Family Story Time How to Make it Memorable

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I’m going to give you a Bear Hug by Caroline Cooney

One of my fondest memories as a child is listening to the many childhood stories my mom read to me. I cultivated the love of reading at a very young age.

After a warm bath, application of soothing lotion, and clothed in new PJ’s; there’s nothing more comforting than a good bedtime story.

Snuggling under the covers and listening to a bed time story is one of the best memories I have from my childhood.

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I try to instill the love of reading into my children today. I’m going to give you a Bear Hug! is a new book I recently introduced to my 2 children. I’m going to give you a Bear Hug! by Caroline Cooney is a rhythmic, fun, book for children. While reading this book to my 2 year old daughter, she enjoys the way the author plays with word sounds to tell a story.

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As the title suggest, the book is all about hugs. The book plays on imagination and all the ways a child might give or receive a hug.  My 2 year old loves to hug so she was attracted immediately to the book. The different animals through out the book helps her learn animal recognition.

My 6 year old enjoyed the book as well. He practices his reading by reading the book aloud. For his reading level, it’s a good book for him to read to his little sister. The illustrated pictures are eye catching and attractive to young readers. This book is fun, educational, and a little wacky. The quality of the book is nice and sturdy. The perfect gift for little ones. You can purchase your copy at amazon.com

Story time is a time for kids to learn, let their imaginations soar, and develop a love of books. As my love affair for books increased, I learned I could go anywhere in the world; with out leaving my house through reading. I would like to hear some ways you cultivate the love of reading in your children and what is means to you.

 

*Winner of giveaway will be announced on Tuesday, April 11th.
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Written by Rochella Neely
“An open book”

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How to Effectively Manage Your Time

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How to Effectively Manage Your Time

There is not enough time in the day. Have you ever thought this or said it to someone? If you are of the living, I’m sure you have. In a fast pace, I need it yesterday, kind of environment; it seems many people do not have the time to do everything. With work responsibilities, household duties, tending to children, personal care and the list goes on, there seems to never be enough time. Time Management is essential to be productive and achieve life goals. Balancing the never ending list of tasks needed to be completed can become exhausting. These tips have helped me to keep my sanity and remain focused.

Prioritize

In theory, it’s really simple. Complete one task at a time, little by little, until you have completed the entire task. Then move on to the next task. Thinking about all I need to do sometimes becomes overwhelming. What helps me is to prioritize. The task I must get completed immediately goes to the top of my list.

Time Management Tips
Time Management Tips

 

Do you physically write a list? I swear by a “to do” list! There is something about writing down everything on my to do list. After I have completed the task I draw a line through it. Just doing this simple practice of striking through the task, gives me a great sense of accomplishment. For me accomplishment motivates me to do more and I become more productive.

I love a planner or fancy “to do” note pad. In an effort to keep me organized, I decided to look for the planner of all planners. The cream of the cop.

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Tools4Wisdom Planner
Tools4Wisdom Planner

I came across the Tools4Wisdom Planner. This planner is awe-some! Let me first start with stating it is of high quality. This planner did not disappoint. When I opened the box, I believe I heard music. In black letters it reads “always believe in yourself” Anyone who knows me is aware I Love a motivational quote. Just taking this planner out the box made me want to start planning a bunch of goals.

Then I opened the planner, there was more music. Inspirational/motivational quotes each month. In addition to the quotes, each month there are essential goal sheets. These  essential goals sheets are for you to write out what biggest outcomes you would like to achieve for the month, why, and what objectives are needed to achieve these goals.

It’s as if the planner is having you to create your strategic plan. It really makes an individual go through a road map of how they are going to achieve their goals for the month. Included for each day is a to do list along with priority sub lists. To say I love this planner is an understatement.

I take it everywhere with me and it is a conversational piece. To purchase your fabulous planner click here. You will thank me later.

Utilize Electronic Reminders

Although I love the Tools4Wisdom Planner, I heavily rely on my electronic reminders. With so many tasks to complete I set a reminder for everything. All the way to picking my son up from school. I have reminders on my work email and on my phone. They are used interchangeably  for work and personal tasks. Electronic reminders will help to ensure important projects are completed on time, deadlines are not missed, and make you look as if you are on top of everything!

Be an Early Riser

The early bird gets the worm. I became an early riser by default after I had kids. Ha! I find when I rise before the rest of my household, I am more productive. I wake up 30 minutes before everyone else gets up. During this time I am able to meditate on what needs to be accomplished for the day, write in my planner to do’s for the day and prioritize them.  Sometimes I use this time to journal or start preparing for the day. Try it one morning and see if it works for you.

Do Not Overextend Yourself

Before I commit to something, I ensure I am able to deliver. A mistake  some ambitious people fall into is overextending themselves. Regardless of how well you have mastered time management and multitasking, overextending yourself is setting yourself up for failure. Before saying yes be sure you don’t have too much on your plate already.

Delegate When Possible

Delegate, delegate, delegate. One person cannot do it all. Have a team you can count on professionally and at home. One of the lessons some new leaders have to learn is you cannot do it all yourself. Tasks that can be completed  by someone else, assign them out.

This concept is true in the home. Do you assign chores to your children and hold them accountable to complete them? Does your spouse assist in the home? If not have you sat down and discussed  what tasks you need assistance with?

Time Management skills are essential in life. If you’re a CEO, a sales representative, a stay at home mom, an entrepreneur or all four, mastering time management is essential. What are some tips you have found that helps aid in managing your time? I would love to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this post please read How to Increase Relationship Building Skills.

Written by: Rochella Neely
“An open book”

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A Wife’s Secret To Happines By Jen Weaver Book Review

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A Wife’s Secret To Happiness

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A Wife's Secret To Happiness
A Wife’s Secret To Happiness

The key to a strong family unit is a strong foundation. Subscribe to win a free copy of this book! Recently, I came across this book A Wife’s Secret To Happiness. As a married woman of several years, I asked myself what is A Wife’s Secret To Happiness? I contemplated the thought myself. Prior to reading the book, my thoughts were a wife’s secret to happiness is carving time for herself as a woman, maintaining her individuality, and discovery of the joy in giving.

As I began to read the book, I was reminded of good advice every wife should remember. Jen Weaver beautifully writes this scriptural based, love letter to wives. The first chapter is all about the Blessing of Three Strands.

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Cord of Three Strands

The book breaks down who the three strands represent and why they are so important in a unique way. Throughout the book there are “Wifestyle” quizzes. Wifestyles are tendencies in our day to day interactions with our husbands. Readers, by completing these quizzes, can determine their Wifestyle or habits and work toward improving these habits as needed.

I really enjoyed the real life Wifestyle stories. These stories were real life experiences that many wives can relate to. Marianne’s Real Life #Wifestylin story was eye opening to me.

“When we took personality tests as part of our marriage counseling, our pastor opened the results, studied them for a moment, then leaned back in his chair and took a deep breath. We were polar opposites on nearly every part of the scale.

The pastor later told us this: “Because of your extreme differences, you have the potential to be strong for one another when the other is weak. You have a rare opportunity to be a very complete unit where, between the two of you, nearly every strength is covered because you fill in each other’s gaps. But if you don’t fill in each other’s weaknesses with your opposite strengths, you will have a difficult, tension-filled marriage.” From the book A Wife’s Secret To Happiness By Jen Weaver.

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Another aspect I really enjoyed about the book is Jen’s transparency and openness regarding her own marriage. She writes “Our disconnect fed my insecurities as jagged scars from his past…my past…our past… cut fresh wounds in my heart. Guilt became my companion. Guilt for doing some things but not others. Guilt for what didn’t get done, for not doing better, not being stronger. Guilty for the guilt, I grew bitter. Jared’s capacity seemed limited to his profession when the Jaws of Life forced open my daily functions to include wife, stay at home mom, work from home executive, personal assistant, chef, housekeeper, and somewhere in there, sex kitten. I resented that we somehow expected me to do everything else.” From the book A Wife’s Secret to Happiness By Jen Weaver.

Marriage is challenging and A Wife’s Secret to Happiness gives women resources and tools to help weather the storm. This book was eloquently written and is a good read. It is a book for current wives, soon to be wives, or women contemplating marriage.

I will have a drawing for one free copy of A Wife’s Secret to Happiness. Subscribe to  Career and Family Life below or on the right-side bar by entering your name and email address. The promotion will run from Monday, March 13, 2017 thru Monday, March 20th. The lucky winner will be announced on Tuesday, March 21st.  You also can purchase your copy here or visit www.thejenweaver.com.

*Must be a U.S. citizen to win*

Written by: Rochella Neely
“An open Book”
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My Journey to a Great Mother Son Relationship

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Mother Son Relationship 

I was 5 months pregnant, getting ready to have my ultrasound to reveal the sex of my first baby. The Ultrasound technician placed the cold, gel, on my belly. “Wow, your baby is really active, he or she is doing somersaults in there.” As the technician tried to move the monitor around my belly to get a good shot, I saw what looked like a penis on the screen.” No, it can’t be.” I thought to myself.

Finally, after what seemed like 15 minutes, a few seconds later she announced, it looks like you are having a baby boy. I was so disappointed. I really, really, wanted a baby girl. Since this was going to be my only child, (so I thought) I went home and cried a few tears. I recall my grandmother saying after I told her the news, “well, you have to accept what you got.”

 Mother Son Relationship

She’s right I said, I should accept what I have. Then feelings of guilt settled in. There are many women who wish they could have a baby. I should be grateful and hope that I deliver a healthy, baby, boy.

I examined my feelings. Why did I want to have a girl so bad? After exploring my state of mind, the truth was, I was scared. I felt I will fail at raising a son. Young boys have so many distractions and enticements to lead them down the wrong path. They are more of a challenge to raise and I did not want to fail him. I did not believe I would have a close bond with my boy as I would have with a girl.

I had witnessed young boys, whom I knew were taught to follow a favorable path. Their parents tried hard to keep them on the right road but as the boys grew up they choose a rough, negative, road. I felt raising a boy would be more difficult. Unbeknownst to me, I had developed a undesirable image of young boys.  

My baby boy was born. He was healthy and perfect. I loved him before I met him. As he grew, I was surprised at how closely we bonded. We have the kind of relationship where he feels comfortable telling me anything. I constantly reassure him that I love him no matter what.

Mother Son Relationship

To my surprise, he is a thoughtful, considerate, and understanding soul. I could not have asked for a better introduction to parenthood. He certainly changed me for the better. He is one of my best friends, my teacher, of course my student, and one of the biggest loves of my life.

 I learned stereotypes and fears we all have them. In hindsight, it was senseless of me to think I would not have a close bond with my boy. He came from me and there is no closer bond then our heavenly father.  We must open ourselves to “accept what we got”, enjoy our journey and live each moment with an open, unbiased heart.

If you enjoyed this post, check out Family: Absent Father and Daughters and Family: Favorites? Do you Have a Favorite Child?

Written by : Rochella Neely
“an open book”

 

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How to Increase Relationship Building Skills

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During college, I learned many technical skills. One of the most important skills to learn was not taught in college thus, I learned all about relationship building through trial and error. Relationship building is a life-long skill that transfers into all areas of life. It doesn’t matter if an individual is an employee, an entrepreneur, a mother, a sister, a wife or business partner. Building relationships is important in any professional or personal endeavor. Here are some guidelines I have learned that help in building relationships.

Be authentic

I love this quote. As a young professional new to the business world, I started out trying to be what I thought Senior Managers, Executives, and esteemed colleague’s thought I should be. I believe many young professionals make this error. Not being who you are will only get you so far in the business world and life in general.

Authenticity is a must. Years ago, I made a promise to live a more authentic life. Some of the people I most admire, know who they are, have the courage to be who they are, and are happy doing so. In your career and in your personal life, people know when you are not being authentic. They can feel it, I can feel it. Authenticity is the first step to relationship building.

Once, I started to be my authentic self, all the goals I was working toward, came overflowing in my life. During a person’s career, there are many people who help cultivate, motivate and mentor the individual. Having strong relationship building skills helps this process.

Of course, in a professional environment, you must act professionally. To be authentic is to be true to your unique distinctiveness. Who are you? Does the person know who you are? Do you stay true to who you have established yourself to be? While building a relationship, it is important to be genuine, (remember people can tell when you’re faking it) once you have established who you are, stay true to that authenticity. This is how trust is built.

Trust

Trust is crucial to every relationship. Would you want someone on your team you could not trust? I absolutely would not. The people you report to want to trust you will do what you have been hired to do. In business, clients need to trust you will deliver what you have promised. Your business partners need to trust you will deliver you portion of the project.

When you are building relationships, ensure you are doing what you said you would do. If you say “I will call you on Tuesday at 2:00,” make sure you do so. Strive to over deliver. People are observing to see if you are trustworthy with a little fish, before giving you a big fish.

