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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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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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

Giving of Yourself

Every positive thought and action sends ripples out into the world. You may never know who you influenced to change for the better.

I was having a conversation with a young adult that reminded me how it is impossible to know all of the lives that we impact.

TJ shared with me that the night before he and a friend were sharing with a third party how they were both attracted to “broken” people. They have this need to fix others. Then TJ stated that it never worked out. As he described giving of himself there was an unspoken expectation that the other person would reciprocate in kind. He then bluntly stated that if he continued to give pieces of himself away, he would have less of himself. Because of this, he decided that he would no longer make an effort to help these friends and acquaintances that he’d been describing. TJ looked me in the eye and said, “don’t you agree that would be best.”

I told TJ I understood why he thought that way however I disagreed with every part of his assessment of the situation. He asked me to share why, not to be argumentative but he really wanted to know. Here is what I shared with him.

First, every person is “broken” in some way. It may not be obvious however each human being has something that they struggle with. In my eyes there’s no such thing as a broken person, instead I see individuals who need love and understanding. (Okay, some need a kick in the tush.) Some have lost their way or have never identified who they are but nobody is broken beyond repair. Each person is searching for the best way to live, and as teenagers or young adults, many different behaviors are exhibited as what fits them best is sought out.

When I told TJ that he was viewing the situations from a separation point of view he got a bit upset, as I knew he would because he sees himself as accepting of everyone. If we only view what occurs between two people then it is easy to develop a me vs you mentality. However if we stretch and take a birdseye view we would begin to see the connection between people and a oneness. What affects one person ultimately contributes to the vibration of all people.

If you share wisdom or inspire another it doesn’t end with them. Whatever action they take based on what they took away from the situation moves forward either with them or someone that they shared it with. This may occur right away or in the future. In other words, each action we take ripples out into the world and there is no way for you to know how many souls were affected. I encouraged TJ to see the bigger picture rather than focus on the one circumstance.

The pay it forward movement is based on this principle. Often times we provide help to someone who simply can’t repay us for the good deed. That shouldn’t upset us unless we are only doing something to get something back in return. Even though I know that there are those who merely take advantage of others, I believe it to be a small percentage. I believe in the innate goodness of people. That is due to my belief that we all come from a loving source. Those who are further out of alignment with themselves are struggling and exhibit behaviors we label as negative. It benefits us all if we can provide help or guidance to those who need it.

If you find yourself frustrated with someone today, pause long enough to let your own emotions calm down. Then take that birdseye view yourself. Maybe you will recognize some of the ripples that began with you being the first drop of love or kindness.

If you’ve not yet read my book, It’s Your Life…Own It! check out my author site to see if it resonates with you. Have a blessed day.

Are You Asking The Right Questions?

what if idea of life

How many times a day do you find yourself asking questions? I’m not talking about asking for directions or if you can substitute something on a menu. I mean the type of questions that have a real impact on your day. These could be part of your self talk or questions that you vocalize to others.

The type of questions we ask are the best indicator of whether or not we feel in control of our own lives. If the eyes are the door to the soul, then our questions are the window into how our mind perceives personal accountability. The manner that our questions are phrased in, allow us to identify what our preconceived beliefs are about the subject.

Asking why, who and when questions often times indicate a victim mentality. Yea, I know that probably doesn’t sit well with you so let me provide some examples. Why is this happening to me? Who came up with that bright idea? When is the company going to realize that policy doesn’t work? Why can’t she see what is happening? Who is in charge of this place? When is the government going to do what is right for citizens? All of these are a relinquishment of personal responsibility.

Compare the questions above to these that encourage personal accountability. What can I do to improve the situation? How can I help? What part can I play to assist my co-workers? How are my thoughts affecting my results? What is the best solution to this problem? How can I improve my financial results? The best questions you can ask yourself usually involve what and how and also some form of I. These are the types of questions that promote personal accountability.

I know that for myself, I was asking the wrong questions during the most difficult time in my life. Although all areas of my life were affected, I’ll share just one aspect. Finances. During the prior two years I’d made an extra 33% on top of my normal income because of bonuses and stock options. As fast as that extra money hit our joint bank account, I was seeing it disappear just as quick as my husband decided there would be more where that came from. I was asking; why is he doing this? Why isn’t he following through on what we agreed upon? Who does he think he is, spending my money? When is he going to start behaving responsibly? Notice anything? These questions are all about someone else changing, as though what was happening was being done to me. At the time I didn’t realize I was thinking like a victim. That came later.

What I should have been asking at the time, preferably at the beginning of those two years, should have been questions about me and my accountability. What am I going to change? How am I going to invest the extra money I made? What am I going to do to take responsibility for what is happening? If I would have taken accountability personally rather than blame my husband, I could have and would have made different choices. Asking what and how questions would have forced me to adjust my thoughts and the results would have changed.

