(Well mostly, in honesty, I’ve lost it more than a few times too, if we’re to be totally honest here, before I realised, how much power my authentic voice already HAD, without having to TRY to throw my impact around the place. And I’ve too talked my share of fluff before a vulnerable point.)
Each of these Guys had a point though. Communication is an art form. And the more clearly one can articulate oneself, the more likely it is that one will be able to negotiate, not just for what one wants and get it, but be able to effectively be of effective service in the world.
3 benefits of clear, loving communication:
1- We get to cut through the “not truth” and save both parties 6 months of unnecessary struggle and heartache pursuing the wrong things by getting honest from day 1 about what you both really want.
We get to cut through the “not truth” and save both parties 6 months of unnecessary struggle and heartache pursuing the wrong things by getting honest from day 1 about what you both really want.
Its a definite win to be pursuing either ones dreams, ones intuition about something that may be aspirational and one may think appears to be the embodiment incarnate of one’s dream. But, without actually having confirmed in reality that you are on the same page and want the same thing, how do you really know for sure that it IS and that the other party really wants the same thing we do?
As the song goes, wishing and hoping and thinking and praying, planning and dreaming each moment of your shared existence together, unfortunately, alone won’t get you either into someone’s arms OR into partnership with somebodies business you admire, until you actually get brave and speak to what you want and fact check if you’re, in physical reality, on the same page, THEN you might just be the answer to each other’s prayers, and/or the right fit to be up in each other’s actual businesses.
Just to clarify, i'm not saying the wishing and hoping part is a bad thing. Its a good thing too feeling into it in advance as a manifestation thing. As is actually, up front daring to show your true colours when it comes to your passion, interest and genuine excitement about an opportunity or how you feel about that person. People need to know why you’re such a “yes” and receive confirmation that their yes is matched back in, a hell yes, this is soooo the thing I want too” if we're to manifest the opportunities and connections we really want.
Once it’s confirmed that you’re on the same page in reality, not just in whatever potential reality you can see, then is the time to go all in on the emotional investment front and start build build building together and start making plans. Until then, is it really the wisest use of our energy to be investing in someone that we’re not actually even sure if they want to invest in us? Possibly not. This is where we women have to stop sugar coating, hoping and beating around the bush and just ask.
2- It eliminates a huge percentage of misunderstandings.
Humans need to be witnessed and heard in our processes to feel acknowledged and emotionally supported, right?
The tricky thing about that though when it comes to practitioners and business is that, the more detail one authentically shares before one gets to the point, the more confused the person on the receiving end can become about what the actual point is and what you need or about what message or insight you are truly trying to convey. Especially if you do it by email. And on social media these days, ask any busy person or Gen Z'er, if it's more than 300 words and they can't see a point coming any time soon in there, people scroll on now. Unless they REALY, REALLY love you and or flag it for later. Sad, I know, but becoming more and more 8 second attention span true 😞.
What repels people from a 5000 word social media post or email these days that reads like process? For the other person reading our 5000 word authentic share, unless your did it essay style and wrote a clear intro and conclusion summarising the concept after the fact, what they actually have to do is then put on their Therapist, Coach or intuitive hat (if they have any of these) and try and use their X-ray vision on all the excellent details of the story we just detailed and the process we’re presently navigating, to find the hidden gold in the centre of the point of what we really want and need and hence what the true intention is in a sentence or two of what we are really trying to say.
In human communication and interpretation, we need live, direct questioning to confirm that what we think they just said, actually means what we think it means. If we assume, there’s a huge potential for misunderstandings. According to my Counselling Training way back when, apparently over 60% of a chance of potential misunderstandings. (Hopefully MUCH less if we’re running on intuition, as opposed to projection.)
So our task then, for clear communication sake, is to be connected enough to ourselves that we can be clear with people about what we want and need and the summary intention for our interaction. Funilly enough, it’s a bit hard to manifest anything concrete until we know, life will just keep bringing us a whole bunch of random experiences until we decide, and a whole bunch of non responses or emails and conversations that don't really end up leading to anything.
What are we really wanting?
-are we wanting to be witnessed or held while we process something?
-are we wanting to share the want or need we have (and are we prepared to enquire and
hear back about the other parties needs, on this two way street), or,
-as Practitioners, are we wanting to help in some specific way?
