February 2018 - In This Issue:

Terry Wills, Litigation Attorney with Cook Brown, certainly knows about assisting company's with stressful situations. As a defense attorney for companies and management teams dealing with harassment, hostile environments and other dynamics within the workplace she has seen it all. 

Q&A: How Can I Navigate Anger in The Workplace?
Q:   I have learned to control my emotions at work, however, an employee who works for me doesn't seem to know how to control his anger. It doesn't happen every day, only when someone doesn't do something right (from his perspective), or he gets into some other type of conflict. It becomes stressful for him, the person he is speaking with, and for me as well. What can I do?

- Arthur, Distribution Industry
A:  I look at conflict as an opportunity because it is two people coming together with different opinions.  However, when you have someone who is angry, it typically is someone who wants to "win."  We know that if the situation you described doesn't get resolved, then you will lose your best employees because they don't want to deal with this ongoing issue. In addition, your staff in general will question your leadership ability to control him, making it more difficult to have a strong team that works together and gets things done.
For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success.  Emotional intelligence (EI), is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. EI helps you to keep your own feelings in check, while respecting the fact that others may be struggling with theirs. Mindtools provides a six-step approach for dealing with someone's anger that are ideas you may want to try.

Remain calm. Stay cool and let the other person express their feelings. Show that you really are listening, and reassure them that you want to understand what the problem is. Never meet anger with anger. But don't allow yourself to be manipulated or browbeaten either. I believe if you confront the person in a calm voice and a demeanor that shows control but friendliness, you will show empathy, and your staff will see you handle the situation professionally and fairly. 


Remember that you're talking to a person. Everybody behaves differently, and you need to treat an angry team member as an individual. As his manager, you are due some respect, but so do they. Empathize and try to understand their point of view.


Don't just quote the rule book. Quoting company policy at someone when they're in a rage won't be effective, and it can make a bad situation worse. It's okay to be assertive, and seek a solution once you've calmed things down, but using the rule book is not the way.

Be positive.  Show that you want to resolve the negative situation to everyone's benefit. This doesn't mean that you need to give in, just that you show you're taking their concerns seriously and seeking  resolution .
Keep it private.  Don't allow "a scene" to develop. Find a meeting room or private space. This will allow you to have a proper discussion, and demonstrates discretion and  tact. Alternatively, suggest walking meeting   to help calm things down.  Finding an area (preferable outside) can really calm things down and typically things are brought up in a manner that can assist in understanding why the anger and coach the staff member on how to exercise EI.
Be aware of unexpressed anger.  It won't always be obvious that someone is angry. Look out for signs such as someone avoiding particular subjects or actions, going quiet in meetings or avoiding eye contact. You may need to draw out the problem with careful use of  questioning techniques .
Conflict is a lesson in itself, but the tips above will help you navigate the situation you have described.  Remember, how you handle this type of situation will allow you to demonstrate your leadership skills, and gain trust and appreciation from your staff.  

Have additional questions about how to handle conflicts and difficult team members? Please email us!


Why Do I Feel My Job Is Stressful At Times?

