Are you a manager behaving badly?

6307954283_9fd65cd134_mAre your anxieties reducing the performance of those you work with?

I’ve been coaching and blogging about career development for a few years now. And there seem to be a number of recurring themes when people talk to me about happiness at work. The most common is “trouble” with boss.

Problems can arise for all kinds of reasons.

Sometimes the person talking to me has had a history of difficulties with other managers in the past. There may be something they can change in their approach to improve things.

Sometimes the person having the problems is in a job that isn’t the right fit and they need to consider a change.

Unfortunately, and far more frequently, the difficulties spring from the way in which a particular manager has been behaving.

Managers come in all kinds of flavours. Some find communicating with their teams easy. For others, it may be something at which they need to work. These days there is little excuse for not knowing that communication is key to good performance but you would be surprised how many managers choose not to hear the message.

Sadly, a small number of managers are out and out bullies and they cause much misery and distress. Far more common is a much more subtle effect. There are managers dealing with their personal challenges by acting unprofessionally in the workplace.

Some managers deal with trouble in their private life by bringing anger or depression into the office. Many seem quite clever at making sure it is only their juniors who suffer, while colleagues and those above see a happy, cooperative employee.

Managers may be insecure in their work role (fear of redundancy, for example). They may deal with their anxieties by undermining those who work for them. Heaven help the bright junior who might be a natural successor! But the whole team might suffer from their “control freakery” and anger – nothing is quite good enough.

Over time, a “boss” working out their own problems at work can cause havoc with their team’s performance. Everyone feels unhappy and stressed; valuable team members look for opportunities to move elsewhere and sick absence may rise.

As a manager, looking objectively at your own performance and admitting you are causing problems for the team can be hard.

It is wise for all manager to step back sometimes and reflect on their own performance. Think about how you behaved over the last week, the last month and the last year.

For example, when you think about your leadership or management style consider;

  • Have there been incidents you subsequently regretted?
  • Are there people on the team you fear may be better than you at the job?
  • Have you stopped seeing good people as an asset and do you now see them as a threat?
  • How happy are the people that work in your team?
  • How have you contributed to that happiness?

Think about how you would judge a colleague behaving as you have behaved. Would it be good for them, their team and the organization, in the long term? If the answer is no, then act now. Commit to making a change and, if you need help, there are lots of coaches like me around on LinkedIn.

All it takes is the courage to look honestly and objectively at what you have been doing and not make excuses for yourself. Takes action. You owe it to yourself and your team to make that change.

This post appeared first on LinkedIn

10801706_10205372103244677_2990750892488570962_nWendy Mason is life coach and writer committed to helping people be happy and fulfilled at home and at work. You can contact her at


WiseWolf Talking enters 2015


I wish a very Happy New Year to all our readers and I’m very pleased to reassure you that next week, from 12th January 2015, normal service will be resumed.

We’ve taken a long holiday break which has included, not only marking Yule and the turn of the year, but also my marriage which took place on New Year’s eve . (No excuse then for forgotten wedding anniversaries.)

Now, it is time to return to work. And from 12th January, I hope you will find at least one useful and informative post here each week.

Going forward the aim of the blog will be to support your development in the widest and most balanced sense.

If you have suggestions for what we should include please get in touch.

10801706_10205372103244677_2990750892488570962_nWendy Mason is life coach and writer committed to helping people be happy and fulfilled at home and at work. You can contact her at


Re-Entering the Game of Job Hunting in Your Later Years

50-Creative-CommonsRe-Entering the Game of Job Hunting in Your Later Years

Today an interesting and useful post from Sara Stringer. Sarah is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about business and everything current.

It will come as  a shock to many individuals between the ages of 40 and 60 just how much job hunting has shifted in the many years since they last put out their applications. Some 20+ years ago, it was often as simple as showing up to a location, dropping off a resume, and waiting to hear back from the business.

Today, the game of job hunting has gone high-tech and may surprise you with its options (which can be simultaneously overwhelming):

  • Job search engines
  • Industry job boards
  • Social media (LinkedIn & Facebook) & networking
  • Freelance marketplaces
  • Online recruiters
  • Virtual events

…and the list goes on and on.

Much of the process is the same as it ever was, though there have been many advancements in technology and how we submit our applications. The cover letter, resume, and follow-up are still the main assets to use when seeking a job through an online platform. In reality it’s not nearly as scary as it may seem even if you have some trouble navigating your way around the Web.

Here are some of the key actions to consider (and employ), when online job hunting, after you’ve had a lapse in needing to do the activity:

  1. Learn about (and begin using) the new platforms

Information is your ally in this process of job hunting and it just so happens that you’re, right now, staring at the best tools for the job: the Internet.

There are thousands of great articles that can aid your understanding of how these newer websites and platforms work when submitting your applications.

Take a few days to begin learning about the various online platforms like the job search engines (like Monster), creating and networking through a LinkedIn profile, or seeking reputable online recruitment services which can guide you through the process.

  1. Update those main assets (and tactics)

Those three things we talked about?

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Follow-up

The cover letter will come naturally because it’s mostly telling the who, what, and why for sending in the application. The resume, however, has changed over the years so it would be within your interest to mull over a few various tips for writing resumes to bring yours into the 21st century.

The follow-up is quite crucial to the matter (as you could expect) because many businesses advertising a job listing will be bombarded with applications, yet only a few may take the time to show action which often tips off the job listing business that you’re going the extra mile to gain the position.

  1. Networking (the digital way)

The job you may have originally landed 20 years ago may have come through association with a friend, family member, or a friend of a friend – referrals were (and still are) very powerful. The associations you built were generally through school or other early work opportunities.

Today, we have shifted to using social media as one of the main forms of reaching out and building a network because so many of us are on there using it each and every day.

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

There are many others but these would be the ones you’d want to hone your focus on. This new process has become such a norm that you’ll have no trouble finding great articles on using social for job hunting.

The main things to remember/do are:

  • Get the main profiles setup, filled out, and as accurate as you can make them
  • Use the built-in search to seek out others that are in your desired industry
  • Visit the websites of companies offering positions and follow them on social
  • Join in on conversations with these individuals and businesses
  • Shoot them emails and rub elbows with those that can make the big decisions

What’s in your favor is the amount of work experience you have which automatically gives you the perception of being an authority figure for that industry. All that’s needed now is tapping into the technology, finding the right people, and making the pitch.


The big thing is not to get discouraged.

The technology is there to help you and it’s quite easy once you understand the process but there will be a learning curve in the beginning. When you’re stuck you should seek help from those that are literate with using the Web to mentor your process and show you the ropes (even your children or grandchildren could probably help in this regard).

It’s going to feel different but much of it remains the same; you’re still mostly submitting the traditional assets but through a new medium.

Good luck out there, hold your head up, and keep at it!

Sara Stringer is freelance writer who enjoys writing about business and everything current. In her spare time, she enjoys maintaining an active lifestyle through swimming and practicing yoga.


What is Life Coaching?


What is Life Coaching?

“Life Coaching is about transformation – from a caterpillar into a butterfly.”

Life Coaching helps people overcome the things that stop them living the life they choose. And sometimes it is about choosing the life to live.

Have you ever felt like this:

“I can’t say no to other people.”

“I don’t know where my life is going – I seem to have lost control.”

“I feel tired and stressed all the time but I don’t really know why.”

“I’m unhappy at work but I’ve lost my confidence and don’t think I can face changing jobs,”

“I’ve lost somebody close and I’m finding it difficult to take up my life again.”

“I’ve just been told I’m going to be made redundant and I don’t know how I’m going to cope.”

So, if you feel like this, you might get in touch with a Life Coach. What happens then?

Well first, we don’t give you advice or tell you what to do. We may think we know the answer but things work best when you find your own solutions.

What we do do is guide and support you until you find the answer for yourself. The answer may not be what you expect.  But it will be unique to you and the journey will be one of discovery about yourself.

Life Coaches focus on you, the tasks you want to complete and, when you’ve worked out what they should be,  the goals you want to achieve.

A Life Coach will work with you to help you remove barriers so that you can make your changes.

Working with a Life Coach can mean you can stop feeling dissatisfied and disappointed with your life. You can rediscover your self-esteem and your self-confidence.

We work with you as you are now and help you learn the strategies and techniques you need to make your own decisions, plan your own future and find your own life balance.

Wendy Mason is life coach and writer committed to helping people be happy and fulfilled at home and at work. You can contact her at

When it feel like nothing is going right!

When it feel like nothing is going right!

104282_20131207_115011_SilenceEveryone has times in their life when they feel demotivated, lost, and unhappy. You’re in a rut, and you don’t know how to get out of it.

There’s no right answer to getting out of a rough patch because everyone’s situations are completely different, but hopefully some of the ideas at the link below can be a launchpad for you.


Authenticity, Advantages and Awareness

visionAuthenticity, Advantages and Awareness

Writer and Coach

To do well in managing your career, and in job search, it helps if you keep in mind the three “As”; authenticity, advantages and awareness.

