Tuesday, May 28, 2024

For the Love of Time & Health!

 "He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything."
~ Thomas Carlyle

If you believe that health, love, and time are some of the most important things in life, if not THE most important things in life, please keep reading.

The question for us all is “Are we investing, focusing on, and truly appreciative of those most important things we have in life, and are you truly connected to your health, your love, and your time?”.

On May 22nd, I successfully moved from being diagnosed with thyroid cancer earlier this year, to being completely cancer-free. The reason to share that is for perspective for this message/tip, and to convey the optimism and the belief we can each embrace can combine to guide us to know that if we take action, we can move through things in life that challenge us, and those challenging experiences do not define us, rather they make up part of the story…part of your story!

Since time may be spent wondering what others are thinking or doing, I encourage you to spend time embracing what your thoughts do for you, and how your actions guide you.

Our health is not a happenstance. Our health is a combination of our physical, mental, and emotional being…in an effort to make it all gel into well-being. Is there something in your health that you are ignoring, rationalizing, or simply accepting that may not really be acceptable if you did deep to think about how you want to feel and function?

Love, and in particular, love of self, is not overrated, and yet it can be couched in what looks or feels like indulgences. Let your love of self not be excused. If you don’t feel that love, look to those who love you and ask them the very vulnerable question “What do you love about me?” and then seek to see and feel what they have identified – not so you take their word for it, rather to give you a base. People love you. You are loved, and by keeping that at the forefront, other choices settle in a clear focus.

So, what does this have to do with my medical situation/story, and what can you do right now about time, love, and health? 

Because I simply wanted to participate in a screening for thyroid for the doctors to get data, nodules were found. The first scan that was scheduled was canceled, and making time to get to another one became a priority. Doing that was self-care, AKA, love, and while it may seem like there is no good time to be sick or to have surgery, as surprising as the diagnosis was, selecting the soonest possible allowed my body and mind to know everything was being done after that pathology report to move to being cured. Respecting everything is not as straightforward, the decision to act each time keeps you moving ahead.

So, please take the time to invest in your health because you are surrounded by love. Schedule a preventative screening for yourself and be your own best health advocate. Is it your dental exam, a colonoscopy, that dermatology screening, a mammogram, or even an annual physical? What is it that hasn’t gotten your time and attention, your desire to feel loved in your own choices, and to prioritize your health and well-being?

Please know that when you prioritize and focus on your health, and love yourself enough, you can handle whatever comes your way, and in time, you will be through to the other side…likely stronger, definitely enriched, different for the intentional addressing of what you are experiencing!

With that, thanks to all who made the time to check in on me, walk with me, send food, and more, for the flowers and feel-good gifts of health, for your genuine friendship, and for loving me these past months with this all on my mind! Thank you, especially to my make-shift nurse, Michael, who wonderfully filled in as the guest VJ with the coach’s corner tip videos last week!

While admittedly, my world may have seemed to shrink for an instant when I received the diagnosis, because of being present and being open, with all of the personal and external support, it is clear that by sharing and caring, encouraging, and being available to answer anything you may want to ask or know, my world did not shrink, it absolutely grew. 

Cheers to the time we have and what we do with it, to the health we have, and how we protect it, and to the love we give and get, and how we grow it! 

Thank you!

#Gratitude #Reflection #LUNDBERGism #Health #Love #Time #Kind #Leadership #PersonalDevelopment #ProfessionalDevelopment

Monday, May 13, 2024

First of Week Brain Dump Benefits

"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Gift yourself with a handwritten brain dump on the first day of your workweek!

When you write things down, you clear your mind and get ahead of tasks, and therefore results, for the upcoming week.

Streamlining your ideas will clear your mind.

From there, you can prioritize the list, put the items in your calendar, and move forward prepared at the start of the week, for a productive and organized week with time maximized!

Now, you have the brain dump making way for a clear brain and an organized week ahead!

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Ten Steps to Facilitating Positive Change

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. 

~ Wayne Dyer

Do you want to create positive change, and you know people are resistant?

Often people are less hesitant about change than they are frustrated with the way change is presented/communicated or not presented/communicated.

While life, and business are not full consensus experiences, it is smart and wise, inclusive and important to sincerely want, and get, input from others involved.

