Tag: personal development

#59 “How Can I Care Less About Work?”

October 22nd, 2021 by

“Why am I so invested in my job, how can I care less about work?” If this sounds painfully familiar, trust me when I state that this is a common dilemma!

Eliminate the Question

Asking, “How can I care less about work?” is a misguided question that is irrelevant to the real problem (see Post #35). 

“How can I care less about work” presupposes you should care in the first place. It implies you have an internal attachment to your external work – and this is dangerous. This question assumes that ‘caring less’ is the solution to your burnout, stress, or work frustrations.

Allow me to offer an alternative perspective. If you can open your mind and welcome new points of view, I would like to pose a different angle.

Before we get to that, the common work approach below may apply to you if you are trying to care less.

The Common Approach

Work does not exist for you to:

  • Care what others think of you or your output
  • Overwork to the point of missing out on real life
  • Worry about employment status
  • Ruminate over harsh words someone said
  • Be available at the employer’s beck and call
  • Fix everyone’s fires except your own putting your job at risk
  • Put your life on hold to aggressively travel against your will
  • Please everybody

The purpose of work is not to be emotionally tied to outcomes of your performance or to others’ opinions. This common behavior can surely lead you towards a meltdown if things go sour at work. Asking, “how can I care less about work” is a cry out for help.

“But I’m supposed to care about my work and performance … if I’m not emotional then it means I don’t care!”

Okay. I hear what you’re saying. I ask you to keep an open mind and read the next section. This is probably new territory for many of you, so notice if you embrace or reject these suggestions.

A More Practical Approach

Work does exist for you to

  • Use reasonable judgment to fulfill an employment contract
  • Perform transactions
  • Attempt your best day in and day out
  • Recognize strengths and weaknesses
  • Fail, try, fail again, and try again
  • Understand your limits and set boundaries
  • Learn how to be resourceful
  • Expand your brainpower by developing yourself
  • Overcome interpersonal challenges by working with difficult people
  • Serve an organization utilizing supplied resources
  • Help others help themselves
  • Improve things that cross your path – projects, conversations, and people

Notice how this list is more flexible and forgiving. This list does not require you to have an emotional attachment to any particular outcome. It absolves you from having to cling to the job; there is no dependency on what others might think.

Therefore, don’t ask yourself, “how can I care less about work.”

Instead, ask yourself, “Did I try my best today considering the way I felt along with the information available?” At the end of the day, there is nothing more that any one person, including you, can ask of yourself.

When you know you’ve done your best per the given circumstances, all else falls into place.

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

#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!

#56 Entitlement at Work: When They Owe You

September 10th, 2021 by

If you feel you’ve ‘earned’ your keep, if you believe they ‘owe’ you, then this blog post is a must read. Learn about the effects of entitlement at work and how you may be selling yourself short.

On a Macro Level

There is no doubt you are a hard worker. You go above and beyond if you can. Colleagues enjoy your camaraderie, the boss trusts you, and you know how to be resourceful. In some respects, you are every employer’s dream.

In return for being a wonderful employee, you may feel a bit of entitlement at work. After all, they should owe you for your strenuous efforts and for cleaning up all those messes you didn’t ask for, right?

Your version of entitlement may look like:

  • I deserve XYZ for all I’ve done
  • I performed better than so-and-so and they should recognize that
  • This company would be hurting if it weren’t for my efforts
  • They could at least say “Thank you”
  • I expect to be compensated for this

On a macro level, entitlement at work means you believe you have the right to something. You believe they ‘owe’ you. 

On a Micro Level

Let’s dissect this a bit more. A person produces results ABC and consequently believes they are owed XYZ in return. This assumption presupposes there was some kind of per-arranged agreement or contract. 

For example, you pay Amazon $10 as you place an order for a book. You are then entitled to that new book. In this case, they owe you the new book. 

As an employee, you signed a contract to fulfill tasks associated with a job title. Thus, the employer owes you a compensation package as stated in the contract – no more, no less.

When you anticipate or expect entitlements at work, above and beyond your compensation package, you engage in career attachment. On a micro level, career attachment is when you rely on external outcomes (entitlements) to fulfill an internal, emotional need (See Post #35). 

If you are attached to specific outcomes at your external job, then you set yourself up to be internally disappointed. The reason is because outcomes are beyond your control.

When You’re Missing the Point

What I’m about to state could pose a new way of thinking for you. It may frazzle your brain, so bear with me and try to be open-minded.

One purpose in life is to overcome obstacles so we can transform into a higher version of ourselves. A way to do this is through our job. It is virtually impossible to beat challenges and improve emotional maturity if you depend on certain outcomes (such as a promotion, a bonus, a thank you, etc).

It is possible to rid yourself of the desire for entitlements at work, i.e. to detach yourself from your job. Here is a brain exercise to get you started. These questions will help you shift focus away from the externals and toward internal recognition. Warning: answers require deep levels of thinking!

  • Can internal acknowledgement of your own work ethic and your own work efforts serve as your reward? 
  • Is it remotely possible to remove the desire for external recognition knowing you learned some things and grew your intellect?
  • What if your spirit knew how hard you worked and that in and of itself is good enough?
  • What if you laid your head down at night with the visceral satisfaction of knowing you did the best job you could?

The conclusion, my friends, is that when you chase and obtain external rewards, they are often not ‘good enough’ and you will continue the cycle of chasing. The point of work isn’t to fulfill your emotional needs. The point of work is to face and defeat all the pains, challenges, and undesirable events to upgrade yourself.

Podcast Episode: Entitled Engineers

I experienced the phenomenon of expecting rewards during my days as a young engineer. I share my own pain and suffering due to entitlements at work in this podcast episode. Don’t make the same mistakes I made:

6:59 Why I felt like a “complete failure” after obtaining my master’s degree in engineering
13:00 Why I walked away from the life I worked so hard to create
18:03 When family and friends don’t ‘get’ your problems
25:45 The profound life question that haunted me as an unemployed professional
28:43 The dangerous disconnect between entitlements and reality
34:23 My best quote and one question for engineers who want to be happy

What are you attached to in the workplace, is there something they owe you … tell me about it!

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

#55 Career Security – Is Your Future Insured?

August 26th, 2021 by

What if it were possible to secure your professional future? To know that your career, with all its twists and turns, can withstand hardships and economic downfalls? This article will help you understand what it takes to insure your career security and avoid drifting along.

Don’t Do This

  • First, do not rely on external situations or other people for career security. For example, don’t count on that future job offer which may seem so obvious in the moment. Don’t count on that buddy to get your foot in the door. The reason is because outside circumstances and external people are very good at disappointing us. If possible, avoid any emotional dependence on things external to you (emotional needs, by the way, are best fulfilled by YOU).
  • Second, do not search for ‘stable’ or ‘secure’ jobs, companies or industries thinking you’ll be in ‘good’ shape. Nothing is guaranteed and nothing is stable (unless you appointed Supreme Court Justice or a tenured professor – those are quite stable). Again, if you are emotionally dependent on what you think is a stable or secure external, be prepared for disappointment at any time.
  • Third, do not blend your job identity with your self-identity (see Post #35). This is a dangerous and toxic combination. You are not your job. Your job is not you. Think of your job as a tool you use in life. It is a fluid, flexible, unpredictable resource that will help you attain your next endeavor. You are a living being with beliefs and energy; a career is simply a learning experience.

The Secret Ingredient

Plain and simple, your self-worth is the catalyst for your results, experiences and career security. That’s what it comes down to: self-worth. The degree to which you are confident, happy and fulfilled is proportional to your level of self-worth. Allow me to explain with a simple example.

Person A and Person B both work as designers with Company X. One day, they are unexpectedly laid off. Both must gather their personal belongings and be escorted out the building in front of everyone. 

Person A is devastated. Person A has never thought about their skills, talents, offerings, or branding. In addition, Person A always knew deep down it was a possibility they could be laid off. However, it was a scenario too painful to consider. It was too uncomfortable to be proactive and anticipate undesirable future events.

Therefore, Person A must scramble in a desperate attempt to find a new job ASAP while dreading the interview process … not a fun thing to do from a feeling of panic and low self-confidence!

Upgrade Yourself

Person B, however, has taken a much more proactive approach to their career journey. They regularly work on their wellbeing, admit personal strengths/weaknesses and recently completed an online professional development course, “Overcoming Career Constraints – What College Doesn’t Teach You.”

Person B understand that it’s not necessary to freak out or act in desperation. Person B knows they possess skills and talents other companies need and they are not afraid to speak highly of themselves. They have increased self-confidence and calmly understand the layoff was nothing personal … and they look forward to coherently finding the next open door!

Moreover, Person B has insured their future due to their willingness for self-exploration. They can confidently apply for jobs, interview, fail if necessary and continue the process with a drama-free mindset. They will not be discouraged by rejections, failures or mistakes. Person B also knows, thanks to my online course “Overcoming Career Constraints,” that employment is not required in order to fulfill career purpose.

In conclusion, the same situation produced a completely different experience for each individual due to their mindset around self-worth.

Do you want to know more about insuring your future? ALL are welcome to attend Class 1 for FREE on Sept. 15: Why You Are Held Back. Register now on my Events Page!

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

#53 Overcoming Career Constraints

July 30th, 2021 by

What would you give to resolve those lingering work constraints that stifle your productivity … or your growth? Anything from management to politics can contribute to career constraints. Here are three common issues I hear about in various flavors.

Career Stagnation

You look around to see people your age with similar experience who are higher up in the food chain. Perhaps you’ve tried moving up (or around) only to find yourself stuck for too long. You can’t seem to gain momentum. And in fact, you may not even know what momentum looks like for you. This type of career constraint is all about stagnation.

Your intellect can also suffer from stagnation. If you’re bored, unchallenged, or getting dumber over time, it’s not just you! This is an all-too common phenomena in the professional workplace. It is quite possible you’ve lost more knowledge than you care to admit. 

Nobody is exempt from career stagnation. It can follow you from job to job, industry to industry, or even into the classroom where the whole idea is to gain knowledge.

A critical reason professionals are feeling stuck is due to … 

Career Dependence

Do you wish you could just say NO at times? Or confront the customer who complains behind your back? Or tell your boss why they are wrong? 

Low self-confidence is the single, most common issue that brings people anxiety and discontentment in the workplace. And low self-confidence may lead to an unhealthy and self0limiting dependence on your employer. I have come to this conclusion based on two observations: my own experiences as a former engineer, and my own experiences as a coach.

Self-confidence is not to be confused with arrogance. Arrogance requires comparison to others; self-confidence does not. Arrogant thoughts may include, “I am better, I am smarter, I make more money than….” Whereas self-confidence is belief in yourself despite what others do or say.

I share my favorite definition of self confidence with you: the willingness to feel any emotion.

The person with low self-confidence is much more likely to be employer-dependent, overworked, and overwhelmed. It is as if the employer exudes power or control over your life. And it doesn’t have to be that way!

Career Purpose & Fulfillment

“This is not what I went to school for … they give me work that isn’t fulfilling … I need a better job.” 

Do these career constraints sound familiar? It might be tempting to believe that since you worked so hard in school and checked all the boxes, a nice reward awaits you. What we most likely didn’t learn in the classroom (I know I didn’t!) is that after checking all the boxes, things don’t always turn out as planned.

The problem is that we look to solve for purpose and fulfillment in the workplace. As odd as it may sound, employers are not required or obligated to fulfill the emotional needs of its employees. If you know of a company that does so, please let me know!

The reason this is a problem is because people look for solutions where they don’t exist (like looking for apples in the dairy section). After many futile attempts, people may become depressed, despondent, resentful or worse.

If you suffer from some or all of these issues, I am offering a fall course to help you defeat them: Overcoming Career Constraints – What College Doesn’t Teach You

Visit my Events Page to register FREE for Class 1 starting Sept. 15!

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and to ask me about free strategy sessions for your career!

#52 What is an Engineering Life Coach?

July 16th, 2021 by

Many of you have not dealt with or investigated the art and science of life coaching. Therefore, I will clear the air and explain the concept of how I help people as an engineering life coach.

What is a Life Coach?

At its most fundamental level, a life coach is guide that helps a person upgrade their life. Just as a swimming coach helps a swimmer improve their swimming techniques, a life coach helps a person improve living techniques.

Sounds simple, right? Well, you might be wondering, “what the heck does that look like, and why would I need that?”

Again, to keep things simple, the coaching process involves a lot of thought dissection. You start to unravel deeply held beliefs and convictions. Then, I guide you to change any beliefs and convictions that don’t serve a positive purpose in your life. (Quick example of a belief I’ve helped someone change: “I have to do everything my boss tell me to do.”)

What is an Engineering Life Coach?

As an engineering life coach specifically, I work with engineers and other STEM professionals who crave change or improvement. They practice higher levels of life management for optimal living. Everyone acquires results that are unique to their own issues.

For example, you might need guidance with a major life decision, whereas your colleague may need help with self-confidence in the workplace. After my guidance, your specific result translates to your making a solid and coherent decision. The colleague next to you, after my guidance, will have learned how to conquer fears, increase self-worth, and maximize their potential.

As an engineering life coach, professionals come to me for reasons such as, “I don’t know if I want to stay in engineering” or “I am not appreciated at work,” or “management doesn’t know how to manage.” The list of issues goes on (See Post #48).

What Does Coaching Look Like?

This is a two-part answer. But let me start by spelling out what my style of coaching does NOT look like.

It does not mean I:

  • provide advice
  • act as a mentor
  • take your side
  • act as a friend
  • advise you based on my own experiences
  • practice spiritual awakening

Part of my process involves your answering tough questions to get to the root. As an unbiased facilitator, I allow you the space to honestly answer without judgment. In doing so, I pose questions you wouldn’t normally think to ask yourself.

In other words, I offer helpful perspectives that would never dawn on you.

The second part of my process includes teaching concepts, lessons, and theories that you can apply in the short term and take with you forever.

Like magic, you discover answers to your own issues. This self-discovery process would not be possible without an trained facilitator like me as an engineering life coach. I have been taught a system to help you transform your life for the better.

Do you want to know more? Contact me for free coaching sessions!

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and to ask me about free strategy sessions for your career!

#48 Five Workplace Lessons to Elevate Your Career

May 21st, 2021 by

Whether novice, veteran or somewhere in between, listed here are 5 critical workplace lessons for optimal career health and professional success.

No. 1 Employers Don’t Guarantee Happiness

One of the most impactful workplace lessons for you to know is that employers don’t ‘make’ people happy. Employer roles do not include cultivating nor sustaining your happiness.. 

The role of your employer is to provide work instructions so you can fulfill part of their business objectives. You produce output and they compensate. It’s a mutually beneficial agreement to create a working partnership.

