Feeling stressed? Do something different!

When Claire put down the phone, she was hyper-ventilating. Her heart was racing. It was 3pm on the last work day before the Christmas holidays and she just learned that one of the managers had not finished the report that was due by tonight and was leaving early to attend to her sick child. Claire was feeling the immense temptation to go out and have a cigarette. Instead, in line with the new stress management tools she’d been adopting, she took a few deep breaths. She looked out of the window at bare trees and Parisian rooftops, trying to de-dramatize […] Read more »

Gratitude + Low Expectations = Happiness

We all have challenges and issues in our lives to resolve.  A difficult colleague at work, a fight with a significant other, there is often a source of stress and frustration.  Thinking about those things adds to our stress levels and makes us feel anxious. What if we focused on what’s going right in our life?  We suddenly feel calmer and the unresolved issue shrinks mentally. In the recent book The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky tells us that 50 percent of our inclination towards happiness is based on a genetic set point, something we cannot influence very much, 10 percent […] Read more »

Assertiveness: do you speak up?

“I spoke up about the issue!” my client Julie looked radiant. She shared that she had raised her long-standing concerns about how a large-scaled project was being managed to the top management of her company.  The issue had bothered her for a long time and she’d been speaking about it to everyone but… her bosses. What made her change her mind and gave her the courage to finally speak up?  It was the forthcoming change in her life  – she was preparing to leave the company. Suddenly, she was no longer vested in keeping her reputation as the ‘nice Julie” […] Read more »

Eight lessons from Deauville

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1300 business women gathered earlier this month in Deauville for the ninth Women’s Forum. The sun was shining on the sea, the champagne was glittering in flute glasses, and the participants who came from around the globe exchanged, debated and networked in powerful ways. What did we learn? What beliefs were confirmed? What myths were thrown out? According to the latest study by McKinsey women’s group, women are as ambitious about reaching the top as men. What is different is that women are not as confident as men about their ability to reach the top. For instance, only 58 percent […] Read more »

Smart Leadership: how good are your people skills?

A twenty-year old study of leadership effectiveness conducted by Stanford University’s School of Business concluded that about 15 percent of one’s success in leading organizations comes from technical skills and knowledge, while 85 percent comes from the ability to connect with people and engender trust and mutual understanding. Through my coaching and leadership training work, as well as in interviews with successful women entrepreneurs and CEOs for my forthcoming book, I noticed that indeed people skills top the list of the attributes of successful leaders. Today’s leaders do not need to know everything there is to know. They want to […] Read more »

Redundancy: a sad event or a lottery ticket?

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Most people, when faced with redundancy, feel upset, scared, anxious, shocked, powerless.  Like any loss, the loss of job and the status quo and security that come with it, is deeply upsetting. However it is possible to see redundancy not as the end, but as a door into a new beginning. A balanced, happy life and a fulfilling career are both possible post-redundancy. Here are some tips on turning your mindset over: Give yourself time and space: After any type of loss, we experience a grieving process. A job loss is not an exception. Allow yourself to grieve, instead of […] Read more »

Dealing with redundancy

Sadly, redundancies are a fact of life in today’s workplace.  A lot of industries and sectors are downsizing, and the cuts often focus on countries with the highest employee costs, starting with France and Belgium. Redundancy is never an easy process to undergo and is usually quite upsetting for the employee. Upon hearing that you’re being let go of your job because your company is being downsized or restructured, it’s understandable to feel shocked, panicked and scared. When we’re made redundant most of us feel fear, distress, helplessness and loneliness. Today we will look at the process from the logistical and legal […] Read more »

Google’s management lessons

People typically leave a company for one of three reasons, or a combination of them. The number one reason is that they have an unpleasant, to put it mildly, boss.  The second one is that they don’t feel a connection to the mission of the company, or sense that their work matters. The third reason is that they don’t really like or respect their co-workers. Those are the findings of many surveys, including the one conducted by Google.  Google, which has been called the #1 company to work for, until very recently, had a surprisingly difficult time holding on to […] Read more »

What is blocking the path to your big goal?

Now that you know your number 1 goal (see the post from last week), the next step is to create a strong and clear strategy, a roadmap towards your goal. However an action plan on its own won’t do wonders. It needs to be founded on strong solid self-belief and confidence. If you don’t believe in achieving your goal, you will not follow up with the action steps and even if you do, they will be half-hearted ones and won’t bring the desired result.  Even the best strategies fall victim to inner blocks such as fears and and limiting beliefs. […] Read more »

Lean into Life, your unique style

Despite the mountain of controversy and publicity around Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In”, I’ll admit that I enjoyed reading it.  I liked the author’s accessible style and the generosity with which she shared personal stories and experiences. Many of those stories revealed a different, more human and less perfect, face of Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer.  I liked the humility of her writing style as she shared her insights. Ever since the book’s launch, the biggest take-away seems to revolve around the question/title: Are you leaning in? That’s the question that a lot of young ambitious women seem to be pondering, […] Read more »