Category Archives: Career

26 Jun

Coaching Corner: Who is the Expert?

What is an Expert?

“a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field; specialist; authority”.                                                             www.

Is there a place for expertness in coaching?

The industry standard in coaching is that the client is the expert. Simple enough. But in consulting the expert is (obviously) the consultant because they are offering specific expertise that is needed. And what if someone is using a blended coaching style? What does “expertness” look like in that case?

The real question to ask is, what role do you think expertness plays in your work as a coach? Do you lean towards answering questions for clients? Letting the client find their own answer? Are you quiet or noisy? Are you defining things for them? Prompting the outcome of the conversation? Creating space for the client to explore? Strategizing for them? Impatient and talking right over them?

New coaches often come into the coaching arena with years of expertise and skill sets. For many it’s not their first career. It often is a career shift that can be an easy transition from what they were doing before. It’s also new. It’s a new career. A new role. The role of coaching often blends naturally with a person’s people skills, ability to listen, offer of support etc. The industry naturally attracts consultants, human resource professionals, and others in the helping professions, like counselors. And there can be a confidence building period.

Often as new coaches, we want to be perceived as confident and competent (otherwise why would clients come to see us right?) As coaches, we each naturally bring our own needs and agendas. The need might be a desire to help others, a need to perform, and, perform well in the role of coach.  It might be a need for connection, or to offer something unique to another’s experience. A coach might lack confidence and in some way be seeking confirmation they made the right career choice, or confirmation that they are doing it “right”. It might be a subtle urgency to bring in income, which is. struggle for many new coaches. Whatever the needs or desires are, they can present in a variety of ways, often appearing in the form of advice giving and expertness.

And it’s not always conscious.

When coaches bring their own agendas into the coaching experience, without any awareness around what they are saying or why, there is a shift in the relationship. Often, advice-giving and expertness are quick fixes as a pat answer to the goal the client is hoping to achieve. The coach might feel really good about coming up with strategies and solutions to help a client, but ultimately, they are only partial answers for the client and they are probably offering more help to themselves.

In reality, it’s often much harder to steer clear of advice giving and having the answers. There’s a quietness and confidence that the coach can bring into the relationship, creating an enjoyable experience for the client. It requires an awareness and stillness that can be hard for some to muster. It’s a skill set that has to be made conscious, then developed and practiced. And it is definitely a learning curve for many of us.

So why is the client the expert?

As human beings, we are born with innate wisdom and the ability to problem solve. We naturally seek, discover, question and learn. Some of our abilities include gaining insight and literally putting “two-and-two” together in a short amount of time. In truth, all of us have the capability of being an “expert”. And when we don’t have that information, we have an innate ability to seek it out – by reading a book, taking a class or finding a teacher, consultant or expert to teach to us what we need to know.

Coaching offers a very unique dynamic, similar to some counseling approaches, that allow the client to find their own wisdom and understanding. In the realm of coaching, this is the “pure coaching” style. Only answers are offered and questions are used to help the client discover the answers to their questions. When a coach develops a philosophical and/or theoretical approach it becomes a mindset which plays out within the relationship. It shifts the coach’s approach.

The client’s narrative, their experience and their process are automatically brought into the coaching relationship when the client seeks out and connects with a coach. They bring an invitation to the coach. “Listen to my story”. The invitation might sound like a need to tell a story, or a desire to find an expert who has the answers but more often, they are really seeking someone to hold the space form them, in a safe way while they sort things out and come up with the answers that will best suit them. The story line might sound interesting and easy to follow and solve, but the work is often within the client. It’s easy to follow the client’s story and get wrapped up in it, but true coaching is really about the process. The client’s process. The process is about what is happening in the client and includes the dynamic between coach and client.

It may be a laser session, or a coaching relationship that lasts for years. Coaches have a unique opportunity to create a space for clients to explore and learn about themselves and their own experiences. The client has the opportunity to gain their own insight and understanding with the help of someone who is offering them their undivided attention and support – and not their expertise or judgement on the client’s subject matter. They have a chance to bounce ideas off of someone else and process (out loud in relationship) what is happening for them in a very real, in the moment, kind of way, with someone who will hold and truly honor their inner experience, whatever that might be.

Creating this type of space for the client is where the catalyst for change within us dwells. When we are free to explore and be our true authentic self, not only is it validating and empowering but it allows for creativity and ideas to foster and grow. And that’s where the client’s expertness grows. Clients are the experts in their worlds, as they should be.

My father used to say, “trust the process”. One of the best things a coach can do is trust the process in a coaching relationship.

Are you being the expert without knowing it?

One of the beauties of coaching is that as coaches we can coach each other. There is value and experience to be gained from being coached by colleagues or even a supervising coach. We need the feedback to improve our experience, gain understanding and better our skill set. We also need to know when we are experting and plowing through our client’s experience.

When a coach offers a safe space for client’s, with openness, non-judgment and non-expertness, they are offering a client the richest opportunity to grow in. And there aren’t that many relationships like that out there in the world.

The real question is, what kind of coach do you want to be?

How do you, as a coach, avoid becoming an “expert”?

  1. Get clear on why you are coaching and what you are hoping to get out of it.
  2. Clear your mind, let go of expectations and work on being fully present, in the moment with the client. Release expectations.
  3. Clearly outline to the client what your role is, and more importantly, what you approach is. This helps educate the client about the coaching process itself and also helps them set a realistic expectation about the what they can expect from you as a coach.

And then trust the process. Coaching can be an incredibly satisfying and rewarding experience for coaches and clients.


What is Life Coaching from

How does Life Coaching Work? The Coaching Process from the

What is Life Coaching? from

Lessons from a Life Coach from


06 Nov

Entrepreneurship for Life Coaches, Part 3


This post is part #3 of a series I am offering to coaches that are new to entrepreneurship and are setting up an online business for the first time.

Next Step – Decide what you need

Apparently clients don’t magically appear in front of you. I tried that approach and it doesn’t work. You have to start somewhere. The coaching industry is a booming business so we can deduce that the clients are out there and the potential is there to make income. You just have to go find them because right now they don’t even know you exist. I know, it’s a shocking thought isn’t it? You and I both know how amazing you are and what a great coach you are, they just don’t know it yet. But they will.

Take a look back at the answers you wrote to the questions in Post #1.

Note: If you really don’t know how or where to start, you can always consult with someone. There are experts out there that specialize in certain industries, like building websites or creating online marketing programs. They will give you their perspective and recommendations, usually at a price. It can be good to gain someone else’s wisdom and experience, but it may cost a pretty penny and not be the best recommendations for your business.

Tip: Exercise caution when outsourcing.

You’ll have to start making some choices. There are no wrong answers or ideas; it’s more a matter of deciding where you want to put your energy and your business resources right now. Remember, this is a creative process and things will always be changing. Change is ok!

This is just the beginning. If the strategy you try doesn’t work or doesn’t feel right to you, try another one. It’s your business and you can do what ever you want!

Tip: Don’t give up! In the world of entrepreneurship, failing is just as important as succeeding!

Things to consider before you write a business plan:

#1: Decide whom you will offer your services to. If you’re like me and want to offer your coaching services to a variety of people, you can do that.

One option is to create different websites and offer services to different populations. It’s doable and can be a lot of work.  There are experts on the Internet that know how to do that and offer their services (see the reference list at the end of this post for a few).

If you really want to do life coaching, I recommend you stay focused on that and start with one niche within the coaching industry. This group will be your primary niche. By focusing on one niche you can stay on track with your business goals and not get bogged down doing other things, like creating and managing multiple websites. You can always add other things later as you expand your business, especially if you find winning marketing strategies!

#2: Find out what their need is. What is it they are looking for? Are they small business owners that have a high turn over? Dentists that need help with stress management? Perhaps they are stay-at-home moms that want to loose weight?

*The trick is not offer a service, but rather a solution to their problem. Your future customers may not know what they are looking for but are more likely to respond if they see an answer to a question they have. They need to be able to relate to you. What you’re offering has to resonate with them.

In order for a small business to be successful, it must solve a problem, fulfill a need or offer something the market wants.”

~ From

Tip: Research the market, specifically the market within your niche.

#3: Find a way to get access to those prospects.  Some ways to do this include: networking, speaking engagements, mailings, or advertising on social media. If there are conferences, social groups or forums where prospects are likely to be found, those are other ways to introduce yourself.

Some professionals have a such a great network they don’t really need their website. For this type of coach, it’s more of an after thought. Some coaches, like me, have to find and create the opportunities for find prospective clients. Industry experts recommend setting up multiple avenues to get referrals from. In other words, different opportunities for clients to find you. The Internet can be a resource. In this way, a website is really important. I spend a lot of time on my website and it’s been totally worth it. If you’re planning on speaking engagements and sending out post cards through the mail, you’re money might be better spent on those things rather than having a snazzy looking website, or paying a 3rd party a monthly fee for some online advertisement that people probably won’t see.

