Don’t Mistaken My Kindness as Weakness

Hi there!

It’s mid-January in 2018 ALREADY. Boy did this ever come quickly. I had my first vision board party yesterday with a bunch of incredible women doing amazing things for themselves. These women are not mediocre and far from being ordinary. Being in a room with these types of people light me up and give me, even more, energy and inspiration to work on my goals and dreams.

This post is about how many people mistaken someone’s kindness as weakness. I must say that for a very long portion of my life, my people pleasing tendencies had gotten me into trouble. It’s not an attractive trait, and people can smell it off of you. It’s almost like they have this thought, “hm….weak boundaries, let’s see what I can get from this person.” Since we are all human beings, this type of people pleasing saboteur can, in fact, have you feeling taken advantage of by others if you do not set up proper boundaries. I ran into this repetitive pattern quite often in 2017, and I feel like I finally get it now. Well, there’s always more work to do. We all want to be helpful, supportive, offer our thoughts and opinions, and maybe sometimes unsolicited advice to contribute to being a “good” person. I understand the intentions might be well intended. However, there is a HUGE problem with being too kind to people. I stood up a lot for myself last year which is something I wasn’t necessarily prepared to do. I was taught to put my head down, wait for things to happen and do what people ask of you because you are in some shape or form obligated to do so. In the meantime, work your ass off until it hurts because eventually, it will pay off. The question I could have asked myself earlier on was, what is my payoff?……

Yeah, that didn’t work out for me the way I hoped. I was left feeling depleted, not appreciated or respected, devalued, and always as if I didn’t have enough to bring to the table because I still needed MORE to be successful in my career and love life. Two significant areas of my life btw.

That’s a nice combination of not feeling good enough all the time. No wonder I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something different than the status quo in the past 1.5 years.

As for 2018, after my creative vision board party, it has offered me two themes.

A few photos of my vision board, hooray!

THEME 1: Saying HELL YES or HELL NO to anything that comes my way. There is no in-between feeling. Anything less than an eight on a scale from 1 – 10 is now a NO decision. Anything eight and above is a HELL YES move forward!

THEME 2: Say No to the Chase and Yes to Receiving. I chased people and jobs for years that offered very little fulfillment, lack of respect, and reciprocity in these relationships. I’m acutely aware now as seeing myself with impact, value, and leadership. Now, I only want to build relationships with people who understand that and who are supportive. There are no games. There is only mutual respect and easy breezy flow. To ME, that’s when I know I am on the right path and moving in the right direction. You can feel it.

There is a ton of power in saying no to opportunities and people that just don’t feel right. Let’s take money as an example since this is a topic everyone can relate to in some shape or form.

Asking for money gets easier over time. When I first started asking for money in my business, the reactions from people were hilarious. Typically, there is an excuse for why people don’t have the money right now to pay you but maybe in two months or three months when things settle down. Or, they may say we don’t have the budget to spend that kind of money for your services but, if you want to do it, and are willing to do it cheaper than we can make that happen! Keep in mind, the people I was asking money for in exchange for my services I was giving WAY too much of my time and free services than I probably should have entertained. My many acts of kindness, weak boundaries, and being SO fixated on the outcome, self-sabotaged because these potential clients did not see me as valuable enough to pay the price points I was asking. Now that also has to do with my mastery of sales at the time which is a work in progress I must say! However, I was too kind, and these acts of kindness were viewed as weakness, and I consistently questioned my worth and value.

How did this leave me feeling? Validating my thoughts and story of I’m not good enough in some way. I also believed that there aren’t enough opportunities to draw from, so I better offer something different and do it anyways.

I needed to experience this recurring pattern consciously over and over again until it became easy to say no and easy to say yes. Now when I ask for money, if the answer is no I move on without disappointment, fear, or anxiety that I won’t be able to make it. I move on powerfully and with energy because I trust that my people are waiting for me to reach out and work together without resistance or fear. (well maybe some fear!) Clients need to WANT to work with you.

The same lessons can be used in dating. I no longer entertain the game. I say yes to men who have respect and are genuine with their actions. Hell, we even have phone conversations instead of “texting.” Texting is majorly dull to me now. Please stop asking me personal questions through a text. I just can’t. I’m not the “nice” girl I used to be because I see myself as someone who deserves a love that feels extraordinary and it’s changed the game entirely for me. When you begin to shift your perspective and learn to say no without fear of scarcity, your life will open up.

