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

Looking Back Can Prevent You From Moving Forward

This morning, I received a memory from Facebook, reminding me that I was on a plane with my family flying to Portugal a year ago today.

That memory reminded me of what is no longer to be for the foreseeable future. The more I thought about what I had lost this year, the more depressed I got.

I started going down a rabbit hole and began lamenting about how much I miss being able to travel the world. I then went onto to list everything else that has changed in my life since the pandemic began.

After my self-pity session was done, I sat down and listed all the great things that were going on in my life.

Our family is healthy. I have a new book deal. I’m traveling to Philadelphia (okay, it’s not Paris) in a few weeks to help our daughter move into her new apartment. I’m planting lots of seeds and creating new offerings to ensure my business continues to prosper.

All of us have a choice here. We can spend our precious thinking about everything that didn’t happen this year because of the pandemic. Or we can choose to move forward.

I’m moving forward.

How about you?

  • You can blame the fact that you’re stuck in a job that you don’t like on the Coronavirus. Or you can choose to pursue a new opportunity.
  • You can give up on the idea of a promotion this year. Or you can spend the next four months becoming the obvious choice for a promotion.
  • You can blame your poor leadership skills on the fact that you now have to manage people remotely. Or you can take this time to learn how to be an incredible leader.

Yeah, the last eight months has been a non-starter for many. That’s in the past.

Where do you want to be four to six months from now? That’s what matters now.

Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.

Ready to move forward? Sign up for advisory or coaching services by Wednesday, September 2, 2020, and receive an additional month of support for FREE. Mention this LinkedIn post to take advantage of this exclusive offer. For more information, send a note to

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How to Do Well in Life and on the Golf Course

Staying the Course with Your Career

I was speaking this morning with someone who was referred to me for coaching. She’s a bright woman who is trying to figure out her next move.

She used the analogy of swinging at golf balls on the course of a country club, will little regard as to where you really want these balls to land.

I told her it was a lot less expensive and more efficient to do this at a golf range, than on an ocean front course where you’re paying $200 a round.

The point she was making to me is that she’s been trying to figure out her next career move on her own and is hitting a lot of balls, but going no where.

I get what she’s going through. We can tell ourselves all sorts of stories. Stories like, “No one is going to want to hire me because of my age.” Or, “I don’t have “X” and the job posting says they want “X” “Y” and “Z” so I can’t apply.

Having someone you can talk to, who doesn’t live inside your head, is vital if you want to move your career forward and are feeling stuck.

What’s your story?

#coaching, #executivecoaching, #careersuccess

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The Consequences of Unintended Consequences


A few weeks ago, I wrote about why you shouldn’t try to do everything yourself and what can happen when you do.

I wish my husband, Ron, had read that newsletter.

Last week, our dog Trevor got power washed! No, I don’t mean he had a spa treatment at the groomer. Nope! He was on the receiving end of the spray, as Ron was power washing the outside of our deck. 

At first, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Our cute little Westie looked like a drowned rat. My husband was too busy working on another one of his DIY projects even to notice. 

I was left to dry off our pup.

I know my husband didn’t intentionally spray our dog just like he didn’t intentionally spill paint on our beautiful hardwood floors when painting our daughter’s bedroom.

Yet, stuff like this keeps happening whenever he insists on taking on projects that he’s not qualified to do. He could surely benefit from engaging a DIY coach. 

Do these people even exist?

Those of you who have been following my work know I’m a huge believer in coaching. I’ve had a coach on and off for over 10 years now and have avoided countless mistakes by working with someone who has been where I’m going.

The school of hard knocks is undoubtedly one way to learn valuable lessons. 

But why get knocked around if you don’t have to?

So, before you’re like my husband Ron, when it comes to critical business decisions, here are some things to consider.

