Minnesota Business – Dr. Verna Price shares her secrets for maintaining work/life balance
What's your connection to Minnesota?
I came to Minnesota as an undergraduate student almost 30 years ago. I came for college and somehow stayed. I can hardly believe it myself. I found amazing mentors both at my college, Crown College, and then later as a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Minnesota has been a great place for professional growth and mentoring. There are so many amazing people in this state who have been my personal adders and multipliers. My oldest son now attends the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and my Bahamian family often asks me what keeps me here in Minnesota. I have found it to be a place where I can have an impact and make a difference at all levels in our communities. I have also found it to be an excellent place for my family. Being the mother of four children, having a place where my children can thrive is critical to me, and for that I am thankful.
How did you get into your field of work?
I was a born teacher — I love to teach and help people figure things out. I really wanted to be a teacher when I grew up, so I started working with groups like Junior Achievement, training adults and working in my community. I became a professor at a university and people started asking me to come to speak to groups. Now I do public speaking engagements, executive coaching work and consulting on things like team effectiveness and personal power. The fact is I've been in this work for more than 20 years and I love it more and more every day.
What inspires you on a day-to-day basis in your professional life?
My heart's call is to help people change their lives so they can be happier. I don't think that people were put on this earth to be miserable — they should all be healthy, happy, whole and productive people.
For the full article see: Minnesota Business
Star Tribune Article – A Reservoir of Happiness
Some visitors to the downtown Minneapolis Hilton should leave feeling happier than when they arrived March 24 — for reasons that have nothing to do with duplicity.
Dr. Verna will be there talking about “Finding the Happy Factor at Work.” An internationally known human potential expert and CEO of The Power of People Consulting Group, Verna Cornelia Price founded the “change conference” six years ago.
“I have had too many people come to me for coaching who are so unhappy in their jobs. There’s something going on in the workplace,” she said. “The bottom line is it is hurting people. People are getting sicker by the minute. There’s absenteeism in the workplace. And these are people who are smart, used to be energetic and fun. The whole day is about how you get re-energized and how to find that place of happiness for yourself in your workplace. We’ll do everything from painting to tai-chi to learning about leadership; how to rebrand yourself in your profession. All sorts of stuff.”
For the full article see: Star Tribune
Teaching Inmates the Power They Hold Within
Occasionally I get a letter from a state or federal prisoner suggesting a column idea. The letters typically share a common theme, namely: "I'm not guilty, get me out of here."
But a while back I received a letter from Edward R. Clark, inmate number 100675, from the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Moose Lake that was a first: He wanted to praise a prison program. Clark acknowledged having been imprisoned for a total of 38 years, which made him something of an expert on prison life. "I'm acutely aware of what works and what doesn't work," he wrote.
What works, he said, is a program called "The Power of People/Silent Cry," that began as a single talk between a mentor and offenders, which now has grown to four Minnesota prisons and reached more than 3,000 inmates.
I know, that touchy-feely title made me a bit skeptical, too, until I talked to some prison administrators and a couple of ex-cons who say it changed their lives.
The program "POP," was started by Shane Price, based on a book ("The Power of People: Four Kinds of People Who Can Change Your Life") by his wife, author and motivational speaker Verna Cornelia Price.
Shane Price's discussion so moved the inmates that they recruited others to the next one at the correctional facility in Faribault. Ruth Stadheim, educational director for the facility, saw an opportunity "to start something to help them with accountability."
Four years ago, Dr. Verna Cornelia Price quit her job as a professor at the University of Minnesota, bought computer equipment, set up her company J. Cameron & Associates in her basement and waited for success.
“I thought it would happen in like a week,” she said. “It didn’t. It took years.”
Now Price is a successful motivational speaker and author who creates programs that enhance the effectiveness of organizations by empowering individuals. In 2002 she published a book: The Power of People: Four Kinds of People Who Can Change Your Life.
MWP spoke with Price about her theory of personal power in the workplace.
Q: How does cultivating personal power make people more creative and innovative?
A: Typically in the workplace, here’s what happens: we try to tell people how to make it happen, as opposed to saying to the people, I trust you, I hired you because you have the skills and competencies. If you don’t have them, I will help you get them. Now go do it. It doesn’t matter to me how you do it, I just want to make sure that you get it done.
In the language and the principles of personal power, everyone has personal power. When we begin treating people like they’re powerful people, they’ll begin acting that way, and they’ll begin adding to the workplace.
When you begin to have voice, you begin to speak to communicate and to create.