If you are a single woman looking for love and tired of swiping right or left, join me on February 8th in Toronto for a women’s love circle. Early bird tickets are on sale now until February 1st.

Click here to RSVP your tickets

Be prepared to be cracked wide open at this women’s love circle and leave with a solid strategy to take your love life to the next level. It’s my mission to help women learn a new way of being in love so they can enjoy the process instead of beating themselves up for the countless disappointments. Find the love you deserve, not what you’ve been taught to justify. I can’t wait to meet you and I am so excited to talk about your LOVE story 🙂

That’s all for now!

xoxo Sonia

You can try doing it on your own, but you don’t have to

Hi there and welcome 2018!

I decided not to write the official New Years post sharing what I learned and what I intend to do for 2018 because let’s face it, it’s overkill.

Instead, I wanted to write about the art of asking for help because I’ve thought a lot about this lately. People are afraid to ask for help in their career or personal lives.  I know tons of people who aren’t very good at this, and they have their reasons why they don’t ask for help. I used to be one of these people. I didn’t ask for help because I thought it made me look weak or it always came with an expectation of some sort, and it wasn’t worth it. So I didn’t ask for help, and I didn’t get the results I wanted for a long time. Building your team of supporters or “board of directors” to help you along this life journey is super important. It goes well beyond your family, partner/relationship, and friends.

I have been getting real curious about people, and I am seeing that there is some belief that is holding them back from growing in areas of their lives. It’s interesting to see how much we limit ourselves because of that THING or few things! I often hear people say, “oh when things settle down.” “when I finish this project, then I’ll do that thing.” ” I am already spending X amount of dollars, and I don’t have the money to invest in that right now.”  “My experience has been negative which means that I can’t do it because I will have the same result.” “I’m giving my partner X amount of time to show me their commitment to me because it’s too early.” Blah blah blah, excuses, excuses, excuses. We come with a list of excuses for why we can’t do something, or why it’s not the right time to spend the money and invest in ourselves, and we even give reasons for others to excuse certain behaviours. It’s a problem, indeed. Playing the waiting game wastes the time you have now and limits you from reaching your dreams and experiencing life in a new way.

We need to get better at asking for help because this is one strategy out of many that have contributed to my success in the past year (there you go, one for 2017!)

Here are some ideas:

1. Hire a Coach – at some point with the ever-changing workforce, lots of professionals will be seeking out a Coach to help create new ways to live their lives on purpose and fulfilled. You are in luck. I am a Leadership Coach and here is a link to my solo coaching programs and packages. If you are still not convinced, I invite you to read this recent blog post on why you should hire a Coach in 2018. Click here.
2. Look for a Mentor and ASK someone to Mentor you. A Mentor should be someone who is doing something you already want to be doing. Interview a few to get a sense of who you vibe with and trust.
3. Get curious about people and ask them how they got to be doing what they are doing now. One step further, ask them why! Developing these kinds of relationships will build your pipelines where you can access at any point for help.
4. If you are single, ask your peeps if they know of any cute single people you can date. Get out there and practice people! As a happily single woman, I am telling you, people need the practice. That goes for men and women. I have a coaching program for men specifically on dating. Click here to find out how we can work together.
5. Ask people in your network if they know of any job opportunities or volunteer opportunities and if they can refer you to someone to speak to about it.

Above all, go for no. Don’t expect people to say yes to you just because you asked. You may find most people will say no to you with a tiny few that can help you out and say yes to you. Learning from your rejections will help you in the future when you are asking for that raise or promotion as an example or in your sales conversations if you own a business.  Going for no and hearing no will build your confidence and strengthen your resiliency. Why do you need to do that? Because when people say YES to you, the possibilities and opportunities that come from that are now available to you. You’ll have the courage to have difficult conversations, quit your job, ask out that attractive person at the coffee shop and the Universe will respond to this new person you are in ways you never imagined.

“If you aren’t rejected often, you aren’t trying very hard.”

Schedule a complimentary coaching call with me if you are ready to change your life without excuses. Be vulnerable enough to trust me to get you where you want to be.

-Leadership Coach, Sonia Grossi

 

What’s your batting average?

