Workplace

What To Do With Colleagues Who Resist Change

Most of us don’t really like change, but some people are especially nervous when things are in transition. If one of your coworkers is change-resistant, but changes are imminent, you need to act fast to get everyone on board with change.

 

Why Is This Happening? Here’s Why

 

Have you ever had a rough day and found yourself wanting to shout at the universe “why is this happening to me?!?!” As humans, if we must be challenged, we want that challenge to at least have a purpose. I tell a story in one of my books, The Successful Struggle, about a woman who moves across the country after a divorce, to be closer to her family for help raising her child. The move is difficult, finding a new job is challenging, and getting everything settled in a new life is exhausting. The fuel that keeps her going is knowing all the difficulty has a reason, to have a better life for her daughter, and once she makes it through the transition things will ultimately be better.

 

The #1 thing we can do to help our coworkers get on board with change is to help them understand the purpose of change. Why is this happening? What is the benefit to them? Are there more opportunities for a promotion as the company grows? When they understand what the ultimate payoff might be, they’re naturally more willing to navigate through change.

 

Lean On Me

 

Another thing you can do to help your colleagues navigate change is to facilitate connections among the staff. Studies show that employees who feel stronger connections to one another report being happier about change in the workplace.

 

This strategy can be an easy option no matter where you fall on the workplace hierarchy, because building strong workplace relationships doesn’t need approval from a boss. Even actions as simple as eating lunch together, or talking about non-work activities in the breakroom, can foster feelings of connection. If you do have some decision-making power, activities like community volunteering can really solidify the sense of team connections. Remember: you don’t have to go off-site to volunteer – taking an extra-long lunch break one day and making cards for kids in the hospital works, too.

 

The Pied Piper

 

You can’t force your colleagues to get on board with change, but you can lay the groundwork to make change a lot easier to handle. If you have a colleague you know will struggle with change, make sure they understand the purpose behind then change. Then do whatever you can to build that person’s workplace bonds. Understanding “why” and having strong workplace connections make a measurable difference when it comes to navigating change with a good attitude.

 

How To Tell Your Boss You’re Stressed (Without Seeming Like a Whiner)

How do you tell your boss that you’re stressed, without seeming like you’re whining? The key lies in understanding the difference between problem-focused coping and emotion-focused coping. Your boss cares more about the bottom line than about your stress, so use what your boss DOES care about to get your stress level and your workload under control.

Three Warning Signs You’re Dealing With a “Taker”

Life is all about give and take. Or so it SHOULD be. But some people are all “gimme, gimme, gimme,” and they take more than their fair share.

 

In his landmark book Give and Take, Wharton professor Adam Grant zeroes in on how the “Taker” personality type – whose mission is to gain as much as possible without helping others – can be difficult to live and work with because of a selfish nature.

 

How do you know if you’re dealing with a Taker?

 

Warning Sign #1: The Case of the Missing Gratitude Chip

 

Most of us have been taught that gratitude – feeling thankful when good things happen to us – is a positive trait. But Takers don’t feel gratitutde, bcause they believe they deserve everything they get. They don’t feel a need to say “thank you,” because they believe they were entitlted to whatever they took in the first place.

 

Warning Sign #2: People Aren’t People, They’re Tools

 

Takers see other people as opportunities, more than they see them as individuals. Other people, to a Taker, are valuable bin direct proportion to how much they can do for the Taker. If what you can offer the Taker diminishes, the Taker won’t care as much about the relationship. Takers are the type you see at a networking event who are in one conversation, but leave mid-sentence because they spotted someone more important.

 

 

Warning Sign #3: Turnabout Is Not Fair Play

 

Takers don’t like an equal playing field. They freak out at the slightest sign of someone else taking from THEM, or getting ahead. And if you DO take something from a Taker, don’t expect to be forgiven. Takers expect everyone else to forgive them, but they aren’t very good at forgiving other people for the exact same behavior.

 

What can you do if you have a Taker in your life?

 

If the Taker is an adult, there might not be much you can do to change them. You can model good behavior, but the best thing you can do is protect yourself and not give more to them than they deserve. According to Grant’s research, the healthiest pattern is to be a “Matcher,” someone who is happy to give, as long as there is a sense of fairness and balance to what they get in return. Remind yourself that the Taker in your life isn’t going to give you very much, so don’t give very much in return. Takers don’t like boundaries, but by protecting yourself, you’ll be mentally healthier in the long run.

