By 2g1c2 girls 1 cup

 

Living With a Grateful Heart

My mother has always urged me to “Live with a Grateful Heart!” Even when I was a young girl, she was able to teach this valuable life’s lesson because that’s exactly how she has always lived her life.   What’s more, since  my mother’s advice is something I treasure, I have not only tried my hardest to live with gratitude, but  have done my best to instill this virtue in my children. 

 

As Americans, we annually observe Thanksgiving in November.  We surround ourselves with family, friends and remembrances of our blessings in life while giving heartfelt thanks.  We celebrate these blessings around a table as thoughts of Norman Rockwell’s iconic painting are recreated in homes nationwide.  Sadly, many will only celebrate and recognize their blessings once a year.  What I am urging is that we find the wonder all around us each day and give thanks!

Many of the simple things in life can be reasons for being grateful. These are often things that we tend to take for granted–our health, family, friends, our livelihood–until they are brought to our attention or taken away.

Remembering to be grateful daily for one’s health, family, friends, a job during a recession, having a roof over one’s head and food on the table is a good way to start living with gratitude. Even in bad times when one of these may be taken away, there ARE still blessings all around us.

As each year ends and a new one begins, we have the opportunity to stop and reflect on the current state of our lives and remember to be grateful. Each New Day can give us the chance to start anew and is an excellent time to start keeping a Gratitude Journal, as a written reminder of for all that you have to be grateful.Take a few moments and think about what are grateful for everyday.

 

Begin Your Day with Gratitude 

If you begin looking at each breath as a blessing, then suddenly everything in an ordinary life becomes a miracle-delighting in the colors of the setting sun, feeling the rain on your face or smelling the amazing fragrance of a single perfect rose.

 

What are the ways you can think to show your gratitude and share your blessings with others?  Can you volunteer?  Can you give personal time or financial support to those in need?  Whatever way you identify, believe me you will continue to be blessed over and over again.

 
 

How to Recognize 7 Personality Types in Office Politics

Do you feel like you’re going crazy at work? Up is down? Left is right? Day is night?  Welcome to the wonderful world of office politics–there’s never been a better time to telecommute.

It’s a jungle out there - literally. Even if you make a conscious effort to stay out of the fray, it’s almost impossible not to be sucked into the vortex of people scrambling for power, favor, or recognition.

There are some basic office politics personality types that can be found in most work settings. It’s helpful to be forewarned, if not forearmed.

1) The Ego Monster. They’re right. They’re always right. They’re the smartest person in the room. Their ideas are the best and the only ones that count. These are the folks that pay the most lip service to “teamwork” (i.e., do what I say or suffer the consequences).

2) The Bully. I have been talking about this a lot lately because this group seems to be everywhere!  They use verbal and intellectual (if they’re capable of it) intimidation. They openly belittle others’ ideas, work, dress, speech, etc., (with the exception of their immediate supervisor(s) and/or boss). They only feel good about themselves when putting others down. Be careful if you choose to confront the bully. They become quite malicious and vindictive when someone tries to unmask them.

3) The Climber. They have to be on top. It doesn’t really matter if the top is a glory-less position. If there’s a rung above them, they’re going to climb it. They usually reach their goal/summit on the backs of others.

4) The Good Intentioned. They’re a variation of the Climber, but disguise their agenda with “the best of intentions.” They smile as they take advantage of you and the system.  Only real agenda they have is their own.

5) The Suck-up.  My personal most despised personality is the suck-up.  They’re shameless. They will do anything to ingratiate themselves to get what they want while hoping to avoid attacks from the Bully and Climber, while gaining favor with the Ego Monster.

6) The Incompetent.  Colleagues are always cleaning up their messes. They’re the masters of Dump & Run. They submit incomplete tasks and/or non-usable projects. They’re continuously reassigned to different departments to “help out,” when, ironically and inevitably, they create more work instead of lightening the load.

7) The Innocent Bystander. You can never stay entirely out of the fray, not really. Even working from home doesn’t make you immune. The best you can hope for is a reasonably grounded leader who creates an environment of sanity.

There are many reasons office politics exist, including:

·         Feeling undermined at home and compensating at work.

·         Adult bullies in the grown-up playground.

·         Power hungry.

Whatever the reason, it makes for a thoroughly unpleasant workplace.