Is your batting average a big fat zero? Or a nice .400? In baseball, if you are hitting at .400%, you are the all-time MVP. Trust me.

I’m calling the next chapter of my life; Nothing to Lose.

I spent a lot of time not taking action on the things that are most important to me. The things that mattered to me. The areas in my life I thought was a distant dream but one day would be my reality. Mostly, I wasn’t aware of what was important to me and because I was too busy people pleasing everyone else around me and supporting them with their goals. #peoplepleaser and #rescuer. Now at the big 3 – 0, I realize that I am over a hump of leaving my life to chance. Because leaving it to chance doesn’t work for me and adulting is HARD lol.

I recently had a great call with my Leadership Coach on dating. I am ready to get back in the game and start hitting again.(baseball reference people) To do this, you need to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there. Ugh. FEAR. LOL. So I started thinking about what I want? What do I want out of this? What’s going to work for me right now? Now that that’s clearer, how I do make it happen? So I came up with a dating strategy to meet new, fun, exciting, and intelligent men. I uncovered old beliefs and changed them to new beliefs. I worked on my mindset and emotional state so that when I meet these fascinating individuals, I have an open mind and I can connect better and have fun. Roll with the punches. Let’s just say that mindset has been the biggest shift for me because I already see the change in how I interact with men available in my life. It’s not about the end goal because I am looking for genuine friendships and connection. Simple.

All that to say, this area of my life is moving, shifting, and FAR MORE enjoyable than before. Thank Goodness!

My message here is not necessarily about dating, but, more importantly, about the action you take in your life. Just like any other area of your life whether it be career, money, friendships, love, real estate, the hard truth is that the less action you take, the fewer results you see. It’s not ALWAYS personal. Being resilient is going to help you big time to move your life in a direction and steer appropriately when necessary.

Here are some scenarios where your “outcome” or “expectation” will not help you and might stop you in your tracks of taking more action.

1. Applying for a job you are 100% qualified for and go through the entire interview process only to find out the employer offered the job to someone who didn’t have half the skills you did? WTF.
2. Starting a business with the expectation that you’ll make 15K in the first three months without any relationship pipelines developed. Yeah, this takes some work.
3. Putting it out there that you are interested in someone cute only to find out they have a partner or worse, they just don’t like you. Ouch.
4. Expecting your family to be more understanding and just get you one day. Expecting them to be different. #probablynot
5. Buying a home in Toronto without any plan to save for a down payment. There is no hashtag for this one.

Anyways, in my next chapter, I am exploring opportunities and saying YES. Situations that scare the hell outta me. Taking action on my dreams rather than sitting back and saying, well one day it’s going to happen right?

Discover what you want (this involves some thinking), make a plan with some action items and timelines, do the action items and see how it goes. Didn’t meet your “expectation”? That’s alright, hug yourself, be kind to yourself, and try again 🙂 Forget about your fears, limitations, expectations, or assumptions. Leadership is about taking action and being OK when you fail. Failure is going to be the most valuable lesson you will ever learn throughout your life and it will teach you what you need to do. So go out there and fail a little bit!

Tired of batting at 0? I know I was and that was a signal for me to do something about it. If you need help in uncovering your expectations, fears, beliefs, and assumptions are in your life and how these are holding you back, send me an email at sonia@soniagrossi.com, and we can talk. I work with people who want to thrive and evolve through a transformation to become a hero of their own story.

-Sonia

The Self-Compassionate Leader

The end of August for me is a time for reflection, back to work with organizations ramping up for their next fiscal year, and for many back to school.  I always get a little tense around this time partly because I know I can no longer wear summer dresses and cute shoes in a few weeks 😦

Life throws at you the good, the bad, and the ugly.

We know this, and most of the time we want to avoid the bad and the ugly. No one wants to suffer. However, it’s part of the deal. The deal of life. This past summer I’ve been submerging myself in a ton of situations and opportunities that have stretched me beyond my comfort zone, and because of this, my inner critic has been REALLY loud.

What I mean by my “inner critic” is the mean things I say to myself that do not help my performance, self-esteem, or the way I feel about life. I never realized how much I was doing this until this summer and of course with the help of my Leadership Coach. Then I thought about what it looked like on the outside of someone who is hard on themselves?

Not an attractive leader.

