How To Crush Challenges at Work in 2020

Employees have a lot on their hearts and minds going into 2020. At Strong executive coaching, we have a unique window into these challenges as we trained more than 2,000 creative industry professionals last year alone. From conflict to confidence and the looming threat of burnout, professionals will face three major obstacles this year, but there are simple and surprising ways to overcome them. Let’s get into it!



It’s OK to just be honest about this: Conflict is not fun. Most of us try to avoid it by nature. But false harmony isn’t a good goal, and oftentimes the most productive and happy teams are the ones who see conflict as inevitable! They turn toward it and stay in the ring until the issue is resolved.



  • Set an intention to embrace conflict. It can really be that simple.
  • Make a plan. Write out what you’re going to say and the best possible outcome, keeping in mind your respective individual motivations but also the shared team goal.
  • Listen. When we’re really listening to someone else’s point of view, it puts them in ‘rest and digest’ mode and makes them more open and willing to negotiate toward a mutually agreeable solution.



More than 70% of employees admit to having imposter syndrome at one time or another (and perhaps the other 30% misunderstood the question! Like any other skill, confidence is learned and gets strengthened through practice.



  • Practice confidence. Not everyone has ‘born this way’ confidence. Find some low-stakes opportunities to take a deep breath, put your shoulders back, and show up as your most confident self.
  • Adopt a winning mindset. The greatest leaders will say they failed their way to the top. So redefine failing as learning, and be grateful for the tiny gifts of failure and lessons learned along the way.
  • Adopt the three ‘C’s of confidence. 1) Competence: Not necessarily your ability, but rather your belief in your ability to figure it out, 2) Congruence: Behaving in a way that feels authentic, vs pretending to be something we’re not, and 3) Connections: Find your tribe at work. The more friendly and trusted connections you have, the more confident and ‘safe’ you’ll feel to speak up and play full on.




With the endless distractions and crushing pace at work, it is no wonder we’re feeling burned out. Let’s let 2020 be the year that we stop telling everyone how busy we are, and start paying attention to our most energizing and important priorities. 



  • Find time for deep work. Block your calendar at certain times of the day to pay attention to your greatest priorities. Stick to it, let others know you’re doing it, and inspire the whole team to work differently this year.
  • Become an ‘essentialist’. In his book, Essentialism, Greg McKeown suggests that a CEO is actually a “Chief Editing Officer” since they are constantly cutting away anything that isn’t a priority. Be ruthless with your to-do list, slow down your “yeses” and ask yourself, “Will doing this task move me closer to my goals and dreams?” If the answer is no, you know what to do. Adios!
  • Work like an athlete trains. Think about your day as interval training. Go hard for 90 minutes, recover and repeat. And don’t forget the recovery part! Let’s give ourselves at least the same respect we give our phones: time to recharge.


Now you have some tools to overcome what Strong executive coaches think will be the biggest barriers to success and fulfillment this year. All that’s left is to set an intention for change and practice.


Be on the lookout for more solutions from the team building coaches in NYC at Strong Training & Coaching to help make 2020 the best year yet. 


-Mauren Falvey