224 The Power of Asking for Help with Teresa Rand
This week on the podcast, I welcome Teresa Rand, a seasoned professional with three decades in corporate America and the founder of the Boss Lady Community. Together, we unravel the profound impact of asking for help in achieving genuine Work+Life Harmony. Teresa's rich experiences serve as a guiding light, emphasizing the importance of challenging societal norms, embracing vulnerability, and debunking the myth of the superwoman. Tune in to discover how the often-overlooked act of seeking support can be a catalyst for positive change, in the workplace and at home.
In this episode, we cover:
- The importance of asking for help
- Practical approaches to seeking support in both personal and professional realms
- Goal setting with adaptability
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Hey everyone, welcome back to Work+Life Harmony. I'm excited for you all to meet our guest today, teresa. She is definitely a kindred spirit in terms of the importance of asking for help and really working towards having that work+life harmony. So if you are someone that struggles with asking for help, I really, really want you to pay attention to today's episode. Welcome to the Work+Life Harmony podcast.
I'm your host, Megan Sumrell. I'm the creator of the top program and top planner teaching all things time management, organization and productivity for women. I'm also a mom and wife and, just like you, I'm juggling hashtag all the things while running multiple businesses and a family. Guess what? You don't have to feel constantly overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed out. There is another way. When you have the right systems and tools to plan and manage your time, you can live a life of harmony. This is your show to learn from me and other amazing women how to master your time, planning an organization to skyrocket your productivity so you can have work+life harmony. If you're ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, this is the show for you, and if you're new here, I'd love to get you started with my Work+Life Harmony assessment. All you have to do is DM me on Instagram a @MeganSumrell with the word Harmony and my team will send it right over.
Hey everyone. Welcome back to Work+Life Harmony. I have a new guest for you today that I'm really excited for you to meet. Her name is Theresa Rand. I'm going to have her introduce herself here in a moment, but anytime I have the opportunity to meet another woman that is as passionate as I am about helping people truly live a life that is work+life harmony. That isn't about hustle culture. That isn't about stay up late, get up early, run, run, run, sacrifice yourself for everybody else. I know that she is my people, so welcome to the show, theresa. I'd love for you to introduce yourself and tell everybody about you.
Thank you so much, Megan. I am thrilled to be here. I am coming from Daytona Beach, where it's not so sunny. Today it's a little rainy and dreary, but no complaints, because we still don't need a coat. So that's awesome. That's why we live here. But I spent 30 years in corporate America and then left and started my own gig five years ago, which involves some consulting. I use a lot of personality assessments to go into companies and help them communicate better. The whole 30 years I was in corporate America and you can probably relate. Communication is always an issue and it still is. How we talk to each other, how we come across, all of those things. And then I also run a women's community, which is what we have in common. Among other things. That's called the boss-lady community. I have a podcast. It's a membership. We do virtual. We do a big corporate retreat every year in September, so lots of fun things going on.
Awesome, awesome. And I a little sidebar before we start talking here, to work-life harmony. I geek out on all those personality assessments and I know you are an expert in the disc model, right? Yep, yep, yep, that's what I need. So I would say for those of you that if you're in a work environment and your team has never gone through an assessment like that, I cannot recommend it enough. So definitely keep your ear out for things related to that, because it can really completely transform teams and how they work together for sure.
Well said, I could not have said it better, Megan. I am passionate about. I used them throughout my career in hiring people and developing teams, developing young leaders, and they're incredibly powerful 100%.
So what would you say, thinking back through your corporate career, and maybe even some today? What were some of your biggest challenges as you were juggling, building you know this very impressive career along with all the rest of your life, and how you were able to juggle all of that together without completely burning out.
Yeah, Well, there were times I burned out Full transparency. I think we all do. We have those moments in time. But just a little background. I raised three children that are fully grown. Now I have grandchildren and I became a single mom shortly after I went to work two years. I stayed home for 10 years, then went to work, became a single mom, went back to college to finish up my degree all at the same time.
And the biggest Lesson so you didn't have a lot to try and plan and stay on top of.
Not at all, not at all, and the biggest lesson I learned during that time was that it's okay to ask for help.
That's so important. Why do you think women in particular really struggle with that?
I think we struggle with that because we are taught and this is my opinion, we are socialized to believe that we're supposed to have it all together and that we're the one that is responsible for everybody else's happiness. We're responsible for feeding them, getting them baths, getting them to bed. That is our job, and that's just not true.
Now I didn't tell you I was going to ask you this, so I'm kind of throwing a curveball at you. What are your thoughts on the saying you can have it all, just not at the same time? I don't know if you've heard that that's the latest thing I'm seeing now. So you can have it all, just not at the same time.
