The Lori Dernavich Blog

Let’s face it: there are thorny moments in the world of work.

It’s hard to talk about these them, let alone know what to do about them. This blog was created to provide you tactical advice for navigating difficult work situations, drawing from personal experiences and over 20 years of coaching clients.

From time to time, guest authors and co-authors will join me in sharing their experiences and expertise as well.

When I was a psychotherapist many years ago, I gravitated towards systems theory – the understanding that we are all interconnected. What we say and do affects others and our environments. Systems theory continues to be at the heart of my coaching practice. It is my desire to help others navigate their workplaces and relationships from a place of empathy. Empathy allows us to speak truth in love, resulting in individual and team growth, increased productivity, and a healthier overall culture. These blog posts ultimately incorporate my love for systems theory.

If you have a thorny work issue you’d like addressed, give me a shout at

Missing in Action: The Fallout of CEO Absenteeism

In the high-stakes world of biotech startups, a CEO’s presence—or lack thereof— shapes the company’s culture and potential success perhaps more than any other single factor. Yet, startup CEOs are often pulled away from day-to-day operations to focus on external activities like fundraising, working tirelessly for the company’s future. Even if employees generally understand the […]


You Can Increase Your Odds of Hiring and Retaining the Best Talent

Originally published in Life Science Leader Magazine in December 2023 by Lori Dernavich Finding scientific talent is an arduous process, often stealing precious time from our calendars. Heartbreak comes when new hires underperform or aren’t a good fit, or worse, they are terrific but quit in a relatively short time. INCREASING YOUR ODDS Hiring well […]


Are Rigorous Scientific Debates a Thing of the Past?

Originally published in Life Science Leader Magazine in August 2022 by Lori Dernavich.  Scientists are taught to be interrogators, questioning every theory, experiment, variable, and outcome. This used to lead to rigorous scientific debate; but something is changing. If you experience lively scientific debates where coworkers can disagree with each other and still go for […]


The ABC Feedback Formula

Does this sound familiar? You know you should give someone feedback, but you avoid it because it feels awkward, scary, risky, or hopeless. The first step is to REFRAME the situation. If done correctly, feedback is HELPFUL to the person you’re giving it to. While you may also benefit from the person receiving feedback, it’s […]


New Job Remorse: When You’re Struggling With a New Position

You open the brand new laptop, register for your new email address, and update your LinkedIn profile. You introduce yourself to coworkers and try to get acquainted with everyone. You’re navigating the maze that’s called “onboarding,” slowly figuring out your place in this new environment. Then anxiety creeps in, “Did I do the right thing […]


Are You Joining the Great Resignation?

As we inch closer to the two-year mark since the beginning of COVID-19, we might be experiencing different feelings about our work. The shock effect of the pandemic got many of us reevaluating our job satisfaction and questioning our priorities. The familiar office setting where we got to socialize with our colleagues, walk to lunch, […]


When Your Meetings Aren’t Getting Enough Done

This is the sixth time you’ve looked at your watch since the meeting started. How much longer is this going to take? Most people are muted or have turned off their videos. All you see are off-white letters on a series of black boxes. Yet another colleague goes on a tangent, but nobody tries to […]


When You Don’t Have the Authority to Manage

Today’s workforce is more project-based. To achieve certain goals, you need to orchestrate multiple departments to work on different parts. For instance, a product manager needs to work with engineers, designers, data scientists to decide on product direction and feasibility; a salesperson needs to interact with product , customer success, finance and legal teams to […]


When You Feel Exhausted and Lonely At Work

Ryan Hoover created Product Hunt seven years ago as a side project. It started as an email newsletter and launched in a single tweet at Philz Coffee in San Francisco. Seven years later, Product Hunt has led to the discovery of over 100 million products across 50,000 companies, and is now a crucial part of […]


When You Can’t Bring Yourself to Terminate an Employee

Here we go again. You’re listening to yet another employee gripe about Joe. It’s become a pattern. Surely Joe can tell that his co-workers are avoiding him. Maybe it’s a bad cultural fit — you noticed that he’s barely doing the minimum these days. He keeps making mistakes, and you can’t trust his work anymore. […]


When Your Manager Storms Out of a Meeting

This is it: you’re finally in the room with your manager and senior leaders, presenting on a critical initiative you’re working on. You are sharing a recommendation that is controversial, but you believe is right. Things are tense. People are on edge. Stakes are high. The manager’s face is getting red. Before you know it, the […]