How to Go on Vacation, and More Importantly, How to Come Back from Vacation

Learn how to take a vacation so that you return completely invigorated.


The word “vacation” comes from the word “vacate”—to be empty, to free.

The ancient Greeks defined the purpose of vacation as one of healing, gaining perspective, and re-focusing our life’s efforts.

Epidaurus was one of the most famous Ancient Greek seaside resorts. Vacationers would ask their gods for healing, life-directing dreams, then sleep in dream auditoriums until they received such a dream to guide them in returning to everyday life.

Um, how many of us take vacations that fit THAT description?

NOTE: I meditate, so I am always seeking mini-vacations during the day to tend to and be with myself. But that is another blog.

Taking a truly successful vacation that leaves you feeling refreshed, renewed, and re-focused (even if you don’t get a life-directing dream!) is a creative activity with three phases: Preparation, Vacation, and Re-Entry.

Prepare, and You Won’t Despair

One of our staff just took a vacation with a triple purpose. He wanted to prepare for his state licensing, personally recharge, and decide on whether to get married. When he returned, he said it was the most restful, rejuvenating vacation he can remember taking.

What did he do? Follow these steps:

  1. Think about the purpose of your vacation well ahead of time. Why are you going where you’re going and doing what you’re going to be doing? “To get away” or “Escape” is not a sufficient reason. Be specific. “To enhance my relationship with my family,” “to get a new perspective on my career” – are sufficient reasons.
  2. Set specific goals to fulfill your purpose. Our staff person had time goals with his girlfriend, his books, and himself. He also set content goals. He identified subjects he wanted to discuss with her, topics to review for his exam, and concerns to consider for himself.
  3. Discuss your schedule and come to alignment with anyone traveling with you. Share your desired outcomes and see how they can fit together.
  4. Anticipate problems and make contingency plans in case things don’t go as planned. This is crucial! It can be the difference between a new adventure and a ruined trip.

Vacation-planning mindfulness is the difference between coming back stressed out and coming back completely invigorated.

While You’re Away….

Smile, relax, and focus on the goals and purpose you already determined. You’ve done the work. Now you can reap the rewards. Remember to review with your travel companions regularly. Does everyone feel satisfied? Do you need to revise anything?

Also, make a point to talk about how you would like things to feel when you get back. What feelings and inspirations do you want to bring back with you?

And don’t over plan! This will NOT be the only vacation you’re ever going to take. Everyone needs some unstructured, dreamy time to rejuvenate (and get that dream from the gods.) Balance activity and rest. Engage in new experiences, unusual sights and sounds, thoughts, foods, etc.

One of the reasons people like to camp, hike, and canoe is because it’s stimulating without evoking a lot of our unfinished business back home. It allows us to approach our world with awe. It lets us escape the person we were in the city and discover the person we could be.

Engage in some activities that will add to your life skills. For example, I used to wonder at Judith’s ability to sunbathe and read for hours on end. Then I dedicated one vacation to learning to relax. That vacation has stayed with me ever since and has served me well.

Anticipate your re-entry with relaxed determination to carry all that felt good from your vacation into your daily routine. Pick easy behavior changes you can make. Let these changes flow from your original vacation purposes and goals. That staff member I mentioned earlier? He returned more rested than ever, asked his girlfriend to marry him, and aced his test.

Re-Energize Your Re-Entry

Let’s say I’m going to go on a two-week canoe trip into the Boundary Waters. For me, the purpose of that trip would be to experience a little bit of fear—the challenge of using a topographical map to portage in and navigate the area, and the excitement of experiencing myself doing exactly that!

How much of that trip can I keep living when I come back so that I’m a little more adventuresome AND a little more mindful?

Do I have a topographical re-entry map to help me recognize the rapids and the places that are dangerous and where I need to pay special attention? What would that look like?

When we pay attention to our re-entry into our day-to-day life, we honor our purpose for going on vacation in the first place. As a result, we re-enter with renewed inspiration, rejuvenation, and an expanded sense of ourselves. And we can bring that to our co-workers, partners, and all our relationships.

No one wants to come back from a vacation filled with resentment for our life, exhaustion from an over-booked trip, or finding ourselves in victim mode for having to go back to work. We all know what that feels like.

Next time you are on your way home from an extended trip, try this instead:

  1. Ease back in. Don’t let fear drive you to try and catch up on a week’s worth of work in your first hour at your desk. You don’t have to “pay the price” for taking a vacation. If you must, take an extra vacation day or come back early to ensure that the first day is not over-scheduled!
  2. Allow yourself to focus on the rest and relaxation you got. Rest is the natural balance to work. Feel your gratitude for it. Share your gratitude.
  3. Spend some time thinking about the successes and failures of this vacation. This way, you can plan an even better vacation next time!

Re-entry is about being able to be present with yourself, reflecting, and celebrating your life as it is, even though vacation is over.

To take an even bigger view, think of vacation as a metaphor for a period of time when you are more consciously and more fully present with yourself. Which is the opposite of how many of us think of it.

Instead of getting away, use your vacation to dive deeper into you.

You may be surprised how refreshing that can be!

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author, and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University. Follow him on Instagram and LinkedIn.

4 Reasons You’re Miserable at Work…and What to Do About It

Do you hate your job? Are you miserable at work? Do you get the “Sunday scaries” and dread the office on Monday? Are you wondering if it’s time to throw in the towel?

Miserable at work? Don't give up hope! Here are four reasons why your job makes you miserable and what you can do to turn it around.

 


 

Many of us are looking at our job satisfaction and wondering if we shouldn’t be getting more out of our work. We may think of moving on but feel afraid of the career and financial consequences. So we trudge in each day, accepting that we’re doomed to feel miserable at work.

If you’re unhappy at work, there are a few points to examine. Here’s why you might be so dissatisfied with your job.

Is It Me or Is it the Job?

As a coach, I often hear people complain about their job situation. Many people have told me that they’re miserable at work. But what does that really mean?


Underneath that misery could often be feelings of frustration, anger, hurt, and even boredom. It turns out we feel more satisfied when we’re challenged.


When we’re just going through the motions, trying to make it through the day, it might be time for a step back.

The first question is—does work have to be miserable? After all, it’s called work, not fun, right? Absolutely not! I’ve worked with hundreds of people who were satisfied, stimulated, and purpose-driven in their work. They had fulfilling job experiences, whether they were a CEO, an entry-level intern, or serving up coffee behind a counter.

4 Reasons Why We’re Miserable at Work

When we look at our mindset, we can often turn those feelings of being miserable at work into feelings of fulfillment, growth, and betterment. Are we getting in the way of our career satisfaction? Here are a few reasons we might feel miserable at work.

1. You’re Not Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Own Happiness

We are all responsible for our own actions. But what does personal responsibility at work mean?

Taking personal responsibility is the act of declaring: “I determine how I react to the world. I am responsible for my own self-care. I don’t expect others to take care of me, AND I take responsibility for my emotional responses.” In our work life, we could also add, “I’m personally responsible for giving work my all, every day.”


When we feel miserable at work, we should ask ourselves if we’re really pushing ourselves. Have we become stagnant in our work? Are we learning and growing with new challenges? If not, how can we take personal responsibility to ask for more challenging, engaging tasks?


When we don’t take personal responsibility, we enter a state of victimhood. We get stuck in a drama triangle, where we’re the helpless victim. We stop analyzing our situation and making choices to become more effective and happier. Instead, we are disempowered, in a hole of our own unhappiness. We’re blaming others for our problems without doing our part to improve our situation.

It turns out that people who are unhappy at work are often the same people with the least to do. Boredom is anger turned inward. When people take that attitude to work, they aren’t set up for success. They’re spinning their tires on the ice rather than moving forward and accomplishing tasks. When we face challenges and complete a task for the day, we feel accomplished and excited. These achievements lead to pride, joy, and job satisfaction.

