Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Commitments Vs. Resolutions

"When you do something with a lot of honesty, appetite and commitment, the input reflects in the output."
~ A. R. Rahman
Allah-Rakha Rahman is an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician and philanthropist.
(b. 1967)

As the festivities of many holidays are in the recent past, and the lure of the New Year in the near future, it is often tempting to start thinking about resolutions.

While it is good to resolve to make changes, a New Year's resolution is too often similar to "I'll try". It is well intended, and unfortunately, it falls flat - without action, or without consistent follow-through. The idea, concept, and time of year are not what makes things new in the year for you, rather it is the commitment to both sticking with well-serving habits and altering those that are not, is what will likely resonate, and eventually lead to actions and results!

If you would, please consider making a commitment to some specific target(s) now, or in the New Year, or any time you deem change something you desire. Where a resolution may sound like "I'll work out more", or "I'll eat better", these are not specific and measurable. On the contrary, making a commitment means stating, and sharing "I am committed to working out 3-4 times per week for 20-40 minutes each session in order to support my health and appearance", or "I am committed to eating clean 5-6 days per week with 1-2 days of enjoying indulgences in order to look and feel fit and strong".

So, should you want to make a resolution, make it that you resolve to commit, take actions to support it, and realize your targets/goals in 2016...and beyond!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

CHIEF Email Officer - New CEO

"The major advances in speed of communication and ability to interact took place more than a century ago. The shift from sailing ships to telegraph was far more radical than that from telephone to email!"
 ~ Noam Chomsky

With as many emails as you get and receive, please consider becoming your written communication CEO, meaning your own CHIEF Email Officer.

A CHIEF email office within an organization, team or group uses the following in the subject line in all CAPs before a colon and the subject of content that follows:

CHANGE - meaning something has changed in expectation, process or protocol. Example - CHANGE: Vacation Request Process
HEADS UP - when you want the recipient to know about something that is going to happen, yet nothing is to be done. Example - HEADS UP: Moving Forward on Meeting Plans
INPUT - if there is something you are seeking ideas, input or perspective on from the recipient. Example - INPUT: Considering Changing Vendors
EXCELLENCE - for recognizing something done well
- when you want the recipient to get feedback. Example - FEEDBACK: Today's Presentation. Some groups use it as FYI, meaning they want someone to  know about something that is going to happen, even though it will not impact that person, so the HEADS UP becomes for when it impacts the email recipient(s), and FYI is when it does not. Example - FYI: Lower Floor Carpet Changed Overnight (for those on a different floor)

By being the CHIEF Email Officer (CEO), you can be respectful of people's time and interest simply by coding your emails for them (and you) for prioritization and search capabilities, and ultimately keeping your communication professional and clear!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Disagreeing Agreeably

"We cannot have that relationship if we only dictate or threaten and condemn those who disagree." ~Zbigniew Brzezinski

When you have disagreements, or differences of perspective, and you will, remember that you are entitled to your view, just as others are entitled to their opinion. One of you does not have to be wrong for the other to be right. In order to consider disagreeing agreeably, and moving forward with a collaborative, professional approach, please consider the following expressions:

  • "You may be right." vs. "You're wrong."
  • "That's possible, and..." vs. "No way!"
  • "What would you anticipate out of that?" vs. "That won't work."
  • "While we attempted something similar in the past, how would this be different?", vs. "We tried that before, and it doesn't work!"

Utilizing these statements before the "vs." comment will likely lead to agreeing on something eventually, rather than simply agreeing to disagree...and isn't that more appealing and productive in the long run?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Savvy RSVPs & Invitee Niceties

"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul."
~ Henry Ward Beecher
American Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and speaker.
(1813 - 1887)

While it may seem like a very full time of the year, there are many events and opportunities to be savvy, kind, and considerate through your RSVPs, and subsequent "ways to be".

