Parents who Work

You Don’t Know if You Don’t Ask

I want to share a success story of someone with whom I’ve worked.  He had been frustrated with the “red tape” he was dealing with at work.  He wanted additional responsibility and had already demonstrated his capacity to take on more.  His problem was that every time he wanted to make a decision involving large amounts of money, he had to wait for approval by a committee, whose verdict he would often not receive until long after it was relevant.

He complained about these circumstances for some time, attributing it to the “powers that be” within the company.  He then decided to see if HE could do something to change it, and came up with a very specific, simple strategy…which is exactly why it worked.

He decided to send a request to the committee that traditionally weighed in on these issues.  He chose to ask that he be given discretion up to a specific amount of dollars, an amount he had proven himself to deal with effectively and appropriately on countless occasions.

And then he did something more that was so smart, and yet so simple.  He walked into his boss’ office (his boss was separate from the committee) and let him know of his intention to send the email.  He did not open the subject up for discussion; he just let his boss know what he was about to do.  He then said to him, “After I send my note, I just ask that you do one thing.  Simply reply all (to those on the committee) and state that you are in support of my request.”  His boss agreed.

He sent the email and his boss quickly replied to all with a very simple message of support, probably no more than a sentence or two.  Within a short time, ALL the committee members replied that they too supported giving him greater discretion to make decisions with regard to the higher limit he set for himself…a unanimous response in less than two hours.  This type of vote would normally require being put on the next committee meeting’s agenda, meaning it could have taken a month to receive an answer.

He was amazed at what he had accomplished.  He had never before tried another way.  He, like most employees, simply adhered to the way things were traditionally done.

Here’s why this person’s request worked:

  • he came up with a simple strategy
  • he found a means of support
  • he did not leave room for discussion
  • he spelled out exactly what he needed/wanted from others.

His plan consisted of an email, that’s it, inviting a YES.  He asked his boss to provide a vote of confidence and told him exactly what to say.  His boss did not need to think about how to craft his response.  It was spelled out for him, and he obviously agreed with the validity of the request.

He did not invite discourse.  By setting his own limit on his future responsibilities, he did not leave it to others to decide or debate.

Keeping things simple and being so specific about what he wanted made it easy for others to say YES to him.

By taking this action, he rediscovered his sense of power, enabling him to greatly reduce his level of frustration and renewing his spirit to do great work at his place of employment.  The worst thing that could have happened is that he might have been told NO; however, his situation would have been no different than it was currently.

Where is the power within you?

You don’t know the answer to your request if you never ask.  Someone might say yes to you as well.  What would happen if you asked precisely for what you want?  Is it possible that it need not be as complicated as you may have imagined?

Ask for what you want and share your success stories with me!  If you need some assistance in getting started, contact me for a free 30 minute coaching strategy session.  Call (973)343-6287 to schedule.

Warmly,  Laurie

Laurie Leinwand is a Certified Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

One of her specialty areas is career life coaching for women and men transitioning between jobs or reentering the workforce.  If you are stuck in your job or career and need help in finding fulfillment and your life purpose, Laurie can help you break through and arrive at your desired destination fast and efficiently.  She also coaches clients who are stay at home parents.  Stay at home moms and dads are required to make adjustments regularly as their children grow – this can be difficult.  Laurie also works with them as they make pivotal decisions such as returning to work.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

Is there a Cap on your Success?

I was coaching a client recently who had worked really hard to achieve something spectacular in her life.  She was feeling euphoric as a result of her accomplishment when she heard that someone close to her had suffered an extremely upsetting disappointment.  Her euphoria quickly began to fade.  She questioned if she was somehow responsible for her family member’s difficulties, whether she had so much favor bestowed upon her that there was none left for those around her.

This was a limiting belief of hers that needed to be challenged in order for her to continue to progress.  Otherwise, she was destined to hold herself back from her true potential, shying away from the success for which she had strived so hard.

Do you have limiting beliefs of your own?  You may not even be aware of them.  When things begin to take shape for you, when you find yourself moving substantially closer to your goals, do you ever notice yourself hesitating, putting off success or fulfillment for just a little longer?

Tune into the thought process linked to this behavior.  These are some examples of limiting beliefs:

  • I question whether I truly deserve success.
  • I am unsure I will be able to handle the next step.
  • I do not know if I can live up to new/increased expectations or responsibilities.
  • I am concerned about how others might perceive my success.
  • I question whether I have worked hard enough to earn a positive outcome.
  • Once I have achieved this goal, I will have reached my success ceiling.
  • If this is my personal pinnacle, I have nowhere to go but down.
  • If I succeed, others will fail.

