coach

silencing women does not create peace on earth

I am taking a break from our goal setting challenge today because of a news story that has been making the rounds and causing some controversy.

Silencing the women in a family is not funny. 

Silencing the women in a family is not funny. 

A family from Louisiana decided to do something a little different for their Christmas card this year. Upon doing so a firestorm was created on social media . Before I go on, let me stress that in no way do I think that this family or photographer intended to promote violence against women (as many of the comments on social media elude to). I do however think that this points to a larger problem, this family didn't see why this image might be sending the wrong message

So, why is it the wrong message? This picture  creates the illusion that silencing women of all ages is okay.

it is not!

It implies that getting women to shut-up can be celebrated with a thumbs up.

it cannot!

It implies that silencing a woman can be laughed at with a witty tagline.

it cannot. 


Research shows that the first step to violence and terrorism against any group of people is that of dehumanizing them. Making them less than human by reducing them to a body part or an object, or even by silencing them. All of this is destructive but the silencing is the one that hits me the hardest.

It can be argued that most people are looking to be heard. What happens when we take that option away? When we take away a person's voice, we take away their ability to fight, to be heard, to be understood. We become less than in our own head. We become unhappy, unsatisfied, uninspired. 

Rather than ramble on about the research, check out this amazing series by    Jean Kilbourne    to learn more about gender in the media.

Rather than ramble on about the research, check out this amazing series by Jean Kilbourne to learn more about gender in the media.

Some of you may be reading this and think that I am giving this photo/concept way too much energy but you would be wrong. There is a wealth of evidence to back me up. 

I studied "communications" in school. I decided it had a broader reach than a traditional marketing degree. With this I chose to spend a large part of my time studying gender and kids. I knew that this is the direction that the business world was going and wanted to better understand the consumer that I would potentially be marketing too. I now work in marketing and realize the approach I took is rare. Very few if any marketers actually take course work focused on gender, psychology or sociology. Maybe a class here or there, but no real emphasis on it. This is why I struggle with my profession.  At it's core, marketing is convincing people to buy, do or act. It works with the psyche and what motivates people. It is great responsibility. 

Unfortunately, it seems sometimes like marketers are worse than the stereotypes of lawyers. I say that because in my experience very few people in marketing actually know anything beyond the "business" part of marketing. Marketing is so much more than that. It is about knowing how people think, what they desire and why and using that information for good. How can you do this if you don't know anything beyond the numbers?

Marketing shapes the way we look at the world, whether we like to admit it or not. Marketing and media shapes the way we see and feel about ourselves subconsciously, it convinces us what we want and what we need. Herein lies the responsibility. Do we use this power to do good and make the world better or do we use it to make a buck? Are they mutually exclusive? 

I would argue they are not.


From Killing Me Softly

From Killing Me Softly

We live in a visual society, one that puts emphasis on "seeing is believing". Instagram has exploded on the scene, as has Snap Chat and a number of other social networks that focus solely on imagery. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? If it is that how can we remain complacent with imagery like this family photo or any of the images on this post? How can we claim ignorance as to what these image are really saying?

How can you call yourself a marketer if you don't know how consumers digest the imagery and content you are putting in the universe?

my opinion? you can't.

I could continue to go on about this but realize this is an much bigger subject than a single blog post. So I will come down from my soap box for a minute and get back to the point Did this family have ill intent when creating this holiday card? of course not. Does it speaker to a larger problem in our society? Of course it does. I couldn't let today go by without at least addressing it. I won't apologize for this big soap box because I believe so full heartedly in it but I will work to better formulate my thoughts for future posts.

 

I would like to say one more thing regarding the "witty tagline" that says "peace on earth". The silencing of women will not create "PEACE ON EARTH". In fact, it is the attempted silencing of women that is causing so much destruction, war and terror on this place we called Earth. 

Ready...Set...GOAL

The time has come. Self reflection has occurred and now we need to get to work. This s the hard part because you actually have to put pen to paper and plan.

but how?

I would love to tell you that I did this but THIS IS NOT MINE. I found it online and was like WOAH, holy moly this person is a    talented doodler. 

