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Don’t Count Me As A #MeToo Woman Even Though…..

I stand as a one in five statistic of the sexually abused women in America.

Let me be clear. Am I glad our business culture has done a 180° turn where women speak up and are listened to by the authorities? Yes!

Do I believe some men have injured women? Absolutely!

Am I a stand for men being held legally accountable for their actions? You bet I am!

Am I overjoyed to see men losing their positions merely because of a “she said, he said” accusation? No, I’m not!

Though the #MeTo movement has started the ball rolling, there is a higher purpose in all of this.

While I don’t mean to steal from Martin Luther King, I too have a dream….

where women take their rightful place alongside men in leading our companies and our country into a new era—where respect for everyone, no matter their sex or positional authority—is the model. It’s a world where neither male nor female has the right to bully another merely because they have the masses on their side. We’ve longed for a time, when both sexes are valued and honored, where inclusiveness is the order of the day, where one can argue his or her position for the betterment of all, where men and women celebrate what each brings to the table, and where we work together harmoniously. (Excerpt Taken From Blog: Women, Is That We Want?)

When we build and stand for such an environment the #MeTo movement will no longer need to be a part of our culture’s dialogue. Our businesses and its workforce will experience unprecedented creative power through the synergy of men and women working collectively. We all have a choice, and each of our decisions has consequences whether for good or bad.

What if instead of arguing and blaming we emerged out of this time with a clear commitment to new opportunities and new beginnings? What if we spoke of a brand new exciting time in our business relationships? What if we chose to inspire one another to greatness?

What do you suppose could occur? I believe and hold it will be an entirely new business environment.

Do you want to step into this reality? It begins as we decide to:

Stop Pointing Blame: Before accusing others, do a quick check in of yourself. It is very likely you, also, possess some of the responsibility. (Related Article: When You Point A Finger At Your Boss, Three Are Pointing Right Back At You)

Start Speaking Up and Listen: Healing begins as you courageously and vulnerably share your experience with another, but it doesn’t end there, as listening is, just as if not, more crucial to the process.

Believe In The Power of One: I’ve always coached clients, and know, one committed individual can make a difference.

Challenge The Men And Women In Business: Ask daily…What one small thing can I do this week which will heal the gap we’re experiencing between men and women?

All of this requires individual moral courage and clarity of purpose. Let’s join together and take one small step forward each day.

StoryTelling: A Plot for Success

As a leader—or even if you’re not one, as yet—communication is the centerpiece of your career. No matter what position you hold in a company, your primary job responsibility has you sharing information. You may be striving to persuade others about the worthiness of a new vision or the next project or a breakthrough product or taking on additional tasks or any number of other business issues.

Research confirms 88 percent of millennia’s believe poor communication has a negative impact on career growth.

The most effective way to influence others is to engage your audience’s emotions by sprinkling your messages with StoryTelling. It’s sure to enhance the outcomes you produce.

Why? The human brain, from early in childhood, has become receptive to stories. Think about your experience for a moment. Doesn’t a well-told story stick like a burr in your memory and touches your heart in a way no other communication can. Not surprising, when research reveals messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than just facts.

As this is such a powerful communication tool, let’s drill down a bit:<!–more–>

  • Are Men and Women’s StoryTelling Styles Similar?: No! Numerous research studies confirm there are consistent, observable differences between each gender’s style. Men typically emphasize their storylines on contests of will, showcasing abilities and adventure. The sub-text is more forceful and aggressive in perspective. On the other hand, women tend to center more on detail. A woman’s anecdotes include names or the specifics in a graphic descriptive dialog. As a woman, when creating your pitch, you may want to trim down the details a bit to receive your male audience’s vote of approval. If you’re a man, you need to add a bit of interest to capture a women’s attention.
  • K.I.S.S.: To be memorable and impactful, do not make the story overly convoluted. A good rule of thumb for effective StoryTelling is KISS. No, not keep it simple stupid rather Keep It Simple and Short! Rarely, is it good theatre to tell the entire story from beginning to end. That would be much too long and drawn out and a guaranteed formula for generating low attention. Indeed, not the result you hoped to achieve. You might even want to consider starting smack-dab in the middle where all the relevant information usually resides.
  • Use the Right Words: Choose your words wisely—ones that relate to your audience. Remember, the intention is to captivate the audience through the senses because when done right, the entire brain is engaged. Such a commitment permits your audience to walk a mile in your shoes hopefully transforming any negative perception regarding your presentation. The fact is by using words that vividly provide clarity for the recipient, you create trust. Not a bad thing.
  • Be Real: People are innately attracted to those who are authentic. Stories inspire trust as long as you make sure you aren’t over-the-top centering only on the optimistic everything is rosy You’ve got to acknowledge the struggles, obstacles, and challenges as well as your planned overcoming tactics if you’re anticipating alignment.