I have heard that and I love that you call it work life harmony. I've often called it work life integration. Yes, another great one.
And that's either more important now or more hopefully it's better now because so many of us are working remote and that's an option where it wasn't before. So I think this change in post COVID working environment, although it hurt women going through COVID, I think it can help us long term, If we stick to our guns, that we can do our job from home or remote doesn't have to be nine to five. But I always tell women that and I actually do a keynote talk on this called super woman is a myth. So glad you said that she does not exist in real life. She does not exist on that person you see in Facebook that you think is perfect. You don't get to get under the covers behind the wall if you will, and that's the biggest thing we have to remind ourselves it doesn't exist.
Some days things are going to go great at work, not so good at home. Some days are going to go great at home, not so good at work. So I think the biggest I'm not sure I'm answering your question going around in circles, but the biggest thing we can give ourselves is to lower our expectation about what we expect from ourselves. Oh, so good.
I love that and, yeah, when I was that. That saying has been in my head a lot lately because I keep seeing it pop up, and at first I was like, yeah, I like that. But then I'm thinking, no, maybe we first we need to analyze that, what does that having it all mean? And maybe we need to lower some of the unrealistic expectations of what that is.
Something we just went through recently here in my home, and by the time you're hearing this, the season will have passed, but we're discussing our holiday decorations, and one of the things that I do every year is I have this, one of those little light up villages and it takes a significant time because I've been collecting this for 30 years to all the boxes out on the. You know the setup and the and, and I just started dreading it, and so I sat down with my family and I said changing it up, this year I'm just I'm taking a year off from the village and they were devastated. Oh, I bet yeah. And I said, well, I can't. But then here's what happened.
They said, well, we'll do it all. We will do it. So you know, there was a shift of, instead of me using my time management skills to find the time to do it. I was like, no, maybe I just don't do it at all, maybe I lower the expectations of myself and what I can, you know, provide for that, and it felt really good. Yeah, so, as you have worked with so many women, what do you see as kind of the top mistakes that you are seeing women make as they are trying to find that work life integration and that work life harmony?
Well, the first one we just talked about lower your expectations. The other one is to really give yourself grace that if you forget to pack your child's lunch, it's not the end of the world, and so we'll figure it out. They will. The teacher will not let them go hungry, right, right, if you Need extra time on a deadline at work, ask for it. You know, very similar to the example you just gave, megan. We often don't ask. Therefore, we don't get what we need. We have to use our voice, and I think if I One thing I try to say to younger women coming up in corporate America or even in your relationships, is People are not mind readers.
We have to ask for what we want. We have to ask for the raise, we have to ask for the help at home. We have to ask for help with our children, if we have them. We have to ask, as opposed to playing the martyr that I have all this stuff to do and nobody else will do it. Yep, have we given them the opportunity? And I often say, megan, that we are serving other people by asking them to help us, because do you like to help people?
Yes, nothing makes me feel better when someone I know Trust me to say could you help me out? So I'm like oh my gosh, I would love to. So why is it?
we are fine with helping other people, so we are giving them the opportunity to feel good by helping us, whether it's at work or at home? Do you find that there's one area that that women tend to struggle with asking for help in over?
the other between work and home. I think that's a good point. Work and home?
I think it's probably work work, and the reason I say that is because very often we're in the minority at work. The higher you go, the more minority you are. That's still a fact, that's not an opinion, and we see that if we ask for help, or we think that if we ask for help, we're being less than, or that somebody in power is going to see that we can't handle it all.
Mm-hmm men have usually don't have a problem asking for help. Yeah, but we do, and I really believe we're taught and socialized to be that way.
I was thinking back to when my daughter was born and I was still full-time in corporate and I really I was terrified that if it, if I had to say, oh, I need to shift something because of home, I was terrified that it would mean that I would get demoted or, you know, would somehow seem less valuable. I have been out of the corporate space for a little, for a while now. Do you still feel like you're seeing that disconnect? Because I know, and I've seen articles and stuff written about it where you know, historically, if a male co-worker asks for an hour to go to their kid school, play or something, everyone's going. Oh, what a great dad, right? If it's the female, it's. Oh, here we go again asking for another shift. Are you still seeing that? At play some yes, unfortunately.
I think there are two books I can recommend to your listeners. One is written by two men and it's called Athena Rising. I've actually had them on the Boss Lady podcast oh fantastic. And then the other is Glass Sealing the Glass Walls, glass Walls. And I'm drawing a completely Leanne DeBensky, and I'm drawing a blank, but I'm getting.