At no point in time, at least not that I’ve ever heard, do employers promise happiness. To further this point, they are not responsible for your development, your growth or your professional status. Once you sign on the dotted line, you agree to fulfill your employee role; they agree to pay based on their own standards and criteria.

Hence, it is a grave mistake for anyone to assume or expect an employer keep them happy. As I’ve exclaimed before, “it’s not your job’s job to make you happy.” You will only set yourself to be disappointed!

No. 2 Rely on Yourself, Not Your Employer

Referring to Lesson No. 1, your employer’s role is to compensate you for your output, subject to their definition of compensation.

They unfortunately have no obligation to inform you of upcoming RIFs, transformations or new business objectives. Therefore, it is great habit for you to rely on YOU in case work goes south. If, for whatever reason, you find yourself out of a job, a reliance on yourself will provide a healthy, practical activity that is completely within your control.

Therefore, be more proactive in your career journey. I recommend Blog #33 about your Employability Vault. This article spells out a strategy and steps to help you get started with proactive preparations as a fallback plan.

I have seen too many devastated faces at work. You never know what is going on behind the scenes. The Employability Vault is your go-to mental workout, whether work is going great or not going at all.

Lesson No. 3 Behaviors Project Self-Worth

This perhaps may be one of the best workplace lessons for your self-confidence. The lesson is that other people, in general, say and act in manners that reflect the way they feel about themselves.

This is important for two reasons. First, when others point fingers, talk smack, or berate colleagues, they are exposing their insecurities. An individual who is disappointed or unhappy deep down will project this negativity onto others through their interactions. Similarly, a person who is highly confident and appreciative of who they are will treat others accordingly.  

Secondly, this applies to you, too! How you feel about yourself is an indication of the most important relationship you will ever have – the relationship with YOU.

Therefore, what others think about you is really not about you. It is more about their own personal experiences, successes, failures… and what they believe about themselves. What others think of you is directly related to their own sense of self-worth. Hurt people hurt other people. 

The lesson here is to not take disagreements or nasty comments about you so seriously. At the same time, if you find yourself judging someone, redirect that judgment inward to assess your own insecurity.

Lesson No. 4 There is No ‘Right’ Career Path

“What is my right career path?” is a question that plagues many professionals at all experience levels. And the reason it plagues is because this question is a self-limiting, negative question to ask.

“What is the right path” implies there is one right and several wrong answers. We live in a culture that teaches us decisions are generally ‘right or wrong,’ ‘good or bad.’ Therefore, this awful question produces unreasonable pressure for you to choose the right one.

What if there were no such thing as a ‘wrong’ career path? Picture this – you sell the house, move the family out of state, start over at a new company only to find out you hate it. Most people might claim, “that was the wrong career move.” But I beg to differ!

Can you be open to the idea that there is much value in all experiences? What I mean is, you lived through a process that did not produce the outcome you had hoped for. During this time, you experienced things, people and places you had never before known. You tried a new job, new employer, and new culture. Is it helpful and self-serving for you to know that it wasn’t a good fit?

Yes, absolutely, without a doubt it was a learning experience. Just because the job or employer wasn’t a good fit doesn’t mean it was wasted energy. It is just as important to know what you don’t like as it is to know what you do!

Lesson No. 5 Dream Jobs are Created, Not Found

This may be the most enlightening of the workplace lessons mentioned here. I never knew that a dream job was something I needed to create. It was never ‘out there’ to be found, as if part of some scavenger hunt. No wonder I could never find it!?

So, stop searching for your dream job. Stop meticulously analyzing job descriptions out of vigilant fear that they may not fit your ‘dream job’ criteria. And stop beating yourself up because you want more out of your professional life.

Instead, realize that if you want external greatness, you must generate internal greatness first.

I am going to include a phenomenal quote by musical genius Quincy Jones:

“Love, trust and respect.

Your music can never be more or less than you are as a human being. That’s the bottom line.

So you work on being a good human being first, even before a good musician.”

The lesson learned here is that if you want great, be great. Your job can only ever be as great as you are.

Which of the 5 lessons are holding you back? Let me know in the Contact Page!

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

#46 “I’m Tired of the Grind”

April 23rd, 2021 by

“I’m tired of the grind.”

“I feel like all I do is work, take care of the house, take care of the kids.”

Between demanding meetings, virtual work drama and external home responsibilities, your’e tired. But what is a person to do … you have financial, professional and personal commitments. It’s not so easy for most to just ‘land’ a new job or up and move to shake things up.

Here, I offer mental wellness tips to help yourself get out of your head and become more grounded.

I’m Tired of the Grind = I’m Tired of My Life

You may never state aloud “I’m tired of my life” to anyone or to yourself. People may assume the worst, like you’re lazy, ungrateful or you’re a bad parent. But stating “I’m tired of the grind” is easier. It’s safe and feels more neutral. However, the meanings of these two phrases can stem from the same place: a desire for change, wanting some things to be different than they are.

You tell yourself, “If only I had a better job … less responsibilities … smarter colleagues who work as hard as me … etc.” The list can go on, and I’m positive that you extroverts have been particularly affected by COVID. I personally know many extroverts who feel stuck and isolated working from home, as if in solitary confinement.

While tempting to dream of a different, better life, I offer a word of caution. That caution is to recognize when you resist reality. Resisting reality can take many forms; common examples are statements that start with:

  • I just want (more time in the day)
  • I wish (my job weren’t so boring)
  • Things would be better if (my kids listened to me)
  • Life would be better if (I could travel again)
  • If only COVID would go away (things would be normal)
  • I can’t wait until (I get my raise)
  • I’m tired of always having to (clean up messes)
  • If only people would (do the responsible thing)
  • I’d be happier if (I could take a vacation)

You get the drift. These classic mental examples of wishfully thinking are what it looks like to resist reality. Now why is that important to know?

Permission to be Human

As you recognize and acknowledge wishful thinking, i.e. resisting reality, you also come to understand its impact: how it makes you feel. And when you connect the dots between resisting reality and feeling miserable about it, you take ownership.

Why would I want to take ownership over wishfully thinking? Because ownership equals authority.

Whether emotions, thoughts or home projects, taking ownership (i.e. responsibility/accountability) opens up the mind to creative authority over the issue. Thought ownership is a bold practice of coming to terms with yourself, promoting separation of thought from the thinker.

After separating thoughts from the thinker, you pleasingly discover it’s okay to be human.

When you give yourself permission to be human, a sort of magic happens. You impartially allow thoughts to exist without judgement. There is no guilt or shame when admitting, ‘it’s true, my life would be easier without kids’, or ‘I’d rather not cover for my sick colleague,’ etc.

Authority, or thought ownership, is the ability to embrace thoughts and allow space for them to flow with NO self-judgment. And this opens the door to enlightenment.

Enlightenment is Freedom

Enlightenment, if you were to google, has myriad definitions. I’m going to use my favorite definition of enlightenment thanks to the Happiness Podcast by clinical psychologist Dr. Robert Puff: enlightenment is the radical acceptance of what is.

Enlightenment is the radical acceptance of what is. Let’s recap – How do you lead yourself to enlightenment? How can you get away from, “I’m tired of the grind?”

One, recognize thoughts and moments when you resist reality. Two, own them. Create distance between thoughts and the thinker. Three, permit the thinker to exist as a human with zero self-judgment. 

Finally, as a last step, I encourage you to embrace the below statements with an open mind. Which resonates the most, and how you can work with the ‘grind’ instead of against it?

  • I’m starting to realize that every person has their own grind to manage for themselves.
  • It is true there are ways in which I can change my grind, but I choose not to.
  • Others would love to have my grind over their own.
  • I’m open to believing that managing my grind will someday pay off and I will be grateful.
  • It’s a privilege for me to navigate my own grind.

Let me know which one resonates the most and how you can work with the ‘grind’ instead of against it?

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

#39 How to Have More Control

January 15th, 2021 by

Are you frustrated living at the effect of others? Feeling helpless or out of control? This article offers a way to start and build upon a foundation so you can have more control in life. I share three basic questions for you to answer when life hands you lemons. The better you can answer, the more control you will have.

What do I Know for Sure?

This is an insightful question that will open your eyes like you never imagined. The reason is because we often believe some things (or a lot of things) are true when they are not. There is a critical distinction between what you believe to be true versus what is true.

For example, you may believe, “My boss is out to get me, I’m not treated fairly.” The reason you believe this to be true, perhaps, is because you have evidence. It appears your boss reprimands you for mistakes, doesn’t approve vacation requests, and didn’t give you a raise. Thus, your logical conclusion is that the boss is targeting you unfairly.

Let’s pause for a moment, and ask, “what do I know for sure?”

Do you know unequivocally for sure the boss is out to get you? Actually, no, you don’t. That is a conclusion your mind has drawn up. Is it unequivocally true you are treated unfairly? Let’s dissect fairness – what is fair and how does it apply to everyone?

Does the boss reprimand you only for your mistakes and not others … has the boss ever denied others’ vacation requests … could there be a reasonable explanation you were the only one denied a raise?

This exercise, “what do I know for sure?” will help you shed light on your self-talk, which could become self-destructive if not put in check. It is a starter question that will springboard your way to having more control.

How Can I Help?

This is a beautiful question. It helps your mind break out of the victim or blaming mindset. “But I am a victim!” you might quip. “But it was so-and-so’s fault!” Those beliefs resemble a kind of self-pity, poor-me mentality that fuels negative energy. Negative energy leads to negative actions. I recommend avoiding counterproductive self-talk. It is an easy path, requiring little resistance that promotes downward spirals.

Instead, if you’d like to have more control in your life, I recommend a different path. The path this more difficult and could make your brain hurt. Find answers to, “how can I help?”

Referring to the example above, suppose your boss is out to get you. Suppose you believe this to be a fact. “How can I help?” will get your gears turning in a more positive direction. I am not claiming you go to extremes and try to be best friends. However, I guarantee you can dig deep and find small ways to impact the situation.

“How can I help?” may invoke a variety of answers. It could translate to your job efforts, your timeliness, your communications, maybe even the way you carry yourself. This question does not imply you are at fault or that you’re doing things the wrong way.

It is a positive question that opens the mind to exploring positive actions.

What Does Great Look Like?

When question 1 and 2 seem futile, you can try answering, “what does great look like?” We all want to be great, right? We all want to do great things and make great impacts, don’t we? This question is another way to have more control.

When you’re in a tough situation and it feels like the only way is down, think about greatness. Think about how you could create greatness with available resources. I’m not stating you must solve all problems, and you certainly can’t solve other people’s problems.

I am suggesting you find a way to start small. Maybe creating greatness could mean smiling more. It could mean asking the colleague who hates you if they need anything. Using the example above, it could mean calmly sharing your evidence with the boss to maturely discuss your concerns.

The uplifting impact these three questions can generate are far superior to the negative impacts caused by dwelling or self-pity. Another reason I recommend these three questions is because they are open-ended, ready to be tailored by you and for you. There are no right or wrong answers.

You can have more control in your life, and it starts by answering the three questions above. I am not taking credit for these questions. They originate from a phenomenal TedX Talk by therapist, leadership expert and drama researcher Cy Wakeman. I encourage you to watch as she eloquently explains the nature of these power questions.

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

#38 Workplace Bullying, Part II

January 1st, 2021 by

In Part I, we explored various definitions of and reasons why bullying happens at work. In Part II, you are presented with options along with reminders tips if you are being bullied at work.

Bullied At Work: Your Options

Here are some options you can consider if you are bullied at work. There is no one-solution fits all. Clearly, your decision to deal with bullying depends on your physical and mental health, as well as your level of self-confidence.

While you cannot control another person’s behaviors, you can control the manner in which you respond. Here are some considerations as you decide how to move forward:

  • Challenge your bully – it may be uncomfortable, especially if you like to avoid conflict, but it is a chance to let the bully know you are on to him (or her). It is also a chance, given you are alone in a conference room, to ask them what they hope to accomplish by bullying you. Make them articulate the answer.
  • Documentation – it can be tricky to gather hard evidence if you are bullied at work. On the surface, emails and verbal comments may seem innocuous to outsiders. My suggestions if you want to start a paper trail: 1) summarize each individual meeting, conversation or interaction with the perpetrator, 2) send these summaries to all who were present, 3) request any objections to your summary be emailed back to you, 4) repeat until everyone has concurred. This could be timely but worthy if you are trying to gather evidence.
  • Direct management – do you trust your immediate manager enough to voice your concerns? If so, voice them cautiously. From the manager’s perspective, you may come across as whiney or entitled. The last thing a manager wants is to diffuse a personality conflict among employees. Therefore, your direct management may do what it takes to make this go away; be prepared to not like the response.
  • Indirect management – do you dare go above your immediate manager and voice your concerns to upper management? If your direct supervision is part of the problem … then, perhaps the answer is yes. Again, do so cautiously. Chances are that upper management does not want to hear about personality problems with subordinates. In their minds, they don’t get paid to perform conflict resolution. Prepare yourself for undesirable outcomes.
  • Colleagues, friends, family – perhaps venting is okay once or twice, but put yourself in their shoes. When you consistently vent that you are bullied at work, yet you do not help the issue, you will turn people off. They will stop listening or avoid you. Take precaution if opening up to colleagues! You never know who they rub elbows with when you are not around, and your complaints could backfire.
  • Bring a business case to HR – if you think HR is the route for you, listen up. Document and calculate dollars lost due to the bullying. For example, how much time are you not working during the day due to the bullying? How much time is the bully not working due to the bullying? Tally your sick days and doctor visits. Which projects or assignments have been late due to your distress? Chances are, walking into an HR office with a list of complaints won’t get their attention. However, providing a list of estimated dollars lost makes for a stronger case.

*As an aside, I happen to think it is ludicrous for any HR office to turn a blind eye to bullying complaints. It is tragic if they show no empathy for your human feelings; dollars lost should be a trivial matter.

  • Legal counsel – if this is the route for you, then prepare to pay. You will pay with your time and your money. I caution you to not get attached to a positive outcome. Lawyers are not magicians. Sometimes, all the money in the world cannot buy the outcome you’d like.
  • Therapy – per psychologytoday.com, the definition of therapy is: Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy or usually just “therapy,” is a form of treatment aimed at relieving emotional distress and mental health problems. Provided by any of a variety of trained professionals—psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or licensed counselors—it involves examining and gaining insight into life choices and difficulties faced by individuals, couples, or families.
  • Quit – and hope your next work environment is friendly.
  • Life Coach – what I teach as a life coach is a critical meta skill that can be applied to any area of your life. It is the skill of recognizing and reframing your thoughts/beliefs to a manageable state for a healthy, coherent life. In other words, I teach you the art of adapting your brain’s beliefs to life circumstances, which liberates you from futile attempts to seek out the ‘right’ situations.

Career Purpose

We go to work because it provides a living: salary, benefits, retirement, promotions, etc. However, if these are the end goals of your career, you may be missing the whole point. While these features are wonderful, they are merely byproducts, or results, of your career. They are not the purpose of your work.

The purpose of your career is:

  • Service: contribution toward something greater than you as an individual … for the sake of serving
  • Development: evolve your skills and progress your character by defeating obstacles and challenges
  • Legacy: manipulate your authentic skills to impact a job/company and leave it in a better position than when you started

Having stated this, everyone’s challenge is to fulfill this career purpose despite circumstances, despite negativity, despite bullies.

There is something magical about showing up, serving, performing your best, and rising above the attacks. But, this requires stamina, courage and high self-confidence.

If you are bullied at work and it’s overwhelming and you fear for your well being, take action to stop the bleeding. Careers are fluid and unpredictable, your health is priceless.  

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

#37 Workplace Bullying, Part I

December 18th, 2020 by

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, more than 60 million working people in the United States are affected by bullying.

About 70 percent of bullies are male, and about 30 percent are female. Both male and female bullies are more likely to target women. Sixty-one percent of bullying comes from bosses or supervisors. Thirty-three percent comes from co-workers (see healthline.com article).

Bullying is different from harassment, because harassment implies an offense that occurred against a protected class of people. There are no laws against workplace bullying in the United States.

Bullying Defined

Workplace bullying can be tricky to define, as it spans many overt and indescribable activities. It is also subjective, which makes bullying more difficult to prove.

According to healthline.com, workplace bullying shows itself in different ways:

  • Verbal – This could include mockery, humiliation, jokes, gossip, or other spoken abuse.
  • Intimidating – This might include threats, social exclusion in the workplace, spying, or other invasions of privacy.
  • Related to work performance – Examples include wrongful blame, work sabotage or interference, or stealing or taking credit for ideas.
  • Retaliatory – In some cases, talking about the bullying can lead to accusations of lying, further exclusion, refused promotions, or other retaliation.
  • Institutional – Institutional bullying happens when a workplace accepts, allows, and even encourages bullying to take place. This bullying might include unrealistic production goals, forced overtime, or singling out those who can’t keep up. 

Follow-up examples include:

  • targeted practical jokes
  • being purposely misled about work duties, like incorrect deadlines or unclear directions
  • continued denial of requests for time off without an appropriate or valid reason 
  • threats, humiliation, and other verbal abuse
  • excessive performance monitoring 
  • overly harsh or unjust criticism

My favorite workplace bullying definition is quoted in this monster.com article: “Workplace bullying is psychological violence.”

How do Bullies Get Away With It?

Per this article from themuse.com, bullies are often high performers. They might be a top salesperson who brings in huge deals worth millions. Whatever it is, they’re bringing value to the company, which means the company has an incentive to keep them onboard (and happy). 

Some bullies also work to ingratiate themselves to their superiors (and perhaps their peers, too). Doing so as they abuse one or more of the folks they oversee or work with. Put all that together, and instead of being held accountable for their bullying behavior, they might be getting rewarded with praise, raises, or promotions. And you might be all the more intimidated by the prospect of casting a shadow on such a star.

The reality is that most bullying situations (77% according to WBI’s survey) end in the target leaving their job, whether because they got fed up and quit or they ended up getting fired.

What bullies have in common, whether on the playground or in the workplace, is insecurity. All forms of bullying originate from internal insecurities. When bullies refuse to accept or fix their insecurities, they are driven to overcompensate by treating others terribly.

Because, after all, if you look bad at work, it makes those around you look good.

Workplace bullying is real, it’s prevalent (whether COVID or not), and it can have deleterious effects on the target. Part II explores what your options may look like if you are the unfair target of workplace bullying.

#36 Searching for Your Dream Job?

December 4th, 2020 by

Of course you are searching for your dream job! That’s what we do in our culture. You grew up in a world that rewards you with a dream job in exchange for that rigorous college degree. Almost as if you are entitled.

Off to the Races

To your dismay, that dream job has been elusive during your 5-, 10-, or 20-year career. Where the heck is it, you wonder, and how do I find it? You’ve realized that job hopping only lasts so long. Unfortunately, you’ve also realized that you cannot assess a job until you live it.

You are meticulous about picking apart job descriptions. And you are an expert at eliminating jobs that don’t sound perfect. You ask great questions in your interviews. Informational interviews are standard practice. Of course, you always insist on meeting your new prospective boss before accepting a new job. 

You’re doing all the right things. Yet, here you are, begrudgingly searching for your dream job. The perfect one that offers reasonable challenges, superb benefits, and a stellar team with true leadership. Whatever your definition, you’re not finding it. And it is a maddening race you cannot win.

Professional Scavenger Hunt

The myriad counselors, advisors, teachers, and professors have tried their best to guide you. It is not their fault that, after all this time, you are still searching for your dream job. Nor is it your fault. You can only act based on the information at hand.

The missing piece is that you attract what you are, not what you want. If you want great, be great.

If you are unsettled, if you are wishy-washy, if you are uncertain, that is the kind of job (and career) you will attract. Accepting a job with hope, wishful thinking, or high expectations is a surefire way to set yourself up for disappointment. For example, if you resentfully go to work, your work and your output will be resentful. If you force yourself to go to work, your work and your output will be forced.

However, the flip side is also true. If you are proud, confident, or happy before you accept your new job, then the job will follow accordingly. The point is that dream jobs are not something to be found, as if they are part of a professional scavenger hunt. Dream jobs don’t hang around awaiting the perfect person to whisk them away akin to a fairy tale ending.

Dream jobs are created. They are created by people who are great within themselves. Great cannot be found out there in the external world; it is something you foster within your being. The secret to a dream job is to nurture this great relationship with yourself first. Alas, paving the way for you to create your dream job.

Dream jobs are created by you, they are not out there to be found.

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

#32 Do You Doubt Your Engineering Career?

October 9th, 2020 by

It’s okay if you read this blog post, you’re not crazy. One of the most difficult revelations you can admit as an engineer is that you are in doubt. You doubt your engineering career. And it is agonizing. Given the student loans, diligent studying, and wishful thinking, your engineering path leaves much to be desired.

Greener Pastures

You had myriad expectations as an engineering student. Perhaps you experienced phenomenal internships with spectacular mentors. And it’s possible you landed what you thought was going to be your dream job. Or, maybe you didn’t land a dream job. Maybe your credentials allowed for an opening into your dream company.

Somehow, the honeymoon phase faded away and now you doubt your engineering career. Your day-to-day is mundane without a clear future among too many supercilious people. The little secret you carry around is that your disappointment has led to job hunting.

Heaven forbid certain individuals find out, i.e. your colleagues or your boss!

This scenario is not what you envisioned years ago. You always believed your engineering career was going to be fulfilling and exciting, with much opportunity for growth and advancement (see Post #25). Now, you painfully doubt your career choice and contemplate moving on to greener pastures, if only you knew where to find them.

A Painful Way to Live

Believing you worked so hard only to question your choices can lead to a bitterly exhausting life. However, the first thing you ought to know is that this is a common dilemma among many engineers. You are not weird. There is nothing wrong with you. Many engineers question their purpose and their future. At times, they blindly throw darts and hope to hit something of value.

Secondly, it sure is tempting to switch jobs, careers or even industries. There are many opportunities out there and you may feel like you are missing out. The logical urge is to leave your current situation behind in search of a better life.

