Jackie Kellso

Archive for the ‘self-esteem’ Category

Bully for You; How to Stop Being an Office Bully’s Target

In aggression, assertiveness, bullies at work, bullies in the office, bullies in the workplace, bullying, business relationships, career, communicating, communication, communication skills, conflict resolution, coping with pressure at work, David Rock, dealing with a difficult coworker, diplomacy and tact, effective communicating, handling tough boss, interpersonal skills, leadership, manage stress at work, managing conflict, managing emotions at work, NeuroLeadership Group, office politics, passive-aggressive, people skills, professional behavior, professional development, Psychology Today, self-esteem, Uncategorized on October 3, 2017 at 12:55 am

Dear Reader,

Below are insights and tips for dealing with aggressive, ‘bullying’ co-workers. They are intended to give you some management tips for people who act aggressively towards you and might help you in the moment you are being bullied. That being said, before you read this article, know that bullying can range in severity and the tips I provide below are not solutions to being threatened, harassed, and intimidated. If this is your situation,  report this to your management and to your human resources department.  You may need to consult with an attorney who specializes in workplace harassment.  Please use your best judgment and stay safe.

If I may be so bold, unless you wish to be, you are not in your job to be anyone’s “punching bag” or the butt of sadistic maneuvers to undermine you or your work.

If you’ve been spending countless nights worrying about how to deal with your bully, or asking yourself what you did to deserve this creep in your life and are experiencing a downturn in your productivity and/or desire to stay in your job, you may be interested to know that there is actually something you can do that is neither vengeful nor in any way harmful to any party (I know, revenge would feel so sweet!) and in fact can be a nice boost to your self-confidence.

First, let’s take a look at bullying.  According to Psychology Today, “Bullies couldn’t exist without victims, and they don’t pick on just anyone; those singled out lack assertiveness and radiate fear….” Does this sound like you?  But, you may ask, “Yeah, but I’ve still done nothing to deserve this.” Psychology today states that, “Bullies are made, not born, and it happens at an early age, if the normal aggression of two-year-olds isn’t handled well.”

Sadly, you are dealing with a person who is emotionally stalled and you are simply playing in the wrong sandbox.

Bullies are not exempt from feeling threatened. In fact, self-esteem and status are directly linked to behaviors that make people react as both threatening and threatened and this type of reaction mainly comes from a perceived loss of status.  David Rock, author of “How the Brain Works,” and “Quiet Leadership” describes that, “Status means we are always positioned in relation to those around us:  literally, where we are in the ‘pecking order.'” Dr. Rock, CEO and co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute is a pioneer of brain-based research and its application for creating positive, organizational change. His work has proven that as social beings, we react to social threat as if we are experiencing physical threat; as if our survival is at risk.  He has identified the five core areas that trigger unconscious threat reactions and shows us that through awareness and a mindful approach, that we can shift from threat to what he calls ‘a reward state.’

These five areas are formed into the acronym SCARF:  Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness.  (Dr. Rock has many published articles that are worth reading on the subject.) But, for the purposes of helping you with your bully, here’s what I think you should know:  you can raise your own perceived status without lowering your bully’s, and in doing so, create a more peaceful dynamic.

1. Align and Engage. Focus on alignment of your bully’s neutral comments. Where can you see his or her point?  Is it in an observation of how a project concluded?  Something easy for you to relate to. By focusing on where you can agree, it will show that you are not threatened, and are comfortable validating this person’s point of view. Part of Dr. Rock’s SCARF model is that relatedness or connecting with another has much to do with both parties feeling safe. Allow yourself to tell your bully that you can agree to something he or she said and why you agree.  (It doesn’t mean you agree in general to this person’s behavior.)  Look for opportunities where you can see his or her point of view. Always be sincere – I am not suggesting you become obsequious as a way to mollify the situation.  When you begin to do this, it may trigger the sensation that you are lowering your own status, but you aren’t.  You are showing how BIG you really are.

2. Keep Your Feelings to Yourself.  There are times when transparency is very important to the health of a good working relationship.  This is not one of those times. Empower yourself with this mindful and silent phrase, “My feelings are none of his/her business.”  This means that if you are feeling panicked and want to cry out in the name of unfairness, stop! Even the slightest comment from someone who’s not a bully (but is playing with status as a high card) can make us feel bullied.  There is a senior member of a team that I’m on who was assigned a huge project (working with a previous employer of mine) and I was not included on the project.  When I suggested that I could offer history and help he said, “No, they only want to work with me.”  I was enraged and felt my status drop with blunt force.  It felt blindingly unfair. I almost told him to…well you know what that is…how unfair this was, blah blah blah.  Instead, I said to myself, Jackie, these feelings are none of his business. I detached immediately, feeling empowered by my self-control. I said, “I’m happy for the team and I know you’ll do a great job.”  He smiled and thanked me.  Most importantly, I took the high road.

3. Get Mindful.  Ask yourself what is it that kicks you in your pants around status, or any of these other social factors.  What kind of conditioning do you have that is still plaguing you?  It’s your job to discover what makes you tick and where you need to grow. Read about it.  Talk with a professional.  Ask for support. Stop blaming the bully and start taking responsibility for how you have patterned yourself as a victim.

4. Become Influential. Imagine feeding a starving child something nutritious.  Act as if you have the power to cultivate the talents of this bully (not by offering feedback or advice; as per Dr. Rock; this could trigger a status alert and backfire!).  I mean to support this person in becoming more productive and create a window for his person to behave in a way that can elevate his or her self-esteem.   For example, congratulate the bully on something well done. Do it publicly. Be specific. Acknowledge what is good.  There’s a chance that this bully is starved for recognition. This is not about ingratiating yourself to get on his or her good side.  It’s to be above the dynamic and lead from strength.

5. Value The Lesson. I’ve written about this very topic before. That Difficult Co-Worker is Your Greatest Teacher!  How do you use this situation to propel yourself forward? What is your strategy from here?  Your life is in your control, having nothing to do with the other person.

6. Do Right.  You are a player in a hierarchical structure that is designed for its own survival, not yours. Fairness is one of the five social factors that Dr. Rock describes and it can kick us in our proverbial pants when we feel things aren’t fair. We’ve all seen it; being passed over for a promotion, receiving less salary for the same work as another, nepotism, lay-offs, closed-door policies, etc.  It’s the inherent dysfunction that ravages every organization where leaders lack self-awareness and actual leadership skills.  So you learn what it is to engage others, to raise the morale, to play fair and to be a good team-leader.  It’s a phenomenal opportunity to leverage your autonomy and create rewarding outcomes for yourself.

I know…none of this is easy.  But as my Popop used to say to the very aggressive, sometimes bullying little ten-year old me, “The first one who yells loses.”  Your bully is losing whether you join in or not.  Just focus on your ability to grow and the rewards will follow.

Always moving towards the rewards,

Jackie

 

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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The Good News about Being a Square Peg in a Round Hole

In anger management, arguments, assertiveness, being different at work, breakdown in communication, bullies in the workplace, business relationships, career challenges, career-related problems, Catalyst, communication skills, communications between generations, coping with pressure at work, corporate life, David Rock, diplomacy and tact, empowerment, entrepreneurs, get out of your own way, gossiping, Gurus, human relations, interpersonal skills, lack of relatedness, leadership, life skills, manage stress at work, managing conflict, managing emotions at work, negativity at work, NeuroLeadership Group, office politics, ostracized, outcast, person to person dynamics, personal development, personal growth, personal power, personality, professional behavior, professional boundaries, professional development, Professional Reputation, Reputation, self-esteem, self-help, self-image, spiritual awakening, spiritual growth, Square Peg Round Hole, team-player, transformation, women in the workplace, work-related problems, working with a younger boss on March 6, 2015 at 4:55 pm

You’re 25, 35, 45, 55, 65.  Your work is excellent regardless of your position. You are skilled, qualified, effective.  You’re making positive impact towards the bottom line for your employer.  You’re not perfect, but you’re fundamentally a nice, kind, quality human being.  Yet, somehow people judge you, misunderstand your intentions, or simply don’t like or trust you:  there’s a look in their eyes as if you have two heads and your skin is blue.  They blame you for the way you say or do things.  They are intolerant of your being different from them.

You feel like the oddball and cannot blend in with the group.  This is a known stress-inducing thing, in fact, David Rock of the NeuroLeadership Institute calls this a ‘lack of relatedness’ that professionals feel.  It causes a threat reaction in the brain, which can fuel the problem and lead to behaviors that further separate us from the group mentality (i.e., withdrawing, arguing, appeasing others, etc…).

I am a square peg.  My entire career, no matter what employer, I am plagued with being so different as to stir the pot, having experienced a host of things from being bullied, to being ostracized, being fired, being gossiped about, you name it.  However, I am so efficient and good at my job that this is never the issue that surfaces.  No one ever blamed me for being incompetent.  I’m just not like the others.

I’ve come to take responsibility for this and see myself as a catalyst.  I am a lightening rod.  I ignite a riot.  I have a strong, assertive energy that makes some people very uncomfortable.  I am honest and direct.  I am confident.  I have a way of working that gets results but is not the norm.  It rattles people who follow the rules and blend in. Now, none of this disqualifies me from having to practice all of my beloved techniques in human relations, communication, leadership and holding myself accountable when I do wrong, but it is a quality that I cannot change because it’s so fundamental to my presence and my spirit.  And I endure because there are people who see my value and embrace my differences.

Does this sound like you, dear friend?  If so, start thinking of yourself as a catalyst that wakes people up.  From a much higher perspective, you and your big energy are mirrors for others to have their own limits kicked-up, and when they are mature enough to take accountability for that, they get to change for the better. (And sometimes they pursue professional development coaches when they do! :)) And if they don’t they don’t – it’s a conscious choice to wake-up or not.  Just know they will always play the role as your Guru, reminding you to be okay with being different. Until then, sadly, you get to be blamed for their discomfort.  Know that some of the time you possess qualities that make them want to push you away, only because they cannot be like you.  How about them apples!

In fact, entrepreneurs are frequently people who are so tired of not being a fit, they leap off to be their own bosses, create their own gigs and work in more autonomous scenarios.  I am one of these, yet always mindful that clients can draw the square peg out of me and I have to be mindful that I am hired to be of service and to get along.

Do not fret, square one.  Round holes are good for your soul.  They help to refine and develop you in a way that allows you to get on with your life; get along in the world even when it’s awkward.  It becomes a life-long workout of blending in to make your life work.  It gives you the objectivity to choose how to behave so that you are being your best.  Good news is that round holes can never demand you to fundamentally change.  You are like the horse that is given water but cannot be made to drink it. Enjoy your power.

Squarely yours,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Professional Women, Please Stop Trying to Fit In!

In business relationships, career, career challenges, career-related problems, communicating, communication, conflict resolution, coping with pressure at work, corporate life, dealing with a difficult coworker, dealing with a male boss, Detach and Breathe, empowerment, enlightenment, executive coaching, female discrimination, Gurus, handling tough boss, human relations, interpersonal skills, jobs, leadership, leaning in, life skills, manage stress at work, managing conflict, office politics, personal development, personal growth, professional behavior, professional development, professional women, self-esteem, self-help, self-image, spiritual awakening, spiritual growth, transformation, Uncategorized, women, women in the workplace, work culture, work-related problems on January 20, 2014 at 8:30 pm

I am decidedly a professional woman.  In my 30+ year career, of which there are actually two paths taken (one in media sales, one in professional development), I have felt discriminated against because I am a woman.  I have been sexualized, objectified, diminished, loathed.  I have been given opportunities, I’m sure, because someone thought I was pretty. Both men and women have said and done things to me that where abhorrent.  “Go make curtains,”  one male boss had said to me, in front of male peers, tossing me out of a meeting.  “What’s your favorite position?” a manager asked me after I had inquired about applying for a management position.  Oh, I’ve been there.

And you likely have experienced all that too. But this message isn’t about how to get along as a woman, or about leaning in or out, or about being assertive, or vulnerable, or how to navigate corporate male hierarchies. I’m not here to review the research that proves how ambitious women are seen as bitches while male counterparts are admired for their leadership qualities.

No, I’m writing to say to all of us women: please stop obsessing about being a certain way in order to move up the corporate ladder.

Here’s why:  despite working to create the right perception (by behaving in a way that will yield the best results), small-minded associates who are in emotional pain, regardless of their gender, will see us through their own damaged lenses.  They will have their biases. Their dysfunctional views of the world will be there ANYWAY.  Unless people are aware of the feelings of others, and care about developing themselves at higher levels, they will box you in like miniature chocolates molded into their casings.

Yes, it might mean you are seen as the power-hungry-bitch with 38DDs.  It might mean your high-intelligence is so threatening that you are passed over for a promotion to someone whom your manager feels he can control.  Disappointing, yet with a great blessing:  You have been hired by your Guru so that you can work on YOU.

Business settings are like Gurus or teachers. Work presents us with the most difficult, challenging and sometimes downright painful interactions that feel AWFUL.  These occurrences actually give us the opportunity to become enlightened; to make choices, to build skills, to detach from any personal need to have the boss (or colleague) fulfill a longing and need in us to be accepted, approved of, etc… They are playing an unexpected role — to push those old buttons so we can evolve.  My advice: use these nasty lessons to learn how to step-up into YOU, and don’t worry about who they are.

When I came up with my mantra, DETACH AND BREATHE, it was to deal with a boss who had been actively trying to sabotage me so he could replace me with a guy he liked for my job.  I had been reacting by shutting him out of my work and trying to take control of things without consulting him. The minute I allowed him to manage me, forgot about trying to be right, and went with the fact that our hierarchy gave him authority, HE RELAXED around me, and the threat actually went away.  By the time I quit, it was purely on my terms.  He was my Guru, helping me understand what it means to let go, to stop needing to control, to accept what is.

The freer you are — the more objective and the more accepting of others’ limitations — the better you will feel about yourself and your work.  So, you may be overlooked for a promotion or even get fired.  Sadly, you may have to deal with a sexual harassment lawsuit. Don’t allow regret to eclipse the power of the lesson. The right opportunities lie ahead. You can live out your purpose, carve out your path.  This will happen as a result of your enlightenment and enrichment from these horrific experiences.  Plus, there are always good people around who want to help.  It’s focusing energy on what’s possible, not on conforming to a culture that cannot bring your dreams to fruition.

Professionally and respectfully yours,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Bless Those Career Woes; They Have a Supporting Role in Your Play

In bullies at work, bullies in the office, bullies in the workplace, business relationships, career, career coaching, career path, career-related problems, coaching, communicating, communication, communication skills, conflict resolution, consulting, coping with pressure at work, dealing with a difficult coworker, diplomacy and tact, effective communicating, executive coaching, executives, handling tough boss, inner peace, interpersonal skills, job seeking, jobs, journey, leadership, life skills, life's path, manage stress at work, managing, managing conflict, managing emotions at work, negativity at work, office politics, path, people skills, personal development, personal growth, professional behavior, professional development, professional development training, self-esteem, self-help, self-image, spiritual awakening, spiritual growth, spiritual journey, training, transformation, Uncategorized, work-related problems on September 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm

The world is flooded with consultants, coaches, trainers and lecturers who help professionals become confident leaders, effective communicators, managers of conflict and change, business builders who beat out the competition and who earn lots and lots of money.  The web is flooded with expertise.  Bookstore shelves are lined with words from the wise, those who promise tools for the achievement of massive success.

Why do so many professionals seek this type of help? Because the part of life we call “WORK” is a massive TRIGGER that shakes us up to ask ourselves things like:  Why didn’t I get the promotion? What makes me unique?  What is my vision?  Why can’t I get along with coworkers? How do I motivate others? Am I good enough?  Do I deserve success?

WORK awakens us to who we are, if we dare look beyond the surface. WORK is a playground for enlightenment, for the opportunity to see how we really operate, how others perceive us; to have our fears become magnified and reflect back messages that tell us exactly what is holding us back in our lives.  WORK delivers definitive proof that we have no control of anyone or anything other than what we do and what we say.

The point is this:  the exercise of being in a job, regardless of what it is, or how many times we switch focus — we are on a journey of learning about ourselves.  A career is an outward path to an inward journey.

Along my 23 years in media, I had the same boss over and over again, no matter what the job or the company, with few exceptions.  The boss who would battle me and cringe in my presence and avoid me and and act out in less than professional ways in not knowing how best to deal with me.

I have a big energy and strong drive and I like working independently.  A friend who knows me for 25 years says that I, “Incite a riot,” meaning, that when unharnessed, my energy can be a catalyst that makes people feel uncomfortable.  Those managers who didn’t have insight and self-control used their authority against me.  I battled them and I always lost.  I blamed them and played the perfect victim.  I was miserable.  I couldn’t understand why I kept having the same boss over and over and over.  I couldn’t get off the hamster wheel.

Then one day a dear and insightful friend suggested that I surrender.  That I accept my role, my managers’ roles and respect the hierarchy; to open myself to what being in a corporate world is – playing a function in a company.  That I didn’t own anything, not a stapler, not an idea, not a client – it was all owned by the organization.  I was getting paid for my function and it was a mutually beneficial arrangement.