I would love to tell you that I did this but THIS IS NOT MINE. I found it online and was like WOAH, holy moly this person is a talented doodler. 

I mean we have all these ideas but generally when it is time to put them to paper they just fly right out of our minds. I hate when that happens. Here is what I do. I am a scribbler. I cannot seem to focus on anything unless there is a piece of paper in front of me and I can scribble, doodle or just in general make the ink move across the page. OH YES, I was the girl who wrote down the name of my crush on my notebook a hundred times surrounded  by hearts. I even have old projects from school like a wooden toolbox that is scribbled all over with the names of boys, cool phrases (well I thought they were cool in the 7th grade) and miscellaneous other things I cant even decipher all these years later. The same can be said for my work notes. I never have to wonder about someone stealing my secrets because you would need a decoder ring to get through my notes.

strangely though, this is actually productive for me. It channels my thoughts and somewhere in the mess of undecipherable doodles and hearts galore, a plan takes place. Now I realize that not everyone's brain works the same way mine does BUT I am here telling you what works for me, so it can't hurt to try right?

So get some sort of notebook (hopefully, the same one you have been using for your reflections the last 16 days). Sit in front of the TV or some other form of entertainment that is relaxing yet not too intense. (In other words, watch mindless TV that doesn't require too much attention...no back episodes of Game of Thrones, Lost or House of Cards here, you don't want to get too distracted.) The distraction here is actually your notebook NOT the tv. 

Sadly, not mine either. I was struggling with my computer and images today so had to use some from online...but how cool are they? Love this by    Bea Barros

Sadly, not mine either. I was struggling with my computer and images today so had to use some from online...but how cool are they? Love this by Bea Barros

Every few seconds, write something down. It can be a sentence, a word, a cute little drawing, whatever you want. It should however be related to something you would like to do next year. Maybe it is small like "lost 20 pounds". Maybe it is bigger like "get a raise" or "have a baby". Doesn't matter. No further details are needed today. All you have to do is scribble all the possibilities. We will dig into them later and organize them into something that looks like goals with real tangible action items to them. For now just scribble and jot things down. No pressure. Not coming up with anything, look up at the tv and laugh along with Leonard and Sheldon. Turn on some music, grab a hairbrush and dance around the room a bit...boom idea comes to you, jot it down and keep dancing. 

The only rule...try to fill AT LEAST one who piece of paper with your thoughts. If it takes a couple days, that's ok. Just keep your notebook near by and grab it when an inspiring thought hits you. 

That's it. Wednesday goal setting work complete. We are at the half way point everyone. That means we are about to finish the year ahead of the game because we are going to have a plan for 2016 that takes us all to the next level.

can I get a what what?

My apologies, I got a little excited there. If you did raise the roof and say "what what", my sincerest gratitude. If you didn't, give it time, you might get excited as you start writing things down. For those that did it but don't want to admit it...it's ok, I get it. Maybe next time.

it's never too late to take a step...

It is that time of year when weekends become filled with holiday parties and to do lists. I hope you all had a minute to breathe in all of the hullabaloo. In the course of my buys weekend I may have come down with something. I have the whole swollen and sore gland situation and I am not enjoying it.

For this reason, sadly, today's post will be short and sweet. A few questions to ask yourself as we near the end of the "review" portion of our 31 day goal setting exercise.

What unfinished business did you want to resolve this year and when will you do it? We all say we are going to do things that get put to the side for one reason or another. For many of us there might be a long list of "to do" items that get put to the side. Try and think about what these are for yourself and put some dates to them? Are they things you want to pull into 2016? If, yes, put them aside to include in your goals as we get to that step. If you want to do them sooner than that, you still have 16 days of 2015 to get cracking. Maybe you can't finish but you can at least start and get some headway. What an awesome way to end the year feeling accomplished. 

As you think about these unfinished items, is there a reason you didn't finish them? Were they not important after all? Did you simply procrastinate? Did you have knee surgery and therefore couldn't get to the gym? Did you just forget? Really look at the reasons behind not getting these complete because it will help as we start setting new goals look at the motivation behind what helps you get things done.

I am going to now take some meds and hopefully sleep off this junk. Stay healhty peeps and don't forget to share as always.

