All Posts By

David Smith

The Importance of Mental-First Aid for Managers

By | Atlanta Life Coach Online

Hello I Speak Life family I have been thinking about you and how I can be of service in 2024. I’m constantly thinking about adding value and expanding services and offerings. In doing so, I read this article about mental-first aid and the workforce. Here are a few thoughts. Read to the very end and see what is the exciting news for 2024.

In today’s fast-paced and challenging work environment, employees often find themselves facing various stressors that can impact their mental well-being. As a Cognitive Behavioral Specialist, it’s crucial to address the distressed workforce and emphasize the significance of managers understanding the basics of mental-first aid. The well-being of employees is not only a moral imperative but also directly correlates with overall workplace productivity and satisfaction.

In a recent article published in the Harvard Business Review titled “Helping An Employee in Distress,” the importance of recognizing and responding to employees facing mental health challenges is highlighted. The article underscores that managers play a pivotal role in fostering a supportive work environment. Here, we delve into the key aspects of understanding and implementing mental-first aid as a foundational skill for managers.

Recognizing Signs of Distress: Managers need to be vigilant about recognizing signs of distress in their team members. These signs may manifest as changes in behavior, decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, or visible signs of emotional distress. By being attuned to these indicators, managers can proactively address concerns before they escalate.

Creating a Safe Environment: A fundamental aspect of mental-first aid is creating an environment where employees feel safe discussing their mental health challenges. Managers should foster open communication, destigmatize mental health issues, and encourage team members to seek support when needed. This approach helps in breaking down barriers and promoting a culture of empathy and understanding.

Active Listening and Empathy: Managers equipped with the skills of mental-first aid should practice active listening and empathy. When an employee reaches out, it’s crucial for managers to listen without judgment, validate their feelings, and express empathy. Simple gestures like acknowledging the difficulty of their situation can go a long way in making employees feel heard and supported.

Providing Resources and Referrals: Managers should be knowledgeable about available mental health resources and support services. Whether it’s an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or external mental health professionals, providing information and facilitating access to these resources can be instrumental in helping employees navigate their challenges.

Establishing Boundaries and Encouraging Self-Care: Part of mental-first aid involves guiding employees on establishing healthy boundaries and encouraging self-care practices. Managers can play a role in promoting work-life balance, setting realistic expectations, and supporting initiatives that prioritize employee well-being.

Training for Managers: To effectively implement mental-first aid, managers should undergo training programs that equip them with the necessary skills. I will be offering this training very soon. All managers should be trained in first-aid and mental-first aid. In today’s workforce it is imperative that we understand cognitive behavior and what to do and what to look for.

The 1:1 Meeting

By | Atlanta Life Coach Online

Hello, I wanted to share with you a few thoughts on 1:1 meetings. In my work, I cover a lot of territory with clients. And one area that seems to continue to show up is the 1:1 meeting. It is either how to conduct them as a manager or what to expect as a direct report. I want to share with you how they could be conducted so each one can be productive and impactful.

Let’s do a reenactment. Bear with me this is a longer thread today.

Manager: Kick off with a quick recap. What have been the Major highlights for you since our last chat?

Employee: Give them 1-2 key updates and share 2-3 wins that showcase your effectiveness in the role.

“Absolutely. So, I’ve successfully closed two major deals this month, exceeding our targets. Additionally, the streamlined process we implemented has improved efficiency by 15%, contributing to our team’s overall effectiveness.”

Manager: Great to hear! Now, let’s talk about Alignment and Prioritization .

Employee: Are there things you’re working on aligning with our department and company goals? How are you feeling about your priorities? Anything that needs to be deprioritized or new things on the list that require prioritization.

“I’ve been reviewing my tasks, and they seem aligned, but I’m wondering if we need to adjust any priorities to better match the overall goals. Are there specific areas you think I should focus on more, or perhaps things that can be moved down the priority list?”

Manager: Good question. We’ll dive into that. Next up, Support.

Employee: Don’t forget to ask for what you need. The manager’s goal is to remove any barriers preventing you from excelling. What support do you require, and are there any obstacles hindering your performance that we can address together?

“I could use some additional resources for the upcoming project. Also, there are a few bottlenecks in the approval process that we should address. Any guidance or support in those areas would be immensely helpful.”

Manager: Thanks for sharing. Now, let’s talk about Feedback

Employee: How you feel you’re doing? And, you want to emphasize that development is crucial. Any specific areas you want to focus on, or are there opportunities for growth that you’re keen on exploring?

“ I feel good about my performance, but I’m eager for feedback on areas where I can improve. I’m particularly interested in opportunities for professional development that align with our team and company goals.”

Manager: Excellent. Let’s talk Follow-Up

Employee: Remember, this is the year to ask for what you need. You drive your career. Lastly, for our follow-up, let’s make sure to cover any outstanding items and discuss your progress on the goals we’ve set.

“I’d like to revisit the progress on the new project and discuss potential adjustments to our strategies based on the market trends. Also, if we could touch base on my development plan, that would be fantastic.”

Manager: Absolutely, we’ll cover those in our next meeting. This is a partnership, and I’m here to support your growth and success. Keep up the good work!

I hope you all found this to be helpful. The goal is to make these meetings count for both parties.

Please reach out to me if you need more support in this area.


Remote Work Productivity: Tips for Working from Home Effectively

By | Atlanta Life Coach Online, Black life coach, Business Coaching, Company News, Executive Coaching, Executive Life Coaching

We are all dealing with the “new normal,” which means juggling the demands of working from home for an unforeseen period. While this setup has the potential for increased productivity, many people are facing challenges in maintaining their performance. In this blog post, we will provide essential tips for those looking to improve their work performance while working from home.

Prioritize Preparation and Rest:

Your best work day starts the night before, with careful preparation and sufficient rest. Stick to your regular sleep schedule; studies have shown that adequate sleep is vital for optimal performance. Before you end your day, take the time to organize tasks and prepare for the next day, including packing your lunch. Remember, the next day’s production starts the night before.

Dress for Success – Even at Home:

Psychology plays a significant role in our approach to work. Therefore, it’s beneficial to get up, get dressed, and treat your remote workspace as if you are heading to the office. You don’t need to don a full suit or formal attire, but changing out of your night clothes can signal a shift in mindset and boost productivity.

Effective Communication:

While digital tools like Zoom, Slack, and Gotomeeting are valuable, don’t underestimate the power of a live voice. Take the time to pick up the phone and communicate directly with your team members, managers, or peers. This personal touch can enhance morale and overall productivity, preventing an over-reliance on back-to-back virtual meetings.

Optimize Your Work Space:

Create an efficient and comfortable work environment that mirrors your office setup. Invest in a suitable desk and chair that support good posture. If possible, position your desk near a window for natural light and a view. Personalize your space with items like family photos, a jar of candy, or awards to make it feel more inviting and motivating.

Maintain a Consistent Routine:

Avoid treating your home as a relaxation zone during work hours. Mirror your daily routine as if you were at the office. Schedule regular breaks and take your lunch at the same hour each day. Consistency helps maintain productivity by reinforcing a sense of structure and purpose in your workday.

Find Meaning in Your Work:

Take a moment to reflect on the meaning of work to you personally. Understanding why you work and what it means to you can be a powerful motivator. Use this insight to fuel your drive and commitment to excel in your remote work environment.

By following these practical tips, you can significantly enhance your work performance while working from home. Embrace the “new normal” with these strategies, and you’ll find yourself adapting and thriving in this remote work era.

Remember, remote work offers unique opportunities for productivity and work-life balance. With the right approach and mindset, you can make the most of this arrangement and excel in your professional endeavor.

Working from home doesn’t have to be a challenge. Implement these proven tips and watch your productivity soar while you enjoy the comfort of your own space. Embrace the “new normal” and excel in your remote work endeavors!

Have more productivity tips to share or questions to ask? Join the conversation in the comments section below. Let’s empower each other to thrive in this remote work era.

And don’t forget to share this post with your friends and colleagues who could use some productivity inspiration in their remote work journey!

How Forward-Thinking Leaders Drive Success

By | Uncategorized

In todays rapidly evolving business landscape, visionary leaders are more important than ever. These are the individuals who have a unique ability to see the bigger picture, anticipate changes before they happen, and inspire others to follow them towards success.

But what exactly is visionary leadership? and how do these leaders drive success in their organizations?

At its core, visionary leadership is about creating a clear, compelling vision of the future and communicating it in a way that inspires and motivates others to act.  It’s about taking calculated risks, embracing innovation and change, and challenging the status quo.

One of the key traits of visionary leaders is their ability to think long-term.  They are constantly looking ahead, anticipating trends and distortions, and developing strategies that position their organization for success in the future.  They are not afraid to take risks, experiment with new ideas, and pivot quickly when necessary.

Perhaps most importantly, they recognize that they do not have all the answers, and they encourage their teams to experiment, take risks, and share their ideas openly.  They value diversity and inclusivity, and they create an environment where everyone feels heard and valued.

If you aspire to be a visionary leader, start by developing your strategic thinking skills, honing your communication abilities,and creating a culture of innovation and collaboration in your organization.

Let us drive success on today.

How To Get Your Raise

By | Executive Life Coaching

Naturally, you want to be paid what you’re worth.

An automatic pay rise used to be the norm. But, nowadays due to the economic situation, you have to toughen up and ask.

In some industries, such as tech and finance where expertise is rarer, pay raises are still commonplace. But, if you’re in a career that’s quite saturated you’ll probably have a harder time.

It doesn’t mean you won’t get a raise though, all you have to do.

If the sound of asking for a raise daunts you, a little preparation and planning can give you confidence.

Can You Justify a Raise?

First up, it’s important, to be honest with yourself. Are you already paid a great salary for your job? Will you be able to justify asking your boss for more.

If you’ve been in your job a while and have had persistently glowing performance reviews, then you may be in line for a raise.

You can typically justify a raise if you can quantify how much you have made or saved for the company.

Approaching your line manager for a raise will be less nerve-racking if you’re armed with the knowledge of your accomplishments.

Your current salary will also be a factor, if you’re already earning above average for your position it might be a bit tricky.

Knowing Your Worth

You can check the market rate for your position by using a salary calculator like the Know Your Worth™ website by Glassdoor or

You can also look at job postings on the internet and in the newspaper to get an idea of the typical salary for your position and level of responsibility.

As you’re preparing ask yourself:

• What do I do that no one else does at the company?
• How do I meet my clients’ needs?
• What is my unique skillset?
• What problems do I solve for clients?
• What value do I add?

Carefully answer these questions. Use your answers to calculate your worth.

But, most importantly, you need to know your value in your boss’s eyes. If they value you, they will push you ahead.

Know Your Figure

When you ask for a raise, you need a figure to aim at.
Check that it’s justified and the standard rate from your research.

Many people who ask for a raise ask for 10% to 15%.

Plan Your Negotiating Strategy

Negotiation is about getting what you want and what your company wants.

Of course, your company wants to keep their costs low, and once they’ve increased an employee’s salary, they will have made their decision.

If you put yourself in their shoes, you have to think about why it would benefit them to increase their costs to accommodate your raise.

Perhaps you could negotiate for extra benefits or perks instead of a salary raise?

It has to be a win-win situation.

Document Your Achievements

Hopefully, your boss already knows your achievements and accomplishments. If they don’t, here’s your chance to show them the value you bring to their company.

You could bring with you a file of achievements with graphs and tables showing the money you make, and deadlines met.

You don’t have to sound like you’re tooting your horn, make it about them and how you serve the company.

Get The Timing Right

Good times to ask for a raise are when it’s your performance review, when you’ve finished a significant project, and when your boss is in a good mood!

Bad times are when the company takes a financial hit or is planning redundancies.

State your Case

Start with a list of your responsibilities when you started at the company and your achievements since.

Make sure you present your case logically and coherently.

Explain that you’re delighted to take these responsibilities on and happy to take on more. Show enthusiasm for the company and the future of your time at the company.

Then name the number that you have in your mind. Often people don’t give a number but make sure you do.

Leveraging An Outside Job Offer

The thing to remember here is that you get a lot more with sugar than you do vinegar.

If you have a job offer for money from elsewhere, don’t give your boss an ultimatum.

Instead, explain that you’ve another offer, but you won’t take it because you love the business and don’t want to leave. Then ask your boss to level with you regarding your prospects.

This opener will bring you to the next subject – what will your prospects be in the future.

This approach is much better. It’s not threatening or insulting.

Keep It Positive

You must keep the meeting upbeat and positive, even if they come back and say that they already pay you enough

Choose Your Words Carefully

Sound confident about your achievements. Forget about modesty but don’t diminish your value.

Find your voice to communicate your worth rather than channel someone you know who is great at sales or tells a great joke.

Sound authentic.

Be Patient

If you don’t get an answer immediately, don’t assume you’ve been unsuccessful.

Your boss may be busy and need some time to think. They might also have to get it approved by finance, which could also take time.

Be patient, keep your head down, and wait.

If They Say No

If they say no, don’t get angry and aggressive, find out what you need to get a raise. Then do what is asked of you and ask again.

Final Thoughts

It’s always asking for a raise, even if you think you won’t get it.

People often don’t ask for a raise because they don’t want to come across as entitled, or greedy.

If you’ve not had a pay raise for a while and you’ve been performing, it’s time to shake the insecurity and get comfortable with asking for what you’re worth.

Remember to communicate clearly and effectively to influence your boss’s perception of you and get what you deserve.

How To Deal With A Bad Boss

By | Business Coaching

It’s easy to take a poor performance review personally.

It can feel like a real kick in the teeth, in fact.

You’ve worked hard and you aced your job this year as far as you could see.

Leadership in an organization sets the scene for everything.

The culture, standards, performance, and outcomes of a company are directly affected by a boss’s management style.

Implementing ideas and processes is the job of leadership.

Working for a great boss can mean the difference between miserable work life and a job where you feel valued and fulfil your potential.

Here we talk about three main types of bad bosses: the bully, the weak manager, and the micromanager.

The Bully

Dealing with an abusive boss can be demoralizing.

However, people who have psychopathic tendencies can thrive under a bad employer.

Psychopaths often rise to the top. They can endure the stress better than others. As those with psychopathic traits flourish under a bad boss, it’s typical for a management structure to consist of people who lack empathy.

Working for a company with a bullying culture can harm your career in the long run.

What Is A Psychopath?

If you can, avoid any strong emotional reactions. The criticism may not be so important. So keep it in perspective.

Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by a lack of empathy with antisocial and amoral behavior.

A psychopath doesn’t care and will happily step on another person’s feelings. The rest of us “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” because they have empathy and don’t want to hurt others.

The Eskimos of North-Western Canada call psychopaths ‘kulangeta.’ The kulangeta refuses to hunt polar bear, lies, cheats and go after the men’s women while they’re out hunting.

Psychopaths have charm, yet lack empathy, remorse, or shame. They have high intelligence and are very manipulative.

You can tell if you’re working for a psychopathic boss by the culture of the workplace. There is typically disarray and confusion. The team doesn’t cooperate or get anything done.

Another sign is that they change. When you first meet them they are the most charming person. But as soon as you’re sucked in, the mask drops, and they dish out abuse.

Bullies intimidate, belittle, micromanage, humiliate, and ridicule their staff.
One month, an employee will be the flavor of the month, the following month they’ll be shamed publicly. Everyone keeps their head down in case they’re the next target.

Surviving a Bully Boss

To survive working for a psychopath you need to be extremely compliant without showing any emotion. If you show emotion, they’ll use it to manipulate you. So keep cool.

Try to avoid any interaction with them unless it’s necessary. When you do interact with them, take note of everything that is said, and keep it. There will be lies and you will need to be able to prove them wrong.

Another survival tactic is to flatter them. They believe they are the best person on the planet, so tell them that.

The Weak Boss

If you end up with a weak and ineffectual boss it can be frustrating.

A weak boss doesn’t listen, thinks they know all the answers and can be reluctant to change things. Weak managers can be quick to point out the shortcomings of their staff but light on positive criticism. They may even disappear for long periods and leave you to your own devices.

You need a strong boss to step in if you encounter an unfair situation.

Strong leaders listen to their staff. They coach them and will act on sensible suggestions from the staff. There is nothing more frustrating than offering an obvious solution to operational inefficiency and be ignored.

A manager may be weak because they were hired on their technical skills rather than their soft skills. They may be brilliant on an operational level, but inept as a people manager.

Dealing With a Weak Boss

See this as an opportunity. This is a chance to shine and show that you can work unsupervised. It’s also a chance to get noticed by upper management.

First, you need to manage your emotions and give yourself a bit of an ego check.

If he or she is well connected up the chain of command, this is an opportunity. Building a good relationship with your boss is key. If you’re well connected with your weak manager you’ll be well connected too.

The Micromanager

A micromanager has an oppressive management style. They closely observe and control their employees. They constantly monitor their workers and interfere with trivial tasks.

Working under a micromanager can be disheartening. You know you have everything under control, but your boss appears convinced that you haven’t.

A bully boss often displays this behavior, but not all micromanagers are bullies. When a micromanager is not a bully, it’s a reflection of their need to dominate and control, and most probably a sign of deep-seated insecurity.

