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Leadership and “It’s All About Me”

  Think about a moment when someone is judging a situation that seems untenable and you think “What did I do to make this so awful?”   Happens to the best of us; happens to all of us. What is the best way to handle the emotions that bubble up? Many become “the stuffers” and let the unpleasant feelings gurgle and gnaw at the solar plexus right above the stomach. That is why anti-acids are such great over the counter sellers.   Others of us point the finger of blame at the situation. “The blamers” always have a chorus of “It’s the weather, it’s the economy, it’s the government, it’s the product”, and, when all else fails, “it’s my mother.”   Then there are “the yellers” who will attack and defend in loud voices to stop the conversation. No one can get a word in edgewise or otherwise and the situation stays stagnant for lack of real dialogue.   One of my colleagues, a woman I greatly respect who is a core a leader to follow, shared with me what had happened earlier that day. The project she headed was stalled. It really was not “her fault”, although she was the project leader. The outsource company had too many silos and the communication route was blocked at every turn.   She called and called. She emailed and emailed. Weeks were going by and there was no resolution. She contacted the vice president, the CEO, nada.    Her boss was frustrated. They had a pow- wow. Nerves were frayed. Yet, they were able to push through and come up with...

Well, It’s Wednesday.

  Well, It’s Wedneday. “So what“, you say? Or “UGGGG“, you say. Or “no biggie.”   For most of us geared to a 5 day work week this day is often a killer. It just seems longer than the rest of the week, like they (whomever ‘they’ are) have magically added an extra 48 looooooong hours to the time.   And, this week to make it worse, at least on the east coast, it’s like a typical dreary winter day. Anyone have May on their schedule?   To give an added spice to today we have decided to have a contest, a contest with prizes. Contests are fun, prizes even better.   So, be creative, be funny, be honest (hint these are ways to get through the “ugly middle of the week“) with flair.   Tell us a short story and you can win a MASSAGE, the BOOK , “Don’t Bring It to Work” of course, or a CONSULTATION session for free!!   Not just any story, a story about how you make the Wacky/Wacked Wednesday of the week work. And let us know which word most fits the day.   Take a coffee/tea/water break, give it some thought at lunch, and join...

From Victim to Explorer

  Lots of folks are taking the PatternAware quiz and beginning to look more deeply at the ingrained behaviors that are keeping them from living a full and fun life.   As your workplace relationship expert it is my delight to give tips and techniques to help you begin making changes that will turn these bothersome behaviors into their healthy opposites.   Here is what Charlene wrote: “I have been laid off for the second time in ten years. I took the quiz and I tend to be a victim—too nice, quiet, and diligent, hoping that I’ll be noticed for hard work. It never happens and I want to break this pattern of being the weakling at work. How do I do this?”   Hi Charlene, for starts, just sending me this question is a big start! Most victims don’t ever ask what they can do differently; so, good for you. Now, you have to put some skin in the game and do what I call a pattern interrupt.   Here’s what it looks like for a victim to become the positive and healthy opposite, the explorer. Do the following in one week and you will start to feel differently….I promise!   If you always speak up at the end of a meeting, go first. If you always grab a sandwich for lunch, eat a whole meal If you always say “yes” say “no” If you always drive to work take the bus If you always leave work on time stay late If you always work in a logical order mix it up   You get the idea. It...

5 Things to Brighten Up the Work Week

  What if everyday at work was amazing, rewarding, conflict free, and wonderful?   If that were the case you would be living in a pretend paradise that, I can assure you, would get boring, boring, boring within a month.   Anyone remember the movie “Pleasantville“? It is a 50’s type family living in a 50’s type community where everything is so….well pleasant. The beginning of the film is in black and white and only changes (I don’t want to spoil it for you, it’s worth seeing) so just note at some point it changes, or the word I would use is it transforms to what is real!   It is through conflict, facing our demons, embracing our shadow side, and really getting the fact that everything is connected and no one wins unless we all do that workplace relationships become and stay amazing so that each day has its own power:   Monday magic Tuesday terrific Wednesday wonderful Thursday thoughtful Friday friendly   And the week end has a shimmering quality because we are not fried from the week.   There is a new quality movement at work. It has to do with caring, creativity, compassion, cooperation. It has to do with each individual taking responsibility for becoming self aware and accountable. It is a needed reinvention of the workplace after health care reform. It is better not to get stress induced illnesses, agreed?   It is what we have always wanted at work. Now it is closer and closer to being there on a daily basis. Research and understanding of people technology bring us to better and...

“HMD” to All Women and Men Who Have Birthed Anything

  A female executive I am coaching called me very early this morning and complained about how hard Sunday would be for her. My response was not super professional; all I said was “Huh?”   She then launched into a soliloquy about the fact that she had made a conscious decision not to have children and every Mother’s Day she had tons of people who would look at her with sad expressions and either ignore the whole idea that she was childless or make banal comments about overpopulation or the fact that many people have children who drive them crazy.   This year she decided to leave early for a conference so she would be on the road on Sunday, driving from here to there to prepare for the week off site without having to fend off annoying comments.   I stopped her before she would spiral down to more defending, explaining, or justifying her position. I asked a question that is what I call a pattern interrupt, the kind of question we teach in our “Total Leadership Connections” program.   Just a bit of learning here; these “P.I.” questions are meant to make individuals stop their downward spiral of negative thoughts and help them engage a different, hopefully more creative part of the brain to think new thought. These questions cannot be answered Yes or No and, like an arrow are meant to hit between the eyes.   “So, what have you birthed?” was my bull’s eye question. Her initial response was “Huh?” I asked again and added “There are so many ways to birth without a uterus,...