Happy #TKDay!! Cuz We All Need a Tiffany

March 15th is Tiffany Keuhl‘s birthday … so the BlogFFs decided to embarrass celebrate her with posts across our collective social media.

I met Tiffany on Twitter about 4 years ago when she retweeted something I posted. Soon after, I followed her back on Twitter … then we connected on LinkedIn … then Facebook … then we exchanged phone numbers and began talking/texting.

And now I cannot imagine my world without her.

Tiffany is a great friend. When she rocks with you, she rocks with you. You don’t have to wonder how she feels about you because she tells you. You don’t have to worry if she’ll be there when you need her because when you look over your shoulder, she’s already there. Through every victory I’ve had and every loss I’ve suffered since we became friends, she has been a consistent source of encouragement and support.

Tiffany is an amazing HR professional. There a few people who know more about the world of HR and are willing to share without hesitation or expectation than my Tiffers. She “gets” that sharing information with others doesn’t diminish her value, worth or importance. She “gets” that helping others makes her and our profession better.

Tiffany is a networking savant. Tiffany knows everybody! And she knows somebody who knows somebody. She is intentional about being current and connected to other professionals. In every conference or seminar or meeting she attends, you will see her on the move, shaking hands and taking photos and exchanging information and making introductions and getting to know people. She soaks it all up like a sponge — then she squeezes it out by connecting those connections to the rest of us.

Tiffany is a loving family woman. She is married to another HR pro — and they have a beautiful son. She is a daughter and a sister and an aunt and a cousin. She loves her family and is as dedicated to them as she is to her friends and her career.

Tiffany is fun, funny and fun-loving. Our conversations (although mostly by text these days because our schedules are unnaturally hectic) are always hilarious. You will find her on Instagram out-and-about in great places with great people having a great time. Even when she’s down, she’s never out of encouraging words or positive perspective.

Turnup with us for #TKDay online … cuz we all need more people like her in our lives. And when we have them, we should absolutely celebrate them.

Happy Birthday, Tiffers!!

Bunches of love      ~ Buzzarooney


TKDay - Tiffany Kuehl

From PIC — “The Many Ridiculous Roles for Women in the Workplace”

Early in my career, I read an article which said  men generally cast women into 1 of 5 roles in the workplace.

Those 5 roles are Mother, Wife, Girlfriend/Mistress, Sister or Daughter.

  • Mother is expected to coddle and comfort and cover, even when you’re not doing what you should. Sometimes they nag or punish you — but not too severely because mother never wants to see you suffer.
  • Wife is expected to help and support the men they work with, no matter what. They nag more often than mothers — but they don’t press too hard because they care for and rely on you. The wife is all bark but no bite.
  • Girlfriend/Mistress is expected to help and support the men they work with. Because there is chemistry and affinity, the girlfriend/mistress often receives reciprocal help and support. However, the length and level of loyalty is limited because commitment to the relationship is missing.
  • Sister switches from collaborator to competitor and back again with the men they work with. Because the relationship feels familial, there is reciprocal help and a level of loyalty in the relationship.
  • Daughter needs to be looked out for by the men they work with. She needs coddling, comfort, cover and coaching. She yields loyalty and commitment and is treated with kindness.

On the surface, these roles are harmless. In fact, men are often cast into the same roles (father, husband, boyfriend, brother, son) … However, men have 2 additional roles rarely attributed to women — coach and boss.

For men and women who participate in sports or other competitive activities at some point in life, they see men in coaching roles more often than they see women. When they encounter a person at work who is demanding but caring, they put them in the coach box … If they’ve never had a woman coach, they won’t view women at work thru this lens and they’ll put a demanding but caring woman in the mother or wife box instead. Same applies if they’ve never had a woman as boss previously.

Again, on the surface, this seems harmless … But what happens when a man’s relationship with these roles are not positive? For women, we can switch up and view thru the lens of coach or boss — where we know those roles must be respected and revered, even when our personal feelings about the individual isn’t positive. For men, they often can’t get beyond the familial lens to see the woman thru a lens that commands respect. The relationship becomes peppered with resistance, defiance, insolence and passive-aggressive behaviors that can damage a working relationship beyond repair.

When men encounter women of color in the workplace, it can be even worse. If a man has not encountered women of color regularly outside of work, they often cannot see them thru any of these lenses. When this happens, women of color are relegated to stereotypes and caricatures instead. Stereotypes and caricatures are rarely worthy of respect or loyalty.

These roles and lenses create a minefield of issues surrounding gender in our workplaces. From the outside looking in, no one really understand why the relationship isn’t working — and the woman is often blamed for the persisting problem and the lack of resolution.

