19Aug

Complexity of Work Relationships and other Power Inequity Encounters

There is so much complexity in the work encounter.  Part of it has to do with our social roles, be it woman, man, wife, husband, parent or sibling.  Part of it has to do with that which is not social, but individual instead, such as our place in Maslow’s hierarchy.  Another portion of that complexity has to do with our place in the work hierarchy: secretary, janitor, chief operating officer?

The psychological factors are myriad and cannot be denied ~ although we may wish to deny them:  Am I attracted to you?  Do you remind me of my mother, my father, my Uncle Joe who molested me, my Aunt Jan who took me to the playground?  How badly do I need to be approved of?  How badly do I need to be dominant?

How do I see my belief system?  What do I think about my role in this work encounter?  Are my beliefs about proper protocol unyielding?  Do I believe that men and women should act differently?  When I see a woman tell a subordinate what to do, does she become a bitch and when a man displays the same behavior, he is commanding?

Are my beliefs set in stone?  Do I believe that I have the right to my beliefs because I am the supervisor and therefore everyone must abide by my beliefs?  Do I believe myself to be the expert?  No other person can tell me what is correct in my field.  I know it all.

In Maslow’s hierarchy, do I fit on the very bottom tier, struggling so that I can feed my family and one paycheck away from homelessness?    Do I feel panicked about my work because I work with hostility and others who threaten my well-being?  Have I accomplished these minimum American standards (food, shelter and safety) and I am only looking for friendship and alliances?  Am I working on career accomplishments, or is this a paycheck until I can go somewhere else or do something else, or finally make my dreams come true?

What we think about someone or something based on our workplace encounters have so little chance of being accurate because of these reasons outlined above.  We have very little chance of understanding what a person is doing or feeling or attempting to accomplish, unless we are willing to have a conversation with that person.  Part of the conversation will include the person’s perspective and the other part of the conversation is understanding where the person’s experience is.  But this kind of understanding needs hard listening, not a casual in the hallway, or 10 minute “I’m in a hurry” listen.

So many managers are dismissive, hardly caring what the subordinate is experiencing or dealing with.  Often managers have a hidden philosophy, that says “I’ll fire you and hire another better than you.”  The view of the manager can be entirely focused on the product and the making of the product. 

Managers often do not believe in the importance of avoiding staff turnover, if there is difficulty in dealing with a relationship, they will often choose to end the relationship rather than learn from the encounter.  Why not?  No one is quite monitoring the supervisor.  Nor is anyone quite believing the subordinate.  For this reason supervisors can be extraordinarily egomaniacal.  It is a position that is hard to resist.  When you can act as you wish with very little consequence, why not turn everything to your own favor?  You can find any number of reasons to dismiss the needs of others when you are the boss, and you have the power.

16Aug

An Old Prayer for Our Kids

I want you to have love, success and happiness.

These things come from you, to you.  It assumes a grounding of stability.

Stability is created from Discipline. 

Discipline is a result of saying no to yourself when you look at consequences that will be negative.

Growth is a result of all of these things.

Please choose growth.

 

The Paradox of Parenting

It doesn’t matter how perfect you are as a parent – what your child takes from you is uniquely your child’s.  This does not mean to be lazy or sloppy as a parent — because what you do matters.  Yet, your children must travel their own unique journeys.

12Aug

Being Disliked

So, the thing with being disliked is that we wish to dislike back.  And we think it does not matter and we can ignore being disliked and we can pretend that it does not matter in any way.  Yet it does.  All emotions and thoughts have a peculiar energy and that energy is part of the world that surrounds us.  While we pretend that “so & so” disliking me is irrelevant, the energy of that dislike permeates all of the interaction that we engage in with “so & so”.
Say YesOf course, we want to dislike in return.  We will list all of the faults of this person who dares to dislike us.  We will point out all that is wrong with this person, and certainly you may see that the judgment is impaired.  If “so & so” had good judgment, I would be liked by this person instead of disliked.

This dislike may remind you of your secret anguish of being unloved and unwanted.  Feeling these fears can bring much passion to your need to dislike this person who injures you with dislike.  It’s important to resist the need to strike out with your own dislike or passionate anger.

These energies of dislike being pushed in full force between the two of you are energy draining and character maiming.  There is no way to escape such negative energies without some form of damage attaching itself to you.  The hurt, the anger, the need to lash out, they all harm and hurt your psyche.  Even if you are one who can ignore such insults, you will find that the dislike hurts. 

There is only one way to manage such dislike and that is to love the person who dislikes you.  You must put away all that your brain tells you to do.  You must turn away thoughts of anguish, or revenge.  You must turn to this person and love this person and love harder, if your love stumbles.

You are giving to yourself and to the world when you do such a thing as loving in the face of such dislike.  You are allowing this person to claim their own feelings without judgment on your part.  You are owning the energy and by loving the energy, you convert it from hurt to healing.  You are taking what is wrong with the world and making it right.  This is what you do when you return love for hate.

You need not do anything or say anything.  You simply love.  You will see that your thoughts change, and you will see that the energy transforms.  This is the way to having goodness in your world.

 

 

29Jul

Finding My Faults

Why must you always identify my faults?

Your position gives you the power to keep me silent while you rage about all that I am lacking in.

Because you have that power doesn’t mean that you are correct in any way.  You only use your status and power to make yourself right.  I’m not understanding what you gain with your superiority complex.

You do what’s called “Monday Morning quarterbacking”: Retrospectively reviewing events so that you can make a better decision sometime in the future, about my past decisions.

I have to tell you that there are others who are experts at finding my faults.  I’ve had a sibling, a supervisor and a husband who were always ready to explain to me how wrong and mistaken I am.

You are not even the best at pointing out my flaws and second guessing my past decisions.  You are not the best at telling me how mistaken and wrong I am.

You are the same in one way as the others, you have come into my life and you will go away from my life.  I cannot have an enduring relationship with one who has no use in listening to me.  I cannot have a long term relationship with one who cannot and will not validate me.  I cannot have a relationship with you.

https://medium.com/personal-growth/annie-duke-how-to-make-decisions-like-a-professional-poker-player-24686d4442ac

“Having skin in the game changes everything. It’s easy to make decisions when you’re not the one affected. It’s even easier to have opinions and let everyone know about them. But when the stakes are high — when something is on the line — that forces you to make sure you get things right.”

“You don’t always get the outcome you want even when you make the best decision. Even if you get a positive outcome, it’s difficult to tell if you deserve credit. There’s a double layer of complexity.

In many ways, life is one long poker game. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. All we can do is learn to be comfortable with uncertainty and keep making good bets.

Do that, and we’ll come out ahead in the long run.”

18Jul

Experience is “the” Truth

I’m not going to say that monks don’t know what they are talking about when they tell us to meditate for relaxation, but I am going to say that people will only ever know the extent of their experience.  There are a few wise “old souls” but that’s not who I am speaking about.

I read an article the other day written by an entrepreneur about managing employees.  He was young and he was someone who has never been a manager in any other place than his own.  He has decided that he is a successful manager because many of his staff have stuck around and because his company is financially successful.  I have news for him, his management style is only one way and that is his way.  He doesn’t know if his staff is really loyal to him, and his article did not address his relationship with his staff.  His article was a reiteration of his success with some trendy words thrown in.  His measurement metrics are flawed, because they only cover his definition of success.  This is okay, it is very human for our discussions to be limited to our own experiences.  However, you cannot say you are a good manager until you have been more challenged than what this particular entrepreneur is describing. 

Middle management is one of the most difficult jobs there are and unless you have experienced it, it is hard to describe.  It’s kind of like being butter between two hot pancakes, you melt and then you are absorbed into obscurity.  Being a business owner is nothing like this.  A business owner will not normally have his staff going around his authority and challenging his authority to his supervisors (there are none). A middle manager will panic about losing a job and facing possible homelessness.  This is not the typical worry of a business owner.

Back to the monks and other such hippies that want us to meditate.  A single male who does not commit to a relationship (a monk), cannot imagine what the working mother in America goes through just to get through a day.  Explaining to her and chastising her because she won’t meditate is ridiculous.  There is nothing that a monk can tell this working American mother about coping in America.

Take that a step further and look at the difference between the person who works casually and the person who pursues a high powered career.  My two friends bickered constantly about the differences in how they treated their jobs.  My friend with the career didn’t want to take a day off from work and was constantly driven by her success.  My friend who did not have so much at stake, thought that she was “crazy” to take work so seriously.  She wanted to gossip over coffee on the odd morning and my career friend just would not.  The friendship ended because one began belittling the other for those differences.

The point is this, we are all limited by our very own experiences and those experiences are no better and no worse than someone else’s.  I think we make a mistake when we believe that our own experience should apply to everyone and we start thinking that our own way is the best way. 

Without the ability to understand the challenges that a day brings to an American working mother, how can we prescribe meditation to her?  How can we be so thoughtless as to prescribe something that circumstance can never deliver?

We have to find the ability to go beyond our own experience by listening and connecting with each other.  In the absence of the real experience, the only thing we have is the connection with each other.  It is through this connection with each other that we can truly be the expert and have something to offer.

 

30Jun

Personal Faith in You

Magic

Magic

You have magic

Magic is a force

You can own the force

24Jun

You Talk Over Me, and At Me

You talk over me and at me.  While you have the authority to do so, I don’t know why you would want to.  It is clear that you have no interest in listening to me.  This is an extension of your desire not to humanize me.  You would rather I was an object.

A manager that I know tells me that avoiding relationships is the only way to manage people because you must enforce performance and you cannot be “emotional” about it.

The only successful managers I know are completely and committedly the opposite.  These managers tell me that successful supervision includes a rich relationship.  You should know all about your staff.  You should be able to celebrate successes and bemoan failures with them.

I think part of the reason for distancing oneself is elitism.  “I know more than you, I know better than you, there is no reason to listen to you.”

The truth about this kind of communication is never acknowledged.  However, if you have ever been treated this way, you know it.  It is apparent in the dehumanizing tone of the received lecture.

I have long believed that lack of financial success for people and for companies is this dehumanizing approach to getting things done.  The frailty of the relationship leads to a complete lack of loyalty.  Lack of loyalty leads to lack of business = lack of profits.

There is more to this equation than just lack of profits.  If you practice this idea of elitism, if you practice distancing yourself, then how do you know when it is right to be a human being?  How do you then ‘turn off’ this dehumanizing part of yourself and make positive and real relationships?  Are you able to?  Will you always suffer alone because you know everything and are better than everyone?

18Jun

This Post is Amazing!

https://warningcurvesahead.com/2016/06/04/24-things-women-over-30-should-wear/

24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear

12Jun

Stephanie

Stephanie

They wanted you to have chemo when you were pregnant with Dom.  You refused, you thought they exaggerated the need for chemo.  You also decided that it was too much of a risk for Dom.

You thought you got away with it.  And now you are dead and gone, cancer got you and that’s the end of it.

Dom is beautiful (as is Vienne) and vibrantly alive.  How will they ever know you?  Will their father tell them what you did to keep them healthy and chemo free?

You spent your life getting to this place called motherhood and enjoyed it for so little time.

All of those conversations, all of those years ago, I always knew you were headed there.  Motherhood just seemed to fit you.  Now that I think about it, we did so much together, so many conversations and so much understanding passed between us.  You saw plenty of the bad in me and you hung in there for the good.  It really was a pleasure to be us, our friendship, our understanding, ourselves.

Thank you for not letting me smoke, that day I was craving a cigarette in front of the TC.  I’ve never smoked since.  Thank you for hanging out with Eileen and I and making us feel like we weren’t over the hill, still young enough to be interesting to a woman younger than us.  Thank you for letting us do for you, Eileen and I both felt maternal towards you, always.  It was a reward for Eileen and I to be able to give to you.  Remember that day at the mall?  The three of us trying everything on and trying to figure out what worked? 

Remember when I was at your clinic in Miami and Kleinman’s nephew called me a MILF, you just about jumped down his throat?  He never called me anything like that again.  You were seriously a damn good clinician.  The staff was our very first project, but boy, oh boy, the patients benefited greatly from your work.

You knew things from people that I couldn’t figure out and I was grateful when you shared them.  Sometimes it was painful, “did so-and-so really do that?”  So honesty was important, but it was a GIVEN.  I always believed you, never needed to question anything you said.  I know you didn’t tell me all of it.  I know you didn’t, but I didn’t expect you to.  You knew I couldn’t take all of it.

Amazing woman, I will miss you.  I already miss you, I’ve been missing you.  Goodbye Stephanie, the universe is so much better for having you.  Au revoir

God'sKissToYou

God’sKissToYou

10Jun

Elitism

Elitism is in Everyone

Elitism is the single biggest equality killer in the world.  Since recorded history humans have been practicing it.

Elitism is no more than a mind game, it’s what the millennials would call head-trash.  We think that we are better than others.  We believe that there is a reason that others don’t deserve as much as we do.

We tell ourselves it is okay for ourselves to have more because, we live in America and, after all, we have earned it.  If we didn’t earn it and we are just plain wealthy, we have a different story, such as, “I am entitled to my family’s money.”    The point is, that it’s all a story that we tell ourselves.

This kind of thinking works particularly well in America because we are all about rugged individualism and earning our keep.  If someone doesn’t earn their keep, we ignore them, or denigrate them.  If they die, oh well, not our fault.  Homeless are homeless because they want to be, or because they are drug addicts. 

Elitism is everywhere!  In politics, if you lose, you just weren’t tough enough (I’m tougher).  This is true in sports and, of course, in business.  Elitism is the process whereby we make our selfishness and greed okay to ourselves.  We tell ourselves whatever it takes to continue with our consumption behavior.  We don’t want to be wrong about how much that we purchase for ourselves and our family.  If we do feel guilty, why we can just contribute a little bit to charity and that takes care of it.

Elitism is what allows us to indulge in religious wars.  We have decided that our God is the best and so much better than others.  We believe that our culture answers all questions.

This kind of thinking has hurt us for thousands of years and it is time that we started a new way of thinking.  It is time that we acknowledge that we do not deserve wealth just because we have it. 

The Catholic church believes in it’s own wealth because they believed that they were closer to God than anyone else.  It is time to acknowledge that people don’t deserve wealth that is at the expense of another’s life or another’s well being.  An example of putting wealth and its acquisition above life and well being is healthcare in America.  It is not true that capitalism is more important than healthcare, and yet in America we have made capitalism more important than anything else, including people’s health and their lives.  One person dies every hour because of lack of healthcare, because of lack of money.  This is a moral failing of America.  It is equal to the Third Reich’s killing of all humans that they deemed less than the German standard.

In fact, Hitler began his murderous campaign by proclaiming that Germans were better than anyone else.  It was elitism at its most dangerous.

We imagine that we, personally, are not part of this elitism problem.  We are mistaken.  We must believe in elitism in a thousand little ways every single day.  What do you think makes it possible for people to cut you off in traffic?  What do you think allows a doctor to make you wait for thirty minutes in the waiting room?  Why is it okay for strangers to be rude to you when they have no idea what your situation is?  People are telling themselves that they know better, are better or have more privilege.

No matter where you go, or what you do, you will be exposed to elitism.  It’s the school secretary who looks down her nose when your child is late to school.  When you are at work, and your supervisor snubs you, or the manager tells you “we make those decisions” when clearly, managers don’t know how to make those decisions.  Elitism allows people to make these kinds of errors in judgment.

We don’t realize how pervasive and life threatening elitism is in America and in the world.  We would have to acknowledge our own elitist tendencies and then we would have to speak out against the thing that makes us feel valuable.  After all, if we are better than no one, are we good enough?