 

 

what kind of character are you?

"What are your best traits?" What are your worst traits". Suddenly we are at a job interview wracking our brains to come up with the perfect answers which are normally made up in some shape or from. Most of us can easily come up with our "worst" traits which in and of itself is a sad state of affairs. It is much more difficult for most of us to come up with our "best" traits.

When is the last time you gave yourself permission to say nice things to yourself? You are GORGE and guess what? SO AM I! It's time we own it.

When is the last time you gave yourself permission to say nice things to yourself? You are GORGE and guess what? SO AM I! It's time we own it.

Well, here is your chance to really take some time to be real with yourself. That's right...self reflection at it's best. Here are the question you will be asking yourself today...

  • what are your best character traits?

  • what are your worst character traits

  • what character traits did you develop this year.

how do you answer those questions? OR better yet

how do you answer those questions honestly?

I am good at creating experiences for myself and for others. (YUP, that is me in the horse head). I never owned this about myself before and am so happy to have finally realized that part of who I am and be able to do something with it and help create positive experiences for people that lift them up, give them an ah-ha moment and help them appreciate life.

I am good at creating experiences for myself and for others. (YUP, that is me in the horse head). I never owned this about myself before and am so happy to have finally realized that part of who I am and be able to do something with it and help create positive experiences for people that lift them up, give them an ah-ha moment and help them appreciate life.

Some things to consider...

  • what do people tell you they like about you?

  • what do they tell you that you're good at?

  • what do they ask your help with? (this is a great one to think about because it is not something we typically we think of)

One of my "best" traits is that of self reflection. But, OH SNAP, it is also one of my "worst" traits. YUP, you read that right. I think I am really good at taking time for myself and really trying to understand the life around me and the person I am. I know this is rare. Many people can't or don't take the time to do this. The other side of that coin though is that I can get lost in my head and beat a dead horse, if you will. I can think myself out of an idea and talk myself out of self love. I always have some sort of goal on my list to maximize the part of this trait that is positive and helpful and minimize the negative.

One of my "best" traits is that of self reflection. But, OH SNAP, it is also one of my "worst" traits. YUP, you read that right. I think I am really good at taking time for myself and really trying to understand the life around me and the person I am. I know this is rare. Many people can't or don't take the time to do this. The other side of that coin though is that I can get lost in my head and beat a dead horse, if you will. I can think myself out of an idea and talk myself out of self love. I always have some sort of goal on my list to maximize the part of this trait that is positive and helpful and minimize the negative.

on the flip side, consider thinking differently about your "worst" traits. Instead of jumping to make some long list of negatives, try thinking about the following:

  • what do you argue with people about?

  • what do your family and friends tease you about?

  • Sounds crazy do they tease you about being late ever? It probably means you have a reputation for being late, now that might not mean it is a negative trait but it is something to think about how you feel on it. 

  • what do you constantly talk to yourself about? Do you say..."I wish I could...." and you never end up doing that? Maybe that means there is a trait related to it that you are looking to change

I am a crier...like big time crier...like my siblings use to say "get the bucket" anytime we watched a movie because they knew I was going to be a puddle of tears. While I actually consider this a good trait it contradicts a trait of mine that I struggle with. I talk about and even let people see me cry but I don't actually open myself up to the actual emotion being felt and let people in. I keep it very surface and talk about the "what" instead of the "why" and I rarely if ever let people see my pain or insecurities in the moment. I will tell them after but joke it away and almost never ask for help when I am deep in that emotion. This is most certainly something I need to work on. Mostly because I know that it is related to trust and that when you trust people you get to love them and have them love you in return. What are we with out love? Definitely on my "needs work" list.

I am a crier...like big time crier...like my siblings use to say "get the bucket" anytime we watched a movie because they knew I was going to be a puddle of tears. While I actually consider this a good trait it contradicts a trait of mine that I struggle with. I talk about and even let people see me cry but I don't actually open myself up to the actual emotion being felt and let people in. I keep it very surface and talk about the "what" instead of the "why" and I rarely if ever let people see my pain or insecurities in the moment. I will tell them after but joke it away and almost never ask for help when I am deep in that emotion. This is most certainly something I need to work on. Mostly because I know that it is related to trust and that when you trust people you get to love them and have them love you in return. What are we with out love? Definitely on my "needs work" list.

dig deeper...

Once you have identified these things you can take a deeper look and spend some time understand where you might have made some changes for the good and/or bad during the year to get closer to the person you want to be. What traits did you develop this year? Was there something you paid special attention to and did that attention result in something good? something bad? something in between?

You might ask what this part is about and to be honest you might be able to skip it but I like to think about it because it helps set me up for the actual goal setting portion of this exercise. Remember this is a 31 day project. We start with self reflection because it helps us think about goals differently. Most people set goals in a vacuum and then wonder why they flat flat around February 1st. I think it is because they don't know the "why" behind what they are are asking for. Knowing the "why" helps us know the "how".

This one is probably going to be more intense but that just means we are getting where we need to be. So take some time here and make sure to be honest.

A final ask...If you feel compelled to comment, (and I hope you do) list one of your best traits. I'd love to hear how amazing you are.

 

joy comes in the morning

In November we are constantly bombarded with the thought of "gratitude and thanksgiving" but for December I think that word has got to be "joy". Just about every song you can think of that talks about the holiday's mentions the word. (The below one just happens to be one of my favorites.

It is with this in mind that we continue our goal setting process with a focus on joy. It is a simple question really...

what brought you joy this year?

I don't mean, "what made you happy". Anyone can talk about what makes them happy but what actually brought you true JOY in 2015. Joy is a much different focus. Joy comes in small moments and is almost always unexpected.

here is what I think you should consider when trying to decide what truly did bring you joy this year.

  • the people in your life that you spent time with and left feeling good

  • accomplishments you made

  • moments of peace

I don't think it is a secret that for me joy came in the form of my little nephew this year. I also realize that I probably sound like a broken record when I talk about him but  it was truly a big thing. My decision to move home seemed to validated by the birth of Otis because there is not a single person who has me me smile or laugh more in the past 8 months than that little guy. When I was sick, in bed, back and forth to the doctor's and not wanting anyone to see me, this kid would make me smile and laugh out loud. But more than that it was the joy in knowing that he had been brought into the life of my brother and his wife and completed their family. Knowing that they had the missing piece to their puzzle brought a level of joy I didn't expect.

So, as you work on this question today, think about the different kinds of joy around you.

 

an un-examined life is not worth living...4 days into our 31 day journey

When we examine our lives, one of the best places to start is at the lessons we learned through the people who have helped us and the people we may have helped as well.  When we help others, we show a part of our character that reflects the blessings we have been given. With that being said here are the questions we will explore today.

who did i really help this year?

this might be one of the more difficult questions to ask yourself because sometimes it is hard to know who we may have helped. If it helps, try to think about who you hope that you helped this year. Who did you want to help? How did you want to help?

For me, I don't know that I helped any one specific questions but my hope is that by sharing my experiences this year of stepping outside my comfort zone and taking a chance that others were able to get something out of it that encouraged them to do the same. 

Being able to share my story and hear the stories of other is a blessing and I can only hope that others learn from it how to go towards their passion and fight for their worth in the world. ON A SIDE NOTE: I can also only hope that I learn how to know when a camera is pointed at me and avoid such strange and funny faces. WOW

Being able to share my story and hear the stories of other is a blessing and I can only hope that others learn from it how to go towards their passion and fight for their worth in the world. ON A SIDE NOTE: I can also only hope that I learn how to know when a camera is pointed at me and avoid such strange and funny faces. WOW

who helped you this year?

This one should be easier because we don't live in a bubble and it takes a village no matter how strong a person you are. Why don't we tell our peeps how awesome they are more often? That is what this is all about.

  • So who helped you this year?

  • How did they help you?

  • Do they know they helped you?

write it all down but don't forget to share it with them. It will make their day and it will undoubtedly make you feel pretty amazing too. 

The people I learned from this year are too many to list and I will be making sure they all know who they are and why but here is a short "online shout out" list to get me started

these two have been taking care of me all year and OH man, who knew a grown ass woman would need her Mommy so much?

these two have been taking care of me all year and OH man, who knew a grown ass woman would need her Mommy so much?

