Yes folks, in the midst of Mercury in Retrograde, I decided to rebrand my business. Hilarious. Freedom Resource Center has been a great name, and it’s time to get more clear and take a new step forward. And deciding to do it right now has created all kinds of hijinks. I love a good retrograde.
In this new chapter of my business, I am naming her after Eris, the Greek goddess of conflict. The story of Eris is that when Achilles’s parents were getting married, she was not invited to the wedding (because she was thought to be a trouble maker). So, she dropped the golden apple of discord into the party, with the words, “To the fairest one,” inscribed in it. All of the goddesses started fighting over which one of them deserved the apple. They decided Paris would resolve the fight, and he picked Aphrodite as the fairest when she promised him Helen of Troy as his wife. These were the seeds of the Trojan War.
It’s basically the plot line of every Real Housewives TV show ever (and the book Vanity Fair). Classic story of the woman not invited to the party. It hearkens to Eve, the original troublemaking woman with an apple.
This is Eris’s message:
I am the substance from which your artists and scientists build rhythms. I am the spirit with which your children and clowns laugh in happy anarchy. I am chaos. I am alive, and I tell you that you are free.
She is the original whistleblower – the original woman who was called a troublemaker for bringing up the sensitive points of someone else’s ego.
The Key to Resolving Conflict
Conflict is hard. Often people who are blamed for conflict believe they were just trying to shed light on a festering problem. Conflict does not have to lead to chaos or war, it can also be the starting point for enormous growth. My stellar clients almost always come to realize that conflict at work was the starting point for huge success.
Here’s the key: power dynamics. I help women shift power dynamics to stop and prevent toxic work environments. Sometimes, this starts with the owner of a business who wants to make sure the work environment is healthy. Sometimes, it starts with an employee who wants to make sure her work environment is safe and healthy. Either way, I have seen amazing shifts.
When we believe we are in a powerless position at work, the environment quickly becomes toxic. The problem is that many women (and minorities) move from job to job, but we keep the belief of our own powerlessness even though the circumstances change. We become career refugees, never gaining traction or seniority in our careers.
The key to changing this is understanding the difference between our circumstances, which are always neutral, and our thoughts, which are what colors every circumstance with emotional charge. When we believe we are powerless, that is never just an observation. There are always ways to reclaim power in any circumstance.
Understanding the difference between a circumstance and a thought sounds easy, but it takes practice and work. It is the key to resolving conflict, shifting power dynamics, and preventing a toxic work environment.
If you know someone who is ready to stop and prevent a toxic work environment, send her my way! I still have a few spots open for the Power Dynamics Workshop.
Thanks for making the world a better place!