Karen Darrin

Self-Appraisals: Crucial for your Career Development

Many companies ask employees to complete self-appraisals. These self-appraisals are then reviewed by the employee’s manager and, often times, included in the employee’s performance review. While many people scoff at this process and don’t take it seriously, it can...

A 4-Step Coaching Model for Leaders

Coaching is an essential leadership skill that works best when the leader is in the right frame of mind.  Your best mindset is to approach coaching interactions by being open-minded, non-judgmental and always assuming positive intent. Here is a framework you can try....

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3 Ways to Stop Limiting your Happiness

“The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level” by Gay Hendricks is one of those books I reread. because there are key concepts in it that deeply resonate with me and I continue to work on. Last week, I wrote about one of those key concepts....

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What is Your Zone of Genius?

My library has a number of books that are highlighted, dog-eared, and have margins full of my musings. These books inspire my growth and challenge my thinking. I'll randomly yank one off the shelf when I need a jolt of inspiration. One of these books is "The Big Leap:...

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Post-Traumatic Growth

Failures, challenges, and mistakes… they happen to the best of us. Here's a new way of thinking about the bad things that happened to us. It is a concept called: Post Traumatic Growth: (PTG) The positive mental shift experienced as a result of adversity. We hear a lot...

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4 Ways to Increase your Emotional Agility

Emotional agility is how we manage, interact with, and navigate our inner feelings, thoughts, and experiences. It’s the ability to take a step back from your current situation or experience and determine the desired outcome. This is all done without riding the passion...

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The Perils of Perfectionism

Being described as a perfectionist often carries a positive connotation. It implies high standards and keen attention to detail. If you are on the receiving end, you can generally count on work being provided that is of excellent quality. If you are the carrier of...

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Busy Is Not The Point

Busy is not the point ~ Seth Godin Seth Godin is a rock star and if you haven't heard of him, read him or listened to his insightful wisdom on his slew of podcast interviews, well, so much for you and business in today's world. He is direct, articulate, a certifiable...

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Time Management Matrix: Urgent vs. Important

When it comes to being efficient, Stephen Covey’s time management matrix (originally called "The Eisenhower Matrix" after President Dwight Eisenhower) makes it easy to figure out what you “need” to be doing with your time and attention. Covey is the author of The...

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What is Your Mindset and Why Does it Matter?

Much of who you are on a day-to-day basis comes from your mindset. Your mindset is the view you have of your qualities and characteristics – where they come from and whether they can change. For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt of yourself...

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3 Ways to Manage an Introverted Employee

Last week, I wrote about how an introverted professional can excel as a manager. There are specific skills an introvert can bring to a team that an extrovert typically does not naturally exhibit. Those skills are: Introverts are motivated by productivity, rather than...

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4 Ways An Introverted Leader Thrives

As an introvert, I assumed that I would not be a good leader. However, I proved myself wrong on a number of occasions. I learned that being an introverted leader can be a superpower. What special skills did I bring that an extroverted leader did not? Research has...

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Fear Creates Courage

"Fear is the raw material from which courage is manufactured. Without it, we wouldn’t even know what it means to be brave." ~ Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck Dictionary.com defines courage as "the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face...

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Leading When the Future Is Fuzzy

We frequently find ourselves managing in situations of strategic ambiguity—when it isn’t clear where you’re going or how you’ll get there. It can feel like slogging through mud. Investments are stalled. Decisions are deferred. Resources are frozen. Fear, uncertainty,...

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Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life

Too often, we think of "success" or "doing what we love" as an end. It's some destination that we have to reach. What many people fail to realize is that both of those terms are more of an approach to the journey, not the end of the journey itself. You are...

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The World’s Worst Boss

"That would be you."Even if you’re not self-employed, your boss is you. You manage your career, your day, your responses. You manage how you sell your services and your education and the way you talk to yourself."Odds are, you’re doing it poorly." ~ Seth Godin Those...

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Ideas to Jumpstart Your 2019 Career Success

With the new year comes the chance of revitalizing your work and your future. In no particular order, here are brainstormed ideas to jumpstart your efforts to career success in 2019: Maintain a good work-life balance. A healthy balance can make all the difference...

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The Power of Asking Great Questions

How well do you ask questions? From my experience, most leaders don’t think about this skill. After all, you don’t usually find “the ability to ask questions” on any list of managerial competencies. But asking questions effectively is a major underlying part of a...

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5 Tips for When Your Company’s Been Acquired

When a company is acquired, employees can be among the last to hear about it — instead, rumors may surface in the media before the deal is even announced. Once it’s official, the organization generally tries to allay employees’ fears, assuring them that they will be...

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5 Ways to Thrive After Being Laid-Off

I laughed out loud when I told a client that I had been laid off five times and that it was the best training for human resources that I ever received. He was aghast that it was five times, I suppose. These days, being laid off is part of the career journey. You'd be...