  • Admit You Need Help. If you’ve known for a while that you need to make a change in a specific area, and you’ve yet to do anything to move things forward, then admit it, you need outside help.
  • Consider the Risks I went along with my husband when he told me he wanted to paint our deck. I saw this as a low-risk move. Worst-case scenario, we have to hire an expert to redo the painting. That’s a bit different from revamping your entire business strategy, only to discover you’ve gotten it wrong. Here’s where having a real expert by your side can save you considerable time and money.
  • Recognize the Half-Truths. Are people in the organization telling you what they think you want to hear, rather than what you need to hear? In this economy, it’s risky for an employee to tell their boss the truth. Given the choice of transparency or continued employment, most choose the latter. Of course, this won’t help you make the best decisions possible. Having a trusted advisor who will tell you the truth no matter what is priceless.

Many executives I’m talking to are second-guessing themselves. They’re wondering if they’re acting too hastily or not taking action fast enough. There’s no shame here. My clients trust me to help them make the right decisions. You may be spending hours thinking about the same things repeatedly, which is not only exhausting but also counterproductive.

In the end, Ron didn’t do a horrible job. 

But last night he told me he was thinking of calling a paint company to paint the outside of the house. I just smiled and told him it was a good idea. Trevor, sitting on the floor listening to us, seemed to have a smile on his face. I guess he was relieved as I was, that we were going to leave such a massive project to the professionals!

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Tired of going at it alone? Are you ready to dramatically accelerate your leadership skills and be seen as the obvious choice for a promotion? Then read on.

I’m launching a new group coaching program for those interested in achieving magnetic leadership status. In this 90-day program, you’ll learn practical strategies for creating and engaging a top-notch team and will have an opportunity to interact with some of the world’s best leaders.

Only seven people per group, to ensure everyone gets ample air time.

Two spots are spoken for already, and I just announced the program last Friday!

Email me at, put “Magnetic Leader” in the subject line, and tell me why you think you’d be a good fit for our group.

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Talent Waits for No One

Talent Waits for No One

My son just went through his last round of co-op interviews, and things were quite different this time around. 

He’s a computer science major which has basically given him the ability to pick his place to work. 

Then, Covid-19 arrives, and everything changed. There are now significantly fewer co-op jobs on the co-op board. 

He wound up interviewing with five companies and was especially interested in two of them. One of the companies, right in the middle of the co-op interviewing process, pulled the job and told students they’d open the requisition back up later on in the process.

 I asked my son what he thought about this move, and here’s what he said: 

“I’m not waiting around for these guys.”

Ah, a proud mom moment. I’ve taught him well! You see, talent waits for no one. 

 Last week, he accepted a fantastic job offer from a company where he previously worked. That company is charging ahead, despite the pandemic. 

They’re doing what I wrote about in my latest book, Evergreen Talent 

They’re seeding their workforce and nurturing talent.

As an expert in talent, I’ve been intrigued by this organization. The company culture is impressive, and they really do go above and beyond the call of duty to engage their workers.

In this market, where there are way more people than jobs, this company could have offered my son the same pay he had previously made there. But they didn’t. He’s making now considerably more.

Dinner’s on my son tonight!

To a 21-year old college student (and a whole lot of other people), money is certainly a motivator.

My son can’t wait to start his new job, although he’ll miss the free food and other perks of the job since he’ll now be working virtually.

He’ll look back at this post one day and roll his eyes, but in my eyes, my son is always #1. And because of slothfulness, some companies missed out on great talent. His previous employer knew it, which is why they snapped him up at a premium.

So, what about your company? What are you doing to secure the talent you need now to be a stronger, healthier company later?

What are you doing to build your talent pipeline? Have you kept your internship and co-op programs in place, or have you completely dismantled these? If it’s the latter, how will you ensure you can hire the entry-level talent needed to fuel your business growth?

Are you ruthlessly chopping people off the payroll, as you look to reduce expenses, with little regard as to how this will impact your future? Be careful not to eliminate too many middle management roles, or you may find yourself paying high search fees to fill more senior management roles in the not-so-distant future.

