Whether an individual, team, or organization,
increase your value by developing the voice of a leader.

Liz Trocchio Smith

Liz Trocchio Smith
Certified Executive Business Coach
and Trusted Advisor

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To Motivate Your Employees, Draw from Your Own Experience

It’s not always easy to get the most from your employees. If you’re struggling to inspire the people on your team, look to your past. Think about your own experience and what motivated you when you were in the lower levels of a company. Who was the best boss you ever had? What did that person do to make you want to perform at your best? Reflect on what made…

Start Practicing Self-Reflection in a Few Simple Steps

Research has shown that reflection boosts productivity. Yet few of us make time to reflect. Why? For one, figuring out where to begin can be difficult. Start by identifying a few important questions that you want to address. Here are some possibilities: “What am I avoiding?” “How am I helping my colleagues achieve their goals?” “How am I not helping, or even hindering, their progress?” Then choose a reflection process…

Don’t Let Pressure Turn into Stress

Pressure and stress are not the same thing. But the former is converted into the latter when you add one ingredient: rumination, the tendency to keep thinking about past or future events in a negative way. When you start ruminating (you’ll notice that your attention gets caught in an unproductive loop, like a hamster on a wheel), redirect yourself toward areas in which you can take useful action. Try this…

Bosses Shouldn’t Play Favorites

It’s natural to like some colleagues more than others. But when you’re the boss, treating direct reports differently — and especially playing favorites — is unwise and unfair. To make sure you don’t give anyone special treatment, divvy up choice assignments in a fair and equitable way. Keep a record of whom you brought to the last high-level presentation and who took the lead on the last big project. Simple…

Don’t Solve Your Team’s Problems for Them

If your team is constantly bringing issues to you rather than addressing them on their own, you aren’t doing your job as a manager. So only let problems get escalated to you thoughtfully and occasionally. To make sure you’re not stepping in when you shouldn’t, ask yourself several questions. For example, don’t ask “How do we solve the problem?” until you’ve paused and considered “Who should own this problem?” Balance…

Are You Really Listening?

“When people talk, listen completely.  Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway Listening is the foundation of any good relationship.  Great leaders listen to what their customers and prospects want and need, and they listen to the challenges those customers face.  They listen to colleagues and are open to new ideas.  They listen to their employees – everyone from the receptionist to the shareholders and investors.  Leaders listen to what…

Rethink What You Want to Do vs. What You “Should” Do

Are you doing the things you want to do? Or the things you think you should? Sometimes, other people’s wishes tamp down our true desires for our jobs and careers. But dutifully fulfilling others’ expectations is unlikely to make you happy over the long run. To figure out what you’re truly passionate about, try this experiment: 1. Identify one specific activity to examine, whether it’s something you’re unhappy with or…

Why We Watch The Super Bowl

Super bowl Sunday, the most anticipated, sought after sporting event of the year.  An unofficial national holiday.  Why do we watch it? I polled over 100 participants (and non participants) before and during the game, and I observed others at a party during the game.  A LOT of people at the party didn’t know there was a game going on, no seriously! Here are the Top 10 reasons why we…

Cool Down Before Addressing A Conflict

It’s tough to be rational when you’re upset or angry. If you’re having a conflict with a colleague and feel worked up, you’re unlikely to make good decisions about what to say or do. Rather than jumping into the discussion right away, buy yourself some time.  Explain to your colleague that you need to think through the issue before coming back to it. (Don’t tell the other person that they…

Help Your Team Be More Strategic by Asking the Right Questions

Being a strategic leader starts with asking your team the right questions about their work, your company, and the big picture. Here are five questions to pose to team members on a regular basis: What are you doing today? This will bring to light any significant work that you aren’t aware is being done or that’s taking much more time than it should. Why are you doing the work you’re…

Surround Yourself with People Who Will Push You to Grow

When it comes to planning our careers, we carefully choose our companies and jobs. But rarely are we deliberate about selecting the advisers and confidantes who help us succeed. Cultivate a support group for your career by thinking about whose advice and expertise you wish you had on speed dial. Consider who you feel inspired by, whether they’re colleagues, senior leaders, or peers in your field. Seek these individuals out,…