The crazy thing is, 20 years from now, none of the things we rage and plot over matters. Ultimately, the workplace one-upmanship in which we engage to bolster ourselves against life’s petty indignities is silly. Can’t we all just get on with it?  What are your thoughts?

 
 

Bullies in the Work Place

Increasingly we hear horror stories about bullies our children are facing on busses, in school hallways and the playground.  Now, in the digital age, there seems to be no end to how quickly and how far and wide abuse can be spread. It’s made me weep to hear of the disfiguring acts like throwing acid on a pretty girl’s face or the “targeted weakling” that was set on fire; nearly killing him.  And most recently was the gut wrenching story of a young Irish student, a beautiful teen, who was bullied so brutally that to stop the pain she took her life.  This morning I heard of yet another incident where a father entered a school bus to confront the bullies that were terrorizing his special needs daughter.  Yes, he was threatening and now faces 4 months incarceration, but when does the abuse stop and who is responsible? The family?  The school authorities?  The legal system?

That leads me to today’s topic.  Bullies in the workplace!  Oh yes they do exist and these are most likely the bullies that were the same abusers as children.  Some are more passive than others, but they certainly do exist and they certainly need to be dealt with.

Do you have co-workers who constantly tell you how to do your job? Do they criticize your work while bragging about their performance, which is actually mediocre at best? Do they take credit for your ideas and diminish your authority? If so, you’re probably dealing with a workplace bully.

Office bullies are basically those with behavioral problems and have been ALLOWED to run amok.  Understanding what’s at play can help you feel better and survive, if not thrive.

The Basic Office Bully Personality Types:                     

1) The Alpha Dog. One quick growl and everyone takes heed.  They know if they don’t it’s only going to be worse so they submit to this personality type

Figure out who the alpha dog is in your office. It may not be “the boss.” It could be the assistant or the VP. Determine their ego needs–flattery, reliability, staying late–and give it to them. Although I hate to say it, if you can learn how to fake sincerity with these people, it’ll make your life easier.

2) The Territorial Kingdom Builder. Ever wonder why organizations have departments? Because different employees have different skills and serve different functions? Yes that’s part of it, but there’s more to it.

The “kings” and “queens” in your office are territorial creatures. When others encroach upon their territory, they get take any steps they see as necessary to maintain their authority.

We’re all territorial to some degree, but the bully takes it too far!  Do you have co-workers who tell you how to do your job? Do they offer unsolicited advice, even when they’re ignorant on the subject? It’s a lateral land grab and we may or may not take action to keep our “territory”.  This is normal to a degree, but the difference is highly aggressive bullying-type behavior and an indication of territorial dominance, anxiety and insecurity.  The bully may even try to tell you they are “just trying to help.”

3) The Blamer. This person’s game is distraction through detraction. They trash you and tell you how you should be doing your job in order to draw attention away from their ineptitude and incompetence. This is a common tactic of the workplace bully. You know this is occurring when the facts don’t back up their allegations. Furthermore, when you challenge them with the facts, they make up the craziest points to refute them.

I once worked with a guy who was a master of this technique. Unfortunately, it was the only thing he’d mastered. He made noisy, unfounded public disparaging remarks about my department; meanwhile, every business deal he made cost the company money instead of making it money. Distraction through detraction.

4) The Control Freak. If you spend all your time worrying about and trying to control others, when do you get your work done? Do you really have that much time on your hands? The answer is, yes, these bullies do have that much time on their hands because they’re not doing their work; they’re too busy telling you how to do your work. By spending every waking moment trying to control people and situations, they give the appearance of being busy without accomplishing anything of their own.

This type believes his or her way is the only way. They try to leave their thumbprint on so that they can take credit for everything. It’s definitely another form of bullying that involves domination and micro-management. Eventually, this behavior undermines your confidence and causes physical and psychological symptoms from the stress of being under constant attacks and monitoring.

5) The Scavenger. They’re after your job. This happens all the time, hence the expression, “Dog eat dog world.” Enough said.

6) The Terminator. They don’t want your job; they want you gone! This person is territorial and will do anything. Watch your back. They prey on the vulnerable and weak.  They also go after people who see through their facade, their mediocrity and vicious attack behaviors.

