Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Lessons Learned from 1 Million Steps in 100 Days

“I move, therefore I am.” 
– Haruki Murakami 
Japanese Writer
(b. 1949)

While I am not professing my being "grounded" is better or worse than anyone else experiencing Safer at Home and/or Stay at Home, I have been grounded from flying, and with 60%+ of my business coming from outside Florida, it has certainly been a change.

While I have been a workout warrior for many years in order to maintain health and stamina, process through ideas emotionally and physically as the sweat left my body.

With such a change in our dynamic regarding moving about the country, I decided to take movement to a new level by committing to 10,000 steps a day for 100 days. It was about being focused, committed and yes, scheduled at 5:00 AM to get those steps in before sunrise through running or walking or both.

Three people joined me at different times, Lynn, Supna and Michael. Thank you! Each day, I offer 😃 smiles, 👋 waves, and verbal “Good morning!” greetings to those I encountered.

On the day 1 MILLION steps were exceeded by tracking the #10000StepsToSunrise this past  Monday, the 100th day as we remained  #SocialAtADistance the entire time once we were directed. In counting steps, masks, dolphins, people and more...mostly I realized, I was counting my blessings of a new day each sunrise! This was a #KindnessNeedNotBeQuarantined project filled with hope, movement, happiness and health!

Lessons learned included:
1) Routines serve us well if they are well-serving routines.
2) Blisters can "grow" on other blisters, and yet walking or running with blisters is possible.
3) Most people respond to a smile with a smile, and to a "Good morning" with a "Good morning", and a wave with a wave or a nod.
4) Not all people will come around to engaging with others, and that's okay.
5) No matter what is going on in the world, paying attention in your community, and being present in your community is important.
6) Kindness counts. Kindness doesn't go out of style. It's not too early or too late for kindness.
7) Goals are good, and goals drive us to keep moving.
8) Sharing a message and/or a photo each day is about sharing with others to let an experience and a story become part of theirs.
9) Letting something, a person, an experience, or something else evolve can be a way to make that experience become bigger and better than it would be if it were planned.
10) Even though 1 Million steps were taken in those 100 days, a project becomes a passion when the days and numbers fade, and the memories and learnings shine!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Directing Energy Positively!


"People like to be around those who give off positive energy."
~ Erin Heatherton
American Model.
(b. 1989)

Sure, the days can sometimes feel long, and the nights can seem short. It's true. It's been true long before this time in history. That sense is in our mind, and it also can be real. That sense of "a lot", if not considered and owned for change, becomes burdensome, and then, it becomes part of our narrative internally.

Thoughts like this can become words that support that disposition, and such a disposition of not having enough time or feeling taxed leads to language that positions us as lacking in ownership or perspective regarding time and productivity.

People have been claiming that they are busy, too busy, or so busy for quite some time. It seems innocent, and yet it tells ourselves and others nothing other than the fact that we are not owning our time and energy.

Changing language to productive, productivity, and accomplishment says to each of us that we are in control of the time we have available. It's not just about the words, it is about the attitude and actions that follow. Being focused on busy keeps one in that place of circling, where putting energy towards productivity leads the attitude and actions toward getting things done.

Similarly, many do not want to be scheduled too much, so there is a resistance to make a schedule because it feels confining or burdensome. Really, though, calendaring, booking, and having order leads to being structured. Structured days, and therefore, structured people have organization and the ability to create boundaries to stay true to structure for the purpose of a sense of order and direction.

It's not that every day is to feel easy or light, rather it is about being able to assess and address each day, and each night with confidence in self through thoughts, words, and actions. Through those subtle changes, they will add up to a large change in how you direct yourself and your energy.

Allowing, embracing, and directing feelings from busy to productive & scheduled to structured is an empowerment practice for moving forward with strength and purpose!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Be a Remote Work Rockstar by Debbie Lundberg



Be a Remote Work Rockstar by Debbie Lundberg

Here we are in 2020, and many have been experiencing remote work themselves, as leaders of remote workers, or both. How many, though, feel as if they can claim their efforts as “Rockstar” when it comes to working remotely?

If you find yourself embracing being out of the office, challenged to adapt to working outside the office, you thought that remote work would be short term, or even if you are considering leading a remote team, then this article is for you!

The vast world of being viral is growing, and it is my desire for you to grow, prosper, and shine on that remote stage!

Since there are norms that develop in environments (in person or otherwise), ensure your Virtual Work Etiquette is a “Do” and not a “Don’t.”

And, while the foundational efforts will absolutely be covered, this is less about simply conducting work remotely, and more about rockin’ it – this is about being a Remote Work Rockstar!

And, as I explore, define, or even defend choosing the word Rockstar, please know that the vision of a Rockstar is that of someone who presents professionally, feels confident, and has both pride and humility in efforts…whether with others in the same space, across miles, or across the internet.

I have worked remotely for my entire (nearly)14-year practice, and much of my time with General Motors and Dale Carnegie Training. In fact, I delivered talks and webinars on the topic of Remote Work Success as part of my practice for over a decade.

