Do you work with a bunch of women? Do they sometimes drive you nuts?
I walked into an all-female meeting a while back and immediately knew it was going to be an hour full of sarcasm, snide comments and passive aggressiveness. And I was right! OMG! They cut each other off, spewed darts at each other as they spoke and refused to "play nice." I just wanted to shake them all and say stop! Can't you be nice to each other?
We work in a predominantly female sector
The majority of people that are employed in the non-profit sector are women, so my guess is you work with a lot of them. I'm also going to venture a guess that you find them "emotional" and that those displays of emotions get on your nerves. I'm curious who's driving you crazy today? Your administrative support, your boss or the team lead? Maybe it's the whole dang team!
Your mood today plays a big role!
Here's the thing, how you are feeling, your mood, affects how tolerable you are of their behaviour.
Your mood impacts how their attitude affects you!
This is what it can look like instead
Coming from a place of compassion and feeling a bit more patience may allow you to address the issue, rather than the person. I am NOT suggesting you let things slide and allow people to be rude, ignorant and disrespectful.
Don't take their comment personally
This is what you can do to deal with moody women on your team
One sure way to find the patience for dealing with other women: Choose your mood. Tune into this Ted Talk to hear the science behind this idea. But here's the thing, you can change your mood. You can lift yourself up, and, it doesn't take much time.
🎶 Mambo # 5 🎶
🎶 Pump up the Jam 🎶
🎶 Rock around the Clock 🎶
Are you smiling?
You didn't even need to HEAR the music, and I know already I've changed your mood! You are hearing the songs in your head...the beat..the tune..the energy. Makes you want to dance, doesn't it? Are you humming?
Boost your mood!
If that's not enough
I get it. This is in some ways only a temporary fix. The reality is that ongoing negativity and moods in the office can turn things toxic pretty darn quickly. Here are a couple of more resources for you.
But always, start with you! Take responsibility for YOUR mood! Trust me that will have a ripple effect!
If you are like most women leaders, there is a general unhappiness with your day-to-day life, but you don’t know how to change it.
If this sounds familiar, know that you are not alone! Many women find they are stuck in survival mode. Just getting through their days, tolerating the crap and looking forward to their next vacation to get a break from it all.
It doesn't have to be that way! Keep reading to discover how you can change days and your inner mantra!
The short story
The problem is, that you are stuck in a rut and don't quite know how to get out. It may not be bad enough to run, but if you are honest with yourself, it's time for a change of some sort. You just don't know how to do it.
The consequence of staying trapped can be stagnation, frustration, and bitterness. It can become quite unhealthy for you, your team and your family as the effects spill out around you. Perhaps you’ve already noticed this. Especially, if you, like many, have been bogged down for weeks, months or even years.
THE SIMPLE SOLUTION:
The solution is to change it. Getting from where you are now to where you want to be is quite simple, right? You just figure out where you want to go and start moving in that direction. It sounds simple perhaps in theory, but we all know, it is not always so easy in real life. At times, getting there can seem downright impossible.
The longer story
I know that place of stuck all too well. Time-and-time again I have found that I am once again feeling stalled. I realized I’d been working hard, but getting nowhere, except worn out. You know that feeling too right?
I learned that instead of staying stuck forever, it was when I paused long enough to realize what was going on that I had some great insights. Through conscious pondering, I was able to figure out what I needed to do to get from where I was, to where I wanted to be. This reflection gave me time to think and allowed me to do a little bit of a pivot in a new direction.
That slight shift of direction helped me to create a new strategy to accomplish what I was looking for. With that plan in hand, I was able to proceed forward, despite challenges, opposition and with the fear and doubt that are ever present.
THE COMPLETE SOLUTION:
The key to success has always been a plan. It is the deliberate understanding of what I need to do next, and perhaps even after that has gotten me, and can get you too, through the challenges that are inevitably in front of us when we want a different experience of life going forward.
A plan is a roadmap that helps you to move from where you are now, to where you want to be. Think of it as your guide that shows you the next step when you get lost or disoriented. Without it, you might just end up going around in circles. Many of us go around-and-around the hamster wheel of life, never really getting anywhere.
A plan isn’t just merely saying I don’t want this, but I do want that. A well thought out, and a comprehensive plan includes the steps you need to take and addresses potential challenges and roadblocks that you will face. The truth is, it is going to take time and effort to get to your destination. You will need to work at it step-by-step. To be successful, you need to build a thorough plan.