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5 Tips on How to Deal with a Bad Boss

If you have a bad boss right now, my condolences. We have all had them and chances are you've had more bad bosses than bosses you could respect and model. It can be tricky to manage up when your direct manager is below average, but it is possible.  Here are a few...

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No Passion for Your Job? Follow Your Curiosity

With my work, I chat with many professionals sitting in their office/cubical day after day. They ask how they can find their passions when spending their days bogged down with projects that seem to have no lasting value. They want to do more with their lives but don't...

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6 Ways To Make Your Job Suck Less

Can't quit your job just yet for the sake of the benefits, paycheck, or just plain fear? Or maybe you've been at the same company for years and know that moving on would mean a big drop in salary. Yet, you slog in each day to a job that just plain sucks. People get...

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Go Slow to Go Fast

Chronic rushing through a never-ending to-do list feeds anxiety and heightens stress levels. Due to the epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, released in the brain during stressful periods, our brains get “hooked” on the stimulation of activity. Our bodies become...

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How to Increase Your Confidence

CALL TO ACTION:  Feeling less than confident at work? Let’s strategize on how to up your energy and feel more capable at work. Slot a complimentary 30-min consult here:  Schedule Free Consult. Have you lost confidence in your ability to do your job? Perhaps your...

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How to Stand Out from Other Candidates

CALL TO ACTION:  Feeling less than confident with interviews or big presentation coming up? Let’s outline the best strategy to impress and knock it out of the ballpark! Slot a complimentary 30-min consult here:  Schedule Free Consult. As an HR professional, selecting...

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The Power of Reflection

CALL TO ACTION:  Feel stuck in your job? Let’s outline your best strategy to success. Schedule a complimentary 30-min consult here:  Schedule Free Consult. Reflecting on life and work events, no matter how big or small, is a very powerful tool for developing yourself...

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How Teams Can Improve Your Self-Awareness

CALL TO ACTION:  Want to improve your self-awareness? Let’s outline your best strategy to success. Schedule a complimentary 30-min consult here:  Schedule Free Consult. There are many compelling reasons to build a high-performing team. Great teams deliver stronger...

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5 Ways to Boost Your Career Success

Sit down and define what you are looking for out of your career. If you haven’t defined your own career success, it means someone else has already done it for you. That may be good or it may be a hot mess, which is what happened to me. I thrashed around for years...

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Finding Purpose in Your Job

Do you dread going into the office Monday morning? Maybe a new boss has entered the equation, creating a rift between how you once felt and how you now feel. Perhaps your company has recently been acquired, changing the culture. Maybe you simply have outgrown your...

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5 Ways to Stand Out When Interviewing

You've just landed a job interview for a position you really want. Congratulations! Now, you know you only get one chance to impress, but how exactly do you do that? Here are my top 5 ways to ace the interviewing process and stand out from other candidates. 1. ...

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5 Ways to Build Trust at Work

“It is the one quality that cannot be acquired, it must be earned.” –Warren Bennis, on trust You won’t find this in your new employee orientation guide or on a job description, but building trust with your leaders, peers and clients, is one of the most important...

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5 Ways to Nurture Your Network

Having a large network is great, but you must nurture these relationships. Otherwise, people can quickly forget about you. The goal is to stay “top of mind,” which can only happen if you make regular efforts to stay in contact and engage in meaningful communication...

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4 Ways to Look Confident When Presenting

The key to a good presentation is confidence. While some people have a knack for public speaking and giving presentations, it doesn't come so naturally to others. Fear can keep us stuck, possibly not moving forward in our careers by stepping up and being a presenter....

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Why Am I Not Getting Hired?

Many of you may ask yourself that question when you did not get the job, promotion, or even lateral position within your organization. You felt energized after the interviews and yet surprisingly, did not get the role. Why not? What could you have done differently?...

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Managing Yourself While in a Toxic Workplace

I would bet most of you have experienced a toxic workplace.  It could have been caused by one venomous  leader or a whole organization. The "dis-ease" could be from a mismatch in your values and the organization's values and practices. There are many reasons. But you...

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4 Ways Office Politics Can Help Your Career

You can’t avoid office politics. It’s a fact of life. You may have negative feelings about it. You may think you’re taking the high road by ignoring it. However, your lack of attention to what’s happening in the workplace can be extremely dangerous. Office politics...

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3 Tips on How to Not Take Anything Personally

In The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz, the second agreement is “Don’t take anything personally.” Ruiz writes: “Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing...

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4 Steps to Boost Your Self-Confidence

Last week, I shared "6 Steps to Boost Your Self-Confidence."  The steps were: Visualize yourself as you want to be. Do one thing that scares you everyday. Question your "Inner Critic." Set yourself up to win. Stand tall. Forgive yourself. I received so many "thank...

