How to Improve Poor Workplace Social Skills

How to Improve Poor Workplace Social Skills

There's a work proverb that may hit a tender spot and it goes like this: "anytime means no time". It lowers workplace social skills with an easy out to reply 'anytime' rather than committing a task to a specific day or time. Another is "tell me and I'll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I'll understand." The later is most often heard in the workplace today, yet both are equally true and universally applicable. Social determinants of health are a root to performance, that is according to organizations including the University of Michigan, Michigan Primary Care Association, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. Work, live, learn, and play environments effect numerous health risks and outcomes. How might businesses create social determinants that lead to best performance outcomes? Global Human Capital Trends is an annual Deloitte report. In 2017 they challenged report readers to improve survey results with better organized, managed, developed, and united people at work. A...
Read More
How To Thrive When You Are Hypersensitive to Environments

How To Thrive When You Are Hypersensitive to Environments

Often simply thinking about being in a certain place at a certain time is exhausting. When this is most often the case then it there may be a hypersensitive tendency. Awareness of sensory needs simplifies solving the connect between design factors and excelling performance. When a person is hypersensitive to an environment the most noticeable response will be avoidance. Interior design factors effecting the hypersensitive, including furnishing placement and object purposes, often may be modified. Also, there are tactics to mentally or physically prepare for these circumstances. Our hypersensitive community can reduce their anxiety and thrive once they understand how to manage their sensitivities. This feasibility study is specific to children's reaction to a dentist office. It builds the foundational understanding an environment contributes to what seems like an uncontrollable behavior. Wired.com shared dentist offices also have very similar issues for adults. Specific commonalities include anxiety and dreaded behaviors, lighting, plus sounds. Evidence-based practice identifies the integrity of design's effect on performance to move towards best solution. This is fairly...
Read More
How Stress Spreads and Methods To Avoid It

How Stress Spreads and Methods To Avoid It

Two employees walk into the office one regularly-scheduled work day morning. They respectfully go their separate desks, set down their belongings but cling to the unnerving chaos experienced moments before work. Mental disorders from unmanaged stress are climbing far above heart conditions, cancer, and diabetes. Everyone experiences stress.  Shared similar interests creates a community. Current points of tension to managing stress include: how people manage stress; just who is responsible to managing it; and, health knowledge about why it's valuable to manage stress   Below are two cases of three people. Each reveal how stress is contagious and methods to stop it from spreading. Sensations to Stress Alan's brain interprets the sound and sight of Joe eating tortilla chips as an annoyance. Sally isn't phased by Joe's eating habits. When Alan is sitting one desk over from tortilla-eating Joe his annoyance with Joe becomes inwardly hostile. The morning Sally caused a scene that disrupted the department was in rage over Joe...
Read More
How to Listen and Respond With Awareness to State of Health

How to Listen and Respond With Awareness to State of Health

One common source of stress is not being heard. This takes form in many ways with similar outcomes including a blow to morale. Below are performance strategies following the biological breakdown of how to respond when it appears no one is listening. The Iceberg Effect is a metaphor to the state of health. There is typically a slight view to one's perceived state of health.The motivational level is secluded to peers who dwell or are invited to be a part of that health aspect.The meaning realm is the soul. It's the most intimate interpersonal relationship between health, body, and mind. Active listening is a learned skill. State of health improves with active listening. Behavior responses resolve the degree of difficulty to becoming an active listener. Responses when no one is listening reveals state of health. WORDS BUILD RELATIONSHIPS. Work on active responses improves awareness to listening habits. Responses may build trust, honor, and respect in relationships. “Good listeners overcome their natural inclination to fix the other’s problems and...
Read More
Seven Steps That will Reduce Debilitating Stress and Fear

Seven Steps That will Reduce Debilitating Stress and Fear

Last week a group of women revealed the frustration of relational stress. Following our discussion it was revealed the cause of high stress was poor communication. The computer, cell phone, landline, and various wireless signals are convenient replacements to connecting in person. Each severely lowers body movement, including a stroll or brisk walk to meet a peer within a building or even the body mechanics to drive to a meeting. Anxiety disorders are rising in the United States and social media is one mechanism that is pulling the trigger. 40 million American adults fall into debilitating uncertainty or fear (NIMH). Social norms are to seek visual or audible rewards from screens. Coping weighs on the amount of those rewards are received each day. Emotional processing is quickly steering away from inward reflection for outward expression by catloging feelings in ink, graphic, and other creative mediums. Screens and keyboards are slowly replacing nourishing handwritten thoughts, sketched imagery, and hand-crafted tokens of appreciation to mail by parcel....
Read More
How to Avoid Missing What Someone Has Said