In today’s marketplace, once you’re confident with your StoryTelling abilities, you will differentiate yourself. Start test driving your capability. It takes time and practice to become adept, so establish your style now. You’ll reap the rewards for years to come.

When You Point A Finger At Your Boss, Three Are Pointing Right Back At You

 

Management and employees alike see bosses as the flashpoint of employee engagement whether for good or not. Statistics from Gallup found 67 percent of U.S. workers aren’t actively engaged in their jobs (The highest in over 15 plus years of tracking employee engagement.) and managers continue to play a significant role. Another report by HR.com states a factor most highly linked to employee engagement is relationships with your immediate supervisor.

Such an emphasis is disquieting as it doesn’t hold employees accountable for being a proactive force rather it perceives them as only being able to change under the influence of management.

Yes. Its true employees have very little leverage to transform the policies and actions of senior management; and yet, they have all the right, power, and responsibility to impact their career mightily. Read More→

Did You Know A Single Thought Can Destroy A Career?

Yes. A single thought can make or break your career. I know it seems like some crazy headline intended to capture your attention, but as a strategic coach/consultant, I see the harm a single thought breeds.

It often appears many of your “lucky-dog” peers never face anything more than fair weather and smooth sailing throughout their career. You don’t begrudge them their success, and yet you wonder.

Especially as a study reveals, 65 percent say a better boss would make them happy.[1] Along the same line, global studies show that 79 percent of people who quit their jobs cite ‘lack of appreciation as their reason for leaving.’[2]

You have to dig a bit deeper. You’ll discover something. Those “lucky dogs” seemingly understand interviewing to find a better boss or leaving the company isn’t the answer because in all likelihood they’ll be facing the same situation again.

It isn’t about waving a magic wand rather their rewarding career journey emanates from the mind not exiting the scene of the crime.

Let’s examine several points of undermining versus optimizing responses.

  1. Spiraling Down vs. Spiraling Up: Do you find yourself spending more of your time in Spiraling Down conversations with those around you…? You know all the stuff that’s going wrong or the inept people you deal with daily. The minute you realize your conversation is unconstructive—even if only in your brain—turn the switch in your mind from Spiraling Down deeper into negativity to Spiraling Up into possibility. You know the difference-making style of thinking. The “what can we do,” “how can we recognize the other side,” “can we make things better?” Viewing the problem with an unworkable outlook leaves you stuck in victimhood—the opposite of the empowering smooth sailing career you desire!
  1. “I Can’t” vs. “I Can”: The truth is all of us are magnificently wired quantum thinking, problem-solving career generating beings. It’s just a matter of whether you’re willing to own your full power. When you lock into, “I can’t” before your amazing brain has an opportunity to weigh in, you lose. You see what you say is a self-fulfilling prophecy. With an “I can’t” attitude, you reinforce barriers to your progress. Conversely, as you say “I can,” creative energy is released that bursts into career enhancing outcomes.
  2. Fear vs. Clarity: Allowing yourself to be mired in fear, freezes your career before it even has the chance to launch. Remind, yourself that the emotionally charged notions swirling through your head are likely nothing more than False Evidence Appearing R[3] You have a choice to either move toward clarity and resolution or remain stuck in anxiety. Altering your attention propels you thoughtfully into the action that generates a way through or around instead of living in the debilitating inertia of fear.