Managers should be adept at getting the best out of their workforce. A good boss instills confidence in their team, so they perform their best.

Unfortunately, a micromanaging boss has the opposite effect.

This type of boss most probably isn’t aware that they are a micromanager. They are probably anxious about being successful and are worried about failing.

Being micromanaged can take a toll on your confidence over time.

The Harvard Business Review cites two causes for micromanaging: a desire to stay connected with their employees and because they feel comfortable with familiar work territory.

Perhaps your boss is feeling isolated in a managerial position. Micromanaging is a way to keep in touch with the workers. They may also have got to managerial level because they excelled at an operational level, so they find it hard to let go.

Dealing With a Micromanaging Boss

The key is to build trust with your boss. Be honest with yourself and check that you are performing in all areas. There may be one aspect of the job that your boss continually niggles you about. Use it as an opportunity to develop and improve.

Demonstrate to your boss that everything is under control with constant updates, make sure work is on time, and keep them informed of any delays. Ultimately, you could probably learn a lot from this type of boss, even if their management style is irritating.

You may want to set up weekly meetings with your boss for constructive feedback. You could also write an outline of your responsibilities together to ensure you’re fully aware of your
Keep asking them questions and overcommunicating with them.

Constant communicating the minutiae of your work will reflect their style and could help them to understand what it’s like to be on the receiving end. This tactic may discourage them from getting unnecessarily involved.

Final Thoughts

It’s crucial to look after your mental health if your boss has you tearing your hair out. Try to keep a sense of humor about the situation and avoid backbiting with other colleagues.

Sometimes a frank and direct conversation with your boss is all you need. It can gain you their respect.

But, if you’re dealing with a bully, you might want to start looking elsewhere for a job. Just keep your nose clean until you find a happier situation.

Dealing With a Bad Performance Review

By | Business Coaching

It’s easy to take a poor performance review personally.

It can feel like a real kick in the teeth, in fact.

You’ve worked hard and you aced your job this year as far as you could see.

A manager should be able to deliver criticism in a way that doesn’t upset you too much. In an ideal world, your manager will be able to highlight your shortcomings in a constructive manner.

That said, in some cases, you might still receive negative criticism.

Harsh criticism can come unexpectedly and leave you reeling and feeling undervalued.

If so, don’t panic and stay cool.

Here are some tips on dealing with that kick in the gut.

The Review Might Not Be As Bad As You Think

Your performance review might not be as negative as you thought. A little disappointing perhaps, but not disastrous.

It is pretty typical for people to think they are better at their job than they are.

Keep in mind that any disappointing comments may not be that important. Often, performance reviews are an administrative requirement. They get signed, filed, and don’t get used for anything.

Additionally, you don’t necessarily know how your manager appraises your colleagues. Some managers tend to be a little miserly with good comments. It may be that you are doing well, but your manager is hesitant to give you a lot of compliments.

Stay Cool

If you can, avoid any strong emotional reactions. The criticism may not be so important. So keep it in perspective.

A big tip to keep your cool if you start to feel angry is to slow down your responses. This is the best way to keep control of your anger and frustration.

Keep breathing, relax your muscles, and take a pause.

Stay in control of your emotions so you don’t blurt out anything that you might regret later.

Listen Carefully

Your manager might have some important comments about what you can do in the future to improve your performance. Whether you agree or not, there will always be some hints on how you can become a more productive employee.

Get Clarification

Push your manager to be more specific about his or her comments about your performance. Managers aren’t always that great at giving feedback.

They may say that for instance, you haven’t communicated well. In this case, ask for specifics with questions such as, “When did that happen?” and “Can you give me an example?”

If your boss says you don’t take enough initiative ask them, “What exactly do you mean?” or “What does taking initiative look like?” Taking initiative can be an ambiguous term of phrase. Get your boss to spell out how they expect you to take more initiative.

The more concrete information you can tease out of your manager, the better you can understand their criticism.

Be A Problem Solver

During the review ask questions and show a willingness to learn. Ask “What can I do in the future?” and “What can I improve?”

Your manager will see you in a positive light and turn negative criticism into a positive.

By showing that you’re willing to work on certain areas, you’re showing that you’re willing to accept the comments and be proactive in working on them.

If you get defensive and angry, this will only confirm the worst thoughts they have about you. Be future-orientated and proactive.

