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How to Avoid Socially Awkward Small Talk

​Hey there!

We all know the power of making a good first impression. It’s why we agonize over outfits for job interviews; why we practice fun stories to tell on first dates; it’s even why we spend so much energy coming up with subject lines for the emails we send.

First impressions, are usually lasting impressions. And they happen in a matter of seconds! So if you’re engaged in annoying small talk...just imagine what that’s doing to the potential of your relationship.

In this video, I talk to Vanessa Van Edwards, noted researcher, author, and self-described recovering awkward person, about the science of making a good impression and how to kill small talk.

Her latest book, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, shares the fresh perspective on human behavior she gathered through her work at the Science of People lab, and she so generously shared some of those insights during our amazing conversation.

If you’re like a lot of folks who have had their share of socially awkward moments (especially while networking), then check out this video.

We talk about:

  • Practical advice for how to make amazing first impressions
  • Why small talk can be so exhausting, and how to break out of that pattern
  • Questions you can ask to spark more thoughtful conversations
  • How to make yourself seem immediately more open approachable
  • Body language, confidence, and yes – even what to do with your hands when speaking!
  •  “Faking it until you make it,” and why it doesn’t work (despite self help advice)

I loved this interview - I left with tons of information on how to be more confident and charismatic in a way that feels authentic, non-awkward or draining. Hope you enjoy, too! 

Feel free to leave a comment in the video section.


P.S. Now you can subscribe to my youtube channel! Just look for the subscribe button!


How to impress a recruiter

Hey there!

Ever submit your resume and feel like it's going straight into a black hole? You worked so hard on your application and yet you worry whether anyone will ever see it.

Well, here's the thing. You're probably right.

Now more than ever, recruiters are super overwhelmed. They're being asked to review hundreds (if not thousands) of applications.

And the truth is, your resume may be overlooked for reasons completely unrelated to your experience or skills.

But not all hope is lost!

That’s why I want you to meet my guest, Sara Erbstein. Sara recruits executives at Comcast and has seen it all. I asked Sara to give us the scoop...and to help us understand what recruiters really think and do behind the scenes.
Here’s what we discussed:

  •     How to get your resume to the top of the pile
  •     The only part of the resume that many recruiters read
  •     The key question you must be prepared to answer in your resume and on your interview
  •     To write a cover letter or not? (hint: not!)
  •     Why finding a professional resume writer may actually be doing you more harm than good
  •     Key formatting tips to ensure your resume gets noticed for all the right reasons
  •     Why being nice to the doorman matters

This was certainly an eye-opener for me!  

Check out the video before you apply for another job or want to update your resume. And share it with any friends in the same boat!  


P.S. Need help figuring out what your dream job really is? Or just how to be happier at work?

I opened up a few spots through May for a complimentary strategy session (let's talk before you spend time searching and applying). Book a 30 minute private conversation with me here.



Trying to fix your problems all by yourself?

Hey there,

Feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders? And feeling kinda alone in your struggle?

Well, been there and done that.

And that's why it's especially excruciating for me to witness people make the same mistake I did for so long: going it alone.

When I first launched Woopaah I went into a zombie like depressive state...

I felt like a fraud and was afraid to admit I wasn't happy and may have made a mistake.

When I wasn't working, I'd zonk out on Netflix until my thighs were red from the heat of my laptop.

Here I was, a happiness expert and a business coach, who was both miserable and sabotaging her business.
I felt especially bad...because technically I "knew" how to fix my situation. But I wasn't doing it!

Ever done that?

One of the reasons I stayed pretty miserable for as long as I did was because I was experiencing False Hope Syndrome.

False Hope Syndrome is when you make a decision to change something about yourself and feel a fresh sense of hope and optimism...and that ends up sabotaging your actually getting stuff done...

Because you underestimate how much effort it takes and you end up failing. And not changing.

And this can go on and on (it explains failed New Year's Resolutions and why we keep setting them each year).

Choosing a new goal to change can temporarily dull/numb the pain, but doesn't address the root issue you want to shift.

It's not your fault that your mind works this way...we're all a bit guilty of this every once in a while.

So what did I do to stop the vicious cycle? I hired a coach to hold me accountable to my own advice, to help me hear myself, and to create a realistic plan.

If you're trying to fix your career on your own...consider this:

  •     How long have you felt unhappy about things at work?
  •     Have you done everything you can to change your situation?
  •     How much is it costing you to things to continue as they are?
  •     Do you even know what you really, really want?

PLAAEESE. Don't make my mistake and try to do this on your own.

Don't get seduced by committing to the "idea" of change and then just let life get in the way...and another year goes by.

I'm opening a few spots next week for a complimentary strategy session if you want to talk any of this through or work with me to finally experience your dream job.

Just use this link to give me some background and book 30 min on my calendar.


PS It took me a while to get over the shame/embarrassment of allowing things to get that bad. Just know it doesn't have to be this way. And the FASTEST way to get over this rut is to get some support. Hope to talk soon.

PPS Incase you didn't watch my video from last week, I talked to Dr. Morwenna Kirwan about False Hope Syndrome and two other mind traps that keep from you from achieving your goals. We focused mostly on weight lost but it's relevant to any behavior change. You can catch that here.


Not happy with your body?

Hey there,

Packing a few extra pounds? Yeah, me, too.

I gained 68 pounds when I was pregnant (that was over 50% of my pre-pregnancy weight).

It's been two years, and I'm about 5-10 pounds away from fitting into my skinniest jeans.

It's not the pounds that have bothered me as much as just not feeling good in my body... I want to feel more vitalicious (not a real word, but you know what I mean) and energized.

I wish I was one of those people who just "needed" to workout. I wish I LOVED going for a run. But maintaining a workout routine has been a struggle for me. Even though I always feel great after exercising.

Add a cross country move, a new home that is begging for attention, a toddler, and being sick once a month (thanks to daycare germs)...and it's so easy for me to find excuses for being off my game.

Plus, I'd much rather talk to a client than than put on my gym close and hop on the treadmill... any day!

But despite all that resistance, I've finally broken through and established a routine that I'm sticking to (and, actually enjoy!).

And there's one woman who has especially helped me through it... Dr. Morwenna Kirwan.

Morwenna has her Masters in Psychology, her PhD in Health Behavior Change, and until recently, was a tenured professor at a university in Sydney, Australia.  Harvard Medical School awarded Morwenna for most impactful and innovative research.

As if that wasn't enough, she's also a Certified Health and Eating psychology coach.

So, basically, this woman, knows her stuff.

But despite all her success, she wasn't feeling fulfilled. So Morwenna sought me out to help her feel more alive at work. That's how we met.

And while I've been helping her rethink her career, Morwenna (without even realizing it), was helping me feel more alive in my body.

Her methodology is the most balanced, sane, and doable approach to well-being that I've come across...and I wanted her to share some strategies with you.

Check out my interview with Morwenna...where she shares 3 psychological secrets to losing weight and loving your body...these insights have really shifted my behavior.

Not only do these secrets help you break bad habits around eating or (not) working out, but they're applicable to shifting any behavior.

** You can watch the interview here.

Here's to your good health and feeling vitalicious!


PS I begged Morwenna to put together a deeper, more specific, training on how body image (and how to Stop Hating Your Body and Transform Your Relationship with Food).  ** You can get free access here: 


Want more appreciation at work? Here's 4 steps to get some.

Feel like you're working your butt off ... but no one is really paying attention?

Or, maybe all the feedback you get is negative...and there's no mention about what you're actually doing well?

So many folks come to me with this complaint. And it sucks.

Not being appreciated feels pretty crumby and can easily lead to resentment, which can lead to not giving your 100%, which can lead to fantasies of working elsewhere.

So before you start interviewing...or worse, let your performance suffer...try this!

Figure out what kind of appreciation you really want...and (gasp) ASK FOR IT!

Not all appreciation is created equal. We have to get specific about Who, What, When, Where, and How. Seriously.

1. Clarify WHO you want appreciation from. This may seem obvious...but maybe not.

  • One of my clients (an engineer) wanted feedback from her VP. I asked my client about her VP's experience and it turns out that she's more sales oriented than engineering. Aha! My client realized that  she wanted technical feedback from her colleagues instead of her boss. Her boss was actually incapable of giving her what she wanted.
  • Who do you want to recognize your work? Maybe it's not your boss but your manager's boss, your colleagues, your industry, the media, or your family and friends at home.

2. Now think about the HOW.
This may feel awkward...but it's VITAL to nail the forms of appreciation that matter most to you.

  • I worked with a manager who thought he was appreciating his employee by giving her bigger responsibilities. It turns out that she was feeling punished instead of recognized.

Let's figure out HOW you want to be recognized so it actually boosts your motivation instead of taking it away. Do you want someone to...

  • Tell you how well you did verbally
  • Write about it in an email
  • Buy you a gift  
  • Offer you a growth opportunity ("Why don't you join the leadership committee")
  • Give you a raise

3. Where and When would you like this recognition?
Yes, we're getting that specific. Only because your boss or whoever it is, is not a mind reader. And what may seem like common sense to you - is not.

  • Do you want this done publicly?
  • Do you want this privately?
  • When is an ideal time? And how frequently do you want it? After each time you report the monthly stats? At your weekly one-on-one's? Casually, each time she notices something you've done well?

4. Now ask for it
Gulp. This may be the hardest part for most people. It's vulnerable. And no one wants to come off as needy or whiney. So how do you ask for positive feedback and appreciation while keeping your pride?

  • Set up a meeting or add an agenda item to a standing meeting (don't just mention this during your elevator ride out to lunch).
  • "Is it okay with you if we spend 5-10 minutes talking about how I'm doing - I have some ideas I want to run past you."
    • Remember, you're doing them a favor.
  • This is about how you can be an even greater contributor - and you're helping your boss (or whoever) get more value out your performance. You're also saving them potentially a ton of money and time by not quitting. So frame it that way, gently.
  • "I'm dedicated to giving company ABC my 100%. I'm so excited for us to nail our quarterly goal! And I'm grateful for your leadership and mentorship in helping me grow."
    • Then acknowledge how their constructive or negative feedback is useful:
  • "It's useful when you give me tips on how to improve and I'm working on those areas regularly (for example...)."
    • Now make your specific request of What, Where, When, & How:
  • "Some information that I feel I'm missing (in order to really excel), is to know the areas where I'm doing well. For example, can you tell me where I'm meeting or exceeding your expectations?"
  • "Knowing those kinds of data points would help me be an greater performer ..."
  • "Because not only would I continue to transform my weaknesses, but I could deepen my strengths." 
  • "Would it be possible for us to this more regularly? For example, just to use use two minutes of our one-on-one time for me to hear from you - what about my performance that week met your expectations, or exceeded your expectations in addition to any suggestions for how I can approve?"
  • That's it! You got this. If you try this, please reply and let me know how it goes! And if you've tried to get positive feedback through other strategies - please share!