Coaching Helps to Evaluate the Next Stage of Your Career

  These past few years have catapulted some personal and professional lives forward. Yours may have been one of them. Especially if you were in the right industry at the right time. Or if you were lean, mean, and agile. Maybe you took the time to explore or add on a new skill that's paying off now, post-pandemic. You may even have have been one of the fortunates if your position was indispensable to the company. You'd have been a lucky one—staying on securely in the midst of other's cutbacks. Working from home (WFH) may have been seamless for you and your employer or your business. It was comfortable for many. Unless they shared a small space with mates and kids schooling on zoom. Pets roaming in and out. Yet many professionals and families settled in and are now weighing the consequences of employers reinstating back to the office or hybrid schedules. This shuffle is disrupting what may have become comfortable. Or you may be part of The Great Resignation 2021 an example of which is a record 4.4 million Americans who quit their jobs in September 2021. The trend continued through 2022 with another record 4.2 million voluntarily resigned in November 2022—millions more than anything ever seen before. With a backdrop of market slump and recession talk going on all that year.  This chart of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights a continuing trend.   With fewer workers across many industries, the trend toward negotiating a high wage and [...]

Are You a Target for Negativity in a Toxic Work Environment?

Are you in a company or corporation and feel like you have a bulls-eye pinned to your forehead? Are you in a position of attracting undue negative attention from your boss and coworkers? Do you wonder “How did this happen? It’s never happened to me before. Why ME? Why now?” If this sounds like something you’re experiencing, even though it may not make logical sense let me describe what may be going on and give you 10 Tips to “Ground” Your Lightning Rod Aspects. But first, let me explain the basic dynamics that are going on in such a dysfunctional system. The Analogy of a Dysfunctional Family In dysfunctional families, there is a concept called the IP or Identified Patient. This is the one family member who is like a “sponge” for the family negativity—secrets, things unspoken, co-dependency, addictions, lies, and so on—all the dysfunction. That “elephant-in-the-room” stuff that nobody talks about in dysfunctional systems. Thus it stays dysfunctional and people act "as if" it's normal—or even defend it. Like a Sponge: The Identified Patient often soaks up all the negativity and feelings in a family. It's confusing and sometimes they feel they really are bad, wrong, or embody the characteristics assigned to them. So subconsciously they take on the dysfunction and acts it out until they become conscious of the dynamic and hopefully get support and coaching to change their participation in the system. Which can be an uphill battle. Becoming a Scapegoat: The IP becomes identified as The [...]

Tips to Survive a Narcissistic Boss or Toxic Work Environment

Over the past 35+ years, I’ve coached some pretty amazing, highly competent career coaching clients through difficult work relationships, into exit strategies if needed, and on to recovery from business or corporate PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.) It happens all too frequently. I felt compelled to write some basic guidelines to help you through a tough circumstance. We'll break this article down into the following sections: Tips for Survival Identifying the Toxic Boss Acknowledging Narcissistic or Toxic Behavior Your Experience with a Toxic Situation How to Take Care of Yourself Healing Afterward Workplace Toxicity and Trauma Tips For Survival We often hear about ineffective employees. What about the lethal, abusive, toxic, or harassing boss, manager or co-worker? No matter how much money you are making, how prestigious the position or how high-paying the salary, being treated this way takes a huge toll on your energy and productivity, your psyche, and your soul. There are few things worse for the human spirit than working all day at a job that you experience as boring or where you're disengaged. Right up there is also if you're spending hours in a negative environment. Experienced as even worse for the human psyche and soul is working with toxic or abusive people. Even if the abuse is not aimed "at" you, observing others being bullied, undermined, or maliciously being gossiped about or shunned—mean behavior—is a signal such behavior could always be turned on you. It sets people on high alert. Who Is The Toxic [...]

