31 Days, 32 Revelations: Ask Questions Even If It Kills You

Image courtesy of Flickr.com

 

Series Introduction

Every year, I like to find a different way of celebrating my favorite day: my birthday. Since I am turning 32 next month (I know…awww…), I’ve decided to share 32 revelations I have had during the course of my life about everything from life in general to business. Think of it as daily inspiration for you and therapy for me. It is a challenge for me, because I don’t think I have ever published a post everyday in the entire existence of The Aristocracy of HR. Plus, I recognize that while I am fairly generous in sharing on social media and here, I have only just scraped the surface on sharing who I am when I’m not pontificating how HR and Business can do better. Let’s use the month of March to get to know one another better. I hope at the end of the month, you walk away with something you can use in your own life or business.

Day 14 of 31- Ask Questions

Questions are more important than we give it credit. In the past I have accepted salary offerings and never once asked if there was room to go higher. My lack of confidence and inability to live with the temporary discomfort that would come as a result of asking for more money cost me thousands of dollars in earnings over the course of my career. A lack of questions is damaging as it  leads people to think we are satisfied or even happy with a set of circumstances when we aren’t questioning things. When I didn’t negotiate or ask for raises it gave my superiors a false sense of comfort that I was happy and even satisfied with my work and compensation. By the time, I went to have a serious discussion about my salary they were acted as if I ambushed them with my seemingly out-of-the-blue concerns. I have learned over the years that you get what you ask for. People who negotiate and ask for what they want-usually get it.

The real issue with asking questions isn’t necessarily the question itself, but the answer. There is a fear that the answer may not favor our initial intention of asking the question. No one wants to be seen as a fool or have a request rejected. As such, we sit in silence never knowing what could have been if we only had the courage to simply ask for what we want. When I finally learned the value of a question, things were revealed to me that I wouldn’t have known otherwise . This new knowledge helped me to drive decisions regarding my life and career. When I had enough guts to ask for what I wanted,  I was told “no” which pushed me to keep working towards my goals. However, in 50% or more of these instances, I got exactly what I asked for.

That journey to figuring out my purpose that I discussed earlier in the series has only been made possible because I have been asking lots and lots of questions of myself and others the past few years. I see questions as my foundation and the answers as the sails that are steering my ship.

 

What about you? What sorts of questions are you asking these days to evaluate your life, career, etc?

 

Czarina’s Lesson: Even if the answer is “no” there is something to be learned and/or gained from asking for what you want.

31 Days, 32 Revelations: What Checks and Balances?

Image courtesy of Flickr.com

Series Introduction

Every year, I like to find a different way of celebrating my favorite day: my birthday. Since I am turning 32 next month (I know…awww…), I’ve decided to share 32 revelations I have had during the course of my life about everything from life in general to business. Think of it as daily inspiration for you and therapy for me. It is a challenge for me, because I don’t think I have ever published a post everyday in the entire existence of The Aristocracy of HR. Plus, I recognize that while I am fairly generous in sharing on social media and here, I have only just scraped the surface on sharing who I am when I’m not pontificating how HR and Business can do better. Let’s use the month of March to get to know one another better. I hope at the end of the month, you walk away with something you can use in your own life or business.

Day 12 of 31- What Checks and Balances?

I’m sure many of you have either been following or heard about the Hillary Clinton email debacle. According to a recent CNN Poll, the public seems to be divided on whether or not this is a serious issue or not. In my opinion, the public is right. On one hand, it isn’t terribly damaging at least as far as her run for presidency is concerned. Conversely, it is quite serious and not something that surprised me when I heard about it. I have often found our so- called “checks and balances” to be severely lacking. This email situation is evidence of our inability to dot our “i’s” and cross our “t’s”.

Having previously worked for a government contractor, I witnessed a system that was severely broken and quite antiquated. When I started working in this arena, it was made very clear what my responsibility was for safeguarding company information whether electronic or paper. For all of the red tape and safeguards they put in place there are twice as many bottlenecks and gaps in procedure. In the case of Hillary Clinton, you have to ask how it is that the Secretary of State of the United States of America could think that conducting business on private e-mail out of convenience was in the best interest of the country. Furthermore, when email wasn’t coming from a .gov e-mail no one else in the administration was alarmed enough to insist she had a secure email account?

According to the Global State of Information Security Survey 2015, the most frequent source of data breaches come from inside the organization. If our heads of state seem unconcerned about how information is being transmitted in a time when cyber incidents among employees are up 10% from the previous year- we have a problem. We have only perceived checks and balances. It appears that breaches and other government hot topics of the moment are only serious when they become a threat or media fodder that has to be dealt with.

I’m not vying for a position in government in this lifetime, but it does seem like our leaders could use better discretion, some focus and due diligence as they tend to safeguarding us and this country. If I made decisions based on convenience, I only impact my family and myself. When you are in a position of power, (such as Secretary of State) your “convenient” decisions have larger ramifications. Ultimately, the issue is bigger than Hillary Clinton, but for now let us all sip tea and watch her be berated for an ongoing government problem. I sincerely hope we do better going forward.

 

Czarina’s Lesson: The convenient option sometimes leads to an inconvenient result.

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