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Month: May 2015

How to Get the Most Out of the Time you Have: 5 Steps to Maximize your Time

Time.

We all have the same amount of time in a day: 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds. Yet, some people seem to be accomplish way more than the rest of us.

Time
frankieleon via Compfight cc

What is the reason some people are able to accomplish more in a day? It’s simple.

Time management.

And a little organization.

Time Management

Time management is defined as the ability to plan and control how you spend the hours in your day to effectively accomplish your goals.

As I too only have a certain amount of time in my day, I make sure to utilize every minute. From the time I wake up until I go to sleep, I have my time intentionally scheduled. Not every scheduled minute is what some may call “productive time.” I make sure to schedule times of rest and spending intentional time with my family. I make sure to plan out the things that are important, and non-urgent, into my day.

At work, I utilize my break and lunch time to maximize my time. I walk on my morning break, write during lunch, and read during my afternoon break.  The evenings are for family and once the kids go to bed, I set aside time to read, write or spend time with my husband.

I have many goals I would like to achieve in my life. We are never guaranteed a certain amount of time on this Earth. As the main character in the new Disney movie Tomorrowland says “With every second that ticks by, the future is running out.” Do you want to sit by and watch your future run out?

To make sure you do not sit on the sidelines watching others live the life they want, you must first look at how you are spending your time.

Here are 5 steps to maximize your time:

  1. Where do you spend your time?

Use this time blocking document to notate where you are spending your time. It is set up to be used in hour or half hour increments. This is a tool to help you, not to hinder you. If you forget to write something down, do not worry. Utilize this tool to the best of your ability. The more effort you put into the exercise, the better you can accurately determine where you spend your time.

  1.  Review the document

Look at your week.  Are there specific trends? Are there certain times of the day you check social media or watch tv?

  1. Decide what is a waste of time and what is important

What did you do in your week that you felt accomplished in doing and were proud of? What in your week can you not believe you spent time doing? Decide which activities you participated in are of importance and which are a waste of time.

  1. Think about your goals and priorities

Did the time you spent during the week help you move closer to your goals and keep your priorities in line? Often, I find myself zoning out with my phone in hand when I should be spending time with my kids. If I notice I am spending too much time on social media, I rethink how I want to spend my evenings and adjust accordingly.

Was there wasteful time (tv, social media, etc.) which you can turn into productive time? Everyone deserves to relax and veg out in front of the tv once in awhile. If this is your go-to every night, this might be getting in the way of you achieving your goals.

  1. Create a schedule

Create a schedule that includes tasks to be completed, people to be with, and the hobbies that are most important to you. This calendar is used as a guide. It includes the important and urgent, as well as the important and non-urgent. It is to help you maximize your time.

It is sad to say, but if I do not schedule family dates, the to-do list often gets in the way of being together as a family. As this is a priority, I put it on my schedule.

Scheduling ensures I have planned my time according to my priorities.

Scheduling ensures I have planned my time according to my priorities. Click To Tweet

In Conclusion…

Some may say by scheduling out my time I’m not leaving room for margin or spontaneity. There will always be certain things that trump my calendar. By scheduling out my day and week, I have a plan in place, and I get 85% of what I have scheduled accomplished.

And the other 15%?

Life happened.

Do you schedule out your time? If so, what do you normally put in your calendar?

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

A Filter for Decision Making: 4 Questions to Ask When Making a Decision

I can’t not look at my life and evaluate it. From my marriage to my kids to my job to my personal development, I seem to constantly evaluate my life, where I am at and where I want it be in 1, 3, 5 years. This in and of itself is a great trait to have. But I used to make decisions and plans without the appropriate filter.

I didn’t understand my priorities.

I had not established, or identified, my core values.

This led to decisions that were not inherently bad in and of themselves, but did not move me in the direction I truly wanted to be moving in.

decisions 2

marlambie via Compfight cc

A great example is our last car purchase. I had a Honda Accord which we owned outright, but we didn’t have a SUV or truck as my husband had a car for work. Did we need to spend the money on the SUV at that moment? No, we probably could have waited a year or two and saved more money.  The decision wasn’t bad, as it is a great vehicle and has served us well, but it did not allow us to save the money we should have been saving.

How Often Do You…

How often do you make a decision based out of fear?

How about potential financial incentive without consideration of the time commitment involved?

What about what seems like the quick, easy fix?

I know I have.