As the typical in-office workforce became remote workers overnight, many scrambled to put together an office space quickly. It became apparent that long-lasting change to how we worked would propel all of us into the future. Working remotely was not just a passing trend, or burden, or luxury, depending on your vantage point, for only a few.

Continuing to see both successes and mistakes being made, the demand for even more remote work content was immediate. After all, remote work success is quite different than remote work survival.

Defining remote work may seem like something very simple, and yet it is not. It is not simple because people have complicated the concept with misperceptions over the years. The term “remote work” is intentionally used here as the type of work that is completed away from an office or from an entity’s headquarters or regional location. Other words or terms that are appropriate to use include off-site work, virtual work, telework, and the phrase “working remotely”

Phrases such as “working from home”, “work from home”, or “home at work” are not recommended!

The reason “remote work” is used is because it includes the concept of work that is being done, along with the idea that it is done off-site or remotely. When phrases such as “work from home” are used, it introduces the idea of being at home and doing things that we typically do in our house or home while merely attempting to co-mingle or fit in our work

Respecting this may seem like semantics, and, to a certain degree, it is, at the same time, remote work keeps the emphasis on the work and the fact that we are being respectful of the work being done. This way, all of us are avoiding that implication that we think someone is doing things at home and happens to be including some work along the way!

That brings me to whether or not remote work is for everyone.

If you did experience any conversations about remote work in the recent past, and it would be surprising if you had not, and you had an interest in this book, it may be because many people talked at length about their dislike for remote work.

It is my hypothesis that remote work can be as productive, or more productive, as on-site work, for the right temperament, conditions, and expectations. Nearly anyone put in a remote work environment without the proper positioning and support, will minimally have missteps, and likely, have failures and therefore may seem as though they are not suited for remote work.

Am I saying everyone is suited for remote work? No, I am not. However, please believe that nearly everyone can function successfully when working remotely if given the opportunity to appreciate how remote workflow and the expectations of a remote worker are anticipated at the onset (or as soon as you finish this article).

Think of the following for engaging in, and leading effectively when remote, or a part of a remote team or remote leadership effort:

  • Define remote work. Use the terms “Remote Work”, and “Working Remotely” in all communication regarding off-site engagements and employees.  And, remember that people who choose to do some work at night off-site, after work at home or on the weekends, when they typically work in the office, are not the same as remote workers. Stay true to how remote work is defined for your teams, especially if some of your team members switch back and forth from remote work and office work for projects and/or assignments.

  • Get set up remotely. Respecting there exists a list of everything that would be ideal for remote work, and perhaps something to target over time, regardless of how long someone will be working remotely, the minimum for an effective life as a Remote Work Rockstar is here:  A dedicated space. While the best scenario is that room with a locking door, we respect that may not be “in the cards” for everyone. To dedicate space, here is what that may look like:    a desk set up in a room that is shared with another purpose, a desk built into a nook or attached space in the kitchen, a table in place of a desk for teleworking, a portion of a table that is taped off (yes, really tape it off) or divided for work and something else, a card table that is set up and taken down at various times due to space-sharing. This space is to be called the “office” or “workspace”, and there must be a device with a good camera and phone to use. Additionally, professional comfort is the key to success there! So, set up a budget and be mindful of what a remote workspace is like in order to respect it!

  • Set expectations and establish habits. Not surprisingly, many people transition to remote work without any discussion about the change, questions, concerns, or expectations. Sometimes the change is as swift as being in the office on a Friday and starting remotely on the following Monday. I absolutely don’t recommend that! Expectation-setting starts with a conversation. Be careful, as there can be actions that seem like micromanagement and others that feel like “sink or swim” when working remotely. To avoid that, as a Remote Work Rockstar, or RWR in-process, first, discuss topics such as hours, communication styles, your work and your contribution, priorities, PTO, and any other dynamics as soon as possible, including weekly, yes, weekly, one-on-one video meetings. Ensure you have good habits such as a consistent sleep schedule, sound eating for your body, and times you are not working! Setting timers each day and sharing your plans with anyone else in your space will keep you organized and on-time…and likely sane!

  • Master your mindset. Mindset may first strike you as a bit “woo-woo” for a business article, and yet it is not something I’d ever want to overlook for the Remote Work Rockstar. A Remote Work Rockstar mindset is one of “Can do”, and it is one of “Let’s go”, and “Bring it on”, and yet it is not one of “It’s all on me” or “I have to do this alone”, or “My team is not a team, so who is going to handle this if I don’t handle it”, and has the following approach:                        

R – Realistically setting and accepting expectations

O – Opening your approach to collaboration

C – Checking in on time, resources, and progress   

K – Keeping focused on what is best, and not just being right         

S – Setting incremental hurdles to overcome en route to the bigger win     

T – Talking with others (not just “to” others about the what, how, when and who)

A – Accounting for each person’s commitment, and especially your own   

R – Reflecting on what is going well, what can be improved, and stating gaps and goals 

