Alaant Influencers:
Debra Best, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Owner and Principal, Deb Best Practices

Deb Best, SPHR, SHRM-SCP owner and principal of Deb Best Practices
+ About Alaant Influencers

Alaant Influencers feature regional influencers and local luminaries sharing their career advice and secrets to success—in their own words. These influencers are the people making a powerful impact for good across the community.

Her backstory:

Deb Best, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is the owner and principal of Deb Best Practices. She has more than 25 years of business, change management, strategic planning, workplace mediation, harassment prevention, stakeholder communications and human resources senior leadership experience. Deb Best Practices is a New York State Certified Women-owned Business Enterprise providing outsourced senior human resources practitioner and other services to business leaders across many different industries and sectors. She is a member of the Capital Region Women@Work Executive Advisory Board and a columnist and blogger for the Times Union: Women@Work magazine.


What qualities do you think are needed to be successful in today’s workplace?

In order to contribute as a successful leader regardless of level or project, the qualities below are recommended to my clients to ensure success in the workplace of 2019 and beyond:
  • Self-awareness / self-knowledge is at the top of my list. Know your strengths (embrace and believe in your talents) and recognize your developmental areas - focus on your strengths to maximize your contribution and keep your developmental areas neutral or at bay.
  • Accepting, adapting and embracing change productively and energetically at all business levels, to best serve both internal and external customers.
  • Practice integrity – do what you say and say what you do.
  • Be empathetic. Kindness counts, and so does authentically understanding others, welcoming new ideas and keeping an open mind.
  • Express gratitude authentically. Thank team members often for their hard and productive work. Recognize them for their talents and contributions.
  • Respect others and respect boundaries. Comply with behavior expectations and safety regulations. Know how to set boundaries for yourself (saying no is an acceptable response!).
  • Communicate respectfully, honestly and often. Emails and text messages are often not a good substitute for face-to-face or voice-to-voice communication. In-person (literally or virtually) communication is what builds authentic and effective workplace partnerships and relationships. 
  • Learn commonly accepted conflict mediation tools to help your team (and yourself) navigate conflicts respectfully and productively.

And here are three things to absolutely avoid to ensure your leadership success at any level:

  1. Gossiping (too much information about yourself and others is never a good thing)
  2. Triangulation (speak to the person directly, not to everyone else about the person)
  3. Cliques (forming one or being part of one alienates and excludes other workplace and business team members)

About the Author

Miriam Dushane

Miriam Dushane, Managing Partner

Miriam is all in when it comes to doing whatever she can to help the Capital District grow and thrive. She is passionate about helping talented professionals find the right job and her work in the community is focused on furthering our area as a center of economic vitality. Miriam likes to garden and care for her pets. She is a member of an adult-only skate group where she rollerblades every week. She loves the Mets! And she is obsessed with vacuum cleaners; she really likes to vacuum and has 6 right now.

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