Monday, July 31, 2017

How to Work with Others!

Do you work with someone who isn’t a team player? Maybe they’re overly focused on completing and promoting their own work. Or they don’t chip in when everyone else is scrambling to meet a deadline or pulling a presentation together. This isn’t simply frustrating; it can affect your entire group’s performance. How do you work with this person in a way that doesn’t make you resentful? And how can you encourage them to think more about the team?

What the Experts Say
When a team member procrastinates or displays a bad attitude, there’s a real risk of social contagion that drags down the morale and productivity of those around them. “We all pick up on subtle cues from other people, and that affects our behaviors and actions,” says Susan David, founder of the Harvard/McLean Institute of Coaching and author of Emotional Agility. “That leads to poor team efficiency, lower levels of commitment, and less focus on the shared goal.” Ignoring the issue often ends up only making it more acute. “There are a lot of negative consequences to somebody not carrying his or her load on a team,” says Allan Cohen, a professor of management at Babson College and author of Influence Without Authority. “The longer it goes on, the worse it gets in terms of how frustrated other members of the group will become.” Here’s how to work with a coworker who isn’t a team player.

Don’t jump to conclusions
It’s human nature to make assumptions about the reasons behind someone else’s behavior, even when we lack real evidence, says Cohen. “That’s how our brains work,” he explains. But this shortcut doesn’t always lead us to the right conclusions. Instead of assuming that someone is just a slacker or lacks commitment, “do a little exploration first,” he says. The roots of the person’s behavior may surprise you. It could be that they are dealing with a stressful situation at home that is leading to distraction at the office. Or they may be feeling work pressures that you are unaware of. Or they’re not sure how to best contribute. You want to avoid writing the person off or “concocting an explanation for their behavior, especially if it involves attributing bad motives to them,” Cohen says.

Start a dialogue
Approach your colleague with friendly questions, rather than accusations. Even if you aren’t in a leadership position on the team, “consider this a good opportunity to practice your leadership skills,” says David. You might ask: “What else is going on for you right now?” or “What’s motivating you?” This should give you enough insight to see the experience from their perspective.

Invite them in
More serious problems arise on a team when members shun someone who isn’t carrying their weight. So take the lead and make sure you’re not ostracizing the person. Consider taking your colleague out to coffee or lunch just to get to know them better, and bring along a couple of colleagues to promote cohesion. More interactions will promote friendlier group relations. “It’s really hard to resent somebody you understand better,” says Cohen.

Revisit the team’s mission
Sometimes a team member who is being uncooperative may actually help identify underlying issues by serving as a kind of ‘canary in the coal mine’ indicating that something is off with the group. It may be that your team’s approach isn’t working, says Cohen, or that your mission isn’t clear enough. Use this opportunity to have a conversation with the entire team about what the group’s shared vision should be and the best methods for getting there. That clarity should help boost everyone’s sense of purpose and productivity. “A lot of people go into team meetings focused only on what’s been done and what hasn’t been done,” says David. “Teams who bypassed the earlier questions about mission often tend to get into the weeds of, ‘She didn’t do this,’ and, ‘He didn’t do that,’ which leads to frustration and resentment.”

Clarify team members’ roles
Once you’ve had the bigger picture conversation about mission, it’s a good time to clarify roles. “Don’t assume everybody knows exactly what their contribution is supposed to be,” says Cohen. It could be that the non-team player has little or no understanding of what they’re meant to do. Without putting your colleague on the spot, you can suss out whether there is any ambiguity or confusion, and then help clarify duties and deadlines so that they have a better understanding of what’s expected of them.

Identify new opportunities to motivate
A team member may not only distance themselves because they’re confused; they could find the work they’ve been assigned to be pointless and boring. They may want more responsibility or an opportunity to grow their skills. If that appears to be the case, “think about whether there is a more suitable role for this person on the team,” says David. Look for ways to reassign them, even informally, to better showcase their skill sets or offer them new ways to learn. “Everyone likes to develop and project a sense of competence, or of mastery,” says David. You’ll often find that commitment to the team grows as a person’s confidence in their role increases. “People are highly motivated by not wanting to let their teammates down,” says Cohen. “Get them into the game, and they’ll go to great lengths to perform better for the team.”

