Asserting Your Boundaries at Work

It is hard to see the good in others if they have been taking advantage of your hard work ethic. It’s difficult to change the “rules” of who does what, when you’ve been accepting the work of others, because everyone “assumes” that you’re just better at it. Why rock the boat, right? Except you’ve just about had it. Going to work is not joyful, and you may feel a palpable cloud descend when you go to work. So, what can you do to change the dynamics? Re-examine your job description to make sure you’re being paid for what you do in a typical day. Did you know based on your gender, there may also be miscommunication going on between you, your co-workers and your boss?

Re-Set Your Boundaries

Write Out Who Does What

  1. Make a list of the tasks you are required to do based on your job description, and any recent performance evaluations you’ve received.
  2. Make a second list of the tasks that have been added since you accepted your job, that are not a part of your job description.
  3. Make a third list of the tasks you’ve taken on that are other’s responsibility.

Set Your Intention

  1. Make a fourth list of what tasks fit your job description that also incorporates what you’ve agreed to do in writing or verbally with your boss.
  2. Look at your fourth list and put an asterisk (*) by the tasks you verbally agreed to do—and decide if these tasks are up for negotiation.

Why? In your contract you work X number of hours a day, the tasks you perform should match your position, and should be able to be fit within the hours you work each day. If you are over-tasked, then it’s time to renegotiate your terms.

  1. Decide what the best approach is for your workplace to renegotiate your terms.

This is where you are going to discuss face-to-face the discrepancies between what you do, and what you are paid to do. This is where you say, “I haven’t minded helping you do (your) work in the past, but I have to re-focus on my responsibilities and priorities.” This is where you offer to train them on what you have been doing for them, but then you return the responsibility to them. You may request a meeting via email, but it is best to re-negotiate in person.  Take your lists and a written agenda with you to clarify the boundaries you are redefining. Choose what’s best for you, a:

  1. Formal meeting with you and your boss.
  2. Informal meeting with you and your boss.
  3. Formal meeting with you and your co-worker.
  4. Informal meeting with you and your co-worker.

When you’re figuring out the best approach, remember to be tactful not accusatory. You either prefer to communicate in a passive-aggressive style or passive style. The best form of communication is assertive—when you are able to be open, honest, forth-right, tactful, and the other person is able to stay on the same page as you while you’re communicating.

Non-Verbals Count Too!

Pay attention to if you are slouching, avoiding eye contact (your culture and race also affect what’s appropriate or the norm), mumbling, fidgeting, using too much hand movement—it all affects how the other person interprets what you’re verbally saying to them.

When I help my clients identify how to get what they want at work using Dr. John Gray’s Mars Venus Coaching system based on goal setting, 90 day plans, and understanding relationship dynamics they are often surprised and amazed at how being cognizant of gender communication dynamics at play helps them set and keep their boundaries when they interact with others at work.

Gender Differences in Communicating

Typically…Men prefer to communicate to solve problems.

                 …Women prefer to communicate to connect with others.

If a man feels attacked or threatened, based on the wiring in his brain he will do 1 of 2 things, because an increase in stress causes him to be more single-task oriented:

  1. He will either fight back if he thinks he knows the answer or can solve the problem.
  2. He will remove himself from the situation, disengage, and ignore the problem until he has unwound and then figures out how to solve the problem (or continues to ignore the situation, because it is not a big enough “problem” yet for him).

If a woman feels attacked or threatened, based on the wiring in her brain she will do 1 of 2 things, because an increase in stress causes more cross-talk between the left and right hemispheres of her brain:

  1. She will want to talk it out, ask questions, connect to others to make sure everyone is okay. She may not necessarily resolve the issue, she’s just talking to better understand the situation and all the dynamics at play.
  2. She will become more emotional, because blood flow in her brain is making her respond to how the issue will affect everyone else good or bad.