How will you differentiate yourself from the pack in terms of attracting talent? What are you offering current and prospective employees that no one else is offering, now that free food and Tuesday night beer busts are but a distant memory? How are you getting the word out about these changes?

I get that the issues around talent can be somewhat complicated these days, especially as you look to get through these next few months. On the other hand, you want to be well-positioned to take advantage of new opportunities that may come your way. 

If you’d like to talk through your talent plan, reach out to me at I’ll carve out time on my calendar to have a discussion with you, sooner rather than later, because talent waits for no one.

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The Best Time to Hire a Coach

The Best Time to Hire a Coach

The best time to hire a coach is when you need a coach. But how do you know if now is the right time to engage a coach?

I’ve hired several coaches over the years and did so for very different reasons. I’ve also been a coach for over 20 years, so I have a good idea of when hiring a coach is the right move for most.

Here are five of the best times to hire a coach:

1.  You’re stuck. I’ve become stuck several times throughout my career. The way I was able to pry myself loose usually involved gaining new skills or looking at things differently. When I changed my beliefs about what was possible, everything changed. Or when I got clear on what was really important to me, a whole new path opened up to me. Should I have been able to do this on my own? Maybe. But if I could have, I would have done so already, which is why I engaged a coach.

2.  You’re ready to move to the next level. You’ve gone as far as you’re going to go on your own. Perhaps you were passed over for a promotion. You’ve hit a plateau. A good coach can help you figure out what’s getting in the way of your progress. He or she can help you see blind spots that you cannot see on your own.

3.  You’re a top executive. It’s lonely at the top. I know this because I’ve been there. I spent six years in the executive suite of a commercial real estate company. It’s there that I learned the importance of not letting your colleagues (or your boss) see you sweat. Fortunately for me, I had a coach who I could speak with confidentially. He saved me from making critical mistakes more times than I care to remember.

4.  You’re making a transition. Maybe you’re starting a job with a new company or accepting a new role with your current employer. One thing holds true for both scenarios. There is no such thing as the first 90 days. Nope. You’re expected to perform on day one. An experienced coach, who has been where you’re headed, can safely guide you as you navigate the new terrain you’re in.

5.  You’re looking to change a specific behavior. In the past, you’ve been told that a certain behavior is holding you back. At the time, you weren’t ready to deal with your situation. Now you are. A great coach can provide guidance in terms of what’s needed to shift your behavior. This person will also help hold you accountable.

©Matuson Consulting, 2020.

I’m offering a unique coaching opportunity to help you manage through this crisis. Special offer: 90-Day Coaching-$2,500.

I’ll help you respond, stay focused, and lead through this crisis with a weekly call and unrestricted email access. This is not a regular offering of mine, it’s intended to help you swiftly navigate through this new terrain.

Together we can discuss any aspect of your work, such as managing your team and your boss, seeking out a new job opportunity, identifying and implementing top priorities, maintaining focus, not feeling overwhelmed, and preparing for the recovery. I have limited openings, so if you are interested, write me at to learn more and sign up!

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When in Doubt Choose Happiness

Choose Happiness

I went out to lunch yesterday with my daughter and had the most delicious burger I’ve ever had. Not sure if it was the actual burger that was great or that this was our first time dining out in almost three months.

In my wildest dreams, I never thought I’d be so thrilled to be taken out to lunch at a hamburger joint. It’s incredible how much I appreciate the little things in life, now that we’re being given a taste of freedom here in Massachusetts.

Oh, and my daughter paid since it was my birthday, which made the meal that much more enjoyable!

Sometimes you don’t know how good you have it until something is gone.

It just goes to show how life can change on a moment’s notice. The coronavirus pandemic turned everything we thought we knew upside down. Now it’s up to each of us to get back on our feet.

As you look to create the new normal version of you, ask yourself the following:

  • Are you happy? Do you wake up every morning excited to start another day?
  • Do you still find your work fulfilling? Or are you merely marking time?
  • Are you where you thought you be career-wise? Or did you think you’d be further along?

