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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Choose Your Mentee Carefully

Coach's Corner

When you agree to mentor someone, you’re trading away hours that you could use to pursue your own career goals and spending them on someone else’s. You don’t want to waste your time, so choose a mentee who you’ll be eager to invest in. Assess potential mentees for curiosity, organization, efficiency, and engagement. Ask candidates to prepare a presentation in their area of expertise, or to join you on a…

Think Twice Before Challenging a Negative Performance Review

Coach's Corner

No one likes to get a bad review, especially one you think is flat-out wrong. But before you tell your boss that their assessment missed the mark, bite your tongue. Instead, say something like: “This assessment comes as a surprise. I’d like to think about it and perhaps have another conversation before this becomes official. May I get back to you in a day or two?” That lets your boss…

To Be More Productive, Become More Efficient

Coach's Corner

Do you find yourself struggling to finish your to-do list — even after prioritizing, planning, and delegating? If so, consider whether you could work more efficiently. Small changes to your work style could end up saving you hours each week. For instance, before eagerly jumping into a new project, talk to stakeholders about their expectations so that you know what to prioritize. Maybe they want a detailed project plan, but…

How to Work with Someone Who Bugs You

Coach's Corner

Sometimes you have to work with a colleague you don’t particularly like. They may not be toxic or difficult — they might just get on your nerves.  To work with them productively, remind yourself that while you won’t get along with everyone, there is potential value in every interaction. Think about the other person’s point of view: Why do they do the things that annoy you? What might be motivating…

Build a Network That Challenges Your Point of View

Coach's Corner

When your network is mostly people whose backgrounds and skill sets are similar to yours, it’s unlikely you will find new ideas or creative solutions. Diversify your network by connecting with people whose viewpoints, insights, and experiences differ from your own. When you meet someone new, talk about what you don’t have in common. Ask friends to introduce you to their contacts who have an interesting job or who work…

How to Deal with a Compromising Situation at Work

Coach's Corner

No one wants to feel pressured to do something they don’t agree with. But what should you do if the incentives at your company seem to be rewarding behavior that you believe is bad for your customers or clients, or maybe even illegal? If you find yourself in this precarious situation, take a step back and make sure you really understand the situation. Ask yourself: Is this a practice that’s…

Show Empathy for Your Team

Coach's Corner

There’s no doubt that people want to feel appreciated and listened to at work. As a leader, it’s your job to create an empathetic environment where everyone feels valued. Here are a few simple things you can do to show empathy for your team:

Create Your Own Networking Event

If you want to expand your network, skip the traditional events and create a setting where you can interact with people looking to achieve the same things you are. One way to do this is by hosting your own get-together with people you already know, and ask them each to bring a friend. This will give you control over the attendees, the setting, and the outcome. Start by asking yourself…

If Colleagues Keep Asking You for Help, Set Boundaries

It’s nice to know that colleagues trust you with their problems. But being the person who coworkers always turn to for support can be exhausting and stressful, so it’s important to learn to say no. You can be supportive while putting up boundaries: Convey empathy. Make it clear that you feel your colleague’s pain and that you’re not denying that their feelings are legitimate. Tell your coworker that you’re not…

Stand Up to the Office Soapboxer

We’ve all worked with that person who is utterly convinced that their view is the only view — and isn’t afraid to vocalize it. This can be annoying, and even disruptive, but you don’t have to stand for it. When the person gets on their soapbox during a meeting, hear the opinion out and then refocus the group on the task of making a decision together. Don’t get wrapped up…

Assess Whether Your Direct Report Is Ready to Be a Manager

You have an ambitious team member who is working toward a promotion. They’re great at their job, but are they cut out to lead others? Measure their potential by gauging their interest in managing. Ask them what they believe management entails and what their approach would be. Inquire about any experience they’ve had outside of work that could provide useful preparation. Have they been in charge of an athletic team…