Whether you buy into it or not, the battle of the mind is where satisfaction and fulfillment occurs.

What side of the equation are you planning to tap into to produce the career of your choice? It’s pretty obvious. If you give in to Spiraling Down, or “I can’t” or Fear based thinking, you’re setting yourself up for a rough journey.

It is always your choice. What’s it going to be?

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/tykiisel/2012/10/16/65-of-americans-choose-a-better-boss-over-a-raise-heres-why/#75cbdf1c76d2[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidsturt/2018/03/08/10-shocking-workplace-stats-you-need-to-know/#61152c88f3af
[3] I don’t know where I first heard the acronym for FEAR so I’m unable to credit it.

Building Bridges In The Face of Dissension Isn’t Easy—It’s Imperative

Three girlfriends gathered for “Whine Night” customarily a lively evening. This one was no different, except it had an uneasy edge to it. Instead of waking up the next morning with a smile on my face, I was heartsick for our country and its people.

Why?

When the three of us, who respect and value one another, can’t find common ground regarding today’s volatile, political environment, something is wrong. No matter which side of the debate—even those who are standing somewhere in-between—the divisive chasm in our country is growing more profound and unbending every day that passes. It’s difficult to hold out hope for the future of our country in such an environment. But if we don’t who will?

And it isn’t merely in politics where you see such polarizing, conflict-ridden arguments occurring. We witness it in relationship gulfs whether personal or business.

I started considering where I was responsible for the breakdown in our “Whine Night” conversation. It’s all well and good to stand up for what you believe right. The secret is how to do it without negating the views and values of others.

Here’s a few hints to bridge the gap:

Uncover Commonalities:
Such a concept may seem simplistic. It isn’t. It requires commitment and hard work. Without respect for the opinions of others, constructing bridges isn’t possible. We’re not referring merely to valuing a person. What’s required is far more profound. You have to honor everyone’s right to reach conclusions poles apart from your own as well.

Love Is The Bridge: What is love doing in the midst of a contentious situation? It’s at the heart of the issue! I remember watching a YouTube video where a strawberry was subjected to love, and another strawberry received hateful energy. One berry flourished while the other didn’t.[1] What’s the point? The power of hate, dislike, disrespect is felt in a person’s soul shriveling up any willingness to remain in the dialogue. You need to prepare the soil to reach a viable, healthy decision; and love revives the human soul.

Use Your Words: The significance of words can’t be stated strongly enough. Some fire-up negativity and resistances while others open the conversation to a healthy interchange of ideas. Be careful, as a bridge builder, you’re choosing words that will bring about the outcome you intend to generate. Begin by eliminating any blame or disapproval from the discussion.

Breakout of the Big Into the Small: It is easier to reach workable alternatives when you’re in an eye-to-eye, acceptance-to-acceptance relationship with someone else. So, if the larger group locks into rigidity, break the groups up into twos or threes to begin the process of building relationships of respect and honor whose purpose is to understand one another’s pain as well as hope points.

A Big Hug Does A World of Good: Never underestimate the human touch especially when emotions run amuck in the midst of resolution. A study by Carnegie Mellon found those who received hugs (consensual, of course) during the days they had conflicts experienced smaller increases in negative emotions that continued into the next day.[2]

Persevere With Expectation: If you think it can’t be worked out, it won’t. Perseverance trusts that breakthrough can and will occur. The hard fact is that if you stop the process, you lose all possibility of working out the problem. Continuing in open-ended, respectful dialogue means there is hope.

What’s In The Greater Good: 
Put away your much-prized solution and “already acknowledged” loyalty to a particular outcome; and instead, start choosing what is in the greater good of the country or the family or the company. Such a fresh perspective isn’t a natural response. It is, however, a sign of wisdom and maturity.

Breakdowns of all kinds are no small issue in today’s world of ever-increasing dissension in every area of our lives. Let’s all promise to be bridge builders. It may not be a trouble-free role to take on, but it’s the only one which will have us as a people rising to become all we were created to be.

 

[1]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYa_iM9ymoc
[2] https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2018/10/04/carnegie-mellon-university-hug-study/