Knowing these tendencies, women can approach men by presenting a problem with a solution already present, i.e. the list of tasks you agree to be responsible for, offering to re-train co-worker, and justification for redefining job description. In turn men can approach women, i.e. with a list of tasks open for negotiating knowing they may need to discuss all the dynamics, with an answer not necessarily a part of this discussion, but forthcoming if she’s given a chance to connect first with you as a person. These are generalities, but they help identify how a request for redefining boundaries may be taken by other’s in your workplace as you set about assertively renegotiating your job.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Mars Venus Coaching Your Top Ten Priorities

Do you ever find yourself in what feels like a constant state of overwhelm? At Mars Venus Coaching we talk a lot about overwhelm and how to manage it. Are you spending enough time on what is important to you, or do your activities take you away from what really matters to you? Do you know if what you do on a day-to-day basis reflects or masks your best self? Mars Venus Coaches find many people in our line of work who are dissatisfied with the way their life is running. Either people do not have enough time to spend with those they love or doing the things that they love. Instead, they are either running from one small fire to the next dousing the fires as they come up, reacting to the way their life is going rather than taking up the reins with intention on the direction they want their life to go. This can cause people quite a bit of stress in their daily lives.

Some of you may be thinking that you are in control of your life and relationships, and while right this second, you don’t have enough time in your day to do what your heart desires—you’ll get to it the next day. But, the question is, will you? Based on your past history and following through on your goals, will you be able to get there by yourself? How do you hold yourself accountable to do the hard work of change?

Let’s do a quick – Mars Venus Coaching – check-in. Before reading the rest of the article, right now tear your paper into four pieces.

  • On the first piece of paper write down the top ten things you must complete by the end of today.
  • On the next piece of paper write down the top ten things you must complete by the end of this week.
  • On the third piece of paper write down the top ten things you must complete by the end of this month.

Are you wondering what this is all about? How often do you write down your tasks? Does your “must complete” list match up with what you think you will accomplish in the specified time frames? Is it more of a wish list or a to-do list that every task will be crossed off by the end of the day, week, or month? Just think about these things, because I’d like you to do something else with the last piece of paper.

  • On the last piece of paper write down the top ten things most important for you to be or accomplish in your life.

Oh. Hmm. Well, first how does it feel to think for a few minutes about what inspires, motivates, and excites you. Take the previous three pieces of paper I first asked you to fill out—and looking at the last list you wrote circle the tasks on your previous three pieces of paper that are in alignment with your last priority list.

How many items are circled? Are there 5, 10, 20, or 30 items circled?

What you are doing right now is looking to see whether your daily activities are in alignment with your higher self, or the part of you that desires to accomplish/give back to others. If your daily activities do not reflect your last list you made, then there is inconsistency. This is something a life coach could help you realize as well as help hold you accountable to.

From your first list tear each task off so you have 10 free standing tasks. Now, order these according to how you can get through these needed tasks the quickest so you can get to doing more of what you need to do in order to bring the fourth list to fruition. As you tear up the task list, realize you are in control of both what you choose to do with your time, and what priority you place on making the fourth list a reality on a daily basis.

I had you do task lists for the whole week, and then the whole month. Do the same thing. Tear up each list into ten individual tasks/pieces and re-organize. What you can also do as well—if you find some of the “must complete” tasks are:

  • no longer that urgent, or
  • you can wrap up, or
  • disengage from by the end of the month

—take those tasks away.

Remember I asked at the beginning if you were overwhelmed or if you were stressed out? We have to remember there are only 24 hours in a day. We need 7-8 hours of sleep. We also need time to relax and replenish our stress-reducing hormones. Oxytocin needs to be produced for women to reduce their stress. Testosterone needs to be produced for men to reduce their stress. If you feel overwhelmed or fatigued, you are stressed out. Something must come off your list. Something must change if you’d like to focus more on your fourth list.

Guess what? You can’t add any more tasks. You’re going to have to do both a one-for-one trade and most likely take away tasks so that you are getting the required down time and sleep so your body doesn’t tear itself apart like you tore up your task list. It’s your call. There are people out here who hold people accountable to make these life changes so your quality of life improves, your relationships at work and home get better, and your goals turn from dreams into reality. It’s possible if you value your worth enough. We have several online workshops available that provide more insight such as the above information. Check out our Mars Venus Workshops at www.marsvenusworkshops.com.

Lyndsay Katauskas

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Asserting Your Boundaries at Work

It is hard to see the good in others if they have been taking advantage of your hard work ethic. It’s difficult to change the “rules” of who does what, when you’ve been accepting the work of others, because everyone “assumes” that you’re just better at it. Why rock the boat, right? Except you’ve just about had it. Going to work is not joyful, and you may feel a palpable cloud descend when you go to work. So, what can you do to change the dynamics? Re-examine your job description to make sure you’re being paid for what you do in a typical day. Did you know based on your gender, there may also be miscommunication going on between you, your co-workers and your boss?

Re-Set Your Boundaries

Write Out Who Does What

  1. Make a list of the tasks you are required to do based on your job description, and any recent performance evaluations you’ve received.
  2. Make a second list of the tasks that have been added since you accepted your job, that are not a part of your job description.
  3. Make a third list of the tasks you’ve taken on that are other’s responsibility.

Set Your Intention

  1. Make a fourth list of what tasks fit your job description that also incorporates what you’ve agreed to do in writing or verbally with your boss.
  2. Look at your fourth list and put an asterisk (*) by the tasks you verbally agreed to do—and decide if these tasks are up for negotiation.

Why? In your contract you work X number of hours a day, the tasks you perform should match your position, and should be able to be fit within the hours you work each day. If you are over-tasked, then it’s time to renegotiate your terms.

  1. Decide what the best approach is for your workplace to renegotiate your terms.

This is where you are going to discuss face-to-face the discrepancies between what you do, and what you are paid to do. This is where you say, “I haven’t minded helping you do (your) work in the past, but I have to re-focus on my responsibilities and priorities.” This is where you offer to train them on what you have been doing for them, but then you return the responsibility to them. You may request a meeting via email, but it is best to re-negotiate in person.  Take your lists and a written agenda with you to clarify the boundaries you are redefining. Choose what’s best for you, a:

  1. Formal meeting with you and your boss.
  2. Informal meeting with you and your boss.
  3. Formal meeting with you and your co-worker.
  4. Informal meeting with you and your co-worker.

When you’re figuring out the best approach, remember to be tactful not accusatory. You either prefer to communicate in a passive-aggressive style or passive style. The best form of communication is assertive—when you are able to be open, honest, forth-right, tactful, and the other person is able to stay on the same page as you while you’re communicating.

Non-Verbals Count Too!

Pay attention to if you are slouching, avoiding eye contact (your culture and race also affect what’s appropriate or the norm), mumbling, fidgeting, using too much hand movement—it all affects how the other person interprets what you’re verbally saying to them.

When I help my clients identify how to get what they want at work using Dr. John Gray’s Mars Venus Coaching system based on goal setting, 90 day plans, and understanding relationship dynamics they are often surprised and amazed at how being cognizant of gender communication dynamics at play helps them set and keep their boundaries when they interact with others at work.

Gender Differences in Communicating

Typically…Men prefer to communicate to solve problems.

          …Women prefer to communicate to connect with others.

If a man feels attacked or threatened, based on the wiring in his brain he will do 1 of 2 things, because an increase in stress causes him to be more single-task oriented:

  1. He will either fight back if he thinks he knows the answer or can solve the problem.
  2. He will remove himself from the situation, disengage, and ignore the problem until he has unwound and then figures out how to solve the problem (or continues to ignore the situation, because it is not a big enough “problem” yet for him).

If a woman feels attacked or threatened, based on the wiring in her brain she will do 1 of 2 things, because an increase in stress causes more cross-talk between the left and right hemispheres of her brain:

  1. She will want to talk it out, ask questions, connect to others to make sure everyone is okay. She may not necessarily resolve the issue, she’s just talking to better understand the situation and all the dynamics at play.
  2. She will become more emotional, because blood flow in her brain is making her respond to how the issue will affect everyone else good or bad.

Knowing these tendencies, women can approach men by presenting a problem with a solution already present, i.e. the list of tasks you agree to be responsible for, offering to re-train co-worker, and justification for redefining job description. In turn men can approach women, i.e. with a list of tasks open for negotiating knowing they may need to discuss all the dynamics, with an answer not necessarily a part of this discussion, but forthcoming if she’s given a chance to connect first with you as a person. These are generalities, but they help identify how a request for redefining boundaries may be taken by other’s in your workplace as you set about assertively renegotiating your job.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Mars Venus Coaching Your Top Ten Priorities

Do you ever find yourself in what feels like a constant state of overwhelm? At Mars Venus Coaching we talk a lot about overwhelm and how to manage it. Are you spending enough time on what is important to you, or do your activities take you away from what really matters to you? Do you know if what you do on a day-to-day basis reflects or masks your best self? Mars Venus Coaches find many people in our line of work who are dissatisfied with the way their life is running. Either people do not have enough time to spend with those they love or doing the things that they love. Instead, they are either running from one small fire to the next dousing the fires as they come up, reacting to the way their life is going rather than taking up the reins with intention on the direction they want their life to go. This can cause people quite a bit of stress in their daily lives.

Some of you may be thinking that you are in control of your life and relationships, and while right this second, you don’t have enough time in your day to do what your heart desires—you’ll get to it the next day. But, the question is, will you? Based on your past history and following through on your goals, will you be able to get there by yourself? How do you hold yourself accountable to do the hard work of change?

Let’s do a quick – Mars Venus Coaching – check-in. Before reading the rest of the article, right now tear your paper into four pieces.

  • On the first piece of paper write down the top ten things you must complete by the end of today.
  • On the next piece of paper write down the top ten things you must complete by the end of this week.
  • On the third piece of paper write down the top ten things you must complete by the end of this month.

Are you wondering what this is all about? How often do you write down your tasks? Does your “must complete” list match up with what you think you will accomplish in the specified time frames? Is it more of a wish list or a to-do list that every task will be crossed off by the end of the day, week, or month? Just think about these things, because I’d like you to do something else with the last piece of paper.

  • On the last piece of paper write down the top ten things most important for you to be or accomplish in your life.

Oh. Hmm. Well, first how does it feel to think for a few minutes about what inspires, motivates, and excites you. Take the previous three pieces of paper I first asked you to fill out—and looking at the last list you wrote circle the tasks on your previous three pieces of paper that are in alignment with your last priority list.

How many items are circled? Are there 5, 10, 20, or 30 items circled?

What you are doing right now is looking to see whether your daily activities are in alignment with your higher self, or the part of you that desires to accomplish/give back to others. If your daily activities do not reflect your last list you made, then there is inconsistency. This is something a life coach could help you realize as well as help hold you accountable to.

From your first list tear each task off so you have 10 free standing tasks. Now, order these according to how you can get through these needed tasks the quickest so you can get to doing more of what you need to do in order to bring the fourth list to fruition. As you tear up the task list, realize you are in control of both what you choose to do with your time, and what priority you place on making the fourth list a reality on a daily basis.

I had you do task lists for the whole week, and then the whole month. Do the same thing. Tear up each list into ten individual tasks/pieces and re-organize. What you can also do as well—if you find some of the “must complete” tasks are:

  • no longer that urgent, or
  • you can wrap up, or
  • disengage from by the end of the month

—take those tasks away.

Remember I asked at the beginning if you were overwhelmed or if you were stressed out? We have to remember there are only 24 hours in a day. We need 7-8 hours of sleep. We also need time to relax and replenish our stress-reducing hormones. Oxytocin needs to be produced for women to reduce their stress. Testosterone needs to be produced for men to reduce their stress. If you feel overwhelmed or fatigued, you are stressed out. Something must come off your list. Something must change if you’d like to focus more on your fourth list.

Guess what? You can’t add any more tasks. You’re going to have to do both a one-for-one trade and most likely take away tasks so that you are getting the required down time and sleep so your body doesn’t tear itself apart like you tore up your task list. It’s your call. There are people out here who hold people accountable to make these life changes so your quality of life improves, your relationships at work and home get better, and your goals turn from dreams into reality. It’s possible if you value your worth enough. We have several online workshops available that provide more insight such as the above information. Check out our Mars Venus Workshops at www.marsvenusworkshops.com.

Lyndsay Katauskas

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

The Secret to Hiring Stellar Employees Who Stay

What helps employers find better employees? Most employers utilize online employment websites such as monster, careerbuilder and craigslist or they use the long trusted classified ad for posting employment opportunities with their company. Some employers have even taken the online screening process to a new level by checking out potential employees on Facebook in an attempt to qualify candidates. Discussing the relevance of that topic is better left to a separate article.

Although most employers today are pulling employees from basically the same pools, what can they do to give them the edge on hiring the best candidate as well as retaining that candidate once they become an employee? If you hire a person on the first meeting, you can be sure that it will not be the same person in two weeks. You’re taking a risk. You truly are calling on the luck of the draw if you base your decision on the first interview. Typically, you show the best version of yourself when you first meet someone. How about after meeting someone for the fourth time? The four step process requires applicants to show up in person four times. Those able to follow through and are consistent in their demeanor are the ones who really want the job.

Outlined below is an effective hiring process that you may not be aware of, but is more time-efficient and cost-effective than most hiring process in the long-run. If your company has been experiencing a high turnover rate and you are looking to make a change to your hiring process, then pay close attention to steps outlined below. Here’s a proven recruiting and induction system on how to get the cream of the crop.

The 4 hour format is designed to give 1 hour meetings over 4 times with 1 or 2 days in between.

Step 1

The first time you meet is in a group. (Don’t tell applicants beforehand that it is a group interview.) The first meeting let’s you see how they interact with other people as you identify their personality profile. Near the end have an impromptu stand up session where applicants tell the group about themselves and why they should be hired over everyone else. A typical group is about 8-10 applicants. Companies often require group work, and this meeting is designed to weed out people who do not perform well in a group.

Step 2

Prior to the next meeting, one to two days later, you will narrow your group down to the qualified number of candidates. Only these candidates will be brought back for the 1-on-1 deeper interview, which will include an overview of: job expectations, their work history and ethics, etc… What’s important to the process in this step is that you pay attention to their punctuality, attire, demeanor, and overall presence. This is where you will get the first inclination as to whether the person at the first interview is the same person in front of you now. The number of candidates you take to this step isn’t as important as the level to which the candidates are qualified.

Step 3

Two to three days later will bring the remaining qualified candidates back for a reverse group interview. This is where they meet the rest of the team or the portion of the team that is pertinent to their position. This time each of your team members can ask questions to assess if the applicant is qualified and the candidate has an opportunity to ask any questions they may have. What’s important for you at this point is to pay attention to the dynamics of your team and the candidate in order to determine whether they will work within your organization. Identify what three things are absolutely essential for this applicant to do well? Include your existing team members in review of each candidate’s performance.  Now that you have seen the candidates three separate times you can take the face-to-face experience from each meeting and consider if they were consistently punctual, courteous, and dressed professionally. At this point you should have narrowed your group down to one candidate that has met or better yet exceeded the job requirements.

Step 4

This is the actual final interview and hire, you will welcome back only the candidate(s) you are prepared to offer the job to. At this point you have considered their performance across all three previous meetings as well as your team’s input. You should find that you have a well qualified candidate who is serious about accepting a position within your company.

One final thought; it is very important to remember to close the door at step 1 if the applicant is not able to abide by your expectations. Follow this process to the letter and you will hire qualified employees who will stay with your company much longer than an employee hired from one interview, thus saving you money.

Innovation Drives Long-Term Success for Businesses

Businesses that truly excel time and again at whatever products or services they have to offer rely on two things: (1) Innovation and (2) Character-Based Services. Today I’ll write about innovation, however to truly understand how to get ahead the second ingredient, Character-Based Services, of creating value for your internal and external customers is no longer optional. When your product or service is founded on core values, then you have a recipe for success. The quality of life for yourself, your employees, and your customers increase, because you are providing a value-based service which addresses community-making needs to make people feel connected to one another.  However, to keep business opportunities coming your way, your business model must have creative innovation as part of the plan from the beginning. So remember add, taste, and stir every day!

Being Innovative Means Adapting and Thinking Creatively—All the Time

Add a Dash of New

There is never a moment when you rest on your laurels, or expect mediocrity; either from yourself or those working for and with you. Thinking outside of the box should be your norm, as well as motivating and allowing others to do the same. By giving others you come in contact with the opportunity to be creative and voice ideas, you cultivate a climate that is inclusive, rather than obtrusive. This means no micro-managing or tasting the soup every two minutes! This allows your business to keep its doors open to implementing cutting-edge opportunities as they become the next big thing.

The way you stay innovative is by being well-versed in the latest trends. Whether it is in leadership or with technological advances, you have to stay current. Reading books and articles, networking, and staying abreast through social media platforms keeps you from staying in the past or dreaming of the future. By doing small steps every day to innovate, you naturally create change. There is never a moment that you’re not adapting.

In other words, always ask why and how, then adapt proactively rather than reactively.

Stir Until Well-Blended: 90-Day Action Plans

The way you constantly adapt to change without becoming overwhelmed is by creating 90-Day Action Plans. The beauty of a 90-Day Action Plan is that your dreams and ideas are on paper for all to see. Mars Venus coaches use these during every coaching session, because they provide the framework for modeling open and honest communication. Often people and businesses seek coaching to help with time management. This gets into prioritizing, and then being able to effectively communicate your plans and intentions to those working for and with you.

