Archives for mindfulness

How to Support Emotions at Work

A recent loss is inspiring me to shine a spotlight on mental health. There’s no knowing what, if anything, might have kept him here longer, but I know many of us at this time who knew and loved him are wondering what we could have done more.

These thoughts, while part of the natural process of grief, are tortuous. Yet there are so many suffering with these thoughts after similar losses, which feel so senseless and preventable.

This is my best effort at this time to implore employers and caring coworkers to implement preventive and mental health maintenance measures. It’s what I know I can do to help at a time that I feel helpless.

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 at 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?

Even during “normal” circumstances, nothing impacts your results in life more than how well you are feeling. Do whatever you can to adjust your lifestyle and schedule to incorporate alternative methods of achieving a calm mind, strong heart, clear lungs, and a positive outlook.

Even though we need connection, some of us are already emotionally fragile and need more uplifting versus more gloom and doom. Be careful not to impose your anxiety (which is justified, just not helpful) onto others. So, if you are feeling anxious before a scheduled call or outreach e-mail, take some time to exercise to get endorphins flowing or meditate to achieve a calm state of mind.

Incorporate time in your schedule to be alone and engage in activities that raise your vibration while limiting activities that induce stress. Be aware of any inclination to pick up your phone or device to check for constant updates. Recognize if looking for updates becomes a compulsion that isn’t serving your state of mind. You can find a helpful mini-hypnosis session on overcoming social media addiction, as well as some other helpful videos on this Facebook page.

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 your employees 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.

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?

Peter Gabriel – Don’t Give Up (ft. Kate Bush)

The official Don’t Give Up video. Directed by Godley and Creme.A standout track from Peter’s fifth studio album and the first one to have a proper title: S…

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.

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.

5 Habits That Distinguish Leaders From Bosses

Now that my daughters are on sports teams, I am teaching them what it means to be an athlete. They’re not new to sports; between the two of them, they’ve tried just about everything: swimming, soccer, volleyball, field hockey, horseback riding, basketball, gymnastics, and on and on. Officially now, they are on teams with uniforms and games. They have teammates relying on them to perform. It’s a big step up from the casual effort they have been used to making.

I might have considered myself an athlete at some point in my life, particularly my senior year playing varsity softball and the first year I played rugby when I did some intense physical training. I realized when I met my husband that I was athletic, but not an athlete. He took it way more seriously than I ever did, and, go figure, he went all the way to world championships and the Junior Olympics. He didn’t even start until 6th grade, but to catch up with his friends who were further ahead, he put the time and commitment in. That drive became the foundation for strong habits to support his continual improvement, and probably what he can thank for his athletic scholarship and his college degree.

My husband is still on the wall of fame at the high school, so it was assumed my daughters would follow in his footsteps. We didn’t apply pressure to do anything but try and stay active. It took many years of trying many things, but they finally decided to choose something more serious – lacrosse and softball. Before I paid the fees, I made sure they understood the following:

  • If they don’t understand something, it’s their duty to their teammates to ask their coach for help.
  • Once you join the team, practice and games come before social engagements and most family engagements.
  • Besides the two days of practice, they have to practice what they learn in between at least 2 additional days per week (and more if they need it).
  • They have to be able to keep their current obligations to school and other activities, like show choir, band, and orchestra.
  • They have to start owning their health – build up their stamina and balance outside of practice and EAT HEALTHFULLY plenty of fruits and veggies, plus making protein a staple of every meal.
  • They have to start being mindful of their self-talk and experimenting with self-talk that makes them feel stronger and more capable.
  • They are responsible for taking care of, keeping track of, and bringing all equipment they need.

Once they agreed, life felt like it picked up speed by 10x, but after a year of little to do (safely), it’s been great, though tricky, to have a full calendar again. It has taken some adjustment for me to coach them through new habits so that they can keep the above commitments, but we are finally achieving a flow.

Just as discipline is the difference between playing sports and being an athlete, discipline also makes a difference between being a boss and being a leader.

So, I want to ask you:
  • Did anyone have a similar talk with someone before leadership was hoisted upon you?
  • Did someone explain that implied in leadership is the commitment to continually elevate your consciousness?
  • Did they show you how to elevate your consciousness?
  • Did they help onboard you into new habits to support this?

If your answer is yes, you are one of too few, and very fortunate.

Some leaders figure this out on their own, sometimes as a result of having poor leaders and sometimes as a result of having great leaders.

Still, forming habits conventionally is challenging just based on the anatomy and function of our brain. The hard-wiring of our survival brain sometimes inhibits our evolved brain when it comes to practicing conscious leadership as well as forming habits.

One way to overcome this natural barrier is to schedule your future habit as a ritual on your calendar.

There are 5 simple daily habits you can develop in 10-15 minutes each day that will exponentially and consistently expand your consciousness as a leader. They will also have multiple benefits to many other realms of your life.

These simple habits are:
  1. Mindfulness
  2. Upskilling
  3. Heart-centered communications
  4. Reflection
  5. Fitness (mind, body, and soul)

You could delegate a power hour every day to do them all, but that can be overwhelming and overwhelm itself can be inhibitive of starting and sustaining a habit. , even if being successful is really about cutting an hour of a less helpful habit, like scrolling social media.

Instead, I invite you to designate a day for each habit, and feel free to use the weekend how you like. If there is a day you love so much you want to repeat it, do that. You may be already doing one or a few of these. In that case, it’s just a matter of seeing these activities as part of your overall consciousness elevation strategy and you might want to make some tweaks accordingly. For instance, if you already spend some time upskilling each week, choose to upskill in breakthroughs in behavioral science, neuroscience, and performance optimization.

I’d like to suggest the following designations:

Monday Mindfulness

Tuesday Upskilling

Wednesday Heart-centered Communication

Thursday Reflection

Friday Fitness

You can feel free to re-arrange these as you see fit, based on how your energy or your calendar trend.

This schedule is based on my natural rhythms, because when it comes to forming a new habit, I like to give myself every advantage. I won’t schedule a high-energy activity when I’m low energy.

Monday – Mindfulness

Many people mistake mindfulness for meditation. Both have amazing benefits for your consciousness and beyond, but mindfulness is a practice where you take moments as frequently as possible throughout the day to just notice and be. Rather than trying to clear your mind, fill your senses by taking in every detail, from how your clothes feel on your body and how the air smells to the fine weaves of a fabric or the fractal design of a flower. Surely, designating a day for this will lead to you taking more mindful moments all around. Mindfulness helps you learn how to create calm in the midst of chaos and clarity in the midst of confusion. When you have to make high-stakes decisions as a leader, being able to do this is absolutely critical. It will also help you enhance your EQ and empathy so that you can be a more effective communicator.

Tuesday – Upskilling

I also call it “Learnin’ Tuesday,” but I’ve upgraded it to reflect that upskilling is also about applying what you learn, so make time for that, too.

If you were working on a certification, this would certainly apply, and, in that case, you might want to designate more than 15 minutes or integrate it into more than one day. However, just 15 minutes of watching a TED Talk, listening to a podcast, reading your favorite organization’s newsletter, a business journal, or a good old book will ensure that you are continually expanding your ability to consciously lead. It will also keep you on the forefront of impactful breakthroughs.

Because webinars and conferences can happen any day of the week, you may opt to schedule your upskilling day on a day that corresponds to a specific event and rearrange the days to dedicate to the other habits accordingly. Be graceful with yourself as you integrate new habits. Eventually, this will all feel like a pull, not a push, and you’ll naturally respond to schedule conflicts by prioritizing your habit.

Wednesday – Heart-centered Communication

If you are having a bit of a stress response to the idea of doing this, number one – you are not alone. Especially after this period of social distancing during such divisive times, we as a society are a bit out of the habit of digging into emotional content constructively. It would also be fair to say that we as a society have been traumatized and stunted in our communications over the past year. However, to be a conscious leader, creating a psychologically safe space for emotions is required. It might bring you some relief to know that heart-centered communication is mostly asking meaningful questions, listening with empathy, and following through with compassion.

You may use this time to build rapport and demonstrate vulnerability by making a confession about yourself. You could make an earnest inquiry with someone for whom you are concerned. We are focusing on the habit itself, so the people with whom you have this communication do not have to be in your professional realm. It’s expected that the better you get at leaning into emotion-filled conversations, the easier it will be to have them when your team members need them. Some professional applications could also be a weekly structured mentorship call, the institution of peer feedback loops, or attendance at a mastermind, so long as you and the other participants remain authentic and transparent about your emotional status.

Thursday – Reflection

Busy leadership schedules chronically fail to allow for ample time to reflect on communications and decisions. If you are like me, you may be criticizing yourself right now for torturing yourself with self-assessments. That’s actually quite common for high achievers, but it’s not really the healthful reflection I am recommending.

In this reflection, you will be suspending your ego and pouring on unconditional self-love. Does that sound contradictory? It might, because we think of our ego as an inflated version of our self-image, however, that is just what our ego does to make up for how small we feel. If we focus on feeling 100% perfectly imperfect just as are, even with our messy emotions, even after our mistakes, and even when our actions create negative consequences for others, we are quicker to take ownership, learn, and grow. We are not so busy maneuvering others’ perceptions to make us not wrong/right. When we stand in self-love, our ego has no job but to observe. Shame, we have learned from Brené Brown, is a very powerful, painful force that we let diminish our self-worth and convince us that we ought not to aspire to do big things since we do not deserve to succeed in them.

In evaluating the week’s decisions and communications, stand in self-love, knowing that no matter what you didn’t do perfectly, all is okay. Take a moment to put yourself in the shoes of all who were impacted by those decisions or communications.

Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Did you have the intended outcome? (Obviously, you want to evaluate the outcome or progress, first or foremost.)
  • What were the undesirable outcomes, if any?
  • Was there anything about your experience you could have improved? What was your emotional state throughout?
  • Did you take in all of the data?
  • What biases may have manifested that would impact others and be detrimental for stakeholders?
  • What were words or actions that triggered emotions?
  • Were the emotions helpful or harmful to your rapport and/or desired outcomes?

I highly recommend that you journal as you reflect. The cathartic exercise of writing can put you into a more perceptive and receptive state of mind, and you may have insights you wouldn’t otherwise have. Seeing your thoughts on paper enables you to use different parts of your brain for reflection which can make your assessment that much more comprehensive.

Determine if there is any unintended harm that you need to own and apologize for. Then make a plan for next week’s heart-centered communication to do just that. Some things may need to be cleaned up right away, but only do it after you have considered carefully what your higher self will say about it, and refrain from letting your ego take control. And only do so right away if it is in the highest good of the other person, not because you want to feel relief from your guilt as soon as possible.

Making a habit of reflection makes self-awareness more automatic and accelerates the switch from ego to higher self, which also further enhances your effectiveness as a communicator and decision-maker.

Friday – Fitness

Fitness in this context refers to mind, body, and spirit. You may opt to tend to all three daily or split them into three of their own separate days. Just be sure to integrate all three because, without all three integrated, you are not holistically healthy and optimized as a conscious leader.

Mind fitness is enhanced by games and puzzles, meditation, yoga, and a good night’s sleep, which obviously is also important for your physical fitness, just as physical fitness is great for your mind fitness, but not enough to have your physical fitness stand alone as both.

Some mind fitness can also cross over into spiritual fitness and vice versa, such as meditation with a spiritual or transcendental element or chanting. Note that being spiritual does not require religion at all. You may just opt to take time honoring the miracle that you are, that your friends, family, and pets are. You can also take some time to recognize the connectedness of everything. These are just some non-secular spiritual ideas. Not all religious practices are spiritual either. The difference is how they make you feel.

The difference between a boss or a leader is similar to the difference between playing sports and being an athlete, and that difference is discipline. It will be up to you, conscious leader, to establish boundaries that enable you to keep these commitments to yourself. Statistically, only a small portion of the population is really good at self-accountability for self-driven goals. If this isn’t you, engage a coach, an accountability partner, or keep your reasons visible to inspire you every day.

If you seek a coaching program that will help you establish these habits for the rest of your life, introduce you to the most cutting edge conscious leadership breakthroughs, and provide you with a peer support systems that will keep you inspired and motivated, find out if you are a candidate for the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint.

What are your conscious leadership habits? What is your why for having them?

The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again

This is Track 09 of the Who’s album – Who’s next. First recorded (then rejected) in New York on March 16, 1971, this became the first song to be worked on wi…

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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.

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.

Conscious Leadership Tools – Answer The Call To Conscious Leadership

During June 10th’s Answer The Call to Conscious Leadership event, Lawrence Henderson and I invited Curtis Smith, Intelligent Leadership™ Master Certified Executive Coach, and Christopher Waters, Social Impact consultant, professor, and fellow, to talk about tools that companies can use to make conscious decisions.

If you missed this conversation, you missed some real talk about what can be done to disrupt corporate leadership systems that are not working now and will not work for companies moving forward. Below are the topics we covered in some detail, but please join our LinkedIn group to check out the full replay AND join our next Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership event on Tuesday, June 23rd at 1 PM ET, live if you can: http://bit.ly/LI_C3. Our topic for June 23rd will be conscious communication.

  • Companies need to follow protocols for making decisions that do not add bureaucracy and maintain agility so that they can stay competitive and adaptable to accelerating change.
  • Sometimes decisions are defaulted to the “smartest person in the room,” whether or not that person has been adequately qualified to be the primary decision-maker.
  • Leadership development gaps that prioritize technical leadership skills cause functional collaboration and communication breakdowns.
  • Diversity is accomplished only when you also include diverse ways of thinking and leading.
  • Cy Wakeman – Work with the willing. Reward engagement by giving them their voice first.
  • The quandary is that there is a distrust brewing that goes both ways from top to bottom.
  • The dynamic of respect in the military is that when you earn a rank, you automatically earn respect. There is no ability to question other leaders, and that bleeds into companies – that people assume that once someone has been elevated in position, they have done something to earn the respect commensurate with it, so there are cultural roadblocks to effectively assess the actual competencies of leaders.
  • Information flow vs. procurement. We tend to want to covet information, but the next generation of corporate leadership is starting to adopt more of a flow policy because what happens in one area of the company has an indisputable impact on others. This is contributing more to models of shared power.
  • Leaders get too busy to understand what people actually need, and focus too much on what they think they need.
  • Sometimes what is needed is what is ignored, not what is repeated.
  • SWOT analysis findings need to be validated by additional assessment to make sure that the data is objective and gaps need to be seen as opportunities for growth.
  • Regardless of tools that companies might use, including leadership assessments, there is often a lack of establishing metrics around growth goals, developing actual plans to fill gaps, and following up with leaders to see if they are growing and developing.
  • When leadership is too busy to put out fires, there’s no time for additional development and growth. The system puts band-aids on problems and that creates more fires, and nothing ever changes.
  • Prepare communities to have the conversation, and develop a shared vocabulary around issues. Set the expectation that doing this will take time and energy, inspire them with the shared vision, then gain collective accountability through a social contract that you commit to getting comfortable being uncomfortable. Lean into being curious vs. confrontational.
  • Leadership is a quality you can exude at any level of an organization. You only need one person with “bestowed” power to be willing to listen to someone vocalizing for the lower levels in an organization. Successfully soliciting sponsors and co-sponsors is included in the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint, as well as Business Case Development, VUCA/CALM models, and decision trees.

Mark your calendar for our next Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership event on Tuesday, June 23rd at 1 PM ET. We’ll be discussing conscious communication live from our LinkedIn group.

PS: This week, I was honored to be part of the #AllThingsHiring podcast to discuss corporate consciousness and self-awareness for leaders at all levels. Click here to listen to the episode!

Nine Inch Nails – Head Like A Hole (Official Video)

“Head Like A Hole” – Nine Inch Nails from Pretty Hate Machine Apple Music: https://found.ee/nin-NINEssentials-applemusic-alt Spotify: https://found.ee/nin-Th…

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

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. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. 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 is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

Will You Answer The Call To Conscious Leadership?

If you missed the inaugural Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership event, you’re invited to watch the highlight reel of June 4’s event below.

Hosted by Lawrence Henderson and co-hosted by me, we invited two panelists to yesterday’s discussion, David Guerreso, Leadership and Purpose Coach and former IT leader, and Kristin Corson, human resources veteran, former trauma counselor, and current talent acquisition specialist.

Without a real agenda, but more of a need to just get the conversation started so that we can start processing what is going on, what’s led up it, and how this needs to look going forward to create a more equitable and just future, yesterday’s conversation was rich with topics. We focused especially on the qualities that leaders need to embody.

Here are some of the important topics we covered:

  • Top-down leadership – Organizations keep trying to fix problems from the bottom up.
  • Model vulnerability to create psychological safety so that people know it’s safe to share how they feel.
  • Resilience – How do you build resilience if you haven’t naturally built it by going through tough times? Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
  • Fear of alienating employees and customer base as well as organizational culture that has modeled the military has stifled forward progress.
  • Start the conversation, then listen, then act! You don’t get across that you care until you act.
  • Invest time in understanding where your people are coming from and meet them where they are.
  • “Us vs. Them” doesn’t work.
  • Commitment to personal development – be willing to accept that you have room to grow.
  • Purpose – it doesn’t feel like you might expect.
  • “Cooperetition” – Working up to the best of your ability to raise the bar for everyone around you.

Watch the highlight reel here:

06-04-20 Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership Event

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Lawrence and I are going to do these events bi-weekly. Please join our LinkedIn group, C3: Corporate Consciousness Co-op, to attend live, watch recordings, and meet other leaders committed to transforming the corporate landscape.

 

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

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. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. 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 is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award.