Archives for Shawn Achor

What Do We Really Need More of?

Love by Mayberry Health and Home on Flickr

Sing it with me…”What the world…needs now…is…”

Before you go labeling me as a “snowflake,” or “airy-fairy” or an idealist, all of which I have been accused of and may or may not be true, let me ask you this…. What do you prefer? Love or Rules?

In all the corporate disciplines that exist to help companies become better at cultivating a culture that keeps valuable talent and optimizes engagement (Organizational Development, Human Resources, Training and Development, Talent Management, Change Management, Human Capital Management, etc.,) it seems the best a company can do as of right now is to engage an emotional intelligence trainer, train their managers to be better coaches (I will distinguish between these things below), and re-employ someone who turns out to be suited for their intended role or should their role be eliminated.

Even in these best practices, there are shortcomings, and most companies are just trying to cover their butts with more extensive sexual harassment awareness training and instituting more clear expectations of respectful behavior as well as clear and fair consequences for infractions. Is this adequate? Are these companies treating the symptoms instead of the causes?

Not all managers are coaches. Most managers focus mainly on the pragmatic components of performance. Some, for liability reasons or simply because they don’t feel work is the time or place or because they don’t feel adept at addressing it, ignore the emotional side of their human resources. At what cost?

On the morning I was interviewed by KQTH radio in Tucson last week, I awoke and read a page of Living the Wisdom of the Tao by Wayne Dyer. Reading an inspiring passage to start my day was a ritual that I adopted with the Miracle Morning in 2016. I was going to be interviewed on recruiter blacklists by Mike Rapp, and this particular passage was of serendipitous significance.

Think about the problems that would disappear if people were actually kind, instead of being forced to be kind:

  • The negatives of black lists
  • Harassment (sexual or otherwise)
  • Bullying
  • Bias/discrimination

A long time ago I stopped teaching my clients how to act confident and focused more on helping them be confident. If I find that my clients are hurting or resentful about their employment past, I know that they will get much further much faster if they acknowledge that pain, process it, and release it rather than if they ignore it or pretend it isn’t there.

What would happen if instead of creating rules and guidelines to attempt to avoid offensive behaviors, we address why people treat other people poorly in the first place?

“Hurt people hurt people.” (This quote has been attributed to Will Bowen, Yehuda Berg, and Rick Warren)

Regardless of who said it, can you see how this is true?

I’m not suggesting traditional therapy is the answer. I spent years in therapy myself during my youth through my parent’s divorce, and while I did gain some validation for why I acted out as I did, and it was nice to have someone to talk to during that time, I only felt more emboldened and justified in acting out toward my parents. I felt justified in my resentment. I didn’t heal. The healing began when I started to take more accountability, learned how to forgive, and how to be compassionate. This was coaching, not therapy.

It’s not like flicking a switch. I’m not cured of my pain, and I still may tend to react in my old ways rather than respond in a conscious way, but my awareness improves with continued coaching and I continue to add tools to my toolbox to come from a place of love and compassion rather than pain, and the outcomes of my interactions with people are infinitely better when I do.

Coaching is a way of providing an objective perspective on what can hold back peak performance, and what can be done to attain and maintain peak performance. Coaches do not shy away from the nitty gritty of feelings. They create a safe space for a person to be flawed, give feedback without judgment, and provide techniques, drills, exercises. They provide support and accountability in creating new habits.

Some might say that the workplace is no place for:

  • Love
  • Crying
  • Feelings
  • Personal problems
  • Games

Except, science is proving that positive psychology techniques in the workplace are already:

  • Transforming how a company collaborates
  • Feeding innovation
  • Improving workforce health
  • Improving productivity
  • Increasing profits

Shawn Achor proved in his work with Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries that the byproducts of a more positive workforce are well worth the investments and the investments don’t even have to be monetary or require a lot of time.