Every time you up level in this game of life ( and you are the protagonist in this story btw) your inner critic, gremlins, or saboteurs to name a few go wild! This is because they have developed habits over an extended period by outside forces other than your own.

They kind of sound like this.

  • “You are so shit and not skilled at this yet.”
  • “You are 30 years old already, how do you not have this figured out, everyone else has it figured out.”
  • “How are you a public motivational speaker? You don’t even have your own life figured out?”
  • “What’s wrong with you that you can’t achieve any of your dreams?”
  • “Everyone thinks you’re a failure because you don’t have a corporate job, marriage, and kids, a home, etc. Pretty useless if you ask me.”
  • “Your coworkers are better at this than you.”
  • “It’s going to take you YEARS to move up the corporate latter.”
  • ” Build a business at your age? Psh…you might as well give up now because only experienced individuals can do this kind of stuff.”
  • “They are right. You are not skilled enough for this.”

OK – so some of these are a little exaggerated, but you can get a sense for how those sound and feel inside my head and in my body. Not very motivating at least in the long run. I’ve been sprinting my way through a marathon thinking I would never get tired because I’m invincible. Wrong.

This list can go on. Eventually what happens is that you begin to look at failure as a negative thing or a bad thing and it tends to stop you in your tracks. Eventually failing seems worse than where you are now. So you give up and feel like shit because you are never good enough to get what you want. That’s been my story for awhile. Ever since I was a little girl the bar was set high, and if I didn’t meet it, I didn’t amount to anything of value, and I didn’t have the skills or consciousness to give myself self-compassion. I didn’t even know what it truly meant until I began reading Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff. Can you be nice to yourself for making mistakes? WOAH. Forgiveness and vulnerability are compelling and two key ingredients to sustaining relationships and the relationship you have with yourself. I don’t need to feel shame anymore by things I did or said. I do need to forgive myself and learn from my mistakes if I want to be the human being I want to be which is full of love, compassion, decisiveness, leadership, fun and flirty energy 🙂 watch out!

Now as in today, I am changing this story, and I will be practicing self-compassion more and more to myself. I don’t want to be the type of person who only feels like they are succeeding based on achievements or performance because humans aren’t perfect and we mistakes. Success isn’t a ladder you keep climbing without falling a few steps behind. Take a look at your life map up until now, and you’ll see all the dips and raises you took. The greatest heroes have ups and downs too.

I will wait for the right opportunities in my life that I desire. This goes for every aspect of my life. Love, career, friendships, home space, and fun. The kinder you are to yourself, the more “right” opportunities will come your way and you will be able to recognize it immediately. Thank you, Abraham Hicks for this intel.

Remember you are the protagonist of your own life so give yourself credit, be kind to yourself, learn from mistakes, be kind to others and raise the standard. There is no need to feel shame, embarrassed, unworthy or deflated. You can feel differently when you understand that life happens for you not to you. How do you want to feel?

I hope this is helpful for those of you who are perfectionists, and hyper-achievers like me. Even if you are not those things, you can see that by being kinder to yourself helps you be the leader this world needs. The world is waiting for you, your ideas, and your leadership to make it a better and more compassionate place for all those to benefit from.

-Sonia

 

 

 

Be Your Superhero

Hi there,

Back in the day, I watched Sailor Moon everyday after school at 4PM btw.  She was a Japanese anime character with two identities. One identity was her regular life as a teenager in high school and the other as Sailor Moon, the superhero. When danger reared its ugly head, she used her inner leader to save the world. I wanted her magic pen that allowed her to change into any outfit she desired. Enough of that though..

What if I told you that the only person standing in your way of your dreams is you? What if I said that the only reason you aren’t making more money is you? What if I told you the only reason you are not experiencing your dream relationship is you?

How do you feel now? Hopeless, frustrated, disappointed, uneasy with the decisions you’ve made along the way. At some point did you stop and look at your life and say to yourself, who’s life am I living anyway? Is the life I’ve created for myself the life I want to be living or one that’s expected of me?

Some may argue that in order to get ahead; you need to have certain things in place before you can do that. You need money, education (possibly a Masters Degree these days), access to people who can connect you with the right people to gain access to incredible opportunities, work very hard to get the corner office on the 21st floor with a fantastic view. To experience the relationship of your dreams, you need to be skinnier, smarter, prettier, wealthier; otherwise, that person you are seeking might not consider you at all. There are A TON of preconceived notions of what you need to live life a certain way because let’s face it; the world is “unfair.”

