In this episode, Ruthann shares her experience getting fired and how she was directed to start her own business. As an expert in human resources Ruthann knows how to create safe spaces and enhance communication in the workplace and in our lives. Ruthann has a giveaway for you! Here is her giveaway for the audience.
To download the Top Three Considerations to Create Effective Organizational Culture:
About the Guest:
Ruthann Weeks is a People and Culture Strategist and founder of Harmony In The Workplace.
She is a change agent whose efforts have helped to bring the importance of an abuse-free work environment to the forefront of public awareness. She is an author and gifted keynote speaker who delivers a powerful message about today’s workplace challenges.
Working as a Certified Resource Specialist in the human service sector, Ruthann went on to graduate as a Human Resource Manager. She is a Certified Psychological Safety Advisor and specializes in leadership development, people and culture, diversity and inclusion, workplace bullying, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and mental health in the workplace.
About the Host:
DeeAnne Riendeau is a thought leader in spiritual and business development who’s mission is to elevate how we think and live. Experiencing a life of chronic illness, and 2 near death experiences, DeeAnne rebounded with 20 years of health education and a diverse health career.
She is known as the modern day Willy Wonka for giving away her company Your Holistic Earth, which is the first holistic health care system of its kind. She is currently the owner of Rose Hope International, in which she helps those who are seeking more joy, love, freedom, and a deeper meaning in life using your souls library also known as the Akashic Records.
She has spoken at Harvard University, appeared on Shaw TV, Global Television, and CTV and has been recognized as a visionary and business leader having been nominated for numerous awards including Alberta Business of Distinction. Along with being an entrepreneur, DeeAnne is a mom of 2 bright kids, publisher, popular speaker and international bestselling author who uses her heart and her head to guide others to create their best life.
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This is When Spirit Calls, and you on your journey are in the right place. This show is about magic miracles and meaning shared through stories, interviews and channeled messages. We have so much to share about who you are and your divine mission here on the earth. Let's get to it. When Spirit Calls is right now.DeeAnne Riendeau:
Ruthann Weeks as a people and culture strategist and the founder of harmony in the workplace. She's a change agent whose efforts have helped to bring the importance of an abuse free work environment to the forefront of public awareness. She is an author and gifted keynote speaker who delivers a powerful message about today's workplace challenges. Working as a certified Resource Specialist in the human service sector, Ruthann went on to graduate as a human resource manager. She is a certified psychological safety advisor. And she specializes in leadership development, people and culture, diversity and inclusion, workplace bullying, sexual harassment, domestic violence and mental health in the workplace.DeeAnne Riendeau:
Oh, welcome back to When Spirit Calls, I am so excited to share this time with our extra special guests. Today, Ruthann Weeks , I met Ruthann actually a while ago at an event and I just immediately was drawn to her energy and her authenticity. And what she really stood for I felt that she was really passionate about taking care of other people. And so I've invited her to be a guest here today to share a little bit about her path. What she has done in terms of when spirit has called her and the choices that she's made around that. So higher fare. Welcome.Ruthann Weeks:
Hi, DeeAnne. It's great to be here. Thank you so much for the opportunity.DeeAnne Riendeau:
I am so glad that you're here. And you know, it's been a while since we connected. So this is extra fun, because we get to kind of do a little bit of reconnection today. So Ruthann why don't you start us off, and just everyone's heard your bio, but maybe you can just elaborate on your path. And what led you into the work that you're doing. Now? Could you share a little bit about your story,Ruthann Weeks:
I would love to thank you. Like so many of us who start on a journey, it started from adversity, I found myself unexpectedly unemployed having been bullied out of a previous job in the nonprofit sector. And it was the kind of bullying that happens behind closed doors. I knew it was not a good cultural fit. For me, it was a very authoritative, rigid kind of environment where I don't think well, not many people thrive well. And I was in a middle management position. And I was a director. So it was the next sort of natural progression in my career path. And it wasn't long, before I started to notice little things. I was getting excluded from budget meetings and strategic direction for my department, which is something that would be an expectation, because other directors were being invited