Category Archives: sometimes wellbeing

All The Advice You Thought You Needed

In December, I tried Reiki for the first time. Heading off to Cork, I sat outside, inside, by lots of trees and lay out in the wild to experience energy healing and all it had to offer. I learned more about the power of animals, nature and ‘the basics’ when it comes to feeling my best. Often, I’ve felt that fancy and elaborate needs were the way forward in terms of self-assurance and being my best self. Actually, what made so much sense was to get back to the grounding benefits of being in nature, meditating, being around animals and connecting with like-minded and emotionally healthy people. Reflecting back to that particular time, it was like having all of those reminders together in one go and set the tone for the coming months where I would continue to explore my intuition and listening to my body as much as possible.

As I carried on throughout the week, I recognised that these were the specific needs I had and that I wanted to feel that zen as much as possible. I followed up with some time working with a life coach, changed my diet and built a stronger habit of listening to myself and my body in order to feel my best and to guide this path with more ease.

‘Why would you fight, June?’ was the question of a friend lately. She highlighted this to me as I experienced a moment of un-ease due to some decisions I had been making. There are always choices – in any situation and listening to our emotions is imperative to knowing what serves us.

I read a post by Mel Robbins lately about doing a survey with friends before making a big decision. It can be a tendency (I know it is for me), to reach out and talk through any situation to get advice with a lot of friends. We tell the same story over and over again in the hopes that we’ll reach an answer either by having them tell us or having an aha moment while discussing it which will magically bring us to the answer.

Having the solution told to us would be pretty handy, huh?

Talking through is great and I certainly advocate for this. As I guide through the decisions in my life, goodness knows I’ve learned that ruminating for too long and not sharing with those we trust most can be detrimental to our health. It can also leave us with too many thoughts and then, overwhelm. Thankfully, we can still do both – talk through things and get advice where we’d like in a situation.

Here are some ways that work for me when it comes to managing through a situation.

Set expectations as you enter into a conversation. What do you want to get from it and why are you diving into it with this person? If you want to talk through and not get advice, say this. As humans, we tend to jump into solutions in a situation due to how our brains operate.

Manage your emotions before getting into the conversations. Have an idea and strong pulse on how you’re feeling and be sure to allow this in as you start to chat. At times, naming an emotion can help guide the objective of the conversation you’re having or planning on having.

-Being compassionate to the other person. When it comes to giving advice, it comes from a place of our own experience. Seems pretty obvious to say this but there are paradigms, life choices and focuses at play. As we listen or share (as the advice giver), it’s important to note that that there’s a lense that everyone is wearing that influences what they share.

-It’s about the process too, remember this. Perhaps you don’t have an answer yet as you’re not meant to? You can enjoy the journey and find your way to the answer when the time is right. It will work out in the end – promise.

Happy Sunday & keep shining x

Learnings From Interviewing Over 500 People

Reflecting on the past 7 years of management, learnings that’ve come up from this role are pretty topical right now. On a Friday, I’ll grab a virtual cup of coffee with someone and next thing I know, I’m being asked ‘hey June, what have you learned as a manager of global teams?’. Naturally, this has brought up a number of questions and of course, a sit with what I actually did learn and what that looks like for me as I move forward in my career and life.

Back in my Lush days, we’d interview hoards of enthusiastic candidates at least four times per year. They’d queue at our shop door for hours in the morning (sometimes from 7am) to take part in a group interview with myself and the wonderful leadership team. It was always rather exciting to be part of them and the different interactions were so much fun as we navigated through the hour and a half of role plays, demos and other out of the box ideas that would work for us to identify the best people to join our team. Fast forward to 2018 and I was fortunate to start a management role at Marketstar (known then as Product2Market). There, I have continued to have a plethora of new learnings while interviewing candidates for my teams, other teams, promotions and of course, exit interviews to chat through questions of the why and how of individuals.

Interviews are an interesting dynamic. They can be made up a mixture of questions, ideas and connection depending on the role, people, company and whether it is in person or over virtual call. A panel can be involved, one on one or a group interaction as I mentioned about Lush earlier on.

Putting your best foot forward is important for interviews but there are so many other factors and learnings that can come from them as an interviewer or interviewee. This has certainly been my experience. Allow me to shed some light.

As an interviewer, we can easily get carried away with what the candidate is saying and asking a decent follow up question. We want them to know that we are challenging them, to ensure they’ve done their prep and are keen to be in this company and job. Meanwhile, as interviewers, it’s important to remember that they are also assessing us. The timeliness, questions, interactions and overall attitude that we bring to the table is a representation of the company and management that they are applying for. Remembering this is imperative to kicking off a strong dynamic from the get-go.

It’s obvious if someone is being genuine or not, this applies to interviews like everything else. Being clear, honest, open and giving thoughtful answers goes a long way in terms of bringing your best self to the table in an interview process. Prepare for possible situational questions ( of course) but be mindful that curve balls will be thrown. This is a real human interaction – don’t follow a script.

Just because it doesn’t have the outcome you wanted, doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. I’ve given many rejections over the years, some were with feedback – others weren’t. There are so many reasons why a role is not for you, noting this is of vital importance in the process. There could be internal candidates, the timelines don’t match or it’s simply not the role for you. Follow your faith.

Learn about you from every experience – add it to your belt and press on. Bringing the best mindset is what will support you no matter what – on your lovely path.

Keep shining x

Forming Communities: Trauma Bonding & Connecting Through Confusion

My old manager used to call it ‘bonding through bitching’. Reading the book ‘Outliers’ many years ago, there was a study that looked into the fact that people in an Italian community in the USA who lived much longer than everyone around them (comparable to different regions). Looking at diet, exercise regime and several other factors, it came down to the sense of community that was there and what this connection looked like that lead to their longevity in life. Bonding can happen in so many ways and it’s worth us exploring as humans in order to know how we are building and working on our relationships – in all areas of our lives.

You see, we’re built for connection. Lockdown has hopefully taught us more than anything else. We need other humans and there are many ways in which we can and do connect with each other. Sports, nights out, work and travel are just some ways we start and build relationships with people. This allows us to build and understand our own ways to connect and how we set our intentions. Identifying healthy ways of bonding is an important factor that can impact how our relationships develop and how we move forward with strengthening them while keeping ourselves in tact.

Some ways to identify how you’re connecting through healthy means involves assessing a number of factors. What are the subjects talked about and how are they coming across in the conversation? Is it positive, negative or real? Are you talking about other people, problems out of your business, gossip or negativity in the background? Pay attention to the topics.

How do you feel in particular interactions? Our energy doesn’t lie. If we’re in an interaction and it lowers our energy, this can mean we don’t vibe with that person, situation or topic of conversation (or all of the above). Listen to your body – during and after an interaction and determine if it lowers or increases your vibe.

How is your energy beforehand? Recently, I’ve attended social engagements even though my energy told me not to. Pushing ourselves into a social interaction when we’re not feeling it can affect our ability to build or engage with a relationship at that time and thereafter. It’s okay to say no to protect a boundary. Do it later when you’re at your best in terms of energy.

Are your values resonating with those you’re interacting with? Our circles are significant and indeed, we don’t need to have the exact same values as each person in our circles. I’m an advocate of a close inner circle with transparency as to what this part of our lives looks like. We become like the five people we spend the most time with in our lives. Remember this as you choose and interact with your circle.

Regularly, I research and work to understand psychological safety. As a team manager, this has been a focus over the past 7 years. This is something we feel – it can’t be faked by talking about it. Knowing how you are feeling in specific environments is key to your own development and interactions.

Recognising how we’re interacting with others and with what focus can help guide us to better connection. Share your thoughts below :).