Toxic Work Environment-how can you change it?

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): Resolve conflict at the lowest level.  If you are upset by someone else's actions, try to resolve it between the two of you first!

I recently posted a question in a public FaceBook group asking about backbiting and gossip in the workplace.  The post stirred a lot of interest and comments and I found myself wanting to go to help people resolve this issue at their workplace.  There are so many human dynamics going on, but there are patterns that emerge time and time again.  So a particular employee's behavior is both common and semi-normal. It doesn't have to be permitted and allowed to continue though.  

I walk into the lunch room, a chill washes over me as it suddenly gets quiet.  I walk to the table, pull out my lunch and ask how everyone's drive into work was this morning.  After a few near misses and some stories of the idiot drivers, Bill gets up and leaves to go back to work.  When he's cleared the doorway, Susan opens up and tells me that Bill looked terrible when he came in today.  She heard that he's been sleeping on the couch for several weeks and he and his wife probably will get divorced.  Later that day, Bill complains to me that Susan hasn't been giving him the paperwork that he needs to keep the orders caught up and he's frustrated by not having enough work.  I feel like the middle man here, because I know he wants me to go talk to Susan to smooth this over.  I hate going between them all the time.  Susan is hard to talk to except when she's got something to talk about and she wants me to know what's going on with the other shifts and their inability to get projects done.  I feel this tension in the pit of my stomach and I feel sick all the time.

Does this sound familiar?  I'm sure you've at least had some experience with employee's inability to resolve conflict or have dealt with someone who goes around talking about everyone's business at work.  Toxic employees are costing companies billion's of dollars in lost revenue, lost productivity, and lost customers and they are making the people around them sick.  It's a problem that can be solved and resolved, but it takes a lot of work and sometimes making hard decisions about terminating employees or managers.  

So what is it costing you?  What can you do?  Are you stuck with a culture where everyone is talking about everyone else behind their backs?  No, you're not stuck unless you take no action.  

A toxic employee's behavior is costly to your company. One toxic employee can affect the following:  

1. Good productive employees will start underperforming. 

2. Employee satisfaction goes down. 

3. Those same good employees will start looking for new jobs. 

5. Highly qualified employees will not be attracted to your company. 

6. Good customers can start leaving and new customers may never come. 

The quick and easy answer is to get rid of the employee causing the trouble, but first impressions are not always right.  The problem may be deeper and more subtle than you think.  You'll need to get to the bottom of it and do it quickly.  

I wrote another blog that analyzed your employees based on values (character) and performance.  In that article, I outlined that there are 4 categories that employees fit into based on those criteria.  Based on where an employee lands on the chart, decisions need to be made about their future with the company.  

DISCLAIMER:  I am not a Human Resources trained professional, so you should consult one before taking any adverse actions on an employee termination.  

Employees are either Low Values/Low Performance, Low Values/High Performance, High Values/Low Performance or High Values High Performance.  If you have a LV/LP employee, you need to terminate their employment as quickly as possible.  If you have a HV/HP employee, you need to figure out how to make them part of your permanent business culture.  Figure out how to get them married to the company.  HV/LP's don't need more training.  They aren't in the right position.  Find out what their passionate about and move them if you can.  I can think of so many examples where an employee was moved to a different position or department and they turned out to be a diamond in the rough.  

The last employee type that I want to talk about are those LV/HP personnel.  You all know who I'm talking about.  They are terrible people, but get crazy amazing results for the company.  These are the hardest group to deal with because the company will notice when they are gone.  EVERYONE will notice when they are gone.  That's my point.  They treat everyone with so much disrespect that they make it hard for everyone else to enjoy coming to work.  I'm sorry to say, but they've got to go as soon as possible too.  You've got to figure out how to pass their work off to other employees as quickly as possible and terminate their employment.  What you think you're making off their production is costing your company 5X's that as I stated above.  That employee could just be the ONE thing that is holding your company back from getting to the next level of growth.  

Backbiting and gossip are low values (character) behavior.  As a employer or manager, you need to take the lead and deal with it.  

Backbiting and Gossip can happen for a variety of reasons, but it should not be tolerated in the workplace.  There are a multitude of solutions to solving this problem.  Please comment below or contact me at chris@healthcoachb.com if you have any questions or comments.

What have you lost? Did you really lose it or have you just misplaced it?

As I was preparing for a client session, I spent a little time thinking about their situation and how they are feeling about what they are going through.  This gives me a moment of perspective to really understand their pain.  Many times, when I'm coaching or prepping, my intuition kicks in and I know the question(s) I need to ask to get to the root of the problem.  Many times, I even shock myself how the question I ask, was just the right one at the right time to create the environment to let go of the hurt and the pain and start the process for healing.  

Anger comes from hurt and hurt comes from loss or perceived loss.  You don't have to actually lose something to feel loss.  When we suffer a loss, eventually, there will be some feelings of anger and that's ok when the anger is dealt with in a healthy manner.  What made me write this blog today is that I wanted to ask you a question and have you think about it until you come up with the answer for yourself.

If you've struggled again and again with relationships, or if you've experienced great relationships in the beginning and then they almost always fall apart, what is going on?  This is a loaded question.  There could be a million things going on and it might not be your fault at all, unless this cycle happens time and time again.  I just want to address loss today.  I'm talking about losing yourself

Have you lost something in your life that was really important to you?  Have you lost yourself?

I've had the opportunity to work with several clients who are married.  I love working with couples because there are always hurts or pains in the relationship that have stacked up over time and the coaching session is a place of safety and freedom to expose the struggle and let go of the pain.  Recently, when coaching a client, I asked him, "Who did you used to be when your fiance was attracted to you?"  "What did you give up or lose along the way that changed her mind about you?"  Those questions stopped him and he struggled to come up with the answer.  As he thought and the silence became awkward, the words came out.  He revealed the changes he had made to make his spouse happy, but in the end, he lost parts of who he was.  And then he lost confidence in himself which made him less attractive and less desirable to her.  

The idea made me curious, so I asked others who have struggled with relationships if they ever gave up things that they loved to do or parts of who they are to "please" or "appease" the other person and the answer was yes several times.  

The problem with losing something is that it will eventually produce some kind of anger or resentment.  Then there will be struggles to deal with it in the relationship.  

The phases of any relationship are Romance, Power Struggle, Stability, Commitment, and BLISS.  Most relationships end in the power struggle because they either cannot give up any more of themselves or they have given up too much and start to fight back or start to resent the other party and then find a way out.  

The best relationships happen when both people give 100% and each one dies to their own selfish needs; however, don't die to WHO you ARE.  When you lose yourself, the results are never what you want.  You will be miserable.  

3...2...1...Impact

Have you every had a collision with another object like another person, a vehicle, something stationary.  When two objects come together there is an action, and a reaction.  I want to talk to you today about the reaction that happens.  

The best way for me to think about in impact is a car collision.  Two cars moving at even a slow rate of speed will change trajectories when they come into contact with each other.  When two people come together, one or both can be moved off their current path and set on a new course in life.  I want to talk to you about some impacts in my life and then about how making some decisions today can change the direction of yours.

When I look back at my life, there were many times when I came into contact with someone or something that radically changed the course of my life.  One of my first collisions was with the military recruiter, who inspired me to join the Army National Guard.  Next came a collision with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  After that it was friends, bosses, co-workers, college, and much much more.  

There were so many people that impacted my life for good and a few that I wish I could have avoided; however, each time I met someone it changed the course of my life in some way, shape or form.  The military took me off the course of laziness and apathy.  One of my bosses took me off the course of settling with only a high school diploma.  A friend took me off the course of doubting I could accomplish big goals.  Divorce took me off the course of "Until Death Do Us Part."  A podcast took me off the course of depression.

You just never know who or what can change the direction of your life.  When I work with someone in coaching, we start with working on their health.  If your not eating right, then you're not fueling your body to perform.  The impact of making that one change affects the other areas of your life.  If you look at the Circle exercise I've included with this blog post, you can see the cascade effect of working to get a result in one area and how that can affect the other areas.  Let's walk through an example below.

The result you want to work on is:  I want to learn to eat healthy food.  

The effect on your money/finances is: You eat out less, save the extra you were spending on poor quality food to buy healthy food.  You also have enough left over to put money in savings.

The effect on your health / well being is:  You feel better.  You lose weight and inches and your clothes fit better

The effect on your family / relationships is: You have a new level of depth, harmony, and satisfaction out of them and you feel happier.

The effect on your future / potential is:  You feel as though you are living up to your true potential.  You see new doors open up to you expanding your possibilities.  

The impact of making just one decision to change one small part of your life can have such a significant out come on your entire life.  

I love coaching and helping my clients see their true potential and reach for it.  How we get there is by making small changes that lead to big long term results.  What I love the most is seeing how their lives start impacting those they come into contact with.  

You just never know how you can impact someone for good.  Keep reaching, keep striving, keep believing you can. 

 

The real struggles of a life and health coach

I woke up one morning and I wanted to give up.  Everything was falling apart before my eyes.  The dream that I decided to follow was evaporating.  I didn't have the drive, I didn't have a plan.  I felt lost and alone.

Have you ever been there?  Have you tried to do something you've always wanted to do and seen it fail?  It's a sobering feeling, but a very real one for many people in the world.  They shoot for a target and miss.  They may not even get close.  

I wanted to get real with you and let you know that as a coach, I have very real struggles too.  But I also want to inspire you to keep pushing and keep going.  Just when you think all is lost, if you push just a little harder, there is breakthrough coming.

I was 15 and I had this vision of standing on stage speaking to thousands of people and motivating them to make real lasting change in their lives.  It was a vision that freaked me out and yet it has been hiding in the shadows all my life.  It never really disappeared.  The vision never really made sense to me as I was growing up and figuring what I wanted to be as an adult.  Ironically, each and every job I've taken has pushed me to new limits in what's possible for my life.  Each position drove me closer to making my dream a reality.   

When I said that that vision freaked me out, that was no lie.  I was absolutely terrified to speak in front of a group of people and I would do anything to get out of it.  Yet, I kept seeing myself on stage doing what I love and encouraging people like you to step up, step out, and really go for it.  

In 2014, my life took a significant turn for the worst.  Everything that I trusted in vanished before my eyes.  I felt like life was over and for that time, it was.  I couldn't figure out what happen, why it happened, and how would I ever recover.  I was 41 years old and I didn't think that I should be starting over in life, but there I was.  I lost nearly everything and I had 2 choices to make, quit and give up, or keep going and figure it out.  Those tough times that I went through have helped me get to where I am today and they will keep helping me into the future.  The lessons I learned going through divorce brought me full circle to my dream to help motivate and inspire people like you to reach your full potential.  I went back to school, got my life and health coaching certification and launched my business in 2017.  

It was scary and fun at first.  I quickly got all the clients that I needed to pay the bills.  I figured out how to attract new clients and how to get them to sign up for coaching.  I was high on life and excited to get to do what I loved by investing into my clients the lessons I learned along the way which produced results for me and for others I knew.  My business was having some short term success and then...life happened.  I hurt my shoulder working out and had to stop going to the gym.  I had to take time off for military training, and then I had to have surgery to repair the damage to my shoulder.  Just when things were going great, the bottom fell out.  

My recovery from shoulder surgery took all the energy I had and wiped it out.  I didn't have the ability to go to networking events and when I did, I lost my confidence to attract clients, close deals with them, and talk them into investing in my program.  It felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders and for a short moment, I wanted to quit.  

Wanting to quit and quitting are two very different actions.  Giving up is not an option for me.  I had to dig deep and figure out what was I going to do.  As a coach, I can never ask a client to do something that I haven't already done myself.  I can't ask them to take action when I can't take action myself.  I have to believe in what I'm doing and it has to provide results.  I have to drink my own Kool-Aid.  

There are 4 tasks that I have to master to have a viable business: attract potential clients, close the deal, coach with confidence and get paid.  If I can't do that, I'll never survive.  I had lost touch with my modal for attracting clients.  What I really needed to do was to get my confidence back.  I began by taking some massive action.  I reached out to past and current clients with an new promotion.  I went to as many networking events as possible and I started speaking about what I am passionate about, which is helping people change their lives.  I see in each and every person I meet, their true potential and I want to bring that out for them.  Before I could bring out their potential, I had to bring out my own.  I cannot inspire someone else until I can inspire myself.  

So, there is good news in this story.  Because I didn't quit and I didn't throw in the towel, I met some really great people and created some new partnerships.  I was able to go from coaching individuals to coaching groups.  My goal in life is to reach 1 million people in my lifetime and to improve their lives as much as possible.  I want them to see themselves the way God sees them.  He sees them as fully capable of more than they are doing now and I want to help get that message across and really help stretch them to new heights.  My goal to reach them, will ultimately lead back to the vision that I had at 15.  I will be on a stage some day inspiring thousands of men and women to make the necessary changes in their lives to become who they were meant to be.  

The only thing that's special about me is that I won't quit trying.  I hope that you will take that mantel and run with it.  You can do it.  You have everything you need inside you.  You just have to find it.  

How do you renew your mind and why would you want to?

