workplace faux pas

None of us are immune to mistakes, even a seasoned professional, like myself.  Perfection is overrated.   It is what we do after we commit a workplace faux pas that matters.     This happened two weeks ago.  I didn’t even realize I was committing a workplace faux pas until after the meeting. Here is

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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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hot chocolate 15K 2017

Happy New Year!  Sunday was my annual Hot Chocolate 15K race.   My friend Agnes got me into it 3 years ago.  It’s a great way to start off the year – a long run (9.4 miles) followed by a nice cup of hot chocolate and an amazing natural high all day. Well, I didn’t

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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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generalist specialist

Are you a “Generalist” or “Specialist” at your company?   Both exists in most companies and serve distinct purposes.  According to Merriam-Webster dictionary Generalist is defined as “a person who knows something about a lot of subjects.” –  a Partner in a consulting firm is  a generalist as he or she would sell work, build relationships, and

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Last week, I performed my first piano recital.   My immediate reaction afterwards was I was “terrible.”  I literally made a mistake on 3 out of 4 songs, including forgetting where I was completely for a sec.  My fingers were shaking the whole time. I was unprepared for the crowd.   It wasn’t supposed to be

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how do you define success

How do you define success?  Take this 2 min quiz and find out.  My definition of success has changed significantly throughout my career.  I think it will still change as I get older and wiser. This 2 min quiz has two parts.  Here is part 1. Read the following four stories and answer the question below. Story 1:

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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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An interpersonal skills example can turn up when it’s least expected.  It was the second week of my China trip.  My mom, cousin, daughter and I had spent the day at the Beijing Zoo.  It was a 90 degree, humid day in Beijing.  We were all exhausted and were heading back to the hotel to rest up. Just before

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interpersonal skills example

My cousin in China has been running a travel agency for 20 years. She’s one of those people who knows exactly how to maintain good relationships.  During my trip to China, I learned one interpersonal skills example after another from her. First, some background: my oldest daughter and I visited our extended family in China together for the

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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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