Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Being the Best You!

"You get the best out of others when you get the best out of yourself." 
~Harvey S. Firestone
American Businessman.
(1868 - 1938)

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Stop Should-ing All Over Yourself!

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fight or Flight or FOCUS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

RSVPing Simplified

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 30, 2019

Being Your Own Biggest Fan!

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

BEAM Support of/to Others

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 30, 2019

Using Emotions Intelligently vs. Emotionally!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 16, 2019

SHARE Your Brainstorming

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Make Time to OWN Your Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Less "I", "Me", "My", More "You", "Yours, "Ours"

If you think about society, there are a lot of comments about people being self-absorbed.

In order to stay away from that perception about your brand or being, then please consider using less "I", "Me", "My", and incorporating more "You", "Yours", "Ours".

How so?
  • In written communication, including emails, replace "I hope you are doing well" with "Hopefully you are doing well." 
  • Similarly, when asked your opinion, shift from "For me, my idea is..." to "Since you like X, you may enjoy Y".
  • Additionally, in collaborating, offer "What is best for our situation..." over "What you need to do..."
Subtly demonstrating a focus on others will make for a clear message that you want to engage and grow rather than insert and insist!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Texting Tip: Your ETA Replaces "On My Way"

When you are delayed, and something happens that you will not be on time, do let others know!

Still, please resist the self-focused text:
"On my way",
as this tells us very little - where are you, how long will it take, and more - this is not giving us a lot of information!
That text serves as a gesture, and not an update.
And, replace it with:
"ETA of 1:03 PM",
since this shares that you are running behind (do apologize for that), and when your friend/colleague can expect you.

With a focus on the other person making the most of his time and not simply waiting for you, that will show respect and allow for planning for that time frame!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Mindset Shift to Positivity

"You try something, it doesn't work, and maybe people even criticize you. In a fixed mindset, you say, 'I tried this, it's over.' In a growth mindset, you look for what you've learned." 
~ Carol S. Dweck
American Educator.
(b. 1946)

Recently, my expected 10:00 PM flight arrived safely at 5:00 AM the following morning. That was not my plan, nor was it any of the other 175 people on that itinerary! Hmmmmm...what to do!?! You've likely been there...a flight was just cancelled, you have a flat tire, someone is sick, or your meeting was moved and traffic is heavy, right?

These are not joy-filled moments or situations. We are not loving these circumstances, and yet if we let "not loving it" turn to negativity, the whole experience, attitude, and event he day can be ruined - not by the happenings, rather by how we allow the happenings to impact us!

How do we shift to a mindset of positivity in a negative situation? 

It's not easy, and yet here are a few simple ideas for processing out of "Ugh!" to "Okay - this will work!"!

  1. Once you know things are not good, let there be a moment of disappointment. That's real, and being positive is not about being fake or ignoring reality.through the way you carried that mindset forward!
  2. Close your eyes and picture something positive. Smile at what you are thinking about. With that smile on your face, open your eyes and think of one thing you can do to change your "now", and move toward a future that is less negative.
  3. Think about 24 hours from that moment, and how different things will be. Create a plan for now-to-then.
  4. Communicate to those impacted about the new plans, rather than the current situation.
  5. Move away from those who are negative (if physically around them, or away in communication, if they are at a distance). Resist engaging in other's disappointment or despair, and/or attempting to "correct" or "fix" their mindset.
  6. Fill the time or space with something useful and/or positively distracting. Be appreciative of what you have as you respect what you may not have (time, money, control of certain things) in that particular situation.
  7. Focus on the end result and check back in on anything you can do to advance toward that.
  8. Plan for ways to avoid these things/people in the future.
  9. Be grateful for moving forward (even if it is slow or taxing on time/energy at moments).
  10. Take breaths and walks for changes of position and scenery in order to keep grounded and focused.

I just did this in the Dallas Airport when a flight was delayed 7 times, we boarded and deplaned, and my arrival was a day later than expected, and yet two hours before my next engagement. Things went well, and my energy level for my second all-day presentation was good.

Similarly, when you shift your mindset to positivity, you aren't removed from the disappointment or change, rather you decide how to accept it and move through it to a new situation for ownership of your energy and outlook. And, with those 10 steps, you just may lead by example for those caught up in the negativity around you!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

TAP into Presenting Ideas Positively

When we have an idea, we often want to share it, right?

Other people, though, may not have the same idea, or even be ready to "hear" our thoughts.

What to do?

Please consider these three steps to TAP into Presenting Ideas Positively: Transition, Admission, Position!

T - Transition - Use a word or phrase that is simple and reflects thinking of the other person or people, such as "Considering
 you are looking to...", or "Respecting you have done some research..."
This allows for thought, time and connection.

A - Admission - Give your perspective and own it with something like "I have been thinking about it, too...", or "I am hoping you are open to...
This means you are not dancing around something.

P - Position - Share you idea clearly, in one or two options, without apology or caveats. Something such as "Would you please consider doing X or Y, instead?"
This shows you are asking, not telling,and choices mean you are also open!

When you attempt to TAP into positioning positively, you often don't offend, create conversation, and end on an idea that is workable for all!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Upgrades Through Optimism

"No matter what the recipe, any baker can do wonders in the kitchen with some good ingredients and an upbeat attitude!"
~ Buddy Valastro
American Chef

Being upbeat is usually a good thing. Optimism is contagious and being positive works to our advantage internally, for perspective, and sometimes externally, too!

How so?

Imagine being tired from a delayed flight getting ready to check in at a hotel while you are hungry, and you answer the opening question "How are you?" from the hotel team member with "Ugh! It's been a terrible day and I cannot believe how ridiculous travel is!" versus saying "It's great to be here! Hope your day has been a good one!". The person behind the desk has likely been ignored, treated poorly and treated well during the day. It costs you nothing to be positive.

Now, onto the upbeatedness of this: Think about asking that person what his favorite rooms are, and if any of those are available, adding you are not in a rush to wait for something s/he deems to be special. Often, showing that upbeat approach, and being genuinely interested in the other person, you'll get upgraded - not because you demanded it, had points for it, or paid for it, simply because you upbeated your way to it! 

Friday, May 31, 2019

Providing Choices and Getting Results

"I'm a big believer that your life is basically a sum of all the choices you make. The better your choices, the better opportunity to lead a happy life."
~ Karen Salmansohn

While it may seem like we want to make choices, too many options can be overwhelming, so what do you do?

Break down choices into categories with only 2 or 3 possibilities.

When you say to someone "Do you want to go to lunch? When is good? Where do you want to go?" It may seem simple, and yet it is a lot to process.

Instead, ask "Do you want to have lunch together today?" Get a response. If no, ask "Would you like to eat together Monday, Wednesday, or the following week?" If it's a yes, ask "Would you prefer Moe's or Season's 52?", followed by "Is 11:30 AM, 11:30 AM, or Noon best for you?"

When you ask a series of questions with limited choices, you move through to selection and on with your experience rather than dumping everything together where someone is drowning in "Decision-making Soup"!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Experiencing Joy in Life!

"Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are."
~ Marianne Williamson
American Author.

Having a joy-filled life is something different than happiness. Both have terrific value. 

Happiness is a state of being. A happy person is, at the core, appreciative and engaged, present and aware, simply glad to get to live life.

Happy people tend to have more joy-experiencing moments or times in their life. And, even if you are not an innately happy person, you can experience joy, not just feel a happy moment, in your life, too!

Joy is a state of experience. Joy is a feeling. Joy is letting go while letting everything rush over you (small or large). Joy is a smile, an overhearing something kind or complimentary. Joy isn't questioning or doubting. Joy isn't always that laugh-out-loud roar.

