A cautionary tale

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I rcently talked to a friend of mine who had been hospitalized earlier this year. She lives alone and had nobody there to advocate for her. She was at the mercy of the staff. “I just did whatever they told me. If they had told me to jump off the roof I would have,” she related to me. I can think of few situations more frightening.

Two years ago, my husband was admitted to the hospital 5 times over a six month period. To say it was a stressful experience is a massive understatement. So when I was offered the opportunity to review Elizabeth Orr’s book, I was hesitant. Did I want to relive that stress? I didn’t, but in the end my curiosity about how medicine is handled in the UK and about Elizabeth’s own story won out.

When Elizabeth’s beloved older brother suffered a health crisis, she went to bat for him. He wasn’t married, so as next of kin, it all fell on her. What she had to deal with from bureaucracy was heart-breaking and very familiar. Waiting endlessly to see or speak with someone in charge. Hearing conflicting advice. Being subjected to unnecessary or at least unexplained procedures. Not learning about resources until it was too late to use them.

I will confess that her situation was far worse than ours. I think the US system still beats the UK. Her poor brother did not survive. I commend her for having the courage to write all of what happnd to her and to him. Her book should be required reading in medical schools.

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Mind the gap

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News flash! The glass ceiling is alive and well. A researcher at University of Chicago Booth School of Business studied why that is still the case.

Professor Marianne Bertrand says although women are now earning more college degrees than men, they tend to choose jobs in lower paying fields.

Higher paying fields offer less flexibility and require more time commitment. Since women disproportionately care for children and the home, those fields are less appealing. And if women do by some chance take a job that pays more than their husband’s, that often leads to marital strife and divorce.

Finally, women are psychologically more risk averse than men. Competing for higher paying jobs and negotiating higher salaries entails taking risks.

Family friendly policies help with the flexibility issue but fail to address the pay gap.

Bertrand sums it up like this: an economy that does not fully tap into the leadership skills offered by women is necessarily inefficient.

As the economy continues to boom, will the glass ceiling finally crack?

Falls not just a problem for the elderly

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It is common knowledge that falls are a problem among the elderly. They often lead to broken hips from which the person may never really recover. A recent study, however, indicates the problem with falls starts much earlier than we think.

Researchers in Trinity College Dublin have identified a sharp increase in falls after the age of 40, particularly in women.  They drew on data from TILDA (the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing) as well as data from similar studies in Australia, Great Britain and the Netherlands and found that for women the prevalence of falls increases from the age of 40 on — 9% in 40-44 year olds, 19% in 45-49 year olds, 21% in 50-54 year olds, 27% in 55-59 year olds and 30% in 60-64 year olds.

What this means is that preventative measures should be undertaken beginning around the age of menopause. Waiting until after a fall has occurred is not nearly effective enough.

Health consequences like fractures, head injuries, reduced social participation, increased risk of nursing home admittance, decline in independence and subsequently increased need for care are serious and costly. In addition, there are emotional costs. The researchers estimate one in four people over the age of 50 is afraid of further falls.

Midlife ladies, here is a slideshow of balance exercises to get you started in preventing a fall.

 

Take back control of your life

Is your life spinning out of control? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a single resource to keep all the bits and pieces you must keep track of in one place? Search no more.

The new, improved version of the Living Well Planner is available to pre-order. It’s pretty as you can see, but it also is a workhorse. Inside, you can set and track goals, budgets, meals, and everything else in your life. Watch and listen.

 

 

Full disclosure: I have recently become an affiliate with Ruth Soukup’s company, so I will get a commission if you make a purchase through my link.

 

Economic realities and #MeToo

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Last night, Anderson Cooper did a segment on 60 Minutes about Mario Batali and several women who accused him and his restaurant partner and friend of sexual harassment and abuse. As I continue to think about it this morning, a number of points stand out.

First, the women continued to work at the restaurant. They needed jobs. Some complained at the time of the incidents. Others didn’t. But they stayed.

I don’t know that much about the restaurant business, but it seems to be a male-dominated field. (Of course, what field isn’t?) These women were afraid they couldn’t find another job, afraid they would be black-balled so they would never find another job, or afraid that any job they found would be more of the same culture. These are economic realities.