Principles to Remember:
• Inquire about your colleague’s interests, priorities, and motivations to get a better sense of their perspective and the causes of their behavior.
• Use this opportunity to revisit the team’s purpose and goals.
• Look for opportunities to better utilize the uncooperative team member’s specific skill set.
• Develop an explanation for the colleague’s behavior without talking to them first.
• Ostracize the team member in question. Promote more interactions to create better group cohesion.
• Assume everyone knows what they’re supposed to be working on. Clarify team members’ roles so that people know what is expected of them.

Reposted from the Harvard Business Review, By Carolyn O'Hara April 21, 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Decluttering Your Life

At some point in everyone’s life, there is clutter, whether it be “stuff” in your environment or in your interpersonal relationships or in your head and heart. When it becomes consistent and prolong there can be some long term effects of clutter.

Research states that people who constantly live in a state of chaos are prone to procrastination and an inability to commit to work or relationships. They get anxious and overwhelmed with change and usually give up before they even start the project. Their finances and time are wasted; they feel stuck and bad about themselves

• Increase in concentration
• Improved Sleep
• Increase in creativity
• Improved mood
• Letting go of your past
• More focus on your goals

• Give yourself 5 solid minutes.
• Give away one item each day.
• Fill one trash bag.
• Try the Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment. While this idea didn’t originate with Oprah, she was the one to help give it notoriety. To identify wardrobe pieces to clear
out, hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. After you wear an item, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. After
six months, you’ll have a clear picture of which clothes you can easily discard.
• Make a list. Create a list of places/areas in your home to declutter beginning with the easiest.
• The Four-Box Method. As we first set out on our journey to minimalism, this was the technique most often used in our home. Set out to declutter an area, with four boxes:
trash, give away, keep, or relocate. Each item in every room is placed into one of the four categories.

What is one way you can declutter today???

Friday, April 28, 2017

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines child abuse and child maltreatment as:

"all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child's health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power."

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses the term child maltreatment to refer to:

acts of commission (abuse), which include "words or overt actions that cause harm, potential harm, or threat of harm to a child"

acts of omission (neglect), meaning "the failure to provide for a child's basic physical, emotional, or educational needs or to protect a child from harm or potential harm".

The United States federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act defines child abuse and neglect as:

minimum, "any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation" and/or "an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm".

If you want more information on how to prevent Child Abuse please click on the following links

If you know of a child who is being abused or someone who is abusing children, please contact the local police or the local department of social services.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Burnout on the Job

Chronic work-related stress over time can lead to job burnout. Burnout is defined as a “prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal job stressors.” Burnout is measured by symptoms in three areas: emotional exhaustion or feeling depleted, cynicism or a sense of detachment from others, and a sense of inefficacy, or not being effective at work.

Job burnout can cause emotional and physical fatigue, insomnia, irritability, and problems paying attention at work. The effects of job burnout can start to spread into your personal life outside of work. Chronic stress also contributes to medical illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. Stress accounts for over 60% to 80% of medical visits to the primary care doctor. When your job puts your mind and body into a constant state of stress, you can become worn out emotionally, physically, mentally. In this vulnerable state, even little problems start to feel weighty and insurmountable.

Is this Burnout? Ask yourself:
Ask yourself the following questions:
• Have you become cynical or critical at work?
• Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started once you arrive?
• Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
• Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
• Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
• Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
• Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
• Have your sleep habits or appetite changed?
• Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, backaches or other physical complaints?

1. Exhaustion
A clear sign of burnout is when you feel tired all the time. Exhaustion can be emotional, mental or physical. It’s the sense of not having any energy, of being completely spent.

2. Lack of Motivation
When you don’t feel enthusiastic about anything anymore or you no longer have that internal motivation for your work, there's a good chance you're experiencing burnout. It may be harder to get going in the morning and more difficult to drag yourself into work every day.

3. Frustration, Cynicism and Other Negative Emotions
You may feel like what you’re doing doesn’t matter that much anymore. You might notice that you feel more generally pessimistic than you used to.

4. Cognitive Problems
Burnout and chronic stress may interfere with your ability to pay attention or concentrate.

Ignored or unaddressed job burnout can have significant consequences, including:
• Excessive stress
• Fatigue
• Insomnia
• A negative spillover into personal relationships or home life
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Alcohol or substance abuse
• Heart disease
• High cholesterol
• Type 2 diabetes, especially in women
• Stroke
• Obesity
• Vulnerability to illnesses

1. The first step is to figure out if you are experiencing job burnout. Awareness that you are experiencing job burnout is an essential first step. Ask yourself the above questions or assess if you experience those symptoms.

2. Try to get more sleep. Getting too little sleep is a major factor in predicting burnout and a likely contributor to job burnout. Sleeping better is also an important sign that you’re recovering from burnout and ready to go back to work

3. Take breaks during the workday. Even small ones where you walk outside for a few minutes or sit and talk with a co-worker for 5 minutes about non-work related topics,

4. Put away your digital devices. Before the Blackberry/Smart phones era, leaving your work at the office was the default. That’s no longer the case. We are both psychologically and physiologically still attached. The remedy, is to actively limit your use of digital devices after hours. Place your smartphone in a basket or drawer when you arrive home so you’re not tempted to pick it up and check your email; or you might devise a rule for yourself about turning it off past 8pm. “

5. Do something interesting. Do not just focus on avoiding work or limiting your time thinking about work, do something interesting and focus on it.

6. Do cardiovascular exercise regularly. Cardiovascular exercise has been shown in studies to significantly reduce burnout symptoms in as little as 4 weeks.

7. Try mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation is a technique that allows you to just be exactly where you are and observe without judgment.

8. Practice mindful breathing. Try a simple mindful breathing exercise, which is a form of meditation. Inhale for 4 counts of breath, and exhale for 4 counts.

9. Make time for other activities focused on self-care and self-compassion. Self-care and self-compassion is different for everyone and what you feels right can change day to day.

10. Talk about your situation with people that you trust. Talking with a trusted supervisor or mentor to explore options on how to modify work demands or achieve better work-life balance can be helpful. Many companies also have an employee assistance program which may offer confidential counseling. If things are not improving, you can treat burnout symptoms with the help of a mental health professional.

11. Don’t let the feeling of not having enough time stop you. The most common reason is that people already feel like they don’t have enough time. The paradox is that making time for yoga, meditation, additional sleep or exercise will actually give you more time.

Burnout can happen to everyone and at different times for different reasons. Burnout can impact a person physically, cognitively, behaviorally and psychologically. It can have short term and long term impacts if not treated. Remember, if you think you might be experiencing job burnout, don't ignore your symptoms. Consult your doctor or a mental health provider to identify or rule out any underlying health conditions

Monday, February 27, 2017

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

Random Acts of Kindness
Random Acts of Kindness focus of performing random acts of kindness for others. Why? Research supports that people on the receiving end often become motivated to pay it forward and so begins the domino effects of unprompted acts of kindness. It also states that kindness feels better for the giver and can improve our moods and improve our beliefs about ourselves. Ever had someone pay for your coffee or your meal unexpected? How did it feel?

Research also demonstrates that if you perform random acts of kindness for two minutes a day for 21 days, you can actually retrain your brain to be more positive. Studies such as this show that when your brain is more positive you are more likely to be creative, intelligent and productive. These attributes can spin into what we perceive as ‘quality of life’ attributes - job success, wealth, healthy relationships, and better health. This adage, that “happiness breeds success,” think about that for a moment.

Kindness is a simple concept, yet so very impact. It can make the world a better place, you never know what other people may or may not be battling. Kindness has the power to drastically improve our own well-being as well as that of our families, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. The act of expressing graciousness to one another can improve our relationships within the workforce, kindness towards one another can inspire employees to be more productive and make businesses more profitable and within our communities, kindness contributes to safer schools and neighborhoods.