The article from all those years ago essentially told women there was nothing they could do to break beyond the confines of these roles. It advised women to position themselves to be placed in the roles of sister or daughter to avoid being viewed as nagging or coddling … Early in my career, I tried to follow this. It worked. In some ways, it still does. I’ve watched enough women and men cast into these roles to believe this is true and operating in workplaces all over.

I’m ready to turn the page on this. I’m ready to see women break free of these roles.

We cannot do this without help and change by men. Men have to push and force themselves to see women as coaches and bosses in addition to the other roles.


Read the rest at Performance I Create

The Trouble with Being Transparent


It’s one of the biggest buzzwords used to describe management style and workplace culture today.

Like all buzzwords, the definition of what “transparent” means in the world of work varies … For me, it is a management style and/or culture approach where parties are consistently forthcoming and clear about expectations and goals in order to achieve desired-outcomes. It is a management style and/or culture approach of openness, sincerity and collaboration.

Everyone says they would love to work in a transparent culture for a transparent manager. Everyone thinks transparent culture and transparent managers are great. Everyone assumes transparent culture and transparent management is easy.

Everyone is wrong.

If you work in a transparent culture or for someone with a transparent management style, here are a few things to expect:

  • You will answer a lot of questions on a lot of things a lot of the time. Clarity is critical for transparency.  To get clarity, you must gain knowledge and understanding. And you cannot gain knowledge or understanding without asking a lot of questions — factual questions, open questions, closed questions, recall questions, process questions, relational questions, causal questions, questions on questions on questions.
  • You will track, report and analyze metrics. Data is critical for transparency. Part of being transparent is making and sharing information to enable and explain decisions.  Costs, expenses, transactions and trends must be monitored to achieve this.
  • You will handle confidential information. Sharing is critical for transparency. To share, you have to provide information. Some of that information will be sensitive in nature. Some of it will be OK to repeat to others; some of it will not. Be sure to know the difference.
  • You will spend a lot of time with your co-workers. Collaboration is critical for transparency. To collaborate, you have to build teamwork. To build teamwork, you have to spend time together in active work and in downtime. Expect to have a lot of formal meetings as well as social events and organized bonding.
  • You will have to be available. Visibility is critical for transparency. To have visibility, you have to be accessible. You must be approachable and cooperative. You must be receptive and innovative. You must be willing and accountable. You must be enthusiastic and accepting.
  • You will get a lot of feedback on areas for improvement. Pursuit of development is critical  for transparency. To grow, you must know your weak areas and be willing to improve. To learn, you must be critiqued and coached. Not all the feedback will be good or feel good.

Cultivating a transparent culture and/or a transparent management style is hard work. It is demanding and  burdensome. It is time-consuming and deadline-driven. It is confrontational and persistent. It is difficult to create it and challenging to maintain.

That’s the trouble with transparency. Can you handle really it?

From PIC — Sarah Williams’ Recipe for Workplace Fun

I have always had a love/hate relationship with workplace fun.

I’ve seen employer attempts to create “fun workplaces” go horribly wrong … Instead of fostering cooperative happy, and more productive environments, it spawned competitive, entitled and ineffective environments. What was designed to create camaraderie and show appreciation developed into something divisive and disparaging.

After many years of watching employees take advantage of or be completely indifferent to the efforts of their employers to bring joy, levity, recognition and appropriate fun to the workplace, I became sour to the very idea of it. I decided workplaces couldn’t be fun. It simply wasn’t possible. I believed workplaces should be about work and anything given to employees should be earned through their efforts and outputs.

Ffff the fun, yo!

About 6 months into my latest position, I was tasked with organizing our Halloween contests …with an S. Meaning there were multiple! One each for costume, decorating, pumpkin carving and themed snacks. I began wondering what I’d gotten myself into! I set myself to planning — and I waited for people to suck the fun out of these well-intentioned events. I waited for people to demand more, allege unfairness or loaf off.

I waited … It didn’t happen.

We had fun. Appropriate fun with sincere appreciation and no sense of entitlement … But it didn’t hurt our productivity or our attitudes.

We had fun for that day, for those few designated moments — then we went back to work. Like the fun hadn’t happened.

I watched and waited to see what would happen for Thanksgiving. And Christmas. And New Years. And Valentine’s Day.

The fun came and the fun went. No one missed a beat.

My Fun-less Grinchy Heart grew two sizes … I was amazed.

Now, I gladly lead the “Spirit Committee” efforts for our company. I look forward to it. I post and boast about it using the #MyJobBetterThanYours tag … I believe again there can be fun in the workplace without all the negative non-sense.

So what’s so different about this place vs the others? What is the recipe for workplace fun?

Read the rest over at Performance I Create

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