Is Working Remotely Hurting You?

On this episode of My Crazy Office, Kathi and Katherine discuss the possibility that working remotely could be hurting your career. They start with a question from someone who works remotely but used to go into the office for monthly visits. Now that the company won’t pay for monthly trips, this person feels disconnected from others at work. During the second part of the podcast, Kathi and Katherine consider the manager’s perspective: What if you suspect that your onsite employees have access to more opportunities?

We Hire for Skill and Pay for Personality

It’s not enough to hire someone with the right skill set. You want to hire the right personality — for your company and the job. In this My Crazy Office episode, Kathi and Katherine discuss why personality, in the form of work ethic, professional behavior, and interpersonal skills, is what employers really pay for.

#3: Unrealistic Expectations – My Crazy Office, Season 9

Kathi and Katherine talk about unrealistic expectations on this week’s episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we give advice to someone whose boss makes promises to clients that cause his staff to overwork themselves.

Then we examine what a manager should do if they keep taking on demanding projects to keep the staff employed.

Negotiating During a Pandemic

What are you negotiating for at work? Is it a promotion? A raise? Working from home full time? A new position? Working less? Changing teams? Retirement?

Whatever aspect of your work life you are currently negotiating, the pandemic makes an already unpredictable task more stressful then usual. Negotiating is not everyone’s favorite thing to do. It can be a sweat-provoking activity that causes many people to freeze and take what they are offered. Many of us don’t negotiate often enough to feel competent at it. So here is a crash course on how to negotiate – even in a pandemic. 

1 –Prepare and Plan. 

Know what you want. Know what you want in a perfect world and what you can live with in a pandemic world. Be realistic. This may require doing research.

2 – Clarify and Justify

Be direct and clear in your ask. Practice (on friends) asking for what you want. Get comfortable saying it. More importantly, come up with solid reasons for your ask. Is your request justifiable because of your market value? Does your promotion or raise make sense based on your accomplishments? Be ready with documents (sales reports, list of accomplishments, industry standards) that clarify and justify your position. 

3 – Ask for more than you want

This can be challenging for those of you who are uncomfortable advocating for yourself. It’s important to ask for more than you want, as you will most likely not get what you initially ask for.

4 – Waiting and silence are important.

Do not speak or write again until you get a response to your initial ask. Quickly speaking or writing to fill in the blank space will show the other person that you are uncomfortable. This is when we inadvertently lower the bar for what we could get. Waiting is where the sweating comes in. If you come off too eager or desperate, you will not get what you want.  

5 – Look for a Win/Win solution.

Both sides will want to win, so it’s okay to compromise. By being accommodating, you will be seen as a collaborator. Your negotiating partner will see you in a better light and will be more likely to strike a deal. 

6 – Get closure in writing

Make sure to close the negotiation with some kind of written agreement. Whatever you are able to negotiate, get it in writing. Verbal agreements are nice but they don’t protect you from possible backsliding or misinterpretation over time.


  • Avoid. Do not use the strategy of avoidance, hoping the situation will resolve itself.  Avoiding never works to your benefit.  It may take the pain of negotiating away, but the result will be less than what you could have received if you’d stepped up and stated what you wanted.
  • Play innocent. Put on your big adult pants and ask for what you want.  No one else will do it for you.

Kathi Elster – Executive Coach and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises.

Contact us at for any further help around this topic.

Bring More Purpose Into Your Work Life

The CoVid-19 Pandemic quarantine has forced many of us to slow down and become quiet. When we become quiet we have the opportunity to hear our deepest thoughts.

If you still have your job you might be asking yourself, “Is my work fulfilling my purpose?” If you lost your job you might be thinking, “I want more meaning and purpose in my next position.” If you run your own business you might be thinking, “How can my business be more aligned with my purpose and passion?”

Many of my clients have told me they find themselves thinking deeply and wondering if now is the time to pivot and move towards finding the work they really want. Many are seeing that they are in fact doing work that is meaningful to them. And some are asking themselves, “OK, what really matters to me and what’s next?”

In order to connect to your purpose, start by identifying your values. Take a few minutes to answer the following questions:

1 – What are 3 experiences in your life that left you feeling proud and on purpose?

2 – What are 3 experiences in your life that gave you the greatest peace and satisfaction?

3 – What are 3 experiences in your life where you felt most alive?

4 – What are the 3 qualities that you find most admirable in other people?

5 – What 3 words explain you at your best?

6 – 200 years from today, what is the one thing you’d like people to say about you?

The answers to these questions will give you a clue into your deepest values, which are the down payment on your purpose.  

In my work I find that the most fulfilled people are the ones who do not compromise their values and by doing so they end up in a workplace that gives them purpose.  

My client and friend Carol is the most loving and compassionate person I know. 

I originally met her when she worked in HR for a Hospice. It’s no wonder that she now works for an organization that houses the homeless, overseeing their 950+ person staff.

I have another client who, after law school, worked for an organization that did legal work for women who were sex trafficked. It’s no surprise that today she works to better the lives of under-privileged children. 

I also have an extroverted, artistic client who’s always found meaning in making sure that others are happy. She became a photographer that shoots weddings and other happy occasions.

Finding your values to understand your purpose will contribute to your passion and ultimately support your performance. In a loud business world that touts money, overdrive, and prestige, it can sometimes feel second class or not truly business smart to care about being true to yourself. Do not be afraid.

Over the 30 years that I have been advocating living your purpose and values, I think now is the time to make Living Our Purpose the way to go!!!

Kathi Elster – Executive Coach and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises.

Contact us at for any further help around this topic.

#47: The Value of Networking – My Crazy Office, Season 5

Kathi and Katherine talk about networking on this week’s episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we give advice about how to network in a way you don’t hate.

Then we discuss the value of networking.

Earning Trust: My Crazy Office Overtime, Season 5

Kathi and Katherine talk about trust on this week’s My Crazy Office Overtime show.

How do you let people at work earn your trust?

Listen to this week’s podcast here.