Truth In The Workplace

Truth in the Workplace

August 3, 2007

Be Truthful With Your Boss Without Getting Fired!

Your co-worker is driving you crazy! He spends most of his time playing poker online, then hints to the boss that it’s your fault when the work isn’t done. If you go to your boss to complain, you’ll look like a whiner. Or worse, maybe you’ll be fired for being a troublemaker!

You dropped the ball and lost an important client. Maybe you accidentally deleted some vital files, or did something that makes you fear you’ll be fired – should your boss ever find out. Or maybe it’s your boss who’s giving you problems. He’s talking over you when you make a presentation to a client and making you feel like two cents. Can you tell him how that makes you feel, or do you think you need to swallow your emotions in order to keep your job?

Telling the truth takes courage, whether it’s confessing to your own mistakes or trying to reach an understanding with your boss. Telling the truth in the workplace doesn’t mean being nasty or brutal, coming in with both guns blazing to clean up the wicked ways of the town. It does mean some serious preparation on your part and learning how to set up a “safe” situation in which the truth can be told.

Say you’re feeling disempowered by your boss. She’s making your life miserable, yet you’re scared of telling her how you really feel. Your entire time at work is being affected, and possibly your own health is at risk. You’ve got to do something, but what? How can we be true to ourselves and still keep our job?

First, sit quietly and contemplate the situation. Is it really your boss who is the problem? Or have you simply been too “polite,” withdrawn into a shell of acquiescence, so your boss doesn’t know what you’re actually capable of doing? Prepare what you want to say, and be ready to say it in the least offensive way possible. Write down every word and keep reading it out loud until you can say it very calmly. If you deliver your message in an emotionally-charged way, your boss is much more likely to get defensive… and we know where that can lead.

You don’t want to dump on your boss, client, co-worker, or yourself, but you do want to create a space for him to really hear where you are coming from. Help your boss understand how his actions and words, which may not have meant anything to him, have affected you. Most importantly, you want the boss to feel included in coming up with the answer to the problem rather than just being told what you think should happen. Creating a safe space means finding a way for open, authentic conversation to take place. If your boss feels attacked or ridiculed, you’re dead meat.

So, you can do it – you can tell the boss the truth if you create a safe space, feel well-prepared and emotionally calm and centered. And still collect your paycheck.


Truth & Beauty

Truth & Beauty

August 2, 2007

Can We Dye Our Hair, Get Breast Implants, Wear Acrylic Nails, and Still Live a Truthful Existence?

And why not? The outer appearance of beauty – perfect hair, perfect breasts, perfect nails, and of course the perfect figure (whatever that may look like to you) – have little to do with the inner beauty that shines forth when we are living our real truth. What matters most is how we feel about ourselves inside our skins. If a little liposuction would help, then by all means, go ahead

However, that’s not to say that the outer manifestation – how we present ourselves to the world – doesn’t indicate in some measure how we feel about ourselves inside. If a man feels powerless because he’s losing his hair, will a toupee or hair implants make him feel like more of a man? Would Donald Trump still be The Donald without his signature way of keeping hair on his head? Would the man whose name fronts some of the most expensive real estate in the world feel insecure if he faced the world bald?

What do your attempts at beauty indicate about yourself? Do you assume you’ll be rejected by men if you can’t fill a DD cup? Why do you think that? Do you hide under baggy clothes because you’re overweight and ashamed? Do you think you couldn’t possibly go on a job interview if a nail is chipped?

Beauty, as the saying goes, is in the eye of the beholder. Look at yourself in a mirror – a well-lit mirror! Stop moaning and groaning. What is the reflection telling you? Can you see love and compassion for yourself streaming from your eyes? Do you see your intelligence, your creativity, your shining soul? Or are you inundated with self-loathing? If all you can see in the mirror are your “faults” – the extra pounds, the grey hairs, wrinkles, too many freckles, drooping breasts, whatever – there’s an inner truth that you’re hiding from. And a plastic surgeon or anti-aging treatments or a new hair color won’t change whatever lie you’re telling yourself.

As a high-powered lawyer, I used to wear expensive clothes to cover the shame of drinking too much and winding up in strange beds, not realizing that what I was really trying to cover up – with my entire lifestyle – was the sexual abuse I had experienced as a child.

So look long and hard in the mirror. Wherever you find a part of yourself you don’t like, see if you can find out why. What fear, what insecurity, what shame is staring back at you? Dig deeper. Write about it in your journal. What memories arise? Go deeper. Strip away the lies and find your truth. You’ll may amazed at how that reflection in the mirror changes.

Can you still dye your hair? Of course! Find out if blondes do have more fun. Lose some weight and get to buy new clothes (while lowering your cholesterol and making your doctor happy). But know that your true beauty radiates from your truth!


Should Children Always Be Told the Truth?

Should Children Always Be Told the Truth?