RSVP is French, and it stands for répondez s'il vous plaît. It translates to "please respond", so please do. That, alone, would be an improvement on what many do, which is ignore an invitation. In addition, here are some guidelines for being a thoughtful invitee:

1) Please respond YES or NO (no "maybe" replies, or "I'll try to swing by" comments) by the RSVP deadline.
2) Thank the host for being included, regardless of your reply, and resist saying things like "I'm so busy, but I'll so this" if you are going, and "I'm so busy, I just can't" if you are not going. Busy is but an explanation or insight, rather just filler.
3) Put the event and address in your calendar (phone, paper, or whatever works for you).
4) Review the invitation for any specifics such as items to bring, theme, or directions on parking.
5) Stick with your RSVP, and if something changes after the RSVP deadline that you were a YES for, call, don't text or email, the host to let him or her know of your change and offer to pay for what was being provided based on your RSVP. If something changes and you can now attend, ask, don't tell, the host, that if it is appropriate, you would like to please attend, and await a response. Offer to pay for any changes that s/he may incur due to your tardy reply.
6) Arrive when noted in the invitation, and if you arrive early, just wait in your car, and relax or get that quick call in, as everything may not be ready for guests if it is before the start time.
7) Provide a host/hostess gift with your return label on the packaging (for wine, it works great on the back of the bottle).
8) Have a great time within the theme of the party.
9) Leave while you are still having fun, and within the time frame of the party invitation.
10) Send a thank you note to the host within a week sharing something special about the host or the party with gratitude.

By being a considerate, engaged attendee, you are likely to enjoy yourself, show appreciation, and make the event something to remember! Additionally, you will likely get invited back, as your sincerity and kindness will be seen, heard and felt!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Trick-less Relationship Treat-ments!

"I've learned that life is very tricky business: Each person needs to find what they want to do in life and not be dissuaded when people question them."
- Eli Wallace
American film, television and stage actor whose career spanned more than six decades, beginning in the late 1940s.
(1915 - 2014)

It's that time of the year for the tricks, and/or the treats of the Halloween season!

While the treatment of yourself, and of others can seem tricky at times, there are some trick-less ways to care for you...and for them as you develop relationships! Some of those approaches include:
T - Talking in terms of what interests that person connect, be sincere, and to create collaboration, and then talk about your goals and desires
R - Respond instead of reacting to other people's ideas and actions by stopping, thinking, and considering other's perspective, and then sharing in a responsible, professional manner
I - Include people who are interested, and possibly not often included, or many not have been considered, since this will grow a base of input and gain additional insights through respecting their views/experience
C - Clearly explain expectations and get buy-in by asking for questions, concerns, ideas and well as how you can assist in getting to those expectations
K - Key in on asking for, listening to, and providing sincere feedback on what is going well, and what can be improved personally and professionally

Treating people well through talking, responding, including, clarifying, and keying in on feedback is less tricky, and more trick-less, as it creates an environment of engagement and establish, create and/or grow relationships!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Tampa Bay Business Journal Recognition Appreciation!

Your votes counted!

It's an honor to be on the Top 10 list the 5th year in a row, shown here in the Top 5, 
for the Best in the Biz Reader's Choice Awards for 
Favorite Business-Oriented Speaker!

Thank you!
Congratulations to Tampa Mayor, Bob Buckhorn, Former Tampa Mayor, Pam Iorio, and Tampa Business and Community Superstars, Jeff Vinik and Richard Gonzmart! 
It is an honor to be listed among you!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Three Steps to Overcoming Undesired Outcomes

"Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune."
~William James

 Since we have goals, expectations and even anticipations, and since not everything goes as planned, it is good for us to strive for those goals, expectations and anticipations, and yet also have a plan for the "not-as-planned" outcomes!

Three steps to process and work through these times successfully include:
1) Reflect on what did go well in the situation
2) Determine what could have been avoided
3) Think of how to respond (not react)

With these intentional actions, you can leave the blame and "should haves" behind and focus more on moving forward to the next opportunity!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Public Speaking Power

Public Speaking Power
It is consistently noted that public speaking is the top fear for Americans. And yet you may want to successfully speak in public personally and/or professionally. For such formal requests for public speaking, there are four types of engagements:
Speech - written ahead of time and read/delivered at a podium or in one location.
Presentation - prepared ahead of time with some slides to support the messages for the audience's benefit.
Talk - bullet points prepared and ready to share with a lot of audience interaction and/or buy-in.
Conversation - Leading a discussion with expertise for the audience and expert to learn.