Want to know a secret? How many of the things you think you want, can honestly say you want that for yourself? I could bet you if you took a look at the things you want to experience in this life, it might look different than what your life “should” be.

Here are some of the things I thought I had wanted before I hit 30:
1. A marriage with children
2. A four bedroom house
3. A leadership role in a large organization
4. The perfect body
5. A stable substantial income each month
6. A summer home
7. Tons of friends who come to my four bedroom home for dinner parties with their partners/husbands

Honestly, the list could go on, but I digress. As you can see, I am not 30 (in a few weeks!), and I am not on my way to marriage anytime soon, owning a four bedroom home, having a second home, or even friends who are married! Does it make me feel sad, frustrated, and disappointed? It sure does. The “should haves” I’ve pointed out are all the expectations I’ve put on myself. These are expectations I thought I should be experiencing at my age and they are a terrible way to look at my life.

It’s an awful feeling to feel like you are not at a certain level of what’s expected of you. And you feel as if you are kind of behind the eight ball. But everyone else is doing it you might say! So there must be something wrong with me if I don’t have any of those things, right?

I knew people in my earlier high school years who married in their early to mid-twenties and had made or on the way to make families. Bought a home, had a 9-5 job and took the vacation with their families once or twice a year. Every time I go to a cousin’s bridal shower or wedding (and I have plenty of relatives), I always get asked where my Mr. Right is, and if I don’t hurry up, it will be too late to live out my happy ending because single does not = happiness. I’ve also had “friends,” say to me, “Ugh I am so glad I’m not single anymore, it’s brutal out there.” What gives people?

What I am learning is that the environment in which I was surrounded by as a child was a tiny population of how the rest of the world lives their lives. We bought into the idea that life comes with a lot of shoulds and if you didn’t have them, you are a failure, so you better hurry up and marry the next guy that approaches you. You also better save all of your money and buy a house at 25 because then what else are you going to do? It’s all rigged by fear.

I had a beautiful young lady ask me the other day if I regret not finding “The One” earlier on in my years as she too is struggling to find a partner in her early twenties. My honest answer was No. I explained to her that if I choose to settle down with any of the men I’ve met along the way, my life would be completely different. I also shared that I always knew I wanted more of a relationship and the prospects around at each stage of my life were not candidates who could give that to me. There was still a lot of internal work to do. Only in my late twenties have I focused on myself and my self-discovery and uncovered what I want to experience in this life. The pressures we feel comes from our family, friends, and what we see on media as “acceptable.” These ideas we buy into are the only way to true happiness as it may seem from an external view.

It takes the time to feel your way through the pain you’ve experienced as a child, to heal and to let go. It also takes, even more time to find out who you are and not what you think you are based on someone else’s beliefs.

You see the thing is, sometimes my Superhero emerges in conversation with people. However, my inner child has me feeling small, hopeless, frustrated, disappointed by any means. It’s an internal conflict, and I am breaking it down.

My Inner Superhero Goes Like This: ( I love Sailor Moon btw)

Sonia, you are a force of nature, fun, flirty, magical, intuitive, authentic, connected and SEXY. You are so sure of what you are looking for, and because of that, you never settled for the first, second, third or even fourth opportunity that came your way. You have a fantastic mindset and understanding of the world in that it is abundant and there are plenty of choices and opportunities available for you. When one door closes, another door opens directing you to your hearts desires. You are mastering your intuition and taking a step back before saying yes to anything that feels less than spectacular. You’ve become conscious of what drains you and what excites you. You know deep down in your heart that you don’t have to settle for anything based on your friends, families, or co-workers opinions. On a larger scale, you are closer to being free of expectations with the gift of flexibility in your life. You are free. You will work on a beach because you’ve always wanted to and it will be even better than you had imagined. You will meet amazing souls all over the world who are kind, warm, loving, safe, intelligent and whom live their lives as if today is the best day of their entire lives. You will be welcomed and invited to something bigger than yourself. You want to transform the lives of others and free them from their expectations of themselves. You can inspire the rest of the world to stand up for themselves and choose things like love, joy, freedom, happiness, connection. It is possible for you to instill confidence and courage back into the world that seems to be forgotten. You just need to be patient. The Universe will test you with shiny things and distract you along the way, and it is your job to know when to say No. Ask, and it shall be received. Your problems will be bigger and harder, and with your resilience, you will overcome each one.

