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Possibilities Abound as Baby Boomers Retire

February 13th, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

A few years back, when the first baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) began to reach retirement age, there was much written about the impending brain drain as boomers left the workforce. How would we transfer their knowledge? Who would step up to be leaders? Companies were advised to quickly put succession plans in place. And then…the economy tanked and boomers stayed in place and the crisis seemed averted.  Now, however, another wave of boomers has hit the mark and concern is bubbling up again.

A cover story last month in the San Francisco Business Times entitled, “From Boomers to Bust?” suggested that “the pace of retirements among baby boomers is about to explode, and it has big consequences for the Bay Area Economy and its workforce.” The impact will be felt more in the Bay Area, the article says, because in addition to the population being older in the re..... Read More...

Career planning, Possibilities, Professional development

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From Possibility to Reality – Creating Effective Goals

January 23rd, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

We’re nearing the end of the first month of what I’m calling The Year of Possibilities. I hope you are keeping your eyes, ears and heart open for wonderful possibilities that may be in store for you.

Once you’ve identified a possibility you want to pursue, I encourage you to turn it into a reality by creating a goal and a plan. Make it a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) goal and keep your plan simple.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’ve heard that within the next six months there will be an opening for a team leader in your organization. This is something you’ve been thinking about and hoping for. Now it’s your “possibility.”  Your goal setting / planning might look something like this.

Step 1

Create a SMART Goal: To become a team leader within my organization by June, 2017.  It’s Specific (become a t..... Read More...

Learning, Planning, Professional development

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Here’s to the Year of Possibilities!

January 11th, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” - Gloria Steinem

As the New Year begins, everyone is talking about losing weight, working out more, eating right, getting more sleep. I am exhausted just listening to the same blah…blah…blah every year. Why set yourself up for failure? Instead of those same old broken-by-February resolutions, how about this year you think about all that can be possible for you?

We wake up every morning and start our routine, and before we know it, it’s bedtime. Then suddenly it’s July and everyone is saying “can you believe it’s July already?” And then before you know it, it’s December, and everyone is running around saying Happy Holidays!! Give…me…strength!

Do at least one thing this year that will stretch your being…your thinking..... Read More...

Learning, Life, self-awareness, wellness

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Conquering Fear in the Grand Canyon – One Step at a Time

November 11th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

A lot of the work I do is around helping people increase their self-awareness and gain clarity on how to develop to their highest potential. I recently discovered that one of the most effective ways to learn about yourself is to face fear and find your way through it.

For me, it was a hiking trip to the Grand Canyon. If you’ve ever been to the Grand Canyon, or seen pictures of it, it’s pretty clear that there are some significant cliffs and drops and ridges. But ah, the beauty! How could any place so majestic, so serene, so awe inspiring, so spiritual, instill such terror into an innocent first-time visitor?

I was soon to find out. In the past, I had a fear of heights, which I thought I’d overcome. Not! (Perhaps hiking down into the Grand Canyon was not such a good way to test that). We did several trails while there, and the hardest was a 7-mile stretch of the Hermit Trail o..... Read More...

Learning, Life, self-awareness


Igniting a Campaign for Civility

October 27th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

Is it just me, or have you also noticed that people seem to be increasingly cranky, rude and self-absorbed these days? Certainly the polarizing rhetoric of this election campaign doesn’t help. And it’s reflected in our everyday communications and behaviors.

“Please” and “thank you” have all but disappeared. And the immediacy and fervor of social media seem to have unleashed a flood of negative and nasty comments that years ago would have kept Proctor & Gamble soap distributors in business.

Enough already.

It’s time for us to pause and consider, “The Young George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and in Conversation.”

Apparently this is not the first time our society has suffered from a lack of kindness, civility and manners. Originally from a list made by French Jesuits in 1595, Washington wrote out the rules as ..... Read More...

Communication, Gratitude, Kindness, Life, Relationships

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Don’t Avoid that Difficult Conversation

October 17th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

If you’ve got a difficult conversation brewing and you keep putting it off, you are not alone.  According to a survey conducted by VitalSmarts, who studies this sort of thing, 70% of employees are currently facing (and avoiding) a difficult conversation with their boss, coworker or direct report.  Topics of these conversations range from performance issues to bad behavior to conflicting ideas to communication issues to “I’m leaving” notices. What I find really stunning is that 25% of survey respondents said they have put off having a difficult conversation for more than a year.  Really? Well, my friends, unlike wine, bad news and difficult conversations do NOT improve with age. So stop stalling and just Plan, Prepare and Proceed.

Plan. The longer you wait the harder the conversation will be. You may think that the issue will eventually go away – and it ma..... Read More...

Communication, conflict resolution, Life, Relationships