ICYMI: How to become an agile learner, give honest feedback & more

In case you’ve been busy with your nose against the grindstone this week, don’t worry! We’ve been trolling the internet looking for the top articles on leadership development, learning and workplace culture. In case you missed it, here are the top articles that sparked our interest this week.


4 Ways to Become a Better Learner

In an article published in the Harvard Business Review, a CEO from a telecommunications firm admits that after he was blindsided by a new technology that interrupted his company’s business. He quickly realized that the future success of his career heavily relies on shifting his approach from traditional learning to agile learning.


Agile Learning, as defined by HBR is “the capacity for rapid, continuous learning from experience.”


Agile learners are constantly considering new information, seeking new experiences, and are not afraid to take risks to challenge old ideas or routines. One way  develop learning agility is to work with a team in order to identify routines and practices that may be outdated and create solutions to make them work better. HBR suggests your team consider implementing these four practices to become better learners.


  1. Ask for feedback
  2. Experiment with new approaches or behaviors
  3. Look for connections across seemingly unrelated areas
  4. Make time for reflection


Worried about a fading reputation and falling into the same career trap as the CEO? Read the full article, “4 Ways to Become a Better Learner” here for more in depth analysis of these four steps to becoming an agile learner.



How to Give Honest, Constructive Feedback

Giving and receiving feedback can be a pretty uncomfortable experience. It’s not always easy conversation, but as a manger, it’s your responsibility to provide feedback your employees. People need to hear honest feedback – the good, the bad and the ugly – to help them advance their careers.


To help you navigate through these difficult conversations, The Muse put together a list of tips to help guide your conversation into one that is meaningful and promotes a positive learning environment for your team.


  • Get clear on the purpose for the feedback. Be clear on why you are taking the time to provide feedback. Your objective behind the feedback should shape the entire conversation so make sure that it is understood from the get go.
  • Ask how the person would like to receive feedback. People react to certain situations very differently. Some members of your team may prefer a face to face conversation while others may like to see feedback in writing so they can have time to digest and think before they respond.
  • Identify the specific action you’re recognizing. Make sure that your feedback can be linked to a specific incident or action. Saying something such as “this presentation isn’t very good” is not constructive. Instead, identify the weaknesses you see and where you need to see improvement.
  • Clarify the impact of the specific action. Not only does feedback need to be connected to a specific action, but it also needs to connect to a bigger picture in order to help the receiver better understand why you are giving it in the first place.
  • Provide an action plan. In order to follow up, provide some suggestions for improvement. Allow the receiver to give input on what is necessary to make the situation better.


For more details, check out the full article, “This is How You Give Honest Feedback to Anyone, Anytime Without Hurting Feelings.”


3 Realistic Ways to Make Your Work Less Stressful

The truth is, we will never be able to completely eliminate stress in the workplace. Luckily as it turns out,  the American Psychological Association says, you don’t have to make huge life changes to alleviate stress. An article published by Inc. this week, highlights three tips to incorporate into your routine that will help ease your mind and reduce the effects of your daily stressors.


  1. Identify ‘stress signals.’ The key here is to be proactive rather than reactive. When a stressful situation arises, take note of how your body reacts to stress. The better you are at noticing your body’s signals, the better you will become at identifying the cause and quicker at alleviating the effects before it disrupts your entire day.
  2. Get rid of unrealistic goals. Instead, focus your attention on one reasonable goal that you are most motivated to achieve. Rather than chipping at one lofty goal, break it into smaller stepping stones to keep you on track. This way you are able to more closely track your progress rather than feeling like you are getting nowhere.
  3. Work ‘relaxation breaks’ into your daily routine. When you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed or unfocused at work, set aside time for a relaxation break to clear your mind. This short break can help you recharge and increase your productivity rather than letting yourself become inundated with a never ending to do list.


Check out the full article from Inc.com for some more great advice!

ICYMI: 20 Things You Can Do To Help Your Career Before the New Year

Hard to believe it, but we are less than two weeks away from 2016! With a New Year comes resolutions, expectations, and (hopefully!) new opportunities. Whether you are feeling content in your current position or looking to make a move, the New Year is the perfect time to gain perspective and reprioritize your career goals so that you are ready to hit the ground running in 2016.