When I was having lunch with my daughter, I told her to say yes to every opportunity that comes along and not put anything off. We could easily find ourselves in lock down again.

It would be a shame to miss out on something important because you procrastinated.

So, if you’re not thrilled with your current situation, do something to change it. Do it today. No excuses.

I’m offering a unique coaching opportunity to help you lift your career to new heights. I’m calling this the “Me Project.” 

Sixty days to focus on the one thing that will propel your career forward. I’m accepting 10 people into the program (six spots are filled already), and the investment is only $1,195.

Interested? Contact me at for more details.

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Budding Talent: Why Now’s the Time to Promote Your Best Workers

Promoting Your Best Workers

This past weekend, I had a delicious bowl of New England clam chowder at a friend’s house, where we sat on the patio, six feet apart. In year’s past, I wouldn’t have given a moment like this a second thought. However, this year is anything but ordinary.

For the first time in months, I felt normal.

To me, it was a sign that we are finally coming out of the pandemic phase and entering what’s being referred to as the “new normal.”

Many of you are turning your attention to reopening your businesses and rethinking your staffing needs, as you seek to define your new normal.

With that in mind, here’s an excerpt from my newest book, Evergreen Talent.

I’ve chosen to share a section on a topic that is near and dear to me (and a whole lot of other people as well)–Promotions.

Here’s the excerpt:

I bet there are a bunch of people in your own organization who are about to blossom. Then why do so many companies look to the outside when filling jobs, when talent is right under their noses?

This phenomenon happens for a number of reasons, including outdated personnel policies and office politics. Let’s start with outdated policies.

Many companies have policies stating that an employee must be in his or her job for at least six months before being eligible for a promotion or a transfer.

If you’ve got an employee who is ready to advance or to try something new, then let them—or someone else will! In fact, yesterday I was talking with a CEO about this. We were discussing how tight the labor market is for entry-level café workers. He’s identified several companies that are making aggressive attempts to poach his workers. He’s being proactive in his attempts to ward them off.

Managers are now required to have conversations every thirty days with their employees regarding performance and future opportunities with the company. When necessary, they accelerate the promotion schedule they typically follow. Workers are encouraged to follow their passions. Employees can try out jobs in other departments before committing to a new career path. They can also return to their original roles, should they decide they were happier where they were.

Office politics is a known killer of budding talent. This occurs when leaders put themselves before their people.

For example, a leader discourages an employee from considering an opportunity elsewhere in the organization because she doesn’t want to lose an employee who makes her look good. Or a manager does nothing to help his employee land a new position in another department because he feels threatened by that leader.

Remember: If you don’t help your people grow, they’ll pull up stakes and go elsewhere.

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Achieve Fantastic Financial Performance Through Better Hiring Practices

Greater Financial Performance Through Better Hiring Practices

Let me offer four ideas that I think you’ll find to be of value. All will drive better financial performance, can be implemented with little effort on your part, and without a lot of investment.

1. Make it easy for candidates to apply for work with your company. Insert a banner (or at a minimum, some sort of link) on your homepage announcing that you are hiring. Or add an “About Us” tab at the top of your site, which should have a drop down for careers. By doing so, you’ll increase your applicant flow.

2. Make sure you’re not sending candidates elsewhere. Some of you may be using third-party recruitment sites as a way to collect resumes and may not be aware that some sites are sending the candidates you are hoping to hire, emails with dozens of other job choices. Many of these offers are more attractive than yours.

Don’t believe me? Just ask one of my CEO clients, who followed my advice and applied for a job with his own company. Much to his surprise, he started receiving some incredible job opportunities for similar roles that were far better than his. Had he not done this, he would never have known. Don’t let this happen to you.

Apply for a job with your own company and see where the trail ends.

3. Create a big splash with your employee referral program. Employee bonus programs are a great way to pull in talent, but most programs are best kept secrets. Consider doubling employee referral bonuses, for a limited period of time. Offer quarterly contests to keep the program top of mind (e.g., every time an employee makes a referral, their name gets entered into a drawing for a prize such as a gift certificate to one of the finest restaurants in town…one that now delivers). If resources are too tight to do this, offer an extra vacation day, that can be taken during non-peak times.

