Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Habit of Forming Well-Serving Habits!


At the risk of sounding a bit harsh, keep in mind that people, individuals, each of us, at the core, in many ways, are simply a series of habits. Some habits are well-serving and others are not.

Sometimes we say "I'm not a morning person" or "I'm not good at technology" or "I've got my Dad's slow metabolism" and allow that to be our soundtrack to life...in effect, that becomes a habit, and then a belief.

To make well-serving habits, shift your thinking, words, and actions. Follow a pattern, even if it is challenging and outside of your comfort zone, for 28 days in a row. (Start over if you skip a day - there is no "catch up" with habits.) Allow those 28 days in a row to be the start of a new, well-serving habit for positive results!

Friday, January 18, 2019

New Year - YOUR Year!


There is a lot of talk right after the "ball drops" on December 31st each year about "New Year, New You", and many ideas of change and improvement, commitment and resolutions are made.

And then, not long after, there are thoughts of disappointment, hesitation, excuses and distraction for many of us.

So, to have enhancement in your world, how about reconsidering this time of year as "New Year, YOUR Year"? To make the most of the calendar change from 2018 to 2019, please think in terms of:
Y - Yes, I am going to say yes to new people and new things of interest to me!
O - Openness is my state of mind and position on politics, people, and possibilities!
U - Under no circumstances am I going to beat myself up, see change as negative and/or set myself up to fail!
R - Revving up my life is about revving up energy through staying in control of my food, exercise, sleep and stress!

So, rather than thinking "new", please think "YOUR" in order to make the year all you want it to be!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Not Too Late!

"People talk about perfect timing, but I think everything is perfect in its moment; you just want to capture that."
~ Eddie Huang
American Chef.
 (b. 1982)

Even though Hanukkah and Christmas are behind us, the message, inspiration, and kindness that go along with those holidays need not be in the past.

If you "forgot" to send a greeting, card or gift to someone, it is not "too late".

There is no time limit on holiday hope, holiday cheer, and holiday thoughtfulness. When you share, there is not need to give excuses, rather approach your message, flowers, gifts or event as a New Year's well-wish, or a post holiday pick-me-up.

Sometimes the crunch of the calendar can be stress and forgetfulness, so instead of beating yourself up for that, embrace the opportunity to let someone know you are thinking of him or her.

Go ahead, send the card, write the note, email your thoughts, have flowers delivered! No date is too late, only no day means no sharing!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Communicating Presentation CANDOR

Sure, you are the expert, and as the presenter, watch staying expert and not going to an extreme in your communication by ensuring you demonstrate CANDOR, meaning be: 

C - Concise - get and stick to the point
A - Agile - be flexible and respond to the audience
N - Non-Jargon - watch acronyms and industry lingo that is off-putting
D - Diplomatic - thank people and ensure you respond with kindness
O - Open - ensure you are willing to hear things differently with interest
R - Real - admit if you are wrong, missed something or do not know

By showing sincere CANDOR, your expertise will be welcomed since you will be approachable and welcoming!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Perspective is Priceless

It can seem as though people are distracted. It can feel as though people don't care.

Perhaps they are distracted and/or even don't care. Still, it is likely they want to be engaged, and they do care. Likely, they have something going on in the background or the foreground that has their attention, concern, and/or time at that moment.

Instead of being disappointed, hurt, mad or crushed, consider their perspective. You may be their distraction, or they may feel that you would not care to hear their concerns or woes. Ask them about what is going on, and then listen. Ask them is there is something specific you can do, and then do it.

Gaining their perspective is priceless, as it changes your perspective, too...at not cost to your relationship, rather as an investment in it!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Traditions to Treasure

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.” 
~ William Somerset
British playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest-paid author during the 1930s.
 (1874 - 1965)

While traditions can be wonderful, and often heart-warming, some traditions are neither, and some can even be disappointing, burdensome and/or painful.

So, this holiday season, you are encouraged to list all the traditions you have and note whether you want to keep, renew, change or discard them. You need no reason other than how you think about them or how the act/actions make you feel. If your spouse, friends, and/or family is involved in the tradition, consider doing this review together.

After assessing existing traditions, note what you would like to do that is new to you...your own ideas or the adoption of some you have heard about from others. Select one or more and make them your own. These are things that bring joy, nostalgia, peace or just plain fun to your world. These will be YOUR traditions...embrace them and make them what you want them to be!

As the quotation reflects, traditions are to guide and lead you and others, not imprison you, so while traditions can be wonderful; those that are not purposeful are something you can wrap up in your memories and unwrap something new this year. Make your traditions those you treasure!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Give the Gift of GRACE

T'is the season for gifts, and good time...and for some awkward moments, if we are not mindful, and full of grace.

