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7 Techniques to Cope with the Current World Crisis

Posted by on Apr, Wed, 2020 in Individual Purpose, Motivation | 0 comments

March 25th blog

Many of you doing very important work have needed to shut down your services. Some of you have had to figure out the virtual way to do business. Many of you are in the front lines trying to comfort those in your care while perhaps struggling to cope with the vast change that is currently happening in our world. We are not living in the same way that we did only a few weeks ago.

Our new reality is a crisis. We are all being encouraged (and in some places forced) to protect our great nation. Some are underreacting thinking we are making a big deal out of some virus, and others have had trauma responses of hoarding, negativity and deep fear.

It requires efforts from all of us to get through this situation:

  1. Breathe. Stay grounded through the fear, overwhelm or stress. Sit in a chair or stand with your feet on the floor. Imagine roots growing out of the balls of your feet through the floor, deep, deep into the earth. See those roots wrap around a rock. Breathe.
  2. Try Vagus Nerve Breathing – Follow the instructions in my Video.
  3. Gratitude. Spend time every morning in gratitude.
  4. Focus on the Positive. Feel free to join my Facebook Page, where I share memes, videos, positive thoughts, and my Energy Psychotherapy work. While I’m still offering consulting, coaching and training on leadership and team dynamics, I have also re-opened by Therapy practice following my trip to Machu Picchu last September. If I can be of service, please reach out to me or phone me at 519.822.3776.
  5. Stay connected to Nature. If you are not in full quarantine, take a walk each day, ensuring that you are staying 6 feet away from others (the length of a hockey stick). As you walk, notice the beauty that is happening in nature, feel the connection to the earth and breathe in the fresh spring air.
  6. Minimize your time listening to the news each day. Instead, watch funny movies, or inspiring shows, read a good book, and spend quality time with family and friends, even if via Zoom, Facetime, Facebook Messenger, or other virtual means (even calling people to check in with them).
  7. Remember that we are all resilient and we will get through this. And do your part to keep this virus manageable and to flatten the curve – for you, your loved ones, your clients, and for the betterment of our world!

Be well. Sending love and healing energy to you all. Be safe,

Sylvia

How to Deal with Conflict when it Arises

Posted by on Mar, Thu, 2020 in Team Dynamics | 0 comments

Conflict And Solution Tex - Business Concepts

 

Conflict is inevitable!

Unresolved conflict is causing Canadian Organizations billions of dollars a year! Think about how much time you and your employees are losing to avoiding conflict, dealing with outbursts and delaying projects because you are unable to come to a resolution that works.

Conflict is challenging! And, if you are like me, you were given many messages in childhood not to make a fuss, to settle down and to just let it go. Addressing it wasn’t an option. As a child, I never witnessed my parents disagree. I was not taught to talk things out or to ever voice anything that might lead to conflict. It was expressed only when someone in the family became so angry that they exploded – often my father.

These behaviours reinforced that it wasn’t safe to have conflict. I know that I’m not alone in my past struggles to speak up effectively when conflict arises – I’d rather stay quiet and not risk upsetting someone else. And I knew that this is not healthy for me, for my family nor for the teams I work with.

When I was introduced to the Conflict Dynamics Profile® (CDP®), I immediately saw the benefits as my conflict style was identified and had actionable steps I could take to shift my old pattern of avoidance into assertive action. And these created a new way for me to address conflict and get great results! I knew I needed to get certified and immediately enrolled in the course.

What are the benefits of the Conflict Dynamics Profile®?

  1. It recognizes that Conflict, while inevitable, can be beneficial to organizations.
  2. The focus is on you and getting deeper insights into your patterns with conflict.
  3. You walk away with specific action steps that will help you deal with conflict effectively.
  4. It has been validated by years of independent research on conflict.
  5. It’s available for both individuals and 360 conflict assessments for organizations.
  6. I’m certified in using the Assessment – so it’s now accessible to you!

We all know that conflict happens and many of us have lots of room for improvement. I’m passionate about this process and would like to share its gifts with you.

Don’t you deserve to embrace conflict and get it working for you and your organization?

Until March 28, I’m offering a Special on both the Individual CDP® assessment and the 360 CDP®.

Contact me today at 519.822.3776 or at sylvia@onpurposeconsulting.ca to learn more!

What if We De-Personalized Conflict? Then What?

Posted by on Feb, Wed, 2020 in Communication | 0 comments

Feb 5

This week my nephew apologized for a posting on Facebook because he offended people with his strong opinions.  The actual post based on political viewpoints had caused several people to unfriend him. On Facebook, this doesn’t necessarily have long term effects. However, at work, it can and does. The challenge was that people who read his post and disagreed personalized it.

This happens all the time in the workplace. This is common in the non-profit organizations that I’m called to work with as some team members have strong passions for their work and see things differently from each other. Underneath this type of conflict is a deep commitment to doing the best for the clients, and yet, it can wreak havoc on the entire team.

The problem comes when we start to bring in judgment and decide the other person is flawed, not their point of view, but them as a person. Then the difference of opinion becomes a personal conflict of dislike. The only way to improve this situation is for the other person to change (as you assume you are in the right).

What needs to happen to resolve this?

  1. Self-Reflection. Be aware of your personal biases. I grew up believing that if I wasn’t “right” then I “was wrong.” This set me up to cower if others disagreed with me. What are your beliefs about having different opinions?
  2. What do you respect about the other person? Do a quick check in to help you realize that this opinion/point of view is only one aspect of the other person.
  3. Recognize that your opinion is only one way of looking at the situation. What other realities may also be true at the same time?
  4. Is it possible that you are both saying the same thing yet, saying it very differently?
  5. Ask “what part of me got triggered by this?” Then call your coach, healer or therapist and get some help to resolve your underlying challenges so that you can be more open to respecting other perspectives.

We’ve all see the pictures with the frog/horse; old hag/beautiful woman – in every situation there are a multitude of ways that we could respond, see the situation.

Breathe. Reflect. Honour Self. Honour the other person. Stay in full respect. Have a conversation to better understand the other person and see the validity in their point of view. Set your opinion aside temporarily until you fully hear the other’s story. Then consider co-creating a better option that may include aspects of all perspectives.

Team Member Burnout: How to Protect your Staff

Posted by on Jan, Wed, 2020 in Team Dynamics | 0 comments

Crazy inventor helmet for brain research

 

96% of Senior Managers in Canada believe their team members are experiencing some degree of burnout. (Accountemps 2019 Survey)

The World Health Organization defines burnout as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

How many of your team members are stressed to the point of burnout?

The culture of your organization plays a role in this. Take a look, what is causing the stress? Ask your team members what motivates them and what frustrates them in their day-to-day work. Then create an action plan to address common themes.

Workload Flexibility:

Give thought to what priorities are truly urgent ones, what can wait until later and even those things that are not a priority at all. We are a culture of immediate expectations and sometimes this attitude leaks into organizational planning. Ensure you plan to have only one high priority/new initiative at a time. Consider how things might be simplified in your workplace. Are all the steps necessary?

Consider interviewing your employees and asking what the most stressful aspect of their work is. Then look at these and see if you could re-distribute these tasks to another team member that excels at them and enjoys that task.

Team Members Stress Management:

Some Thoughts:

  • Hire a local yoga practitioner or mindfulness practitioner to offer classes at the office once a week.
  • Ensure that individuals are taking their breaks, vacations and leaving the office at a reasonable time. Make sure you are role modeling positive behaviour by taking your breaks as well.
  • Have open conversations about the stressors and how to best manage them.
  • Take time to celebrate wins regularly, perhaps, at every staff meeting. Knowing that things are being accomplished and that the person is making an impact in the world can go a long way to mitigate stress.
  • Unless you are a crisis organization, consider no emails, texts or phone calls after office hours/team member’s shifts to enable time away from work to relax, rejuvenate and restore the individual.

Looking at your team’s specific needs and taking the time to respond can help to alleviate burn out. Knowing that they are a valued part of the team, that you take their concerns seriously and that you are a champion for their positive mental health will go a long way!

Your Decade in Review

Posted by on Dec, Wed, 2019 in Individual Purpose, Team Dynamics | 0 comments

Dec 18 decade in review

Where were you when we entered 2010? What was happening in your life? Your Career? Your Family?

When I reflect back to 2010, I was stepping into team dynamics solutions for organizations that highly value their employees. It was a time of transition for me. In the past decade, I have prided myself on shifting workplace cultures to those that team members are excited to work at! I am proud of my accomplishments and the impact that I have had in the last 10 years on leaders and their teams!

From a personal perspective, my recent hike to Machu Picchu was my summit moment. When I realized how determined and capable I truly am.

Now it’s your turn. Grab a pen and journal (or paper) and answer these questions:

  • What are your most important learnings in the past 10 years?
  • What are your proudest moments? Both career and personally?
  • What were your biggest challenges over these years?

Start by making a list of all your gains. Then…

Let’s get deeper.

  • What were the key elements that allowed these moments to unfold as they did?
  • Who was involved? How did they impact the situation?
  • How did you show up? What did you learn about yourself and how you best cope with challenges?
  • What created the most personal challenge for you? How might you overcome similar things should they arise in the future?

Now take action:

  1. Celebrate those moments of growth, success, and development!
  2. Make a plan to help you move forward with more ease in challenging situations.
  3. Breathe in these insights and set your goals for 2020 and beyond!

Don’t be afraid to reach for your summit!

Call me today to set up a Coaching Package to ensure that your 2020 and beyond surpass your dreams!

How Knowing Your Employees Helps to set them (and You) Up for Success

Posted by on Nov, Wed, 2019 in Leadership | 0 comments

nov 20

As a leader, how well do you know your team members as people? Do you know what their top priorities are in their life as well as their work?

I remember a few years back, listening to an exceptional leader, Marc Petitpas, speak about how he took the time to meet with each employee and understand them as people. What were their life goals in five years – not just career, but personal as well. This helped him to lead them and ensure that opportunities for success were shared with them.

What gets in the way of you sitting down and talking with your direct reports? Let them know you value them and would like to get to know them better.

You might ask:

  • what are their favourite activities during their free time (or outside of work)?
  • What makes these activities so meaningful for them?
  • What’s on their bucket lists?
  • What do they desire to create in their work and what meaning does that give their lives?

Get in touch with their personal values, and well as what they wish for in their careers.

Then as a leader, ask yourself, how can you set this individual up for success? What projects or committees would be best suited to this individual’s skills, abilities, and goals? How might you use their specific values, and insights to improve client results?

Hint: This information also comes in handy during a recognition event – as then you can ensure that the gift they receive has personal meaning to them. For example, if you are giving gift cards, you might choose to get cards for the local ski hill for someone who loves to ski and a bookstore card for the person who loves to read a good mystery novel. In this way, you are helping the individual feel honoured and valued in one action.

Also, when you notice an article, book or event that might be of interest to this employee, you can simply email them the details.

By showing this personal level of interest in your team members, they are likely to reciprocate with even more dedication to their work and your organization – and, definitely, to you!

I Wanted to Quit: When Supports are a Hindrance

Posted by on Oct, Wed, 2019 in Individual Purpose, Motivation | 0 comments

Oct 30 - when supports

I wanted to quit. I had exhausted all I had in me.

My knees felt like they were going to give out. How much longer could I continue to hike down this mountain? When would I make it to camp? I couldn’t see it for sure, but there were buildings in the distance? Was that it? We started to play games like let’s agree camp is around the corner until we learn otherwise – and we kept going one step at a time. I’d fallen 3 times already that day and on the 4th fall I couldn’t get up with help. I had to find a different way because my right knee could not bear my weight to get me up.

It was only day 2 of my 5-day trek to Machu Picchu, Peru.

I was appropriately outfitted – with well-fitted knapsack with a large water bladder, the winter (yes winter) sleeping bag, walking poles and hiking boots. I had my trustworthy guides, Edwin and Efe, from the trekking company. All the supports a person could want to make a successful trek. Yet, one of these “supports” was causing me great difficulty – and as I was told it would help me, I never thought to question it.

It was the walking poles! Once I realized that the walking poles distracted my focus from ensuring a good foothold and I stopped using them, I magically stopped falling. What was set up as a support for all had failed me.

How many “supports” does your organization have in place that might act as a hindrance for some team members?

For example, one organization I worked with would hold potluck lunches. However, some of the workers who were working in more remote areas could rarely, if ever, take part. While it may be a social support, it may also be a policy that was set out that to create fairness, yet when it gets implemented, it lacks equality for all. Perhaps it’s the type of supervision that you offer – while it works really well for some, are you playing to everyone’s strengths and needs?

Have you asked your team members how they are experiencing the supports that have been in place? Or during a one-on-one meeting, ask each team member what is working and what could be even better for them.

What is working? What is not working? What do we need to start to implement and what do we need to stop doing?

Taking time to reflect on the systemic supports and how they are working every few years is an opportunity to ensure that you are truly supporting your employees, vs. using a technique from another time or organization that doesn’t help your employees get their solid foothold on their work.

Simple Moments and Gratitude

Posted by on Oct, Wed, 2019 in Individual Purpose, Motivation | 0 comments

Take time to focus on gratitude (2)

Last evening I held my lovely 3-month old grand-niece as she peacefully slept in my arms. As I looked at her peaceful face, I felt gratitude and pleasure. To be snuggled by her little body and know that she felt so safe in my arms – Ah, what an incredible gift!

It’s so easy to get caught in focusing on what’s not right, what could be better and miss what’s working in our work and lives. We can often overhear conversations in coffee shops, restaurants and public spaces of people complaining about things. And we can all fall into this void.

How to Shift from Negativity to Gratitude?

  1. Recognize that you are in the negative “void”. You’ll know because your body will feel tense, your energy gets low and you are easily frustrated or annoyed.
  2. Ask, what is right about this situation? What might I gain by this experience?
  3. List 3 to 5 things you are grateful for. These might be in the current situation that you are struggling with or from some other aspect of your life.
  4. Send a note of appreciation to someone that did something for you that you really appreciate.
  5. Write a note of thanks to yourself about what you have done recently that worked well for you and others.
  6. Take a moment of gratitude at least weekly where you write down your gratitude list. You might even choose to purchase a journal to serve as your personal gratitude journal – a special place for special moments in your life and work.
  7. As you sit around the table enjoying your thanksgiving meal, offer thanks for the efforts everyone made to create this experience.

As we approach our Thanksgiving celebrations in Canada, I encourage you to explore what simple pleasures give you a sense of gratitude and pleasure – including at work. Take time to bask in the magnificence that is in your life. Savor those moments.

Labyrinths and Inner Reflection

Posted by on Sep, Wed, 2019 in Individual Purpose | 0 comments

labryrinth

Yesterday I had the opportunity to walk a labyrinth at a dear friend’s birthday party. A labyrinth is a form of walking meditation; you release on the walk-in, receive in the middle of the circle, and then return from the centre to exit.

My intention was on Abundance. As I slowly walked into the labyrinth and made my first turn, I looked down and saw a 4-leaf clover. I bent down and picked up that sucker. Later as I was talking with another friend who walked in front of me, she shared how she often searched for 4-leaf clovers and never saw it. Clearly, it was for me.

This got me thinking about “signs” that we receive that can open us up to find the right answers and realize the desired potential. Yet sometimes we are so busy with the day-to-day activities that we fail to take time to self-reflect. Other times we might be searching so intensely for the “signs” of which choice to make that we fail to notice them.

While a walking meditation, such as labyrinth walking may seem hokey to you, for me it is a time to move my focus within, listen intently to where I am in the moment, and to be aware of my thoughts and feelings.

Where do you find time to go within?

Here are some ideas:

  1. Yoga, meditation (whether guided on using a breathing practice)
  2. Exercise, walking, gardening
  3. Being in nature, near a body of water
  4. Listening to the birds or a CD of nature sounds
  5. Journaling
  6. Talking to a trusted advisor, or a good friend who is highly skilled at listening
  7. Whatever activity or inactivity that calms your mind, allows you to reflect on your inner thoughts, desires, and needs

Whichever of these work for you, make sure that you schedule them daily or regularly. I’m lucky that I live with my 4-legged companion that regularly reminds me of the need for a good walk.

Also, take time to notice symbols, inner thoughts & sensations that you are experiencing – do they in some way relate to what you need at the moment? What is their significance for you?
Taking time to notice the 4-leaf clovers or “to stop and smell the roses” allows you to reduce your stress, get in touch with your inner self so that you are more open to seeing the “signs” within you…and even some that the universe is providing to you. And, ultimately will assist you in making even better decisions.

What’s Making You Cranky?

Posted by on Sep, Wed, 2019 in Motivation | 0 comments

Boss scolds businessman. Conflicts at work. Pop art retro vector illustration

We’ve all had those days when we have felt like a serious firefighter dousing “flames” of crisis through the day. Running from meeting to meeting and situation to situation making decisions right, left, and centre.

Then by the time you got to your last meeting of the day, you found yourself being more abrupt and short than your norm aka cranky.

Roy F. Baumeister coined the phrase “Ego Depletion” to explain this phenomenon. He felt we all have a limited resource to self-regulate that becomes depleted throughout the day.

Basically, the various acts that are required to engage in self-regulation such as resisting the urge to say something, making trade-offs, constraining our desires, adhering to other’s rules wear down your ability to control yourself at a later time. While some of his research has been challenged, I think it’s still a worthy concept to consider.

Somedays, it’s much more subtle. For example, you’ve been restraining yourself in meetings to enable others to give their feedback when you really wanted to just challenge the discussion, or you have been dieting and resisting the temptations at the office potluck, then you find yourself making less than optimal decisions by the afternoon.

This depletion is a silent enemy. That erodes your self-control hour by hour. And because you don’t have “symptoms” like being tired from stress, it can be easy to miss that you are experiencing it. Until you’ve done something that isn’t normally you or you make a bad decision late in the day.

Marshall Goldsmith suggests that tracking your days in terms of what depletes you is a helpful exercise. What is happening on those days that you snap or engage in unhelpful behaviour?

Once you can isolate the factors that impact you then you are able to create some structure or a plan to ensure that you are less likely to become depleted.

For example, making important decisions earlier in the day is more likely to result in better decision making. If you are skipping meals, engaging in meal planning may be helpful. If you are tired and stressed by the demands of meeting client needs, schedule in a break. If you are constantly looking for documents on your desk, get in the practice of cleaning your desk off every day before leaving the office or each morning before turning on your laptop.

Take time to understand what is depleting you and how you might be able to create a system or structure that assists you to manage those aspects of your day are likely to result in less crankiness and greater success at work, and in life.