My parents

the power of family and support. It is our circle that gets us through our most challenging situations and man do I have a good circle that starts with them. From filling my ice machines to taking me in and making sure I fill my candy cravings, these two made the last few months bearable.

if this isn't a reflection of love, I don't know what is

if this isn't a reflection of love, I don't know what is

My brother and his wife

taught me the power of love and how it can change a person's life and all of the amazing-ness that is waiting when you open yourself up to that

My doctor's

(all of them) who taught me patience. I'm not sure I like it all the time but I am seeing the value

My friends

who are way too many to list here but I learned a few things this year from them that got me through like:

  • humility and the power of "I'm Sorry"

  • what support looks like

  • the importance of a good slumber party with food, wine and movies.

  • bravery

who are those friends, btw? Well in an effort to not forget any of them, I have chosen to thank them on my own. But they WILL Know who they are.


What lessons did you learn from those that helped you and even from the people you helped?

Through some personal experiences I learned the hard lesson that "intention" is not always enough, not always seen and not always the part that speaks loudest. It is important that our actions align with our intentions because words are only words without the action behind them. 

Through some personal experiences I learned the hard lesson that "intention" is not always enough, not always seen and not always the part that speaks loudest. It is important that our actions align with our intentions because words are only words without the action behind them. 

We are brought experiences, people and things in our lives for a reason. If we don't pay attention to the lessons that are in those moments, we are missing the whole point and can't plan for the future. So take some time on this one. Not to sound like a broken record, but don't forget to share the lessons you learned with those around you.

Just get on, hang on and enjoy the ride

Just get on, hang on and enjoy the ride

Share the love. we learn the most from those around us. Till next week.

year in review...write it down...take a picture...

ok peeps, here we go. It's time to start our goal setting project. Get out your journals and pencils and let's get working.

You can't plan any sort of future if you don't have a clear understanding of where you have already been and what you did and didn't like about it. If you create a goal in a vacuum it tends to get sucked up into everything else. It is for this reason that the first step of .....

Okay, 2015 is almost complete. With 11 months under your belt, it is time for us to dig deep and ask some real questions of ourselves. This is where your journal comes into play. Write your answers to all of the questions below. Be specific and include details.

ask yourself this...

what is your best memory from 2015?

  • the best thing that happened to YOU (be specific)

My best memory of 2015 was hands down seeing my brother and sister-in-law become parents. While technically this happened to them, it gave me the opportunity to become fall in love for the first time. The specific moment for me was here in this picture. This was the first time I had ever held a baby )less than 3 months old) and the first time I held my nephew, Otis Wayne Hanks. This is me checking to make sure he had the right number of fingers and toes.

My best memory of 2015 was hands down seeing my brother and sister-in-law become parents. While technically this happened to them, it gave me the opportunity to become fall in love for the first time. The specific moment for me was here in this picture. This was the first time I had ever held a baby )less than 3 months old) and the first time I held my nephew, Otis Wayne Hanks. This is me checking to make sure he had the right number of fingers and toes.


What did you do this year that you are the most proud of?

The thing that makes me the most proud when I look back on 2015 was the fact that i took a huge leap of faith. I left a job that was part of my identity, a place I had grown up to come home and follow my purpose. It is no east thing to leave your comfort zone and trust yourself enough to know that you deserve to live in your truth, but that is the chance I took and I am not foolish enough to let that go by unnoticed by myself and be proud of the step I took.

The thing that makes me the most proud when I look back on 2015 was the fact that i took a huge leap of faith. I left a job that was part of my identity, a place I had grown up to come home and follow my purpose. It is no east thing to leave your comfort zone and trust yourself enough to know that you deserve to live in your truth, but that is the chance I took and I am not foolish enough to let that go by unnoticed by myself and be proud of the step I took.


what are you the most grateful for in 2015?

I am grateful for home more than anything. It wasn't the easiest year. There were issue with my health, building a business, finding a job, getting back into the swing of life in Oregon and needing to lean on everyone in my life to get me through. By coming home, I was fed, clothed, housed, lifted up and and taken care of. There is no possible way I could have taken the steps I took this year without that backbone. Whoever said you can't go home, didn't have a home like I do...

I am grateful for home more than anything. It wasn't the easiest year. There were issue with my health, building a business, finding a job, getting back into the swing of life in Oregon and needing to lean on everyone in my life to get me through. By coming home, I was fed, clothed, housed, lifted up and and taken care of. There is no possible way I could have taken the steps I took this year without that backbone. Whoever said you can't go home, didn't have a home like I do...

Did you learn something new about yourself?

Did you have a moment of clarity?

Did something specific happen?

If family and friends is what you are grateful for then be specific as to why that is. 

Remember that at the end of the day this project is about exploration and honesty. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.

(I may have just had a deja vu moment to some childhood parental lectures, hmm..)


Once you have completed the questions, consider something bold. Share them with someone you trust. Saying them out loud and sharing them opens you up a little more. People who know and trust you might remind you of additional things to consider and remind you of some great things you bring to the table that you might ignore. We are always tough on ourselves and this exercise is about being honest and kind to yourself, so don't be afraid to open up and share your answers with people you know and ask if they think you should add anything else.

If you are really bold, you can even share some of your thoughts in the comments below. You don't have to share your specific answers but if you want to share your experience in coming up with your answers, feel free. It is always good to hear how people are approaching the process.

Friday, will be day two and we will talk about gratitude and acknowledgement.

A little throwback of the two of us around the time I entered my thirties....Throwback.

A little throwback of the two of us around the time I entered my thirties....Throwback.

P.S. My little sister enters the world of "Thirty, Flirty & Thriving" today. So sad I can't be there to celebrate it with her but so grateful to see her grow into the most amazing, capable, strong, smart and bold woman. Only the best is on it's way. Can't wait to see what you will do...

what are you going to do with the 31 days you have left of 2015?

I don’t set New Year’s Resolutions. New Year’s Eve is my least favorite holiday of the year and I think it is in part because of the fact that most of the decisions we make on this day rarely come to fruition. And yet, we continue to do the same thing every single year. It is easy to blame all of this on the simple concept of a “New Year’s Resolution” and give up all together but making a “New Year’s Resolution” and setting goals are very different things.  A life without goals and focus is one that doesn’t move very fast or far. We need to start making some goals with some substance and grit, ones that will not fade away come February 1st.

Normally I like to this in the early part of the year but I got to thinking that maybe instead of avoiding starting the year off with goals, why not embrace the idea instead? This year, for the first time, I am going to start my goal setting in December and I thought it would be great if we did it together.

For the month of December I am going to use the blog to focus on goal setting. I will work to provide tips from experts in goal setting, as well as a step by step process for us all to follow together. I will share my experiences along the way in the hopes that you can learn from my mistakes and successes.

Here is what you will need to join in the process:

  • A notebook or journal that you will use JUST FOR THIS.

    • Make it small enough to take with you wherever you go (you never know when inspiration will strike)

    • Enough pages to really be able to dig deep

  • A Pen or Pencil that you really like

    • Sounds funny but this is crucial. I know you have a cell phone or a tablet and computer or all of the above. But there is something very powerful about using a pen and writing things down. It shows a commitment, it allows for you to scratch it out, scribble, etc, but not erase. The reason this is good is because sometimes the things you write down and scratch out become the best inspiration later on.

  • 30 minutes, three times a week.

    • First, so that you can read the blog. (of course)

    • You will find that things will come to you outside of these 90 minutes but it is important to dedicate some time to focus on JUST this and JUST YOU!

That’s it. Seriously. We are investing in ourselves and we don’t have to go broke to do it.

We start Wednesday so get ready to focus on you and start making big things happen in your life.


118 years, why are we running the world for so little?

  • Beyonce says "Girls, We Run the World".

  • Bridget Brennan says that women account for 80% of all purchase in the United States (5)

  • Woman is the vessel through which all life is born

  • More than 3/4 of of all teachers are women and this number increases even more in elementary and middle school levels (1)

  • 80% of all nurses are women (down 7% in 40 years.) (3)

  • 66% of all caregivers are women (4)

  • Without women, we as a society and culture do not exist and YET...

