Monday, December 3, 2012

You've got to start somewhere!

"Starting something is not an event; it’s a series of events. You decide to walk to Cleveland. So you take a first step in the right direction. That’s starting. You spend the rest of the day walking toward Cleveland, one step at a time, picking your feet up and putting them down. At the end of the day, twenty miles later, you stop at a hotel. And what happens the next morning? Either you quit the project or you start again, walking to Cleveland. In fact, every step is a new beginning. Sure, you’re closer than you were yesterday or last week..." ~Seth Godin (Poke the Box)


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lead by stepping aside

“Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke


A healthy reminder today that sometimes we are the only thing standing in the way of getting the important jobs done. Today, set aside thoughts of "it's all about me" and replace them with how "can I build up another." This is the surest way to engage others in the business at hand.

image source: http://iloveprettypinkthings.tumblr.com/post/17418484000

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Today is ready cash, spend it wisely!

Yesterday is a cancelled check. Tomorrow is a Promissory note. Today is ready cash. Spend it wisely.


How often do we say "I used to be a big manager in a company, I used to be rich, I used to be thin, I used to be great at golf, I used to this, I used to that!" Cancelled! How many of you say, "when I'm not so busy, when I catch a break, when I loose 20 pounds, when I get 10 more sales, when I this, when I that." Is it just wishful thinking?

There is nothing wrong with reminiscing and reviewing the past. The past is where all the big and little choices we have made are. It's the context of today. However, getting one's identity or reality from what has been is looking backwards. How can progress be made while always bringing up what was?

Looking into the future, making plans, setting goals, and having a clear direction where you are going is very powerful. The danger is to defer what can be done now because you are waiting for the "right" conditions. Banking on what "will be" is giving away the building blocks of that future.

Today is where the cash is. Right now! The choices you make, the actions you take, the thoughts in your head, the dreams you have, all are for today. Spend today wisely and cash in big time!

Do you need help with maximizing your use of today? Shine Consulting works one-on-one with business owners, managers, and supervisors to help them understand and excel in their role. We provide tools for time management, clear communications, critical thinking, decision making, and conflict management. Contact SHINE Consulting today Because...

Today is ready cash! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

What small effort are you making today?


"What we call little things are merely the causes of great things; they are the beginning, the embryo, and it is the point of departure which, generally speaking, decides the whole future of an existence. One single black speck may be the beginning of a gangrene, of a storm, of a revolution." ~Henri Frederic Amiel

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

5 Good Reasons to Stop Yelling

"If you're yelling you're the one who's lost control of the conversation." ~Taylor Swift


Early the other morning I was out walking my dog. As we came along side a nearby golf course, I heard cursing at a high volume. Holy Guacamole, the line-up of descriptive words a crew boss was laying on a young kid about his lack of intelligence was quite colorful. It made me anxious, to say the least.

Listening to the berating language brought back memories of yelling bosses from my past. They may have had some great qualities, but I sure can't remember them. All I remember was what a jerk they were and how bad it made me feel.

Why do bosses yell at their workers?


For some people yelling has become a habit. They simply don't realize they do it. For others, they shamefully acknowledge that they lose control and feel badly once they've cooled down. I know of a few that believe it's actually good for their people, using an athletic coach approach to managing their team.

Almost always a boss climbs up and down an employee out of frustration. There are a few out there who bully and repress employees out of a mean spirit. However, in working with hundreds of managers and supervisors, I can confidently state that it's one of these - irritation, disturbance, annoyance, vexation, exasperation, infuriation, weariness, disappointment, aggravation - all words for being frustrated.

5 good reasons to stop yelling


Popping one's top doesn't make the problem go away. In fact, it makes things worse. More than just bruising employee's feelings, yelling messes with people and their ability to work. It lessens productivity. Which means a lower bottom fiscal line for your business. When you yell it can have the following effects:
  1. Employees get sick. Literally. Research conducted by Duke University demonstrates that the stress of being subjected to hostility lowers the immune system. By constantly yelling at your staff, you are creating more sick leave and lower productivity.
  2. Your people get dumber, not smarter. Studies in neuroscience show that when an employee feels their job is threatened, it triggers the flight-or-fight mechanism. This impairs analytic thinking, creative insight, and problem solving. Yelling at them is a sure-fire way to put their spark out.
  3. Moral nosedives. Perceived hostility affects productivity and shuts down enthusiasm. Time is wasted with negative talk at the water cooler. And, once the situation is recognized, it takes a lot of time and effort to heal those battle wounds
  4. Resentment and sabotage. Yelling can be taken as a personal affront (which it usually is), and   resentment may build to destructive behaviors. People can get creative when they're angry. Anything from work stoppages to stealing to destroying equipment. All are forms of getting even.
  5. It's not a good way to get promoted. We all know it's not professional  If you want to be the next candidate on the promotion list, use your powers of persuasion and empowerment to get people to do their work. Bad behavior is rarely rewarded with a promotion.