Service to Others

One of the best ways to build relationships and increase self-development, is to shift the focus off one self and on to helping others. In a world where individual self-gratification typically comes first, service to others can be last on the list. There are many organizations and individuals who dedicate themselves to helping others. Partner with these people and give back. Many relationships can come out of these endeavors. Once I shifted my focus to helping others, I became more fulfilled, happier, and more successful.

Relationship building is an important skill that may help you land your first job, your next job, your promotion, open your first business, take your current business to the next level, or help you find your calling. The positive effects are endless. With constant developing of this critical skill, you will notice a big, positive, change in your professional and personal life. What are some ways relationship building has positively impacted your life? I would love to hear from you!

 

Written by: Rochella Neely
“An Open Book”

 

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Tips on How to Save and Increase Wealth

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In today’s economy, people often say “it’s hard to save money.” I agree it can be difficult, however, not impossible to achieve. Honestly, I can’t understand how a person can afford not to save for unplanned emergencies. A practice I learned early on as a child, save for the future; is not common today. Funds can be used to make a large purchase, for unexpected large expenses, or in the event of a loss of income. How can I save? Here are some practices I use that have aided me in saving.

Pay Yourself First 

I’m sure most people have heard the saying “pay yourself first” I live by it. I treat my savings account as a bill that must be paid every time I receive a check. When I receive funds a portion goes directly into my savings account. This is a good practice to have. Even if it’s a small amount, ensure you put something away. You will be amazed at how these small amounts accumulate over time. For an emergency fund, I recommend having 6 months to 1 year of your salary in a liquid account. Pay yourself first, this is an excellent practice to get into the habit of.

Vacation

Extra Funds? Put a portion into Your Savings Account

You receive a bonus at work or maybe if you are lucky, you receive a large income tax return. Do you treat yourself to a Michael Kors purse? Maybe a vacation? A shopping spree? Make sure you put a portion away in your savings account first. I’m certainly not saying don’t treat yourself! I believe in treating myself. However, putting a portion away will help you move closer to meeting your financial goals.

Forget about the Savings Account

The point of having a savings account is to save. Put the funds in the account and forget about it. Putting the funds in and then taking them out a week or so later defeats the purpose. The purpose is to accumulate wealth. The money should be used only in the event of an emergency or if you are saving for something specific that you are now ready to purchase.

Open a CD

Once the balance in your savings has grown to where you can invest in a CD, open a CD also known as a Certificate of Time Deposit account. A CD typically pays a higher interest rate than a savings account. This strategy will help grow your money faster by allowing the funds to sit and grow at a higher interest rate.

Avoid Paying Service Fees

Ensure that you are paying your bills on time and avoiding service fees. Service fees can add up quickly and if avoided save you a lot of money. The funds you save by avoiding service fees, should be invested into your savings portfolio.

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Invest

After establishing sufficient emergency fund in your savings account and investing in a few CD’s, now you can explore investing in other options. I strongly suggest speaking with a licensed investment professional to come up with the best plan for your further investments. Find a professional you feel comfortable with and ask as many questions as you can think of. Investments can lose principal, so be sure to understand what your investment goals are, your strategy and the risks.

Saving can be a challenge however it is attainable. Having a healthy savings plan and strategy strengthens the economics of the family. The relief of not worrying over money helps aid in enjoying life and your family on a profound level. What are some strategies you use to save and increase wealth?

 

Written by: Rochella Neely
“an open book”

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Ways to Find Your Passion and Turn It Into a Career

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Sometime ago I was speaking with a friend. My friend was not happy with her current career; she was at a crossroads considering going in a different direction career wise.  However, I could tell she had some reservations. I asked her, this new direction you are considering, is it your passion?

She replied with a chuckle my passion? Who goes to a job and is passionate about their job? It’s a job to make a living. I replied some people are fortunate enough to have a passion and use that passion to make a living for themselves.

Then she asked, are you passionate about what you do?  My answer was, I am passionate about helping people and in my line of work I am in the position to help people; so yes, I am passionate about what I do.

Later, I though more about our conversation. I thought deeper about the question my friend asked; am I passionate about what I do? The truth is I enjoy what I do. I feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. But passionate is a strong word. In my opinion, something a person is passionate about, they would do for free. Would I do my job for free? The honest answer is no.

I had to give some more thought about what I am passionate about. I knew deep down what my passion was however I was not practicing it anymore. After some soul searching I could reconnect with my passion. Here are some steps I took to reconnect with my passion. If you are honest with yourself, you too can rekindle that love affair with your passion.

Ways to find your Passion and make it a career
Ways to Find Your Passion

What do you Love to do?

I must admit in between work, family, social life etc. life can get hectic! I forgot what I was passionate about because I did not have the time to remember! Think about what you love to do. This can be a hobby, something you would like to devote time to if you had more time. Think back to what you did in your spare time as a teenager or young adult before life took over.

In my case, as a teenager, I often wrote. I journaled, wrote poetry and short stories. I initially started journaling to vent, as I felt I had no voice as a teenager. Later the journaling became a powerful tool to self-awareness. Later, when introduced to poetry, poetry became enjoyable to write.

How to Find Your Passion and make A Career
Ways to Find Your Passion

 

What do you find yourself thinking about?

If we take a moment to contemplate our thoughts, it will reveal our desires, passions and purpose. What did you daydream about as a kid? What brings you enjoyment? Why is it enjoyable?  How did you believe your life would turn out? How is it different? How does this make you feel? These are questions to ask yourself to reconnect to your desires. Journal your thoughts, even if you are not a “writer” journal about whatever comes to mind. This process will help expose to you what your purpose is.

Would you do if for Free?

After taking a voyage down memory lane, asking yourself honest questions and meditating on your thoughts, you should have some idea what your passion is. If you have not done your passion in some time, do it now to see if you still have the same fire for it. Now the million-dollar question is do you love your passion so much, that you would do it for free?

If you answer is yes, then congratulations! you have found your passion!

 

Is your Passion Something You Can Earn A Living Doing?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to wake up and do something that you love and get paid well to do it? Now that you have found your passion see if you can monetize by doing what you love. Research, create a plan, and follow through.

There are many people fortunate enough to do what they love. I believe, if you are passionate about something, you can turn your passion into a career. I would love to hear from you. Have you discovered your passion? Have you been able to support yourself financially by doing what you love?

 

Written By: Rochella Neely
“An Open Book”

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Family: Favorites? Do you have a Favorite Child?

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When I learned I was having a second child, it was a shock. My second child was not planned and I had much planning to do before the  baby’s arrival. One thought I recall having was how can I love my second child as much as I love the one I have? Surely my first born would be my favorite. I know it must sound silly, but as I thought about family members and friends; I could see who one or both parents favored. My thought turned into a worry. Can I love them both the same?

My second child turned out to be a bouncing baby girl. I have one boy and one girl. Two totally different children personality wise. In hindsight it was crazy of me to think I could not love the second as much as the first. I honestly love them both the same.

I recall watching a television show where the mother was terminally ill. The mother had several kids and after she passed, all her children thought they were her favorite. I made a goal that I would make both my children feel special. When I go I want them both to feel as they were my  “favorite”. I’ll share some methods I have used that have worked in achieving this.

Learn To Appreciate the Differences in Your Children

After having two children, I noticed the differences in their personalities and development. It was as if I had to learn to parent all over again. What worked for one child may not work for the other child. Your children are going to be different. Mine seem like night and day in many aspects. I have learned to embrace their differences. It’s what makes them unique. I believe sometimes parents tend to favor the child who is easier to raise or more like themselves.  For me the best way to appreciate he differences in my children is to connect and learn more about what makes them unique.

Spend time with them individually

After I had my second child, I made a point to spend time with my first just him and I. I was conscious that he may feel left out or jealous of his little sister. Once a month I arrange an outing  with just him and I. Some activities we do are:

  • Go out to eat to his favorite restaurant
  • Go to the movies
  • Go bowling (one of his favorite activities)
  • Go out for Ice Cream

During this time we do activities he likes, we talk, we connect. I have found it is a great way to bond and build trust with each individual child.

Make Them Feel Special

When I buy something for one I buy for the other. I think that is rule number one for multiple children. Also make sure you buy the same number of items because the children will be counting!

Give them a prestigious title.  I know it sounds silly for kids but it works for mine. For example, I didn’t want my son to feel left out when his sister came along. I told him he has a very important role he is the “Big Brother” I explained you have a responsibility to protect your sister, help with her, and teach her. The title of Big Brother and the important role he plays made the transition smooth.

Other titles he has is my “favorite son” don’t use this if you have more than one son. It works for me because I only have one son. I tell my daughter she is my “favorite daughter” also I only have one daughter.

