Thursday, August 29, 2013 Pearl of Wisdom

August 29th, 2013

This Pearl is one from my archive. Enjoy!

I talked about the integration of two types of leadership; results-driven and people-oriented.  When combined these styles create the High Impact Leader sorely needed for today’s work force.  Most of us fall into one or the other category and very few have developed the skills of both.  If you are willing, these skills can be learned.  By using certain assessments including the 360, you can determine the professional development needed in this area.

The days of autocratic bullying are over and will destroy those who behave in this manner, no matter how excellent their technical skills. The high impact leader (results-driven and people-oriented) builds credibility through a strategy that includes understanding the effect their behaviors have on others in the organization.  This includes subordinates, coworkers and management.  When you combine behaviors needed for results with kindness, people respond to you differently.  Tanya Edwards of Edward Consulting states, “experience and research show that leaders and co-workers who demonstrate kindness and compassion, inspire others to act similarly.” In companies where I have consulted/coached this is what brings about superior results. Your respect of others paves the way for your credibility and success.

*The ideas presented are loosely based on information given in a presentation by Suzanne J. Peterson, Ph.D. professor of management at W.P.  Carey School of Business, ASU.

Thursday, August 22, 2013 Pearl of Wisdom

August 22nd, 2013

A corporation has hired me to work with an executive whose behavioral skills are preventing him from being promoted into a leadership VP position.  We have had several sessions, including the sharing of behavioral assessments that he has taken.  I learned that my client is impatient, doesn’t listen well and is condescending to his peers, subordinates and colleagues.  Until recently, this client was unable to comprehend that his poor responses to others in the organization had nothing to do with the behaviors of the other people.

He is learning that his behavior has everything to do with his own unhappiness.  It is having a strong effect on his relationships in the workplace and at home.  Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon story.  Most of us are unhappy because our needs and desires are not being met.  Many of us feel that having a great deal of money, wearing expensive clothing, earning promotions at work, having smart children, playing games on our smart phones, etc., will bring us this happiness.   It doesn’t.  Not the happiness I’m talking about.

The happiness I’m referring to means experiencing unconditional love and acceptance.  Without these things we feel empty, alone and afraid.  We do not feel secure and at peace with ourselves.  When we feel secure we can be more tolerant of ourselves and the behavior of others.   By practicing acceptance and learning to be more truthful with others, we do not feel the need to criticize and blame.  Giving up these behaviors in the workplace takes a great deal of courage.   If you are interested in learning more about this philosophy and changing your life, email me for a free introductory session.

Thursday, August 15, 2013 Pearl of Wisdom

August 15th, 2013

Are you connected?

When asked are you well connected, most business people think of their network and the people of influence they know.  Of course these connections are very important to have for networking purposes.  What if you looked beyond this group and were able to see a new type of connection that would benefit you daily?  Throughout my years of coaching I’ve learned that most people are rather lonely, feel unconnected and quite empty inside.  This affects their ability to be productive and successful.

Here’s what I mean.  Think of the times you had a great connection with someone.  You felt totally accepted, knew they really got you because they were an excellent listener and responded in a manner that showed how much they cared about your happiness.  Afterwards, you felt full and rearing to go.   Unfortunately, the majority of our interactions do not leave us feeling this way.

Most people we interact with are so concerned about themselves and their needs (because they are so empty) that they cannot be there for others.  Think of the last networking event or social gathering you attended.  Who really heard you?

This is what I suggest.  This week exercise the following tools:

  • Be on the lookout for the people who really care about your happiness (Are they truly interested in just you?).
  • Make a decision to interact more with these people.  I find texting a quick message such as “How are you” is great way to stay in touch with friends.
  • Be willing to tell them your truth.  “My children drove me crazy this morning” or “I’m procrastinating on this project” is truth telling. If your friend glosses over this, they are not listening.

Thursday, August 8, 2013 Pearl of Wisdom

August 8th, 2013

What is Mind Chatter?

Mind chatter is the conversation we have with ourselves.  It is usually a negative conversation based on our thoughts, feelings and emotions.  This negative chatter can take many forms and is based on our fears.  We argue with ourselves, create fearful stories of “what might happen,” tell ourselves how we can’t do something, and even repeat over and over how we are “not good enough.”

