Archives for corporate leadership

Toxic Positivity: Do We Have To Feel Bad for Feeling Bad?

Do we have to feel bad for feeling bad?

NO! Feelings are hard enough.

I’ll also add that hurt people hurt people and sometimes when we’re feeling bad, we misdirect our feelings into words and actions we can’t take back. Then we feel bad for feeling bad AND making someone else feel bad. Fortunately, this is a habit we can break. We can learn to better process and express these emotions so that we don’t compound our pain.

Toxic positivity is what happens when people don’t feel safe expressing negative emotions.

The main focus of most companies is on their bottom line. So it would behoove these companies to better understand how they bleed money when they enable a toxic work environment, including discouraging expression of emotion in the workplace, both positive and negative emotions.

Denying a human being the ability to let emotions show and be healthfully processed can backfire in big ways. The worst of those ways is disgruntled employee violence. It creates a powder keg situation. Suppressing negative emotions is dangerous for the individual’s health and for the people around them.

In our next monthly Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership event, Dr. Laura Dowling will share some of the latest research on the impact of toxic positivity. She will also provide leaders with guidance about how to create an environment where negative emotions can be expressed healthfully so that they don’t turn into costly turnover, absenteeism, presenteeism, and morale killers. She’ll also share some ways that individuals can learn to healthfully process and express negative emotions so that we don’t injure others with our emotions.

Request to join the C3 Community today so you can join us for this live event tomorrow (Thursday) at 1:00 PM ET. If you can’t make it live, fret not! The replay will also be available for you to watch at your convenience inside of the C3 Community.

REO Speedwagon – Can’t Fight This Feeling (Official HD Video)

Watch the official music video for “Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO SpeedwagonListen to REO Speedwagon: https://REOSpeedwagon.lnk.to/listenYDSubscribe to th…

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Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Redefining Leadership

What did you think leadership was when you were growing up?

One of the scariest phases in a parent’s life is when they no longer are the primary influence on their kids. They choose a new “leader” to follow. But are they good ones?

What were you examples were you taught from childhood to emulate, and how did that transform as you asserted your independence? Did you follow the wrong people sometimes? How did that teach you to make better choices and about whom you wanted to be?

I find that few people I meet, work with, and get to know had really strong examples of leadership in their homes and beyond. I’m sure this varies from community to community and from demographic to demographic. I envy, yet fail to relate, to people who grew up in households where they had consistent financial and emotional support. In many ways, it is because I experienced gaps in these areas that I developed certain strengths, yet, I had a very warped idea of what true leadership actually is.

I am grateful to have started therapy young, as a fourth-grader, even though it came with stigma in an already un-empathetic community. It made me realize just how much outside help I needed, and set me on a path of self-discovery and self-help that eventually led to engaging coaches, attending conferences, and taking courses through Landmark Education. These led to breakthroughs in my life, and inspired the desire to help others have breakthroughs in their career that make their lives better.

Growing up, leadership seemed to me to be about power, getting others to follow, and manipulating people to get your way. I was wooed by charisma and confidence instead of character. I made a lot of mistakes in leadership as a result.

The further down the path of personal development I went, the more I realized that I needed to redefine leadership. In one particular course, the Self-Expression Leadership Course, I demonstrated to myself that the leader I wanted to be – the highest version of leader I could achieve – is someone who creates other leaders by inspiring and enabling them to be the best version of themselves.

Of course, idealism and reality do not always coincide, and learning is a bumpy road. So did I still make mistakes? Yes, yet I also increased over time the amount of time I am that highest version of leadership, and my career continued to give me new opportunities to learn, especially from my amazing clients, and to test myself – with professional networking organizations, with parent-teacher organizations, in my community, as a college professor and youth instructor, and with my kids.

Sidebar: the kids are the biggest challenge to date! I seek out more help in this area than any other and continue not getting the results I want, not knowing if I’m doing “right,” and feeling like I am completely out of my element. Anyone else?

I spent the past four years focused on taking everything I have learned and developing the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint, and though I engaged various coaches and mentors to help me, it still felt like a solo effort and an uphill climb to garner enough enrollment to make a difference, and yet the urgency of making a difference continued to grow as my kids got closer to their teenage years (they’re still tweens) and to impending adulthood.

Then, of course, as 2020 unleashed its fury.

I got the sense that I was not alone, in fact. Other people were also feeling their sense of urgency to make an impact grow, and it was high time we started collaborating and co-creating if we really wanted to get anywhere.

I put some LinkedIn feelers out, and one of the first leaders to respond became my co-creating partner. I’m talking about Lawrence Henderson, my co-manager for the C3 community.

Together we grew our C3 community to 140 co-creators and had 25 of them step up to the online “stage” to share their wisdom and success for the benefit of our community, most of whom joined us last month for our Year-In-Review event.

When creating our vision for the coming year, Lawrence and I knew that we had to keep our mission about leveling up leaders and giving them more and more opportunities to co-create and share the goods with others, so we put the invitation out to our panelists to speak at ConCon 2021 (click here to join the waitlist) and to host their own Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership events. We are so thankful that Phil Williams and TaJuanna Taylor have answered our call to action and now the number of monthly events we have is doubled. This is great news, as we have so many in-demand topics to cover in 2021 and beyond.

Sadly, due to circumstances, Phil cannot jump in just yet, so we are looking for another conscious leader to step into hosting with TaJuanna on Unconscious Bias in August.

