Corporate Memoirs: How to Take Care of Yourself and Stay ConnectedBy Michelle Albert
December 31, 2006
Michelle Albert has spent many years in the corporate environment and has learned how to utilize Inner Bonding in difficult corporate settings. In this article, she shares some of her experiences and ways of handling conflict.
We have all seen and heard all the stories of greed and corruption exposed lately in the press. Enron, Global Crossing and Andersen to name a few. For some of us this is old news. We have lived and breathed this life for many years. At last, we are pleased for we see that justice was served. For others however, this is new and quite shocking information to digest about something unknown to us. Which ever "group' we identify with, collectively we all realize that this is what it is and it is this realization that can emancipate us. What is important here? Is it about us or them? Do they define us? We can not do anything about who these people are and who they have chosen to be. We also have no control over some of the situations that we find ourselves in. We have the choice in how to take care of ourselves each and every moment in our own unique predicaments but that is all.
One of my firm's client's recently stated a few days ago that although she is in the "inner circle" in her firm, when the firm made cuts to their benefits program, she was treated like the "rank and file" and got "nothing". She was shocked that in spite of her "position" everything could change so drastically with no warning. It is more "shocking" that she could believe that she was secure and comfortable in her slot. Is there such a thing as an "inner circle" in Corporate Life or is this part of the "game?" You can be fired anytime and for any reason so even if there is perception of being a part of the "inner circle" will being a member of this so called "elite" help at all times? Is anyone truly "safe" or comfortable in a corporate position? Can one afford to be tuned "out" at any time and put your fate in their hands? Is this not the epitome of victimization?
The Department of Labor (DOL) believes that you can be "let go" at anytime and for any or no reason. What seems so incredible is that they (The Corporation) liked you in the beginning when they hired you so what happened? Did you change overnight and wake up one morning incompetent or did their "interests' change and therefore you were no longer necessary? Is this about you or about them? The Internal Revenue Service "IRS" defines an "employee" as someone who does what they "are told". What happens when you are asked to do something for someone that does not "feel" right to you and this person is a superior in your company? How do you stay connected to a stronger force in the face of adversity? How do you stay true to yourself? Were you recently promoted into a position of visibility and suddenly find yourself under open attack for competition and political tactics? Are these people looking to "know" you and utilize your talents or are they molding you into a role that fits in with their needs? And when their needs change again, where does this leave you?
The New York Times recently had an article about a woman who was very sick and almost died and was fired from her job for taking "too many" sick days. It only made the papers because her son was murdered during her illness. How many sick days are too many when you are on your death bed? Tragedy or reality? In another firm an employee was only reprimanded for lying about taking sick days, while interviewing for another job and in the interim as a result of her incompetence, also managed to destroy her entire department. Why was she not let go? The reason is simple. Her mother just happens to be a "big shot" at a firm the company has a joint venture with so she can go on lying to everyone, exploiting her situation and destroying the department without consequences. Is this fair? How could this be acceptable?
It seems quite pointless to cite additional examples of dehumanizing conditions, lack of fairness and decisions based solely on "interests" alone in Corporate America. They are too numerous to count and many have also ended up in Court. Some cases settle quickly to avoid negative publicity and others drag on forever. But what is the point? At this stage, what feels right is to concentrate on how one can adequately work with these conditions without giving yourself up or without loosing yourself in the process. A real challenge - no question about it - and not at all easy in the face of corporate "life" but well worth the effort.
It is my belief that there is very little that can be done about these places overall. Some are worse than others. Generally, the motive is profit, the stakes sometimes very high and in one way or another everyone is exploited. The bosses are driven and ruthless. Employees generally are treated badly and sometimes even humiliated. There is no trust at all between people and very little camaraderie. The atmosphere is cold and calculated and all about mutual survival. This is what it is and what we have to work with. I have found that by staying tuned in and connected it helps immensely to function clearly and not to loose myself in the face of it. This mechanism has also helped me to access other forces in the universe and therefore to feel less alone and less vulnerable. Clearly, it is key to have other plans in mind and only to work in these environments if there are NO other alternatives in the present. It is also critical to develop other interests, nourish the mind and body and also surround yourself with supportive, loving and caring people.
The following are recommendations for Corporate "Life" Survival:
1. Read all the books and or listen to the audio tapes cited at the end of this article under References. They are a "must" for anyone who is looking to evolve, to learn and to challenge themselves in difficult moments. Some of these sources also explain how to take care of yourself physically which is critical under these stressful corporate conditions.
2. When you find yourself in difficult situations that require solutions in the immediate, regardless of the issues, immediately focus on your breathing, tune into the body and "clear a mental space'' before speaking in the moment.
3. Ask yourself "what is loving to me now?' "How can I deal effectively with this situation without compromising myself? "How can I stay open to the other side?" "How can I set limits so I can work with another without resentment?" "How can I move into the intent to learn?" Ask as many questions as fits the predicament. If you are tuned in to yourself regardless of the outcome, answers will pop into your head. Do not try to analyze the answers but instead have faith that these are the answers in the moment. Realize that you are not alone on the planet , that you need to access help from the universe which is there for you if you allow it in. (For more detailed information refer to the steps of the Inner Bonding Process. This is a comprehensive system that teaches self responsibility, connection and self direction).
4. Offer a solution and check in to see how this feels to you inside. The answer from inside will lead you on your path and will be unique to your situations. (Refer to the Inner Bonding process)
5. Keep in mind at all times that none of these situations are about you as a person or a reflection of your abilities. The "daily" situations you find yourself in are just "predicaments" of "Corporate Life" that one has to adequately deal with in the moment but that this is all. In spite of the difficulties, you will feel that you did not abandon yourself and this is what it is all about.
- "Inner Bonding", Dr. M. Paul
- "Do I have To Give Up Me To be Loved By You?" Dr. M. Paul
- "Do I have To Give Up Me To be Loved By God?" Dr. M. Paul
- "Healing Your Aloneness". M. Paul/ E Chopich
- Article - "Telling The Truth...or Not". Dr. M. Paul
- "Boundaries"- Audio Tape Workshop. Dr. R and D Grudermyer
- "Focusing". Dr. E Gendlin
- "Interactive Focusing on Corporate America". Dr. J. Klein
- "Waking the Tiger"-Dr. Peter Levine
- "New People Making" and "Say it Straight"-Virgina Satir
- "Journey of Personal Healing", Dr. B Brennan
- "Trust", Dr. Francis Fukyama
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|Updated: Corporate Memoirs I, II & III|
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What do you do when your heart hurts from others unloving behavior or from the pain of life? Do you get angry and blame someone? Do you shut down or turn to addictions? Do you ignore your feelings? Instead, hold your pain with compassion and gentleness and give yourself permission to cry, which is the god-given way of releasing pain.
By Dr. Margaret Paul