How can you break the yelling habit?


Yelling, screaming, berating - whatever you call it, is a managerial tool that just doesn't work. It will take effort and self-control to back out of the position of being frustrated. Place your focus on yourself. Analyze the reasons you're at the yelling point. In the process, ask if there are things you should have done to eliminate the problem. Check to see if you've clearly (not yelling) stated what you expect, including how and when you want things done. Ask yourself if your people have the tools, time, skills to perform to your expectations. 

Want to take it a step further?



Here's a managerial tool you might want to add to your tool belt. This is a book from my library that I highly recommend. Crucial Confrontations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler. The authors show you how to achieve personal, team, and organizational success by healing broken promises, resolving violated expectations, and influencing good behavior. "Crucial Confrontations" teaches skills drawn from 10,000 hours of real-life observations to increase confidence in facing employee issues.



Really, there are countless reasons to stop yelling in the work place. Let's start by being patient. Patient with your people, and with yourself. At the end of the day, you and your staff will feel a whole lot better about the  work you're doing together. 

You might find a few more nuggets of gold in these posts as well: Happy Employees and  You Have the Power


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dig into your future

Have you ever thought about what it really means to claim the future? Yes, you have aspirations, goals, and dreams. But, do you actually lay your hands on them and see them as reality right now?


A mountain climber plants his climbing hammer into the next step and pulls himself into the assent. He doesn't say as he goes along, "someday I'm going to climb that mountain." No! He IS climbing the mountain. Bear with me here. Each step, each push, every pull he has the full knowledge that he is conquering the climb.


It is a powerful thing when you approach your life like this, knowing that you ARE realizing your future. Something changes inside when you move from thinking about a thing, to actually claiming and living in a thing. Owning the goal now, digging into it, creates a reality that somehow bends reality and time.


When you can know you are living your goals and dreams, rather than just thinking and wishing them, you make them real...today!

Is there something you dream to be or to achieve, but don't know how to go after it? SHINE Consulting can help you plant yourself in your goals, dig into your future! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hiring: It's a good thing!

"When I'm hiring a cook for one of my restaurants, and I want to see what they can do, I usually ask them to make me an omelet." ~Bobby Flay

You're in a bind. Business has grown beautifully, but there's too much work for your team. Everyone is doing their best, but it's overwhelming. Especially for you. You need help ASAP! 

Don't grab the first person with a pulse. I promise, the troubles you'll have in the future for poor planning far, far outweigh taking time to hire properly.

Hiring the right person for your position is like bringing in an extension of yourself to do the work you can't do alone. How do you make sure you're going to employ someone who will fulfill your expectations and get things done the right way? Let's take a look: 

There is a lot of work to do before you expand your workforce 


Question if you actually need a new position - Before you get started, make certain you are financially able to support an additional employee. Also, analyse your current team. Are they being assigned efficiently and are their talents and skills being utilized to the fullest?

Know exactly what you need - Take time to identify the job's essential functions. Then, note the key performance criteria. Are there specific skills and talents required to perform this work?

Formalize a job description. - Detail the specifics of the position based on the essential functions, performance criteria, and specialized considerations.

How much should you pay? - Do your research and base this decision on internal and external comparisons. One must ask if is the salary is competitive with the salaries and responsibilities of other positions inside your company, as well as similar positions out in the marketplace.

Attract qualified applicants - If you don't have a protocol for recruiting, utilize a recruiter  They will know the techniques of attracting and hiring the right person. Remember, advertising is not the only way to recruit.

Collecting and reviewing - Finally, this is the last preparation step. Once you have a good selection of candidates to choose from, begin selecting the most qualified people for further consideration. 

After clearly identifying what you need, you can now interview for the perfect match


The interview
- Interview at least three qualified candidates. Interview the candidates three times. And, have three people evaluate the candidates. This may seem intense. However, hiring tough and never lowering your standards will allow you to manage easy. 

Select the most qualified candidate - That may seem obvious, however selecting person solely because you like them or because they really, really need a job is not being objective. Make your selection based on the person's proven skills and experience that has prepared them to meet the requirements of the job description.

