Politics is already a sensitive subject at the office. The touchiness has been amplified recently. Yet whether it’s in the office, during happy hour or even on social media, politics will likely come up.
Although it’s easier said than done, plenty of experts maintain you should never discuss politics at work under any circumstances. After all, it can be divisive. You’re talking about people’s world views, how they believe the country should be run and in many cases the best ways for people to live their lives.
Here’s what to do and what not to do when it comes to discussing political issues with colleagues.
DO ask for permission.
It’s an easy step to forget: always ask for permission before launching into a touchy topic. Everyone has different boundaries around discussing sensitive issues. Don’t make the mistake of getting caught up in rigid thinking and assume your co-workers have the same broaching the topic of politics as you do.
To set the groundwork for a healthy, productive dialogue, you might say, “I’m not trying to change your mind. I see this issue very differently and I’d like to understand. Would it be okay to spend a few minutes talking through our perspectives?”
DO know your facts (and admit when you don’t).READ MORE
Well, that’s a wrap. My first TEDx talk is in the books!
Getting up on stage to share a message about why you should listen to your inner critic and quit making it your enemy was a tremendous honor.
Speaking at TEDx was an exhilarating, challenging experience that I’ll write more about in the future. I’ll also share the full recording of my talk once its available, so stay tuned. And make sure we’re connected on Instagram and Facebook where I post more updates.
For now, though, I wanted to give you a glimpse into what was secretly going on while I was on stage. Something you likely won’t see on camera when the video comes out.
And that is…I blanked out on stage.
…But, not in the traditional sense.
Sure, I was nervous. The excitement amplified as they strapped my mic on and I stared at infamous red carpet from offstage.
Then as I walked out in front of a 300-person theater filled with people, a strange thing happened.
My fears and self-consciousness melted away. I felt fully immersed, connected, and present as if I was floating on air. My body was tingling. The words seemed to come out effortlessly.
Instead of being overcome by public speaking anxiety, I harnessed the energy and used the depth of my feeling to create a genuine connection with the audience.
What was happening? While it certainly felt supernatural, there’s science to back-up this magical feeling.READ MORE
Picture this: You’re in an important meeting with senior leadership. The CEO is sharing the firm’s strategic plan, including how the company will “leverage big data to gain visibility into market opportunities producing measurable ROI”.
You do a quick scan around the conference room. Heads nod in agreement as the CEO concludes. Self-doubt kicks in. “Am I the only one who has no idea what she just said?” Even though you’re totally confused, you don’t ask questions for fear of losing face.
Later while grabbing coffee, a colleague divulges that they were lost amidst the jargon. Yet they didn’t speak up. Though you shared the same opinion, you both stayed quiet.
Is this simply irony–or is something more at play?
This phenomenon is called pluralistic ignorance. It describes a situation in which a majority of people in a group privately disagree with an idea, while incorrectly assuming others in the group accept it. Instead of standing up for our beliefs, we go along with what the group seems to favor.
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely brilliantly demonstrates pluralistic ignorance in action with a clever stunt on his unassuming undergrads. It’s a short video but fair warning, it may seem eerily familiar to meetings you’ve found yourself in.READ MORE
I’m thrilled to finally announce some big news…
I’m giving a TEDx talk!
Speaking at a TED event has been a dream of mine for a long time. I’m even more excited for the opportunity to give voice to a silent struggle I see so many of my readers and the women I work with battle every. single. day.
Here’s more about the counter-intuitive – and somewhat controversial – idea I’ll be sharing, plus how you can get in on the fun.
You can purchase tickets and learn more about the event here: melodywilding.com/tedxbergencommunitycollege
This is a message that’s close to my heart and one I’m adamant about spreading. Thank you to the organizers for selecting me and to everyone who encouraged me to pursue this opportunity. I’m forever grateful for your support and would be honored for you to take this ride with me.
Journeying to the TEDx stage has already been a growth experience in so many unexpected ways — from learning how to apply the psychology of storytelling to craft my talk, to asking for help and feedback, and also greeting old, fear-based stories and limiting beliefs coming up.
My hope is that getting real about what I’m going through and giving you a glimpse inside the process (hint: it’s far from perfect) will give you the courage to take more risks and make things happen in your own life. I’m practicing using my voice in new and more vulnerable ways, and all I ask for is that you give yourself permission to do the same.READ MORE
We’re living in a golden age of entrepreneurship.
There’s never been a more favorable time for founders, freelancers and members of the side-hustle generation seeking to define success on their own terms.
Look around and you’ll find no shortage of inspirational figures leading the way. They are today’s visionaries, including self-made women who have built history-making brands with genius, guts and grit such as Meg Whitman, Sara Blakely and Arianna Huffington to name a few. They’re the founders of game-changing companies that have revolutionized our culture, technology and economy–from SpaceX, 23andMe, Zipcar, Uber, Amazon and countless others. The list grows longer every day.
But what of their paths to greatness? Are there traits successful entrepreneurs share?
How Great Entrepreneurs Face Adversity: Dysfunctional Family Theory
We know that it takes more than a great idea to launch a business. But what gives some smart, ambitious trailblazers the edge above others?
Lean Startup pioneer and Stanford professor Steve Blank has a theory that it lies in their psychological makeup. After decades in Silicon Valley watching companies come and go, he observed that great startup CEOs seemed to have similiar personality traits, including passion, tenacity and a remarkable comfort operating in chaos.
Blank and his venture capital colleagues noted another peculiar pattern–that a disproportionate number of founders came from dysfunctional families. In his ideas on “dysfunctional family theory” first articulated in 2009, Blank posits that many (not all) entrepreneurs come from a less than white-picket-fence, Brady-Bunch-esque upbringing.READ MORE
Another meeting is coming up at work, and you’re dreading it.
Like so many professionals–probably many more than you realize—it’s not a comfortable environment for you. Maybe you’re shy, introverted or you genuinely enjoy listening to others’ ideas. Perhaps it’s important to you to show respect by deferring to the leaders at the table.
Situational factors can play a part too. Certain co-workers may dominate the discussion, not allowing you to get a word in edgewise.
Whatever the case, sitting frozen through yet another meeting can be a terrible feeling. By now you might even take it for granted that feeling self-conscious in meetings is part of the job. You may wonder if it’s really worth all of the effort to speak up, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you.
Elevating your visibility at work is essential if you want your career to evolve and grow. You work hard and have great ideas to contribute—you should be making an impact and getting the recognition you deserve.
If you want to get ahead, then it’s important that your voice is heard. It’s within your power to take control and ditch a habit of staying silent in favor of speaking up.
Here are some very simple strategies you can confidently implement at your very next meeting. With a little practice, you’ll finally feel like the integral team member you’ve always been.
1. Banish Pre-Meeting Jitters.
Your hands are shaky. Your stomach is doing somersaults.READ MORE