Get A Written Copy of The Review

Getting your review in writing can help you if you feel your boss is trying to scare you into quitting. If you know you’re a star performer you can use this to gather evidence and build a case to defend your position.

If your boss isn’t trying to get rid of you, this is a working document that spells out specifically what you need to improve on.

When you come to your next appraisal you can refer to this document and explain how you’ve managed to nail each one.

Get The Due Dates and The Timelines

It’s a good idea to work with your boss and note down all due dates for action. After your meeting, email your boss with them so that they know you’ve taken them on board and you are showing willingness.

It also helps you to back up your case if you suspect a constructive dismissal.

Ask For Another Performance Review

When you’ve delivered on all of those expectations your boss is looking for, get another review right away.

If you get another review in the next 3 months, this will put you in a position to continue performing until your next review. Then you can ask for a raise or a promotion.

What Not To Do

It’s vital that you keep calm and poised during your review. You want to use this as an opportunity to learn about any areas you need to improve so that you get a glowing review next time.

Whatever you do, don’t do any of the following.

Don’t Compare Yourself To Your Colleagues

Never defend yourself by comparing yourself to co-workers or putting them down. You may feel that you are better or work harder than your colleagues, but it’s not relevant.

You must focus on your performance and not what anyone else does.

The minute you start pointing the finger at other people, you’ll come across as petty and the type of person no manager wants.

Don’t Accuse The Manager of Bias

If you accuse the manager of personal bias, you’ll alienate them and will have negative consequences.

Don’t take any criticism personally. Ultimately, it’s there to help you improve productivity and be a better employee.

Final Thoughts

All of this might be a little tricky when you feel blindsided. It’s ok to make mistakes and ok for others to point them out. Try not to take it personally.

If you nail this, you can go on to be a star performer and get closer to your boss and develop the relationship.

Team Performance

By | Executive Life Coaching

“The most valuable asset of a 21st century institution, whether business or non-business, will be its knowledge workers and their productivity.”
-Peter Drucker, Austrian author

How common is it for a person to have a disciplinary for arriving at the office 5 minutes late even though they often stay late after work? And, they typically won’t be acknowledged for staying on.

According to research, 20% of people die from heart attacks on Monday morning. You wonder what type of organizations these poor people are working for.

Archaic, draconian, and authoritarian management work cultures seem to be the norm, but they produce poor performance and outcomes.

Doing things a certain way because it’s tradition is a counter-productive and horrible way to run a business.

For a business to thrive you need to create an environment that is conducive to employees satisfying the ultimate of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – ‘self-actualization.’

But it needs proper conditions.

If you can, avoid any strong emotional reactions. The criticism may not be so important. So keep it in perspective.

Start From a Place of Trust

For a team to thrive, employees need a degree of autonomy.

You need to trust that your staff has its responsibilities and deadlines under control. Assume they are there for the right reasons and that they want to work.

Give them space. Physical and otherwise. Flexibility. As long as work is getting done on time and to high quality, why is there a need to track hours? It’s degrading.

Assume that employees are ambitious and are self-motivated. They have self-discipline and enjoy doing physical and mental duties.

Leadership Style

The outcomes, performance, and culture of a company are directly affected by a company’s management style. Unfortunately, poor leaders are found in most businesses.

Micromanagers, Bullies, and Weak Leaders

If you micromanage or hire people who micromanage, you’re sabotaging the productivity of your team. People work best without someone breathing down their neck.

Sadly, there is a strong tendency for psychopathic personalities to rise to top managerial positions.

Bullies rule by fear, and they cover their tracks. Leaders like these tend to attract other psychopathic personalities as they can endure the stress caused by a bully boss.

This means you’re missing out on a lot of creative talent and you’ll have high staff turnover.

Having malignant personalities in your leadership team will create chaos and stress in your employees.

Strong Leadership

Foster a culture of sharing and openness, you’ll be rewarded with loyalty and respect in return. You need to bat for your team, they need to trust that you have their back.

Motivate your team, not manage your team. Provide training and mentorship. Let your team see you as a comrade, a cheerleader, and a coach. Not a sergeant major dangling a sword of Damocles.

To bring out the best in your team, bring out the best in yourself. Foster a work culture that gives people flexibility, autonomy, and creativity.

Your team’s performance will thrive if you meet these conditions.

Teams need a steward, someone who will guide them, and insulation from the harsh realities of the organization and industry.

