constructs that I had a hard time differentiating from one another: self-efficacy, and self-confidence. Self-efficacy is an individual’s belief that he or she can or cannot accomplish a specific task or goal (Bandura, 1977) Self-Confidence, on the other hand, is an individual’s overall self-evaluation regarding the entirety of the knowledge, skills, and abilities he or she has in a variety of different situations (Stajkovic & Luthans, 1979)...

The Michelangelo Phenomenon

The Michelangelo Phenomenon

Bringing Out the Best in One Another

"Because of you, I can feel myself slowly but surely becoming the me I have always dreamed of being." -Tyler Knott Gregson

Although we may read the quote above and think it’s something only felt between the two main characters of a romance film, research has actually found this to be a true experience known as the Michelangelo Phenomenon. 

Wisdom

Wisdom

The Meta-Strength

Actions speak louder than words. Or is it, the pen is mightier than the sword? Look before you leap. Or is it, she who hesitates is lost? Too many cooks spoil the broth. Or is it, many hands make light work? Countless moments I have echoed these proverbs while contemplating situations of hostility, teamwork, and commitment. We counsel a sensible proverb in time of need, yet seldom is there a correct prescriptive how-to that enables the perfect solution to the complex problems of life.

 

The Myth of Individualism

The Myth of Individualism

Are You Too Self-Reliant?

In our society, we generally ascribe to the cultural belief that success or failure is a direct result of our own individual efforts and abilities (Baker, 2000, p.2). In fact, many of us pride ourselves on being independent and self-reliant, proud of not needing anyone or anything to help us get to the top, wherever that may be. Consequently, many of us may perceive asking for help as a weakness...

Rethinking Mentorship

Rethinking Mentorship

Your Most Effective Mentor May Be the Least Like You (From the Outside)

Take a second to think about an effective mentoring relationship. This can be something you have seen in a movie, or one you have taken part in yourself. Perhaps it was a formal mentoring program through school or work, or even an informal relationship with a coworker. What pops into your head when you think of mentor and protégé similarity? For many, it is age, race, or gender. Surely, these characteristics are responsible for objective similarity, and influence perceived similarity, right? Actually, research has proven that these characteristics are not key predictors of perceived similarity between mentor and protégé...

Power Posing

Power Posing

The Key to Success May Be in a One Minute Exercise

If you are feeling particularly vulnerable at work due to a daunting presentation or an otherwise difficult task, you may want to follow the advice of researcher Amy Cuddy and embrace what she calls power posing. Power posing refers to maintaining a posture that connotes strength and power, with body language signifying openness and confidence...

Detoxify Relationships at Work

Detoxify Relationships at Work

Re-crafting Your Job Description and Your Relationships

Have you ever worked with people who have an uncanny ability to quickly form deep and lasting bonds with the people they work with? To the rest of us it seems like some sort of magic. What’s their trick? Cookies? Compliments? Christmas Cards? Most people, at least sometimes, struggle with work relationships that are tainted with mistrust, undermining, and exclusionary behavior. Bad relationships not only hurt, but they also waste time and resources and while distracting us from doing our best work and advancing our careers...

Your Support Routine

Your Support Routine

Tailoring Your Support for Others to the Circumstances

You may pride yourself on your ability to support your family, friends, and colleagues in times of need, or propel them to new heights in times of growth and opportunity. But with so many things to juggle in your own life, you may occasionally find yourself running on “autopilot” when you should be listening, learning, and shaping your support to the situation at hand...

Reviving Trust

Reviving Trust

Bouncing Back After a Mistake

You have just made a mistake at work. You’re embarrassed. Your supervisor knows you’ve screwed up. Your mind starts racing—you have lost all trust with your supervisor, you’ll never get that promotion, and now you’ll be labeled “the screw up." Before you consider the idea of quitting your job and traveling to South America to avoid the reality of a minimally damaged work relationship, you can use this opportunity to build yourself. You have the potential to take action, rekindle trust, and perhaps rationally plan a backpacking vacation while keeping your job.

Friendship in the Workplace

Friendship in the Workplace

Can Friends Buffer Us Against Burnout?

It is of no surprise that when the demands we feel at work are not met with the necessary resources to accomplish our tasks, we feel anxious, stressed, and are more likely to reach burnout. The impact of job demands on levels of burnout are powerful, and in these cases it’s important that we know where to turn in an attempt to buffer these effects. Fortunately, according to the buffer hypothesis, the negative effects of high job demands on well-being can be moderated by a variety of resources, one of them being social support and high-quality relationships (Bakker & Demerouti, 2007).

Strength-Based Interventions

Strength-Based Interventions

Putting Your Strengths to Use

Engaging one’s strength at work has surprising benefits for personal well-being and also productivity (Haszer & Ruch, 2015). Our strengths are salient aspects of who we are, showing themselves in our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in various contexts. Additionally, capitalizing on our strengths at work can support us in achieving positive outcomes in the workplace (Quinlan, Swain, Vella-Brodrick, 2012).  

Strengths Bring Direction

Strengths Bring Direction

Finding Direction Through your Strengths

I remember the first time I took a strengths assessment. I initially looked at the list of potential strengths and selected the ones I identified with most deeply.  I thought I might have a good sense of what I was good at. I must know myself pretty well, right? 

Wrong. My top strength was completely unexpected. It had to be a glitch. How could this assessment have picked up on something I didn’t see? Was it wrong? Was I wrong?

Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset

Believing That You Can Grow To Meet Your Challenge

Imagine your most embarrassing moment of all time. Re-live it for a moment, savoring that stomach-clenching sensation of what felt like mortification at the time...

When I arrived in Spain last fall to pursue a job teaching English, I soon became acutely aware that the potential for such a moment lurked around every corner.  Even the most innocuous exchange with my neighborhood supermarket cashier meant an opportunity to commit a cultural faux pas, language gaffe, or otherwise make a fool out of myself...

Know Thyself

Know Thyself

From Knowing to Doing

The ancient Greek principle of “Know Thyself” is only significant as long as you actually use the knowledge you gain about yourself. Knowing your strengths but not putting them to use is like owning a car but not knowing how to drive...