When I decided to return to school for my degree, it took 8 years and countless hours of study time. I had to stay focused and set my parental guilt aside while my husband handled the kid’s bedtimes and homework. The commitment required a ton of work to overcome inner saboteurs voices that threatened to stop me dead in my tracks.
My plan helped me to focus on what was in front of me. My strategy was to attain my degree slowly and steadily: One course at a time. I strategically planned which courses I was taking and in what order, matching it up with what else was going on in life. I took a couple of semesters off to recharge. I kept the end goal in mind when doubt, fear, and hesitation crept in. I also knew, what chapter I was reading, what paper needed completing and what I needed to do, that evening, and perhaps the next. Both the long-term vision and the daily steps of the plan were crucial to my success.
DEVELOPING YOUR PLAN:
Moving from the trapped place of feeling overwhelm, doubt or spinning your wheels to feeling happy, confident and advancing forward each day with purpose, takes effort, time and persistence. It is not easy. The truth is, it can be quite tricky. What makes getting back into motion easier, is one secret ingredient that is often missed. Wishing, hoping and begging will only take you so far. To get the rest of the way, you need that plan.
If it’s time for you to jump off of that crazy hamster wheel and move forward, then it’s time for you to develop your plan.
DON’T GET CAUGHT IN THE HAZARDS:
If you are like many women, you develop a plan to change your life, only to have it all fall apart just a short time later. That’s because you likely made one of the critical mistakes most women make when trying to develop a plan to change their life.
I want to make sure you are successful moving forward. To help you out with this, I’ve developed a list of the 5 missteps women make when trying to change their life. I’ve also included the “fix” to those mistakes, so you don’t get caught. To get those 5 mistakes, click here, and I’ll send you the report.
Remember, the plan is critical. However, it must be a comprehensive plan to work. Take the time, don’t make these mistakes, and build your plan today! When you do, you’ll find yourself getting unstuck. Instead, you will be moving forward with clarity and purpose.
Have you ever been so engaged in a conversation you've lost track of time? Has that ever happened at work?
Are you engaged
No. Not the kind like you are going to get married. But yes, committed. Hooked.
Engaged might mean deeply engrossed in a project or conversation. You lose track of time. This level of engagement usually means you want to be there. That perhaps, yes you even enjoy being there.
Most people are disengaged
Did you know that less than 2/3 of the people in most organizations are NOT engaged?
As a leader, most days for me it honestly felt like
I think we can both agree there is something wrong with that statistic and with leaders feeling so frustrated. It needs to be changed! Let's take a look at what it takes to turn that around.
Do you listen to the sermon?
My minister often jokes that we can take a nap during his sermon. Sometimes, I'll be honest, my mind wanders, and I think about all of the other things I could be doing. But more often than not, I tune in and am engaged in what he's saying.
What if workplaces were Magnetic?
When I listen to my minister, he draws me into his message, vision and ideas. Imagine if leaders and organizations were magnetic and pulled people in like that? What if you could be more engaging with your team?
My magnetic experience
I remember one particularly difficult time when my team and I were working on a proposal.
I've been working with colleague Bill Scott over the last few years to create organizations that are Magnetic! We've just launched our website: THE MAGNETIC WORKPLACE. If you pop over there, you can grab our tips for engaging your team. Make sure to check out the page Understanding the Workplace Continuum where we explain the range of cultures in organizations from toxic to tolerable and then to yes, you guessed it... Magnetic!
Do you secretly love getting gifts as much as I do? Just little things, like a note from my granddaughter, a book from a friend or flowers from my daughter. These are little surprises that warm my heart.
I received a special gift!
You can then see how, when my boss showed up one day at my office with a gift for me, I was a little excited. I always felt like he didn't really appreciate me or notice me. To get a gift perhaps meant I'd done something worthy of standing out
You can imagine my surprise when I reached into the gift bag and felt....Ooooh, perhaps a mug! Oh, I do love mugs The excitement was building, although I tried to temper it. One shouldn't seem too eager right?
I pulled off the tissue paper and discovered it was indeed a mug. However, the smile of anticipation quickly slid off my face. I tried to smile, but I'm sure it was clear that the gift hurt my feelings.