#4: Decide if you need a website: most people need an online presence for their business, but not everybody does. You can create a website inexpensively just to get it up and running or you can set it up as a platform to advertise your services and other products you will be offering. Something to keep in mind:  once you create the website, you will have an opportunity to expand your business by offering other things, like books, trainings and programs. It can become a valuable resource for you.

#5 Think about how many clients you would like have (daily/weekly) and how many hours you would like to coach each week or month.

#6 Decide if you are open to the idea of other sources of income. This could include a “day job” or other ways to make money online.

5 Tips to help get you through this process:

  1.  Don’t get stuck, be flexible and open to changes as needed.
  1. When you feel stuck in this process, take a break. When you come back around, try a visualization exercise. Picture your business, what you want to offer and see how you will do that.
  1. Keep reading, growing and adapting as needed.
  1. Decide which tasks you can do yourself and what you can outsource (i.e. online marketing campaign).
  1. Consider other ways to bring in revenue, like: freelance writing, blogging professionally, writing a book, creating webinars, starting a podcast, or offering workshops and training.

Tip: practice positive self-talk daily!

Your affirmation checklist:

I am an awesome and creative entrepreneur!

I can do this! I am flexible, determined and will see this through!

I am creating a successful business!


RECOMMENDATION: If you find, after reading this, that you are stuck or just frustrated with your idea, or don’t’ know how to get started, you might want to think about hiring a Life Coach. I know, it’s yet another thing that costs money, but I’ll share something with you – surprisingly I have found it to be the one thing that has been invaluable in building the foundation and success of my business. My personal coaching is what has made my business successful. As a coach I have worked with many coaches to either help them turn their idea into a viable business or help them launch their business. I can offer you a working relationship where you gain insight, accountability and can develop your own strategies to build your business. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself, even for a short time. You are your business!

Related posts

Entrepreneurship for Coaches: 6 tips to move you towards a successful coaching business

4 Tips for Starting a New Business




101 Coaching Niches: Detailed explanations of what real coaches do within top niche markets by Glenn Livingston, PhD.

Start your own coaching business: your step-by-step guide to success (start up series) by Entrepreneur Press.

Blog Posts:

How to start a business online from

How to start a small business in 10 steps from

How to start a successful life coaching business from

Does your small business REALLY need a website from

The ultimate guide to finding your profitable niche from


17 Oct

Entrepreneurship for Life Coaches, Part 2


This post is part two in a series for Life Coaches that are new to entrepreneurship and are setting up their online business for the first time.

Next step: Set Goals

The Importance of Goal Setting

Now that you’ve visualized what you want; who you want to work with, what kind of business you’d like to have, and what type of services you’d like to offer, it’s time to put the ideas into action. Goals give you a direction to head in. They are things you want to achieve or accomplish. It’s good to remember, this is not an overnight activity. Building a business takes time, as do each of the steps in this process. Be patient and stick with it.

And revisit this exercise as things change and grow.

You can do it!

An endeavor like starting a business reflects how we operate in the world, what our value system is and how we define success. A good questions to ask yourself while developing your business is: how do I define success? When you have a better idea about what that means and how to know if you are being successful by your standards, then you will have a benchmark to compare against and a trajectory to aim for. Your life will reflect your work and your work will reflect your life. The goals you set for starting a business will impact other areas of your life, just as other parts of your life will affect your business. Having goals is another way to keep things in perspective, stay organized and help you make choices along the way.

Goal setting is critical for developing any type of business. Like a business plan, the goals you create are the road map and foundation for the development of your business.

To do this next exercise, look at the business plan you created in the first exercise. Let’s take those ideas a little further.

Tips to goal setting:

  1. Visualize the goals you want to achieve
  2. Write them down
  3. Create goals that are measurable and attainable
  4. Set attainable goals in all areas of your business – product, marketing, operations, start-up expenses, and business development
  5. Create a target deadline for the goal to be achieved
  6. Be sure and give yourself credit for what you are accomplishing.
  7. Be gentle with yourself about the things that you haven’t accomplished yet.

Some people use “models” as a formula to generate ideas and set goals. Below is a popular one, I’m sure you’ve heard of:

Example of a the “SMART” model to use for goal setting:


Written exercise:

Write out a sample goal sheet using the SMART model. Pick one area of your business you’d like to focus on. Write out the goals in that area based on the SMART model. Keep this close to your business plan, to refer to it and change it as needed. Now try it for other areas of your business.