When you are asked to participate, ask:
  • The amount of time allowed for you
  • The likely size of the audience
  • The demographics of the audience
  • The goal of the engagement
  • The types preferred (Speech, Presentation, Talk, Conversation)
Regardless of which type you are delivering, the three things to ensure for success are:
1) Be the expert
2) Get out of your own way (it's not about you or your day, rather it is about #3)
3) Put the audience first

With these quick tips in mind, you'll have fun, and importantly, your audience will be better for learning with/from you in the way that is best for the opportunity...without fear on your part or theirs!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Change Perceptions of Change!

"The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress."
~ Charles Kettering
American inventor, engineer, businessman, and the holder of 186 patents. He was a founder of Delco, and was head of research at General Motors from 1920 to 1947.
(1876 - 1958)

The expression "the only constant is change" is known, and yet there is often a lot of resistance, fear, and/or discomfort around fear.

One letter in a word can make a big difference! People can either change by chance or by charge. Change by chance is when we are in denial, ill prepared, or unaware. Change by charge is when we are ready, willing, and focused on the success of the change!

With that "r" approach, the Change by charge allows for leading confidently with, and through, change successfully. Ten of those ways are:

10. Implement a new rule - instead of the golden rule, implement the transparency rule - treat others how THEY want to be treated (not how YOU want to be treated)

9. ASK through:
o A - Acknowledging other's perspective.
o S - Sharing your perspective.
o K - Keeping the membership perspective in mind and in the forefront.

8. Think collaborate not inundate, and listen to what & well as the why.

7. Resist saying, feeling &/or believing "change is hard". Instead of letting people continue to believe/say "this is tough", remind them that THEY are tough!

6. Consider the possibilities! Be optimistically realistic rather than pessimistically realistic!

5. CHANGE expectations by:
o C - Considering the shift as far as
o H - How you will be impacted
o A - Along with how others will be impacted
o N - Now, and in the future, and
o G - Gage each in order to set
o E - Expectations with/for both

4. Talk in terms of progress, not perfection! Celebrate and appreciate movement in the desired direction.

3. Reward behaviors you want repeated! Watch allowing negative people to get your attention.

2. Use "Let's" and "We" whenever appropriate so that you can, and will be inclusive and leading rather that excluding or telling.

1. No fake it, 'til you make it. YOU are the one to embrace, support, understand & represent the change you want others to embrace, support and understand! Lead the change by making it about getting through and to the next step (no faking required!).

These ten things, these ten approaches, these ten outlooks afford that charge to make the change go well while you enjoy yourself!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Get & Stay Engaged

"It takes a little bit of mindfulness and a little bit of attention to others to be a good listener, which helps cultivate emotional nurturing and engagement." 
~ Deepak Chopra
Indian American author and public speaker. He is an alternative medicine advocate and a promoter of popular forms of spirituality.
There are a lot of distractions in a and outside of our minds and environments! And yet, being distracted is not what most of us would like others to see in us, or believe about us. When we are "caught" distracted, often an apologetic and or embarrassed response follows.

What do we do to be get and stay engaged? Please consider thinking and/or thinking about:

E - Establish a focus. Asking yourself "What is my specific focus?" will get your attention!
N - "Not now!" Tell yourself some things will wait, and your time is about what/who is right there.
G - Goal. At onset of an interaction, establish your combined goal with the other person/people.
A - Ask questions. Get engaged with what and how. Stay involved with what else, and how so!
G - Gather notes. On the phone, over video, or in person, notes let you listen with your pen.
E - Energize. Provide positivity and glean from others' high energy. Energy drives engagement!
D - Dedicate. Dedicating time to follow-up means you won't race, get distracted or forget.

Not allowing life's distractions to interfere will allow you to have the focus and results you desire. Getting engaged and staying engaged are ways to amp up your professionalism, your commitments, and your relationships...all with less apologies for not being "there" for others (or yourself)!  

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sending Meeting Requests

Sending Meeting Requests
So many people use electronic calendars, and a fairly common request is "Please send me a calendar request, and I'll see you there". When you send that calendar request, resist thinking about YOUR calendar, and think about the invitee's calendar. 

For example, if you are Sam Smith, and you are sending the meeting request to Becky Jones, please do not schedule in your calendar "Becky Jones" as the subject and "My Office" as the location, and invite her. She will have her name and my office on her calendar, which means nothing to her! She will have to accept your invite, and then create another event for herself to "interpret" your invite. That's not thoughtful or considerate on your part, now is it?

