This was first published on ksl.com
My company just instituted policy against talking about religion at work. I am bothered by this and don’t feel comfortable being told I can’t talk about such a big part of my life and who I am at work. I’m actually feeling a little discriminated against because of my religion and because my views aren’t shared by some of my co-workers, I have to be censored. Do you think this policy is necessary or right? Are there some topics that should be banned at work?
Gallup did a study in 2015 where they found that only 32 percent of workers were engaged in their jobs and committed to their work. The study showed 51 percent were killing time and doing the bare minimum to avoid getting fired and 17 percent were totally disengaged and deserved to be fired immediately.
This means employers today are already fighting a battle for the focus and attention they are paying for. They need employees who are focused on work and not distracting others.
I do agree with the policy to limit certain conversation topics at work. There are some topics that make other people feel uncomfortable, awkward, disrespected, offended or excluded. These topics are extremely distracting and can also negatively affect corporate culture.
The office, unlike private homes or social venues, is a place where everyone is being paid for their time and attention, and because of this, it’s important to have everyone’s focus on the tasks at hand. It’s also important that everyone feels safe, respected and honored where they work. Businesses today must avoid letting divisive political views, differing religious beliefs and other hot topics divide co-workers and create conflict. These issues are already creating a divide in our country and letting this atmosphere seep into the workplace can create problems.
Here are some topics that should never be discussed at work and why:
1. Any political topic at all
Right now, there is a huge political divide in our country and tempers can flare because everyone feels passionate about their position. Discussing civil rights, Black Lives Matter, same-sex marriage, legalizing drugs, abortion, the national debt, Supreme Court nominations, vaccinations, the president, or any other topic covered on the news, can create conflict, hostility and confrontation.
Your employer is trying to create a fear-free workplace where everyone feels safe and can focus on their jobs. These topics can be volatile and distracting as they light fires in the office that are hard to put out. It would be best if your co-workers had no idea which way your political views leaned. If someone starts a political conversation or makes a comment about their personal views, let them know you prefer to keep yours personal since these conversations can be divisive.
These days, many people have strong feelings either for or against organized religion. Many are choosing to leave and not participate and they may be passionate and vocal about their beliefs, or even disrespectful. On the other hand, religious people are also passionate about their faith and consider their religion a core part of who they are. Discussing anything to do with religion can create conflict, hurt feelings and discord at work. Avoid negative comments or trying to persuade others to believe what you believe. It’s best to leave all church-based conversations to after hours.
3. Personal relationships or your dating life
If you are having troubles at home or dating drama find a friend, coach or counselor to talk to. Your co-workers are not your therapist and should not be expected to support you through your relationships. Your life outside the office, your dating life, your family, and your personal choices are best not brought to work. If you want to meet a co-worker outside the office, that’s fine, but consider keeping those personal conversations for when you are off the clock. Your employer is paying for your time and attention; honor that by not distracting coworkers with personal issues.
4. Money troubles or health problems
Again, your co-workers are not there to counsel or console you. If you are struggling, scared or sick, you may need a doctor, therapist or counselor to talk to. Your co-workers don’t need to know the details of your health or money problems. It’s not that your boss and co-workers don’t care, they do. They just can’t spend work hours talking about or being distracted by these issues. If you believe a health concern may affect your ability to do your job, discuss it with a supervisor or human resources manager to assess your options.
5. Beliefs related to new age, alternative healing
It is fine that you believe in the healing powers of certain rocks and crystals and have them on your desk, and you organize the feng shui of your office, or spend your breaks in vipassana meditation, but it’s best to avoid talking about this stuff if it distracts your co-workers while on the clock. You might ask if they would be open to hearing about your healing approach outside the office, but do not spend work hours telling them all about it.
Employers know a positive corporate culture where people feel respected and safe affect their bottom line. To create that positive corporate culture they need unity and teamwork to happen. To have unity and teamwork they need less conflict, confrontation and discord.
So, banning conversation topics that create discord makes sense. Instead of being bothered by this policy, I recommend you get on board and even think of other ways to create more unity, respect and inclusivity at work. How can you reach out to make people who are different from you feel more accepted? The employee that solves more problems than he or she creates, is the one who will rise to the top every time.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the president of 12shapes.com - get the app today, take the quiz, invite friends and learn about your shape at - app.12shapes.com and improve your relationships.
This was first published on familyshare.com
Hindsight is 20/20 they say, and it's funny how often at the end of a bad relationship, we wonder why we didn't see the red flags sooner. Were they there? Should we have see them? How did we miss them?
The truth is, we see what we want to see most of the time. At the beginning of any relationship, we are primarily looking for the good, especially if we want it to work out. We do this at work and in our personal relationships, but there are a few early warning signs it might help to flag when you see them. This may save you from unrealistic expectations and real disappointment. It might also mean protecting yourself and using some caution around people who could be toxic.
Here are five behaviors to watch for early in a relationship:
1. They speak ill of others and relish in gossip
If they are critical and judgmental of everyone around them, they will be critical and judgmental of you, too. People who focus on the bad in others usually suffer from a subconscious fear of failure themselves. In this state they find it temporarily makes their ego feel safer if they focus on the bad in others. If they cast others as the bad guy, it makes them feel like the better guy. Anyone who speaks ill of others on a regular basis has the potential to be trouble in a relationship. They may not have the self-worth and wisdom to be able to give the love and support you deserve.