Tip: practice positive self-talk daily!

Your Affirmation Checklist:

I am taking the steps needed to create my business.

I am patient. My business will grow and be successful!

I am flexible and open-minded.

I know what I what and how to get it.

Recommendation: If you find, after reading this, that you are stuck or just frustrated with your idea, or don’t’ know how to get started, you might want to think about hiring a Life Coach. I know, it’s yet another thing that costs money, but I’ll share something with you – surprisingly I have found it to be the one thing that has been invaluable in building the foundation and success of my business. My personal coaching is what has made my business successful. As a coach I have worked with many coaches to either them turn their idea into a viable business or help them launch their business. I can offer you a working relationship where you gain insight; accountability and a can develop your own strategies to build your business. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself, even for a short time. You are your business!

06 Oct

Entrepreneurship for Life Coaches, Part 1


This post is the first of a series I am offering to coaches that are new to entrepreneurship and are setting up an online business for the first time.

So you did the training and got a Certificate in Life Coaching,


So NOW what?

Here come the questions: how are you going to get paying clients? Do you really need a website? And how do you start an online business?

The answers to those questions will be different for each person, but for the majority of us that that are certified coaches and want a home based business, the answer is a resounding YES! You need an online business, which includes a website and marketing strategy. Combined, these tools become one way to help clients find you! They also can become tools to help grow and expand your business.

What you are creating is a business that will be part of what they are calling the “digital economy”.  That’s basically anything bought or sold over the Internet. And the digital economy is growing and not going away anytime soon, so it’s a smart business choice. The trick is to make it work.

I wrote this because I kept noticing (as did my colleagues) that there was a lot more to becoming a successful coach than just getting certified. What I have found is that there is a difference between learning how to set-up an online business, setting up a website and streamlining that online business to attract clients and generate revenue. This series of posts is about helping you get started with your online business. It’s not a formula for instant success or guaranteed income, or a quick way to make money. If I can shorten the learning curve for you and help you gain knowledge and clarity in the process, great! The suggestions here are steps I have used that have helped me launch my business.

I would say, like many say, this process takes time. For me, it took a solid 2 years to generate clients and income from my online coaching business. 2-3 years seems to be an industry average for starting an online business and getting paid clients, but that is not necessarily true for everyone. I chose initially to work on developing my business, do trainings and write instead of trying to find clients, which made it take longer. Plus I’m not a huge networking person so that was also easy to put off.  I built things like my blog and programs before I really started looking for clients. Now I do them together. I’m happy with my coaching services, my writing, my business and my professional development.

TIP: Do what works for you.

There’s a lot that goes into building a successful online business. Ultimately the success of your online business will depend on a variety of factors including: how much time and energy you dedicate to it, your product/services, the industry you’re specializing in, the market need, your client base, your determination, marketing plan and, advertising strategies. It’s a lot, and you can do it!

Take a deep breath and let’s get started!

Derek Doepker is a successful coach and writer. His advice is to start small. Start with one thing and focus on that. Take one step and that will lead you to the next.

Here’s your first step: Honing in on your Vision

Visualize your Dream Business

Although we naturally move into action, especially when starting a business, the beginning step is actually in the vision you have. You have an intention somewhere inside of you. There is some part of you that has already manifested this dream (that might be why you are reading this right now).

Let’s see if we can get a clearer image of what your vision is.  The clearer the image, the easier it is to manifest.

Be as specific as possible and add details.

TIP: Successful entrepreneurs allow time to think about their business. And they think often. Give yourself time and the freedom to think about this.

Below are some questions to think and/or write about. To do this, it’s probably easier if you find a space where you can work (preferably uninterrupted for a period of time). It’s ok to work on these questions and then come back to them. The creative process is not always a one-shot kind of deal. I encourage you to revisit them as you have more thoughts and ideas come up.

Trust the process of thinking, visualizing and writing.  Some people prefer to write out exercises like this on a white board. I recommend a notebook or journal because you can keep it with you as you add things.

TIP: Allow your creative energy to flow!

Don’t judge or question, just write.


