At one point or another, we’ve all lost our cool at work.
Perhaps you pulled an all-nighter to finish a project, only to feel distressed when it was criticized by a client. Or maybe a coworker failed to pull their weight and dumped their work on you at the last minute. These everyday workplace aggravations can make your blood boil. But there are some difficult conversations that tend to be the most stressful of all.
You know them well. These are the types of talks that require you to deliver bad news or negative feedback, make a demand such as…
There are three simple words that can strike fear into the heart of almost any professional: “Can we talk?”
To illustrate, let me share an example. When I host workshops, I often ask attendees to share the first thing that goes through their minds when they hear this phrase. Some common responses are:
“Uh oh, what did I do wrong?”
“I must have made a mistake.”
“This is it. I’m getting fired.”
An unexpected meeting can make even the most self-assured leader nervous, particularly when the request comes from your boss or higher-ups. …
As kind-hearted, empathetic leaders, Sensitive Strivers tend to be reluctant to ask for help or delegate to others. Many feel it is their duty to protect their team’s time and energy, so they absorb responsibilities instead.
And as people-pleasers, these Sensitive Strivers are worried about people not liking them or others getting upset and resentful over delegation requests.
“I know I should ask for help, but I don’t want to be pushy.”
“My team already has enough to do.”
“I hate asking people to do things.”
These are a few of the responses I hear from my Sensitive Striver coaching…
How do I stop second-guessing myself?
This was a question one of my clients, Sarah, came to coaching with.
Sarah was an accomplished manager and executive. During her career, she had earned two PhDs and over the course of twenty years, worked her way from the legal department to director of business development at a luxury retail company.
One year earlier, the CEO had tasked Sarah with starting a sub-division within the business development department to focus specifically on innovation. This meant her team was responsible for creating and implementing cutting-edge strategies to modernize the company’s marketing and distribution channels.
Hard work is an essential ingredient to achieving greatness and advancing your career. Moreover, attributes like persistence and grit can bring you closer to your professional — and personal — goals. But there comes the point when determination becomes damaging and clinging to your goals actually backfires.
Take my coaching client, Xavier, for example. As a client experience director at a media company, Xavier held himself to high expectations. Not only was he spearheading several major initiatives within his team, but he also had several ambitions outside of work, including earning a professional certification and getting his pilot’s license.
James was the type of employee every manager dreamed of. Hardworking and dedicated, James was poised to become a VP of Product at a technology company. And, like a lot of people, he was a go-getter.
James loved his job and took pride in being the go-to person on the team. He was always taught he should go above and beyond, and that’s exactly what he did. Recently, though, James had taken on a big, new project. This meant more responsibility, and he was excited about the prospect of leveling up in his career.
Embracing ambiguity in the workplace, while necessary, can be a challenge. After all, it’s natural to desire direction and a sense of control in our careers. It’s comforting to have specific instructions provided to you or to have a clear vision of the future to work towards.
However, uncertainty at work is a part of life in today’s business world, especially after the COVID-19 crisis. If you don’t become skilled at tolerating ambiguity, you can quickly become overly timid and risk-averse.
This is particularly true for “Sensitive Strivers”—the high achievers who are also deep feelers and thinkers, who can all…
Explore your potential, increase your productivity, live better, make an impact. By coaches.