A few years ago I changed how I made decisions. I came up with a filter based upon my priorities and core values.

What are Priorities and Core Values?

Priorities:

Your priorities are the people or things in your life that you find the most value in. What you deem most important in your life. Some people value money over relationships. Some value their family. My priorities are pretty simple. I place a high value on people and relationships. My people will always trump, well, pretty much anything.

Your priorities may include your spouse, kids, clean eating, exercise, margin, or personal development, to name a few.

Core values:

Your core values are the fundamental beliefs you hold. They are the guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. Knowing your core values allows you to make quick, swift decisions with clear future direction.

Core values can include integrity, honest, hard work, commitment, and perseverance.

So how do you develop a filter for making decisions?

Here are 4 questions to ask when making a decision:

1. Do you have all the information you need to make the decision?

To be able to make the best decision possible, you must ask questions. You must have as many answers in front of you as possible. Having the concrete information will allow you to line it up to your priorities and values.

2. Does this opportunity keep my priorities in the correct order?

If you say yes to this opportunity in front of you, does it enable you to keep the most important people and things in your life the main thing?

3. Does this opportunity help me uphold my core values?

If the opportunity before you goes against who you are, then your answer is clear. If a core value is integrity and the organization shows a lack of integrity from the beginning, it is best you pass on the opportunity. Most of the time, it isn’t as clear. If you know your core values, you can compare the opportunity before you and make the best decision.

If the opportunity before you goes against who you are, then your answer is clear. Click To Tweet

4. Does this help me in the next step in my…career, family, self-development?

If the answer is no to the question above, then the answer has to be no for the decision, or opportunity, before you.

In Conclusion

Since I started making decisions based upon my priorities and core values, I know almost immediately if the answer is yes or no. Professionally, if it does not help me move towards my short term and long term goals, then the answer has to be no, even if the opportunity is enticing. Even if it’s shiny. Because often the things we say yes to, even if it doesn’t fall into your priorities or core values, have some sort of appeal for the here and now that is hard to say no to.

What is a decision you made recently? Did you filter it through your priorities and core values?

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

Single Parenting: 7 Things I Learned Being a Single Parent for a Week

My husband was out of town for 108 hours and 15 minutes (but really, who was counting?) and he came through the door not a minute too soon. We have a 3 year old who is going on 16 and a 10 month old. Luckily, they both sleep through the night.

First of all, mad props to all of the single parents out there who have to do it all.

By themsleves.

Without much, or any help. Being a parent is hard work when you have a spouse to do it with, let alone having to do it all on your own.

By the end of the week, I wanted to lay in the fetal position crying until my husband got home. But I stayed strong, for the littles.

In the midst of my chaotic week, this quote from C.S. Lewis popped into my Facebook news feed.

CS Lewis quote

This helped put the day into perspective, but it was still a struggle!

Here are 7 things I learned being a single parent for a week:

  1. Prep, prep, and more prep.

On a normal week, we prep everything on Sunday, or as much as we can. We did this together as we normally do since my husband was not leaving until Monday morning. Each night, I found that to get out the door on time, I had to prep as much as I could the night before.

The one night I didn’t prep? I yelled at the 3 year old to hurry up. Drop off was quick. We were rushed. And I was a little late to work.

After that morning, you better believe I prepped for the next day even though I was exhausted.

  1. Practice Grace: Kids never listen when you need them to.

It is as though kids have this sixth sense. When you really need them to pay attention, when you really need them to do that one thing without objecting or putting up a fight…they do just that.

And I wasn’t kind one morning.

I apologized immediately (because you aren’t a good parent if you cannot admit when you are wrong) and remembered she is three. Three and she can dress herself and put her shoes on and get her own cereal for goodness sake.

After the 1st day (yep, you read that right), I realized I needed to slow my mind down and speak kindly to my girl.

  1. Plan extra time.

To get anything done.

Think it will take you 5 minutes? Wrong. Halfway through the week I realized that I need to give myself three times the amount of time I thought it would take. Then, when we were done with the task or out the door early, I felt accomplished.

  1. Exercise.

Just kidding. That didn’t happen.

All about survival people.

  1. Lower expectations.

This was both in terms of what I thought I could accomplish during the week and expectations of my kids. I decided half way through the week that if the kids were clean, fed, and safe, I was calling it a success.

  1. Be Consistent.

I tried to keep everything as consistent as possible. Morning and bed time routine the same, which seemed to help. It provided stability. Kids seem to thrive on a schedule and stability.

This includes consistency in disciplining too. My threenager decided to throw a fit over something every night. It would have been easy for me to change expectations of her (which are age appropriate).

  1. Lean on your Community.

I was lucky enough to have the support of my parents and friends during the week. This relieved some of the stress a couple of the evenings. I was thankful for the meals that were provided, even if the three year old threw a fit and wouldn’t eat.

In Conclusion…

Parenting is hard. Being a single parent is even harder. When all is said and done, it is about raising these little people to be loving, kind, and courageous.

What is one of your biggest parenting challenges?

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

6 Ways to Engage Employees from Day 1

*This is part 2 of a 2 part series on employee engagement. Check out part 1 HERE.

We have all seen the reports that show most employees despise going to work. There is some employee responsibility but there is also a great responsibility on the organizations shoulders. Most employers want to get the most out of their employees, yet fail miserably.

The best time to help employees become engaged in their workplace is the day they start.

In one of my jobs, I was eager to learn. I had never worked in this sector before, but believed it could be a great fit for me. It only took two weeks for me to realize the organization was barely surviving. Morale was low. I was unsure about my role and did not understand expectations. My engagement level waned at an increased rate as the days went by.

Think about your past jobs or when you started at your current job. You were most likely excited for a new opportunity and eager to learn. If you didn’t become engaged at the beginning of your employment, odds are you became disengaged rather quickly. Going from a place of a disengaged employee to an engaged employee is difficult.

employee engagement

How can this be rectified?

Supervisors and organizations at large need to begin to engage with their employees on the first day of their job.

Here are 6 ways to engage employees from Day 1:

1. Share the Organizations Vision

When a new employee starts, cast vision for the employee. What is the organizations mission? What problem is the company there to solve? How does the company make the world a better place? Then share why their job is important to the mission of the organizations. Without their piece of the puzzle, “X” doesn’t happen. This will help the employee understand why their job is important.

2. State clear expectations

There is nothing worse than not knowing what is expected of you at your job. Within the first few days of a new employee starting, make sure you have a conversation regarding expectations. This includes attire, work habits, use of technology while at work, and general job duties. This is a great time to discuss expectations of your role as their supervisor. This can include the type of interaction you will have as well as what duties you expect them to accomplish on their own and which duties you want to be kept in the loop on.

3. Create buy in and ownership

Want your employees to be advocates? Create buy in, or give them some skin in the game. When making decisions, get employees together, brainstorm, and get their opinions. If the opinions are good, use them, and give them credit.  If the opportunity arises for this in the first few weeks, even better. They will sense they get to be a part of the solution and will be eager to help out in the future.

A great example of this is when a supervisor wants to streamline a process. The potential changes you want to make will effect staff. Gather those staff members together and share your concerns, discuss the problem. Ask them if they see the problem. Then ask them for potential solutions. You may have a solution in mind, but a solution may be suggested which you have not thought of. When you incorporate some of their solutions, you create buy in and ownership.

The best time to help employees become engaged in their workplace is the day they start. Click To Tweet

4. Discuss their professional goals

Your employee might be starting out in the workforce as an office admin. If it’s their first job, odds are they are not planning on staying in that role for their career. If they do, you may have the wrong employee.  Ask them their professional goals. Ask them how you can help them learn a new skill which may help them move on to the next step in their career.

A simple, yet great example occurred in my workplace. A supervisor asked an employee her professional goals. She said she wanted to become better at typing. A program was purchased to help her become a better typist. This helped the employee to do her job better, typing faster, allowing her to get more work done. And she felt valued in the process. Michael Scott from “The Office” would call this a win-win-win: You win, she wins, and the company wins.

5. Let the Employee Meet with Others Who do Completely Different Jobs

An office assistant was hired at a marketing firm. He knows very little about marketing, but knows he needs a job. Have him meet with others at the company who are doing the professional work. Those who are working with clients, those who write copy. Let the new employee see a glimpse of what others are doing to fulfill the organizations mission. This may also help him to understand portions of his job better. It may also give him a career goal to shoot for.

6. Offer Development Training

Does your employee know their personality type? Do they know how to interact with others with completely different personality types? Do your employees know how to work in a team and the benefits of working as a team?

Training your employees on the soft skills of business will not only help them, it will help them help you fulfill the mission of the organization. On-going training helps with continued employee engagement.

In Conclusion…

An organization can only do so much to ensure the employee is engaged. It does take effort on the part of the employee as well. However, when an organization is healthy, it can create a culture that encourages employee engagement from Day 1.

If you are a leader, how are you engaging with your employees? Do you think they are engaged with their work or doing the minimum to get by? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

3 Ways to Help Your Kids Overcome the 9-5

Monday.

Monday morning, specifically. Thinking about this can send a chill up your spine. Especially when you go to a job you don’t particularly like.

We all need income. Sometimes, this means having a job that is less than desirable. After you have been in a job for several years, you begin to feel like your stuck. You have accrued vacation time and received raises, but the work has become monotonous. Research shows only 13% of people worldwide like going to work.

Every time I drive on the freeway during the 8-5 commute route time, I think about all of those people going to their job. I think about you going to your job.

traffic

Photo Credit: LuisJouJR via Compfight cc

Do you like your job?

What are you sacrificing by going to work?

Do you feel like a cog on a wheel?

If you could choose to do anything, would it be the job you are going to/leaving?

Or

Do you need a Monday morning mulligan?

Going to College

When you were leaving high school and entering college, the common question asked of you as you graduated was “what will you major in?” I’m guessing you picked a safe major and not something you are passionate about. You picked the degree that *might* land you a job after graduating. Yet here you are, stuck in traffic, wondering what happened.

The reality is the jobs that will exist in 5 years haven’t been thought of yet. And most people don’t know themselves well enough to figure out what they want to do for the

Rest

Of their

Life.

When they are 18 years old.

A Different Way of Thinking

I was listening to a TED Talk the other day. I do not listen to them often enough, but when I do, I am always challenged by what is said. Even if that challenge is simply a more open mindset. This particular TED Talk was how a mother encouraged her kids to be more than hoop jumpers. You should take the 15 minutes to watch (or listen to) the video.

After I listened to this, my mind went many directions. I had three takeaways from what I heard which I could put in place with my own kids.

Here are 3 ways to help your kids overcome the 9-5.

  1. Help your kids discover their interests

When kids are little, they seem to gravitate towards certain activities and subjects. As they get older, those interests will change and become more focused. Allowing your kids to experience new things will help them learn what they are interested in. I am for allowing kids to try new things, sports, music, or dance, to name a few. I am against packing the kids time so tightly that they don’t have time to be a kid.

As their interests become more focused, help them discover what they really love.

  1. Call out your kids abilities

Most adults don’t know their skills and abilities, so what makes you think a 17 year old really understands this? As your children get older, you will begin to see what they are naturally good at. Name these abilities to them. Help them develop these abilities.

  1. Help them develop a good work ethic

Opportunities are not normally handed to you unless you have proven that you are trustworthy enough to get the job done. Early on, help your kids develop a good work ethic. Teach them that good things come to those who work hard for it, who have goals, and who are focused. Teach them. Do not hand things to them.

Help your kids understand their abilities and discover their interests. Click To Tweet

These three things will help them find fulfillment and potential success. Help them dream and take practical steps to achieve those dreams.

Why potential success? Success is subjective. We learn a lot when we fail. And those failures, when we learn from them, can help lead us to success.

In Conclusion…

As parents, as functioning adults, I believe many do not know their abilities and only some would be able to identify interests. I think we have long forgotten to dream about what makes us fulfilled in lieu of the 9-5. I hope I can live my life in such a way that my kids see a dfiferent way. I hope I can help guide and challenge them to seek what is best for the them, even if it doesn’t fit into mainstream business.

In your current occupation, are you using your skillset and abilities? Do you get to do something for work that is an interest? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

Why Employee Engagement is a 2 Way Street

*This is part 1 of a 2 part series on employee engagement

The term employee engagement has been thrown around a lot in the business world as of late. It is said that employee engagement is good for the organization. For employees to be engaged, there has to be a benefit to them as well.

Employee engagement can be described as the level of commitment an employee has to an organization. It is the emotional commitment to the organization’s mission and goals. It has to do with how motivated they are to contribute to the vision of the organization. All the while, they must have a sense that by being committed to the organization, it will benefit them as well.

If you are a for-profit business, then the ultimate indicator of success is your bottom line. However, you need people to accomplish that goal. Most organizations do not realize this. Are you ready?

Your people are your greatest resource.

Your people are your greatest resource. Start treating them like it. Click To Tweet

Without people, you will not have a company. You need good people to help you be profitable.  Below are several benefits of employee engagement for the organization and the employee. Let’s discuss why employee engagement is a 2 way street:

Benefits of Employee Engagement for the Organization

  1. Improved Performance

If your employees feel a high commitment to the organization, they will want to learn new skill sets that will take them, and your organization, to the next level.

  1. Increased Productivity

Committed employees will spend less time messing around in their day and will have a higher productivity rate. They will be more focused on the tasks at hand. Engaged employees are also less likely to call in sick.

  1. Greater Retention Rates

Engaged, committed employees will stick around. It takes a significant amount of money to train new employees. Creating a high level of employee engagement ensures that your employee turn around is low.

Benefits of Employee Engagement for the Employee

  1. Job Satisfaction

Engaged employees are satisfied with their jobs. They feel as though they are making a difference through their role in the company. Ultimately, job satisfaction usually means a happy, productive employee. When I am satisfied in my job, I am usually less stressed and healthier.

  1. Feel Empowered

Engaged employees feel like they have a stake in the company. They are given the tools and are empowered to accomplish the tasks set before them. A feeling of empowerment often leads to feelings of being esteemed. Which is one of our needs as people.

3. New Skills Learned

Organizations that understand the value of their employees provide teaching and training. There is a level of personal development that the employee benefits from in these organizations. These skills can be technical, directly related to their job, or can be described as the soft skills in business.

In Conclusion…

Employee engagement is relatively new but is a powerful tool in creating a healthy business. It is not about creating happy employees. However, happy employees tend to be at work on time and productive, which helps the bottom line of the organization.

In the next post, we will discuss 6 ways to engage with employees from day 1.

In your organization, are you engaged? As a supervisor, how can you create employee engagement?

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

Why You Can’t Be Anything You Want

4 Questions to Think About Regarding Your Purpose

If you are in your twenties or thirties, then there is a good chance you are going through an identity crises. A crisis that includes decision and the fear of making the wrong decision.

Growing up, you were most likely told you could do anything you wanted. You could be anything you wanted to be. You simply had to study hard and you could achieve x, y, z. This has created a problem in our culture, one where decisions are looked at as something to fear.

A fear of missing out.

I currently have this problem. I work for a large organization where employees are constantly leaving or retiring. This means there are always openings, especially in the classification I hold. This could be seen as a great thing. However, it has caused me anxiety. Anxiety of missing out on a job which could be fulfilling or help me move towards my purpose.

I do not currently have my dream job. I have a good job. I enjoy what I get to do, but it does not keep me up at night excited to go to work the next day. When I leave for the day I leave all thoughts of work at the door.

The fear is not simply a fear of missing out. It is the fear of missing out on the next step to get me to my dream job.

I have certain gifts and abilities that limit what I can and cannot do. This is not bad! If I know my strengths, skills, and abilities, then I will gravitate towards certain jobs. I want to do exactly what the army says:

army-BE_ALL_YOU_CAN_BE2

I want to be all that I can be.

Questions to Get You Thinking

At this point, you might be asking, how do I know what my purpose is and how do I figure out the right job for me?

Here are 4 questions you can ask yourself to begin thinking about what your purpose may be. As you think through the question, you will discover why you can’t be anything you want.

1. What am I good at?

This comes down to skills. What skills do you have?

This one is hard for me. I am generally good at a lot of things. When I think back over what I am really good at, it is thinking strategically, improving efficiency, and working through processes. This is how my brain functions at home and the work place.

What am I not good at? Anything involving blood. Or needles. Or animals.

2. What do I enjoy doing?

Think about your day. What gives you joy? What are your interests? Do you like working with people or would you rather sit in an office all day and put together budgets?

I enjoy making a difference where I am. I love helping people get to the “aha” moment. I enjoy learning and sharing what I have learned.

3. What makes me feel alive?

If you could choose to do anything with your day, had all of the time and money in the world, what would you choose to do?

If you could do anything with your day, what would you choose? Click To Tweet

I feel alive when I am able to figure out a complex problem. I feel alive when I do a training or am explaining a process to someone and they get it. I feel alive when I have conversations with others who want to fill the gap in their life, set goals, take action steps, and share with me their successes. I thrive when I am working with and around people.  I also feel alive when I am able to quiet myself and write.

If I were stuck in isolation all day I would die a slow death.

 4. What can I get paid to do?

If you say your passion is to sit on the beach and get paid, you probably aren’t taking this seriously. However, if your passion is to write, you could definitely do that while sitting on the beach.

We limit what we think we can get paid for based upon our worldview. We are told an 8-5 job is what we are to get after college. That may be what most people choose to do, but I do not think that is always the case. You have talents. You have skills. You have strengths. The world needs what you have to offer just as much as you need to live out your purpose.

The world needs what you have to offer just as much as you need to live out your purpose. Click To Tweet

In Conclusion

You cannot be anything you want to be. Your specific gifts, abilities, and interests will lend you towards many different types of jobs. When you figure out what your gifts and abilities are, then you need to take time to discover what it is you are to do. This exercise takes self-awareness and internal reflection. If you cannot come up with answers for some of the questions, ask those that are closest to you.

I am still working on this myself. I may have written the words above, but I think through those questions often.

Take time to think through the questions. I would love to hear some of your thoughts!

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

7 Ways to Deal with a Bad Supervisor

We have all been in that work situation. The situation where the person who is in charge during your working hours makes work less than tolerable. There are many reasons you might say you work for a manager or leader who is lacking in skills associated with their position. This can make going to work feel more like a chore than it should.

The likelihood of you doing anything about the fact your supervisor is hypocritical, a bad communicator, or authoritarian in their leadership style is very slim.

Why?

You most likely need the income; that is why.

What Makes A Supervisor a Bad Boss?

There are many reasons you might consider your supervisor a bad boss. A bad boss could be defined as such because they are a terrible communicator. You leave conversations and meetings with a general sense of confusion.

They drag out meetings because they can’t keep their mind on one topic and jump around on the agenda.

They lack emotional intelligence so they do not know how to communicate with different personality styles.

Some supervisors are considered bad because they micromanage. You can’t get anything accomplished without being asked a bunch of questions and having to report back every time you take a step forward in a project.

Other times your supervisor may decide to make sure everyone knows they are the ones in charge by their words and actions, barking orders.

The one that always gets to me is when I hear of supervisor, a manager or leader, who says one thing but does another. Their character shines through. After this occurs, I am always leery of trusting them.

A bad boss could also be defined by the culture of the organization. If morale is low, a hypothesis could be made that employees have not bought into the vision of the organization.

I’m gonna need that TPS report…

One of my all-time favorite movies is Office Space. After being in the working world for 10+ years and talking with friends about their work situations, I believe it shows a pretty great depiction of the average workplace. Unengaged workers, horrible boss, bad HR, and consultants coming in trying to figure out how to make the organization run more efficiently.
office-space-bobs

Photo Credit: Office Space

Peter Gibbons, the main character, meets with these consultants and tells them about his average work day. He then shares with them it does not matter if he works harder or smarter because there is no incentive. Then he shares this gem:

Peter Gibbons: … I have eight different bosses right now.

Bob Slydell: I beg your pardon?

Peter Gibbons: Eight bosses.

Bob Slydell: Eight?

Peter Gibbons: Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

Aren’t you glad you do not have eight bosses?

How to Make the Most of a Bad Situation

The reality is there are bad bosses everywhere. They most likely have no idea they are a bad boss or even know how to go about fixing it. It takes a deep level of self-awareness to recognize your faults and want to make changes.

You could quit one job in hopes of finding another job where your boss acts like a leader. But the grass is not always greener on the other side.

Take the opportunity to manage up and lead yourself. Click To Tweet

You will most likely not go to work and quit your job tomorrow. As this is the case, you should learn to thrive in your current situation. Take the opportunity to manage up and lead yourself. Here are 7 ways to deal with a bad supervisor:

  1. Lead up

There are many managers and “leaders” who should not be in the position they are in. However, as they are your supervisor, you most likely are in contact with them throughout the day.

This is your opportunity to show them how to behave in certain situations. I am not saying you call them out on their behavior. I am saying you need to treat them the way you want to be treated and show them a better way to handle situations. Offer solutions to situations that your boss may not have thought about. If you have strengths where they are weak, show them the way to improve in that area by being an example.

Lead them.

A leader is simply someone who has influence. Influence your supervisor.

  1. Recognize the Lack of Emotional Intelligence

When your supervisor is not good at communicating, it can cause a major headache. In one situation I was in I learned early on my boss lacked emotional intelligence, which is key to communicating well with others.