Whether you feel happy or not at your core, you can increase your life appreciation when you aim to experience, not force or create, joy. What is mean by that is to encourage you to:

1st - Be. Be in yourself and where you are.
2nd - Ask yourself "What is good about this right now?" and listen to your answers.
3rd - Embrace the good. Let that goodness be about that time and for you.
4th - Appreciate what is happening - how your mind is calm, your body is free, and your heart is full.

Joy-filled lives are lives filled with the desire to feel good, not because of, or in spite of someone else, rather the desire to allow oneself to have a heightened state of engagement with situations, people, and opportunities. 

So, yes, a thrilling ride may bring joy, and yet, a walk in quiet can as well. When you allow yourself to welcome joy, you will be able to experience it, and then, from that state and feeling, you just may learn that you spread it or shared it with others through the way you carried that mindset forward!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Fully Recovered: Overcoming Perfectionism

While "Being a Perfectionist" gets waved around like a badge of honor by those who see themselves as one, the questions is "At what cost?" Perfectionists live their lives in two (reactionary) states for the most part - satisfied and disappointed...typically the majority of that time is in disappointment, . How so? Perfectionists have a perception/view that is so contrived that very few people, including themselves, can achieve that state/experience. As a result, they sacrifice joy and enjoyment for the sake of "what should have been"!

There's great news, though: perfectionism, the type we think of holding us back instead of propelling us forward, is often more of a disposition, rather than a true condition, so it can be shifted for a full recovery...and a lot more happiness!

Overcoming perfectionism starts with allowing yourself to acknowledge you are there, in a state of dissatisfaction, and that you no longer see perfectionism as a goal or high praise. After that, these steps will assist you:

1. Go for being prepared, thorough, and that those are going to have your efforts "well done”. And then, revel in the pleasure of completion.
2. Think about the pressure of perfect versus the enjoyment of effort.
3. Compare yourself to yourself and your capabilities versus other people and their situation(s) and/or a social media images of what someone wants you to believe is the case. And, let others in to participate - watch being a martyr, and then complaining there's not time to do things.
4. Strive to do what is best at the time for the time. Place a value on tasks and relationships, and then put the effort into them that maintains that value.
5. Work in time chunks for planning to not get yourself in a procrastination mindset of "If I can't do it perfectly, I won't even start it", and this way, the projects are manageable.
6. Let go of “should” and "have to", and replace them with "want" and "will" based on desire versus obligation.
7. Remind yourself of the cost of perfectionism on you and others by asking yourself if you are being realistic with your expectations of you and others.

When you do these 7 things (and reward yourself for doing them), you are not lowering your standards, rather you are meeting yourself, and life where you are and going where there is value and reward with contribution and good conscience. Then, and likely only then, will you spend a lot of time in joy and enjoyment rather than simply in disappointment or satisfaction!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

4 Steps to Declining Invitations

You are not expected to be all things to all people, or in all places at all times. 

Saying "No" is empowering. 

When you want to decline and invitation, be positive and professional with these 4 steps:
  1. Thank the person who asked/invited.
  2. State that you wish him/her the best at the XYZ event/experience.
  3. Let the person know you will be declining. (There's no need for explaining where you will be instead. If it is not competitive, it is okay to share that you will send good energy from where you will be.)
  4. (Optional - Send a message the day of the event to send him  or her well wishes for that day's event/experience.)
When you are not interested or not available doesn't mean you have to explain or divulge, or even apologize. Keeping things brief and upbeat will keep your decline among the best replies someone receives! 

Friday, March 29, 2019

7 Steps to Video Success

Video is a lot of the way we communicate with others, and often, in my practice, people ask for a process or formula for making a video worth watching and communicating a message.

Here's a 7 step approach that tends to work, and is different than many that are out there, as it doesn't involve introducing oneself first. 

