Tag: emotional management

#57 There’s No Corporate in the Classroom

September 24th, 2021 by

Do you feel under prepared for the working world? Do the nuances of human nature, politics and bureaucracy leave you confused? You are not alone, because there is usually no corporate in the classroom!

The Hard Skills

Here’s the deal. You earned degree and you, along with most others, naturally assumed that was going to be enough. Yet, you (along with most others) somehow feel unprepared for the working world.

Here you are, a few years into your career … or many years into your career. You seem to have gotten a handle on the ‘hard’ skills. And if you don’t have a handle, you at least know how to be resourceful and figure things out.

Unbeknownst to you, this is exactly why you went to school… to learn how to figure things out. The purpose of college is not necessarily to ‘teach’ you how to be an engineer, a designer, a lawyer, etc. Rather, college forces you to learn how to learn in the context of your major. Yes, that’s right. College makes you face yourself at a deeper level so you can eventually learn how to learn in the workplace.

But, there is generally no corporate in the classroom, so what are the rules of handling quirky, difficult people?

The Interpersonal Skills

Whether college should teach the soft skills and the interpersonal skills is debatable. Surely, you did learn some of these things as a student.

However, the working world is full of humans outside of your major. The complexities of work are a completely different kind of beast. And since there is generally no corporate in the classroom, you must figure out how to work with difficult humans without scarring your career.

For example, it takes extreme emotional maturity to rise above others who tried to do you wrong. How about that ego? You must learn to keep that ego in check when it tries to blame others or talk behind someone’s back. Dealing with unreasonable people or moody bosses requires high levels of emotional intelligence.

I could go on, but the point is that there are an infinite number of interpersonal situations that can catch you off guard. If you’re not prepared, if you’re not emotionally agile, then all the hard skills in the world won’t get you far.

Lessons Learned

Generally, there is no corporate in the classroom. This is why I invite you to watch my video, “Five Workplace Lessons to Elevate Your Career.”

I discuss the following topics along with tips and lessons that will help you manage your day-to-day:

  • Happiness at Work – why it’s not your job’s job to make you happy
  • Autonomy in the workplace – separating self-identity from your job identity
  • Behaviors in the workplace – why it is not your choice if someone likes you
  • Career path – what you should ask yourself instead of, “what is my right career path?”
  • Dream jobs – where are they, and what does it take to obtain your dream job?

If there is another work topic you’d like to hear about, let me know!

If you enjoy this content, I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and ask me about free strategy sessions for your career!

#49 “My Employer Doesn’t Value Me”

June 4th, 2021 by

“My employer doesn’t value me” you declare! If you’re tired of being undervalued at work, this blog offers 3 key points to consider when contemplating a solution.

First: Don’t Overwork

Many have been in this precarious situation: we work hard, produce results, and expect additional monies or accolades. Come to find out, your performance review was not what you had in mind (amazing how you and management can’t see eye to eye). You believed a significant salary increase was coming your way. You believe “my employer doesn’t value me” after receiving a good old ‘nice job, we appreciate your hard work.’

The first key point to note is that you might be tempted. You may feel the urgency to work ‘harder’, do ‘better’, and bend over backwards hoping to earn that next significant raise. It might seem logical to expend extra work effort.

I’d encourage you to be aware of this mindset and stop yourself if you notice these behaviors. The truth is, your employer can always find a reason to submit an average performance review, deny you monies or worse. I’ve seen too people fall for the mind trap, “If I prove my skills and worker harder, they should reward me.” 

As logical as it might sound, life doesn’t work that way. 

So please avoid overworking or over impressing – you may find yourself on the path to burnout.

Second: Answer This

It’s awful to think “my employer doesn’t value me.” But prior to making a drastic move, consider the bigger picture.

The bigger picture includes a holistic view of your employment. Consider business strategy, management, colleagues, trainings or other opportunities your employer may offer. Also consider your salary, your vacation, years of service, etc. If you have not done so, assess whether current work benefits outweigh the downsides.

Another way to think of it is to decide whether it’s worth accepting the bad with the good

Before you decide it’s time to run away, answer this fundamental question, “How will I deal with this same issue in the future?”

Switching jobs, employers, or industries is a short-term solution that never guarantees against feeling undervalued

Third: Stay and Accept or Walk in Peace

Should you decide to stay, then do yourself a favor. Accept the terms, conditions and caveats. In other words, accept the bad with the good and be the best employee despite all the bad. 

Should you decide it is time to go elsewhere, leave in peace. Do not burn bridges, do not leave projects or people hanging. And walk out as if you might someday be back … because as horrible as the place may seem, you never know! Returning to an old employer is a common phenomenon I observed in the workplace, so be aware.

The third key point here is that changing the circumstance will not solve your problem. You may move on to find the next job is worse. What do you do, then? In short, before changing the circumstance, dissect the way you perceive your situation.

Tip: One way to prepare yourself for chaos or uncertainty is to understand that your mental state follows you to each job. If you feel “my employer doesn’t value me” today, you will find reason to feel undervalued in the future. There are only so many times you can walk. Instead, I recommend you step up for yourself.

Investing in your mentality to deal with uncertainty and build resilience is a long-term solution. All of us can use some mental strength and conditioning. While it takes effort, it is the solution to an uncertain world outside of our control.

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#45 Three Universal Leadership Lessons

April 9th, 2021 by

Whether you are a freshie learning your first role or a long-term manager, these basic leadership lessons are essential to your soft skill portfolio.

“Why should I care about leadership lessons, I’m just an employee,” you might ask. You should care because leadership is rooted in the self and you are the leader of your life. You need not become a manager to apply your leadership skills each day!

Lesson No. 1 Be the Leader You Wish You Had

You can sit around and ruminate; you can complain to colleagues or you can take action. But here’s the thing, bosses are human. Management is human. And it’s true they may not consider all things and all people all the time.

Can some leaders handle pressure better than others? Yes, of course. And you know in your mind what your boss should be doing differently. You might allow their faults to get to you. And let’s face it, sometimes bosses can be outright belligerent (see Post #44)

However, you get to choose how you respond to this stimulus. If your leadership lacks in one (or some) areas, then ask yourself how you can fill in the gaps. What it is they should be doing differently? If it’s within your boundaries, go out and do these things yourself within the confines of your job scope.

For instance, if it burns you up that leadership doesn’t respond to emails, always respond to yours. If it pains you to see leaders treating people poorly, make it a point to treat others with respect. If you wish leaders would take more initiative, initiate yourself to get the job done to the best of your abilities.

Lesson No. 2 Great Leaders Empower Critical Thinking

The roles of leadership are always up for debate. Some leaders like to give orders, instructions and directives. Others like to shame, criticize or blame. Some people claim great leaders are persuasive, assertive and outspoken… the debate rages on.

While opinions differ, especially from organization to organization, I believe leadership lesson number 2 is a gold mine:

Great leaders allow open dialogue that enables employees to self-reflect, critically think and problem-solve on their own. This is a mental, continuous improvement process that employees can take wherever they go.

A great leader’s contribution to the workplace? Leaving behind employees who apply this empowering mental technique on their own, with or without leadership.

Lesson No. 3 Don’t Lead Others Until You Can Lead Yourself

“Why are there so many bad leaders? How do incompetent people get promoted to positions they do not deserve? Why doesn’t management do something about XY&Z?” These are common questions (and complaints) I often hear.

This might just be one of the most powerful leadership lessons one can learn. Bosses, management, and leaders project their sense of self onto others via their management style. I’ll take this statement one step further. The way people treat you is an indication of the way they feel about who they are.

Leadership is not about having all the answers. It is not about covering up mistakes or fudging numbers. Leadership is not about having to please people. And it is definitely not about serving oneself.

Leadership lesson 3 is about uplifting your employees and colleagues.  Not an easy thing to do – this requires a leader to be whole with him/herself. It requires emotional maturity, self-accountability, the willingness to embrace fear and too many other skills to list.

Leadership is about extracting internal resources to upgrade external people around you.

Do you struggle to understand how you fit into your organization? Let me know what’s holding you back from leading yourself and the price you pay!

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#5 Do You Want to Feel Better?

November 1st, 2019 by

Why can’t you shake the lingering feeling of anxiety or annoyance…why is it you always want to feel better regardless of the situation? I’m going to help you understand why you feel the way you do and how you can turn it around.

Your Perceptions

It is not an easy skill to master, but you do have the ability to take control over more of your life. You are not at the effect of your surroundings as much as you may believe. Commanding your life starts not with your surroundings, but with your interpretation of your surroundings.

We all see what we believe. This is referred to as confirmation bias. If you believe, for example, dairy is bad for the body, your brain will seek evidence to prove this belief. Therefore, it is critical for you to understand your thoughts and beliefs … what is your brain trying to prove?

Deliberate Thoughts

Feelings are energy in your body, an arrangement between body chemistry and tissues. Your feelings are generated by each and every thought you have in your brain, whether they be intentional or not. 

Imagine a world in which you possess the ability to think every thought with intention. What if every thought served a distinct purpose – as opposed to allowing your thoughts to just happen (see Post #17)? Learning to think deliberately translates to feeling better because your thinking triggers all feelings inside your body. 

Managing your mind, i.e., managing your thinking, will help you if you want to feel better. Your brain is going to keep on thinking whether you direct it or not.  This is one powerful secret to feeling better – take charge of your mind by thinking with intent. Thinking on purpose makes you feel on purpose. 

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!