Archive for the ‘Leaders’ Category

Your Greatest Partner

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Do you know who is your greatest partner? If they arrived today and you had a chance encounter would you even recognize them?

Some of my clients say, “ I don’t know” or “ I haven’t thought about it?”

I’m asking this important question now and do you have an answer?

“Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.” John Lubinski

I will tell you the story of how I found my greatest partner. I started my business 6 years ago and I knew that I was intelligent, hard working, and I was shrewd. I thought for sure I would start my business and I would do great.

Well, if great was financially struggling, getting pissed when things went badly, feeling absolutely terrified of what to do next, and TRYING SO HARD at everything -then yes I was doing great! As a matter of fact I was doing FANTASTIC (note the strong hint of sarcasm).

The truth is I needed a business coach and I needed a community of other business professionals and entrepreneurs to connect to and learn from. I had no idea how isolated I was while starting my business. I am an extrovert (which helps to promote your services) but not a very good at marketing myself. This is very common for nearly all entrepreneurs.

I am thrilled to say after three years of business I am in the black and so many other entrepreneurs never made it this far. I am truly blessed!

I did hire a business coach and I have several business communities that I am a member of. However, that is not where I discovered my greatest partner.

My greatest partner was ME!

I had spent and (sometimes I still do) years of doubting myself, fearing the worst, living through one disaster to the next. I honestly felt like I was in a dryer cycle filled with rocks that banged, clanged, and slammed together. Who goes into business for themselves? Who survives this madness?

Am I perfect at my business now because I have survived so much? NOPE!

I discovered my greatest partner is my BEST SELF, The REAL ME, and MY GENIUS at work. It’s the part of me that doesn’t just put out fires at work. It’s the part of me that believes in me no matter what. It’s the me that has been there the whole time. The ME that wanted to share and shine my gifts and talents on the world, because I felt called.

Why did it take me so long to discover this secret? Did I forget to mention my mother died about a year and half after I started my business? I was bereft over her loss for 3 years. I also had to deal with her estate and be a wife. To say I was overwhelmed with grief was an understatement.

How did I recognize my greatest partner when I knew I had failed at my business and what seemed like my life? I remembered my faith in myself when I started my business. I remembered even if I had done everything wrong, it didn’t matter because NOW I CHOSE to make the best choices and allow for my business miracle. (Btw, there are several companies that promote business miracles)J

What created my business miracle so I found my Greatest Partner? I went back to the things that I said I couldn’t do, and didn’t need to do.- doubt is so powerful. I knew I needed to be assertive and let go –remember the doubt. I needed to ask for the right business contracts.

There I was flat broke in a business networking meeting, did I forget to mention I had no cash for the networking meeting and my friend sponsored me? Yes it was that bad. I believed in that moment ALL THAT MATTERED was that I smiled to everyone and accepted my business was taken care of  because I believed it would happen now matter what! I wouldn’t leave the room until I made the connection. Guess what I received 3 business contract offers that day! I was finally in the black and I lived to survive another day.

“Faith is a palpable living and intelligent energy which creates, heals, and attracts what you have faith in.” Doreen Virtue.

I coach women daily on how to cultivate their enthusiasm and desire so they can find their strengths, use their talents and gifts at work and in life.

If you would like a free 30-minute consultation please feel free to connect with me at http://jeanniedougherty.com/contact/.

A Manager’s Guide to Empathy vs. Sympathy

Whining Employee

“The first criteria of being a leader is to practice empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” Simon Sinek

I have worked with several stressed out and overwhelmed managers that try to figure out how to help their troubled or distressed employees. Instead, they seem to get out of balance as a manager.

This is never good because leadership is a requirement for healthy managers.

A healthy manager knows their limits with an emotional employee.

Here are the mistakes an overwhelmed manager makes when trying to “help” an emotional employee.

  • They pity their employee.
  • They can feel in their gut something is wrong but keep wishing it would go away.
  • They do not openly ask their employee on specifics about their job performance.
  • They listen to feedback from others at work and do not allow it to be absorbed.
  • They avoid crucial conversations.

Years ago, I worked with a manager that came to me upset that they were told that they weren’t sympathetic enough to an employee’s issue. The employee’s spouse had been checked into alcohol rehab and as a result their work was falling behind. It had been 6 months and the manager had been informed by their team and by their management that the employee’s performance was failing.

What could they do? They didn’t want to be labeled a witch and yet their efforts at leadership were showing abysmal results. Do you know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you must make a decision and none of them seem right?

Here is the secret sauce about empathy vs. sympathy. Empathy is about seeing the person and you can feel or see their pain, but you are not responsible for an answer. Sympathy is feeling someone else’s pain because you can see the tragedy and you are unsure on what to do next -except feel bad for them.

I spoke with the overwhelmed manager and asked why they weren’t seen as sympathetic. It turned out everyone on the team including their management kept seeing the overwhelmed manager making grimaces when asked about the employee The manager was unaware and admitted they had an alcohol history in their family and they way it was dealt with was to ignore it.

Even though the employee wasn’t drinking but having them acknowledge an alcohol problem in their family, take time off, and openly grieve their situation caused this manager to feel stressed out and overwhelmed.

The manager as much as they tried to grant the employee time off, they ignored their feelings and how they would affect them. In turn, they appeared less sympathetic to the employee, not a healthy management result.

What makes effective management empathy?

  • Offer condolences to another for their situation.
  • Offer resources to the employee, PTO, FMLA, Flex-Schedule, & EAP.
  • Knowing your limits so you don’t feel drained.
  • Meet with their manager or HR for additional guidance.
  • Look at team building ideas like a group lunch to help promote teamwork and less focus on stress.
  • Meet with your support network if you are feeling overwhelmed
  • Review job descriptions, performance evaluations, and work quality for objective measures before communicating to employee about their performance.
  • Ask the employee what they need?
  • Ask yourself what do you need from the employee?

The good news once the manager was able to feel “sorted out.” The complaints stopped, the employee was given a performance improvement plan because the employee requested it (accountability honestly felt like caring from the manager), and there was less stress on the team.

I coach women daily on how to cultivate their enthusiasm and desire so they can find their strengths, use their talents and gifts at work and in life.

If you would like a free 30-minute consultation please feel free to connect with me at http://jeanniedougherty.com/contact/.

 

Introduction to My Website

3 Keys To Your Personal Happiness in Relationships

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