RHM015 – Breaking out of a rut

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In this solo episode, we tackle the age-old issue of falling into a rut. Whether at work or in our professional lives, we are bound to encounter ‘valleys’. Today we talk about how to recognize those moments and steps to take to work your way out. Check out the full episode here.

Here are some suggestions for getting back on track when you find yourself in a rut:

  1. Vision mapping – I use vision maps to help me remain focused throughout the year. You can create one by breaking your life into ‘buckets’ – things like career, family, friends, finances, spirituality, health and travel. Then you assign smaller goals in each of those areas. I keep the map in plain sight so I’m constantly reminded of where I would like to be by the end of this year, and I can redirect my energy to getting there. You can be as detailed as you like, the point is to create a visual representation of where you want to be.
  1. Set mini-goals – With any rut, the common feeling is that you aren’t making progress, and when you start to feel that way it can take a lot of energy to get back on track. I believe in setting small goals because it’s more likely that we’ll see results if we have manageable goals to reach.
  1. Shake up your routine – Do something different after work – if you always come home, throw on your comfy clothes and spend several hours watching tv, try going for a walk, or a long drive. A small shift in your day-to-day activities can help you get re-energized.
  1. Get back to what makes you happy – We don’t often hear that we should be completely selfish, but sometimes we need to be.  Look for those activities that bring you joy and energy, because those are the activities that will yank you out of a rut and encourage you to keep going.

My book recommendation for this week’s episode is Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes shares the power of making small decisions to open herself up to the things that caused her fear and how her life changed as a result. It’s a quick read and I definitely encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already! I’d love to know how you break out of ruts, leave your thoughts below!

RHM014 – Getting in Alignment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI set three thematic words for 2017, and one of them is authenticity (for more on the other themes, check out Episode 9 – So Long 2016!). This solo episode takes a closer look at how I bring authenticity to my professional life, and offers suggestions on how you can do the same. Download the whole episode by clicking here.

Notes from the episode:

  1. Being authentic means you don’t have to be all things to all people. I learned the hard way that whether you are trying to make sure everyone is happy or picking up the slack for your teammates, refusing to set boundaries at work can leave you totally burned out.
  2.  Calling out micro-aggressions doesn’t make you a bad person. It might seem easier to let someone slide when they offend you, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to allow inappropriate behavior to slide in the hopes of keeping the peace.
  3. If you really don’t agree, you should speak up. If you were hired to join a team, chances are your employer thought you had something of value to add. Giving your opinion can be the difference between a positive and negative work experience, so if you think something needs to be changed, say so.

(Ed. note). Tim Ferriss’ book Tools of the Titans features an interview with entrepreneur, software engineer and venture capitalist Marc Andreesen. Andreesen suggests creating “red teams” at work dedicating to challenging all new ideas – the concept being that ideas making it through the red team process would be battle-tested and more likely to succeed. I think the same concept applies when giving authentic feedback at work. Instead of going along to get along, share your reservations and ideas with the group.

As with any mindset/practice shift,  change won’t happen overnight, but you are likely to feel more confident as time goes on. For more on this topic, check out Episode 11 – Keeping Your Integrity at Work.

 

RHM0013 – Are You Owning Your Role?

bossWhether you stepping into a new position or actively working towards your next promotion, there are some steps you can take to make sure you are fully leaning in to your role. This solo episode is all about taking ownership, and here are some quick notes from the podcast (check out the full audio here!):

  1. Check your mindset. Are you still behaving as if you haven’t been promoted? What kinds of demands are you making in this new position? What types of conversations are you having with your coworkers? If you want respect in your new position, it might be time to elevate the way you look at yourself. (For more on this, check out episode 11 on Integrity at Work!)
  2. Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. One of the quickest ways to stay mired in an old position is to insist on doing the same tasks. If you have been promoted, it’s time to let go. Keep in mind that when you hold on to work that is beneath you, you are also holding up the growth of people on your team who are junior to you.
  3. Where can you stretch? Can you find ways to improve the status quo? Demonstrate your value by becoming the person in your office who can be relied on to take things to the next level.
  4. Ask for what you are worth. As you move into new positions and gain experience, your value to an organization should also shift. Don’t be afraid of making your desires known, whether you are negotiating for a higher salary or more responsibility. You will never receive what you don’t ask for!