At the end of it all, I want someone to say about me, “She overcame all her limitations she imposed on herself and with that, showed others the way to their true hearts desires.”

You always have a choice. Are you going to continue with the story of being a victim of circumstances or are you going to tell your superhero story? You decide.

Let me know what your story is and send me an email at sgrossi.consulting@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you and how the shoulds have been running your life.

– Sonia

Be Inspiring & Dateable Again

So many people say that they want to be stimulated, inspired, do something different, and my all time favourite, impact change. What does that really mean to you though? I’ve spent a lot of time and energy saying this over and over again and not really doing anything about it. That was my life…BORING!

There are people I’ve met along the way who I KNOW deep in my heart have HUGE potential, and they spend most of their days worrying and wondering what their life should look like – which is very different to the one they are living now btw. No offence or judgement to how you choose to live your life as everyone has a different definition of success and happiness,  it just sounds pretty boring to me. There is no such thing as perfection, but there is a way to live the life you’ve always wanted and that isn’t by doing what you’ve been doing for the past 20+ years which is made up of excuses and playing this waiting game. You know what I mean here, “oh when I have enough money, when I find the right person, when I go on that vacation” (which you never seem to book)

I took a course last weekend and I discovered how our past impacts our present. Easy right? Well, not really. Most of the individuals that got up to talk about their pasts were really hurting inside which was impacting their lives today. I saw through them that they didn’t feel good enough to have everything they wanted, which is why they either settled for less than they deserve, or didn’t even try at all. I’m more of the latter by the way, I don’t settle, but I often stop myself from going after the larger picture. Still a big problem. I am not that person anymore.

There’s a few things that separate us from those who get what they want and deserve. Those who get what they want never stopped moving forward even when they heard the word “no”. They never stopped even when people judged them and said, “you’re ridiculous!” They never stopped because their purpose was on point and they saw the other side even though it wasn’t yet in their reality, this is called uncertainty and don’t we all LOVE uncertainty. When we reach the border which separates our current reality vs. the one we want to have in our hearts, our brains get freaked out. See image below.

Border

Freaking out happens to everyone once we get close to this border. I still do it with myself from time to time once I get close to something I want in my business or life, I literally freak out. Just ask my coach – she knows. What I want to say here is that it’s so easy to take yourself out of the game, fall back into old patterns & ways of thinking, reach out to that person who isn’t right for you just because you’re lonely, find another job because you think it might be better. That’s not being authentic to yourself and you owe yourself so much more than that. You owe your soul so much more. When I’m on a date with someone and I feel their energy is low as if the world has sucked everything they got out of them and they choose to do NOTHING about it, call me judgemental, but I most likely won’t want a second date. Not because I think they aren’t good enough or that I’m better, it’s because I want to be around people who are alive, energized, and owning up to their full potentials. That’s what makes you fun, inspiring and dateable. Pause and let that sit for a moment. Where are you not showing up in your life that way?

So, where are you holding back and what do you really want that you don’t already have? I’ve left my calendar available on March 16th from 4-9PM to talk to you and have 1:1 conversations to see what’s holding you back and how I can help in anyway. Talking about it can really give you some clarity if nothing else.

Click here to book a call with me on March 16th and we’ll tackle it one step at a time.

With love,

Sonia

Manager vs. Employee

Let’s talk Manager versus Employee.

There are always three sides to a story. The side the Manager perceives what happened. The side the employee perceives what happened. Then what actually happened without anyone’s perceptions, judgements or beliefs around it.  I’ve been lucky enough to experience multiple employers, projects, teams, team members, industries, leadership styles, roles and now the wonderful world of freelance and entrepreneurship. I say I am lucky because with all the hoops I’ve jumped through, I’ve been learning, practicing and upgrading my skills all at the same time to be the person I am today – which is awesome by the way!

