How to stay positive when your boss is crazy AF

Ok, I know that ‘crazy’ is the most misused word against women but sometimes we do just have a CRAZY boss to deal with.  One of the biggest challenges in my career has been dealing with bosses that are unpredictable, irrational, angry and explosive.  This has crossed genders.  Almost all people who have come to me for coaching have been experiencing a ‘crazy’ boss. The impact is loss of confidence, feeling confused, dissatisfaction in job role and industry – leading to questioning everything career wise. Questions that came up for me at this point are:

–          Am I any good at my job anymore? I used to be but now I’m not so sure.
–          Do I want to stay in IT?
–          Is this company the right place for me?
–          How long can I put up with this stress for?

Other feelings are:  not wanting to go to work, closing down and becoming perpetually exhausted.  Negative thinking often took over as well further brining me down. I have seen this with friends, colleagues and coaching clients.   Having a boss that regularly puts you down is a confidence crusher.

So I thought I’d put together my top strategies that I use for managing my mindset during such a stressful period and keeping my energy levels up.  This has made it easier for me to move on, find a new role and get out of there.

  1. Tell someone about it
  2. Get Support
  3. Exercise
  4. Work out an exit plan
  5. Focus on what’s next

These tips could easily fall under an umbrella of stay positive but really having been through this, this is not always possible.  Taking positive action will create space to take a breath and maintain your perspective.  At least aim to buffer the negativity at work, so you can boost your energy enough to move on.

1. Tell Someone about it (who will believe you)

  • Reaching out and validating that you’re not the crazy one is important. Find a friend, partner, family member or mentor to talk through what you are experiencing.  Just being heard will make you feel better

2. Get Support

  • One of my big lessons is that no woman is an island and sometimes I am not my best guru (sadly).  Find a counsellor or some level of professional support to help you through it.  From my experience doing this, is that the recovery period afterwards is always quicker if I’ve had this support during the traumatic event.  Don’t downplay your experience.  Dreading getting out of bed every day is not normal.  There’s a reason you don’t want to go to work, don’t let it impact you years down the track.  Dealing with it as much as possible in the now will mean less of a stress hangover  once you’re in your new role.

3. Exercise

  • Now is the time to maintain or create rituals that keep you balanced. Cardio and resistance exercise is the best.   Commit to doing 30 minutes everyday (yoga, weights, gym, cycling, running, ballet.)
  • Add in or up your meditation practice if you can or something that helps your mental discipline (one of my friends loves running to clear her head). Work out an exit plan

4. Create an exit plan

  • Write down a plan of how you are going to get yourself out of this situation.  Create 2 or 3 options and start pursuing them.  Get out quickly.  Look for internal and external roles, network more, keep engaged in industry events.
  • In the exit plan, write down what you want to be happening in your career  and life in 12 months time. Frame your next step by this vision.
  • Accept that you may need to move laterally and find  a life raft out.  This can be hard if like me, you’re super ambition. Focus on safety first and then get back to climbing that career ladder.

5. Focus on what’s next

  • Focus on that 12 month goal.  If you’re looking at study, start investigating options.  If you want to travel, start subscribing to ticket price alerts and turn your desktop screen saver into a shrine for your dream destination.  Start listening to podcasts, music, tedtalks that will keep you focussed on NEXT.
  • Make NEXT your NOW.

Most of all remember, you don’t deserve crazy. It is not normal to be yelled at every day, to have your boss call you 15 times in 2 minutes at 11pm, to have your boss turn up at your front door on the weekend, to rate you down because they’re jealous of your looks, to publicly humiliate you in front of your team or threaten you in any way.  It is NOT NORMAL.  You deserve normal, to be liked, to look forward to work, to enjoy friendship at work, to be praised, to be rewarded and to feel appreciated.

You are WORTH it.
 
You are enough. 
 
Good luck!

 

Extra resources and  links
Previous Blog Posts
Getting support
Information on Employee Entitlements
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Lessons from a year running my own business as a career coach

Hi Fabulous!!

Today marks a year since I began my business as a career coach to women in IT, Science and Engineering.

Its been an awesome experience so far and I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings.  The learnings have been huge.  The sense of satisfaction with my life have been even huger.

If you’re wondering about whether you should go for it – I say GO FOR IT!!!

Just start now.  