Looking for more great content? Check out my blog for more tips, resources, and inspiration for getting empowered at work.

 

RHM012 – How to Give Criticism at Work

rushhourSo you notice there is a problem at work, how do you bring it to your supervisor’s attention without being perceived as complaining? We discuss this question in this week’s solo episode on the Rush Hour Mentor podcast. Grab the episode here: bit.ly/rushhourmentor.

 

 

 

 

A few suggestions for giving criticism at work:

  1. Don’t make it personal. Once you bring personal politics into a work complaint, your conversation will shift to dealing with a person rather than an issue.
  2. Document, document, document! Your argument will be much stronger if you can provide proof. Get things in writing when you can, and keep track of dates and incidents.
  3. Offer solutions. An excellent way to avoid being seen as a complainer is to do the work of coming up with solutions.
  4. Get support. If you aren’t getting traction with your direct supervisor, brainstorm with other trusted colleagues. It’s possible that you aren’t the only one who has noticed an issue and that others are willing to support you in seeking solutions.
  5. Don’t take it personally. At the end of the day, if you’ve done everything listed above and still don’t receive the support you deserve, don’t internalize that feedback. You are responsible for yourself at the end of the day, and if others won’t listen to reason, it is not your fault.

Resource: A book that I recommend for navigating tough discussions is Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George Thompson.

Have you given criticism to your supervisors? What worked? What didn’t? Let me know your thoughts!

 

RHM011-Keeping your integrity at work

integrityIn this solo episode, I dive into a listener question about an issue that many of us will encounter at some point: what to do when your integrity is challenged at work? (Check out the episode here) I offer a few suggestions for pushing back when you are asked to go along with something you don’t agree with:

  1. Know your values: You know in your gut when something is off about what you are being asked to do, listen to your intuition and trust that if you are receiving lots of red flags about something, you need to stop and take notice.
  2. Know that you have the right to stay above the fray: You are not responsible for jumping in to office gossip, or perpetuating anything that you disagree with. When your integrity is challenged, it’s important to remember that not going along with it is still a choice.
  3. Know your resources: If you need to escalate a situation, you should be prepared for the outcome, good or bad. If human resources isn’t a viable option for you, you may want to seek legal counsel (check out www.workplacefairness.org). You should also keep your resume updated and your network active, better to be safe than sorry!
  4. Know your worth: Don’t allow fear of losing a role be a motivating factor when it comes to standing up for what you believe is right. Positions come and go, but integrity is hard to replace!

How do you deal with integrity issues at work? Drop me a message below in the comment section!

RHM010- Aisha Moore and Why We All Need Self-care

aishaIt’s the first episode of 2017, and I am sitting down with self-care expert Aisha Moore to talk about the ways stress can manifest, simple solutions for launching a self-care practice and why everyone needs a morning routine! Check out the episode here: bit.ly/rushhourmentor

For the past 15 years Aisha has worked at the federal level and in communities to create a more equitable society. She designs workshops to help public health leaders change their organizations to have a greater impact on the people they serve. Aisha has also spoken at conferences on the topic of public health leadership and community engagement. She is truly passionate about health and helping others.