 

If your child is a Taker, it’s not too late to intervene. Most children ARE Takers, at least in the early years. When you teach them to share their toys in order to get friends to play with them in the sandbox, you’re teaching them how to be Matchers. Both kids get something in return! Find opportunities to point out examples to your child where more than one person can succeed – like passing the ball to a teammate who has a better shot so the team can win the championship.

 

You don’t have to let a Taker take over your life. Watch the warning signs, protect yourself, and be generous to the people who deserve it.

 

 

How to Cure Post-Holiday Inertia

Some people feel a burst of energy at the beginning of the new year, but others just feel blah and lazy after bingeing on TV movies and sugar cookies. If you aren’t the New  Year’s resolution, vision board type, don’t worry.

How do you get re-motivated after the long holiday break?  “Post-Holiday Inertia” can be tough, but there are proven ways to increase your energy and get your work accomplished.

5 Ways To Stay Calm When Getting Terrible News

“It’s cancer.”

 

“You’re fired.”

 

“I want a divorce.”

 

Some words cause your body to go numb. Your ears buzz. You start to float above yourself. In those moments, you’re experiencing so much stress, and your body is being flooded with so much adrenaline, it can be difficult to think straight.

 

As difficult as it may be, thinking straight is the #1 thing you can do to help yourself when you’re getting terrible news. It’s crucial, in those moments, to keep your wits about you, gather information, and maintain self-control.

 

So how do you stay calm when you’re in the middle of receiving terrible news?

 

Take a sip of water.

It’s a tiny action, but taking a sip of water can be a great move when you receive shocking information. First, it gives you a mental break from the tough conversation. You may feel like you need a split second to close your eyes and process the information, and taking a sip of water gives you an excuse for breaking eye contact without looking “weak.” Taking a sip of water also gives you something to do with your hands, to keep them from jittering. Especially if the conversation is with someone like a boss, you want to appear composed and stoic. Having a glass of water as a prop can cover up your nerves.

 

Stay present in the moment.

It’s human nature, when getting bad news, for your thoughts to start spinning out of control. You can’t help but think about the future, and how this news will shape your life for months or years to come. Instead, keep your thoughts in the moment at hand. When you keep you mind focused, you’ll be better able to process what’s actually happening than if you allow your mind to wander to all the worst case scenarios. As this Forbes article remarks, it’s definitely best to avoid heading down the spiral of “what if…?” When you stay in the moment, you’ll be a better participant in the conversation, and you’ll remember the important information more accurately. Which dovetails perfectly with the next step…

 

Ask questions.

When I found out I had cancer, there were so many questions I wished I had asked the doctor when I was right there in front of him. Because I was so flustered at the news, I sat there in shock instead of asking smart questions. I had to email my concerns to the nurse and wait several days for a response. If you get bad news, don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you need, rather than assuming the worst. It also helps to take notes. Many times our adrenaline keeps us from recording good memories of these tough conversations, so taking notes will help you not only focus in the moment, but also give you something to jog your memory later.

 

Remind yourself all the ways it could be worse.

We’ve been taught to believe we should think positive when we get bad news. But last week I had the honor of hearing Sheryl Sandberg, the author and Facebook executive, participate in a Q&A, and she had a different perspective. She recalled that a friend told her, after her husband Dave died, that “it could have been worse. Dave could have been driving the children when his heart gave out.” She realized that she could have lost her entire family in a single moment. By remembering that things could, in fact, be worse, we put our struggles in perspective.

 

Take a single action.

Getting bad news makes us feel powerless. We can’t control the situation, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything. Figure out the first action you can take to regain control, no matter how small. Through a psychological construct called “self efficacy,” taking even the smallest action helps you feel more competent and powerful. If you’ve been diagnosed with an illness, your fist step could be finding a specialist. If you’re faced with divorced, your first step could be protecting your financial information. If you’ve been let go from your job, it could be brushing up your resume. By doing what you can do, even if it doesn’t feel like much, you’re building your self efficacy for the moments ahead.

 


 

Getting bad news can feel like life as you know it is over. But if you keep calm, stay present, gather information, and put the situation in perspective, you’ll be able to move forward as quickly as possible.

