Staff Directory 16913026

Liz Reyer

Columnist | Coach's Corner
phone: 651-398-4765
Liz Reyer's Corner column, which advises executives, managers and workers on making positive changes, appears Mondays in the Star Tribune's Business Insider section.
Recent content from Liz Reyer
The more passionate and positive you are about returning to school, the easier it’ll be to find people who will support you.

How to build support for your back-to-school goals

Follow your own vision, while making sure you're finding the best way to move forward.
Illustration of two women gossiping at the office

How to confront trash talk on your work team

After a team member left the company, I found indications that he was trash talking about me with other team members. Now I am having trouble trusting them and their loyalty to me and the team. How can I handle this?
One of the best ways to get out of a panic hole is to break things down into simpler parts.

You have asked for this project, and now you're in over your head

Things seldom are as dire as they seem.

What to do when your boss doesn't follow through on that promotion

My boss keeps making promises about new roles, promotions, etc., and then she doesn't come through. I feel like I'm just being strung along, and what's worse is I've passed on other opportunities because I trusted her. What should I do?

When crunching data, how do you explain results to less tech-savvy boss?

To be effective in your job, you need to master two roles: data exploration and communication.
Differing customs can create a host of misunderstandings.

Reyer: Cultural differences may have affected job performance review

Differing customs can create a host of misunderstandings.

What to do when you're moving up the corporate ladder, but don't like the view

I've been moving into progressively higher roles at my company, with more exposure to the business model and motivations that drive decisions. I've been seriously questioning the corporate world and the sheer greed that drives the majority of the challenges I face. What should I do?

Revamping a work team can't be done all at once

I was just given responsibility for two teams, with a mandate to recraft the staffing structure to meet both current and emerging business needs. Unfortunately, among the nine people I'm now supervising, only three actually have the skills that are needed. What do I do to get my team where it's supposed to be?

How far should you go to back a job candidate?

Q: My department has a strategic staff position opening, and a friend of mine, "Joe," recommended his former colleague "Eleanor" for the position. After meeting…

Co-worker wrongly says you steal her ideas. Here's how to respond.

But be sure you are 100 percent confident about what is happening.

You have been ousted for your job, but asked to stay for transiton

There's no denying that this stings at a lot, so make every effort to keep your cool.

How to dig out of that post-project trough

It would be wise to put strategies and systems in place to prepare for the letdown.
puzzle pieces

When colleague fails to follow through, make sure he or she knows what you're asking for

Look closely at what you ask for, how you ask and the strength of the agreements you have reached.

How to make decisions when everybody wants to have a say

It's crucial that the decisionmaking process be focused and the feedback process be respected.

Team project roles not working? OK to re-evaluate midstream

I'm part of a team on a major, highly visible project. We have clear roles but are all associated with the outcomes (for better or worse). Unfortunately, the person who has the role of creating the deliverable for executives and other internal audiences is not good at it but is very attached to his role. How do I help improve quality without causing offense?

Coach's Corner: Putting the spark back into working for yourself

For the past couple of years I've been freelancing, more or less by choice. But lately I've been losing my enthusiasm for it, especially having to find business. How can I put the spark back in?

Coach's Corner: Is your team no longer listening? Time for frank assessment

Over the lifetime of a project, dynamics will change, so it's up to you to remain on top of current needs. More specifically, assess the environment, the project needs, and your interactions to make sure all are in alignment.

Coach's Corner: Keys to being an effective manager for entry level workers

I'm going to start managing entry-level professional employees for the first time and want to be sure they have a good start to their career. What should I be considering?

Reyer: Too much networking? Try to find middle ground

Networking is an essential part of everybody's skill set, but it can get out of balance.
A co-worker’s advice may not always work best for you.

How to assess whether veteran co-worker's advice is sound

I have a co-worker who is always telling me how I should handle different situations. Her advice tends to go against my intuition. She is more experienced than I, so I don't know whether I should trust her guidance or my gut.
Illustration and Painting

Online survey says you are underpaid. Do you ask for big raise?

Q: After completing an online salary survey, I realized that I am seriously underpaid. I would apparently need a 14-percent increase to reach the average…
Christmas gifts on wooden.

Reyer: Reflect on gifts you have experienced in the past year

At the end of the year and in the thick of the holiday season, many of us find meaning in reflecting on the gifts we…

To address resentment, get at root of uneven year-end workload

Q: For many of my co-workers, the end of the year is pretty slow and many of them have scaled back and are taking a…

Reyer: How to handle a former boss who still wants to call the shots

Q: About six months ago, I took over responsibility for my business unit, as our previous head was interested in moving into semiretirement. The problem?…

Male employee not sure how to help change 'boys club' work culture

Act from a position of integrity and respect to make the most difference.

How to steer meetings with regulators, auditors and other key outside groups

Consider their motivations and plan alternative strategies to keep them on track.

Ready for big career move? Analyze your interests, run the numbers

It's essential to know what you want to do and why it inspires you.

Overly critical boss getting under your skin? First, assess your anger

My boss is really getting to me. No matter how many extra hours I work and the amount I get done, she just snipes at me for things I haven't done. I just don't know what to do to keep moving forward.

If you are reluctant to share info at work, figure out if you have good reason

Q: People often approach me, asking me to share information about projects I'm involved in. While there's nothing superficially wrong with their requests, I'm uncomfortable…

How to deal with team member who has experience — and an attitude

All too often, problem employees are passed around within companies, transferring the issues without actually addressing them.

When your authority at work is undermined, time for talk with boss

The problem is, the client is not accepting my authority and keeps going to my boss, and she doesn't always stop him. How do I rein him in?

Convincing a tight-fisted company it needs to hire more help

Q: How do I evaluate and make the case for hiring, particularly in an organization where they love to squeeze blood from a stone? My…

Clarifying roles on a struggling work team that may not have them

Q: I was recently given responsibility for a somewhat struggling work group at my company. I had worked with them previously, but not closely. In…

Coach's Corner: Expanding business wants to stay unified as it grows

Q: I’ve been growing a small business, and we’re getting larger now, adding new locations and expanding the team. So far, we’ve all been based…

Can't read people at work? Examine your biases

I'm not very good at reading people. I think people are being rude when they're shy, obnoxious when they're just trying to get their point across, etc. How can I get better at interpreting people's behavior?

When the slow season hits hard at work, here's what to do

Q: We are going through a regular seasonal slowdown right now. There are no worries on my team, but we are a bit bored. What…
What should you do if a co-worker posts something on Facebook with which you disagree? It might be time to set boundaries.

What to do when Facebook link to co-worker reveals political rift

Q: I've been Facebook friends with a co-worker for a few years now; it's been nice to know a little more about each other outside…

Keeping top talent when company is in flux

As leader of a fairly large work team, I am faced with some of my best team members beginning to get itchy feet. How can I encourage retention during a time of transition and uncertainty?
Karen Frederick answers a call from her home office in a northwestern metro suburb.

How to maintain an office pace when working from home

Succeeding in your at-home office will require both creativity and discipline, but fairly simple steps can ease the way.

What to do when your company wants you to mine a whole new kind of customer

Q: I've been assigned to develop a strategy for reaching out to new groups of potential customers. I'm really excited about this assignment, but also…

Too many retirement options? How to make a good choice

I'm feeling stuck from having too many choices! I just determined that I'm in a financial position to retire. I still like working pretty well, and I could stay at my current employer full or part time or pursue consulting or teaching opportunities. Or I could go to 100 percent retirement. How do I make the right choice?
Tug of war concept

How to juggle team training and your own work

Q: I have been asked to lead a team of seven fairly inexperienced analysts to help them become a high-performing team. At the same time,…
Businessman using smartphone with expense doodle images, paying bills online by smartphone concept

Coach's Corner: You suspect co-worker is doctoring expense reports. Now what?

I process expense reports and can tell that someone is breaking some rules when he files his reports. It's nothing big, so I might be being picky. If I report it, it'll be obvious to him that I was the whistleblower. I'm worried about the consequences; what should I do?

Co-workers not pulling their weight? First, figure out why

Q: I work in an organization that has leads (that’s my role) and supporting teams to ensure that client needs are met. My problem is…
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You've taken on more work but get no more recognition. Now what?

Q: In the last few years at my company, I've frequently been asked to take on new responsibilities, and have promotions hinted at that never…
Close-up of human hands on laptop keyboard

How to draft a summer flex schedule that makes sense

Q: We are trying to figure out a good approach to letting people have more flexibility in the summer, while not creating an administrative nightmare…
200 dpi 45p x 47p Steve Lopez color illustration of a project manager, wearing hard hat and holding plans, dramatically pointing forward; co-workers s

How to deal with others' missed deadlines

I've been assigned to a project and am responsible for a specific part of the work. People upstream from me are not getting their work done on time, but my timelines are not changing. What can I do to be successful … or at least not be the scapegoat?

It can be difficult at first letting go of control

Q: I am accustomed to having a lot of control in my job, calling the shots and setting direction. It ensures that things are…
United States' Brianna Rollins competes in a women's 100-meter hurdles heat during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olymp

To focus your thinking, train like an athlete

I feel that I've forgotten how to take a step back and think comprehensively. How can I re-energize those skills?
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After a private office, working in a cubicle may require ground rules

It's a big adjustment, moving from a more private workspace to more hustle and bustle.

Six months and no offers could mean job search needs a break

Q: I'm discouraged. I was laid off about six months ago along with a lot of others in my company. To make it worse, other…

Energy lacking on the job? Time to diversify your lifestyle

Q: I've been in my job about a year and am finding it to be physically and emotionally fatiguing. I genuinely like it — I…

How to get detail-obsessed employee to see big picture

I manage someone who sweats every detail; what can I do to help?
Using a smartphone app.

If you think you have fumbled an office chat, you probably did

Ouch, that conversation did not go how you thought it would. Time to reflect on why it happened and what you can do next time.

What to do when your work team turns sour

Q: The office I work in is becoming increasingly angry. It seems like there are no more "honest mistakes;" instead folks are looking for the…
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Introvert should look at speaking opportunity as chance to advance

Q: In my job I often create detailed presentations for others to present. I've been told that if I'm to advance in my career, I…

No reason disciplined boss can't stop workers' bickering

I had a discussion with the group's primary troublemakers, but so far there has been no improvement. How am I supposed to handle all this drama?
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Reyer: Building common ground with colleagues

I have a colleague who guards her turf pretty aggressively. She doesn't share other people's ideas even if they're useful and keeps information to herself even when others need it. She's a pleasant person, but these behaviors are frustrating. How can I work more effectively with her?

Tips for dealing with a boss who is a bully

Q: My boss is a bully, but her behavior falls just short of what I would consider HR-level offenses. I find myself feeling defenseless and…
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Listening is the critical first step in bringing work groups together

I am working to help unify a number of different work groups around some consistent processes. They all have different workplace cultures and have developed their own unique ways to get their work done. How do I help bring them together without forcing the change down their throats?

If you think your boss is incompetent, time to consider new job

Q: I've got a problem; I think the new leadership of my company is incompetent. I need my job, yet am caught in a dilemma.…
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E-mails going unanswered? Time to look at how you write them

Q: My problem is e-mail, specifically getting responses from people. Often I have multiple questions and just get back answers to some of them. It's…
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If you think you're networking too much, analyze the results

Q: It seems like a lot of people don't like networking, but I have the opposite problem; I really enjoy it and think I spend…

How to talk with work team members facing big changes

Q: Due to some organizational changes, I will need to have conversations with team members about ways they fit in the new structure and changes…

Focus is key to a successful job hunt out of college

Q: I am about to start my last semester of college, graduating with a degree in business. What should I be doing between now and…

New job brings a slip in performance. Now what?

Q: In all my past positions, I was recognized as a top performer. Yet, after changing roles a couple of years ago I am struggling…
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Keeping resolutions may require a whole new approach

Q: Like many people, I'd like to make some changes for the better in the new year. Any thoughts on making and keeping resolutions?Pat, 40,…

In the running for the job, candidate wonders what is taking so long

The main perspective that may help is to remember that a hiring process is a two-way street.

Key steps to fixing an internal communication problem

As an internal consultant, use active listening to clarify needs and expectations, while also putting a clear process in place for documenting assumptions and decisions so everyone is on the same page.

To make a difference, don't overlook small gestures

Q: I think a lot about how to help make the world a kinder and more just place. At the same time, I have a…
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Boss is a problem, should you leave your job?

My boss doesn't stay focused and isn't helpful with the challenges I face; in general, he's hard to work for. Other aspects of my job are OK, but not fabulous. Is it time to look elsewhere?

How to get collaboration on track with your team

Q: I've been running into roadblocks on collaboration. People give lip service to working together, but then don't even respond to e-mails. I'm really frustrated…

To ease post-election anxiety, focus on gratitude

The election is over, and it's time to get regrounded and back to work. It's naive to think, however, that everyone is feeling at ease…
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Mapping your route to a CEO job

Q: My goal is to be a CEO of a good-sized company. I'd like to stay in the sector I'm used to (manufacturing) and wonder…
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How to keep politics from taking over your workplace

Q: We've got a situation where people are letting politics get the better of them, and I'm seriously concerned that by the time the election…
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