in. And there was a pure director, who didn't like me, didn't take the time to get to know me, she made lots of assumptions about me. And she had been with the organization for decades, she was 70 years old, not to be ageist. But she was staying for the good of the organization while other people were retiring. And they were going through a transition stage. And what that really meant was so that nothing would change. And for whatever reason, and quite often when it comes to workplace bullying, I'm assuming that she was threatened by someone new coming in. Anyway, what was happening was she had the ear of the executive director, and the covert bullying that was taking place was happening behind closed doors. And, you know, there was only probably a handful of incidents that were overt, that were really uncomfortable, not only for me, but for other people witnessing them as well. For example, I suggested we move files. And what I said was suggested we move files to archives, but what she said to me was, we can't destroy files. And you know, so there was a disconnect there. And that leaves you kind of that leaves you stepping back because there's no psychological safety to express thoughts, opinions and ideas and you end up holding back and playing small. So anyway, I wasn't thriving in that organization. And what ended up happening was, I ended up getting fired from that job within three months. And it was very, very painful. On time for me, so much of our identities tied up in the work that we do, right. But I did get busy with the business of learning about workplace abuse, workplace bullying, and what that can look like in the workplace. And I founded my business in 2016. And I just really am passionate about helping business leaders understand what is and what is not workplace abuse, and setting up environments, organizational cultures, where people can thrive into their potential. And yeah, I don't want anyone else to suffer the way that I did. And, and it was really interesting, because when that happened, and I found myself, like I said, unexpectedly unemployed, throwing up my hands like this was my shiny new opportunity, I had left a job that I really loved. And it was about them, that spirit tapped me on the shoulder and said, hey, you know, you always wanted to work for yourself. And, you know, maybe this is a good time. And then when I look how the world and the social shift has changed, there could not be a better time for a business like mine than right now.DeeAnne Riendeau:
I absolutely I love that you're doing this work. And so I want to invite the listeners, you know, if you're in a position where you're in a workplace, or even in just a relationship, where perhaps it is not serving you perhaps it is toxic, perhaps it's bullying, perhaps it's just something that isn't in alignment for you. I want to invite you to recognize that and maybe reflect on whether or not it's meant to continue on or whether you are meant to create boundaries or make decisions about moving away. Now Ruthann in your case, the call was answered, because they let you go, and you didn't have a choice in the matter. But what happens to a lot of people, and you might be aware of this, too, is we stay because we think tough it out, you know when we stay because we think that they need us or because feel like we've got to push through, we can't give up. And yet we end up I've heard people say like I was in a corporate job, and my soul was dying. And so you can probably relate to some of that. But that's what we see a lot of I look at my dad who worked the same job his whole life. And there was probably so many times where he could have looked for other opportunities that may have been more fulfilling for him.Ruthann Weeks:
Yeah, and that was one thing, you know, as devastated as I was, you're right, I would not have quit, because I'm no quitter. And this was my shiny new opportunity, right. And as devastated as I was and ashamed was unwarranted as are but I'm ashamed that I find myself in this position. I was also greatly relieved, because I knew that it wasn't a good environment. For me, I knew my health was suffering, I have also had colitis, and that had been in remission for years. And all of a sudden with the turmoil and the angst and all of that stress from this environment that was flaring again. I was relatively healthy in the morning when I'd be driving to work. But as the day progressed, I was quite sick in the afternoon. And so yeah, there was that relief. And I think what we need to do, and I know, I know more now than I did then, but we need to pay attention to our longings and our discontents. Right. Our longings will tell us what our work in the world is. And our discontents will tell us when to move our feet. And you're right, I would not have left that job because I'm no quitter. But, obviously, God had different plans for me to be where he wanted me and I could not be happier to be where I am right now.DeeAnne Riendeau:
I think it's so great that you seize that opportunity. And I think that's an important message in itself for everybody. If a friend says I don't want to be your friend anymore, if you're an employer says you don't have a job anymore. We oftentimes go inward and feel so bad and ashamed and like we did something wrong. And perhaps that's the case, but it's so beautiful that it creates this whole new opportunity and experience and an opportunity of possibility, where we can see maybe what we couldn't see before I was also let go, I was three months pregnant. And I was let go at three months pregnant. And I remember just feeling so brokenhearted and I mean, the company ended up going under eventually, which is why they had to let go. But all this panic came in like what am I going to do? And how am I going to figure this out? How am I going to get maternity leave and all of those things came to my mind. But it really turned out to be the best pathway because that led to another thing which led to another thing, right? And so oftentimes again, and I've talked about this on other Are interviews to where we have this like narrow lens, and we're like, oh my god, this is the worst thing ever. Like I lost my job. This is the worst thing ever. But we're looking at it from this very narrow point of view. We're not realizing that this is possibly the best thing to ever happen to you because we can't see the whole picture. So that being said, Ruthann, I'm going to invite you to share a few other moments in your life, maybe when spirit called you because that is so fun for people to hear about the job losing that job spirit was had a hand in that to say, Okay, we're moving you over here. Can you think of other times in your life where you had an aha, or anything like that that really came to the surface for you?Ruthann Weeks:
Yeah, well, even since I founded my business. This was 2016 when I started my business, so I'm starting to gain momentum, I'm building my brand, I'm building my network, I'm gaining knowledge, I'm gaining skills in presentation and just becoming that subject matter expert in people and culture strategy. And then January, February, 2020, everything like everybody else on the planet, everything in my calendar and on my schedule is completely gone. My revenues have completely dried up, I don't know when I'm going to be able to get back to it. And it's like, oh, God, well, what now, so like everybody else on the planet, again, I did the pivot got really good with the dual screens and the ring lights and the mike stuff was able to pivot to online. And it's like, for me, I just really feel like during that period, it just really deepened my faith, and my route system, right, just to give that analogy of the tree, we're planting roots, so that we can grow big and grow strong. Because if there was ever a time, where leaders needed to stop playing small, and step into their potential, and encourage everyone around them to do the same without a open heart abundance mindset, it's now the world is screaming for leaders. And it's emotional for me because transformation is not pretty, and it's not easy. And even the road to enlightenment is painful that cutting away you mentioned, relationships sometimes get severed, and it's because no longer serving us. But it's not always pretty fun, and it hurts at times. But if we just think about the butterfly, and the chrysalis actually has to turn to goo. Or they can come out and in the fullness of their beauty, and really take off into their potential. So yeah, there's been a lot of them. Yeah, throughout, even just since then, within this journey, because there's been so many unknowns, and so many pivots. And just like we were talking a little bit before the program, at this COVID disruption has done anything, it's given everyone on the planet an opportunity to just pause and really reflect on what their values are, what's important to them, what they're willing to tolerate moving forward, how they want to work moving forward. I know, with my work in organizational culture, people are less likely to put up with the toxic status quo, because life is too short. Yeah. And those environments and organizations that are getting on board, I call the Enlightened leaders, the ones that get it and understand how important and abuse free work environment is and how important psychological safety is, and how important it is to give people meaningful work and support them to grow into their potential. They're going to be the talent takers of the 21st century. And they're going to have an absolute competitive advantage over organizations that ignore that issue or just think it's a nice to have, but not essential. It's essential now,DeeAnne Riendeau:
Yeah, it really has shifted things. And I think you're right, I think COVID coming in really, absolutely allowed people to step back and say, Wait a second, what is this life really about? And look how quickly it can change. Right? And so I believe that right now we're in this really magical special time where we are moving into heart centered leadership. And you probably have witnessed that on the course of your journey in the last few years especially, but I think it is a new time. And I think that's what a lot of corporations and institutions are starting to recognize there. realizing that they can't do it the way that they used to do it anymore.Ruthann Weeks:
No 21st century leadership is different. Yeah, it's that servant leadership. And it's not only about treating your people well, and helping them to reach their potential within that organization. But it's a greater purpose, right, having an effect on the overall social shift that we're in, especially when it comes to millennials and Gen Zed, who are now graduating from post secondary and entering the workforce, right. Sometimes they get a bit of a bad rap, they think they're entitled, they think there's lots of talk about how they won't work hard for you. But you know what, I just reject that, because they will work very hard for you. But they want to work for organizations that care about them and care about the things that are important to them. Statistically, they'll say that up to 75% of Gen, Zed will actually walk away from a job for a different position that supports them, and what's important to them.DeeAnne Riendeau:
And I think there is something really important about that, because I think you're right, I think that we're just changing, we're evolving as humanity evolves, we have to pivot to. And it's so beautiful that this idea to you had mentioned, like faith and trusting when there's all these unknowns, and there's always uncertainty, you know, it's not a new thing. Everything was always uncertain before it just that we had some stability, I think that we had leaned into and got really comfortable with, and now that that shaken up, we are learning different tools and mechanisms in how we want to show up in the world, what's meaningful to us, what do we want to create for ourselves? And I think that's where that those generations are really coming to the surface, and they're going to help us to create better leaders, because the leaders will have to adapt to them.Ruthann Weeks:
Exactly. And, you know, there's I talk about three reasons why people should get on board with the things that I do. There's a legal framework around it, that it is laws required by law under occupational health and safety and other legislation to not perpetuated be abuse. There's legal framework around keeping people safe at work and allowing abuse to perpetrate in the workplace. There's lots of statistical data coming out all the time. Now, that proves that it's there's a real tangible cost to ignoring these issues. And it's the right thing to do. And I've sort of added to that, for leaders. What kind of legacy do you want to write? You know, because face it, most of our leadership in business is are older, generally men, right? Older men, and statistically, they're sometimes just saying, Well, I don't want to deal with it on Monday here in five years, and but they are not going to be able to attract and retain top talent are shrinking. And you're absolutely right, this social shift and thank God for it. Yeah. You know, right.DeeAnne Riendeau:
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Again, one of those blessings in disguise, spirits, calling all of humanity right now, in a big way, right. I think that's so powerful, because I remember when I was teaching at one of the colleges here in Canada, and I was working with another instructor, and I was the newbie, right, I had all these ideas, and I, I'm a change maker. That's what I do. So I bring all these ideas, and I want to do this and do that. And I was met with a hard wall. And there was a time where I really felt bullied in that position, even but I didn't know who to talk to or where to go. So what are your recommendations for somebody? Any tips for people who are in an experience where maybe again, they're being bullied in some way, whether it's work or whether it's even at home? What are things that what are steps that we can take that will help us in the long run?Ruthann Weeks:
Well know what your rights are. First of all, when it comes to the workplace, know what your workplace rights are? I'm not exactly sure where your audience is, but we're speaking all over the place.DeeAnne Riendeau:
Okay. So know what your rights are. In the US. It's the EEOC. So know that that sort of the federal, know your state laws in Canada's occupational health and safety for each province, as well as federally regulated employers, as well. And of course, then there's your provincial human rights legislation. So there's 15 protected grounds, for example, Alberta, if you're being discriminated against on any of those, know how to approach HR from or your leadership, whoever is in charge of the organization where you work, know how to approach them through that lens of understanding and that empowered position. You may or may not have your concerns dealt with in a way that is even within the legal framework, right? But educate yourself. So in Alberta is section 27 of the Occupational Health and Safety Code is right there. One of the things that is absolute industry best practice and also falls under the legislation in Alberta in many parts of the world is psychological safety, and what psychological safety is, it's an environment of safety, where it's free and encouraged to take interpersonal risks. And that's what you were just talking about. It's taking that interpersonal