While most people are busy running around doing last minute shopping before the holidays or curled up on the couch trying to stay warm, check out Mashable’s list of 20 things you can do to help your career before the New Year.


Here are 5 of our favorites:

  1. Write down your wins. Take the time to jot down ten professional accomplishments you achieved this year. Not only will it help you go back to work feeling ready to take on the world, but it is also a great way to update your resume. According to Mashable, employers love to see a list of accomplishments rather than duties.
  2. Get on a healthier sleep schedule. Yeah, we’ve all heard this one before and you know it’s true. You’re more productive after you’ve had a restful night of sleep. Check out the article to find out why Mashable compares coming to work chronically tired, to coming to work tipsy!
  3. Google yourself. Does that infamous YouTube video you made in college still exist? When was the last time you cleaned up your social media? Googling yourself is especially important if you are currently job searching or plan to start in the near future. Often times, the results of a google search could be the first impression you make on a recruiter or a potential colleague.
  4. Choose a skill you want to improve in 2016. Your weakness could be what is holding you back from moving up in your career. Come up with a plan now to figure out how you can better yourself this year.
  5. Write out your one-year plan. Take the time to determine what you want to accomplish this year. Set short term goals for yourself to track your progress towards reaching your year-end goal. Even if you are completely satisfied in your current position, set goals for yourself and aim to become the best you can be at what you do.


Check out the full article for more tips on making 2016 the best year of your career yet!


7 Powerful Words That Get You What You Want

Regardless of your position at work, it is inevitable that you will come across a situation where you need to convince a coworker to see your point of view or sell your boss on your new idea. Gaining rapport from the team is a natural skill for some, but others might unknowingly speak or act in ways that their coworkers are less impressed with. Good leaders become successful by having the ability to convince others to buy into their vision and motivate people to work hard to help them accomplish their goals. This article published on Inc.com, gives you the right words to use the next time you need to be the most persuasive person in the office.


Here are the 7 most powerful words to help you get what you want:

  1. You
  2. Imagine
  3. Act
  4. Because
  5. Now
  6. Believe
  7. Guaranteed


Check out the full article for explanations and suggestions of how to use these power words to your advantage.



ICYMI: What amazing bosses do differently


Take a break from your holiday shopping and dig into our favorite articles this week. In case you missed it (ICYMI), here’s this week’s top articles on leadership, management and company culture.


What Amazing Bosses Do Differently

Job satisfaction is so heavily reliant on relationships we build with our bosses. In today’s ever changing workforce, it is often unclear what behaviors will guarantee happy employees. Harvard Business Review took a look at some of the world’s most successful bosses and how they manage their employees and suggested this list of things you should do if you manage others.


  • Manage individuals, not teams. Everyone has a different work style so take the time to get to know each of your employees and how to best work with them. Make sure that they know that you value their individual feedback and are always willing to meet with them one on one. This will help you as a manager in the long run because you will be able to access what each person’s strongest skills and interests are that can best benefit your team.
  • Go big on meaning. Make sure that your employees understand the vision and that they understand their worth in the project. Help them see the bigger picture whenever possible. Everyone wants to feel like they have purpose and are a valued member of the team.
  • Focus on feedback. Give your employees constructive feedback as much as you can. The most successful bosses have regular coaching sessions with their employees where they can provide clear and honest feedback. Get to know your employees to figure out what style of feedback motivates and encourages each individual.
  • Don’t just talk…listen. Employees want to feel like they have say and that new ideas are welcomed by their bosses. The best leaders spend more time listening than they do talking. Don’t promote your own ideas too strongly, instead pose problems to your employees and have the whole team work to generate solutions.
  • Be consistent. Your employees should know what to expect from you on a day to day basis. You can’t expect your employees thrive if you don’t establish your management style and expectations. If change becomes necessary, acknowledge it with your team honestly and quickly.


7 Ways Mentally Strong People Handle Stress

During the busy holiday season there are plenty of reasons to be stressed out – the gifts you have yet to buy, the looming pile of festive invitations, family obligations, the list goes on. When we feel stretched, stress levels go up and the ability to cope files right out the window!  To help you stay sane this holiday season, Business Insider put together a list of seven ways mentally strong people handle stress effectively.


