Author: Dr. Dana

Team struggling to manage chaos? Hire for neuroticism.

You’ve gotten the third email this morning from a team member that they’ll be running late this morning. Two more emails will arrive in the next hour of team members calling in sick. Is there something going on? A wreck holding up traffic? A bug getting around? Maybe. Or, maybe it’s the usual signs that your team is starting to burn out from the stress of the job. Perhaps these are coping mechanisms to help them manage chaos. It isn’t unusual for a manager to realize their team is struggling and then search for ways to bolster the team’s...

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Performance appraisals: To write, or not to write, accomplishment summaries

October is the new fiscal year in government. And, assuming our new budget is approved (or at least gets a continuing resolution CR) it can feel like a fresh start. It’s also performance appraisal season. Almost like the changing of the guards, performance appraisals are closed out for the prior year and the new year begun. If you are like most, this is when you will be asked to submit your input on your accomplishments. Whether anyone admits it, performance appraisal season is a period of high anxiety for both supervisors and non-supervisors. For that reason, we’ll be focusing...

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Government job stress keeping you up at night? You need career resilience and self reliance

There’s been a lot of shake-ups in government lately. And, as a result I’ve also seen a surge in writing about resilience. Specifically, personal resilience or self resilience. But, when I think of the challenges of working in government, I think of how it’s never really easy to be a high-performer. And so, I want to dedicate this post to career resilience and career self reliance. First, I should mention this is the 100th post on When I look back on why we started this blog and where we are today, I see how we’ve adapted as well...

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Happiness challenge: Be the change we want at work in just 20 days

What if I told you that in one month from now you could have dramatically improved happiness and employee engagement within your agency? You’d probably be skeptical. Especially since with the new administration, there’s been a wide range of responses to federal employees and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to remain 100% positive and engaged. What if I told you it doesn’t matter where you are in the agency or whether you are in a leadership role – that in less than 10 minutes a day for 20 days – you would see a drastic improvement in the positivity and...

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Insomnia: Lessons about resilience from Stephen King’s book

When I picked up a copy of Insomnia by Stephen King, I didn’t expect to get lessons about resilience  But I did. And, I wanted to share 4 take-aways I gained. First, here’s a quick summary of the book. Unbeknownst to each other, the two main characters find themselves getting progressively getting less sleep – waking earlier each morning than the day before. As time goes on, they begin seeing auras of those around them. They also start being able to ‘feel’ the thoughts and feelings of those around them. Both wonder if they’re going crazy and worry they...

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