Four Ways to Speak Up and Contribute in Your Organization

Q & A with Michelle McCullough

Sheryl Sandberg, author of the book Lean In, writes that we should stop telling little girls they’re bossy, and start telling little girls that they have leadership skills. As these women enter the workplace, communicating, speaking up and feeling part of the conversation can be a challenge, without being labeled as “bossy”.

I did a Q&A to answer some of these questions about empowering women

Question: What’s your first recommendation for women to find their voice in an organization?

Michelle: Contribute in meetings.  Speak up when you agree.  Provide additional ideas when you disagree.  Don’t just leave the comments for the vocal few.  Even introverts need to find their voice  and contribute on their teams, and in their organizations.  Stand up for people, champion projects and share your voice.

Question: When there are problems on their organization or team, how can they speak up and contribute without sounding bossy?

Michelle: Find and share solutions more than complaints.  One of the ways you can add the most value to your team and organization is to provide solutions without complaining.  This is great tip for men and women.  Sometimes in an effort to encourage change we share all the things that aren’t working, but it’s hard for management to respond because it can be perceived as having a bad attitude.  Instead, provide and offer solutions and be creative when it comes different ways to address issues.  Managers the trait they wish every employee had was the ability to problem solve without complaining.

Question: What if a “problem” escalates into a disagreement, or if you feel like you’re not quite sure how to respond?

Michelle: One of the best ways to find your voice is to know what to say AND when to say it.  When things get heated, give yourself permission to table the conversation and revisit it when emotions cool down.  Also, practice the phrase “It seems like you’ve had time to think about this, could you give me a day to think through my thoughts and I can come back to you with some ways we can resolve this issue” or “I may need a day or two to think through this situation, could we revisit this conversation on Friday after I’ve given it some careful thought?”  Sometimes you need time to consider the right response so you don’t say things you don’t mean.

Question: What if someone takes your idea after you have already shared it?

Michelle: This is the MOST COMMON complaint we hear at our events.  Women will share an idea in a meeting and then later in the meeting or another day someone will share the SAME idea and claim it as theirs.  That can be discouraging, and if you’re gutsy, be willing to stand up for your idea.  However, “Thank you for validating my suggestion” sounds better than “Hey, that was my idea!”  In the moment, that can be tricky to pull off without attitude.  If this seems to be happening to you frequently, practice a validation statement before you go into your next meeting.  Also, remember that passion is okay.  If your emotion feels competitive or combative you may be criticized for your emotions.  Lead with passion and a commitment for the best interest in the team and organization, and you may find that this positive approach inspires people to lead with passionate positivity.

We love men and aren’t men bashers, but there is something powerful about a group of women getting together to learn and support each other.  For more information about our annual Power Women event for female professionals, check out:
www.powerwomenlead.com

 

Living The Mompreneur Life Without Guilt

There is a fun YouTube series that provides fun,honest, inspiring kitchen table style chats about real life for real moms called The Momoir Series.  It will have tips, ideas, question expectations and give voice to modern mom life.  With it’s interview style, each chat takes on a certain topic or notion, and of course, includes side notes and funny stuff because that’s mom-life for real.  And guess what?  Yours truly is featured in this week’s video!  We take a good look at “failure” and how to embrace it as a teacher and even a blessing!
 

Check it out and leave a comment & a like!  I would love to know what you think!  I know Lynn Bodnar (creator of the Momoir Series) would also appreciate your feedback!!

Cirque du Soleil – CRYSTAL

A Breakthrough Ice Experience

Cirque du Solei lis thrilled to return to West Valley City with its coolest arena show yet—CRYSTAL. This unique arena production—Cirque du Soleil’s first-ever experience on ice— showcases synchronized, freestyle and extreme skating alongside circus disciplines such as swinging trapeze, aerial straps and hand-to-hand. CRYSTAL will perform at West Valley City’s Maverik Center (3200, Derker Lane Drive) from Thursday, March 7 through Sunday, March 10 for six performances only.

Watch world-class ice skaters and acrobats explore their new frozen playground with speed and fluidity as they challenge the laws of gravity with never-before-seen acrobatics. CRYSTAL fuses circus arts and the world of ice skating in a stunning new production that will take the audience on a journey into a surreal world where figure skating blends with acrobatics and aerial feats.