If you would love to co-create a new stage to elevate conscious leaders and conscious leadership any time this year, get in the C3 Community and introduce yourself today! Let us know what you would like to co-create and with what conscious leadership practices you have had success.

The stage is yours!

Garrison Starr – Superhero

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Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Cancel Culture vs Conscious Capitalism

A few weeks ago, I shared a story about a School Board Chair who stepped down from his leadership role in the wake of backlash against his graduation speech.

Some comments reflected a wariness around people being ousted for saying something perceived as offensive, shifting the wrongdoing to the people so easily offended bullying people into resigning positions of power. His wife took to social media to make sure that the record accurately reflected that no one bullied him.

What we know is that there are too few leaders who would so responsively take accountability for harm done. Why? Ego. No one is immune from ego, however, conscious leaders are committed to being self-aware and recognizing when ego is interfering with the highest good. What is in the highest good can often conflict with personal, corporate, or government agendas, which is what makes it so hard to consistently be a conscious leader. As I said in my past article, even conscious leaders make mistakes.

So, when leaders (or individuals) do harm, and fail to hold themselves accountable, it is up to others to hold them accountable. In a company, one might think it is the job of even higher-up leaders to hold others accountable. In reality, performance and success are measured in dollars, which makes profit the priority over people and the planet. In many corporate cultures, people and the planet don’t even show up on the list of priorities, and harm to both is a byproduct. There is no authority delegated to ensure that decisions made by the most wealthy and powerful aren’t adversely impacting people and the planet.

Conscious capitalism arose as a movement because of the influence money has on these leaders and their decisions as a priority of their performance.

There are other ways to influence these leaders to better consider harm to people and the planet in their decisions, such as:

  • Petitions/Protests
  • Media/Social Media/Public Relations Awareness Campaigns
  • Litigation/Class Actions
  • Strikes
  • Government/Industry Regulations

Is the fact that more people are leveraging these methods an indication that there is a mass reckoning or is it getting out of hand?

Is the damage to people (and the planet) getting out of hand, or is the response over-sensationalized?

Are too many leaders’ livelihoods damaged, seemingly permanently, by public backlash? Is it deserved?

It depends on whom you ask.

An accusation, whether true or not, can be enough to jeopardize a livelihood.

Personal grievances can become the justification, then, for revenge. Accusations, therefore, should not be made lightly or without evidence. I am troubled by an increasing trend of people not being able to civilly confront one another and work out potential issues with good old effective interpersonal communication.

On the flip side, the danger of a lack of accountability for harm done leads to more harm done. To assume that unchecked leadership will automatically consider potential primary, secondary, and tertiary impacts in all decisions is in direct denial of history, data, and what we currently understand about human behavior. We are at such a critical point in our climate, both planetary and social, that if the oppression of our people and our planet continue, there will be another kind of reckoning. And it could make profit seem like a very foolish priority.

What about when the harm isn’t yet known to anyone, but a decision is recognized as harmful by the leader who made it? How can we incentivize leaders to admit to their mistakes if the admission itself can be damaging or fatal to a lucrative career? Accountability doesn’t have to be fatal, but sometimes it hurts. Can a leader come clean without carnage?

I’ve noticed that while we are quick to vilify, we also love a redemption story. Still, some will continue to vilify, but a public figure can restore livelihood and reputation by being a “bad guy turned good.”  Yes, this can burn bridges, especially if doing so brings other harm-doers down. It’s evident, though, that what isn’t working needs to be replaced with systems that work better.

At the ConCon event coming up in November 2021, I am compiling a panel of change-makers who have influenced corporate leaders to better prioritize people and the planet and plan on facilitating the co-creation of a list of protocols and best practices from the debate of the panel and input from attendees. We will be launching the registration site for ConCon soon. In the meantime, get on the waiting list. We look forward to all that will come from this epic event.

Wounding and Healing of Men

Provided to YouTube by The Orchard EnterprisesWounding and Healing of Men · Francis DunneryHometown 2001℗ 2004 Francis DunneryReleased on: 2004-08-03Auto-gen…

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Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Conscious Leadership Isn’t Perfect Leadership

Conscious Leadership isn’t perfect leadership. With all the backlash surrounding cancel culture, how to hold leaders accountable is becoming more confusing. Can we hold leaders accountable without “canceling them?”

A deeper look into this is coming; I have been pitching an article to major publications on this very topic. In the meantime, let’s ask a different question:

What if leaders held themselves accountable?

We can’t expect leaders, who are still human, will lead without fault, without mistake, and without unintentional harm, no matter how conscious they are. Consider consciousness in this context to mean self-aware and intentional about acting and deciding in the best interests of people and the planet.

So, when they make a mistake, what would it look like if they held themselves accountable?

I’d like to present Exhibit A.

Joel Fishbein, recently-resigned School Board President of Cheltenham School District.

This mistake: minimizing Frederick Douglass’s slavery and slavery in general in a graduation speech intended to inspire students to take risks and create change.

What he did: Listened and acted with compassion…the next day.

Over half of the district’s student population are Black, and feedback from this community, as well as community organizations, was immediate.

Here’s what he didn’t do: Excuse or defend his error.

Our brain does this thing where it tries to protect our ego. It’s pretty instantaneous and automatic, and we may outwardly react in this mindset – unless, we are self-aware enough to recognize this reflex and conscious enough to stifle it.  Mr. Fishbein’s brain likely did the same thing, and I’m uncertain how he initially reacted to this feedback. However, he clearly didn’t react outwardly in this mindset. Fairly quickly, based on his next-day press response, he put his ego aside and went into his higher-self mind. He made a decision to do what was in the best interest of the community he served.

Here is what else he did:
  • Owned his mistakes and the harm they inflicted. You can tell that he really put himself in their shoes, recognizing that this was supposed to be one of the happiest days of their life – a celebration of all they accomplished. All that was overshadowed by cultural insensitivity, and he validated the voices of those he represents and acknowledging his understanding gap.
  • He voluntarily relinquishing his leadership position as board President to the Vice President (in the interim) while keeping his commitment to the school district, recognizing that in this crucial time in our country and our community’s history, minority populations absolutely need culturally competent leadership.
  • As a school board candidate in my neighborhood, Tiffany Cherry, pointed out, he also “immediately instituted a policy to mitigate the chance of something similar reoccurring (addressing what is now foreseeable).”  The speech was not read by anyone prior to him reading it at the graduation ceremony. From now on, the school board will read and approve public addresses from members of the board.

Of course, there were those who assumed that Mr. Fishbein was coerced into resignation, and decried him a victim of cancel culture. His wife joined his efforts in making sure the public, particularly those commenting on social media, was clear – this was a decision he made independent of any public pressure, because it was the right thing to do.

While I agree that this mistake does indicate that he is not the culturally competent leader that the people, particularly African Americans, in his community need at this pivotal time, he demonstrated that he is capable of growing and learning into a better, more conscious leader, and we absolutely need more leaders to demonstrate this potential, even if they are not quite at the point of cultural competence.

Conscious leaders may still make mistakes, but we can all make efforts right now to identify and fill our understanding gaps, which starts by admitting we have them. C3 is a community where you can safely admit your understanding gaps, and receive help filling them. Everyone in this group is committed to co-creating a more conscious corporate landscape.

As I said last week, when we know better, we do better, which is a modified quote from Maya Angelou. If you’re looking for a place you can seek to know better, join C3 now, just in time for our monthly event on July 1st, which is actually a year in review. Reflect with some of our past panelists on the most amazing, crazy, chaotic, volatile, and treacherous, but also catalyzing year I have ever experienced in my lifetime.

The Human League – Human

Vote for your favourite 80s hit of all time: https://lnk.to/80BestHitsListen to more from The Human League: http://TheHumanLeague.lnk.to/EssentialsStream a p…

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Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Find It Hard to Break Bad Habits or Form Good Ones? Check Your Self-Talk!

The inner critic… do we all have one? No, but the vast majority of us do. The real question is, what is it saying? Are you consciously aware of it? What decisions does it make for you?

My first professional coach called the inner critic a gremlin. She was a great help in helping me recognize my inner voice. She helped me realize just how much of my decision-making was driven by this inner critic.

  • It inhibited my relationships, because it caused me to feel self-conscious being my authentic self.
  • It limited my future, as it told me what was and wasn’t possible for me.
  • It stunted my growth, as it told me to defend myself rather than take accountability.

When I first recognized this inner critic, I was pretty mad and it. She gave me permission to express that anger, and assigned homework like putting my gremlin’s face on a balloon, giving it a few good punches, and then popping it.

I wrote down the common things I noticed it saying, mostly that I wasn’t good enough and wasn’t deserving of good things. I can directly attribute this work to launching this business nearly 15 years ago. If I hadn’t have recognized this voice telling me how destined I was to fail, I would have never told that voice to shut the hell up!

That voice didn’t go away. It still shows up, and I am grateful for it. Because you know what? Sometimes I am not my highest self, and it shows up to tell me where there is room to grow and love me through it.

I have found that the key to growing consciously is not to make the inner critic an enemy, but to realize the inner critic is YOU, and to start turning your inner critic into a constructive conscious coach who speaks kindly to you and loves you unconditionally.

I once had a coach help me understand if I didn’t have a great relationship with money, I need to think of money as someone I’m dating and wish to attract. How am I regarding money? Do I resent money? Do I expect that it will go, so I put my guard up and refuse to welcome it in the first place? Do I do things to make money know how special it is to me, what a priority it is to me? How am I treating money?

When I thought to apply this lesson to my inner critic, my conscious growth expanded exponentially!

The people who have been influential in shaping us are people. They have not always been their highest selves, and unfortunately, we often define ourselves by those moments. These moments can create trauma and wounds that we may never know need to be healed unless we become aware of them. They form beliefs about our relationship to this world, what’s for us and what’s against us. And, they contribute to the fuel our inner critic uses to “save us” from experiencing that rejection again.

When you tune into your inner critic, do you hear your own voice, or the voices of others who have projected their own insecurities onto you? When I tune in while in a deeply reflective state of mind, I hear my own voice, but I flash back to moments when others shrunk my sense of self.

I’ll be real with you – this can be painful to relive. I recommend journaling. Imagine that you, present day as your highest self, could intervene with your younger self, and, like the parent you want to be, teach your younger self that those hurtful words and/or actions were not about you! They are not the truth. Tell your younger self what the truth is!

You might think this is woo woo crazy stuff, but you already have a voice that speaks to you. It’s already you, so you might as well speak to yourself as your highest self – kindly, with compassion and grace.

Do you feel engaged, inspired, and inclined to do what a bully tells you? Do you want to succeed for this bully, or do you want to sabotage this bully?

