Important Discussions with Your Boss – Everything is a Negotiation

Often, I see clients put off important discussions with their bosses because they aren’t really sure how to structure them and fear they may come off as expecting too much and eventually feel rejected. This is unwise. A little preparation can earn you respect and what you want. 

How to prepare for the meeting: 

  1. Ask for a specific meeting date/time. This will underscore its importance. Don’t have the discussion after another meeting or as a sidebar conversation. Label the meeting something that is important to the organization – not yourself: ABC Company Priorities and (Your Department).
  2. What’s the goal? This meeting is not a discussion. You are not mind mapping here. It is a negotiation. Know what you want to occur by the end of the meeting: i.e., I will now spend my time working on important projects, not things that are randomly assigned to me. I have an idea on how to minimize those things and who is more appropriate to do them.
  3. Know your...
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A Special New Year’s Message and Gift for You

Yes, it’s the week most people are doing the “what am I going to do in the new year?” struggle. We reflect on the past year and wonder, even worry sometimes, about what the plan will be for change in the new year.

 Resolutions are pointless because they’re not tied to a linear system to create practices that make them happen. Most people don’t stick to resolutions and end up feeling more defeated when they can’t.  

So, they dummy down real goal setting to things like, “I won’t swear.” Or “I’ll lose 5 pounds.” Or “I’ll get that project finished on time.” These are simply notions. All of these are not tied to defined values or a mindset and plan that changes habits. They likely will not occur either. More defeat.  

It makes me sad to watch great people undercut their happiness.  

This week my clients do something else. They use a tool to guide them through a healthy reflection...

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Why Sometimes You Feel Small

Judgment is never helpful. It makes us artificially feel big when in fact it is a covering for feeling small. Life isn’t binary. There is a lot of grey between black and white. When we can be still enough to be aware of the grey we can honor the emotion that needs to be released so that we may see the clearing that calls us. Everyone is not called to the same path. The world is big. We can allow for lots of paths. We just have to be willing to walk our path alone. That’s self-acceptance. That’s knowing that we’re always evolving and learning. That’s being satisfied. That’s peace. 

We aren’t victims of our lives, we are conductors. 

We need reminders to help us stay on our path. Mindful routines do this. Each morning I do yoga, drink a slow glass of water, meditate, set three daily goals and set a daily intention. These routines take less than 30 minutes and help me start my day fresh, aware and totally focused on how I choose to...

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Managing Staff in Today's Culture

Every office is struggling with hiring and employee retention. I read and study it with fascination. The Industrial Age left employees with few options and they stayed because it was safe. The Information Age inspired a standard of living that employees aspired to and climbing the corporate ladder was what kept people motivated. After the economic crash of 2008 the Social Age emerged where people want quality of life because the economy and jobs are too unforgiving and unstable. We have to adapt because creating cultures that play to past Age dynamics are not working. 

Create an environment where employees have an opportunity to learn, grow, expand, explore. Options are abundant for employees. Contracts and incentives to stay don’t work. Don’t expect their loyalty or that they need you because your company is the biggest, or that the safety of their secure job will keep them. They’ll leave for a better opportunity to challenge themselves. You must be their...

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Can We Please Nomalize PTO?

Can we all please normalize appreciating PTO. Arnie and I decided a long time ago that we have to be the ones to prioritize our wellbeing. We didn’t wait for retirement to get the beach house. We don’t wait for retirement to travel. We don’t wait for retirement to regularly visit our children out of town. We don’t wait for retirement to take up hobbies, new sports, creative endeavors, meet new friends. We don’t have a bucket list. We live it every day. 

I've spent most of my career as an execuitive at hospitals all to often seeing people retire, think they're going to do everything they've been waiting their whole lives to do, and an illness stops them in their tracks. Don't wait. Scale your dreams to what is reasonable and live them now.

Arnie and I are both high achievers and realize that sometimes doing our best means reflecting on what’s in the way of that happening. 

The American culture has convinced many people that the work...