  1. They accept that stress is part of life. Stress is inevitable this time of year but don’t let it overshadow the entire holiday season. Make the best of the circumstances and do what you can to have a positive outlook.
  2. They keep their problems in proper perspective. Is finding the perfect gift for your significant other really the end of the world? Probably not. Don’t let a minor misfortune blow up into a catastrophe.
  3. They take care of their physical health. Don’t let your never ending to-do list take priority over your health. You’re more likely to knock more things off of your list on a good night sleep and a nutritious meal so don’t let your health become your last priority.
  4. They choose healthy coping skills. Stress can bring out the worst in us all and can allow our worst vices to surface. When you’re stressed it becomes even more important to make good lifestyle choices and to remember that with anything, moderation is key!
  5. They balance social activity with solitude. Don’t forget to take a little bit of “me time” to balance out the parties, crowded trips to the mall, and family gatherings. Use some quiet time to recharge before you have to head to the next event on your social calendar.
  6. They acknowledge their choices. Simply put, it’s impossible to be in two places at once. If you can’t fit something into your schedule, it’s okay to say no. Your time is precious so spend it wisely!
  7. They look for the silver lining. Remember what the holiday season is all about. Be thankful and appreciative for all the things you have and the time spent with friends and family.


7 Thoughts to Defeat Pressure

Have you ever been crippled by a stressful situation? The Huffington Post has seven proactive solutions for next time you are feeling the pressure.


  1. Think “It’s a sweet opportunity” that I’m lucky to have. If you are threatened by pressure you are already putting yourself in a negative mind space. Be grateful!
  2. Think “I’ll get another chance” it’s not the end of the world. Be realistic. If you don’t nail it what is really going to be the outcome?
  3. Think “I’ve done it before” and I can do it again. You can handle anything that is thrown your way.
  4. Think “It’s no big deal” I can handle this! Remain focused and don’t waste your energy getting worried. Shift your focus to what you can do to perform your best.
  5. Think “I’ll do my best” Be confident in yourself to stay on track and relaxed in the moment.
  6. Think “I can control how I respond” Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by things you can’t control. Your time is valuable, so if something is out of your influence let it be!
  7. Think “What if this happens…” Be aware of both sides of the coin. Be proactive and rehearse how you might handle an unexpected problem.


#ICYMI: How to avoid workplace stress and careless mistakes

The frenzy of the 2015 holiday season is fast approaching. With tight work deadlines, holiday commitments and endless shopping lists, it’s easy to get stressed out. Inspired by the Meridian Health Fair Day that took place in our office this week, I went out in search of this week’s top articles on reducing workplace stress and increasing productivity.


In case you missed it (ICYMI), here’s how to manage workplace stress and avoid careless mistakes in the workplace during the holiday season!


How to stay focused at work during a stressful holiday season

The holidays are just as stressful as they are fun. With work projects wrapping up and new ones on the horizon, it’s hard to maintain a clear and calm mindset — especially with travel, holiday and shopping plans taking over your to do lists! To help you stay cheerful and productive, Mashable put together a list of three ways to stay focused during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.


  1. Don’t give into interruptions. Guess what? Multitasking doesn’t work. It actually kills your productivity. Don’t give into distractions this holiday season. Mashable recommends you constantly remind yourself that interruptions are going to dramatically increase over the holidays, but it’s important to remember not to give into them. Focus on the task at hand and you’ll be far more likely to get through the day without anything falling between the cracks.
  2. Look for the right projects. The holidays are a great time to catch up on email and work on self-guided projects, according to the article. With colleagues out of town for the holidays, you can take advantage of the peace and quiet and focus on some of the bigger projects on your workload.
  3. Be thoughtful about your off hours as well. We often forget that scheduling time for our non-work commitments is just as important as scheduling time for our work-related commitments. It’s tempting to work extra hours before taking time off, which isn’t always healthy. Try to avoid overtime if you can. And don’t forget, holiday shopping takes time!


Read the full article for some more great insights on how to have a stress-free holiday!


Unique ways to burn off stress

Job-related stress is costing us an estimated $300 billion a year. It wreaks havoc on our minds and bodies. As more and more research is released about the damages of work-related stress, companies are looking to innovative ways to battle anxiety and increase happiness at work. This week, Fast Company put together a list of some of the innovative ways organizations are proactively managing stress.