References matter - Always, always take time to check references before making a job offer. You never know what will pop up.

Hire the "right" person - After going through all of these objective and important steps, and you've done your homework, you should have a very clear idea of who's right for the job and will be a good fit with the team.. Now, go with your gut and offer them the position.

Congratulations! Hiring, it's a good thing! 


If you find you don't have the time or ability to conduct a thorough hiring process, SHINE Consulting is here to help you hire the right people. Just give us a call or connect via email  at sahepler@gmail.com

Monday, October 1, 2012

Some days you just gotta jump

"Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at the sun.' We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground." ~Zora Neale Hurston


Waiting for perfect conditions to take flight? Sure, once in a while the absolute perfect day happens. However, most are just average days with average conditions. Go ahead, take a leap, make things happen on this Monday. Who knows what you'll encounter! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

God bless closed doors

"When one door is closed, don't you know, another is open." ~Bob Marley


I read something the other day that said the devil always comes looking good.

Oh boy, did that ever hit home as I recalled the few amazing guys, the dream jobs, and the really great opportunities that, upon closer examination, were not what they initially appeared to be. When I apply my rational judgment to one of these marauders, the veneer makes sense. Why would the devil (aka guy, job, opportunity) come looking evil and menacing? Of course not, the disguise is the hook!

Yet, how often do I actually use the piercing logic of mine, that skeptical part of my brain, when I really, really want what I see? Rationalizing and yearning set in. I just know it's Divine Intervention. Maybe it's that I'm finally getting what I deserve. Or, the power of my intentions is so keen I'm manifesting my dreams.

Admittedly, it's kind of pathetic.

There were times when I pushed and pushed at the door to one of these bad situations. And, after much effort, the door opened. Throwing caution and good counsel to the wind, I eagerly walked through, only to lament my foolish actions. Wishing that I had seen what was behind said beautiful door, I rued the day I committed to that path.

There were also times when I pursued a seemingly beautiful thing. Even after using all of my skills, powers of persuasion, or whatever good thing I possess, it wasn't mine to have. When the door didn't open to me, I chose to accept that it wasn't a good option. Yet, silly me, I pined and pined that it wasn't going to be mine

Oh, for goodness sake! What a waste of time. You'd think I would've learned by now that a closed door is more often than not a blessing! Seriously, just about every time I look back I see how the devil (yes...guy, job, opportunity) would have hurt me in some way.

The closed door was my protection.


To pursue a dream requires certain necessary steps to make things happen. It often means knocking, yes even pushing, at closed doors. Yet, it's a wise person who looks at those beautiful, closed doors and examines them for what they might really be.

How does one know when to push forward and when to pursue another course? Try these:
  • Seek the counsel of those who've gone before you. Talk with mentors and advisers. It's always a smart idea to piggy-back on the efforts of those who have already done the hard work. They know the pitfalls and what's behind the door. Listen to these wise ones.
  • Spend time in quiet reflection, pray, or meditate. Do you connect with a Higher Power? Examine your reasons for wanting that beautiful thing. Ask for direction and clarification. Listen to what is given to you.
  • Find an objective source that isn't influenced by their feelings. Counselors, coaches and consultants are trained to examine facts when facilitating goal actualization. They will also help you see your blind spots. Listen to their rational advise.
When a door stays closed, bless it and move on remembering that the devil always looks good and maybe this was one of those times. And, when that new door appears and is opened wide, you can be grateful you left the closed one behind.

You might also enjoy these : A State of Acceptance and Yay for New Doors! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gals, you, too, can make it happen!


Have you ever asked yourself, "If I keep on the way I'm going, will I get where I want to be?" Yeah for you if the answer is yes. For many, the answer is probably not. The number one reason for many women is that they haven't set their own goals and priorities. The wants and needs of others drive them.

Here are some additional reasons why women hesitate to set goals:
  • They are not convinced of the value of goals
  • They are so busy coping there is no time to think about goals
  • Goals imply commitment to action
  • Women are busy helping others reach their goals
  • They fear they'll fail to reach goals
  • They fear they'll succeed
  • They don't know how to set goals
Which of the above apply to you? Are you willing to work on overcoming your obstacles? To get where you want to go, you must set your own goals and priorities. Then plan your day with these priorities in mind. Learn to say "no" to requests that are incompatible with these objectives.

