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Creating Successful Leaders

Tag Archives: Better Life

UXL, Margaret Smith, Befriend Your Boss

Let’s face it, the key to achieving many of your career goals (that promotion, that next raise, etc.) is to pass through the office gatekeeper: your boss. Befriending your boss can be a tricky endeavor. You don’t want to seem like a brown-noser or disingenuous. What’s more, your boss might seem distant or guarded, reluctant to make new acquaintances with people from the lower ranks. If that’s the case, you might want to set your sights on making an impression on your boss, rather than a friendship. But, no matter the situation, there are certain steps you can take to become more visible in a positive way in your boss’ eyes.

The key is to approach your boss in a natural, authentic way and treat her like any other human being. The goal is to develop an authentic relationship with another person, not to feel intimidated or uneasy with a superior. Try getting to know your boss like any other person at the office:

  • Say hello
  • Ask about his or her family (and remember family member names when they come up in conversation)
  • Ask about their weekend plans or ask about what they did this past weekend
  • Attend company events and make small talk with your boss
  • Discuss shared interests (but do NOT pretend to like something your boss does just to fit in)

Notice that this list does not include things like “buy him small gifts” or “call her to have coffee.” Those kind of activities tend to cross the boss-employee line (unless, of course, you actually are close friends with your boss OR your boss is the kind of person who enjoys regularly going out for coffee with her employees).

The other way to gain positive attention from your boss is to make your achievements known. Stand out from the crowd by speaking up at meetings, volunteering for extra projects (and delivering excellent results), and involving yourself in extracurricular work events. Make yourself a positive presence—someone who is friendly and inclusive, rather than closed off and self-centered—and you will be noticed. Even if you do not quite reach friendship level with your boss, you can at least make yourself visible and visibility goes a long way toward reaching your career goals.

Are you having trouble with your boss? Not connecting with office leadership? Contact me and we can discuss some potential solutions.


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What does Goldie Hawn know about happiness?

More than you might think. Not only has the award-winning actress penned a book about mental wellbeing and mindfulness (entitled 10 Mindful Minutes), she is also immersed in a project called MindUP™, which is an education program designed to help children learn through a holistic and positive approach. Additionally, she runs the Hawn Foundation, whose mission is, in a nutshell, to improve the health and happiness of people of all ages.

Hawn hasn’t always experienced personal happiness, however. In her 2005 memoir, A Lotus Grows in the Mud, she revealed that she often suffered from anxiety attacks, depression, and nausea during her early years of fame. She underwent nine years of therapy and eventually managed to pull herself out of a long, deep rut. Now, she’s determined to teach others how to live a joy-filled life.

One of the tricks, according to Hawn, is to start your morning by “focusing on what’s beautiful.” Make an effort to think positive, affirming thoughts from the moment you wake up and soon it will become a habit.

Hawn also encourages us to think of three things every day that make us happy. If we keep those three things at the top of our minds instead of dwelling on all the negativity around us, we have the potential to be “more creative, constructive, and productive.”

What are some of your techniques for staying positive and happy?

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By Margaret Smith, UXL

Sometimes all it takes is a small change to our daily lives to shake things up a bit and rearrange the way we live. Whether you’re interested in revamping your career or your social life, these simple tips will add a little freshness to your typical day.

Stop Dreaming about It and Ask for It!

“Ask and you shall receive” and “the squeaky wheel gets the oil” are popular idioms because they’re both true. Instead of dreaming about that interesting project or wishing that you could work for your dream company, actually go for it! Whether it’s being persistent about a job opening or pushing for more opportunities at work, don’t hesitate to ask for what you want.

Get Involved

Join a network or attend a program that will keep you motivated, informed, and engaged. Nothing is better for motivation than surrounding yourself with other driven and inspirational people. Even if it’s as simple as setting aside time to meet with your friends to discuss your career or current local issues, gathering with the goal of sharing and supporting is always good for exchanging new ideas and propelling change.

Expand Your Mind

It’s never too late to learn a new skill or try something new. Taking that Thai cooking class or attending a seminar on technology may be just the thing you need to rediscover creative energy, make new connections, and reshape your life.

Do Something Differently

We often cling to our habits and routines because they’re comfortable and safe. But what if mixing up your route to work made your day a little more relaxed? How about skipping the typical perfectionist attitude about your morning routine? You may just discover a better way of living.

Mix the Professional and Personal

Stop attempting to separate your human connections into categories such as “professional” and “personal”. If you begin to deconstruct this division, you’ll find that the people you interact with through work are a great addition to your social existence, and that your personal connections can also offer fantastic insight and benefits into your career. After all, you do often spend more time during the week with your coworkers than your family—why not enjoy it?!

Do you have questions about developing your career, landing the job of your dreams, or finding more joy and contentment in life? Contact UXL Today to transform the future of your business or career through guided professional coaching.

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