Be a leader that managers other leaders, not a manager. Hire people who are unique and creative and want to do things on their terms.

Motivating Team Culture

The reality is that your staff are already motivated. All too often, a person starts a new job full of vigor and a desire to succeed. But, a combination of poor management style and a toxic work culture eventually erodes their drive.

The only way to motivate people is to unleash that motivation by creating an environment that is conducive to excellent work.

People want to work in an environment that doesn’t feel like a workplace and a community. A place where they can be with their friends and bring their real personalities to work.

When all these environmental conditions are met, we are more productive and creative. Create meaning and fulfilment, and a balanced work-life blend.

Build Authentic Relationships With Staff

Apart from the most basic needs of food and shelter, people need to be valued.

75% of people leave a job because of their boss rather than the company. The most important factor in employee engagement is the relationship between boss and employee.

When an employee invests time to get to know the person inside an employee, that employee will stay longer and try harder. There are so many businesses with aloof bosses that the prospect of moving is daunting.

Creating a rapport with your boss includes learning who an employee is behind their work. Ask about their kids, weekends, and vacations. Find common ground, topics you can bond over. And, do it often.

Remember the details from the conversations you have with your staff and refer back later. Follow up and keep the small talk going whenever it’s possible.

You may be run off your feet, so don’t just pay lip service. Be genuinely interested.

You’ll see positive results in the company’s productivity.

Staff Perks

You can attract talent by providing your staff with ways to make their life more enjoyable at work.

If your business model doesn’t allow for huge salaries, you can attract people with benefits such as:

• Free lunches
• An option to buy more holidays
• Sabbatical holiday allowance after so many years of service
• Healthcare and pension
• Free in-house haircuts and massages

Life-enhancing benefits such as these can encourage a person to stay at a company. Things like in-house massages and haircuts also save time on people taking time out of the office.

Final Thoughts

Fostering your team’s performance starts from a desire to make people feel valued and able to achieve a work-life balance.

It can be little things that don’t cost money, just your time and genuine interest in the lives of your staff.

Ensuring their needs are met with additional benefits go a long way. By showing that you truly care about their ambitions, happiness, and wellbeing you will be rewarded with loyalty and respect.
This is the key to achieving an outstanding team performance in your company.

Executive Presence While Working From Home

By | Executive Life Coaching

As we all try to survive in these strange times, work must continue.

Communicating at work now entails using remote technology to take part in virtual meetings, deliver conference presentations, give and hold interviews, and organize vital stakeholder meetings.

This major shift to the way we communicate adds a whole layer of challenges to our work. Communicating via software platforms such as Skype, Zoom, or Google Meet means it’s easier to miss visual and aural clues from our listeners while we talk.

It’s also more difficult to engage people remotely than in person. Learning to work remotely involves learning to use certain technologies and adjusting the way you present yourself professionally.

These are vital skills for a leader and can help with your online meetings.

So let’s look at the executive presence and how it translates to the world of remote working.

What Is Executive Presence?

Executive presence is a set of behavior that you use to command attention. This type of behavior isn’t as much inherent as learned.

It’s a way of projecting a balance of warmth and strength. By strength, we mean demonstrating your ability to make things happen and showing that you’re in charge. By warmth, we mean how you share the same values and intentions with your colleagues.

If executive presence can be learned for face to face communication, it can be learned for remote communications.

Keeping up an executive presence behind a screen is certainly possible.

In-person executive presence typically uses things like eye contact, gesturing, and body language. They are just as important to working virtually as they are in person.

These visual methods of communicating still convey effectively through a Skype or Zoom call. The physical distance between you and the people you’re connecting with means there are some things you need to add.

Do a performance check

If you’re using different platforms for different meetings, ensure you understand fully how each one works.

Make sure you know how to turn the camera on and off, mute yourself and others, and switch to a virtual background.

You want to be able to use the technology like a pro to enhance your executive presence.

Get comfortable with being on camera

With Skype or Zoom calls, don’t switch the camera off. If you mute the camera, people may think you’re doing other things so you won’t be engaged.

Many people aren’t comfortable with seeing themselves on camera. Practicing talking via teleconferencing software will help you to enhance your virtual presence.

The little light at the top of your screen indicates where the camera lens is. So look into it to look like you’re making eye contact.

It can be tempting to look at yourself at the camera. Doing this will divert your eyes away from the camera so you won’t look like you’re making eye contact.