Aisha shares how she became devoted to self-care after her own experience with burnout on the job. She suggests the following tips to get on track with a self-care routine:

  1. Determine if you have any “personal chaos” – There are lots of little things that can set us back from day-to-day that add up to a lot of stress. Do you find that you lose things frequently or are always late? Getting in control of personal chaos can go a long way to managing your overall stress levels.
  2. Take a media fast – We can cause ourselves real harm by consuming images and content that trigger negative emotions. Social media doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but we need to create healing for ourselves; we can do that by swapping consumption for creation.
  3. Get back to basics – You can only be at your best if your body is operating at its best. Make sure you prioritize the basics of getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water and eating well.
  4. Develop a morning routine – You need a routine to stay in control of your morning, and by extension the rest of your day. Develop your routine by checking in with yourself each morning and determining what you need to be successful. Aisha uses the Daily Word App,  which provides a short affirmation and Bible verse every day. She also employs yoga to deal with anxiety and take stress away. Restorative yoga is wonderful in particular for those who aren’t flexible (check out Yoga with Adriene on YouTube!)

You can find more from Aisha at selfcarebyaisha.com, where you can get a free gift to help you plan your own self-care routine. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram under the handle: selfcarebyaisha.

RHM009 – So Long 2016….

rushhourThis year has had its ups and downs for sure, but in spite of all of the challenges, it was definitely a transformational year for me. In this solo episode, I take a look back at 2016, and provide some quick tips for goal-setting in 2017.

A few tips on setting goals:

  1. Pull forward goals that appear on your list every year but have yet to happen. List them again, because the goals you list repeatedly are the ones you care most deeply about achieving.
  2. Add a stretch goal or two for 2017. When I have set stretch goals in the past, I have always been surprised how close I came to meeting or exceeding that goal by the end of the year. Tell the universe that you are ready for a challenge, and you’ll be amazed how things begin to shift!
  3. Add smaller goals that you are likely to achieve. Small wins add up and can help you stay motivated throughout the year. Set yourself up for success by including a goal or two that is well within your reach and make it happen.
  4. Create a ‘theme’ for your year. I like to set a three-word theme for each year that will guide my decision-making and motivate me all year long. When you select the words that will guide your year, put them somewhere visible (like on your refrigerator or your desk at work) to be reminded of the intentions you set for the coming year.
  5. Write it all down. Something amazing happens when you take thoughts from abstract to concrete by putting them on paper. It forces you to be accountable, and gives you a record to look back too at the end of the year to track your progress.

Next year can absolutely be your best year, so why not get started now? I’ll be back after the New Year with all new episodes of the Rush Hour Mentor podcast. So until then, Happy Holidays!

RHM008 – Joymarie Parker and Knowing Your Worth at Work

about-me-avatar-2-e1422244894234This week we sit down with Joymarie Parker, Creator and Co-Host of Joblogues, a weekly podcast that highlights candid, career conversations with young professionals around the globe. Joymarie is an experiential marketer for a Fortune 100 firm with a love for mentoring young professionals. Inspired by everyday conversations with friends, family and coworkers, she launched Joblogues as a forum for young professionals to discuss work, life & everything in-between.

In this episode, Joymarie shares the importance of recognizing our value in the workplace, particularly when it comes to compensation. She shares a few pro tips for getting ahead in your career:

  • Develop meaningful relationships that go beyond transactional networking (what someone can do for you), figure out how you can provide value. Learn to give instead of expecting to receive.
  • Respect and make the most of your background. You bring to the table what no one else does, so think of your experience as an asset.
  • Bring your A-game to everything you do. Go above and beyond at work by maximizing your unique skills and abilities.

Quotable advice from Joy:

“Don’t ever let anyone undermine your value”

“Set the bar where you want people to meet you.”

Check out the episode on iTunes: bit.ly/rushhourmentor and Soundcloud: bit.ly/RHMpodcast

You can follow Joblogues on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by searching for the handle: Joblogues. You can find Joymarie on Instagram @heymissparkerr.

RHM006 – Nic Cober, the Soul Survivor

nc_profilepic_v1-1Small business consultant Nicole “Nic” Cober, Esq. built her first business, Soul…Day Spa and Salon, to be a community staple in the DC metro area, with a flawless local reputation and national media acclaim.