When you want to form a good habit or break a bad habit, your conscious mind attempts to give your unconscious mind an order. Your unconscious mind likes to take orders, but like you, it might take or leave orders based on the kind of rapport it has with the “boss.” Otherwise, it will continue along the path of least resistance, which is to keep listening to the inner critic.

We make what is conscious unconscious, or automatic, through repetition, which can be accelerated when the mind is in the most receptive state. In order to make your unconscious inner critic the kind of loving, inspiring leader you want to listen to, be intentional, kind, and patient with yourself. Have regular pep talks with yourself. Send yourself internal verbal votes of confidence. Affirmations have been clinically proven to produce results.

Habits go from a push to a pull once your unconscious mind starts to cooperate. Just like any good leader will get the best results in the short and long-term by inspiring his/her team with a compelling vision and by appealing to their highest selves, you will find good habits more easily form and bad habits more easily break when you convert your inner critic to your most powerful advocate and cheerleader.

Hard Habit to Break (2006 Remaster)

Provided to YouTube by Rhino/Warner RecordsHard Habit to Break (2006 Remaster) · ChicagoChicago 17℗ 1984 Warner Records Inc.Guitar, Keyboards: Bill ChamplinB…

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Feminism in Action at Epic Careering

Remember when I declared I was a feminist?

Well, that wasn’t just an empty cry of support for my fellow females, and if you know me, you know I’m a woman of action, not just words.

So, once I got off the fence and got on to the playing field for women, it was time to choose what I was going to DO to support women. It’s not like I haven’t supported women in the past, but with my declaration came a self-imposed accountability to level up what I have done before.

Previously, I have volunteered and spoken at the PA Conference for Women. I recently applied to return as a speaker on issues that help women increase their visibility and influence internally and externally for greater upward mobility. Cross your fingers I am selected to speak again.

In the past, I offered to be a career mentor for my (very active) sorority alumnae association. However, there was no infrastructure in the organization to help my sisters take better advantage of this, so I volunteered to co-lead the initiative.

Earlier this year, at the request of my former client, Christopher Waters, I led a 3-part video series on how to use LinkedIn to get the best job search results for the Delaware Office of Women’s Advancement and Advocacy. They have now engaged me for two Salary Negotiation Workshops to help train women on advocating for better compensation in their job search while transitioning from individual contributor to leadership. The first of these two sessions is tonight (April 13th) and is aimed at recent graduates and entry-level job seekers. The second session will be geared towards junior job seekers and takes place on April 29th. These events are aimed at but not restricted to women residents of Delaware. Register for either of the workshops here, or share the link with a female in need of closing a compensation gap, or just earning her worth.

To close the gender pay gap faster, both sides need to bridge toward each other – professional women and employers. With the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint, the conscious leadership certification program I am launching this year after 3 years in the making, I am using case studies on the trickle-down cost benefits to closing the gender pay gap to demonstrate the conscious decision protocol that helps leaders determine and justify with transparency what is in the highest good, and closing the gender pay gap IS in the highest good!

In the past, I have given aspiring female career coaches and résumé writers tips on getting started or growing their businesses. I attended a virtual event for the Future Works Alliance PHL, where, as I shared in my feminist declaration blog, it was suggested that many women don’t sponsor and advocate for other women because they earned their scars and feel it’s other women’s right of passage to earn their own. So, in 2022, I am planning to offer free getting started tutorials and launch a program to teach the methodologies that I have developed that enable my clients to achieve accelerated conscious career alignment. I will offer this to men, too, but plan on targeting women with my content and marketing.

Not sure if advocating for women is a cause to which you are willing to contribute?

Consider that closing the gender pay gap will:

  • Add $482 billion to the US economy (by 2014 standards)
  • Reduce the poverty rate among women by more than half and among single mothers by just about half
  • Improve state’s economies – the larger the economies, the larger the growth

And, having more women at the top of corporate leadership will:

What can will you do to help close the gender gap and support the upward mobility of women to the influential C-Suite?

Ben Harper – Diamonds On The Inside (Official Video)

“By My Side” buy linksAmazon: http://smarturl.it/bymysideiTunes: http://smarturl.it/ByMySideiTunes Music video by Ben Harper performing Diamonds On The Insid…

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Own Your Words, Own Your World

How many times have you made a judgment call about a person based on a comment they made?

Did that comment really define them and was your judgment accurate? How do you know? Does it matter?

Here’s why it’s been mattering lately.

  • Co-creation – Pharma companies worked together to expedite clinical trials and get out a critically needed vaccine to the world. We have other crises that need solutions.
  • Opportunity – Because of the above, the in-demand skills of today and tomorrow are people-related. Though some are trying, this is a functional area that isn’t expected to be ethically automated with any kind of efficacy.
  • Racial Justice – Silenced and discouraged voices are piping up much louder while they face continued resistance and suppression. We’re not going back to how it was before George Floyd. There’s too much work to do!
  • Division – Politics and personal freedom have literally divided families during one of the loneliest times imaginable for people of this time.
  • We have just had 7 mass shootings in 7 days. Clearly unresolved issues are a public threat.

Some unexpected aspects of accountability in leadership came up yesterday while Lawrence Henderson and I were on Clubhouse (which we are every other Tuesday, so please follow us and join us on the app @BossLLab and @ripplemaker).

