Late last month our meditation leader, Nancy, took us through a guided practice that invited participants to make whatever noise our souls needed to release. I had been through the meditation once before and discovered that my soul needed to release both a fog horn and a dying goose.
I was trying for an OM, but I am completely tone deaf. True story.
This particular meditation was packed - which is unusual for a Saturday morning - and it was packed with quite a few women that were brand-spanking-new to the SheHive. It occurred to me that listening to me sound off like a river freighter in a dense haze was going to be a hell of an introduction to the community. More so, it occurred to me that having to make their own crazy sounds out loud had the potential to be scary as hell for a group of women who did not yet know how safe the SheHive space truly is.
Saying shit out loud first is my mission. And that translates to guttural soul sounds too. I decided that I would let my dying goose / fog horn fly loud and proud so that others would feel free to let go too.
So I started with my dying goose and eventually raised a few octaves to grieving cat. Interestingly, as the pitch of my “soul noises” increased, so did the pressure in my sinuses. (Or my third eye for you woogity-types.) Eventually my head started throbbing and I had an overwhelming sense that the only thing that was going to release the pressure was a big, loud-as-hell, howl.
I thought about it for a few minutes - even started to let it out a few times, but I just couldn’t do it. I had lost my “say shit out loud” bravado. What would all these women think if I let out a howl? Would they run for the hills - or Hilton Road, as the case may be? Would they laugh? Would they politely smile as they left later that morning and then say really mean shit about me on the drive home?
I went quiet. I hummed. I tried the OM thing. I stopped making sound all together for a while and listened to everyone else. Maybe one of them would start howling first.
I fought the fears in my head for a good ten minutes and then decided, “Fuck it, I’m going to howl. If nothing else, it’ll be a hell of a story to share later.”
I started with a teeny, little howl - like a rabid chihuahua. No one laughed, so I tested out something a little louder. Like maybe a Pit Bull. My Pit Bull Fletcher loves to howl and it’s cute as hell, after all. Then I visualized my girlfriends from grad school who call each other The Wolf Pack. I mustered up all their collective strength and love, opened my jaw and let if fly… a full-on wolf howl.
If anyone was laughing I wouldn’t have heard it.
And it wouldn’t have mattered if I could have because when I opened my mouth, and released my fear, I felt the most amazing sensation ever… heat. The actual heat of my voice leaving my mouth. It was one of the strangest things I had ever felt. I could, literally… Feel. My. Voice.
I can’t even possibly imagine what anyone else in the building was experiencing that day - what they must have thought they were hearing coming from the SheHive. I suspect, by this time, they’re rather used to us. Truth is, however, it doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t trade the discovery and experience for anything - particularly not for the approval of anyone else not howling alongside me.
What does it feel like for you when you let go of fear and let your voice be heard? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Drop me an email or leave a comment below.
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD
This article originally appeared in the Detroit Free Press
Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, Published 3:06 p.m. ET Feb. 9, 2018
Workers are now in a position to negotiate for more money because of a tight labor market, but most people aren't, a new survey says — and as a result, they likely are earning less.
Many folks are afraid to ask for more, and women may be even more reluctant to ask than men.
"People tend to think it's hard to do," Trisha Plovie, regional vice president of human resource consulting firm Robert Half in Troy, said Friday. "It can be uncomfortable to negotiate in an interview situation and some people may be fearful that by negotiating, the company may decide not to make them an offer."
But, Plovie said, right now, the labor market is tight, which means that employees have the leverage to find jobs, earn more and it's less likely that they will be passed over — or told no — than it was just a few years ago.
"Candidates are really in the driver's seat," Plovie said.
In December, the latest month the data is available, Michigan's unemployment rate was 4.6%, and nationally, 4.1%.
The survey by Robert Half asked 2,700 people whether they negotiated their salary and broke down the results into 27 metro areas, including Detroit.
Ranked from highest to lowest percentage of people who negotiated by area, Detroit was about in the middle at No. 15 with less than half of metro Detroit professionals — 39% — trying to negotiate their most recent job offer.
That percentage was the same as the survey's national average.
The top metro area, as you might expect for negotiations, was New York with 55% of professionals negotiating their salary; the city at the bottom was Indianapolis at 24%. Cities looked at that were closest to Detroit, such as Pittsburgh, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Minneapolis, with 48%, 41%, 36%, 35% and 26% of professionals negotiating pay, respectively.
The overall survey results also suggested two reasons why some negotiated and others did not may be related to gender and age.
Of professionals who did negotiate for more money, 46% of them were men, compared with 34% of women; and younger workers, the so-called millennial generation who are between 18 and 34, were more likely to negotiate than older generations of workers.
Plovie said that younger workers, especially those graduating college, are entering "super hot employment markets." They likely feel confident because they are out of school and may be working with a recruiter who can help them negotiate — or negotiate for them.
Chanel Hampton, the founder and president of Strategic Community Partners in Detroit, unlike their parents or grandparents, millennials don't plan or expect to stay at one company their whole careers so they want to get as much pay as early as they can.
"For many people, it boils down to confidence," Hampton said. "A lot of people don't realize negotiating is an option."
Ursula Adams — a leadership consultant and owner of the SheHive, a women's development center in Ferndale — said that in more than 25 years of working in human resources at the United Way and Compuware, she never negotiated her salary and now regrets it.
"I think how much more I could have done," she said. "The work I did was worth more."
She said was afraid to ask and afraid of the consequences if she did.
"There was always the idea that this is as good as it gets, and how dare I ask for more money," she said. "During the downturn and seeing layoff after layoff, you feel lucky to have a job. Women are taught its impolite to ask and that they have to do the job before they can ask for a title or raise."
Men, she said, tend to ask based on their potential.
Her advice: "Be OK with the uncomfortable conversation and be OK with what could potentially be an uncomfortable result. It's much easier now that you can ask what you are worth because of the job market. There are other jobs to be had and its easier to start your own thing now."
Last year, another survey by Robert Half looked at worker confidence levels in talking about money with their employers: 54% of those surveyed were comfortable negotiating pay in a new job, up 4% from 2016; and 49% felt confident asking for a raise in their current role, up 3% from the year before.
Among other findings:
"You're not going to get more if you don't ask," Adams said. "If you ask and don't get it, at least you know where you stand in the organization."
Know what others earn. Research what others are paid in similar jobs in the industry and in the company. Pay information for most professions is tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, industry websites and trade associations. You also can ask people in similar jobs and in the company.
Know your own worth. What do you bring to the company: Experience? Rare skills? Special relationships with clients? A reputation? Are there other companies competing for you? These may be factors that make you worth more to your employer — or potential employer.
Think about total compensation. In addition to salary, consider enhancing your benefits package. Can you get more paid time off? Better a retirement package? Stock options? Bonuses? Working from home? These often are ways to boost your overall compensation.
Consider opportunities beyond compensation: What chances do you have to move up in the organization and how quickly can you do so? You may want to consider a trade-off of pay for future promotions.
Make your case. Don't be afraid to ask, but not until you have a formal offer. Explain why you are worth what you want using your industry research and personal assessment. Be confident. Justify your reasoning. Keep in mind that the worst that can happen is you are told no.
[Read more at the Detroit Free Press]
I’m in Florida this week on my annual girls’ trip - a tradition that started with my mom and Aunt Sally in 1987. Newly-divorced, single mothers with little expendable income at the time, they mustered their resources and treated themselves to an 18-hour road trip (one way), followed by a week at a small mom-and-pop motel on Treasure Island, Florida. The trip is now a tradition, 30+ years old, with as many as six women attending some years. We still stay at a small mom-and-pop motel, but we’ve upgraded to a beach-side apartment.
Florida - or Floreed-AHHH as it is known in the family - comes with a set of rules. You get a printed copy the first time you make the trip. Rules like, no one is under any obligation to do anything they don’t want to do, no one snitches on midnight cookie eaters, everyone pays for their own stuff and you can’t talk about medical ailments for more than 30 minutes each morning (lots of medical professionals in my family). My mom wrote the rules originally (I added the piece about medial ailments after one too many detailed discussions about colonoscopies over morning coffee). The rules are much more hilarious than I’m actually sharing, but more than funny they are full of love.
Without having to discuss it, everyone knows that separate checks accompany each meal out, that you can chill by the pool all day long - even if everyone else is going shopping, and that no one will shame you for eating Larry’s apple pie with cinnamon ice cream as a meal… at 10 a.m.
Clarity and clear boundaries… what an amazing gift to give to the people you care for.
Of course, the first step to giving such a gift is being able to define and articulate our needs. We can’t rely on our loved ones to interpret what we haven’t even defined for ourselves.
Kinship and friendship don’t equate to being able to read minds. Hell, Jane and I even meet to discuss expectations about the management of the SheHive business office and she’s psychic.
I’m committing to being better at articulating my needs and expectations this year. Not as a means to put others on the spot or shame them (myself included) - but to create a sense of psychological safety. No more guessing. No more wondering. No more fear. Clarity and peace of mind. How awesome would that be for all of us?
When’s the last time you sat down to define what it was you needed from those that seek to care for you? And when’s the last time you actually shared your expectations with them? Leave a comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear about your experience!
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD