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Get the latest news and views on the NCHRA HR West Blog. Our goal, as always, is to connect Bay Area HR professionals with valuable practice resources and best practices information, news and views in an effort to support training, legal and legislative developments, quality service providers, and HR professionals--helping them to form career-long networks and partnerships.


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Dear HR: Stop Waiting for an Invitation

Posted By Editor, Laurie, Friday, January 19, 2018
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018

Contributed by Catherine Mattice Zundel, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP - HR West 2018 Speaker.
#HR has the power to really affect an organization’s bottom line. How? They influence the organizations biggest asset – employees.  That’s a pretty big deal.

Read why ...on the HR West Blog

Tags:  company culture  effective leadership  employee communication  employee engagement  employee management  Employee retention  HR Leadership  HR Management  leadership 

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Why Targets of Harassment Keep Quiet, and What You Can Do to Avoid a Matt Lauer Situation

Posted By Editor, Laurie, Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Contributed by Catherine Mattice, HR West 2018 Speaker

In the last few months, a long list of perpetrators of harassment have emerged from politics, Hollywood, and television. Most recently, it was Matt Lauer, a familiar face that has graced the television screen of nearly every home in America. What is going on? And why in the world is all of this only now coming out?

Continue reading on the HR West Blog.


Tags:  effective leadership  harassment  harassment in the workplace  HR Leadership  HR West 2018  HR West Speaker  human resources management  Leadership  management 

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Could the Law of Polarity Make Us More Compassionate?

Posted By Editor, Laurie, Monday, November 6, 2017
Updated: Friday, November 3, 2017

By Ann Tardy – HR West 2018 Keynote

The Law of Polarity states that everything has a polar opposite. In physics, polarity is a basic feature of the universe. Positive and negative forces are foundational to the structure of every atom.

If everything has a polar opposite, then perhaps…

Continue reading on the HR West Blog.


Tags:  Ann Tardy  Culture  effective leadership  HR West 2018  Keynote  Law of Polarity  Moxie. 

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Workplace Words that Wound

Posted By Editor, Laurie, Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Contributed by Lorie Reichel-Howe
Presenter, NCHRA Small Company HR Conference – October 19, San Francisco
We have all felt the sting of cutting words, the stab of sarcasm and the sickening silence when a coworker is assaulted with a verbal bomb.  When workplace word wars occur, employees become casualties, relationships are strained and morale plummets. When verbal outbursts occur, organizational culture erodes, productivity is held hostage, and attrition skyrockets. >> Continuing reading this article on the HR West Blog

Learn about and register for the Small Company HR Conference today!

Tags:  effective leadership  HR leadership training  HR Management  HR speaker  humanistic leadership  leadership  Leadership Strategy  NCHRASmallHR  People Management  Small Company HR  workplace communication 

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Do you have an effective executive presence?

Posted By Editor, Laurie, Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Contributed by Patrick Reilly, Resources in Action

Speaker session: 
Executive Presence and Managing Up: Building Your Brand

At the higher level of organizations and especially with Boards, executive presence is an essential success factor. Several years ago, I kept hearing from clients, who would say things like, “He needs to show up better. She does not have enough executive presence.”  When I would ask them what that looked like, I got a brief stare and then a “I don’t know, but I ‘ll know it when I see it!”

Business leaders need targets and goals to hit them.

Since most leaders are not able to define the issue of executive presence, I decided to research the question so I could build a model that leaders could follow and learn from. I wanted them to be aware of their executive presence strengths and challenges.

If you, as a leader, are required to have an executive presence, you need to know what that really means.

Executive presence is comprised of three core elements: how you act (gravitas), how you speak (communication) and how you look (appearance.) It can also be described as the skillful application of emotional intelligence and the effective presentation of your professional skills.  Sylvia Ann Hewitt’s research suggests that 67% of executive presence is comprised of your gravitas, 28% depends on the quality of your communication and 5% on your appearance.

My model, with its core components, is comprised of:


  1. Confidence – Can I share my point of view well?

  2. Competence Am I competent in my domain of technical expertise and able to communicate it effectively, especially to those who are not as expert in this area

  3. Courage Do I have the courage to take a stand for the things I believe in? Take well informed risks and drive change?

  4. Calmness under Pressure Can I project a sense of calm and poise regardless of the circumstances?

  5. Credibility (Balance) Do I have a balanced approach that includes being both assertive and results oriented while being compassionate and having empathy for others?

  6. Reliably deliver results Do I provide quality results in a timely fashion?


  1. Clarity and Crispness Is my communication in speaking and writing clear, crisp and succinct?  Do I have the tone and timbre in my voice that makes others want to listen?

  2. Connection Do I have strong relationships with people at all levels of the Organization? Do others see me as an effective listener, authentic, and approachable?


  1. Do I fit in with my peers and those who are one level up?

  2. Do I dress professionally for my company and in line with today’s standards?

  3. Do I exhibit good manners, use appropriate language and employ good grammar? Why is this section in italics? I guess it is to make it parallel with the first two. Is that right?

Once you have attained clarity about your strengths and challenges you need to learn how to put your ideas into action.

To be a credible leader you must have followers (Kouzes and Posner), but how do you demonstrate those qualities convincingly so that they become more compelling over time? Some question if these skills are trainable and learnable, but one must also begin to learn some non-traditional business skills to become a leader. These skills require you to access the energy in your body and to learn to convey your passion to others with fire (in a way that works for you and is in concert with your true self). Actors are trained this way. They learn how to step into a role and convey to others what might be possible, while also communicating about how we might achieve an end-result or final goal.

Your leadership presence becomes more visible when you can convey a set of messages (about your organization) that:

  1. Will get the attention of your people,

  2. Support them to listen more carefully, and

  3. Ignite their drive to support you to reach the goals of the company as well as the future you have described and set forth.

If you need guidance around finding or creating a stronger executive presence, please visit my website, You can also contact me directly at or 510-524-4934. 

Are you going to HR West next week? My session, Executive Presence and Managing Up: Building Your Brand, will cover more about how to cultivate a new or better executive presence.


About Patrick Reilly

President of Resources in Action, Reilly’s coaching career (25 years) began when a client asked him if he would provide some leadership coaching. He soon realized that he was adept and well suited to help leaders leverage their strengths to become more powerful. His business background in operations, technology and R&D informs his work as an executive coach. Reilly’s work focuses on supporting leaders in developing their executive presence and managing up. Clients describe him as approachable and compassionate while being focused, organized and results driven. He has two grown children who, he says, “trained him to work well with others.”

Tags:  effective communication skills  effective leadership  Executive Coaching  HR management skills  HR West 2017  leadership  leadership development 

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