2. Every situation is about them
If you notice that everything is about them, how they feel and how it affects them, you must label what you are hearing as "selfish focus." Again, people who have a fear of failure and low self-esteem are selfishly focused on themselves most of the time. If that is their focus, they won't be able to see situations from your point of view very easily. Just because someone is in this space one day, I would not write them off as toxic, but if it's a pattern all the time, make note of it as another red flag.
3. They're frequently upset and irrational
If someone gets triggered into an unbalanced upset state easily and often, and once their logic seems a tad off, that can be a big red flag. Mature, balanced people understand that feeling upset is a choice and nothing (or no one) can make you that way. You are in control of your choices, attitudes and behavior. You are responsible for how immature and over the top your frustration or anger gets.
We find some people tend to have over-the-top responses, drama and irrational thinking. This behavior is important to flag because one day it may be you they are upset at, and this immature behavior makes it difficult to talk things through and resolve them. If they aren't able to see things from another person's perspective, logically see what happened and why and talk about things without drama and emotion, they will have some unhealthy fighting behavior that could be directed at you eventually.
4. They don't trust you
There is a universal law that says we see the world as we are. This means anyone who doesn't trust you, accuses you of cheating, is dishonest or has ill intent might think you would act that way because they would. It's not true 100 percent of the time, but it is worth looking into. Those who would never be dishonest rarely are suspicious of others and are often taken advantage of. If someone is constantly accusing you or others of bad behavior, that could be a warning sign they aren't trustworthy.
5. Their moods and reactions are unpredictable
If you are never quite sure which version of this person you will get today and there is a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde feeling to the two sides of their personality, that could be a red flag. Toxic people are often moody, unstable and even may have borderline personality disorder, one of the more difficult mental illnesses to deal with. These people rarely admit they have a problem and rarely seek the help they need to have healthy relationships. If a person is normally very calm, kind and rational, but on occasion has a blow-up that is way different from their normal personality, you might not really know them as well as you think.
When dating, starting a friendship or thinking of promoting someone at work, you want to make sure you see the other person in stressful, upsetting situations and watch how they cope first. Everyone behaves fairly well when things are going great. You don't see their unbalanced behavior until things get scary, unsettled or threatening.
Just keep your eyes open and don't be afraid to love some people from afar.
Kimberly Giles is the president of claritypointcoaching.com and 12shapes.com. She is the author of the book "Choosing Clarity" and a popular life coach, speaker and people skills expert.
This was first published on KSl.COM
I work in an office with all women and there is so much cattiness, fighting, gossiping and judging that it is a pretty unpleasant place to work. I realize you might say I should leave and find another job, but jobs that work with my schedule and pay this well are hard to find. Is there anything I can do to be an agent of change or influence others to be kinder and more compassionate to each other? Or is there a way I can at least stay above it all and not let it bother me so much?
Unfortunately, businesses who have a lot of female employees often have more office drama and gossip than offices with more male employees, but we also get calls from human resources directors whose companies are going through a merger, have high stress environments or are in fast growth, because stress and change always create people problems.
This happens because change and stress cause fear of failure and loss issues to rise to the surface, and these two fears are the hidden cause behind most bad behavior and relationship clashes. If the issues can’t be resolved by HR, they often bring us in for executive coaching and performance evaluations to figure out and solve these people problems fast.
Every single employee brings some pain, stress and fear around their families, money or relationships to work with them every day. These pressures in their personal lives mean they come to work almost every day in a fear state.
People functioning in a fear state will be easy to offend and quick to feel criticized, taken from, threatened or unsafe. These employees may be subconsciously looking for mistreatment and they could have a short fuse and a rather selfish viewpoint. Understanding the fear behind the behavior is the key to gaining compassion for them and seeing their gossip and bad behavior accurately.
Every person in your office is fighting a battle at home you know nothing about.
They are very likely in pain and fear, at some level, almost every day, and this is the real cause of their bad behavior. If you want to change how you feel at work, you must get a more accurate perspective about bad behavior and you must not take it personally.
People behave badly because of their fears about themselves. It is rarely about you.
Also remember — it is only hurt or hurting people that hurt people. This means the people whose behavior is bothering you most are the people in the most pain about their value and their journey. Bad behavior is always a sign of inner suffering.
We talk a lot in our articles about the two core fears (the fear of failure and the fear of loss) and how they drive human behavior. The truth is, whenever people are in a fear state they are completely focused on one thing: getting anything or doing anything they can to quiet the fear.
In this state they are incapable of thinking about what others may need or want. All they can focus on is "What would make this fear or pain stop?"
If someone functions in fear of failure, they are deeply afraid they might not be good enough. When the fear is bad and they experience shame or feel insecure, one of the most common ways they react (subconsciously respond) is they focus on any bad in the people around them.
