Coaching Resources Goals Journal About Contact Us

Entries for the 'Lies and Myths We Believe About Work' Category

Listen In -> Lies and Myths We Believe About Work #5: Making Waves is Making Trouble

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Fear is a tricky foe.

Fear often fools us into keeping to ourselves valuable information that might help the team as a whole because it is difficult information for some.

In order to protect ourselves from the fall-out that any difficult information would ignite, we withhold the information altogether. The result is that the team does not benefit from our contribution, insight, and/or perspective.

Pointing out what is not working well is more commonly known as “making waves.” It gets this derogatory name in order to intimidate us away from getting involved.

Insecure leaders views all forms of feedback (however constructive) as negative judgment on their competence. If they can create an even more negative perception of those who offer alternatives (make waves) then many of us will withhold our feedback. We don’t want to be perceived negatively, after all!

In this week’s show, Claudia and I discuss this twisted and counter-productive logic, better known as, “making waves.”

Listen in.

Just now joining the conversation? Catch up on the entire series here.

Listen In -> Lies and Myths We Believe About Work #4: Hard Work Will Be Rewarded

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Hard work is not always noticed much less rewarded. If we are quietly going about our hard work thinking that our supervisors both are aware of it and ready to reward it appropriately, we are mistaken.

In this week’s show, Claudia and I discuss the myth that hard work will be rewarded.

This myth is most commonly believed by the most cooperative and hard-working among us. We don’t want to make waves, draw attention to ourselves or be accused of unfair politicking.

We feel the noble route is to demonstrate exceptional performance and then let the rewards flow from the system functioning as it was intended. Our performance reviews will—of course—result in appropriate compensation increases and position advancement.

But systems don’t work as they are designed, and however noble and cooperative such an approach may be, it will ultimately backfire on us. Is your hard work noticed? Appropriately rewarded?

Listen in.

Just now joining the conversation? Catch up on the entire series here.

Listen In -> Lies and Myths We Believe About Work #3: You Have to Prove Yourself First

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

This week’s lie would have us believe that we should prove our ability even though no opportunity has been afforded us to do so.

How’s that for being caught between a rock and a hard place?!

They’ll consider us for a supervisor role once we’ve proved that we can supervise. We can manage the budget once we can show a budget we’ve successfully managed.

Join Claudia and I as we look into yet another career-wasting trap: “You have to prove yourself first.”

Earning someone’s trust or building someone else’s confidence in your capabilities can be a no-win predicament. While you can work hard, learn quickly, and offer excellence, you can never control what makes another person willing to trust.

Some people simply do not trust easily. Some people never trust anyone other than themselves. If you have one of these people as your boss, you could be spinning your wheels trying to prove yourself.

They benefit from the extra efforts you invest, while you continue to wonder how high you need to jump.

Stop wondering and join the conversation here on Working Matters.

Listen in.

Just now joining the conversation? Catch up on the entire series here.

Listen In -> Lies and Myths We Believe About Work #2: You Don’t Have What It Takes

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Are you giving away your best professional years trying to meet a standard that doesn’t exist?

One of the both cruelest and emptiest barbs insecure people in power like to ambush people they do not understand with is, “You don’t have what it takes.”

In this week’s podcast discussion, Claudia look at this unhelpful, diminishing, spirit-crushing accusation.

What’s most interesting about this vague accusation is that it has no criteria by which we can demonstrate otherwise. There is no way to measure up. There is no “what it takes” being discussed.

Whatever it is, though, you don’t seem to have it. This would be laughable if it were so hurtful.

Do you find yourself giving vague accusations such as this one more power over you than they deserve?

Listen in.

Just now joining the conversation? Catch up on the entire series here.

Listen In -> Lies and Myths We Believe About Work #1: How We Cooperate In Our Own Diminishment

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

More frustrating than almost any other professional obstacle are the obstacles we create for ourselves. This week Claudia and I begin a new podcast discussion series looking at several common “truths” of working life and discuss how they are, in fact, LIES.

Not only are they lies, but we end up sabotaging our own professional well-being by acting as if they were true.

I wrote about these lies in a recent Loving Monday column. (Read “Empowered by Identifying the Lies” here.) So insidious and persistent is the extent to which we have bought into these lies that we thought it warranted a full discussion series.

What is most troubling about these lies is that we participate in our own diminishment by believing them. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

We obey an entire set of unspoken rules without anyone asking us to, without any job description delineating them, and without any policy demanding that we do.

Lies and Myths We Believe About Work

Week #1: How We Cooperate In Our Own Diminishment
Week #2: You Don’t Have What It Takes
Week #3: You Have to Prove Yourself First
Week #4: Hard Work Will Be Rewarded
Week #5: Making Waves is Making Trouble

Which of these lies do you find most persuasive? Join the conversation.

Listen in.

Loving Monday: Empowered By Identifying The Lies

Monday, October 11th, 2010

loving_mondayWe all believe certain lies. Even lies we know to be lies. Even lies that undermine our well-being. We believe them in spite of ourselves.

Don’t ask me why. It would probably take years of therapy to uncover why we might internalize as true something so blatantly false.

One set of lies has to do with the negative names we call ourselves. “I’m a loser.” “I don’t have what it takes.” These non-specific, unverifiable conclusions we draw about ourselves hover as accusing judgments, sabotaging our ability to see much less consider options in which we may thrive.

Another set of lies has to do with imaginary rules that then become obstacles to us. “You have to earn your stripes first.” “That’s now how it works.” “Who do you think you are?” Before you even begin a conversation, act on an idea, or move toward a dream, you talk yourself out of it because you somehow are not qualified or are not approaching it “correctly” and therefore doomed.

Whether or not you choose to explore with your therapist why you believe these lies, I want to suggest that you’ve achieved a major feat of self-empowerment merely by identifying them.

Merely by calling them out for what they are—lies—we disarm much of their power over us.

For example, it will serve me better to identify that I am afraid of being criticized for my decisions than to bluster and pretend to be more confident that I am. In the first case, I can go ahead and make the best decision possible. In the second case, I end up making lousy decisions because all my attention is diverted to appearing more confident than I am.

Calling out a lie might go something like this, “That’s a lie! I don’t know why I act as if it were true, but doing so is keeping me from doing what I feel is best. I’m going to take a step toward what I want anyway.”

Oversimplified to be sure, but what’s the point here? Instead of unconsciously behaving as if the lie were a truth and pretending to know better (an energy consuming process of self-deception), we choose to consciously call out the lie and our mysterious buy-in to it (an energy freeing process of honest self-awareness) so that our behavior can be a deliberate, intentional, and personal choice. Now that’s empowerment!

What lies do you find yourself believing in spite of yourself? Experiment with identifying those lies and calling them out. I believe you will discover you have a bit more internal space to make better decisions, make more timely decisions, and make more satisfying decisions.

On your side,

- Karl Edwards

Loving Monday is a weekly column designed to encourage us to step into our weeks with an intention to show up authentically, engage fully, and choose to make it a good week for ourselves. Explore past columns here.