Today’s topic is on encouraging team members to have honest conversations with their managers. This is so important if you plan to have long term employees and decrease turnover efforts within your company. Let’s face it, the working world is changing rapidly and with all this talk about leadership best practices, intergeneration’s working together,  employee engagement, and free food during your lunch hour, it’s really hard to keep up and know what really works.

Leaders in any organization, not-for-profit, public or private sectors, sports teams even need to understand how their members are thinking and feeling. If there is open communication and it’s honest and direct without blame or judgements, we can create long lasting relationships in the workplace. Relationship building is a skill and it takes time to develop. Especially even longer for the younger generations who think building relationships through text messaging and social media is how its done. (We have so far to go)  I’ve been in multiple situations now where both parties (including myself) were not direct in their messaging and upon leaving these meetings, feeling as if the whole thing was pointless in the first place. It causes frustrations and beliefs that aren’t even real. In the end, you have to book another meeting just to get the right message across because the tension is still there.

I’ll give you an example.

Say you have a 1 on 1 touch point with your Manager and he or she says, they feel that your performance is not up to their expectations and it’s causing a lot of problems for them and making them look bad with our departments stakeholders, partners and VP. Oh and, your role doesn’t look like it’s going to stay in the same place because your skill set doesn’t match the role anymore so we have to take a look at where we can move you if that is still an option but will have to take it up with the VP of HR. One more thing..don’t go to the VP of HR because he won’t really listen to you anyways, your position title doesn’t make you important enough.

What are some immediate thoughts?

  1. They are going to fire you.
  2. You’re not good enough for the role.
  3. Your Manager is NOT on your side.
  4. Your Manager does NOT believe in you nor do they want to support you.
  5. This is unfair.
  6. I do not agree on performance …it’s my 6th week into the role and I need time to learn. Thanks but no thanks.

Yeah it happened. That isn’t the whole conversation, however, it’s my perception of how the conversation went. When they say people don’t leave companies, they leave their bosses, I’d say this is most definitely a huge factor in the decision making process among many other things.

So how do we fix this? There is no one solution so here are my top three.

First, we can help by equipping managers with the right tools, skills and language to have difficult conversations with team members. This can be done multiple ways through training, social learning, coaching, experience and HR Business Partners as some examples. Check out our program on Leadership Essentials or email me to find out how we can use this program in your company.

Second, we need to encourage team members to let their managers know what’s going on through honest open communication and feedback. Let your team members know you are there to support them with their career goals and you want to help get them there. If there is an area an employee wishes to go and you feel like it’s definitely not their strongest suit, then offer opportunities for training, job shadowing, or research so they can get better at it. Communicate to them that you are dedicated to helping them grow through the resources you have and know of and they will appreciate this very much.

Third, do the work to help them reach their end goal. For example, an employee expresses their interest in workshop design and facilitation as an area they wish to pursue or upgrade their skills. Connect the individual with internal teams and projects to expose them to use this skill and give opportunities to practice. Always coach through the process and offer feedback either by a Manager, external coaching firm, or internal team members who have experience in these areas.

Creating leaders in teams regardless of position title is how we can help make the workplace more productive and enjoyable. Taking responsibility for what happens within our worlds can make a huge impact as well. If we stop blaming everyone else for what happened, we might actually get creative and solve our problems too. Managers have a big responsibility managing people and I help leaders develop a working roadmap to create the team of their dreams.

Side note: I worked in a company where an entire team dreaded going into meetings with their VP. The team had a ritual prior to the meeting (which I will not repeat) to help prepare them for her meetings. Don’t be that VP and definitely don’t be those teams who poke fun at their boss behind closed doors. This isn’t high school anymore…

If you want to learn more about solving problems in the workplace, join my “Moment of Truth” Meetup group and every month we talk about various issues in the workplace delivered in a mini workshop style. February is on encouraging team members to speak up and why it’s important. March is on getting clarity and taking action.

Click here to join

What kinds of conversations are happening at your work? Comment below and share your experiences positive or negative or forward to someone you know who may need to read this. You can also send me an email so we can chat on what problems you’re facing and how I can help.

-Sonia

Bossy Pants/#BOSSGIRL

I used to be THAT girl… “bossy”, and then I wasn’t, and then I was again. Confusing? YES.

