Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Motivating Women

So... I tagged Soulfull & the sister came back strong with her post on the "5 and 5" list I tagged her with. Let me tell you something: this chick has her stuff so together that she sent out motivating vibes to me.  Any woman, any mother, any daughter - y'all should go check her post. (We are both on Twitter, so I'm gonna get to thank her today! Does anybody else reading this Twitter???)
Everyone has a vibe. You can be around some people & start to feel dragged down. You can be around other people who make you feel pumped up and energetic. Some vibes are weak & some are strong. I have the feeling that Soulfull is one of those people who gives off a power vibe. You know, she can make other people want to feel ready to get things done.

A long time ago, when I had first started working in the customs brokerage industry, I had a female boss named "J." At first, I really looked up to this woman. She was smart and efficient and I wanted to be just like her. For the first 6 months or so - while I was learning the basic ropes of the various duties - "J" was really cool. She acted as a sort of mentor to me. I caught on to the job quickly (probably because I enjoyed it so much) and was promoted from clerk to department supervisor. This brought me to the attention of J's boss. He seemed to be pleased with the job I was doing in one department and within another six months or so, he promoted me to head a larger department. Of course, I was thrilled. Like I always had before, I would turn to J for advise about different situations I had to handle. Funny thing: the better I became at my job, the less pleased J seemed to be. Instead of offering advise and constructive criticism, she began to act peevish about anything I did. She stopped dropping by during the day to chat and she no longer emailed me to point out helpful articles and information.

J eventually relocated out of state to another division. I stayed with the company for over 15 years. I worked under a lot of different bosses - male and female. Some of them had mentoring personalities and some didn't. A lot of them made it clear that they were just passing through to the next rung on the ladder.

The thing is, J had started out being such a motivating and energizing presence in my professional life. The way she dimmed her enthusiasm really affected the way I related to co-workers (above and below me). For one thing, I learned how to mentor and be consistent in my approach. But I also learned how much we can affect the people we come into contact with. We can be motivating, apathetic or damaging.

Ever since those first days in that job, I always watch for the kind of energy people give off. I don't mind working with people I might not personally like, but it's a real effort to deal with people who are a drag on energy. It's not productive and it can spread through a workplace like a virus.

Hopefully, in my life, I will meet more people like Soulfull. Because of my old boss, I can deal with people like J, but I prefer positive energy.

Go check out Soulfull's blog & try to soak up some of that motivation (then go out and spread some around).