Tuesday, February 19, 2019

8 Lessons in Building a Company People Enjoy Working For

Fantastic video on how we just manage the life out of people resulting in lack of creativity found in collaboration. LOVE when she says, "Oh, we have 30% of our leadership as women...so we're pretty much half....except 30% isn't 50%."

Ted Talk (but not a long one, promise):
8 Lessons in Building a Company People Enjoy Working For

See Stephanie's site Work Stress Solutions for more information like this.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Why We All Experience Work Stress - Video

From the series "Adam Ruins Everything" is a segment called "Adam Ruins Work." This video validates everything you knew from your own personal experience about work and the propaganda CEOs and business owners have been shoveling down employees' throats to keep them working archaic hours, for less pay and more. A MUST SEE to validate your feelings of fatigue, resentment, work stress and more. And sometimes just having this confirmed can make you feel like you aren't the exception, but the rule!

While this video has been taken down from every place in the internet (boo TBS!), here is a list of the key points made in the video:


See Stephanie's site Work Stress Solutions for more information like this.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Five Languages of Appreciation

Many of you have probably heard of the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Since this book has a lot of religious references, it's not appropriate for the workplace.

But he has modified that problem with his latest work, "The Five Languages of Appreciation." He uses the same principles found in his earlier work and applies them to workplace scenarios.

I highly suggest this book, but if you prefer a quick summary, here's a great article:

Five Languages of Appreciation Article

See Stephanie's site Work Stress Solutions for more information like this.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Sleep Is Now a Suspicious Activity

I love to sleep. And with the regimented, unnatural insistence of our culture that we must get up at 6am and immediately work nine hours (eight hours plus lunch) and then go to bed at 11pm ---and no earlier--is not enough sleep for me (or most).

Six to ten hours was the medical message after a major sleep study in the 70’s. Authors and wellness types landed on the number '8' as a quick shorthand when talking about sleep requirements. Sleep can also be made up for. The initial report that this isn't possible has since been disproved many times. Simply notice your own attempt to catch up on your sleep on the weekends, or via naps, proves this false proclamation that continues to be accepted to this day.
When people sleep for more than eight hours we immediately label this activity as either insanity (depression) or lazy/fat person behavior (metabolic issues). Wow. Talk about shaming someone awake! Do you really need a playmate that badly?

Our culture shames people who attempt to care for themselves by catching up on sleep during the weekend...and you WILL indeed get lots of support when you say you sleep four to six hours a night. Unfortunately, that's the stuff of early heart and lung issues and mental health concerns. Sleep is never bad for you and is actually a time of deep healing on a physical, mental, emotional and cellular level. To cut it short is a recipe for disease and dis-ease.

Corporate America doesn't give a damn about you and your needs (haven’t you noticed?). Work more hours, answer emails at night, have your phone by your bed when you are asleep. Take caffeine (or something worse) and make each other guilty when you attempt to rest. Our Corporate America's goal? That you become a thing that is providing output for them for as many hours as possible.

I went to bed at 9pm last night (Friday) and woke up at 2pm this afternoon (Saturday). And I feel great right now. I needed to do this to catch up from my full time job that requires a lot from me. This job mandates that I wake up at a time that is not natural for me (7am).

I am now restored. I am neither lazy nor sad.

So please get off of the backs of your spouses, friends, roommates, coworkers, etc. Let people sleep! Take a cue from our beloved pets (who are ALWAYS happy and energetic): SLEEP.

Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s an article that shares all sorts of famous people you know who love to sleep. Penelope Cruz reports sleeping 12 hours a night. I would love to have that much sleep each and every day:


See Stephanie's site Work Stress Solutions for more information like this.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Stress-Anxiety-Depression and When to See a Doctor

Another guest blogger this month! Olivia Thomas from FactDr.Com has provided a wonderful article on the causes and cures for stress and anxiety and depression.

Anxiety is just another way of saying FEAR and sometimes it's a good thing and sometimes it just happens for no apparent cause. This article (and the graphic below) will start the process of determining if you should medicate your free-floating anxiety. 'Better living through chemistry' is not taking a short cut or being weak. Our systems are bombarded by our environment like never before and our "old" bodies have not evolved enough to keep up. Do what you need to do to be your best self.

Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor

Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor by FactDr

See the full article by Olivia Thomas by clicking on the graphic above.

See Stephanie's site Work Stress Solutions for more information like this.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Depression Success Story: Guest Blogger

Depression Success Story: "I Altered My Subconscious Beliefs Using the Byron Katie Method" (By Guest Author Mollie Player)

Contributor: Mollie Player. Read her online serial, My Byron Katie Detox: One Year of Questioning Everything I Believe on mollieplayer.com. [here, link to: https://mollieplayer.com/2018/02/03/my-byron-katie-detox-one-year-of-questioning-everything-i-believe/ ]

The story of my depression starts way back in time, back to some of my first childhood memories. Since then I’ve made a great deal of progress–more than I once thought possible. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still have it.

Daily, there’s a routine: Get some exercise, some alone time. Take time to read and write and be with friends. Meditate as much as possible all throughout the day, and never, ever forget to be grateful.
Sleep well, and a lot. Eat healthy. Take medication. Stay busy. Get outside if you can. Take vitamin D, a multivitamin, a cold shower. Then get some more exercise, and meditate again.

Most of the time, this works. It’s work, but it works. So I continue on, and make slow progress. But recently I discovered two techniques that are speeding up my results: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Byron Katie’s The Work.

Elsewhere on my site I tell more about these techniques for overcoming depression–how to do them, why they work and how well. For this story, then, I’ll just add a few personal examples–particularly difficult thoughts the methods have helped me overcome.

Keep in mind that these are just some of the beliefs, not all, that have altered over the past few months using these processes.
  1. My kids require too much attention. After doing The Work, this thought became: My kids require just the right amount of attention for them. And I require a lot of attention, too–and I get it. Also, much of the day I’m doing other things–cooking, cleaning, hanging out with friends. Things I’d do whether or not the kid were present.
  2. I am sick of breastfeeding. This changed to: I am not sick of breastfeeding. It’s good for the kids. It’s nice downtime for me–I often get to read at the same time. Plus, it helped me lose my extra baby weight. It is a blessing for us all.
  3. I am exhausted. This thought became: I’m not exhausted. I am not depleted of energy. There is a great deal of energy in my body for everything my body needs to do. I am thankful that my body notices when it’s time to sleep, and lets me know.
It’s an interesting process, this thought-altering work. Sometimes I can feel the change in my perspective right away. Other times, though, I only notice the change later, when the situation comes up again.

Every time I do it, part of me doubts it will work. Most of the time I’m surprised.
Byron Katie told me this would happen. I love her so much.
If you haven’t tried The Work yet, start here.

Mollie Player
 [link here to mollieplayer.com]

See Stephanie's site Work Stress Solutions for more information like this.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

VooDoo Your Boss!

How can you improve employee morale? Give them a voodoo doll of the boss, study says.

"As part of the study, some employees were allowed to take out their job frustrations on a makeshift voodoo doll carrying their boss’s name by sticking pins, burning it with candles and pinching it with pliers."

This idea may seem silly, but I am betting it works.  Our subconscious delights in things like color, shine, music and silliness.  You may feel at some level a feeling of power and can then maintain your cool when you are face to face with your difficult coworker or boss.

Full Article on VooDoo Doll

Give it a try...what's the downside?

See Stephanie's site Work Stress Solutions for more information like this.

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Conversation with an INFP

INFJ Counsels an INFP:
 The Rarest Types in the Myers-Briggs.

Only 1% of people internationally score as an INFJ or an INFP, which explains why they don't find a lot of like-minded souls in real life and connect very quickly when they do find themselves interacting with their same MBTI preferences.