  1. Workplace venting sessions. One company put together a weekly venting report where employees could anonymously publically submit frustrations. They also held a meeting once a month where they could address the issues.
  2. Offering one-on-one attention. Another organization hired stress management coaches to offer employees specific techniques that address their individual needs.
  3. Mindfulness on demand. Google takes it a step farther by offering specific classes like, Meditation 101, Search Inside Yourself, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. They even created a virtual and in person community called gPause that encourages mediation and stress-reduction.


Check out the full article for some more funky examples of reducing stress at work!


10 mistakes you might be making in the first 10 minutes of your workday

I bet you didn’t realize how much the first 10 minutes of your workday set you up for success (or failure). Business Insider, did some research on some of the common mistakes we make at the beginning of the day. Here are 10 traps that are keeping you from success:


  1. Getting in late. This is obvious, being late will certainly throw you into a tailspin.
  2. Not greeting your coworkers. It’s important to be friendly, or you’ll come off unapproachable.
  3. Drinking coffee. The best time to drink coffee is 9:30 am, when your cortisol levels are declining and you’re more likely in need of a caffeine boost.
  4. Answering every email in your inbox. Before you start responding, scan and prioritize your inbox!
  5. Launching into your work without a tentative schedule in mind. A prioritized to do list is the only way to make sure your day and workload doesn’t go sideways.
  6. Doing the easiest task first. Save the easy stuff for when you’re suffering from the 3 o’clock feeling, you’re much more prepared to tackle the big projects in the morning.
  7. You can’t devote 100% of your brain to three different tasks at once.
  8. Dwelling on negative thoughts. Leave the negative thoughts about your soul-sucking commute at the door. Dwelling on them all day will kill your mood and productivity.
  9. Having a meeting. According to experts, morning tasks should be focused on things that take a lot of brainpower, like writing. Dedicating that precious time to meetings will throw your brain off.
  10. Not following a routine. Healthy habits and routines help your brain save mental energy.

Check out the complete article packed full of good research on how to start your day off on the right foot.

#ICYMI: Why Organizations Don’t Learn and How They’re Wasting Money in the Process

Learning and development isn’t a lofty goal organizations are hoping to achieve; it’s a vital component of business. It didn’t take a lot of digging this week to back up that argument. In case you missed it (ICYMI), here’s why organizations struggle with learning and how they’re wasting money in the process.


Why organizations don’t learn

It’s no secret that continuous learning is essential to career growth and organizational success. Learning opportunities, in theory, are abundant and accessible. Yet, despite the demand and desire for ongoing development, learning often fails. Using a decade of research, Harvard Business Review contributors, Francesca Gino and Bradley Staats, boiled the issue down to four main reasons why organizations (and their employees) can’t learn.


  1. We focus too heavily on success
  2. We are too quick to act
  3. We try too hard to fit in, and
  4. We rely too much on experts


Each bias, backed by research, has its own set of challenges and solutions. For example, those hung up on success often develop an unreasonable fear of failure. The result? They’re less likely to take risks and focus on past performance, rather than potential. What do managers need to do? Recognize accomplishments and treat mistakes as learning opportunities.


That’s just a sliver of insight from the HBR report. Check out the full article for some fantastic advice on how to battle the biases that hinder learning opportunities and growth.


Are you wasting money on learning and development?

Millions of dollars are spent each year on learning and development, yet business leadership is struggling with realizing tangible results. A study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group examines the disconnect between leadership training intentions and results. Here are the four major areas of concerns cited in the article.


  1. Learning doesn’t match business opportunities. Business leaders identify areas where they want their talent developed, toss it over to HR to deal with, and then never look back. In order for training programs to work, they need to stay involved.
  2. Learning events are perceived as one and done. Learning activities end up being a one-night-stand. Rather than rolling out learning events to continuously build on each other, they become a one off intervention or check-the-box workshop. Little follow up is done to ensure the competency is engrained in the learner.
  3. Look at the impact of learning. There’s too much focus in injecting sex appeal into learning programs and too little focus on examining the success of the course. Leaders need to keep the question of “How did the training program change _________?” at the forefront of their minds.
  4. Identify the right programs and capabilities from the start. The difference between engaging learning programs and neglected programs is the approach to how the people, processes and systems reinforce the new capabilities. If learning isn’t connected to rewards and recognition, no one will be interested in learning.