Deep down they have an inferiority complex.  This is another bully behavior. Although their attacks feel personal, they seek and destroy others, particularly those who are smarter, more talented, more creative and more successful, in order to feel powerful and better about themselves. After, they force you out, they’ll move onto their next target within 2 hours to two weeks. This type always has an “enemy” in the cross hairs.

When an office has infighting, territory disputes, and withholds supplies and information, it’s a clear sign that it’s a workplace in which bullying is rampant and/or is tolerated by management. If you recognize any of the above personalities at your office, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with how bullies operate and how you can protect yourself. Isn’t it time to get rid of these adult bullies that have most likely manifested this behavior all their lives?

I’ll be writing more on this subject so stay tuned so you can be prepared, be forewarned and no longer a victim.

 

 
 

WOMEN DIFFER FROM BUSINESS MEN - In Style not skill

The Age-Old Battle of the Sexes:
Who Makes a Better Manager?

When both men and women are surveyed today, the successful managerial stereotype remains to be what we have been conditioned to describe as masculine – self-confident, dominating, competitive, decisive, aggressive and independent.

What surprises me is that while not all female managers any longer “sextype” the successful manager as male, most business men and business women do not identify the successful manager as using traditionally feminine traits and styles – consultative, conciliatory, partnership-oriented and collaborative - even though everyone agrees these are positive styles.  Is it possible to meld the traits together to describe the consummate leader?  I vote yes!

Cultural Conditioning
Results in Gender Stereotyping
for Women in Management

I subscribe to the generalization that typically business women use positions of authority to create a supportive, nurturing environment. On the other hand, most of the time men use positions of authority to create a hierarchal environment in which they issue orders and expect obedience.

As little girls, most of us grew up to be obedient, to be a good friend, to keep diaries that expressed our deepest feelings, to take care of our dolls, and to help Mom, often with younger siblings. We saw little boys our nemisis and teasers - sometimes to the point of tears. When we complained to mom or dad, we were told “Just ignore him. He’ll grow out of it some day”.  But did they?

As little boys, many men grew up building forts and forming secret clubs for the exclusive benefit of themselves and their friends. This conditioning led them to see themselves in militaristic terms, part of a “good old boys network”, and they saw little girls as sissies, unable to compete and certainly not belonging in their well fortified “boys only” world. When their parents shrugged off their sometimes harmful antics with “oh well, boys will be boys”, they were given a green light to carry their behavior styles forward into adulthood. Yet, while all this was going on, the girls were getting much better grades in school and becoming fast learners! So much for men’s skills being superior to women’s!

 

Communication Style Differences
Between Men and Women in Management

Communications is one of the two issues cited most often when business women are asked what they find most difficult to deal with at work. The other is finding balance between work and family.

Women and men who work together often get tied up in communication knots, especially over issues that involve power and managing their teams. That’s because the sexes have distinct ways of communicating. They request action and advice differently, their responses and timing are different, and they have different styles for expressing work-related demands and needs. And it’s all the result of that early social conditioning I discussed previously.

Office Politics and Power

Office politics is ultimately all about having power. And, there’s no standard definition of power. Who has political clout and power is determined first by the corporate culture which reflects the values of the CEO and second by the individuals in the organization and their desire to have that power.

Consider this: with a management position comes a certain aura of power. But men and women define and exercise it differently. It’s not hard to see prejudice toward female leadership styles and how they can restrict business women’s access to top leadership positions. The bias shows up when women are perceived as possessing less leadership ability than equivalent men or when the same leadership behavior is evaluated less favorably in a woman than a man.

Understanding that social conditioning created these style differences is a huge step to overcoming both communication and style gender gaps. The style differences were built in long ago and do not necessarily represent conscious choices being made today!

The Huge Mistake for Women to Avoid

Remember the scene in the movie “Titanic” when Rose asks Jack: “Teach me to act like a man. Talk like a man. Walk like a man. And spit like a man”?

The absolute worst thing business women can do is try and “act like men”! All that would do is make the men you work with feel even more uncomfortable watching you behave in what, to them, is a totally unnatural way.

My advice is to be yourself, rely on your talents and adapt your communication style to your audience.  I don’t mean you should compromise your position or your message.  Just adapt your message to be clear and concise and stay true to your SELF and your business reputation will grow and flourish.

 
 

Gender Pay Gap Smallest on Record But That’s Not all Good News for Women

The earnings gap between men and women has shrunk to a record low, partly because many women are prospering in the new economy and partly because men have been hit hard by the recession.

