Workplace Coach

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When budgets are tight, many managers believe an easier route to savings is to cut training and teambuilding services justifying other expenses in their stead. Few will question such a decision, which sends the message that these activities are an “extra” rather than a staple. This becomes a group outlook leaving the manager more “comfortable” in the short term to make such decisions without the challenge attached to other items. While the… Read More

Q: Sixteen months ago I lost my oil company job, but received enough severance to keep me afloat for more than a year. I’d always wanted to work for myself and felt this was my big chance. Even though I’ve never been a risk-taker, I started a small business. I soon realized I needed an assistant because when I invested time in paperwork it took me away from the sales and marketing… Read More

Q: Several months ago one of my former employees, who’d left our agency, returned as my immediate supervisor. It’s been hell ever since. Before his return, I had been respected and allowed to function semi-autonomously. I’d myself been a supervisor, overseeing one employee until he left and management decided to shift the duties he’d handled to another department. I received excellent performance evaluations for my accomplishments.   My former employee rules commander style… Read More

Q: My introverted, insecure, my-way-or-the-highway supervisor has an abnormally low threshold for anything resembling a suggestion. Though I have both technical and managerial skills and could be a wonderful resource for her, I’m a no-BS kind of person who speaks his mind and what I say invariably rubs her the wrong way, even and especially when it’s right. When I first started in her department, I tried to get her to see the… Read More

Q: I work in a medical clinic. A supporting staff member is supposed to work alongside any physician in a room with a sedated female patient, but we’re short-staffed and so this doesn’t always happen. Twice in the last year, I entered a room in which one of our physicians appeared to be acting inappropriately. It happened again this morning. It’s a senior physician and he appeared to have been masturbating. I… Read More

It started with Harvey Weinstein and gained unstoppable velocity when thousands of women posted true, painful stories using the hashtag #MeToo. Serious, long-buried sexual harassment complaints have rocked many workplaces – including ones not at all prepared to handle the topic. Even organizations well-equipped to handle sexual harassment complaints and investigations are finding that their wheels are going off the tracks when faced with a tension between two workplace groups – those… Read More

Q. I’m back in the job market and three questions interviewers ask always throw me for a loop. What do interviewers expect when they ask “tell me about your weaknesses,” “tell me about yourself” and “do you have any questions”? Are there any perfect responses? A. When interviewers ask applicants “what are your weaknesses?” they want to know whether or not you have a deal-breaker weakness and whether you’re honest enough to… Read More

You’ve met the predatory customer. He or she makes work life difficult for others because his money, power or simply his status as a customer enable him to do so. Do businesses have a responsibility to protect their customers from other customers that sexually harass them? What can an employer do if their business survival depends on contracts from a larger business when the individual who controls the purse strings for those… Read More

“How the hell could he have been so stupid?” the manager asked when he called. “What burns me is this spring he asked me if he could skip the annual anti-harassment training because he’d been through it five years in a row. So explain to me why I have credible complaints from three different women alleging this man on my senior team sexually harassed each of them?” The manager didn’t like it… Read More

With this continuous flurry of sexual harassment news impacting Hollywood, Washington D.C. and other governments such as California, I can’t help but wonder, why now? The law of sexual harassment has been well established for at least the last twenty years! I am proud to say that my experience with many of our Alaskan companies and corporations demonstrate most address such issues promptly and professionally. Credit goes to EEO training and enforcement;… Read More

 Q: When I landed my job, I thought I’d found a company I’d stay with for years. I liked my supervisor and every one of my new coworkers, and if my work wasn’t always interesting, it seemed a small price to pay for the work-family I’d found. I’ve never had much of a real family as both my parents were alcoholics and I’ve never married. But I’ve screwed up. Last Friday my… Read More

My dilemma: I was recruited for a board position in an organization I have been passionate about for years by our longest serving and most respected members.  They nearly fawned over my accomplishments when they drummed up support for me. I resisted and didn’t think I’d done enough to warrant a board seat.  But they said I “made good choices” and that they “trusted my judgment.”  Additionally, they said our organization needed… Read More