As the 90-Day Action Plan is created together, Mars Venus coaches are different than other coaches because they model and teach how to use men and women’s different preferences for communicating, how they cope with stress, and how they buy/sell differently to ensure you get the added bonus of learning healthy communication skills. Learning these skills as you develop your 90-Day Action Plans together ensures you implement the new communication skills as you interact with the people that will make your business a success.

The 90-Day Action Plans not only provides a valuable working document to incite feedback from your investors and coaches (those keeping you accountable), but you also get to track your progress! You identify your vision, clarify your goals, break into strategic objectives, and further whittle down the to-dos into doable action steps.

Taste, Add Ingredients As Needed: Test & Measure

The way you measure your success is through testing and measuring how well you meet and exceed your goals in your 90-Day Action Plan(s) on an ongoing basis. Make sure to design vivid, descriptive Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that tell you benchmarks for when your goal is met. The more you’re able to describe the KPIs using your six senses—seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, smelling, and kinesthetic awareness—the faster you’ll achieve your goals. Why? Neuroscience. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between fact or fiction, memory or visualization. You can use this like athletes do to create new neural pathways in your brain focused on everything that entails success for your envisioned goals. Remember, adapt and re-prioritize as the curve balls are thrown at you so you don’t get hit. Add, stir, taste, and add ingredients as necessary—daily!

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Creating a Character-Based Company the Mars Venus Way

We’re increasingly married to work. We spend most of our waking hours getting ready for work, going to work, working, driving home from work, doing ongoing professional development to get ahead at work, and unwinding from…work! The companies that incorporate core values into their business model are the places where people love going to work, and their customers love going to get a fix that they matter. Why? Companies that base their internal and external customer service on values, such as the ones Stephen Covey discusses in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, are successful. These companies are successful, because their services and products drive people together into a sense of connecting in a community of like-minded individuals.

So what are some of the core values that most people believe in?

  • Responsibility
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Accountability
  • Collaboration
  • Cooperation
  • Ethical
  • Teamwork
  • Trust
  • Quality
  • Dependability
  • Flexible
  • Adaptability
  • Growth
  • Reliability
  • Fairness
  • Proactive
  • Visionary
  • Efficiency
  • Innovation
  • Caring
  • Service
  • Members
  • Fun
  • Education
  • Legal
  • Partnerships
  • Democratic
  • Value
  • Competitive
  • Professionalism
  • Balance
  • Training
  • Relationships
  • Competency
  • Citizenship
  • Loyalty
  • Prudence
  • Stewardship
  • Strength
  • Confidentiality

The question you have to ask is how can my business meet their needs? What are we doing to meet ____ need? How do we convey these values to our internal and external customers? How do we create this climate? How do we market what we care about? How does the community we work in benefit? If you’re able to weave the values listed above into the fiber holding your business together, then you naturally become a business based on character.

One way that Mars Venus coaches help businesses incorporate these values is by asking the tough questions. They find where you are dissatisfied, and encourage you to find solutions and be proactive. Coaching is different than consulting because coaches help to motivate and provide accountability so businesses, and the individuals within them, reach their full potential.

Another way Mars Venus coaches help businesses to be a character-based company is by always paying attention to the glue which holds people together: communication. In order to have a healthy relationship that’s based on assertive communication, you must be a good listener, and able to see another person’s point of view without judging. They are personally trained by and use John Gray’s, PhD, material to help people have healthier relationships inside and out. Mars Venus coaches, whether they specialize in business, executive, or life areas, are trained to model and teach gender-based differences in the ways men and women:

  1. Use communication,
  2. React to and cope with stress,
  3. Buy products and services, and
  4. Sell products and services.

As I’ve stated in previous articles (Article #55:Innovation Drives Long-Term Success for Businesses), the success of a business also depends on its ability to adapt quickly to changing trends. So not only do businesses need to address how to make internal and external employees have a better quality of life, they also need to focus on innovation and creativity to stay competitive.

From reading the latest blogs on Forbes, bNET, and Financial Times the trend becomes apparent that the most fiscally successful businesses over time focus on character-based and values-based business models. In 2008, Bo Edvardsson and Bo Enquist published Values-based Service for Sustainable Business: Lessons from IKEA, which further details how important integrating core values are when creating a sustainable business. The best way to incorporate values-based services into your business is by having someone help you create measurable action plans (Mars Venus Coaching uses 90-Day Action Plans) and provide accountability to ensure you stay true to your core values when pursuing your vision in everyday activities.