Giving the gift of GRACE means:
G - Giving people an opportunity to speak and/or share
R - Resist correcting people unless there will be an error
A - Acknowledging kindness and even intentions with "Thank you"
C - Changing topics when people make others feel uncomfortable
E - Excusing odd behaviors

While you may feel slighted or hurt or left out for a moment, in the end you will feel light, right, and good about how you handled yourself. Giving the gift of GRACE is a gift that keeps giving to others and gives you the opportunity to know you did what was best for you, for others, and for the situation!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

TREAT Yourself to Happiness

Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude." 
~ Dale Carnegie
American Businessman & Writer.
 (1888 - 1955)

According to Kira M. Newman, who writes for Greater Good, there are 6 Scientific Facts That Link Happiness with Good Health, including:

  • HAPPINESS PROTECTS YOUR HEART. 
  • HAPPINESS STRENGTHENS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM. 
  • HAPPINESS COMBATS STRESS.
  • HAPPY PEOPLE HAVE FEWER ACHES AND PAINS.
  • HAPPINESS COMBATS DISEASE AND DISABILITY.
  • HAPPINESS LENGTHENS OUR LIVES.


With those happiness benefits in mind, here's how through your own actions you can treat yourself to times of happiness:

  • Make a list of no to low cost activities that bring you joy (joy is an enhancement of happiness), and pull three a week from a jar where you've placed these activities from your list, and schedule time for each of those treats of joy-filled happiness
  • Schedule a personal phone call with one of your best friends who is also happy. When you schedule it, it becomes a priority and there is less phone-tag, and more likely happy laughter and sharing
  • Drive a path of nature or beauty in your mind, and while staying focused on your journey, strive to see something new or light in spirit to treat yourself to some happy bonus time
  • Meditate about happiness and the thoughts, feelings, words and actions that create that sense for you
  • Decide you'll be happy in your words and actions at the beginning of the day, and then record your happiest moments, with gratitude, at the end of the day. Read the list from yesterday upon waking each day.
  • Smile, and watch who smiles back. The simple act of kindness begets much kindness

These, and other intentional focuses on happiness may not wipe away all heartache and concern, and yet with these, the heart can pump some energy, and our concerns may get complimented by ideas to combat those low points.

Since happiness has value, and little cost, there's few or no reasons not to treat yourself to a little this Halloween...and throughout the upcoming months!

Monday, October 29, 2018

The TRICK to Resting Happy Face

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow."
~ Helen Keller
American Author.
(1880 - 1968)

 Very few people sit in silence and/or in a concentration mindset and have a happy look to their face. Rarely do you hear someone refer to someone's "Resting Happy Face" (RHF)!

While the preference is to provide tips and tools each month, with Halloween coming, here's a "trick" for you: press your tongue up on the roof of your mouth where your front teeth come out of your gum. This will lift the corners of your mouth to where you do not have a fake smile, rather a less off-putting, more approachable resting face. This is terrific for listening to others, meetings and even greeting trick-or-treaters who may or may not have on costumes!

Enjoy this rare "trick" for turning your frowning corners upside down this Halloween, or any time!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

AMP Up Life & Business


"We need to invest in technologies that amplify human capacity, not replace it."
~ Reid Hoffman
American Businessman.
 (b. 1967)

To amplify is to enhance intensely.

In life and in business, we can amp things up in many ways, and in particular, we can focus on upping the AMP in the areas of:
Accountability
Motivation, and 
Productivity

Accountability is most important to be engaged with yourself. Accountability works when goals are set, action is taken, results are assessed, and either credit or change is accepted/implemented. Once goals are set, share them. Accountability is twice as effective when you include others who believe in you, understand your focus, and want you to succeed...and will ask the straight-forward questions to keep you on track while encouraging you to keep advancing.

Motivation is internal, and is to be a source of "push" when things are challenging and when things are going smoothly. Motivation is that inner voice that says "Yes, I can!" when things, situations, people, or anything is pushing back. Over the years, it has been shared that my belief is that people are motivated, and in that motivation, they are driven primarily by two of four factors: Time, Money, People, Opportunity. Two of those four are the reason individuals say yes or no, stay or go. Motivation, and knowing yours allows you to make decisions that are aligned with your life and business.

Productivity is about results and outcomes. Productivity is found when effort is compared to capacity. What is yielded out of applying energy and expertise is what is produced. Being productive is not the same as being "busy". Busy means someone is active, is doing something, and yet busy does not means anything is being accomplished or moving forward. Productive times may be full and active, yes, and yet in that full, active time, there are solutions, resolutions and advancements in goal achievement.

If you want to level-up, think about AMPing it up with a check in on your ACCOUNTABILITY, your MOTIVATION, and your PRODUCTIVITY as you enhance life and business intensely!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Answering Questions Effectively When Presenting

There's No "Great Question"

In a meeting or presentation, on the phone, over video, or in person, welcome questions when you are the expert/speaker/presenter.

Let people know that you are open to questions (rather than saying "Hold your questions until the end."), and when you get one, resist saying "Good question". "Good question" is an old trick for buying time. When a speaker says it each time, it is clearly insincere, and if a speaker says it often, it sounds like judgement of the question or person.

Here are three steps to effective question answering:

1) Use "Th..." words when someone asks a question. Saying "Thanks for asking" or "That's something I've explored" gives acknowledgement and appreciation for the interaction.

2) After that, address the inquiry directly and clearly.

3) From there, ensure you did, in fact, answer the question by asking "Did I provide what you were seeking"? or "Was that information what you wanted?", or "Did that answer provide what you sought?", or "Did I answer your question?". These confirming questions allow the person making the inquiry to ask more and/or confirm that you provided what was sought.

If you don't know the answer to a question, state that, write it down, and give a time and day when you'll have the answer for the person. Allow others to know if they want the answer, too, to provide their contact information to you for being copied on the answer. And then, research the answer and provide it by the time you offered!

Questions are a way for you to engage, grow and learn in presenting, so welcome the ask, and provide answers professionally for impact!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Accepting a Compliment/Recognition

"You look so nice!" "What a terrific presentation you made!" "How amazing are you with trivia!?!?" These compliments are only true recognition when they are acknowledged and accepted.

Too often, people deny, ignore, argue, self-deprecate, question, deflect, de-value, and/or doubt the input or displace the credit. While that may be a form of humility to some, for the complimenter, it feels like straight rejection. Instead of any of those forms of not accepting a compliment or recognition, simply consider one, or all, of the following in response:
"Thank you."
"Thanks so much!"
"Thanks for noticing!"


Following the acknowledgement and acceptance, either leave it there or ask the complimenter a question about him or her so that you can move on in a conversation.


Friday, August 31, 2018

Shift From Change to Progress

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."
~ George Bernard Shaw
Irish Dramatist.
 (1865 - 1950)

Often people are uncomfortable with change. And, typically, people appreciate the benefits of progress. While all change doesn't guarantee progress, nearly no progress would be possible without change.

So, when you are thinking about change, reposition your focus to the progress it may ultimately yield. And, if you are considering change that impacts others, please position your attitude, approach, language and vision on those results.

If we think or talk about "we must change", or "we need change" or "we have to change", we put people, including ourselves, in a place of no choice and/or lack of control. You, and they, will feel put upon and may do things out of compliance.

Instead, should we share about progress, and how the progress will benefit each person, and paint a picture where it is clear that each person who buys in will have a place in that picture, in that future, then people get committed to the actions it takes to get there.

Insist on change, and some will come along based in fear and ultimately minimal action and compliance, and yet project progress, and watch many get committed and join the progress in a way that shares in the action and the success that follows!

Monday, August 20, 2018

How "Maybe" is Worse than "No"!

Telling someone you might be there, or providing a "maybe" as a reply is not only not an answer, it is downright thoughtless in regards to the person asking.

A "no" is not rude. A "no, thank you" requires no other explanation.

A "maybe" means the person asking is left wondering. He or she cannot plan or move forward, rather that person has to follow up with the person replying "maybe" to get a solid response...needlessly taking up time due to the carelessness of planning on the other person's part. If you are not sure if you are going to atttend, say something like "Due to a potential conflict, I'll say "no" for now. If there is a change in plans, when is your final RSVP deadline, if it is not now?" If it is right then, be okay with that - the other person doesn't want to be in "I'll try-ville" or "Maybe Town" or "We'll see-ville" until you make a decision.

When you use "No" instead of "Maybe", will you possibly miss out on opportunities because your time could become free later? Yes. Will you risk getting a reputation of being indecisive, non-committal and thoughtless? No. And, based on that, please stop using "Might", "Maybe" and other distant options in order to position yourself and others for committed experiences!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Deliver a REAL Introduction


Believe it or not, an engaging introduction can be an important part of a powerful presentation. And, a bad introduction is often a sad start for a presenter who has to first recover from the introduction, and second has to attempt to engage an audience after that recovery.
 
An effective introduction should be REAL, meaning the introducer simply, and only covers the:
 
Reason for the talk/presentation/training. Welcome people, and let them know what the topic is.
 
Examples of the importance of the topic. State 2-4 reasons someone will want to listen to the presentation.
 
Acknowledgement of the speaker’s credentials and name. Share 2-4 relevant facts about the speaker that will enhance the presenter’s credibility and pique the audience’s interest. Clearly and confidently state the name of the speaker/presenter last, with a pause between the last comment and the first name and a quick pause between the presenter’s first and last name.

Leading of the applause. As soon as you finish the presenter’s name to the audience (which is done while facing the audience. You then turn to face the presenter as you start to applaud loudly and rapidly to indicate others can follow (and they will!).
 
An example of “keeping it REAL” for an effective introduction is:
 
Welcome to the Presenting Powerfully workshop (R)! It is important we learn to present confidently and professionally, learn tips and tools for connecting with the audience, and that we get our messages across effectively (E). Our speaker comes to us as a 10-time published author, former corporate regional and national leader, and a member of the National Speakers Association. Please welcome your expert on presentation prowess, Debbie Lundberg (A). Applaud immediately (L).

Deliver a REAL introduction and/or write a REAL introduction for yourself, if you are the speaker, and no longer will bad introductions, or worse yet, the reading of a full, long bio, be the start to any presentation!
 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Presentation Prowess: Know and Own Your DEMEANOR!

"I have fun out there on the court, smiling, laughing, trying to have good demeanor."
~ Stephen Curry

Whether you have experienced seemingly overwhelming fear or distracting nerves, your confidence will come from your interest, your preparedness, and your handling of the situation. Confidence will also likely come with time. With time being of the essence, let's tackle what you can impact and own yourself through your DEMEANOR:

D - Decide you believe in you. After all, the audience wants you to succeed, and whoever hired or asked you to speak believes you are a great choice.

E - Eye Contact. Look at the audience. Let the audience know you want to see them. Being connected through your eyes will give you insight (no pun intended), and eventually calm you through that feedback. Stay engaged with one person through a full thought/sentence in order not to look jumpy. Do not look over the crowd, as many early public speaking instructional suggested. People can tell you are not making eye-contact, and either judge you as 1) aloof, or 2) scared...neither of which are good for you! Move on from one person after a thought is completed, so as not to appear you are having a personal conversation, and/or that you are alienating everyone else. Additionally, you want to move on to include everyone in the audience and never give one person the stalker-effect where you keep hanging on them throughout a full segment or talk. Work eye contact in reverse if someone is being disruptive or talking with someone during your presentation. Resist the "dagger eyes", and instead, move close to the disruptive audience member without eye contact or comment...even sit on the table where the person is acting out, and watch/hear how the disturbance will be softened or stifled, without a word or becoming the "school marm" asking for silence.

M - Managing the Room. Talk with others as you check out the space. Walk around during your presentation. Make sure everyone can hear your voice. By stating something like "I take it you are assertive/professional/bold (your choice) enough in the back to let me know if you cannot hear me. I like that about you!" shows that "moxumility"Ô again by showing the moxie to mention it and the humility to offer a solution. It's even better than asking people sitting in the back "Can you hear me in the back?" If you are comfortable with your materials and your projection, you may want to lower the volume to draw people in, and then raise the volume to make key points and show emphasis. As long as you can picture, feel and hear your voice filling the space and the minds of the audience, you can do it!

E - Enthusiasm. Being enthusiastic does not mean you have to be loud; nor does it mean you should be loud. Enthusiasm is a confidence in you and your topic, a respect for yourself and your audience, and an energy that exudes from you that can be read...and even be contagious! A smile and sincerity are your two best assets in showing enthusiasm, and allowing others to appreciate your style.

A - Appreciate your opportunity to speak. Acknowledging your excitement/enthusiasm is not only okay, it is encouraged. Being too laid back can present as cockiness instead of calm. Say something like "Thank you for including me". Be sincerely appreciative of your opportunity. People want others they connect with to do well.

N - Normalize your situation. Eat well, be rested, wear what is appropriate, comfortable, and is true to the audience, activity and you. Have a mantra for your mental calmness. (I use my personal brand sometimes, and other times I simply repeat "You are engaged, you are engaging, they deserve the best you!") Whatever you connect with that is a fit for repeating internally that is positive and focused, is a healthy mantra for you.

O - Offer intonation in your voice and movement in your presentation. Pace and tone changes that are not too wishy-washy or high pitched both offer variety, and therefore keep people's attention.

R - Relax yourself naturally. Meet a lot of people prior to going into the room or up on stage. Be "that person" who is welcoming, friendly, and approachable. Breathe deeply before going "on". Keep breathing intentionally and deeply (watch the noise if you have a lavaliere microphone!!) to keep your voice and pace in control. Have room temperature water close at hand, and ensure you hit the restroom before your presentation (one, to go to the bathroom, and two, to check your appearance).

Your DEMEANOR is your style. Let your demeanor convey your nerves as confidence, and your eagerness as energy, and let your passion for your presentation wow the audience in a way that is respectful, rewarding, and warrants a terrific response!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Lift Others Up!

"We rise by lifting others."
~ Robert Ingersoll

When you hear something you enjoy, or see something you like, how often do you make the effort to share that feeling with the person, or people who created the experience? And yet, wouldn't that lift that person's spirits, and perhaps make his or her day?

The act of making an effort to say thank you to those who make things happen, even if it is "their job", has far more rewards than the seconds or moments it takes to express your appreciation.

Make an effort to be uplifting once each day. While at first, you may find you are looking for something worthwhile, soon, should you make it a habit, you will see, find, and even subtly encourage, these actions on a regular basis without much effort at all!

Lift others up, and watch how you feel lifted by the observations, the experiences, and the sharing of gratitude with others!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Audience Engagement When Presenting

Participation and More

A talk or presentation is typically best with engagement of the audience, and that means participation of some sort.

Here are a few ways to positively engage your audience:

  • Meet people prior to the talk, or greet them if you already know them
  • Walk around the room
  • Make eye contact
  • Ask a question and raise your hand as you are asking, so the audience knows you want their input
  • Ask a question with "Who'll be the first to guess at..." so people know their guesses are okay, and then, when someone answers, repeat the guess and thank him or her without judgement
  • Ask "Who wants to start us off?" and wait, rather than "picking on someone to answer something
  • When someone starts responding, when he or she is done, ask that person "Who would you like to hear from next?" so that you are not calling on someone
  • Use a fun object, or even a wadded up piece of paper as the talking prop that when someone has it, she or he has the floor - let people know you throw the object to, not at, others
  • Call people by name
  • Be sincere in your interaction
  • Make the effort and have fun (without making fun of anyone other than yourself)

When you choose to engage your audience in positive ways, they feel safe, enjoy, and tend to want to be a part of the information sharing with you!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Resisting Regret!

"Speak when you are angry - and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret."
~ Laurence J. Peter
Canadian Writer.
 (1919 - 1990)

Regret is powerful. Regret is costly. Regret has no positive value. Regret has options.

Should you find yourself in a place where you feel bad about something you said or did in the past, or, should you find yourself sensing a bad feeling or remorse about something you did not say or do in the past, give yourself a chance to not live in regret. Accept that your behavior negatively affected you, a situation, or others around you. You may sense guilt, self-doubt, your worthiness, and even think you cannot overcome it. You can, you will, and you may even learn from it!

Consider the following approaches instead of, and in replacement of, regret:

1) Turn regret into a reset! Let yourself feel - your feelings are legitimate, real, and they are yours - you need not ignore or suppress them immediately.

2) Turn your regret into a reality check!

Gain a perspective of the past, and know that there is where that behavior lives/lived.

3) Turn your regret into a resolution! Gather a sense of moving forward,and resolve to live in the present as you move ahead.

4) Turn your regret into a recognition! Realize what you have done incorrectly and apologize for it to those impacted (with no excuses or rationalization).

5) Turn your regret into reassurance! Share what you have learned and make a commitment to yourself and others not to make the same misstep again.

6) Turn your regret into release! Forgive yourself ad release the guilt and negative self talk, as it is not doing anything positive for you (or anyone else).

7) Turn your regret into re-engagement! Make yourself available for openness, vulnerability, learning and more - with all your heart, and all your hope that people will accept your regret turnaround readily and with resounding support!

With these seven simple, reasonable approaches, you will not be looking back, and yet, if you did, regret would be in the rearview mirror!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Ask, Don't Assume


With technology making staying in touch readily available and accessible, and that can be great, what isn't great is when someone assumes how to contact you and/or pay you.

 

When you meet someone with whom you want to engage, ask him or her "If it is appropriate, I'll follow-through on our conversation...would you prefer a call, text or email?", and then use that preferred method.

 

Similarly, when paying for services or splitting a charge with someone, ask what form of payment works best, as there are many, so saying something similar to "Okay, so I owe you $XX, and I'll get you that by tomorrow. Do you prefer Zelle, PayPal, Venmo, or ApplePay?" is smart, as not everyone uses all forms of payment, and if not set up, have hoops to jump through to access what is rightly his or hers.

 

Asking, and not assuming, works well in life in general. Respecting preferences and noting choices makes for good rapport-building and good relationships, so in contact, payment, and other things, do ask, don't assume!