• What Are Your Social Contracts? (0) April 14, 2018 Bradley Ann Morgan

    Isn’t it interesting that the word, “social‟ appears almost daily in CNN news, business magazines, and certainly networking sites such as, Facebook and LinkedIn. There are numerous uses of this word combined with other words, for example, social media, social engagement, social bonding, social justice, social relations, and social skills. It seems evident that our contemporary society, maybe even globally, has become very conscious of how we interact and collectively co-exist with all other living organisms. We view this as a thoughtful step in the advancement of emotional awareness and how we interrelate with others. This then, has led us to ask, what are your social contracts with family, friends, communities; and, workplace relationships‟? What do we mean by social contracts? Our definition includes these areas of focus:

    The awareness of your engagement in each of these circles, and how you conduct yourself within each circle.

    How you bond into each of these social circles. Bonding is the interactive process of attachment for family members, as well as, sincere friends. Bonding can also spring from working synergies found in intense development from startup companies or the service of comrades in the military or police forces. How you set internal boundaries for yourself and how you respect this person, or this group’s boundaries for meaningful exchanges. Deep decisions of what is important to protect as core values can be decided together as to what all parties believe they deserve as respectful behavior.

    Some psychologists have used a similar term, personal engagement. The first scholar to define personal engagement was W.A. Kahn, as the “harnessing of organization members’ selves to their work roles: in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, emotionally and mentally during role performances”.
    How do you establish and maintain your social contracts? Use these guidelines in your areas of interest:

    • In the workplace, establish priorities so each individual knows they are not performing just, “busy work‟ and there will be no redundant procedures. Whatever final outcome the group is destined to deliver will be more productive when the competentices of each person are tapped and targeted to the end result. Whether family, friends, or a workplace agreement, be open to explore differences and establish working boundaries that honor all involved, especially if the venture you’re involved with will take months or years to complete.

    • Use language that is action oriented. It is helpful to use personal stories to illustrate the degree of engagement you feel. Don’t hesitate to use “I‟ when you tell exceptional illustrations of your connectedness to the cause. You will find that stories that include words such as, “I did or we did‟, “I acted or we went‟, will go beyond your own interests, and tap some inner space for each person listening to you.

    • Be mindful of boundaries, yours and others. Be vocal about what you will do to respect other’s limits regarding engagement and culture or religious borders. All relationships are based on trust and honor, especially where collective work teams or business units need to work as a whole system. Be ready for disappointment. The future cannot be guaranteed even with the best of strategic plans. Be certain that fall back plans are in place so there will be no finger pointing when progress is temporarily derailed. Blame behavior will not be helpful to regroup and become an efficient organization.

    • Examine what the core of your engagement is for the effort at hand. Whatever driving principles you represent can be the initiative for other people to be involved in a single community or a single social effort. Don’t be afraid to state your core valves and acknowledge those of others.

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  • Finding Your ‘Flow’ Zone (0) March 31, 2018 Bradley Ann Morgan

    Last year we worked with a nonprofit group that specifically hired new college grads for projects involving water management and watershed programs, including working papers as well as providing free research data to neighboring communities. As the project groups were not co-located, they engaged us to help each project team find their best ‘work summit window’; otherwise known as the ‘flow’. What is a flow zone or state?

    The flow state has been described by the world’s greatest thinkers as the most industrious and innovative state of mind in which to operate. Additionally, positive psychologists such as, Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D., reason that achieving the flow state on a regular basis is a key component of harmony. In other words, learning how to enter the flow state you, or a team, can increase productivity, be more ingenious; and, be in higher spirits.

    As we were helping teams of people achieve their project goals, here are the directives we provided for each group (you can achieve the same results on an individual level using these same procedures):

    • Teams review their original understanding of deliverables, and dates, to reassign tasks or pursue an entirely new direction. They determine what elements still have value and what facets need to change to present a new structure to the senior board or governing body. They do not use blame behavior or finger pointing in their assessments knowing that it is not a respectable use of energy. They have conversations that will be used for execution, not produce resignation.
    • Teams should establish rules for eliminating distractions while engaged in the project. They often review the goals of the project before they begin the work at hand and reach agreement on how they will maintain concentration. Agreement can also include how emergencies or family incidents will be handled during the work period.
    • Team leaders need to be flexible in analyzing the exact situation, now. They do not give in to the weakness of becoming angry about the current situation. They know that a positive presence is required to motivate the team to produce what was previously thought to be unfeasible. They monitor the emotional state of the working members engaging in physical breaks when necessary such as, quick walks around the parking lot or a quick set of deep knee bends to relieve sluggishness.
    • Teams evaluate available resources and stabilize the effects of any vendors that may have not renewed contracts for supplies. They sometimes leave convention behind, using innovative thinking to address the current conditions. Often, innocent statements of the problem put folks into a creative space where no flawless solutions are presented, but a combination of thought that could be the steps to achievement. Think how our everyday world would be without WD-40. Norm Larsen originally designed it to repel water (water displacement) and prevent corrosion. Later it was found to have numerous household uses. Larsen was attempting to create a formula to prevent corrosion in nuclear missiles, by displacing standing water. Its name came from the first 39 formulas that were failures. Hence, WD-40.
    • Working teams do not allow others to drain energy from their targeted goals. They recognize that collective negative moods can be ‘catching’; and, they do not allow themselves to become passive victims of negative moods. Also, they do not engage in adversarial conversations. They know that dialogues such as these only cause others to become defensive, crushing further explorative processes.
    • We asked team members to not hold back their emotional connectedness to the project. People become energized by the vital force each of them presents and what they will risk to realize final success. The actress today, Eva Longoria, is relying on her emotional intensity to fuel campaigns for racial justice and empowerment for women.
    • They often study past failures. With each failure they gain priceless knowledge that will help them reassess what tools, delivery vehicles, or advisors that were not correct for the project. Even the industry giant, Kraft Foods, is changing their powdered Kool-Aid mix to liquid form, keeping Kool-Aid as a viable contender in the marketplace. According to Paul J. H. Schoemaker, CEO of Decision Strategies International Inc., “People may fear failure, but they fear the consequences of it even more. The performance culture really is in deep conflict with the learning culture. It’s an unusual leader who can balance these.” Be that leader for your team.
    • Let yourself, and team leaders, listen, not just ‘hear’ the speculation in others. True listening gives others permission to question options, challenge opinions; and, turn dilemmas into opportunities. When the fair practice of listening is in place, it is unsurprising that you will hear the heartfelt values of others. Frequently, you can gain new world views and help your team enter the flow zone.

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  • Are You Still ‘Young’ Inside? (0) March 15, 2018 Bradley Ann Morgan

    Isn’t it wonderful that we now have about four generations working together in the current national workforce? About 6.4% of Americans 75 or older, slightly more than 1 million were working last year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Also, almost 3.4% of Americans 80 or older, are still in the workforce whether paid or on volunteer status. What keeps these folks working with the ‘young on the inside’ view point?

    Our work with folks like this reveal:

    • Getting past 75 took a considerable amount of stress management. When these folks found they were not coping well with life’s situations, they were proactive in seeking professional help.
    • They have a sense of curiosity, about many things. They use libraries, available community services, national support units, volunteer organizations, and now, Internet groups to keep them informed of all technological and medical advancements.
    • When illness occurs, they recruited competent help. They have demonstrated that they will learn how to self administrator medications and injections so that they maintain their independence. Many had a true awareness of how to maintain their health and physical vigor.
    • They maintain a social network that spans more than their birth generation; and outside of direct family members. This keeps them involved in current human issues, social needs, and what could be future requirements such as, global warming. Many have said they use strengths from the past to help solve neighborhood dilemmas, much less their own problems.
    • Most importantly, they are not afraid of outside scrutiny. They are unafraid to take the lead on a public project just because they have some arthritis. The older worker may have a different style of working, but brings a wealth of experience and reasoning to any effort.

    If you think you’ve lost that ‘young inside feeling’, ask yourself:

    • What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing now in taking the next step of adventure, lack of courage, too much peer conformity, fear of public rejection, etc.? Why do you believe this is?
    • How will you discard old personal assessments that you can’t join SOAR or MicroMentor to help with disadvantaged business owners? Or if human rights seems more important to you now, how can you free your independent energy to read to those that are visually impaired? Whose permission do you need to feel comfortable?
    • How much importance are you putting on your dress, the color of your hair, or even some Parkinson’s tremors, that keep you from making unique contributions in the community?
    • How will you start the conversation with a spouse or family member that this next work position or volunteer opening is vitally important to your self- worth?
    • Even if you impact only one person, would this be enough for you to take risk of trying volunteering?
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  • Aiding with Programs for Arizona Women’s Education & Entrepreneur Center (0) March 1, 2018 Bradley Ann Morgan

    Walks Beside Coaching & Consulting Aiding with Programs for Arizona Women’s Education & Entrepreneur Center

    WBCC Facilitates in the Entrepreneur Programs for Long Term Success

    Phoenix, AZ – – – February 28, 2018 – – – Walks Beside Coaching & Consulting (WBCC), an experienced coaching company with affiliate coaches in Arizona, Virginia, and California announced today that their coaching firm will be a vital part of the programs for leaders with Arizona Women’s Education and Entrepreneur Center (AWEE). Our coaches will provide additional business lectures, mentorship and 1-1 coaches for the AWEE center. AWEE provides a variety of quality business education classes, workshops and seminars that assist entrepreneurs in developing, managing, and growing their businesses.

    WBCC has designed programs for government agencies, including our military forces, and larger corporations, where leaders knew the value that a diverse workforce would flow over into satisfying customers’ demands, impacting the standardization of their delivery processes. WBCC has helped create business cultures for organizations that developed the next leaders for the company. The results have been that these organizations were able to sustain a new positive work culture, construct a balanced strategy for each department head in pursuit of the company’s goals, maintain consistent communication between department executives and their customer base; and, realize improved employee satisfaction within their respective departments. As Stephan states, “The leadership of this century is a combination of earnest employee relationships and internal meaningful achievement.” Having been at C-level positions in several companies, WBCC brings their business experience to help organizations provide open environments for the collaboration of the multi-generational and multi-cultural workforces.

    About Walks Beside Coaching & Consulting:

    WBCC has an experienced team molding the resilience of business life, increasing leader self-confidence; and shaping the ‘critical thinking’ necessary for the complexities of today’s industries. A unique service of our company is ontological coaching, instead of just performance coaching. WBCC provides structured, yet personalized processes, for guidance using all the elements of language skills, leadership presence; and, the avoidance of knee jerk emotions on decision-making.

    Bradley Ann Morgan and Stephan Marais are certified professional coaches through the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and members of the Educational Society for Resource Management, the US Women’s Chamber of Commerce; and, are the former editors of the Web page for “Transforming Aging, Elder Care & Security” in the state of California, founded by Senator John Vasconcellos. In 2005, Bradley and Stephan were the Networking Chairs for the annual conference of ICF in San Jose, CA.

    About Women’s Education and Entrepreneur Center (AWEE):

    AWEE makes it possible for clients to overcome obstacles and transform their lives. Women, and men, from all walks of life who are underemployed, unemployed, re-entering the workforce, changing careers or starting a business. AWEE connects them to the resources, help and support they need to find a better job to create a better tomorrow for themselves, their family and their community. http://aweecenter.org/

    Press Contact:

    Stephan Marais, MBA, PCC, CSM
    Company Name: Walks Beside Coaching & Consulting
    Email: sfm@walksbesidecoaching.com
    Phone: 703-297-0170 Website: www.walksbesidecoaching.com

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  • Tempering Tough Times without Despair (0) February 28, 2018 Bradley Ann Morgan

    If you look around at the losses in the job market, the crush of the housing industry, the financial woes of the car industry; and, any personal events in your life, it’s no wonder the slide into despair is common place for many today. As one of our clients found himself on that downward spiral, he related this series of events to us. We’ll call him Ed and illustrate the events, with his permission, that caused him to fall into depression and despair.
    Ed is the owner of a small residential construction company in CA, married for 18 years with two teenagers and has a huge yellow Labrador named Sadie. Ed told us, “In the last two years I watched the private housing market decline in the demand for my company’s personalized remodeling services, consequently impacting my overall livelihood. As I struggled to gain additional business, I had to travel to other parts of the state causing me to be away from my family. On one of those trips, my wife phoned to inform me that Sadie, our family dog, had been struck by a car and fatally wounded. I was surprised at the deepness of loss I felt. We had had Sadie for twelve years. When I returned home the following week, I was called by the ER in Lake Tahoe informing me that my father was there with a massive heart attack. Before I could drive to his bedside, he passed away. With this series of events, I found myself in the depths of despair. I felt I couldn’t get out or above it. I couldn’t cope anymore. I felt helpless.”
    What Ed was experiencing is not exceptional for those that have had a series of traumatic events, especially with the events of death. He had become pessimistic about the construction market, but that does not lead directly to despair. Pessimism only fuels the negativity about a set of problems or specific event of injustice such as, the loss of monetary value or personal defeat.
    Despair is the overwhelming feeling that your whole life is lost and can come over you like a crashing wave. Despair is the experience of helplessness and the lack of hope, often seen by others as depression. Some of the symptoms of despair:
    • An uncontrollable emotional response to loss resulting in anguish
    • Sudden bouts of sobbing, the physical response to suffering
    • Physical pain in the chest or back with involuntary muscular contractions
    • Howling or ranting at God or others in response to the wave of intense grief
    • Sense of being ungrounded, adrift, or abandoned
    • Constant inquiry to the “fairness” of individual treatment, striking out against it

    The road out of despair is not quick, but can be decreased by using any of these options:
    • Conduct a sincere inventory of your behavioral response to the loss, identifying the unhealthy responses to despair
    • Methodically disprove each irrational belief holding you in despair
    • Seek help to assist you in dealing with your irrational beliefs openly such as, a parent, a trusted relative or friend, a spiritual advisor, or a healthcare professional
    • Give permission to yourself to experience the loss fittingly, adjusting to the changes of how life will be now
    • Try not to be flawless in your response to loss; the human experience is as varied as the number of pebbles on the earth.

    “The most glorious moments in your life are not the so-called days of success, but rather those days when out of dejection and despair you feel rise within you, a challenge to life; and, the promise of future accomplishments.” Gustave Flaubert

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