Have you ever had negative thoughts about yourself? I’m too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, or too ugly. How about I don’t make enough money or they’ll never give me what I’m asking for or worse yet, I’ll never succeed? I’ve heard that on average you think over 60K thoughts each day and that 60-80% of those thoughts are negative. You cannot help what thoughts initially come into your brain, but you can choose whether you are going to meditate on those thoughts or dismiss them.

The bible says that you should concentrate or meditate on good thoughts. It says in Philippians 4:8 whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.. The bible says to take these thoughts captive and to cast them down or basically dismiss them (DO NOT MEDITATE ON THEM). There reasons why negative thoughts come so easily. We remember the bad easier that remembering the good. I heard someone say it like this. We have Teflon coated good memory center and Velcro coated bad memory center. Also, if the thought is tied to something from our past, our brain is trying to protect us from getting hurt again. I call those fears. In that moment, we might be experiencing something that is making us uncomfortable and the fight or flight mechanism is kicking in. The thought may have validity or it may be our imagination getting away from us. Either way, you can analyze the thought. Determine if it is valid. If it is valid, determine if you need to do something to resolve an issue related to the thought. If not, dismiss the thought and move on. If the thought is self-defeating, ask yourself this question. If that is true, and it happens, then what is the worst thing that can happen? If the worst thing happens, what would that do to me? Can I live with that? Is that really a big deal or am I just uncomfortable with that outcome. If you are uncomfortable with the possible outcome, then you have to decide if you are going to stay the way you are or are you going to challenge yourself to get better?

So how do you renew your mind and why should you do it? The bible says that faith begins where the will of God is known. God wants you to be an overcomer in life. He wants you to be the best you that you can be and you can renew your mind by reading the bible. There are many versions and you can find one that fits your reading preference. I like the King James Version for memorization, but there are other versions that explain the topics better.

The reason why you should do it is that you have everything you need inside of you to be great and maybe you already are great, but maybe you’re not. I struggled with feelings of inferiority, doubt, and unbelief. When I read God’s word in the bible I discovered he had a plan for my life and I discovered that he gave me everything that I needed to be successful. All I needed to do was believe that, then take the necessary steps to achieve what I was capable of doing. It is the same with you. God says in Deuteronomy 28 that He gave you the power to get wealth. When you learn what he wants for your life, you start to have the faith necessary to do it. Faith walks, it has legs. If we had a spiritual scale we could measure it. I want to challenge you today to do a few things that will start the transformation process in your life.

  1. Stop meditating on all the negative thoughts coming to you daily
  2. If you decide to meditate on a negative thought, ask yourself why are you thinking about it? Then determine if there is an action step necessary so that you can change this negative thought to a positive one.
  3. Read your bible and determine what God has planned for your life. If you don’t know where to start, then start in the book of John.
  4. Pray and ask God what he has planned for your life and believe that he will show you the answer.
  5. Meditate on Scriptures with promises like. John 3:16, 1 John 4:4, Psalms 23:4, Isaiah 54:14, Isaiah 54:17, & Psalms 1:8. I can give you others if you want to request them by sending an email to me at info@chris-buckley.net
  6. Speak out loud God’s promises for your life.

Doubt, Fear, & Unbelief-Don't walk by sight

There are many examples in the bible of people who were afraid by what they saw.  Peter became afraid when he saw the winds and the waves in the story of Jesus walking on the water in Mathew 14:25-31. And the disciples were afraid of the storm in Mark 4:36-41.They were afraid because of the outward circumstances. The waves were big and the wind was blowing and the boat was filling with water. It didn’t look good for them. When they woke Jesus up, he said to the sea “Peace be still!” and the wind ceased and there was a great calm. In verse 40 he asked them why they were fearful and why didn’t they have any faith.

God tells us to walk by faith and not by sight, because when we walk by sight, we can lose our heart. We can lose our faith and doubt and unbelief can set in. Doubt and unbelief rob us of the blessing that God has for us. Many times people can believe for a miracle or a change in their life only to give up too soon or to get into fear and unbelief before they get everything they are believing for. I don’t want you to give up and I don’t want you to get into unbelief. When you don’t believe in what God has promised you or you did believe, but then start focusing on your circumstances fear sets in.

This blog is about renewing your mind. When you renew your mind with the word of God, you begin to understand that God is for you. He wants the best for your life and he’s not the one causing you all the trouble. If fear sets in, the enemy can take you for everything you have. Sometimes when I have battled fear in the past, I have thought of Job. Job became afraid for what his kids could be doing, so he gave an extra offering to cover the sins they could be doing. He was afraid to lose his kids. In one day, his worse fears came knocking on his door and he lost everything. God eventually restored everything Job lost and gave him more, but what he was afraid of came to pass.

Don’t be afraid. If you’re afraid of something now, there is still hope. You can renew your mind and change the direction of the course of your life. You can grow your faith enough to overcome the fear you are facing. Here are some steps you can take.

  1. Read the bible to discover what God’s promises for your life
  2. Quote God’s promises over your life daily.
  3. Get your eyes off your circumstances and get them on Jesus.
  4. Speak to your circumstances and tell them what God said.

Here is an example you can use.

If you are afraid of something, here are some of God’s promises regarding fear and unbelief

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body, and individually [you are] members of it [each with his own special purpose and function]. Amp.

Roman’s 12:21 Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good .Amp.

1 John 4:4 Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind]. Amp.

Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me. Amp.

Isaiah 54:14 You will be firmly established in righteousness: You will be far from [even the thought of] oppression, for you will not fear, And from terror, for it will not come near you.

Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against you will succeed; and every tongue that raises against you in judgment you will condemn. This [peace, righteousness, security, and triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from Me,” says the Lord. Amp.

Psalms 1:3 And he will be like a tree firmly planted [and fed] by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season; Its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers [and comes to maturity]. Amp

Galatians 1:4 Who gave Himself [as a sacrifice to atone] for our sins [to save and sanctify us] so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, in accordance with the will and purpose and plan of our God and Father. Amp.

Psalms 91:10, 11 No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will command His angels in regard to you, to protect and defend and guard you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. Amp.

Proverbs 12:28 In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death [but immortality—eternal life]. Amp.

These are just a few of his promises regarding fear and unbelief. When faced with circumstances that don’t look good, focus on God, on Jesus Christ and what he has done for your life.

Speak to your circumstances.

Consistency-your key to success

Napoleon Hill said, "If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way." When you do small things in a great way consistently over a long period of time, you will propel you life further than you could ever have imagined.

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When I first became a Christian, I learned some key verses in the bible by listening to what people said. I started quoting scriptures until I fully believed them.  My favorite scripture for over a decade was Ephesians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Whenever faced with a new challenge, I would repeat the prayer until I fully believed it was true.  When I was fully convinced, I would take action and try to do that which was impossible moments ago.

When I was in high school, I had to take speech class just like every kid who wants to graduation has to take speech class.  I managed to skip class every time I was supposed to give a speech and I begged the teacher to give me a passing grade so I wouldn't have to repeat the agony of standing in front of my peers and communicate anything to them.  I was deathly afraid.  Fast forward about 8 years later when I was in the military and I kept getting these assignments which put me in front of audiences to explain to them what they did wrong.  I hated the experiences, but my leaders kept putting me in front of groups of people and they forced me to evaluate them and give them feedback to their groups.

My assignments got tougher and tougher and the groups got bigger and bigger until one day, I was no longer afraid to get up and speak to large groups.  I have spoken to groups of 25, 50, 150, & more than 500.  I started with talking to small groups of 2-3 people and worked my way up to large groups and now, even if I am put on the spot, I can teach, coach, mentor and speak.  I did that by doing small things great until one day the small thing was a great thing.  You can do it too.

I challenge you to do something today that you didn't think you could do.  Step out of your comfort zone.  Do the small thing to the best of your ability.  Evaluate your own performance, then do it again.

The last piece that I will leave you with is conduct rehearsals.  It is so important to take this step and speak out what you want to say so that you don't stammer, stutter, or lose your place or your words when speaking.

 

How can you get answers to your prayers?

Do you ever ask yourself, "Does God really hear me when I pray?" or "God, Why aren't you answering my prayers?"

The following steps are a compliation of teachings from Kenneth E. Hagen and Kenneth Copeland by George Pearsons.

10 Steps to answered prayers.

1. Decide what you want from God.
2. Locate scriptures that promise you what you want from God.
3. Get those scriptures firmly fixed in your heart.
4. Ask God for what you want and believe that your receive it when you pray (Mark 11: 23-24)
5. Refuse to allow doubt and fear to enter your consciousness.
6. See yourself succeeding and not failing.
7. Give God continual praise and thanksgiving for answering your prayer.
8. Make every prayer a Statement of Faith instead of unbelief.
9. Testify to what you believe.
10. Get on the giving end...be a giver and sow where your expecting a harvest.

I hope this helps you. If you have a testimony of what God is doing or has done in your life, please share it on this post to encourage others that God really is listening and he wants you blessed so that you can be a blessing.