None of that is valued in our society, even today in 2015.

don't believe me?


Then why is it that last week a global report came out that stated it is still another 118 years until the gender pay gap closes globally? (6)

wait? what? 

Traditionally female roles like a teacher, earn less on average which is part of the problem.

The median salary for a teacher in the United States is around $40,000 and has remained relatively the same since the 1970's. (inflation-adjusted terms) (1)

YUP, that is 40 years with relatively no rise in salary!!

In comparison, women who work outside of teaching have seen salary growth around 25%. (1) However, this reinforces the idea that jobs traditionally held by women are not valued on the same level. I think it is even fair to say that we don't value "caregiving" in our culture, at least not in a way that allows people to be compensated for it. 

Or do we?  

On average male nurses make about $10,000 more annually than women. (3) When you look at the research you often hear one of the reasons being that women negotiate less than men. I believe the statistic. I talk to women all of the time but I struggle with it. First let me say that YES we should be negotiating. I'm not happy about it but let's face it, big corporations are concerned with their bottom line before their people. Harsh? Maybe but if it weren't true then negotiation wouldn't be necessary because they would pay people based on value and make the first offer the right offer. Alas, that is not the culture we live in so they make a lower offer in the hopes that we won't negotiate.

According to a survey on the site Monster.com, out of 500 women questioned only 16% say that they always negotiate compensation. (7) As I travel and speak around the country, the most frequent questions I get are around resume's and negotiation. Women know they should be doing it but they feel uncomfortable and don't necessarily now how to do it. (Interestingly enough, there is quite a bit of research out there that says the Millenial generation struggles with this across gender.)

If the idea that "negotiation" is a key reason in preventing the closing of the Gender Pay Gap, man are we in trouble. For one, globally, there are countries where a woman asking for a higher salary could prevent her from getting paid at all, provoke violence and worse. YES, we still live in a world where women using their voice doesn't always elicit a positive response. Even if we focus just on the US, the idea that the initial offer to a woman is in some cases automatically less than what is offered a man tells you immediately how a company values you as a woman. Why would I want to help a company grow that doesn't value what I bring to the table?

Some may read this and think it is a harsh view on what is going on but I am telling you I hear it every single day. Statistics are one think and they help provide some support to the story but if I had never read a single article or saw a single news story on this subject, I would still know that the "gender pay gap" exists. Like I said, I hear about it everywhere I go. 


I guess it comes down to this, are we okay with it taking 118 years to earn the same amount of money as our male counterparts? I for one am not. Globally, this issues becomes even more difficult that it is in the US. If you saw the average salaries at the beginning of this post, you get a small inkling of why that is. It is also sometimes difficult to look at a problem so large, so let's try and break it into smaller pieces. How do we make a change in our own country, state, community and even the specific places that we work?


The tips I am about to list are my opinions. They are based on conversations I have had with women across the country, situations I have seen and my real life experiences. Take from them what works for you and leave the rest, that's really all we can do.

Leave emotion out of it. YES,

I said it. The girl who cries at the drop of a dime, even in her bosses office just said to leave emotion out of it. That does not mean, don't cry or make your case. It means that your boss does not care about any of the following

  • You have bills to pay

  • You THINK you should make more

  • You "heard" that  other people in the office make more

  • Your car just broke down

  • You really want to buy a house or some other big ticket item

  • You don't think what you make is fair

  • You d/did exactly what they asked for

The only items you should be bringing to the table when discussing salary are measurables

  • what have you done ABOVE & BEYOND the job description? Be specific and make it tangible to business growth & development

  • What do/have you bring to the table that is helping grow the business

  • reputation - how do other's view you? clients, co-workers etc.

  • Proof of EXCEEDING the goal you set forth

Know your business, know the market, know your value and know your worth

  • You need to do some research before they offer you the job. What is the average salary for jobs like the one you are being offered. 

  • don't just look up titles, understand the responsibilities tied to the role

  • how do those responsibilities line up to your previous experience

  • make it specific to your city and industry if possible (ie. tech industry is going to pay more than the sports industry in most cases)

Money isn't the only item to be negotiated, what is important to you. 

  • additional benefits

  • a customized work schedule

  • continuing education

A few additional things to consider:

  • Ask for feedback and use the feedback to rally your cause

  • Be brave enough to walk away from something that doesn't serve you. BUT... Be smart enough to know if it is ego or reality

  • Work smart. Work hard. Both have value. NEVER work for free. Value your time, skills and abilities enough to know that working for free or charity should only be offered to those in need. Corporations don't need your philanthropy but there are a lot of people and organizations who do. Know when to make the distinction between the two.

  • Lastly, ask questions. We don't know, what we don't know so continually be learning. The more we do know, the more we can do to initiate change.

Have you ever negotiated your salary or a raise at work? What worked for you? Tell me in the comments below. Let's build a community of women sharing their win's with each other.

 

SOURCES:

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/sunday-review/why-dont-more-men-go-into-teaching.html?_r=0
  2. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/03/25/male-nurse-gender-pay-gap-women-nursing/70419356/
  3. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/03/25/male-nurse-gender-pay-gap-women-nursing/70419356/
  4. https://www.caregiver.org/women-and-caregiving-facts-and-figures
  5. The Female Factor
  6. http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/gender-pay-gap-will-be-erased-it-will-take-118-n466631
  7. http://career-advice.monster.com/salary-benefits/negotiation-tips/Salary-Negotiation-Gender-Wage-Gap/article.aspx

attitude of gratitude, it's harder than it looks

I am pretty sure everyone is talking about gratitude this week, I mean tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the holiday season will be officially in full gear so it makes sense. Everywhere you look in November there are articles about gratitude. Most of them are top 10 lists of ways to show gratitude or top 20 reasons gratitude is important in your life. All of that is great and if we are honest, don't we already know all of that? Of course being grateful is a great thing and of course it would help people feel happier and more positive. But knowing you "should" do something and knowing "how" to do it, especially on a regular basis is easier said than done. Just ask anyone who has ever attempted to eat healthier or make a New Year's Resolution to "work out more". We know we should, but man is it hard to do it day after day.

But expressing gratitude feels good. I mean cheese burgers are delicious, celery not as much so I get the whole diet dilemma. Exercising is hard, but Scandal is so easy to get hooked on. The struggle is real with these. I just can't wrap my head around the gratitude part though...

Apparently, there are actual reasons, according to some doctors and researchers that people struggle to show or express gratitude. Most of them, from the best I can tell are linked to feelings of insecurity and low self esteem. 

  • Negative emotional baggage from our childhood (1)

  • Perception as a sign of weakness (1)

  • Expectations (1)

  • Feelings of vulnerability (2)

  • ego (3)

  • confusion with the idea that gratitude has to be expressed for both good and bad (3)

Now, this makes sense to me. It isn't that we aren't grateful, it is that we don't feel deserving of the things in our lives that we would traditionally show gratitude for. I wish I could say I felt good about knowing this and understanding it. I say this because, doesn't it always come down to low self esteem and insecurity? When did we become so critical and self loathing?

I tried googling this, by the way and found very little. It has been part of a scientific/psychological conversation since the late 1800's/early 1900's and in the 1960's the idea of "self esteem" was defined by the "Rosenberg self-esteem scale" (4) but none of this tells us "when" it became such a big deal. Was it always there, since the beginning of time? Obviously as we have learned more about the human mind we understand more about the concept and that is fantastic but I still want to know where the heck it came from to begin with. Since, apparently that is not going to happen for me today but maybe it is like Deepak Choprah said, it is important for us to first understand why we struggle with gratitude. Once we do that, it allows us to be more aware and take time out to be grateful not just for others but for who we are more often than once a year over turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberries. 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

Be good to others and YOURSELF

 


SOURCES:
(1) http://www.slowdownfast.com/why-are-we-so-apprehensive-about-showing-gratitude/

(2) http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/gratitude-fing-hard-ajrt/

(3) https://www.deepakchopra.com/blog/article/3633

http://psych.ut.ee/~jyri/en/Schmitt-Allik_JPSP2005.pdf