Barbara Alfors Coaching and Consulting

Be in choice, be aligned, know your path, know your genius.

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Tired

letting go

Anyone else feeling tired? I’ve noticed lately that I’m tired.

Which seems odd, given that we’re all just staying around the house. 
But even though my household isn’t directly affected by layoffs or loss of income, we are all in this space of uncertainty. There is a huge emotional load from trying to come to terms with this idea that we aren’t in control of the larger situation, and all we can do is take care of ourselves and our loved ones, while doing anything we can to help those in crisis right now. 

There have been a lot of posts on social media about taking this time to be creative; to write that novel or create that great artwork that’s inside of you. And it’s wonderful that some people are doing just that! But it’s also okay if you aren’t.  

It’s okay to just notice how you are feeling. Notice that you are here, now. Notice which things you can control and which things you can’t. Take deep breaths and look around you; noticing what you are grateful for can help when you are ready to shift into inspiration. 

You Are Loved

We are experiencing strange times. Things may feel impossible one moment and hopeful the next. We have to sit with uncertainty, which can feel very uncomfortable. But know that through all this, you are loved.

Whether you have close friends and family who you’ve stayed connected to, or are feeling you have nobody who truly understands you, know that you are loved.

Even if you have been acting crabby or difficult through this, you are loved.

And if you are having a hard time feeling that you are loved, a great way to bring love into your life is to love more.

Love your neighbor who never brings their trash cans in. Love the supermarket checkers who may be afraid to go to work. Love the person who stole your parking space. Love the person who has different political views. Love the person who is worried about a loved one.

Love the kids in your neighborhood who can’t play with their friends. Love the parents who are struggling to work with kids at home. Love the people who have already been laid off. Love yourself; and if that feels too challenging try to love the child you once were.

This kind of love might feel awkward or uncomfortable, and if so that’s okay. But know it gets easier with practice. You might substitute “have compassion for” or “be kind to” if the word love is too big to start with.

Connecting with people is a great way to help us all get through this. Reach out to that person who may not have much of a social network. And if you are that person who feels they have nobody to reach out to, then reach out to me. I’m here for you.

Hi from Colorado!

Hi!

I’ve got a foot of snow in my new front yard in Denver. Quite a change from Los Angeles! We just bought a house after a year of test-driving the neighborhood, and so far we’re loving it.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on changes – more to come! (One big change; I’ve now got my ACC, which is the Associate Certified Coach from the International Coach Federation. Yay!)

What Can You Do?

bridge image

How can you help bridge the gap?

Earlier this year I went to a Women in Architecture AIA event (WiA) that presented the Equity by Design survey results1 from 2016.  This survey enumerated how far people of color (PoC) and women have to go to be treated equally in the workplace.

I was really energized when I heard the enthusiasm that the presenters and attendees had for tackling this issue – they even had the backing of the AIA!  The enthusiasm was contagious and  I made plans to put together workshops and tools for firms to use in combatting these issues in their own offices.

However, when I started researching and digging into it further, I realized how challenging this particular problem can be.  I met with people who do diversity training for firms, and even they said there’s no way to state the issue plainly and expect anything but pushback from firm leadership, regardless of how well that firm is actually doing with diversity issues.  In fact, diversity training often results in poorer outcomes because once the diversity checkbox gets ticked off in people’s heads, they figure they don’t have to focus on it anymore.

In my July post I promised some ideas about what we can do to tackle the pay gap for women and people of color. Most of us are not willing to start any lawsuits, which are costly and notoriously difficult to win.

If not through legal channels, then what?  Start with one small action at a time.

For those of you in leadership positions, encourage your team to consider whether bias is creeping into judgements on performance. Be aware that cultural issues such as hairstyles, clothing styles, or accents may be contributing to judgements about a person’s performance. Encourage the firm leadership to do a salary review.

If there are employees with performance issues, talk to them. Are there any situations in the workplace contributing to the person not performing their best? Constant microagressions can cause major stress and even lead to burnout.  If any of these issues are present in the workplace, they should be addressed.

If you aren’t in a leadership role, use your voice as often as possible.  Support others who speak up.  You may not agree with their message, but it is easy for dominant voices to take over a discussion and women and PoC to be dismissed without much consideration.  Talk to your co-workers about supporting each other, and lead by example wherever you can.

Realize that there are layers of privilege.  Although the pay gap between white women and white men is significant, it’s minor compared to the gap for people of color.  Be mindful that your efforts to promote women’s voices aren’t at the expense of PoC.

 

1: http://eqxdesign.com/survey-2016


If you would like to explore how to brighten your career path, or are just curious about coaching, contact me to schedule a complimentary discovery session.

 

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