  1. What kind of products and services would you like to sell?
  2. What is your ideal business dream? Is it having coaching clients? Writing a book? Selling other services online? What are they?
  3. Why?
  4. What would your business look like? Literally -physical space (home or in an office), location, type of clients, and the number of products you would sell, etc.
  5. What would a dream day look like? You wake up in the morning and? How many hours would you work? In-home or outside the home?
  6. How is that different from what you are doing now? I know it’s probably obvious to you but write it out anyways. We’re looking for details.
  7. Who is your target audience? Sports players? Business people? Write out whom they are, what they are looking for and why they would need to be coached by you. What is that thing that makes it so they hire you over someone else?
  8. How would you market to them? What is the best way to reach them? (For example, research shows that young moms use Snap Chat more and older moms use Facebook). What does your ideal target audience use for media resources? Social media? Where are they? Local? National? International?
  9. How would you like to advertise your business? Mailings, email blasts? Public speaking? Networking?
  10. What would be your dream business name?
  11. If you were going to set this business up today, what would be the time frame you’d like to use? When would it be ready to “go live”?
  12. What will you do for income while you are setting up your dream business? ? Can you moonlight or freelance while you are getting things started?
  13. How much money would you like to make? Daily? Monthly? Annually?
  14. What will be different in your life after your business is up and running?
  15. What will customers be saying about you? What would you like them to say? Why?
  16. Say the phrase “Hi, I’m xxx and I offer xxx” fill in the blanks.

Now, go back and read everything you’ve written.

Pat yourself on the back too because you just did the first draft of your business plan! There’s more to add to the plan itself (which will come up in another blog shortly), but for the basics, that’s a good start!

See that wasn’t so bad . . .

Tip: use positive self-talk daily!

Your Affirmation Checklist:

I just wrote out the first draft of my business plan!

I am taking steps to create my dream business!

I am patient. My business will grow and be successful!

My business will be a success!

Below is a list of resources I’ve used to help create my business.

Recommendation: If you find, after reading this, that you are stuck or just frustrated with your idea, or don’t’ know how to get started, you might want to think about hiring a Life Coach. I know, it’s yet another thing that costs money, but I’ll share something with you – surprisingly I have found it to be the one thing that has been invaluable in building the foundation and success of my business. My personal coaching is what has made my business successful. As a coach I have worked with many coaches to either them turn their idea into a viable business or help them launch their business. I can offer you a working relationship where you gain insight, accountability and can develop your own strategies to build your business. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself, even for a short time. You are your business!



Work with Passion: How to do What You Love for a Living by Nancy Anderson

Supercoach: 10 secrets to transform anyone’s life by Michael Neil

The Healthy Habit Revolution: Create better habits in 5 minutes a day by Derek Doepker

Articles and Posts:

Visualization Techniques to affirm your desired outcome: a step-by-step guide on

How to start a successful life coaching business on

Entrepreneurship defined: What it means to be an entrepreneur on,

05 Sep

12 Must Have Social and Emotional Intelligence Skills for the Workplace


etain services Karen Atkinson

Over the past few decades, thanks to Dr. Daniel Goleman, the term “Emotional Intelligence” has become an every day word in the American workplace. Most people have a vague notion that it’s something using emotions and smarts to make good decisions. When I read his first book “Emotional Intelligence, Why it can matter more than IQ” (1995), I was thrilled someone was acknowledging the emotional world we live. Today, when I talk to people about emotional intelligence, I would say, most people still don’t fully understand what it means.

Over the past 2 decades, Caruso, Salovey, Mayer, Ciarrochi, Goleman and Belsten have identified social and emotional intelligence attributes. These are qualities that a person utilizes which enable them to develop and maintain healthy communication, behavior and relationships. Several of these theorists have created their own assessment tools to help others determine where they fall within this skill set. The Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence, founded by Dr. Laura Belsten, offers the SEIP, Social and Emotional Intelligence Profile, which offers 26 competencies!

There’s much more to this than we realized.

Quick review: What is Emotional Intelligence?

The term “Emotional Intelligence” is now being expanded into “Social and Emotional Intelligence”.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be aware of our own emotions, in the moment, and to use that information to manage our behavior appropriately.

Social Intelligence is the ability to be aware of the emotions of others, in the moment, and to use that information to manage our relationships.  

– Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence (ISEI)®

What they have found is that there are more than just a few things that make up Social and Emotional Intelligence. These are skills, meaning that they can be taught. And they are behaviors, that when utilized, are better indicators of workplace performance, productivity, and long-term success, for individuals and for businesses. They are not mutually exclusive, nor are they exhaustive. But they are definite contributors.

Here are 12 of the skills:

  1. The ability to be Self-Aware. It sounds self-indulgent but really it’s not. This is a skill needed as a foundation to develop healthy relationships with oneself and with others. The feelings (and thoughts) that someone has, in that moment, are what will dictate their responses and behaviors towards others. This is also the foundation for changes in behavior.
  1. Create an emotional vocabulary. Having language about emotions themselves allows for the healthy expression of feelings. This, by the way, is a normal process for people. When someone is self-aware and able to use an emotional vocabulary, they are also more able to develop healthy communication habits.

Note: Some people think that talking about or expressing emotions means they are weak, but that’s an outdated notion. Research actually shows the opposite – people generally function better in relationship when they are able to have a healthy expression of emotions.

  1. Practice Empathy. This is the ability to feel the experience of others. This means stepping out of our own heads and trying to really get the experience of another. This is another tool that builds the foundation for social relationships. Different from sympathy, research shows genuine empathy is the key to building trust and deeper relationships.
  1. Be aware of your own body. Good self-care reflects in a person’s presentation of himself or herself, body image and impacts self-confidence. It’s also part of what Social Psychologists call the Self-World construct, which is our understanding of how we see the world and how the world sees us.
  1. Learn to manage emotions. This is the opposite of emotional hijacking. Actively choosing to manage emotions like anger, for example, directly reflects a person’s theory about emotions. And it’s directly linked to a person’s value system and moral choices. Managing emotions is also a sign of emotional maturity and gives a person a better sense of himself or herself. For leaders, it allows more control over situations and engenders support while providing a feeling of safety to others, which can be critical in high stress situations.
  1. Develop coping strategies. This is critical for emotional resiliency and to develop emotional maturity. This can include stress reduction exercises, journaling, breathing exercises, and meditation or prayer, to mention a few. Many learn to develop these strategies in therapy or through coaching. Using habits like these, in a regular basis, increases emotional resiliency – the ability to emotionally tolerate and handle difficult situations.
  1. Practice assertive communication skills. The goal here is to develop an approach towards building healthy relationships through developing healthy communication skills. “I feel” statements are one example.
  1. Utilize limit setting. When someone actively chooses to put boundaries in place around a relationship or activity, they often can feel empowered or more in control. A feeling of managing things is also importance when managing the regulation of emotions.
  1. Learn how to understand other’s emotions. This is not the same as empathy. This is about learning to recognize cues in other’s behaviors. Tuning into others behaviors, facial expressions, and communication increases effectiveness in the communication. One way to build empathy is through the ability to recognize cues in a person’s expression, tone or body language.
  1. Manage negative emotions: like anger. Unbridled rage or passive-aggressive behavior can do more damage and actually hinder relationship building.
  1. Practice listening. Really listening. People generally need to not only be heard but also understood. One way to practice this skill is to listen to someone else and then reflect back what he or she said.
  1. Develop strategies for difficult situations. These are tools to think about in advance for when stressful situations come up. Some call if a “plan b”.

Executive, Performance and Life coaches have taught these skills for years. The great thing is that each of these traits can easily become skills that help a person function better in relationship and in life. For companies, they can be qualities that become embedded into the company culture through the employees and managers, to increase team building, improve performance and increase sales.

About the author: Karen Atkinson is a certified Life Coach and Social and Emotional Intelligence Trainer. If you would like more information about this topic or if you are interested in workshops or trainings, you can contact her at


Dr. Belsten, Laura, founder, Social and Emotional Intelligence Certification, Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence®, 2017

Ciarrochi, Forgas, and Mayer (editors), Emotional Intelligence in Everyday Life, 2nd edition, Psychology Press, 2006

Goleman, Daniel, Emotional Intelligence, Why it can matter more than IQ, Bantom Books, 1995

Harvard Business Review, HBR’S Must Reads On Emotional Intelligence, 2015, Harvard Business School Publishing, 2015


10 Aug

How To Find The Right Job Site To Post Your Resume On

How do you find the right website to post your resume on?

So you need a job, we all know the drill: you update your resume, start telling people you’re looking for a new job and then head to the computer or pull up your phone to post your resume. Somewhere. Anywhere. So how do you know which app to use? And how much time should you spend trying to find the best job boards? Or research what a “career site” is? When I typed in “job search websites”, 11,900 hits came up! Yikes!

So where to begin?          finding best job site to post resume on

Although posting your resume on a job board may seem like the first action (that is, after you identity your dream job and create the best resume ever!), it really isn’t. Finding the right job boards (found on employment websites) to post on is the next step. There are a lot of decisions to be made in this process including the decision if you want to use an app on a phone, or sit at your desk in front of a computer. And then decide which search engine, which employment website, or which company site to spend your time on. Then you have to find them all. Wow, there’s a lot to this process.

Suggestion: Start with a comprehensive review, try The Best Job Sites by

I wish they had created a site like this when I was out pounding the Internet pavement. It would have saved me so much time and energy. I looked for a real competitor to this site and found lots of partial reviews but couldn’t find anything to compare to the product that this site offers. offers a unique service of comparison within the world wide web of consumer product and usage. Started in 2013, they were created with the intent of “finding the best” of whatever product or service you are looking for. In the case of job search websites, they do all the virtual research for you and even talk to experts. This goes way beyond just customer reviews. They have their own team that does the heavy hitting of comparisons, so you know “within 10 seconds, our top pick, why it’s the best, and how we came to that conclusion”. And they provide enough information so “within 60 seconds, we give you enough information to make a confident decision among the best options”.

Those are good stats! Let them help you start posting your resume on the right job sites.

3 additional things that make a review noteworthy: current industry trends, research that stands the test of time and product specifics.

“A review may look simple and straightforward, but there’s a good chance it took over a month to complete. Something more complex? Try several. That’s because a good review is never finished. We continue to research, keeping our content updated by reviewing new products or making changes based on things like product recalls and emerging trends.”


No one wants outdated information. One way to see if a review site is good is to look back at what they said initially. For example listed the  top 3 career websites for November of 2015. The sites they recommended in 2015 are still ranked in the top 5 of best job search sites for 2017.

And that’s called reliability. Something you want as a consumer.

They also narrow it down for you:

“We’ve been researching job sites for several years and we’ve published several in-depth reviews for job seekers with specific needs and criteria”.


Networking is still the best way to find a job. And what we know today is that job sites are a great way to network. You need to post your resume on the best sites that can represent you. Be strategic, point yourself towards success – start your job search with a review of job search sites. Pick the right sites from the start and save yourself time and energy.

Once you get a lay of the land so to speak, then narrow it down. My suggestion would be to “bookmark” the website (for updates and other product searches) and then take a look at each of the sites listed in their review. Get to know each of the websites well so you can take full advantage of all the features and services each offers. That way you can optimize your network in the best way possible.

I’ve listed some resources, here below, some of which (coincidentally) also report similar findings to That’s yet another sign of a good review.

Happy job hunting!


Job sites reviewed on

Top 10 Best Job Websites on

Stop poring over the classifieds! on

How to Search for a Job Online on

Where to Post a Job Online on

Your Online Job Search on

Starting Your Online Job Search by


How to make a job search successful with Anna Wicha, TEDx, College of Europe Natolin on YouTube.

Tips for job seekers: Inside the Mind of a Recruiter with James Citrin on YouTube.



08 Jul

9 Tools for Healthy Communication

1. Communicate directly with the person.

First make sure the situation has something to do with you directly. Decide if the situation is really worth your time and energy. Then go directly to the source, and try not mentioning things to others or posting comments on social media. Be respectful by being direct. Example: “I understand that you are angry with me, can you tell me why?” Or, “I heard that you are the manager for the new department and I would like to talk with you about possible upcoming positions”.

2. Start with a genuine compliment or positive statement.

Research shows that starting a conversation with a compliment or positive comment increases receptiveness in others. “Thank you for taking time to speak with me”. Or, “I know you were very angry last night and I appreciate your willingness to talk with me today”. With a child, it might sound like: “I really like how you calmed yourself down, good job”.

3. State your needs in a clear honest way.

Clarify in your mind exactly what you are asking for and why. Communicate that in a non-defensive tone. Research shows that too many words can confuse the listener. Try to state it 2-3 sentences. For example: “I wanted to talk with you about the fight at the table last night with your brother”. Vs. “I wanted to talk to you about that terrible tantrum you had at the table last night in front of our family, when you were acting like a 3 year old and picking on your brother”. Another example might be: “I would like to talk to you about the promotion. I understand I was not a candidate and would like to know why?” Vs. “I heard so-and-so got the promotion and I was so bummed to hear that because I thought I was a better candidate”.