In my earlier years, (not that it was THAT long ago) I was often referred to as bossy according to my “friends”. Most times when I heard these derogatory comments, I never really understood what they meant by it or why they felt that way. I think the problem was because I never followed up with the simple question, “Why do you say that?” or “What is it that I do that’s bossy”. “Please explain”. Looking for answers would have helped me connect the dots. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the confidence to speak up and I was generally told to stop talking, listen, and let someone else lead and make important decisions even if I disagreed with it. I mean, the only thing I remember as a child now that I’m a bit older are the comments shared by peers and how others made me feel. REMEMBER: People will always remember how you made them feel, not necessarily what you did or said. It’s all a distant blur at this point, however, the feelings are still there. Often, when kids on the playground said these types of things, it always made me question it because I thought, “Well NO, that’s how YOU are” or maybe that’s what I wanted to say to them.  We are mirrors of ourselves and at times when someone calls you dramatic or bossy as an example, it’s simply because they are themselves. It’s interesting because we tend to project ourselves onto others while thinking we don’t at all have that problem… Just take a moment and think about that…

I could get all into that but THAT is definitely not the purpose of this post. It’s funny to me now to recall how embarrassed and ashamed I used to feel when someone called me bossy. It was seen as a negative thing and not an amazing trait to have when you’re a kid. But then you grow up, figure out the world, and have to make tough decisions in order to survive.

Sheryl Sandberg is an advocate of women as leaders and says that little girls who are told they are “bossy” should be told instead they have “leadership potential.”  I recently checked out a YouTube video of her Ban Bossy campaign where someone asked a small group of girls in an elementary school around the age of 10 if it’s more important to be a leader or to be liked. Every single girl said it is better to be liked than to be a leader. In their responses as to why, “because no one will like you if you tell them what to do.” Unfortunately this is the reality for young girls because of all the consequences that come with stepping up as a leader to your peers. It’s not seen as a good thing AT ALL. I can speak from my experience and confidently say leadership qualities were often translated into negative characteristics such as aggressive, dominating, overbearing, abrasive etc. It is true that not a lot of people liked me at that time (limited social circles composed out of convenience and location). I never went to French immersion, preschool or day care centres. I didn’t have the social skills to interact with strangers before I entered kindergarten. Be quiet, don’t make a lot of noise, and let the grown ups talk. THANKS! This is just how it was at THAT time.  I was raised by my Italian parents and a lot by my grandparents who lived basically across the street. Boy did they ever make THE BEST home cooked meals.

So what are the results of something like this? It affects levels of confidence, self-esteem, self-love and respect for yourself. Doubting your potential and capabilities and not setting boundaries are the results of feeling this way. These things affect all areas of your life; family, friends, relationships, work, etc. This is not to say that you will not recover, you just have to do the work.

The little girl in me was never bossy in my eyes, yet had natural leadership skills. Since I was conditioned to suppress this side of me for so long after highschool, I often felt misunderstood and unsatisfied in my career choices or circle of friends because I simply wasn’t allowing myself to lead anymore. There was always a sense of shame to be myself. Constant trigger moments later on in life that NEEDED to be removed. When that #BOSSGIRL came out sporadically, I found people didn’t react positively and it was because I had changed the game on them. It’s all a learning process, and you won’t get it right the first time. So I had to tweak my leadership approach in a way that worked for me and this comes with PRACTICE.

So what did I learn?

  • I realized I was born to be a leader, entrepreneur, and work for myself which is why I started my own training and coaching business this year and it’s growing!
  • I am not afraid to connect and meet new people who also have their own businesses and come with their own set of skills, knowledge and experiences. Partnerships are so fun and a great place to be. No delegation necessary!
  • I work SMART not HARD which means stepping up to the plate to set professional boundaries so that I am fulfilled in my work and allows me to work in a way that makes sense.
  • I am not afraid to let people know how I am thinking or feeling which creates meaningful relationships and friendships and helps with who I choose to let into my life in the future.
  • Be who you are no matter what people think. WHY? Because they don’t matter anyways 🙂

On November 21st I am speaking in front of 200 minority 6th-12th grade girls in Detroit on confidence and leadership along with 5 wonderful entrepreneur women sharing their own stories. I’m so excited I just can’t wait to meet everyone!

Share, like, or comment below 🙂 I’d love to hear from you and discover your turning points or what I can do to help with clarity and confidence in my Clarity Breakthrough program.

-Sonia