Nan S. Russell
Author & Speaker

All posts in February, 2014

column11-watercoolerThey’re only words. Some believe the school-yard taunt: “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” They’re wrong. Words can hurt you in the workplace.

I’m not referring to the caustic ones spoken (or received) tainted with sarcasm, irritation, anger or frustration, carrying an emotional punch. I’m talking about simple, everyday, normal word choices. These words, like black ice, are not an obvious danger at first glance. But, they can impact your results. So, user-beware.

Words create impressions, images and expectations. They build psychological connections. They influence how we think. Since thoughts determine actions, there’s a powerful (continue reading →)

Winning at Working 

No matter your role, knowing how to build and operate with trust is an essential skill at work.  I’ve been doing a lot of talking and writing about trust recently, and thought two recent pieces might be helpful to you.

Column12-trust-wordAn interview I did with Moe Abdou, founder of 33voices. We talk about business trust – what it is and isn’t, plus a few trust building essentials.

Three Things Never to Do If you Want Employee Trust – my latest article.

What’s my new book, Trust, Inc. about? Here’s a short video where I explain the why behind the book. (continue reading →)

Leadership, Trust Inc 

As a colleague of Nan’s, I frequently post here when things grab my attention about today’s workplace and sometimes, life.

As Nan mentioned in an earlier post this year, “A recent study found that nearly half of us will make New Year’s resolutions.” And, in the past several weeks, we’ve been bombarded in the media with commercials and ideas for resolutions and goals to start 2014; including everything from losing weight, eating healthier to spending more time on what really matters (to you ) and everything in between. directions1

So, join me in hitting the pause button to think about how many choices and decisions we make every day, some significant others not. And, how difficult some choices are especially when none are attractive.  Choice – defined as a ‘selection from a number of possibilities; picked by preference.’ Here are:

5 Tips to Making a Significant Choice

  1. Think about why you are making this choice – Understand your intentions, motivation and importance of your choice.
  2. Don’t worry about finding the ‘best’ – Gather information, research, investigate and talk to others. And, then … (continue reading →)


An early morning business trip put me and my husband on a 4:00 a.m. shuttle ride from a Portland, MB900442518[1]Oregon area hotel to the airport. I’m not a morning person so early chit-chat is typically not my norm, but the bus driver was a friendly guy and we were the only people on his bus, so talk of weather and the early hour prevailed.

When I asked about him pulling the middle of the night shift, he told me he started at 3:30 a.m. and ended at 2:00 p.m., this was his first week on a new job, and he commuted 50 minutes from the Mt. Hood area. “Ouch,” I said. “Guess that affects your sleep.”

Expecting the typical grumbling, his response surprised me. “No one said I had to do this,” he stated matter-of-factly. He went on to say he never understood people who complain about their jobs or what they have to do. “Why don’t they leave and do something else?” he asked. “I have a choice every day. I choose to work here.”

His words stayed with me. At first I thought them reflective of his great attitude. But I’ve come to (continue reading →)

In the Scheme of Things