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Setting Healthy Boundries

In our fast-paced and demanding world, self-care and setting healthy boundaries is essential. This practice sets you up for maintaining a happy and joyful life. Establishing boundaries allows us to prioritize our well-being, protect our energy, and create space for self-nurturing activities. By cultivating healthy boundaries, we can enhance our overall quality of life and cultivate a sense of inner peace.

Personal Limits

One fundamental aspect of self-care is recognizing and honoring our personal limits. This involves acknowledging our physical, emotional, and mental capacities and understanding when to say no. It is crucial to listen to our bodies and minds and respond with kindness and compassion. By setting boundaries around our time and energy, we create the opportunity to engage in activities that replenish us.

Whether it’s taking a restorative break, engaging in a hobby, or spending time with loved ones, you need it.  Prioritizing our needs and well-being is not selfish but rather a prerequisite for living a fulfilling and joyful life.

Communication

Communication plays a vital role in establishing healthy boundaries. Clearly and assertively expressing our needs and limitations allows others to understand and respect our boundaries. It is essential to practice effective communication by expressing ourselves honestly.  You also need to be open to listening to the needs of others as well.

By setting clear expectations and boundaries in our relationships, we foster healthier dynamics and promote mutual understanding and respect. Effective communication also helps us navigate any unforeseeable conflicts. This ensures that our boundaries are upheld and our well-being is also prioritized.

Recognizing Energy Drains

Maintaining healthy boundaries also involves recognizing and managing emotional and energetic drains. It is crucial to identify relationships or situations that consistently deplete our energy and create emotional distress. Setting boundaries allows us to protect our emotional well-being and invest energy in relationships and activities that bring us joy.

This may involve creating distance from toxic relationships, limiting exposure to negative influences, seeking support from trusted friends or professionals. For example, I had a job that was truly unhealthy and leaving was the best thing that happened to me.

Foster Positive Relationships

Self-care and healthy boundaries are not about isolation but rather about fostering relationships that align with our values and needs. It is about surrounding ourselves with people who uplift and support us, and engaging in activities that nourish our souls. By nurturing ourselves and setting healthy boundaries, we create the energy to show up fully in relationships, work, and personal pursuits.

It enables us to be more present, engaged, and authentic in all aspects of our lives. Setting boundaries fosters a deeper sense of fulfillment and joy.

Embracing healthy boundaries and practicing self-care are essential components of a happy, joyful life. Be sure to prioritize your well-being, communicate needs, and manage emotional drains you experience.  We all create a foundation for personal growth, contentment, and vibrant relationships when boundaries are respected.

Remember, setting boundaries is an act of self-love and respect. It is empowering all of us to live authentically, cultivate joy, and thrive in all areas of our lives. Live well and enjoy!

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New Holiday Traditions

Holidays are more than just dates on the calendar; they are an embodiment of culture, values, and cherished memories. As societies become increasingly diverse, the opportunity to integrate new holiday traditions into celebrations such as Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah arise. Embracing these traditions not only promotes inclusivity but also enhances the richness of these festive seasons. Here’s how to thoughtfully integrate new holiday customs into these celebrations.

Embrace the Spirit

Begin by embracing the spirit of curiosity and openness. Learn about the diverse cultures and traditions that are relevant to the holiday you are celebrating. Understand the historical significance, rituals, and values associated with each tradition. This knowledge lays the foundation for meaningful connections.

Blend Culinary Delights

One of the most enjoyable aspects of holidays is the food. Incorporate dishes and recipes from various cultures into your holiday feasts. Whether it’s adding a Kwanzaa-inspired dish to your Christmas dinner. Or you can include a Hanukkah specialty during Boxing Day. Culinary fusion can be a wonderful way to honor multiple traditions.

Share Stories

Holidays are an ideal time to share stories and teachings from different cultures. Incorporate storytelling sessions where each family member or guest shares a tale from their heritage or a tradition. This not only educates everyone about new customs but also fosters a sense of unity.

Meaningful Gifts

When exchanging gifts, consider selecting items that hold significance in the traditions you’re integrating. This could be a book about the principles of Kwanzaa, a symbolic ornament from Hanukkah, or a handmade decoration that represents a cherished Christmas custom.

Volunteer and Give Back

Many holiday traditions emphasize the importance of giving back to the community. Integrate this value by participating in volunteer activities. These should align with the principles of the holidays you’re celebrating. This not only integrates new customs but also embodies the true spirit of the festive season.