There have been big learnings and even bigger growth.  Developing the communications skills necessary to just be with, sit with and be 100% present with a client is a constant work in progress.  To do this means also being able to 100% present with myself.  Its led to some big personal revelations that led me back to counselling and to create a close-out letter for my divorce.  This was a frustrating time because the divorce is 4 years ago and I thought I was ‘over it’.  Found out I wasn’t.   The old me would have denied the pain and got busy suppressing it (busy working, shopping, going out, going to yoga, travelling) but the new me welcomed the gift of truth.  It was scary to confront that I wasn’t ‘over it’, its an ego thing.  Instead I went back to counselling, creating a close-out letter to myself and read it out loud to my counsellor.  It was a very long letter – it was epic.  It was liberating.

The sense of release and energy was invigorating.  Pursuing your truth, your purpose and going for it doesn’t just open the doors you think you want it also helps you move forward with your life in ways you never knew you needed.  Living a whole year in my truth has given me this gift and it is what I hope to help my clients discover too.

The remainder of this blog post is dedicated to some of the bigger learnings I’ve had with clients. Learnings about working in IT, the pressure we place on ourselves and how ambition can drive and control us.  I’m sharing them today to help you with your own self-reflection.  If you like these learnings, please join the Facebook page  where I share prompts 2-3 days per week (mostly) on career, ambition, purpose and faith.

 

Lesson #1 

Smart, intelligent, driven people still need a cheer leader! 

It is easy to overlook the quiet achiever, the loud ambitious performer thinking they need little in the way of support and encouragement. They may even push back on receiving it.  Lessons from coaching is that working with strong, independent women is that we all still need that motivational support, an encouraging word and a review of achievements.  I know for myself I keep moving the goal posts and when I achieve something I already have a schedule of next achievements to focus on.  For some clients just repeating their achievements, booking in a celebration or breaking down how much has shifted through the coaching series can be their biggest take-away. No one is an island and we all need a hi-5 to know that we are on track and most importantly valued.

 

 

Lesson #2

Being heard is powerful

Some people need to speak at length through their ideas and goals, thinking through needs/wants and desires isn’t a quick 5-minute bullet list creation exercise.  Sometimes there are a lot of mindset and energy blocks that get in the way.  There are reasons why a determined ambitious person hasn’t shifted/changed or broken into something new.  These often appear in themes of commitment, loyalty, old stories, beliefs and judgement.  Financial commitments, not wanting to disappoint someone,  getting comfortable with their ambition, focusing on being a provider for their family, not wanting to let themselves down.  These themes can constrain thinking and switching into ‘what do you most want?’ mode isn’t always so easy.  There are a lot of BUTs that get in the way.  Sometimes I will ask: I give you permission to have everything you want – what does that look like?  Another approach is to shift into a a focus on the ‘WHY’ for change.   Both of these approaches allows a client to watch and observe their wants with less or no judgement, so they can safely begin an exploration that isn’t about blowing up their life and family and more of a shift into achieving their needs while maintaining their need to meet existing commitments.

 

 

Lesson #3

Emotions are hard work.

Actions are easy but sitting in an emotion and seeing/feeling can be really confronting. When these emotions overwhelm you remember:

You are blessed, you are important, your needs are valuable, be open to receive, be present and be kind to yourself.

 

Lesson #4

Understanding what we truly want is a skill.

Goals and actions can be set but the client may not truly get to understand  what they most want until session 3-4 – their need/want sometimes needs extra exploration and sometimes their first goal is masking a much deeper goal.  Letting goals evolve and refine through the series has enabled clients to achieve big wins and big shifts in mindset and career.

 

Lessons #5

Perfectionism can make us afraid. 

Perfectionism can be a big challenge amongst those of us who are senior, technical and scientific – fear of failure, letting ourselves down, not exploring our worth, not making a difference, not being valued. Together with my clients we explore what value is, what a true expression of their talent really means to them… this often leads to openness in finding satisfaction in different job roles and looking for opportunities not dependent on a single employer or role.  Often we explore their need for connection to their industry and hunger for knowledge and expertise (this can transmute into a variety of expressions from community work, finding the right meet up and experts to share stories with, to starting an MBA, to reading more broadly.)

 

I love to work with women who are wanting to get their next career move right.  Maybe you’ve got a boss that’s wearing your down, maybe you’ve reached the seniority you wanted to and  want to work out what’s next?

Would you love to work with me?   Find out more here

 

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4 actionable steps to build your confidence today

4 actionable steps to take to build confidence today 

1. Have Perspective. You’re not alone.
2. Do small things. What is one thing you can do today to increase your confidence?
3. Find an accidental mentor.
4. Adopt an enduring desire for change

Want more?

Click the picture to watch the back story.

Want to get ahead of the pack and stand in your power?

Want to lead your pack and get that promotion this year?

Want to take control and get results?

Want exclusive support?

Then book a complimentary consult today to get started.

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Following your heart opens up your world to possibility

What is the biggest learning you had this week?

If you follow me on Linkedin, Facebook or Insta, you will have noticed I sometimes post a learning of the week. These learnings cover 3 areas – what I learnt about myself, what I learnt about other or society, what I learnt at work.

Here are some highlights from my notes over Dec-Jan:

  • People listen when you communicate a message in the way they need to hear it
  • Kindness is powerful
  • Following your heart opens your world to possibility
  • We all love to laugh
Following your heart opens up your world to possibility
Following your heart opens up your world to possibility

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What have you learnt this week at work, about others and about yourself?

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Why is everyone just so critical ? Second chances and letting relationships just evolve.

How quickly do you label a colleague, direct report, peer or boss an idiot?   After one or two stuff ups, poorly chosen words or a funny facial expression?

I remember a mentor of mine once saying: “Why are aussies SO critical all the time?”

It seems like any minor problem will be taken as sufficient reason to write someone off entirely.

The most rewarding relationships are those that we invest in, when we truly get to know someone under a lot of different conditions.

In 2017, I discovered how rewarding seeing past someone’s reputation was and taking the time to develop a strong relationship could be.  But it took TIME and openness from both sides.  It meant having open conversations about things that bothered me and it meant me being open to things that bothered him.  It was worth the effort.

Is there someone you have written off?

What would happen if you tried again to build a positive relationship?

What are you missing out on by being closed off to this person?

What are the differences between boundaries and letting relationships grow organically?

Are we just too critical?

 

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Diplomacy 101

Respect confidences given freely.

Some of my biggest life lessons happened early particularly in regard to being diplomatic.  These lessons have always helped me especially in corporate roles. I originally shared this via Facebook and am sharing here with you just in case you missed it.

What lessons did you learn early and still apply today?

What happened?

When I was young (less than 10 I think), Mum told me how she had to give up studying at high-school at the end of Year 10 and shift to secretarial studies because she was a girl. Her brother was allowed to finish and become an engineer. I remember being MAD! Really MAD!

Shortly after, I remember walking beside my Poppa (Mum’s Dad). We were walking next to Frankston Tafe, opposite the train station. I remember it being a hot summers day. I seem to remember holding my Poppa’s hand, peering up with the sun in my eyes and saying ‘Poppa, why didn’t you let Mummy finish high-school?’


Afterwards (not sure how long afterwards), I remember Mum telling me never to repeat anything she told me to Poppa or too anyone else again. Mum was MAD, really MAD!

How did I feel?

Ashamed that I had embrassed my Mum and caused trouble.

Outraged that the issue was me speaking up, not the issue I perceived to be the ‘real issue’.

Taken aback, I thought I was helping.

What did I learn?

Don’t raise an objection on someone else’s behalf unless you have their permission.

Understand what is confidential and personal vs public knowledge.
Respect confidences given freely.

Epilogue : my Mum went back to school while I was in high school and completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Feminism studies and returned to the paid workforce until retirement.

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

What lessons did you learn early and still apply today?

 

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Beatrice’s Equality Day Dreams #5 – Making an important career decision is so easy

Can I be honest with you? I’m beginning to think my day dreams maybe a bit cynical.  When I read over this day dream that I wrote 5 months ago, it was part of a list of things I wish the workplace was vs wasn’t.

It shouldn’t be a dream that we are supported and progression is easy if we are ambitious and competent.  While writing my book and starting my life coaching business, every woman I have spoken to has talked about the challenge of finding out information on how to progress.

At work, a colleague came up to me (after reading my blog) and admitted she didn’t know that she was supposed to ask.  She has recently started working in Australia and asking wasn’t the custom in her previous country and in fact it might even have been deemed rude to ask.  People progressed once they met a benchmark and their manager would ask if they wanted to go up a level or take on a new role.

If you’re a manager, how transparent is it to your team how they progress? Are you over looking someone because they haven’t told you what they are interested in?  And, are you being overlooked because you are not asking?

One more story, recently a senior manager let me know that a role was available in his team and talked me through a series of names and I gave my thoughts.   I added an extra name to the list and we both agreed she’d be great for the role if she was interested.  In my gut, I thought she probably wasn’t.   Later, I asked her if she would be and let her know the role was available.  She surprised me by saying she was interested. So I said, “call him NOW and let him know NOW”.  She waited 5 days to speak to him (after another prompt from myself) and she missed out on the role.   The senior manager made a decision in 3 days.

If you hear of a role and you are interested, let the hiring manager know  straight away.  Don’t hesitate or let other work get in the way.

Just ask.

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My top tip for sticking to your truth and pursuing your dreams

Unravelling shoulds and focusing on want has been a challenge I have set myself over the last 18 months. It’s been a really amazing journey and has led me to write a book and become a life coach while also increasing my satisfaction at work.

It’s also been painful because I say NO to a lot of things and sometimes other people don’t get it (the focus, the drive, the saying “NO”.)

When you have followed your dream, what has happened for you?

What is your number one tip to staying in your truth?

My own top tip is be really clear on your WHY. It really takes the pressure off an uncomfortable situation when I know this is where I need to be right now to get to where I am going. Knowing my why – helping women progress (personally, professionally and in society as a whole) helps keep me going when I have to decline another social invitation so I can work on my business, study or write a blog post. It keeps me centred.

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How to be heard in every meeting

Today’s blog post is about how to be heard in meetings and this follows on from some of the work I’ve been posting on social media around getting your voice heard more often and easily in meetings.

Watch my latest FB live to hear more.

Grab the guide to be heard more today.

This work is part of a series I am putting together of helpful guides to help you be more confident at work and is part of work I am doing to set up my coaching business.  I help women to be seen living their true purpose so that they can radiantly embrace a lavish life. I truly believe that we all deserve to live a powerfully meaningful life.

Now on to my top tips to start getting your voice heard today.

Preparation = Credibility

My top tip to be heard more in meetings is to PREPARE.

Prepare three to five points that you want to speak to.  You can be confident going into any meeting with  credible comments to make knowing you have prepared some ideas around those comments before the meeting.

Meet the Chair before the meeting = Interest

Talk to the chair of the meeting prior to the meeting and let them know that you are really wanting to contribute to the meeting and you’ve got some points to talk about

Tip : ask them to call on you during the meeting if you haven’t spoken up.

Take in Post-Its

Take in your talking points on post-its  so it’s really clear that you’re prepared. Everyone will be looking at you going okay, she’s got the post-its so she knows what she’s talking about.  She’s prepared!  (Yes, this has happened to me. Slightly to my horror as I had only prepped those notes exactly 10 minutes before the meeting but suddenly my post its made me the expert that kept getting asked to contribute, quite possibly more than I was even hoping too.  It might sound a bit silly but its a simple strategy to get people’s attention and show you care.)

Eye contact = engagement

Make sure you’re making regular eye contact with the people who are speaking and the chair so that when you want to speak you can be like hi, this is now my time to talk. This also makes you look really engaged.

If you look interested, engaged and credible, you’ll be called on and if you’re trying to get into the conversation you’re more likely to be listened to and asked for your opinion.

Offer Support

The other way to contribute is to offer support for someone else’s idea, ask a follow up question or offer a solution for a problem. You can do this by asking a question that prompts discussion of that solution or simply providing a suggestion.

Follow Through

If you keep following these steps in every key meeting that you’re in and you do these regularly every day for four weeks, people will be asking you to contribute. They’ll be putting your ideas and name on the agenda and they’ll be asking your opinion leading into the meeting and during the meeting.

You have to be persistent and you have to be consistent.

Now, would you like to be seen living your true purpose? YES?

Then, set up  a complimentary consult with me to work through your next steps.

I am  passionate about about helping women to be seen living their true purpose and who want to radiantly embrace their life, find more meaning, purpose and growth in their career.  My strengths as a coach are empathy, warmth, belief in you and what you want to achieve and unwavering confidence that what you want is the right thing for you.  I absolutely hope to share and bring these out in you too.

I have a foundational offer running for :

(1) 6 * 1 hour session coaching series for $480

or

(2) 12 * 1 hour session coaching series for $960

Want more info on what a series involves? Below is a framework I follow to ensure your goal is met by the end of the series.

  • Session 1 :  Create an inspiring goal for you and set some key actions to understand where you are at now with that goal
  • Session 2 :  Making the goal real, setting intention and actions to achieve your goal in 6 or 12 sessions
  • Session 3-4 (or 11) : Structure support, appreciation, celebration.  Each fortnight set new actions to take, review your progress so far, take steps to keep on track, appreciate the journey and plan you big Goal achieved celebration.
  • Session 6 or 12: Celebration time!  Review your achievements, celebration what you’ve done and take learnings to help with the next chapter in your story.

Between each session you will complete homework as part of your actions and I will be available the whole way to support, provide feedback and help you achieve that big goal.

Want to start a coaching series? Book a complimentary consult now. 

Want to find out more about coaching, read more here.

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