Easy ways to perform random acts of kindness:
Be generous with compliments (what they are wearing, their hair, smile or what
they are doing);
Return a shopping cart;
Help someone load or unload their groceries;
Make someone laugh;
Thank your employees/coworkers;
Give your seat to an elderly person;
Make eye contact and smile at others;
When waiting in line for a cup of coffee, offer to pay for the stranger’s coffee in
line in front of or behind you;
Put snacks, travel sized toiletries, a pair of warm socks and warm mittens in
Ziplock bags and pass them out to the homeless;
Volunteer to serve a meal at a local soup kitchen or volunteer your time at any
Organization that is meaningful to you;
Donate used books or puzzles to your local library or school;
Bring a few winter coats that your family has outgrown to a nearby shelter;
Bring a dozen donuts to a nearby fire station or police station and thank them for
their service;
When you see someone in a military uniform at the airport or in a mall, thank them
for their service and express your wish that they stay safe in their endeavor;
If you pass a parking meter that’s about to expire, put change in it;
Send someone you care about a text, e-mail, or card and let them know you are
grateful for having them in your life; who does not like a card;
Send an anonymous card saying something positive about them in the mail.

Random acts of kindness do not have to be big, and can be incorporated into your everyday life. Just a few moments here or there. Try with some small acts and then try some bigger ones. Try it for the week or the month and see what happens! You never know how you will impact someone else!

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” (Aesop)

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” (Scott Adams)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Signs of Insecurity

Do others appear more self-confident than you? Do you feel you could be insecure? Do you feel you could be more self-confident? What are some signs related to insecurity?

In particular, some people appear to have all they need to have power to give them the sense that they could accomplish anything. Some people feel they will never be able to accomplish their goals. What are some signs or causes of insecurity?

Everyone has some form of insecurity. It’s almost impossible to be 100% free of doubt. Confidence is usually a gradual process. It often comes with age and wisdom (although some people never find it).Insecurity can be highly destructive.

Signs of Insecurity:

A person becomes overly selfish

A person becomes overly accommodating. Once again, this form of insecurity. An overly accommodating person attempts to gain the approval of other people by bending over backwards for them.


Insecure people tend to be very sensitive to critique and respond with defensiveness.

Struggle with Silence

Excessive Joking/Sarcasm



Overly Competitive Competitiveness is part of a healthy emotional makeup, but over-competitiveness is a sign of a problem. Someone who can’t take losing by making a big emotional display lacks confidence.

Insecurity in Relationships. Insecurity tends to be amplified in relationships. In this situation, there is a constant struggle for control and energy.

Ways to Work on your Self-Confidence:

Focus on finding positives for the day.. everyday has at least one positive (even if it is you brushed your teeth)
Identify 3 positive affirmations, write them down and repeat them to yourself out loud looking in a mirror
Journal each day about two positive things that day and then identify one positive thing you can focus on tomorrow
Surround yourself with positive people who lift you up
When you find yourself engaging in negative self talk, re frame it to positive self talk.
Do not look at failure as failure.. look at it as learning opportunity and an opportunity to do it different next time
Be ok with being "ok" at some things and excellent a few things
Write down all the things you you are proud of and thankful and put that list somewhere you can see daily!
You are not perfect you are human and you just have to be the best version of you for that day!

If someone you know or if you are experiencing difficulty let them know they are not alone and you are willing to assist them with finding the help they need. Sometimes just knowing you’re not alone is powerful in helping others seek the help they need. Psychological Health Roanoke has qualified and experienced clinicians available to help you and your family.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Our Health Magazine Bedside Manner Awards 2016

We would like to let you know that

Steve Strosnider got 2nd place!

Emily Defrance and Jackie Wilkerson got Honorable Mention!

Thank you to all of you that provide the feedback and we would like to encourage all of you to continue to give feedback!

Happy 2017!