The more they focus on other people's bad behavior, they don’t have to think about their own. We call this the Shame and Blame Game and we all play it at times. The more shame we feel, the more we blame others, criticize and gossip. I suspect many of the gossipers in your office are doing so, because they’re covering their deep insecurities or shame.
If any of you are prone to gossip yourself, ask yourself if your fear of not being good enough might be in play. Be aware of the safety you might feel if you put others down or focus on their bad. The first step to changing any bad behavior is being conscious of why you do it.
If someone functions from a fear of loss, they are deeply afraid of being taken from, mistreated or losing control. These people may be territorial, defensive, protective or controlling and they will be quick to be offended and see mistreatment everywhere, even when it’s not there.
We want you to understand the real cause of bad behavior so you will have more compassion for yourself and the people you work with. We recommend you don’t try to "stay above it" though, as that can be a place of judgment looking down at the "bad" people involved and that isn’t accurate as we all have the same intrinsic value.
Just see bad, immature gossip or dramatic behavior accurately, as fear-driven behavior that happens when people are afraid they aren’t good enough and need to look for the bad in others to distract them from their own.
If you see bad behavior accurately you may also see what these people need, which is to quiet their fear, so they can stop criticizing others to feel better. What they need is validation and reassurance about their worth. This is often the last thing you feel like giving someone who is acting haughty, arrogant or better than others, but it is what they need.
Look for opportunities to point out kindness, compassion and good behavior in your gossiping co-workers. Tell them often how grateful you are to work with such kind, encouraging and non-judgmental people.
You may even say that when you first came to work there you heard a lot of gossip and backbiting, and you are so grateful that doesn’t happen as much anymore. Tell the people who do it the most how positive they are and you admire the way they never say an unkind word about anyone.
I know this may seem like lying, but it’s really helping them see who they have the potential to be before they even show up that way. This positive encouragement literally encourages better behavior, because people always want to live up to your highest opinion of them.
When you point out their good qualities you literally push them in that direction. This is the most compassionate way to encourage better behavior. When you help them to see their light, instead of their darkness, you push them toward being their best.
It may also help you to remember that all unloving behavior is a request for love. Every unkind word or fearful reaction is a request for validation and reassurance they are good enough.
This is true for the people in your home, too. We have seen one person completely change the culture at work or home by just giving more compliments and validation to the team. When people start to feel safer, more appreciated and even admired at work, they are happier and show up with more respect and kindness.
Go get them with your positive uplifting attitude and help them rise into better behavior. Don't criticize or point out their bad behavior because that will increase their fear and will only make it worse.
If you do all this and they still remain in negativity and drama, see this as your perfect classroom, take nothing personally and work on being a source of light and love in your office anyway.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles and Nicole Cunningham are the founders of claritypointcoaching.com and Identiology.com. They are human behavior experts who help companies and individuals to be their best.
I have had some pretty negative feedback in my last review at work and I’m totally at a loss on how to fix it. They say I lack soft skills, communication and people skills, but how do I suddenly start to do better there? What’s the best way to change or improve on those levels? I admit that I don’t always show up great at work because I have a lot of difficult stuff going on at home. I probably bring those feelings to work and they make me harder to deal with. What do I do about that?
Did you know that 85 percent of your career success depends on your people skills? New research has shown that many employers believe interpersonal and emotional intelligence skills are even more important than your hard skills or education.
Mark Murphy, who wrote the book "Hire for Attitude," says 46 percent of new-hire employees are let go within 18 months because their soft skills are inadequate or they have bad attitudes. Much has been written recently about millennials and their severe lack of people skills in the workplace, but the reality is we could all improve in this area. People skills are a definite must if you want career success.
The problem is they don’t teach these skills in school, and if you came from a family with low emotional intelligence, you probably picked up a lot of immature, fear-based, emotional and reactive tendencies. You may not be naturally good at getting along with, motivating or negotiating with others. You may not know how to be emotionally resilient, handle conflict or keep a positive attitude when things get rough. These skills are so important, if your company doesn’t provide training or personal development, you might have to go get some on your own.
Here is a list of some of the most important people skills employers are looking for and ways to improve yours:
The art of not making everything about you:This is really about social-awareness and understanding human behavior. Social-awareness means having empathy, being able to give presentations that are focused on the needs of the audience, not your desire to impress, and being able to anticipate how others might feel in any situation. It means knowing when a comment is appropriate and when your input really contributes and when it isn’t necessary. It means being a good listener, not interrupting others and not taking things personally.Many employers say the majority of their office drama comes from a few people who lack this skill and tend to make everything about them. They seem to lack a social filter and can’t see how their behavior comes across to other people. If you have this tendency in your subconscious programming, a good executive coach can guide you through this and help you understand human behavior at a deeper level. There are also many personal development seminars that facilitate this kind of work. You will have to become open to some serious feedback though, even if it hurts.
Just remember we all have the same intrinsic worth no matter what, and your need for some people skills doesn’t diminish your worth as a person.
Situational awareness and problem solving:This is the ability to see situations accurately and find solutions. It includes being able to prioritize and see what needs to be done first and who the right person is to do each task.Situational awareness is a hard soft skill to learn, but some experts think that doing puzzles, problem-solving games and even video games that include teamwork and strategic thinking may help. Many of these games require you to scan a situation and respond quickly and accurately. Millennials, who employers find lack many people skills, are often strong in this area. Maybe you need to start playing some strategy games and, even better, get your co-workers to do it with you.
Self-awareness and the ability to control your emotions:Can you process situations and how they make you feel clearly and accurately? Can you step back and calm yourself before reacting? Can you recognize what are facts and what are stories or meaning you have inaccurately applied?Self-awareness also includes the ability to know how much personal information is appropriate to share, clarity about your own strengths and weaknesses and the ability to own your mistakes, apologize and learn from them. If you can tell you aren’t self-aware enough, you may need to find an expert who can teach you mindfulness and show you how to process emotions in a healthy way and help you to see your strengths and weaknesses more accurately. We have a free assessment on our website that shows your subconscious tendencies on paper you may want to try. It’s a good start to understanding which areas you need work on.
Resilience:This is your ability to bounce back from challenges or failures, have flexibility with change and remain calm under pressure. This also includes your ability to manage stress, stay cool in a negative situation, and reduce your negative emotions when they show up.We believe a lack of resilience is a fear problem (because you fear failure and loss). We work specifically on reducing your subconscious fears in our coaching program because when those go down, your ability to be resilient goes up. Find an executive coach that specializes in eliminating the fear of change, rejection, setbacks, failure and loss. When you become resilient you will become bulletproof and in high demand at work.
Being proactive, not reactive:To reach your highest career potential, learning to be proactive is a must. You must learn to be responsible for your emotions, thoughts and reactions and gain the ability to self-monitor and regulate them.This is really about emotional maturity and the ability to respond to situations appropriately and at the right time. It means having long-range plans and not just putting out fires, and the ability to prioritize what is urgent and what is really important. It requires self-awareness and the ability to manage your impulses and prevent distractions. If you struggle with these, download our free paper on 14 ways to reach your potential at work. This gives you practical suggestions for rising above average.
Treating people with respect and showing up happy:There is a strong correlation between how happy you are (with yourself and your life) and the way you treat others. If you are dealing with a lot of negative thoughts and feelings of inadequacy, failure or disappointment in life, or if you have personal problems at home, you may subconsciously look for people to criticize or disrespect at work. When you find negatives in other people to focus on, it often distracts you from your own fear or pain.If you show up at work grouchy and treat people with disrespect, it is going to negatively affect your career. If you are discouraged or depressed with yourself or your life — do something about it. Again, I recommend working with an executive coach who can help you gain the skills to improve your mindset and learn to handle conflict with kindness.
If your personal relationship issues are causing problems with your behavior at work, own that and do something. Most people let negative situations go on way too long, mostly because they don’t know how to solve them. But there are answers and people who can help you … you just have to ask around to find them.
Don’t let any negative situation, feeling or pattern stay in your life. If you don’t know how to fix it, ask 10 people what they would recommend and find an option that works for you. The first thing you need is a change in perspective or mindset. Albert Einstein said, “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them."
You must gain a different perspective and look at the problem in a new way if you want to create change. We find most of our coaching clients experience major shifts in thinking with only one session and they feel better fast. But you can’t do better until you know better — so get out there and learn.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is the author of the book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a life coach, speaker and people skills expert.
I have a co-worker who is driving me crazy. He is super competitive and he constantly puts us all down to make himself feel more important. He is subtle with his insults too, and assumes we will take them as joke. He brown noses the boss too and takes credit for other people’s ideas. The boss doesn’t see what is happening and is apparently impressed by him. I know it’s pointless to try to talk to the guy, I’ve kind of tried in the past and he’s not interested in getting feedback from anyone. Is there anything I can do to make him stop being a jerk or get him to just be nice? If not, can you tell me how to survive dealing with him every day?
I’m going to give you a couple different ideas here (and these suggestions will work for anyone who has a difficult person in their life.)
The first technique is to have a mutually validating conversation and directly ask for different behavior. This works great if the other person is rational, calm, logical and capable of actually caring about you. But if you are dealing with a toxic person, who may even have narcissistic or sociopathic tendencies, you can’t get anywhere with conversation.
You could then try the encouragement technique (explained below) because it sometimes makes toxic people actually want to change themselves, but most of the time you are going to end up at option No. 3 to work on yourself and become really chill and unoffendable.
One thing to keep in mind, no matter which option you choose, is that rude people who insult others, are overly competitive, show-offs, know-it-alls or brown-nosers are usually battling a lot of fear they aren’t good enough.
It is terrible fear of failure and insecurity that makes them need to appear better than others. It will really change how you feel about this situation if you see this person accurately as scared, not just rude.
Then, one thing you can try (along with the three options below) is validating, reassuring and building up this person as much as you can. Praise them and tell them how wonderful, amazing and good they are. Even though this is the last thing you want to give people who treat you badly, it is exactly what they need.
Sometimes when they get some validation they will feel better and won’t need to put you down anymore. So keep that in mind with each of the following suggestions.