When setting goals, you must make them specific, motivating, measurable, attainable, realistic, and have a specific timeframe. What would a goal look like with these attributes? Say you want to loose weight for your high school reunion. Your goal statement might look like this: "My goal is to loose 15 pounds. I will look great and feel good when reuniting with my old friends. I will be a size smaller, so will need to buy new clothes. This goal is within reach because I know how to cut back on my food intake and can fit in 20 minutes a day of exercise. Fifteen pounds is a reasonable weight loss because I have six months before the event."

Goals are necessary both at work and in your personal life. Top priorities are those activities or projects that move you toward your goals. A good question to ask is, "If only one thing could be done today, which activity would be the most important?" Set this as your top priority. Then, if only one additional thing can be done, what is next in importance? Prioritize according to importance, not ease of completion.

You may be waiting until requests from others come in before organizing your day. Then, you schedule your important activities in to the time you have left. A better way to organize is to block out time on your calendar for vital projects and protect those times. Then schedule appointments for the remainder of the time. It is important to occasionally take a timeout to see if you're going where you want to. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Push through adversity


It takes a determined person to hold on to their vision. Push through adversity, it's a sign that things are gonna change!

Need help working through chaos and confusion? SHINE has compassion and enthusiasm for your process and is ready to equip you with tools to manage transition. Connect with us at sahepler@gmail.com.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What are your thoughts on gossip?


I have a friend who just can't wait to share the next juicy bit of scandal about people we know. Sometimes, I have to admit, it's wildly interesting and amazing! Then, I remember how it feels to be the subject of such conversations. Ouch!

Gossip is killing

A few weeks back, my pastor delivered a word about gossip. She pointed out that according to several biblical references, gossip (or backbiting) is as offensive as murder! And, is it not a form of murder? After all, spreading dirt or scandal about another is in essence killing the subject's reputation.

Whether one is whispering a little tidbit about the neighbor or engaging in a salacious smear campaign, talking about another behind their back is demeaning and does not allow the opportunity for defense. We certainly wouldn't do that in a court of law; that is, prosecute without representation. But, we do it everyday to those who we work with and who live in our communities.

Why do we engage in this kind of talk? There must be some powerful stuff there, as we spend all sorts of money on gossip magazines and watch hours of it on television. What is it that keeps us coming back for more?

Knowledge is Power

I've observed that it is powerful stuff to be the first to know something about another. Nobody likes being in the dark. If you don't know, and I do, then I have one up on you. This goes across the board from girlfriends to the evening news.

There are many studies about why people engage in gossip and what the negative consequences are. As a society, we really do know that it is destructive. But, in reality, it is a way of life for many. What should you do when the notorious gossiper says, "I heard it by the grapevine...?"

Stop the smack talk

Try one of these tactics, they are a sure fire way to stop the scandalmonger in their tracks:
  • Find positive ways of sharing with others things that don't require talking negatively about the victim.
  • Ask for verification when you are told something about another person. Trusting that what is said is true without challenging it's authenticity, makes you a partner in perpetuating gossip.
  • If you hear damaging or harmful talk, refuse to listen and politely attempt to stop the speaker.
  • Ask the gossiper if they have anything positive to say about the person they are criticizing.
When we honor others with our words, we live with dignity and without repute. Seriously, classy women (and men!) don't gossip!

Do you have a policy in place addressing talking about others? Backbiting is destructive in the work place. Think about it...and then let your people know what your standards and expectations are.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Loving your gifts and talents


Lately, I've been reading and hearing so much talk about loving yourself -- that it's the first step to loving others, it's the only way to truly be happy in life, and, our success in our jobs and relationships depends on it.

But, what does it mean to love one's self? Some of us have so much bad that's been piled on us from broken childhoods, toxic marriages, demeaning work experiences, and a host of other damaging experiences, that the concept of loving our self seems crazy!

Greedy people suck, literally

First of all, let's say what loving one's self is not. It's not about putting yourself and your needs above or at the expense of another. That isn't love. That's selfishness. Having a greedy attitude with money, attention, power, or any other resource comes from a sense of neediness. And, neediness is not self-loving. Sucking the life out of others is most assuredly not loving others or oneself.

The martyr gives it all away

Also, playing the sacrificial lamb is not self love. Giving away your dreams, position, opinions or any other personal expression is denying yourself of joy and accomplishment. You wouldn't do this to your best friend or someone you cherish. Why would you think to do this to yourself? Never give your life force away without giving to yourself at the same time.

Loving your gifts and talents

Loving yourself, right this very moment, means celebrating the very essence of who you are. The God-created spirit who moves on the earth, who has been formed with gifts and talents built into your very DNA. It's pretty amazing when we think about it; we have ideas, inspirations, dreams, and adventures embedded in us. They are unique, too! Every single one of us has something to offer mankind that only we can deliver.