We'll look it up and get it in the show notes.
The Glass Walls and Athena Rising. And what Brad says in Athena Rising is the way we can help this situation. Whether you're a man or a woman, if you are in charge at work, he calls it leaving out loud. So if you are the boss and you're going to Little Johnny's game, instead of sneaking out the back door, not telling anybody, make the announcement so that everybody sees it's okay. And it's very important that we do that, if we are in any sense of power, male or female, that we make the culture where it's okay to do that we're not in so much work.
I mean, there's still our jobs out there that you know. You, if you're on call, you're on call. This is your turn to be here, right? The vast majority of us aren't working in environments like that, and with technology as what it is today, it creates, I feel, so much more flexibility to accommodate that and it's time for us all to get more comfortable with that and exciting of it.
And I think we are getting better. It's a slow road, you know. It's been a long time, but at least now you know. I was talking to a young woman last week that's in my group that just had a baby and her husband's on paternity leave. She took a sabbatical. She actually works remote, but she took a sabbatical. So men are stepping up. I don't know if it's the majority, but I see a lot of it. My son-in-law, you know he watches my granddaughters as much as my daughter does. You know it's a trade-off. So I think because women are asking, maybe in some cases demanding, men are stepping up.
But I go back to that. I think that just illustrates your point of we got to learn how to ask.
We have to do that and we have to use our voice when we're not getting what we want or when we're being mistreated. And again, not play the martyr, not use it as an excuse not to do our job To your point. I did it myself, I'm sure you did, and many women are doing it, when my kids were little. If I had to take off for the soccer game, if it was practice, I was probably sitting off to the side still working. If it was a game where I wanted to be engaged, I was probably working after they went to bed. So it's not an excuse not to get your job done, right, right. But there are better ways, different ways nowadays to do it.
Yeah, yeah, now, when you are Working on a longer term goal which I'm sure you have, you know, I'm sure you're someone who has those every year and you know, let's say, you're working on a goal that's going to take several months, maybe even an entire year, to work through and you've got your plan in place, but then life happens, right the curveball that we all know, some things out there Something's going to happen to derail us from our plans. Sometimes, what do you do to, or do you have any systems that you put in place or any tools that you use, when that happens, to help get you back on track? Because I think this is an area where I see a lot of times women in particular are Ones that when, when we get veered off course, it can be very hard for us to adjust and kind of get back on track, we end up kind of going in a polar opposite direction.
You know, megan, I teach a goal setting class every year. I've done it for the past four years now, and one of the things I stress to To it's women that take the course is your goals may change during the year based on, um, what happens, and I'll give an example. I am. One of my goals last year was to write a book and I got halfway through. Doesn't matter what happened, but it just I just saw that it wasn't going to happen. So I had an honest conversation with my book coach. We took the rest of this year off and we're gonna regroup in January.
So I tell you that story for two reasons. Number one Life is full of change and and things are going to happen. So we may need to regroup with something that we said we were gonna do this year and Realize it's not gonna happen. But that doesn't mean it may not happen forever. We just have to rethink what our goal is.
The second piece of that is that, because I have a book coach and if I didn't, it could be a friend, it could be a peer or whatever I've got somebody who's checking in with me in January to say, okay, what's up, the last quarter of the year off. But now's the time. You know, accountability is Huge. We have to have I called our personal board of directors. They have to be the right people and they change throughout life, but we have to have other people that we share. We write our goals down, which most people don't do, by the way, and statistically it's I can't remember exactly, but it's like 60% of people are more likely to achieve their goals if they write them down. That number jumps to 80%.
If they tell somebody, say it out loud, say it out loud and what I love with that example that you shared is, again, it's an illustration of Okay, so the the plan wasn't going, you know, as as you originally thought, right, but it wasn't just tossed to the wayside, never to be Completed or thought about or evaluated what to do next. And so thank you for sharing that, because I think there are listeners will get a lot of value in hearing yeah, it got a pause button, but hey, if the goal is still there regrouping on what that new plan is going to look like because we have no idea what's gonna happen in a 12 month period.
But that shouldn't prevent us from setting those goals absolutely a plan in place, right, but a plan in play.
I just spent the last two days Literally got home late last night from a two-day goal-planning retreat for my own business. I teach it, but I also need same, and I hope they all come true, but I don't know and I bet they will. I bet they.
Will, so where is a great place for people to connect with you? I?
It is easy to find. It is my name, Teresa, with no h, teresarand.com, Teresa ran dot com and also the Boss Lady podcast, so you can.
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