Would this gift annoy you?
The inscription on the mug read: Pessimists Mug on one side. The opposite side had a line indicating "The glass is half empty now."
That mug sat on my bookshelf for a long time. It annoyed the crap out of me each time I looked at it I DID NOT want to be seen as a pessimist: A person who habitually sees or anticipates the worst or is disposed to be gloomy. The last thing I wanted was to be considered the team party pooper!
I set out to change that.
In my journal a short time later I wrote:
It must have worked because fast forward a couple of years, and that same boss didn't say I was optimistic, but he did write this about me:
Which way do you see me?
Fast forward a few more years...this week to be precise and our annual awards banquet at Toastmasters. I received an award for “Enduring Optimism” Yeah! THAT is the impact I want to have on others.
None of this happened by accident. I created a plan. I began reading books that helped with my attitude, outlook and view of myself and the world. I took training that helped me see problems from new perspectives. I journaled and started a gratitude practice.
I became Response-ABLE!
What is holding you back?
What have you been waiting for? Someone to give you permission, or pay for your training? Have you been waiting for the right time? You need to stop waiting and become response-able! You can respond and change what you don't like about yourself, your work or your world. You must decide though and begin taking steps.
I set out to change myself in many ways. I completed my degree, lost weight and developed leadership skills. But the thing I am most proud of is becoming the TYPE of person I want to be. I want to be a positive influence in the world, in your life and in mine. That started when I decided to work on my character traits. It's a journey I continue to this day.
Do want to work on your character traits as well?
To understand more about character development and how you can shape yours read this blog and watch this interview series from other women leader's who are working at it as well!
You must do the inner work! That is truly what will make a difference in your life and your leadership!
Has this ever happened to you? You know something is wrong, but you don't do anything about it?
But you don't do anything about it.
Why don't you, or so many women, address these issues?
Before I answer that question, let's look at an example of a woman who is no longer staying quiet about injustices faced by her and other women in the fundraising sector.
Last week Elizabeth LeClair courageously wrote an article for CBC News addressing an issue that had been festering in her heart and mind for years. Read the article here:
Why did Elizabeth come forward now?
What changed? What gave her the courage and confidence to do that?
I don't know. But let me take a guess:
Having the courage to address moral issues can be scary and challenging. We see people have moral courage when something shifts for them.
Is there something you have been holding back on addressing?
What needs to shift for you? Do you need to develop more confidence, connect with other supportive people, get clear on what your values, morals and ethics are, spend time on personal development or is there something else?
When will you take action to grow yourself,
so that you can address the issues that's been aggravating far too long?
Think of it this way:
If you keep waiting for things to change, they won't. Nothing changes until you change. That may be learning something new, changing your perspective, changing how you interact with others or even changing jobs. But if you keep waiting, you will continue staying, stuck, right where you are!
What would happen if you decided to try something different?
Use Elizabeth's example as inspiration for you:
I suspect that Elizabeth decided she didn't want to stay stuck in that place of inner turmoil any longer. She decided to try something different. I'm certain that took time. But somewhere along the way she started the process of growing herself and making an internal shift that allowed her to take external action. She explains in this article:
Start now, my dear. Take the first step, whatever that step is for you, to being to grow yourself from the inside out. Equip yourself with the confidence and knowledge to address whatever issue is facing you. It won't be easy. But there are a ton of other women cheering you on, me included!
What goals have you set for this year?
I'm doing a mini survey to see what kinds of goals women leaders set for themselves both at work and in their personal lives. I'm curious about yours. Message me and share your goals with me.
What plan do you have for achieving those goals?
Now onto your plan for achieving your goals. Wait...let me back up. You do have goals right? I am not talking about random, vague New Years Resolutions such as I'm going to be healthier this year or I'm going to be a nicer person. I am talking about specific goals.
Are you the type that doesn't set goals? Think again!
We all need goals. It is when we have goals and targets that we perform at our best. You know this simply by thinking about how good you are at getting something done at the "11th hour."
And...Do you have a plan to go with your goal?
Targets and goals are critical, but your goals are dead in the water if you don't have a strategic plan for how you will achieve them.
If you don't know that you will head to the gym at 5:30 on Mon - Wed - Fri.,
how do you know you will fit into that dress?
You need an implementation plan...