Give it a shot with these steps:
  1. Pose a question
  2. Offer a "did you know..." or goal
  3. Introduce yourself briefly
  4. Address issue (2-4 points, option: add story)
  5. Recap the approach
  6. Thank the viewer
  7. State your name and contact
Have fun, share your expertise,and video on! 

Friday, March 15, 2019

RSVP Courtesies & Commitments

Are considerations and manners regarding RSVPs a thing of the past?

Not necessarily. With email, Social Media Invitations and text messaging, some people perceive a catered party the same as a social gathering at a home and likely the same as a happy hour at a bar/club...and there are clear differences! You will likely be invited back again and again if you follow the courtesies of the RSVP.

Sadly, more and more often, (and through personal experience) hosts commonly do not receive solid indications whether guests plan to attend their events, even if RSVP is clearly denoted on the invitation or in the Social Media Invitation.

Considering each person in a work or social group comes from a different background, family situation and exposure, perhaps revisiting what RSVP means is best first. The term RSVP (or more formally, R.S.V.P.) comes from the French expression "Réspondez S'il Vous Plaît", meaning "please respond" (or as I like to think of it, respond and then follow through if you ever want to maintain social graces).

If/when you get a mailed invitation or evite Invitation with an RSVP indicator, it means you want to tell the host whether or not you plan to attend the party, and by the date indicated in the invitation. If there is no date indicated for a response, provide your firm reply as soon as possible, and minimally five (5) days prior to the event. RSVP does not mean to respond only if you're coming, and it does not mean respond only if you're not coming (the expression "regrets only" is reserved for that instance). An incomplete list of respondents can cause numerous problems for a host including difficulty in planning food quantities, issues relating to minimum guarantees with catering halls, uncertainty over the number of party favors and difficulties in planning appropriate seating, among other things. Also, do not invite other guests to attend a party if there is hosting of drinks or food involved. If you would like someone included, ask the host before five days prior if all the invitations have been sent. If your invitation indicates a guest, bring no more than one guest, and let the host know his/her name prior to arriving at the event. (The exception to this guideline is if there is a pay-as-you-go happy hour event that is not at someone's home, and/or if the host has indicated "the more the merrier" on the invitation.)

What happens if something unexpected comes up in the five days prior to the event or even the day of the event? Make an effort to phone the host as soon as you know you cannot attend (getting a more exotic offer is not a reason not to attend...ethics and decency should play into accepting an invitation). When you reach the host, do not bog him or her down with your story. Simply be brief, ask forgiveness and offer to pay for your portion of the festivities. Yes, you have committed and now you are backing out, so plan to provide relief to the host. Often the host will not accept payment. Send a note within the week and a small gift if the event was being catered. Flowers are a welcomed surprise and thoughtful way to keep things pleasant between you. A gift is not necessary...just a great touch!   Remember, the host is investing in everything from glasses to favors and food. Your being considerate of the fact that the seating and event/game counts may be off, is the least you can do!

When you do attend an event for which you have RSVP'd, take a small token of your appreciation, like a bottle of wine, spirits, or candle. Host gifts are wonderful and many a host loves to show them off in their home for it shows kindness and enjoyment and reminds them that people recognize them for opening their home. A host gift is not necessary, though. A call or note the next day will work as a close second for giving thanks to the host. Regardless of what you do, give thanks...and do not ask for a house tour if you are at the host home. Remember he/she has been working on the event...let him/her offer if they like. For all we know as the guest, one room became the "catch all" if you will, and the last thing the composed host should be put in a position to do is to have to explain the closed door to a room!

If you are hosting a party where you are providing food or drink...or both, I suggest including an RSVP to be written on an invitation or in a Social Media Invitation and do not text, or simply email an invitation. When the RSVP is noted, state a firm date for the responses. If you find many people hedge for a better offer, an opportunity, a child's possible event taking priority, then, when making your reminder calls (preferred over emails, but emails are okay...minimally do some sort of reminder or confirmation), just let people know at that three-to-five days prior period that while you would love to have them there, you'll put them as a no for this event and perhaps the next time scheduling will work out better. Do not accept a maybe only a few days out. While you may have enough food and drink, it sets the stage for repeated behavior by that person...and sets the example for far too many more!