If you notice that YOU have limiting beliefs that hold YOU back, be deliberate in challenging them.  Develop ‘encouraging beliefs’ that combat them.

Examples of encouraging beliefs are:

  • I deserve success as much as anybody.
  • I can handle anything as long as I am determined to do so.
  • I have the ability to learn from, and embrace, new challenges.
  • I have worked hard to achieve my goals.
  • When I succeed, I can serve as a model to others to do the same.
  • There is plenty success to go around.
  • There will always be new goals I can choose to pursue.

Do not put a cap on your own success.  Take ownership of all that is good in your life and all the good you have yet to receive.  Put the cap on your limiting beliefs and step fully into your success.

Warmly, Laurie

P.S. Which encouraging belief will you use to keep moving forward?  Is there one you would like to share that is not listed above?

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

One of her specialty areas is career life coaching for women and men transitioning between jobs or reentering the workforce.  If you are stuck in your job or career and need help in finding fulfillment and your life purpose, Laurie can help you break through and arrive at your desired destination fast and efficiently.  She also coaches clients who are stay at home parents.  Stay at home moms and dads are required to make adjustments regularly as their children grow – this can be difficult.  Laurie also works with them as they make pivotal decisions such as returning to work.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

Top 10 Tips for Stressed Out Moms

There’s no getting around it.  Moms get stressed.  We all do.  The key in managing our stress is in having go-to strategies, a game plan, for dealing with difficult moments.  No need to tear your hair out or yell at the top of your lungs.  You can handle challenging moments with aplomb if you experiment with these 10 tips for stressed out moms.

 

1. Take a “time out!” – Everyone needs a break sometimes. You might take a walk around the block or call a friend for a 10 minute venting session or (I know there are plenty of moms who do this) spend a little extra time in the bathroom simply for the sake of collecting your thoughts.

 

2. Ask for Help – You don’t have to be “supermom.” It’s more than okay to ask for assistance. You might see if a friend can watch your child(ren) for a bit so you can run an errand on your own or spend the extra money to have someone clean your home periodically so you don’t get caught too far behind in that respect.

 

3. Exercise – Get your body moving and bust that stress. Do something you enjoy, whether it be running, swimming, dancing, whatever! You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and you’ll knock your stress down several notches while you’re at it.  Remind yourself of the power you have within you.

 

4. Listen to Music – Play some loud music in your kitchen and rock out with your kids, OR listen to something soft and soothing to create a calmer ambience in your home, your car, wherever you are..

 

5. Have some Fun – When was the last time you went out and had some fun with your friends? It doesn’t have to be a wild night out (unless you want it to be); it might just be grabbing a quick cup of coffee with your BFF. Having that time to connect and hopefully share a laugh or two will help you realize that your life exists beyond being a mom and will remind you that you are important to others in addition to your kids.

 

6. Make your Time Work for YOU (Prioritize) – Structure your days so that they are manageable. Be reasonable in terms of what you expect from yourself. Try to ensure that each day delivers to you something you seek (rather than just getting through it). When there are chores that you need to trudge through, try to create ways to make them more palatable.

 

7. Say NO to others sometimes if it means saying YES to you – Are you over-obligated? Do you say YES to everything that is requested of you, only to find that you feel like you’re drowning and never have time or energy for what YOU need? Learning to say NO is a powerful means of establishing healthy boundaries. When we are honest with ourselves and others regarding what we can and choose to do, we empower ourselves. When we do say YES, that response is far more appreciated, rather than expected.

 

8. Get Creative – What did you love doing as a child that you might not have done in a very long time? What have you always wanted to learn? When was the last time you sketched, painted, knitted, or played an instrument? Plug in to just one thing that will get your creative juices flowing. It will invigorate you!

 

9. Take a bath – Even a bath that’s not very long can serve to minimize your stress. Use aromatherapy by adding something to your tub with a scent that soothes you. Close your eyes and clear your mind. Restore yourself! [No tub?…Take a nice warm shower and it will serve to relax you as well.]

 

10. Have sex – Sexual activity releases endorphins and other feel-good hormones.  However, if feeling stressed is interfering with your libido, physical contact such as holding hands or a hugging or snuggling can go a long way to helping you feel connected and supported.

 

The Truth: By learning ways to manage stress more effectively and actively implementing those strategies, moms demonstrate to their children how important it is to deal with stress in an appropriate way, AND by reducing their stress, are better parents overall!

