HOW ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER

June 5th, 2019 2 comments

recycling plastic

A few months ago, I decided to give up plastic for Lent. I failed, because there are some things–like the package that zucchini comes in–that are plastic, which of course I recycled. Or the bag that bread comes in. Same deal. But two interesting things happened. First, my awareness of the amount of plastic in our lives increased, and I found myself almost allergic to plastic bags. Second, I got into a lot of interesting conversations as I politely refused a plastic bag, and either put my items in a reusable cloth bag, or carried them to my car without a bag. I found that people are really excited about saving our planet, and especially the oceans. They’re thinking about it. They’re excited that the stores where they work will soon be banning single-use plastic bags.

Slowly, my habits changed so now, I pack my sandwich in a reusable container and no longer have those cute little zip lock sandwich bags. I got these neat waxed clothes from Trader Joe’s that I use for wrapping up leftovers. My garbage bags are compostable, as are the poop bags for my dog. Instead of being a chore or a deprivation, I’ve found that I’m really enjoying this. Take a small step and see what happens. Our earth depends on it.

(Image from Adobe Free Images)

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WANT TO BE KINDER?

April 25th, 2019 No comments

Check out this wonderful article, full of simple suggestions, from Dave O’Brien:  http://workchoicesolutions.com/images/The_Kindness_Connection.pdf. It includes small things you can do each day. You might be surprised by how good it feels to grow in kindness. kindness

Image courtesy to Adobe Images

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CHIT-CHAT JUST MIGHT BE GOOD FOR YOU & PRODUCTIVITY

April 10th, 2019 No comments

My wonderful friend and fellow career coach, Ed Hunter, wrote a neat article about happiness. (See below) As many of you work in positions where you’re working with the public, I thought this would be helpful. (For more on Ed, see:  http://www.lifeinprogresscoaching.com). Spring is finally showing up here in New England–another happiness factor!

Tulips

During the workweek, we may spend more time with our colleagues than we do our families. That’s a lot of time! Why not enjoy it? We know that our work life is a direct contributor to our overall happiness. What we might not realize is just how important our relationships are at work. Not just professional relationships but real, meaningful relationships built on support and trust.
Whether you have a best friend at work or just strong bonds with your colleagues, it matters. The World Happiness Report 2017 found that the level of support that a worker receives from his or her co-workers is a very strong predictor of all four measures of subjective well being utilized in the study: life satisfaction, job satisfaction, happiness, and positive effect. Those who indicated that they had a best friend at work were seven times more engaged in their jobs compared to those who don’t.

“We discovered that the single best predictor is not what people are doing — but who they are with. It doesn’t even matter if two friends at work are engaged in tasks that are directly related to workplace productivity. According to a study conducted by a team of MIT researchers in which workers wore high-tech identity badges throughout the day that monitored their movements and conversations, idle chit-chat might actually be valuable to productivity. The researchers found that even small increases in social cohesiveness lead to large gains in production.” – Tom Rath and Jim Harter, authors of Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements

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WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOLITUDE AND LONELINESS?

February 1st, 2019 No comments

Just read a great article about this, and thought I’d share it as it explores the kind of relationship we need to have with our selves in order to be our best. https://getpocket.com/explore/item/before-you-can-be-with-others-first-learn-to-be-alone

 

stars

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SELF-CARE CONTEST FOR THE NEW YEAR

January 24th, 2019 3 comments

Having recently taught a number of customer service workshops, I thought it would be fun to run a month-long contest to see who can come up with the best ideas for stopping burnout and improving customer service. We all know what we’re supposed to do, but the real challenge is, can you can come with an idea that you yourself would try? One that might motivate others? The reward is a free copy of one of my books (covers shown below).

To give you a heads start, let’s break this down into four categories:

  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Mind health
  • Rewards.

I don’t want to win my own contest, so be brave, send your ideas in, and if you’re prefer to do so in private (as I’ll publish the blog comments), you can email your ideas to me at jb@jeanbaur.com. The winner will have his or her suggestion published and will receive a free book. Get thinking! The deadline is the end of February.

Book Cover Interview jpgFront Cover Revised 7-28Eliminated Cover.indd

 

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WHAT HAPPENS TO UNSOLVED PROBLEMS?

January 8th, 2019 No comments

In working with many libraries to help their staff with critical issues like stopping burnout and improving customer service, I’ve noticed how common it is for many of them to avoid confrontation. They don’t like it. It’s awkward. Take a look at a wonderful article by my friend and fellow career coach, Ed Hunter. Great tips!

Are You a New Boss? How Good Leaders Manage Tough Conversations

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ALL I WANT FOR THE HOLIDAYS IS PEACE & QUIET! Take a look at this great article from my friend, Ed Hunter.

December 19th, 2018 No comments
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THE POWER OF GRATITUDE

November 30th, 2018 No comments

Yesterday I was working with a group of librarians and library staff on how to stop burnout. One of the exercises we did in class was about gratitude, and how powerful it is. Then I found this article this morning and had to share it–with Paul’s permission, of course.

Earlier this week I was sitting at Starbucks working on some ideas for an article when Andrew, a former client of mine, dropped by my table to chat. I asked how things were going in his new role. (He was recently promoted to V.P. of marketing to replace his former boss.) He frowned and said, “I have been so stressed out since I took this job. My department is a mess.”  He went on to share a whole list of things that were not going right. As he continued, I could see him getting more anxious. “I will be glad to have some time off this week,” he concluded.

Many of the leaders I coach have overwhelming challenges, and they come quickly, sometimes one right after the other. Without the right resources, this enormous responsibility becomes too much, especially when there is an increasing pressure to produce results quicker than ever. In fact, most organizations expect their leaders to search out what is not working and fix it, with little guidance or support.

Because of this, I often find leaders automatically default and begin to start sharing what is going wrong as opposed to what is going right. This overemphasis on the negative is directly proportional to added stress and anxiety. And, the worst part, it impacts their wellbeing and the people around them.

I believe it is more important than ever to help leaders shift their thinking. And it all starts by simply focusing on what is going well! This change in mindset can help leaders flourish and achieve unexpected results. This attitude is a powerful one—it can have a huge impact on how leaders feel about themselves and others, setting them up for lasting success.

So, what can you do?

Martin Seligman, a leading authority in the field of Positive Psychology, has devised a simple technique to address this, it is called the Three Blessings Exercise. This exercise demands that you focus your attention as you end your day on three things that went well and why they went well.

TRY this:

The Three Good Things exercise is intended to increase happiness and a sense of well-being.

This exercise is to be done each night before going to sleep.

Step 1: Think about anything good that happened to you today, anything at all that seems positive. It doesn’t need to be anything big or important. For example, you might recall the fact that your co-worker thanked you for helping them develop a difficult presentation.

Step 2: Write down three positive things that came up during your day.

Step 3: Reflect on why each good thing happened. Determining the “why” of the event is the most important part of the exercise. For example, you might say that your co-worker respected what you had to offer. Remember, you get to decide reasons for each event that make sense to you.

Busy? Take out your phone and send a dictated e-mail to yourself during the day when you experience something you feel grateful for. At the end of the day, read these and reflect on why they happened.

Having just celebrated Thanksgiving this past week, it’s a time for all of us to really take stock of what we are thankful for. Let’s count our blessings; it is important for our happiness and well-being.

  Drop me a note if you need more information

 

Thanks for doing business with us.

Sincerely, Paul

Paul V. Butler

President, GlobalEdg LLC

Office (203) 405- 6810

pbutler@globaledg.com     www.globaledg.com

Co-Author of Think-to-Win Unleashing the Power of Strategic Thinking , McGraw-Hill 2015.

https://www.amazon.com/Think-Win-Unleashing-Strategic-Thinking/dp/15113

 

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WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BURNOUT AND DEPRESSION?

November 15th, 2018 No comments

I am not a psychologist, so my answer is coming from studying burnout and teaching workshops to help people understand it and recover from it. But I was asked this question in a class last week, and wanted to provide a better answer.

Here’s one answer, from Prevention, November, 2015:

“Our evidence is that burnout overlaps depression, that they’re on a continuum, like temperature,” says study coauthor Irvin S. Schonfeld, PhD, a psychology professor at the City College of New York’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. “If you go back to the original paper that was published about burnout, by Herbert Freudenberger—in which he studied people who volunteered at a drug treatment center and who dealt with very difficult patients—one of the ways he described burnout was: ‘It looks like depression.'”

Part of my answer is that burnout, unlike depression, is more situational. This is true or more true with moderate burnout, so if you’re experiencing a difficult situation at work and are able to change that, your burnout symptoms will decrease.

The guru on this topic, Christina Maslach, says in the Prevention article:

“If you’re skeptical that job-related stress and exhaustion could possibly resemble the big black cloud that is depression, you’re not alone. ‘Burnout has always been predictive of depression,’ explains Christina Maslach, PhD, a psychologist at the University of California Berkeley who devised the standard test for burnout, called the Maslach Burnout Inventory, ‘but the measure of burnout used in this study is incomplete.'”

Lastly, remember that according to Christina Maslach’s classic definition of burnout, that it’s lost energy, lost enthusiasm and lost confidence. These three factors combined often create the perfect storm. Most importantly, if you’re suffering from extreme burnout and possibly depression, get help. A professional who understands this complex condition will be an important resource, helping you regain your best self. DEVINE

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HOW TO STOP BURNOUT TIPS FROM A REALLY SMART GROUP OF LIBRARY STAFF

September 30th, 2018 No comments

library

I had the great pleasure of working with a group of librarians and library staff last week and wanted to share some of their tips to stop burnout. Some of the top challenges they’re facing are under staffing, stressful patrons who monopolize their time, constant rule breakers, disruptive library patrons, staff in-fighting, the expectation that they will be able to “do more with less”, dealing with multiple demands, and when they make a spectacular effort and pull off a “miracle”, the expectation that the miracle is now the norm.

As we talked about three areas where they can make a difference (drawing from Paula Davis Laach’s recent blog) and not be overwhelmed by burnout,  they worked in small groups and shared suggestions.

  1. Job Control:  flexibility and choice, having the doers plan and manage projects, getting the leadership on board v. micromanaging, and having realistic expectations especially around the time it takes to complete tasks.
  2. Recognition: taking time to recognize small accomplishments, more one-on-one meetings and fewer emails for internal communications, and making staff recognition a standard part of staff meetings.
  3. Community: remembering to say “thank you”, asking for feedback, being kept in the loop re changes, joining professional organizations and taking advantage of professional learning networks, and building a strong web of connections.

No matter what industry you’re in, these are great suggestions. Please respond to this blog with your ideas. That way we’re all smarter and keep ourselves safe from the damaging effects of burnout.

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