Bombogenisis! A weather term that seems to be used quite frequently this winter. California experienced the “pinneapple express” version of a bombegenisis where rivers of moisture intensified into massive rainfalls. Today, the east coast is waking up to a rapidly intensifying storm as it passes over the ocean and brings extensive snow to areas that were already teased into spring fever. Bombogenisis meets Nor’easter. What does this weather phenomena have to do with your workplace? [Read more…]
Imagine you are sitting down with a colleague or supervisor and said…”what I really need from you in order for me to thrive in my role is______” Fill in the blank with any hosts of needs, such as:time, quiet, honest conversation, data to analyze, problems to solve, tasks to complete or even someone to mentor. In order to truly leverage our strengths, we must ask for what we need. Asking for what you need is one of the finer arts of negotiation.
We often think of negotiation through the lenses of salaries and benefits. SheNegotiates helps women with the art of negotiating.They believe that “the world needs what you have to offer.” Their training and coaching services help women to strategically work towards their professional and financial goals. SheNegotiates fills a critical role in helping women learn the art of negotiating. The team at SheNegotiates understands the importance of asking for what you need. [Read more…]
Perhaps you remember the Mary Tyler Moore show theme song…”Who can turn the world on with her smile? ” Indeed, a silly 1970’s TV show song and yet, I can still recite every word. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in Minneapolis where Moore was a bit of a folk legend. Or just maybe, Moore’s character of an independent working woman planted the seeds of finding a career that made me happy. Mary Tyler Moore recently passed away and was remembered throughout the press as a “positive, optimistic, and charismatic woman.” She role modeled a smart, professional, happy career woman for a generation of girls growing up in the 1970s.
I once had a boss who wanted a Mary Tyler Moore poster on his wall. I secretly made fun of this request but just maybe, he was on to something? Happiness is now a research topic at major universities. The University of Pennsylvania has the Authentic Happiness Center to help us understand happiness at a deeper level. Positivity Psychology is a trend in organizational development and “happiness speakers” are all the rage at conferences.
The University Penn site is a wealth of information to help you assess your happiness factor at work. There are even a variety of a questionnaires to analyze your authentic happiness at work and home. [Read more…]
If your body had a fuel tank like a car, what would your tank say? Is it full? Half a tank? Almost Empty? Beeping at you with red lights because it’s so empty? Take a moment to think about how full is your personal energy fuel tank.
Listen at work and you might hear a colleague or friend say: “I’m so tired but I’ve got so much work to do, I just can’t stop for lunch” or “I worked all weekend” or “I feel so depleted”. These are all flashing lights that your fuel tank is moving towards empty. Clearly, sometimes we just have to push through a big project, but can we push smarter and think more intentionally about our energy? [Read more…]
The Banyan Tree is a species of fig tree that grows aerial prop roots; thick supporting trunks. Prop roots allow the Banyan Tree to provide additional anchorage and support. The circling of prop roots allows these enormous trees to not only grow taller but also wider. A large Banyan Tree can be over 100 feet( 30 meters) wide.
Prop roots provide a wonderful metaphor for individuals and teams learning to leverage their collective strengths. Questions to consider:
- What are your prop roots?
- Who are your prop roots?
- In what situations do you not rely on prop roots?
- In what situations might you consider growing more prop roots?
Winona LaDuke, an internationally renowned Native American Indian activist and advocate for environmental, women’s, and children’s rights wrote: “I’d like to be a person my ancestors are proud of, and I’d like to be a person that my descendants thank. I think most of us would.”
This quote challenges us to think about what we are most proud of as individuals? families? communities and organizations. It draws us in to an exploration of our legacy at the smallest and largest scale. What do we want for our children and our friend’s children? What do we want to leave our ancestors?
As we begin a new year, LaDuke challenges us to think beyond the immediate and cast our personal vision out into the future. She challenges us to think about social justice, environmental issues, and equity not only for today but for the future.
The new year is an ideal time for individuals, families, communities, and businesses of all sizes to reflect on their vision for the future. [Read more…]
Hidden Figures ,a recently released film, is the true story of three brilliant African-American women working at NASA. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson were three mathematicians and engineers from the West Computer Group that helped launch John Glenn into orbit. These three women were often hidden from their colleagues and the public. Yet, they revealed the “hidden” numbers and equations that led to the successful launch of the Mercury 7 Friendship Capsule.
Hidden Figures is a powerful film that captures the story of the space race in the 1960’s. The themes are still relevant and timely. Political, economic and social divisions are boldly addressed in this film. There are history, race relations, gender issues, and math lessons for all audience members. The film invites us to wrestle with multiple questions. Three questions stood out for me. [Read more…]
David Emerald (Womeldorff) wrote the book Power of TED to help individuals and teams move away from the “dreaded drama triangle” and towards empowerment. In his short fable on self-leadership, Emerald offers readers a pathway to shifting away from the drama triangle. It is a fast, easy read with big ah-ha moments.
Think about a recent drama in your workplace or home. For example, think about the “kitchen” at work or home, a frequent drama location. There are certain people who tend to clean up and others that pile up. Let’s say you are the clean up type. One day you arrive in the kitchen and there are dishes piled up, no coffee left, and the counter is dripping with a sticky combination of sugar, yogurt and spaghetti sauce.
You start cleaning up while grumbling to yourself, “Why am I always the one who has to clean this up?” The cycle has just begun and you are the victim. Ten minutes into cleaning up a colleague comes in and puts a dirty cup by the sink and says “Wow, I really need a cup of coffee”. One of your just washed cups is filled and a trail of cream, sugar and coffee drips are left behind. All of the sudden you become the Persecutor….”Great, have a cup of coffee, I’ve just spent the last 10 minutes cleaning up your mess and because of you I’m late for a meeting. Couldn’t you just once clean up after yourself?” Zoom… you shifted from victim to persecutor. The next employee walks into this escalating drama and says….”Hey, let me help out here, I’ll do the dishes, no worries, I’ve got you both covered. Go on to your meetings, I’ll clean up”. A rescuer is born and then sends out an email to everyone…” I spent 30 minutes cleaning the kitchen this morning. If you have left anything in the refrigerator claim it today because at 5pm, I’m dumping everything as our kitchen has turned into a mold experiment.” The rescuer became the victim and the cycle continues.
This type of drama cycle happens in our homes and workplaces. What story line comes to mind for you? [Read more…]
The San Francisco City Hall is a grand building with a magnificent domed ceiling and sweeping staircase. This time of year at the top of the stairwell sits the World Tree of Hope. From the distance the tree looks white but on closer examination you discover thousands of folded paper cranes. On each crane is a message of hope from people from all over the world. It is a symbol of unity.
The paper crane story was brought to attention by Sadako Sasaki. She contracted leukemia after the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. While she was in the hospital she read the Japanese legend about how the person who folds 1000 cranes will be granted her wish. Her wish was to heal. She wrote on the wings of a crane…”I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world”. She was 356 cranes short of 1000 when she died. Her determination and vision has inspired children and adults across the globe.
Today, the World Tree of Hope is a gift to the world from the San Francisco LGBTQ community. Messages of love, hope, and unity cover the tree. The simplicity of the cranes gives elegance and power to the messages: [Read more…]
When was the last time a friend or colleague said to you: “You are a good listener” or “That is a great idea, thanks” or “ I appreciate your insight and time, that was super helpful.”
For many of us, sharing out talents and strengths with others comes very easily. We generously give our ideas, hearts, abilities, knowledge, expertise and experience to others. What would happen if you turned that same generosity on yourself? What if you turned your talents on you? [Read more…]