Enjoy Fall…And Don’t Feed The Monsters!

Fall is such a beautiful time of year. Halloween is a part of it, although we aren’t quite sure yet how that will look in 2020!

Halloween is also all about ghosts, goblins, and monsters. They are generally pretty fun, on and around October 31.

Monsters, however,  are not fun when they take the form of distressing thoughts in your mind. And when you feed them by focusing on them too much, or suppressing them too quickly, they get stronger and stay longer.

One area of distressing thoughts occurs when you compare yourself to others. ‘How come he is doing so much better than me in business?’; ‘Why can’t I find cool clothes like she does?’; ‘Why am I envious of that person; what is wrong with me?’

First, remind yourself that distressing thoughts are normal. We all have them from time to time. Next, practice a strategy to manage those distressing thoughts without ‘feeding’ (magnifying) them.

Tara Brach teaches a method known as RAIN:

Recognize what is happening:

The first step is simply to recognize that the thought, emotion and behavior is occuring. Just notice.

Allow the experience to be there, just as it is

Allowing means simply that. Allow the distressing thoughts, emotions, feelings and sensations to be there, without trying to fix or avoid them. You can even say something to yourself like ‘It’s ok.’ Allowing creates space to pause and go deeper.

Investigate with interest and care

Be curious. Direct focused attention on your present experience. Ask yourself questions such as: What most wants attention? How am I experiencing this in my body? What am I believing? What does this vulnerable place want from me? What does it most need? This will be most useful when you bring your primary attention to the felt sense in your body. Then simply say say, ‘Hello, I know you are there.’

Nurture with self-compassion

Be kind to yourself, and that part of yourself that is hurting. Try to sense what the wounded, hurting part of yourself needs, and then offer a gesture of active care. Does it need a message of reassurance? forgiveness? companionship?love? Experiement with what gesture might soften and open your heart. You might mentally whisper,  “It’s going to be okay. You are okay. This is a challenging time right now. I love you, and I’m listening. Trust in your goodness.” Practice with a hand over your heart, and envision being bathed in warmth and light.

Check out Tara Brach’s RAIN meditation here:

 

Strategies for Successfully Working Remotely

What follows are a few strategies to enhance your experience, productivity, and well-being while working from home:

  • Set up a work station in your home that is for work only, if possible. Keep all of your work-related items (laptop, files, pens, etc.) in your ‘home office’.
  • Manage your time as you would if you were in the office (as much as possible). Optimal performance is achieved when you work in 90 minute segments, then take a break.
  • Move away from your work area – to another location – during break time. Maintain comforting rituals that help you relax and refresh, before returning for your next 90 minute segment.
  • Continue with regular Check-Ins using the your organization’s performance mangement/team development process, to ensure that you continue to:

               Create Clarity.

                                Generate Energy.

                                                 Deliver Success.

  • Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Engage regularly with your manager and with your team. If your situation is such that you cannot maintain regular working hours, or if you expect to be distracted by family or other obligations during certain times of the day, let your manager know. If your situation is untenable, consider taking vacation days so you can focus your attention where it needs to be.
  • Use video platforms whenever you can. For your regular Check-ins using the TDP, for conversations throughout the day, and for team meetings. Use good meeting protocol for video exchanges: have an agenda, come prepared, make commitments, agree on actions to move forward, and take minutes.
  • Schedule times for fun, non-work related conversations – just as you would ‘around the water cooler’ or in the lunch room back at the office.
  • Share tips and strategies on working remotely. If you have discovered something that really works for you, share it with the team. If you are struggling with something, reach out and ask for strategies from others.
  • Keep your wellness regime in place. Eat well, exercise, think positive thoughts, learn, get outside, connect, meditate, sleep….do all those things that you have always done that help you to feel well (while keeping a healthy social distance).
  • Remember, successful performance systems are built on a foundation of appreciation. Be sure to let your department team, your manager, or any member of the organization (or it’s stakeholders), know what you appreciate. And, appreciate yourself for each new strategy you learn and use during this temporary challenging time in our world.

Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! A TEDx Speaker, Author, and Organizational consultant, Deri works with organizations who want to create happy and healthy workplaces for increased positivity, productivity and prosperity!

 

 

Create Positive Workplace Culture

Culture is Co-Created!

What is a Positive Workplace Culture? How is it created? What are the key elements?

Organizational Culture…is an expression of the values, beliefs and assumptions of its members, and is manifested in behavior.

You know that you can ‘see’ and ‘feel’ an organization’s culture as soon as you enter the doorway. It is, literally, written all over the faces of the people who are a part of that organization.

Culture does not ‘just happen’…it is not dictated by leadership. Organizational Culture is always co-created. When you review the list that follows, ask yourself; ‘How many of these positive elements am I contributing?

We’ll use the word POSITIVE as an acronym to recall the key elements, and explore a few ideas about what you can do to contribute to that element:

P – Present

Do you fly into work, head filled with to-do lists and with frustration at the traffic you just left behind?

Take one minute, at the beginning of your day, to ‘arrive’. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and remind yourself why you are there.

O – Optimistic

What do you say to yourself when adversity strikes? Do you look at obstacles as temporary glitches that you can work to overcome (Optimists)? Or, do you view challenges as permanent and pervasive – as just the way it goes in your life (Pessimists)?

Practice changing the dialogue you allow to take up space in your mind. Choose to look at adversity as an isolated incident that you can overcome. You’ll immediately be in a better space to work your way through it.

S – Shared

As we stated above, Culture is co-created. You are part of an ecosystem – at work, at home, in your community. So ask yourself; ‘What am I contributing?‘. Is my contribution helping or hurting this Culture? Sometimes the answers to those questions come from other people. Be open to hearing how others view you – you’ll learn a lot, about yourself and about your colleagues.

I – Intentional

Think about, and then answer these questions for yourself … ‘Who Are You and What Do You Want?

Then, share those answers with important people around you.

T – Thank-full

Of all of the research on happiness and positivity, the #1 strategy is gratitude. Practice gratitude each day, letting other people know what you appreciate about them.

I – Inspired

In addition to answering the two questions above – Who Are You and What Do You Want…also answer this question ‘Why Are You Here?‘ Why are you in this organization, why are you in this profession, why are you on this earth? If you want to know where your inspiration is, answering that question will bring you much closer to it!

V- Vulnerable

When you mess up, own it, learn from it, and share the story. In order for your Culture to be optimally positive and healthy, mistakes must be transparent and viewed as a learning opportunity. Additionally, all members must feel comfortable sharing personal struggles, such as a mental health challenge. Not so that we can all become mired in the sadness; but so that we can help each other move through and past the challenge.

E – Energized

Eat well. Exercise. Sleep. These are staples to an energized human. Beyond those basics and everything listed above, an energized human is one who has well-developed social relationships at work. Come together and remind yourself that you are, indeed, all in this together!

So, here is another question for you; ‘What Will You Do?‘. What actions will you take to positively impact yourself and your Organizational Culture?

Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! A TEDx Speaker, Author, and Organizational consultant, Deri works with organizations who want to create happy and healthy workplaces for increased positivity, productivity and prosperity!