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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We All Say “Um,” “Like,” and “You Know” Too Much. Here’s How to Stop.

Like most people, you probably lean on filler words while speaking, such as “um,” “ah,” or “you know.” But these verbal crutches diminish your credibility and distract from your message. To drop them from your speech, replace them with pauses. Start by identifying the filler words you use too often, and then pair them with an action. For example, every time you catch yourself saying “like,” tap your leg. This…

Ego’s…..We All Have Them

Managing egos, the over and under-inflated, the forceful and the fragile – is one of the great challenges facing any leader.  It is a crucial task, however, if a group is going to have a fighting chance to succeed, to become a true team rather than a collection of individuals – lone wolves – each looking out for him or herself rather than the “pack”.  Leadership must get those individuals…

Lead with Optimism, Even in Difficult Times

Even in dire circumstances, you can still lead with optimism, helping your team and your customers stay resilient amidst uncertainty. The first step is to be a role model. Lip service alone won’t work. Also, keep in mind that a positive outlook is easier to adopt as a group, so help employees foster a sense of connection with each other. This can be as simple as celebrating when a team…

Set Clear Boundaries When Working From Home

Balancing work and family has never been easy, but the global pandemic has led to a whole new set of challenges. If you’re struggling to be productive, consider setting boundaries for yourself and your kids. For example, you can make it clear to your family when you’re on and off the clock, trying to stay out of your office area during your “home” time. If something urgent comes up (and…

Set Clear “Communication Hours” For Your Team

When your team is working remotely — and possibly on different schedules — people can feel like they’re expected to be online all the time. But this lack of distinct downtime isn’t good for you or your team. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to establish communication norms while encouraging people to continue to work flexibly as needed. Define clear “communication hours,” for example, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,…

Make a “To Don’t” List

If you aren’t reaching your goals, the solution probably isn’t to take on more work. Instead, consider what you might stop doing. You’ll have more time for what really matters if you eliminate unnecessary busy work. Here’s a simple exercise to make that happen. First, identify a specific goal or an area of your work that you’d like to improve. Then, take a piece of paper and divide it in…

Step Away From the Screen Every Once in a While

It’s exhausting to look at a screen all day. And yet, if you’re working remotely, it may feel unavoidable. To maintain your energy throughout the workday, try to proactively disconnect from screens whenever you can. Remember that video calls aren’t necessary for every meeting: Try a regular phone call every once in a while to mix things up. Also, choose physical over digital when you can. Brainstorming ideas for an…

Do You Retain Enough of What You Read?

We’re consuming more information than ever before — but retaining all that knowledge is another story. If you find yourself struggling to use what you read (or even just remember it), you probably aren’t learning productively. To be a more efficient learner, try three things. First, focus your reading on a single topic for several months. The deeper you go into a subject, the stronger a foundation you’ll have for…

Yes, Your Phone Can Help You Build Better Habits

We often blame our phones for our worst habits, from multitasking to poor spelling. But our phones can just as easily help us build better habits, by triggering a desired behavior. Start by considering when and where you want the habit to happen. For example, if you want to start flossing your teeth every day, decide when you’ll do it (after dinner or before bed?) and where (bathroom or kitchen…

Use If-Then Thinking to Change Your Behavior

We all have habits and behaviors we wish we could change. But just being aware of a bad habit isn’t enough. To truly fix it, start by considering your goal (say, “I want my team to know that I trust them”) and the obstacles you expect to face along the way (“I struggle to delegate”). Next, frame what you will do about the obstacles as if-then statements. To address the…