Remember people are always more motivated to change when we show them their light than when we point out their faults. People who feel good about themselves are also more loving, positive and giving towards others
Here are my three suggestions to solve this problem:
1) Have a mutually validating conversation with them
Follow these steps for best results:
This is a great way to go if this person can’t handle a direct conversation. First, figure out the behavior you would like to see in this person. Then, think about how you would treat him and what you would say to him if he behaved this way. Then start doing and saying these things now.
Example: "John, I just want you to know how great it is to work with you. You are so careful and respectful to all of us and so kind. I just want you to know I appreciate you man."
This might make John want to be that kind of person, because people always want to live up to your highest opinion of them. Also, when you see the highest best in people you literally push them in that direction.
Then, every time he does anything good, jump right on it and tell him how awesome, honest or humble he is. (Focus on the qualities or kind of person you want him to think he is, not the specific behavior.) This isn’t lying, it’s showing him who he has the potential to be.
(And this technique works great on kids too.)
3) Ignore the bad behavior and work on you
When you are dealing with someone whose fears, insecurities or even a mental condition makes them really impossible and toxic to deal with, there is really nothing you can do to change them or get them to care what you need.
In these situations all you can do is work on you. Practice being strong, bulletproof and in trust so no person can diminish your value with anything they do or say. You can see this experience as an amazing personal development opportunity to make you better and stronger.
You can choose to see every situation in your life as a perfect lesson the universe has brought you. Ask yourself what dealing with this person could teach you? How could it make you stronger, smarter or wiser?
See every day as a chance to practice being the most balanced, unoffendable, confident, wise person you can be. If you do this consistently others will sense the truth about who you are, and goodness, confidence, wisdom and hard work do get noticed. Eventually the truth about who you are will come through.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is the author of the book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a life coach, speaker and people skills expert.
This article was first published on ksl.com
Next week I have a job interview for my dream job and a big raise. This job would mean the world to me and my family. But I’m so scared I won’t get it and I’m sure my fear and insecurity is going to come through in the interview. I get really nervous and intimidated, which doesn't impress. Is there any advice you could give me on calming down so I can appear confident?
You are right, fear and nervousness could sabotage your interview. When you show up scared, nervous or intimidated the other person can feel it and it's not attractive. Fear says you don’t believe in yourself and it makes other people doubt your abilities.
Here are a few tips for overcoming fear on the spot:
(These tips would also work before a big test, recital, game or performance.)
You can do this.
(There are many more articles about overcoming fear at work on my blog.)
This was first published on KSL.com
I am reading your book Choosing Clarity and love it. It has really helped me to change how I feel about myself, but my biggest struggle is the relationship with my boss. Most days I feel that he doesn’t care about me at all and thinks I’m no good, in spite of the fact that I’m good at what I do. I have asked for some positive feedback, but all I get is negative. There is no rapport or "how are you" or anything like that. I don't know what else I can do, other than avoid interacting with my supervisor and/or find another job. I don’t want to leave this job, but this person will never approve of me or treat me the way I deserve. I think I will always feel worthless here. Is there anything else can I do?
Yes, you have more control here than you think. Even when you cannot change another person or the situation, you can always change YOU and your perspective, which can completely change how you feel about it.
In this article I'm going to teach you a new technique for doing this.
You must first understand that everything you experience today is filtered through your past experiences. They have created a perspective that works like a filter and distorts or even creates what you think you see. There is no reality. Everything you see and feel is just perception. You cannot see your life outside of it.
But you can change your narrative and create a new perspective. As the wise Marcus Aurelius said, “Life itself is but what you deem it.”
You have the ability to create or drastically change the story you are telling yourself, which will change how you feel. But to do this you will also have to step back and own the emotions you are bringing to the situation, but blaming your boss for.
The late and great Wayne Dyer used to demonstrate this by bringing an orange on stage. He would ask the audience if he squeezed the orange would apple juice come out? Grape juice? Of course not, orange juice would come out because that is what is inside an orange. Squeezing doesn’t produce the juice though. It just brings out whatever is already inside it.
You are very much like that orange. When life squeezes you (through difficult situations or challenges) what comes out?
Does self-pity, overwhelming hopelessness, insecurity, anger, fear, pride, jealousy come out? If these things show up when you feel stressed, insulted or mistreated you must understand the situation isn’t creating these emotions. The situation is just squeezing you and what is already inside you is coming out.
This means you already had issues with these emotions and you owned this problem before this person showed up.
Take a minute and think about how you subconsciously react when mistreated or stressed. What emotions do you experience? Is there a pattern here? Is this an emotion or a narrative you have experienced again and again in your life, though the specific situation is different?
You may have unresolved emotions in your past that created this issue and it’s now a sore (easy to trigger) spot with you. This means you are automatically quick to feel this way. I would guess from your question that you have some insecurity issues and fears of not being good enough (that you’ve probably carried with you for a long time). You may have fears around being disliked or not approved of. Your boss is triggering these in you, but he is not creating them.
It is very important you do not blame your boss (or anyone else in your life) for making you feel anything. No one can make you experience a feeling without your participation in creating it. If you didn't already have a weakness or tendency for that emotion or experience, his behavior wouldn't create it.
I believe because life is a classroom the universe is constantly providing teachers for you, who squeeze you so you can see what you have inside and need to work on. This interesting experience with your boss is giving you a chance for you to grow and become stronger, smarter and more in control of yourself and your perspective. Your boss is in your life to serve your growth.
I would encourage you to use this situation to overcome some of your subconscious insecurities and fears. Here is one way to do that:
Sit down with some paper and write out your current story about your horrible situation at work. Pour out all your anger, insecurity and fear. Let yourself vent and have a pity party about it.
Then, get a fresh piece of paper and write a different (healthier and more accurate) story or perspective about your situation. Use principles of truth to guide this, like the fact that your value is infinite and unchangeable, which means it isn’t tied to your boss’s feedback. Write about how this experience is just a lesson to help you grow. Write about how other people’s bad behavior towards you has more to do with their fears about themselves than it does about you.
Write a new attitude of compassion and love towards your boss and decide to see him as a great person with the same value as you, who is just struggling. Write a new attitude about how you are succeeding at work because you always do your best and create more value than required. Write a positive, powerful, optimistic perspective and make this your new mindset.
Then, read it daily or record it on your phone and listen to it throughout the day. Use the power of conscious choice to override your old story. You may even want to burn the paper with the old story on it and let it go. It was only a perspective option.
You are writing your life story (either consciously or unconsciously) with every thought you think. It is time to start controlling the story and living the life you want to experience. You can change the narrative and change how you feel completely. You can also apply this technique to any situation.
You really can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is the author of the book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a popular life coach, speaker and mental health at work expert.
I liked your article about overcoming shyness, but I need help with this at work. I know I am insecure and lack self-confidence at work. I think it is the only place this really shows up. I’m pretty confident at home and with friends, but at work I totally hold back. I play it safe and don’t comment or share my ideas enough. I don’t speak up when things bother me either or when I have a suggestion. At my last performance review my boss mentioned this and said they take my being quiet as being someone with nothing to give or add. How can I speak up with more confidence and not make a fool of myself?
People who are confident at work, speak up and take initiative, always get more opportunities, more raises, more promotions and generally go farther in their careers than people who don't. More doors open for people who are assertive, confident and willing to take risks.
Speaking up shows people that you trust yourself and it makes them trust you too. If you stay quiet in the background, it will eventually make people think you have nothing to give. People could also make incorrect assumptions from your silence about who you are and what you think. You must speak up in order to define yourself and show the boss you are invested.
You may be afraid to speak up at work for one of these three reasons:
1. You suffer from a fear of failure. This means you have fear around being embarrassed or looking bad. You are overly afraid of making mistakes and worried about what people think of you. I believe everyone on the planet battles this fear to some degree on a daily basis, the only question is only how bad you have it.
2. You have a fear of success. This means you play small and shoot low because it feels safer than trying harder. You may be afraid of the responsibilities and commitments that would come with shooting higher. You just want to stay in your comfort zone instead of taking on additional challenges. The problem is, people can subconsciously feel this fear and they tend to honor it by passing you by. If you cannot see yourself handling more responsibility, it won’t be given to you.
3. You have a fear of loss. This means you are afraid of being mistreated or taken from at work. You may have trust issues and see other people as a threat. This could encourage you to hold back and protect yourself, hold onto your ideas and keep them from others. You may be afraid of being walked on or losing control.
You must learn to break through these fears if you are going to reach your full potential at work. I’m going to give you some tips on how to do this, but if this is a big issue for you, I highly recommend getting an executive or life coach. There is also a Fear Assessment on my website I use with business people to help them understand how fear affects their subconscious behavior. You may want to try it.
Here are some tips for being more confident and speaking up at work:
1. Recognize the benefits you are getting from staying in your comfort zone. What do you get to avoid? Who does it punish? What are you afraid of losing if you took on more? Free time? Your excuses? List on paper the benefits you could be getting from your current "chicken" behavior. Then, list the benefits you might gain by changing yourself. What do you really want?
2. Remember that life is a classroom, not a test, which means your value as a person is not on the line.Your value is not changeable and is not determined by your performance at work. This means you have nothing to fear, though you always have much to learn. Work on seeing each situation as a lesson, which is serving your growth, but not attached to your value. Your value is absolute and never changes. This will make you bulletproof and braver at work.
3. Tackle challenges in small doses, one step at a time. Raise the bar slowly. You can handle the next small step out of your comfort zone now. Gear up for that. Take one small step today and then do another tomorrow.
4. Choose to focus on serving others. The law of energy says you can feel only one emotion at a time. If you choose to focus on love and serving others, it is impossible to feel fear. How can you make your work about giving to others and not about you?
5. Gain knowledge. Knowledge often eliminates fear. What skills would make you feel more confident at work? Sign up for a class to improve those skills. Marie Curie said, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that (you) may fear less.” Join Toast Masters to help you with speaking or take a class on better project management.
6. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. What are you good at? How can you use those abilities to the fullest? Can you use them more?
7. Accept failure as a part of success. Barbara Sher, the author of "Wishcraft," said, “If you try and fail, you won’t feel as bad as you think. You’ll gain experience, education, contacts and self-confidence.” Anyone who has accomplished great things has been through failures. I tell my clients to fail faster instead of playing it safe. Each failure moves you closer to success.