August 2, 2007

It’s a tricky question, isn’t it? Of course you want to teach your child to tell the truth. You may have punished your child already for lying to you. But do you always tell the truth to your child? And is it always the best course of action?

We know that the lies we tell ourselves can harm our health or destroy our happiness. If your partner is cheating on you, some part of you will know the truth, no matter how much you deny it. Instead of confronting him or her (they might actually tell you what you don’t want to hear), you eat too much, drink too much, pop a few too many pills. Maybe you even take out your anger on your children. And chances are, the whole time you’re lying to them as well as to yourself – for their own good, of course. Well, Daddy had to stay late at work again. Mommy’s too busy. He’s…[fill in the blank].

Meanwhile, the kids feel the tension, feel the disconnect between their parents, maybe even hear you mouthing off about that @#%&* to your friends. And because you’re lying to them, your kids have to discount the truth they feel in their bodies. But how do you tell them the truth when you can’t even admit it to yourself? When the inevitable breakdown happens, what do you say now? Are they old enough to understand the complex dynamics and emotional roller coaster of an adult relationship?

There have been a number of studies related to when, and if, a child should be told the truth about certain situations. For example, a British study into the lives of 25,000 “donor-assisted” children showed that children as young as three should be told they were conceived with the help of a sperm donor, or they risked psychological damage later in life. If the child finds out accidentally or from someone else, there are angry questions: Why didn’t you tell me? What else haven’t you told me? Why did you lie to me?

What about telling children they are gifted? Will their egos get inflated, making them arrogant and intolerant of others? For these children, like those with disabilities, it can come as a great relief to hear the truth – to know there is a reason they feel different. What about parents and doctors telling children they have cancer? Or that they’re too fat? Can you tell a child the truth in an open, shame-free, supportive, and honest way?

Many parents think they can protect their children by lying. However, even children as young as 3 or 4 can be told the truth, or as much of it as they can handle. When a 5-year-old asks where babies come from, it’s enough to say from Mommy’s tummy rather than give a lecture on sex education, and sure better than bringing up that old tired stork.

Many believe that there are age-acceptable lies – lies that cause no harm to a young child. After all, how many children have been badly hurt by finding out who Santa really is? But take into consideration: Will the child be hurt more by the truth than by a lie? Not only now, but in the future? These are difficult questions, and I don’t pretend to have an answer. But I know how I was hurt by the lies I was surrounded by in my childhood, and have seen the repercussions of lies in the lives of my clients. My recommendation is always to go with even a simplified version of the truth. Because the simple truth I know is that lies hurt… and truth heals.




August 2, 2007

Grief is a normal process that results when we experience grief and loss, like those who lost friends or loved ones in the horrific bridge collapse.

We will all experience loss during our lifetimes. Even little children experience loss, for example when a pet dies or a best friend moves away. If we don’t allow ourselves to grieve, we trap that emotion inside our body where it can do damage to us later, making us feel angry, sad, depressed, and ultimately, sick.

The people of Minnesota are setting a great example for the rest of the country in the way they are responding as they gather together, both formally and informally, and talk about their feelings. The City is doing a great job of hosting a more formal group that thousands can attend. This allows all those present, plus all of us watching on TV, to feel a sense of connection to one another, which is the best way to go through grief.

If we can also incorporate some physical movement, even something as simple as rocking in a chair or a swing, or gentle walking, that will help us move through our own grief, so that we will be able again to feel joy once the time for grieving has passed.


Are Celebs Causing Our Girls To Go Wild?

Are Celebs Causing Our Girls to Go Wild?

August 1, 2007

Parents are justifiably worried about their young girls and their increasingly wild behavior. They blame celeb role models like Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Nicole Ritchie, who flaunt with abandon their body parts, their uncontrolled drinking and drugging, and their DUIs.

But celebs aren’t the root of the problem; their behavior is just another symptom. The real cause is messages passed down from parents to young girls, many of them unconscious, like:if ou have to be popular to be happy

§ if you’re not happy, turn to a substance like I do to mask your feelings

§ if you’re not pretty (read fat), no one will love you

§ if you’re too smart, you’ll scare off the guys

§ you’re incomplete without a man

Gal celebs and our daughters are wilder today because they’re in resistance to these not-so-subliminal messages. Marriage, if it happens at all, is at an older age. It’s girls now who act so wild (the Brit Pack has replaced the Brat Pack) – they’re acting out their anger and confusion about these messages.

Our celebs are living the same lies as our daughters and a lot of their wild behavior is a result of those lies. They’re just teenagers or 20-somethings who are somebody else’s daughter, desperately trying to find themselves and figure out if the messages they got from their parents and society-at-large are valid.

What can parents can do to protect their daughters from this trend?

§ uncover the messages they’re sending their daughters

§ change the messages to ones that work today

§ give their daughters ways to build real self-esteem