What is a good way to do that? Because Noncritical thinking is limited thinking, emotional thinking is not critical thinking, and often noncritical emotional thinking is distorted thinking, you want to engage in creative and critical thinking for this by facilitating the following:

1.      Gather people who have experience, exposure AND expertise to have a variety of perspectives, and ensure all people invited to participate do not look like, think like, and act like the leader (or you, if you are the one advancing this effort).

2.      In order to ensure people come in with the best sense and knowledge, in the invitation to participate, do share that while there is a situation, you are looking to define the mistake, opportunity, issue, or problem proactively, realistically, and without a blame mentality so as to move forward with good results, the ultimate decision will be that of yours, or if there is a smaller group making the decision, if there will not be finality in what is done at that meeting.

3.      Because people can want their idea to “win”, ensure what you are seeking is what is BEST for the company/group, and that it is not about who came up with what, it is about what is BEST for your team, or organization, and address any questions about that idea before moving forward to avoid a lot of “I think we should…” conversations/

4.      Respecting you may think the facts are clear, get the group to discuss and reach agreement on what the topic really is, what situation you are addressing, and therefore get the challenge/opportunity stated clearly with full agreement.

5.     With the challenge/opportunity in mind, get a statement of focus, and in that process, determine if the challenge/opportunity is problem or issue, a miss or a mistake? Problems have solutions, issues have fixes. Misses have hits (points to address), mistakes have corrections. Getting language clear means the elevation of urgency and importance will follow.

6.     To stimulate discussion and open communication, there are a few ways to generate free-flow sharing of ideas without judgement, including:

a.      You become the scribe by writing each idea shared

b.     Asking very few questions to limit what may feel like judgement

c.      Getting the input through one of these two facilitation approaches:

                             i. OPTION 1: Pair, Share & Compare is where two or three people are in a group to privately offer their ideas with a spokesperson stating 2-4 options following time for all to discuss in groups. At the end of that time, you record and wait for step 7.

                             ii. OPTION 2: Reflect & Select is the process by which one person volunteers and then chooses each person after  - as the leader/scribe you ask questions: “Tell me more, walk me through,  how would that look/play out”.

7.      Selection and prioritization includes asking things such as “Tell me more, walk me through, how would that look/play out” by you first if you used OPTION 1, and if not, you move to open question period for all ideas shared. This is imperative that the questions be WHAT and HOW question to advance the idea without participants shutting down an idea at this point.

8.      Reiterate the purpose is ensuring what you are seeking is what is BEST for what is happening/presented and restate the opportunity/situation as the problem, issue, miss, mistake clearly, and then ask for either votes or preferences by providing people 2-4 “votes” cast with dots on the sheets where you have scribed the ideas, or voting on a sheet, or whatever non-threatening, open approach you want to take to narrow the ideas to no more than 4 total, preferably 2, 3 or 4 options.

9.      Open discussion around those final options.

10.   To make certain the next steps are clear, either:

a.      Determine the direction right then, and assign authority, responsibility and timeline.

b.      If that group is not the final decision-making entity, inform who will decide, when, and how the group will receive communication, and from what person.

When you are willing to invest the time and energy in people and ideas, you can create and communicate change in a way that is forward-focused, welcomed, and clear in the reason it is being implemented!



Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Getting Beyond Being Overbooked & Overcooked

"True luxury can be caviar or a day with no meetings, no appointments and no schedule."
~ Michael Kors

Have you ever felt overbooked and undercooked...meaning you have had so much on your plate, on your schedule that you were carrying a "weighted plate" so to speak, yet you were not prepared to devour the dishes or get engaged fully in anything? 

This could be an overbooked day, week, or a month… 

So, what to do, you wonder?

Respect your plate and your schedule.

That takes discipline, and a direct decision to be mindful of your time, energy, interests, and intention.

If you like being overbooked and overcooked, that is up to you, AND you may be racing to do, rather than to accomplish, and that is your choice. Or, if you like that feeling of being overbooked and overcooked, please refrain from complaining about it, or wearing it as a badge of honor. Let that pace be your pace.

If you are feeling overbooked and overcooked, and you don't like it, or the feeling it creates for you, please, for the experiences you have already committed to do:

-Approach one commitment/engagement at a time by being there for an amount of time that allows you to accomplish the outcomes and feelings you desire.

-Stay in that experience to do and give your best, and get the best out of it.

-Move to the next experience after feeling completely done with what you choose to experience.

-Think of what you were grateful for from the experiences in the day, and stay away from complaining about those yeses you gave for inquiries/events.

For opportunities in the future, change all your yeses to some no replies, without explanation or apology, and WITH your non-overbooked, and non-overcooked self.

Then, when settled into the groove that works for you without attempting to fit into someone else's expectation or what works for them.

By being aware enough to care about what is important to you, you will allow yourself to get into the right rhythm of booking so you can get cooking in a positive way!

#QUOTE #Leadership #PersonalDevelopment #ProfessionalDevelopment

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Embracing Ownership Over Ego

 "Your ego can become an obstacle to your work. If you start believing in your greatness, it is the death of your creativity."
~ Marina Abramovic

Where it can be tempting to feel slighted and express that disappointment in an effort to seek other's agreement when things do not go as planned, acting on that urge is not only often quite defeating, it is the unfortunate act of embracing a victim mentality that does not serve us well.

What to do? Stop the temptation? Change the feeling?

The fast answers are quick yeses, and yet it is not easy, or easily accomplished. It is, though, as simple as deciding not to do it...and then honoring your decision, and wait, there's more!

Breaking it down, the full response includes evoking reasons instead of excuses, acting on rational behaviors versus believing rationalizations, AND ultimately embracing ownership over ego!

Reason instead of excuses means you focus on being present in what is happening when it is happening, speaking your mind and position in deliberate intention of being a contributor and supporter of what is best. You offer reason, and therefore the behaviors are reasonable, and the responses to you are reasonable. If this does not happen, and you wait until after something is happening or has happened, you will talk and act in excuse language and want people to excuse your inaction previously, or your sudden idea-sharing now. When you excuse your lack of commitment, you become exposed to those who took action, and therefore, your lack of commitment is inexcusable.

Acting on rational behaviors versus believing rationalizations works positively by recognizing your emotional discomfort and allowing yourself to feel those feels and then move to what is real versus imagined. You tell yourself the story of what is happening in facts and direction rather than defending (rationalizing) your feeling as "normal" or professing others are being "unreasonable" which both attempt to apply logic to opinion or perspective based in feeling and not fact.

Ultimately, your highest and best challenge will likely be to stay in ownership over ego (or even getting there in the first place)! Asking yourself questions such as "What part did I play in this?", "Is there anything true here?", "What can I do now to move forward productively and purposefully?", "What am I willing to do to move forward?". These questions put you in the ownership mindset, and therefore you are owning your current and future positioning. Ego, unfortunately, wants to whine, blame, and sulk. There is a sense of entitlement in our ego that says, nags or screams "You were wronged", "This is not fair", "Show them!", and yet those urges lead to nothing positive and productive. Ownership is about having a way to see what happened, where you are, and what to do.

Demonstrating and living reason, acting rationally, and taking ownership allows you to be in the mind of a leader, and the mindset of someone who does not allow emotions to detract you, rather emotional intelligence to guide you!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Leading Through Emotions at Work

If you want to have a life that is worth living, a life that expresses your deepest feelings and emotions and cares and dreams, you have to fight for it. 

~ Alice Walker

Considering we, as humans, are a series of emotions and habits, and our emotions can drive our commitment to well-serving habits, just as our habits can either quell or enhance our emotional states in reaction or response to people and situations, what happens when emotions are presented at the office, on Zoom/Teams, or with clients and colleagues in a way that creates discomfort? Can anything be done, or do we simply wait and hope for it to pass?

The answer is yes, you can do something, and here are approaches that will be emotionally intelligent, kind, and considerate to not tell someone they are wrong, rather give them an opportunity to sit in success. Much of these actions take place far before an incident, and others are for in the moment:

1)    Instead of creating and fostering an environment of emotionally-based questions or requests, such as “Do me a favor and get this report to me by Noon tomorrow” or “Don’t get mad at me, but…I need you to get the data regarding the XYZ widgets by Noon tomorrow”, ensure your language is focused on work, and appropriate in requests for the role and responsibilities someone has, meaning state requests such as “Because you are responsible for the data regarding the XYZ widgets, please share the ROI on the sales for 2022 by Noon tomorrow” and “Respecting you have a lot on your plate, is it realistic to expect the data regarding the XYZ widgets by Noon tomorrow?”

2)    When someone says something like “I don’t think So-And-So likes me” or “I think So-And-So has it in for me”, reply not with “Why is that?”, which can start innocently and then end in gossip and positioning, instead, shut down that language while being open to ensuring a safe workplace by stating “While ours is not a culture about liking and not liking, having it in for someone or blame, what specifically has happened that makes you feel uncomfortable with So-And-So when working together?” The difference is subtle, and yet you are not allowing that to subtly be acceptable that there can be people out for others.

3)    Should someone says “I feel like you don’t trust me” or “You dismiss me all the time”, or “You never let me finish an idea in the meeting”, rather than get defensive or tell the person “That’s not true”, or “I don’t do that”, or “You’re too sensitive” or “Calm down” say sincerely “You have the right to feel that way. Please walk me through the last time this happened for clarity and get us back connected positively and productively” or “Please forgive me for not being aware of that, I am open to hearing what you experienced”. Then, listen, and strive to relate with empathy rather than react with heightened energy. You want to avoid arguing or countering emotions. People’s emotions are not right or wrong, they are theirs, and working through them to an outcome and agreement is best.

4)    If you have gossip and bickering in the workplace, shut the action and activity down without shutting up people. Share that your workplace, organization, team, or group is not only a safe place, it is a space for support and collaboration, and there is not only no room for gossip and behind-the-back antics, it is an action such as one of those that will be the demise of the team. Share that if there is something factual to address, you will listen, and points of opinion are to be worked through by those involved directly. You are there to be supportive and to moderate, if need be, and that such engagement is to happen long before others are involved or told what has been occurring. This will garner openness and respect in order to keep alliances and cliques from forming.

Ultimately, you want, and you likely want your team members to feel and engage rather than get emotional and blame.

In nearly-18-years of my practice I’ve yet to meet an employee at any level who said, “I love working at my job because people are emotionally driven to blame” or “It’s great to get to work where there is an “in group” and the rest of us.” With that in mind, know that we are emotional beings, and that being known is how you can harness the emotions to appreciate and respect them without allowing emotional sabotage to take place. Let people have habits and emotions, and at the same time, let’s get in the habit of emotions being part of our experiences and not part of emotionally driven taking of sides, or dragging down culture, in the workplace!

#ProfessionalDevelopment #PersonalDevelopment #Kind #Leadership #Emotions #EmotionalIntelligence

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

A Guide to Delivering a TOAST with Confidence

"I'm just preparing my impromptu remarks." 

~ Winston Churchill

Without a toast to say and share good cheer with those around you, are you really celebrating the day, the person, or the event you are attending?

It's enjoyable to get to work with a Father-of-the-Bride, a Best Man, or a Maid/Matron-of-Honor before a wedding in the public speaking work we do at Presenting Powerfully. Those toasts tend to get recorded, revisited, and let's face it, a lot of nerves and attention around them!

Still, whether it is for a wedding, or something else, the toast at an intimate dinner for two, a party for 50, a celebration of a product launch, retirement, the holidays, the New Year, or something else, is public speaking, and speaking publicly, even to a limited group can be impactful. So, have fun with it all while you take a serious look at the guide to getting the toast just right through covering these five aspects of the announcement/recognition (and please notice there is no ring to the glass, whistling, or knife/spoon making noise on the glass, either, you simply begin, and you may repeat/restate the first part (the initial "T" below to garner attention over demanding it with a harsh interruption of an abrupt sound):

T - Today/Tonight we are here to recognize/celebrate…

O - Often/Occasionally we find ourselves doing ___

A - And since/because/with that in mind, it is a pleasure to

S - Share (mention a few facts or tidbits about the person/project/event)

T - Thank you, and cheers to the person/team/holiday/couple!

If you were toasting Joe and Ronna on their engagement, you could TOAST with the following in a clear, loud voice, without apology or noise to get attention:

"Tonight we are here to celebrate and congratulate Joe and Ronna! Occasionally we get to shine this light on each of them separately, and now we get to see them glow as an engaged couple. And, because of their example of love, and kindness, and the way they make the most out of life, along with their 2 years of dating, we will soon get to see them take the next step as husband and wife. Thanks for all you do to inspire us, congratulations, and cheers! To Ronna and Joe!" (Raise glass.)

Should you be ringing in Valentine's Day, or Galentine's Day at a group event, you could stand with your drink in hand and say something like:

"Good evening! The middle of February is a wonderful time for reflecting and looking forward with love and hope in our eyes and hearts. Often it is about the romantic gestures and the traditions, and with those in mind, please know that it's also about the support and friendships we all LOVE to embrace and appreciate. In 2023, we saw two of you marry, one of you adopt a child, and three of you grow your businesses to new heights with your passion for your work...all while we each cheered one another on! We are here for each other. We inspire and pick one another up. For all of those reasons, I thank and celebrate you, and here’s to everyone here having a happy Valentine's Day that fills your heart with love!" (Raise glass.)

Once you get comfortable with the format, and embrace the flow, you will realize you can toast anyone anywhere with the TOAST method, and the honored or honorees will feel special while the guests will enjoy the impact and brevity of your sincere comments. 

So go ahead, raise a glass, and cheers to many enjoyable TOASTs in your future!

 #Toast #Celebrate #Leadership #Ihatepublicspeaking #publicspeaking

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Knowing the Difference(s) in Price & Worth/Value, Price & Cost, Expense & Experience, and Spending & Investing

Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much. 
~ Blaise Pascal

Has anyone ever asked you "A penny for your thoughts?" I don't know about you, but while that expression is a kind way of getting someone to open up, the value proposition is simply non-existent!

We have these oddities, especially with time and money...

So often people say/ask "How much does that cost?" when the real question, the internal question is 'What is it worth to you?' or 'What is the value of having this?' since the cost is particularly relevant to what you believe the worth is and/or the value of the item/experience. 

Say someone has 6 pairs of shoes with them on a trip and an attractive, right-sized pair of shoes at a lovely local store is $200, that cost becomes more about giving up space in their luggage, in other words, the opportunity cost plays a factor. What could they do with the money if they don't buy these shoes? And then, what will it cost them to rationalize another pair of shoes to themselves (or friends who managed to go 3 weeks with 2 pairs of shoes)? The worth of the shoes that potentially make an outfit during that trip is higher than the worth of the same shoes if they will sit in a bag getting toted around from hotel to hotel, city to city without getting worn. That leads us to price. The price of not getting the shoes aligns somewhat with the opportunity cost. Sure there is a price of $200, and then there is the price of if this purchase goes on a credit card. If the price of getting the shoes is paid in terms of being cheap when everyone is at dinner. Price is more than a currency exchange, it can be about energy and attitude, too.

The cost/worth/price idea gets us thinking about our wallets, our choices, and even our rationale for making or skipping purchases...and it need not stop there!

Time is our most valuable resource, so when engaging with someone, or many someones, do think about cost, worth, and price, meaning how many minutes or hours present as the direct cost, the worth is what you will gain from the engagement, and the price, or opportunity cost is what else you could be doing with that time. When someone says "Gotta minute?", they scarcely, if ever, only take a minute, and if someone, unfortunately, asks to "Pick your brain", they are taking time and energy from you, so you have a choice to give it or not.

Still, both the shoe example and a meeting with someone can also be an investment or a simple spend. How so? The investment idea is that the shoes will last a long time, and/or they will go up in value. A simple spend though is that the money or time was ours, we spent it on the meeting or the shoes and didn't see anything other than less than a fair trade or value, so we spent our time or money, for it yielded no return or less than what we deemed acceptable.

Now, moving on to whether the choice to buy the shoes or spend time with someone is an expense or an experience keeps most of us intrigued in a slightly new way. It's rarely both an expense and an experience because the idea of an expense means you got little out of it, and you have written it off, meaning it bears little worth to even revisit, whereas an experience means there was something in it that was/is non-tangible. Say the shoes were those to benefit charity and you like the charity so the experience of contributing outweighs that the shoes were an expense to move forward and away from quickly. Also, the shoes could be a wonderful reminder for years to come about the trip itself and that alone makes the purchase of the shoes an experience. Similarly, a meeting with someone can spark another connection, doing business together, avoiding an issue or problem, or none of those mentioned. If any of the connect, business and avoidance play out, then the meeting was an experience that moved you or a project ahead, and if it is not one of those, it was likely an expense.

What to do with these point-counterpoint positions and considerations? Here are the takeaways for implementation:

1) When you are asking for someone's time, present an agenda and goal that is of value to them focused on them, and then deliver to it.

2) When considering a purchase of any size, go beyond price to cost, other options, and the value for you having it versus not having it, as well as the timing and situation.

3) Keep in mind your sense of risk and adventure may be far different than other people's, so judge not what people buy or do with their time, as it is their process, or systems of process that lead them to satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their choices.

By simply and wonderfully allowing your mind and your decision to consider these options,  before putting money or time toward an item or an interaction, you will likely live your life with intent and experience the outcomes fully and openly! 

#Leadership #Choices #Value #Expereince #PersonalDevelopment #ProfessionalDevelopment