How does that translate to loving ourselves? 

When you have an innovative approach to how you or your employer does work, finding a way to honor that is loving yourself. When you speak your truth about a subject you know well, you love yourself. When you celebrate your ability to delegate, organize, inspire, envision, nurture or create, you love yourself. Hopefully, you get the picture here -- honoring your uniqueness, acknowledging your gifts and talents, all equate to loving yourself.

What if you don't know those good things

Some of us have been so busy with our noses to the grindstone doing the job or taking care of others, that we have lost the connection to who we are, what our gifts and talents are, and how to live our purpose. You might say that you don't have time for all of this esoteric, touchy-feely stuff. Okay. But, what if I told you by getting to know and love your core self you'd be a more productive business owner/parent/spouse, that you would have more energy, and people would respond to you differently, you probably would take the time, wouldn't you?

Most of us don't do this kind of work well on our own. Some of you think you do, however our blind spots, hurts, and beliefs almost always get in our way. I suggest that you invest in yourself by taking some time with a counselor, coach or consultant. These are professionals trained to help you mine the nuggets of gold deep inside of you.

And, once you know and own those nuggets, you can begin to love your gifts and talents!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Your Thoughts... Your Habits....

“For as a man thinks, so is he.” ~Proverbs 23:7

Have you heard enough yet on the power of your thoughts and words? Are you catching the idea that your brain is exceedingly powerful?


For me the concepts are so exciting. Yet, I have to admit, there's been a gap between concept and actually applying
 it to my real life. I mean, I have habits and ways that I do things.  I find it difficult to see my blind spots and it's uncomfortable to change my very familiar routines. 

I ran into this progression and it's all starting to made sense:
  • You have a thought  
  • You speak the thought  
  • Your words produce an action 
  • You action creates habits  
  • Your habits determine your character  
  • Your character determines your influence and legacy  

Little thoughts, like little choices and actions, are what carry us to our destination. Is it true, what we have in our heads is what we end up becoming?

Hmmmmm....


If it really is so, I have to ask myself these questions:
  • What kinds of images, music, reading materials do I return to over and over again? 
  • What do I talk about with my friends? 
  • What choices and decisions have I really made, rather than just fantasizing about?
  • What garbage thoughts needs to be removed to make room for positive ones?
Today, just for today, I'm deciding to have thoughts that are specifically pointed to what I want and where I need to be. They might just be little thoughts. And, if I keep it up tomorrow and the next day, I'm pretty certain those little thoughts are going to make a difference. 

Your thoughts.... Your Habits.....


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Faith vs. Fear - The Show Down

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
~Mark Twain


What do you fear the most?
Not being respected... not having love... not being listened to... not having financial success...? The list of things people fear is endless, as the things we fear are personal and unique.



The dream thief
I do know that fear is a dream thief. It keeps us shackled and imprisoned in worry, doubt, shame, and a host of nastiness. Fear is real, it is dark, and it is immobilizing. W
hat's the solution? How does one get rid of this evil called fear? How do we get our dreams and joy back? 


It ain't easy!
Believe me, I know it's not as easy as flipping a switch! I've heard those pie-in-the-sky types that claim it's easy to just throw off fear. I say it's not easy at all! It takes courage and resolve to acknowledge one's fear, look it straight in the eye, and say "you will not overcome!" 



Opportunity is knocking
I know that where there is fear there is opportunity. What? Yes! Opportunity to change a situation, change your life, change the world! In each of us we have gifts and a calling to make change for good. Our Creator equipped us individually with qualities and talents specifically for the challenges we face. Fear is the resistance to the glorious humans we were intended to be. 



The power of prayer
When faced with fear, God asks that we call in the big guns. He's there to shed light on His plans for us, to equip us anew with the tools and determination we need to fully and dynamically create the relationships, businesses, missions, and much more, that He planned for us. Know that He won't just step in without permission, you must ask for His powerful and amazing assistance.



Take fear head on 
Look at fear for what it is: an evil dream stealer. When you are equipped with courage and resolve, when you have faith that God is using you for powerful and good, fear recoils and slithers away. 


Let your faith be bigger than your fear! 



Monday, March 19, 2012

Making Your Wish a Goal!




Do you make lists of the things you want? Do you ever journal the dreams you have for a new or better life? Writing out what you intend is a powerful step to moving a thought into reality, be it the day-to-day achievements in the work place or when and when your want to retires.