We're a month in to 2018, which means we're thinking about new ways of doing things, exceeding our budgets, and making the best decisions to help set the stage for an even better 2019. As we sit and think about a fresh new year, and the goals we've set, we tend not to think about the stress it will bring - nor should we! But, the reality is, stress in the workplace is not only common, it's unavoidable.
In a recent report, CareerCast unveiled their list of the most and least stressful jobs for 2018. If you are a senior corporate executive, event coordinator, public relations executive, broadcaster or reporter you are among the top that have the most stressful jobs. CareerCast evaluated 11 stress factors, which included:
  • Travel required;
  • Growth potential;
  • Deadlines;
  • Working in the public eye;
  • Competition in the field;
  • Physical demands;
  • Environmental conditions;
  • Hazards encountered on a regular basis;
  • Own life at risk;
  • Life of others at risk; and,
  • Meeting or interacting with the public at large.
As a senior corporate executive myself, yes, we made the list not only this year, but last year as well. When it comes to relieving stress, we know the recommendations. We can exercise, get more sleep, take time off, eat balanced meals, and not work as many hours, but truthfully do we do all of these things? I don't know about you, but exercise aside, I seem to forget many of these. Life and work gets busy, and diving into a new year energized by all of the great things you want to accomplish takes center stage.
The old story that it's lonely at the top doesn't have to be that way. You can set new goals, be mindful of what triggers your stress and practice stress management techniques, but perhaps there's something else you can consider this year to minimize stress: what about hiring an executive coach? By working with a coach, you can discuss a number of things that you wouldn't necessarily share with others. Or, you may want outside support to help improve your day-to-day tasks such as delegating, conflict resolution, communication, executive team training, structuring the company, and assistance with increasing your bottom line. Then there's decision-making, which can also be stressful because we want to do the right thing, but perhaps we're also not totally confident in the decision we should make. Talking it through with a coach that you trust, is a tremendous resource. 
Have you ever read Good To Great by Jim Collins? He talks about the art of decision-making, and has some very valuable insight. Here's what he has to say:
Great decisions come from saying, "I don't know." Collins asks, "Which is best? Saying you don't know when you've already made up your mind? Presuming to know when you don't, and therefore lying to yourself? Or speaking the truth, which is: I don't yet know." Our tip: Once you learn how to say, "I don't know," or "Let me think about that," believe me you will relieve a great deal of stress and make better decisions.
The higher the questions/statements ratio, the better.  The best leaders Collins studied did the best job at igniting debate using Socratic questions.  Our take: we look at conflict and debate as an opportunity. As for Collins, he says, "I tried to make heroes out of those on my team who identified flaws in my thinking." Our tip: it is important to give credit where credit is due. This will make staff feel good about your leadership style, and in turn they will want to support you.
Deciding is not about consensus . Debate can be "violent," but in the end, the leader makes the call. "No major decision we've studied was ever taken at a point of unanimous agreement," Collins says.  Our tip: remember, you are responsible for everything and everyone so some decisions need to be made by you and you alone. If you work with a coach; however, you can bounce this decision off them.
Great decisions come from external awareness. F abulous organizations are internally driven, but externally aware. Our tip: drive for your goals, keep within your mission and core values, understand your strengths, and be aware of the market within your industry. Don't focus so much on your competitor that you lose the internal momentum to reach your goals and objectives.
Even huge decisions decide only a tiny fraction of the outcome "The big decisions are not like 60 of 100 points," Collins says.  "They're more like six of 100 points.  And, there's a whole bunch of others that are like 0.6 or 0.006."  Our tip: a big decision today may not change the world within your company overnight. But, a decision made one day can always be tweaked the next.
Think long term.  Real leaders manage for the quarter-century, not the quarter. Our tip: too often we think about today, tomorrow and the next month. We need to think about where we are today, and where we want to be in three, five, and ten years from today. Not only that, but what are you doing today to prepare for the long term? Are you hiring the right people to take you where you want to be?
You can make mistakes - even big ones - and prevail.   What a relief.  Our tip: many of us have made decisions and then maybe a week or a month later we say to ourselves, "I should have made somewhat of a different decision, and then we could do X." It isn't too late to change. Great leaders know when to say I don't know, they know when to bounce things off someone else and they are not afraid to say, let's modify my former decision because of X.
At  Jeanne Reaves Consulting, we  are equipped to help you not only navigate stressful situations, but we're also a confidant that won't leave you feeling lonely at the top. Executive coaching is not like sports, where the coach analyzes you and then tells you how to play the game differently. Instead, the coach offers outside guidance with the goal to draw solutions from you. If you've ever wondered about executive coaching, and whether or not it would be right for you, allow us to help. Visit our website, or send us an email, and let's get started! 

Notable Nonprofits
Supporting Sacramento's Nonprofits is important to us.

Blue Heart: Even One Victim of Sex Trafficking is One Too Many  
We can work together to uproot and eradicate sex trafficking.  Let's fuel our hearts to bring hope to the community and disrupt the demand.
Established in 2014, our mission at Blue Heart is to ensure the betterment of trafficked and sexually exploited survivors through transitional housing, at-risk youth and adults through active street outreach, and to bring awareness and prevention education to all.

Transitional Housing:
In a safe and supportive environment, our transitional housing program is designed to restore and rehabilitate survivors through self-empowerment. Survivors receive all essential and basic needs, comprehensive health assessments, therapy and counseling services, life improvement classes, money management assistance, education and career coaching all within a year-long program. At our Blue Heart Home, women find hope, rebuild trust and gain confidence to reach their goals.
Active Street Outreach:
Focused on the five hardest hit neighborhoods in the Sacramento region, we safely engage victims and their families with compassion and without judgment. We offer a place for rest, a hearty meal, community resources, coats, and purses/backpacks filled with toiletries, school supplies and essential items.

Awareness and Prevention:
We bring this horrific, multi-billion-dollar crime industry into the light by providing important safety tips to prevent individuals from falling prey to predators.  We also provide presentations and workshops in partnership with survivors, law enforcement and trafficking experts, to neighborhood/community groups, faith-based organizations, workplace environments, and schools to help them understand the dynamics of all forms of trafficking and what it looks like here in our community.

We are thankful for the support of our generous donors, hard-working volunteers and community advocates who make it possible for us to focus on our vision to see the human trafficking and sexual exploitation industry uprooted and eradicated in the communities we serve.

To learn more about Blue Heart International, visit our website. Or, reach out to us at any time by calling 916-246-1730 or emailing one of the following:

Blake McCall, Board President, [email protected]
Missy McCall, Executive Director, [email protected]
Cindy Feldman, Program Development Manager,  [email protected]
Sandy Yohannes, Volunteer/Community Engagement Coordinator, [email protected].

To learn more about Jeanne Reaves Consulting's community involvement and how we support nonprofit organizations, visit our website.

Jeanne Reaves

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