Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Embracing Thanksgiving All Year Long

"I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. " 
~  Henry David Thoreau
American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian. 
(1817 - 1862)

Thanksgiving is a day.
Thanksgiving is an attitude.
Thanksgiving is an approach to life.

While we may be celebrating this month, and many eating, drinking, and sharing in thankfulness outwardly and openly this Thursday, there is no need to keep that attitude of gratitude silent for the rest of the year. Thanksgiving is a way to live life, and keeping it going depends on thoughts, words and actions.

To be thankful also means not being hateful. Thinking about how to assist others, and how to encourage, support, and even wish well, whether you are included in that celebration formally or not, is a form of thanksgiving. This includes thinking ahead to how you impact others, and being mindful of what to do, and not do in order to get your intent (thankfulness) aligned with your results (gratitude).

Verbalizing your appreciation is a form of thanksgiving. Sharing ideas with others in a way that is inclusive, pleasant, and even humble shows thanksgiving. Offering what others do well, bragging about them on their behalf, and hoping, wishing and wanting what is good for them, are all ways to be thankful.

Doing things for others without their asking, taking an extra step, and even doing those things without others even knowing, allow for thanksgiving...all days of the year. Remembering that when you are thankful in life, you are not doing favors, rather you are doing what's right for your thanksgiving. Your actions are without motive other than to express thanks, and your actions flow freely with a loving heart.

By thinking thank you, saying "thank you", and meaning thank you will move you from Thanksgiving Day to a thanksgiving way (of life)...and those simple thoughts, words and actions, will surely lead to more!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Drive the Diffusion CAR in Disagreements

Arguments drive people to do and say things they often wish they had not. If you want to stop arguing and start collaborating, or at least speaking versus yelling or telling, instead of driving each other batty, or driving yourself to defend things, please consider "driving the CAR of diffusion", where you begin statements in the following way, sincerely, in an effort to communicate rather than overtake:

C - Considering - Let the person know you are considering his or her point of view or perspective. "Considering you have a lot of experience with this, you make many valid points, AND..."
A - Appreciating - Stating that you recognize and acknowledge something that is different without judgement means you can, and likely will, be reasonable. "Appreciating the work you do is important to you, you likely have a lot of ideas to share AND..."
R - Respecting - Anticipating someone may not think you are listening, share that you respect the situation and circumstances. "Respecting you are impacted more than others, and you have spoken with your colleagues, WHAT/HOW..."

Notice "and" is there and not "but", and "what" is there and not "Why". And and What or How keep conversations going without defensiveness from "but" or "why".

When you are driving the CAR, drive it to diffusion and inclusion rather than attack or confusion!