When the clock strikes 5 pm, I will pack up my stuff, leave the office and head to the gym.
You need a strategy to help you implement your plan
An implementation plan is how you will establish the habit of working out...which performed consistently over time, regardless of your workload or how motivated you feel...is what will allow you to achieve your goal. It's the small daily habits that help you to achieve your goals.
It is the plan and your strategy that will allow you to establish those habits!
Do your goals include becoming a stronger leader?
If your goal is to become a stronger, more confident and capable leader, how will you achieve that goal?
The book that will help you and me kick butt on our goals this year!
If you have been following my logic here, you realize that one of the things you need to focus on is building good habits. Habits are the bricks that when compounded over time allow you to achieve your goal.
I'd love to hear about your goals for 2019 and when you start to read Atomic Habits, let me know how you are applying the ideas!
Here's to an amazing 2019! ??
As we move into a new year, many of us are setting goals and trying to figure out how to make them stick. Let’s be honest. They won’t. 80 - 90 % of New Year’s resolutions fail.
Do you know why? It’s because you are focused on the goal, not the system you need to achieve those goals.
Keep reading to find out how to make sure you are one of the 10% who is successful this year!
The goal to lose weight was the same goal for the lady who did it and the one who didn’t. The difference was that one lady made a HABIT of eating healthy and created a SYSTEM for making sure she exercised several times a week.
It has nothing to do with the goal you set. It’s how much you focus on HOW you will reach that goal. It’s all about routines, habits, systems and having the self-discipline to follow through on the routines, habits and system.
The first thing you need to look at is WHY you want to achieve this goal.
That comes down to your values. If you want to get to inbox zero by the end of each week, that might be because you believe it’s respectful to reply to people within a reasonable time. It could be about efficiency or productivity. It may also be connected to wellness.
If you haven’t defined and made sense of what your values mean to you, it’s hard to stick to your goals. Losing weight may be about fitting into that dress before the wedding, it could also be about preventing diabetes that runs in your family.
To help you develop the habits, systems and routines to meet your goals as well as the self-discipline to follow through, I’ve attached some of my favourite books. These will help you get clear and develop that ability to achieve your goals this year!
What do you want more of? As we start to contemplate the coming year, set goals and make New Years Resolutions, you've probably thought about more of something. If you want greater success at achieving that this year, try doing the following before the end of the year to get MORE!
What do you want MORE of?
Why do you want more?
Perhaps a better question is WHY? Why do you want more of that? Why does that matter that you have more of that?
More Health? WHY?
If you want to be healthier in 2019, consider for a minute why you want to be healthier.
Your why is connected to your values
The reason behind why you want to achieve something is that it's important to you. You value it. You may value your health, your relationship with your kids or your grandchildren or you may value self-compassion and are finding you haven't been too kind to your physical well-being lately.
Regardless of what you will set for New Years Resolutions or goals, knowing WHY those are important to you will help you be much more successful.
Let me show you how it works:
Here are some goals I've had over the last few years.
My top value is Excellence. I used to think that meant good grades and being the best, smartest or quickest. Exploring my values has helped me to understand how the value of excellence shows up in my life and how it can help me to achieve my goals. Here is how I define my value of excellence:
When I have done the work to get clear on my core values, I can then be better able to set goals for 2019 that will stick.
What does this mean for you?
Here's what you need to do:
If you need help with identifying, defining and clarifying your values, grab the Values Verification course today. Schedule in a couple of hours to work on it in the next few days. Then, use your new understanding of your values to set goals for 2019!
Whether you do this on your own, or with the help of the Values Verification course, I'd love to hear how you are using your values to set goals for 2019! Shoot me an email and tell me what you've learned about how to make 2019 goals that stick!
I know I'll be looking at where I can excel next...I suspect that will be in The Training Library as I strive to give you my best, so you can be your best in both leadership and in life!
DON'T MISS THIS DEAL!
Two years ago, I was crying at the beginning of December because it was time to write my Christmas newsletter and I couldn't find it in me to do. Try as I might, I couldn't get into it. I was already feeling the Christmas Blues start to wash over me, that just made it 10 times worse.
Have you felt you've been "failing" at Christmas? Keep reading to switch that feeling up fast!
Have you felt you've been "failing" at Christmas?