Personal responsibility is about understanding that we each own our emotions and reactions at all times. We can make work a fun game or see it as drudgery. For example, I once hired an acquaintance and two temps to help with an envelope-stuffing project. The work was monotonous, but the acquaintance would stuff 300 envelopes at a time. When he finished his goal, he’d reward himself with a quick walk outside or a snack. Then he’d come back a get right back to work.

On the other hand, the temps viewed the task as dull and frustrating. My acquaintance ended up stuffing more envelopes than the two temps combined. He was much happier too. He didn’t complain or blame the task. Instead, he got to work and turned it into a game.

If we want more satisfaction at work, we must start to shift our perspective about what’s “fun.” How can we set a goal and work towards it? Setting a timer, creating a milestone, or seeing how efficiently we can complete a task can make the time pass quickly and leave us feeling satisfied.

2. You Have Authority Issues

When we were kids, we may have heard that we had a problem with authority. It happens to many people, me included. Like many of our childhood memories and ideas, our pushback and rebellious streak can continue to manifest in adulthood.


But just because our boss is bossy (or even a jerk—and they are out there), it doesn’t mean we need to be unhappy. We need to look at how we’re reacting and get honest with ourselves.


If we have issues with authority (if we’ve had similar feelings whenever someone else is in charge), we’ll probably react to any boss, supervisor, or manager in a volatile way. Whether that means we shut down and withdraw or resist and defend, we’re likely to face continuous conflict unless we explore our feelings.

There are two steps we can take to get a handle on our authority issues:

First Step: We can deal with our unfinished business. All of us carry unfinished business with us. These issues are often unresolved from our childhood (even if we had happy childhoods), and they can come up when we experience feelings of powerlessness or frustration.

Yes, our “jerk boss” might be overly aggressive or even a bully because he’s unhappy with himself. But we don’t have control over that. We can only control our actions and reactions. Some folks can really struggle with this area, and it’s essential to get to the root of the problem. It could stem from residual childhood issues with authority. Perhaps our boss brings up negative feelings we had about someone in our past (an older sibling, a teacher). Becoming aware of these emotions and projections helps us get on the right path to control our reactions and make confrontations constructive.

Second Step: Deal with it. It may sound harsh, but sometimes we face people who are just jerks. If we’ve done work to become conscious of our projections and emotional reaction, but our boss is still a problematic bully, then the real question is—is it worth it? Can we deal with it? Can we put aside the feelings and work with this person productively?


When we focus on effectively doing our job rather than the emotional ups and downs of the day, we might find a greater sense of empowerment and control.


We can ask about our performance and spark a conversation with our boss down the road. This presents a less-heated opportunity to confront our boss about their attitude honestly and openly.

How will the boss react? They may respond positively or negatively, but when we’ve honestly expressed our feelings in a responsible manner, we own them. Our boss may not listen, and they may not change, but these opportunities can teach us powerful lessons about our inner strength, skillset, and even how to do a better job. If the situation is genuinely unworkable, then it may be time to liberate ourselves from the job and find something that’s a better fit.

3. You Aren’t Recognizing and Honoring Emotions

Sometimes our misery at work doesn’t stem from our boss or the drudgery of the job. Sometimes we feel miserable at work because we aren’t connecting with others—customers, vendors, and coworkers. We’re letting our emotions take over without examining their origins.

Take, for example, if we feel really angry at a coworker. When we engage our emotional intelligence, we own, examine, and understand our emotions. We explore where our anger comes from, and we own our part in it. As a result, we can engage in productive, honest conflict with the other person and find a proactive way to resolve the situation. We can learn and grow from every interaction, thus nourishing our emotional and social intelligence.

Where do these emotions and projections come from? Childhood lessons and values can project onto our adult selves and influence our interactions with others. People often become their childhood selves while interacting with those who remind them of certain family members or friends. One person may stir feelings of comfort and happiness—like a favorite aunt. Another person may evoke feelings of inadequacy, like our demanding dad.

When we examine everyone we have issues with at work, we might discover some distinct familiarities with our relatives and friends from the past. Examine these issues to determine what we might be projecting onto others, whether good or bad. Recognizing our emotions can help those emotional intelligence skills grow.

4. You Don’t Have Social Intelligence Skills

Social and emotional intelligence skills help us understand people’s emotions and reactions. Social intelligence is the ability to understand what other people are feeling, then learning to influence them positively and productively.

If we want to explore our social intelligence skills, we can ask ourselves questions like:

  • Am I a contributing team member?
  • Do I ensure my colleagues are working effectively?
  • Do I support the team?
  • Am I helping everyone win by contributing?
  • Am I open and honest in communications with everyone at the company?
  • Do I try to better both my work and myself?

Some people lack social intelligence skills because they lack emotional intelligence too. They don’t understand their emotions and reactions. One leads to the other, and both skills are essential for happiness and satisfaction in work and life.

For example, if we feel like we’re on a team that drags us down, we can turn it around and ask, “What have I done to lift my team today?” That’s part of that social and emotional intelligence in practice. If we take responsibility for ourselves, even when others are not, we can be socially aware and carefully, responsibly, and clearly communicate our feelings. We can start to understand our colleagues and how they might react and then engage with them accordingly.

How to Stop Being Miserable at Work

All these reasons go hand-in-hand with why we might feel miserable at work. I’m not interested in just helping people be “happier” at work. I’m interested in helping them have a wildly successful career of fulfillment and satisfaction. Most of us won’t be happy every day with every task, but we can shift our mindset to find purpose in every task.

The 4 reasons for being miserable at work are in a very specific order for a reason. The first step is taking responsibility for ourselves. Then we must deal with our authority issues, increase our emotional awareness, and build our social and emotional intelligence.

Learning these social and emotional intelligence skills allows us to create joyous work, practice gratitude, learn and grow in an adventuresome way. We will discover more about ourselves, others, and our world every day.

To build up your career satisfaction, don’t miss the courses available at Wright Now. We have insightful resources to help you increase your satisfaction in your relationships, career, and with yourself. Don’t miss the opportunity to live a life of more!


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Learn more about Wright Living’s Career & Leadership Coaching in Chicago & Career Coaching Courses in Chicago.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Getting Along with Coworkers: Here’s Why It’s All Relative

Is getting along with coworkers a tall order? Do you ever struggle, wondering why your coworkers drive you up a wall?

 

You can get along with coworkers and create a work family.

 


 

We often hear people lament about their coworkers, not realizing that their relationships with their peers often mirror their other relationships with friends and family. People claim that they’re totally different at work, or their work lives look nothing like their home lives.

But then they face the same types of disagreements in both places. Here’s why it’s crucial to examine your relationships across all aspects of your life, especially if you’re having a tough time getting along with coworkers.

Creating Our Work Family

“I just don’t understand why my coworker bugs me so much.”

“I work in an office with so much drama. UGH. I hate it!”

“I’m a completely different person when I’m at the office.”

Do you ever wonder why getting along with coworkers is so hard? It may be time to take a look at your relationships in the rest of your life. The truth is, we’re the same everywhere. Chances are if you’re bothered by certain types of people, or if you fall into the drama triangle at work, you’ve probably seen the same patterns at home. Like it or not, pleasing your boss and getting along with your coworkers often mirrors the dynamics you experience with your family.


We spend much of our time at work. So, it’s natural we would build strong relationships. Many people find they’ve recreated their family relationships and dynamics at the office after years at work.


That hard-to-please mother? She’s your boss. Your easy-going relationship with your dad? You might see the same dynamic at play with your favorite manager. That coworker who pushes your buttons and pisses you off? He has the same traits as your brother (and probably gets under your skin for the same reasons).

We automatically recreate our expectations of the world and our relationships right there in our office from 9-5. So, if you want to start getting along with your coworkers, it’s important to remember—the dynamics are all relative!

The Hierarchy of Authority at the Office

Within most workplaces, there is a hierarchy of authority. Well, guess what—growing up, we also experienced a hierarchy of authority. For most of us, the authority came from our parents, but no matter how our family was structured, there was a power dynamic at play.

In most households, Mom and Dad were the first authority figures in your life. Your relationship with them is reflected in your relationships with your coworkers and feelings toward authority figures throughout your life (whether you like it or not).

Let’s say you had authoritarian parents who were very demanding. Well, you probably learned to resist them. Possibly, you learned to passive-aggressively resist them by not doing exactly what they wanted. Or you learned to openly get mad and fight them. Welcome to your authority issues today.


If you were competitive or in conflict with your parents, you’re probably going to struggle at the office when you feel bossed around (which is, as we all know, a natural part of work).


If your parents were inconsistent and the hierarchy and the power balance between you were hard to figure out, you’ll often see this same scenario play out again as authority issues at work. You may struggle to figure out your boss. You may feel the need to question your manager or balk at orders and instructions. Or you may put on an air of agreeability but bemoan the orders the moment your manager is out the door.

All these reactions speak volumes about the way you view authority today, as well as the authority you were raised with when you were growing up. Eventually, you’ll face similar feelings in the workplace to those you experienced in your childhood and felt toward your parents. It’s a natural, normal part of human behavior.

But What if Your Boss is a Jerk?

Many people realize they have authority issues but identify the problem as, “my boss is a jerk.” When we pin the problem entirely on the personality of our boss, we fail to recognize these issues stem from and exist within us. Don’t like your situation at work? You have the power to explore and change your relationship with authority.

You were born in your family issues—long before you had any say in the matter. But recognizing this truth will help empower you. Even if your boss or coworkers are vastly different from your parents, you will eventually create and experience the same patterns over and over again that you played out during your childhood. It’s essential to explore these dynamics and their origin, especially if you’re finding it challenging to get along with your coworkers.

Another family pattern that’s become especially common these days is what we refer to as the super enmeshed family. This is where the family is overly involved in a person’s life, and they fail to separate once they reach adulthood. The enmeshment stems from parents who are highly focused on the happiness of their kids.

While wanting your kids to be happy is positive, it’s possible to pin your identity and focus entirely on your children. What ends up happening with super enmeshed parents is their kids don’t know if they’re living for their own happiness or their parents’ happiness. We’re seeing this type of dynamic more and more in the age of the “helicopter parent.”


What happens to those who grew up in super enmeshed families? We see people who grow into middle age without ever really becoming adults. They never truly disconnect from their parents and learn to function as whole, adult human beings.


This plays out in relationships with friends and family, at work, and even within romantic relationships. This over-parenting leads to a lack of independence, confidence, and ability to make decisions.

So, what does this mean for you? Do you want to break free from the patterns? Do you believe they don’t affect you? Well, first of all, tough luck.

You take your family everywhere. It’s impossible to avoid recreating the dynamics because it’s an integral part of your programming and part of human nature. You will find your parents’ traits in others throughout your life. If you can’t find the traits of your parents right away within the people you meet, then you’ll recreate those relationship dynamics as your connection develops.

No matter what your relationship with your parents was like (and there are no perfect parents out there, so if you think your parents were “saints,” think again), you will see this play out in your relationships later. We call this your unfinished business.

Understanding Your Unfinished Business to Start Getting Along with Coworkers

The realization we’re carrying around our familial issues is tough to take. Most of us don’t love the idea. It may even make us feel angry. The good news in all of this is your work relationships create an excellent opportunity to explore your unfinished business and apply personal growth lessons in the real world.

If we’re interested in learning, growing, and becoming more complete human beings, then our work relationships provide us with an excellent chance to really explore our dynamics with others. At work, you have a perfect laboratory of sorts to look at how your relationships play out; to think about how getting along with your coworkers or not getting along with coworkers mirrors your connections with your family members.

In an ideal setting, you are the authority in your own life. You embrace the power within you, and consequentially, you fully acknowledge the authority of those over you, such as in a work setting, without resentment. In fact, in an ideal situation you, empower those authorities without undue competitiveness or anger.

But of course, most of us still have growing to do. We have unfinished business to address!


We all face a challenge to become whole and complete human beings. It’s incumbent on each of us to address our unfinished business so we become more honest and straightforward communicators.


It’s not about simply “tolerating” or getting along with your coworkers, but rather digging in and understanding why you click (or why you don’t click).

One of the best steps we can take to improve and understand our work life is to realize that our work dynamics are relative—a direct reflection of our family of origin.

Work gives us a great sandbox to experiment with these dynamics and explore our connections. So, look around at the people you like a lot at work. Who do those people remind you of in your family? Then take a look at the people who get under your skin. Who do they remind you of? Push yourself to explore the lesson at hand. What immaturity and unfinished business are you bringing to the office?

For more on building your relationships and power at work, explore our courses available on Wright Now. We offer an array of webinars and virtual classes to help you connect with others and learn more about yourself.

 


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

 

 

Finding Your Power at Work

We spend much of our time at work. In fact, for most of us work takes up nearly a third of our weekday hours.

Do you want to get more out of your job? The Wright Foundation will teach you how to find your power at work.


When we spend so much time in our work environment, it’s important we feel positive about our careers. Yet finding your power at work is often a struggle.

How do you get out of a rut at your workplace? Even if your job is okay and you feel you’re doing well, is it enough? What’s the secret to getting more satisfaction and fulfillment out of your 9-5?

For many of us, the answer to a happier workday means engaging in self-examination. Are you standing in your own way?

Discovering Power at Work by Expressing Yourself

Do you feel stuck? Overlooked? Powerless at your job?

For starters, most people look at job dissatisfaction and start blaming it on every aspect of the workplace BUT themselves:

  • My boss is a jerk.
  • My team doesn’t support me.
  • I haven’t been given the promotion or position I want.
  • They expect too much of me.
  • I don’t click with my coworkers.

If any of these statements have come out of your mouth recently, it may be time to look around and identify the roadblocks keeping you from harnessing your own power. Often people’s reaction to the way power is being used around them is the very thing that’s getting in their way of claiming their own power and strength.

Many people at work complain and criticize others, but without a clear goal or resolution in mind. Before you start to criticize those around you, it’s important you examine your feelings. First, what are you doing that earns you the right to point fingers at others? Second, if the criticism or frustration is valid, how can you express it responsibly with a clear resolution and vision for the outcome?

Frankly, at work, many of us simply bitch because that attitude or habit has become ingrained into our office culture. We bemoan and whine about circumstances “out of our control.”


When we complain just to complain, we’re handing off our power. It often feels far easier to blame someone else, than to go through the process of finding your power at work.


Once we realize change is within our grasp, we can start to take the steps to refocus and harness our power, taking control of our position and interactions at the office. The first step is to express what you think, need, and desire from your boss, coworkers, and team. Say it responsibly, taking personal accountability for your role and contribution. Second, align yourself with the company’s purpose.

So, if I were to express my frustration with an aspect of the office, I would first examine my vision and goals for the outcome. How do I plan to contribute to the resolution? Next, I would discuss it with colleagues, starting out with, “I see our company’s purpose as X. I believe our highest functioning in the direction of our purpose would be to take steps Y and Z, rather than the A and B ideas we’ve been discussing.”

By aligning with the company’s purpose, you’re finding your power at work, taking responsibility, and not blaming others. You’re working to ensure the outcome aligns with the overall purpose and goals. When this happens, your office interactions become purpose-driven. You’re moving forward with a goal in mind. You will see a paradigm shift toward being more engaged, influential, and visible. Using direct and honest feedback, fueled by alignment to your company’s purpose, will lead you toward becoming a powerful leader.

What Do You Really Want from Work?

Finding your power at work means identifying your true yearnings. What do you really want? Hint: it’s not just a new car or a bigger salary. What is the yearning of your soul?

Our deeper yearnings inform our goals and direct our path. If we yearn to have control, for example, we may be driven toward a leadership position. If we yearn to make a difference, we may find ourselves gravitating toward teaching, training, instructing, or helping professions. If we long to matter, we may be seeking the validation that comes from positive feedback.

Once we identify our yearnings, we can align our goals toward them. We also become focused in our pursuit to get our yearnings met. This means not being afraid to speak up, disagree, or engage in conflict when we dislike a situation. Often, if we want something, we need to ask, speak up, and express our desires.

At the same time, there is also power in silence. Not the passive-aggressive silence some people use to manipulate others or steer a situation toward the desired outcome, but the silence that comes from engaging and listening to others.


When we’re truly engaged, we’re focused on connecting with those around us. We’re working not only toward our own yearnings, but toward identifying and meeting the yearnings of others.


Many people fail to maximize their potential in their careers because they don’t recognize or claim their personal power. Each of us holds vast amounts of personal power and human potential. We define leadership as the power within individuals to influence the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others.

You may be sitting quietly in a meeting, but if you’re truly engaged and listening, you’re holding your power. If your eyes and your mind are engaged with the conversation, you’re participating in the meeting and bringing aliveness to the situation. If you zone out, your eyes go dead, you doodle on a piece of paper and otherwise disengage, you’re killing the entire dynamic.

Finding your power at work means being present, telling the truth, learning what you can in each situation and realizing the influence you hold in each situation.


If you consider that knowledge is power, then expanding your self-knowledge is expanding your personal power.

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


We may get so eager to express ourselves and react to the way power is used around us that we forget the importance of learning and listening. Once we learn to be present and active in our participation in meetings and discussions, we shift into higher personal power.

The Power of Allies and Support

The truth is, it’s often hard to understand our relationship with power and authority. It’s even hard to understand the way we view power objectively.

To most people, power means force. It’s something someone else has. Power isn’t “nice” and in fact, we may think there’s something wrong with having power.

If you were spanked or disciplined heavily as a kid when you did nothing wrong, for example, your view of power gets mixed up with authority and the misuse of power. This may lead you to a pattern of reacting against the power of others, rather than expressing your own power.

Most people spend more time avoiding rejection than they spend seeking their own satisfaction and fulfillment. We fear rejection and the pain that comes from mistakes or critiques. So instead, we hold back and fail to go for it.

When we become our own roadblock, it’s often helpful to work with an outside source like a mentor, ally, or coach to point us in the right direction. As Bill Gates once said, “Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast, or a bridge player.”

In a similar vein, Harvard professor Howard Gardner identified seven areas of intelligence. These areas include arts, kinesthetic (body) intelligence, mathematical intelligence, scientific understanding, and interpersonal intelligence. Many of us go to school for years, we go to the gym and work with a trainer, but when it comes to interpersonal intelligence, we’re left to navigate on our own.


Working with a guide like a life coach helps us learn how we relate to ourselves and relate to other people. It helps us strengthen our emotional intelligence “muscle” and move toward more fulfilling relationships.


We seem to think we’re doing okay as long as we have a positive rapport with others. Yet, underneath it all, we need to have rapport and satisfaction with ourselves.

An ally may come in the form of a good friend, a boss, an advisor, or a life coach. For many people, truly finding your power at work requires the backing and assistance of a team. This isn’t because of personal inadequacies. It’s simply because an outside source gives us perspective and objective feedback. It’s then our job to listen and apply that feedback to our lives.

If you’re hoping to find more power at work and greater job satisfaction, start with self-examination. Are you taking responsibility for your feelings? Are you expressing your yearnings and engaging with those around you? Do you work to understand the vision and goals of others you work with? Do you need an objective source, like a life coach, to help you navigate and move you forward toward your goals?

Each of us has great power and potential. It’s up to us to uncover it and move toward harnessing our power. As we fulfill our potential, we’ll discover greater satisfaction at work and in all aspects of our lives.

For more on discovering your strengths and potential please visit us at the Wright Foundation. Join us for an upcoming networking event where you’ll meet others who are on the path to living their best lives.


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

 

Find Your Strengths to Get Ahead at Work

 

We all have skills, right? I bet you can probably list them right off your resume.


You might think I mean typing or data entry or understanding HTML—and sure, those certainly are skills, but they’re not what really makes you shine.

I’m not even talking about the things you studied in school or even what you went to college for—although, I’m sure what you’ve learned has helped you on your career path as well. Whether you’re a nurse or a teacher, or if you have an MBA, you’ve probably acquired some very job-specific skills.

While these skills are useful and will serve you well, they’re not what will really make you stand out from all the other nurses or teachers or managers. Those skills are important, but they won’t help you get ahead.

I’m not talking about those “resume skills”…I’m talking about strengths. To be successful, we each have to identify our own unique strengths.

Our strengths come from our personality profile.

You might be a great sales guy or gal and maybe you know how to close a deal like no other.

Maybe they call you in when they need to pull a team together and rally the troops. Perhaps you have the ability to create harmony in any situation.

Or maybe you’re a cheerleader who can bring energy to every project and get the whole team excited about performing.

Perhaps you’re the type who can assess a problem, target a solution and organize technical data without becoming overwhelmed…and maybe you even like it?

These strengths are inherent to YOU. They’re the things that make you special and differentiate you from the rest of the crowd at your office. They’re your social intelligence skills. They help you communicate with others and they shape the way you engage and interact with those around you. These strengths are the “energy” you bring to your team.

There are four core personality types—Cooperator, Analyzer, Regulator, and Energizer (what we call the C.A.R.E. profile). For some of us, we may be surprised to learn our strengths aren’t where we thought.

The sooner you find your strengths, the sooner you’ll be on your way to advocating for yourself, building on your strengths, and overcoming areas that are not-so-strong. The sooner you identify your strengths, the sooner you’ll find your inner leader. Once you know your personality type, you’re taking your first steps toward emerging into your next, most radiant self.

Discover Your Leadership

Are you a leader?

Maybe you don’t think of yourself as someone who stands out. You might be an introvert. You might dread dealing with crowds or public speaking. Maybe the thought of talking in a meeting is enough to turn your stomach (or at least make you sweat).

Guess what? We can ALL be leaders. Each and every person has leadership within them. That’s right! Every person has the ability to bring a team together and inspire others to greatness. YOU can engage, you can listen, and you can inspire! You can lead from wherever you are.

Not everyone has to be the person who rallies the troops (the Energizer), or the one that goes in to make a hard sale (the Regulator)—but whether you’re leading your fellow IT members through a successful data mapping or you’re leading the nurses on your wing to more efficient procedures, there’s leadership within every person.

Learning to work within your personality type to play up your strengths and compensate for areas that might be less comfortable for you is part of increasing your social and emotional intelligence. The foundation and ability to achieve greatness is within each and every one of us.

We are all gifts. We bring our experiences, our knowledge, our strengths and our personality into each situation. We have a blend of experiences that’s uniquely our own. We can draw on those pieces in each new interaction and situation.

To discover your inner leader, you need to unlock your communication abilities and keep working on your social intelligence. Build on your personality strengths and use them as a launch pad for growth. Social intelligence helps you read and interact effectively with different personalities. It helps you “get along” with others…and it also helps you stand out from the crowd.


“We are all designed to live great lives. It is through being socialized that we limit our capacity. The good news is that we can reignite this natural capacity. We have no doubt that you’re capable of greatness. This is not starry-eyed optimism but pragmatic certainty. We’ve coached and trained many people who’ve achieved spectacular results in every area of their lives. They have learned to transform—that is, to consciously reignite their capacity to live ever-greatening lives.

If you think you want…to discover your next most radiant self, then get ready to have more fun, but also to get hurt more. There is no safety from pain—just a commitment to learning and growing from it. Radiance can take the form of laughter…Your next most radiant self will also be more open and less defensive and resistant, so you’ll experience more flow and aliveness. You’ll become increasingly real, sharing your pain and your joy, your anger and your fear, your gifts and your foibles. By continually developing emotional and social intelligence, you negotiate life’s inevitable knocks and problems with greater ease and benefits.”

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


Is unlocking our personal strengths an easy task? Is it simple to discover our own personal power?

Yes and no. Transformation isn’t a switch you turn on and off, but a lifelong journey. Once you become your next most radiant self, you might realize there’s a NEXT even MORE radiant you beyond that, and beyond that…

Fortunately, as humans we have unlimited potential for greatness. We have the gift of neuroplasticity—the ability to grow and adapt our brains over time. When we reach adulthood, we don’t stop growing or learning, and in fact, the more we grow and learn the greater our capacity!

If you feel like you’ve stifled your inner leader, or you have the skills for the job but aren’t quite able to extract the leadership from your personality, examine where you fall on the profile, and use it as a guide to help you strengthen your social and emotional intelligence.

Within each person is a great leader. Find your strengths and challenge yourself to embrace them and you’re on your way to unlocking your next most radiant self!

For more on building your leadership, visit www.wrightliving.com. Go forth and ignite your world for a better tomorrow.


About the Author

Judith

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

What Motivates You?
Here’s How To Find Your Spark!

Finding out what motivates you is an interesting process, especially seeing as we’re all driven for different reasons. It’s about finding that deep down stirring that pushes you.

It’s what makes you get up in the morning, put your pants on, and get out the door.

Maybe you’re motivated by a desire to nurture and care for those around you. Some of us want power or control. Some of us are motivated by praise from our colleagues or boss. Some of us are motivated by cold hard cash (or think we are). Deep inside of each of us, though, something drives us.

We’ve all had days when we just aren’t feeling it. We phone it in, trudge off to the office, and give less than our best. We ALL have days like that. Maybe you didn’t sleep well, maybe you’re coming down with something, or perhaps there’s a personal concern weighing on your mind. Whatever it is, you know your heart just isn’t in your work. Your mind is off, and you just don’t feel like being there.

Having one or two days of feeling unmotivated isn’t such a concern. It’s normal, and it happens to all of us. However, weeks of feeling unmotivated and lackluster can indicate a deeper problem—a loss of desire, a loss of drive, and a falling out of touch with our yearnings.

We’re designed to be driven—but we must find our authentic selves. Maslow saw our drive as the desire for self-actualization and the realization of our full potential.

So how do you find what motivates you? What would “make” us be our best and give it our all every day? Psychologists have determined it’s about finding the meaning in our lives and embarking on a path where we’re constantly improving and growing as people. So how can you get there?

 
Designed to Transform

Our brains are pretty amazing. Deep within our neural circuitry, we’ve developed neuroplasticity: the ability to build new circuits and form new neural pathways, allowing us to learn, adapt, engage and constantly grow—and love the process! We’re not simply creatures of habit, or driven only by our biological imperatives and instincts. We are constantly learning and growing from each experience. We’re adapting and changing.

We can literally change our brains and our minds, and what we believe, who we are, and how we live. We can transform.

The very fact that we have neuroplasticity lets us know that we possess these amazing capabilities. Our transformation circuits are only activated, however, with our conscious choice and intent, through the stimulation of novelty and focused attention, as well as through our yearnings and emotions, which signal to our brains, “Pay attention, this matters!” Such attention not only rewires the circuitry of our brains, but it also affects the expression of our genes.

We are designed to seek, to be curious, to discover. When we are thrilled about the world of ideas and divining meaning, our seeking circuits are firing, activating one of the pleasure centers in our brains. We are in a state of eagerness and directed purpose—a state we human beings love to be in. This thrill of anticipating reward motivates us to act…


…We are designed to be explorers, and when we explore, our brains light up with pleasure. It is the novelty, not the outcome, that most delights our brain and activates our neuroplasticity. Our brains are never “happier” than when we are learning new things, stretching just beyond our current capacities. This is where we build new circuitry and develop mastery.

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


That transformational spirit and desire to explore, grow, engage and deepen our understanding keeps us moving. When we’re connecting with those around us, listening to what others want, and finding ways to work toward our goals and vision together, we’re going to feel that spark!

You know those moments when it happens. Say you’re in a meeting and you totally nail it. The words that come out of your mouth are confident and thought out. You have a clear picture of what you want. You’re listening to those around you and sharing in their vision as well as your own—there’s a dynamic atmosphere, a synchronicity that just can’t be denied.

Understand Your Yearnings, Find What Motivates You

So if you feel like you’ve lost your mojo, and you’re feeling down and just not reaching like you once did, it’s time to figure out how you can connect, grow and push yourself!

What does that mean for you? It means you need to get back in the game. Volunteer for a project you’re holding back on, sign up for professional development courses, or take classes and training to get you to the next level in your job. Even learning a new task or how to use new technology or software will give you a little bounce and boost.

As our brains learn and discover new things, we find out what we really want, and we become happier. Those neuropathways are formed and we start to feel more alert, more alive, and more motivated to achieve our goals.

Explore a deeper understanding of your yearnings. Our yearnings are more than simple wants or desires. They’re the very fabric of our motivation and they propel us forward toward our goals. Understanding the yearnings within our hearts can help us unlock the path to our goals. We can see what drives us and what accomplishments will give us the most pleasure and satisfaction.

To feel more motivated, we have to connect with those around us. We have to listen, hear them out, and gain an appreciation for their humanity. Does that mean you’re going to like everyone you work with? No, of course not, but you should be open to hearing everyone’s ideas around the table. When people know you’re listening, they’re more likely to share and find ways to reach a common consensus and goal.

Lastly, to stay motivated, we have to stay healthy. We can’t zone out in front of the television, check out by scanning social media, or get caught up in comparing ourselves to those around us. We have to care for ourselves by getting rest, exercise, and spending time doing the things that make us feel healthy, strong and ready to go.

Keeping up your motivation isn’t as difficult as it can feel on a Monday morning when your alarm goes off. Work to discover new things about yourself, make an effort to grow, and explore the inner workings of your heart—and you’ll find what motivates you, and get that spark back in your life.

For more on unlocking your motivation and discovering what you really want, visit us for an upcoming Foundations Training Weekend. Learn more at www.wrightliving.com.


About the Author

Judith

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.
Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Inspire and Ignite :
How to Be a Better Leader

 

When you talk, do the people you’re working with perk up and listen…or do your words fall on deaf ears? Do you feel like you’re constantly yelling or frustrated by the “attitude of apathy” your coworkers or subordinates direct your way?


Maybe it’s time to reconsider your approach and learn how to be a better leader.

Many so-called “leaders” talk and give lip service; they drive through fear and threats of scarcity. They bully, they pout—essentially, they act like big babies, whining until they get their way. Or they act like big toddlers, bossing around their peers and threatening to take things away and punish if they don’t get the results they want.

Don’t believe me? Look at our current political climate (or take a step back and look at the climate in your own office). Are all the people in charge inspiring confidence or are they fearmongering? This climate of fear and stress is an epidemic in many workplaces throughout our country and it’s taking a toll on both workers and leaders alike. People in positions of authority are making themselves miserable and they don’t know how to fix it.

This mismanagement and bossy leadership is particularly rampant in middle management. It’s indicative of people in positions of supervision, but without the autonomy to really affect the change and inspire the kind of work they need to extract from their team. It’s a sign of someone losing his or her grip on control—control they often didn’t need to grasp onto to begin with.

Bully management and demeaning bossiness isn’t real leadership. You might get your team to perform, but inside you know they aren’t fulfilled and they won’t embrace the work as their own. They’ll perform on a mediocre level, phoning it in and doing what you demand, but never taking any steps to go above and beyond.

You’ve got to put the heart and soul back into your team. It’s likely they don’t understand their purpose or share your vision, which are the keys to great performance. Unlocking our purpose inspires us to greatness.

As leaders we will either instill confidence, or we will instill fear and doubt.

Which kind of leader do you want to be?

Taking the Steps to Be a Better Leader

If you’re wondering how to be a better leader, the first step is realizing leadership requires more than simply a loud mouth and cockiness or making a list of demands. You don’t have to be bossy to be a boss.

Leaders don’t have to know it all (or even half). I know many great leaders, CEOs and directors who don’t know half of the technical stuff their staff knows. Yet, they inspire them to perform at a high level, and they get results. They understand the importance of a team. They hire people who know what they’re doing and take pride in their work. They don’t micromanage or nitpick, but they step back and give employees the chance to rise to greatness.

The secret of how to be a better leader is to have a solid grasp on what makes people tick. If we look at great leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Vince Lombardi and John F. Kennedy, we can see they were great because they understood their audience. They had a great deal of social and emotional intelligence.

They lead by inspiration, not by force.

Does inspiring leadership come naturally? No, of course not! Leadership is a skill that’s learned and built upon. It comes from learning how to help people evolve and transform; leadership grows from helping people find their own greatness within and discovering ways to extract that greatness and apply it.

Unless you directly report to the CEO (or are the CEO), chances are you report to someone, and they report to someone above them. In this chain of reporting and accountability, we all strive to make ourselves appear important. We’re longing for the acknowledgment, praise, and reception of our work indicating we’re special, unique and indispensable.

The real secret to great leadership isn’t in letting go of this longing or yearning to be special and important. The real secret in how to be a great leader is the realization that if your team looks great, YOU look great. If your team succeeds, you all succeed! So rather than focusing on climbing up the ladder by stepping on those below you, you must focus on how to lift up everyone—how to elevate the entire office.

Raising Your E.Q.

Where does the ability to engage with others, transform and elevate those around you come from? It’s a direct result of your social and emotional intelligence. You might have a PhD from MIT or an MBA from Harvard, but if you don’t have the emotional intelligence you need, you’ll never be an effective leader.

Transformational leaders understand this and they work to evoke their empathy in all their interactions. They share their vision with the team—not the vision they want for themselves or the way they want the company to grow for their own personal gain—but the vision they have for everyone involved. They find ways to bring out the success in every single member of their office, from the intern and the entry-level clerk to the CFO and the Chairman of the Board. They listen and they learn. It’s not about the money, the power or the fame—it’s about making a difference in the lives they touch.

No matter what you do in your business—whether you’re a teacher, an artist, a software developer or a lawyer, you can lead others by exploring what makes them tick. You can find success by figuring out where the overlap happens in the Venn diagram of your success and vision, and the vision of your customers, clients, and coworkers. How does the widget you make or the service you perform make the world a better place?

Understanding things on an intellectual level isn’t enough. You have to connect with the emotions, the empowerment—the heart of what you’re doing. You have to engage with others.


“Many people, including some very smart people, have a lot going on in their minds but are unable to translate all this mental activity into action. Or they take action, but only within the confines of their regular routines, rarely doing or saying anything that varies from what they’ve always done or said. In these situations, it’s very difficult to take action in ways that are congruent with their yearning, to experience emotional involvement in their words and deeds and to learn and grow.

If you need further evidence that real engaging is worth the effort, consider that prominent scientists offer highly motivating evidence that you have to engage in two distinct areas—feeling and doing. They make it clear that intellectual engagement is insufficient. You have to recognize and honor your emotions and get off your kiester and act!” from Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


In other words, you can’t lead, inspire or bring forth your vision by reasoning it to death. You have to bring others on board and explore things with them on an emotional level. You have to ignite, excite, impassion and get them involved to take things to knock your entire team up a notch (or several)!

For more on how you can bring out your best leadership skills and become a stronger leader wherever you are, please visit www.wrightliving.com. Go forth and make the world a better place! Join us for our next More Life Training to jumpstart your social and emotional intelligence.

 


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

How to Handle a
Hostile Work Environment

So you’ve decided to embrace the power of positive thinking. You’ve learned of the paradigm shift a positive outlook can bring about, and you’re ready to bring the change into your life. 

Unfortunately, your coworkers seem to have missed the memo.

Whether your office is experiencing a “case of the Mondays” or worse, it can be deflating and defeating to work in an environment where you’re constantly battling the negative vibes of others.

Now, it is true that people complain and vent at work. It creates a sense of camaraderie and a shared experience. Sometimes it can be an attempt by your coworkers to make small talk or simply connect.

Even if those around you seem to feel very strongly about their negative complaints, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re terrible people or even bad employees. When we’re invested in what we’re doing, we’re going to feel strongly about things. Emotions go into our work and when we’ve poured in our blood, sweat and tears, we can be easily wounded, frustrated or upset simply because it’s so important to us. Our work and our careers can be a big part of our identity and how we see ourselves. This doesn’t make for light emotions.

However, some people just bitch to bitch. It has nothing to do with them feeling strongly about their job or caring too deeply. It’s just that they feel like “harshing your mellow” and raining on your parade. Your positivity might rub them the wrong way or they may simply be someone who hasn’t realized their negative words and thoughts lead to more frustration and sorrow.

The first step in how to handle a hostile work environment is to separate the naysayers and Negative Neds and Nancys from the truly hostile, toxic people. There will always be complainers, and while they might be frustrating and annoying to deal with, they generally aren’t out to make your work environment intolerable.

Dealing with Complainers

When you’re faced with a Dan or Debbie Downer, try to shift the conversation. Focus on having more meaningful interactions with them. Offer to grab a cup of coffee and lend them an ear. Remember conversation is about give and take.

Ask your coworker, “What did you do this weekend? Why was it so great?” Conversely, if they say, “Thank God it’s Friday—this week can’t be over soon enough,” ask them, “What’s been so bad about your week?” Sometimes, when they start to articulate all of their complaints, they’ll have a change of heart. You might hear, “Well, actually it wasn’t so bad, I’m just looking forward to something exciting this weekend.”

Suddenly the conversation has gone from a litany of complaints to a meaningful connection focused on positive activities and excitement about the future.

Try to see the truth in who your co-worker is, and realize they’re a person who wants to be heard and understood. Maybe they just don’t know how to express things in a positive way or they see co-conspiring as a way to build a connection. Find a way to connect beyond the collusion by looking at them a little closer, and listening to what they’re really hoping to say.

Embracing Your Own Positivity

Lead by your example. One of the easiest ways to keep focused on the positive is to BE positive. When someone begins the transformational growth process, they often start with initial bravado and enthusiasm.

Even in a hostile work environment, you don’t have to be “fake” or pretend everything’s great to work on your positive mindset. It’s still okay and even healthy to acknowledge you feel fear, sadness or frustration. Those emotions, while negative, need to be expressed as well.


“When fear is allowed to operate beneath the surface, however, it does the most damage. When people quit things it is often because they fail to acknowledge and deal with their fears so they rationalize instead. Typically, they approach new activities brimming with confidence and even cockiness—generally a sign of someone not listening to their fear. They communicate that they’re ready for anything, be it a new job, new school, or even a marriage—that they have no anxiety about what the process requires of them. As much as their gung-ho attitude provides them with initial positive energy, this energy can easily turn negative. It begins to sound an alarm in their unconscious mind, warning them about taking risks, about trying new activities, about pushing themselves into areas where they aren’t skilled or comfortable.”

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


Acknowledge your truth and the spectrum of emotions you might be feeling, but approach experiences as growth and learning opportunities. View each situation as a chance to learn more about yourself and to get closer to your goals and vision. See your fear and harness it rather than avoiding it. Rather than setbacks, look at obstacles as opportunities to reroute and discover even more about yourself.

Dealing with Toxic Coworkers

Even those of us with the most positive intentions will now and again run into people who are just downright toxic. These people, try as you might, just refuse to connect with you, engage or move forward. What’s worse, they might even be thwarting your attempts to grow or do your work. They can make your job downright miserable, and certainly contribute to a hostile work environment.

When you’re dealing with someone who’s truly toxic, don’t be afraid to confront the issue. Surprisingly, sometimes bringing it out on the table and saying, “Look, I feel like you’re angry with me or I’m rubbing you the wrong way. This is what I want to get done and where I’m trying to lead us. Explain what you’re trying to get done and let’s see if we can find a way to get on the same page.”

If they balk at the confrontation or continue to try to sabotage you and throw you under the bus, don’t let your negative coworker throw you off course. Keep your communication with your boss and leadership strong and open. It doesn’t mean you need to “tattle” to your boss, but if a toxic coworker has become more than just an annoyance, there may be formal complaints and other management interventions needed.

In most cases, however, confronting the person and letting them know you’re feeling upset, picked on, bullied or otherwise annoyed with them can help you get things out in the open so they can be addressed. Sometimes they might not even be aware of how bowled over they’re making you feel or how their hostile attitude is affecting you and the team. Bringing it out into the light is the first step to resolving the issue.

Keep your interactions at work focused on the “big picture.” If you steer off course, always bring it back to your personal vision and how it aligns with the vision of the leadership in your organization. Look at the good you’re doing within your workplace and how you’re helping others and making the world a better place. If you can find the good and positive in your job, it will be the silver lining to make each day (even Mondays) better.

For more on how you can move forward in your life with positive intentions, please visit Wright Living. Find out how you can transform yourself and those around you by bringing more light and goodness into the world. Be your best self!


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

 

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Defining Company Culture :
Do You Fit In?

 

“Company culture” is a phrase we’re hearing a lot of these days. But what does “culture” really mean in this instance?


If we were talking about a country’s culture, we’d be talking about its customs, people, history, social infrastructure and traditions. So defining company culture sounds straightforward at first. It’s the office environment: the attitudes, personalities, and atmosphere of the office. But truly defining company culture goes beyond even that.

A big part of defining company culture is examining the story that the company tells to the world. For example, what makes the company unique? What is the history of the company? Who are the company’s employees? Who are the company’s customers and how do they feel about the company?  What is the overall “attitude” of the company? Is it hip? Edgy? Serious? Professional? Is there a culture of caring or a culture of competition?

Fitting In, Aligning With, and Defining Company Culture

When we easily understand and naturally fit into our company culture, we tend to take it for granted. It just works. Fitting in feels effortless.

When we don’t fit in, chances are we feel like something HUGE is missing. Like the song says, “You don’t know what you got ‘till it’s gone.” When you work somewhere with a company culture you love, then you move on to a company where you feel like a round peg in a square hole, the importance of a great company culture becomes clear.

A foundation we’ve helped with professional development recently brought in a successor for their Director, Stan. The plan was she would train alongside the Director for a year to “learn the ropes” and then move into his role when he retired. The Director-To-Be, Jamie, was highly qualified, experienced and educated. On paper, she seemed like a perfect fit and a natural for the job.

After about six months we received a desperate call from Stan, asking if we could mentor or train his successor. Several employees had approached him with concerns about Jamie. While these concerns were varied and seemingly unconnected, none of them pointed to a problem with her qualifications…it was something more ambiguous.

Stan said, “I just don’t understand. On paper she seems great. She’s a very nice person and she seems likable enough, but it’s almost like our employees are adverse to her approach to things. The board is happy with her qualifications and direction. I can’t quite explain it, but she just isn’t fitting in. In fact, I have employees threatening to leave our foundation if she’s promoted as my successor. I may have to delay my retirement plan. I don’t know what I did wrong.”

We assured Stan he didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, the succession plan worked out perfectly! How lucky to be able to steer the train back onto the tracks BEFORE it really crashed and burned. This gave us plenty of time to get to the root of the problem.

When meeting with Jamie, after some discussion, it turned out the foundation had a very tight-knit and specific culture.

For example, they kept a plush squirrel on their conference room shelf as a running joke and metaphor for how their team approached new ideas. As in, in the middle of brainstorming sessions, someone would always pop up with an “Oh look a squirrel!” idea and chase off after it. Chasing after new ideas was a vital and an encouraged part of their company culture.

Stan, an Energizer personality type fit in perfectly: he was always excited about new ideas, enthusiastic, and quick to lead and make decisions. He let people run with their plans and share their visions, then helped them find common ground. Employees felt a great deal of personal investment in the foundation, not only because they could see the results of the foundation’s work, but also because they could clearly see their roles and ideas play out. They felt ownership.

Jamie, on the other hand, was a classic Analyzer. She had great credentials and experience, and she could look at reports and data like a crystal ball. She had high standards for perfection and accuracy and was cautious about change. She expected employees to give her frequent updates and she wasn’t allowing for the autonomy they were afforded with Stan. She was frustrated by what she perceived as a lack of focus and planning, while the employees felt stifled and miserable. In some organizations Jamie might have flourished, but in this environment she was floundering.

What was missing? A clear definition, alignment, and understanding of the importance of the existing company culture.

Understanding Your Own Company Culture

Defining your own company culture can seem nebulous. Is it a team where everyone is “in” on the joke? Does it mean everyone gets along as friends? Is it a team built from only certain personality types?

While it would be amazing if we could all find the perfect office environment and corporate culture to align with our different personalities, it’s not so realistic. It’s much more feasible to simply grasp the company culture of your office and learn how to thrive and grow within the environment—bloom where you are planted, so to speak.

In Jamie’s case, it meant she needed to be self-aware enough and willing to do leadership work it would take to get where she needed to be. Fortunately, she right jumped in, working hard to deeply understand her personality and how she fit in with the atmosphere of the office. We used our CARE personality profile to determine her strengths and which areas she needed to pay more attention to. She became much more aware of her interactions with employees and the energy she as putting out. She worked hard to give more autonomy to individual team members and to be more open and willing to hear new “squirrel” ideas.

While Jamie wasn’t going to turn into Stan the Energizer, she was able to play into her other area of strength—her Cooperator side—to find commonalities and share her vision with her fellow team members and to realize each person in the organization had their own vision, ideas, and hopes. Rather than working with a black-and-white/right-or-wrong approach, she was able to find the grey areas where her vision overlapped with theirs.

Jamie worked hard to adapt and to become the leader the foundation needed her to be, and fortunately, Stan was still able to retire on schedule.

When you come into a new office, there’s an existing culture. Depending on the size and structure of the company, you might be able to sway and influence the culture as you grow together, or, you may have to adapt and learn to grow to align with the existing structure. It doesn’t mean changing your personality or getting lost. It means learning how to listen, adapt and grow with those around you.

Finding Your Shared Vision to Grow

One of the best ways to get a handle on the culture of your company is to understand the vision and mission of company leadership. This might be clearly articulated or it might mean you need to have a conversation with your boss. Your goal is to understand the greater, ultimate vision for the organization and how you can help your team achieve it.

Not only will understanding leadership’s vision help you to become more invested and connected to your office, but it will also help you become more valuable and endeared to your boss. After all, every leader wants great people supporting them and working with them to carry out their dreams for the company.

Once you understand the vision of leadership, talk about your own vision and how you can align your career goals to help propel you and the entire office forward. Invest your energy into the company as if it were your very own. Take ownership and leadership over your projects. Offer to go the extra mile and do what it takes to help make your successes the company’s successes.

Don’t shy away from speaking up when you have an idea or when you feel something needs to be addressed. Just because you see something different or have a conflict with a plan doesn’t mean you’re not fitting in. The idea is to find a productive resolution to the problem together. Follow one of our favorite rules of engagement: “assume goodwill” and realize everyone wants the project or company to be successful—but you may just have different ideas of how to get it there.

You represent your company or organization so you reflect its culture. Even if you aren’t a “team player” by nature, when you’re part of an organization, you have to let go of the “my way or the highway” mentality. Focus on the big picture and the ways you can help your company reach its goals.

For more information on defining company culture and leading wherever you are, check out our Career Coaching Program in Chicago, visit our website at www.wrightliving.com, or join us for our next Foundations Training Weekend.


About the Author

Judith

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.
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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

How To Impress Your Boss
and Reinvigorate Your Career

 

If you want to learn how to impress your boss (or anyone, really), the real magic happens when you start working on YOU, transforming yourself from within..


Does this sound like you?

  • I feel bored or uninspired at work.
  • I think I do a good job, but no one seems to notice.
  • I want to be a better leader.
  • I’m ready for a challenge that will inspire me in my career.
  • You want to know how to impress your boss.

Most of us really want to do a good job. Almost all of us want to get noticed for a job well done or be singled out for going above and beyond at work. But some days, work feels kind of blah. We start to think things like, “No one notices my hard work anyway, so why bother?”

Making an Impression 101

Impressions are often thought of as the first step in the beginning of a journey. We make a first impression when we walk through the door on our first day at a new job. We make an impression at work when we join a new team or embark on a new project. Those are the moments when we really get noticed. But after a while, we might feel like we’ve stopped making any impression at all. (In fact, sometimes we feel like we’re hardly noticed at all.)

Remember when you were in grade school and it was all about making an impression on your teacher and peers? Maybe you were thrilled when you got called on in class because you knew the answer. Or maybe you dreaded getting called on because you were worried your classmates would get the impression you didn’t understand the problem. You probably wanted to make a positive impression on your friends and on the “cool kids.” Your carefully cultivated image was honed from the very first day of the school year.

Ever since we were young, we’ve all wanted to make an impression (of some sort) on those around us.

Even though you’re all grown up now, it’s perfectly normal and very common to want to stand out. Like so many of us, you want to impress your peers and learn how to win over your boss. We all want to be at the top of our field, even those of us who work in education, medicine or psychology. When we aren’t “closing deals” or “making hot sales” every day, but instead helping others, it’s easy to feel satisfied but still a little blah at the same time. Sometimes it feels like we’re just doing the same processes over and over.

After you’ve been with a company or working in a job for a while (or if you’re in an industry that’s less dynamic), you might lose some of that “go-getter” or rockstar status. You know you’re doing a good job, and you’re satisfied with your work. Your boss seems happy with you, but you’re no longer the head of the class. Maybe you run your department or you’re the lead on your team, but you’ve got to ask: “Is that all there is?” When we hit that wall, it’s easy to feel like we’re just phoning it in.

No matter what your industry, or how big your office is, there’s something highly satisfying about being recognized for a job well done. Of course none of us want to sound like we’re sucking up to our boss or being too much of a supplicant to their wishes. Nor do all of us agree with our boss all the time. Most people are seeking some sort of healthy balance.

Getting yourself noticed, reengaging and focusing on making an impression at work can help you feel like you’re back on your game. Not only can it make your boss stand up and take notice, but it can re-energize you and help you feel excited about going to work again. So, how do you do it? Roll up your sleeves and get to work!

Recognize Your Personal Vision

When you’re going through the motions and going unnoticed, it’s a big-time sign you’ve lost your passion for your vision. It’s time to reexamine what it is about your job you really love. Name those specific moments when you really feel connected to others. When do you feel most engaged, most energized?

Work on your personal vision plan. How do you see your life and what are your goals? What can you do to reach those goals? What greater purpose gives you the most job satisfaction? Helping others? Solving problems? Making your customer’s life easier? Step back and rediscover your big picture.

Part of becoming reengaged involves working on your life goals and your vision, and tackling areas of social and emotional growth. All aspects of our lives are deeply intertwined: our relationship with our spouse or significant other, our role as parents, our social lives and our careers. Often, feeling disengaged or disconnected in one area can lead us to feel the same way in other areas of our life.

In reality, this disengagement comes from deep within ourselves. It can stem from our childhood and from the things we’ve come to believe about ourselves—things that might not even be true. We call these “limiting beliefs.” They can be things like, “I’m not a confident person,” or “I’m not as smart as everyone thinks. I’m just fooling them,” or even “I’m not worthy of respect and love.”

These limiting beliefs hold us back from reaching what we long for (our yearnings)—the same things that drive us toward achieving our goals and realizing our vision. If you find continuous roadblocks on your journey or you can’t quite pinpoint the ways to break through a rough patch, it’s time to enlist the help of a career coach or life coach who can help you work toward your goals. Doing your own transformational work can help you ignite the motivation and spark you need to get re-engaged and back in the game.

How To Impress Your Boss: Make an Impression and OWN IT

When you walk into a meeting, are you a participant or just an attendee? Better yet, challenge yourself to be the conductor. Rather than sitting back and waiting for someone to call on you or ask your opinion, jump in.

Treat each meeting as though it’s your own. When you find you’re holding back because you want to avoid conflict or stay “under the radar,” try speaking up and expressing yourself. So often we avoid saying things because we don’t want to rock the boat, but if the boat is stuck sometimes it’s got to be rocked to start moving forward.

Ask your boss for a review or ask a mentor to help you set some professional milestones. Sign up for a professional development course to get enthused and excited about what you’re doing. Yes, you might be teaching the same class or seeing patients with the same ailments day after day, or you might be selling the same products to the same clients—but adding something new to your job and pushing yourself to learn will make you feel energized.

It can seem daunting to take on “one more thing” or to push yourself to grow professionally, but when it comes down to it, growth keeps us energized. Growth isn’t always easy and it can take work and time, but it’s the secret to engagement and igniting the fire within ourselves.

How to impress your boss? Polish your impression at work by practicing self-care like eating healthy, exercising, and avoiding soft addictions, like zoning out watching television or scrolling through social media. Make sure you’re dressing for success and projecting confidence by taking time to look your best. There’s much truth to the adage “dress for your next promotion.” Be a little more professional than your peers and show more initiative and you’ll stand out from the pack. No kissing up required.

Consider taking on an extra task or two as well. Offer to mentor a younger colleague who needs professional advice. When the boss needs someone to throw out a big idea in an important meeting, be the one who steps up to the plate. It doesn’t take a huge effort, but these little “yeses” can add up to big results.

Always keep your vision in mind and work toward your goals. Think of your career path as a mountain. Many people reach the first summit, stop to rest and never move on. Push yourself to go to the next peak, and the next, and the next, until you’re tackling the whole mountain range. Life is a journey and you’re at the very beginning!

Learn more about realizing your vision, making an impression at work and moving ahead in your career by visiting www.wrightliving.com. Join us for our next More Life Training, so you can learn how to engage in day-to-day life, ignite the world, and transform your existence into the life you want!


About the Author

Dr. Judith Wright

Dr Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.
Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!


Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.