Check out the full article on Chief Learning Officer for some more insight on how to tackle your top learning challenges.


Changing your perspective on learning and development

Great learning and development programs aren’t created overnight. You have to roll up your sleeves and put in the hard work. Depending on where you’re at with your training efforts, we have a lot of great resources to help you turn learners into leaders.



And, if you really want to transform your learning strategy, drop us a line or give us a call!

#ICYMI: How to blow your boss’s mind and be a better manager

Career and management advice is in no short supply, but that’s probably for good reason. One Gallup study found that nearly 50% of people surveyed have quit their job to get away from their manager. That’s not good. So, in case you missed it (ICYMI), here are the top articles we found this week focused on how to excel in your career, look good in front of the big wigs and become a better manager of people.


Shifting from star performer to star manager

Here’s something you might not already know: it’s difficult to manage a team of super smart, high achievers – especially if you’re one of them! Harvard Business Review published an article titled, “Shifting from Star Performer to Star Manager,” which featured some great advice on how to navigate the transition from team member to manager. The author, Annie McKee, highlights research from David McClelland. According to McClelland, there are three human needs that are very important to keep front of mind when managing people. Here’s a summary from the article:


  1. Need for achievement – The article states, “A lot of star performers have a really hard time re-directing their achievement drive away from their personal goals and towards others’ success.” The fix? Help team members discover and tackle challenges, and celebrate their success along the way.
  2. Need for affiliation – Let’s face it, we spend the majority of our day at work, so it’s natural for us to build relationships and develop friendships. But when it comes to a manager/employee relationship, you need to tread lightly. There’s nothing wrong with being friendly and authentic, but remember you control their schedules, workloads, salaries and promotions. Jealousy and resentment are toxic and ruin teams.
  3. Need for power – Power can be a slippery slope. Rather than using your influence to control others, channel your energy into their professional growth. Use your power to shine light on their achievements, rather than control their progress.


Read the full article for some more great advice.


3 signs you’re an overly critical boss

Here’s something that needs to be talked about more often: a startling number of people can’t stand their managers. Admitting there is a problem is the first step, right? Even with the best intentions, many managers struggle with coming off as overly critical. To help put an end to this, Mashable put together a list of questions to determine if you are an overly critical boss and how you can fix it. Here’s a recap from the article:


  1. Question: Do you share why you’re hard to please? A lot of managers are hardest on their top performers; constantly pushing them to be better. This is often interpreted incorrectly, leaving the employee thinking they’re not doing a good enough job.
    The fix? You guessed it: be transparent. Tell the employee you think they’re fabulous and the reason you’re pushing them is because you want them to flourish.
  1. Question: Do you know that good intentions aren’t enough? Blaming your behavior on good intentions isn’t going to cut it. Your actions need to reflect
    The fix? Be respectful, “And if you are challenging someone because you think she can do more, you should be backing that up with growth opportunities and interesting, meaningful assignments.”
  1. Question: Do you encourage two-sided communication? Don’t underestimate the power of listening. Frustration often brews because people feel like their opinions and concerns are not heard.
    The fix? Listen! Actively practice your listening skills. It’s as simple as that!


Check out the full article for more details!



#MindBlown: How to look good in front of your boss

Here’s something to chew on: you don’t get promoted for fulfilling your mangers expectations; it’s your job to work. Yeah, you come in, work really hard to get everything done correctly and on time, but are you really exceeding expectations? To get ahead, you need to roll up your sleeves and go above and beyond your job description. This week, Forbes put together a list of the 7 steps to blowing your boss’s mind. Here’s the list featured in the article:


  1. Go beyond professional development and learn about your organization’s industry, competitors, latest developments and challenges.
  2. Instead of always having the answer, pre-empt the question.
  3. Instead of owning up to mistakes once they’re discovered, bring them to light yourself.
  4. Instead of asking for training, do it on your own.
  5. Be proactive, rather than reactive to problems.
  6. Build relationships with other departments.
  7. Be the calm one in a crisis.


Read the full article to get more insights on how to look good in front of your boss.


ICYMI: How to be a better manager and not look dumb at work

Another day, another dollar! We know you’ve been busy with the hustle and bustle of work, don’t worry. In case you missed it (ICYMI) here are the top business, leadership and workplace musings that had us talking this week—all focused on being a better manager and not looking like an idiot at work!