How to Avoid Missing What Someone Has Said

Active listening in it's most proper form fatigues the mind as the day moves forward. Performance functions at peak level when not multi-tasking, therefore engaging active listening is with in a posture and intent to hear and understand. Our ear's physiology is fascinating. It holds the smallest bone in the body. Sound separates into vibrations by hair fiber movement. Each ear has a relay station that splits into two pathway's to filter sounds. The paths cross hemispheres to recognize, distinguish, and filter auditory information. Sound localization, pattern recognition, timing, and balance are main processes of the ear. Our shoulders, neck, head, eyes and lips are the asset here. Social listening often includes head movement. Examples include nodding yes or tilting the head in compassion. These movements send messages to your brain that affect the inner ear. If word recognition is a noticeable issue then create the habit of intentionally positioning the body to observe every gesture. Free visual span from moving objects or...
Read More
How to Blend Personal and Work Roles

How to Blend Personal and Work Roles

Are you in the right role? Role models are excellent resources to setting measurable standards. They help identify the set of skills and experiences necessary for a specific role. Identify the roles in the following story. Which shared similar skills as the king? There is a story of a king who went to his garden one morning, only to find everything withered and dying. He asked the oak tree that stood near the gate what the trouble was.  The oak said it was tired of life and determined to die because it was not tall and beautiful like the pine tree. The pine was troubled because it could not bear grapes like the grapevine. The grapevine was determined to throw its life away because it could not stand erect and produce fruit as large as peaches.  The geranium was fretting because it was not tall and fragrant like the lilac.  And so it went throughout the garden. Yet coming to a violet, the...
Read More
How to Gain Optimal Results in Every Situation

How to Gain Optimal Results in Every Situation

Imagine working with a colleague that opposes your political beliefs. What do you do? The larger part of social happiness isn't emotion. It's mental arithmetic. The sum of your expectations, your ideals, and your acceptance of what you can't change determines everyday habits and choices. This formula steers performance. Everyone's sum is unique. Two opposing behaviors may turn a situation into pointless discomfort. Compassion and active listening are fundamental relationship skills. Performance flourishes into empowerment by mental shifting. A flexible response to opposing political views may be to share feelings of discomfort. The time discussing politics replaces discussing work objectives or team-building while at work. Directing attention on feelings that oppose productive work relationships may offer a compassionate response. Switch the mind-set from what isn't relatable to what is. Columbia University psychologist George Bonanno reports when we switch a mind-set based on others preference it requires an ability to tolerate discomfort. This upside to negative emotions provides optimal results in every situation. Some nail this skill but typically only in one...
Read More
Talking to Yourself Will Develop Performance

Talking to Yourself Will Develop Performance

First mail out those letters sitting on the table, complete the employee evaluation, and prepare for the meeting. Then think about my purpose in this job. Those thoughts became words quickly without hesitation one day. I didn’t even realize I had said them until they were muttered. Reassuring, focusing words leads to true responsiveness. Talking to yourself throughout the day is not abnormal. In fact, there is even a term that defines this phenomenon known as private speech. We often learn to do it as kids. Kids talk to themselves while playing.  It serves as an important part of their development. As we get older, it allows us to cement memories or visualize what we are thinking. Buy carrots for the soup. Oh those keys..hmmm. Private speech helps us socially. When we come up with responses to a person that we met that day, it allows us to use that comeback the next time we see them. I’m swamped – let’s meet at noon.  Other times it could be used as a comfort...
Read More
Provoke Approval With Postured Assurance

Provoke Approval With Postured Assurance

Have you lived within a culture that isn't your own? Over the years I've been personally challenged through unfamiliar cultures. A few examples of cultures I need to adapt to includes an indian reservation, farming community, tourist town, and middle-eastern religions. Beyond the smells, language or customs just transitioning from a geographical move is tough! Overcoming adversity presents two choices: be open to it, or deny it. Choosing which path is the power to ultimately steer performance. Forethought is a natural impulse that digs into personal values, morals, and beliefs. That of openness or denial begins the body, mind and spirit path to performing towards positive outcomes. Even choosing an openness to drink from a new water source goes through the natural impulse of forethought. It subjects the digestive system to work through a new source that may or may not be good for the body. In this case, for some, denial may be the path for better health. One powerful...
Read More
Six Ways to Be Brave With Siblings

Six Ways to Be Brave With Siblings

The sibling bond is instrumental to health. According to the Prevention Research Center: in childhood and adolescence, siblings spend considerable time together, and siblings' characteristics and sibling dynamics substantially influence developmental trajectories and outcomes. A friendly acquaintance is much more tolerable than a sibling acquaintance. There's no history of who made dad angry! So, how do you get to know your siblings? There may be an early relationship history with less contact once in college. I've been utterly appalled to witness the power of family maliciousness at times of trauma or illness. Standing over a loved one being aggressive or violent is poor support during hospitalization. Are you resentful of your sibling? A worthwhile mental health question is: am I holding a grudge? Make a list to confess the anger. I keep an ongoing list then cross off grudges when they are resolved. It's silly some of the memories that surface but imperative to critical healing. Forgive daily. Commit to minute by minute forgiveness. The Journal of Behavioral Medicine sites an emerging study on...
Read More
Three Steps To Skyrocket Happiness When the Forbidden Brings Tension

Three Steps To Skyrocket Happiness When the Forbidden Brings Tension

Sharing space with certain 'others' (you know who) may provoke alarm. Three steps to skyrocket the 'happy' feelings in the midst of forbidden or tense relationship moments are: listen, sense, share. Active listening is a full body skill. Clear the mind, look at the speaker, posture the body in a receiving gesture. Observe the body's sensory responses. Which sense is reacting most to this experience? What are the internal distractions? What are the external distractions? Sharing formulates conclusions towards happy feelings by sifting the objective from the subjective. Write, draw or share with someone the details about impressionable moments. Then go back to the first threatening source with what you learned from listening and observing the full experience. These simple, yet powerful actions keep the happiness door open into relationships bound towards maturity. Ongoing communication within and with others defeats cowardly reactions and fills the happiness jackpot. Below are stories shared by two very different women. Each story embraces the humble, often challenging desire to act within a...
Read More
How to Empower Your Performance by Seizing These Helpless Moments

How to Empower Your Performance by Seizing These Helpless Moments

I love receiving packages in the mail.  With every opened package it feels like an undocumented holiday.  This last week my laptop was fixed and shipped back to me thus making last Wednesday officially Laptop Day for me! Thank goodness the delivery persons truly did handle my laptop with care so that it could be returned safely from across the country. This last week, I heard someone mention that we should handle all living things with care – including ourselves. This sounded so very simple. From the get-go the social golden rule was to always say “please”.  Being mindful of this throughout the week, I realized how much deeper it was than that. When the alarm went off, I wanted to sleep in and I initially thought Wow, second time this week! Twice during meetings I didn’t have any patience and wanted to yell "LISTEN!" to my coworkers. Countless moments of eye-rolling with it. But its not solely what you know.  To be effective in anything, whether at work...
Read More
People, Places, Things: Be Exposed to the Vibrant

People, Places, Things: Be Exposed to the Vibrant

A good friend of mine called me to recite her new health goals.  As suspected, they were the the same ones I've heard over the past few years: lose weight, save more, be nicer to her boyfriend. I completely support her in all of these but I had to wonder, why is it that we (certainly myself included!) focus intently on the same things and seemingly end up right where we started? Life is filled with several natural new beginnings. Feelings of renewal and focus, a chance to start anew and have a sense of a fresh clean slate occur often. We are creatures of habit. Many of the things we are interested in changing are engrained within our environment we surround ourselves in. What happens around us becomes a critical piece of the puzzle. Change occurs within the dynamic system we live in not in a simple concern-then-solution vacuum. Rag-to-riches poster child Jim Rohn once stated "You are the average of the 5...
Read More
Everyday Functioning For Kids and Adults With Sensory Concerns

Everyday Functioning For Kids and Adults With Sensory Concerns

Life is constantly changing around us.  Things like the temperature, lighting, and noises are always being processed.  Although a lot of this happens on an autonomic level, for persons with sensory processing concerns, standing still can be overwhelming and effect everyday function. Occupational therapist Catherine Armani-Munn, MS OTR/L explores the challenges of everyday functioning for kids and adults with sensory concerns. Bethany: What year & where did you graduate? Catherine: I graduated from Keuka College in a 5 yr masters program.  My undergrad was in Occupational Science and in 2010 I graduated with my masters in Occupational Therapy. I also got a minor in ASL (American Sign Language) in college which has helped me a lot in the field, especially working with the autism population. Bethany: What is  your background and what areas do you specialize in? Catherine: I have worked for several different school districts specializing with children with autism. I have also worked in preschools for the deaf and hard of hearing where I communicated...
Read More
Contribute to the Wellbeing in Your Community

Contribute to the Wellbeing in Your Community

Wellbeing is similar to a life novel. Each year is a new chapter. Every experience is etched into our brain's fibers. The nervous system relies on each etching like the blind depend on brail to read. This flow - experience, brain processing, behavior output by the nervous system - creates a life rhythm. As life plays out it artfully ascends into metaphors or teachable moments for onlookers. Self-awareness may rattle that life rhythm when a discovery parallels one's own circumstances. Do you document your life experiences? Family trees, journaling, painting, scrapbooking only name a few ways people document their joy and pain. How might your experiences be connected to past family members? Is your ancestries hardship or joy etched into your being? There's beauty to a statuesque pile of journals or photo albums. Often they sit untouched, overlooked. Intentions for a pile of books may be for aesthetic appeal rather than intentional browsing with guests. What's one way to initiate frequent revelations for you and others? Sharing...
Read More