Thursday, May 26, 2022

Being Your Own HERO!

A  hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.

~ Christopher Reeve

Who is your hero? Do you immediately think of a relative, teacher or coach? Many of us do...

And, if you could have a superpower, what would it be? Flight? Mind-reading? Teleportation? Super strength?

While they are all fantastic for various reasons, even super, dare I say, they are fantastic because they are based in fantasy! It's fun to imagine these superpowers, and yet here on earth, secure in reality, it is important to know you are super and you, in fact, can be your own HERO!

How so? Think of embracing and living these four concepts:

H – Happiness

E – Empathy

R – Resilience

O – Optimism


When you decide to be happy, you realize it is a lot about your choices and your perspective...meaning it is up to you. Sure, that means you embrace that life’s not a RomCom and that yes, you are responsible for your own happiness, and that others will simply enhance your happiness or detract from it. Move closer to those who enhance it, and move away from those who detract from it. Similarly, there is no need for or place for FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out, and there is a ton of room for what I call JOCO, the Joy Of Celebrating Others. Skip the words "So jealous" and/or "You are so lucky", and practice saying and believing "You deserve it" and/or "So happy for you"! When things don't go well for you, name what happened, don't blame anyone, and simply reframe what you're experiencing for moving forward. No matter what, the mantra of happiness is "Gossip is garbage, jealousy is junk, comparison is crippling & settling is stifling." Be honest with yourself, then you can be honest with others.


As you honor happiness and truthfulness fully, you are able to empathize with others. Empathy is NOT thinking or sharing what you would do in someone's situation, rather it is making the effort to imagine what someone else may be experiencing, and respecting that with grace. Using “I can only imagine” or "I cannot even imagine" over “I understand” and "You are in my thoughts and on my mind" instead of "I feel so bad for you!". Additionally, you can replace judgment with assessment when you ask before assuming and respecting self and others. Do practice kindness through actions. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself. It is most likely you will sincerely be empathetic when you are comfortable and confident in your own skin and life!


This is your "bounce-back-ability", and having the capacity to focus/re-focus. In a resilient state of mind, we admit when we are wrong, without constant apologizing. You find being focused on now and not the past allows for sorrow, for being disappointed in a situation while you won't be devastated as a person/leader. When you are resilient, you can, and will see something different for you…and for others!


You can learn optimism as an outlook and adopt it as forward-thinking positioning. Now this is NOT confetti kindness or popcorn positivity, as that is toxic, and optimism is a true belief that you’ll get through, not get over whatever is happening. The altruistic outcome of optimism is the get to a place that is right, just, and best. It is not “it is what it is”, rather it is what you make of it. Please look at optimism as self-belief, meaning a reliance on self ...with room for others.

With superpowers in our dreams, being your own HERO is both dreamy and deliberate! HEROism is here and now when you know and show happiness, empathy, resilience and optimism! While others may be heroic, keep in mind that you are, in fact, a HERO!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Lessons Learned from a Decade of Service

It was a dedicated decade in which I was grateful to serve, and do not regret for one day...

During the 10+ years being involved with our local military installation, much was experienced, and many things were learned.

Whether on base or off base, with/through military or civilians, it was memorable in many fabulous well as in others. Nonetheless, such volunteerism is all about impact and outcomes, and I am honored to have shared and also glad to have resigned from my post. Through it all, here are a few lessons learned:

Supporting our military does not mean you agree with everything happening in the government or even in the military or a branch thereof. If you do not support our military, you absolutely have that right, it simply isn't right for me not to think and feel "Thank you for your service" every time I see/meet someone who serves our country.

There is a huge difference between learning leadership and learning followership. And the lack of speaking up or reaching out implies you are complicit. Speaking up only for your benefit is self-absorbed. Speaking up for what is best for the situation and/or to right a wrong, is part of true leadership!

Some people serve those who serve to be grateful and give back, while others get connected to the military through the community to get attention and give themselves (and others) a sense of them being good people. Learn the difference and rely solely on the former!

No matter what happens, and how wonderful things can seem or be, there is a time to leave and let the next generation of people have opportunities. Leave while you are still having fun or while the fun memories are still fresh so someone else can have the spot and make the most of it as you did!

So, when you accept an honor, honor that bestowment, yes, and also, importantly honor yourself and your standards...if it is for the military, a chamber, or other community groups, a paid or unpaid role, and do so if you have been there a year, a term, or a decade!

