Category Archives: Sharon Bennett

Office Relationships: The Different Shoes You Have To Fill

By Sharon BennettSharon Bennett

In today’s business world your life is bombarded with constant requirements for your time, energy and mind. Balancing all the varied facets that affect your life can prove to be complex, but it is an absolute necessity. Not doing so can mean the difference between a positive or negative outcome. Everyone has different roles to fill at the office, sometimes all at once; whether it’s the boss, the colleague or the subordinate. How you handle these relationships is like slipping into a different pair of shoes. Sometimes a person has to try many different shoes before they find one pair that fits their personality, business style and budget.

The Boss: The way a boss should relate to their colleagues and subordinates is to treat them with respect and as partners in the business in which they work. Employees perform better if they have a vested interest in the company, are respected, and feel as if they make a difference. Your management style can be that of the authoritarian; but that won’t earn you the loyalty and respect of your subordinates. That’s compliance out of fear! Regardless of your position in your organization, there is always someone above you.

Motivate your staff to get involved via a model of mutual respect and collaboration, not a, “My shoes are bigger than your shoes” attitude. That’s ego, which is temporary and accomplishes nothing permanent. Learn how to speak to others in a non-condescending manner. Be attentive and ask questions. Thank your colleagues and subordinates regularly, and encourage them to research and explore their own ideas. Make a concerted effort to engage your employees on a regular basis and reward their successes. You never know when someone will get promoted, either above you, or along with you. Be a boss you would want to have.

The Colleague: Similarly, respect your coworkers – strive to get along, don’t blur too much the line between coworkers and friends. Respect is the key! Have respect for your boss and your coworkers, but also have respect for yourself – champion your work, but don’t be afraid or angered by constructive criticism; use it to make positive changes and improvements. Don’t give into temptation to gossip about your boss, or your coworkers. No one likes the office gossip. Those words will come back to haunt you.

The Subordinate: Every level of employment is an integral part of that company’s success. Knowing the different personalities and how they function can help you to succeed; set yourself and your organization up for success by recognizing everyone’s individual personality traits and place them in positions where they will thrive. Look for qualities in others that you admire and emulate them. Companies lose millions of dollars a year in employee illnesses or sub-par work, a major setback, likely because many employees feel no allegiance to the team, or feel as if they are not a pivotal cog in the organization. Brainstorm ways that the company can get more participation via inspiration, and move others to work as an integral unit for the betterment of the whole by moving towards wellness. Come up with strategies to motivate and inspire your office by decreasing stress and anxiety. Ask them what they want.

Sometimes a person has to try many different shoes before they find one pair that fits their business style, personality and budget.  Everyone moves through these roles in their career, remember what you learned and keep healthy relationships in the office. Step into your perfect pair of shoes by stepping into a better life; a life that you take control and responsibility for.

With a desire to help others heal emotionally, be healthy and realize their full value, Sharon Bennett, BA, BSN, has been a motivational health and wellness consultant for nearly 16 years. She is the author of the Shoe Fetish Series, the International Library of Poetry’s Editor’s Choice Award 2001 winner, a member of the National Speakers Association and the National Association of Professional Women.  For more information see shoefetishmovement.com, call 888-321-9604, or email ShoeFetishMovement@yahoo.com.

Be Happy: Achieving Work/Life Balance in a Success-Driven World

By Sharon BennettSharon Bennett

In today’s society there is more stress on people to succeed and do more with less.  Everyone is hustling for that golden ring opportunity, upon which their future lives will be easier and brighter, if they can only grab it.  Unfortunately, in the quest to be successful, other things have suffered, such as satisfaction in the victories of daily life, appreciation for simple things.  Employees are pushed to be more productive, produce more in less time; but, still with quality.  Stay seated longer at your desk, stand longer on the assembly lines, shorter breaks or lunches, work overtime; this causes stress, often leading to an increase in sick days, with a decrease in work-life balance or happiness.

Eventually, there will be a lack of satisfaction in work that may present itself in varied ways.  Quality of work will suffer, conflict with co-workers may increase, and total avoidance of a person or place may occur.  Dissatisfaction can occur over years and cause depression and unhappiness in our lives.  Most people don’t even realize it is happening to them, as they’ve always seen their situation as the norm!

So, how can you improve the harmony in your work life?  How can you be happier and achieve greater work-life balance?

Examine your level of balance.  Do you dread even thinking about work the next day?  Are you constantly thinking about things you need to accomplish at work?  Do you feel that you can never disengage?  Is there someone there that you don’t want to see?  Honestly answering these questions can give you insight into your own mental state, let you know if you are happy with your job, if you can make small improvements, or are completely dissatisfied with your working life.

What would you like to do?  Did you, like so many others, get an education in a field in which you could “earn a living,” instead of something that is fulfilling to you?  Take time to really think about what you’d enjoy doing, and then research ways to incorporate it into your life.  Would you have rather been an art major?  Talk to your boss or supervisor about new projects or opportunities that involve more creative work.  If that’s not possible, look into art classes on evenings or weekends.  Do you like to dance?  Organize an office outing to a ballroom dancing class to find common ground with your coworkers.

What’s most important for a quality life?  What things make you happy outside of work?  Do you want to travel more?  Set aside a portion of each paycheck to save for a trip.  If your job requires travel, take an extra day to explore the city in which you are working.  Take your vacations, even if it’s just to drive to the next town or state.  Do you enjoy sports or exercise?  Take walks, learn a new sport or join a community sports league, where you can have fun and meet new people.  Do you enjoy nature?  Visit local parks, learn something more about photography and enjoy capturing nature’s beauty.

Appreciate the simple things in everyday work life.  Take inventory of day-to-day accomplishments.  Take time to celebrate your team’s successes, such as signing new clients, helping to broker a big deal, or delivering a perfect presentation.  Appreciate the fact that you have a roof over your head and a bed to sleep in.  As a reminder and a token of thanks for the positive things in your life, volunteer your time.  Help those less fortunate and give back to the world that has allowed you to achieve so much with your life.  Seek out to be the best that you can be at your job, if for no other reason than knowing that you produce something of good quality.  Good work may lead to better opportunities ahead.

Make a plan.  You can’t achieve much if you don’t have a plan.  There must be a blueprint of how to make something; or, a guide on how to get somewhere.  The same applies to your life.  The beginning is where you are, the end is where you want to go.  Fill in the middle with what steps you need to take to achieve your goal and start on that path.  Sit down and list your dreams, your goals and what makes you happy.  Use those keywords to build your plan for career happiness.

Equilibrium between your work and home-life is achievable with devoted focus and direction.  Most of our happiness is within our control, and by framing your daily life in a positive light you can make the concerted strides living a balanced and fulfilled work and home life.

With a desire to help others heal emotionally, be healthy and realize their full value, Sharon Bennett, BA, BSN, has been a motivational health and wellness consultant for nearly 16 years. She is the author of the Shoe Fetish Series, the International Library of Poetry’s Editor’s Choice Award 2001 winner, a member of the National Speakers Association and the National Association of Professional Women.  For more information see shoefetishmovement.com, call 888-321-9604, or email ShoeFetishMovement@yahoo.com.

Know Yourself: The Secret to Career Success

By Sharon BennettSharon Bennett

Julia is a 22-year-old college graduate who is looking for her first full-time position in the workforce.  At her first interview, the human resources representative said “Tell me about yourself.”  Julia gave the standard answers like, “I’m a go-getter,” “I work well with others,”  “I graduated with a 3.5 GPA,” and “I’m a fast learner.”

But, Julia thought about that question on her way home.  Over and over again the question “Tell me about you,” kept replaying in her mind.  Who is she really?  Does she even know who she is?  Will she fit into the culture of that office, or will she have a problem assimilating?

Knowing yourself is the key to success in life and business.  When you know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, you become a much better asset to any company, and you can tackle the day-to-day aspects of any job: projects, timelines, interruptions, crises and more.  Following the questions below will help you recognize what it is that make you you, and how you can excel:

What type of person are you?  What’s inside of you is reflected to the outside world through your actions.  Do you accept others for who they are?  Do you pass people without smiling at them or speaking?  If someone holds the door for you, do you say thank you?  Do you appreciate the differences in others, like their way of dress, their language, their culture; or, do you criticize and think that you’re better than they are?  Were you taught manners, etiquette and other common courtesies?  Be honest with yourself, and try to reflect your innate goodness.

How do you stay positive and upbeat?  When you feel poorly on a daily basis; when you are exhausted at the end of your workday, to the point of hating your job, all of that negativity accumulates and will eventually present itself as bitterness, anger, depression, and self-involvement.  You need to be able to release that negativity and turn it into positive energy.  You control yourself and your behavior.  You can decide today to be more positive and be the best employee that you can be, until you know what your passion and purpose is in this lifetime.  Then at that point, you can pursue your desires.

What do you do to energize yourself?  There should be something that you enjoy doing that is just for you This doesn’t include going to school, taking the kids to activities, cleaning the house, cooking, attending meetings.  Find the one thing that you do for you; time set aside to make you feel better emotionally, mentally, and physically.  It can be anything from painting, photography, practicing playing an instrument, to watching movie marathons, reading or meditation.

Do you have a place where you can relax, meditate, and enhance your calm?  The world is full of noise; how do you shut that out and find peace?  There should be a place away from your office that makes you feel calm and at peace.  For some it’s early morning on the porch, eyes closed, cup of coffee in hand, breathing deep and preparing for the day ahead.  Others may have a place in their home that has a small fountain, plants by a window, with soft, low music playing.  There, you can take a deep breath and focus on positive things within yourself, or positive affirmations.  You can speak that into being.  You think it, you focus on it, you speak it, and so be it! You carry more power within yourself than you realize.

How do you make a difference in your community?  Your life should be of value to your community.  Give back one person at a time.  Help an elderly person with the door, participate in a neighborhood clean-up, or volunteer at a local soup kitchen.  In a many cultures, there is some form of a rite of passage that teaches their young people how to be men and women.  They are taught how to be a benefit to their community.  Doing so rewards everyone in the community and makes it a better place to live.

Julia took an honest look at herself, at where she excelled and where she needed direction.  She learned to tell interviewers about her real self, and how that person could benefit the company.  She got to know her passions and found a career where she could express them.  Whether you are seeking a job or seeking promotion in your current job, you can use the answers to these questions to not only benefit yourself as an individual employee, but to better your team, department or company.

With a desire to help others heal emotionally, be healthy and realize their full value, Sharon Bennett, BA, BSN, has been a motivational health and wellness consultant for nearly 16 years. She is the author of the Shoe Fetish Series, the International Library of Poetry’s Editor’s Choice Award 2001 winner, a member of the National Speakers Association and the National Association of Professional Women.  For more information see shoefetishmovement.com, call 888-321-9604, or email ShoeFetishMovement@yahoo.com.

Examining Your Reflection, Head to Toe

By Sharon BennettSharon Bennett

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?  When Sandra awakened in the morning, she dragged herself to the bathroom, stumbling over her favorite red pumps, to prepare for her day.  She blinked into her mirror.  Slowly, she turned on the faucet and tried to open her squinted eyes wider with each blink.  Her blurred reflection began to clear.  If she stared deep within her soul, past the physical, deep down into the heart, who is that person she sees and what does she think of her?  She hated getting up every day and going to work.  She’d give anything to win the lottery and be able to escape from her job and her mundane life – to get out and really get to wear her favorite red heels.  The problem is that no matter where she went or how much money she won, she’d still be unhappy. Why?  As women it’s sometimes difficult to find strength and peace within ourselves.

Many of us carry burdens, scars to our souls and psyche from things that happened to us long ago.  We carry that weight around our necks like an albatross.  Everyday we’re beating ourselves up within; an internal battle that others may not see.  This affects what we feel about ourselves, and usually it results in low self-worth, low self-esteem, insecurity, loss of trust, or loss of peace.  We begin to hate our lives, finding no pleasure in the simple things in life, and torment ourselves every moment that we get.

The spirit doesn’t override the ego within you that isn’t ready to hear the truth.  The ego is temporary and is only here during the life of the body.  The spirit is eternal and sits back and waits until we are ready.  There are steps to becoming whole and happy again, and they may look something like these:

When the Student Is Ready, the Teacher Will Be There: Someone along your life’s journey will help to guide you along the right path for you.  Who is your elder, your source of strength, your contact within your community that when they speak, it is without bias, but with honesty and support?  Find them and become a sponge.

Forgive yourself! That incident is already done and maybe you could not help what happened.  Pain is just the negative energy attached to a memory.  Regardless of the circumstances, it is done.  You can’t move forward until you release that part of your past.  So, today, forgive yourself.

Forgive the Person That Wronged You: Forgive the person that wronged you, whether they’ve apologized for it or not.  This is for you; so that you can progress forward.  You must release these bad feelings.  Stressing over it is only going to make you sick in time, and prevent you from having any healthy relationship with yourself or anyone else.  Relationships teach us who we are and what we do or do not want from our future relationships.  Learn from it and move on.

You Are a Beautiful Creature of Our Creator: Know that you were no mistake and anything in your life served its purpose or reason.  You are a beautiful creature of our creator.  You’re invaluable.  A lesson can be derived from every occurrence throughout your day.  Be like a fly on the wall, a student absorbing all that you can and which can make a more positive impact on you.  So, every morning when you arise and look at that reflection speak words of positivity to it.  Mean it from deep within your spirit.  Do it several times throughout the day.

Choose Who You Are Going To Be: It is you that chooses who you’re going to be, you have that power.  So, on this journey choose to be happy, to be a positive and loving person, to be of great value and self-worth.  Don’t let anyone attach your value to money.

Meditate, Cleanse the Negative: Find a form of meditation that will enhance your calm and allow you to cleanse negative things from your mind and body.  For some it’s deep breathing, imagery exercises, yoga or for others it’s prayer.  But, meditate on where you want to go in this life and see yourself there. Harboring negative or ill will towards others can make you sick, like high blood pressure, depression, over eating, and other health issues.

Our Shoes, Ourselves: The life of the person you see in the mirror is invaluable.  What makes this woman?   Is it her curves, her hairstyle, her intelligence, her clothes or her shoes?  All of that is true, but our shoes often represent our inner selves.  We belong to a large sisterhood who share common bonds.  One is our nurturing spirits, and the other is the love of shoes.  From our first pair of satin booties, to playing dress up in our mother’s shoes; the shoes we pick represent who we are in that moment.

So, next time you look in the mirror, show yourself some love.  Smile!  Pump yourself up daily with positive affirmations, and pick out a great pair of shoes to wear for the day: ones that represent yourself free of negativity and at peace with yourself.  You are special, so let everyone around you know it.

With a desire to help others heal emotionally, be healthy and realize their full value, Sharon Bennett, BA, BSN, has been a motivational health and wellness consultant for nearly 16 years. She is the author of the Shoe Fetish Series, the International Library of Poetry’s Editor’s Choice Award 2001 winner, a member of the National Speakers Association and the National Association of Professional Women.  For more information see shoefetishmovement.com, call 888-321-9604, or email ShoeFetishMovement@yahoo.com.