- Or teach a particular insight or the lesson or skill that ultimately lies behind?
What is the summary paragraph of your intention for the interaction? Once you’re clear on your intention, write or request a chat from that place. Because you’ll speak from clarity in that place.
3- Clear, honest communication, done with love and compassion, creates trust and safety and opportunity for growth
To decide upon something and then to clearly articulate that, ultimate creates one of two possibilities, either you realise you’re on the same page and come closer together, or, it means to end the other possibilities that aren’t that or aligned with that. Which might mean that potential partners or clients or people we’d like to work with, or for, then leave.
If someone is about to be rejected by what we say or we’re about to receive a no, we can feel the old “scary factor” coming and the pending emotional death and re-birth that goes with an impending “no” (which, gets easier the more you just feel the fear and do the honesty anyway) ....and that may feel unsafe, when we’re strongly emotionally invested in the outcome. Yet, dare I say it, if we’re really coming from love, has to be done. Because emotional death and rebirth is a part of life. And growth and evolution. Sometimes, we stall on getting honest, for fear of losing someone or something that may feel like love and safety and the dream. And sometimes we’ll do anything to delay death and causing ourselves or others potential pain that might come from getting real. But doing so can also keep us stuck in the wrong thing, as opposed to the right thing. And more than that, may delay the right thing going through a necessary transformation you have to go through that sees it become even MORE the right thing for one or both parties.
Intuition or no, it’s hard to really know for sure which way it’s going to go, until we take the honesty leap of faith and come out the other side. Either way, we have to trust in the process to lead all to the best possible outcome and to trust that the process of being honest creates more trust and safety either way. People may not like it, but they will ultimately respect you for just being lovingly straight. In our personal and professional lives. And with everyone in them. We need to flip our belief of “honesty is to be feared”, to the belief that “honesty is actually love.”
When it comes to honesty about things that might be hard to hear, playing the old compliment sandwich and gratitude game too helps the dose of truth go down a little bit more gently too. Ultimately so that even if you reject someone, they still walk away feeling good about something else you shared. Only ever being honest in the negative feedback direction can unintentionally push people away/see them withdraw, because no one wants to think they’re failing non stop all the time and letting down the very people they care about, at home or at work and nobody wants to feel unwanted or not valued. Hence it helps to also balance those kind of truths with truths about all we love and appreciate about people, acknowledge all that they are awesomely rocking at and share these things often. This way, we build trust and come closer through honesty and everyone feels respected FOR the honesty.
Humans, we are emotionally complex beings aren’t we? But it doesn’t have to be as complex as we sometimes make it. If we bring it back to directly communicating what we want and need in simple summaries, working life and the whole of life gets a whole lot simpler. Sure, it’s scary, it’s vulnerable being so direct, but remember what I said at the start of this about every cell and part of you feeling a breath of relief and joy when you do? For the ease and grace that comes from doing so, not to mention the success and fulfilment, it’s so worth it.
Until next time, have fun, take care.
5 tips for creating a work environment that best supports the wellbeing of your employees and clients
If you’ve seen my Facebook any time recently, you might be aware that I’d been on a mind-body-spirit pre-biotic detox of sorts this last month, in between also making a few updates on self care to program content and sections of the book I’m slowly (excitedly) plugging away on and having many conversations about right now. That got me thinking this afternoon, not just about our individual wellbeing in business, but also thinking about the wellbeing values and cultures we create within our workplaces. So this week, I wanted to give some workplace wellbeing tips for those of you who are entrepreneurs with visions of growing much bigger clinics or organisations, as well as for those of you who are Business Leaders or Managers with growing teams and organisations already.
Wether you’re in the Wellness, Creative, NFP or some other form of Service Based Business, here’s a few insights from my years of managing within and visiting some awesome workplaces, with leading examples of practices that can be easily and cheaply implemented to promote better standards of wellness and an awesome culture for those people we care about on our teams.
1- Creating a visually inspirational workplace
Ok, so this one might seem kind of obvious to any one who does any form of personal development, right? You can usually pick the staff members who are into professional development by the number of printed out inspiring quotes on the cubicle walls and screens around them. And you’ve probably seen or been to workplaces where certain managers will have their teams work areas surrounded with themed content from time to time. But I also wanted to speak here to ways in which you can take your organisational values about wellness and your vision to a whole other visual level.
One of the most inspiring workplaces I’d ever been to, literally had used the window of every office and every blank wall in the building as a canvas of inspiration for their staff. They had inspiring quotes in white luxury fonts painted (or permanently stuck) on the windows and walls in every which direction. There was enough to keep your Instagram account busy for months. And it made the building a living embodiment of the organisational culture in every way. But the fact that they were painted/permanently stuck on there also had a psychological quality that went way beyond a bunch of print outs or posters in terms of the commitment to and permanency of those values and that culture. Because we do interior design for the long haul, when we’re decorating our nest for great things we’re going to co-create in the years to come, the act of painting/permanently fixing them on the walls also screamed commitment and we’re in this for the long term, to make a difference long term.
So my question to you is, if you were to pick a handful of memes, quotes, art pieces or images that best reflect the values you hold for your team or organisation, what would they be? And where can you literally put them in your office in ways that suggest permanency, to help create an environment that’s mentally stimulating and inspiring?
2-Build a little lightness and fun into the culture
Can I see a show of hands of everyone who originally made a break from some corporate workplace to start a business because they were tired of the culture of being ground to the bone for every drop of your usefulness and every KPI they could squeeze out of you, before hurling you in the bin like a used condom once you were no longer perceived as useful? (Please, feel my laughs and a lot of love coming at you while I write that one. ) That’s extreme I know. But is there some little element of truth to that for many of you? Does some part of you want to create a much more fun and welcoming culture, with far greater work-life balance than some of the corporate style ones you worked in once, where they timed your every bathroom minute or second away from your desk?
OR, for those of you in the wellness, the non for profit or community service realm, who are doing a lot of emotional heavy lifting with your clients ongoingly, would it help your workplace and everybody’s wellbeing, do you think, to have a whole lot more opportunities for lightness, fun and laughs in there somewhere? Would it help better nourish and sustain your team over the long term?
This is something I often talk to clinic owners and NFP Team Leaders about when things are feeling heavy and stuck within the culture.
-What are literally some team building activities you can do out of hours just for the fun of it together?
-What are some ways you can create some in-house team connection opportunities while you’re working, maybe even in team meetings, or group trainings or group chats, where part of the agenda is to lighten the mood and just have fun?
With some of the teams I’ve worked with, it’s watching a funny Youtube together, with others, its group bitmjoji chats (that everyone is included in), with others we went bowling, in others, we got themed and came as our favourite superhero. Maybe you could play twister, have a Just Dance-off in your next meeting, go paint balling, who knows, the possibilities are endless….it really depends on who’s in your team and what they're into. Ask them for some suggestions and put it to a vote.
But according to studies done by Bright HR and Professor Sir Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at the University of Manchester, employees who have fun at work are less likely to take sick days and more likely to report feeling creative at work and committed to their organisation. And according to Professor Andrew Oswald, Dr Eugenio Proto and Dr Daniel Sgroi from the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, happy employees are 12% more productive. Plus it worked out for Google. Since they introduced all of their employee support activities, apparently they’ve had a 37% in staff satisfaction.
So, the moral of point #2's story? It’s time to plan for plenty of fun, play, lightness and laughs, for your teams or future teams, both in your work hours and outside of them.
And just for fun, here’s one of my favourite workplace fun moments for later, from the episode of IT Crowd where Jen was “Entertainment Manager” and all the out-of-town business partners end up playing D & D...
3- Managing the energy in your buildings and work spaces:
Now this one is for workplaces in larger organisations and clinic rooms alike and is particularly important for Non for Profits and Community Service organisations dealing with a high clients often in highly distressing circumstances and staff who are having to manage their own self care while supporting their clients.
Wether you consider it from the standpoint or Feng Shui, Reiki, ancient shamanic wisdom or the host of university research that’s been conducted on Quantum physics and the power of our human intention to literally influence energy and the environment around us, there is a tangible human belief humans hold that we are able to pick up and be influenced by the emotional residue of the previous occupants of a building or space. Or activities which just transpired around us, or in that space. And a belief that, drawing upon the power of intention to direct energy, that we also have the ability to clear, redesign and replace that old energy with something more desirable and pleasant to be in the vicinity of instead.
Below are 3 qualitative examples of managing the energy of spaces, which resulted in noticeable quanitative results, that are entirely relevant to the energetic quality of the business spaces you create, and hence, an important part of your workplace wellness picture.
For the first, I remember one time I was sitting with my whole fellow Case Management team from one of the NFP’s I used to work for over a team building lunch, interestingly enough, discussing how every single woman at the table, was having major reproductive health issues and felt like it was, in part due to the nature of our work and the impact of dealing with all that stress on our health. More than that, the majority of them also felt like the office we worked in had bad vibes and it was well known that everyone who had started working there felt like they had to go through a substantial adjustment period in the first few weeks, just to deal with the fluoro lighting in our bright white offices, that were totally lacking in natural lighting on our side of the building. There are several mid 20th century biochemical studies that we done on research participants living in underground research facilities on various schedules of artificial lighting, which were shown to seriously mess with humans’ natural circadian rhythms and mood and sleep regulating hormone levels, so this didn’t come as much of a surprise to me that all our reproductive systems were up the creek. But, about half way through my contract there, I’d done my level 1 and 2 Reiki training and started using some of the Reiki principles and symbols that could apparently be used for room clearing on my office. Not only did I start to feel a whole lot less anxious working in there, but, funilly enough, the foot traffic that actually hung around and sat in my office for extended lengths of times actually seemed to at least triple after that time.
As another example, when I first started Practice Managing one of the Wellness Clinics I used to manage, we had a couple of rooms that no-one seemed to want to go anywhere near working out of. For privacy reasons, I won’t go into the history I know as to exactly why there was bad juju so to speak about the particular room in question, so much as to say there was some completion of business to be done for the energy of that now vacant space to be fully available to anyone new to rent it instead. Once that business had been completed, I went to work every day on Reiki’ing that room and directing as much loving intention as I could pour into that room, INTO that room. Within a couple of weeks, all of a sudden that vacant room went from being 0% booked, to over 70% booked as a clinic room and a small group space. More than that, every one who had been working there for the period of before and after the completion and the room clearing, when they went in there, reported a qualitative shift in their experience of the room. They reported it as looking lighter and brighter and it felt really warm and inviting now.
More recently, in Event Managing and Facilitated numerous event spaces in recent years, I turned those skills to helping creating event workspaces that, according to the participants, felt great and very welcoming, were highly conducive to their participation, growth and transformation, and according to teams I ran them for, noticeably increased all their KPI’s on attendance, sales calls booked and their conversion to paid program participation.
So my point? There's a lot to be said for learning how to manage the energy of a room, a building or an event. I suggest to hire someone to do or teach you how to do space alignments and manage the energy at your events. It’s worth it’s weight in gold for all involved.
4- Feed your tribe well:
When we hire full time employees or contractors, they end up spending up to 40 hours a week with us, right? One of the latest workplace improvement strategies has been to give employees a kitchen full of yummy snack food and regularly deliveries of things like fruit boxes, maybe even workplace sized deliveries of alcohol and other beverages for a friendly Friday night drink together before you go.
But the trouble with much of the food that gets put out to entice employees and is left there over 70% of the time as the go-to option, rather than an occasional treat option, is it’s actually loaded with refined white sugar and refined white flour (which quickly breaks down to sugar when we eat it.) Why is that an issue? Because sucrose is known to knock out your immune system for a couple of hours after eating it. Thus, in winter particularly, where we know the air is teaming with cold viruses, is it a wise strategy to be feeding your staff cheese and bacon encrusted white bread roles, refined sugar loaded muffins and syrup loaded scrolls that will knock out their immune system for hours straight? To be having them loading up their coffees with refined white sugar and running on the vending machine and fundraising brands of chocolate with the highest percentage of refined sugar in them you can get?
I would suggest that, what seems like cost effectiveness in the short term and giving into their desire for junk food is actually costing workplaces more in workplace absenteeism due to illness, plus you having to fork out double the value of their salary to a temp agency to short term replace them, plus the sick leave of the actual paid employee, than what it would cost to, instead, stock your kitchens with raw organic honey in place of refined sugar (which is known to help strengthen your immune response and has widespread antimicrobial qualities that combat cold viruses and infections, but still satisfies the need for a sweetener) and instead, have deliveries of fresh fruit, plus a whole heap of the kind healthy breakfast foods, low sugar yoghurts, and the kind of raw treats or produce you’ll find in any number of organic supermarkets or health food sections, in place of the ye olde faithful Arnotts classic selection of biscuits, cheezles and potato chips in jars on the bench 24/7…. and shout them decent organic teas, coffees and hot chocolate. Things high on nutrients, fibre and antioxidants, as opposed to high on numbers, bad fats, high fructose corn syrup or sucrose. Because, not only have refined sugars like these been linked to wide range of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, liver disease and obesity, it has been suggested that diets high in certain types of refined sugars may also promote the development of cancer by stimulating synthesis of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), inducing oxidative stress, or promoting weight gain.
If people are spending up to 40 hours a week in service to our business, we can’t deny that what we expose them to within it has a substantial impact on their health and wellbeing. So as you’re planning for your future team culture, or continuing to develop your existing one, it’s worth considering the old Motherly food nurturing principle…how can you be the leader that takes a stand for their optimal health and wellbeing? Is what you’re currently putting on their table in line with that? How can you close the gap between the two?
5-Be a leader who lives your wellness values and rewards your staff doing self care
Finally, could there be anything more valuable than being the Leader who practices what they preach and strives to be a living embodiment of their own values? And in this case, strives to be a living embodiment of wellness and work-life balance?
What used to by the old patriarchal “all work, no rest model,” complete with massive rewards for behaviour for the times when that person sat at their desk, smashed work out until after hours (but burned themselves out in the process) is of dying interest to a shifting generational culture of “what’s in it for me, as well as you?” I might be preaching to the converted when I tell the wellness, creative, NFP world not to let it go when you see staff burning themselves to the ground trying to deliver on performance for you. But for people who are expanding and about to build their workplace culture, it’s maybe a good thing to put on your managerial list to monitor the following behaviour in your (future) staff and be mindful of things like:
-Is their water on the desk and are they drinking it?
-Have they actually taken their breaks? Or do they need to be prompted to check in with themselves and see if they might benefit from a get up and go for a walk outside break?
-Have they eaten?
-Are they looking well?
-Do they sound stressed out?
-Do they maybe need to be prompted or a short meditation break, or a “go listen to 10 mins of funny stuff on Youtube“ break, to help them chill out?
-Are they engaged or withdrawn compared to usual? Is that normal or is it worth checking in to see how they are?
-Are they keeping up with their workload? Do they have enough support and training to successful do what you're asking them to do?
-What motivates and inspires them and their work flow? Maybe it’s listening to music while they’re doing admin, maybe there’s a fire-me-up routine they like to do before sales calls.
Be the leader, or have your leaders be the leader, who takes the time to find out what’s their thing and make sure you show your support around what they need too, in balance with asking them all the time to do things for you and your mission. Yes this is a workplace, yes i know you're busy, but relationship is a two way street. How can you show them that you care just as much about what they want too?
-Could they use a spot of your gratitude and appreciation today?
-Are they clear in understanding the future pathway you’re envisioning for them within your organisation, in your head, relative to their own aspirations of how they’d like to grow and contribute within your larger vision? Or are their things it might help for you to tell them?
Trust me, people will work 3 times harder for you when they know they’re a genuinely loved and valued part of their vision and organisation. And these things very much DO contribute to their psychological wellness within your organisation, not to mention give them plenty of incentive to grow with you over the long term.
So there you have it. 5 concepts to re-think about to help you create a work environment that better supports the wellbeing of your employees and clients, and maybe guide you in the development of your procedures manual for times to come. If you have any further questions about any of this, just let me know. Happy to help out where i can.
Thanks so much to you for reading. And please know that I absolutely appreciate YOU and all of your support in coming to read these week after week. You, my friend, are awesome!
Until next time, have fun, take care.
Too Much Can Make Us Sick, university of California San Fransisco,
6 Immune System Busters & Boosters
Eteraf-Oskouei, T & Najafi, M, Traditional and Modern Uses of Natural Honey in Human Diseases: A Review, Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2013 Jun; 16(6): 731–742.
Smith, E, How exactly does obesity cause cancer? Three leading theories, November 2015
Kaaks R, Lukanova A, Energy balance and cancer: the role of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I, Proc Nutr Soc. 2001 Feb; 60(1):91-106.