Yikes! 3 ways mangers start off on the wrong foot

It’s really, really difficult to undo a bad first impression. This week, Heidi Grant Halvorson wrote an article on Harvard Business Review about the three ways managers start off on the wrong foot. It’s a great article filled with fabulous advice.

To summarize, here’s how a few tips on how to bounce back if you start off on the wrong foot.

  1. Act like you know everything. Here’s the thing, overconfident people have a tendency to rub people the wrong way. Your intention of being jazzed up about leading a new team could come off a little too strong. Don’t act like you know everything and check yourself to make sure your enthusiasm and opinions are well received.
  2. Acting too professional. This may seem counterintuitive, but acting too professional can make you look unapproachable. According to the article, in order to be successful your team needs to trust you, “And in order to figure out if you are trustworthy, people will tune in to two particular aspects of your character, right from the get go – your warmth and your competence.
  3. Hide the crazy. There’s a difference from being authentic and being crazy. Showing your crazy tendencies makes you look like you lack self-control and as result makes you appear less trustworthy.

For some more great advice, check out the full article on Harvard Business Review.


75 incorrectly words used that make you look… dumb!

No one wants to look like an idiot, but the English language can be tricky! There’s always those words you struggle with getting right. Jeff Haden on Inc. put together a fool proof list on the 75 words you might not be using correctly.

Here are a few from the list:

  • Adverse and averse
  • Between and among
  • Elicit and illicit
  • Insure and ensure
  • Peak and peek (this one gets super tricky when you want to write “sneak peek”)
  • Sympathy and empathy

Head over to Inc. to check out the full list that breaks down the meaning of each word.


When it’s necessary to be a jerk at work

This week, Lydia Dishman, a FastCompany contributor, interviewed Andrea Cutright, chief operating officer of Ask.fm, about how sometimes you have to be a little assertive and ruffle a few feathers to achieve your goals at work. In the article, Cutright clarifies what she means by jerk. Jerks aren’t micromanagers, narcissists, or bullies, being a jerk means that you’re confident in what you want and you’re willing to stand up and fight for it.

A few of the key takeaways include:

  • Forget compromise and focus
  • Know the right time to be a jerk
  • There’s a difference between like and respect
  • Know when to back down

One of my favorite quotes from the article is:

“It is easier to act like a jerk when it comes from a place of passion, and when you want it to lead to a very specific action,” she says. “Being unyielding can demonstrate power in a way that knowing facts or being smart or being charming cannot,” she adds.

Check out the full article for some great leadership advice!


Bonus: This 50 lane traffic jam in China will (maybe) make you never complain about your commute again.


#ICYMI: Advice on screwing up, improving your career and giving feedback

Every week has a weekend, right? If your week has been as busy as ours, you might not have had the time to catch up on the musings from your favorite blogs. Our friends over at Fistful of Talent have been dishing out some killer advice this week. In case you missed it (ICYMI), here’s what some of the FOT crew had to say about creating a culture of feedback, how to improve your career, and what to do when you screw up.


If you’re looking for a culture of feedback, measure sensitivity

Dealing with feedback ain’t easy, and creating a culture of feedback is even more difficult. So what’s the secret to creating an environment of honest and thoughtful feedback? Kris Dun says it has a lot to do with sensitivity. Check out his most recent post on Fistful of Talent, where he breaks down why measuring your employees’ sensitivity will help you understand if your team can handle positive or negative feedback.


10 tips to improve your career

There’s a slew of articles on how to improve your career out there, but Laurie Ruettimann’s post, “Improve Your Career” just feels a little more authentic than most. Check out the ten tips she’s learned over the years and see where you can apply her advice in your professional life!


Oops! What to do when you made a big mistake

We’ve all had that cringe-worthy career moment when we realized we really screwed up. The blood drains from your face as you scramble to figure out how to recover. John Whitaker covered this topic this week in a blog titled, “To Hell with Murphy and His Law.” In it he offers some pretty sage advice on how we all make mistakes. What’s really important is that we realize we’re all our own worst critic, everyone makes mistakes,and humility can be a blessing. Check out his full post for some great advice!


Cheers and have a great weekend!



