Happy people do not hurt one another. Period. If you are at the wrath of anyone’s bad behavior you already have the upper hand. If that person is your boss you still have the upper hand. You’re not compromised by the level of fear and anxiety that they carry around. Don’t be a victim. Draw on your emotional intelligence. It’s your superpower.
If they are toxic don’t seek approval they don’t have to give. This gives them power. Stay entirely off their radar screen.
Only go to them when you need information or a decision and then give them two choices. Busy people don’t want to create but prefer to decide.
Use phrases that remind them that you have their back. “I know that (X) is important to you so I wanted to make you aware that….”
Deal with your own fears and anxieties by getting curious about what’s under your initial reaction to them. Fear of losing a job or respect? If the worst happens...
We advance when we’re willing to stretch ourselves further than anything we’ve ever done. But it’s prickly and sticky there. Risky. We might fail. Yes. Fail. Hmmm. And then what? Did we die? Get physically hurt? Lose anything of great measure? Likely not. But we do have our feelings to deal with. So we allow them. These two are the hardest:
1. Judgment from others.
What really holds us back is perceived judgment that comes from perceived failure - from practicing failure in our heads before it happens.
When we turn away from the discomfort of difficult emotions, unfortunately we armor up with self-sabotage traits of perfectionism, assumptions, comparisons, expectations, more judgment and busyness which only lead to exhaustion, hopelessness and disappointment.
When we notice the judgment and accept that “this is just me judging” without self-criticism (What is wrong with me that I can't stop doing this?) and that...
If I learned anything this week it’s that we must cease our need to be right and then listen more than we speak. People want to be happy more than they need to be right. Though often they don’t know it. Be the “rent-an-adult.”
Be the leader who can set ego aside and view the situation from a third party perspective. Winning is not the goal if it’s at the expense of your or another person’s self-esteem. Being right is not sustainable if someone else has to be wrong.
That doesn’t mean to suggest that trying to reason with the unreasonable will build alignment - that arguing with fools will get you anywhere. Sometimes we need to walk away and let the masses isolate them. The pain of staying the same must be worse than the pain of change. The biggest fools end up in a diminishing group and ultimately alone. That’s pain enough.
Ask yourself this question before you speak: “Does what I’m about to say advance collaboration or...
I read two books a week. I love reading because I can choose books on precisely what interests me. I was never a fan of school because there were so many subjects I was not interested in - like Algebra III. Anyway, when I was a young, struggling single mother of four children I became a veracious reader. I could not afford books at the time so I would sit on the floor of book stores and read about how I could get a job that would provide for my family. The library did not have cutting edge management and leadership books so I would go to the book store while my children were in school.
When I became a manager I realized everyone wasn’t like me so I went back to the bookstore on the weekends to learn how to be a better leader. Fast forward to today where I am a two decade CEO and my husband and I still go the bookstore each Saturday and Sunday on my quest for knowledge. I always come home with at least one book. A Nook doesn’t work for me. I like to turn down the...
I spent a lot of years angry. Very angry. I was in a neglectful and abusive marriage as a stay-at-home mother of four children under seven-years-old. On the outside it looked like we were living the country club life while in reality my life was unpalatable. Every day I felt as if a noose around my neck was choking my ability to breathe. Finally, I filed for divorce as a leap of faith and was completely unprepared for the avalanche to come.
Within six months of filing for divorce my husband placed his businesses into bankruptcy on loans I had cosigned. He canceled his children’s and my health insurance but not his own. Our home which was nearly paid off and in the most affluent suburb of town went up for Sheriff’s Sale whereby 100% of the proceeds went to offset his business debt. The bank repossessed my minivan, not his car. And I had to chase him through the courts for a child support and alimony award at its highest of $269 a week – which he appealed. The...
I work with clients a lot on how mindful daily practices impact your effectiveness and happiness. Recently, I bought some water color supplies on Amazon, watched a video on watercolor painting and experimented one evening. I had fun then tucked the supplies away for another day.
Last week, after the overwhelming and emotional experience of having to clean out my parent’s house to sell, I got out the box of supplies, threw inhibition to the wind and on the first page of my new watercolor journal painted an image from a peaceful photograph I had taken in the low country of South Carolina. It won’t be in any art contests but the experience of doing this with a shuffle of Michael Buble playing in the background calmed me.
In that space I could get curious about my emotions instead of running from them. I felt frustrated that my brother was not there to help me. I was sad going through the papers and memories of my father. I was worried about my mother who we had...
This list is a guide for when you need to test your aspirations that require a major adjustment to your life and career. It’s a reality check for change. Grab a pen and get started.
This week I was refelcting on having had the good fortune of visiting the beautiful town of Copacabana and the city of Rio in Brazil for New Year’s Eve. Ten barges of fireworks are parked in the water all day on New Year's Eve awaiting three million people of all socioeconomic levels from all over the world to descend on the beach in white clothing at sundown. As the late evening approaches, seven cruise ships pepper the water behind them perched for the perfectly coordinated midnight extravaganza in perfect unison. I’ve never seen anything like it. I now know why they call it the best New Year’s Eve celebration in the world.
In Brazil I was profoundly touched by the natives' desire to work hard and thrive. The lust for life is palpable. There are no entitlements in the country so indeed there is poverty too. But the people are not an angry. They have light hearts, play soccer all over the beach, collect empty cans for money, work tirelessly at whatever they...
Throughout my years as an executive coach I have seen people triumph over immense hardship while others falter over minutiae. I’ve seen a sense of urgency spearhead achievement while chronic victimization hamstring progress. I’ve been party to personal transformations because people risk vulnerability with great courage and I’ve seen stagnation be the end-product of complaining about unmet expectations. Most often the underachievers carry self-doubt that they don’t know how to convert to confidence.
It’s pretty clear to me what makes people happy and empowered to create the life they want and what does not. It’s a simple equation.
The Golden Rule of Happiness
The shorter the distance between what you want and where you are the happier you will be and the more risks you will take.
You Want a Better Job
Let’s say you want to move up in your career, possibly changing companies. And right now you are in a miserable role. There...
Recently I had the honor of attending a mindfulness presentation and meditation session by Buddhist Monk Dr. Barry Karzin, physician for The Dalai Lama, sponsored by UPMC in celebration of Nurses Week.
He reminded us that one of the kindest things we can do for someone we are serving, no matter what the industry, is to ask them, “What’s the most important thing I can do for you today?”
There is no word in the Tibetan language or in Buddhism for “guilt” because when we have healthy confidence no one is ever condescended to. There is no putting down - especially of one’s self - only compassion. Compassion is the desire and action to alleviate suffering. Loving others, especially when their behavior makes it difficult, helps us to be compassionate.
We all want to be happy. No one wants to hurt.
P.S. Money replenishes itself. Time does not. Click here to request a call with me and let's talk about your...