  • Communicate effectively. Remote Work Rockstars see communication as not one-way or two-way, rather as every way, meaning it is about the verbal, written, non-verbal and visual communication…and the timing and perspective on all of it makes an impact as well! For communicating as an off-site contributor, often extra effort is required, meaning your impression on others is based on emails and phone calls along with video representation across a platform of choice. Watch accusations, use empathy in tone, and focus on collaboration, versus being right. Practice your Emotional Intelligence. Think of Emotional Intelligence as "the ability to recognize and assess one's own and other people's emotions, while discriminating among the various emotions and label them appropriately in order to guide perspectives and actions as a guide to thinking and behavior". Remote Work Rockstar Leaders level up communication through approachability and adaptability. Much like in the Real Estate market, the thoughts go to “location, location, location”, in leadership, and especially in Remote Work Rockstar leadership, it is all about “communication, communication, communication”!

  • Get video savvy. Video sessions are not calls, they are meetings or webinars. Calls are on the phone. People get confused and even blindsided when someone asks for a call, and then there is video involved. To have meeting magnetism via video, be prepared for video at all times you are working your designated work hours. Tips such as checking your camera for functionality and for a quality picture, registering for meetings, getting on early to check sound and how your professional appearance is being conveyed, go a long way. Resist being that person with a hat, no video, or a bad connection when you can avoid it by being ready and engaged with a virtual background and camera at eye-level, minimally for looking and feeling good about video exchanges.

  • Stay connected. Even though you are a Remote Work Rockstar, you still want to engage with people socially and professionally within your company and outside of your company. As a result, ensure you have interests outside work, reach out on professional social media, such as LinkedIn to get connected, stay engaged, and participate in posts and groups, offer to assist, mentor and/or coach someone else to enhance that person’s life, and eventually, be a small (or large) part of creating a new Remote Work Rockstar through your interest and involvement.     

There you have it, ROCKSTAR! From getting defined as remote work to getting set up, working, and staying connected, you have a glimpse into a handbook for your continued success. Congratulations!

Please use this as a reference for your efforts and those following in your footsteps. Remember to encourage others to embrace the approaches, tips, and tools to propel them forward in whatever work they are doing. My book, REMOTE WORK ROCKSTAR, available at Lulu.com or https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/debbie-lundberg-and-barb-zant-and-sue-nance-and-betsey-hapner/remote-work-rockstar/paperback/product-pg7d25.html

Here’s hoping you were intrigued, inspired, and called to action through the ideas you just. Remember, not only that remote workers and team members can be, and are ROCKSTARS, it is also that being off-site can be an asset and not a disadvantage.  Additionally, striving to be a Rockstar is meant to empower the remote worker and the leaders of remote workers to assess and respect what makes us alike as well as different, and not set an unrealistic standard for performing telework.

Remote work, as we know, is not “working from home”, and Remote Work Rockstars are not about being the rock of a team or company, solely, and yet they, you, can rock your world by being a professionally engaged, dynamic contributor from anywhere as you continue to engage in all you can to enhance your impact on your journey as a Remote Work Rockstar!

_____________________________________________________________________________

Debbie Lundberg believes "how you present is how you are remembered"!

She is the principal of Presenting Powerfully where she is both an educator and an entertainer. In her practice of "edutainment" she is "Reversing the Slobification”™ of America" in the areas of effective communication, professional behaviors and thriving relationships through four offerings: Keynotes & Talks, Strategy & Facilitation, Teaming & Training, and Employee Development & Executive Presence Coaching.

As an 11-time published author, certified life coach, certified leadership coach, and certified image consultant who speaks, facilitates, trains and coaches/consults nationally, She is a monthly contributor with a business etiquette column feature in the Tampa Bay Business and Wealth magazine. Her 2020 book, REMOTE WORK ROCKSTAR quickly became a guide for leaders and workers in the virtual environments of today.

Additionally, Debbie is co-hosting two podcasts: The Business Of Life (TBOL) Master Class Podcast with her colleague, where the under-20-minute interviews provide listeners with inspiration and encouragement for life and business, and Lipstick Leadership, where she and her co-host focus on quick tips for overcoming leadership challenges.

Debbie earned her BA at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, and holds an MBA from Edgewood College in Madison WI. Debbie, Michael, and their four-legged daughters, Lexi and Daisy, known to many as "Team Lundberg", enjoy living in Tampa, FL, where they settled in 2004.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

A Lesson from 10,000 Steps to Sunrise


At the time of writing this, it was day 40 of what I am calling 10,000 Steps to Sunrise. Getting in 10,000 steps each day has been part of my day for quite a while.

Being the Chair of The American Heart Association's Circle of Red, being active, and simply being my own health advocate, I find the tracking a challenge and sense of success to know I am doing something good for my body (and mind) each day.

Since I am "Grounded" and most of my typical business is outside my home location, it was my decision to drive up the goal and get to 10,000 steps before sunrise Monday through Saturday and 10,000 steps before sunset each Sunday.

Throughout this longer-than-expected journey on foot, my mind, and my heart gained perspective and many ideas.

The lessons learned from this (still continuing) experiment include:

1) There is a calm in the morning where ideas flow without resistance
2) People who work out at the same time each day (I have worked out between 5:00 AM and 7:00 AM since 1992) appreciate their personal space and yet have a connectivity to others who enjoy that same time to feed their movement needs/desires
3) Speaking up and out in the morning with a friendly "Hello" can make someone's day start positively (even if they don't acknowledge you back)
4) Focusing on those who engage versus wondering the reasons people do not means having joy ready and waiting each day

So, even if you do or don't strive for the 10,000 step accomplishment, please think about how your goals and activities can impact and or include others in subtle and grand ways.

I'll continue to make the 10,000 Steps to Sunrise a priority while in this new temporary time with gratitude for my walking and running partners, Lynn, Supna, and Michael, and even when we move forward without being "grounded", I'll certainly continue to embrace these lessons learned!

#PresentingPowerfully
#LearnWithAndThroughOthers
#LifeLongLearning
#ComplementaryThoughts
#BeInspired
#LearnWithAndThroughOthers

Friday, April 10, 2020

Courtesy Beyond the Common

"Courtesy is a silver lining around the dark clouds of civilization; it is the best part of refinement and in many ways, an art of heroic beauty in the vast gallery of man's cruelty and baseness."
~ Bryant H. McGill
American Thought Leader.
(b. 1950)

There are a set of rules, so to speak, even an unspoken guide for most, hopefully many, of us that serve to guide us when around others. These rules are often called "Common Courtesy".

I often propose that these actions are neither common or courteous to those who don't observe or participate in them. That LUNDBERGism often gets a laugh in presentations.

Now, with no live presentations, and sadly, seemingly little laughter for a lot of people, it's time to go with Courtesy BEYOND the Common, meaning, not only is it about the niceness of engagement, it is about the true awareness and presence in engagement...even from a distance of 6 feet or more!

Let's start at the beginning. You count, and you are making a decision to engage. When you begin with personal responsibility, you know that each step, word and action is up to you. While we cannot control others, we can control how we respond or approach them.

Even if you feel defensive, defiant, frustrated or alone, keep in mind that you are one of many, and that you may be entering into a virtual space or real location where others are on what I call the "fringe", a place where they are on edge and ready to blow. Not that it is your responsibility to keep people on the right side of the fringe, it is your opportunity not to push someone over the edge!

Four courtesies beyond the common, on top of keeping your distance, include:

Smile - even through a mask - a nod of the head with a smile goes a long way, too
Use your words - Excuse me, and even hello go a long way with others
Embrace non-responding (from you) when others are nasty first
Be grateful - inside in thoughts and outwardly with thank yous to anyone who shows kindness including a "thanks", a positive review, and/or a hand-written note after leaving

When you decide you will be the difference and you will deliver Courtesy Beyond the Common, together, we may make these actions more "common" to many!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

A Lesson from Kindness Encounters!


While I am happy to be a part of many groups and organizations, it is interesting to see what people will promote or devote time to online.

One of the communities I am in focuses on KINDNESS. Oh, that is right up my alley, so it was exciting to get invited to be connected there!

With everything happening in the world, where it seems like some people are more concerned with hoarding than being considerate, it seemed this group would be a super reprieve for these "odd days".

I shared in that private group that my new hashtag is #KindnessNeedNotBeQuarantined and posted the hashtag there with a story about a trip to Costco and being nice to one another.

Someone took a shot at that by posting that I was taking jobs from workers by moving the carts out of the way in the parking lot. I thought, like I typically do, that she had the right to her view, and opted not to reply. It made me sad, though, as this person who was approved and/or invited in, was so quick to attack, and so fast to abandon kindness.

What I learned there was that some people believe kindness or being nice or considerate is ONLY the way they define it. Sadly, they are being judgmental, and in effect, not at kind in their ways.

So, please, let's be kind, even if that means not agreeing or not responding. After all, kindness and judgment are not adjacent, they are opposing mindsets...and kindness guides growth where judgment simply limits!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Removing the un in unLUCKY!

During these times of feeling uncertain, uneasy, and even unlucky in situations, scheduling and even in life, in general,
make the most of your opportunities through the use of LUCKY-ness, meaning:

L - Limiting negativity and supposition,
U - Understanding your need for rest and rejuvenation (and honoring it),
C - Creating a community that supports one another,
K - Keeping a perspective on what IS going well and how to maintain it,
Y - Yielding not to the temptation of panic and paranoia.

When you own the unLUCKY, you can own the LUCKY, and therefore, remove the "un" in the way you handle your path and position!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Lesson from LinkedIn

This year, I vowed to expand my network in savvy, professional ways including attending South Tampa Chamber luncheons and accepting everyone (with a profile picture) on LinkedIn. Making connections on LinkedIn seems like a solid approach to enhance my contacts for learning and idea-sharing. With that, nearly 200 invitations have been accepted so far as of this update.

Of those 200 "connections", I have received 29 solicitations. And, when I say solicitations, I mean true solicitations...and nearly all of them were sent immediately...

