Top 5 Gifts That Raise Your Game [neena review]

5. Why Your Underperformer Isn't Changing

This year's No. 5 post deals with a common frustration for leaders. It also brings up a topic you'll see again on this list: the importance of honest and specific feedback

Give yourself the gift of pausing. When an employee is stuck in underperformance, take a few minutes to look at your mindset and what role you might be playing. How can you shift the way you show up with the employee in a way that will help you work together toward a solution? Learning more about effective feedback may also take some stress out of the situation for you. "Building a Strong Team," part of my Leadership EdgeSM series, has more tips on giving feedback.

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4. Early Morning Habits of Successful People

Are you resolving to become a morning person in 2016? This blog post lays out some compelling reasons for rising early.

Give yourself the gift of being intentional. Getting up earlier will give you time to review your priorities and set a plan for the day. Need help identifying the areas where you can make the most impact? Try the strategies in the Getting the Right Work Done module in the WOW! Women on the Way to Peak Performance ProgramSM.

3. How to Communicate Negative Stuff in a Positive Way

The same message can come off as negative ("I’m bored or frustrated in this job.") or positive ("I want to more fully utilize my skills to support the business and have a bigger impact."). It all depends on how you frame it.

Give yourself the gift of clarity. When you get clear about what a situation is really about for you, you can communicate about it in a more positive way. Don't assume that others know what's motivating you to voice concerns. Instead, help them see that you're dedicated to the bigger picture. For more tips, check out our Leadership EDGE SeriesSM booklet on "Communicating with Impact."

2. Making Awkward Feedback Easier

This is the second post about feedback that really struck a chord with readers this year. It gives some advice about an especially tricky kind of feedback: Talking with an employee who has a behavior, habit or mannerism that isn't affecting her performance, but is damaging how people perceive her.

Give yourself the gift of transparency. Simply acknowledging that this conversation is an awkward one for both of you can go a long way toward defusing the tension. In addition to the tips on feedback you can find in the Leadership EdgeSM series and the WOW!  ProgramSM, you can also get ongoing support for your leadership challenges through our executive coaching offerings.

1. Crazy Day? Here's How to Get Centered

As packed as our days are, it's no surprise that this post was the most popular one of the year. And it's timely reading during the hectic holiday season. One tip from this article may come in just as handy at your family gatherings as it does at the office: Think about the people or situations that set off negative emotions you have trouble letting go of. Then decide how you want to show up when you encounter them. Taking just a few minutes to mentally rehearse your response can make a big difference.

Give yourself the gift of self-care. When you take care of your own basic needs, it's a lot easier to stay calm and centered when things are chaotic around you. Set reminders to take a few deep-breathing breaks during the day or shift your routine so that you can get more sleep. To satisfy your need for personal development and enrichment, you don't have to wait until your schedule calms down. (When does that ever happen anyway?) My WOW! Highlight AudioSM delivers quick but powerful lessons on leadership that you can listen to any time you have a spare moment and put to use immediately.

Be generous to yourself and others this holiday season by putting at least one of these ideas into play. And remember small steps can lead to big results.