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When People Around You Are Quiet Quitting

How many of you have seen this? You work in a culture where mediocrity is the norm. Where there is no incentive to be more dedicated because the underperformers are allowed to do the minimum. Where much is expected and there is little appreciation or reward.

There is a term for people who want to do the minimum of what is expected and nothing more. "Quite Quitting." I've seen this term debated and justified many times. Some cultures are so toxic that people quiet quit just to maintain their sanity. Other people become so disgruntled with their boss, having been passed over for promotion, an unfair distribution of work, or some other practice that they become tired, burned out and angry. Quiet quitting is intentional and becomes a survival mechanism.

My take on it is this - We don't get chosen for employment. We choose employers. We apply, interview and accept a position. We aren't entitled to work anywhere. We choose to. If we aren't happy there we can choose to have a...

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So Much Tension

Do you ever look out at the world and wonder why with so much beauty there is so much tension? Why at work there is a sound mission yet there are personal agendas, bureaucracy, posturing and cynicism. 

Why at home and with friends there is love yet there are interpersonal struggles. 

Why with your free time there are interests but there never seems to be enough time to get to them. 

I took this photo on the beach recently because it reminded me that when we slow to a standstill we can actually canvas the landscape to notice not only what we need but more importantly what we want. 

You think you need a new job. You think you need a different partner, more love, new friends. You think you need more time. 

What you really want is to show up at work with confidence, influence and strategic execution that matters, gets noticed and opens opportunities for you to serve in a stronger capacity. 

What you want is to go home, not reach for cookies or wine,...

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When You Think It's Your Age

Everyday I see something posted regarding a new Diversity-Equity-Inclusion officer hired, a new DEI initiative, a DEI role posted. Rarely, if ever, do I see any content related to age discrimination. It’s hardly ever discussed, neglected from many DEI trainings and is a huge problem. I know this because of the number of clients I have who experience this. It’s the largest segment of my executive coaching practice. 

DEI Officers: When you omit this as a priority from your programs you undercut your effectiveness because you lose buyin from this audience who start noticing ageism in their 40s. They are sitting there, but not buying in. No other group of constituents is larger or better posed to help you advance change than those from 40 to 67. 

Everyone Else: You may not think a lot about discrimination because it doesn’t effect you. Don’t discriminate at any level because it’s wrong and demonstrates your lack of compassion, intelligence and...

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TRANSCRIPT The Still Space Podcast Episode #3 - The Three Things

TRANSCRIPT Episode #3 The Three Things

The audio podcast can be heard here: https://www.maryleegannon.com/podcasts/the-still-space-podcast/episodes/2147754071 You can subscribe there as well.

The Three Things

    I used to think that being good at something and working hard was all it took to succeed. I taught myself a lot of skills, many at which I was a rock star. I rose quickly in the corporate world. By most measures I was a success. But it didn’t feel that way. No matter how many president or executive director roles I had I never really felt satisfied. I felt like I was practicing the lead role as an understudy and that any day the real star would show up and steal it away. Being divorced only made it worse. So, I put my head down and just kept working harder and gaining more for corporate America. The only thing I achieved for myself was exhaustion.

     That’s when I started observing people who truly understood peace. I...

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TRANSCRIPT The Still Space Podcast Episode #2 - The Dance with Your Ego

TRANSCRIPT Episode #2 The Dance with Your Ego

The audio podcast can be heard here: https://www.maryleegannon.com/podcasts/the-still-space-podcast/episodes/2147754071 You can subscribe there as well.

The Dance with Your Ego

     Self-awareness is two-fold – internal and external. People with high self-awareness are in touch with their own feelings, values, strengths, priorities, and emotions. They are also aware that others have these same traits. Strong leaders can see people for who they are without judging themselves for not being the same or good enough to have gotten to where they are. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.

     My story is living testament that anyone can turn their life, their perspective, their relationships, their leadership, their career around by developing The Three Things, yet it all began with self-awareness. At the age of 35 I was a stay-at-home mother with four children under...

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