Manage Oneself We’ve Had A Complaint

Whilst my father was in hospital, towards the end of 2011, I was working somewhere where I had the opportunity to speak to a lot of people. When I first started working there, there were a number of things that I enjoyed.There were a number of people who I got on well with, and then there were the people who I spoke to each day. The manager wasn’t too bad either; generally, he was easy-going and fair.A Big DifferenceAfter I had been there for a few weeks, I was asked if I could stay behind and help move a few things. I was happy to do this, and the manger thanked me for what I had done once this had taken place.I felt as though I was appreciated and valued, which caused me to feel as though I was part of the team. From this moment on, I was only too happy to help the manger in any way that I could.ContemplationThere were plenty of customers who ended up becoming friends, and this meant that we would talk about all kinds of things. And when I didn’t have anything to do, it gave me the chance to think about life.Being around so many people also meant that I picked up a lot of insights, and I would write about these later on. It wasn’t all positive, though, as I would often go home feeling burned out.

Two SidesOn the one hand, I loved speaking to people and listening to what they had to say and, on the other, I could have done with working fewer hours. Still, the energy I received through doing this made it a lot easier to handle.However, the second year I was there just wasn’t the same, and there were a number of reasons for this. I was no longer the same person and it was a lot busier than it had been the previous year.A Change of SceneryDuring the second year that I was there, I was asked if I would like to work somewhere else that was owned by the same company. I thought that this would give me the chance to get out of there and to experience something different.The trouble was that I was going there because they were under staffed, so it wasn’t going to be any easier. Due to what was taking place in my personal life, I certainly didn’t need any more stress at this point in my life.The End of the LineIn the beginning I thought that it was fun being there, but my outlook started to change after I had been there for a few months. One afternoon, we had run out of something, and I said to a few customers that it would take about 15 minutes until we had more.It turned out that one of these customers worked for one of the company’s that supplied the food that we were selling. The reason I knew this was because the manager came over after this had all settled down and told me that this person had complained.Just another PersonI made it clear that I wasn’t rude to anyone, and the only thing I did was tell people that there wasn’t anything that I could do as we were understaffed. And the fact that this person worked for a fairly big company didn’t mean a lot to me.In my eyes, the position they held at a company didn’t mean that they were more important than anyone else. I got the impression that this person had allowed their success to go to their head, and this was why they had a false sense of importance.Putting Things into PerspectiveOnce this had taken place, I started to think about my father and this allowed me to put what had happened into perspective. My father was in a bad way and here was someone who was making a fuss over having to wait a few minutes for a few lettuce leaves.

Now, I understand that this person was not aware of what was going on in my personal life and that they had every right to be annoyed, but due to how I was experiencing life it made me think about how trivial their problem was. I thought that I no longer have time for this.Warn DownIn the upcoming weeks and months, my patience started to run out; I was no longer willing to tolerate this kind of behaviour. It wasn’t long before I had to deal with another customer who complained about a drink that he had ordered.The coffee machines had been changed in order to make more money, and these machines were nowhere near as fast as the old machines. This wasn’t the only time someone complained, though, as it happened a few more times.The Time Had ComeIn the beginning of 2012, I had had enough; I knew that I had to move on. I stopped working there and this gave me the time that I needed to write, amongst other things.As I look back on this time in my life, it makes me think about how much of an effect our perspective has on our life. And once our perspective has changed, we can no longer go back to who we were before.

Bold Money Conversations That Can Change Your Life

I recently returned from Kendall SummerHawk’s Feminine Money Mastery event, where women from all around the globe (and a few cool guys as well) gathered to improve their relationship with money. One of the most interesting aspects of this conference for me was learning to identify where we need to have “courageous money conversations” in our lives. These conversations are the ones we often avoid, as they bring up all sorts of disempowering money beliefs. We discussed how to make these conversations a routine practice and give them a methodology so that they aren’t as daunting to embark upon.

Powerful conversations can follow a format that eases some of the tension. Follow these steps and engage in, rather than avoid, the money talks that change your life.

1. Take a moment before the conversation to breathe and set your intention for the way you want the discourse to go. Decide on the outcome you want ahead of time and be very clear in your own mind before the other person is present.

2. Be free from emotion and set the agenda with the other party. Inform them as to the reason for the discussion, the outcome you desire, and the discussion points you plan to cover.

3. Stop and listen. Make sure the other party has a chance to say their piece and that they know you hear them. Repeat back and summarize their ideas – whatever you can do to establish that you understand what they are saying.

4. Offer several options for resolving the situation in various ways, if at all possible.

Find agreement, even if it’s to go to another decision-maker, and detail the subsequent steps, including who will do what, by when. Be sure to close the conversation positively.

After returning home from the conference, I immediately put this methodology to use and had two such conversations. I have been breathing a sigh of relief ever since! While it is important to take on these conversations under any circumstances, if you are intent on making a career shift or growing your business, this is a skill that is especially helpful and will pull you forward dramatically.

When you avoid courageous money conversations, you can be inadvertently sabotaging your own success. For example, a mom was recently telling me about her daughter, who has a job she loves. She is appreciated by her employer, coworkers, and customers, and received a promotion four months ago. She has not, however, received a salary increase to go with the promotion. Instead of having the conversation that needs to be had about the salary increase, she decided to look for another job. Objectively, this seems ridiculous, but she is so averse to having the necessary salary conversation that she has created a story in her head about what this all means and is taking a somewhat misguided action in response. For her, she believes it may actually be easier to land a new position than to have a money conversation where she would be championing her value to the company.

Similar to this case, when I work with clients, I often see two primary challenges:

1. Putting a voice to owning their value, and believing it as well. Examples include stating their fees, saying no to a discounted fee, or negotiating their salary.

2. Speaking honestly about an issue that makes them feel vulnerable. For example, discussing business plans with a spouse or renegotiating a loan they are having trouble paying.

Of course, taking a stance for your money will feel awkward at first. However, once you get a few of these conversations under your belt, you will be looking ahead for the next one! It’s about building a muscle over time that will increase your power across the board. Don’t be afraid to jump in headfirst – I promise you will be glad you did.

Michelle is the CEO and founder of Limit Free Life®, a coaching and personal development company designed to help clients discover and transition into careers or business ventures that satisfy their souls. As a former CPA, business consultant and now a certified business coach,she combines a strong background in finance and transition management with an intuitive coaching style.