Twas a Week Before Christmas…

Today I’m sharing a guest post from my son Brian Hess who lives in Manhattan (he’s in the middle between my husband and me). I hope it gets you in the holiday spirit!

VickiandBrian“So today I was riding the subway, it was a cold cold Monday morning in NYC in the holiday season (which means the trains are PACKED and delayed, a lot of cranky people). 

This morning was no different, as I show up and on the sign that tells when the train comes it says “delayed.” you can see the negativity and frustration in the air, and then as the train finally comes, it only gets worse. The train is absolutely mobbed, people are fighting tooth and nail to get in, and yelling at each other. It was very negative.

Then, during the ride, the train conductor comes on the intercom and says “tis the season to be packed into the train like a bunch of sardines. even though the bills are too high, the pay is too low, still realize you have it better then 95% of the people world wide. Smile, enjoy life, and have a great Monday.”

Just like that everyone started smiling and giggling etc, the vibes were great. It was a great example of turning POWs into WOWs, and was wild how one person did it for hundreds of people. “

Happy Holidays!

Comments { 0 }

Transformation: Good Thing or Bad?

butterflyTake a moment to visualize a cocoon and a butterfly or a plant bulb and a tulip. The idea of transformation is so beautiful in nature. We love to see the outcomes of the change.

Unfortunately, in our daily lives, many people I hear from are struggling with being asked to continually transform.

According to, transformation means to “change in form, appearance or structure.” It sounds so benign on paper, doesn’t it? At work, we are being asked to be continual transformers. So as you finish up 2014 and move into 2015, here are two questions to ask yourself related to this transformation topic.

  1. What’s in it for me to transform?

    It’s okay to think about yourself when big change is on the horizon. It would be silly to gloss over the idea that ongoing transformation is going to affect you – one way or another. So take a few minutes to think about the positive side of transformation (according to what I hear, folks spend plenty of time thinking about the aggravations related to change).

    The answer is different for everyone so a bit of self-reflection is in order here. If you are stuck, ask a family member, coworker or supervisor to help you tease out the benefits.

  2. How can I support my organization as we transform?

    Maybe you are one of those folks who have grabbed transformation by the reins and you look forward to the ride. That’s great! Or maybe, you are thinking, “I’ve had enough change!” Either way, the organization where you work (including your coworkers, boss, leadership team, etc) could use your help moving forward.

What could you do today to support transformation? Or maybe it’s something you need to stop doing (Digging in your heels? Complaining? Sulking? You get the idea). Start by remembering what’s in it for you to change and then connect to how your support will positively affect the outcomes your team, department, division or organization is seeking. That’s what we mean by “win/win”.

Transformers unite! Your time is here!

Comments { 0 }

5 Reasons to Complain about Work

ComplaintI hear folks complain about work all the time and I’ll bet you do too. There are posts on Facebook, tweets and casual comments. There’s even a new movie heralding horrible bosses (again).

With that in mind, here are 5 reasons to complain about your job, boss, coworkers, etc.:

  1. You want to get attention and you can’t think of any other way.
  2. You want your friends and family to feel sorry for you.
  3. You like the power you have to get other people to be in a bad mood along side you.
  4. You don’t have anything valuable to say and your complaints fill the “air time”.
  5. You want to make sure everyone thinks you are smarter than your boss.

Now, if you’ve started to bore even yourself with the ongoing complaining, here are 5 reasons to STOP complaining (and even begin sharing compliments about) your workplace:

  1. Your positive mindset creates positive actions and positive outcomes.
  2. Your enthusiasm is contagious and others “catch it”.
  3. Your coworkers truly appreciate you and your positive attitude.
  4. Your customers (internal or external) will be easier to work with so your day will go smoothly.
  5. You will sleep better, have more energy, make more money & live longer (and I really mean all that).

Now the choice is yours. What words will you share today and tomorrow and the day after?

I hope to see you in Professional Paradise!

Comments { 0 }

Shrink the Worry POW

A POW is something internal or external that feels like a heavy blow. Think cranky coworkers or missed deadlines or worrying. Unfortunately, for many, worrying about things before they even happen can become a Perpetual POW.

powA Perpetual POW is a challenge that occurs over and over and over. POWs of all kinds can lead to disengagement at work (and home). Have you noticed how unproductive worrying is and how much it adds stress to your life unnecessarily?

Some people might say that worrying helps them get ready for when bad things happens. They say they are mentally prepared. To that, I say, “No Way!” There’s a big difference between preparation and worry.

Let’s say you have a presentation to give at work. Your boss and important customers will be there. You start to worry. The dreaded “what if’s” keep circling around.

What if I forget something?

What if they don’t like my ideas?

What if I take too long?

You get the idea. I suggest that you shrink the Worry POW through preparation.


We have a motto at our house (and it’s Tweetable). “If you don’t know the ending to a story then write a happy ending until you find out otherwise.” Click here to Tweet.

Shrinking your POWs is a great way to be more satisfied, energized & productive at work. I’m not talking total optimism; I’m talking about sensible POW shrinking where you turn worry into thinking ahead and preparation. Because it is always good to have your umbrella on a rainy day!

Comments { 0 }

Behavioral Interviewing: A Tool for Hiring Engaged Employees

behavioralassessmentsThe first step in creating a culture of engagement is finding employees who will fit with the job they have been hired to do and whose values are consistent with those of the organization. That sounds like a challenging task, but it’s by no means impossible!

Read more…

Comments { 0 }

Are you addressing the emotional toll from the Ebola virus?

Conversations about the Ebola virus that occur in the press range from hard facts and figures to downright scary real-life stories of illness and death. The CDC has provided helpful information for caregivers ( and hospitals are ramping up quickly to educate their leaders & staff. This is all necessary & good.


What’s missing is helping staff members deal with this very real challenge at an emotional level...(read the rest of my article in Becker’s Hosptial Review by clicking HERE).

Comments { 0 }