The Elegant Executive Blog

Email Etiquette Teleseminar – a hit!

Our FREE monthly Elegant Executive Teleseminar Series started with a bang yesterday with over 100 registered listeners! Email Etiquette was the topic and it’s clear that many people wanted to learn how to make their email messages stand out with courtesy and clarity. If you haven’t already signed up for our Elegant Executive series, please do so today! Not sure if it’s worth 30 minutes of your time? Here are some testimonials from yesterday’s program: “Excellent  teleseminar, Gretchen, I hope I can join the next one.” “I loved your teleseminar. Very informative, clear and concise. Exactly what you advised listeners…

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Transitioning from Employee to Manager Requires More Than a Better Suit

Today’s post is courtesy of HR expert extraordinaire, Roberta Chinsky Matuson They say it’s the suit that makes the man or the woman, but I believe it’s what’s inside that really matters. Now don’t get me wrong. You still have to dress the part if you want to be taken seriously. However, that’s just one dimension of leading with authority. Presenting yourself as a strong confident leader requires the belief that you really belong in the position that you’ve been awarded. Getting the position is one thing. Keeping it is quite another. Follow my top ten tips on managing up…

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Destructive Delusions #6

6. Worry, Fret, and Fear: “If something seems dangerous or fearsome, I must preoccupy myself with it and make myself anxious about it.” Are you an expert when it comes to playing the anxiety tape over and over in your head, convincing yourself that something is dangerous and fearsome? If worry did anyone any good, I’d be all for it, but it only serves to make the worrier, and often those around her, miserable. So much of life is out of our hands completely, so it makes sense to drop the worry beads, and trust that the world is unfolding…

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Destructive Delusions #5

5. Others Cause Misery: “My emotional misery comes from external pressures that I have little ability to change.” It’s known as the blame game and most of us participate in pointing fingers at others when the trouble lies within. Most unhappiness and misery is a direct result of the choices we make day to day, year to year. Accepting that we are responsible for our own happiness is the first step toward full fledged adulthood and genuine contentment. When you think the thought, “I’m miserable because of what he or she is doing,” think again, and honestly look at how your thinking…

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Destructive Delusions #4

4. Catastrophize: “When I get very frustrated, treated unfairly or rejected, I have to view things as awful, terrible, horrible and catastrophic.” Drama queens (and kings!) are expert at turning small incidents into big-time disasters. Do you make mole hills into mountains requiring lots of energy and effort? Do you get others into the mix, convincing them of the catastrophy? Check your thinking and if the words “awful, terrible, horrible and catastrophic” come up often, it’s time to regroup and keep things in perspective.

Destructive Delusions #2

2. Making Mistakes: “I must prove thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving at all times.” Re-read that sentence, and really let it sink in. Now, think about some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned over the course of your life. In each case, I’ll bet you learned more through your mistakes than your accomplishments. To err is human, right? We have good days and bad days, and many days somewhere in between. Give yourself a break when you make mistakes. Admit when you’re wrong, learn from the experience and move on.

Destructive Delusions #1

For the New Year, I invite you to review the “Dirty Dozen Destructive Delusions” put forth a number of years ago by the American Management Association. Some may not apply to you, but I’ll bet a box of bons bons that at least one does. Let 2012 be the year to detatch from these energy drainers and realize that the name of the game is progress, not perfection. 1. Needing Approval: “Everyone I work with must approve of me at all times.” You feel that pit in your stomach when someone in a meeting disagrees with something you said. You second-guess…

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Some Employees Simply Don’t Care

My last blog post was about a manager’s hesitation to introduce his talented but heavily pierced/tattooed employee to others in senior management. This must be a trend, because I recently got a call from a client who has an employee who, despite numerous discussions about her choice of dress, has decided to stick with her mode of self-expression (which happens to be what I call “club girl,” also known in some circles as “hootchie”). Her male manager no longer felt comfortable having the employee in front of clients. The young woman (let’s call her Jackie) was told she could not…

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Professionally Persistent

Yesterday I received a sales call from someone I met recently who would like to do business. While I’m not in need of his services at the moment, I would certainly like to keep in touch. He understood that the timing wasn’t right, and asked if he could be “professionally persistent” and call me next month. I almost fell out of my chair. Yes! Please, be persistent in a professional manner. Not aggressively so: “I’ve been calling you for months, isn’t it time we do business together?”, nor the reverse, painfully meek: “You probably have found another source by now,…

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Destructive Delusions #2

2. Making Mistakes: “I must prove thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving at all times.” Yeah, right. Every waking minute you must be perfect! Thinking like this is a one-way ticket to crazyland. As humans, we have good days and bad, triumphs and failures – it’s called living! Do your best to prepare, think through and execute the best way you know how. Find a mentor who will be honest and straight forward with you and go to this person when you’ve made a mistake and turn whatever happened into a learning experience. And don’t forget, when you fall short, be kind…

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