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Stop Multitasking! It’s Bad for Your Health

August 9th, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

Let’s face it. There’s a lot of information and activity out there. So much, in fact, that it’s impossible to keep up with it all. And yet we try. Like bees seeking pollen, our attention flits from task to task, from email to phone call, from text to Twitter, from LinkedIn to Facebook and back again at a dizzying rate throughout the day.  Heaven forbid that we should miss something. This “fear of missing out,” or FOMO, is creating an army of multitaskers and adrenaline junkies who are stressed and, well, not as productive as they think they are.

Let’s talk about FOMO and the sheer volume of content some are trying to keep up with. A daunting task indeed. According to statistics from Micro Focus, Internet activity in 2016 included:

-More than 350,000 Tweets per minute

-400 hours of new video on YouTube per minute

-3 million Facebook posts per minute

-4 million .....

Health, Life, Personal development, wellness


As a speaker and facilitator, I need to be able to think on my feet. You just never know when a question or comment or situation will pop up out of the blue and require a speedy response. Some years ago, I took an Improv class for the purpose of honing that skill. And just recently, I took another one - at BATS Improv (Bay Area Theater Sports) in San Francisco – to refresh it. Not only was it a lot of fun and personally rewarding, it got me thinking. The principles of improv can benefit everyone. In business and in life.

And guess what? I’m apparently not the only one who thinks this! Some top tier business schools are now teaching improv classes in their MBA programs, including Duke, MIT, UCLA, and Stanford. A Fast Company article explained..... Read More...

Communication, Life, Personal development


Year of Possibilities: Let’s Check In

July 12th, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

Earlier this year I declared 2017 the “Year of Possibilities” and I challenged you, dear readers, to keep your eyes, ears, and heart open for wonderful possibilities that might be in store. And if you’ll recall, I also challenged you to set a goal around a possibility that you wanted to turn into reality. By June 30, 2017.

So. June 30, 2017 has come and gone. How are we doing on that goal? Did you achieve it? Did you forget about it? Did another wonderful possibility you weren’t expecting overtake it?

If you forgot about it, I suggest that you set aside a couple of hours to think about something you want to achieve (a possibility that you want to turn into reality) and use this template to create an effective goal:

Step 1: Create a SMART Goal: Specific, Measura.....

Goal setting, Life, Personal development, Possibilities

Take a Hike, Take a Cruise, Take a Vacation!

June 2nd, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

The average American worker earns 22.6 days in vacation. Yet in 2016, they only used an average of 16.8 days, leaving 662 million vacation days on the table.

I find this amazing. We need our R&R, people!

Why are US workers so reluctant to use their vacation time? A survey by GfK, who studies American workers and time off, found the following:

26% worry they’ll be seen as less dedicated

23% worry that they’ll be replaced

21% worry that they’ll hurt their chances for a raise or promotion

But here’s the thing. In a comparison of vacation takers and vacation forfeiters, GfK found that:

“Employees who forfeit their vacation days do not perform as well as those who use all their time. While they may believe sacrificing vacation time will get them ahead, these employees are less likely th..... Read More...

Health, Jersey shore, Life, wellness, Work-life balance


Giving New Leaders a Strong Start

May 25th, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

Imagine yourself in the shoes of someone who has just been promoted to their first leadership role. This may have been you some years ago. Or perhaps you are early in your career and it’s something you aspire to. Either way, chances are you felt/would feel: excited, proud, curious, and maybe just a tad bit…anxious. What’s expected of me? What will change? Will I succeed? How…do…I…lead?

As I discussed in my last blog, Sink or Swim is Not Leadership Development, all too often new leaders are thrown into the role and left to their own devices for answers to these questions. Expectations are not clarified until the unspoken goes unmet. No preparation for the change in peer relationships and broader accountability. And the answer to “how do I lead?” usually becomes, “the way I..... Read More...

Leadership, leadership development, learning and development, New leaders

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Sink or Swim is Not Effective Leadership Development

May 17th, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

Organizations spend a fair amount of their corporate training dollars on leadership development. And the biggest chunk goes toward senior leaders and executives, instead of to those who need it most -  first time, frontline leaders. All too often these new leaders are put in a “sink or swim” situation as they try to navigate the transition from individual contributor to people leader.

A survey of HR leaders and practitioners conducted by the Human Capital Institute (HCI) found that “the sink or swim mindset toward new managers is ubiquitous.” Although 96% of respondents said that frontline managers are vital to driving business success, only 48% felt that their organizations adequately invested in frontline manager development.

In an article for Harvard Business Review, author.....

Leadership, learning and development, New leaders

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