Lessons can come from unexpected places…

My little girl Abigail is an interesting mix of Dachshund, Basset Hound, and Spaniel with possibly some Red Heeler from what we can tell. We adopted her after she was found stray in the California desert with a pup.

They didn’t know whether she had just one pup, only being a year old, or if she lost the others. But, she made it through with her boy finding food and water in a harsh environment to keep them both alive. How that young girl even made it, I can only imagine. …


You may be on a team that is new to working virtually. There are many challenges for new virtual teams, like exhaustion from screen time and learning to navigate how to manage people that you can’t see working.

But, one of the biggest struggles I am hearing these days is team members feeling a lack of connection and belonging.

It’s affecting people’s ability to do their work…

We are finding out that company culture is important, maybe more important than we realized. …


Some days feel like one never-ending string of meetings. You already had a lot of meetings but now working virtually, the quantity has increased.​

The amount of screen time is leaving you exhausted and Zoom Fatigued.​

​Staring at a screen for a meeting is tiresome in a way that meeting in person is not. It takes more mental energy to stay engaged on video because we are lacking the body language cues normally present in person…​

It’s hard to tell how people are feeling when they show up postage-stamp-sized on your screen. At times, you can’t even see everyone because…


“Hey honey, how did your guitar lesson go? Did you play the Blind Melon song you’ve been working on?”

That’s all I said. I felt like I have asked similar “How was your day?” questions every day in the last 25 years.

But, that particular day the impact was different because I asked it with curiosity…

An hour later, my husband, Billy said to me, “You asked me 2 questions tonight. You don’t do that very often and it felt really good”.

Curiosity had been on my mind because the day before I was in an hour-long group discussion about…


I’m recovering from one of those colds that take you down for days and gives you time to binge-watch that delightful show you’ve been meaning to get to. This time, my show was Poldark. I love this show for the beautiful photography. After spending a couple of days in magical Cornwall on a wonderful vacation, I watch anything I can find that is set there.

Based in the late 1700s, it is a classic good vs evil story. Ross Poldark is an innovative, good-hearted man whose impulsive nature often gets the best of him. As a landowner, he runs a…


Are you having a hard time focusing at work?

Let me guess, before the pandemic hit you were already stressed at work. You already had too much to do. And, how do you do it all now with even more complexity?

Maybe you feel like you are drowning in meetings with no time for your real work?

​This feeling is common. People have too much to do and too little time to do it. They have tried all the productivity hacks, they’ve even tried hacking their brains to think faster…

​Yes, those things can help.


You wonder why you don’t feel like celebrating.

Instead, you just feel exhausted.

You had some success this week but…

Another week is over and you wonder where all the time went. This month is flying by.

You spent your last 5 days running from meeting to meeting, staying late to get your own work done. Where did all the time go?

It’s overwhelming. Somehow, you ended up doing the lion’s share of the work again. And, you wonder why the others can’t pick up the weight when they don’t have nearly as much on their plate as you. …


It’s January again and everyone is talking about their resolutions. Maybe you feel like you should be making some too. But how can you set a goal that really works? One that you don’t quit in 2 weeks.

You might feel like you are falling behind your peers and your potential. Life is flying by and here you are in the same spot you were last year. You tell yourself that you should have goals but you aren’t inspired. Yet, you want more…

You want to get somewhere in life.

Except working towards goals feels like drudgery, something you should…


You know what learned helplessness looks like, even if you didn’t know the term. People don’t bother to vote because they think their one vote doesn’t matter. Husbands and wives avoid expressing their opinion after a harsh rebuke from their spouses. Prisoners refuse to leave their cells even when the gates are open. And, employees stop speaking up when they feel their opinion doesn’t matter.

These are all examples of a phenomena called Learned Helplessness. The scary part is that, as managers, we can actually cause people to feel this way. It can happen when a team member is having…


You’ve noticed that your team isn’t working together well lately and they are complaining about each other to you. Or, maybe one of your stars isn’t hitting the mark anymore. That new hire hasn’t hit their stride as you thought they would by now. Your detail person has been making mistakes lately. Perhaps you’ve noticed the office is pretty quiet at 5 o’clock.

These are all signs of trouble, signals your employees are disconnected from their jobs. These are all signs of weak engagement.

Engagement can be low for many reasons. The person could be the wrong fit for the…

Jillian Avey

Marketing executive, leadership coach, meditator and wife.

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