What tips will YOU implement?  I’d love to hear from you…

Warmly, Laurie

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

Laurie provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as how to make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no, setting limits and boundaries, as well as balancing work and life.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

First Steps for Stay at Home Moms Choosing to Return to Work

Making the choice to return to work was actually the first big step you took.  I imagine it wasn’t an easy decision, and that you may have gone back and forth on this a number of times before finally choosing to forge ahead.

Be clear about WHY you’ve made this choice. 

Is it for financial reasons?

Do you need to work because you need the intellectual stimulation, challenge, or the validation that some feel when they receive a paycheck?

Is it because you seek to fulfill a passion or want to pursue an interest and hope to parlay it into an income stream?

Is it because you like the structure that having a job can provide?

Do you need the benefits?

Maybe you just feel the need to get out of the house and be among adults on a regular basis?

The answers to questions like these will help you know how to determine your next steps at every stage of this transition.  For example, if you find yourself considering taking a job that offers no benefits, when that was one of your initial goals in seeking work, you will more quickly know whether that job is, in fact, a good fit for you.  It’s extremely important to tune into your own very personal reasons for going back to work to ensure that your quest for employment mirrors those aims.

Be Aware of the Ramifications of the Change

Consider what will change as a result of your return to work and be realistic regarding your expectations about how things will be afterward.  How will you make time to run errands, clean and prepare meals?  Will you have someone else do it for you or are you able to split those responsibilities moving forward with someone else?  Will you still enjoy quality time with your family?  Will you continue to make time for yourself (provided you’ve already been doing so)?

You will have the highest likelihood of success and enjoyment if you’ve truly thought through how going back to work will affect the running of your household and how it will impact your relationships as well.

Address any concerns you have as early as possible.  The more you can explore them beforehand with those that support you, the fewer difficulties you’re likely to experience.

Lay the Groundwork/Set the Stage

As a result of the things that will change, be sure to have as many resources in place as possible.  For example, if you are only on planning on working when the kids are in school, you should still have a backup plan for when a child becomes sick (a grandparent who is willing to watch your child, a neighbor, or a babysitter).  Make sure that those who are playing “back-up” are aware of their roles, and agree to them well ahead of when they are needed.  This helps prevent misunderstandings and will give you a sense of peace and assuredness.

If you know you won’t have as much time to prepare meals, you might choose to prepare a few things on the weekends so your meals are ready to go throughout the week.  Or maybe you’ll choose to just spend more on take-out.

You also might set up carpools so that you are spending less time in the car and more doing the other things you need to be doing.

What do you know?

Is your skill set current for the job you are seeking?  Do you need to go back to school or obtain some training? Recall what you’ve already accomplished, what skills you’ve harnessed and developed along the way, where your interests and passions lie and what other resources you possess.  Fill in the gaps as needed.

Who do you know?

Who do you know AND who do they know?  While seeking a job opportunity, let everyone you know that you’re looking and exactly what kind of position you’re interested in.  This way you will have an army of people with their antennae out for the perfect opportunity for you.  Be sure to network with others in the field you want to break (back) into.  Don’t be shy about it.  Those in your desired industry can provide you with useful information about current trends, other people you may want to talk to, and how you can best proceed in your search.

These are the 5 things you need to do in order to successfully transition from home life back to the workplace:

1)   Be clear about your WHY

2)   Be aware of the ramifications of change

3)   Lay the groundwork and set the stage

4)   Bring to the surface what you know and increase your skill set

5)   Tell everyone you know what you’re looking for or what you offer

These same steps apply when you are planning to start your own business, except that instead of telling everyone you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be broadcasting what it is your new business offers.

Wishing you much success!

Warmly, Laurie

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

One of her specialty areas is career life coaching for women and men transitioning between jobs or reentering the workforce.  If you are stuck in your job or career and need help in finding fulfillment and your life purpose, Laurie can help you break through and arrive at your desired destination fast and efficiently.  She also coaches clients who are stay at home parents.  Stay at home moms and dads are required to make adjustments regularly as their children grow – this can be difficult.  Laurie also works with them as they make pivotal decisions such as returning to work.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

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Laurie's chapter in Catch Your Star will inspire you to see CHANGE as a tool to vastly improve your life. She and 19 other experts share definitive strategies for identifying personal values and belief patterns, changing a stuck mindset and tapping into dreams and intuition. Order your autographed copy today!
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