Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
Roberta Matuson's Blog

How to Refrain From Being a Demanding Boss

How to Avoid Becoming a Demanding Boss

Today’s WSJ featured an article titled, How to Manage a Demanding Boss. The advice given to employees of demanding bosses requires employees to do whatever is necessary to work around bosses whose behavior is doing more harm than good. I wish the Journal instead had published a piece on How to Refrain From Being a Demanding Boss, as a story on this topic might get some bosses to examine their behavior more closely and consider making some much needed changes. Here’s what I wish the author would have written.

There is nothing wrong with being a boss who demands excellence from his or her people, but not when doing so forces employees to sacrifice their own life for that of the company. Here’s an example of what I mean by this. Asking employees to promptly respond to emails and texts 24/7 just because you’re the boss and you think you can make these demands will no doubt come back to bite you. If employees see no demarcation between their work and personal life, then no doubt they will use what is supposed to be their work time to handle personal matters, which they no longer have time to do after hours, because you are intruding on their personal time.

So the next time you are about to demand an employee to work well past quitting time or to come in on weekends, ask yourself the following? Is this really necessary? If you have to think twice, it’s probably not.

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Employees Have Dreams Too

Ready to Live Out Your Dreams?

Who could forget Martin Luther King, Jr’s., “I Have A Dream” speech? Yet everyday, we forget that employees have dreams as well. Here are but a few of the dreams that employees everywhere are having.

A better life. Who doesn’t dream of having a better life? Yet as I look at the world of work from the other side, I see that for most this dream has become a nightmare. Demanding bosses, 24/7 scheduling and little care for the human side of business has resulted in a life that few would describe as better.

A boss that doesn’t micromanage. In my executive coaching practice, micromanagement is one of the biggest complaints I hear from my clients. Ironically, my clients are many times the biggest offenders. It would be a dream come true for many, if those in management roles would allow the people they hire to do their jobs with little interference.

To enjoy time outside of work. I did something very strange this weekend. I didn’t do any work all weekend. And guess what? Life as I knew it got a heck of a lot better. I gave my mind some much needed time off and focused on having some fun. Sadly, many workers don’t feel they have the luxury of completely ignoring work and enjoying themselves when they leave the workplace. Their dreams of having a balanced life feel out of reach to most.

Interesting work. No one dreams of landing a boring job, yet often times that’s exactly what happens. I’ve worked some really boring jobs in my lifetime, yet some great managers made these jobs a lot of fun. Think about what you can do to add some joy back into the workplace, so your employees can once again dream.

To be paid what they are worth. Companies are using the wrong metrics when it comes to pay. They are looking at what they are currently paying people rather than what people are currently worth. Pay people based on the value they contribute to the organization, even if this means adjusting their salaries upwards or downwards annually.

Respect. Employees everywhere dream of being respected, yet there appears to be a shortage of respect. That’s the only reason I can think of as to why you wouldn’t give this to the people that work for you.

I’ve had the pleasure of helping many leaders achieve their dreams of becoming magnetic leaders. What they all had in common was their desire to improve. Are you ready to live out your dreams? Call me at 617-608-3633 or email Roberta@matusonconsulting.com to begin.

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How to Maximize Talent and Productivity

How to Maximize and Optimize Team Performance

I was recently asked by a CEO as to what I thought were the key qualities in maximizing and optimizing talent. I thought sharing my answer would be helpful for those of you who are looking to increase productivity and profitability in your own organizations, which is probably just about everyone!

First you have to make sure the people you hire are talented or that they have the potential to become top talent. If you are unsure, then you probably have some people who should probably no longer remain in your employ.

The key to maximizing and optimizing talent is the creation of a workplace where employees love to work and customers love to do business. This doesn’t require a Google-sized wallet, nor crazy perks that really don’t work.

Focus on the leadership in your organization. I write about this in my new book, The Magnetic Leader. If you’ve had the pleasure of working with a magnetic leader, you know how powerful their pull can be. You’ll do whatever they ask (and most times you’ll do this without waiting to be asked) and you’ll remain by their side for years to come. When you have magnetic leaders, the optimization of talent occurs naturally.