That’s when I realized what my real job was – to heal.  After much introspection and hard work I came to understand that I was striving for self-preservation and I was using the same modes of coping behavior I had learned as a child.  Some of this behavior earned me great results – lots of revenue for my employers – but the cost was almighty on me, as I was also so high-maintenance.  As a result of the time I spent to analyze myself and build skills in dealing with these work-related situations, I found inner peace and a purpose. I changed careers so that I could help others heal and grow. I designed my life to have the love and support I need.

I now bless those experiences and those managers of mine. I thank them for contracting with me to push me along my journey towards self-actualization.  Without them I may never have healed or found the path I’m on now, which is aligned with who I’ve become.

Our career paths are cosmic gifts that help us move beyond who we are, not because they are designed to, but because they connect us with the teachers and lessons we need to be able to move on. On the surface, it all looks like WORK.  On a higher plane, it’s a spiritual path of enlightenment.

Look at the places of unhappiness at work.  When you hold up the mirror, that is, the unpleasant or negative or threatening circumstances that are taking place at work, what is being reflected back at you?  Take that reflection and think about the play you are starring in called, “MY LIFE.”  These bosses, these co-workers, these situations, have supporting roles in your play.  Let’s give them a standing ovation.

Happy Journeying,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How To Get Out of Your Own Way

In brain-based coaching, coaching, empowerment, get out of your own way, life skills, personal development, personal growth, self-esteem, self-help, self-image, spiritual awakening, spiritual growth, transformation, Uncategorized on June 24, 2013 at 8:24 pm

You’ve heard the expression.  It means blocking ourselves from promotions, financial independence, loving relationships, good health, etc., and is creating personal chaos, conflict and unhappiness.  Gary Zukov, author of best-selling book, “Seat of The Soul,” might say, and I paraphrase, getting out of one’s way means to align one’s personality with one’s spirit.

The question is, how?  Think of this metaphor:  just as Michelangelo had to carve into a slab of marble to access his famous David, we must chip away at those parts of ourselves — thoughts, emotions, beliefs and actions — self-made layers that over time have blocked access to our spirits.

Stuff to chip away:  low self-esteem, lack of fulfillment and/or purpose, anxiety, fear, living only in the comfort zone, addiction, isolation, inferiority or superiority complex, aggression, passivity…a host of reactions to life and personal myths (about who we really are) that diminish the spirit.

The trouble is, we believe these myths and don’t typically question their validity. There has been much written to help us out get of trouble. Byron Katie has written, The Work. In it she probes us to ask ourselves if our thoughts are based in fact or fiction. Albert Ellis’ methodology called, Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, helps us become cerebral and learn now to rephrase our thoughts and emotions instead of being prisoner to them. Daniel Goleman has written many books on what he calls, Emotional Intelligence, and how our self-awareness and awareness of others launches inner change and teaches us how to evolve out of old patterns.  David Rock, founder of The NeuroLeadership Institute, teaches about the brain, and how when triggered into threat (real or perceived) we react in predictable ‘hard-wired’ ways that undermine our ability to be as highly functional as we can be.

Even with the highest level of motivation, this ‘chipping away’ takes focus and time, but is thankfully something within our control: our ability to stop our thoughts, emotions, beliefs and actions from blocking us.

1. Make it a priority to align your personality and spirit.

2. Journal about the thoughts, emotions, beliefs and actions that are non-you and need to be chipped away.

3. Take a hard and objective look at what stays and what goes, based on your goals.

4. Allow yourself to be motivated by people who are ”walking the walk”.

5. Have the courage to let go of what you don’t need anymore.

6. Observe how others are getting in their own way.

7. As you see it falling away, thank the old stuff for protecting you in the past.

8. Enjoy the opportunity to make positive impact on others.

9. Look for relationships that are supportive to this strengthened yet vulnerable you.

10. Become transparent – let others know you are actively transforming yourself.

Getting out of your own way is a very powerful, life-affirming, self-loving act.  It brings meaning and depth to our lives and brings us closer to fulfilling our life’s purpose.  In the words of Zen Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, “Our own life has to be our message.”

Onwards and upwards,

Jackie

You may also find a reprint of this article on Find the Masters blog:  http://blog.findthemasters.com/how-to-get-out-of-your-own-way

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.