I sent you to a free site---16 Personalities.Com, which is VERY good, but to take the actual test would cost about $150 and then you'd have to pay me or someone licensed to give you a full interpretation.   But I’m providing this to you as one of my email clients at only $15 (which is really not going to cover my costs or my hourly rate; but hopefully makes you take this information more seriously since it was not freely provided).   So allow me to go into detail (by the way, can you send me the actual image you received, so that I can see how clear or unclear, strong or weak, your actual letters were? I will add additional suggestions for your unique score and how to gain more access to your gifts and develop your weaknesses or gaps).
Here's how I teach it in my workshops...and I was trained this way, so I'm biased.  Some practitioners say that we have the ability to be a little bit light in one area, and strong in another and that means we are sort of Feelers or F for instance, but not as strong as another....so we can conclude that we can "swing both ways" when a T or Thinker situation presents itself.  But that's not what I find and not what I was taught.  A person who doesn't score STRONGLY, very clearly on each letter is still trying to figure out who they are.  They are still listening to cultural or parental messages and are not able to clearly and affirmatively identify themselves.  And our lifetime goal, is to get ALL of those letters to STRONG...so that we can self-advocate.  So that we can communicate our needs, be aware when we are asked to be out of type, which ultimately causes STRESS AND PROCRASTINATION.  Those are the two things to watch out for.
 We all have to function outside of our type, our preference, to get along in this world, but if we do it too long, without moving back into our natural path, we will experience stress (anxiety, even anger) and procrastination (which many people call LAZY---I don't believe in lazy---more about that later).  So, it is incumbent on us to make sure we find activities to put us right again.  So that we can go back out and be out of type, if necessary, again.
Your type is the exact opposite type of the culture of the USA.  Our culture teaches very early that one needs to be an ESTJ.  This type is very one-sided, likes things black and white, right or wrong, and will LOUDLY declare that rightness.  Our first experience in school for being an E (and a loud one) is Show and Tell.  We force children, even Introverts or people who struggle with shyness (which is not as aspect of Introversion----that's a myth or a misunderstanding of the dichotomy---Introversion and Extroversion are about ENERGY---how one gains it and how one depletes it).  So, we force everyone to get up in front of a group and talk.  And what do teachers do when an Introvert is sitting quietly, not raising their hand to be called on (because Introverts need their thoughts, their verbal sharings, to be fully thought out before speaking?), well, they CALL on them when they have not shown a desire to be called on. A very rattling experience and usually very embarrassing as well.
 So yes, you know at such a young age (I have no idea how old you are, but you strike me as so enthusiastic and energetic, I assume you are still in your 20s), you already have enough self-awareness to score as an INFP.  Just remember, you will ALWAYS feel like you are alone or even sometimes in extreme self-doubt, wrong.   But you are needed.  Oh, so needed.  The INFJ and the INFP are two people who MUST change the world for the better (and isn't that what we've been talking about this whole time)?  And the really cool part is they will do it without wanting to take credit for it.  Just the simple act of knowing we are making a difference is enough reward for us.  Even if the people we are changing don't realize it.  We don't need fame or fortune.  We just want to be doing what we feel is good for the planet.
MBTI practitioners often lament about the scarcity of INFP and INFJ.  Philosophically, it is this type that will change things as they are today. But again, when you do find one, they are likely quietly blogging or teaching a small group of people (wink, wink) and not standing at a podium with a microphone talking to the media!
The difference in our two types? The P is very flexible, open, accepts changes easily. While the J is more organized, even rigid in some ways, and time sensitive.  One is agreeable and easy going; the other gets things done and on time.
Otherwise, we are Introverts....which is again, about energy.  It means nothing more than we need to be alone and in a quiet environment to become grounded and rested.  We, of course, have to extrovert on a regular basis.  And Jung himself said, "No one person is all one way or the other; that person would find himself in an insane asylum."  We must modify our approach or stretch ourselves to meet the demands of the outside world.  THAT's why people say they are both.  Because we get lots of practice in doing both.  But the question is:  Does it ENERGIZE you to be around a lot of people and stimuli?  Or does it ultimately make you tired and scattered (even irritable)?  That's the sign of the Introvert.  They can be very socially at ease, very good at presentations and speaking in front of others, introducing people at parties and so on, but it takes its toll. And Extroverts (and remember our culture insists that we be extroverted), don't understand this.  They label the need to be alone as odd or anti-social.  Now secretly, they wish they had a spoonful of this ability, for they are constantly in the business of seeking more and more stimuli, more and more distraction.  They in the extreme are what we call Emotional Vampires.  Taking and taking, talking and talking, just to keep their energy levels off.  Boredom or what they feel is inertia is SCARY to them. They almost PANIC...oh no!  I'm getting DEPRESSED...I'm going INSANE....so naturally they call us that when they observe our introversion.
