This is the interview with Lynda Barbaccia, about making work enjoyable, on Monday Night Radio. Monday Night Radio is an online (Internet-based) talk radio show where different experts are interviewed, and people around the world can listen via the Internet, and call in to talk with the expert, and ask them questions.
The Internet Patrol’s Anne P. Mitchell, Esq., is the host of Monday Night Radio.
This Monday Night Radio show with Barbaccia was first aired on 11/29/10. In addition to reading the interview below, you can listen to the recorded show via iTunes – where you can also subscribe to the podcast of all of the recorded shows. Here is the iTunes link: http://www.MondayNightRadio.com/ref/MNR-iTunes.
Links to the guest’s website and book, if any, are at the end of the interview.
Anne: It’s time for Monday Night Radio. Monday night is your night to talk with the experts. Call us now to get into the queue at 866-Monday6. That’s 866-Monday6. Call us now, or e-mail your questions and comments to email@example.com. Tweet them to us @mondayradio. Now, here’s your host, Anne P. Mitchell, esquire.
Anne: Several of you let me know exactly how your Thanksgivings were going to go, but you never got back to me to let me know if they went that way that you really had been hoping. So, you know the number, and you know the comment line. The number to call is 866-Monday6. That’s 866-Monday6. You can send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can send us a message by AOL instant messenger to mondaynightradio. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/mondaynightradio. You can send us a tweet via Twitter @mondayradio. Producer Evan has just told me that for some reason the system had a glitch and I was on mute at first, so I have to apologize for that and to let you know what you missed if you missed anything was my asking how your Thanksgiving was. Mine by the way was absolutely wonderful. Instead of doing the everybody come over and pig out and cook for hours thing as we usually do we went into Denver and we had a vegan Thanksgiving feast if you can believe it with the Vegetarian Society of Colorado. It was absolutely delightful. It was so interesting to see all the different people who are vegetarian and vegans. You might never imagine it. There are a lot of us out there. In fact, we are everywhere. Anyway, let us know how your Thanksgiving was by sending us e-mail to email@example.com. Of course you can call in and call in now to talk to our guest expert. That call in number again is 866-Monday6. Today we are going to talk about problems in the workplace and how you can change your workplace from a prison to a sanctuary. First, just to let you know about next week’s show. As we move in closer to the holidays a lot of people find themselves feeling really down during the holidays or they have family members that become depressed during the holidays. It is a really well known phenomenon, the holiday blues. But, what can you do about it? That’s what we will be talking about next week when we talk with Dr. Ken Unger who specializes in helping people to help themselves deal with depression and blues without medication. In fact, Dr. Unger is called the soul doctor. This man has over 30 years of counseling and spiritual healing experience. He has got degrees in counseling and psychology. He is going to answer your questions about holiday depression. Alright this however is not a depressing topic. Although it could be, actually it is going to be an uplifting topic because our guest, Lynda Barbaccia, is going to talk with us about how to handle workplace issues and how to change your workplace from a place that you may dread going in the morning to a place that you look forward to going and that can actually replenish you. She is the author of the book “Simple Wisdom for the not so Simple Business World”. It is my great pleasure to welcome to this show Lynda Barbaccia. Hi, Lynda, how are you tonight?
Lynda: Hi, I’m doing great. How are you?
Anne: I am very well, thank you. Did you have a nice Thanksgiving?
Lynda: Oh I had a most wonderful Thanksgiving. I was actually down in Cabo San Lucas with my family. So, it was about 90 degrees down there, very balmy, and it was interesting to come back here to Denver with the snow and freezing temperatures.
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Anne: Thanksgiving in Cabo sounds good.
Lynda: Pretty darn special.
Anne: Although my Thanksgiving in Denver was lovely.
Lynda: Oh, I’m sure it was, yes.
Anne: Let’s talk a little bit first about your background. I’ve been looking over your bio, and you have so much experience with so many different things that it would take the whole hour just to tell our listening audience all of your credentials. So, why don’t you lead in with what you feel is the most relevant.
Lynda: Well, basically the reason for writing this book and what motivated to me to write the book was that I worked in many different businesses and corporation settings throughout my work life. I just always found myself feeling sort of downtrodden and very weighed down by my work. I had a lot of abusive bosses and just different very negative scenarios that I was confronted with in the workplace. Of course, my gosh, I needed to work. So, everyday I went into these workplaces and just dealt with them as best I could but it really got to the point where it was taking its toll on my health, overall health and well being. So, it just became after about 25 years of this it became kind of my life’s mission really to find a workplace which is supportive and harmonious. I didn’t even know what that really meant, but I just sort of had the feeling that at some point I would stumble upon that. I actually indeed did so. I worked for a university by the name of Naropa which you probably have heard of. It is a university in Boulder. It was just really one of the most lovely work environments that I have ever encountered. It was a 9 to 5 job and it was an administrative prostitution. It basically could have been considered a boring job, but it was anything but that because of the environment that we created there. We went to great lengths to create this lovely work environment. It was really a situation where I literally looked forward to going to work every single day. I awakened without the use of an alarm clock. I just absolutely looked forward to seeing everyone that I worked with and every aspect of that job was just a grand and glorious experience. I thought, “Well, my gosh, maybe I can just sort of outline what it is that we created so that other workplaces can experience this same sort of bliss.” So, that’s what I did. I sat down and I just kind of went through. The first part of my book talks about the physical environment and creating a wonderful, beautiful flow of energy via creating a beautiful workspace essentially, or creating the workplace sanctuary is the actual title of the first part of the book. The second part of the book is called the unconditional workplace and what it meant for us to interact with one another very soulfully and what that meant to us and how it shifted our view of work and what it means to go to work each day and collect a paycheck basically. So, that’s what I have done in my book is just outline this. My work and my goals are to bring this information in to workplaces everywhere. I just recently read a staggering statistic that 92 percent of the American workforce doesn’t like their jobs. I mean my word that is a staggering statistic. That is an awful lot of pain and misery. If you think about having to force yourself, and I’ve been through this, having to force yourself to get out of bed each morning and talk yourself into going into these workplaces that of course we all have to work. I’m just really hoping, my goal is to lighten everyone’s load just by what I have written in this book, which is quite simple. Everything that I have written in this book is very simple to implement.
Anne: Let me ask you what were some of the things that really struck you when you first started at Naropa? Yes, I am familiar with Naropa, and for those of you out there who are not familiar, not from Colorado, Naropa is now correct me if I am wrong, Lynda, but I have been told it is one of the only if not the only Buddhist based universities in the United States.
Lynda: Yes it is. It was founded by a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, but there are also many, many different teachings there. It is not solely focused on Buddhism. What I found most amazing about the environment was how you were perfectly welcomed to bring your spiritual side to work with you each day. How that opened up just tremendous avenues of peace and tranquility while working in basically a stressful environment. It was your typical workplace with stresses and conflicts, etc. But, because we were allowed to bring our spiritual side into work each day it just added a much deeper ingredient into what it means to work. It really lessoned the burden of work. That was the first thing that struck me about it. Of course, that was reflected in every aspect of how we communicated with one another throughout our busy work weeks and how we resolved conflicts so easily and readily. The energy in that office was crystal clear, let’s just put it that way. There was never any second guessing anyone. There was a tremendous amount of trust between us. We were all completely free to express ourselves or come up and discuss a new idea even if others disagreed everything was welcomed. That is what I mean by unconditional, because there were no conditions. We were just accepted for who we are. There were a lot of open hearts that each one of us had. There was no presence of gossiping whatsoever. That was just, we knew that was a destructive force and we weren’t going to go there, period. If we had a problem with an individual, and of course problems always arise, we confronted that person immediately and communicated with them in a very, very healthy way until the conflict was resolved. So, it was just a very clear, clear place to work. We just upheld these principles throughout the course of our days at all costs. It was just what we valued. We knew how purposeful it was to create this kind of environment during our workweek.
Anne: You are listening to Monday Night Radio with our guest Lynda Barbaccia who is the author of “Simple Wisdom for the not so Simple Business World”. We are talking about stress and conflict in the workplace and what you can do to help change your workplace so that you don’t have to dread going in in the morning but rather can look forward to it. Lynda, I’m wondering everything you are talking about sounds like it makes so much sense. It sounds idyllic and I am wondering a couple of things. First of all I am wondering if some of that might be attributed to their hiring process. You talk about being able to have your spiritual side and being crystal clear and saying what you need to say. Even if the most gentle of environments that fosters that if you don’t hire people that will fit with that philosophy it is still not going to work. So, how much of that do you think is to their credit for the people they hired?
Lynda: You know, I’m not really sure what their hiring process consists of. I am assuming. For me just let me explain how it was that I ended up there. I was asked by some roommates to post a flyer there. I knew nothing about Naropa. I just happened to walk onto the campus one day to post this flyer and was jut hit with this incredible. First of all the physical environment was just absolutely beautiful what they had created there. The employees were just so wonderful to me. It was obvious that they were working under tremendously stressful conditions but yet they all remained so present and so grounded and so humble in the work that they were doing. That was just something that I knew was something that I needed and wanted to experience, and something that had just been so lacking in my life for so many years. I actually went to work there as a volunteer and fell in love with it and was lucky enough to be offered a position there. I really don’t know. I would assume that probably the people that do apply for positions there are well aware of the Buddhist influence and what the university represents and are therefore online with those philosophies, so are very eager to jump into that sort of a work situation. Quite frankly there are a lot of places which are spiritual organizations but they do not uphold that in their business dealings. So, I don’t know if I’ve answered your question or not. I may not have answered it. Certainly we were all online with that philosophy and upholding that throughout our busy workweek.
Anne: I think as much as you can without having been inside the heads of the hiring managers. Yeah, I think you are right that Naropa certainly has a reputation. I think you are right that people, who are applying for jobs there, probably are applying knowing that reputation and knowing the philosophies and that is a good fit for them. What about, what advice do you have for people who may be the kind of people who think a place like Naropa would sound so wonderful, but they are at a more traditional place dealing with sort of the more traditional and mundane workplace issues, sort of a square peg in that round hole. We will go to caller questions soon, but generally what would be your advice to them?
Lynda: I have to tell you I get asked this question frequently, because of course prior to my experience at Naropa I was working in more traditional businesses. I had already had a pretty strong spiritual background for some years. So what I was doing and is absolutely what I thoroughly encourage people to do is do the sort of things that I have mapped out in my book. You do some of the meditations. You basically do this on your own so that when you walk into the workplace you are in this incredibly wonderful, grounded place. Literally you begin to notice that others around you are responding to you differently. I have story after story to share about this very thing. It is actually a miracle. I have been in situations with severely abusive bosses, and I’ve walked into the workplace and had that boss turn to me with a huge radiant smile on his or her face and greet me and then turn around and start screaming and yelling at another employee. That employee coming up and saying to me, “My word, what in the heck are you doing? This is the worst boss I have ever had. He continually goes off on me, but yet he looks at you with this wonderful smile and greets you and leaves you alone every day. What are you doing?” You absolutely can do this on your own, but of course when you have a whole team behind you, that is really the most idyllic of settings. But you can certainly do this work by yourself, with tremendous results. My word, yes.
Anne: I think we have a caller here who would love to be able to see that. Before we go to the lines, let’s just again put the number out there. If you would like to talk with Lynda who is a workplace environment specialist, give us a call at 866-Monday6. That’s 866-Monday6. Or, if you are a little bit nervous about coming on, although you can be anonymous, you can e-mail your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Send us a message by AOL instant messenger @mondaynightradio, or by Twitter @mondayradio. Don’t forget also to go to our website at mondaynightradio.com and sign up for our e-mail newsletter. It’s free and it will let you know about all of our upcoming shows and other interesting tidbits. Let’s go the lines. We have Allison calling from Washington, D.C. She has a question for you. Allison, good evening, are you there?
Caller #1: Yeah I’m still here. I’m here. I have a coworker and we are having a weird thing. He has not talked to me since September. There are only two of us in our office, so it’s kind of glaring when someone is not talking to the person. There’s nothing really I can do to talk to him, because he walks into the office, he just goes into his office and doesn’t talk to me all day. Then, he goes home. It’s weird. I don’t know what to do.
Lynda: Yes, that can definitely make for some pretty awkward feelings in the workplace. Basically…Gosh, I’m trying to think if I have ever been confronted with something like that. I think what I would do essentially of course it sounds like you may already be doing this, is just let him be who he is. Maybe at times just kind of sense, see if you can tune into your intuition and sense if he might be available or open to some kind of conversation. You can also do…if this is somebody that you want to engage with. Obviously when you are working with somebody, it is fun to have conversations with that person, to talk and giggle with them. My gosh, it certainly makes work so much more enjoyable. You can also do some visualizations about this person to and some meditations at the risk of sounding really airy fairy here. This can be pretty powerful. Sit maybe quietly and maybe envision yourself having a conversation with him or envision yourself even perhaps why he doesn’t want to speak with you. See if you get an answer. We can work with people energetically and have some profoundly amazing results. See if you can perhaps before going to work each morning just center yourself and ground yourself more and put yourself more in a joyous place. People have an amazing way of responding to that joy. That could bring him out of his shell. I don’t know, maybe if that has helped you at all. I don’t know. I do know how uncomfortable it can be to work with someone like that. Patience and giving this person some time and eventually they will open up to you.
Anne: Allison, have you tried just in a very non-confrontational way confronting him. I realize that sounds kind of oxymoronic, but have you ever just tried asking him, “Why aren’t you talking to me?” Do you have any idea why? Allison? Did we lose her? Oh dear, we lost her. Well, Allison, if you are still out there listening, I am wondering that. What do you think of that, Lynda? That would be my first idea would be to just go into his office or call him over and just say, “Hey, what’s going on?” We don’t know the back-story and if Allison doesn’t call back in we may never know the back-story. It may be something that has absolutely nothing to do with her. He may have just lost his wife. It might be too painful to talk to a female. You just don’t know without asking.
Lynda: It could be a number of different reasons. Yeah, you could start with the asking, but I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences working with people energetically as well. That maybe could have thrown her off too, talking about working with people energetically. You don’t have to be physically present to work with people. I’ve had a lot of amazing breakthroughs with that. Certainly coming forward and asking someone why they don’t want to speak to you. Is it something I said? Can we work this out? Certainly, absolutely that works as well.
Anne: We have someone who has written in. They said that they were actually on the other side of the coin. They were having a conversation with a colleague. They got a bit worked up, and the next thing they knew they had sworn at that colleague before they even realized what had come out of their mouth. He says that he immediately apologized, but I think that sort of goes to this also. You don’t know what is going on on the other side. Here’s an example of someone writing in saying that they would have been the person about which someone was calling in to say, “What do I do?” Fortunately in this case they had the presence of mind to immediately apologize. If we could talk a little bit about that aspect when you have that coworker from hell, is the first thing that you suggest to sort of see if you can take the me out of it by having people realize this may not really be about me at all?
Lynda: Oh, yes. Absolutely. Then there is also, how do I say this? The light cancels out the dark. I can remember a situation when I worked for Nordstrom. A very, very difficult, highly competitive woman that I worked with, I just let her be who she is. In fact I never even confronted her. I knew she was saying some horrible things about me behind my back. I just let her do her thing. Because I had done these meditations and grounding exercises and what have you, I would arrive to work each day in this beautiful and wonderful space, literally she basically disappeared one day. She just quit. She walked. No one knew why she left. I have had this experience on multiple occasions. The light cancels out the dark. Certainly sometimes you do, it is very important to confront people too, and say, “Oh, my gosh, can we please sit down and talk about this, clear the air, what have you?” But, when we are coming from a very, very joyous heart centered place that light cancels out all these other dark scenarios. They just automatically go away. It is just that simple. Like I said, I have had this experience time and time again. I know this might be for your listeners maybe something kind of a little bit over the top or something that they really can’t comprehend, but it is something that I have been practicing for years and it had some pretty miraculous results when we are working with our own energy and putting ourselves in a very, very heart centered space.
Anne: You are listening to Lynda Barbaccia on Monday Night Radio. Lynda, I have to ask you am I saying your last name right?
Anne: Ok, thank you. Barbaccia, I did say that a at the end throws me off every time. There is an a at the end right?
Lynda: There is an a at the end. It used to be pronounced, but we shorten it here in America.
Anne: Ok, well I’m sorry. You are listening to Monday Night Radio with our guest Lynda Barbaccia. She is the author of “Simple Wisdom for the not so Simple Business World”. We are talking about issues in the workplace and how we can be that change. I just made that connection. I don’t know if you know, Lynda, last week our guest was “Mahatma” Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi talking about how one person can be the change. So really we are continuing that theme.
Lynda: That’s exactly what I am saying.
Anne: That’s right. One person can be the change in the workplace. You can call in and talk with Lynda and ask her to give you some insights into your workplace dilemmas at 866-Monday6. As some of our listeners are doing, if you want to e-mail your questions and comments, you can e-mail them to email@example.com. You can send us an AOL instant messenger message @mondaynightradio. Send us a tweet @mondayradio. You can also find us on Facebook at facebook.com/mondaynightradio. Lynda, we have another person. This is an unusual show, instead of calling; people seem to want more to write in. That’s ok. I don’t mind being their mouthpiece. I’m used to doing that. We have someone who is writing in. All they are saying is that their boss is a bully. I’m not sure exactly what that looks like, but certainly in any event having a bully for a boss seems like it would not be a very comfortable place to be. What do you say to that?
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Lynda: Right. Well, I’ve certainly been in that position numerous times. 20 years ago I used to fight. I would get involved in these power struggles with individuals like this. Of course that just completely and totally it just adds to the negative energy around it and makes the work environment intolerable. Of course it makes that bully even more difficult to deal with. So, I think I’ve mentioned to you before about a boss I had who would come in and just yell and scream and put everyone down, but yet would come into my office and smile and greet me very warmly each day and never, ever once yelled at me. In looking and really thinking about that whole situation and again a lot of what happens in workplaces too when someone is being really difficult like that we end up gossiping about that person a lot. We go home and we talk to our spouse about how horrible this person is and all the things that they are doing and saying, bla, bla, bla. Again all of this just adds to all of that negative energy. It just makes the whole situation larger to where it’s just huge and blown out of proportion. What I have found is just to leave the person alone and to not get caught up in any of these negative gossiping sessions. I know that this particular boss that I had, everybody was gossiping about him continually. I would literally just step out of any gossip circles like that. I never once said anything bad about him. People can feel that. People can feel when you are speaking negatively about them behind their backs. They really can feel that and sense it. We are very sensitive beings. I just completely, I never, ever said one negative thing about him. In fact, I don’t even think I thought anything negative about him. I just let him be who he is. As I said, eventually this man became a good friend of mine actually. It’s really just not getting caught up in that person’s negativity and just letting them be who they are. It’s like you are sort of just going into acceptance mode. You don’t like it of course, but you are just accepting that that is. Actually too we could even talk about compassion here too, because anybody who is being a bully that’s a known a proven fact that bullies come from very, very dysfunctional backgrounds. There’s probably a lot of pain that this person is experiencing emotional, psychological wounds that have not been resolved. So, really we can just apply a lot of compassion, because that person is really suffering. They really are. So, it’s really important to just really create a lot of compassion around a person like that. That is where the healing comes in. You will be surprised how that person will back down. It’s really quite amazing.
Anne: I have had many jobs over the course of many, many years. I was going to say most of those workplaces generally themselves have been alright. There was one notable exception. Some of you out there listening are already grinning, because you know exactly of where I speak. The situation was pretty dysfunctional. In a case like that where you may have leadership who are nice people, but aren’t necessarily great leaders or don’t know how to handle a problematic employee. In that kind of a situation, just one person if they are the wrong person can just throw the energy of the entire office. In fact, I have worked in a place where one person was able to drive just about everyone else to quit after driving them to tears. So, I certainly myself get that you can be in that kind of a situation and it could be a boss. What I am wondering though when you are talking about that you didn’t partake in the gossip which I certainly commend you for. You would step away from it, and you didn’t take part in it. I wonder. I could see in that situation, because I’ve seen in that situation that that could actually lead to you being alienated from the whole rest of the group, where the group would start thinking. All of your other coworkers would start thinking oh well you are the mean bully boss’ pet. You are in their pocket. You are kissing up to the. You could end up having the entire rest of the workers in that office sort of be against you. Have you seen that? How can someone gracefully distance themselves from the negative energy, the gossip, the negativity without seeming then also that what they are trying to do is be the goody-goody who is kissing up to the boss?
Lynda: That’s an excellent question actually. I am referring back to that situation with that horrific boss. I am trying to remember how I dealt with that, because it was not a situation where I was ever considered his pet, because I wasn’t kissing it up to him. All I was doing was standing there and doing my job. I would never for one moment kiss up to him or try to be his pet. It was never that way. I think the other employees knew that. During conversations with the other employees I was somehow able to keep this boss out of our conversations and relate to these other individuals on other levels that didn’t include this horrific boss. I just remember having a lot of conversations and they were not centered around our dysfunctional boss. I don’t ever remember anyone calling me his pet. As I said, I wasn’t kissing it up to him. I wasn’t buying him gifts or giving him endless strings of complements, nothing like that.
Lynda: I was just letting him be who he is and not responding and not getting caught up in other people’s when he would go off on somebody else. I never got caught up in that. I just stepped aside and did my job, just kept my nose clean and did my work. I was there for a purpose and that was to do a certain job. I did that each day. I related to all of the other people around me. I kept a lot of humor in the picture, a lot of giggling, a lot of fun, and lighthearted interactions with everyone. I kept him out of our conversations basically. I was just able to shift the conversations into something much more positive and productive than complaining about our boss. Therefore I was friends with everybody in that place really. I was not alienated. There are specific communication techniques that a person can use at the risk of me going into any real, real detail about it. For me it just felt very natural to keep. He was our boss. I needed to work. I wanted to make it as positive as I possibly could. I think if anything people would enjoy having me around because I wasn’t complaining about him. I wasn’t going into the more negative aspects of our job. I was keeping everything lighthearted and throwing humor in at every turn. No, I was never alienated there, not at all. It’s just a lot of turning negativity into positivity basically. You just have to learn how to do that and not getting caught up in the heavier aspects of work.
Anne: That makes a lot of sense.
Lynda: If that makes any sense to you.
Anne: It makes perfect sense to me.
Lynda: I know that when we are in these positions though it can be extremely challenging to do that. We can turn that into something that can be really fun actually. This is something that I work with people on. Now you’re faced with a new challenge at work, but let’s make this something fun and exciting. It’s almost turned into a fun and exciting game. It was really pretty amazing to just sit back and watch all the different shifts that we are capable of creating in such a positive way. It really is. We are also talking about personal power, and about how we do have the power to break through some of the most horrifically negative situations. We can break through that. We have that power. Really it is actually quite simple. It really is.
Anne: Our guest tonight is Lynda Barbaccia. You are listening to Monday Night Radio. You can give Lynda a call at 866-Monday6. Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions. You can also send us a question from the chat room for those of you in there tonight. There’s something I want to say. I actually have what I consider to be perhaps the epitome of the bully boss. Seriously, I cannot imagine if you can top this story. I swear that it is all true. Many, many years ago when I was a very young single mother supporting my then young daughter I took a job as an officer manager of a company. I won’t say any more about where the company was or what sort of company it was because I don’t really want to identify them that closely. I took this job and it was a small family held company. The owner carried a loaded gun in his pocket, a pistol.
Lynda: Oh, my gosh.
Anne: We knew that. Everyone knew that. That on its own wasn’t the really horrific part, but at one time, he had quite a temper, a very, very sharp temper. I sat right outside his office. I was sitting at my desk. He opened his door and he was in a rage and he kicked a full Mr. Coffee at me, in my direction. I immediately left. He sent some of my colleagues out to find me and beg me to come back. He was very sorry. It would never happen again. I then being a single parent and needing the job, I thought ok you get one kick. It is not what I would do now.
Anne: I was much younger then. It’s certainly not what I would recommend. At one point he told me that it was a good thing that I had left when I did because his next action was going to be to pull the pistol out of his pocket and shoot me.
Lynda: What?! Oh for heaven’s sake.
Anne: That is when I did not go back and in fact, this was before I had even thought about going into the law, I filed for unemployment even though I had quit. It’s known as constructive discharge. I won that hearing. There are certainly times. Part of the reason I am telling this is just because I have to believe that is the most horrific story. I certainly hope it is.
Lynda: Absolutely it is.
Anne: So, people out there can at least feel like…
Lynda: I’ve never heard a story like that before. Oh my gosh.
Anne: It’s pretty shocking.
Anne: But you know here I am and I am laughing about it. I think that is an important thing. The other thing that I think that really illustrates, and this is what I would like you to talk about, is there are times when it is more important to take care of yourself. There are some workplace situations where they simply can’t be fixed. They are intolerable. It doesn’t make you wrong to feel that way.
Lynda: Oh, absolutely. My gosh, in your story definitely. My word, your life was in danger around this person. Absolutely you walk, definitely. Any kind of a situation like that you are absolutely right in doing so. My gosh, with all of the work experience that I have had and the horrors that I have experience, that story definitely takes the cake. Yes, you have to know. It’s really tuning into your intuition and listening to your intuition and knowing when it is time to leave a situation which is completely and totally intolerable and beyond repair really. Of course you have to know that. Gosh, I feel really lucky that I was never confronted with what you just described. Oh my word.
Anne: Let’s go to the phones again because we have Jeff calling. Hey, he’s local. He’s from Boulder and he wants to talk about those long work days. Hi there, Jeff. How are you?
Caller #2: Great, how are you doing?
Anne: I’m great thank you. Welcome to the show. You have a question for Lynda?
Caller #2: Yeah I was just wondering about how you begin cultivating a positive attitude at the beginning of an obviously long day?
Lynda: Cultivating a positive attitude…Well I go through that in my book basically. The book starts out at the very beginning of your day, the morning. Starting your day basically just taking some time for yourself in the morning, if you can situate some time, even if it is just 15 or 20 minutes. I think a lot of people set their alarms. They are jolted out of a deep sleep. They leap out of bed, take a quick shower, grab that cup of coffee, and off to work they go. I just don’t think that really makes for a very positive person throughout the course of the day. I think it is very important to learn how to take some time for yourself. Start your day out slowly and quietly. Maybe spend some reflective time outdoors if you can. My book describes in depth just some very, very simplistic ideas which can make a huge difference in how you start your day. I think mornings are just essential in how you set up your day and the amount of energy that you experience throughout your day. Then, of course it kind of goes through the entire day. It talks about your lunch hour and just different things that you can do throughout the course of your day so that you keep your energy level high basically so that at the end of the day you are not completely exhausted. You are not feeling really drained. You still have a significant amount of energy at the end of your day. I think the morning is a very, very significant time. A lot of us are just so busy and so rushed that we don’t really take that time of day just after we’ve awakened and really use it to our full benefit. Again, I do have some ideas in my book for some things that you can do to just slowly start out your day so that you arrive to work in a really good frame of mind and maintain a good, high energy level throughout the course of your day.
Anne: Let me just jump right in here if you don’t mind, because I have to recommend, Lynda. The starting of the day is just so incredibly important. How you start your day does set the tone, especially if you are looking ahead at the long work day. I would like to put a plug in here for something that I discovered a couple of years ago. It is actually a local outfit. It is called the Zen alarm clock. You may be familiar with it. Jeff, you know they are right there down on Pearl Street. For the people that don’t know what this is, first of all you can get one through their website which is now-zen.com. Basically what it is is an alarm clock that has a chime in it, an actual like a little tube chime like from an organ only a very tiny one or some of them have a beautiful round brass bowl that gets chimed. You get woken up by a single chime. It’s just the little bing and that’s it. It’s amazing that that will actually wake you up, but it does. If it doesn’t five minutes later it does it again. Then, if you still don’t turn the alarm off it goes to three minutes and then two minutes. But, it’s never taken me more than just one chime. You are fast asleep and that one little chime just somehow gets into your consciousness enough to wake you up. It is an incredible way to wake up compared to that EH, EH, EH of most alarm clocks. I just had to put that out there, because they are not cheap, but wow!
Lynda: Thank you for mentioning that. Yes, that is a wonderful suggestion, very, very important. The mornings are just a really sacred time, I feel. I just really feel that Americans have really gotten away from that. It’s just like you said. It completely sets the tone for the entire day, how you spend your mornings.
Anne: Jeff, can I ask what you do? Not where do you work, but what do you do?
Caller #2: I’m a pre-K teacher’s aide. So, I’m up early.
Anne: Well, no wonder. Of course your days seem really long then. They are filled with lots of little kids running rampant. The reason I ask is what I wanted to ask it if you wake up in the morning on the weekend and you have the whole long day ahead of you, does that feel a lot different than when you wake up on a school day and you have that day ahead of you? Does the length seem longer because of the content?
Caller #2: Yeah, in a way. Definitely. When I get up on the Saturdays it feels great. I tend to be an early riser. It’s just knowing that I have a whole day kind of to myself is nice.
Anne: So, it really is about the content. So, that makes me…This is probably not the advice or not the direction that Lynda would go, but I am a huge advocate of you have to do what you love and love what you do and follow your passion. I’m not saying that you are not, but I’m just bringing that up because if you can just sort of tease out what is it that makes a workday that is long seem like “Oh, my god, what a long day!” but then on the weekend it is like, “Wow what a long day!” Just sort of figure out what is giving you that view. Once you have identified it, even just transforming your view of it can make such a huge difference.
Caller #2: Alright, well thank you very much for answering my question. I appreciate it.
Anne: Well thank you for the call.
Lynda: Thank you for calling.
Anne: I didn’t mean to step on you there, Lynda, but I was just curious.
Lynda: Oh, no, no. There are a lot of things going on here throughout the course of someone’s days, absolutely. So, that was a great question. I am glad you said that.
Anne: I have a question. We have just about eight minutes left. Before we go to the subject I’d like to bring up, can you tell our listeners a little bit more about your book and where they can get it and your website.
Lynda: Yes, it’s actually available through Amazon. You can also order it directly from me which is lyndabarbaccia.com. If you can spell that name. Should I spell the name? How?
Anne: It’ll be linked from our site. You certainly can, but also they can find it right from our site.
Lynda: Perfect, yes, yes. Those would be the two ways that you can get it. I am also on Facebook too. So, yes.
Anne: Ok, so then my question that I wanted to ask is this. For people who might be job hunting in this economy which is starting to sort of climb out but still people are looking or might be re-looking. Or, perhaps they have left after having their boss kick a coffee pot at them.
Lynda: Oh my gosh.
Anne: Then threaten to shoot them. For whatever reason that people are looking for a job, forewarned, forearmed if you will. What do you recommend people look for? Of course if they can get into a good workplace situation to start, then they are so much more ahead of the game. So, for people out there looking or who are contemplating switching, what would you recommend?
Lynda: Well this might sound kind of awkward. For me, one of the first things that I would always look for when I walked into any business was the physical environment. I can remember having job interviews at places where they had piles of files stacked here and there. Just a very, very untidy, disorganized work environment, I mean you can tell a lot about a business just by the physical environment. Of course, working in that kind of environment can really pull you down after awhile. It tells you a lot about the integrity of the company too when it looks like that. So, that is one of the first things that I would suggest to watch for, is just how the company looks. How the physical environment looks, is it organized? Is it clean? That’s first and foremost for me before I even speak to anybody. That’s what I look for when I walk in. It’s very, very important.
Anne: Ok, that’s actually a very good right in the door so to speak that kind of can hit you. I think people might tend to intentionally overlook it, because you are obviously effected the minute you walk into somewhere by how it is set up. I think people might tend to not look at that little voice that says, “Oh well this isn’t a very tidy place.” So, well let’s say they pass the sniff test if you will. Then, what would you look for?
Lynda: I would look for…I am one of these people that I really tap into my intuition. I just think it is really important to the person who is interviewing you. Their level of humility, the tone of their voice, it’s just really important to read between the lines if you will and to maybe look past some of the surface things that are taking place. It’s just really important to focus on the integrity of the person. Really, really, you might be nervous or whatever, but really listen to what that person is saying when they are discussing the organization or what goes on there. Just really, really stay in tune with what they are saying and see if it is in agreement with you and your integrity. Use your intuition basically. Tap into your intuition.
Anne: Do you find that most of the people who run into problems are not listening to their gut feelings, who are ignoring their intuition?
Lynda: Well, I can only answer that from my own experiences. Absolutely in my life and time when clearly there was something that I picked up on there that I knew wasn’t going to work for me, but I accepted the job anyway. It was always a disaster, always. I would assume that everyone else would have the same experience. It’s very, very important to really sense how you feel when you are in the presence of that person who is going to be your future boss. How do you feel when you are around that person? Do you feel comfortable with that person? Does that person make you feel really nervous or intimidated? How do you feel in the office in general? When you walked in the door, how does your body feel? Do you feel all tense? Does the energy in there feel light? Does it feel clear? Just really tap into how your body is feeling in these situations. Definitely in my own life, my gosh, when I ignored a lot of these feelings that would come up for me it was always a disaster, always.
Anne: We have just one minute left. In that one minute if you can, sorry to put you on the spot like this, but very quickly what would you suggest then to someone who is dealing with someone who is really just being mean to them, being rude to them. Just sort of recap that very quickly in the workplace.
Lynda: Oh gosh, I know how difficult that can be. Just really try to remain as heart centered. I hate to use the word loving, because a lot of people might misinterpret that. I am going to use the word compassionate which I think is a much, much better word here. If you can just stay centered and really, really have a lot of compassion for an individual like that, because as I said before an individual like that is really suffering. Think about it. This person is spreading around all kinds of ugliness everywhere they go. Can you imagine how much pain that person is in? I mean, really think about that. Just really focus on having a lot of compassion for that individual. Who knows? In my experience, that alone has stopped the person in its tracks.
Anne: I think that is excellent advice. It’s very excellent advice. Lynda, thank you so much for joining us. This was really, really informative.
Lynda: I really enjoyed it. Thank you so much.
Anne: It was absolutely our pleasure. Thank you again. Our guest was Lynda Barbaccia. Her book is “Simple Wisdom for the not so Simple Business World”. It is available on Amazon, or you can get it right through her website. You will find the link from our site at mondaynightradio.com. Again, we will see you next week. We won’t see you really, but you can listen to us next week when our guest is Dr. Ken Unger. He will be talking about how to deal with holiday depression.
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