The consensus seems to be that the art of civil discourse is lost. The perception of recent conflict seems to be that it has been counter-productive. Lawrence and I are huge fans of Cy Wakeman’s No Drama approach. What’s the difference between drama and conflict?

It’s drama when:

  • You have an issue with someone and, instead of addressing the source, you involve other people.
  • You address the source, but are combative and/or accusatory.
  • You allow your conflict with someone to prohibit your performance and fall short of expectations.
  • The source of the issue is a perception, not a truth, and that perception drives decisions.

However, conflict is necessary for innovation. And, it’s necessary for conscious leadership. We may have learned that confronting someone makes things worse. The thing is, few are trained to effectively address conflicts, so what we see is conflict making things worse, now more than ever.

Social media has enabled keyboard warriors to develop habits and expectations that real-world consequences for words put out into the world don’t exist. Is this what has bled into the workplace, or was it something else?

  • Was it the fear that a confrontation can erupt into violence?
  • Was it the idea that we should leave emotions at the door?
  • Was it the constant threat of litigation?
  • Was it punitive Human Resources practices for causing workplace drama/toxicity?
  • Was it ill-advised codes of conduct and compliance training?

Too many trainings right now use subjective language, like “good values,” “professional conduct,” and “respect and dignity”. Another speaker in the Clubhouse room, Tamiko Drummond says that Human Resources needs to own properly training each and every manager on facilitating conflict From the top, leaders need to encourage going deeper into conflict rather than side-stepping it.

Ms. Drummond advises people to ask for clarification when they hear something about which they are passing judgment. “Unpack that statement for me” is a phrase she recommends. I’ve shared before how my former boss’s catchphrase was “help me understand.” At the women’s event I wrote about last week, one leader shared this list of responses to micro-aggressions.

Lawrence shared a story about one of the first private sector leaders he had who shocked him by asking him how he’d like to be approached when he was having a bad day. Wow! What an amazing question! She went on to teach and demonstrate that conflict is inevitable, and when it’s dealt with appropriately, it can make a working relationship that much stronger.

In our last Clubhouse room two weeks ago, one of the most poignant phrases shared by a speaker in the room was “Silence is dangerous.” Just because you aren’t actively hearing about a problem, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and won’t sabotage progress. Ignorance is only bliss temporarily. Furthermore, ignorance is becoming increasingly unacceptable to those who have been marginalized. Silence is the antithesis of progress, so don’t expect your comments to go without response anymore.

We talked yesterday about how anonymous 360s can be as destructive to morale and team cohesion as social media posts from keyboard warriors. Anonymous feedback is so widely used to identify performance issues, and has led to such mistrust and discouragement. It breeds a lack of accountability for what is said. When there is a void of accountability, there tends to be a perception spin machine. It wastes a lot of energy and resources.

Next, we talked about how to determine if the feedback is even accurate. Another speaker in the Clubhouse Room, Ray Abram, author of Connect Like a Boss, recommended a tool called the Johari Window. This can help leaders determine if there’s a perception issue or an opportunity for growth and development.

I shared another story about my boss, who had been informed that I was not pulling my weight, and that’s why my team was underperforming. I refuted those claims and he gave me the biggest gift. I had suspected for months that two women in the office who had become suspiciously silent toward me were gossiping about me. One I addressed directly; I thought we were friends. She coldly told me there was no problem. The other was on my team and had accused me of underperforming, which I supposed our other teammates agreed with. Thankfully, I had been working with a mentor and all activities were tracked in a database, so the resolution my bosses proposed was to get everyone in the room and put everyone’s cards on the table. The issue was diagnosed as a “perception problem.” I left the firm not long after to start Epic Careering, with my reputation and relationships intact thanks to that meeting.

When people are accountable, they want to know (and need to know) if there is an issue. There are many different ways people communicate. Some are more effective than others, but thankfully communication is a skill everyone can develop – if they’re willing.

So, for the sake of innovation and progress, what opportunities do you have in front of you to question a perception you have about someone?

Come Talk to Me

Provided to YouTube by YouTube CSV2DDEXCome Talk to Me · Peter GabrielUs (Remastered)℗ 2009 Peter Gabriel LtdReleased on: 1992-09-29Auto-generated by YouTube.

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

I Am A Feminist

I’ve never identified as a feminist. Perhaps that is because I was taught by the men in my life that it was a dirty word.

I might have even learned that being a feminist would damage my reputation and opportunity, assuming the doors to those opportunities had to be opened by a man, which is still largely too true. It could have been because the media of my time portrayed feminists as nerdy, angry, and unlikeable – three things that I aimed not to be. Perhaps it’s because I have often experienced my own gender being unkind, judgmental, and deliberately demeaning. Perhaps it’s because women have ripped off my ideas without giving me credit. Men have, too, but these women are in women’s professional support groups. I have not embraced nor been embraced by these groups.

Why is that?

This week, I attended a Future Works Alliance event led by its founder, Anne Gemmell, called Women, Work and COVID: The Future is Still Female. During that event, the question was asked: Why aren’t women women’s biggest allies in making it to the C-Suite?

Why do we find that more often than not, women are apt to not let other women shine too brightly?

Sharon Clinton, Deputy Executive Director of Culture, Compliance and Organizational Infrastructure in the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, who led the breakout room discussion on racial and gender bias on the path to C-Suite, asserted that perhaps it’s because women at the top have scars from the battles they fought to get there. Perhaps there is a potential resentment for women who achieve the same without or with fewer scars.

When I likely needed it most, I avoided mom’s clubs. I tried them, and they were exactly as I feared – a bunch of women judging other women.

Since we were young, we have sacrificed each other to save face, tearing each other down hoping it would lift us up. These were the dynamics of female dominance that we learned. We rewarded each other for making fun of each other whether it was through prank calls or whispers. Gossip was like social capital. If you had some, everyone wanted to talk to you. It’s even worse now with social media.

I have to be honest – I don’t think I would have made it out of middle school alive had there been social media! I knew very few nice girls who did not succumb to these twisted power games. These girls usually, smartly, were well-liked by all, but not super close with anyone. It was as if the closer you got to a friend, the more drama ensued. We dealt with our own insecurities by redirecting people’s attention to the flaws of others.

You’d think we’d all grow out of it.

Some of us have. Some of us, honestly, have not.

I gave up vying for popularity in high school and sought out diverse relationships instead; I joined clubs. There was always so much drama among my girl friends (and that didn’t change much even as we aged). Sometimes I felt more comfortable with guy friends – equally loyal, less dramatic.

I’m a sorority girl, and from my impression of women’s groups, you may not get that. I did not intend to pledge a sorority; I was recruited by a friend from high school. Those girls got to know me and, not only accepted me for who I was, mistakes and all, but also appreciated and celebrated my uniqueness. The sorority I chose and that chose me still has an active alumni association. In fact, we will meet virtually this weekend for our annual luncheon. Pledging, for all intents and purposes, was like training in how to be the most sister-like friend you can be. Was there drama? Yes. Did everyone like each other? No. However, groupthink influenced a sense of loyalty and collaboration that superseded personal conflicts. It was actually a GREAT experience in working in harmony with other women, and I wish more women had the same type of experience. From what I discern, not all sorority pledging and sisterhoods accomplish this, but it seems Vice President Kamala Harris has enjoyed such an experience.

My first job in recruiting was in an all-female boutique executive search firm. I hadn’t realized how well women could work together and nurture each other without men around until I had this experience. How I missed those days when I had been psychologically bullied and bad-mouthed by “mean girls.”

When I started my company, most of my clientele were men purely because I was coming from technical recruiting, and technology is dominated by men. My mentors were men. I had a male business coach advise me to put my picture on my website to leverage my (much younger) appearance to attract more of my target audience. (I didn’t – that was never for what I wanted to be valued, especially by clients.) I had known women more experienced than I, but they didn’t really do much for my career. In fact, they usually took more than they gave.

The Harvard Business Review found in 2010 that women are over-mentored yet under-sponsored, and that remains true. Men continue to get promoted more than women. There are also deficiencies in other kinds of sponsorship, such as childcare support.

This is a problem that impacts us all. Data shows huge economic losses linked to racial and gender disparities and lack of sufficient childcare.

Over 2.5 million women lost their jobs during the pandemic. In December 2020, 100% of people who lost their jobs were women, according to data cited by Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) this past Tuesday.

Our current climate of rugged individualism has proven to be not only toxic to overall mental health, but has proven to be devoid of any benefit even to the individual. Shared prosperity has not been shared by all, as the Congresswoman also pointed out on Tuesday. Data shows that even prosperous people would be that much more prosperous if populations who have been left behind were given the opportunity to catch up.

A McKinsey report from August of 2019 explains the economic impacts of closing the racial wealth gap. Their data shows that by closing the gap, the U.S. GDP would rise by 4-6% in 10 years.

A study by the International Monetary Fund also links higher growth to industries and countries with more women in the workforce and greater gender equality.

Keeping all of this in mind, it seems logical to me that enabling more people to prosper by eliminating their obstacles and challenges to doing so is beneficial to everyone. By empowering people with education and training, and ensuring that they have equal access to resources and opportunity, you have fewer people needing financial support from the government and more people contributing to innovation and progress. Growth is accelerated when efforts are focused on the populations with the most challenges and least access.

Growing up, we made ourselves susceptible to feeling as if we deserved the criticism of boy/men. I bought into it. I let the men in my life define me as a woman and I rejected female influence because of how bad it made me feel. Well, I have two daughters now and that ends with me! The gender revolution is far from over. I see now how much my resignation has hindered ALL genders and races. It’s time I stand up for women!

So, I proudly declare: I am a feminist!

Women have not stepped up fully because hurt people hurt people. Women, it’s time we heal ourselves to heal each other. It’s time we fully step into our divine feminine power and be in awe of ourselves and each other. It’s time WE define what being a woman is, intentionally. While we demand respect and recognition from our male counterparts, we need to do this for each other as well. Let’s heal together.

Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out

From the 1980 Motown album, “diana”

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Have You Ever Cried at Work?

Have you ever cried at work? Whether personal or work-related?

How about on the playing field?

What were you taught to do with that emotion?

Suppress it? Fight it? Hide it? Turn it off?

Did anyone ever tell you to just sit with it? Let it out? Journal about it?

Do those methods work, and even if they work in the short-term, what are the long-term impacts?

How many people, let alone leaders, are taught how to process emotion?

How many people have turned to medication or self-medication not as a last resort, but as a go-to to not deal with emotion?

What has toxic masculinity, rugged individualism, and toxic positivity done to contribute to the prevalence of mental illness in adults and those entering adulthood – the generation with the highest rates of mental illness (even pre-COVID) ever?