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6 Steps to Boost Your Self-Confidence

Many of my clients come to me with the desire for a new job, new leadership skills, recrafting their current job or needing to figure out how to get "unstuck" in their lives.  At the center of those tactical shifts is the prerequisite of having enough self-confidence...

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If Willpower Doesn’t Work, What Does?

We rely on willpower to create change in our lives...but what if we're thinking about it all wrong? In Willpower Doesn't Work, Benjamin Hardy explains that willpower is nothing more than a deterrent that is bound to fail. Instead of "white-knuckling" your way to...

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Acting Confident When You’re Not

Confidence is highly coveted, yet often elusive. We dedicate time and energy to cultivating the feeling so we can tap into it when we need it most: at work, in business meetings, during tough conversations. Fortunately, there are a few science-backed tricks to get us...

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Why You’re Stuck and What To Do About It

We often feel stuck when we don't know what to do. I have been there many times as have my clients. We paralyze ourselves with ongoing dreams of what else we'd like to do and then, reality slaps us around with how insane that idea is because we can't lose this regular...

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Tips for Resolving Workplace Conflict

Conflict is an inevitable part of work. We've all seen situations where people with different goals and needs have clashed, and we've all witnessed the often intense personal animosity that can result.  But, conflict is not necessarily a bad thing. When you resolve it...

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How to Climb Out of a Career Rut

With the U.S. economy on solid footing, American workers may be feeling better about their career prospects, but most aren’t thrilled with their actual jobs. In fact, two-thirds are disengaged at work, or worse, according to a new Gallup study on the American...

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Job Crafting – Create Meaning in Your Work

My client came to me wanting to regain her "new hire energy" for her current job. She felt stagnant and trapped by the tension between day-to-day demands and what she really wanted to be doing. Sound familiar? Over the past couple years, I’ve spoken with hundreds of...

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Stuck? Move! You are Not a Tree!

As a personal development coach, I have spoken to hundreds of people who are bored, paralyzed or victimized by aspects of their lives:  job, career, relationship, health issues, etc. They say they hate the situation but drag themselves through it day after day, which...

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Worry Wart — Why We Have a Negativity Bias

I can have a great day rich with the things I love but, as I wind down for the evening, why do I focus on that one mean and anonymous comment I received on social media? Why do we focus on the negative so much? You can thank our brain's evolutionary negativity bias....

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Your Inner Critic: The Meanest Bully Ever

The "Inner Critic" is that voice in your head that is constantly chattering away about your performance, appearance, intelligence, social skills... well, you name it and the Inner Critic has a dark opinion about it. Wikipedia defines Inner Critic as: "a...

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Story Fondling – How to Stay Stuck

Being stuck - feeling powerless and confused - happens to all of us at some time or another.  We have a problem and can't seem to find a way out. Why is that? When we stay focused on the problem, it  prevents us from having to come up with a solution. We love our...

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What Kind of Christmas Cookie are You?

I don't know about you but this time of year is rather crazy-making.  Parties, presents to buy and wrap, tree to select, buy, decorate, keep alive.  It can go on and on especially if you let yourself get sucked up into the HO-HO Vortex.  I challenge you to not get...

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3 Steps to Finding Bliss in Your Job

As a career coach, I have spoken to hundreds of people who are bored, paralyzed or victimized by their 9-5 job. They say they hate it but drag themselves in day after day, which quickly becomes year after year. Can you relate? Ask them why and you’ll get the usual...

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The Energy of Giving

  I love to see formerly abused animals blossom under new love and care. I am amazed every time I see an abused dog, cat, horse, cow, etc. who is now safe at a sanctuary (CircleL.org or BestFriends.org, my two favorites) start to trust humans again. It empowers...

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The Power of Trust

I have had the most amazing experience these last fourteen months. I volunteer at a ranch sanctuary (CircleL.org) and I started working with a very abused horse named Starlight.  She had been at the ranch a few years already (brought to them by the authorities) and no...

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Notice Your Thoughts

For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with low self-esteem. "I am not enough" is like a banner that I whip out and wave whenever I feel fear or when I tried and failed at something. The thought holds me back from all the things I really want in life. Over...

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What is Your Body Telling You?

  I recently went on two amazing and unrelated trips which just happen to be back-to-back weekends. Each event alone would have wiped me out with the crazy airport shuffle, but having them be right beside each other on the schedule put me flat on my back....

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Your New BFF – Fear

Fear is one of those four letter words that sends me into a fetal position under my desk. When I feel it, I want to ignore it, shame myself for feeling it or even worse, dive in carelessly by "pulling up my big girl panties."   I can tell you that none of those...

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