Instead, if you are still Sam Smith, and you are sending the meeting request to Becky Jones, please do schedule in your calendar "Becky Jones and Sam Smith XYZ Meeting" as the subject and "123 S. Main Street" or minimally "Sam's Office" as the location, and invite her. She will now have everything on her calendar that is relevant, convenient and efficient for a productive meeting with you where you agreed to meet!

Since how you present IS how you are remembered, by presenting a meeting request thoughtfully, you are revered and remembered as that thoughtful professional you, Sam Smith, are!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Today's TLC

"Take it from me,
Don't be a victim of society,
You can't put yourself in a position to be neglected,
And disrespected,
You have to do what's not expected.

~ TLC Lyrics from "His Song"
TLC is an American girl group whose repertoire spans R&B, hip hop, funk and "urban" soul. TLC originally comprised of lead singer Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, rapper Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes (until her death in 2002) and singer Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas. The group was very successful in the 1990s and early 2000s.
(1990 - present)
TLC is often about Tender Loving Care, and that will not go out of style...yesterday, today or tomorrow! 

In addition to the Tender Loving Care, there is some extra TLC for each day that can, and likely will, enhance your experiences. This revised (or revisited, if you have seen me speak on this) TLC is about: Talent, Leading/Leadership, and Commitment.

Talent - You want to assess talent fairly, get the right talent in roles, surround yourself with the talents of self and others that enhance your happiness and results!
Leading/Leadership - You lead in each way, on each day, in the way your think, act, and engage with others. Leadership, and leading, starts with you, and allows others to follow. 
Commitment - This is about desire, focus and consistency. By working toward one goal, and staying committed to that for the right reasons, allows for direction and follow-through.

This enhanced TLC is not without the historic TLC of Tender Loving Care, rather, it is complementary, and allows that combination of past and present to bring you, your work, your business, and/or your relationships to yet another TLC: Top Level Communication!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Independence Day

While there is so much about the day off work, the fireworks, and summer, let's keep in mind that Independence Day is the recognition, the celebration, of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Absolutely, let's enjoy the day, let's watch the displays of lights, and let's please take a moment or two to appreciate our independence, our country, and all that we are allowed and encouraged to declare!

Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Quick Tip - Setting GOALS

Setting GOALS
Mid-year is a wonderful time to assess where you have been, and set goals for the rest of the year. If you decide to set GOALS, please consider the following for getting to where you want to go:

G - Gather
O - Objectives
A - Actions
L - Look
S - Self-assessment

Gather ideas, insight, information and perspective on what you can do and what you want to do. Set an Objective based on your assessment, your results, your time, and your expectations...and then share the objectives with others to get buy-in and support. Take Actions to include what you will do, the reason(s) you'll do it, how you will get the action completed, and with whom the action will take place. Look for purpose and inspiration, look back on history, and ahead to the future, and then look in the mirror for a realistic view of yourself, your capabilities, what you can do (and not simply what you can't) and your accountability. Finally, your Self-assessment is about tracking successes, assessing misses, being raw/vulnerable, and celebrating wins and mourning losses.

When you gather, assess objectives, take actions, look at the situation and results, and self-assess, you will not only set GOALS, you will attain them!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Creating Collaboration

"Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, 
wonderful things can be achieved." 
~ Mattie Stephanek
Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek, known as Mattie J.T. Stepanek, was an American poet who published five best-selling books of poetry. Before his death he had become known as a peace advocate and speaker.
(1990 - 2004)
Collaboration is empowerment. Collaboration is not giving up something. Collaboration is a way to move forward, move ahead, and move beyond challenges with input and insight. To get to a collaborative state, to create collaboration, please remember these 10 things:

10. Think collaboration, not compromise. Instead of thinking you want to lose less than the other person/people lose, start with collaboration in mind, and in your words and actions. 
9.   Use "Yes, and" as well as "Please share more" instead of "No" or "But". These will keep the collaborative conversation going.
8.   Avoid "Why?" questions. Why questions evoke defense, while "What?" and "How?" questions create conversation. Resist "Why?" or "Why not?", and watch the what and how drive collaboration.
7.   Be sensitive to cultural differences/diversity...and yet watch your sensitivity to people and things said. Come from a place of learning, and not judging. Want to know. Ask. Ensure the purpose is known, so the answers are given, and received in the right context.
6.   Be respectful of other people's time. Learn what others prefer, when is best for them, and then stick with times and boundaries set.
5.   Be aware of tone, body language. It's not what you say, rather how you say it, right? If your attitude is such that you don't want to collaborate, check it, and move to the value of the results.
4.   Be inclusive vs. exclusive. Allow people to participate. Let people in. Include those who could add value...even if they may have opposing views. Let people skip the process if their time (see number 6) could be best served elsewhere.
3.   Be open-minded. Be approachable. Be agile. By being interested and engaged in change, it is less about a willingness, and more about a winning-nest!
2.   Be a communicator who listens to learn. Watch the act of waiting for other's mouths to shut for yours to open. Instead, hear, listen, process, and communicate through questions and responses to enhance the engagement.
1.   Treat others how they want to be treated. Abandon the "golden rule" of treating others the way you want to be treated, and make it a diamond standard to treat others the way they want to be treated - it'll be even more powerful and effective, as it will be about others versus you!
Working together in a collaborative way can be one of the most productive and worthwhile things you ever do because there is a win in the connection and a win in the results...without any need for creating another approach!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Quick Tip - Email Format Appeal-ability

According to a survey by Harris Interactive, the magic number of emails that can be successfully handled by an employee is 50 a day. Many of us get more than that, and those we are attempting to reach may get more than that as well. If you want them read with action, or at least a response, please consider the following:

Greet the person receiving the email with his/er name, minimally.
Connect with the person by briefly relating to something going on with that person
Bullet your request or inquiry (number the items if there is a priority)
Set the time/date expectations clearly
Close with your name and contact information

A sample is:
Hi Jim!

Hope your Memorial weekend was great!

Since the XYZ meeting is next Tuesday, please provide:
-The projected costs
-The date options for starting the project
-Those you want included in the meeting

If I have those by close of business Thursday, we will both be set for Tuesday. Thank you.


These quick steps will keep your emails to the point, friendly, professional, and worthwhile for the reader!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Relationship-Building "Do's"

"We can improve our relationships with others by leaps and bounds if we become encouragers instead of critics." 
~ Joyce Meyer
American author and speaker.
(b. 1943)
There seems to be a lot of "Don't" lists for so many thing on social media, and this is not one of them!

Relationships, not technology, make things happen. Technology is wonderful, and assists us in accomplishing things, and yet, regardless of systems and gadgets, people get things done.

Here are seven "do's" for relationship-building. Whether romantic couples, or business colleagues/partners, these are ways to maintain, enhance, and even grow what you have already nurtured.

1) Respect roles without getting so caught up in them that you only know what you do/bring
2) Keep conflicts private
3) Be happy for one another's success (and even brag about it for him/her)
4) Respect differences as strengths without attempting to change the other person
5) Address specific behaviors rather than the person in general
6) Do things for each other without being asked
7) Show appreciation for what the person does (even if that is what is expected in that "role")

These seven things, done sincerely, are all ways to be a contributing partner in any relationship!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Quick Tip - Presentation Pump-up

One of the most common questions I get asked is "What are some quick ways to improve my presentation skills?" While there are many, here are the four I share most often because they have the highest impact in the least amount of time:

Get out of your own way. It's not about you, your day, that you "have to" present, or anything else "you". Put the audience first. Decide the audience deserves the best, focus on them, and watch the shift!

To stop the "um" and "ah" habit, simple shut your mouth fully. When our mouths are closed, we cannot have utterances slip out through our teeth and tongue. As simple, and perhaps strange, as it may sound, shutting our mouths now makes for more effective talking later.

Know that nerves show you care. Channel nerves into energy by welcoming them rather than fighting them. Resist saying "I'm really nervous", or allowing a shaking voice to distract you. Those who are not nervous at all may not care at all. Your nerves are your friend, so call on them for energy conversion!

If you are physically shaking or shaky, touch something (not someone!), and allow some of that shake, or that frenetic energy to channel elsewhere. If there is a podium, come to the side and lean slightly on it. If there is a chair, grip the back of it. If there is a table, put your hand down on it. That allowing for the energy to focus will allow you to stay on task and on focus, too! 

These quick tips will pump-up your presentations while keep you grounded in making an impression that is memorable for all the right reasons!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Positivity, Praise & Prediction

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate." 
~ Oprah Winfrey
American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist.
(b. 1954)
There are the four (and some even say five) P's of Marketing, and in leadership of self, and others, personally and professionally, please consider the three P's of Personal Growth. Sure there are many ways to compliment, to recognize and to support others, and if sincere, they are all likely quite effective! Here, the focus is in the process...not to take away the personal touch, rather to allow for just that with some quick steps to follow that include positivity, praise, and prediction.

Step 1: Positivity. While it is not officially a word for spell check, positivity is an outlook, an approach, a state of being. Come from a place of being positive when you provide feedback. Even encouraging words can sound/seem discouraging without positivity. So, when you want to share, check your positivity meter, and ensure you are minimally at a 4 out of 5, and preferably at a 5, on your P-scale!

Step 2: Praise. Share the good news, good word, good review. Instead of couching it in "I thought you...", start it with "YOU really...". This approach to praise means it is truly about praising the person, and not about your opinion being heard (there is a difference). Use the person's name. Share the praise in front of others when appropriate. Praise loudly, often, and specifically. Resist the "You were great", and go for something like "You drew in our clients with your benefits presentation, and you really wowed all of us with your knowledge of the product!". The difference is short in time, and long on impact!

Step 3: Prediction. Closing out your compliment with anticipation - a way to carry it forward is powerful for you, and empowering for the recipient! For a prediction, think about where the actions or results can have a place elsewhere or in the future. For example, if you are thinking in a positive way, and share You were great", and go for something like "You drew in our clients with your benefits presentation, and you really wowed all of us with your knowledge of the product!", you can then add "I can only imagine how strong you will be with XYZ next week using a similar approach!" By adding a prediction, you allow the other person to see your vision without telling that person what to do - you set someone up for success with a clear idea planted for him or her to nurture.

These three steps are simple. They will take a bit of effort to include, and yet the consistency of your sincere positivity, praise and prediction will become habitual when you implement it over time, and it will likely become an enjoyable challenge to incorporate often, when you see the responses and the results that follow!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Language: Madness VS. Un-foolishness

"Our language is the reflection of ourselves. 
A language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers." 
~ Cesar Chavez
American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist, who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association.
(1927 - 1993)
While March may represent madness to some, whether it is on the basketball court or otherwise, language need not be made up of misstatements, misnomers, or mis-communication. Below is a list of thirty-one (one for each day of the month) statements, words or expressions that get used both ways that are presented here. Please take a look and determine which you believe to be un-foolish and correct versus what is madness in the statement, and even maddening to one or many:

1)   I could care less vs. I couldn't care less
2)   One in the same vs. One and the same
3)   Each one worse than the next vs. Each one worse than the last
4)   On accident vs. By accident
5)   For all intensive purposes vs. For all intents and purposes
6)   Extract revenge vs. Exact revenge
7)   Momento vs. Memento 
8)   Irregardless vs. Regardless
9)   Orientated vs. Oriented
10) Sorta vs. Sort of
11) Made a 360 degree change vs. Made a 180 degree change 
12) It's a doggy-dog world vs. It's a dog-eat-dog world
13) Waiting with baited breath vs. Waited with bated breath
14) Pawn off vs. Palm off
15) Take a different tact vs. Take a different tack
16) It's a mute point vs. It's a moot point
17) Hunger pains vs. Hunger pangs
18) Wet your appetite vs. Whet your appetite
19) Pour over vs. Pore over
20) Tow the Line vs. Toe the Line
21) Peak or peek my interest/curiosity vs. Pique my interest/curiosity
22) Tongue and cheek vs. Tongue in cheek
23) Take for granite vs. Take for granted
24) First-come, first-serve vs. First come, first-served
25) Deep-seeded vs Deep-seated
26) Shoe-in vs. Shoo-in
27) Make due vs. Make do
28) By in large vs. By and large
29) Do diligence vs. Due Diligence
30) Case and point vs. Case in point
31) Flustrated vs. Frustrated or Flustered (separately)

Did you get them all right? I did not during my research. If you are wondering which expressions were correct, they are all the latter of the two options, the second in the statements or words. When you remove the madness from your language, you will confidently, and un-foolishly share with others what you really mean!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Create Your Own Relationship LUCK

"Luck is believing you are lucky."
-Tennessee Williams

Relationships are give and take. Relationships are about respect and reciprocity. We may feel good fortune to have healthy relationships, and that's fair. Feeling "lucky" may be stretch, as that perceived luck comes from efforts invested. Create your own sense of LUCK in relationships through:

L - Listening
U - Understanding
C - Collaboration
K - Knowledge-sharing

This type of LUCK will surely make your relationships "top 'o the morning" to all involved!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Quick Tip - Encouraging Others in 5 Sincere Steps

When people are off, not up to speed, or even not performing as they can, instead of criticism, consider encouragement. Encouraging others in these three steps can be effective, if it is done sincerely and consistently:

1 - Let the person know how much has been accomplished - focus on what is already done correctly
2 - Share your honest belief in him or her with examples of other things done well
3 - Set the expectation that you anticipate a new result
4 - Ask if there is anything you can do to assist
5 - Thank him or her for being open to the ideas shared and move on 

While you may feel as though saying nothing or directing will be better, this 5-step process allows for building confidence, results, and your relationship! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

LOVE Your Success

"Where there is love there is life." 
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the preeminent leader of Indian independence movement in British-ruled India.
(1869 - 1948)    
 For the love of February, we are focused on hearts and flowers, and even romance, right? Well, how about we focus on success...your success?

For now, and in the future, it's about the LOVE of success. Yes, there is an L, an O, a V, and an E that guides us to embrace, and even love, our success. Please think of this in terms of:
L - Look 
O - Offer 
V - Verify 
E - Enjoy
More so, please practice the following:
L - Look for success. Define it for you, and only you. Compare yourself to your goals, and not to others. 
O - Offer people feedback by sharing what is going well and what she or he may want to consider doing to improve. Offering means you can also ask for feedback. Simply receive it with a "thank you". 
V - Verify expectations. Instead of thinking everything is urgent, and creating a "busy" life, ensure you know what is being expected, and when it is anticipated in order to move from assuming things are needed now, and moving through communication to the expectation. 
E - Enjoy life fully. Be present. Be engaged. Be willing to see things and people for the moment, for what is happening then, and let that be enough. Let enough be your success!

When you embrace the LOVE of your success, you allow for it, welcome it, encourage it in yourself and others, and ultimately, create it! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Quick Tip - LEADing through Questions' Responses

While questions are a big part of connecting, learning and more, sometimes the answers are not enough. In addition to getting the response, sometimes we must lead others beyond the reply. This can be done through taking the LEAD:

L - Listen to learn, not to respond.
E - Expect to know things that are shared & to also be surprised by some information conveyed. 
A - Ask for specifics & ideas when someone provides insights and considerations. 
D - Decide on next steps/approach as to what to do separately and together.  

When you LEAD, you listen, expect, ask and decide...all beyond what was initially asked or heard! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Your Inner Champion Emerges

"If you're a champion, you have to have it in your heart." 
~ Chris Everett
A former World No. 1 professional tennis player from the United States
(b. 1954)    

January can be a time for setting goals, making plans, and even stating New Year's resolutions. It is not the change of date, or year that makes it the "right" time to do your best, or set your sights on being a "Champion" of discipline, weight loss, outreaching to old friends, or spending time with family.

Sometimes a new year gives us ambition or hope that sadly fades as days pass or old habits return...all to leave us feeling unaccomplished, and even un-champion-like! Let's not let that happen!

So how can that disappointment be avoided? Instead of setting yourself up to potentially fail, set yourself up to a way that let's your inner Champion emerge. Some steps for inner Champion exiting through words, actions and results include:
1) Define what a Champion is for you.
2) Look yourself in the mirror (literally and conceptually) to see what and who is there.
3) Be realistic about your interests, your capabilities, your ambitions, and your willingness to take action.
4) Be honest about what you don't like, don't do well, and what you don't want to do.
5) Put aside others' images, expectations, and pressures on you.
6) Imagine what you want to be, do, and have that will make a difference in your life from a confidence, courage, and champion-perspective.
7) Share the ideas/plans with someone, or some-ones you like, admire, trust and respect.
8) Act on your imagination, desires, and your overall champion plan.
9) Reward yourself with recognition of progress...not perfection.

Reflect the Champion you are in your attitude, actions and your that Champion emerges in ways you may have never expected!