All of us have opportunities each day to decide if we are going to take personal accountability. I’m reminded of attending a meeting where a slide during a HR presentation said, “Accountability begins with YOU!”. Actually stating it in that way isn’t quite right as it points the preverbal finger in the other direction. Accountability begins with ME! I make my own choices. Each day there are circumstances that allow me to choose between blaming another or taking the bull by the horns and deciding that I can do something to make the situation better. I’d encourage you to pay attention to the questions you ask of yourself and others. Are they benefiting you by allowing you to be personally accountable? I hope they are.

My book, It’s Your Life….Own It! is about taking control of your own life. Let’s face facts, trying to change somebody else’s behavior probably hasn’t produced the results you were looking for. We can only change ourselves. Author / Book Link

 

Finding Daily Inspiration

Never know who needs you  Christie Marie Sheldon

Have you thought about the correlation or the common link of the things that inspire you? Do you know why such things as quotes, videos or particular people make you feel like being a better person or trying harder to reach your dreams?  I believe that the things that inspire us are at a higher vibrational frequency than we are at that point in time.

We are beings of energy and all of us have a frequency that is normally where we function. If this is a new concept for you, think about different people that you come into regular contact with.  Is there someone you dread dealing with?  That person is operating at a lower frequency than you are.  The phrase “she’s a downer” could apply to such a person.  At the other side of the spectrum are people that always make us feel better when we are in their presence.  They bring us up.  Think of a time you saw a motivational speaker.  Immediately following that encounter you felt better, more energized and that feeling may have lasted hours or even days.  Your vibration raised because of the exposure to someone with a higher vibration.

Even though you have a normal frequency for you, that doesn’t mean you have to stay there.  You can do things each day that move you up.  You will recognize this is happening because you will feel better.  Although reading inspiring quotes or watching a positive video on social media can help, there is one thing that will make the biggest difference.  Surround yourself with people that make you feel better, happier, more alive.  If these types of people aren’t part of your daily life, than take the time to reach out and call someone who is. Hearing the upbeat tone in someone’s voice is much more effective than a text or an email because your brain picks up on the vibration they are emitting.

Another way to increase your vibration is to express gratitude.  Even when life is handing you lemons, there is something you can be grateful for……find it……and remind yourself of what is good in your life.  The people you love and what they mean to you is a great way to start.  For me, any time I’m feeling off or uncentered, I reach out to my youngest son.  We live on opposite sides of the country so our phone conversations are precious to me.  At 21, he is one of the happiest people, and best at manifesting, that I know.  When our daughter says that everything just comes easy to him, I have to point out that he follows his heart and focuses on his own happiness which pulls people and circumstances to him that are in alignment with how he is feeling.  Like attracts like.  A fact we tend to forget.

My third suggestion is to focus on lifting up someone else.  When we put our attention on helping another, we tend not to focus on our own issues so much.  We can be the person who raises another’s vibration.  So what will inspire you today?  Or will you provide inspiration to another?  It’s all about the choices that you make.  Decide well.

If you want to find other ways to increase your personal vibration, go to my website and sign up for the free newsletter.  christiebakeman.com

Why Dr. Wayne Dyer Inspired Me For Over 30 Years

Wayne Dyer nothing is impossible

I cried last August when I heard about Dr. Wayne Dyer’s death.  I was saddened not so much for myself but for the world as a whole.  We need people who are willing to honestly share of themselves to make a positive difference and to bring hope to this troubled planet.  A voice of reason, love and encouragement had left us.

The first time I encountered Wayne Dyer was shortly after Your Erroneous Zones was released.  He had just begun his speaking career and I was attending a conference by Alternatives In Motivation.  I had no idea that brief encounter would influence me throughout my adult life.  Let me me clear, the man couldn’t have picked me out of a crowd, still I felt a connection to his work.  I felt blessed to see him speak in Denver just four months prior to his death.  All the things I loved; his humor, common sense speak, gentleness, and openness still existed even after thirty years of being in the limelight.

Do you understand how difficult that may have been?  As I think about others I’ve met who have achieved great success, I am forced to observe the differences.  Arrogance, believing you are better and just plain rudeness don’t have to be byproducts of your achievements and Wayne proved that.  The wonder of this life and his openness resulted in his final book, Memories of Heaven, which examines our curiosity of where we came from the eyes of the newest among us.  I highly recommend this beautiful piece of work to anyone with children or grandchildren.

As a writer of non-fiction I find Dr. Wayne Dyer’s advice of writing from the soul, essential to staying focused.  I interpret this as writing from the highest vibration possible, what I call the true you, that indestructible energy that operates at the level that is part of all that is.  To recognize that all people are connected to a source energy and to appeal to that connection with words is something Wayne excelled at.  Even the stories of difficulties shared were meant to connect and then lift up those in the audience.

The fact is that no person lives without some challenges rising up and taking our attention away from what we desire.  How we label those events depends on both our beliefs and our attitude about life.  We can see them as opportunities for growth as Wayne did or we can see them as evidence of a cruel and unfair world.  The choice is yours.  For me, I choose to see the opportunity within the struggle, in part because I was introduced to a great teacher over three decades ago.

You can connect with me or see more of my work at christiebakeman.com  Please feel free to leave comments here or on my website.