The Top 10 Most Popular TalentGrow Blog Posts in 2017 (and a change for 2018)

top 10 most popular TalentGrow blog posts in 2017 by Halelly Azulay

As we stare down the last days of 2017, let’s stroll down memory lane and look back at some of the popular content I’ve already created on the TalentGrow blog. According to my website traffic statistics, what were the top 10 most visited  blog posts in 2017?

Drumroll please….

Here are the Top 10 Most Popular TalentGrow Blog Posts in 2017, in ascending order (aka “The late Show countdown style”):

Note that these posts were not necessarily published in 2017 – they’re simply the most visited blog posts over this past year according to my traffic stats.

Which one have you enjoyed the most?

#10: How to REALLY Listen: Reduce Conflict by Staying Low on the Ladder of Inference

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Whenever we interact with another person, we always use the information available to make assumptions about their character and intentions so we can decide how to react, what to say, and what to do. However, we tend to mix observable, objective facts with our subjective inferences based on our past experience, upbringing, mood, and biases. In this post, I describe this subconscious process we all use and how to avoid jumping to the wrong conclusions. Becoming more aware of and resisting this process, called the Ladder of Inference, will help you reduce misunderstandings and minimize unnecessary conflicts!

#9: 3 research-based tricks to help control emotions during critical conversations

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Maybe your particular upcoming critical conversation doesn’t involve a rude conversation counterpart like the one in the story I tell in this blog post. But regardless, it’s got your attention and you’re probably feeling anxious about it. It’s got you in its grip, right? So when you know that you have an upcoming challenging conversation that may lead to conflict, disappointment, and/or disagreement (initially), how do you manage your own emotions effectively to stay productive and not get caught up in the emotional reaction swirl of fight, flight, or freeze? The key to not reacting emotionally in critical conversations is to learn to regulate your emotions. In this blog post I describe three tricks from research to help regulate emotions during critical conversations to avoid feeling emotionally out-of-control.

#8: A cool tool to lighten your leadership workload AND develop your employees

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One of the common pitfalls of leaders is the Responsibility Virus – which I described in a different blog post (you can read it here). But in this post I share a great tool that should help you not only lighten up your own workload (whoa, that would have been enough, right?!) but actually help you develop your employees and create some real ‘bench strength’ on your team. It's called the Responsibility Ladder. Sound good? Read on!

#7: How to increase creativity, curiosity, and learning: An exercise

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I love learning. I love being creative. So I really enjoyed learning this exercise for bringing more creativity to business from an expert I listened to on a teleconference I attended, and decided to share it with you, too (plus my own spin on it).

It’s simple and effective – give it a try!

#6: How to Leverage Lunchtime for Learning

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You might have been exposed to the idea of Lunchtime Learning before. Sometimes called Brown Bag Training or Lunch ‘n Learn (beware – that’s a trademarked phrase!), it’s a short learning session held during lunchtime. What’s so special about these Brown-Bag Sessions, you say? Invite employees to do the teaching, not just the learning! In this post, I lay out the what, who, why, and how of creating a 3-way win for employee development in any organization by leveraging lunchtime for employee development and learning.

#5: The Top 10 Conversations Every Leader Should Have with Every Employee

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Ongoing, regular, and timely conversations with employees about performance, goals, career, and feedback contribute tremendously to their current and future level of performance and engagement at work. Here are my top 10 types of conversations that I think every leader should be having with every employee throughout each year. (And if you enjoy learning by watching or listening more than by reading, you’ll love my video and podcast versions of this content, too!)

#4: 5 Steps to Delegating Right and Reducing Your Stress

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Effective delegation is an essential supervisory skill. Any supervisor or manager must learn to delegate effectively in order to accomplish his or her goals. By definition, to supervise the work of others means that you have to take time away from the technical aspects of your job and tend to the people side of things. Therefore, because time resources are finite, you must remove some of the work you were previously able to accomplish on your own from your task-list in order to make time for performance management and leadership tasks. And because that work still must be completed, you will need to delegate it to your staff. In this post I summarize the barriers and benefits of delegating, and offer a step-by-step process to help you delegate successfully.

#3: What the FFF? Or, how to avoid triggering Fight, Flight, or Freeze responses in others

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Our brains are wired to avoid threats. Our reactions to perceived threats are instinctively to Fight, Flight, or Freeze. This threat response is not limited just to physical danger and has been shown to occur in social and work settings. In this post, I explain the science behind these threat responses and show you how to avoid triggering this kind of social threat response and get more rational, better quality, and less disruptive responses to your work interactions.

#2: 7 Surefire Tricks for Being a More Engaging Communicator

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Whether in casual conversations or business presentations, one-on-one or with a group, getting others to be drawn into and engaged with you is important if you want to get your message across successfully and leave them wanting more. Here are seven surefire tricks that will help you be a people magnet and become more engaging in your communication interactions.

And the number one most visited blog post in 2017

#1: Six Principles of Effective Communication

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We all have some relationships in which we communicate with ease and others in which we feel like we’re always “walking on eggshells” – mincing words and trying not to offend or create a defensive response. It’s natural to have different levels of communication chemistry with different personalities. There’s no way to fully level the playing field. Yet, it’s also possible to reduce the likelihood of defensiveness and to increase our success when we communicate with just about anyone, anywhere. Here are six principles that can help you communicate more effectively.

What’s changing in 2018?

You know what? Apparently, I have 145 blog posts on my blog.

(Not that I’ve ever counted them, mind you, but my assistant Jory has and I trust her math.)

Whoa nelly, 145 blog posts!! That a lot of good reading.

So, I’ve decided to take a hiatus from producing a blog post every other week in 2018 and doubling down on my podcast, moving it to a weekly format.


For the past couple of years, I’ve fallen head-over-heals in love with podcasting. At the same time, I've fallen out of love with blogging.

Producing my podcast excites and energizes me. Having to produce a blog post is something I dread and is draining to me.

Not that I don’t love the results I produce on the blog – I’m proud of my blog and all that I’ve written.

But I’ve been blogging since 2008. That’s ten years of writing that can help you be a great leader and communicator, all of which is content that is still relevant and helpful today and into the future.

It’s a lot of ‘evergreen content’ that will continue to serve those who love the written word. And I’ll continue to publish blog posts and vlogs here and there.

But I will be letting go of the pressure to produce it on a schedule. It's just not working for me right now.

It’s an experiment. I will reassess, tweak, and adapt as I go. And I’m always happy to get input from you, of course.

Your turn:

  1. What’s been your favorite blog post on the TalentGrow blog over the last 10 years?
  2. What will you let go of in 2018 to make room for what you’re passionate about?

I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below.

So there you have it: the top 10 blog posts, and my news. And here’s to making 2018 our best year yet!

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