#ICYMI: How to stay cool, calm and collected at work

Fall is in the air! With cooler weather (at last) and days that seem to be getting shorter, it seems that everyone is busier than a bee!  In case you were busy getting back to the grind, here’s a collection of tips and tricks we pulled together this week focused on how to become more a proactive and productive employee.



Work smarter, not harder. We have all heard that saying but there is only 168 hours in a week. And if you take out 56 hours or so for sleep we are down to 112 hours to achieve everything we desire. It doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but for some people it seems like they have enough time to do what they need and more!


To keep yourself productive, it’s essential to build habits that help you organize your day and get the most out of your time. Find out the 3 things that Ultra Productive People do differently and learn how changing your focus can make a difference in your life. By consciously managing your time, you will be amazed at how much more productive and happier you will become.




When you are spending most of your day at the office, you want to make sure it is an environment that doesn’t suck the life out of you. Companies are focused on creating offices that are not only fantastic places to work but enhance employees’ overall well-being and engagement.


We at Meridian have a lot of experience with creating a new work environment this since at the end of the month we are (finally) moving into a gorgeous new office space. During the planning process there as A LOT of great ideas discussed. Everything from massage chairs to game rooms to stand-up desks for all. That being said, how do you create an office space that makes people want to come to work? Read about the 3 Tools To Make You Feel Better At Work because we all know that the office is more than a just a place to work – it is about a place that empower employees and help businesses grow and thrive.



The guy in the cube next door that talks too loud, the person on the bus that takes too both seats, the parking lot that is completely full – some days everything just sucks! Frustrations happen and venting is a way to let off steam.


It is generally better to let these things out than bottle them up, but should we vent at the office? We take our humanity to work every day – our happiness, excitement, frustration, anger and worry. We bring all of ourselves to work and this results in emotions and the need to vent.


In the moment venting almost feels like problem solving. It alleviates tensions and stress and makes you feel in a weird way lighter and somewhat better. Here are 4 Ways to keep your Workplace Rant Professional and Productive and release your frustration the right way.

#ICYMI: 5 Things to Talk About Over Labor Day Weekend

For those of you stuck in the office the afternoon before a much needed three day weekend, we have something for you to occupy your time! In case you missed it (ICYMI), here are some topics to help get you through the day and out the door.


It’s OK to wear white after Labor Day

Don’t retire your white pants yet, some fashion experts consider wearing white after Labor Day totally fine. This video published by TIME explains how wearing white after Labor Day became a major fashion faux pas and why it’s now widely acceptable.


Napping at work can be soooo exhausting

It’s hard to escape the articles touting the benefits of a quick nap during work. Your memory improves and you’re more alert, productive and creative. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, here’s the rub: a fraction of companies have a designated space where you can get a little shut eye. At risk of looking like George Costanza, people are starting to sleep at their desks. Rebecca Greenfield from Bloomberg sought out to see if napping at work is really worth it. Check out her experience attempting to nap at work without any designated napping area.


Stress can be good for you, if you know how to deal with it

Wait, what? I thought stress was really bad for your health? Alia Crum and Thomas Crum seem to disagree. In a Harvard Business Review article published this week, they share a different perspective. Their theory is that pursuing a stress-free life leads to more stress later on in life. While stress does take a toll on the body, it also has several wonderful attributes. For example, it shows us that we’re passionate about something. Check out their three-step approach to responding to pressure and how it can help you harness the creative power of stress while minimizing its hazardous effects.


12 times you shouldn’t say I’m sorry at work

For all the over-apologizers out there, this one is for you. If you’ve done something wrong, you absolutely should apologize. But, if you’re just saying “I’m sorry” to fill silent awkward moments, you’re killing your sincerity. Business Insider organized a list of the 12 times you need to stop apologizing and why it makes you look bad. Check it out!


The secret suffering of the middle manager

If you’ve ever been stuck in the middle of the totem pole, you’ll know where this is going. Middle managers have dual roles and responsibilities and because of that, they get flak from the top and the bottom. New research from Columbia University suggests they’re the unhappiest subset of the workforce. They have to enforce rules mandated by upper level management – which they had no part in developing – onto their subordinates, who often push back on the changes. Check out this article from The Atlantic that shares more insights from the study.


That’s all we have for now, folks! Enjoy the long weekend.