Directed by Shana Carroll and Sebastien Soldevila, Crystal, our misfit heroine, takes you on an exhilarating tale of self-discovery as she dives into a world of her own imagination. Feel the adrenaline as she soars through this surreal world at high speed to become what she was always destined to be: confident, liberated, and empowered. CRYSTAL invites you to suspend reality and glide into a world that springs to colorful life with astounding visual projections and a soundtrack that seamlessly blends popular music with the signature sound of Cirque du Soleil.

Tickets for CRYSTAL are now available online exclusively to Cirque Club members. Cirque Club membership is free. Benefits includes access to advance tickets, special offers, and exclusive behind-the-scenes information. To join, visit www.cirqueclub.com.

General ticket on-sale for West Valley City performances of CRYSTAL will be available starting October 5 at 10 a.m. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.cirqudusoleil.com/crystal.

To get 30% off use this code! bit.ly/Crystal30MAV

CRYSTAL is suitable for all ages.

There will also be  a Crystal Cube Scavenger Hunt held (details coming soon). There will be 30 cubes at a special location and will be hidden throughout the location. Each will have a voucher where they can redeem for a pair of tickets. These tickets will be for opening night.

Rescuing Your New Years Goals

Q&A with Michelle

Did you set a New Years Resolution this year? 45% of Americans set New Years Resolutions and of those only 8% actually follow through to completion. If you started strong, but your motivation is waning, today we’re going to talk about ways you can rescue your goals if you have fallen off the wagon.

In this Q&A segment I will share with you these four tips for rescuing your goals if you’ve already “fallen off the wagon”
1. Stop the Shame
2. Revisit your Why
3. Consider Goal Graduation
4. Focus on Habits Not Results

Question: Is there hope if we’ve already fallen off the wagon?

Michelle: Absolutely! One of the mindsets that holds us back from success is to believe there is only one time of year to succeed at change. And we don’t just do this for New Year’s Resolutions. We say, I’ll try again on Monday, or next month. But even deeper than that, because we consistently break our goals, we wait for another time to succeed. AND when we beat ourselves up for breaking a diet, or spending when we shouldn’t or whatever, we start the shame cycle and that self talk doesn’t make you want to try anymore. Believe you can and believe it’s worth it but stop telling yourself you’re a failure. THAT won’t help you reach any goals.

Question: What if the motivation just isn’t there? How do you get to the gym, or spend less, or apply for a better job?

Michelle: Revisit your motivation and make sure WHY you want the goal is solid. Are you trying to get organized because everyones sharing you Marie Kondo after pictures on Social Media? Or do you feel the need to be better organized in your life because you’re spending so much time trying to find “lost” things? Your why has to be rooted in what YOU want, not what others want. One year I had friends who were trying to motivate me to run a half marathon, but until I was willing to do it for me, I couldn’t commit or even be motivated to complete the training schedule.

Question: Do you think it’s more motivating to go for a BIG goal or a small goal?

Michelle: Depends, some people are more motivated by big hairy audacious goals and that helps them hit the pavement and work hard. However, most of us, especially if you have let goals go in the past, you may want to consider Goal Graduation. For example, let’s say you want to lose 50 pounds, some people would be motivated by that goal, but others need to start with something small like losing 10% of your body weight or even just losing 5 pounds so that they can feel success and stay motivated. BIG goals CAN be fun, but its hard to stay motivated if you don’t hit milestones over time.

Question: What final tip do you have for someone who isn’t ready to give up on their goal?

Michelle: Resolutions are great, but plans are better. My best recommendation for progress and achievement is to focus on habits not results. If you’re trying to lose weight and you get on the scale once a week and it doesn’t move, then it can be hard to continue the good habits when the results aren’t there. Instead focus on the daily, weekly, and monthly ACTIONS you need to take and then you can celebrate every night that you went to the gym or ate 5 servings of fruits and veggies, and you know that you body is getting healthy, even if the scale doesn’t reflect your efforts. Success is NOT a destination, its a practice.

50 Apps for You & Your Business

Using Your Phone for Increased Productivity & High Performance

I had the opportunity to speak at a conference this year on the 50 best apps for your business. Today I get to share 4 of my favorite apps on KSL’s Browser 5.0 but I wanted you to have my whole list.

In the digital world that we live in, we’ve got apps for everything from health to money.

Check out the list of my favorite 50 apps below.

 

 

Most Valuable Employee

Question and Answer Series with Michelle Mccullough

 

 

 

Many employees go to work every day in fear that they may lose their jobs.  With the many responsibilities to provide for families, pay off debt and save for the future there is a lot on the line to maintaining stable employment.
Today the blog features four ways that you can be the most valuable employee in your organization.

We are going to tackle this topic today in the form of Q&A. Let’s get right to it.
Question #1: What is your first tip for being an invaluable employee?

Michelle: Number one is, to have a good attitude – even if things are bad.  Complainers are toxic to a team, a department and a company as a whole.  If you have complaints, voice them privately and don’t go cubicle to cubicle recruiting allies.  Complain in private and compliment in public.  Studies show that all qualifications being equal, managers will promote those with the best attitude and that are the easiest to work with.

Question #2: What if things in the organization need a lot of improvement, how do you avoid being negative?

Michelle: Be a problem solver.  There can be a lot of reasons to complain, but if you can find solutions and not problems, you’ll be seen as a team player and an invaluable employee.  When I’m hiring, I will hire first temporarily before I bring people on part or full time.  I’ll give them a project, and if or when there’s a problem I look to see how they solve it, or how their attitude effects the work environment.

Question #3: Do you like employees that come up with solutions and do them without being asked?

Michelle: Absolutely.  Sure, there are times where someone can overstep their job position or take a responsibility that should be done by someone else, generally speaking I’m looking for employees that are proactive and not reactive.  In addition to being a problem solver, I want them to see problems BEFORE they happen and be willing to make changes or adjustments to smoothing things out ahead of time.  That said, questions are not a sign of weakness.  If you have something you don’t understand or need more clarity on to proceed, don’t waste time (Yours or the company’s)  Ask for help so that you can be effective and efficient.

Question #3: What is your final tip for people who want to be rockstar employees?

Michelle: Go the extra mile.  It sounds cliché, but this simple task can make you invaluable in an organization.  I’m not saying you have to work late every night and burn a candle at both ends, but ask yourself, “What MORE could I do that would benefit my boss, team or organization?”  And then do it.  I love the quote by Dan Clark that says, “You aren’t paid by the hour, you’re paid for the value you bring to that hour.”  How can you increase your value at work?

Spreading Joy

Make It Happen Video Series

We’re all contagious. If we’re sick, someone else could it. What are you spreading. In this video I share the story of the pimples and zits (not a gross story!) and I also share the whys and hows of spreading joy wherever you go!

Have you subscribed to my YouTube channel? Be the first to get my latest videos. More coming!

https://www.youtube.com/user/SpeakMichelle

What are the Do’s and don’ts of Handling Stress?

Question and Answer Series with Michelle Mccullough

 

A study done by the American Psychological association found that 48% of respondents noted that they feel like their stress has increased over the last five years. With the everyday roles and responsibilities on our plates every day, it’s no wonder we’re stressed and overwhelmed.

Stress is a big problem for a lot of us today. I narrowed down how to deal with stress by compiling a simple do’s and don’t list. Today’s blog topic will best be discussed through a series of questions and answers. Let’s jump right in to the first one.

Question #1 : When you’re stressed, what’s on your Don’t List?

Michelle: Number one hopefully happens before you get stressed. Don’t Over-Schedule Yourself. Some of our stress is self Imposed, make sure you give time in your schedule for relaxation, sleep, etc.

Question #2: Some of that sounds easier said than done. What’s on your DO list to help people in stressful times?

Michelle: Focus on the present. There may be a lot of challenges in the future, but the present is all that is in our control. We need to spend more time focusing on what we can control and let the future come what may. The old adage that worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere, is true. Spend your time thinking about the things in your control.

Question #3: Many of us have taxing jobs and a lot of personal responsibilities what would you recommend that we do first?

Michelle: Ask for help. The demands we have on our lives AND the worry combined are a lot so we need to not do it alone. Whether you’re a CEO or a stay at home parent we all need help with our responsibilities. So whether it’s hiring good help or trading with friends – not only does it lift a burden, but it helps us remember that we’re not alone. Community and solidarity are great antidotes to stress.

Question #4: What would be your final tip for to de-stress?

Michelle: Create a “Play List” . In my book The Make It Happen Blueprint, one of the ways we tackle the feeling of being overwhelmed is through things that bring us joy. It can be making time for a hobby, reading a good book, or even learning something new. I recommend to corporate clients and high performance individuals to make sure they do something every day that takes their mind off the stress and also helps them develop personally with things they enjoy.