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Laurie Maddalena

Our New Family Ritual for a Great Year

rituals for the new year-release and set intentions

I love the beginning of a fresh, New Year! On New Year’s Eve 2021, I started a new ritual for letting go of what didn’t serve me that year so I could start the new year feeling renewed and optimistic. This year, I decided to share this practice with my family while we were on vacation at a resort in Virginia.  At New Year’s Eve dinner, I handed out pieces of paper and asked my…

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One Powerful Tool for a Purposeful Year

plan for the new year with priority planning

It was July, and I was exhausted. About five years after I started my leadership business, I was busy with clients and traveling locally and nationally for speaking events. By that summer, I was feeling overworked, and craved rest and rejuvenation. I looked at my calendar to book a week-long vacation for that fall and realized that there was not one week I didn’t have something on my schedule. A week-long vacation was not possible,…

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How to Hold a Performance Review Meeting That Inspires and Motivates

performance review meeting

In my last blog, I shared best practices for writing an effective annual performance review. Here I provide strategies for making the performance review meeting more comfortable, conversational, and meaningful.  Most performance evaluation meetings are stressful and ineffective. According to Gallup, only 14% of employees strongly agree that their performance reviews inspire them to improve, and only two in ten strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding…

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How to Write Effective, Meaningful Performance Evaluations

Performance Evaluation for employees

Performance evaluations are one of the most dreaded practices in organizations. Employees fear them because they don’t know what to expect, and managers often avoid them because they often feel ill-prepared. Evaluations take time, effort, and planning, and many managers feel they don’t have the time.  When the performance evaluation process is done correctly, it can be meaningful and effective. Employees need consistent and ongoing feedback to work at their peak potential.   An important part…

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6 Strategies to Deliver Impactful Presentations

people listening to a presentation in a conference room

Earlier in my career, my vice president asked me to prepare and deliver a presentation to our Board of Directors on a project we were leading. I had very little experience speaking in front of people, and I was terrified.  I remember filling each PowerPoint slide with information, ready to “wow” my audience with detailed data and LOTS of bullet points. My face flushed and my voice was shaky as I delivered my presentation and…

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Everyone Has a Story

children holding up first day of school signs

The past six weeks been challenging for my family. My nine-year-old son has been sick since early August, and we have been visiting several doctors. He has had several medical procedures to determine what is causing his symptoms. After several weeks of anxiety and uncertainty, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disorder. Witnessing his pain and struggle has been very hard, and my compassion for those who have children with even more serious…

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How to Ask Your Manager for Feedback

How to Ask Your Manager for Feedback

In a recent leadership program session, I was sharing strategies and tools for providing feedback to employees when one of the participants asked me a common question: How do I ask my manager for feedback? This leader said her vice president rarely gives feedback on her performance, and she is often left wondering how she is doing. This is not surprising, since one of the top reasons employees leave organizations is not getting meaningful feedback…

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How to Turn Your Inner Critic into Your Inner Coach

How to Turn Your Inner Critic into Your Inner Coach

The first presentation I ever gave in my career was as the assistant director of human resources, and my vice president asked me to prepare a presentation for the Board of Directors. I had very little experience presenting—especially to ten successful board members who had decades more work experience than me. The week leading up to the meeting, I felt sick and anxious every day. During the presentation, I could feel my face get flushed…

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How to Manage a High Performing Employee

How to Manage a High Performing Employee

During my tenure as a vice president of human resources for a credit union in Maryland, I worked with two human resources generalists on my team. Both were good at their jobs; they each had completed training and certifications in HR. Yet one was exceptional—she had a few more years of experience than the other employee and had gained knowledge and confidence through everyday practice. She was a self-starter who I could give any project…

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How Too Many Choices is Ruining Your Productivity

depressed woman in deep thought

You’d think having a lot of choices would be the optimal situation. Living in the Washington, DC area, there are hundreds of restaurants to choose from. For a recent date night out, my husband and I struggled to narrow down all the options in our area to settle on one. After several days of scrolling through the choices, we finally decided to just go to a restaurant we usually go to. While having so many…

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