Advice If You Have a Difficult Boss or Work in an Unsafe Environment

There are few things worse for the human spirit than working all day at a job that is boring, spending hours in a negative environment, or working with toxic, narcissistic, or abusive people. Over the years I’ve coached some pretty amazing, highly competent, even high-level clients through difficult work relationships, into exit strategies if needed, and on to recovery from business or corporate PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.) It happens all too frequently. I felt compelled to write some basic guidelines to help you through a tough circumstance. Who Is The Toxic Boss or Co-Worker? What Do You Experience? Seek an Outside “Reality Check” When You are Experiencing Toxic Symptoms Additional Resources to Help You Take Care of Yourself Short List of Generic Suggestions and Guidelines to Know When to Seek Coaching If you’re working in a corporation or business environment where you are underappreciated, undervalued, or out-and-out abused by a narcissistic, harassing, or bullying boss, manager, or co-worker, implement these guidelines because when you’re in an already unsafe situation you do not want to make yourself more unsafe. Dysfunctional or toxic leaders behave inappropriately, disrespectfully. They can be overtly or covertly abusive, demeaning, and bullying. Seek help if you are in a toxic work environment or working for a narcissistic boss.   Who Is The Toxic Boss or Co-Worker? We often hear about ineffective employees. What about the lethal, abusive, toxic, or harassing boss, manager, or co-worker? No matter how much money you are making, how prestigious [...]

When You Feel Stuck—Or Choose to Remain—In A Difficult Relationship

Post pandemic updates: The world has truly changed since the pandemic. Not only health, but mental health has come to the forefront. Some of these issues are curable, heal-able or fixable. Others, everyone is hopefully learning to manage through self-care and other mitigations. Some mitigations are small changes or shifts, and others are more dramatic, even drastic adjustments. Difficult relationships can zap your energy, cause self-doubt or bring out negative behavior. It's important to focus on taking care of yourself. Having outside support makes this easier. When these health or mental health concerns are your own, you have more control. You get to decide. To choose. To act. Very often, however, such concerns may be experienced or created by someone close to you at home or work.  Especially when it's family members or very close friends, it's not possible to exit. That's where feeling stuck comes in. Let's unpack the topic. Hopefully it will be of help. This article is divided into the following sections: Introduction and Resources Facing Challenging Relationships Example Situations 9 Tips to Help When You Live With Difficult People or Have Challenging Situations in Your Life When You Feel Stuck—Or Choose to Remain—In A Difficult Relationship With Someone Who Will Not, May Not, or Cannot Change The Pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in relationships. While there are no data on the numbers of people in difficult or disastrous relationships as yet, we do know that large numbers are struggling—be it [...]

How to Know if You Are A Lightning Rod for Negativity in a Toxic Work Environment

Toxic work environments cause people to question themselves and their judgments. Sometimes it becomes difficult to know if you are doing a good job, or not, because of the negative feedback or response. We're going to break this article down into two sections: Common Characteristics of a Lightning Rod Tips for Grounding Yourself and Dealing With Business Bullies   Common Characteristics of the Lightning Rod Is This What You are Experiencing? You’re an expert at what you do. You take your work seriously. You are probably a perfectionist and always try to do an excellent job. You have high values and standards for yourself and your work. You see the wide-ranging impact of your work on other facets of the work in your department and the company. You “walk your talk” meaning you are consistent and aligned in all your talk and actions. You are a professional and try to stay “adult” in all your interactions. More often than not, but not always, you are female. Your age, stage in career, or experience level does not matter. At other companies you always got along; It’s surprising or hard to figure out why you are treated this way. No matter what you do it seems to draw negative attention or reaction. Even the people you supervise know you are on a “hit list” from above. Your self-esteem is plummeting. You used to feel appropriately confident in your skills. Now you are plagued with self-doubts. You dread going to work. Common Characteristics [...]

Tips For Taking Care of You in a Toxic Environment

Ideally, your workplace is where you are encouraged and empowered to make a difference. A job should be one of the ways in which you learn and grow as a person, and you feel you are making a contribution. If that is not true for you, and you are experiencing negative feelings, bullying, nasty competitiveness, or other bad behavior on a regular basis, what are your choices? This article will break down the following areas for you... Assessing your situation Understanding the gap Reflecting before you act Avoid calling attention to yourself Stop being a lightning rod for negativity Seek out support and resources Deciding whether to stay or leave As a business transformation consultant and career transition coach, when partnering with my client, together we assess 2 aspects of your work situation: First, we look internally to if there are any ways you might be contributing to your own negative experience by being what I call a lightning rod, possibly making your already negative situation worse. At the same time, we assess your surroundings and work circumstances, including the behavior of your boss and coworkers.   Even if ultimately leaving your current job becomes your choice, use your time remaining as an opportunity for learning and growth by applying the tips below. Assess the Situation Dave Chapman, author of a site dedicated to fighting workplace bullies offers these signs of a toxic work environment: Widespread anger and frustration Scapegoating–the blaming of someone else Dysfunctional relationships Dysfunctional meetings Blatant hypocrisy [...]

What to do Instead of Being Impulsive in a Career Slump

Maybe you're feeling your particular company or corporate environment isn’t a life-giving, vibrant or creative match for you?  Or you're at a crossroad and need to design a whole life, not just a work-life. You're career-focused and your work IS your life but right now, but it’s not a reflection of “you.” So you're feeling unchallenged or bored. And it may be that it’s just time and something has to change. You don't want to wake up 3 or 5 or 10 years from now feeling regretful that life has passed you by. All of these are reasons to pay attention and begin to create time, space and action steps to figure out your next life and work iteration. It’s not a great time to be impulsive. If you’re not going to be impulsive, the question becomes: Where Do I Start? Start With A Mindset We know that you want to dive right in and get answers to the ultimate question you are asking—Where am I going to be in 3 months or 6 months or a year from now? What is THE fastest way I can make the changes I desire because I want to be THERE now? You may be tempted to be reactive at such a time. Another way to look at it is that it's a Choice Point, an opportunity to reimagine your future, to consider how decisions in one area of your life affect all other areas. It's complex. So at any given choice point [...]

7 Tips When You Resent Being in the Lead with a Colleague, Employee, or Mate

  Ridding yourself of resentment of being in the lead means taking responsibility for your role in the ongoing dynamic,  then taking action to make positive change.  Try these 7 tips and let me know how it goes! Are you in a relationship where you secretly wish or overtly want another person to take the lead sometimes?  Do you find yourself thinking “I always have to…” or “He never does…” or “She never brings up…”? Whether at work or at home, some people have a tendency to let resentment about taking the lead build up.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can take that step to rid yourself of resenting being in the lead by encouraging others to participate and by asking for what you want…..after all, your colleagues, boss, employee, or partner can’t read your mind!  Here are some tips on taking the lead on banishing resentment and sharing the load: Specify What You Want Evaluate where you want the other person to take the lead?  On the job maybe you find yourself heading up every meeting when there are others who share responsibility?  Or perhaps at home you continually wish that your partner would decide where to go on “date night” and not always leave it up to you?  Make your list so you clarify what it is you want.  Be concrete in your request. You are asking for specific behavioral change. Clarify Territory Take a look at your list and make certain that you [...]

When Men Don’t Fully Engage, It Deprives the Women In Your Life of Growth

No matter how successful you are in your leadership, or in your business or career, many men still cringe when it comes to talking to the woman (or women) in their life, about making a change that would please them. Especially if that change would meet their own needs--needs for understanding, support, intimacy, closeness, or just plain picking up a consistent mess. While culture is changing, we can blame this on socialization and a bit of nature. Do any of the following statements resonate with you when it comes to your wife, girlfriend, daughters or your mother – even though you are a grown man?  Or maybe they remind you of your female boss or workmates. You want to please the woman in your life; sometimes you feel like you don’t know how. You sometimes feel like she doesn’t acknowledge what you contribute to your relationship and the family. You want her to be happy; when she’s unhappy it makes you feel helpless or shut down. You wish she’d let you know when she’s unhappy about something else in her life versus when she’s unhappy with you; you wish she’d do more things to make herself happy. You want her to simply tell you what she wants or likes – because you can’t read her mind or when she does tell you what she wants it sounds too vague or global and you’d like more concrete requests. If I were showing these statements to a roomful of men, you’d see [...]

Go to Top