So, having taken all this in, remember, the next time you see RSVP on an invitation you receive, do just that, Réspondez S'il Vous Plait, promptly and respect the courtesy and you make it a commitment to be a spectacular party/event!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Put a Pin ON It!

There's a song about "put a ring on it", and much like that lyric, this is about "put a pin on it", or rather "put a pin under it"!

While the song is about a ring and marriage, this tip is about a safety pin and your clothes.

Male or female, you can be prepared for you or others by putting a safety pin under your hem on your pants, coat, or even a dress or skirt.

Simply pin one under where it won't be seen, and should you or someone have an unraveled something, a broken shoelace or slingback, or a blouse that is a little too revealing for comfort, you have the solution!

(When going to a formal event, two or more are useful - those types of gatherings tend to have more uses for pins than others!)

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Happy for Others Over FOMO!

"Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There's going to be stress in life, but it's your choice whether you let it affect you or not."
~ Valerie Bertinelli
American Actress.
(b. 1960)

Being Happy for Others
Having FOMO

Recently when asking about an event I missed due to travel, someone accused me of having FOMO. FOMO is the Fear Of Missing Out, and it has become a common expression and/or perception.

Still, FOMO is happily, not something from which I suffer...and hopefully neither do you. If you do, and/or if you ever have and/or know someone who does, this article is designed to define it, address it, show the difference in FOMO and happiness for others, and give a few tips to shift from Fear to Happiness.

FOMO is an angst or anxiety regarding the inability to make, or the lack of being included in social or perceived important experiences. Often FOMO leads people to become distracted by, and even borderline obsessed with, checking what others are doing online.

What I have, my condition, so to speak, is simply "happiness for others", perhaps if we call it HFO, it will catch on. This happiness for others is the joy that is brought from seeing others enjoy life and engage with people positively.

There is a proximity to FOMO that HFO has in that it is about others and it is about how one feels about other's getting to do things. The major difference is the positivity that HFO comes from and exudes. With FOMO, there is jealousy, distance, and a perception of not being enough or "being left out". People with FOMO reply to social media with "I'm so jealous" or "#Jelly", or "I wish I were there", and when in person, they say similar things, including the addition of "You're so lucky", and "what's wrong with me?"

Individuals with HFO feel good about the way others move through life, as they know someone else doing something doesn't take anything away from their lives. In fact, they say and post things such as "So happy for you!", and "What a wonderful experience", and "How great you got to do that!".

If you mind goes to the FOMO side of things, shift it. Remember to be grateful for all you get to do, be appreciative of your opportunities, and find joy in your place and your direction. Keep a gratitude journal. Practice grace and blessings-counting. Even if you do think some of the FOMO-type comments, reposition them. Be "in the process" of getting happy for others through changing your behaviors, and eventually, you will change your outlook.


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Empower YouSELF with Scheduled SELF Care

How is it that we rarely miss a work meeting, figure out ways to get kids to school on time, catch planes, and even make time to make or buy what we commit to do, and yet we reschedule or cancel on our plans in our head for us?

We often prioritize others over ourselves, even though we know taking care of ourselves is important.

Having a plan, making a commitment, being focused, and taking action comes in the form of four things:
1. S - Schedule time for you for specific activities in your calendar
2. E - Excuse yourself from other things that distract you and/or are not a priority (without apology or guilt)
3. L - Let others know you are booked (block your calendar)
4. F - Feel good about the time you are making for yourself (not taking away from anyone else, and not feeling as though you "should" do for others at that time)

Allow SELF care to be your time for refueling and nourishing you...that is not self centered, rather that is self-serving in way that you take good care of you so that nobody else feels they have to!

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!