This month’s blog posts are all about practicing the alternative to joining the burnout club which is joining the strengthen your emotional awareness club. In that club you find peace and strength in owning what you believe about yourself, the people you work with, and your job situation. As I said in my last post, “emotional well-being for your work has nothing to do with your job”.
If you aren’t first emotionally aware of what your work is – the ultimate impact you wish to have on those you serve – then you have restricted your chances of feeling at peace about your job – the place you show up at every day in exchange for wages.
Remember, developing greater emotional awareness is a process – like anything else – and my 3 STEP process can help you get there:
STEP #1 - realize what you are thinking and feeling
STEP #2 - care for yourself AND others (or maybe it’s better said as for others AND yourself)
STEP #3- just say no – YES! Show favor for what you want – not what you don’t want.
Last blog post we looked at STEP #1. In this post, let’s look closer at STEP #2 which is about learning how to advocate for yourself as well as for others (or others as well as yourself). STEP #2 has nothing to do with feats of emotional strength that might include a Mr. Universe ability to kiss ass (don’t make any waves), or kill others with
kindness niceness (even though you are really disgusted by their behavior) – remember kindness offers truth and caring). STEP #2 also has nothing to do with developing killer corporate politics instincts such as the fine art of looking out for #1 at the expense of others while making it all look like you care about others or corporate initiatives. If you are all about yourself at work – trust me, everyone knows it and you are fooling no one.
STEP #2 is actually about letting go of self judgment and judgment of others and instead just figuring out what is needed in order for you and others to feel whole, complete and comfortable in any situation you are dealing with. Corporate speak for this is “win/win solutions”.
Time and time again, I used to see situations at work where disgruntled employees became that way because they would keep their mouth shut whenever they didn’t like something that was going on with their job because they were afraid of not being seen as a “team player”, or because they would be viewed as a “problem” employee if they voiced their concerns. All that fear and all that mouth shutting only transformed them into cynical, disengaged workers.
When we believe the only solution is to let someone else have what they want or to go after what we want without regard for what will work for another, we open the door for defensiveness, arguments, power struggles, judgment, bad or hurt feelings, etc.
One of the reasons I always believed I was successful and effective in my career with employee relation issues is because I always believed in, looked for, and offered win/win solutions. I knew finding what would work for everyone was possible. After my corporate work, my transformational thinking mentors taught me to take win/win thinking a step further – to find the “I love you AND I love me too” solution.
Let’s apply an “I love you AND I love me too” solution to one the most influential relationships on our stress level at work – the boss relationship. From time to time we all may feel like we just don’t have the energy to deal with certain people at work but our boss is rarely someone we can dodge for long.
Bosses are famous for what I call “demands disguised as requests” – so here is how you can practice the “I love you AND I love me too” approach when you feel forced into giving a compliant response to something you don’t feel truly good about.
For example, let’s say your boss asks: “Can you take on an additional project that will require you to work weekends and evenings for a few weeks?”
On the spot, you may feel the only correct response is “Yes” - maybe because you don’t want to rock the boat or because RIFs are going on and you don’t want to be next on the chopping block or because bonus season is around the corner, blah, blah, blah. So here we are at STEP #1 – realize what you are thinking/feeling. Get in touch with your story for why you can’t say “No”. Notice all those restrictions on yourself and notice that to just say “yes” with all those restrictions and stories swimming in your head is only giving from a place of victimhood. It’s only providing an “I love you…” solution – there’s no care or concern for yourself in that answer which means there is no sustainable access to fulfillment in that answer.
Plus, if you think you can fool your boss into not hearing the cynicism in your “yes” you’re only fooling yourself. So even in giving the boss what you think they want, you only created pain, separation and probably suffering – YOUR suffering. So this is one way not to communicate! Let’s try it again with another approach.
You could say, (with a ‘sucks for you!’ tone) – “Oh wow, sorry, yeah, I have other commitments evenings and weekends. Hope you find someone else – good luck with that.”
