Defining Your Story

Telescope

We all have a story.

However, the bits and pieces may feel somewhat random. (But be assured they are not.)

Discovering that arc — that story — requires reflection. Time to obsess over the threads. To look back at the fabric that is being created.

This exercise also requires help. Guidance. Levity.

Feeling uncomfortable. Seeing patterns. Letting go.

What plots have we written that were destined to fail? What characters are sorely missing from our story. What villains have we failed to recognize and omit?

Exploring that story is worthwhile.

It can be affirming.

Because finding meaning is everything.

Read more about it:

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

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Change is a Muscle

Fireworks

Change is a muscle that we forget how to flex.

As a result, it atrophies and becomes weak.

At some point, we pass a mile marker and have little tolerance for any kind of change. This limits exploration and resilience. We can opt for routines — and that works for certain aspects of our lives.

However, we may not realize what we could be missing.

That becomes risky.

We often say that habits are good. But, when does a “habit” pass its expiration date? For example, when do our daily routines become merely protection? When does an assessment of our own value or potential, become inaccurate? Of where we work?

As with any other muscle that is neglected — we must start slowly and build its capability. If not, we may be hopelessly unprepared if events arrive uninvited.

Today, I’ve altered my Sirius radio presets. (Which have never been revised). I happily discovered a couple of genres I was missing. I’ve also added a couple of new outlets to my morning reading routine.  (There is nothing like a new writer with a fresh perspective.)

To be quite honest, I didn’t know what I was missing.

You may not know what you are missing.

Even small changes can feel like discovered bursts of energy. They help prepare us for what is next in some small way.

Change one thing in your routine today that might energize you — even if it brings a bit of disruption. Challenge your team to do the same. Tolerating change is actually a foundational skill that breeds stability.

See what comes up.

Change is a muscle.

Flex it.

Read more about it here (Vision=Change):

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

Big Idea 2018: Define Your Unique Work Life Philosophy

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Serving as a coach offers me an opportunity to experience the excitement of a promotion — or an inspired organizational evolution — more often than those in other roles. However, even when clients approach new and positive challenges, anxiety often emerges as a by-product.

Interestingly, this can be healthy. On some level, these thoughts serve as a rehearsal for future events — and realistic assessments of workplace scenarios are a key component in building resilience. This becomes unhealthy, when a racing mind (at 2:00 am) only offers grief and foggy mornings.

Chances are you are actually working out quite a few vital issues about how you’d like to manage yourself. So — capture and utilize the information in a way that offers you guidance down the line. When mulling over these past experiences and future situations, attempt to elevate your thoughts to another level.

Group your thoughts so that they bring clarity.

Notice patterns that tell you something about your unique philosophy of work. (You can also try imagining how you would behave in extreme situations, to flesh out your philosphy.) This process might offer you guidance as you move forward and serve as a base for future decisions.

To facilitate the process, offer yourself a couple categories to group your thoughts. Ask yourself why the experience or conversation was remarkable. Think of what it represents — and why it is meaningful going forward. Couple this with the challenge that lies ahead. For example, how you will approach a new team or challenge.

Try these categories:

  1. Experiences/observed behaviors/conversations that represent the philosophy of how the work should be completed.
  2. Experiences/observed behaviors/conversations that represent your philosophy of how people and teams should be treated.

See where this leads you. Add categories as you see fit.

Sleepless night don’t need to be a total waste when foundational work gets done.

Simply offer your racing thoughts a bit of structure.

Please note: I’m sharing more during the holiday season — 30 Thoughts for 30 Days!

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

 

 

Moving On From a Narrative That Just Isn’t You

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“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are part of your history, but not your destiny.”  — Steve Maraboli

The people that surround us affect our lives. Our managers, colleagues and clients — all help to create the supporting stage in which we find ourselves. When facing tense workplace situations, such as a misstep or difference in opinion, the eventual outcome can become an important inflection point. When a narrative emerges among these vital players that doesn’t reflect the real you, the situation can quickly become troubling.

If possible discuss the situation openly. Explore what might led to that point and if the situation can be saved. (This allows us to move past the impasse.) Be clear that the situation isn’t acceptable, that it is uncomfortable. Provide information to counter the confusion,

However, if you suspect that the poorly deemed decision or opinion has begun to negatively define you and cannot be revised — it may be time to reconsider your surroundings. When a negative narrative is written that appears set in stone, it can become an unhealthy place.

Ultimately, you should be surrounded by those who see the best in you (and you in them).

If necessary, explore a new stage that fits.

A narrative shouldn’t define you — unless it is your own.

Please note: I’m sharing more during the holiday season — 30 Thoughts for 30 Days!

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

 

Holiday Cheers to Embracing Potential

Glowing lights in the dark.

In order to evolve — we need believe that we can continue to learn new things. That we remain a work in progress. That who we are (and might become) is neither fixed or predetermined.

The book below focuses on this very topic. It hasn’t yet appeared on my Books! page. Yet it should be there, as 2018 is just around the corner.

Moving forward we should embrace a healthy perspective. One that would help us expand our horizons. (This extends to the organizations in which we work as well). One that allows us to move beyond where we find ourselves.

To take risks and value learning. To learn from each other.

A realization that our minds are not stagnant, but ready to blossom (again).

So, leave the lights on.

Our potential is unknown.

Cheers to that.

Please note: I’m sharing more during the holiday season — 30 Thoughts for 30 Days!

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

Looking Failure in the Eye

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Failure lingers.

Much like a fading scar or a clearing bruise.

Whether it is a failed conversation, interview, project, presentation or relationship — it bites. It clenches. It hangs on.

It is easy to stew there and toy with the idea that there is nothing else. That trying again is fruitless. Embarrassing. Masochistic.

However, to move forward and possibly fulfill a destiny (whatever that may be) we have to meet it head on. Push away the monster sitting on your chest.

Rediscover you passion for people and work.

Look it in the eye and say,

“You do not matter.”

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

 

Picking a Lane

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Life and work are all about exploration. Dabbling. Being a newbie. Learning something new. But at some point, if you’d like to make a name for yourself — you should pick a lane. Whether it is an interest at work or a personal style.

Dig deep under the surface and make a commitment.

Ensure it is a lane that reflects you. Is you.

It should meander, so it doesn’t limit you — yet still offers direction.

Make a statement. Make it memorable.

Then go and make a difference.

Please note: I’m sharing more frequently during the holiday season — 30 Thoughts for 30 Days!

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.