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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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

What Are You Attracting?

there is force in the universe   Mahatma Gandhi

The law of attraction has been and is discussed more than any other universal law. That is because we all like to dream about achieving or acquiring all of our desires. Similar to the way a strong smell can permeate through clothing or a home, the law of attraction is woven through other universal laws, always present and working in conjunction with all the unseen laws that create our environment. Like attracts like at all levels of life.

We’ve all heard that knowledge is power. Gaining an understanding about other universal laws can add to your personal power. For example; the law of vibration states that everything, seen or unseen has its own frequency. This includes the matter that physical objects are composed of but it also includes our thoughts and actions. Like attracts like in all things therefore whatever frequency an individual vibrates at, based on their thoughts and actions, will attract other people, events and circumstances at that same frequency. Whenever there is strong emotion surrounding a pattern of thoughts, the law of attraction will be quicker about bringing other things at the same frequency to that person.

Recently I was made aware of a woman who received exactly what she’d put out into the universe yet she was surprised at the results, thinking them unfair. She began this path with telling another person she was going to destroy their life and take everything from them. Her actions over the next year were vindictive as she constantly attacked the other person including saying things about his family that were untrue. When she began this journey it was with the anticipation of gaining tens of thousands of dollars as she portrayed herself as a victim in the situation. My bet is that she is unaware of many universal laws and has no idea how low the frequency is that she was sending out.

We live in a universe that is fair and it delivers back to us what we put out. Imagine this woman’s disbelief when a judge ruled for the other person and then placed a judgment against her for thousands then added attorney fees on top of it. Evidently learning the “Golden Rule” was missing from her childhood. She thought the system rigged therefore she couldn’t see that universal laws about vibration, cause and effect, responsibility and attraction were all working together to bring her the perfect match to her frequency.

I share this to provide you something to think about. There are times when we feel we’ve been done wrong and feel the need to defend ourselves. When that type of situation occurs, it would benefit us to put some thought into the matter and make conscious choices about how to proceed. Jesus said, “turn the other cheek.” He was telling us that we are going to attract what we focus on. If we attack another, we should expect to be attacked. However if we live with love and compassion, we will find ourselves experiencing those. Live wisely.

christiebakeman.com

Normal vs Extraordinary

The most wonderful thing about this life is the fact that you continually have an opportunity to create something different.

It doesn’t matter what circumstances you woke up to this morning. You have the opportunity to create something different than you experienced yesterday, if that is what you choose. Unfortunately most of us don’t recognize that fact. We feel stuck. We’ve accepted that our lives are what they are and we need to suck it up and just learn to deal with it.

Nothing could be further from the truth and I’ll share why. First, can we agree that whatever circumstances we become accustomed to become our normal? We continue to do the same things until they are such an ingrained habit, we don’t give them much thought. We become complacent and comfortable and live inside our little box where we feel safe and protected. Thus we continue to react in the same manner and achieve the same results.

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you broke the chain of habitual thinking and did something different? Of course you have. We daydream about making different choices and what would result from those choices all the time. Most of the time we talk ourselves out of it, whatever it is, because we think it would be irresponsible to do anything that isn’t consistent with how we’ve been living.

If we could accept that we are responsible for all of the circumstances in our lives, would it influence our decisions? I think it would. I find it amusing that it usually takes a big slap upside the head from the universe to get us to recognize that our habitual thinking and behaviors aren’t going to produce something different than we’ve already gotten. This happened to me twice within four years. One of those circumstances resulted in my divorce which I’ve written about in prior blogs so I won’t repeat it here.

The second situation involved my job. I’d been writing more and more in my spare time and talked about writing a book with my family. However I felt it would be downright ridiculous and irresponsible to leave my job so I could spend more time writing. I had deeply held believes about what I was responsible for but there were gaps in my thinking so I never took it all the way to being 100% responsible for my results. That said, I felt stuck. There was something I wanted to do however I believed that I needed my job to survive. Much of this had to do with my beliefs about how to make money. In walks the universe with a giant sense of humor. The company I worked for announced a change in the geographic location I would be responsible for and my windshield time was going to triple. I saw this as the universe forcing me to step out of my comfort and make a new choice.

When we step away from our normal way of thinking and doing things, the possibility of creating something extraordinary becomes a reality. It may not be world changing however any shift outside our normal will result in dramatic changes in our lives. That can and does feel extraordinary to us. Once we are able to examine our beliefs, make a change in our thinking and take action, something interesting happens. We begin to look at other beliefs and habits. That increase in awareness is not something we can ignore and that comfortable box we’ve been living in becomes uncomfortably small. All it takes is a change in one area to get the ball rolling toward a fuller, more satisfying life.

It’s Your Life….Own It! shares exercises to assist you, should you decide you desire changes in your life. The book and my other work is available on my website

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

 

My Top 10 List For Raising Happy Children

prime purpose is to help others Dalai Lama

As parents we provide the best life we can for our children. I believe most of us want our children to become happy and responsible adults. This is my top 10 list to achieve that. You may have your own list however I’m thinking our lists have much in common.

  • Teach children they are energy and connected to everything by energy
  • Tell children they are intelligent and demonstrate you believe it
  • Teach children their thoughts produce tangible results
  • Teach words can hurt or encourage and to choose wisely
  • Demonstrate that kindness brings joy to both giver and receiver
  • Teach that moral courage and integrity are the basis of good decisions
  • Teach that collaboration improves every situation
  • Teach children that they control how they feel and can change it
  • Demonstrate that life is fun and full of opportunity
  • Teach by example what happiness is because they witness happy parents

No matter the age of your child, every parent knows the feeling of your words falling on deaf ears. For those of you feeling a bit of discouragement over this, let me assure you that anything that is repeated often does sink in.  You may have to wait until your children have reached adulthood to get verification but the important lessons will stick. Here’s an example that had me laughing out loud. My youngest son, Ryan, was a slob growing up. It was normal not to see his bedroom floor beneath the discarded clothes and sports equipment. Dishes had great difficulty finding their way back to the kitchen. You get the idea. I tried to teach my children that an organized space helps you to feel more in control of your world (not in my top 10). A couple of months ago during a phone conversation, Ryan was telling me what a slob his roommate was. He described dishes with food on them under the bed, clothes dropped wherever and the inability to wipe off the kitchen counter. Evidently Ryan has turned into a neat freak since living on his own. I, of course, was LMAO at the irony. My point is, eventually your kids recognize lessons from childhood.

Although I could turn my top 10 list into a book, I want to address what I believe is the most important — being a happy parent. The fact is what you say doesn’t matter nearly as much as what your children observe in the household. Think about it. The reason so many adults have mental blocks about money is we grew up hearing “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “we can’t afford that” or “our last name isn’t Rockefeller”. We witnessed our parents arguing over money or financial decisions. Even though conversations may not have been directed at us, we developed beliefs based on the sense of lack that was prevalent in the actions of our family.

If you want your children to be happy, find a way to be happy with your life, the way it is right now. Find the joy and gratefulness within the day to day living. Let your children see that there are reasons to be happy even when there is a challenge. Allow them to witness you doing things that you love and the joy it brings you. Pay attention to both your actions and words as you teach them by example that this is a friendly and loving universe. Do this and they will know that happiness is an achievable result of the choices they make coupled with how they think.

You can read more in my book, It’s Your Life….Own It! available on Amazon