soft skills lessons from Trolls

I didn’t think this movie, Trolls, was going to be any good.  Both of my kids love the music in it.   Finally, we watched it last weekend.  I was only half watching it for the first 20 minutes.  It seemed like just a silly, happy cartoon, with lots of bright colors and singing.  

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pain and pleasure - change grow

Are you stuck?   Do you want something badly at work (e.g., promotion, work life balance, better boss, challenging assignment) but somehow can’t seem to take any action toward making it happen?  You are not alone.  Inertia, the inability to do something different from our routine, happens to all of us.  How do you do

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Lei's new year aspirations

I started this tradition last year and really liked how it influenced my decisions and actions the rest of the year.  I am doing it again this year to define my new year aspirations 1. Define ways to build new habits instead of setting goals.  I found this is helping me evolve into a better human being. 2. Post my new

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It’s self-evaluation time.  Are you ready to put your best foot forward? This is your chance to put the best representation of your work on permanent record and build your brand. Many people are too humble or too general in their self evaluation.  Don’t fall in that trap.  Being too humble will work against you.

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Happy Holidays!   Thank you for your interest and support of this blog.   I appreciate every email, comments, questions I got this year.  Whether it’s a thankful email or constructive criticism, I value them all.  Thank you for taking the time to engage with this site and with me. I hope you are taking some time to

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interpersonal skill example 3

This interpersonal skills example can happen any day at work or in life.  It was our second day in Beijing.  My cousin, my mom, and Isabel went to visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.  It was majestic, fun, but a super long walk.  By 1pm, we were all exhausted, hungry and decided to Uber back

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are you happy

Last weekend, my hubby suddenly asked me “Are you happy?”  I didn’t know what to say, even after thinking about it. I asked him, “What do you mean? Are you talking about work?  Life?  Us?” He said, “No, just in general.” I asked, “Are you happy?”, still not knowing what to say. He said, “Yes.” Not

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Interpersonal communication isn’t an exact science that can be solved with a math equation or with a formula. Interpersonal skills are complicated as they depend on the context of the situation, social cues and the personal experience of those involved. With so many different signals that can influence your communication, it’s important to have a tangible understanding of

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bad leadership

There can be many bad leaders in one organization.  Why?  Ironically, it’s because bad leadership creates a vicious cycle.  Bad leaders promote other bad leaders, either because they don’t know any better or they don’t want to be found out.  If you’re a kick-ass doer in an organization full of bad leaders, you won’t get promoted for one of

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Interpersonal communication is an important skill across all facets of your career. Whether you’re aware of it or not, interpersonal communication is present when you’re interviewing for a job, talking with your co-workers, or asking for a promotion. Even when you do well across the ‘hard’ skills, such as data analysis, accounting, programming, you still won’t

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dealing with difficult coworkers

We all come across difficult coworkers.   How we deal with them can fundamentally affect our career and happiness.  Below is a real life situation from an avid reader around dealing with difficult co-workers.   I am thankful she reached out so I can not only help her but also shared this situation and my advice with any of you in

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what are leadership skills

Great leaders don’t rise to the top by happy accident. Rather, these leaders hone a very specific set of leadership skills that contribute to their own success (and the success of others) such as growing a business, streamlining business operations, or motivating people to work smarter toward common goals. What are leadership skills in every

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workplace communication skills

You may—or may not—be surprised to learn that the vast majority of work-related problems stem from bad communication. Poor workplace communication can cause frustration, misunderstanding, apathy, revenue loss and poor performance. Communication issues account for 64% of workplace negativity, and often these problems are completely avoidable. With communication issues so prevalent in the workplace, the

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life is always just beginning

I went to a seminar last month and heard this saying “Life is Always just Beginning” from a 82 year-old lecturer, Bill McKeown.   I have been thinking about these 5 little words ever since.  It has helped me re-frame my perspective on life and my inner dialogue. Do you ever notice how much we

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farewell letter to coworkers

It’s never easy to say farewell to a company and a team.   However, this will happen many times in your career, as most of us have at least 7 different jobs until we retire.  While many farewell letters to coworkers are fairly standard and boring, it may serve you to take some time to craft

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