If you’d like to learn more about how to create an incredible workplace that attracts the right people to your organization, email me at Roberta@matusonconsulting.com and I will send you one of my most requested articles on 30 Low Cost Ways to Show Employees They are Valued.

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How I Became An Expert In the Workplace, Courtesy of Bill O’Reilly

Expert on Sexual Harassment in the WorkplaceI didn’t set out to be an expert on sex in the workplace. It happened by circumstance.

In early 2004, I was invited to appear on The O’Reilly Factor, which airs on the Fox News station. The topic was sex in the office. Bill asked for my opinion as to whether or not I thought sex was happening in the office during work hours, as well as after hours. We also discussed sexual harassment in the workplace. What I didn’t know at the time was that the producer, who brought me on the show, was allegedly being harassed by Mr. O’Reilly.

Fast forward six months later, and Bill’s producer, Andrea Mackris, was accusing him of sexual harassment. Obviously, Bill didn’t listen to what I had to say. We never really learned if Bill was guilty or innocent, as he settled with Ms. Mackris for what is rumored to be a number well into the millions.

As the years have gone by, I’ve been called upon for comment when another story on sexual harassment breaks . I have no doubt  today will be no exception, as the New York Times just released the following breaking news: “Fox News Settled Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Bill O’Reilly, Documents Show.

The story about sexual harassment that former Fox employee Julie Huddy tells about her experience with Bill O’Reilly is remarkably similar to the accusations Mackris made in 2004. The fact that Fox news has turned an eye away from O’Reilly and permitted this behavior to continue is disheartening to me.

Fox isn’t the only workplace where sexual harassment is taking place. Sexual harassment is prevalent in workplaces across America. Cosmopolitan conducted a survey in 2015 of 2,235 full-time and part-time female employees and found that one out of three female employees has experienced sexual harassment at some point in their work lives.

I’ve conducted enough sexual harassment investigations to see first hand the damage that occurs when someone is sexually harassed in the workplace. And if you think there is no such thing as same-sex harassment, think again. Same-sex harassment is equally as cruel and damaging.

My goal is to see my role, as an expert on sex in the workplace, become extinct. It’s my hope that in my teenage son and teenage daughter’s lifetime, they and their colleagues will be free to come to work everyday without having to worry about someone sexually harassing them in the workplace. This will only happen if companies take a bold stand and have a zero tolerance policy on harassment for all.

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How to Prevent Others from Poaching Your Talent

Employee Retention of Talent

Employee Retention of Talent

Many of you are enjoying the last day of your winter holiday break, while others are out there actively stealing your talent. If you only do one thing this year, let that be creating a force field around your organization that will prevent others from successfully plucking your talent out.

I’ve just written an executive report titled, Poaching Talent: The Unauthorized Guide to Capturing Your Competitor’s Top Talent While Safeguarding Your Own, which is yours for the asking. Here are a few key points regarding safeguarding your people.

1. Identify the keepers. It’s a lot easier to say that everyone is a keeper, rather than admitting that some people are more valuable than others. If you could only save a handful of your people on a sinking ship, who would you choose? These are your keepers and these are the people you should be checking in with regularly to ensure they feel connected to you and the company that employs them.

2. Give the keepers interesting work assignments. People tend to wander off and look at other options when they no longer feel challenged. Look for ways to involve your keepers in work assignments that are interesting and challenging, even if this means giving up something you really enjoy doing in your job.

3. Release the non-keepers. Release those who are weighing down your team as well as sucking the energy out of your keepers. Do this now.

There are a ton of other ways you can protect your talent. I’m sharing these ideas with a select group of companies, who are engaging me to come on site and facilitate a three-hour jam packed discussion. I’m also going to teach them for the first time ever, how to effortlessly poach talent. I’ve got a few dates left for January and February. Email me at Roberta@Matusonconsulting.com to have me bring this session to your organization.

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Magnetic Leadership: Promise Me You Won’t Be This Type of Leader

Businessman with fingers crossed behind his back.

Great Leaders are Truthful Leaders

Imagine what it must be like to work for someone who keeps making promises yet never fulfills them. Apparently, it’s more common than we think. According to a 2007 Florida State University Study, two out of five bosses don’t keep their word.

I can only think of a handful of acceptable reasons to break a promise you made to one of your employees. I’m not saying that things don’t happen or that something might legitimately get in the way of you keeping your word. Your actions after the promise is broken will determine what happens next.

For example, I find that most leaders hate confrontation. Rather than telling an employee why they are not able to keep a previous commitment, they instead pretend as if they never made the commitment at all. They figure the employee will forget about it, which is rarely the case. If you are unable to keep your word, at least have the courtesy of telling your employee why this is so. Many will stick by your side, as honesty is something that a lot of people are looking for from their bosses—and, as you’ve heard, it’s in short supply these days.

This posting is an excerpt from my new book, The Magnetic Leader, which is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

Posted in Leadership, Learning and Development, Management, Talent Acquisition and Retention, Talent Maximization
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Seven Questions to Help You Achieve Dramatic Growth

SuccessHere are seven questions to think about as you work towards achieving outrageous growth.

  1. What’s the one thing you can do today to maximize talent and revenue growth? The answer should consist of certain actions that you can take to immediately accelerate your ability to fill jobs with the right people, increase productivity and grow your business.
  1. Who on your staff do you secretly wish would give notice? Write their name down and make a plan for their exit.
  1. Who have you always admired that works for a competitor? Name them. Then go after them.
  1. Which candidates told you “no” this past year, who you can go back to this year?
  1. Who did you lose this year that you are still missing? Call them up today and invite them to lunch. Listen carefully for signs indicating that they may be interested in returning to your company.
  1. What’s been on your to-do-list since the beginning of 2016 that you haven’t gotten to? Is it still important? If so, put a date and time on your calendar to get this done this month. If not? Take it off your list.
  1. Who in the organization has the most potential? Have you told them lately how valuable they are to the organization? Invest in them. Hire an executive coach. Don’t delay. Do this now.
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If You Are Serious, Do Something Now!

Fighting Procrastination

Fighting Procrastination

“I’ll put it on my calendar.” “I’ll get to it tomorrow.” “We can do this ourselves.” This may be true, but from where I stand, too many people are fooling themselves. Sure, they will put something on their calendar and then they won’t look at their calendar. This business of getting to it tomorrow is merely a delay tactic. If it’s important, do it today. If it’s not that important, then consider not doing it at all.

My favorite is the, “We can do it ourselves.” If you really can, then how come you haven’t taken action yet? Look, there are things we are good at doing and we enjoy doing and other things we hate doing or we aren’t that great at doing. We should leave those tasks to someone else.

Here’s something I’m serious about and doing something about now. I’m serious about helping organizations navigate these uncharted areas of record low unemployment in many parts of the country. I’m working with a handful of companies who are seamlessly filling job openings with talented people while their competitors are struggling to plug bodies into jobs.

So if you are serious about business growth and finding the right people to fuel your growth, then reach out to me at Roberta@matusonconsulting.com or call. Do it today. For if you wait until tomorrow, you’ll most likely never get around to doing anything about the situation at hand.

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If It Can Happen To Snoopy It Can Happen To You: How To Bounce Back After Being Fired

Losing your job is not easyThis just in. After 31 years of service, MetLife is giving Snoopy his walking papers. The company decided earlier this year to part with most of its U.S. life-insurance business and just the other day MetLife announced that Snoopy’s image will no longer be used on their blimp or in their marketing materials. No word yet regarding his participation in the Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Nor have we heard a peep from the Peanuts gang.

MetLife reps recently told the Wall Street Journal that the company is “going in a different direction.” As many seasoned workers can attest to, those words are often code for, “we are looking for fresh ideas and younger talent.”

Given that not even icon Snoopy is safe in his job, now is the time to prepare for the worst or what may be the best thing to happen to you in your career.

My Story

It’s been over 25 years since I was terminated from my dream job. Yet, I still remember the day like it was yesterday. It was the early ’80s and I was living in Houston during the oil boom and bust. I worked hard to break into the oilfield industry and was anxious to make my mark. Alas that was not going to happen. Fourteen months into my job I heard the words, “We have to let you go.” I can’t tell you what was said after that, as I went into a free fall. Like many, I was a victim of the economy. But that didn’t make me feel any better. Here are some of the lessons I learned about bouncing back after being fired and how to land on your feet.

Don’t Look Back — You’re Not Going That Way

Hearing, “You’re fired,” or words that convey you’re no longer employed can knock the wind out of your sail. You think you’ll never find work again or have a job as good as the one you lost. I can say from experience that most likely this won’t be the case.

To move forward, you have to stop looking backwards. Playing tapes in your head of your job performance, over and over again, will not change the outcome. Nor will commiserating with team members who are still employed. Cut ties with former colleagues so you can avoid being dragged into their workplace drama and instead use this time to make new connections. You can certainly re-engage when you are gainfully re-employed.

Create A “Time Out For A Coffee” Campaign

Some things never change. The best way to find a job is still through people you know. So what do you do if you’ve let your network wither on the vine? You do what I tell my job search coaching clients to do. You create a “Time Out for a Coffee” campaign. Here’s what this looks like.

Make a list of people you know who can connect you with someone who can hire you. Included in this list should be co-workers from former companies, those you attend church or synagogue with, parents of your kid’s friends and anyone else you come in contact with that would be open to making an introduction on your behalf. Next start calling people on this list and invite them to meet for coffee so the two of you can catch up. (Note: this is good to do even if you are employed, as you never know when you’ll need to tap into your network.) Try to line up a minimum of three coffees a week. Some people may invite you to stop by their office and others may meet you at a coffee shop. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say you should always offer to pay for their coffee.

Congratulations! You are now at the coffee shop waiting for your guest to arrive. Here’s how to kick off the conversation. I suggest five to ten minutes exchanging pleasantries. Listen keenly to ways you may be able to help this person. For example, suppose your guest tells you his son is looking at the same college your son is attending. Offering to put his son in touch with your child would be a generous and welcome offer and will set the stage nicely for you to ask for something in return.

Make It Easy For People To Refer You

Be succinct when explaining your current situation and let people know specifically what kind of position you are seeking. Ask if they’d be willing to introduce you to two or three people who would appreciate the value that you can bring to an organization. If no one comes to mind, suggest a few people. (You can come up with these names by looking at their LinkedIn connections prior to your meeting.)

Give people choices. Tell them you’d be happy to send them an introduction they can use to make it easier for them or if they prefer, you can simply use their name when calling.

Beef Up Your LinkedIn Profile

If you’re like Snoopy and it’s been years since you’ve had to look for a job, you probably aren’t aware of the important role LinkedIn is playing today in the hiring arena. Managers and recruiters are mining LinkedIn profiles daily in search of talent. When doing so, they are searching using keywords. Keywords are the search terms they are using to identify qualified candidates. If your LinkedIn profile doesn’t contain the keywords a recruiter is using,  your profile will never surface.

You can identify appropriate keywords  by looking at job postings in your field. If you look at enough postings, you’ll soon notice a pattern. For example, if you see Microsoft and Excel in most postings, you’ll want to be sure to include these words in your LinkedIn profile.

Let Your Support System Help

Snoopy is lucky. He can lean on the Peanuts Gang for support until another company is willing to throw him a bone. My advice to him and you is to permit others to be of help. No doubt, sometime in the future you’ll find yourself in the position of being able to return the favor.

Did you know I also help leaders accelerate their job searches? Contact me at Roberta@matusonconsulting.com to discuss how we might work together.

Posted in Careers, Coaching, Job Searching, Seasoned Workers

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Check Out My Podcast with Shawn Casemore

Check out my interview on The Growth Inspired Podcast with Shawn Casemore! http://bit.ly/2da6Q0C

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