4. Put your hiring process on a diet. Cut out all the excess fat (e.g., three people having to interview each candidate, a bunch of approvals required before offer is extended, etc.) and give hiring managers the ability to extend offers within 24 hours of interviewing the ideal candidate.

This week’s challenge: Apply for a job with your own company and email me at to let me know how it goes. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my e-book, Selecting for Success: The Complete Guide to Hiring Talent. My guess is you’ll be quite surprised by the experience!

© Matuson Consulting, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

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How Executives (Or Anyone Else) Can Bounce Back After Being Let Go

Over the past several weeks, millions of people have lost their jobs or were furloughed over the past several weeks.

My heart goes out to you if you’re one of these people.

Dealing with a job loss.
Dealing With a Job Loss

Looking for a job can feel very isolating, and that was before we were all asked to stay home. Now, more than ever, you need to know you’re not alone.

After 31 years of service, MetLife gave Snoopy his walking papers. The company decided to part with most of its U.S. life-insurance business and announced that Snoopy’s image would 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 regarding how unfair this is 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 a virtual 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. Don’t punish yourself, if you are only able to set up one or two.

Here’s how to kick off the conversation. I suggest five minutes exchanging pleasantries. Listen keenly to ways you may be able to help this person. For example, suppose the person you’re meeting with tells you his son is considering 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. (Yes, companies are still hiring!)

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 has 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.

Are you an executive interested in accelerating your job search? Contact me at to discuss how we might work together.

Note: If you reside outside of North America, you’ll want to hire a coach who is familiar with your local market.

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Dealing With Difficult Employees: Can’t We Just Put Them in Time Out?

Managing Difficult Employees Virtually – Yikes!

The following is an excerpt from Suddenly in Charge, which is being featured on Amazon this month. Downloads are available for only $1.99.

Ask managers what they dislike most about their jobs and the majority will say, dealing with problem employees. Problem employees are a fact of life so the sooner you learn how to deal with them, the easier your job will be.

But wait, you may be thinking that if I do what you say, hire right, I’m not going to have to worry about this.

Over time, people and circumstances change. Consider people you know, who have gone through life-changing events.

For example, can you think of someone who’s personality shifted dramatically as they were caring for an aging parent or while they were going through a divorce?

Or what about an employee who seemed to be the perfect employee, until his salary was frozen?

It’s best to be prepared for anything and everything. The worst that can happen is that you will never need these skills.

But like a fire drill, isn’t it best to know where all the emergency exits are located, even if it’s only one time that you need to use this information?

Here’s what I see happening all the time. Managers (or anyone else for that matter) don’t like conflict so they do everything they can think of to avoid dealing with the situation.

Most of the time, doing nothing is the worst thing you can do as workplace situations get worse when left unattended.

Make sure your managers are skilled at holding difficult conversations, as this part of their job isn’t going away any time soon.

Dealing with a difficult employee is one of biggest challenges for managers. Now imagine being a first-time leader, who is now suddenly forced to manage this situation virtually!

Leaders choosing to ignore tough conversations until life gets back to normal will find that this is a huge mistake.

Of course, they’ll discover this after the situation has come back to bite them as well as the organization. You can prevent that from happening to you. Here’s how:

90-day Coaching Program for new leaders who are suddenly in charge of a virtual workforce:

I’m asking myself how I can be of service, during this crisis, and here’s what I’ve come up with.

I’m introducing a 90-day coaching program, for new leaders who are suddenly in charge of a virtual workforce. We know how stressful management can be under normal circumstances. Now, imagine if you’re new to management and all of a sudden the support system of having your boss near by or easily accessible is no longer there. 

Want more information? Email me at

I’m pricing this so it’s affordable for everyone. $595 per participant. That’s only $6.61 a day. To register, head over to my Quick Pay Page.

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