How to get people to do more of what you want

How to get people to do more of what you want

I started studying piano at the age of five. Since then, I’ve taken hundreds of lessons, performed in dozens of master classes and gotten feedback from all kinds of teachers.There’s one that, even though it was 20 years ago, stands out in my memory. My violinist sister and I went to a Russian teacher for […]

Two words that kill your influence instantly

Two words that kill your influence instantly

Last Saturday, I was out with two friends, one a Parisian and the other a Brit who was fluent in French. The Parisian, a former dancer, was telling us (in French) about how she had had memory slips in performing which she was never really able to “surmonter.”  “How do you say surmonter in English?” she asked […]

Do people pay attention when you speak?

Do people pay attention when you speak?

“What’s your point?” If you’re talking and someone (me, for example) interrupts you to ask this, it may feel jarring and rude, but it’s actually a good sign. It means someone is still paying attention and they actually want to know what you’re trying to say. Because most people will just tune out. Studies by the Brief Lab found […]

Are you an information addict? (I am.)

Are you an information addict? (I am.)

Awhile back, I did a radio interview on the topic of productivity. For 45 minutes, I waxed eloquent, giving tips on how to stop procrastinating, how to focus on what’s important, how to create micro-goals. And then, one of the first questions in the Q&A was, “What book on productivity would you recommend?” “Nooooooo!” I […]

Are you afraid of the wrong things?

Are you afraid of the wrong things?

When I was living in Japan, my primary goal was to learn to speak Japanese. And I became fluent. I worked in a Japanese-speaking environment, I interviewed CEOs in Japanese, I wrote articles in Japanese for a business newspaper.  But there was one word that always tripped me up.  I’d be in a conversation with […]

Your ego’s favorite three-letter word

Your ego’s favorite three-letter word

Let’s say you’re on a cross-country road trip, from New York to California, for example. You program your destination in the GPS and then, at some point, you realize you’ve taken a wrong turn and are now going in the wrong direction.  The GPS doesn’t say, “Well, that was stupid. Why did you do that? Why can’t […]

What can having more influence do for you?

What can having more influence do for you?

Years ago, before I became a professional coach, I had a colleague who reported to two bosses, one in the US and one in Europe. At one point, we were on a business trip together, bonding over an after-work drink, and she began venting about one of them. I listened for awhile and then pointed […]

It’s not over until you’re in the shower

It’s not over until you’re in the shower

Want a simple technique for more self control? Because in today’s world, we have a lot of options. And that means decisions.  Factor in emotion and we’re likely to spend a lot of mental energy in FOMO, going back and forth or around in circles, feeling frustrated, confused, fearful —  thinking about making a decision but not taking action. (And […]

We are not lemmings (or sheep)

We are not lemmings (or sheep)

In fourth grade science class, we watched a Disney nature documentary about the migration of lemmings. I still vividly remember the aerial view of this mass of lemmings scurrying along the path and, as they came to the edge of the cliff, leaping after each other into the ocean to eventually flounder and drown. Maybe […]

Do you know how to articulate your value?

Do you know how to articulate your value?

When I was getting my MBA at INSEAD, I often felt intimidated in conversations with my classmates: They spoke up in class with such assurance about mapping out the product portfolio matrix and calculating discounted cash flows, concepts that were foreign to me. “Wow,” I used to think, “they have so much self-confidence.” In the years […]