Maybe you tell yourself, “I’ll take my licks for this – I don’t care. This job sucks anyway.” But how well do you think that will go over with your employer? “I love me” approaches don’t often go over well with anyone in any situation. Plus, they don’t offer you a life where you get to live and work with conscious energy that promotes a sense of fulfillment in your life! So this too is another way not to communicate!
You can work smarter not harder. Here’s how…
introducing…. the “I love you AND I love me too” solution…
The first thing about this solution is that it cares – so, with a caring, professional, collaborative tone, you might say – “Thank you so much for offering me the opportunity to do the work. I appreciate that you see my contributions as making a difference. I have other commitments in the evenings and on the weekends – would it work for you if I worked flexible hours including some from home? If not, I’d be happy to help you find someone who I think could do the work as well as I. Do any of those options work for you?”
Or, if you don’t know what to say in the moment, you can say: “I understand you need an answer right now, and what I can offer you is a not well thought out answer that doesn’t feel authentic or fair to me. I don’t give those kinds of answers to people so I am either just going to have to say ‘no’ or you can give me more time to sort out my other evening/weekend commitments – which do you prefer?”
With either of these responses, you offer care, compassion, and options (bosses love options – the control to make final decisions), AND you didn’t sacrifice what you wanted!
Not only that…
… you also demonstrated that you are responsible, and conveyed that you believe, that the boss believes, that you are valued as an employee. You made you and your boss a team. Most importantly, you indirectly conveyed that what you both wants matters to you and that energy becomes contagious. Why do you think that becomes contagious?
Here’s a deep answer …
…because it’s a universal truth that we all matter. It speaks to the higher self in the other person – it offers the opportunity for their higher self to surface. Does this approach guarantee you will get what you want?
What do you think matters more for you to connect with a sense of your confidence, power, and fulfillment…
- unconsciously getting what you want from others all the time
- consciously standing for yourself AND others and getting what you want most of the time and when it seems like you are not getting your way, you stay in trust that the Universe has something better for you in store than you initially had planned?
The latter is what living in working from conscious energy is all about. The former is putting your confidence, power, and fulfillment in the hands of others – everything is fine AS LONG AS conditions around you are fine. That’s not reliable or sustainable.
STEP #2 is powerful for your work and your life. It’s applied beautifully even in impossible situations like asking my kids to do things. Sometimes my husband will say to me “Why is it our son gives me 10 miles of attitude when I ask him to do something”? I however, don’t have this reaction from our son – I attribute that to practicing the 3 steps. It’s not that he doesn’t give me attitude sometimes too when I ask things like “Can you take the garbage out?” He may rolls his eyes and say things like “I don’t wanna”, and I say “I understand you want to do what you are doing and I don’t want to take you away from what you love to do, but can you pause that when you get a minute to help me out or let me know when else you can do it, or ask your sister if she can help me. Do any of those options work for you to help me?”
So imagine that you are the boss who asked you to take on extra work or my son who I asked to drop the Xbox controller and take out the trash…
…is there anything else you hear in the responses I suggest to the boss question or the way I suggest you request help with the trash?
Learn more about applying this work smarter not harder solution to get the results you want and reap the benefits of living and working with conscious energy - join me for a Nature’s Guidance System coaching session.
In this up to 90 minute session we will identify your personal tools for overcoming 3 things that get in the way of living and working with “I love you AND I love me too” consciousness.
Carl Jung said ‘What we resist, persists.’ So when we feel stuck, exhausted, cynical, powerless etc. and we don’t allow ourselves to feel it, express it and take action to move past it – those feelings and the consequences that follow them get bigger and bigger in our life.
In this session you will get:
- 7 steps that can move you over from contracted energy to expanded energy with less effort, stress, judgment or suffering.
- 4 different kinds of tools for transforming hard work effort into high energy
- Customized “state changing” solutions that are unique for you access clear communication and a sense of personal power.
Contact me by March 31, 2017 to secure your introductory rate of $197 for this session. Healing from exhaustion, cynicism and powerlessness at work is possible – but only if you get into action and take advantage of the opportunities to heal that are around you.