In any job search or work situation you are more likely to succeed if you can be authentic, understand and use the advantages you bring to a situation and know how to make others aware of those advantages.

Authenticity means knowing and showing who you are and your values. It depends on knowing what you want to achieve in life and to what you are committed. Spend time to be clear about
what you care about most and accept the implications of putting that at the centre of what you do and how you behave. Authenticity at a job interview means that your answers ring true and you are much more likely to form a constructive relationship with panel members.

Understanding what you are good at, your advantages, allows you to contribute fully in whatever you are doing. Hone your skills. Learn to be good enough at what is essential but be proud to excel at those things you do well. Accept that others are good at different things. If you are confident in your own abilities, you can accept what they have to offer. If you are job searching, be clear about the real advantages you would bring to any new job opportunity and how you will contribute to the team.

Look for opportunities to let the people who matter know what you have to give. Their awareness means you should be given the chance to use your gifts. How sad it would be to have them but not be able to use them. If you are job searching, think about getting your name out there by showing expertise through writing articles, speaking at meetings of your professional association or, perhaps, doing some voluntary work.

I wish all those starting out on or a continuing a job search this week every success.

Warm regards

UK: +44 (0) 2081239146
US: +1 262 317 9016
Mobile: +44 (0) 7867681439 IM: wendymason14 (Skype)


WiseWolf’s Tip on Monday: Don’t be Diffident About Asking For a Reference

goldfish jumping out of the waterLet us take as read that employers expect to be asked to give a reference.

Don’t feel diffident about asking others who can vouch for your work or your character. People usually feel flattered to be asked.

Don’t give their names until they have agreed. Then let them know each time you mention them. Tell them a little about the vacancy and why you think you are a good fit. Make it easy for them to help you.

Don’t feel offended if they say no.  Perhaps they just feel they don’t know you well enough.


Thursday Quotes on Resilience

R8R4R3 R3R2R10R5 R7R12R11


Beware the Interview Bully!

bullying-2-300x208Beware the Interview Bully!

 Career Coach, Life Coach and Writer

As a career coach, I hear all kinds of stories about the whims, fancies and bad behaviour of employers/managers. Often, the lack of imagination or self-interest exhibited appalls me. Why having taken the trouble to seek out a good employee, would you not want to manage them in a way that allows them to give their best?

Unfortunately, employers/managers can be as troubled as the rest of us by lack of confidence or self-esteem and the need to prove our power at the expense of others.

Often, people find themselves working for a poor boss in a job they otherwise love that pays well. And advising them is one of the greatest challenges I face as a coach. Leaving a good, well-paid, job to face unemployment isn’t the first choice for anyone.

I do think, though, you should think carefully about taking a job for an employer when it has been clear at the interview that there are may be problems.

Some potential bosses behave so badly during the interview that I don’t understand why more candidates don’t walk out there and then.

I hear a lot of stories about interviewers performing dubiously. The interviewer who doesn’t listen to your answers, may be the least of the challenges. Questions can verge on the edge of illegal discrimination, sometimes crossing the line. I have had heard reports of questioning so insistent and aggressive, it amounted to bullying.

In my view, in those circumstances, not only don’t you take the job, it is reasonable to quit the interview at that point.

I understand that people may be desperate to find work. But a potential employer, who behaves badly at an interview, is unlikely to turn into a good boss once you start the job. Think carefully before you decide the package is so attractive, you will take a chance you may live to regret bitterly.

You might want to see also my post on the jealous boss at this link

I wish all those starting out on or a continuing a job search this week every success.

If you are thinking about coaching, and we coaches really can add value to your job search, I would love to talk to you.

Warm regards

UK: +44 (0) 2081239146
US: +1 262 317 9016
Mobile: +44 (0) 7867681439 IM: wendymason14 (Skype)


Think about why a company would be asking for your salary history


Below is a link to a very useful post for the job seeker from  Jennnifer L. Beightley, MNM, CFRE which appeared yesterday on LinkedIn

What Should You Say When They Ask For Your Salary History?

… I want you to think about why a company would be asking for your salary history. They do this for two reasons, that I can tell. First, they want to use your salary history as a way to weed you out if you are asking far above what they are willing to pay, thinking that you overvalue yourself, or they want to weed you out if you are asking far below what they are willing to pay, thinking that you undervalue yourself and therefore are probably not up to snuff. Second, if you are close enough, and they like you, and you get to the offer stage, they will base the offer they will make to you on your previous salary.

So what is the problem with this?…”

Find Jennifer’s answer at this link;


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