International Women's Day Is Not for Shout-outs

Yesterday was March 8, 2021. I looked at my LinkedIn newsfeed and saw lots of posts thanking women - professionals who shared their gratitude for the women who have mentored them, who work with them, who work for them. 

And my reaction? 

Frustration.

Anger. 

Annoyance.

I remember when International Women's Day was for feminist policy wonks who cared about equitable development around the world, equal pay for all women, and human rights. The slogans heard at gatherings to recognize the day were not about gratitude but about human rights - and the deep, intense need to have all humans' rights recognized, no matter their sex or gender. 

It's not exactly a bad thing, of course, for International Women's Day to be a household phrase - if it even has achieved that. But we lose something when a day originally designed to bring together people fighting for human rights becomes "Thank a Woman!" day.

International Women's Day was a thing long...

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Emotional Employee Got You Stressed?

This morning, I went to a local chapter of SHRM - that’s the Society for Human Resource Management. I had the opportunity to brainstorm how to handle it when an employee responds “very emotionally” during performance reviews, with “very emotionally” explained as “anger, tears, shouting, etc.”

My small group had experience in all aspects of human resource management, so we pooled our best advice; here it is!

pink-postcard-angry-employee.jpg
 

“Anger, tears, shouting…”

Definitely a stressful situation! An employee reacts very emotionally when given performance feedback. What to do?

Give Performance Feedback Often

Assuming the performance feedback was given during a formal evaluation, the first thing to understand is that nothing in a formal evaluation should be a surprise. Ideally, we all work with supervisors who let us know how we’re doing frequently, and talk to us as soon as problems arise.

Typically, managers...

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Gratitude at Work

It’s November, so you may have seen friends posting “I am thankful for…” daily posts on your favorite social media platform. Perhaps you do it yourself. Perhaps you think it’s appropriate around Thanksgiving, and it’s a touching, positive practice. Or, perhaps you think it’s just a schmaltzy, boring, or useless practice – one that has no place in your life.

The truth is, expressing gratitude has been correlated with a host of benefits – most notably, people who express gratitude tend to be happier, healthier, and less stressed. The field of positive psychology has found many reasons people should practice gratitude, and many ways to practice gratitude.

But all of this is about your personal life, right? Wrong! Imagine if you had a less stressed-out workplace, with healthier coworkers who were generally happier than they are now. Gratitude may be the key!

In the workplace, gratitude practices can include:

  • Give gifts in person.

    ...
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