What a lesson learned!

That lack of true interest in learning about me or one another and the attack on my senses was a huge turnoff. These messages ranged from insulting the number of connections I have to insisting I probably "needed" to take a workshop on Public Speaking since that person said "you seem like you want to be a speaker", and others offered to get me my "1st Gig". Really? That's the approach people are taking? Wow! Does that work? I wondered, and yet the thoughtless messages just kept coming.

In fairness, a couple of them had some business approaches that could work, meaning they addressed that we hadn't met yet, and shared a little about themselves. Still, not one of them did any research. I am not sure if more than one or two even read my full LinkedIn profile! I feel 100% confident that nobody Googled my name!

Imagine if we saw an ad for spending 5 minutes to be doubly productive - most of us would listen or even buy-in, right? Googling someone after seeing a potential business match is a way to productively attempt to really connect business-wise.

So the lesson learned about LinkedIn is that while I will still accept connections, I do, and will also continue to send the following response to the impersonal messages:

Hello Name!

Thank you for your outreach.

Since we have not met, and you may or may not have fully read my LinkedIn profile, please consider a message such as yours, in particular, so quickly after my acceptance of your connection, comes across as a cold solicitation.

Respectfully, I am not interested.

Here's wishing you the best in your business pursuits,
Debbie

And then, I remove the connection. While technology and being linked are both important, being truly connected is even more "In"!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

For the LOVE of Love!

Since it is the month of LOVE, how do we embrace love instead of being lonely if love doesn't serve us well, find us on the 14th of February, or if love simply doesn't seem as romantic as in books, on other people's social media, or the movies?

It's not easy, rather here are four simple (easy and simple are very different) approaches to fill your heart and mind with loving approaches to life.

For the LOVE of love, and for the best way to embrace LOVE please consider the following:

L - Look at people and situations for what they are, and not what you want them to be, or wish they would be. Seeing individuals and circumstances in the eye of reality means approaches can be taken, plans can be made, and expectations can be set in a way that will likely not disappoint in the future (even if you are a bit disappointed at the first true view of things and folks). Looking from a place of "right now" means you can set the stage right for love!

O- Open your eyes, mind and heart to possibilities. Be aware, yes, and be willing, too. Openness can create challenges and discomfort, and yet through openness comes opportunity and through opportunity comes growth. Opening your horizons to new activities, new people, and newness overall can create new hope! Hope springs eternal when we are open to love!

V - Vulnerability-ize yourself, meaning instead of protecting yourself from the unknown, take chances in words, actions, plans, and outreaches. Push yourself to do something different, something that dares you to explore. It doesn't have to be big first, and yet that can grow into many more explorations. Through being vulnerable, there is a risk that you can get hurt, and yet with vulnerability can come a love...a love for a new hobby, place, person or more!

E - Embrace all you already have. Sometimes the feeling of a lull in love or lack of love means a slight shift away from appreciation. Embracing life, friends, family, your home, your health and more, allows for a warm heart and an opportunity for more gratitude. And, embracing the idea of loving what you've received and created is embracing the idea of more love!

So, Valentine's week or not, consider the look, the openness, the vulnerability, and the embracing of you and your life...for your LOVE of love!

Friday, January 24, 2020

A Lesson from the Parking Lot

Carts in parking lots have consistently perplexed me. Call me crazy, it seems simple: use a cart, empty a cart, return the cart to the store or cart corral.

Still, month by month (admittedly, Michael does the grocery shopping for us), I see people leave carts in the aisles of the parking lot, against cars, up on grassy areas, and many places other than in the store's designated areas.

I was frustrated. I moaned and groaned about it. It was exasperation at its finest (or at its worst, really)...

Even though it was my goal to take in many carts, I did it out of flabbergastedness (not that it is a word).

This month, the start of a new year and new decade, it dawned on me that this is my issue. This is my challenge (of many for growth), and it was decided that a new approach would be best.

I did just that.

Oh, I still take in the carts for others. Instead of being snitty or covert, I see that person, acknowledge them as a person who perhaps has a lot on his/her plate, smile and say something similar to "Hello. May I please take that in for you?". The responses have been interesting. Some people seem "caught" and they apologize, and now I sincerely let them know I am happy to do it. Others seem happy to be acknowledged at all. Still, many (I've been at the store more intentionally) give a genuine "Thank you", and, in turn, share a genuine "You're welcome!".

While I am still not "cured" of my near-obsession with people and carts, shifting approaches from one of irritability to service has made the difference in how my Emotional Intelligence, care, and empathy seem to be serving myself and others.

So, if you see me pushing one, two, or yes, even up to four carts in at Publix or Costco, know that this is a form of restitution and joy from a self-inflicted tortured soul to a self-aware serving soul!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Getting Back on Track Post-Holidays


With the trees and menorahs put away, and the Happy New Year greetings capturing our energy and interest, the holiday hangover can be real!
 
So, how do you get back on track after the holidays, or any break? Please consider these four steps to regaining focus, purpose and enthusiasm for what you are going to accomplish:
  1. Make a list of all your previous accomplishments and a list of things for which you are grateful
  2. Clean/clear out your space – whether that be physical or electronic – make that a priority, as a clean space is a productive space
  3. Make a list of goals and stretch goals that are specific and measurable with time frames tied to the accomplishments without the words more, better, less, etc, as this is about being accountable to success not just subjective hopes
  4. Calendar activities that will get you to results and plan time for reflection and unexpected happenings, and follow your calendar as a guide to empower and not a list to restrict. Build in rewards for your accomplishments in order to feel and see the success.
 
When you are distracted or down, go back to the lists and calendar and keep moving forward based on previous wins as you plan for continued growth!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Being the Best You!

"You get the best out of others when you get the best out of yourself." 
~Harvey S. Firestone
American Businessman.
(1868 - 1938)
#QUOTE
#PresentingPowerfully
#CreateYourCommunity
#LearnWithAndFromOthers
#BeInspired
#ComplementaryThoughts

While it is not even the year-end, and the clock is not near striking midnight, it has already started - the New Year's Resolution talk, the plans for making changes, and the ads for working out, losing weight and more!


While those resolutions may be fun to think about, plan around and fantasize regarding the results, the reality is you can shift from making resolutions to creating a new tradition this year, one of being the BEST you moving forward...if you like.


For what reason? Well, those resolutions are typically vague, and words such as "better", "more", "less", and "improve" fill them with hope while providing very little measurability and accountability. Also, resolutions can be about what is perceived as "wrong with you", where making the tradition of being the BEST you, is not about what is wrong or off, rather it is about giving your all, contributing your expertise, and making the most of each situation, opportunity and engagement you have/get!


The difference in a resolution, which may sound like this: "I want to eat healthier", and a new tradition BEST statement such as "When making food choices, I will serve myself well by choosing wisely for nutrition and enjoyment". Similarly, a shift from "I want to slow down and say no more" becomes a BEST statement of "I will make sound choices for my interests and schedule in order to be present with people and in situations".


Moving from making resolutions to improve to making a commitment to be the best in attitude, approach and actions will allow you to be focused, stay accountable, and make the most of your energy and outcomes in 2020...and beyond!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Stop Should-ing All Over Yourself!

No matter what the time of year, it is often tempting to say "Oh, I should..." when there is something to be done that is different than what is being done at that time. This is what I (and others) call "Should-ing all over yourself". And, as you can likely tell, that is not a recommended action!

While the words, "I should" seem innocent, they are harmful and not helpful.

Instead of "Should-ing" all over yourself, which is putting yourself down, and putting yourself in a place of repression and/or obligation and "need", put yourself in a place of empowerment and action by saying things like "Since I want to be on time, I am going to leave now", or "In order to feel great tomorrow, I am going to go to bed now".

Start strong and end strong with the words you choose and the actions you take...with no shoulds or should haves in your way!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fight or Flight or FOCUS

"Choose to focus your time, energy and conversation around people who inspire you, support you and help you to grow you into your happiest, strongest, wisest self."
~ Karen Salmansohn
American Author.

For decades (or centuries) we have been told that we have this "fight or flight" response. And, yes, we do! We have all likely experienced the desire to either run or lash out when faced with someone or something uncomfortable, and similarly, most of us have done both. Even though these are guttural and common reactions, there is a way to train, coach and guide ourselves to respond instead, and that is with emotional intelligence through focusing, and a process I call FOCUS.

When we check in on knowing we are having a reaction to an individual, group, or circumstance, we can focus on what is best instead of fighting with, or flighting from, who or what is blocking our reason.

At the times of emotional overwhelm leaning toward ranting or running, if for one or two instances we can get away from the pull or push, we can FOCUS through these five parts to the approach:

F - Feel the emotions - acknowledge them to yourself and know they are real and okay.
O - Offer yourself the opportunity to share your fears and concerns.
C - Consider your options of fight, flight or focus.
U - Understand that the choice is yours, and that nobody "forces" you to do or not do things.
S - State what you are doing with steps such as "First, I will take a breath, and next I will verbalize my feelings", and "After that, I will make a list of what is at stake", and "Once that list is done, I will record everyone who is involved", followed by "Now that I am focused, I will take action externally by XYZ".

The intense desire to take flight or fight exists, and it is within us...it simply does not have to control us when we FOCUS!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

RSVPing Simplified

RSVP is an English initialism derived from the French statement or question Répondez s'il vous plaît, loosely meaning "Respond if you please" to require confirmation of an invitation in order for the inviting party to be able to plan for who will be at an event.

While there is a part that is "if you please", there is really nothing pleasing about ignoring an invitation. Unless the invitation says "Regrets Only" or something other than RSVP, or please respond on or before DATE, then send your "Yes" or "No, thank you" to any and all formal invitations.

An RSVP is a response. Let someone know yes or no. Respect the deadline, and don't make changes to your RSVP unless something arises that s unavoidable.

People who send out invitations early deserve your respect of an RSVP and your keeping to it. Even if something else comes along, own your actions, and be present fully when attending!

Monday, September 30, 2019

Being Your Own Biggest Fan!

"Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy."
 ~ Norman Vincent Peale 
American Clergyman/Speaker.
(1898 - 1993)

Sure, it's great to get kudos, thanks, and accolades for work or words well-done, and yet relying on others' views and shared opinions of you can leave you feeling dependent, or worse yet, desperate, for that feedback.

How do we overcome that desire to get input and hear praise? While we may not ever not seek feedback, after all, it is good for us, we can share insights and good cheer from within in an effort to support and supplement, and dare to be the foundation, to good vibes, and therefore, good self-esteem. Being our own biggest fan can be done without conceit or vanity, rather for good health and well being by doing the following:

Practicing GRATITUDE. By being thankful for what we have we are reminding ourselves of the good in our world/life.
Taking a POWER STANCE each day. These were shared most widely in the Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy. Opening up to a Superman/Wonder Woman type stance for two minutes can empower our energy to be confident. https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are?language=en
Have a MANTRA. I have the mantra "I want, I will, I am", which has been shared in previous updates. Think "I want _____ (a desired outcome), and I will _____ (an action to take), because I am _______ (characteristic or attribute about self)." An example is "I want to be on time for meetings and clients today, so I will tend to my directions for the entire day while planning, because I am a conscientious collaborator and partner." A mantra sets you up to "be" based on your own abilities.
Give yourself a PERSONAL PEP TALK. Something that says "You've got this!". Talk to yourself and use your name. Once I share to myself if "You've got this, Deb. You know what you are doing, prepared for success, and you're going to deliver what the audience wants and deserves. Enjoy it!"
Develop a CEO of MEO mission statement, meaning be the Chief Empowerment Officer of My Every Opportunity. My current CEO of MEO is: "I am a lean, pristine, high-performing human being bringing positivity to people, situations and choices in order to be present and live life fully"! This form of I AM statement commands attention from the strengths you have toward the now and the future.
Write your future state in a paragraph as though it is an article about you now. Use third person to take a view from afar while getting into up-close details.
Meditate and let go of stress that is not serving you well.
Shift from poor-serving habits with well-serving habits. Simply giving things up can seem like punishment, so exchange those habits with something positive and see how the pivot makes the change a direction and not detrimental.
Replace "Have to, Need to, Should, Ought to" with "I want, I will, I am, I am in the process of" to focus on what you are processing for progress rather than what you are doing our of obligation.
Write a compliment on your bathroom mirror to yourself each morning first thing so that you'll see it all day long and appreciate you being you!

Some things may seem small, and they are. Some things may seem simple, and they are. Some things may seem silly, and they are NOT! Investing in your belief, reflection, support and confidence is anything other than silly, and everything around smart!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

BEAM Support of/to Others


While being self-assured is tremendously important, support of others is as well.

When you want to share that, consider BEAMing that support through these four things/approaches:

B - Belief
E - Empathy
A - Awareness
M - Mindfulness

Sharing belief, expressing empathy, having awareness of what may be challenges and goals, and being mindful of any obstacles and others involved will allow you to be supportive without manipulating, and encouraging without managing.

A way to BEAM is "Tom, because you thrive in front of a group, and I believe in your abilities to persuade, you will impact so many at this conference by telling your story and asking for support of our product. The Board and I look forward to your keynote!

BEAM away, as shining light on others takes none away from you, and perhaps brightens theirs!!

Friday, August 30, 2019

Using Emotions Intelligently vs. Emotionally!

"Take control of your consistent emotions and begin to consciously and deliberately reshape your daily experience of life." ~ Tony Robbins
American Author/Speaker.
(1960)

How many times have you either said or heard "Don't get so emotional", or "Don't take this personally, but..."? Well, we are each a person, so we take things personally, and as people, we are filled with energy and emotions. As a result, saying, or hearing, expressions such as those are neither encouraging or level-setting. Instead, this article is about appreciating our emotions, and thinking about utilizing the strength of them, checking in on them, and assessing ourselves and others for timing, form, and effectiveness. Yes, this tip is about Emotional Intelligence (EI)!

EI is a set of emotional and social skills that collectively establish how we:

  • Perceive and express ourselves
  • Develop and maintain social relationships
  • Cope with challenges/change
  • Use emotional information effectively/meaningfully

Emotional Intelligence is demonstrated through 5 scales, and each has three subscales:

1. Self-perception-(Inner Self) Understanding YOUR emotions

1. Self-regard - confidence
2. Self-actualization - continuous development
3. Emotional Self-awareness - acknowledging your emotions

2. Self-expression-(Outward Self) Expressing YOUR emotions

4. Emotional Expression - saying how you feel
5. Assertiveness - standing up for yourself effectively
6. Independence - standing on your own 2 feet

3. Interpersonal-(Trust/Compassion) Developing/maintaining relationships

7. Interpersonal Relationships - developing & maintaining good relationships
8. Empathy - recognizing & appreciating how others feel
9. Social Responsibility - contributing to society

4. Decision-making-(Emotional Impact) Using emotions for sound choices

10. Problem Solving - effectively managing emotions when deciding
11. Reality Testing - seeing things as they really are
12. Impulse Control - ability to resist or delay taking immediate action

5. Stress Management-(Resiliency) Coping with challenges/change

13. Flexibility - adapting to change effectively
14. Stress Tolerance - successfully coping in high-stress situations
15. Optimism - having a positive outlook

That is a lot of "background" on EI. And yet without it, it would be challenging to appreciate what to do with it. So here are some ways to enhance/grow/utilize Emotional Intelligence include:

  • Assess yourself on a 1-5 scale each day on either the scales, or subscales, or all of them
  • Be in touch, practice mindfulness & identify emotions
  • Value others for their role & feedback
  • Check biases and attitude
  • Beware: blame game & emotional games
  • Be about "what's best" vs. "I'm right"
  • Breathe fully & celebrate positive emotions
  • Question stories, even if you believe them
  • Practice empathy
  • Prioritize active-listening during challenges
  • Use clear language
  • Admit when you are off, wrong, confused, or anything other than your "on", and seek ways to get back to your best

When you assess, implement, and speak to emotions, you handle them for you, and from others, with intelligence, and stay emotionally intelligent rather than getting yourself into emotional discomfort!

Friday, August 16, 2019

SHARE Your Brainstorming


If you want to get ideas out on the table, and you want other people's input, too, brainstorming is an excellent approach to collaboration and advancement.

Still, we often have brainstorming sessions that stifle people, have biases, and end as simply a formality to getting someone's idea in place.

SHARE your brainstorming successfully by doing the following 5 things:
S - Set the stage for the expected
 outcomes and set the stage with a clear problem statement to solution
H - Have rules of engagement that level sett the room and letting everyone know his and her ideas count, and how NO is not part of the conversations, and that personal attacks are in the past along with courtesy and openness being part of the present..."
A - Ask for input and record all of them without discussion
R - Revisit each idea after all are recorded in order to keep, alter, or dismiss for that problem
E - End the session by selecting and agreeing to moving forward with a plan and thanking the participants

Using the SHARE approach to brainstorming becomes an approach to solutioning situations with collaboration and buy-in!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Make Time to OWN Your Time

"If you're not having a good time, find something else that gives you some joy in life."
~ Penny Marshall
American Actress.
(1942 - 2018)
#QUOTE
#PresentingPowerfully
#CreateYourCommunity
#LearnWithAndFromOthers

So many people say things like "I don't have time for...", and/or "I didn't have time to get that done", and/or "If I only had time...". These are common, and yet, not sensible, as time is set, finite, and cannot be made into more or taken away.

Still, time is something some people chase, and that some people dread. What to do, right?

Time "Management" is a part of the process of addressing time ownership, and yet that "Management" is less important than our perspective and our relationship with the clock, and, specifically with the seconds, minutes and hours in our days!  Here is a list of the Savvy 7 for Not Succumbing to the Battle with the Clock, and for Saying Goodbye to Wasted Moments while Maximizing Every Minute:

1. Eliminate lists, schedule all & have buffers built-in. Yes, it reads "NO LISTS", and yet you can make a list, simply take the list and convert it to calendar items in order to really give them their "place". This will ease your subconscious wondering when you'll get to the "to-do" items.

 2. Prioritize & ask priority when people request you do something. Instead of thinking you "have to" get something done, ask when it is anticipated. Using expressions such as "Since I am working on X, when do you anticipate you want Y done?"


3. Start early & complete the worst thing first. If you tackle what you dread or dislike initially, it will be accomplished. If you do not, you may inadvertently take longer to do things in between, and eventually postpone what you have on your "dread-to-do" mind.


4. Learn to say "no" & resist "Busy-ness". When asked how you are, skip "I'm busy" and skip asking people if they are busy. If you get asked "Are you busy?", then say "Thanks for asking, it's been productive." Similarly, say "No" or "No, thank you" to requests that are not of interest. Get out of your way of feeling obliged or apologetic.


5. Time chunk & allow time to be real and it's use a tangible part of your process (not a hope you can get it done). Think in terms of 20 minutes. Time yourself. Get used to what you can accomplish in 20 minutes and then reserve 20 minute chunks for people and for accomplishing things. Hope is not a strategy, so stop hoping you'll get it all done, and know what you can get done!



6. Focus solely on something (no multi-tasking). Multitasking is really "Switch Tasking", meaning our minds have to switch back and forth, so stop forcing that extra effort and make time for doing something, or a portion of something before altering focus to something else. Resist the temptation that multitasking is useful or even possible, and you'll see and feel how much you get accomplished, really!


7. Create organizing systems (mental & physical) that work for you. People can have varied systems, and yet having a system is key. Make your piles, populate your folders, set reminder. Stick with it rather than being scattered and/or being tempted to use sticky notes as a method!


Having ownership of your time is about being in control, and therefore ready for most anything, so tackle it, embrace it, and let go of time having a hold on you as you enjoy your opportunities and challenges in the time they deserve!