risk, and expressing those thoughts and opinions and ideas to report near misses and mistakes without any fear of reprisal, or blame or shame, but for the simple purpose of learning, improving efficiencies, correcting mistakes, and really what we're finding, and there's been a few studies on this, but what we're finding is when businesses and organizations have that environment of psychological safety, none of the other team building stuff even matters unless that's in play, because people will hold back. And it's part of diversity and inclusion as well, right, because you can have the most diverse workforce. But if you just get your token, this and your token that, that they're not actually encouraged to be included and have that inclusion, safety, to fully engage, you're not going to get the potential out of them, and your organization is going to suffer for it. Now when we're talking at home. And it's the same sort of purpose. It's the same sort of energy. When people are perpetrating abuse, whether it's in the workplace, or whether it's in the home, it's about power and control. Right. That's the dynamic that's at play, right. And one thing that I will share, since we're on camera, and for those that may just be listening, I'll describe it as well, it's a signal that I like to include, because I'm not sure how widely known it is, I think it originated in the UK. But because we're doing so much stuff on camera right now. So the signal is to put your thumb to your poem, and close your fist around. And that is a cry for help. And that's a silent cry for help. And children. Sometimes they're being taught that as well. But if you're ever in a meeting online with someone and you see them do that it's a very deliberate movement, it call 911. Because they are seeking help their situation. And we could do a whole other session on that.DeeAnne Riendeau:
That's really good. I didn't know about that. And so to put your thumb in your palm, and then close your hand, almost like a fist. Yeah, I just hold it up like that. I think that's even just a powerful piece of wisdom that we can all take. And so we've got to wrap up, we're already out of time. But if people are struggling in the workplace, struggling with bullying, that sort of thing. How can they find you? What is a way that they can reach out to them?Ruthann Weeks:
Yeah, my website is HarmonyInTheWorkplace.com. Reach out to me there, you can fill out an application, get my phone number, give me a call, send me an email, I would love to hear from your listeners. I'm here to support you. I do I predominantly want to work with organizations and help them either transform their cultures. So they're no longer toxic, or really target startups and scale ups to help them build their teams. Tension, right? Proactive imagineDeeAnne Riendeau:
Yes, yes, yes.Ruthann Weeks:
Yeah. So I'm super excited about that. I do have a gift for your listeners. It's called the Top Three Considerations When Building Effective Organizational Culture. So I'll send you the linkDeeAnne Riendeau:
That's perfect for business owner, any leader any management, fantastic gift, okay, so we'll make sure that we include that link in our description for our listeners and audience, Ruthann. Any final words that you'd like to share or say today?Ruthann Weeks:
You know what, I just want to encourage people, there's so much divisiveness happening in our world right now. And we can create change by focusing on how we're different. We can only create the change that we want to see in the world, right? By focusing on where we want to go and being that light and love and it always comes down to that struggle of ego versus love. That's and as long as we just make love, open heart, open mind and just let love lead. We're all here to support each other and it will raise the collective vibration.DeeAnne Riendeau:
Yes. Yeah.Ruthann Weeks:
Isn't that well. Wonderful. I said just the other day I'll finish with this. Someone was like, Oh, well, Judgment Day is coming look at the world that judgment day is coming. And I said, Oh, no, no, it's not judgment day. It's compassion day, where we learn to look through the lens of compassion across all of humanity. And so we then had this beautiful conversation about what judgment day looks like versus what compassion day looks like. And it just changed the whole understanding of what's happening right now. Because it's really easy to be swept into this undercurrent of fear, because it's in our faces all the time. So many people are filled with anxiety. But we have an opportunity to recognize that it's all coming to the surface for a divine reason. And if we continue to stand in our truth and help to support on an other, again, this shift for the 21st century of leadership and being heart centered and leading with love, it changes the game, doesn't it? Yeah. And we are all in this together. We sure are. Thank you, Ruthann I'm so glad that we got to spend this time together. And I'm looking forward to seeing you again spending more time with you very soon. Thanks, everyone for listening. And we'll see you again next time on When Spirit Calls.Ruthann Weeks:
Thank you, my friend.DeeAnne Riendeau: