Short story part 2

There is this old saying, “if I knew I would fall I would have sat down to prevent the fall”. In real life we try not to expect the worst, we think,  as long as we follow the rules others around us with comply as well. Unfortunately there is always at least one disrupter in every community. Carol relished in her new role of the meddler, it provided her with the extra kick that most people get from their daily coffee cup.

At first nothing seem out of the ordinary, Carol knew how to play her low key role. Until things have started to fall apart little by little with no real explanation. Jennifer started to have that eerie feeling about the latest events. She would occasionally leave her computer logged on while tending to a situation that needed to be handled with elaborated efforts and expertise, and when she would come back to her computer the screen would be on a different page than she was previously looking at. First she dismissed that as her overlooking stuff but then there was that nagging feeling that she couldn’t shake off, nevertheless she could not put a finger on it.

Jennifer’s boss, Richard was a typical narcissist who diligently tried to cover this main trait of his character behind general slogans that he fed his employees every meeting. They say actions speak louder than words, well in his case actions or I should say results he delivered were screaming incompetence and possible corruption.

One day Richard came unannounced to Jennifer’s school. It was a breezy morning but the air felt so good since it was raining previous night. His condescending look was conspicuously hidden under the fake smile. He came to Jenny’s office and closed the door behind himself, ominous gesture when delivering unpleasant news. He told there was many serious concerns regarding her conduct. Allegations of her providing unauthorized discounts or waving fees to many families seemed like a ridiculous and at the same time a serious punch right in the gut.

She took her breath and felt that the room was getting smaller and smaller. Finally she composed her after the initial shock and disbelieve. She tried to explain that in her two decade long service in childcare business she was never accused of such a serious charges. Her innocent eyes, her good heart  could not comprehend how she could find herself in this debacle. Richard’s accusatory tone was an indicator that the written warning would be put in place along with the open investigation.

When he left she was crushed, felt betrayed but couldn’t point a finger on it. She looked around and she spotted Carol’s smirky smile chatting away with Richard, now she knew who was behind it, but how could she prove it.

 

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short story part 1

The most robust and vivid environment, full of ambivalent feelings at the same time, where laughter and cry are essential elements of its landscape. To control any volatile setting you need a steady and calm leadership, with a caring and subtle touch to it. Now, think about child care center, and try to picture the hectic mornings and challenging at times transition for all parties involved. The lives of the most vulnerable are at hands of few teachers and their director.

Jennifer as a center director never thought of her job in those criteria’s.  She considered her staff and children part of her family. Once you set up that kind of boundaries you know that it has to be built on the mutual trust and respect. How little she knew that soon she would find herself in a rabbit hole, and everything that she believed would bring her to her knees.

Let me introduce you to Jennifer. She was selfless, no confrontational, dedicated to her job, which has always been her passion. She used to say that she was fortunate to work in the profession where she could make a difference in child’s life. Upon early realization of her natural instinct to deescalate conflict, rationalize with a 2 year old and negotiate where communications skills are limited to vicious bites and kicks. I can’t tell you how many times she was called by teachers to intervene in daily incidents of anger outburst, but every time she managed to utilize her innate abilities to neutralize hostile environment and reason with frustrated children.

Jennifer never took pride in her daily interventions she simply considered it natural steps that needed to be taken when necessary. She was perceived as someone with the inside knowledge that even on observing her it would be almost impossible to mimic.

There are two groups of people. One, that admires others for their accomplishments and aspire to become like them by reaching out and learning necessary skills, and the other set of people, who once exposed to someone who is better than them, will do everything in their power to diminish their efforts and make themselves as glorified winners at any price, even if it means putting their own integrity on the line.

Carol definitely belong to the latter, and if you would ask her  which group she identifies herself with she wouldn’t try to fool you who she is what she stands for. Her recent transfer from the sister school was a part of premeditated plan.

Every life coach expert would say it’s imperative to the balance of your life to have a 1 year plan, two year plan and 5 year plan. Carol was following those guidelines with the impeccable scrutiny. The first year was to establish herself as an observer to recruit a perfect match in order to implement her perfect plan. What are the guidelines of finding a kin soul that will go along with your evil intent? Carol was an expert in this area. She knew that it had to be someone that she could easily control but also give them some important role so they can feel empowered.

Coleen was an ideal candidate. Her life so far had no goal on the horizon, her immediate trouble was how to get by on the daily basis with her on and off boyfriend who could barely hold a stable job, and on top of that she had to take care of her toddler twins. At times desperate, Coleen would rely on government programs to survive and invoke pity on her boss to provide her with more attractive discounts for the childcare.  Nevertheless she exhibit many talents, unfortunately not finding the right mentor as she thought. She had preconceived ideas of her idyllic path to success but the opportunity was not there, at least not the one she was looking for. Until, one day she met Carol, the new assistant director. The instant connection was refreshing and reaffirming her longing for a partner in crime.

 

 

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MOTIVATION FOR OTHERS-SUCCESS FOR EVERYONE!

 

Success can be define in so many ways, because each person aims to achieve different goals. Generally speaking success is usually measured by the wealth and influence one possesses. You wonder, what are the tools to be on the top of the game, and the reality is that in the hindsight we can see the missed opportunities but then it might be way too late.

One time at the gym I saw two personal trainers applying their well thought exercise regimen to help their students lose unwanted extra pounds. It made me wonder why those two clients decided to take advantage of extra help. I’m pretty sure they knew how to use basic equipment at the gym and if not they could easily obtain that knowledge with just one click on the internet.

The secret ingredient to the successful physical transition is motivation. Consider this, maybe if they had someone to encourage them on a daily basis they wouldn’t reach for food to comfort them.

If validation and positive recognition was on our daily menu we wouldn’t stray away from our goal. How hard it is to stay focused, stay on point when we are surrounded by constant judgment and critique. We do that to ourselves, we compare how much we have, how well we live, how many connections we have, how wealthy we are.  How often do we boast about others? How often do we stand on the baseline and encourage those who can never repay us?

Great success is the one that you made possible for others to achieve what they were craving for. We need to take “I” and “me” from the daily vocabulary in order to see what the victory looks like. Those two people at the gym wouldn’t have to shed any pounds if they had someone in their life to step in and fill the gap that they decided to fill with extra portion of some food. I bet you heard on Oprah show when she asked “what are you hungry for”, but instead have you ever asked that same question someone else, “what are they hungry for”.

This past Paribas Tournament in tennis, I watched underdog Babos vs. Lepchenko. In the middle of the match Babos showed a sign of resignation by shaking her head and it seemed to me she was about to let go and let Lepchenko win. I’m pretty sure she would if not for her coach who despite negative forecast that Babos was sharing with him during each break he was relentless in redirecting his player and motivating her to reach for courage that anything is possible when you believe. What’s even more important that she had someone to believe in her more than she believed in herself and that’s what ultimately in my opinion got her through the match with successful outcome 2:1.

Don’t’ be a Champion for Champion’s sake be a motivation for some else’s sake. That’s how you change the world.

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Management conflict comprehension

Being able to perceive the world through the eyes of others would open the door to complete understanding. To see what others see, would be a different angle to our perception. This is how frustration is conceived; unwillingness to even make an attempt to reach out and extend metaphorical olive branch by listening to others. It’s so convenient to walk away, to shut down the possibility to any form of communication. As a result one party feels defeated and undermined, the other feels like they reached their final mark. At the end we have an unresolved issue, diminished morale, and squandered opportunity.

Collaboration in its own definition involves two parties to come together in order to resolve undergoing problem. You cannot overwhelm employee with your own preconceived ideas. You need to draw specific road map, where in case of unexpected event employee feels empowered to used their best judgement and at the same time fulfill the given task within acceptable boundaries. Do not restrain their abilities and freedom to express their own concepts. Empower them more with your knowledge than with your directives. Always be open to receive their input, especially at times when you think there’s no room for incorporating anything else.