#ProfessionalDevelopment #PersonalDevelopment #ThankYouForYourService

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

GRACE without Pressure!

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.
~ Denis Waitley
American motivational speaker, writer, and consultant
b. 1933

Would you rather get bigger in purpose, or smaller in feeling?

For growing, empower yourself to have GRACE under pressure & GRACE with people! 

How so?

·    G - Give yourself and others time to process a conversation, experience, or unexpected occurrence

·    R - Recognize intent and result...knowing results impact most, and yet realizing intent offers perspective

·    A - Accept that you cannot change the past, so focusing there creates defensiveness, where focusing on the now and the future allows for movement through action

·    C - Consider how to move forward rather than spending energy on how to get ahead

·    E - Expect to get through challenges and missteps, oversights and mistakes rather than get over them

The GRACE you practice will be the grace you share and feel eventually. The criticisms of yourself and others can become opportunities for feedback and advancement when GRACE is meant, felt and shared. With GRACE, you have given yourself, and others the ability to be human while you are being humane, and you are showing empathy over excess and professionalism over demands. After all, It is with GRACE we grow, and it is without GRACE that we shrink.

 #ProfessionalDevelopment #PersonalDevelopment #PerformanceCoaching #Kind #OneBeanerPerformanceCoach #LivingKindly #KindnessIsMyOwnSuperpower #Kindness #CoachsCorner #WorkdayWakeUp 813.494.4438

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Lessons Learned from Ribbon Cuttings!

 Barely a week goes by without me being asked to cut a ribbon somewhere, and I'm usually happy to oblige. Things to do with the Army mostly.
~ Vera Lynn
British Musician
March 20, 1917 - June 18, 2020

When a new business gets started, changes locations, or adds a new location, a celebration often ensues. It's fun to launch, kick off, congratulate, and more...especially if there is a ribbon-cutting to capture it all!

Having served on a local chamber board for 6 years, believe it or not, I only attended one ribbon-cutting, and it was huge...that business is now tremendously successful after much growth and continued pursuit of sales and opportunities. I feel joyfully (perhaps oddly) connected to them and look forward to their updates each month, yet did not really think about the connection to the ribbon-cutting until this week.

Flash forward, and now I have been a member of a different chamber for 6 years, and in that time, have attended 4 ribbon-cuttings until this month when, within less than two weeks, I attended 5 ribbon-cuttings. Because I have the honor and opportunity to serve our community as the Chair-Elect, I want to be present, appreciative, welcoming, and learn as we congratulated the new members and businesses through accomplishment and make them feel the inclusiveness of our community, and here are seven lessons learned:

1. Remember this hour or two-hour time frame is significant, and therefore, a big deal for the business owner and team, likely, and they may be excited, nervous, and emotional, so while this is one aspect of your day, it is THEIR DAY for the team members of the business, so bring enthusiasm for them or stay home

2. There is no standard ribbon-cutting, as most people have either never been to one, or only been to one or two, so this concept has many varied ideas and expectations for the hosts, so let it be what they want, rather than what you expect

3. Some, very few, people attend A LOT of ribbon cuttings, and yet they are not professional ribbon cutters, rather they seek out the free "stuff" such as food and give-aways

4. As a guest, be gracious, appreciative, and inquisitive by ensuring you introduce yourself to those hosting and others and ask the people involved about sharing how they got where they are as well as about their business and business goals/plans

5. As a leader/owner or representative of the organization, have words ready to prepare and a plan for the event/time

6. To have a memorable ribbon-cutting, having a theme, coordinated attire, music, food, drink, and a photographer, along with swag, makes it an event/experience rather than just a photo-op

7. If you post and share about it, include photos of the building and team members and not just yourself so their marketing can get more mileage from the experience/investment

If you are wondering how these lessons learned carry to anything other than ribbon-cuttings, please imagine this for going to someone's home for the first time or a party. People have put in some effort and included you, so graciousness and gratitude can go a long way!

Monday, March 28, 2022

Let's Be All Good - As You & As Me!

"The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves." 