I tell my son he is my first baby and his sister is my only baby number 2. Facts but it makes them feel special so I roll with it.

Spend Quality Time Together As a Family

Family time with the entire family should be encouraged. This gives the children and parents an opportunity to connect with each other in the family unit. The family unit is the child’s first introduction to  a community. Spending quality time together as a family will give family members the opportunity to learn more about each individual’s characteristics, similarities, and embrace differences.

I make a point to tell both my children daily I love them. I accept and embrace their unique personalities and talents. I encourage them to do the same with the people in our family unit. These attempts have worked for me and my family. Both my children feel they are loved equally as they are and there are no “favorites” in our family.

Tell me do you have a favorite child? How do you ensure each of your children feel special and cherished?

Written by: Rochella Neely
An “open book”

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Career: How to Deal with a Bad Boss

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Dealing with a “bad” boss, takes skill and patience. It’s important to realize, the relationship you have with your manager is extremely important. If you are planning to grow within the company or if you plan to stay short term; it is wise to have your manager as your ally or cheerleader than foe. Your current manager can help you to get the promotion or prevent you from getting the promotion. If you leave the company, your reputation will follow you so protect your brand. How do you deal with a situation when you have a bad boss? You know the type, the insecure manager, the gossiping manager, the backstabber.

Find out what makes them tick

Find out what makes your manager tick. This will take some conversation, observation and getting to know him or her. Once you find out what makes your boss tick then handle with care. For example, if you find out that your boss is insecure due to unskillfulness in their role; assure your boss that you are not trying to take their position. You will need to prove your loyalty to your manager. This may take time and you may have to prove it more than once.

Aid in the areas they are weak. If you see your boss really does not like completing a report or struggles completing the report, offer to take it off his hands.

Do Your Job Well

The best assistance you can do for your boss is to do your job well. Learn as much as you can, become an expert in your field, and share your knowledge. By doing your job well, you in turn make your manager’s job easier and make your boss look good.

Go above and beyond when asked to take on projects. Deliver more than expected and do it with a positive attitude.

Keep your Emotions in Check

If you have worked for a bad boss previously, you understand how challenging it can be to keep your emotions in check. Don’t Let your boss get to you and don’t take things personally. Remind yourself this is a test that you will pass.

Do not fall into gossiping about your boss no matter how tempting it may be. As you are in the lunchroom and you hear the gossip about your manager, do not participate. Don’t do it. This is career suicide. I promise you if you do fall into this trap, there is a strong possibility what you said will get back to the manager.

Instead, if you must vent about your bad boss, go home vent to your family and friends. Someone who does not work for the company.

Protect Yourself

Have you ever worked for an untrustworthy boss? You know the type, they tell you one thing, then when its brought up again they deny it. For this backstabbing boss, get pertinent information and directives in writing to protect yourself. If your boss doesn’t usually put information is writing , you put it in writing. For example, send an email outlining what you verbally discussed. Even if you don’t get a response back, you have your writing.

Dealing with a bad manager can be challenging and demanding however it can be accomplished. The benefits of having a good working relationship with your manager out weights the negative. Learning to build strong relationships with key people is a valuable, life long skill that can benefit you in both your career and personal life.

If you enjoyed this post, see my post on How to Increase Relationship Building Skills

 

Written by: Rochella Neely
“an open book”

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Family: Absent Father and Daughters

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Often, I hear girls gather to their father. It wasn’t until I had my own daughter that I understood this. Maybe because as a child, my own father was not around to experience this concept. I watched in awe as I saw my daughter fascinated with her father or any male figure for that matter. She longed to be in the presence of a male.
This is not what I daydreamed of when the doctor said “it’s a girl” I immediately dreamt of me and my “mini me” going to lunch, having lengthy, bottomless, conversations, visiting the salon together; inseparable. Here is my daughter glazing into her father’s eyes, as if he carried her for nine months, experienced the waves of agony as the uterus expands to deliver life; her life. Not to mention, I’m still trying to lose the extra 15 pounds of baby weight.
The bond between a father and daughter is beautiful and amazing to watch. As I watched their interactions, it became clear her father is teaching his daughter how a man should treat her. Her father is fulfilling that natural yearning all little girls have; to be adored by their fathers.
One of the most interesting aspects of parenthood is that it makes the parent more self-aware. As I witnessed the relationship my daughter is building with her father, I couldn’t help but think of the relationship I had with my own father as a child.
As a child, it was not uncommon for the children in my school to come from single parent homes. In my mind, this was normal. As I think back to my teenage years, I recall longing to speak to a male figure daily. I had to hear a deep, male’s voice. I thought I was just boy crazy! In hindsight, I believe it was that desire to hear my father’s voice.
When I began dating, it was awkward for me. I did not know how to act around boys; I could not give a hug to the opposite sex without feeling bizarre. As I became an adult I made poor decisions regarding the male company I kept and was terrified of a relationship.

All these issues I believe, stem from not having a strong foundation with the first man in my life; my father. Yes, girls need their mothers. However, girls need their fathers as well. A girl learning how to develop a healthy relationship with the opposite sex is fundamental to her overall development and an important skill to learn.
Here are some tips to help the girls in your life grow in this area.

1. Recognize the Need for Her Father
It’s comical, I remember being in high school speaking with another classmate. We were discussing an article we read about a girl who expressed how tough it was not having a father. Me and my friends were laughing. We don’t have fathers in our life and we are just fine. We are not missing out on anything. How can you miss what you don’t have?
At that age, we had no idea what we needed. So, the first step is to recognize the need. Even if the child does not recognize the need immediately, they will at some point in life. Girls need to know they are loved by both parents. This helps aid in the child’s self-esteem and self-confidence. She needs to learn how to interact, how a boy is supposed to treat her on a date and in life. All these elements are important for her development. Ladies don’t lie to yourself by saying my daughter does not need her father.
2. Show your daughters how to be a lady
One of the best gifts a mother can give to a daughter is to teach her how to be a lady. Daughters look to their mothers for direction as to how a woman should act. Teach your daughter appropriate behavior around the opposite sex, how to properly resolve conflict, and how to respect others. Instill in your daughter they are the catch and not the hunter. Showing your daughters how to respect themselves, will in turn teach them how to require respect from the opposite sex. For example, implanting in your daughter that their male companion should not humiliate them in public; should respect their opinions, as well as boundaries. These valuable skills will instill self-esteem, self-respect and confidence in your daughter.
3. Show your daughters love
Love is one of the most powerful, basic, raw, human need. It is enormously important to give your daughters an abundance of love; especially our girls with absent fathers. Love is powerful, able to transform and break down many barriers. Showing your daughters love will enable her to feel protected, show her how to love others and contribute to her self-confidence. Practice telling your daughter daily “I love you”. Show your daughter you love her by freely giving out natural affection such as hugs and kisses. Teach your daughters what love looks like and what it does not look like. For example, love does not hit, love is not jealous, love does not have malicious intent.

4. Encourage your daughter to establish a relationship with her father if possible
Key word is if possible. There may be many reasons a father is absent. Absenteeism could be due to death, divorce, problems with substance abuse or incarceration. Never put your daughter in a situation where her physical or emotional welfare may be in danger. If for example the reason for the absence father is simply the parents split. Encourage the relationship however do not force it. Both parties must have an interest in cultivating the relationship. If not, it will fail.
For example, the relationship with my father and I was turbulent in my teenage and young adult years. I recall trying to build a relationship as a teenager with my father and feeling completely rejected. I experienced calling his home, leaving messages and waiting months for a return phone call. When I did receive a phone call, we would agree to spend time together. I recall some days waiting for him and he never showed. Rejection after rejection, I gave up trying and the relationship became null. For me, at that time the relationship was not possible.
5. Find a good male role model for your daughter

I have spoken with many women who had wonderful male role models in their lives. Positive male role models are beneficial to a young girl’s development. Look to see if you can encourage a male role model for your daughter. Some great places to look are her grandfathers, uncles, older siblings, stepfathers, a volunteer mentor, a trusted family friend, a trusted religious leader or member. The possibilities are endless. Here are some qualities you should look for in a possible male model for your daughter:

Someone who shares your values and understand the goal of the relationship
Someone who likes kids
Someone your daughter feels comfortable with
Someone who is trust worthy
Someone who has a desire or want to be the model for your daughter

I consider myself blessed that my children can build a relationship with their father. My daughter hopefully will not experience the pain of an absent father. A parent’s role is to ensure their children receive everything needed during childhood, so their children can become well rounded, productive citizens. This includes healthy relationships with both parents.

Written by: Rochella Neely,
an “open book”

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