Or, has it been the increased stimulation and distraction that has led to the increase? Has it been the increase in expectations from our young people to thrive academically and athletically without allowing and accommodating room for our youth to just be still?

The prevalence of mental illness and high-profile mass shootings and bombings has forced some of these questions to the forefront, but what place do these questions have in the workplace?

I am thankful that I started therapy young – in the 5th grade. It was the first time someone told me it was okay to have feelings – to have MY feelings.  Still, it has taken a lifetime to make peace with the intensity of my emotions.

In order to de-stigmatize mental illness, we also have to de-stigmatize emotions. We have to de-stigmatize therapy and normalize healthy outlets, like yoga, meditation, journaling, walking, boxing, etc.

Eliminate the words “woo woo” and “new age” in the context of these practices. There is enough science at this point to substantiate their efficacy, so using those words just makes you seem ignorant, insensitive, and obsolete.

Additionally, it’s time the workplace was encouraging, even accommodating, of these outlets.

If an employer assumes that employees are taking care of their emotional and mental health needs outside of work hours, it’s a dangerous assumption.

Every manager and leader needs to be trained on how to create a conducive environment to have and process emotions, whether privately or with you. As individuals, we have to know how to take care of these needs on our own, but as a leader, you should be able to uncover these needs and know where to refer employees for the care of these needs.

What about physical wellness? Science has proven a link between mental health and physical health. Read more about the links and the costs of this in our Mindfulness and EI training report.

What do you do as an individual experiencing emotions at work?

Firstly, do not apologize!

Secondly, fight your inclination to hide or suppress these emotions. Call them out by name. “I’m feeling _______________. I need a moment.”

You don’t have to decide anything else in this moment – what to do next, what to say, whether to go home or stay, who you’re inconveniencing, etc.

You can leave the room, or stay there. I find it easier to be with my emotions when I’m alone, at least at first. So, I would likely leave the room. I would head outside if I could, or toward any kind of nature – even opening a window would help.

Just allow it. Think of emotion as Energy in Motion – E-motion. It needs to flow. Breathing helps move the emotion through your body. It’s so easy to forget to breathe in the middle of intense emotion!

Be in it. Tune into your body – where are you experiencing this emotion physically? Your head? Your chest? Shoulders and neck?

If you feel like a victim, start processing all that happened to inspire these feelings. Have a pity party. Write down all of the events and feelings. Get them out into the open where you can refer back to them post-processing and sort out what is real, what is truth, what is story, what is assumption, and what is a product of your insecurities and limiting beliefs.

The time it takes to move through the emotion decreases as you get better at being with your pain.

At first, you may need a good 30 minutes, especially if an event was severe or historical. (If a reaction is hysterical, the cause is historical!)

What other possibilities exist?

What is in your control?

What outcome do you want? The desired outcome is not a necessary component of processing emotions, however, once your emotions are processed, you will have better logical judgment about what you want to happen next – if you need to go home, if you need to speak with someone, or if you are ready to face your co-workers and boss again.

You are under NO obligation to explain anything or apologize to anyone if you have dealt with your emotions healthfully. However, if someone was caught in the crossfire before you were able to process your emotion, you will have to decide if an apology is necessary to restore your integrity or your relationships. Depending on the severity of the blow, you may need to do much more than apologize and there may be irreversible consequences.

Learn from these consequences, prevent them in the future, and do not define yourself by these human moments.

What do you do as a leader when a team member is experiencing emotions?

Firstly, always validate emotions. Many managers and leaders do not want to be the recipient of anger, but this is a manifestation of ego, not empathy. So, even if the anger is directed at you, affirm that the person has a “right” to feel how they feel.

Ask them if they would like time to be alone or if they want to talk to you or with anyone else.

Be wary of pulling in human resources if human resources in your company is more inclined to react disciplinarily rather than resourcefully. At their best, human resources professionals are quite experienced and trained in serving in some counseling capacity, but there is too often a conflict of interest in processing events in compliance with policies and being fully emotionally available. There are also varying levels of severity that would certainly exceed the normal skill sets of human resources. If there is not a dedicated, licensed counselor or coach on staff, the best practice for HR is to refer the employee to other resources.

If you become the confidant. just listen. Don’t advise. Give the employee space to speak and process their emotions. Don’t try to fix anything, if there is anything for you as a leader to fix, until emotions have equalized. The message they need most is that you are committed to creating a safe place for them to share their emotions. You will have your own emotions about it, and you are justified in having those, too, but in this moment, just focus on listening. Eventually, it might be necessary to put your compassion into action. Allow yourself to process your own emotions before making any determinations, however.

If you and your company really want to demonstrate that you care and are willing to invest in the mental and emotional wellness of your team, allocate a room just for their emotional wellness.

What kinds of things would an emotional wellness room include?

A variety of tools to express a variety of emotions, from sadness to fear to anger.

  • Privacy
  • A box of tissues
  • Plants
  • A punching bag
  • A small table with chairs in case someone wants to talk it out
  • Papers and pens
  • Coloring books
  • Music/speakers
  • Pillows to scream into
  • Stuffed animals to squeeze or throw
  • A help button
  • A reference list for hotlines and guided meditations
  • A trampoline
  • Resistance bands
  • Exercise mats
  • A water fountain

Additional concerns I have that require additional research, perhaps research that has not yet been conducted, include finding out at what rate corporate leaders are medicated for mental illness. How does that impact their centers of empathy in the brain and their ability to make conscious decisions? I am sure there are instances in which the medication enhances their ability to handle stressful situations, but I wonder about the situations that are people-related.