So get off your video or minimize and focus on that little light.

If you’re talking on your iPhone or Android phone, make sure you know where the camera lens is. Some people aren’t aware of where the lens is and look at the screen.

Your Virtual Background

If your office doesn’t look too great or you’d rather keep your home environment hidden, you can download a virtual background.

A virtual background is an image or a video that you can display during a meeting instead of your office, a bit like a green screen.

You can use a virtual background with Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, and WebEx.

Use the technology available to you to make you look good.


Remember when someone flushed a toilet during a live Supreme Court broadcast? Or the internet dad correspondent on BBC news whose adorable little child wandered in during a live interview?

You don’t have to worry about distractions like these as no one cares. You might worry about the mailman ringing the doorbell, or an ambulance siren going past. But, everyone is experiencing the same pressures and having to adapt to this new way of working.

Distractions of our daily lives will be inevitable and even welcome. If a pet or child enters the room, acknowledge it, and move on.

It’s best to see the humor in the situation, laugh it off and see it as an opportunity to break the ice. No one is going to hold it against you.

Make Sure Your Sound Quality is Good

It’s a good idea to purchase a decent quality microphone, or you could move to a small room so that the acoustics are better.

Make Your Voice Sound Great

When you use a louder than usual voice, it can add credibility and authority to your voice. You’ll sound confident and clear rather than muffled and mumbling.

Try to talk as if you’re in a large room, even if you are using a microphone.

Body Language

It’s probably best to stand between two to three feet away from the camera so that your colleagues can see your gestures and body language.

Use your hands to gesticulate while you make your points as if you would when you talk in person. And make that eye contact with the camera.


As we mentioned before, it’s best to stand or sit between two and three feet from the screen so the upper half of your torso is visible.

If you’re so close to the camera that it cuts part of your head off make sure you adjust it to frame you better.

Be Mindful

It’s easy to forget that you are being watched while on camera. When you’re in a face to face meeting, other people don’t notice so much if your mind wanders.

Try not to be tempted to do other work or look at your phone during a virtual meeting as it looks like you’re not engaged.

The relaxed atmosphere of your home might make you feel a little too relaxed on camera. This is a work meeting and so you need to maintain professional decorum.

To avoid talking over others during the meeting, you might want to mute your microphone while others are speaking.

How to deal with your anger? 3 steps to regain your calm

By | how to deal with anger

Who in their life has never got angry? Lamented gestures, inappropriate words, violent attitudes… Welcome to the world of humans! Your excess anger bothers you daily, in your relationship or your work. So, how do you manage your anger well? Here is a 3-step method for learning to control your anger – key method made by Atlanta Life Coach.

Reconsider your anger to better manage it

Before discussing the method to manage your anger, let’s clarify the 6 fundamental emotions: fear, anger, sadness, joy, surprise, and disgust. With the custom of separating the so-called positive emotions from the negative, anger is considered a negative emotion. This may indeed be the case, but… not always!

Imagine yourself in a situation where your rights are violated, your freedom restricted, or your respect violated. In these cases, the anger can be legitimate, understandable, or even positive. Anger is not inherently negative; it is the consequences that can become negative. This is why it is important to distinguish between emotion (anger) and what you will do with it (behavior).

Good anger management, therefore, requires this lucidity to differentiate between the two.

Observe your anger

What is going on in your body the moment you get angry? The breath becomes shorter; the hands tremble, the heart speeds up.

So your body speaks to you. As soon as you get these sensations, then yes, you start to get angry. Now you can quickly spot the precise moment when anger manifests itself in you.

Welcome your anger to better control it

Anger is an emotion that you send a message. So accept this message even if it is not very pleasant at first, rather than judge this anger. What does that affect you? Is it a lack of respect?

Usually, anger arises when your values ​​are violated; it is an indicator that highlights what is important to you, which forges your personality.

Adapt your behavior to better control your anger

The first 2 steps allow you to become aware of this anger rising in you and understanding the reasons for it.

The 3rd step asks for the analysis of your behavior. All humans feel emotions, so do the greatest sages. The key to success is what you do with your anger, what are the consequences? How are you going to behave? Will you be able to control yourself? To deal with this anger that is boiling in you?

Each person has their answer; the main thing is to be consistent with their deep values. We at Life Coach Atlanta know that if you feel that you are losing your temper, get out of that context in a conflictual situation. Prefer to leave rather than take it upon yourself and end up exploding. “