Think about times and people who created unbelievable things, but during their projects they were undermined and ridiculed. Always welcome new ideas, don’t settle for basics, and don’t tell yourself certain tactics are not negotiable. Be prepare to grow with your staff, to develop new skills and to enter uncharted territories.

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General Statement

 

General statements can be detrimental to both sides. It can decimate like a double-edged sword. Unfortunately we got accustomed to sharp statements with unsupported allegations. We are pleased with ourselves when we leave someone with no route to defend themselves. We feel like we are entitled to our opinions and we can express them in a way, shape or form regardless of the consequences.  Isn’t that what the Freedom stands for?

What if I’d stopped you in your tracks and said you need to slow down and digest every word before you utter it. Take your time. There are so many words that cannot be taken back, once you say it, it’s done and it cannot be undone and that’s the tragic path that you don’t want to find yourself on.

Freedom doesn’t allow you to say and do whatever is on your mind. John Paul the II once stated that your freedom ends where other’s Freedom begins. There are boundaries that cannot be shattered, rules that cannot be broken.

When you make general statements you take a risk of insulting, shaming or diminishing at least one person that belongs to the group that you’re making statement about. If you think you can justify your declaration despite the fact that the group in question had at least one innocent person that didn’t deserve the harsh critique, you’ve already become desensitized to the cruelty that occurs and surrounds us every day.

So why do we make general statements? Does it empower us, or does it expose our fears and weakness?

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Unachievable Common Ground?

argumentHave you noticed the landscape of every political show, or any show for that matter? There are usually two people each representing their own spectrum of ideas and  so called unbiased arbiter to keep the flow of the conversation undisturbed.  Sometimes when I watch those shows I get the impression that none of the people who come to shed a light on their concepts display even a tiny bit of ability to lean in towards the opponents’ views.

The stubbornness comes from the conviction that what I think makes more sense and it will work. On the other hand, what the opponent suggests is ridiculous and it will only complicate the world as it is.

Whatever the topic is, the main characteristics of the fierce opponents are extravagance, pomposity, pretensions, and impunity. Their main object is to purge as many arguments as they can in a limited frame of time, and of course to utter the last word.

Is that how we want to solve any disputes or disagreements? Why not utilize all that energy into reasonable solution. The common ground is possible only when two parties are rational and ready for a healthy dialogue. The listening skills are very distinctive tools to find the resolution that will serve others.

How come hearing often replaces listening? We hear so many opinions, but have lost the ability to listen and reach out to those who are too timid to even whisper a word. In order to listen we have to embrace others idea, try to walk in their shoes for a day and be quiet for awhile.

Lets consider that maybe something important could pass us by in this loud world of opinions if we don’t embrace silence for a while. To let someone else than yourself be right for once is a sign of greatness.

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Research: Conventional vs. convenient

searchAs times goes by the conventional research fades away gracefully left  in a dust by rapidly expanding convenient way of online research.

How many people still go to the library and get lost in an alley filled with books? Going to libraries became such an inconvenience since internet  settled in into our busy lives. When you need the answer all you have to do is to locate your nearest tech device such as smart phone or laptop and you are just one click away from finding some kind of answer. The question remains regarding accuracy of the solutions you are given at the moment of your online research. Do you check only the websites that appear on the first page? What criteria are you utilizing when performing online search?

How do you know which website carries the most precise answer? Maybe convenience of internet makes us a little bit lazy  and we could easily get trapped when not paying attention to the source that provides the information.

I believe internet can be a great source when it comes to research. We just can’t forget that convenience does not mean we don’t have to put an effort to look deeper and spend countless hours on finding the answers, the same way as we used to spend many hours in the libraries searching through pages of different books.

Undeniably, our research methods have changed, but the core of analysis should stay untouched.  Let’s not forget that SEO- Search Engine Optimization is not as straight forward as Library’s Catalog.

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