I am keenly aware that people in pain don’t usually just make a simple choice to be more positive. Personal transformation is much more complex. There are patterns of thinking reinforced over a lifetime that need to be identified and reversed. Yes, you can apply some simple happiness techniques to become more positive, and that WILL trickle down to various elements of your professional and personal life, and maybe that would be adequate to cultivate respect and tolerance.

But what could work look like if there was a focus on healing and helping employees reach potential in areas of their lives besides work?

One thing I can say with confidence – As hard as you can try to compartmentalize an area of your life, it will surely bleed into the others. This goes for both good and bad things. If you form a good habit in your health, it will have a cascading effect on other areas of your life. If you are having problems at home, or are dealing with health issues, you will find your productivity and engagement go down. Even those who escape their personal problems and dive into their work will find that there is a burn out point, or they are just a little less than their best selves when they are at work. There is even greater pressure to make that part of their lives go well.

Your emotions impact your brain chemistry and your brain chemistry impacts your physical body, communication, and cognition (obviously).

What I am suggesting is that companies consider a truly holistic, even “alternative” approach to the very current initiatives of ridding the workplace from bias, harassment of all kinds, bullying, discrimination, toxicity and stifled growth.

Yes, employees will always benefit from being able to relate better with one another, but they also need to relate better to themselves.

We are less able to give when we feel we don’t have enough. If we don’t feel like we have enough of our basic human emotional needs: connectedness, acceptance, love, we won’t be apt or able to offer it. What companies are asking their employees to do is to put other people’s feelings first. I foresee there being much resistance and inadequate execution with this method.

 

In 2018 Epic Careering is launching a program that will help companies create a conscious culture. It will come with assessments, live workshops, online courses, interactive communities, and management and executive consciousness coaching training. If you recognize that your company is experiencing conflicts and breakdowns that require an alternative solution to the traditional corporate approach, e-mail Karen at Karen@epiccareering.com. Confidentiality is guaranteed. Take the first step in transforming your company for everyone’s sake. There could be a day when you feel as good about going to work as you do about coming home.

What The World Needs Now Is Love / Dionne Warwick

Please skip CM. I am sorry to mistake some spellings. Dionne Warwick ディオンヌ・ワーウィック Burt Bacharach バート・バカラック

Top 5 Reasons Why All of Your Efforts to Land a Job Are Failing

Business woman working on laptop in her office by perzon seo on Flickr

This is going to sound backwards, and I don’t blame you if you find it hard to believe at first, but give me a chance and I will prove that there is a way to do LESS, have MORE FUN, and get the BEST job possible, in spite of the fact that you have been doing everything possible, perhaps even everything you have been advised to do, and have not enjoyed or sustained momentum in your job search.

There is a huge misconception out there that if you are out of work, you need to HUSTLE. And yet, so many job seekers feel as though they are doing everything right, but not being offered the jobs that they feel are the best suited for them. Some receive offers they know are not the best suited, but accept them anyway. This is the cause for the 69% disengagement rate that causes US companies to lose over $400B annually.

If you have applied to over 100, even 50 jobs, and have yet to receive an offer, one of the following, or a combination of the following, are most likely the reason:

  1. Your efforts are not the right efforts

It never fails when I speak to a group of job seekers. I ask the question, “How many of you have heard that networking is the #1 way to find a job?” and everyone raises their hands.  Then I ask, “How many of you are spending at least 50% of your job search on job board or filling out online applications?” and 75-100% of the room raise their hands.

Even when they know that networking is the most effective way to find a job, they spend a small percentage of their time networking and a majority of the time on resources that only have a 5-10% chance of turning into an opportunity. And, even if they are networking, most are doing that ineffectively, either meekly asking for favors instead of boldly articulating their value, or collecting and distributing cards to essentially spam people, instead of asking rapport-building questions, nurturing their networks by providing value, and then inspiring contacts to generate leads based on the value to the employer.

I also think that many people have an inflated idea of how much time effective networking takes and that it has to look a certain way, for instance like schmoozing with people you wouldn’t normally associate with, or sucking up to people for whom you don’t have any respect or admiration. While it is outside of many people’s comfort zone, it can look a lot more like you engaging in fun and/or purposeful activities, even unrelated to your profession, and in small groups versus big events.

Spend over 60% of your time on people, who will always be much more powerful advocates than technology. Also, be proactive in your pursuit of a job over 60% of the time rather than passively filling out online applications and hitting buttons. You get what you give.

  1. Your goal is not the right goal

People are not as good actors as they imagine themselves to be. People can also genuinely believe that they are pursuing a noble goal, even if it is not the right goal for them. If you experience challenges pursuing a particular position, ask yourself if you are targeting the right position. You may have decided that something else you really wanted to do wasn’t viable, it would take too long to land or wouldn’t pay enough, but it’s actually the right thing, the thing you will attract like a magnet, and your best chance of increasing your income trajectory in the long-term. A job that utilizes your strengths and allows you to pursue a passion represents your best chances at success, but also happiness and fulfillment. Sometimes things don’t just happen TO us, they happen FOR us.  No good company wants to hire you for a consolation career.

This applies not only for pursuing the wrong position, but also the wrong employer. You don’t need to appeal to all companies in an industry if only a few of them would recognize you as a fit for their culture. Decide ahead of time what cultures you fit into and be proactive in pursuing them.

  1. Your brand is stale

So many people stop short of distinguishing themselves from their competition, feeling as though their qualifications are strong enough to make them an obvious choice. If you were on the hiring end, though, you would realize that there are a good crop of people with the qualifications to do the job. The one that gets the furthest the fastest, and ultimately the offer, is the one who can create excitement and a sense of urgency based on what they bring above and beyond meeting the requirements of the job. Your brand needs to be genuine and distinct.

It can be challenging to be objective about whether you are distinguishing yourself or not. So many people think if they call themselves “driven,” “a team player,” “passionate,” “a leader,” or “creative” that this is adequate branding. It isn’t. It’s probably true, but it isn’t distinct.

I have found that there are 4-6 major distinctions every person has that will help them rise above the rest. It’s frequently not WHAT they do, but HOW or even WHY. Everyone has his or her own unique set of experiences. This is where you have to dig to find the artifacts and evidence of your unique value.

  1. You are being perceived as a risky candidate

How critical, skeptical, even cynical recruiters and hiring managers are is vastly underestimated by job seekers. There are often more risk signals between a job seeker’s résumé and social media than there are value signals. As soon as the scale tips more toward risk, the job seeker gets passed over. What also gets underestimated is how clued in recruiters are to the tactics people use to hide risk factors. Instead of sweeping a risk factor under a rug, they often put bright red tape right on it.

Look, no candidate is going to be perfect, but the riskier candidate is the one that can’t admit where the imperfections are/were. If you can’t admit it, you can’t demonstrate your ability to learn from mistakes and even help companies prevent them.

You want MOST of the focus on value, but if there is a risk factor, such as being fired, having a visible project fail, experiencing long-term unemployment, or even having personal events interfere with work, then you need to craft a simple, relatable story based on facts that is appropriate to tell in various media, such as in your résumé (perhaps), your LinkedIn profile, or when networking or interviewing.

While some risks are common, how you might address them is very particular to your circumstances and target employer. If you want specific advice, I recommend a complimentary 40-minute consultation and some one-on-one branding and campaign assistance.

  1. Your mindset is out of alignment

We give off vibes. We pick up vibes. Even the most scientific, empirical people among us will admit that we get vibes from people. In fact, as I demonstrated in a previous post, science can actually explain why this is.  Maya Angelou said, “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Positive psychologist Shawn Achor proved that negativity and stress are contagious with an experiment at an airport. I don’t spend a lot of time talking to my clients about non-verbal communication tactics or things that they can do to manipulate the interviewer into alignment. None of these things has to be manufactured when there is real alignment, so that is what I coach my clients on. This is not “positive thinking,” which doesn’t fool anyone, including yourself. This is learning how to accept what is, truly appreciate yourself and know your own value, genuinely connect and empathize with the other person, trust in God (or the Universe, or whatever you believe is operating in your world,) and inspiring the support of others. You can’t put a band-aid on stress and anxiety and expect that no one will know it’s there. Others can feel it. And even if you walk in to an interview fully confident, there could be that one question you dread, and it can all go downhill from there. Your stress responses will take over and even if you learned how to tactically shift your non-verbal communication, you will forget or execute poorly.

If you network or interview without a fortified mindset, it can not only sabotage the results you want, but it can be a big waste of time and can make you feel worse, making it that much harder to get into a state of mind that lubricates your efforts and creates ease in getting results.

 

There are things that can be done just prior to an event or interview to help with mindset, but even the things you do behind a computer can be much more effective if you do them with a fortified mindset. Another Shawn Achor study proved that investing 10 minutes in meditation actually creates 62 minutes of productivity.  Exercising prior to doing work is another hack to improve your mindset, make you less vulnerable to getting thrown off your game, and boost your IQ.

Bananarama-It Ain’t What You Do (It’s The Way That You Do It)

The band’s 1982 release with Fun Boy Three

If You Don’t Believe in Energy Healing, You Refute Einstein

Part 10 of the MindValley Reunion = Mind Blown series

And that is all fine and good for me. I am a questioner (a la Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies) and I need to understand the science of how something works before I can adopt the premises of something and then apply principals to my life or, furthermore, teach them to others.

So, when I started seeing my friend’s mom, a massage therapist and self-proclaimed “light worker” after I had an accident and could FEEL the healing went beyond physical explanation, I wanted to know how it worked and if I had any healing gifts to use. I had been told by a self-proclaimed healer that I am energetically “sensitive,” now recognized as an empath, who I found much more credible after she recounted a very strange dream that I had about my boyfriend’s uncle, who he never spoke of and may not have even known existed. Even years later I was told that by another intuit that I have used my healing powers before without realizing it to save my cat, who did make a miraculous 2-day recovery after being hit by a car, an impact that she mostly took to the head.

I wanted to know if that was at all possible. In a recent discussion with a fellow Law of Attraction practitioner and teacher, he told me that he encourages skeptics to be more open-minded by pointing out that even science cannot (yet) explain everything. This is proven by the continued discoveries being made. There is more to our universe than what we can see. Remember the discovery of radio waves? This discover even helped us understand more about how energy travels through space via frequencies.

Even as long as 200 years ago chemist John Dalton purported that all matter is made of atoms, and that is still accepted generally by scientists.

How about Albert Einstein’s discovery:

“Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.”

~ Albert Einstein

So, what seems to be true to me, is as follows (remember theorems?):

Huller’s Theorem #1

> If all matter is composed of atoms (credit: John Dalton, 1803)

AND > even the most minute parts of an atom are not actual physical matter but nearly 100% empty space (credit: Ernest Rutherford, 1911)

AND > splitting an atom converts some of its matter into energy (credit: Einstein’s theory and mathematical equation of E=mc2, proven accurate by the fission of a Uranium atom by Phsysists Otto Hahn, Fritz Strassmann, Lise Meitner, and Otto Frisch)

Then > We are physical beings made of nearly 100% energy

I welcome any of you to refute this. Just know that I will only be convinced by scientific discoveries of equal or greater significance.

While most people who know me would say that I am a very logical person, it might now not surprise you why I have found it logical to believe it is possible that all of our physical systems can be adjusted by manipulations in our energy field.

While I consider the audience at the MindValley Reunion to be on the more progressive and open-minded side, I know there were still skeptics in the crowd, and I happened to be sitting next to one when Donna Eden and her husband, David Feinstein, PhD in Psychology, were on stage.

As I had shared last week in Are You Impacted by the #1 Cause of Suffering?, I was feeling rather heavy after Marisa Peer took us through four modules of her Rapid Transformational Therapy, and what I really needed at that time was a boost in my mood and energy. Donna is a light beam type of presence. You can’t help but feel a sense of joy and a love for her. Had she not ushered us through some techniques that strengthened our energetic systems, I would have benefited solely from her presence in the room.

I should also note for those who do have an understanding of the law of attraction that until that point, I had been able to manifest seats in or near the front for all previous speakers, even in a crowd of 800, even when I was one of the last ones in the room. I should also note that I had been able to meet many speakers for brief exchanges, including Donna (who I embarrassingly called Barbara) and her husband and daughter, Titanya. I even ate lunch with David and her daughter.

For this presentation, however, I had stayed toward the back and off to the side. The person I sat next two revealed himself as MindValley ambassador, or someone who has been identified as an avid MindValley student and influencer. I was surprised that he was a skeptic, but was glad because when he changed his mind, it made what Donna demonstrated that much more credible to me.

She can “see” energy. She sees how it moves through meridians and in layers in and out of a person’s body. She could take a look at you and know what you might be experiencing as symptoms and where the energy can be manipulated to relieve the symptoms. However, the best way she knows how to prove that to us is through muscle testing.

Donna and David invited many people up on stage. She used muscle testing to show that there were areas where their energetic systems were out of alignment and how she could do certain techniques to put the energetic systems back in alignment and how it made that volunteer stronger. To test someone’s strength before and after they would put one arm out and Donna could either easily push down with just two fingers against the volunteer’s resistance, or Donna, a smaller and older woman, could not even leverage her body weight to push down the volunteer’s arm down.

She share many of these techniques with us, and the first I want to share because even if it doesn’t help you out of a deep depression for the long-term, to try this might help you get just enough energy to do more that would help you out of your deep depression, or it might make everything else you do get you further faster. If you are depressed, it means your energy is moving homo-laterally, or it is staying on one side, whereas your energy is optimized when it crosses over. How you can get your energy to move from side to side is called a shoulder pull. We all demonstrated this on each other by pulling down from shoulder to the opposite hip across their back. You can actually do this to yourself by pulling down from the shoulder to the opposite hip across your front.

Another method is the cross-crawl.

She demonstrated how when we are tired, we either need a nap, or we need a tap – we tap an area just under out collar bone on both sides, points she refers to as K-27. This will instantly raise your energy. You would tap them with quite a bit of pressure. You may also rub them. You might find that they are tender if you are quite tired.

If you are coming down with a cold, thump your thymus, which is located in the center of your chest. This activates T-cells and will improve your immune system. She claims you can even irradiate a cold before it starts if you do this early enough upon onset.

Grounding yourself enables you to pull natural energies from the earth. You can do this by thumping your sinuses right on top of your cheek bones, or by rubbing your palms together and pressing them on your thighs.

As Shawn Achor discussed at the PA Conference for Women, negative energies and thoughts are contagious. You may also tend to steal energy away from others to heal yourself. She demonstrated this between two volunteers. It was quite staggering. To prevent this kind of energetic vampirism, do the four thumps together – cheek bones, K-27, thymus and then also the neurolymphatic spleen points that are located both right below your nipples one rib below the breast and about four inches from your armpit at your side. You only have to do one or the other.

When you feel lonely or lost, you can do the technique she calls “Heaven Rushing In” to feel instantly connected.

David also demonstrated the power of our thoughts. He showed us how one stretch would increase mobility in our neck, but then we just imagined ourselves doing that stretch on the other side and enjoyed just as much of an increase in mobility in our neck. This is also demonstrated by sports science: visualization can improve muscle memory.

I understand if you are skeptical, really. If you consider yourself a logical person, or even a scientist, then I challenge you to take her 30-day daily energy routine challenge. I had done it prior to the MindValley Reunion, and now it is a part of my routine.

 

Keep a journal and record how you feel afterward. Try these techniques if you notice you are feeling sapped, sad or solitary. Write down how you feel afterward. I am very curious to know if you notice a difference in how you feel, and even if there is an unexpected impact of that.

The Platters – The Magic Touch – Lyrics

The Platters – The Magic Touch – Lyrics Download “The Platters : Only You and Their Best Songs Ever” on iTunes now : http://bit.ly/qTxH5n

PennWomen2017

I am pausing my blog series on the MindValley Reunion to bring to you excerpts from the PA Conference for Women last week, which featured life-altering content from extraordinary speakers, including Brené Brown and Michelle Obama.

If you couldn’t be there among 12,000 others, or even if you were there but it went so fast that you could hardly absorb the wisdom bombs that were dropped one right after the other, here is a record. I captured pictures of my Twitter feed where I shared many of these wisdom bombs, and welcome you to follow me for this and all future wisdom bombs I am to share, but if you are not on Twitter, I still want you to enjoy the great takeaways.

I will return to the MindValley Reunion recap next week to begin to share Day 2, which began with a very moving talk from Don Miguel Ruiz and Don José Ruiz.

Sister Sledge – We Are Family

Four sisters: Kim Sledge (born 21 August 1957), Debbie Sledge (born 9 July 1954), Joni Sledge (born 13 September 1956), and Kathy Sledge (born 6 January 1959). Best known for their work with Chic in the late ’70s, Sister Sledge reached the height of their popularity during the disco era but had been recording since the early ’70s and were still active in the late ’90s.

The Chicken or Egg Quandary: Happiness or Success?

happy by Gordon of Flickr

Happy! by Gordon of Flickr

 

What comes first? Happiness or success?

I have a client who is unhappy at his job (hence why he engaged me, obviously). He makes great money, when he is performing, but his compensation is highly commission based. When he’s not performing, he’s not making great money.

Due to life changes, he NEEDS to catch up financially and find a new job that pays the same or more to what he was making when he was at the top of his game. He also really wants to make sure that his next step is the RIGHT next step, or he will find himself at square one.

There are also personal priorities in his life that he rated highly, but is willing to delay them for years, if necessary, in order to land and succeed in a new, high-paying job.

In essence, he is delaying happiness for success.

However, what I learned this weekend from a Consciousness Engineering class is that Harvard studies prove that happiness increases success, and not just by a little bit. A quality annual vacation time of 11 days or more away from home leads to GREATER performance.

The main takeaway from this class was that using happiness as a means rather than an end increases productive energy by 31%, sales by 37%, and the likelihood of promotion by 40%.  Additionally, you are more likely to live longer and stave off sickness and disease. You raise your intelligence and improve your memory. Your creativity and problem solving abilities receive a boost. There is also the link between your wellness and performance to consider.

“Great,” you say. “Just get happy, eh?”

I understand. It is not as easy as it sounds, so Shawn Achor shared four practices that, when done daily for a period of 30 to 90 days will improve your happiness and gives you all of the benefits previously mentioned. None of them take longer than two minutes and you can use the strategy of habit pairing. An example would be doing these while you brush your teeth, to increase your likelihood of making them true habits.

Here they are:

  1. At work your first item of the day is to spend two minutes expressing your gratitude in writing to a colleague, boss, or vendor.
  2. Every night think about three new things that you are grateful for and WHY– the WHY is most important.
  3. Think about a single positive experience you had in the past 24 hours and write four bullet points recording the details you remember about it, such as the clothes you were wearing.
  4. Spend ten minutes focusing on your breath moving in and out, or whatever time you can make. Yes, this is meditation. Think you don’t have time? Investing this time has produced 62 more minutes of productivity. So, in essence, it creates more time.

Ironically, I listened to this class while driving down to the shore in an effort to make myself happy after an unusually challenging day with my youngest daughter. It did not work, but the next day we got to bike ride on the boardwalk, play in the ocean, and go on rides before heading back home for her first day of Pre-K. Today, even though I am still exhausted, I feel calmer, happier, and even more patient.

 

Try experimenting with happiness in your life and share with us the results you find.