Weekend Reading List

One of my favorite blog features are weekly link lists, especially those published on Fridays. There’s always something interesting and fun in them that I’ve not seen elsewhere. So hopefully my own reading list here will be interesting to you, too!

>> ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Get’: How to Fix the Gender Gap in Salary Negotiations (from The Atlantic*)

Schroth urges female students to vie for larger bonuses and salary increases and offers several strategies. In her experience, women have proven more successful with off-cycle requests, meaning they seek opportunities to negotiate outside of year-end reviews. The best time, Schroth strongly believes, is in the wake of an achievement. Instead of looking for a new job outside the company, where the same problem may come up again, look within. Women should focus on developing skills, which might mean switching departments internally. Regardless of the means, Schroth argues that listing achievements not only makes a woman’s case stronger, but allows her to feel more comfortable in the discussion.

Okay yes, definitely seek out internal opportunities to develop skills and ask for performance bonuses tied to specific achievements. No arguments there. But some of this also makes me uncomfortable because I think a key skill to develop is to be your own advocate and ask for what you need and want.

>> How My Blog Went From a Hobby to a Job (from Making it Lovely)

I really appreciate how open Nicole has been here. It’s enlightening for me and I’m sure for many readers who are considering how to make a blog their job. That she shows both how her income has transitioned over time, and the corresponding events, but also how she currently diversifies her income is astonishingly open. What’s clear here is that she’s a very savvy businessperson, not just a good designer and blogger. And I love the pie charts!

>> How to Express Empathy – Avoid the Traps! (from agilitrix)

The HUGE PROBLEM is that we are really good at BLOCKING EMPATHY to protect ourselves from feeling.

Imagine someone is in emotional distress. By blocking their emotions from our reality, we can avoid acknowledging and connecting to their pain. In the short run, this is great – we avoid pain. In the long run, we destroy the fabric of our relationships and our environments.

This is something I have to work hard at all the time and it’s a really critical skills for a coach of any kind. I tend to fall into the “Problem Solving” trap which is mostly what you want a coach to help you with, right? But maybe not quite yet: you still need to get to problem solving through empathy. So I work at it.

>> My 3 Words for 2013 (from Chris Brogan)

Think of three words that sum up what you want to work actionably on changing/improving in the coming year. It works best when the words are positive in spirit and not negative.

My own spin on this is to have a yearly Theme. It’s bigger than goals and more expansive. It’s a framework for decision making over the course of the year, so I can apply it more broadly and to new situations and opportunities that might not have been part of my goals. Since I haven’t yet had my 2013 new year, I haven’t come up with my Theme yet but I’m thinking about it. Do you have one? Do you have 3 words? What are they?

>> Zingerman’s simple email survey (from Signal vs. Noise)

The Zingerman’s survey feels like it’s written by someone who’s curious about the answer.

How many times do you ask questions because you think you should and really don’t care that much about the answer (or only care about the answer if it’s the one you wanted to hear)? And how often do you ask for feedback in a way that makes the person you’re asking it from do all the work?

>> HR Mistake of the Week: This Nauseating Job Posting for an ‘Office Host’ (from The Grindstone but I think Gawker’s version of the same sort of post is hilarious too)

Office managers are critical parts of any highly functional workplace but this job description is gross. None of their other job descriptions reads like bad fan fiction. Is “Office Host” like calling something a Ninja/Rockstar/Superstar? Ugh. It’s not a professional job title (can we PLEASE go back to having professional job titles?) and I wonder how much they want to pay this person? This is the Manic Pixie Dreamgirl of job descriptions and the mocking Medium is taking is rightly deserved.

>> Here is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie (from the NYTimes)

I know everyone read this last week but I wanted to include it because isn’t this basically just like so many workplaces the world over? There are about a dozen Silicon Valley startups who basically operate not dissimilarly to the set of The Canyons as far as it’s described here.

* Yeah, I KNOW, what was up with that this week? Bad marketing ideas executed badly.

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