Certainly this is good news that the wage gap is closing.  The bad news is the reason. Men have been losing jobs at a faster rate than women in the recession because of troubles in manufacturing, construction and other industries. By contrast, job loss has been slow in government and health care which tend to employ more women.

In the categories of race, age and occupation here are what the numbers look like and why we are experiencing the shift.

Race.  Women outperformed men in every race and ethnic group.  The median weekly wage for black women especially rose while wages for black men fell.

Age.  No matter the age, women did better.  They saw wages rise higher than men.  However, I still need to point out that in almost all age brackets, women still earn about $200 less per week than the typical man.

Occupation.  Women have been moving into high-paying professional jobs such as accountants, lawyers and physicians.  At the same time, men have been moving just as fast into relatively low paying jobs – bank tellers, switchboard operators, librarian – long dominated by women.

It’s not good news for women to have men making poor economic progress.  This isn’t a gender war.  If men lose, that doesn’t mean that women win.

U.S. women still earned only 77 cents on the male dollar according to the latest census statistics. To highlight the need for change, since 1996 the National Committee on Pay Equity, an advocacy-group umbrella organization, has marked April 20 as Equal Pay Day. There are some signs of progress: the first bill Barack Obama signed into law as President targeted the U.S. pay gap, and the Senate is considering a bill that is meant to address underlying discrimination. But the question remains: Why has it taken so long? Nearly half a century after it became illegal to pay women less on the basis of their sex, why do American women still earn less than men?

One reason is due partly because women tend to cluster in lower-paying fields. The most-educated women, for example, gravitates toward the teaching and nursing fields. Men with comparable education become business executives, scientists, doctors and lawyers — jobs that pay significantly more.

This diminishing pay gap just doesn’t tell the whole story. Women earned less than men in all 20 industries and 25 occupation groups surveyed by the Census Bureau— even in fields in which their numbers are overwhelming. Female secretaries, for instance, earn just 83.4% as much as male ones. And those who pick male-dominated fields earn less than men too: female truck drivers, for instance, earn just 76.5% of the weekly pay of their male counterparts.

I’d like to point out that ensuring an end to discrimination would benefit more than just women.  Considering that nearly 40% of American mothers are the primary breadwinner in their households, America’s children would benefit as well. Women’s wages have increased just half a penny on the dollar for the past four decades. How much longer can it possibly take for equality to arrive?

 
 

E-Mail: When is Enough Enough?

Did you ever feel like deleting your entire inbox and starting all over again? Or better yet did you want to send all your contacts one final e-mail to say, I’m done!  You can reach me by phone or send me a snail mail, but I am officially signing off!

People who don’t want to go through the drastic measure of declaring total e-mail “bankruptcy” are resorting to gently discouraging the use of e-mail in their communications in favor of more personal calls or instant messages.

I was shocked recently when I read an article about how many of our children, in fact, no longer know how to write cursively. Guess why?  With the increase of texting and typing e-mails, the beauty of cursive writing seems to be a dying art.  What’s even worse, their communication skills are also negatively being affected.  Our young people are getting accustomed to communicating with quick, brief statements and seriously lagging behind when it comes to oral or written skills not to mention their ability to spell!

The supposed convenience of electronic mail, like so many other innovations of technology, has become too much for some people. Swamped by an unmanageable number of messages — the volume of e-mail traffic has nearly doubled in the past two years and plagued by annoying spam and viruses, some users are saying “Enough!”

E-mail overload gives many workers the sense that their work is never done.  A lot of people like the feeling that they have everything done at the end of the day and this is virtually impossible especially when you consider the number of employees carrying company paid Blackberries®.  In this case, they are responsible to be “on” 24/7 and the emails are always coming and awaiting a response. Evenings with their families are ruined and executives are living likes physicians – always on the clock.  Increasingly we find a lot of workers are saying we just can’t take it anymore. So they’re moving back to the telephone as their preferred means of communication.

While doing my research on this topic, I found that my feelings about escaping the burden of e-mail were shared by an overwhelming majority. Bogged down workers channeled my same sentiments and wholeheartedly believe that if they didn’t have e-mail, they’d get twice as much done.

That’s where I find myself these days.  Wishing I could just say, “From here on out I am going back to voice communication as my primary mechanism for interacting with people?”

 Have you ever felt that way?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!