It is really someone else’s fault all the time?

It has to be said. I know. Some people are going to look at this and go “umm, who do you think you’re talking to?” Well, to those people, I guess I’m talking to you. Here goes. When a mistake is made – whatever it happens to be – sometimes it’s your fault. It’s not always someone else’s fault. You forgot to finish that deliverable before Monday morning because you were too wrapped up in having a good time with your awesome buds that weekend. It’s not your boss who has a problem, that would be you who does. You thought that that job interview was going to be a piece of cake. Of course they want you, who wouldn’t? You didn’t get the job. Who should have spent more time prepping for the interview? Yeah, that would be you. You didn’t mean to be “just a few minutes late” (aka half an hour late) to pick your kids up after school. But you did stop and get that extra large frappa-mocha whatever. It wasn’t the person at the coffee shop who was taking too long. That was you who didn’t manage your time properly. You didn’t spend the time preparing for that big meeting the next day. It was a total flop (no surprise). No, it’s not everyone else’s problem that they asked you hard questions. You should have been ready. Take responsibility for your actions.  Yeah, sure. Sometimes, mistakes can be the fault of others.  But when you really think about it, many mistakes are a result of your actions – or inactions. Take responsibility for what you did or didn’t do. Reflect on it. Part of taking responsibility for yourself is to understand what happened.  There is a level of vulnerability here that you just have to work through.  Ask yourself these questions.  What went wrong? What could you have done differently? How can you prevent this from happening in the future? Learn from it. Once you’ve done that, only then can you truly learn from your mistakes and move on.  Owning your actions, and taking steps to improve on this, is going to result in greater success for you. You want that, I know. That’s it. That’s your tip for today. Take responsibility for your actions. Reflect on it. Learn from it.

It’s what you say… and it’s subtle

I’m going to share something with you today that has nothing to do with a Friday Find. You’ll thank me for saying this, trust me. One of my mentors shared this with me and I’ve never forgotten this invaluable lesson. Here it is: When sending an email communication, don’t give people a direct order. Yes, you may be asking your direct report, colleague or contractor to do something for you – maybe in a timely manner.  Guess what? Asking someone to do something in this manner doesn’t come across positively. It’s a turn off. Great leaders, like my mentor, understand that you can be direct, and ask people to do something, without coming across negatively. It’s a very subtle thing but highly impactful. Here’s an example of what I mean: Please send me that file before lunch today vs. It would be great if you could send me that file before lunch today Can you feel the difference? Amazing leaders ask for things this way. There’s no need to be a bossy boots in order to get your message across to others. The second sentence is authoritative, assertive and direct but doesn’t have the same negative vibe that the first sentence does. Get it? (from: Two things to remember: It’s not just what you say but how you say it.  This is especially when it comes to written communication where tone is hard to interpret. People always want to do a good job. Ask them nicely – and directly – for what you need or want from them. You’ll build a much stronger coalition if you’re not perceived as a bossy person. Put this into practice right away. You’ll be better off for it. Happy Friday!

Elastic hemlines- Just don’t do it

I see it each and every day. Just don’t do it ladies. Don’t wear those blouses with elastic hemlines. Especially if you’re trying to hide something. These are the worst. Unless you are stick thin, with zero chest and zero tummy, this garment will never look good on you. Do you know why? The elastic hem, which typically ends at your hips, is usually much smaller than the billowy material above it.  Since the material above gathers into the elastic hemline, it creates extra – unnecessary – bulk.  Simply put, this blouse will give you an unflattering muffin top, even if you don’t have one. If you have the slightest bit of tummy which (let’s be honest) most of us do, this is just going to draw more attention to this area. I bet you thought this style of blouse would be great to hide or camaflouge an area you’re less comfy with. It doesn’t. What should you do: Rid yourself of this garment.  Sleeves, no sleeves, 3/4 length sleeves – it doesn’t matter.  This garment is not flattering.  Don’t throw it out though, give it to a charitable organization of your choice. Say goodbye to the elastic hemline. Yes, take this to a tailor (or do it yourself) and get the elastic hem removed.  This will totally change the look and feel of this garment.  Now, all that billowy material above the hem will likely leave this blouse with little to no shape.  Ask your tailor to put a couple of darts in to give it a bit of shape around your waist. Look for blouses with flattering cuts.  You can do better than that type of blouse above.  Yes, you may be less comfy with your tummy but totally hiding it is actually drawing attention to it.  Instead, focus on drawing attention to the smallest part of your waist – this is anywhere between your bust and belly button.  Here are some blouse ideas for you. Ricki’s- Mixed Media Peblum Top Shopbop- Torn by Ronny Kobo Modcloth- Eva Franco on the Glam-paign Trail Top in Waves Aritzia- Babaton Emmett Blouse Now get into that closet and purge! You’re welcome.