Ceriello A, Bortolotti N, Motz E, Pieri C, Marra M, Tonutti L, Lizzio S, Feletto F, Catone B, Taboga C, Meal-induced oxidative stress and low-density lipoprotein oxidation in diabetes: the possible role of hyperglycemia.
Metabolism. 1999 Dec; 48(12):1503-8.
World Health Organization (WHO)/Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Report of a Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 2003. Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases.
Tasevsk, N, Jiao, L, et al, Sugars in diet and risk of cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, Int J Cancer. 2012 Jan 1; 130(1): 159–169.
Dr Mercola, Sugar Identified as a Top Cause of the Surge in Cancer, January 2016
Bright HR, “It Pays to Play”, 2018
Michael Y. Mak1 and Janet X. Ge2, A study of modern sustainable buildings in Sydney from the Feng Shui perspective, 22ND Annual Pacific-Rim Real Estate Society Conference, Sunshine Coast, January 2016
McTaggart, M, The Intention Experiment, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2008
Oswald, AJ, Proto, E, & Sgroi, D, Happiness and Productivity
Wang, Q.H., Research of Feng Shui Theory. Tianjin, Tianjin University Press [Chinese], 1992
This last couple of weeks I’ve been reflecting a lot on the 4.5%, as in the current percentage representation of women at senior levels of management in Australian Businesses; what it really takes to help the women who aspire to operate at that level and what they need to cultivate within themselves to be ready for that challenge. And more than that, what present relating dynamics are showing up as a challenge on that path. It’s kind of impossible to look at this topic, without simultaneously considering the battle of the sexes. And what is really underlying the battle of the sexes? Trauma. So what do we all have to be willing to take a look at in order to support each other out of the Groundhog Day of power struggles and relationship challenges, into the zone in which we CAN lovingly lead together as women, men and all genders in between, walking side by side, with greater understanding of the differences in how women and men actually think and lead? How do we manage it, both within ourselves and in the external business and organisational worlds we create and lead?
There is a simple 4 stage model I was once taught to summarise this process in terms of the stages of the journey. Which basically summed up the journey of what one goes through as:
Recently, having taken a recent journey back to the self-forgiveness step of this journey to get myself "unstuck" and back in flow...and then a few days later, having people literally walk up to me on the street needing exactly the same, I found myself considering the more detailed sub steps within this journey. The more i've lived through my own healing in recent years and supported others through theirs, I came to realise that I could sum it up in a bit more specifically like 15 stages and unique challenges that we all tend to need to progress through in order to get our power back and step off the karma drama Groundhog Day merry-go-round that can happen on this journey, and turn into into a more linear one, with an exit to get back on track at each stage.
This is just as much a roadmap to which we can estimate where we ourselves are at in this process, as well as a map to which Leaders everywhere can gauge where the clients they support or people they Lead are at on the own journeys and how therefore one can best support or help them connect with the right support on the way.
Here’s the model below (which is a snapshot from one of the modules within my 1 year Leadership program):
***(There's also a PDF version for you below to download and have a closer look.) In the column on the left, the difference is that the incident has happened in the present. Whereas on the right, it's a historical incident, and a trigger has brought it back up in the present.
A few things to note about the model:
For people in the pink, where something has happened in the present, the main task to deal with this is essentially no different than emergency services staff would deal with it….depending on the severity of the incident, you’re coming up with an action and or a safety plan, first aid style on the fly to deal with what their basic needs are right now and then helping them to get in touch with whatever support they need, relative to the severity of the incident.
While all of us have been through traumatic experiences to varying degrees, people who’ve repressed a past incident may not have any idea at all that the term “trauma recovery” even applies to them. Or even if they do, they just might not be at a point where they want to or are ready or sufficiently motivated to go there right now. While i would say i believe all people are born equipped with the resources to deal with it, there are times at which the ideal external circumstance for them support their transformation doesn't yet exist for them to go there and so they don't, until the right support is there for it to safely come back up and not only to help them find ways to appropriately manage their own process, but also ways in which both parties to grow through the experience together, rather than end up disconnected. Handy to note when you’re working with or managing people who are showing signs of trauma, but they might not yet be consciously aware of it.
People who are in the yellow section and white sections, tend to have a bit of trouble at times relating with each other. This all stems from the fact that the primary need of those in the yellow section is validation of what happened and support to come to terms with it. People who are in the white section have another main aspiration now, of moving beyond what happened and getting back to living and that may or may not involve choosing to be of service to those still in the yellow section. For this reason, we can see a lot of conflict and hurt feelings come up between the two stages in family, friend, romantic and work life because the people in the yellow can feel abandoned and unacknowledged by people who's focus in squarely in the next stages, or supporting the next stages. Unless someone from the white (or green) stage feels their calling is to support the people through the earlier stages and is healed and equipped enough to be able to do so. I've had the sense for a long term that widespread education about the stages of this journey may help create a bit more understanding and hence respect and empathy for each other, no matter what stage of the journey each respective person is at, in a "i'm ok, you're ok" kind of way.
In a persons transition from the yellow to the white, and their perception of self and self worth changing along the way, it’s not unusual for them to go through a large change in who they’re surrounded with in their inner circles and outer work and personal worlds too. BUT that being said, the right people, the people who are truly on the same page as them with their wants and aspirations in all aspects of life, who are just as willing to own their stuff and grow and evolve with them, will stay, or sometimes return once something has been worked through. Clear communication of wants and needs and boundary setting are key skills here. As people still in the pink, even up to the white, will sometimes struggle to communicate what they need before they're WAY beyond their limits...and only realise, when they're feeling way beyond their limits and verbally swinging at those in the vicinity. Hence the need for clear communication and boundaries. With practice they and we can support them to recognise and confidently communicate what they need MUCH earlier. Women particularly will also tend to go through a bit of a sling-shot from one polarity to the other in this journey of communication too. Because they're not used to being met, they'll try and overemphasise the communication of what they want with extra emotion trying to influence the other part. But in time, as they become more centred in themselves and have more practice, will come to realising all the have to do is actually calmly ask. And if they get a no, no biggy, you just ask someone else, minus the emotional charge of rejection.
And remembering that while their reaction may relate to you, the process they're going through may not. It's their's. So, as hard as it can be sometimes, we have to try and not take it on like we caused the whole thing and react back. It's a process. What's really going on? What does everybody need REALLY? And later (though many in the yellow are literally not ready to hear this one yet) DOES what they're going through in any way show me anything about my OWN shadow, bouncing off them as a reflection, asking to be acknowledged, yet to be integrated and owned? Sometimes when we sense their stuff, but they're verbally telling us they're owning it, yet we feel like they're HURLING "projection" at us, this can actually be what's really going on too. And they're "return to sendering" what bits of it aren't actually theirs to own either, they might just be yours.
From a work stand point, as a Leader or a Practitioner, the support that you will provide to a person in the yellow in largely about listening, being present and holding a space while the person goes through acknowledging the significance of this incident and what they need. Not every time too where the trauma starts to emerge will be an ideal time to deal with it. Hence, supporting them, is also about helping them manage their process and develop processes to both contain what’s moving when they need to be functional and allow it to move at the times where their is permission given on both sides for one to drop into their process and the other to hold space for it.
To some extent, we all still have parts of ourselves we need to bring forward, highest potentials, and skills we need to learn in order to be able to initiate ourselves into living a life where we take full responsibility for our creative potential and power in the white to green. And there's definitely a whole extra professional skillset to learn in order to be able to hold other peoples processes in either the pink or the yellow or the white. One i have a program and a book on the way this year about.
In the end though, women, men, no matter what role we find ourselves in, we all will have times where new things will happen and we will maybe get triggered back into an earlier stage in the cycle or need to take a look at what support one needs right now to move through it with ease and grace. Hence why I think us all, and especially those of us in the leadership realm, becoming much more knowledgeable about this model and just being aware of the journey itself, so that we know how to best support someone along the way of it, along with taking self responsibility for ourselves along the way, I think are major key is reducing A LOT of challenges and gender related complexities along the way and highly relevant to us all in helping more women make it to the highest levels of business and leadership.
Liveris, C, “To be Meritorious: Gender Equality At Work 2017”, March 2017
Liddy, M & Hanrahan, C, Fewer women run top Australian companies than men named John — or Peter, or David, March 2017
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.