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Grow Your People, Grow Your Business

October 12th, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

I heard a rather startling statistic the other day – since 2010 traffic on Bay Area freeways has increased by 80%. The bad news is that it’s taking longer to get where you’re going. The good news is that people are working – the job market is healthy again. This means that employers can no longer be complacent when it comes to keeping their people.

Let’s talk about how you can get them to stay. Employees need to feel valued, connected, challenged and recognized. They want to use their strengths – every day - and know that they’re contributing to the success of the organization. They also want to have time to spend with their families and/or to pursue interests outside of work. And they want to be fairly compensated for the work they do. It’s not rocket science.

Help your employees feel valued by communicating how their goals align with team and orga..... Read More...

Development, Leadership, learning and development, Professional development

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Are You Leaving Vacation Days on the Table? Don’t!

September 18th, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

I just got back from my annual two-week vacation at the Jersey Shore. It...was...wonderful! I love the work I do, and am so grateful to be able to do this work, and I was ready for some down time to feed my soul. I think we all need to get away once in a while to relax and refresh. Yet it's astounding how many people don't take that opportunity!

In fact, in 2016, more than half of American workers - 54% - left vacation days unused, according to a recent survey by Project: Time Off, who studies American vacation habits. This means that 662 million vacation days were left on the table, and since some of those days had to be forfeited (since they couldn’t be rolled over, banked or paid out) American workers gave up $66.4 billion in benefits in 2016. Seriously?

Here are some more..... Read More...

Health, Jersey shore, Stress, wellness

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Setting Boundaries: Saying “Yes” to Saying “No”

September 7th, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

How many times in the last six months have you said “yes” to something you really didn’t want to do? Or allowed yourself to be burdened with meeting expectations that were unreasonable or out of your control? Or avoided saying something when a person or situation made you uncomfortable? Most of us have been in one or more of these situations at some point. We kick ourselves afterward for acquiescing, yet may rationalize it by the desire to be “seen as a team player,” or, not wanting to “hurt someone’s feelings.” Here’s the problem with this. We teach people how we want to be treated. And when we keep saying “yes” when we’re thinking “no” and don’t set and communicate our limits – our boundaries – people are going to keep asking us, and expecting us, to do things we don’t want to do, or to do more than originally agreed. (Can we say “scope creep?”) ..... Read More...

Health, learning and development, Life, self-awareness, Work-life balance

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Just Because We Don’t Agree, Doesn’t Mean You’re Wrong

September 1st, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

There’s a cartoon about perception that I use in one of my leadership development workshops. It has two men standing at opposite ends of a number – one at the top, and one at the bottom. One man points to the number says “six.” The other man points to the number and says, “nine.” Who’s right?

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Think about the last time you had a heated discussion with someone. (Given our current political climate, this shouldn’t be much of a stretch. Hence the reason I’m covering this topic!) Did you stay firmly rooted on your side “of the number,” or did you pause to walk around to the other side to try to look at it a bit differently? It’s hard, I know. We each live in a world of beliefs we’ve developed based on what we’ve observed, learned and experienced over our lifetime. Yet it’s worth the effort.

In his book, The Fifth Disci..... Read More...

Communication, conflict resolution, Life, wellness

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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 ..... Read More...

Health, Life, Personal development, wellness

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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

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