Encourage Dialogue

Create an open space for discussions about the new traditions you’re integrating. Encourage family members and friends to share their thoughts, feelings, and questions. This fosters a sense of inclusivity and promotes a learning environment.

Respect and Sensitivity

Above all, approach the integration of new holiday traditions with respect and sensitivity. Ensure that the customs you’re adopting are authentically represented and celebrated. Avoid cultural assumptions by engaging in thorough research and consultation with members of the respective cultures.

Finally, integrating new traditions into celebrations like Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah is a way to honor diversity and foster understanding. By embracing a spirit of exploration, culinary fusion, and respectful engagement, you can create festive season for everyone.

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New Managers’ Traits

As librarians’ transition into managerial roles, the dynamics of their responsibilities change, a lot. Effective leadership is not merely about overseeing tasks but fostering an environment of growth, collaboration, and achievement. Here are three essential traits for new managers or leader in libraries and other fields.

Communication is Key

At the heart of effective leadership lies the ability to communicate with clarity, empathy, and purpose. New managers must be adept at conveying their ideas, expectations, and feedback in a manner that resonates with diverse team members. Clear communication sets the foundation for a harmonious work environment, reducing misunderstandings and fostering a culture of transparency.

Moreover, an essential aspect of communication is active listening. New leaders should not only express their thoughts but also be attuned to the concerns and perspectives of their team. This two-way communication builds trust and establishes a sense of inclusivity within the team.

In practical terms, this trait involves mastering various communication channels, adapting the message to different audiences, and being open to feedback. By prioritizing effective communication, new managers create a work culture for collaboration, innovation, and psychological safety.

Emotional Intelligence

As leaders navigate the complexities of managing a team, emotional intelligence emerges as a pivotal trait. The ability to understand and manage your emotions while empathizing with others is a hallmark of successful leadership. New managers who possess emotional intelligence can navigate interpersonal relationships, inspiring their teams to perform at their best.

Emotionally intelligent leaders are not only aware of their own feelings but can also read the emotions of their team members. This awareness enables them to tailor their leadership approach, providing support where needed and celebrating successes together. By fostering a positive emotional climate, new managers can enhance team morale and resilience, key factors in achieving long-term success.

Adaptability

In today’s fast-paced work environment, adaptability is a non-negotiable trait for new managers. To navigate change and make informed decisions in uncertain situations, positions a leader as a dynamic force within their organization.

Adaptable leaders instill confidence in their teams by demonstrating a willingness to evolve strategies based on emerging challenges and opportunities. This trait involves a continuous commitment to learning, staying updated on industry trends, and encouraging a culture of agility.

In essence, adaptability enables new managers to steer their teams through uncharted territories, transforming obstacles into stepping stones for growth. By embodying this trait, leaders inspire resilience and creativity, fostering a culture where challenges are viewed as opportunities for improvement.

Finally, effective leadership goes beyond merely overseeing tasks; it involves cultivating an environment where individuals thrive. By prioritizing communication skills, emotional intelligence, and adaptability, new managers can set the stage for both personal and team success.

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Barbie Taught Me About Work

Did you see the Barbie movie?  I did, mainly because I had the doll growing up. I loved Barbie. And here’s why this movie and its message for us all is so popular now.

Work Hard – Nothing is Perfect

Barbie has always lived in a perfect world. Pink, plastic, and perfect, the marketing machine has families buy her “accessories” for their children constantly. From the dream house, to the car, to her pet dog, Barbie had it all and little girls were supposed to aspire to that life. But, like me many families we couldn’t really afford Barbies or her perfect world.

I had one new Malibu Barbie, the one with the deep tan, gifted to me for my birthday.  I never had a Ken doll, or her sidekick Skippy, so was my imagination stilted?  Nope, never! I was able to earn my college degree (with no loans) and a masters degree after having children to meet my professional goals. I worked hard and reached high.

Improvise and Use your Creativity

Like any good kid with little resources, I improvised. I made Barbie’s furniture from old margarine tub lids and thread spools. She didn’t have a “dream house.” My tanned beauty had a shoe box, covered with a kitchen towel “patio” with a green washcloth lawn.

My doll,and the all the Saturday morning commercials, gave me permission to use my imagination! I improvised to envision my own “apartment” when I grew up.  (I had a few when I was older as well…living the dream in my own way!)

And the career choices I had, from Advertising Executive to Astronaut, I could live through Barbie.  I didn’t need a man to make my dreams come true. I had my drive and work ethic to make things happen for myself.

As a young girl, Barbie really inspired me to succeed to do whatever I dreamed.  And dreamed I did…I moved away from home out of state and started a career that helped me grow other skills that use today to be happy and succeed.

Movie’s Message is Clear 

I see that same message in the movie; Be yourself…whoever you are! No one is perfect or fits a certain mold.  Sometimes we hold ourselves up to unrealistic standards to those around us. Whether it’s in work, school, or even motherhood women have to navigate so many other societal obstacles, that men do not.

When we can truly all be accepted as we are, without limitations or prejudices, then we can all rest easy.  The world has a long way to go to get there.

Even Mattel admittedly has only had one female CEO in the company’s 78-year history. Go figure… but we keep striving, learning, and being better for those that come after us and help them succeed!

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Effective Feedback for Work

 

Providing feedback to employees is an important aspect of a manager’s role. In order to achieve successful outcomes, managers should be mindful of the following when providing feedback.

Be Timely

Feedback should be given in a timely manner, whether it’s positive or negative. It’s important to address issues or concerns as soon as they arise. Don’t’ wait until a formal evaluation or not at all, always address the issue. This will allow the employee to tackle and improve the issue in a timely mannerThis also helps morale for the other team members.

Be Specific

Feedback should be specific and focus on the employee’s actions or behavior, rather than their personality or character. It should be based on observable facts and should provide clear examples of what the employee did well or what needs improvement. Factual information is so important to keep an objective tone and help improve the employee’s behaviors or skills.

Be Balanced

Feedback should be balanced and provide a mix of positive and negative feedback. Positive feedback helps to build morale and motivation, while negative feedback helps to address areas for improvement. Have current examples on hand to illustrate the points of your feedback. Provide a timeline to help them understand what could have gone better and why.

Be Constructive

Feedback should be given in a constructive manner and focus on providing solutions rather than criticism. Avoid using judgmental or negative language and instead, provide specific suggestions for improvement.

Communicate Face-to-Face 

Feedback should be given in person, rather than via email or other forms of digital communication. This allows for a more open and direct conversation. It’s easier to pick up on nonverbal cues that can help to understand the employee’s perspective. Sometimes you will learn a great deal from eye contact and willingness to accept the feedback from your employee.

Follow-Up With A Plan

Feedback should be followed up with a clear plan of action. The manager should discuss with the employee what steps they will take to improve and what support the manager will provide. Follow-up conversations should be scheduled to assess the progress made and make any necessary adjustments. The employee needs to seriously address the plan for improvement as well, being open to change and suggestions.

Providing feedback to employees is an important aspect of a manager’s role, it’s a way to help them improve and grow in their jobs.  It’s a way to ensure that the company is running smoothly and efficiently.

By providing feedback in a timely manner with an action plan, managers can ensure that their feedback leads to successful outcomes.  Positive outcomes for both the employee and the company’s growth. This also helps to provide a healthy work culture and high morale for your teams across work groups.

KathyHusserTempe.com

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Ready for School

As the summer ends, it’s time for students of all ages to prepare for the new school year ahead. From the excitement of starting elementary school to the challenges of college, being prepared is key to a successful journey. Here are some useful tips to help elementary and college students get ready to start the school year off right.

For elementary school students, setting routines is important. As the transition from the relaxed days of summer to the structured school setting can be overwhelming.  It’s important to gradually reintroduce routines a few weeks before school starts. Set consistent bedtimes and wake-up times to help children adjust to the school schedule. Creating a morning routine that includes tasks like dressing, eating a healthy breakfast, and packing their backpacks. All this can be done the night before to help eliminate morning stress and ensure a smooth start.

Preparing the necessary supplies is another vital aspect of getting ready for school. For elementary school students, it’s essential to stock up on the basics such as pencils, erasers, notebooks, and crayons. Check the school’s supply list and make sure to include any specific items requested. Involve your child in the process of selecting their school supplies to help them feel excited for day one.

College students face a different set of challenges when it comes to getting ready for school. Time management and organization skills become increasingly important. Encourage college freshmen to use tools like planners or digital calendars to keep track of assignments, exams, and extracurricular activities. Establishing a study schedule and creating a designated study area at home can also help students stay focused.  Also maintain a healthy balance between academics and other commitments such as sports and clubs.

In addition to organizational skills, college students should also consider their long-term goals and aspirations. As they embark on their higher education journey, it’s important for students to start thinking about their future. Encourage them to explore interests, engage in extracurricular activities, and take advantage of any opportunities for career exploration or mentorships. Starting early on this path can help them make informed decisions about their career paths, leading to a more fulfilling and successful future.

Whether it’s the first day of elementary school or the start of college, preparing is a vital step towards success. Establishing routines, gathering the necessary supplies, and developing time management and goal-setting skills are essential for students at every level. By focusing on these areas, students can enter the school year with confidence. They will be ready to embrace new challenges and make the most of their educational journey. With the right preparation, the school year ahead holds countless opportunities for growth, learning, and personal development.

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Managing Coworkers

As a new supervisor, managing former coworkers can be challenging. It can be difficult to balance the shift in power dynamics while maintaining positive working relationships. In this article you will learn some best practices for managing former colleagues and creating a successful transition.

Establish Clear Communication

Open communication is essential when managing former colleagues. It is important to establish clear expectations from the beginning and to keep everyone informed throughout the transition process. This can include outlining new responsibilities, changes in reporting structure, and any other relevant details. Clear communication can help to reduce confusion and uncertainty, and create a more positive work environment.

Maintain Professionalism

As a new supervisor, it is important to maintain a professional demeanor when interacting with former colleagues. This can include avoiding favoritism, setting clear boundaries, and addressing any conflicts in a timely and respectful manner. It is also important to lead by example and to hold yourself to the same standards as your team.

Build Trust

Building trust is essential in any leadership role, and it is especially important when managing former coworkers. Take the time to get to know your team members on a personal level, and show them you value their contributions. Building trust can help to create a more positive work environment, and help to reduce tension or resistance to change.

Encourage Feedback

Encouraging feedback from your team can help to create a more collaborative work environment. As a new manager, you can help address any concerns or challenges that may arise or have come up in the past. This includes setting up regular check-ins, soliciting feedback on new initiatives, and actively listening to your team’s ideas and suggestions. Encouraging feedback can also help to create a culture of continuous improvement, and lead to better performance for the team.

Provide Support

As a new supervisor, it is important to provide support to your team during the transition process. This can include providing training, resources, and other HR support as needed. It is also important to be available and accessible to your team, and to provide regular feedback and recognition.

A favorite way to recognize your team is learn about them individually.  Thank them with a personal note, small gift, or publicly so they know you value them. One year, I gave my team Life is Good t-shirts depending upon their hobbies, and they loved them!

Finally, managing former colleagues can be a challenging experience. It is also a chance to grow and learn as a leader. By beginning with clear communication, you build trust, encourage feedback, and provide support for your team.  You can create a successful transition and build a strong team with former coworkers or as new leader.

Remember to lead by example, stay open to feedback, and be willing to adapt as needed. With the right mindset and approach, managing former coworkers or anyone can be fulfilling and fun!

For more career tips check out my website: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Mentoring At Work

Mentoring at work is a valuable tool for personal and professional development. It is a relationship between an experienced worker (the mentor) and a “rookie” or newer employee.  The mentor provides guidance, advice, and support to the mentee (or new worker) for future job success.  Mentoring at work can have many benefits for both the mentor and mentee, as well as the organization or business.

New Skills

One of the biggest benefits of mentoring at work is that it helps to develop the skills and knowledge of the mentee. The mentor can share their experience and expertise, and provide guidance on how to navigate the organization and its culture. This can help the mentee develop new skills, knowledge, and to become more effective in their role.

Builds Trust

Mentoring at work also helps to build relationships and networks within the organization. The mentor and mentee can build a strong working relationship, which can lead to increased trust, understanding, and collaboration. This can help to create a more positive and productive working environment.

Decreases Turnover

A mentoring program in the company can also help to improve the retention of employees. When employees feel truly valued and supported, they are more likely to be satisfied with their job. Turnover within the organization decreases overall with a trusted mentor to support the employee. A good mentoring program can help to create a sense of belonging among employees, which leads to higher retention.

Promotes Diversity and Inclusion

Another benefit of mentoring is it helps to promote diversity and inclusion. When mentoring relationships are formed between people from different backgrounds, it can help to break down stereotypes and biases. This can lead to a more inclusive and equitable workplace, where everyone feels valued and respected.

In addition, mentoring programs can be beneficial for the mentor as well. It can provide them with an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience.  The mentor gives back to the organization and gains personal confidence in their abilities in their role. It can also help them to develop leadership skills and to take on new responsibilities.

Overall, mentoring at work is an important tool for personal and professional development, and for the organization as a whole. It can help to develop the skills of new employees, build relationships, and promote diversity and inclusion. Therefore, companies should consider starting a mentoring program to support the career development of their employees and improve overall work performance and engagement.

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Beach Reads 2023

As summer ramps up and vacation calls, it’s the perfect time to read a good book while lounging beachside. As a librarian, here a few “beach read” recommendations sure to please any reader.  Each title promises to transport you to different worlds and capture the heart of this summer season.

Strong Women

Dive into a story of love, self-discovery, and sandy shores with “The Summer of Lost and Found” by Mary Alice Monroe. The story is set in the enchanting coastal town of fictional Sullivan’s Island. This novel brings together the lives of three generations of women as they navigate their personal journeys.

With vivid descriptions of the beach and an exploration of family dynamics, this book is a perfect beach read. For those seeking an emotional and touching summer read about family, chose this story. 

Thriller

If you’re craving a suspenseful thriller, “The Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn is sure to keep you riveted. Set in the bustling city of New York during a hot summer, this psychological thriller follows an agoraphobic woman. (She’s deathly afraid of going outside of her home.)

She believes she witnesses a disturbing event in her neighbor’s house. As secrets unravel and tensions rise, the story will keep you on the edge of your seat, turning the pages.

Hollywood Glitz

If you want a blend of romance, history, and exotic settings, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” is for you.  By Taylor Jenkins Reid (author of Daisy Jones & the Six) this book is a must-read! A captivating novel taking readers on a journey through the glamorous and wild life of Evelyn Hugo a fictional movie star. With its rich character development and fascinating narrative, this book brings you into the world of Hollywood and forbidden love.

Self-Discovery

If you’re in the mood for a light-hearted and delightful summer read, “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman is an excellent choice. Meet Eleanor, a socially awkward woman with a strictly structured life. Join her on a heartwarming journey of self-discovery and unexpected connections.

This uplifting novel explores themes of loneliness, friendship, and the transformative power of compassion. This book makes a perfect companion for lazy days by the seaside.

No matter which book you choose for your summer adventures, find one that speaks to you. A book’s well-crafted story has the power to transport you to far-off places, stir your emotions, and leave lasting impressions.

So, grab your beach towel, slather on some sunscreen, and lose yourself in the pages of an enthralling summer read. Whether it’s a tale of romance, mystery, or self-discovery, these book recommendations are sure to boost your beachside bliss. Make your summer even more memorable and check out a book today from your local library!

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Getting Promoted

Earning a promotion at your current job can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Here are some best practices to help you achieve success in getting promoted at work.

Be A Team Player

Collaborating with your coworkers and being a valuable team member is very important for earning a promotion. Make sure you are always willing to help out, and go above and beyond what is expected of you. This not only shows your dedication to the company, but also demonstrates your ability to work well with others.

Communication

Being able to communicate effectively is essential for any job, but even more so when trying to earn a promotion. Make sure you are always clear and concise when communicating with your supervisor and colleagues.

Additionally, actively listen to feedback and take constructive criticism to heart in order to improve and grow. It can be hard to hear the truth, but effective managers want you to improve and grow. You need to remember that communication styles will vary with different supervisors too.

Take Initiative

Showing initiative and being proactive in your job is a great way to demonstrate your potential for a promotion. Identify areas where the company could improve, and come up with solutions or suggestions.

This not only shows that you care about the company’s success, but also demonstrates your leadership potential. Be sure when you offer feedback (just like your supervisor) you are also offering a valuable solution for the company.

Improve Your Skills

In today’s fast-paced and constantly changing business environment, it’s important to continuously improve your skills and knowledge. Take advantage of any training opportunities offered by your company, and also consider pursuing additional education or certifications.

This will not only make you a more valuable employee, but also demonstrates your commitment to personal and professional growth.  Another tie in to taking initiative and showing you are a real team player to your boss.

Overall, earning a promotion takes hard work, dedication, and a willingness to go above and beyond. By being a team player, communicating, taking initiative, and continuously improving your skills, you display your potential for a promotion.  You will pave the way for a successful career with your current employer and the sky’s the limit!

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