My boss did not know how to use tone appropriately, made jokes out of serious situations, and approached sensitive conversations in the wrong way. Understanding your boss lacks emotional intelligence will help you understand they lack the skills needed to communicate. It also helps to affirm you are not crazy.

  1. Clarification: Ask for Action Steps at the End of Meetings

In one situation I was in, I left my first meeting with a new supervisor unsure of what my action steps, or deliverables, were.  I saw the same thing take place in two other meetings I attended with co-workers. I realized after these three encounters my boss did not know how to wrap up a meeting.

In our next meeting, as one topic would be coming to an end, I asked “what is expected of me in this regard?” or “what is the deliverable from this topic?” Sometimes I was told there was not an action step, the discussion was just for my information. At least then I knew.

If it is unclear, make sure you know exactly what is being asked of you when leaving a meeting with your supervisor.

  1. Under Promise, Over Deliver

Micromanagers like to have a tight grasp on the work and employees they oversee. They do not have the ability to delegate or know how to empower their employees. I decided to always take the approach of asking my boss for more work when my projects had been completed. When I saw my boss doing something I could handle, especially if it fell in my job description, I expressed I would be happy to complete the task at hand.

I also showed I was capable by under promising and over delivering. This helped my micro manager loosen the grasp a bit.

  1. Lower your expectations

We all want the ideal boss. The one who communicates well, creates a shared vision, understands how to work well with others, values your opinion, and shows compassion. Unfortunately, I have found this is not the norm. So how do you deal with it? Recognize they are human, with many flaws. Show them a different way, lead up.

Bottom line: lower your expectations.

  1. Always Take the High Road

It would be easy to begin slacking off at work due to your boss, taking longer to complete tasks or taking a longer lunch than allotted. When you do that, your own integrity becomes questionable. Instead, continue to do your job to the best of your ability. You have a right to vent, but keep that to your spouse or friends. Put your best foot forward each day.

  1. Leave When the Time is Right

While you do what is mentioned above, do your research and homework on other companies. See what job openings are available. Get your resume in order. Update your LinkedIn profile. If you are not in your dream job, it will be easier to pursue other opportunities. When the time is right, start applying to other positions.

In Conclusion…

We all want to enjoy going to work, considering we spend so much time there. As you learn to lead yourself, you will learn invaluable lessons. When you have a bad boss, you can learn valuable lessons in leadership. Even if those lessons include what not to do.

Here’s to the Journey!

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No One Told Me Raising Kids Would Be Like This

Raising kids is no joke.

There is the feeding them. The playing with them. The disciplining them. The bathing them (I hate this one for some reason). And the constant “Mom, look at me.”

To which I respond “Trust me, I am always looking at you.”

They tend to suck the life right out of me.

And they also give me life.

Watching my baby crawl and giggle brings a smile to my face and a warmth in my soul. Seeing life through my three year old’s eyes has brought new life to me. When she experienced Christmas morning for the first time, her joy was contagious. She has a way of asking questions that gives me pause.

I worry about my kids. Wondering if I am doing all I can to provide for them emotionally, mentally, and physically. I wonder if I give them enough of my time. Working full time means everything has to get done at night and on the weekend. The mom guilt is especially strong when a child is sick or I ask my husband to take them to the doctor.

What I Want for My Children

I want to protect them from the world, yet let them experience life to the fullest.

I want them to have a full childhood and not grow up to fast.

I want them to learn how to work hard.

I want them to be critical thinkers.

I want them to understand there are always consequences, good or bad, to their actions.

I want them to understand healthy boundaries.

I want them to know their dreams are worth pursuing.

I want them to live a purposeful life.

Satisfaction In the Chaos

Raising kids is a lifelong venture. You hope for the best for your kids, pray for them, and know there are so many factors playing into how they will turn out.

And you pray you don’t screw them up.

It is in the midst of exhaustion, when I pause in my day, I see a glimpse of who my kids are becoming. And it brings a deep sense of satisfaction.

It is in the midst of exhaustion, when I pause in my day, I see a glimpse of who my kids are becoming. Click To Tweet

When my big girl grabs my hand while sitting on the couch, looks up at me with her big brown eyes and says “I love you mommy”, all becomes still. All becomes right in the world.

 

When was the last time you paused and felt deep satisfaction in your life? Share below!

Here’s to the Journey!

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