This is all being said, so that you can do what I did NOT do in my younger years:  Advocate for yourself. Exercise Self Care.  You can have reasonable conversations with people that state your needs and purposely put yourself into introversion.  I often had to create false arguments or fights to get alone time.  I had to move myself to exhaustion or even illness, to get a couple of days in bed under the covers.  So be aware that if you're working a large project or anything else where you need to concentrate and deliver, you need to CLOSE THE DOOR or work at home.  Distractions in the form of interruptions or external noise, just people talking in the hallway, will interfere with your overall process.
The N is Intuitive...and the reason they use N is because I was already taken!  Nothing more scientific then that!  While S on the MBTI, is an indicator that this person only takes in information (or believes data) that can be confirmed with the five sensors (thus the name SENSOR), the N believes and uses quite effectively, that GUT or intuition is also a viable sense and to be used in decision making.  The N also could stand for NEW...as in they like things to be improved or even just changed for the sake of novelty.  S's are the watchdogs of tradition.  If dad did it that way, then I will do it that way, no matter what evidence is shown to me to prove otherwise.  S could stand for STUBBORN.  Martin Luther King was the ultimate N....I have a dream....and it took over 40 years until we even were able to catch up with that (though I would argue we are still struggling).  His dream was unique, new and different.  Apparently, other civil rights leaders wanted equality under the law.  Just the same funding or allowances that whites enjoyed.  But Martin wanted INTEGRATION.  Where white children sat next to black children in school!  Even the progressives thought he was mad.  A true N if there ever was one.
Now it’s time for T vs. F.  F or Feeler.  Every female in our culture is socially conditioned to be an F (share with others, consider others feelings over your own, be nice always.  Anger is a no-no).  But only 2/3 of females score F on the MBTI.  Likewise, all men are socially conditioned to be a T (big boys don't cry, sadness or tears are not acceptable, walk it off, man-up, keep it all inside).  Thus, we have a very dysfunctional society when we forbid two very natural and normal and appropriate emotions from each gender respectively.  A Feeling Female has a blind spot though:  Thinking.  Now we ALL feel and we ALL think...but it's the order we do it in or HOW we do it, how much emphasis we place on one or the other.  And easy example is considering the purchase of a car.  The T would address this need by gathering data, facts, resale value, reliability and consider the financial limits of this purchase.  Once a car starts to meet all the criteria, they start to FEEL attracted to that car.  The F will see a car and FEEL an attraction to it...and then ensure that this is the right decision by backing it up with research, data, facts, resale value and the financial limits.  And yes, in the extreme a T is very hesitant to pull the trigger on any and all decisions created stagnation and frustration for those around him (sometimes even called stingy) and the F may purchase things that are not within their abilities, hoping it will all work out somehow, but showing up as impulsive or irresponsible to others.
What I have found as an HR professional, is that the FEELING MALE and the THINKING FEMALE are actually a preferred outcome.   While these two people feel VERY judged by our culture, they are actually the true diplomats and conflict managers of our society.  A Feeling Male is able to be a T with ease, because of his social conditioning; but he is actually a F and can easily move into that world with equal excellence.  While he may be accused of being "a sensitive male" which is almost a slur and suggestion of his sexual preference, he is able to handle things like a quarrel between his employees because he can focus on both managing the results while simultaneously maintaining relationships.  An advanced outcome if there ever was one.  The poster boy for the Feeling Male is Barack Obama.  And a diplomat he truly is.
Now, the Thinking Female has her issues with cultural messages and judgment too.  For a T female is often strong, decisive and knowledgeable.  Which is our culture reads as a bitch.  Yep!  That's exactly what we call her, assuring that she keeps this fabulous trait under wraps or risk the wrath of social rejection.  But a Thinking Female, just like her counterpart the Feeling Male, can "swing both ways."  She can play the Feeling Female with ease, while actually having full access to her Thinking function.  An excellent manager if there ever was one.  And the poster child for Thinking Female?  Hillary Clinton.  And just look at what we do to her in our culture.  She's shamed at every turn.
As a Feeling Female, you need to watch out for your blind spot: Thinking.  You should and MUST go into every situation purposely focusing your THINKER.  It is very dormant.  Instead of going into a meeting naturally thinking about others, how it will affect people, ensuring that the decision meets up with your value system (which you would do in your sleep and even if you were ill or intoxicated), you must focus on the facts, the data, the proof and the financials of it all.  That will provide you with the balance you need to be a good decision maker.  Likewise, the Thinking Male must do the same thing:  focus on what others are feeling, notice body language and tone of voice, be aware that his way is not everyone's way and so on.
Now for the final letter or dichotomy.  J vs. P.  Judgers (and in this case the label doesn't always apply, so please be aware that J's are not always judgmental and P's are not necessarily perceptive!).  J's are time sensitive.  They feel ANXIETY when they are late...or even right on time!  Right on time is LATE in their thinking.  They BARELY made it.  And that causes anxiety.  Where the E and the I are measuring ENERGY, the J and the P are measuring anxiety states.  P's are very open-ended, enjoying processes, much more than destinations.  They feel anxiety when someone insists on a deadline or to be punctual.  For them, 4:30 is still within the 4:00 hour, and really can't you be a little flexible and not so JUDGMENTAL?  They are also clutter bugs.  They do not need their environments to be exact, precise, clean and orderly.  They make piles, they don't even see those dirty clothes in the corner.  While the J is the one who put in the breakroom:  Your Mother Doesn't Work Here; Please Clean Up After Yourself!"  The J becomes mentally scattered when their environment is scattered or in disarray.  And this is where J's and P's are rich for conflict.  Many of the arguments in the workplace are around this behavior.  The J's will even write up the P's when they are the manager. It can be determined that the P doesn't need to be right on time for his or her job, that he can always find what he needs in the piles, but the J insists that he needs to be on time and neat and orderly nonetheless.  HR often has to swoop in a manage this personality difference.  P's were the crammers in school.  They get an adrenaline charge and do their best work at the last minute.  They will wait until the day before to complete a project or request.  This drives the J's crazy, because when you give them a deadline, their anxiety is in full alert, and they want nothing more than to check it off their to-do list.  And a J ALWAYS has a to-do list!
MBTI is the stuff of emotional intelligence.  And Emotional Intelligence (EI) is now considered the best indicator of workplace success (registering four times higher than IQ).  We all know the smart guy down the hall who has two master's degrees, but no one really knows him, and he seems kind of weird, so we avoid him....vs. the high school graduate who is fun, friendly, remembers your kids' names and always considering your view or feelings.  Emotional intelligence requires these five things:  Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Self-Discipline, Empathy and People Skills/Communication Skills.  And the MBTI shows you where you have these things and where you do not.  And therefore, you can address these gaps and become more successful, more productive, less stressed and avoid procrastination.
For your own interpretative report, send your results from 16 Personalities to stephanie@work-stress-solutions.  
See Stephanie's site Work Stress Solutions for more information like this.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Another Look at Boundaries

Boundaries are needed when we are younger, esp. when we are raised in dysfunction (and I'd be surprised to hear from anyone in our generation or before that WASN'T raised in dysfunction. In my opinion, "even spanking" is abuse...I don't give a damn if it's on the fleshy part of your body..it's a practice based in anger and is traumatizing to the receiver). 

But I am finding more and more, that boundaries declared, can be a fine weapon against people we simply disagree with. We use the language (or I use the language) of "Don't tread on my boundary! I am setting it to advocate for myself..." but it's really a "screw you" in the conversation and ends all discussion. Something I'm looking at in myself, anyway.

See Stephanie's site Work Stress Solutions for more information like this.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Ten Tips for Stress Relief

This week's entry is from a guest blogger, Armstrong Appointments Recruiting Specialists.

First there are the causes of common stressors and then ten suggestions for easing stress at work.

See Stephanie's site Work Stress Solutions for more information like this.