8. Focus on the present. Fear is always about the future. Stay in the present and focus on what you can do today. Who do you want to be in this moment? If you focus on your whole project or your whole career you will get overwhelmed. Just focus on being your best today.
9. Visualize yourself comfortably handling more responsibility. If you can’t see it, you can’t achieve it. Visualize yourself carrying responsibilities with ease and confidence. I can't stress enough the power of visualization.
10. Before you make a comment, check yourself by asking “Why am I bringing this up?"
12. Always ask questions and listen to others first. This will give you more information that is always helpful before you speak, and it will help you know how to say it the right way. It also shows that you are open to their ideas, and it makes them feel respected, and that will make them more open to listening to you.
13. Ask permission to share your thoughts. Would you be open to letting me share a few ideas on this? Asking permission shows people you honor and respect them and it also makes sure you have their attention.
14. Speak up in a respectful and effective way. Explain your motivation for bringing this up. Use "I" statements to explain your position, avoid using "you" statements, which can feel like an attack and are presumptuous. Also, don’t ramble. Keep it short and concise. This shows that you honor everyone's time.
15. Show that you are open to a discussion on the topic and even being wrong. Be open and willing to bend, hear opposing ideas and learn. You don't think you know everything nor have to be right. If this person disagrees with you, you could go back to step 12 and follow the last steps again. You can do this over and over until you both feel understood and a good solution is found.
If you practice all these, I promise your confidence to speak up at work will increase.
You can do this.
This article was first published on KSL.COM
Help! I read your article about Not Being a Drama Queen and I have a small business full of women that are driving me crazy with drama and fighting. They are constantly against each other and offending each other. I tried to talk with them but it is getting so out of control. Please help me get them back on track and focused on work. Thank you. I am one stressed-out boss.
As the boss, you need to think about creating a more positive corporate culture at work. Corporate culture is not just for big companies by the way, it exists in every company (of every size) whether you officially have one or not. If you don’t define a corporate culture, you will inadvertently create one that is based on you and your employees’ subconscious tendencies, attitudes and reactions. It sounds like the culture you have now is a negative, critical and angry one.
I recommend that you take some time and define your core values and principles on paper. Decide what kind of positive atmosphere you want to create at work. How do you want people to be treated? How do you want conflicts handled? What kind of behavior do you expect from your employees toward each other?
I believe that if you hire people, buy from people, sell to people or serve people (or deal with any other human beings at any level at all) in your business, you need a defined corporate culture that includes policies about people and how they are to be treated, both customers and co-workers.
The way employees treat each other is an often overlooked aspect of business. Most of our policies tend to focus on the delivery of the goods and services. They are more about processes than relationships and behavior. If you will expand your policies to include attitude, communication and interaction with each other, it will create better working environment and more productivity. Studies have shown that the average employee wastes around 2.5 hours a week dealing with office drama and people problems. If you taught your people better relationships skills and made policies about the human behavior part of your company culture, you could increase productivity and make work better for everyone.
We find companies that encourage (and even provide) opportunities for personal growth and development, improving relationship skills or executive coaching, just do better on every level. They are more successful, make more money and retain employees much longer. Investing in coaching, training, seminars or workshops for your people has a huge return on investment.
In the meantime, work on defining your core values and policies around human behavior. Then, put them up where everyone will see them, talk about them often, and live them by example. You may also need to start hiring people that believe in these values and are committed to living them. Make sure following the company’s core values and codes of human behavior are part of each person’s job description and that dishonoring the core values may lead to losing their job.
Here are some questions and suggestions to get you started creating a better corporate culture in your small business:
1. What are the principles and core values that are important to you at work? Here are some ideas: do you value honesty, compassion, work ethic, personal responsibility, respect, creativity, optimism, service, integrity or tolerance? Make a list of all the core values that are important to you.
2. Take an honest inventory of your own behavior and attitudes. Are you living the core values yourself? How can you lead by example and walk the walk, not just talk the talk? Make some specific commitments to improve your own behavior.
3. How do you believe people should be treated at work? What policies could you create to encourage that kind of treatment? Many of the companies I work with use policies like the following:
5. Do you have a policy about honoring commitments and doing what you say you’re going to do? What should this policy include so everyone is accountable for their own performance. What is your procedure for handling poor performance? Make sure you have one.
6. Do you listen to others? Will you take the time to hear their opinions and show them they are valued? Is this important to you? We think this is one of the most important things you can do as the boss. If you are willing to listen to your people they will feel valued and respected, and they will work harder.
7. Are you on time and do you respect others? Is being on time or treating people right a company value? You could institute a program where employees can submit names of other employees who are doing a great job or treating them right for a reward. Encourage good behavior by rewarding and recognizing it.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. I encourage you to start defining policies, procedures, and core values for your small company right away and start instituting them by living them yourself. If you struggle trying to figure out what your policies should be or are struggling to live them yourself, you may want to hire an executive coach or consultant to help you. You may also consider bringing in some outside people skills training for your employees, sometimes people respond better to outside expert.
Start there and let me know how it goes.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and an executive coach and corporate trainer.