~ William Penn

Since I can never be you,
and you can never be me,
let's simply skip the petty jealousy.
Since you can never be me,
and I can never be you,
let's decide to support all we each get to do.
Since you get to be you,
And I get to be me,
let's celebrate each other getting to be happy.
And you get to be you,
let's not root against each other in anything we do.
Since we are who we are,
Nothing more, nothing less,
Since I get to be me,
Let's encourage each other to rise to be our best!

#ProfessionalDevelopment #PersonalDevelopment #PerformanceCoaching #Kind #OneBeanerPerformanceCoach #LivingKindly #KindnessIsMyOwnSuperpower #Kindness #CoachsCorner 813.494.4438

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

LESSONS LEARNED from a Year of Sharing Kindness

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. 
~ Philo

At 19, I wanted to change how people perceived me...not superficially, rather genuinely through my learning and changing...growing and going through the experiences of making the most of my personality, making me, different.

That journey may never end, and that's okay by me, as gaining insights and being challenged is good for each of us who wants to explore boundaries and enhancements.

Kindness was something I loved experiencing and sharing. 

In 2020, while going through the process of kidney donation alone during the pandemic, kindness was not only evident, it became a passion. Defining, understanding, and speaking on it became a priority, as sharing in joy in hopes of others experiencing it is part of my practice. It's vulnerable and exciting to share from the heart through stories of joy and missteps, and as a keynote for over 15 years, I got that. What I didn't expect is here, in these lessons learned:

1) How I define KINDness is all about K-I-N-D: Know thyself, Include others sincerely, Nudge past nice and Do something bigger than yourself.

2) Kindness is about being direct and real, not about being polite or getting overlooked. Some people don't agree or appreciate that. Those people sadly seek to judge by letting me know that I am not being kind to them when I'm providing feedback and being open and communicating likes and dislikes in a non-confrontational way that still shows my conviction.

3) I'd rather be true to myself, and kind to myself and others than be liked. And, everyone absolutely has the right to not like that, like me, not care for me, not align with my approach, and/or disagree with me. It's not a popularity contest, rather life is about bringing truth to concept.

4) Be discreet with your criticisms in words and/or facial expressions in front of people, as they may feel isolated or on the outs in your company while you also go to people directly to resolve anything that occurs, rather than stewing over something that may or may not happen, and then choose to be open to feedback and strive not to be defensive.

While I won't stop being kind and learning and sharing kindness, I will continue to embrace how positively kindness has empowered and impacted me...with hope that others will do something similar for themselves!

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Check in on your HEART with HEART

"Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success."

~ Swami Sivananda

When we speak with passion, we put our hands to our hearts, and when we are sad, we say we have a broken heart. Our hearts flutter, skip a beat, and keep us matter how we frame their existence!

If we are willing to check in on our heart, it means we check in on how we think, feel, desire, and anticipate what is going on and what may either be lost or in the future.

To really make the most of our whole heart is to do all of the following:

H - Have faith that we know what is best for us in matters of life and love

E - Enjoy the people and experiences we get to have around us

A - Appreciate what we learn and what we have to learn

R - Realistically set expectations for our capacity and that of others

T - Take charge of our responsibilities and opportunities

While our heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system, and the heart is what keeps us going, it is also our expression of passion, compassion, grief and glee, so when it comes to matters of the heart, everything about the heart matters!!!!

#ProfessionalDevelopment #PersonalDevelopment #PerformanceCoaching #Kind #OneBeanerPerformanceCoach #LivingKindly #KindnessIsMyOwnSuperpower #Kindness #CoachsCorner #WorkdayWakeUp

Friday, February 11, 2022

FEBRUARY LESSONS LEARNED: How to Not be Disappointed in Exciting Times

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

How exciting it is to get to participate and volunteer in the community and in the company of leaders! While I know and believe that statement wholeheartedly, I also grew up as the kid that on the 4th day of a week's vacation, I started to get sad about the end of the trip...

Since then, I have learned to be present, thankful, and engaged in whatever is in front of me, and with whoever includes me.

Still, people can be difficult, demanding, and downright mean. I do not encourage people to say, think or believe that they don't care, rather, know that they do care, and that others do impact us, and the degree of care and energy we give something or someone matters, and to be managed for our own well-being.

So, coming off hosting TEDxWestshore after dedicating time, energy, and ideas to people's order their introductions and their talks, having a full-house audience for the theme EXPLORE thanks to Beth Socoski's excellent efforts, I heard some of the rudest, thoughtless comments that reminded me, and nearly took me back to those days of feeling sad about had not happened instead of glad for what did. while occasionally holding back a tear or two, I didn't let that happen, and from it, chose to have lessons learned that include:

  1. People's approach to a situation has more to do with their attitude and imagined expectations than anything you are doing at that moment
  2. People acting out is likely a cry for help, that they are suffering, so rather than lashing back, step back and think about empathy for where they may be coming from
  3. Surround yourself with people who will listen to you, provide positive and constructive feedback, and protect your time passionately not to be self-serving, rather to be self-aware of how environments and individuals impact you
  4. Allow yourself to be a bit disappointed or sad while you keep the focus on moving ahead with learning and love - for yourself and for those who do not drain you!

Being able to let yourself stay encouraged to participate in experiences instead of getting bitter toward everyone as a result of the few who seem as though their goal is to make your life a challenge, is, in and of itself, a valuable lesson learned!

#ProfessionalDevelopment #PersonalDevelopment  #PerformanceCoaching #Kind #OneBeanerPerformanceCoach #LivingKindly #KindnessIsMyOwnSuperpower #Kindness #CoachsCorner #WorkdayWakeUp 813.494.4438

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Thriving in Productivity Rather Than Drowning in Activity

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. 

~ Paul J. Meyer

With the starting of something new, it can feel like it is important to "get moving", and to a certain extent, it is...

as long as that movement is intentional and focused, directed and decided.

When we think we have to go and do, sometimes that energy gets misdirected.

Activity is not productivity, and therefore, simply acting is not being productive.

So, what is the difference?

Activity is about doing something, and productivity is about doing something intentional to move forward, to advance toward a goal.

There are ways to stay in the productivity mindset versus succumbing to the activity temptation. Some of those include:

  • Get realistic while you are ambitiously looking forward (know what you are capable of doing when you stretch and give your best) and share your goals with a few you like, admire, trust and respect
  • Break your goals down into measurable, incremental sub-goals
  • Schedule your planned completion (accomplishment) with a stretch finish date, too, and then lock those dates on your calendar and work backward
  • Make a list of everything you can imagine being required to get through to your end
  • Put everything on your calendar in chunks of time that are manageable for the way you work (if you work in bursts, then plan for 20-minute increments, and if you have longevity in effort, then look at 1-2 hour blocks) and cross those items off the list when you put them on the calendar
  • For each effort, ask yourself the same questions: How is this advancing me toward my goal? and Is this the best use of my time, energy and resources right now? These questions are key to keeping you out of activity and in productivity!
  • Engage others for the tasks that would likely be best done by someone else (this is about limiting pride and therefore limiting activity, and engaging in humility and allowing others to participate)
  • Celebrate wins along the way
  • Allow for downtime and for rejuvenating efforts, too, as these can be productive for staying whole and complete as you advance your goal
  • Revisit your goal(s), and make a new list and adjust your calendar each week in order to stay productive and focused while advancing your effort

Being a productive person is admittedly not always thrilling and fun, yet it is intriguing, forward-thinking and forward-acting. It's exciting to know that the energy expended is being realized, and that surely makes for a thrill and some fun outcomes along the way!

#ProfessionalDevelopment #PersonalDevelopment  #PerformanceCoaching #Kind #OneBeanerPerformanceCoach #LivingKindly #KindnessIsMyOwnSuperpower #Kindness #CoachsCorner #WorkdayWakeUp 813.494.4438

Friday, January 14, 2022

Lessons Learned: Years of Board Service

"The end of all knowledge should be service to others."

~ Cesar Chavez

Having served on many boards over the past 15+ years of my practice, and a few prior to starting Presenting Powerfully, those hours, days, months, and years of service have taught me a few things!

Here are some lessons learned:

  1. If you invite someone to join a board, include the year's meetings, time commitment, and what options for participation and expectations of time and contribution of money or other resources expected in the initial ask. If you are asked without these points of reference, ask for them prior to making a commitment in order to keep positive about the experience or about turning it down if there's not a fit.
  2. Please use the words "serve on a board" not "sit on a board". When you are a part of a board, you are there to serve, not sit, so where this expression came from, I don't know! Let's get rid of it, okay? With that, let's start thanking people for volunteering their time and expertise when something is announced about someone being a part of a board. I am not looking for kudos, rather we often say "Congratulations", and that may be the case to celebrate the announcement AND it is good to share gratitude for someone fitting another priority in their world.
  3. When you are on a board, do not assume it has to be the role that you do for work. Often a banker is on a board and they are immediately put on the finance committee, and that may work for them, or being on a board can be a way to share expertise AND learn new skills, too. You may want to expand your experience and opportunities by joining committees that stretch your capabilities.
  4. Welcome new members and exit gracefully. Give people insights into how the board works/runs without gossiping or attempting to direct someone based solely on your experience. Serve your time with vigor and be consistent. When you are done, skip the critique or "Monday Morning Quarterbacking", and keep in touch, retain relationships, and ensure the friendships you forged go beyond the board room into your life's experience!

By following these learnings, you can enjoy your time and your growth as you resist overcommitting and stay productive in your board service!

#ProfessionalDevelopment #PersonalDevelopment #PerformanceCoaching #Kind #OneBeanerPerformanceCoach #LivingKindly #KindnessIsMyOwnSuperpower #Kindness #CoachsCorner #WorkdayWakeUp 813.494.4438

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

It's a WRAP!

 If you want to get across an idea, wrap it up in person. 

~ Ralph Bunche


You may have recently wrapped presents, wrapped up your work for the year, and/or be wrapping up the calendar year 2021...or all three!

This is a time of year for closing out as you look forward, too.

How to do that, and do that well? Knowing that's a WRAP can work well with these four steps:

W - Weigh the progress you have made as self versus self and as your result versus the goal over thinking of self versus others or results versus everyone else's results.

R - Recollect what has gone well during the year, and collect thoughts on what you want to go smoothly and successfully in the new year as you review what could have gone more smoothly and what to improve going forward.

A - Appreciate what you did, your choices and those around you as you think about what and who influenced your decisions and your outcomes.

P - Present your progress and share with those who were a part of it all in order to include them without boasting and realize your accomplishments without downplaying how collaboration can assist you.

When you WRAP up an experience, a project, or even a year, you can also set up for the next opportunity when you look at weighing, recollecting, appreciating, and presenting about you and beyond you!

#ProfessionalDevemopment #PersonalDevelopment  #PerformanceCoaching #Kind #OneBeanerPerformanceCoach #LivingKindly #KindnessIsMyOwnSuperpower #Kindness #CoachsCorner 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Lessons Learned from Mowing the Lawn!

 The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way. 

~ Keanu Reeves


Even though nearly all of our street-mates and other neighbors have a lawn service, Michael and I mow our yard each week (or twice a week in the Summer).

That may surprise you or simply not interest you. Either way is understandable, as that is only part of the story...

The rest of the story is that one of us mows it each time. The person who mows is the person who lost to the other at golf that week. Or, another way to look at it is that the person who won, does not mow the lawn that week!

Because golf is a fair game with handicaps and tee that relate to those handicaps, it is a sport for the ages and for nearly all who want to play it. The fairness allows for Michael and me to truly compete through injuries, obstacles, and across the state, the country, and into other countries!

With all the blades cut over the years, much has presented itself, and here are a few lessons from mowing the lawn:

1) Being competitive means winning and losing and that a win or a loss does not make any one person a winner or a loser overall!

2) Being outside, for golf, and for mowing, is a joy in itself, and even if mowing means golf perhaps wasn't stellar, it does mean we got to golf, and for that, we certainly can be grateful.

3) Extra steps are extra steps, and those bonus steps mean health-mindedness can be a way of accepting the time spent paying off a debt!

4) Mowing is growing if we let it be, as that simple time can be a chance to reflect on the round, what went well and what was missed, so the beauty made from mowing can be a byproduct of the reflection, and the insights on the game can be the byproduct of the mowing.

Similar to my lessons learned from lawn mowing, we can learn lessons in life, such as having perspective on wins, enjoying our environment, keeping health a priority, and maintaining personal growth!

#ProfessionalDevemopment #PersonalDevelopment #PerformanceCoaching #Kind #OneBeanerPerformanceCoach #LivingKindly #KindnessIsMyOwnSuperpower #Kindness  #CoachsCorner #WorkdayWakeUp

Monday, November 29, 2021

Keeping the HAPPY in Happy Holidays

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.

~ Earl Nightingale

Many have opinions on saying "Merry Christmas", "Happy Hanukkah" and "Happy Holidays", and that is up to each individual to share and say what is in their heart and on their mind depending on the timing and situation.

It reminds me of being wished "Happy Mother's Day" as a person with only four-legged "children", I say "Thank you", as it still is good to be happy on any day, and what the heck, I'll gladly take the well-wishes on such a special day. It's tough to get me to fight off an upbeat message meant with good cheer!

Anyway, that is not what this tip is about, and it is not a religious take on any of these wonderful comments and wishes, rather this is about how to keep (or bring, if it seems like it hasn't been there) the HAPPY in the holidays and the holiday season.

Please consider the following for your own version of HAPPY holidays:

H - Have awareness of the fact that traditions are simply obligations in disguise if you don't want to do them and that it is okay to change what happens this year

A - Appreciate what is being done around you and who is making time to be with you rather than being annoyed with what hasn't happened or who is not around (and share that appreciation freely and often)

P - Plan time for rest so that your time celebrating is really the best it can be, and so that the experiences are engaging over draining you

P - Prepare yourself for someone or something not acting or responding how you thought they would

Y - Yield to nobody if you really want to do something, as doing something alone can be enjoyable in a new, unexpected way

Instead of holding your breath for something to not go wrong, or getting through a gathering, this keeping the HAPPY in the holidays means you come from gratitude with a positive attitude to be there, and be glad for the opportunities this month!

#ProfessionalDevemopment #PersonalDevelopment #PerformanceCoaching #Kind #OneBeanerPerformanceCoach #LivingKindly #KindnessIsMyOwnSuperpower #Kindness #CoachsCorner #WorkdayWakeUp 813.494.4438

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Lessons Learned: Tales from Travels To and Fro!

While travel may never be the same as it was before March of 2020, travel is available, and it has been good to be able to travel personally, and it has been wonderful to get to travel for business!

With masks and mandates, here are some lessons learned:

1) Arrive early, as many more people are traveling domestically than seemed to have been doing so in 2019 and previously, and with many getting TSA Pre-Check, even those lines can be the fullest they've ever been!

2) Consider that most people are uncomfortable in their masks and feel encumbered, so high patience and a high tolerance for others is not mandatory, yet it will likely serve your nerves and experience well. On a similar note, please make sure your mask fits, smells good, and is something you will not be fussing with for hours, as your comfort impacts your mood and your mood affects your communication effectiveness!

3) Earbuds and sound-canceling anything(s) are highly recommended, as some people think having their videos on without their sound being only sent to them is okay, and others feel compelled to be vocal about how unhappy they are in their mask, and still, others simply have to speak more loudly to convey their message through their mask

4) Take food and buy non-alcoholic drinks for the flight, and please skip the heavy garlic and onions, as that take-on food can be very lasting on odor for the rest of us!

Remember, you are getting to travel, and that is progress in perspective/comparison to the recent past, and with that consideration, whatever is happening is temporary, and fortunately, you'll be where you are going (home or elsewhere) soon enough with being little worse for wear, if you embrace these lessons learned while en route!

Friday, October 29, 2021

Lessons Learned: Being an Introverted Extrovert

Introverts can act as Extroverts for a short time. Extroverts are typically more challenged when faced with the Invtrovert's environment. While I am an Extrovert, sometimes there are moments, hours, and days of introversion that are enjoyable and productive.

Even though Extroverts are often thought of as vocal and Introverts are perceived as quiet, that is not exactly true. Typically, Extroverts gain energy from being around others, where Introverts regain energy from rest or being alone.

What have I learned from these sometimes chosen blocks, and other times unexpected experiences? Here are a few points noted that may assist Extroverts and Introverts alike in engaging:

Not all extroverts are huggers. Watch that as an extrovert, we don't assume someone welcomes our approach. This was seen during the pandemic, in particular when seeing someone and that person said: "I am a hugger" and came at me when I was not interested in crossing the 6-foot-barrier, let alone embracing this stranger!

The Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO, can be redirected to what I call JOCO, or the Joy of Celebrating Others. Feeling out of touch can be disappointing, and when taking on the mindset of celebrating others before scrolling social media, or listening to someone's story, will make that extroversion become an extra excited supporter of you, rather than an extra bummed bystander!

Taking breaks for Extroverts creates a sense of not being stuck or trapped, and even feeling less alone. While working solo, plan for a phone call or video conference, or meeting at strategic times of the day to gain energy.

Be aware, note, and keep in mind where you draw energy and who/what drains your energy. Similarly, know your strongest energy times of day/night, and work to have your biggest challenges and opportunities scheduled during those times, if possible. As an extreme morning person (someone who likes being up before 5:00 AM), I respect and appreciate that others do not want to meet then, so I work out then with positive people for starting strong and capitalizing on that block of time.

Since we are all either gaining or draining from experiences with others, consider whether you are Extroverted or Introverted to maximize your choices!

Friday, October 15, 2021

Staying Positive in the Face of Negativity (and during the extended holiday season)

Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won't have to hunt for happiness.
~ William E. Gladstone

If you will consider, and even embrace the idea that the American HOLIDAY SEASON is from October 15th - February 15th, then you may start to be excited, anticipatory, stressed, concerned, or all of these all at once!

The reason for that is our expectations and anticipation of the holidays often falls short of reality, and yet each year, hope springs that desire to have the perfect holiday season, and stressors and worry start working in the background, and even come to the forefront during what is supposed to be a celebratory block of months, clouding the bright lights with complaints and disappointment!

While I get asked about facing negativity at all times of the year, during the next four months, typically, those inquiries increase. So, here are some ways to avoid negativity as you stay positive moving through the rest of the year:

Start the day with a smile at the sound of your alarm (I do it - felt corny when this came to my mind as a new habit, and now, it works to lift my face and energy)

Associate feet hitting the ground with gratitude, in other words, state internally, if others are sleeping, and externally, if you won't wake up someone else, something for which you are grateful

Have a routine that serves you well to start the day strong (I do 100 push-ups)

Keep rest, nourishment, movement, and mindset in focus (this is a talk I give often, and just spoke of it for the Dress for Success Ronda Shear Pajama Party)

Assess your habits for being well-serving, neutral, and not-well-serving in order to push toward well-serving habits

Engage with people and organizations that are optimistically realistic or realistically optimistic, and not those with toxic negativity, martyrs, or toxic positivity

Check in to ensure you are doing YOUR best, and not competing with others, rather solely with yourself that day with what you have then, and go from there

Limit your news and exposure, not to be uninformed, rather to be aware and tempered for the way it impacts you

Take action based on what you learn and can contribute rather than see what you can't do

Be present, and when you get distracted, weigh the cost of distraction versus the value of "being there"

If you set yourself up for success, it does not mean every day will be flawless, and certainly not perfect, rather, you will care to be aware, and you will then dare to spare yourself from excessive and unnecessary negativity!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Lessons Learned: Insights from 48 Rounds of Golf this Year!

Golfer or not, you may appreciate this:

Playing 60-75 rounds of golf per year is a joy...wrapped in and/or riddled with excitement, beauty, and even occasional frustration!

This year, golf has been such a sound and safe outlet, to the point that each round has had a special place in my heart, my memory, and some, in my learnings!!

Here are some of the Golf-to-Life observations:

1) Some courses play differently than others on the links. No matter how long, short, or goofy of a time doing something you enjoy may be, it is a privilege to get to be there, so be present and appreciate it!

2) Much like there is sometimes slow play in golf, there are slow days in life, so instead of getting impatient, get focused on something to do at that moment (or minutes of delay).

3) Golf is a game of formality and tradition. No matter how you are dressed (golf attire can be quite colorful and/or casual), good manners and etiquette are to be followed!

4) There is honor in owning a good shot and respect in recovering from a bad shot in golf, and in life, there is honor in being proud without being vain or conceited, as there is a respect in overcoming a mistake with an apology with correction.

There are surely many more! Those four stood out for the time we are in, and likely because this entire year has seen a lot of people acting very different from how they were before, or how others anticipated they'd be.

Whether you are a golfer or not, these four considerations: be present, mind the time mindfully, practice good manners, and own your actions and outcomes, are quite likely an empowering combination for your upcoming experiences!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Why Ways!

While wondering the why, sharing the why, and respecting the why of people, projects and organizations, is tremendously important, knowing the most appropriate way of getting to that why, is absolutely imperative!

The why is the purpose, the why is the drive, and sometimes, with some people, the why is the way.

What is this "Why Ways", then?

Why Ways work like this:

  • Think of "why" as purpose, reason, or driver.
  • Articulate the why with yourself
  • Communicate the why with others
  • Do not ask people "Why?", rather get them to the purpose, reason, or driver without the question "Why...(anything)?"
    • Ask to understand what the person values, what the person anticipates happening, what the expectations are
    • Inquire to learn how the person sees the outcome, how the person arrived at the decision, how to move forward

The Why Ways are a lot about the ways of the whys, meaning the way why questions impact us.

Even though gaining insight into the "why" empowers us, the act of being asked "Why?" does not. Instead, that quick quip of judging tone and impression makes us feel as though explaining, or even defending, is in order when the seemingly simple inquisitive word "Why?" is posed as a question.

Embracing the importance of WHY without creating an environment that can lose sight of the reason and purpose is possible, and with consistency, even probable!

Friday, July 23, 2021

Building Self-Esteem through Feedback

 Fairly often people say to me "I am afraid to give any feedback anymore" or "Our employees cannot take feedback - they don't want it!".

While it may feel like one or both of those statements is what you are thinking or living, those statements are polarizing, and they will not advance relationships and/or businesses.

Instead of thinking about the negative side of feedback, please think about the positive side of it, and how feedback delivered properly, and therefore, received well, can build self-esteem.

We often talk about, focus on, and encourage/demand self-confidence, yet self-confidence is circumstantial, where self-esteem is at someone's core. For example, I have high self-esteem, belief in my ability to understand, present well, learn, and grow. That does not go away. I have high self-confidence in speaking, coaching, golfing, and hosting events because, in those environments, I have the exposure, the experience, and the expertise that provide me with many ways to contribute.

The realities related to self-esteem and self-confidence are many, and two of them are that self-esteem is something we can coach to about a person, and self-confidence is gained by layering it on circumstantially, specifically, on top of self-esteem. So, giving feedback is key to raising self-esteem, and eventually, self-confidence for most people.

An approach to providing feedback to build self-esteem is to follow these steps/approaches:

1) Be clear that your idea-sharing is feedback to move forward.

2) Share that your ideas are coaching, not criticism.

3) Ensure that feedback is a loop and not only 1-way.

4) Ask and respect how each person with whom you are engaging prefers feedback: in writing, in-person, immediately, at scheduled times.

5) Learn the type of coaching each person seeks: written to understand on their own, shown & left to their own ways to practice, shown, then they do it, or working on it collaboratively start-to-finish.

6) State a goal for a coaching and/or feedback session with the person receiving the coaching and/or feedback.

7) Importantly, close out the session by asking and hearing how the person feels, thinks, and wants to move forward.

This type of feedback is the way to build self-esteem for the person, which then can be a foundation for building self-confidence in situations and in areas of experience. And, when we focus on self-esteem, the whole person is included, and that is what/who we bring to each relationship and work assignment, after all!

Friday, July 16, 2021

Lessons Learned: Observations from Keynoting in 2021

 As grateful as I am to have been able to give away a lot of remote work content in 2020, it was good to (finally) get back to keynoting to kick off a full conference this month!

Was I excited? Yes! Was I nervous? Yes! Was this different? No, there's consistently excitement and nerves because I am grateful and care, and yet these feelings of excitement were intensified and the sense of nerves was about remembering the ways to give the audience the best so they did not miss out.

Please don't get me wrong, each engagement over the 15 years of business is special, has my gratitude, and gets some nerves for ensuring all is outstanding. This July, though, was a return to a full hotel, full conference, and fully lighted stage production, and that was WONDERFULLY familiar and a HAPPY RETURN to a scene that was once far more typical in a day, week, or month.

The lessons learned included the following:

  • It's still the responsibility of the speaker (me, in this case) to engage, entertain, keep attention, stay on time, and give meaningful, sincere tips!
  • Sincerely engaging and story-telling are now, more than ever, the way people relate to messaging.
  • People are genuinely excited to be in a room seeing and feeling someone speak and connect, and allowing time for people to share has expanded, as the interest and desire to be seen and heard has grown, so don't rush people, and plan to stick around after.
  • Gratitude, kindness, and grace have not, and will not, go out of fashion or style on or off the stage!

So, if you have the opportunity to speak, do, and give from your heart, energy, and expertise freely, with practice, preparation, and anticipation of the enjoyment you and the audience will have!