The year before I'd sent out my letter during the week after Christmas. I didn't want to do that again. I was feeling like I was "failing at Christmas." Maybe you've felt you've been failing at Christmas too!
When I feel that sense of failure or inadequacy hit me, I turn to self-reflection. What the heck is going on Kathy?
This is how I deal with the "ugh" feelings
I did what I always do when I'm struggling and can't find a way out. I journaled about it. Not just once, but for several days. After some deep soul searching, I finally gave myself permission to stop writing a Christmas letter. What a relief!
That decision took a huge weight off of my shoulders! Following that, I made a few other decisions:
It took away my Christmas blues!
Since that first decision and subsequent others, I've found that Christmas feels less heavy, in fact, maybe not heavy at all...perhaps even joyous!
I don't know if you can read between the lines, or perhaps are seeing some parallels in your life, but more than finding "the meaning of Christmas" I found my values.
I was wrong about my top value
I used to think family was my top value. It's not.
So what has?
Values are not just words...they have meaning
Let me back up a minute and tell you about values. We often think of values as words. I value my family. Honesty is important to me. I place a high value on security, respect, fun etc. The list goes on. But what do those words MEAN to you?
An example of how you might define your values
Let's look at security for a minute:
Can you explain what your values mean to you?
You must define what your value means to you. That means understanding how your values show up in your life. You need to know when you are aligned or not aligned with your values. Then, you also need to know what will get you back into alignment. Because see, it's when you are not aligned with your values that you feel crappy.
Back to my story!
My top value:
As I've explored my values over the last few years, I've come to realize that my top value is not family as I indicated earlier, although I was sure it was! Instead, my top value is excellence.
Here's the thing, when I was trying to "do it all" I was excelling at nothing! My physical health deteriorated almost as quickly as did my mental health. I was short with people because of the pressures I placed on myself. However, when I cleared the clutter of everything I was doing, I could focus on being my best; as a mom, wife, daughter and in my work for you and in my service in my community. The ugh is gone, because I am now aligned with my value of excellence!
What this means for you
As you finish this year off and begin 2019, I encourage you to do the work of exploring your values. Not 3 words on a paper, but paragraphs and bullet points and lists. This exploration needs to include feelings and body sensations. When do you know that you are out of alignment with your values and what actions or in inactions will bring you back?
I don't have time to tell you how this corresponds to your leadership, but let me tell you the brief version: HUGELY! More on that in the New Year!
When you do this work, you'll spend more of your life living from your values and more of your life feeling the inner peace and joy from knowing you are honouring what is truly important to you!
I'll be writing 2 or 3 meaningful letters to meaningful individuals in my life after Christmas...that feels excellent to me!
Have a very Merry Christmas my dear! I hope you find time for yourself to be your best!
Here is a quick quiz for you to rank how well you are doing in contributing to your wellbeing.
Do work to do these 5 core elements of well-being?
If you wish for more wellbeing and happiness, you might want to increase your focus on these components.
I'll give you some ideas of how to do that below! It starts with Positive Psychology.
What's Positive Psychology got to do with wellbeing? Lots!
Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, says that when you practice these 5 things, (The PERMA model of well-being), you bring order to the chaos of your life. While these 5 components don't define well-being he says, they contribute to it.
3 steps to help you impact your wellbeing!
When you focus on these 5 components, you'll be doing both. Here are the steps for doing that.
.......... √ Be intentional
Other factors that contribute to your well-being
Tom Rath, whom I mentioned above, wrote not only the Strength's Finder, but also a book called Eat, Move Sleep: How small choices lead to big changes. Tom knows that these are the foundations for being able to do the others: Feel positive emotions, be engaged in what you are doing, have strong relationships, contribute something meaningful in your life and accomplish good things.
Don't forget to take care of yourself!
This time of year can be tough on your sense of well-being!
This can be an incredibly stressful time for many of us. I've fallen apart many times in December; physically, emotionally, spiritually and in my relationships. Each year I work to add new habits, routines and practices to ensure I enjoy December more and more. And do you know what? It's working!
Work on the 5 components of PERMA, and you'll be contributing to your well-being!
Do you need some help with the self-care components?
This month's training is coming up on Dec 19th, 2018. If you want to learn some quick self-care strategies for you and your team, that you can implement quickly, join me here: The 5-Minute Self-Care Strategy for the Swamped Gal!
Available on Amazon
Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.