Deborah LaurelMy name is Deborah Laurel and I have been a workplace learning and performance improvement consultant for over 37 years. I am the President of Laurel and Associates, Ltd., which is a certified woman-owned business that provides virtual and classroom training programs to build employees’, managers’, and trainers’ skills. We design and deliver these training programs in-house for organizations on a national and international basis. Besides providing interpersonal, managerial, and train the trainer skills, we create skill-building participatory curriculum working with subject matter experts on very technical topics. We created the highest rating training for the U.S. Department of Energy.

I know from personal experience how stressful and debilitating it can be when you have a poor and vindictive manager- and I never want another employee to suffer the way I did. Upper management
asked me to investigate employee allegations against a poor manager. I conducted the investigation and, based on my findings, upper management demoted the manager. My reward for a job well done was to be placed under that manager’s supervision!

I felt betrayed, abandoned, angry, afraid, and in a panic to leave the agency before I had to report to the demoted manager. I was so stressed and anxious, I lost the use of my left arm and was in constant pain. When a manager in another agency ultimately offered me a safe haven, I was so relieved that I cried. His welcome was like the warmth of strong sunshine after a terrible ice storm. I could finally breathe again. As a result of my experience, I believe that employees have a right to a psychologically safe place to work, where their manager supports them, recognizes their achievements, and helps them thrive. I am committed to seeing that managers, particularly new managers, have the interpersonal and management skills to do their job well and maintain a safe and supportive work environment. My Hobbies include Reading, gardening, walking, and knitting.