There seems to be confusion on the regressive left about what the definition of a Karen is. In the last few days, I have witnessed several of my left-leaning friends and acquaintances attempt to appropriate the term “Karen” to mean someone who is against wearing masks. Each time, they failed spectacularly at correctly using the term.

While this rampant misuse is itself hilarious, it is ultimately incorrect. In order to help things get back on track (so that those of us who have not yet lost our minds can continue to enjoy the correct use of the term), I crowdsourced…


On the evening of April 14, Nancy Pelosi took President Donald Trump to task in a series of tweets declaring his mishandling and incompetence of the coronavirus outbreak. She started each tweet with the statement “the truth is,” as though she is the sole arbiter of it.

The truth is a funny thing, oftentimes simply being a matter of perspective, often existing in shades of grey rather than in black and white. …


I have a few theories about what made my article about being a Democrat who went to a Trump rally go massively viral. Perhaps it was the novelty of the social justice crazy going on in the knitting community. Perhaps it was the experience of someone successfully overcoming Trump Derangement Syndrome when most people just seem to double-down. Perhaps it was that the conservative community wanting to celebrate luring a previously-staunch Democrat over to the “right” side of the aisle.

But mostly, I think that a message of civility was simply what a lot of people were craving after three…


I’ve been a Democrat for 20 years. But this experience made me realize how out-of-touch my party is with the country at large.

President Donald Trump at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire. Photo: Boston Globe/Getty Images

I think those of us on the left need to take a long look in the mirror and have an honest conversation about what’s going on.

If you had told me three years ago that I would ever attend a Donald Trump rally, I would have laughed and assured you that was never going to happen. Heck, if you had told me I would do it three months ago, I probably would have done the same thing. So, how did I find myself among 11,000-plus Trump supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire? Believe it or not, it all started with knitting.


The Society For Human Resources Management Annual Conference is the world’s largest human resources event, and their exposition hall is one of my favorite conference experiences. The attendees are festive, the drinks are flowing, the swag is plentiful, and there are hundreds of vendors representing every aspect of the employee experience ready to chat your ear off.

In the mix are representatives of dozens of companies who claim to have the key to fixing all of your employee engagement problems through the latest piece of software. I have an annual ritual with this group — I go up to as…


There are a few certainties around the end of the year in my business.

  1. People will complain endlessly about performance reviews — giving them, receiving them, and coordinating the whole process.
  2. Productivity generally takes a dive as people are more focused on their holiday plans and upcoming vacations (though there are ways to avoid it).
  3. It seems to be the most popular time of the year to fire people. Admittedly, this is purely anecdotal, but every year in December two things happen to me: I see a spike in people looking for help, saying. …


Back in 2015, Google released the results of a two-year internal studyindicating that the number one driver of high performing teams was a feeling of team psychological safety. Originally coined by Dr. Amy Edmonson, a professor at Harvard Business School, the term refers to “a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking.”

Sounds great, right? Most professionals would probably jump at the opportunity to work on a psychologically safe team. In fact, according to a Pew Research Center survey, 89% of adults say it is essential for today’s business leaders to create safe and respectful workplaces…


Confession time: I’ve been fired on more than one occasion.

The first time, it came with zero warning. I had no indication it was coming, had received no negative feedback, performance review, or improvement plan. I was working hard one minute and the next I was a phone call with my boss being told that they were letting me go and they weren’t going to tell me why. To this day, I have absolutely no idea what happened.

The second time it didn’t come so much out of the blue — I was unhappy, and the organization was not run…


The world is a perfect place. It’s not perfect in the sense that we get what we want the minute we dream it up. However, it is perfect in that we will get exactly what we should expect to get based on how we’re contributing to the situation. Contributions can come in the form of the perspective we bring, the inner dialogue we have with ourselves and (of course!) the actions we take.

So, let’s apply this idea to work: If you want to create a more mindful professional experience, it’s about changing your contribution and focusing on the things…


There are a lot of bad bosses out there — that’s no surprise. In fact, 65% of Americans would choose to fire their boss over getting a pay raise.

But what gets lost in the midst of trying to stop an awful lot of bad behaviors is the fact that there are a fair number of good bosses out there as well. These are bosses who genuinely care for their team members and want to do the right thing by them. …

Karlyn Borysenko

Org psychologist. Author. Coach. Speaker. Forbes Contributor. Beer snob. Compulsive knitter. Accidental political commentator.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store