When Companies Care(d)

people-care-about-results-when-the-company-demonstrates-they-care-about-their-people

My grandfather worked for Consumers Power in Michigan for over forty years, beginning in the 20’s as a lineman and ending up in management. When he passed away in 1971, that utility company did something practically unheard of today. They contacted my grandmother, who’d been a homemaker throughout their marriage, and offered her a job. She ended up working her way up to a management position and retired after fifteen years. I’m sure this action was initiated by one of the senior managers but it was the company that we felt gratitude for. To this day, whenever I think about that company, I recall it being family oriented and actually caring about their employees and their families.

In today’s results driven workplace the perception is that most companies care more about their bottom line than their employees. With phrases like “work / life balance”, “flexible scheduling” or “excellent earning potential” being touted, it as though those companies are trying to convince people what a good employer they are. Would they need to use such phrases if they actually had a track record of being a preferred employer? Often times our perception of companies that are family oriented bring to mind small or family owned businesses. However, working for small companies may mean less benefits or a smaller salary.

I believe the attitudes and actions of managers have a greater impact on the perception of employees than any formal company statement. If your direct supervisor demonstrates that they care about you, your perception of the company is a more positive one. Conversely, if your boss is a jerk, it’s tough to feel good about where you are working. In large companies, the managers who are two to three levels above an employee are the face of the company because most workers don’t have interactions with the company executives. There lies the opportunity.

If you supervise others, understand that you influence how your employees perceive the company. Sure, you have deadlines to meet and results to obtain. However, treating others with respect, kindness and genuine interest in their wellbeing will help you produce better results. Think about a time that you lost your temper or behaved badly with your team and what that result was. Could it have been better if you were better? Knowing that those we work with actually care makes a huge difference in our performance.

Only you know what kind of boss you are. You make the decision to care or not care about your team. Just realize that your actions turn into the overall perception of the company. Just like that senior manager at Consumers Power, you can make a difference in the lives of your employees and their families and impact how your company is thought of.

christiebakeman.com

Now an apology to those who were reading my blogs each week and noticed that I haven’t published anything for two months. My husband fell off a ladder while working, resulting in a hip replacement. We aren’t spring chickens anymore so getting him back to normal is going to take months. Between working full time, taking care of him and handling all other aspects of our lives, something had to give and it was my writing. Things have gotten to a new normal for us so I hope you will continue to read my work. Most importantly, I hope my writing makes you think about your own life and beliefs and how to live a happier life.  Christie

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Waiting To Be Happy? Really?!?

Enlightenment, joy and peace are inside you

Have you ever said to your spouse, children or a friend; if you would do “this” I would be happy? Come on, be honest. If you didn’t say it out loud, you’ve thought this at one time or another. Or maybe you have only applied this type of statement to a work environment. When the company does this, I will be happier about working here.

I started thinking about this because I’ve allowed a personal situation to steal my happy recently. I strongly disagree with some decisions a family member is making. When I discussed it with my husband, he said I was being negative about that person. Although I don’t see it that way, I understand his point. The fact is I’ve spent far too much energy thinking about the situation, worrying about the individual and trying how to get them to recognize what they are creating. No matter how much we love someone, we can’t live their life for them and they must deal with the results of their decisions.

A few months ago when my book, It’s Your Life…..Own It! was released, a classmate reached out to me. Bob and I had attended junior high and high school together. We hadn’t spoken in a decade but he wanted me to know he was proud of me. What was interesting is, he told me he wouldn’t be purchasing the book because he was already very happy with his life. Unlike most, he was grateful for all areas of his life. He used the words satisfied and happy multiple times as he described his life.

Yesterday Bob had a heart attack and died. I was shocked and saddened when I read the post on FB. Naturally, I recalled our last conversation and realized Bob was content and happy with the life he lived. Isn’t that the best that we can ask for? To be happy with the life we’ve lived?

My friend’s death gave me a different perspective on my personal situation. The question for me as well as you is; why are you wasting any time on things that cause you distress, anger or worry? Life is meant to be joyful. Why waste time or wait to be happy? Just as I can, I’m sure you can find plenty of people or circumstances in your life to be happy about. I have a file saved on my computer called “Gratitude Journal”. Sometimes I open it up to remind myself of all the wonderful things in my life but today I’m going to add to it, starting with “I have been blessed to have had Bob as a friend, because he was a living example of happiness.”

RIP Bob, I will miss that easy smile and the man behind it.

Who Can You Count On?

prime purpose is to help others Dalai Lama

When there is a crisis in your life, who do you turn to? Who will be there helping you before you ask? While you are thinking about those questions, let me share a very personal story.

In 2003 I experienced the most challenging circumstance of my life. It was more heart wrenching than the death of my parents or my divorce nine years later. My husband spent sixteen days in the ICU and without exaggeration, about half of that time I didn’t know if he was going to make it. The most difficult decision I’ve ever made was taking my two sons, ages 9 and 12, to the ICU to see their father. I didn’t know if it would be the last time they would see him alive and I needed to prepare them for whatever may happen. The boys had gone to school one day only to come home and find a neighbor there instead of their parents, so I needed them to know that their dad was in the hospital and very ill. I postponed taking them to the hospital for several days, yet when the doctors were unsure about his recovery, I finally had to make a choice. Thirteen years later, just thinking about what my sons went through still brings me to tears.

During that difficult period something truly wonderful also occurred. I’ve never been a person who would ask for help and my friends and family are aware of this. When I needed them most, they came to my rescue. Knowing that I was spending most of my time at the hospital, my best friend flew across the country and planted herself in my home orchestrating everything from meals to homework. During this same time frame I needed to prepare our house to be sold. Several neighbors got together and created a schedule to do everything needed to the house. One of their churches donated the paint and my neighbors painted the house, cleaned gutters, power-washed the driveway and planted flowers. When my husband came home from the hospital, the house was ready to go on the market.

Now let me tell you why I shared this story. I’m tired of the division that I see in my country. The upcoming presidential election in the United States is bringing differences to the forefront. The acts of terrorism and groups calling for the death of others (different from them) disgusts me. However I know that only love can heal, so I don’t want to spend time focusing on the negatives.

At the beginning of this blog, I asked you some questions. I want to provide my own insight into your answers. I seriously doubt that the government or any of it’s agencies were the ones who came to you in your time of need. It is our family, our friends and the communities we live in, that provide us the support and help when we need it most. Why? Because that is what we do ourselves. When our family, neighbors or community are in need, we as individuals answer the call. Helping another who is in crisis brings out the best in us as human beings.

I believe that I’m blessed to live in a country where we have the opportunity, and in my way of thinking – the responsibility to vote for those who will run the government. However, my life doesn’t change dramatically whether it is a Democrat or Republican in the White House. My life is affected far more by what happens in the community I live in, the company I work for, and the people I chose to spend time with. I find most of our elected officials operate in a different reality than the parent who works all day, drives like a bat out of hell to get to their kids game and falls into bed hours later, exhausted. Rather than focus on division, I encourage you to recognize those individuals that truly make a difference in your life and spend more energy showing them love – whatever that looks like.

Feel free to leave comments or express your own opinion.

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Are You Teaching Your Children To Lie?

Integrity is doing the right thing C. S. Lewis

Many of us tell our children that honesty is the best policy however is it possible that by our example we are teaching them the opposite? Children are like sponges and they are soaking up everything around them. They pay attention to your actions as well as your words. They pick up on the emotions in the family and they notice far more than parents realize.

Let me describe a circumstance that repeated itself in my life and you can decide if it has occurred in yours. When my sons were young, both under the age of eight, I noticed that my husband began using the phrase, “don’t tell Mom about this”. It applies to multiple situations from buying something to some activity that was borderline unsafe. Of course, my husband didn’t tell me, but my sons would slip up and mention the event followed by “oh no, I wasn’t supposed to tell you.” This is so common, we’ve all seen commercials based around the idea of not telling mom, to keep out of trouble.  

Although it may seem funny at the time, as this type of behavior continues it creates some destructive attitudes in our children. They learn it is okay to lie if it keeps them out of trouble, not realizing that the truth will always find a way to be known. Children learn to not share particular events with one of their parents, thus creating a block to communication that exists in the etheric, often undetected. They learn that lying is a path to get what they want, not understanding the law of cause and effect will eventually correct the situation.

You may have dealt with adults who carried the habit of withholding the truth into the workforce. They become the employee who makes a mistake but won’t own up to it, thinking if nobody knows what they did, they aren’t responsible. We’ve all worked with someone who lied about another or an event. When this person is working with a team, moral plummets as there is no true comradeship because there is a lack of trust.

Whenever one person in a relationship makes a practice of withholding the truth or has the habit of lying, they are preventing the relationship from being all that it could be. The law of vibration states that every thought and action vibrates at it’s own frequency. Since all untruths are based in some sort of fear (getting in trouble or having someone think badly of them among others) those spoken words vibrate much lower than someone speaking the truth. Words and actions based in truth vibrate closer to love which is the opposite frequency of fear.

Just a little something for you to think about the next time you find yourself wanting to withhold the truth from someone. Regarding our children, we all want them to have the best life possible. Wouldn’t that include not burdening them with habits that lower their vibration and cause them challenges later in life?

christiebakeman.com

Allowing Love To Overcome Disappointment

love is the only alchemy for transformation  Osho

I had a realization the other day. Okay, I’ll admit it, my better half took my own words, threw them back in my face and forced me to look at a situation differently. However it happened, I learned a lesson that is sticking with me because it continues to come into my mind.

One of my children made a mistake that in my mind, was beyond a huge error in judgment. Big enough that I questioned how a child of mine could not recognize the repercussions of their actions. My disappointment  kept me awake and off balance for a couple days. I suppose that learning the facts of the situation from a third party added to my disappointment.

My realization was that my disappointment stemmed from inside me not my child’s action. It may have been obvious to you in the above statement, “a child of mine”. That is a clear indicator that my expectations weren’t being met. Disappointment is simply a byproduct of unmet expectations. The important part is they were my expectations, not my child’s.