Women still hold few CEO spots in the Fortune 500. How did they do it? Apparently, differently from the way men do. CNN Money reported on a study done by Oxford University of 151 male and female CEOs. Men rely on neworking and mentors. With few women in the ranks above them, these avenues are not available to women.

Female CEOs said success came when they invested in their own career development. Researchers identified three “self themes” — self-acceptance, self-development and self-management — common to the female leaders.

Forgive me for patting myself on the back, but these are facets of emotional intelligence that I write about in my latest book How to Stop #MeToo from Happening to You.

For the female CEOs, self-acceptance came when they first realized they had leadership potential. Self-development meant asking for more responsibility. Self-management included determining a leadership style that blended assertiveness with nurturing qualities still expected by others.

Will conditions change if more women get into positions of power in businesses? I hope so. I’d love to hear your thoughts, readers.

#MeToo’s Forgotten Victims

How to Prevent #MeToo from Happening to You

Georgina Chapman, wife of Harvy Weinstein, has finally given an interview regarding the #MeToo accusations against him. The two had been married ten years and have two young children.

Chapman says she the man she fell in love with was “charismatic,” “smart,” and “charitable.” Of course, he was also very, very rich and powerful.

Chapman claims she knew nothing of the allegations, yet from all accounts his actions were well-known by Hollywood insiders. Was she as naive as she claims? Maybe. Maybe not. We’ll never know.

What we do know is that two innocent children may be tainted for life by the actions of their father. Many of the other alleged harassers also have children. These are victims that not many people are acknowledging in these sordid scenarios.

I certainly can’t help those victims, but I feel I can help young women entering the workforce avoid being victinized themselves. My book How to Stop #MeToo from Happening to You: Emotional Intelligence for Gen Z Women in the Workplace is now available as an ebook on Amazon as well as on  Kobo.

EI for #MeToo

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I have begun writing a book that I’d love some feedback on.

First, let me say that I in no way condone violence or criminal behavior and I am definitely not intending to blame the victims. That said, I think young women out in the workplace for the first time should learn to exercise some emotional intelligence to avoid becoming a #MeToo statistic. Or if not avoiding a bad situation, at least having some tools to deal with it.

 

Here’s an excerpt from my introduction:

But what about acts that are offensive, but not necessarily criminal. If you don’t want to rely on a human resources department that may or may not have your back, what alternative do you have?

Dr. Wayne Dyer defines a victim as someone who runs her life according to the dictates of others. He says you can rarely be victimized unless you allow it to happen. Ultimately, you are in charge of your own life.

I maintain that in order to be proactive, what you need is high EI or emotional intelligence. The good news is emotional intelligence can be learned.

Daniel Goleman popularized the term Emotional Intelligence in several books on this topic. Emotional intelligence can be divided into four basic categories: how well do you know yourself, how well can you manage your emotions, how well do you understand others, and how much influence can you exert over them.

Knowing yourself includes being able to understand your own personality and how you are perceived by others.

Controlling yourself involves problem solving and making decisions. It also means taking responsibility for your actions.

Understanding others means being able to interpret their words and actions and predict the outcome.

Influencing others involves getting them to do what you want. Or not do what you don’t want. Can you communicate so others will hear you? Can you resolve conflict?

 

Please email me and let me know what you think. 

 

You too can have a super power

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Wonder Woman got it right

If you are feeling helpless at work, there is a very simple strategy that may help you feel more powerful. Strike a pose.

Amy Cuddy of Harvard University has researched how assuming the classic Wonder Woman pose, hands on hips, feet wide apart, shoulders back, actually raises your body’s testosterone. After holding the pose for only two minutes, you feel a surge of confidence, and those around you perceive you as more powerful.

Another benefit is a reduction in cortisol, so you also feel less stressed.

This is classic body language advice of being open versus being closed in stance. But now there is physical evidence to back it up.

In other words, don’t cross your arms as if to protect yourself. Take up as much space as you can. Keep your head up. You probably want to avoid putting your feet up on your desk though.

There has been some push back on these ideas by other researchers. Maybe they won’t work for everyone, but maybe, just maybe, they will work for you.

Why not give the pose a try and see what happens?

I’d Rather Wear Pajamas release

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I’d Rather Wear Pajamas

by Chelsea Walker Flagg

GENRE: Humor/Memoir

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

The author will award a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card to one randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 Everybody has the awesome opportunity to find their own strength and path through life. Some come about their self-discoveries through studying and working hard. Others (Chelsea) spend their time nearly burning down kitchens and driving around the country with a car full of hangers. 
Chelsea grew up wanting to be “strong.” She thought arguing her way through childhood and becoming a world-class attorney would get her there. But, through a series of humorous, and only slightly embarrassing events, Chelsea comes to realize that maybe her strength is meant to shine in different ways.

Excerpt:

“FTL’s biggest client was a fabric design company that made nothing but Hawaiian prints. I’m actually pretty sure they no longer make anything, but rather spend good chunks of their time suing other companies who copy their designs. For me, it meant perusing catalogues and clothing websites in search of items with designs similar to this company’s retired fabrics. How great a job is that, by the way? I was getting paid to look for shirts with palm trees and hibiscus flowers on them. This whole law thing was too good to be true.

My best assignment came when FTL caught wind that a men’s underwear line was infringing on our client’s design name. She came by and dropped a stack of male lingerie catalogues (yes, they exist) on my desk to go through in search of this name. I spent the better part of a week looking at pictures at mostly-naked men with socks stuffed in their skivvies.

Nobody knew what to do with me. On one hand, studying oiled-up men in scandalous poses just had to be against any number of company policies. On the other hand, I was legitimately doing work in an effort to make the law firm money, so they couldn’t discourage it. In the end, they just left me alone. And that’s how I learned that you can buy men’s briefs with pre-padded butt cheeks.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Chelsea was once obsessed with cats, longed to live in a big city, didn’t think she would ever have children, and aspired to be an attorney. She now lives in Boulder, Colorado as a stay-at-home mom and comedic writer with her husband and three daughters. She has no current plans to own a cat.

Chelsea Walker Flagg Social Media Links

http://www.chelseaflagg.com/

https://www.facebook.com/chelseawalkerflagg

Book links:  The book will be $0.99 during the tour.

http://www.idratherwearpajamas.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27082021-i-d-rather-wear-pajamas

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/id-rather-wear-pajamas-chelsea-walker-flagg/1122748957

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Million Dollar Women book review

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You may recognize the last name of author Julia Pimsleur. Her late father Dr. Paul Pimsleur created a method to learn foreign languages that is still widely used. I’ve seen his kits on the shelves of my small, hometown library.  For her to follow in his footsteps and start a company to teach languages to toddlers by using videos was pretty much a no-brainer. But having a great idea and knowing about languages and film making wasn’t quite enough. To grow a business, you need money.

Ms. Pimsleur has written a book called Million Dollar Women to explain how women can take their businesses beyond the kitchen table. Much of the material doesn’t apply to me. After all, I’m not the CEO of a large company or looking for investors. But there are plenty of suggestions here that even I can use.

Pimsleur points out that women often won’t attempt something unless they are 99% sure they won’t fail. Self-limiting beliefs like that have got to go. She uses the metaphor of putting them in a storage locker if you can’t part with them altogether. She also advises to add “yet” to the end of such a belief. For example, “I can’t understand financial statements…yet.”

It’s also important to surround yourself with like-minded people who will offer support. This is the principle behind Weight Watchers. The flip side is also true. You may have to distance yourself from people who turn out to be “frenemies.”

Pimsleur gives some tips on where to find those supporters, what she calls “flying buttresses” after the architectural features of Notre Dame. One is to join a professional association or a shared work space. Another is to start your own accountability group. The U.S. Small Business Administration can provide resources too.

Pimsleur quotes Carla Harris, Chair of the National Women’s Business Council, that while how well you do your job matters is your twenties and thirties, as you progress in your career or in your business, your ability to network becomes more important. Networking should be strategic and deliberate. Know why you are going to an event and whom you intend to meet. Then don’t drop the ball. Plan how you will follow up to keep your new contacts engaged.

Remember, you don’t have to do everything yourself. Learn to delegate. Pimsleur has an assistant, a virtual assistant, and is already delegating small home tasks to her young children.

It is not at all necessary to give up your personal life to be a million dollar woman or attain whatever your version of success is, but you have to prioritize and get into motion.

Pimsleur offers quite a few resources and exercises from the book on her website.