You don’t know if the grass is greener until you get there. Then, what will you do if the grass is brown? How many times will you start over in search of a better outcome?

Third, and most importantly, is that career doubt is a derivative of self-doubt. When you doubt your engineering career, you are placing blame. Regardless of who or what you blame, this career doubt correlates to your being out of touch with yourself. The question is, how much?

If you can better understand the reasons why you do the things you do, the reasons why you think the way you think, pieces of the puzzle will fall into place. Career doubt is simply the symptom of a bigger issue.

Maybe engineering isn’t where you belong, maybe it is. My function is to help you figure this out. Do not delay any longer. Send me a note about your contemplation, and we can work to figure out how engineering should fit into your life: gina@deliberatedoing.com.

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

#26 Is COVID Leaving you Stuck?

July 17th, 2020 by

What does one do when you find yourself stuck in a dismal job because of the tight market? How do you maneuver a new career when negative headlines constantly feed into your mind? If COVID is leaving you stuck, it is time to construct some relevant facts so you quit wasting brain power on futile activities.

The Facts

Fact 1: You own the most powerful asset on the planet.

This tool is capable of solving the most desperate, dire problems in your life. In general, society does not emphasize the need to take care of it or to feed it with constant upgrades. This tool requires attention, nurturing, and exercise to enable forward progression.

It is called your brain, and I challenge you to think about the last time you fed your brain meaningful nourishment. If you want your brain to perform at its best, you must feed it the most empowering information possible. And by the way, that does not include the news media (see Post #17).

Fact 2: Humans cannot evolve or advance without obstacles.

Imagine a life that includes constant bliss and happiness because everything goes your way, exactly as planned. Picture a life that offered zero problems at work with a perfect home life awaiting your charmed arrival. Is this a life you wish for, one in which you would never even know you’re happy?

The fact of the matter is that, despite our feelings, humans need challenges and obstacles. They contribute to our progression as a species. That is, after all, the purpose of our being: to evolve by overcoming perils. The more challenging our obstacles, the more we progress.

Fact 3: There are numerous free resources at your disposal.

As an avid LinkedIn user, I encounter varieties of people who offer services for free. Whether you’re looking for a career coach, a business strategist, strength-finders, communication experts, interviewing hints, job application tips, etc., the resources are innumerable. And that does not include the other socials.

If COVID is leaving you stuck in your current situation, take advantage of the plentiful help available online. For starters, I always offer free life coaching to help you get a jump start out of misery into your next endeavor.

I’m here to assist your mental wellbeing. Simply send me an email: gina@deliberatedoing.com

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

#24 Did your Employer Break a Promise to You?

June 19th, 2020 by

“It’s better to receive a smaller raise now so you can get a bigger raise later!” Have you heard, “Working 60+ hours a week without overtime is an opportunity for you to shine.” I could go on as you nod your head yes, but you get it. This common rhetoric is no laughing matter. How are you supposed to be a motivated, impactful employee when your employer breaks a promise to you?

A Grain of Salt

Imagine a time when your friend, spouse or loved one make a promise they didn’t keep. Were you devastated or disappointed? In hindsight, you might be able to see the signs clearly and you can’t believe you were so naïve. On the other hand, some people keep their promises. And you know you can count on them.

What about when your employer breaks a promise to you? First, for anyone to break a promise, a promise must be established up front. This is tricky and the nuances can be inconspicuous. Secondly, if your employer clearly makes a promise to you, it is your choice to believe or disbelieve. Sadly, employees tend towards believing the promise and simply hoping for the best. Lesson learned is that sometimes promises should be skeptically received with a grain of salt. Or several grains of salt.

Who Needs Promises

Where does that leave you, what are your options when your employer breaks a promise to you (see Post #21)? Rewind back to the point when your manager made this so-called promise. It was your self-obligation to decide if this promise was believable. Do you know how to find out if a promise is believable? You request the conditions in writing, to be signed by management. When the signed agreement is in your possession, congratulations, you have yourself a promise! If they don’t agree to their promise in writing … well, you can form your own conclusion.

Your management, by the way, is within their rights to tell you what they think you want to hear. They can promise the moon. The point is that people tell you things all the time. Your self-obligation is to use the best judgment and decide whether to believe. It’s a crappy road when your employer breaks a promise to you. The wrong question is, ”How could they do that to me?” The critical questions are, “Why did I want to believe their promise in the first place? How is it I put myself in that position?”

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

#23 Life Coaching Misconceptions

June 5th, 2020 by

I do not tell people what to do, I don’t offer advice and I’m not a therapist. Rather, I guide people down the path to discover answers for themselves. Life coaching misconceptions can deter you from this life-changing process; I will discuss two false beliefs.

My purpose as a life coach is to introduce people to themselves. You believe certain things about the world around you; you believe certain things about yourself. I hold up a mirror, ask you to reflect and I take your brain to places it has not been. The purpose of getting coached is that you get out of your own head, expand your myriad opportunities and become grounded so as to think in useful terms (see Post #18). This process transforms you into an emotionally mature, self-confident thinker who makes purposeful decisions. I’d like to clear up two common life coaching misconceptions in an attempt to be transparent with my coaching style. Note, I cannot speak for other life coaches; I speak for my own practice.

Myth 1: “We should be happy all the time.”
Accuracy: There is no good without the bad.

One hundred percent happiness is not an idea that I teach to my clients, nor do I believe it to be true. This is a typical life coaching misconception. In fact, my stance is that there is no good without the bad, there is no great without awful, and there is no happy without the sad. Part of our human experience includes contrast. It is a given that we are going to experience the full spectrum of emotional contrasts during our lives.

What my life coaching offers you is the ability to handle the awful parts of life and enjoy the positives. It teaches you how to think in a self-serving way despite your negative circumstances. You learn how to process emotions. When you understand where your emotions come from, you can use them to your advantage. Emotions are the fuel for our lives. Everything you do and say stems from the emotions stirring up inside you.

Myth 2: “We should set goals and achieve them so we can be happy.” Accuracy: Reward is found in the journey, not the destination.

This life coaching misconception may leave you curious. Our typical society leads most of us to believe achievement is essential to our wellbeing. For example, it’s good to achieve a stellar grade point average, a high salary, a stable job, or a large house because that is what success ‘looks like’. We are fed messages throughout our lives that the achievement of tangibles or intangibles equates to happiness.

I teach my clients that while achievement can be a great thing, it is not the end all be all. This is true because after having achieved that wonderful goal or item, you think about the next one and you are left wanting more. When you derive fulfillment purely from the end achievement, you will never gain long-term satisfaction. Rather, you will be left with another empty void to fill.

The purpose of goals, my friends, is not to achieve happiness. Whether you achieve the goal itself is irrelevant! The purpose is to take yourself on an uncomfortable, demanding, self-discovery with bumps and traps along with way. Strategizing a way through obstacles is what forces you to grow and evolve. The harder the journey, the higher the reward. Achievement of a goal is simply a fun byproduct; the true reward comes from conquering your grueling obstacles.

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

#22 Have Trouble Saying No?

May 22nd, 2020 by

Do you find yourself saying yes when you secretly want to say no? Such as when your boss asks for your expertise on a thick draft knowing your plate is full. Or, an overseas customer would like your participation on a 4am conference call, at their convenience. You have trouble saying no and subsequently oblige because this is part of the job. Right?

The Dilemma

As a diligent, dependable employee, you have trouble saying no, whether in response to unreasonable requests or small favors. First, you welcome challenges that allow you to contribute solid results. Second, you feel pressured. After all, what were to happen if you said no? The only way to find out what would happen is to start saying no, but you don’t want to take the chance. Instead, you overcommit yourself to the point of exhaustion.

People-pleasers, those that have trouble saying no, reluctantly say yes at their own expense to gain favor with someone else. You are painfully aware that you don’t want to provide a service. Then you regretfully spend energy to perform this service, stealing your time away from things that matter. To add to your frustrations, you end up resenting the person for whom you provided this service. At the end of the day, you bitterly ask yourself why you have trouble saying no.

Internal Versus External Approval

Your justifications for saying yes will vary from, “they might fire me” to, “I can’t say no.” Whatever your reasons, they are rooted from the same issue: fear. You fear for your reputation, your job and your confidence (See Post #04). Fear can a powerful influential force, and others may use your fear to their own advantage.

Your fears are born from an inability to gain internal approval – you struggle to please yourself. You see, when an unwilling yes translates to gaining others’ approval, you are filling a void. This void includes a lack of self-respect and a lack of internal satisfaction with yourself. You fill this void by pleasing others, i.e., you strive for external approval. When colleagues, friends or bosses are happy with your capitulation, the urge to gain internal satisfaction ceases. Your deep-rooted fear grows over time as you consistently seek external approval.

You must be willing to be disliked by others so you can like yourself. Boss included.

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

#21 Do you Work with Incompetent Leadership?

May 8th, 2020 by

They have screwed up again. As you finished telling your colleague about a terrible management decision, leadership makes another bad call. You’re astonished at how some of them obtained their positions in the first place. More importantly, you wonder how long the company can sustain such ignorance. You keep asking, “How am I supposed to work with incompetent leadership?”

Truth or Narrative

Imagine asking every living adult if your leadership made a horrible decision. They will reply with yes, no, maybe and everything in between. Unless everyone were to agree that your management is incompetent, it’s only a belief you hold. Here’s another way to think about it: can you prove it in court? It is probable you are creating a narrative from which you feed if a court would not accuse your leadership of incompetency.

We have our own definitions of good versus bad leadership. Good to me is bad to you and vice-versa. When you are explicit about sharing your opinions, you are reinforcing a thought that feeds your mind. It is a subjective belief stirring about: “I have to work with incompetent leadership.” I challenge you to recognize your thinking and take ownership of your beliefs.

The Issue

Perhaps your leadership is incompetent; that is truly not the issue at heart. The stinging question you can ponder for yourself is, “How is this belief helping me?” What is the upside to believing you must deal with incompetent leadership, how is that thought moving you forward?

Life is easier when leadership makes decisions in your favor. When management decisions translate to a burdensome life, it seems logical to point the finger. However, consider opening up to alternate perspectives. For example, management decides on XYZ and it poses some unusual challenges. This is a perfect scenario to teach you about yourself, if you are willing (See Post #18). Can you be open to believing this is a teaching moment? What if this needed to happen as a catalyst for your self-development…is that possible?

Allow some self-compassion and mental space to be curious about your beliefs. You are like a player consistently trying out for your own life. Your attitude towards leadership is a function of how you feel about yourself.

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

#19 COVID Effects: Do you Secretly Wish to be Laid Off?

April 10th, 2020 by

Restaurants are only permitted to serve takeout, students must adjust to online learning and employees find themselves working from home. If they’re working at all. Many service and professional workers have been pushed out of their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You feel sympathy for the newly unemployed as they scramble to figure things out. However, in the midst of their unwelcome unemployment, you secretly wish to be laid off.

Old Problem Solved

In your mind, a forced layoff means you get to sever ties without submitting your 2 weeks’ notice. That solves many problems for you! First, it provides an easy explanation during future job interviews. “They laid me off due to COVID downsizing” seems to take responsibility away from you as the employee.

Second, your spouse has no control over your being laid off. If only your employer let you go, you wouldn’t have to convincingly persuade your spouse that your time is up. The third issue a layoff will resolve is your reticent desire to get the heck out of that place. You can create long list of reasons why it’s time to leave; or, perhaps you’re holding on to one significant reason. Your bottom line: secretly wishing to be laid off paves the easy way to other, more satisfying employment.

New Problem

My challenge to you: how will you handle similar circumstances in your new place of employment? Imagine this: pretend you eventually find a better job with a better salary and a better commute (see Post #08). You’re as happy as can be for several months – this is what you’ve always sought in a career… until it’s not.

How would you handle your new circumstance if, let’s say, one day you learn the company is sold? How would you handle a new boss, a reassignment to a new program, or a round of salary cuts? When a career checks all the boxes and life is well, you’re not challenged to evolve, grow or to practice self-awareness. It’s an insidious deceit for all of us when life operates as a well-oiled machine.

Adaptability

Even a well-oiled machine wears down and requires maintenance. Just when you believe that new job is perfect and meets all your requirements, one day you’ll find that it doesn’t. Will you then think about searching for the next one?

When you next job isn’t what you thought, are you going to secretly wish to be laid off again? A layoff (or a new job) may temporarily provide relief from current career woes. The best long-term solution, however, is to work on your mental adaptability skills. You will be a happier, more productive and resilient person if you adapt your brain to job circumstances rather than forcing job circumstances to adapt to your brain.

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

#18 Are You Coachable?

March 27th, 2020 by

There comes a time when you must admit you cannot figure something out – yes you! Will you persist and continue to try on your own, will you give up or will you ask for help? It’s a basic premise, but I encourage you to open yourself up to being coached by others.

You Decide: are you Coachable?

Are you coachable and why does it matter? I’ve seen unnecessary competition between colleagues in the office or on the shop floor. People who resist others’ suggestions or advice may feel threatened or inadequate. If you are willing to listen, to receive suggestions and to be wrong, then you are coachable.

I challenge you to think about recent struggles and your willingness to face personal deficiencies. This vulnerable willingness allows you to accept the fact that others have knowledge you don’t. A coachable person is comfortable leaning on others and hearing multiple perspectives. As a result, coachable people gain wisdom and further their own knowledge base.

A Snapshot of Coaching

If you are open to being coached, here is a small taste of what it looks like. First, talk less and listen more. Second, own your mistakes and errors. It happens to everybody, but when you shy away or point fingers, you exacerbate your problem and appear foolish. It is not difficult to state that you messed up, you made a mistake and that it won’t happen again. Last, self-awareness plays a key role in your ability to be coached (see Post #03).

Self-awareness is the ability to be cognitively present in the moment and recognize your interpretations of the world around you. It is a skill that enables you to acknowledge and deliberately choose your thoughts and reactions.

In conclusion, your ability to be coached by others will help propel your professional and personal well-being. Are you comfortable admitting you don’t have all the answers – are you coachable?

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

#17 Do You Think for Yourself?

March 13th, 2020 by

Do you embrace information without question, OR do you tend to think independently? I will talk about the differences and you can determine how these apply to your life.

Living a Programmed Life

Imagine the last time you openly challenged a theory, a boss or a customer. Our society, at times, does not advocate that you challenge status quo. You tend to conform to the norm when you don’t ask questions or perform your own investigations. When this happens, you are believing information as is or perhaps you don’t have time to verify. You probably like to be efficient, and right or wrong, it’s efficient to believe what you are told. It’s not efficient to question information that many embrace without the blink of an eye.

For example, have you ever questioned processes, policies or feedback at work? How about your faith or religious beliefs? Or marriage and the idea of rearing kids? And what about your financial dealings, such as 401ks, IRAs and other investments?

The point here is that you have full control over your personal actions and beliefs. How often do you make decisions based on your own interpretation of knowledge? You run the risk of living by default when consistently conforming to ideas, customs and norms without question.

Think for Yourself

In contrast, an independent thinker tends to make deliberate, conscious decisions. And an independent thinker acknowledge their reasons for making such choices. If you think on your own behalf, you tend to question ideas, practices and status quo. This is not an easy practice because others generally don’t like to be challenged.

And I am not suggesting you question everything and everyone in your life (see Post #12). Rather, I challenge you to thoughtfully ponder ideas, principles and the lifestyle you live by. Have these been chosen for you or by you?

In conclusion, we fall between the two extremes of accepting all information at face value vs questioning status quo. Where do you stand?

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

#16 The Power to Influence Others Around You

February 28th, 2020 by

No matter the job title, you will always be compelled to influence.  Whether entry-level or executive professional, your power to influence comes down to the same thing. This knowledge is critical over the course of your career. The power to influence will no doubt be one of the most practical tools in your professional toolkit.

Does Influence Apply to You?

First, why is influence so important?  On a high level, you obviously want your employees to act in a manner such that they accomplish their goals.  Perhaps you’re in mid management, and you don’t have so much authority.  As a mid-level manager, you request cooperation and many favors, thus, you deal with dynamic, shifting parts. When you own the power to influence, you avoid the hassles of begging and pleading, and you convey enthusiastic motivation.

As a junior or newer employee, your ability to influence is especially critical. The responsibility to learn your job rests on your shoulders (see Post #02). Learning your job requires cooperation from your colleagues. Therefore, your rate of success somewhat depends on the ability to influence others in your favor.

Your Power

Next, how do you influence others, what does it take? It starts with an emotional assessment of yourself, my friends, and it requires work!  You work to improve ALL the internal attributes that you can control within.  Then, you lead by example when engaging with others.  What I mean is: you must like yourself first before you expect others to like you; you must respect yourself first before you expect others to respect you.

Would you like others to listen to you – then, follow your own lead.  Do you hope others will show positive attitudes – then, be positive.  Would it be fantastic if your employees were efficiently and enthusiastically productive?  Then YOU, as their leader, must first show you are efficiently and enthusiastically productive.  Love yourself first and foremost.  When you can learn the skills of self-love and self-respect, the power to influence falls into place.

Others will treat you based on the way they see you treating yourself. Teach others how you should be treated.

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

#15 What is your Level of Perfectionism?

February 14th, 2020 by

Some of us push perfectionism to the limit. We admire the way every object in the house has its assigned function and designated space. We don’t mind scrutinizing (or admiring) our work 10 times over just to be extra sure there are no mistakes. Others, however, are not-so-proud perfectionists. You may be familiar with triple and quadruple-checking our own work, and doing so from an uncomfortable feeling of fear. “What if something is incorrect or out of line?” you hauntingly wonder. 

The Root Cause

Perfectionistic tendencies may look different for every person. However, the common denominator for perfectionists boils down to one thing: self-worth. Self-worth, or lack thereof, comes from fear – i.e., “What will they think of me … what if I’m wrong … is my work good enough, etc.” Fear is rooted in self-doubt and insecurity. 

The more insecure you are with your existence, the more you want to prevent mistakes or answer for wrongdoings.  As mentioned, the root cause of your perfectionism comes from a lack of self-worth. Your answers to these questions are indicative of your own self-worth: what do you think of you, how do you view your worth as a human? 

Strive for Less than Perfect

The best way to mitigate perfectionism is to increase your self-worth. Imagine a world in which you are willing to embrace all feelings, positive and negative. Picture how your life would be different if you were comfortable with living an unapologetic, authentic life (see Post #18). 

No lying, no masking your feelings and no shaming yourself for being less than perfect. This is a self-confidence skill that is available to you.  It is a skill you can work toward building over time, similar to hiring a person trainer at the gym.

Perfectionism stems from fear; fear stems from self-doubt and insecurity; self-doubt and insecurity come from your self-worth.  When your self-confidence is sky high, my friends, then you have your own back no matter what. When your self-security is drastically improved, can you see how the need for perfectionism dwindles?

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

#14 Who is your Mentor?

January 31st, 2020 by

Who is your mentor? If your answer is, “I don’t know”, or “this is a silly question” or “I don’t need a mentor,” this post is for you. Mentors are part of your support network, and everybody needs support. They serve a special function in your life despite your age, capabilities or experiences.

Mentors are Critical

Perhaps you have experienced multiple employers, holding various titles in many environments. Congratulations for having broadened your professional portfolio. Perhaps you are retiring tomorrow. Or, maybe you are reading this and it’s your first week on the job. Despite your vast array of experiences, or lack thereof, a trusted mentor is essential to your professional or personal wellbeing.

Mentors can offer differing views and alternate perspectives. They may not necessarily be smarter, wiser, or better educated. That’s okay, a mentor doesn’t have to have surpassed your accomplishments. The reason mentors are important is because they will offer questions and pose solutions under the purview of their own life experiences. 

Open your Eyes

Your main decision-making tool is undoubtedly the own view of the world as you’ve experienced it. When allowing mentors to share their views, opinions, their successes and failures, you vicariously become educated through their lenses. Why does this matter? It matters because you are narrowly restricted to knowledge based on your limited experiences. Engaging with a mentor is like traveling to new places; your eyes will be open to possibilities you couldn’t have dreamt about (see Post #18).

So, who is your mentor and how are you going to find them? Whether you retire tomorrow or in 40 years, a mentor can help you stay grounded, motivated and open-minded. Open your eyes to others’ experiences and gain priceless knowledge!

The more you learn, the more you realize that which you don’t know.

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

#13 How Much Do You Depend on Your Employer?

January 17th, 2020 by

Hmmm… employers provide stability, security, and intellectual stimulation, correct? Perhaps you rely on your employer for happiness, identity or a way to pass the time? If you answer YES to any of the above, you may be unnecessarily abdicating your personal power. Let’s take it back.

Who Holds the Power?

I challenge you to read this sentence and analyze your thoughts around it: “I don’t have to depend on my employer because I depend on my brain.” What kind of feeling does this bring about? And, can this statement be true?

Your mentality, your actions and all choices have brought you to this moment in your life (see Post #17). In other words, your brain has produced your current status. Your employment is a result of your brain’s hard work and sacrifice; it is not a stroke of good luck. You should never feel “lucky” that you are employed – contrary to what your management may suggest during tough times.

Rather, your employment is a consequence you created by using the most powerful resource on the planet: your own BRAIN.

Depend on YOU

A dependence on your brain, not your employer, opens the door to create a life uninhibited by employment constraints. For example, all will be okay should your employment unexpectedly disappear because you will calmly turn to your brain for answers. Just as important, a dependence on your brain affords you the confidence to respectfully say no to the boss when appropriate, or to happily go home after 40 hours of work. 

Your brain is designed to solve problems. A dependence on your own brainpower will allow you to become more robust, self-reliant and less stressed. When you discover the power of relying on yourself, as opposed to gripping tightly to your employer, the feeling of liberation embodies you.

I leave one final thought to reinforce the idea that it is impractical to depend on your employer. If you lose everything tomorrow, including your job, your money, your house … what will you do? I guarantee, you will turn to your brain for answers. 

Thin about how could your life be improved if you genuinely believed, “I don’t have to depend on my employer because I depend on my brain.”

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