Goal Setting Secret #1 – Know What You Want

My name is Beatrice Crocker, and I help women to stand in their power and get ahead of a pack. And I work with women in male dominated professions to get the career that they want. You can find out more about me at beatricecrocker.com

Today’s post is the first in a series of three, which is three secrets to always getting what you want. And today I’m sharing secret number one. 

Watch the video and read more below

 

 

Secret #1 How to know what you want. 

How often do you say this “I know exactly what I want in my life” ?

hmmmm, like never right? 

I know this is something I’ve really struggled with.  Although for a long time I didn’t realise it.  But I was definitely living life according to what I had been told what to do vs what I most wanted.  It wasn’t a conscious thing.  I’d had goals for career and relationships and I achieved them.  I just didn’t have bigger goals or appreciated what I really wanted in my life.  And it didn’t click for me until a great friend and mentor told me ‘You have to have a plan Beatrice, you have to know where you’re heading and WHY you’re pursuing it’.  

It sounds like an easy thing to say but let’s face its not an easy thing to do.  

For a long time I led a life according to shoulds instead of examining what I really wanted. I should have a high paying job, I should have a house, I should get married etc. And although these things are great, I never asked myself what do I really want? And when I did it it was really hard work, because for a long time I had overlaid other people’s wants onto what I thought I wanted. 

I hadn’t done the work.

So I ended up marrying the wrong person, buying the wrong house, and staying in the right job, but for too long until it became the wrong job. And to be quite honest I didn’t even realise I was leading a life of shoulds, but I look back now and I can see I was doing just that. Of course that’s the beauty of hindsight. However, during this period I got sick a lot, I had colds, sinus infections, migraines, nearly lost the eyesight in one eye, and a breast cancer scare (thankfully only a scare). So my body was screaming at me to stop, but I just kept going anyway. 

And so when I found myself single again, no hubby, no baby, no house. That was really when I took the time to self examine and really have a look at what I really wanted in life. And I guess my biggest realisation was that I wasn’t very good at doggedly pursuing what I truly wanted, and I wasn’t very good at knowing what that was either. 

So I’m sharing the secrets that I’ve learnt in terms of getting what you want because now that I have done the work, and I understand my WHY (helping women progress) and WHAT I want to achieve.  I have had the happiest, most satisfying 2 years of my life.  

I really want this for you as well.   

So if you’ve gone for a long time without being clear on what you want, this series will help you get crystal clear. 

What do you really want? 

1. Let instinct be your best friend.

It’s time to practice letting instinct guide you. The best way to tap into instinct is to focus on your emotional and physical reactions. 

  • How do certain events make you feel ? 
  • How do people make you feel physically and emotionally? 
  • Do you feel relaxed, energised, happy, at ease?
  • Do you feel tight, contracting, anxious, uncomfortable? 
  • When you feel most relaxed? 
  • When do you feel most energised ? 
  • When do you feel super healthy? 
  • When do you feel on edge? 
  • What gives you an instant headache? 
  • When does that injury play up again? 

All these reactions are giving you clues to what you want and love and what you don’t.  

Action: 

1. Take notes on how people, events, ideas, make you feel and act. 

2. Take note of any recurring themes. 

2.  Embrace variety

Try lots of new and different things in your life. 

Say YES more. 

So if you’ve sort of dropped some hobbies, go back to old hobbies, find some new hobbies and activities. 

Action:

  1. Write down what makes you happy, sad, passive, excited, joyful, tired. 
  2. Is something draining your life force? Then, stop doing it. 
  3. Invest more time in the activity that boost your energy and make you feel good.   

3. Turn a negative into a postiive

 

Write down a list of things that you don’t like, at work, in terms of a partner, in terms of your home. They don’t have to be current things, they could just be things you know you don’t love, 

Action:  

Reverse it. 

So if you’re like look I don’t like being in roles that require high detail and little human interaction, then the  reverse of that is I like being in strategic creative roles with lots of time spent face to face with people. And so if you haven’t really had a lot of time recently where you’ve really been happy doing something, write down all the things like are really bugging you, and then reverse it. And it will give you the keys to what will make you really happy. 

4. Feel it out

Don’t expect too much too quickly. If you’re out of practice with knowing and feeling what you want then it will take time. So start off small and build up. And if you’re working on big life changes focus on changing one thing at a time not everything. If that’s a choice. 

After getting divorced I lived in three different houses, made three different job changes – all in 18 months. It was way too much change!!! Some of this was definitely avoidable and it happened because I just didn’t take the time to listen to myself and give myself some breathing room to feel it all out. 

Action: 

1. Take all the time you need. 

                    

Getting instinct back into your life takes practice. 

Good luck!  

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How to help someone who has been bullied

This post is about how to help someone who has been bullied when you are their line manager.

8 ways to help someone who has been bullied who reports to you

  1. Believe them
  2. Support them
  3. Give them a break from the team
  4. Move them away from the bullies
  5. Create opportunities for praise, confidence building and feeling great about their skills again
  6. Make them safe
  7. Be understanding
  8. Be physically present and accessible

Read more below or watch my latest video.


The first thing you need to do if someone comes to you about bullying or maybe someone else comes to you on their behalf and then you go to speak to them is to believe them.

You may have doubts. That’s okay. But believe them in that moment and explore what has happened with them.

What you need to do then is verify the events that have happened and potentially give that person a new environment or project or assignment so you can separate them in some way from the bullies, making sure that those changes don’t negatively impact their career.

It might be that you move bullies away from them.

It might be that you just give them a break from the current work environment for a short period of time so that you can assess the situation and what to do.

Ask yourself, are you confident the person is and feels safe?

Are they really comfortable coming to work?

Make sure that all the support that can be made available to them is.

Have at least weekly check-ins with the person who’s been bullied to reinforce your support and that you expect change to be happening in the team.

Really address the side effects of bullying such as lower confidence, self esteem, and ability for that person to perform their work. Create opportunities for praise, confidence boosting work and reinforcement of their skill set.

Be understanding. 

What you might need to do is just make extra time available for leave, time off to attend counselling sessions. They’re likely to experience high levels of sick leave and make sure that they’re being supported both from a physical and emotional perspective.

The other aspect would be to ensure that you listen and have time for them so that when they come to you and they need to speak to you about what’s happening, particularly if the bullying doesn’t actually stop, that you have that time available for them.

As a line manager, you may need to reschedule your meetings. Make sure you’re more present with your team so you’re aware of what is happening and that you’re confident that the team culture has changed, keeping in mind that of course everyone’s behaviour in the team changes when the manager is around that team.

Questions to ask the person who are being bullied when they first come to you and for those first few initial sessions are:

Do you feel safe?

What is the impact this is having on you?

How can I support you?

What do you most want to happen now?

How can we make you feel safe and what would you like to change, stop or continue?

I would just like to reiterate that the most important thing that you do is you do believe them. Even if later on you actually find that they aren’t being bullied and there’s some other motivation, the only way to really find that out is to believe it in the first place and work out what is happening.

So I really hope that helps you as a line manager. I really wish you a lot of luck. It is a very difficult thing to lead a team or individual through.

Good Luck!

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How to stop bullying in your team

 

This post is about how to stop bullying in your team when you’re the line manager responsible for that team. I’ve had a number of experiences working with this – working with bullying from people reporting to me, groups of people reporting to me, or people who work with my team and are bullying my team.

Read more below or watch the video.

 

It isn’t a pleasant experience to go through as a manager, and it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever experienced as a manager. It is a very stressful personal experience.  One where you really need to have a structured framework to help you work through the situation to minimise the stress and maximise the opportunity to improve for your team.

The first part of this post is about how to identify bullying in your team and the second one will be about how do you actually go about stopping the bullying.

How to identify bullying in your team. 

If you suspect that there’s bullying in your team, I pretty much guarantee that there actually is.

The things to look for include:

  • Are people regularly crying in the office or around the office?
  • Do you have some people who are suddenly having a lot of extra sick leave or illnesses that seem completely out of character, out of norm, and don’t have really any explanation?
  • Do you find that people seem upset, but don’t want to talk about it? 
  • Do you find that you’ve got a small group of people that are regularly huddled together in and around the office space?
  • Do you repeatedly see one or two members of your team excluded from events, huddles or meetings? (Exclusion is a big way to identify bullying and is probably one of the favourite techniques of bullies to impact someone at work).
  • Do people have strange nicknames for other people in the team so that they can talk about them openly without being caught?
  • Do a small group of people repeatedly bring up issues about one person, which you have never witnessed yourself? (This is a real tactic of bullies is to target someone with made up stuff.)
  • Do one or two people in your team seem extremely stressed, panicky, second guessing themselves and losing confidence, with no real explanation? 
  • Have people come to you with complaints or concerns about those one or two people, about how one of those people are being treated? So often what you’ll find when people are bullying, other people actually will stand up for them. The person being bullied will often have had their confidence so destroyed that they won’t be able to raise the issue themselves and won’t be confident enough to talk through it because they’re afraid – they’re afraid of not being believed.
  • Have you had people make up provable lies about someone? 
  • Have people raised an issue about someone that seems completely out of character and cannot be proven? So again, making up myths, stories and lies to put someone down and exclude them and make them look bad in the workplace, is another favourite of bullies.
  • Has one or two people’s work performance slid recently and is there one person that everyone complains about?

The top things there are look for are people being excluded, put down, unsupported in the work place, made fun of.

How do you stop bullying once you’ve identified it? 

Get Your Boss’s Support

The first thing is, if you’re in a large organization, get the problem acknowledged by your boss and preferably your boss’ boss as well. The reason that I say that is I have gone about trying to deal with bullying in a work place without my boss’ support and had my boss actively support the people who are doing the bullying because they wanted to be part of the group. I can’t explain that, but it made it really difficult to deal with the bullying because what happens is that as soon as you start to deal with it, the bullies will go to your boss, or someone more senior, to get support and say that they’re being victimized by bullying. So you need to get ahead of that straight away, and I would actually say do not proceed with addressing bullying unless you have that support.

Create a Plan of Action

Work out a plan of action and ensure your HR department, if you’ve got a HR department, is informed and supportive and is very clearly saying what you can and can’t do. Once you’ve got that plan, start to enact it and what you’ll need to do is individually discuss the issues with each bully, making sure that you have a witness present. Ensure that all meetings are minuted and minutes are sent out to all the stakeholders. Ensure you have at least a weekly meeting to discuss with your boss what is happening, if not daily.

Also ensure you have a meeting with the person being bullied, but I will deal with that in a separate post, because that’s a whole different strategy.

The Bully Must Acknowledge the IMPACT of their behaviour

The key is, the bully must acknowledge the problem, the bully must accept the negative impact of their behaviour, the bully must apologise directly to that individual and preferably publicly as well with the team. The bully must commit to change, the bully must immediately demonstrate change.

Those are the things that you have to work on, and nothing is going to change until you have all of that in place.

If you’ve got a gang of bullies, split them up. They cannot sit together, preferably they shouldn’t be working together, you’ll have to rearrange assignments and projects, whatever it is, you need to make sure that you separate those people.

Remove the person being bullied from that group. So if there’s someone who’s sitting in a group, say a group of four, and three of them are bullying one person, that person you’ve got to get them away from that group because they’re basically in an unsafe situation, and nothing’s going to improve until you disperse this whole group and the whole culture that’s happening there, and separating people so they’re not sitting together is a very quick, simple way to do that.

Get support. 

Everyone involved, including yourself as the manager, is going to be going through an incredible amount of stress, and there’s probably been a lot of stress leading up to the bullying being dealt wtih. Make sure that you are getting regular counseling, coaching and support yourself. And I would recommend weekly counselling for yourself as a manager.

Time box it. 

No more than eight weeks to get change to happen before you go into formal performance management. When you’ve exhausted all avenues then you need to make sure that you are aware of all the paths in the HR policy and performance management to addressing the bullying, and make sure you have a HR person on board.

The other thing I would get is legal advice. If you can’t get it via your company, get independent legal advice on if the behaviour is in fact criminal, and what your role in this means from a legal perspective and what happens if you’re not able to stop it.

Make sure you document everything.

I really hope that helps people. This is my framework for stopping bullying. I have used it, it is effective, but it’s only effective if the bully acknowledges their behaviour.

What you need to remember about bullying is that, the key questions you need to ask yourself is, is your workplace safe, mentally, emotionally and physically? 

Is the person being bullied safe, and do they consider themselves safe? 

Questions to ask bullies are:

  • Does your behaviour create a safe place for everyone in the team?
  • What are you doing to make the workplace safe or not safe?
  • What behaviour will you stop immediately, and what will you do now to make sure that that person feels is 100% safe and they feel safe all the time?

That ends the lesson.

Good luck!

 

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