I recently led a workshop for 15 brilliant men and women. Total transparency, the room was a downright intimidating group of mainly female senior engineering, technology, and mathematics influencers. Despite some pre-game jitters for me, the workshop was engaging, impactful, and even fun!
The topic was: How to Speak Up and Use Unconscious Bias to Your Advantage, and we spent our time specifically on Emotional Control and Influence.
Their #1 Challenge: How not to feel mediocre at work and/or at home.
Due in part to unconscious bias and part to being a minority (either women or men who are atypical of being STEM leaders) in their field, these mostly PhD’s who were published, departments heads, and changing the world for the better, felt mediocre at work AND at home.
Here are a few tips to help you be and feel like you are world-class in your career and at home.
Gain clarity on what ‘success’ means at work and at home. First, keep in mind that we typically see other people’s sizzle reels and not what’s real. In other words, please don’t EVER compare yourself to those who are more accomplished, more successful, thinner, prettier, happier, richer, etc. No one achieves rock star status at everything, and everyone struggles. Period. Figure out what it means for YOU to be successful in your career, and work towards that standard. When you reach a milestone, finish a project, make those important phone calls etc., STOP, CELEBRATE, RESET, REPEAT. If you’re a parent, partner, or friend, what does it mean for YOU to be world-class at these relationships? Is it an annual two-week vacation, dinner at home three nights a week, soccer games on the weekend, date night on Tuesdays…?
Use transitions before you enter an important interaction. When an Olympic track and field athlete moves from her warm-up to competing, she is intentional about the transition. Being intentional about our transitions will help us to be and feel world-class with the people we care about the most. If the morning gets off to a rocky (or late) start, take a minute on your commute or before you start work to use my RRS method (™). 1.Recognize what your feeling. 2.Release it by taking three deep belly breaths. 3.Strategize by setting an intention for how you want to show up.
In my opinion, the most important time to practice this is during the transition from work to home. Stay in your care for one moment extra to set yourself up for a world-class transition.
Commit to presence. I used to call my husband at work and hear him clicking away on his computer. I felt like whatever he was doing was more important than what we were talking about. No Bueno. Multitasking is not only poor for productivity (one of my favorite topics, but for another day!), it’s not so great for our relationships. In the precious time that you do have with your family, friends, and colleagues, I’d like to challenge you to give them your full presence. If you have a late night at work and only have few minutes before bed, be all in, with no distractions (phone, mail, dog, etc.) or interruptions. They can wait.
Lastly, please give yourself credit where credit is due. Of all the men and women, I’ve been blessed to work with 1:1, in small groups, in my monthly Mental Toughness Mastery program or in my workshops, I know you need to be reminded sometimes of how amazing you already are.
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