Another way for businesses to increase quality of life for their internal employees is to partner with a life coach. Did you know Zappos.com does just this—they’ve hired a life coach as an employee! Who else has such great customer service, free shipping and returns, and often next day service?! While business and executive coaches can provide assistance with intra- and inter-personal relational dynamics—life coaches specialize in this component. It’s something to think about, right? It’s outside of the box right now in regards to how businesses do business. Just like gender intelligent buying/selling is innovative, so is hiring life coaches on staff. As an employee and a consumer, what do the trends say to you? As a forward-thinker, how would you then implement a solution like this for business sustainability?

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Mars Venus Coaching Your Top Ten Priorities

Do you ever find yourself in what feels like a constant state of overwhelm? At Mars Venus Coaching we talk a lot about overwhelm and how to manage it. Are you spending enough time on what is important to you, or do your activities take you away from what really matters to you? Do you know if what you do on a day-to-day basis reflects or masks your best self? Mars Venus Coaches find many people in our line of work who are dissatisfied with the way their life is running. Either people do not have enough time to spend with those they love or doing the things that they love. Instead, they are either running from one small fire to the next dousing the fires as they come up, reacting to the way their life is going rather than taking up the reins with intention on the direction they want their life to go. This can cause people quite a bit of stress in their daily lives.

Some of you may be thinking that you are in control of your life and relationships, and while right this second, you don’t have enough time in your day to do what your heart desires—you’ll get to it the next day. But, the question is, will you? Based on your past history and following through on your goals, will you be able to get there by yourself? How do you hold yourself accountable to do the hard work of change?

Let’s do a quick – Mars Venus Coaching – check-in. Before reading the rest of the article, right now tear your paper into four pieces.

  • On the first piece of paper write down the top ten things you must complete by the end of today.
  • On the next piece of paper write down the top ten things you must complete by the end of this week.
  • On the third piece of paper write down the top ten things you must complete by the end of this month.

Are you wondering what this is all about? How often do you write down your tasks? Does your “must complete” list match up with what you think you will accomplish in the specified time frames? Is it more of a wish list or a to-do list that every task will be crossed off by the end of the day, week, or month? Just think about these things, because I’d like you to do something else with the last piece of paper.

  • On the last piece of paper write down the top ten things most important for you to be or accomplish in your life.

Oh. Hmm. Well, first how does it feel to think for a few minutes about what inspires, motivates, and excites you. Take the previous three pieces of paper I first asked you to fill out—and looking at the last list you wrote circle the tasks on your previous three pieces of paper that are in alignment with your last priority list.

How many items are circled? Are there 5, 10, 20, or 30 items circled?

What you are doing right now is looking to see whether your daily activities are in alignment with your higher self, or the part of you that desires to accomplish/give back to others. If your daily activities do not reflect your last list you made, then there is inconsistency. This is something a life coach could help you realize as well as help hold you accountable to.

From your first list tear each task off so you have 10 free standing tasks. Now, order these according to how you can get through these needed tasks the quickest so you can get to doing more of what you need to do in order to bring the fourth list to fruition. As you tear up the task list, realize you are in control of both what you choose to do with your time, and what priority you place on making the fourth list a reality on a daily basis.

I had you do task lists for the whole week, and then the whole month. Do the same thing. Tear up each list into ten individual tasks/pieces and re-organize. What you can also do as well—if you find some of the “must complete” tasks are:

  • no longer that urgent, or
  • you can wrap up, or
  • disengage from by the end of the month

—take those tasks away.

Remember I asked at the beginning if you were overwhelmed or if you were stressed out? We have to remember there are only 24 hours in a day. We need 7-8 hours of sleep. We also need time to relax and replenish our stress-reducing hormones. Oxytocin needs to be produced for women to reduce their stress. Testosterone needs to be produced for men to reduce their stress. If you feel overwhelmed or fatigued, you are stressed out. Something must come off your list. Something must change if you’d like to focus more on your fourth list.

Guess what? You can’t add any more tasks. You’re going to have to do both a one-for-one trade and most likely take away tasks so that you are getting the required down time and sleep so your body doesn’t tear itself apart like you tore up your task list. It’s your call. There are people out here who hold people accountable to make these life changes so your quality of life improves, your relationships at work and home get better, and your goals turn from dreams into reality. It’s possible if you value your worth enough. We have several online workshops available that provide more insight such as the above information. Check out our Mars Venus Workshops at www.marsvenusworkshops.com.

Lyndsay Katauskas

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations