The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

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Career Conversations Create Resilient Employees

By Eileen McDargh - Thursday, May 16, 2019

Resiliency, in my definition, is energy management. Do we have the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual energy to keep on “keeping on”? In short, can we grow forward through challenges or opportunities while we expand our wisdom and skills? Energy is determined by the quality and frequency of our connections. When a manager makes time to understand what is important to an employee, to help chart a career path that is personally meaningful and organizationally valued, then the energy sparks are powerful!  

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Naps Aren’t Just for Babies: Here’s The Research

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, May 13, 2019

 

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Even Animals Need Resiliency Help

By Eileen McDargh - Friday, May 03, 2019

Although Earth Day has come and gone, every day offers an opportunity to protect and nurture our natural world. Consider cloth grocery bags, bees wrap in place of plastic wrap or aluminum foil, low flush toilets, compost piles instead of disposals—the list is endless of what we can all do.

But how about the immediate need of animals? In the U.S. this past week, national news carried a horrid video of a woman literally throwing puppies into a garbage bin. Thankfully, a Good Samaritan rescued them. But I wonder how many animals are ignored, beaten, starved, and abandoned. Perhaps as carefully as adoption agencies check out prospective parents, it would be smart to perform a similar audit on pet owners.

Or maybe, we just need to watch what is at our feet. Consider the bunny.  While helping my Oregon daughter prepare her garden for spring planting, a sudden motion caught my eye. Wedged between the fence and a board was a baby bunny.  Surely, somewhere in the vicinity is a nest. Putting down the rake and shovel, we started moving on all fours, careful not to startle the little creature.

A good 10 feet away, my son-in-law spotted the circle of grass beside two boards and a shed. Ah, indeed we had found the nursery for two other bunnies. Wearing leather gloves that disguise the scent of humans, Phil carefully cradled our run-away and returned it to the nest. Gardening would stop for the day—maybe for a few weeks until the bunnies were grown and gone.

Inconvenient? Yes. The right thing to do? Yes. Sometimes, even animals need help with becoming strong and resilient.

 

 

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A Resiliency Killer: Loneliness

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, April 29, 2019

According to a CIGNA Survey conducted in 2018, 46% of Americans feel lonely sometimes or always. Only around half of Americans (53 percent) have meaningful, in-person social interactions, such as having an extended conversation with a friend or spending quality time with family, on a daily basis. Gen Z's are among the most lonely. Although the 18-23-year-olds think they are super-connected, they are not. They're attached to the wireless "umbilical cords" connected to smart phones which—in the scheme of things—are not very smart. Communication that is purely digital can never replace the sound of a voice or the touch of a hand. Or—for that matter—the tone of a voice. Chronic use of social media increases loneliness.

Here’s the kicker: loneliness has been determined to be more dangerous to your health than if you smoked 15 cigarettes a day! According to Vivek Murthy, former US Surgeon General, this loneliness epidemic poses significant risk for our nation’s well-being. A Brigham Young University study showed that loneliness can weaken your immune system, increase inflammation, and fuel heart disease and stroke.

Doesn’t sound resilient to me.

One solution: meaningful human connection through listening. When connected with someone who lovingly and respectfully listens with her heart, life become lighter, even healthier. It’s such a simple but powerful tool that psychologist Tracy Ruble began setting up chairs on a sidewalk in San Francisco. Trained volunteers sat and just listened to any passerby who just wanted to stop and talk. From humble beginnings in 2015, Sidewalk Talk has grown to over 400 volunteers in 50 cities and in 12 countries.

According to Ruble, “We aim to teach people how to be effective listeners and compassionate community members so we can all show up and support one another. We teach people how to be listeners and empower them to start Sidewalk Talk chapters in their own cities.”

SO, dear readers, put away your not-so-smart phones. Walk into your home, office, or neighborhood and just try listening to one person without judgment or advise. You can even download a training program on how to be a better listener. I’m in the field of communication and I know I can always become a better listener. Time to impact the loneliness epidemic!

Having a solid social network of real friends is an antidote, even the Magic Elixir for good physical and mental health. Being social can prevent us from being lonely which stresses our immune system.

 

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5 Top Skills Critically Needed in the Workforce by 2020

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, April 22, 2019

By the year 2020, the workplace will require some unique skills in order to thrive, to be resilient and to relish an ever-changing world. Now is the time to begin developing them.  

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Five Secrets to Creative Adaptability

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, April 15, 2019

In the face of continuing economic challenges, a roller coaster marketplace, Congressional stalemates, and unrelenting change, leaders in every part of an organization must develop a capacity for resiliency. A cornerstone of resiliency is adaptability. Mind you, this is not the ordinary find-another-answer but rather find MANY answers. 

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Land Rover or a Dog Rover?

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, April 01, 2019

At the gym, I saw a television ad for the Land Rover. The driver—a very handsome man—stops the car, gives his dog the whiff of a dropped scarf and the chase begins!

The driver follows this gorgeous black dog running through narrow alleys, down cobblestone streets, until the animal stops at the steps of what looks like a huge mansion.

Out hops the man. He bounds up the steps as the woman turns. She smiles, accepts the scarf and he’s back in the driver seat.

Trying to sell me a Land Rover?I think not. I’d buy the dog!!!!

 

 

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Three Reasons to Break Your Patterns

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, March 25, 2019

For 20 years, I’ve gone away on a personal retreat to The Center for Spiritual Renewal in Montecito. The four-hour drive created a vacuum in which I could eventually still my busy mind. The last hour brought sweeping vistas of the Ventura coastline, following by densely wooded streets until I stopped at the base of a mountain and the front door of a magnificent home built in the 1930s. By habit, my first meal would be in a small Italian restaurant and then home to the great house with Italian tiles, intricate teak ceilings, big beds, and a kitchen accessible 24-7. There I would write, meditate, and hike to the ridgeline some four miles above the town.

You can read the rest of the post at LinkedIn.

 

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Break the rules. Keep the Faith.

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, March 18, 2019

For the past three years in December, my twin brother has sent me a pot of amaryllis blubs from Harry and David’s. But this Christmas, the blubs came looking less than hardy: very dry, small, and pretty pathetic compared to past years. 

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Resilience Requires Support and Empathy

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, March 11, 2019

A recent study at the University of Michigan found that empathetic skills in college students have declined by as much at 48% over the last 8 years. The reasons for the decline are many, but two in particular stand out: 

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