I am not anti-medication generally, and no – I absolutely do not want to stigmatize taking medication. The side effects of many of these medications seem sometimes worse than the condition, and I do worry that drugs are too frequently prescribed when there are other therapies, coping mechanisms, and non-prescription solutions that would present better long-term options for enhanced mental health. I know many people who have found healthier alternatives to pharmaceuticals, are able to come off their prescribed medicines (under a doctor’s care), and then realize just how numb they had been. Numb is the most often used word.

I wonder how much more challenging it is to be empathetic when you are numb.

I hope for answers someday, and have been looking lately into pursuing a Ph.D. to dig into this deeper, among other research. If you have knowledge of any resources and/or research on this topic, please connect with me on social media. If you have a personal story about this, I would love to hear it.

How were you taught to deal with your emotions?

How were you taught to deal with other people’s emotions?

Guns N’ Roses – Don’t Cry

Music video by Guns N’ Roses performing Don’t Cry (Original Version). (C) 1991 Guns N’ Roses under exclusive license to Geffen Records

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

What We Can Learn From the Success of L’Oreal’s Mindfulness Program

Yesterday I attended an online L’Oreal mindfulness case study hosted by the Institute for Organizational Mindfulness and facilitated by Andy Lee, former Chief Mindfulness Officer at Aetna/current Senior Consultant for the Potential Project.

Jade Ku Sonlin, Assistant Vice President of People Development and Learning at L’Oreal, spent the hour talking about her personal mindfulness journey. She described how she went about gradually getting the C-level on board for a pilot, the success of that pilot, and how the pilot grew into a wellness program. She then expressed the continued impact on those who are now participating in that wellness program across the organization.

Sonlin started at L’Oreal in Marketing after burning out in LA agency life and adopting mindfulness as a practice.  Her marketing background proved very valuable in gaining buy-in and funding for this pilot (they outsourced to MindFresh.) Below are ways she applied her marketing know-how to eventually gain the approval and funds to move forward with a pilot.

Meet them where they are at

People are practicing mindfulness at some level, whether they know it or not. When you engage in activities in which you find yourself “in the flow,” take in all the details of something, and that moment before you do something that requires physical acuity when you take a breath you are practicing mindfulness. Sonlin’s boss is a mountaineer. He had some resistance to not just mindfulness, but also to the idea of dedicating time at work to it. So, Sonlin asked how he gets focused when he’s on a mountain in a precarious spot. He breathes. That was merely a seed planted that she could water later. More importantly, she now knew a way to frame mindfulness in a way that had relevance and resonance to him.

Throughout the pilot, they gathered feedback to continue to tap into messaging that would make the training more palatable, for instance eliminating names for yoga poses that weren’t understood by a non-yogi.

She also made sure the program was clearly named for what it was and dispelled some common myths, such as mindfulness is all about being still, or being still for long periods of time. In fact, there are various ways that you can practice mindfulness, and many take under 3 minutes!

Change is a marathon, not a sprint

Time is a precious commodity for anyone, but employers literally commoditize it. That’s why it’s not an easy sell to ask a company to spare any of it. The Aetna case study, which I had included in an accredited training that I did at an HR summit for my local SHRM chapter, proved that investing time in meditation creates … more time. (Read my Mindfulness and EI training report to find out more.)

Does that make people jump on board? Well, as Sonlin shared, mindfulness is a practice. This was repeated frequently throughout the training. So, not only is mindfulness training an investment of time, but something that must be practiced ongoingly in order to produce the ongoing benefits. You’re not just asking people to spare some time, but to accommodate something new permanently. That can feel overwhelming, especially for people currently experiencing burn out. This will likely cause resistance.

It is best implemented in stages for sustained longevity. First, it’s just about trying and learning. Then it’s noticing that trying and learning is making a difference. Then, it’s getting the brain to crave that difference and draw you into the practice, and that’s when you find yourself in a habit, or practice. The more social proof you can offer, the easier it becomes to enroll new people.

It starts with a ripple.

Offer evidence

Sonlin did a deep dive to find evidence that the investment of time and money would have business payoffs.  There are various case studies, some of which I’ve written about before. Since “because Google does it” is losing its luster as a compelling enough reason to try something, it’s thankfully really easy to point to the science.

The report I wrote a few years ago could have really come in handy for Sonlin since it lays out the science-based business case of mindfulness (and emotional intelligence) training.

L’Oreal’s mindfulness program was initiated in 2016, and Sonlin credits this program for L’Oreal employees sustaining productivity and morale during COVID.

Here are some other self-reported results from L’Oreal’s pilot participants:

  • 100% reported improved clarity
  • 96% reported increased patience
  • 95% reported it had a positive impact on their work
  • 84% discovered a technique that can use to de-stress

I have started to compile a curation of case studies to help you as a supplement to the Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence Training report.

Mindfulness isn’t just a trend; it’s a breakthrough technology that will help forward-thinking leaders solve today’s and tomorrow’s problems. Read more about this in the report, and let me know if you want help promoting this to your company.

New Radicals – You Get What You Give (Original)

New Radicals Song Get What You Give…Ultimate 90’s Song!!I Claim NO Ownership Of This Song, All Credit Goes To New Radicals And Universal Music Group!!I Wis…

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.