There really are only two thought patterns-love and fear.  Fear is really the absence of unconditional love for ourselves and others.  It is the most negative force in the universe. Yet, it is reflected all around us.  It accounts for the many wars in this world, the high divorce rate, mass murders and shootings.  Fear is a condition of pain.  Most of us will do anything to avoid it.  This accounts for our  lying, cheating, criticism and attacking of others.  We will do just about anything to avoid our pain of not feeling loved.

So how do we really stop this negative mind chatter so we can be happier?  Three major changes of behavior are needed. *

  1. Start associating with people who can love you.  They do exist out there and they are the ones who have no expectations of you.
  2. Stop letting what others think about you influence your actions and behaviors.  All this concern of what others think is a fear that they will not accept you or like you.
  3. Start telling your truth.  This doesn’t mean to everyone but to those who can listen and not be judgmental or think poorly of you.  These are the people who can unconditional love you and support you in making changes that will make you feel happier. The idiom, “the truth will make you free” is no lie.

*I am a student of the Real Love philosophy developed by the author, speaker and coach, Greg Baer. Many of the thoughts I write are based on his teachings.

Thursday, August 1, 2013 Pearl of Wisdom

August 1st, 2013

This is a great article and I couldn’t say it any better.


How to Be Happy (or Miserable) at Work

To be consistently happier at work, examine and replace the beliefs that make you miserable.

by Geoffrey James

View the original article here.

Everybody has beliefs about what events mean to them. In most cases, however, people assume those beliefs reflect objective reality and are therefore immutable Laws of Nature.

However, it’s easy to observe that events mean different things to different people.  For example, you might have two salespeople doing cold calls.  One might believe:

  • “Cold calling mean meeting new people.”

While the other might believe:

  • “Cold calling means being rejected.”

It’s intuitive that the first salesperson will be more successful at cold calling because her beliefs will lead her to enjoy the process, while the second salesperson will see the task as misery-inducing.

What’s really important about those two beliefs is the part that’s not explicitly stated.  In the first case, the implicit part is “…and therefore I feel happy.” In the second case, the implicit part is “…and therefore I feel miserable.”

This simple observation provides you with a powerful tool to ensure that you’re consistently happy at work.

Every time you feel unhappy about something that happens, step back and ask yourself: “What is the belief that is generating the negative feeling I’m experiencing?”  Identifying the belief gives you power over the emotion.  Here’s an example.

Earlier this week, I sent my book manuscript to the publisher and haven’t heard back yet.  While I know that book is the best thing I’ve ever written, I’m still nervous and anxious about it.

So I ask myself: “what is the belief that is making me miserable?”  The belief is as follows: “If I don’t get immediate praise from my publisher, it means that they don’t like my book… and therefore I feel miserable.”

The minute I wrote out that belief, I realized how ridiculous it was.  The truth is that at this point I simply don’t know what my publisher thinks and, furthermore, even if my publisher thinks the book sucks, I still know it’s the best thing I’ve ever written.

More importantly, now that I’ve identified the belief that’s causing the problem, I can overwhelm it with beliefs that have the implicit suffix “…and therefore I feel happy.”  For example:

  • “Writing a book is a major achievement…and therefore I feel happy.”
  • “My book will help millions of people…and therefore I feel happy.”

In other words, your attitude proceeds directly from whatever beliefs that you’re choosing to emphasize. To be consistently happy, identify the beliefs that are making you miserable and replace them with beliefs that make you happy.

It’s really that simple.

Thursday, July 11, 2013 Pearl of Wisdom

July 11th, 2013

What is your Identity?

Recently I read an interview in Science of Mind Magazine with Don Miguel Ruiz, author of the Four Agreements. It was titled, The Magic of Unconditional Love. Ruiz sees us as artists creating our own life story. He states that “we live in the story we create as the main character, and feel it is real.” In essence we are basing our stories on what we believe to be true about ourselves. The truth is none of it is real. It is all based on what we have created in our head from our experiences and interactions with others.

Your Identity forms from what you see and hear from your parents, friends, spouse, children, relatives etc. People’s beliefs about us and their actions towards us strongly influence the development of our identity or self-image. Changing these identities is very difficult because our egos keep pushing us to act like who we believe we are. Fear of letting go of this image accounts for most of the resistance we feel. Who would we be without it?

Who we believe we are is only believed by us. It’s our creation. It follows us everywhere. For example, if you see yourself (identity) as a victim, everything you do will be influenced by this thinking. When you are working on projects or in conversation, you will come from a place of not feeling good enough. Most of the time we are totally unaware of how we are acting or what is motivating us. It is in our subconscious.

As a student of Greg Baer studying Real Love, I am learning that you can change or shift your identity. Below are some suggestions.

• Awareness of the behaviors that prevent you from being happy
• Telling the truth about your behaviors to those who can accept you just as you are
• Spending time with people who care only about your happiness with no thought for themselves
• Learning to accept yourself unconditionally –accept yourself just the way you are.

Thursday, July 4, 2013 Pearl of Wisdom

July 4th, 2013

Most of us take our independence for granted.  No matter how upsetting the news, it is important to remember that we have many more freedoms than the majority of people around the world.  So the next time you go to bash someone or something about our country, think twice.  Start being grateful for the freedoms we do have and thinking positively about what can be corrected or created.  Complaints and criticism make us victims.  Thinking about taking and doing positive actions will bring us feelings of peace and happiness.  I’m so thankful and appreciative that I live in the United States.

Happy July 4th Everyone!

Thursday, June 20, 2013 Pearl of Wisdom

June 27th, 2013

Who Makes You Angry?

Last week we looked at Seth Godin’s blog Angry is a Habit. I stated that when people are angry they want power.  Yes, anger gives us momentary power but it is never lasting and in the end it depletes us of peace and happiness.  Many of us believe that other people “make them angry”.

Greg Baer author of, Real Love in the Workplace (and my coach) tells us that anger (attacking) has nothing to do with what someone does or does not do.  It is an outgrowth of not feeling unconditionally loved (Real Love) in our lives.  Once we understand this, he says, it gives us real power.  We all have the ability to choose how we respond.  Yet most of us frequently do not choose to own our anger and take responsibility for it. We’re perfectly happy to blame others and give up our power.

The reason people choose to respond with anger is their deeper feelings of powerlessness.  We use anger to create fear hoping it will motivate people to do what we want which Baer calls a “getting behavior”.    The second way we use anger is to “protect “ourselves from other people hurting us.

Please answer the following question in the comments section below so we can support each other on this important topic.

We all have the ability not to elect anger as a response when others treat us inappropriately.   How do you stop yourself from responding with an attack or angry tone with your spouse or child?

I know your answers will help us all.

Thursday, June 20, 2013 Pearl of Wisdom

June 20th, 2013

I recommend this blog. When you’re angry you’re wrong. It’s unkind and a reflection of your criticism and judgement of others.

When we’re angry we want power. When we are kind we feel happy. Happiness is real power. Anger has no place ever.

Angry is a habit

It’s easy to imagine habits like a scotch after dinner, biting your nails or saying, “you know” after every sentence. An event or a time of day triggers us, and we go with the habit. It’s easier than exploring new territory–it’s merely a thoughtless response to an incoming trigger.

But emotions can become habits as well.

Distrustful is a habit.

Lonely is a habit.

Generous is a habit.

When that stranger doesn’t do what you expect, is your response to assume that she’s out to get you, trying to make an extra buck, looking for a shortcut? Or do you default to the habit of giving that new person a chance to explain herself?

Habits are great when they help us get what we want. Bad habits, on the other hand, are bad because the shortcut that satisfies us in the moment gets in the way of our long term goals.

Once you can see that your emotions are as much as a habit as cracking your knuckles, they’re a lot easier to work with.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 Pearl of Wisdom

May 23rd, 2013

While cleaning out my files, I found this old hand out. Self-esteem is the key to success. Read these statements over once a week. They can be applied to communicating with children, spouses and just about anyone who you interact with. I bet you’ll find one or two that you can work on.

Wishing everyone a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Patterns That Keep Self-Esteem Low

Having difficulty reaching out and asking for support and love (learned “helplessness”)

Trying to “get even” or to diminish the self-esteem or power of the other

Tending to be judgmental; putdowns that sabotage the other’s success; fault-finding; persecuting; punishing

“Holding out” on the other; not giving what the other wants or needs

Making, then breaking promises; seduction into trust

Patronizing, condescending treatment of the other that sets one partner up as superior and the other as inferior; intimidation

Making decisions for the other; discounting the other’s ability to problem-solve

Attempting to change the other (and unwillingness to change the self)

Showing an antidependent attitude: “I don’t need you”

Using bullying, bribing behavior: use of threats

Defending any of the above behaviors

Have a great week and stand strong!