Blog RSS
Border Background
  1. What Resilient People Don’t Do

    January 27, 2015 by Jenna

    We all respond to change differently. For some of us it comes naturally and we can go with the flow, as for others, having that sense of security removed can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Regardless of which type of person you are, it is important to develop resilience so that we can continue to move towards our goals regardless of the situation.

    So what does it take to be an emotionally resilient person? Perhaps it is best to start by clarifying what they don’t do in order for us to understand what it takes to be resilient. An article by Brad Waters in Psychology Today will be my inspiration for this week and I have outlined ten of his points below:

    1. They don’t cross their own boundaries – Resilient people understand that there is a separation between who they are at their core and the cause of their temporary The stress/trauma might play a part in their current story but it does not overtake their permanent identity.

    2.They don’t surround themselves with bad company– In any environment, your behaviour can be greatly affected by the people you surround yourself with. Resilient people surround themselves with other resilient people who give them space to grieve and work through their emotions. These supporters know when to listen and when to offer enough encouragement without trying to solve the problem, allowing the individual to remain in control of their decisions. Good company will help calm a situation as opposed to adding frustration to it.

    3. They don’t avoid self-awareness – Being ‘blissfully unaware’ can get us through a bad day but it’s not a very wise long term strategy. Self-awareness helps resilient people to know what they need, what they don’t need and when it’s time to reach out for extra help.

    Prideful stubbornness without emotional flexibility or self-awareness can make us emotional glaciers. While strong on the outside to stay afloat, you can get prone to massive stress fractures when experiencing unexpected changes in your environment.

    4. They don’t pretend there isn’t a problem – Pain is painful, stress is stressful and healing takes time. Resilient people understand that stress/pain is a part of living that ebbs and flows. As hard as it is in the moment, it’s better to come to terms with the truth or pain than to ignore it, repress it, or deny it.

    5. They don’t ignore quiet time – Some of us find the best ways to cope with stress and anxiety is to dull out with distractions such as television, eating, drinking too much etc. While not all distractions are bad, you still need to be mindful of the current situation you may be in and not use distractions as a means of avoiding problems. Somewhere in between shutting down or ramping up is mindfulness – being in the presence of the moment without judgement or avoidance. It takes practice, but finding a quiet space to reflect is well renowned for healing and resilience-building.

    6. They don’t presume to have all the answers – Sometimes we try too hard to find answers in the face of stressful or traumatic events, that activity can block the answers from naturally arising in their own due time. Resilient people can find strength in knowing they do not have it all figured out right now. They trust they will gradually find peace when their mind/body is ready.

    7. They don’t put self-care aside – Resilient people have a list of good habits that support them when they need them most. Anyone can build their own list by noticing those things that recharge their batteries and give them a boost.

    8. They don’t underestimate the importance of team input – Being resilient means knowing when to reach out for help from others. It also means knowing who will serve as a listening ear, and who won’t. A supporting team will help you reflect back on issues where you may have been too emotional or overwhelmed to do so at the time they occured.

    9. They don’t overlook other possibilities – Resilient people can train themselves to ask which parts of their current story are permanent and which parts can possibly change. This helps to maintain a realistic understanding that the present situation may be coloured by their current interpretation. Our interpretations of our stories will always change as we grow and mature.

    10. They don’t dwell on issues – When we’re in the midst of stress and overwhelmed, our thoughts can go at a hundred miles an hour. Resilient people can find reprieve accepting the situation and moving on. One technique that works for some people is the write down the issues causing the current stress.

    While writing is one resilience strategy you can keep in your back pocket, there are other ways that resilient people can get out of their head. Examples include healthy distractions like going to the gym or going for a walk, cooking or baking, volunteering or any self-care items as per point #7.

    How have you built resilience in times of change or difficult situations?


  2. How to handle the toxic employee in the workplace

    November 17, 2014 by Jenna

    During your career life-cycle, you may end up working with someone that you may not see eye to eye with. Individuals that can be placed in any of the following categories – complainers, controllers, gossipers, bullies, judges, or someone who is not flexible with accepting another opinion or feedback. This can make your working environment tense, it can increase stress levels and it can also give you a more negative outlook towards work. However, there are ways to rise above it so that it won’t affect you on a daily basis.

    An article on by Travis Bradberry on SBS News provided insight on How to Handle Toxic People and I have highlighted the most important points to share from this article below:

    Don’t give up too easily

    It’s important to fight through another day, that’s what all great successors do, even if there are toxic individuals in your workplace. Try and be aware of your emotions and respond appropriately so that you can stand your ground when the time is right. If you leave your emotions unchecked and let items build up, it can lead to more damage than good.

    Stay aware of your emotions

    You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognise when it’s happening. You may find yourself in a situation where you need to regroup and choose the best way forward. Buying yourself time to assess the situation can often save an emotional reaction or putting your foot in your mouth by saying something that isn’t necessary.

    Giving yourself some time to assess a situation can also allow you to provide a better and more calculated response to set the situation straight.

    Establish Boundaries

    When you need to face your toxic co-worker on a daily basis it can feel like you are in a trap that you can’t get out of. You may think that this is out of your control and you can feel defeated and have to put up with being in their presence 24/7.

    If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. You can establish boundaries, just make sure you do it consciously and proactively. Otherwise you could find yourself getting wrapped up in difficult conversations or situations more often than you have to.

    Don’t let anyone limit your joy

    When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they have done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take away from them.

    While we value feedback and opinions of others, we don’t have to compare ourselves with other people and it’s important to take options with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what toxic people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within.

    Don’t focus on the problems – only solutions

    When you fixate on the problems you are facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you focus your actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and reduces stress.

    By focusing your attention on the toxic person, you are giving them exactly what they want. It gives them a sense of power over you. By focusing on how to handle the toxic person as opposed to thinking about how troubling they are, you are effectively putting yourself back into control and it will help with reducing stress when this person is around you.

    Squash negative-talk

    There is nothing wrong with feeling bad about how someone is treating you, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either help intensify the negativity or help you move past it. Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary and self-defeating. You should avoid negative-talk at all costs.

    Use your support system

    To deal with toxic people, you need to recognise the weaknesses in your approach to them. This means tapping into your support system to gain perspective on a challenging person. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Having someone provide a solution who does not have an emotional connection to the situation can really open up a new perspective.

    Test different methods

    You will be faced with different tests when it comes to dealing with difficult people and interactions. This will involve practicing different behaviours, and sometimes learning from failure. However, the more techniques you try (as each individual behaves differently) the more you will train your brain to handle stress more effectively and decrease the likelihood of ill effects.

    In summary, the best way to handle working with a difficult person is to first understand your own emotional reactions and knowing what makes you tick. That way you can better establish how to avoid setting off a time bomb and keeping the workplace functioning in harmony. It will also help to maintain a positive outlook to your role and your working environment.

    Have you recently faced a toxic or difficult person in your workplace? How did you handle it? What worked and didn’t work?


  3. Quit Being a Girl!

    June 28, 2011 by Jenna

    This week’s blog post is by guest blogger, Tiffany Whitby, from the Challenge Consulting recruitment team … (this is not Tiffany pictured here …)

    One of my passions is enhancing the role of women in business; specifically, examining and promoting strategies to ensure women have the opportunity to attain senior and management positions. As such I have actively joined a number of websites dedicated to this subject including; sphinxx, Ruby Connection and also Business Chicks.

    Of the 3, I recently attended a Business Chicks seminar titled ‘Nice Girls Don’t get the Corner Office’ based on the book by bestselling author Dr Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D. The 2 hour workshop was full of tips and helpful ideas to assist women get what they want out of their careers, first of which was her statement ‘quit being a girl’.

    Another one of her tips was don’t use preambles; so I will just get straight to the point with the top 10 tactics every woman needs in her skill set:

    Top 10 Tactics Every Woman Needs in her Skill Set:

    #1. Know your playing field

    – Boundaries, strategies and rules

    – What works in one organisation/industry won’t work in another

    – There are different boundaries for men and women

    Do not put statements into the form of questions, be direct and straight, and if needed add a tagline (which can soften the message)

    – Emulate winning women such as Gail Kelly

    #2. Be crystal clear about what you want

    – Know what you want. Until you have clarity about what this is, you are not going to get it

     #3. Identify your boundaries

    – Know where people can come over and in

    – Define your boundaries

     #4. Be willing to walk away

    We stay in situations to long. If everything has been done to turn around a bad situation and nothing has changed then leave!

     #5. Use headlines and taglines

    The most important thing we want people to know should be the first thing out our mouths (headline). Then use 3 supporting facts/data. Tagline at the end eg. ‘did I answer your question?’

    #6. Manage your emotions

    – If you feel as though you are about to cry in the workplace excuse yourself; crying in the workplace makes people feel uncomfortable

    – Put the tears into words and focus in the problem and solution

     #7. Plan in advance for how you will respond to resistance

    – Let people know you are planning on changing your behaviours and enlist their feedback and support

     #8. Understand (and use) the “Quid Pro Quo”

    – Something in exchange for something else

    – Leverage the relationships you have

    – If you give something, you receive a figurative ‘penny’ to use when you need something – make sure you use them!

    #9. Build your brand

    – Use the WALLET acronym:

    Write it down: write down what you want people to say about you when you leave a room

    Apply actionable behaviours: think about what a camera would be able to see

    Look to the edge: of the playing field

    Let others know about your brand

    Elicit feedback (360o feedback)

    Treat others with abundance (give things away eg. assistance on a project)

     #10. Employ contrast

    – Talk about what you do want and what you don’t want

    Dr Frankel then went on to explain the Top 10 Mistakes Women Make:

    #1. Not ‘getting it’: eg. Don’t wait to be invited for a position, pay rise, something you want. Create tactics and strategies

    #2. Working too hard: within everything organisation there is a baseline to which you should work towards, work up to this and set realistic boundaries with people

    #3. Not setting boundaries: work out what your vision is for what you want and ask yourself: “what is important to me?”

    #4. Striving for perfection: women will often put in 150%, when more often than not a job that is 80% there is good enough

    #5. Ignoring the look and sound of success: Credibility is made up by: 50% of how we look, 40% of how we sound, 10% of what we say. An example is the JFK vs Nixon debate. People say Nixon won for what he said, however JFK won based on how he looked.

    #6. Unclear branding/vision: we trust people who are consistent and likeable. Read the book “Brag! Tooting your own Horn without Blowing It” by Peggy Klaus

    #7. Staying too long in a bad situation: sunken costs (keep putting ‘something’ in thinking a situation is going to get better, when in fact it’s not). We need to understand when it’s time to walk away. Ask yourself the question: “What am I getting out of this?”

    #8. Waiting to be given what you want: Read the book “Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide” by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

    #9. Using too many words: cut communication by 30%. The longer we talk the more the message gets diluted.  Queue answer question and then ask ‘have I answered your question?’ Be careful with body language.

    #10. Trusting your financial security to someone else: know where your finances are and where they are being invested. Stay involved with your money!

    Challenge Consulting’s online poll last week asked the question “What is the #1 mistake women make on their way to the top at work?” The results were:

    #1. Waiting to be “invited” instead of asking for a payrise, promotion, etc – 50%

    #2. An unwillingness to self-promote and “toot their own horn” – 29%

    #3. Staying too long in a bad situation – 14%

    #4. Striving for perfection: putting in 150% when often 80% will do – 7%

    With all of this information I have now taken in it is time to put it into practice. As Dr Frankel said, let people know you are making changes, so, everyone: I am making changes … don’t say I didn’t warn you!




SUBSCRIBE Join Our Mail List
Border Background