4. Use “I” statements.

“I feel”, “I need”, “I want”. “I” statements are about you and no one can question your feelings or needs. It also outlines the place you are coming from. Then state your need. “I felt disappointed about the fight at Christmas dinner. I really wanted everyone to get along”. Or “I would like to apply for the promotion and would like to know what I need to do”. Stay out of their backyard and away from blaming. It puts people off and makes it harder for them to hear what you want. Focus on what you would like to see happen. “I would like to advance my position and use more of my skills to help this company increase it’s sales”. Or, “I would like for us to have family meals without fighting and am wondering what you think we could do together to make that happen?”

5. Listen.

Yes, to their response. Often we have a script already running in our head about what they will say or what we need to say next. Turn that off. Make your statement, pause, take a breath and listen for their response. Be in the moment as much as possible. And let go of outcome. We can’t control others or the outcome, even if it’s with the best intentions.

6. Ask questions to clarify.

Coming into the conversation without a singular result in mind will allow for exploration and curiosity. Ask questions with an engaged curiosity. Seek to understand the other person’s perspective, their experience and their opinion.

7. Try phrasing it in a different way.

If the person does not understand what is being said, try phrasing, literally using different words. For example” “I feel like we haven’t spent any time together” (They don’t understand). Second try: I really like you and would like to spend more time together, what do you think about that?” If you are on the receiving end of communication and don’t understand what they are saying, ask for clarification. Ask for specifics. “ Can you give me an example of a time when I talked over you?”

8. Take a break if things start to get heated.

You can take a break anytime, especially if you know the next line of defense is going to be slinging hurtful insults you won’t be able to take back. Revisit it when you are both calm and level headed. Check-in with yourself to see if you missed something or maybe could try to say things in a different way. And if things can’t get resolved, try mediation or communicating through someone else, like a counselor.

9. Apologize and reconcile when possible.

They are healing acts that help move relationships forward. Some people think that apologizing is sign of weakness but it’s actually a sign of respect towards the self and others. We are after all human and fallible. Admitting that actually takes courage and emotional maturity. Some say that reconciliation and forgiveness are the most important parts of the communication process.

Resources and References


The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns

How to talk to anyone; 92 little tricks for big success in relationships by Leil Lowndes

When Anger Hurts, Quieting the Storm Within, by Matthew McKay, Ph.D., Peter D. Rogers and Judith McKay

Articles & Blog Posts:

Counseling Advice: Healthy Communication & Relationships by Amy McNamara, LMFT,

The 7 Cs of Communication: A Checklist for Clear Communication on

Tips for Better Communication on

5 Habits of Highly Effective Communicators by Susan Tardanico,

14 Very Effective Communication Skills on

10 Effective Communication Habits of the Most Successful People, by Marcel Schwantes,

6 Surprising Ways to Communicate Better With Your Partner by F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W.,

Simple, Powerful Tools for Becoming a Great Communicator on


22 Oct

10 Action Steps for Job Searchers

  1. Don’t give up; keep an open mind and positive mindset! Studies now show that starting your day with breathing exercises and positive thoughts can increase productivity and feelings of happiness. Read posts like this: How to Stay Positive from the Positivity Blog. For more resources visit the Career page on this site.
  1. Exercise! Not only is it good for you, but it’s also a great distraction. Studies show that hanging out in nature relaxes the mind, is good for the body and can increase performance.
  1. Visualize what you want. Try a vision board! Jack Canfield has a great post about this: How to Create an Empowering Vision Board.
  1. Develop a support system. That is people who will be positive and supportive, not critical or indifferent. Healthy relationships offer support and stability. Stay connected.
  1. Try a new training, increase your skills.This can become part of your “life long learning”, which is an catch phrase. Is there a skill you’d like to learn? Try it out, t add it to your CV.
  1. Check out other industries and positions. Think outside the box. Is there a way you can utilize your skills or modify them to apply for a different type of position? What catches your eye?
  1. Become a volunteer. This is especially good if you have a lot of free time on your hands. Giving back is good for the soul and gets you connected to the local community. Action is good for the mind. Pick something that really interests you. Not only can it be a distraction but also it can feel good to help others. It’s also a reminder that you need to have a life outside of work :^)
  1. Check out job fairs. Try a local event website in your area or a national one like: National Career Fairs or Find out where a local recruiter or manager from a company you want to work for will be presenting.
  1. Network, Network, Network! Utilize that stack of business cards lying around. Or all those addresses in your email. Check out job listings on LinkedIn or some place you normally wouldn’t think to look for a job. Try joining a forum, industry related, job search related or as a professional affiliation and networking opportunity. They say word-of-mouth is the best way to get connected.
  1. Check out the additional resources below:
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