You say you don't have time to journal or write out goals? Thinking in ink is a way to set where you want to go and to realistically track where you are in your progression. It's a powerful planning tool.


Need some help with this? SHINE is here to get you started. Drop me a note and together we'll set you on the way to making those wishes a reality! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Having "that" conversation

Lately, I've been doing a lot of thinking about why key conversations are so hard for most people. We all know "that" talk you have with someone that you dread, those talks that seem confrontational or tend to be emotional. 



Here are a few tips to have in mind that will keep these difficult conversations manageable:
Steer clear of combat mode
When difficult conversations turn toxic, it's often because we've made a key mistake: we've fallen into a combat mindset. You set up a winner and a loser; who's going to win? Well, you hope it's you! In reality, when this happens, everyone loses. The real enemy is your combat approach.

Its complicated
Think about it, if what you need to talk about was easy, you probably wouldn’t even be worried about the conversation. It’s because there’s a lot going on that you need this chat. Don’t over simplify a bunch of things and ball them up into one little conversation. Remember that if it was simple you wouldn’t be having this conversation. Complicated is ok; just remind yourself of that!

Give a little respect
Respect the person you’re talking to. Respect the problem you're trying to resolve. And, respect yourself. Making sure that you respond in a way you can later be proud of will prevent you from being thrown off course if your counterpart isn't seeing the situation the same way you are.

State what your really want
Fear, anger, embarrassment, defensiveness – any number of unpleasant feelings can course through us during a conversation we'd rather not have. Some of us react by confronting more aggressively; others, by rushing to smooth things over. We might even see-saw between both counterproductive poles. Instead, move to the middle: state what you really want. The tough emotions won't evaporate. But with practice, you will learn to focus on the outcome you want in spite of them.

Avoid taking the bait
Every one has a weak spot. And when someone finds ours – whether inadvertently, with a stray arrow, or because he is hoping to hurt us – it becomes even harder to stay out of the combat mentality. Whatever it is, take the time to learn what hooks you. Just knowing where you're vulnerable will help you stay in control when someone pokes you there.

Get rid of the script
If we're sure a conversation is going to be tough, it's instinctive to rehearse what we'll say. But a difficult conversation is not a performance, with an actor and an audience. Once you've started the discussion, your counterpart could react in any number of ways – and having a "script" in mind will hamper your ability to listen effectively and react accordingly. Instead, prepare by asking yourself: 1. What is the problem? 2. What would my counterpart say the problem is? 3. What's my preferred outcome? 4. What's my preferred working relationship with my counterpart? 

You know what they say about assumptions
We tend to forget that we don't have access to anyone's intentions but our own. Remember that you and your counterpart are both dealing with this ambiguity. If you get stuck, a handy phrase to remember is, "I'm realizing as we talk that I don't fully understand how you see this problem." Admitting what you don't know can be a powerful way to get a conversation back on track.

Keep sight of the goal
Go into conversations with a clear, realistic preferred outcome. Remember how you want your relationship with your counterpart to be. Think carefully about any obstacles that could interfere with either the outcome or the relationship. Remember, "winning" is not a realistic outcome. By doing so, you'll be less likely to get thrown off course by either thwarting ploys or your own emotions.


When we're caught off-guard, we're more likely to fall back into old, ineffective habits like the combat mentality. If you're not the one initiating the tough conversation, or if a problem erupts out of nowhere, stick to these basics:

content clear
tone neutral
phrasing 
temperate

When disagreements flare, you'll be more likely to navigate to a productive outcome – and emerge with your reputation intact.

My thoughts were based on Failure to Communicate: How Conversations Go Wrong and What You Can Do to Right Them by Holly Weeks.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

When you settle, nobody wins

When you settle, nobody wins

What have you settled for because the economy seems to hold you back, your important people have expectations for you, or because your dream seems too big? 


Pay attention to how you feel come Sunday evening. Do you look forward to the new week with all of it's possibilities? Or, do you dread Sunday even coming because it means work the next day!

It's time to put a little thought and energy into what brings you joy. Take time this weekend to journal, discuss with your spouse or friends, or take it to your knees. Then... let's look for ways to make it happen.

Send me an email message with your thoughts and together we can work out a plan to make you SHINE!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Difficult Times?

It's the journey that tests the dream
Times difficult? Are you ready to jump ship? Setting sail is easy. Pulling into port is grand. It's the journey the proves how much you believe in yourself. If your dream is worthy, if you know the goal is good, then hold on with all you have!