This whole line of thinking led me to review each time I’d told someone that I was disappointed in them. I thought about my children, my siblings, my employees and even some friends. Thinking about it now, what right did I have to impose my disappointment on them?

Naturally this led me to think about what I could have said or done differently. I thought I’d share some of them with you just in case you want to rethink disappointment for yourself. I could have asked questions. How can I help you resolve this? What can I do differently so you know that you are always loved? Do you want to discuss it? How are you feeling about your choices? If you had a do over, would you behave differently? How can I help you improve?

I’m just going to stop and think about what the source is the next time I feel disappointment. If it is my own expectations, I have control over how I feel and I’m going to exercise that.

christiebakeman.com

Being True To Yourself

It's better to concuer yourself    Buddha

This week a situation that has been going on for fifteen months finally came to it’s conclusion. For most of that time I felt I was fighting constant mental battles. Some of those episodes were extremely stressful as I attempted to anticipate the other party and research the laws that would be part of the process.  Although the outcome was favorable to me, I actually lost something far more important.

For the past several years I’ve focused on being happy and centered which enabled me to be more objective and see the good in all situations. As I rode an out of control, emotional rollercoaster I slipped back into old habits; seeing what was wrong, constantly questioning others intentions and feeling defensive whenever I spent time working on this situation. I allowed this challenge to impinge on other areas of my life. I missed opportunities to be happy in the present moment because I was focused on what was going on that I didn’t like.

I know better. I’m aware that we get more of anything that we focus on, especially when there is emotion attached to the situation. Positive or negative doesn’t come into play. The formula is simple: thoughts + emotion = manifestation. Although I couldn’t control what the other parties said or did, I did have a choice of how I reacted. My thoughts and my emotions were my choice.

Often times when we experience an extremely stressful situation we find it difficult to think clearly. This is where practice makes a difference. When we practice or drill on the smaller incidents in our lives then we are better prepared to handle the larger issues that arise. For example, if someone says something rude to you and instead of getting upset, you recognize that you have a choice. You choose at that time to not let it affect you or you focus on something else that makes you feel better. It’s just like seeing the cup half full rather than half empty.

All of us have challenges in our lives. My hope for you is that you remember (quicker than I did) that you have a choice. You choose your thoughts. You choose the emotions you experience. Thus you choose how you will experience life. Be happy my friends.

It’s Your Life….Own It! is a book written by this blogger and available here.

We all Lie!

People like Truth   Gina DeVee

Yes, we all lie. The question is where do you draw the line?

If you read that title and immediately got your feathers ruffled, that’s good because you will be open enough to consider what is written here. Let’s start with something simple. Have you ever told a child about the tooth fairy or the Easter bunny? See, sometimes we tell lies to create an illusion meant to excite or create happiness. What about telling a lie about where you are going or doing because you are trying to keep the secret of a surprise party? Those types of lies all seem reasonable and in no way do we think they affect our level of honesty. So where do you draw the line? Is a lie okay if we are trying to protect someone?

Many of us think that the truth is the truth and it doesn’t change however I would propose that the truth has to do with your beliefs about a subject more than what the reality is. From a broad standpoint, if you believe in your heart that people are basically good then you may see someone’s error in judgment as simply a mistake rather than a lie. In this circumstance, you will be likely to believe what this person says to you and accept it as the truth.

All of us have the ability to recognize when someone is telling us the truth. However, if your belief in a person or concept is strong, you may ignore the warning signs that you are being lied to. Think about a time in the past where someone you love told you something and you immediately got a funny feeling. Just as quickly you dismissed it and told yourself that you were being paranoid or unreasonable. Being aware of your feelings is important because they are your guidance system.

You are an energetic being. As all energy does, you vibrate at a frequency. Thoughts and words also have an energy, therefore a vibration that you are picking up energetically. When something is off, possibly not being the truth, we recognize it at the level of our feelings. Your awareness level of your own feelings will have an impact on your ability to identify the truth. In my past career I had training in identifying physical characteristics that occur when someone is lying, however I always found that my feelings were far more accurate. Some would refer to this as trusting your gut. Not one time did anyone begin our conversation with I’m dishonest so you can’t believe anything I say! Quite the contrary, people who are trying to convince you that they are telling the truth will say things like; honestly or you know I’d never lie to you or the truth is when they begin to tell you something. I’m just reminding you to trust your feelings and notice when something feels off to you.

Now lets flip the roles and think about a time that you lied to someone. Maybe you thought you’d be in trouble if the truth was known. Not providing the “full story” could have been your way of failing to take responsibility for your actions or words. It could be you did something intentionally that you felt was wrong and didn’t want to admit it. We’ve all done it so I’m not here to chastise you. What I do want to point out is the feeling you had about the mistruth. Did you notice you felt nervous? Did you have a pit in your stomach? Did you have the desire to avoid the person because you felt too upset near them to stay in control? Whenever you feel those types of emotions, you emit a frequency that someone else can pick up if they are aware or at least not oblivious. Just a little something for you to think about the next time you are thinking about “stretching” the truth.

If this type of article makes you think, check out my website christiebakeman.com