This article was first published on ksl.com
Over and over everywhere I work, I end up being unappreciated, taken for granted and mistreated. It’s getting ridiculous that no one appreciates what I do and they seem to find fault in me even though I’m going beyond and above the call of duty. Things always start out good, but soon I can feel that they don’t like me and for some unexplained reason are holding me back, not giving me what others are getting or not supporting me. The more upset I get at this treatment the worse things go. I’m not sure if you can give me advice on this but I thought I’d ask.
Whenever an experience shows up in your life repeatedly, you must start asking two questions.
1) What is this experience here to teach me?
2) How am I creating this and responsible for it?
It is much easier to continue to blame the problem on everyone else, but if you do, you will never get off this merry-go-round and the lesson will keep repeating.
Life is a classroom, and you are here to learn. If the lesson keeps coming back, it is because you haven’t got it yet. I believe you are here in the classroom of life to learn one main lesson (and a whole lot of smaller ones). The main lesson is to get control over yourself so you have the power to become the best you and choose love over fear in every situation. Every lesson is, at its core, about learning to love God, life, yourself and other people. This experience is no exception.
From reading your whole letter, it looks like you are afraid of failure and loss. You are afraid of not being appreciated everywhere you work, because you are probably subconsciously afraid you aren’t good enough (the fear of failure). You are afraid of being mistreated because you are subconsciously afraid that you will not get the life you want and that life is unfair (the fear of loss).
Both of these fears create bad energy that other people can feel from you. All they feel is neediness, selfishness, anger and entitlement coming from you. I’m not saying you are any of these things — but this is what other people feel when you are in fear of failure or loss. Does that make sense?
The bottom line is your fear is making you look bad.
This is what fear does, especially in the workplace. Think of it this way, fear is the opposite of confidence, peace, energy, security, giving and serving. People who show up at work with love energy (something they can only have if they aren’t afraid) are seen as having those qualities. People are naturally drawn to these people and they are appreciated and treated well.
People who are scared they aren’t going to be liked or treated right show up with scarcity, selfish, insecure, needy energy that pushes people away from them.
This is just universal law. The more unappreciated energy you bring into your situation, the more unappreciated you will be. You will get what you are creating.
You are responsible for these result because you are choosing the experience subconsciously. This may take some thinking to get your head around it — but it is very important that you own the responsibility for creating your current situation. It is the only way you will have the power to create something different.
If you don’t own the problem, you can’t fix it. If you give ownership to others by blaming them and casting them as the bad guy, expecting them to change and give you what you want, you are giving away your power.
Everyone reading this article should take a minute and think about destructive patterns showing up in your life over and over. Have you had health problems your whole life, relationship problems, people problems? Can you see a pattern of feeling a certain way in all of the experiences? Can you sum it up in one sentence? I always feel _____________? Can you see a fear behind it? Is it tied to failure, or not feeling good enough or loved? Or is it more about being mistreated or taken from? Are you tired of it?
The good news is you are in the driver's seat of your life.
If you want to create different results, you are going to have to choose to see yourself and your life differently. You are going to need to choose a trust and love attitude towards your value and your journey — and I promise you can turn this whole thing around.
(I’m going to give you some instructions on how, but you may the need the support of a professional to hold you accountable and help you make these changes to your subconscious programming.)
You must choose to trust that you are good enough all the time. Life is a classroom, not a test, and therefore every mistake is a lesson that does not affect your value. Your value as a person is infinite and absolute because you are a one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable human soul who is here to learn. This means you do not need appreciation from anyone to validate your worth. Your sense of worth must come from within so you aren’t needy.
As you practice internalizing this real truth about your value, you will become more peaceful, secure, happy and loving. You will then be able to show up for others with no strings attached and give gifts of service to others (even at work) without needing appreciation in return. The people you work with will feel this. They will know that you need nothing and they will start to appreciate you. I know it sounds counter-intutive that in order to get appreciated you must stop needing appreciation — but that is how it works.
You must also choose to trust that your life is providing the perfect classroom journey for you. So if you are mistreated, it is just a lesson. It is not about your value. It is about giving you a chance to experience the situation and learn something about love from it. This situation may be about learning to forgive others for not being perfect, because in doing so you will also learn to love yourself more fully. It might be about learning how to choose a happy state even when things go wrong, or to trust God more fully, or to let go of your expectations and trust the universe that it knows what it’s doing.
When you let go of needing this situation to meet your expectations, trust the process of life, and choose to be happy where you are, you will show up strong, confident, capable and solid. People will respect this and they will treat you better.
You must stop the neediness for better treatment in order to feel happy and be treated better. (There are some situations, though, where your perfect lesson might be about getting strong enough to leave, but you must even do this in trust and love without any anger or victim energy, fully grounded in love and forgiveness, if you want to stop the cycle.)
This is going to be a battle to change your subconscious programming and stop the destructive cycle, but the answer is simple, it just takes work, awareness and practice to master. The best time to start working on it is today.
(It is hard to get this kind of complex principle from one article. You may want to read my book "Choosing Clarity" to learn more about it.)
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a coach and speaker.
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These articles were originally published on KSL.COM
Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.