 

“Surviving the Toughest Day of My Career”: Interview with “Real Beauty” Model Stacy Nadeau

Meet the most authentic, honest model on the planet!

 

Dove Campaign for Real Beauty model Stacy Nadeau tells us all about the hardest day of her career, and the technique she used to move past it. (Spoiler alert: she didn’t do it alone!)

Why You Should Hire a Content-Based Motivational Speaker

Are you looking for a motivational speaker for your conference or event? Not all motivational speakers are created equal!

 

If you’re planning a meeting, you may think you have to decide between hard-hitting content, or uplifting motivation. But you don’t. Courtney Clark provides something she calls “content-based motivation,” where she blends research and strategies with stories, humor, and hit-you-where-it-counts inspiration. The reality is that we all learn in different ways. Some people like to hear the personal experiences, while others just say “give me the tactics!”

 

Courtney’s blend of inspiration and information resonate with groups from nurses to IT leadership. There’s something for every audience member in one of Courtney’s motivational keynote presentations.

 

If you’re planning a meeting and looking for a speaker, think about bringing content-based motivation to your event, for maximum impact.

Forget FOMO. Here’s What You Should REALLY Be Afraid Of.

I thought the fad would be over by now, but it looks like FOMO, the “fear of missing out” that’s gripped society via social media, is still going strong.

 

Oh, it’s not that I expected us to get over our natural human desire to have it all. We’ve always had it and we probably always will. But it’s so prevalent right now. Everywhere I turn people are talking about feeling that FOMO, that worry that everyone else is doing more, having more, and just being more than you.

 

But here’s the bottom line: “missing out” isn’t a big threat to your life happiness. You know what is a threat? Burning out. We should all have more FOBO: fear of burning out. Fear of getting so stressed that you just can’t take it anymore.

 

When it first became a “saying,” we all thought FOMO was a (mostly) positive emotion. If we don’t want to miss out, it spurs us to work harder, go out and spend more time with friends, and have great experiences. FOMO launched many a skydiver, entrepreneur, and Thursday-night whiskey-fueled country line dancer (for better or worse).

 

But there’s a downside we didn’t see: saying “yes” to everything is exhausting and impossible to sustain. FOMO leads to burnout.

 

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Burnout?

 

We should be afraid of burning out. Burnout is characterized by unrelenting stress that leads to disengagement and a loss of excitement. Burnout is a feeling of hopelessness. So why don’t we have more FOBO? We know burnout is bad, but we often don’t take measures to prevent it. We work and work and wait until we’re just so stressed out, until we decide that something needs to change.

 

If we want to be happier, peaceful, and more resilient to stress, we need to trade our FOMO for FOBO. Burning out is a far bigger threat to our success than missing out on any one opportunity, no matter how good.

 

Why Burnout Limits Opportunity

 

When you burn out, you limit your ability to enjoy life. You feel a sense of detaching from your surrounds and the people in your life, even your closest loved ones. If you’re burned out, you’re also hard to get along with at home AND at work, because you’re more likely to be sarcastic and unkind without even realizing it.

 

Burnout also makes it hard to be successful, because it is often characterized by a sense of exhaustion. If that happens to you, you’ll notice you just start coasting at work, because you’re just too tired to care, even if you’ve been getting plenty of sleep. That’s not a way to get a promotion!

 

To Do: Ditch FOMO for FOBO

 

It’s time to let FOMO be a thing of the past. Too much FOMO leads to burnout. For a peaceful life, forget the FOMO and arm yourself with a stronger sense of FOBO.

 

This Technique is The Key To Surviving Everyday Frustration

The voice is coming out of my iPhone, tinny and electronic in the dark room.

 

“Breathe in and feel the hand on your abdomen rise,” the voice says. I breathe in and out, in time with his commands.

 

“Keep your eyes shut,” I will myself. “Just for another minute. It’s probably almost over. Keep your eyes shut.” I breathe in and out and try to get in rhythm with the tinny voice.

 

I’m not very good at meditating. I’d almost always rather be doing something else, like checking something off of my to do list or – like last night – just going straight to sleep after a long day. But I can’t ignore all of the research I’ve done that confirms how good meditation is for you, so I persist. I turn on my meditation app and try to focus my mind, even though my frustrated mind fights me every step of the way.

 

It made me wonder – how many times during the course of a single day do we think “I wish this was over already?” Here’s my personal list:

 

  • When I’m working out in the morning
  • Sitting in traffic on the way to a meeting
  • Making sales calls to build my business
  • Doing the dishes after dinner
  • Arguing with my husband over whose turn it is to do the dishes after dinner 😉
  • Waiting for my slowest dog to do her business already
  • Meditating in the evening

 

What does yours look like? Arguing with a toddler over what they’re going to wear? Sitting in a daily staff meeting that sounds just like yesterday’s? Making dinner for someone who doesn’t appreciate it?

 

Time Traveling to the Future

 

Of course it’s natural to wish the boring or frustrating moments were finished and over with. But if we put our attention on the annoyance, we’re giving our mind permission to be miserable. Instead, studies show that the most successful people have something called a “future orientation.” Future orientation is an ability to focus on what’s coming and what’s possible, instead of current circumstances. It offers us an ability to be hopeful, instead of frustrated.

 

What does that look like? Well, for me it means thinking of how strong I’m going to be instead of how my quads burn right now. Or how much more peaceful I’ll feel once the dishes are done. Or how accomplished I’ll feel once I make a sale. Or how that meeting is going to move my business forward, once I get through the traffic.

 

We say to ourselves, “I wish this was over already.” But it will be over soon enough, and wishing won’t really make it happen any faster. Life will never be empty of daily frustrations and stress. But if we can shift our focus to future orientation instead of the annoyances of the present, it makes the struggle feel worth it.

 

 

 

Are You Too Busy To Be Great?

You’ve seen the cultural obsession with being busy: people who greet one another with “How are you?” “Sooooooo busy!” Or texts that read “Sorry I never got back to you, I’ve been slammed.” We equate busy with being important, so we flaunt our busy-ness like a badge of honor.

 

But all that busy could be getting in the way of something truly important.

 

When we’re so overwhelmed, we may be missing opportunities for excellence. It’s difficult to do our best work when we’re stressed out and busy. If you want to be truly great – at your job, parenting, being a friend, your hobbies, anything – it pays to be less busy and more focused. Here’s why…

 

This Is Your Brain On Stress

 

When you get stressed out, your brain floods your body with stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Those hormones are great if you’re in battle or fleeing from a predator, but they aren’t so great if you’re just sitting at your desk.

 

With adrenaline and cortisol flooding through your system, you aren’t very good at higher-order decision making or critical thinking. Unless your career is prehistoric hunter, you probably need higher-order decision-making and critical thinking at your job. When you are busy and stressed, you aren’t capable of making smart decisions, or doing very good work. You may think “I’ll just push through and get this project done, so then I’ll be less stressed.” But if you do a mediocre job, that’s not great for your future career prospects, is it? To be at your smartest and best, get the stress under control.

 

Are You Even Aiming?

 

My friend Ruben knew a lot about getting what he wanted in life. Diagnosed with cancer in college, the doctors tried every known cure but couldn’t make his tumor go away. When I met him, he had lived with his cancer for 8 years. With the threat of cancer hanging over his head all that time, he didn’t have your typical 50 item list of priorities he wanted to accomplish in life. He only wanted one thing: to fall in love and get married. Spoiler alert: he did it!

 

Truly great people aren’t just busy. They’re focused.

Ruben knew something smart: you only hit what you’re aiming for. So often in life, we spend our time, energy and focus on little things, then we’re frustrated when we don’t get the big things we claim we truly desired. But we weren’t working toward them! You can’t aim at 45 different targets at the same time. Do you know what you’re aiming for? Is it what you really want? Or are you spending your precious time on busy work?

 

Spend time thinking about what motivates you in the “big buckets” of your life: your family, career, etc. If you find yourself overwhelmed and frustrated by a massive To Do List, do what I do! I threw out my regular list and created something for myself called “The Time Targeter,” where I can organize my To Dos based on what’s really important, not just urgent. The Time Targeter helps me fit more into my day without feeling more stressed.

 

Click here if you’d like a blank copy of the Time Targeter and a free guide to get started using it.

 

Whatever you do, don’t forget to aim in the right direction.

 

We may equate busy-ness with importance, but truly great people aren’t just busy. They’re focused. They spend their energy where it matters most. When you’re scattered, stressed, and filled with adrenaline and cortisol, you’ll never reach your full potential. To join the ranks of the truly great, don’t just do more. Do more of what matters.