12 Effective Ways to Increase Your Self-Confidence

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” –Wayne Dyer A very common question that I often get asked is, “How do I increase my self-confidence?” Obviously, most successful people appear to be very self-confident, but is there a method to boost your self-esteem? Actually, there is. Here, I offer 12 effective ways to increase your self-confidence:   1. Change your thoughts, change your life. Whether you like it or not, it’s true: you create the world you live in. The thoughts that you think create the emotions you experience, and those emotions lead you to do certain actions, which finally end in results that shape your world (and your reality). Therefore, it’s wise to say that your thoughts create your reality, simple as that. Now, it’s very empowering to realize that it’s always up to you to choose what thought to put into your mind at any given moment. Compare: A: THOUGHT: This is a difficult exam and 90 percent of test-takers fail. So, … [Read more...]

How to Create a Career Advisory Board

Networking is critical for building your personal brand, especially in a competitive job market. You may have the experience, education and work ethic to be successful on paper, but a lot of us lack a crucial social component that’s necessary to take a career to the next level. Building a career advisory board is a strategy that works, whether you’re fresh out of school or a seasoned professional. Rather than having just a couple of mentors, a board offers multiple points of view which can help you examine your challenges from different perspectives. Turning to a group of individuals that you trust, respect and admire to give you advice and guidance provides the foundation a lot of professionals need to thrive in their field. Here are 5 steps to help you build your own career advisory board:   Address Your Goals First, figure out where you are going and exactly how your advisory board can help. You’ll need to be very straightforward, otherwise you’ll be wasting … [Read more...]

Empathy and Your Leadership Brand

I recently facilitated a 3-day leadership conference for a pharmaceutical company. A main focus was discussing the importance for leaders to have genuine empathy for others. Now that’s interesting - in a world where we often see people focused on ME, rather than WE. I call this WAM (What About Me)! Webster’s dictionary defines empathy as the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner. Wow! Isn’t this a robust definition? To better understand how leaders can be effective in their jobs, Center for Creative Leadership conducted a survey to address two things: • Successful job performance – Is empathy needed to be successful in a leader’s job? Results? Empathy is positively related to job performance. • Cross cultural issues – Does empathy influence … [Read more...]

How Strategic Relationships Can Make or Break Your Career – Part One

Recall the old adage: It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know. This could not be more true when it comes to your professional circles. In today’s world of work where career reinvention is the norm, the people in your personal/career community have a very important role to play. They can help you shift connections and industries, bolster your personal brand and provide much needed emotional support. A former colleague of mine from the OB department at Boston University, Dr. Kathy Kram, just released a book called Strategic Relationships at Work, in which she and her colleague, Dr. Wendy Murphy from Babson College, highlight the most practical insights developed over more than three decades of research. I recently interviewed Kathy and wanted to share both her wisdom and mine on this topic. (This will be a two-part article as the subject is vast. In this first part of the article, we talk about what strategic relationships are and how they are helpful. In part two, we’ll discuss … [Read more...]

Do Your LinkedIn Endorsements Reflect Your Personal Brand?

LinkedIn's Endorsements feature is like the extra parts left over after you assemble furniture. Sure, it's a part of your profile, but do you give it much thought? The “Skills & Endorsements” section is supposed to be a way to validate your personal brand. But its credibility is questionable since people can easily endorse connections for skills they have no way of validating. (Quite an oxymoron, if you ask me.) The best way to validate your brand is to add “Recommendations” from people who are willing to take the time to write about your skills and strengths—preferably, not your mother or spouse. Does this mean endorsements are a complete waste a time? Not exactly. We can go back and forth on whether or not it is, but even extra furniture parts come in handy sometimes. Strategic endorsements can emphasize your expertise and optimize your profile with targeted keywords. If you choose to list endorsements on your profile, you might as well use them to your advantage. … [Read more...]