But, after nearly ten years, her personal and professional lives collided and crumbled. She was forced to close her businesses, file bankruptcy, confronted divorce(s) and eviction notices, all while raising two boys.

In this episode of the Rush Hour Mentor, Nic shares the following advice for women who have tried to get everything right – whether in relationships, financially or professionally – but still feel that something is missing:

  • Develop a reflective practice, such as prayer or meditation, to guide you through difficult moments.
  • Work to gain an understanding of yourself, and seek support through therapy, personal development experts, and books.
  • Nic recommends the book A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren as a resource for anyone seeking to do internal work.
  • Learn to relax and love yourself more.

Where to find Nic: In her book CEO of My SOUL, Nic shares the perfect blend of valuable business advice woven together with true accounts of relationships struggles, family triumphs, and self-reflection. You can find the book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

You can also follow Nic on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @niccoberesquire

 

RHM004 – The Power of Positivity

rush2In Episode 4 we sit down with Wilma Jones to talk positivity in the workplace.

Wilma Jones is an author, popular speaker, Huffington Post Contributing Blogger and positivity expert helping people improve their lives personally and professionally. Her second book, Is It Monday Already?! 197 Tools and Tips to Start Living Happier at Work is based on the principles of positive psychology incorporated with best practices in office etiquette. Wilma’s stories awaken self-awareness and motivate people to shift their behavior patterns to increase their happiness and success. Her expertise has been featured in the Washington Post and on dozens of radio shows including on the CBS Radio Network, Clear Channel Radio, Radio One, Sirius XM and WHUR-FM. She lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Wilma shares suggestions for how you can incorporate positive psychology at work regardless of your circumstances:

  • Supercharge your happiness with gratitude.
  • Develop social connections with like-minded individuals at work.
  • Use movement and mindfulness to change your outlook.
  • Start building spontaneity into your work day, your attitude and effectiveness will improve if you start putting yourself first.

RHM003 – Killing Passive Language

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In today’s solo episode, Rush Hour Mentor host Monica Clark discusses the challenge of passive language in the workplace.

Some examples of this type of language include inserting words like ‘just’ into emails to avoid seeming overbearing or difficult, and apologizing when you have no reason to.

A few tips for combatting passive language in the workplace:

  • Pause before hitting ‘send’ to check for passive language in your written communication.
  • Write it out before you deliver the message.
  • Don’t beat yourself up for using passive language.

A great resource to address passive language and assertion in the workplace is Playing Big by Tara Mohr. Mohr offers practice guidance for how to take up more space in the world and push past our limitations.

You can also check out Monica’s blog at www.perceptionpractice.com for more articles and resources on empowerment in the workplace.

RHM002 – Shwanda Barnette

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“When I learned what it meant to be a multipotentialite, it changed my life”

In Episode 2 of the Rush Hour Mentor Podcast we speak with Shwanda Barnette, a proud multipotentialite who shares the power of having more than one path to professional success. Listen to the episode here: http://bit.ly/rushhourmentor

Shwanda Barnette graduated from Towson University in 2004, with a B.S. Degree in Sociology & Anthropology, accompanied by a minor in Business. Through studying and exploring social ills and injustices that plague urban communities, Shwanda was motivated to pursue a legal education. She went on to receive her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center with a concentration in Education Law & Policy. After graduating from Georgetown Law in 2007, she completed a Judicial Clerkship with the Maryland Circuit Court and transitioned into a legal career in Family Law. At the heart of this work was her passion for children and families, which led her to a career with DC Public Schools. For 5 years, she worked in Program Management, Planning and Staffing for DC Public Schools, and ended her career there, managing the DCPS Urban Education Leaders Internship Program. Shwanda recently relocated to Orlando, Florida and will be working for the Florida League of Cities. She is passionate about creating her own narrative as far as her career is concerned and is a proud multipotentialite! You can reach her at www.multipotentialitesunite.blogspot.com