Integrity

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As one of the coaches on the Forbes Council, I was asked to share my thoughts about what is an important trait a business could instill in a new salesperson.

My answer was published and I’m happy to share it with you here. “Promise what you know you can deliver and deliver more than you promised! This creates a salesperson who is remembered for going above and beyond. If you know you can't deliver what the client needs, tell them the truth.”

For me, this answer felt authentic and came from my heart, as this is how I practice living my life with my spouse, my kids and my clients.

As I read the responses from the other coaches in the article, I spent time thinking about how important each one of the traits is to any relationship, personal or professional.

I’m sharing the title for each of the 13 answers so you can take a moment and reflect on what role these traits may be playing in your relationships:

  • Quality over quantity
  • Integrity
  • Providing value
  • A consultative mindset
  • Active listening
  • Knowing their boundaries
  • Trust not thrust
  • Authenticity
  • Empathy
  • Customers are assets, not resources
  • Importance of relationship
  • Curiosity
  • Focusing on the experience

These traits could serve as a quick checklist of what may be missing in a relationship when it is feeling a bit rocky.

If you would like to read more, click here for their full answers and article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/11/27/important-traits-any-business-should-instill-in-a-new-salesperson/#3e94e9a02f56

I find life is all about relationships. When I’m working with my clients, it is always about the relationship and being truly present with each other when in conversation.

Creating space to listen and recognize we are more alike than we are different no matter where we are from or what we do.

In a hectic work environment, creating the space without distraction can be a challenge. One tiny tip that has helped many of my clients is simply turning off their computer monitor when someone comes to talk with them. It allows both people to be more present and has changed the quality of the interaction for them.

If you would like to talk more about strategies to improve the relationships in your life or with your team at work, click here to set up a complimentary discovery session with me today.

Indecision

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Indecision…what is it costing you?

Have you ever felt like you were teetering on the fence about what to do? Weighing the pros and the cons until you’ve completely exhausted yourself.

The decision can range from…

  • what to wear for the day to
  • will you have an open honest conversation with your spouse or boss to
  • will you leave your job or
  • will you choose to close your business to take on a new adventure?

It doesn’t matter what the decision is the struggle may feel the same.

I recently had a conversation with an amazing woman who is currently working in a corporate position yet her passion is to open her own online business. She has been waiting for the right time to make her move and hiding her passion to the point that she’s about to explode. It was clear her indecision was costing her joy and time, which she will never be able to get back. So, I asked her, what’s the worst thing that could happen if you just started putting yourself out there?

It was like a relief valve was tripped and the floodgates flew open; she was able to breathe. She had never been able to think about it in that way before.

All of sudden her expression shifted from fear and worry to excitement and possibility. She left the conversation with a plan for what her next steps would be. Forward movement! Yeah!

I get it. There have been several times in my life and in my business where I too was paralyzed by indecision.

Here are a few tips that have helped many of my clients and myself move beyond being stuck into inspired action.

Be curious with yourself. If you decided to …

  • What’s the worst thing that could happen?
  • What’s the best thing that could happen?
  • Which answer would you rather focus on and spend time creating?

Take a few minutes to notice… how you may be judging yourself or where you may be holding back for fear of what someone else might say or think. (Others judging you.)

Judgment…right and wrong…many of the decisions we struggle with have no true right and wrong answer.  I would encourage you to challenge yourself a bit on your perception and thinking. This is a very convenient place to create excuses for not moving forward with what you most desire, however, only you can decide what’s within your realm of acceptance.

What is your indecision costing you? What pending decision has been soaking up your precious energy? Imagine what it would feel like to make the decision and be able to move forward into inspired action.

Test out the questions above and pay attention to how you feel when you answer them. Let me know what you learn from doing this.

If you would like to talk more about being able to make decisions with an increased level of confidence and more quickly, click here to set up a complimentary discovery session with me today. 

Choices

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Fall in New England is spectacular! The trees are covered in a vibrant array of colors and as I pause to admire the beauty, I’m always amazed at the incredible world we live in. The power of the waves, the strength of the howling winds and the quietness of a falling leaf are only a few examples of beauty for today. 

As many of you know, I draw a lot of my energy from nature and when I deprive myself of being outside, I notice a drop in my vibration and my ability to stay connected to what is possible for myself, my business and the world as a whole.

Over the years, I’ve learned how important it is for me to consciously choose to engage in nature each and every day in some way. I actively make a choice to get up out of my chair and walk outside, breathe in the fresh air, reach my hands up to the sky, grab a glass of water and then return to my work.

This choice makes me happy!

As I work with my clients be it a large organization helping them discover how to create more joy in their work environment or an individual business owner navigating big life and business changes, one of the staples to the work is to help them remember they have choices.

In the beginning of the work, there’s always resistance accompanied with a long list of reasons why they can’t possibly do anything different than what they are currently doing. It can be scary to choose to do something different or to think about something in a new way.

However, once they are able to make the tiniest shift and choose a new perspective or a new response to a challenge – the freedom bell goes off and they want to keep testing and learning new ways to create the experience they desire for their day.

Yesterday, as I hung up the phone with one of my clients, I gave a big fist pump in the air and shouted YES!

He shared with me that he now realizes he has the ability to choose to be happy regardless of what is happening around him. He no longer believes it to be out of his reach or control. YES!

I’ve supported this person though big life changes and helping him to see what is possible for himself. He is now faced with amazing opportunities and choices of what the next leg of his journey will be. This is incredibly exciting for him to realize AND it all began with one small choice to do something different.

This same shift is possible for all of us. I invite you to take a moment and reflect on your life…where would you like a different result than what you are currently experiencing?

How willing and ready are you to make a new choice to shift the experience to be more of what you desire it to be? If you’re ready, what tiny action or new perspective will you try out today to get you closer to your desired outcome?

If you would like to talk more about how to create a new experience for yourself or your business, click here to set up a complimentary discovery session with me today.  

Focus

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Have you ever sat at your desk frantically working yet not getting anything finished?

You feel like a jumping bean hopping from one e-mail to the next then a thought comes flying into your head that reminds you to work on your schedule so you dive into planning your schedule for the next week or so and as you do that you remember you need to schedule a physical for your daughter so you go online to book the appointment only to see an ad that catches your eye on the sidebar about the latest tragic news event and you feel compelled to remain current on what’s happening so you click on the link to begin diving into the devastation…

I could go on and on, however, my guess is you get the picture and it feels all too familiar. The stimulation our brain receives in the run of a day can be extremely distracting.

In the past, I carried the badge of honor as an incredible multitasker with immense pride only to now realize just how silly that was! I kept pushing the envelope only to reach the point of not being able to focus for an extended period of time. 

I began researching to learn new strategies to calm my mind and bring myself back to a place of being able to focus and enjoy the task at hand and see it to completion. Wow - what a fabulous feeling!

When I began my research, I thought I would learn high-tech, complicated strategies because it couldn’t be simple or everyone would be doing it. Much to my surprise none of the solutions were complex!

Today, I’m sharing with you the top five strategies that have helped bring me back into creative focus allowing my productivity to soar:

  1. Close out of my e-mail and shut off my phone for 30-minute increments to focus on a large piece of work. Yes, I know it sounds undoable, being out of touch, what if someone needs me, what if ________.
  2. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea during my 30-minute focus session.
  3. Prepare my mind before entering the session by breathing deeply into my stomach and releasing all of the thoughts rattling around in my head. Letting them know I’ll come back to them. I do this while I walk to my desk with my yummy warm beverage of choice.
  4. Here’s a wild card – sometimes I put music on depending on my mood.
  5. If I get creatively stuck during my session, I have two strategies I use:
    1. I get up, stretch and take a brisk 3-second walk around the office.
    2. Crank up the music and dance to move my body and blow out the cobwebs that have slowed the flow of my thoughts.

here are many other evidence-based ways to help you return to focus and be more productive, however, those are my favorites.

How different would you feel if you were able to have more focus in your day?

What strategy might you want to begin with today? Perhaps you have another one that resonates with you a bit more? What is it? When would you like to begin using it? Let me know what you decide.

Remember if you choose not to do anything different than what you are currently doing, the results you are getting will remain the same. So, if you would like to have a different result, what will you do different today to make the shift happen?

Keep in mind, making a decision to shut off e-mail and the phone felt scary and all of the ‘what if’ scenarios ran rampant in my mind. However, I decided to test it out for 30 days to see if it helped. Developing any habit takes practice and repetition. Now, after over a couple of years of practice, the more I do it, the more amazing results it brings.

Let me know what you decide to do to help bring focus back into your day.

If you would like to chat more about focus and what gets in your way, click here to set up a complimentary discovery session with me today.

Focus on What You WANT vs What You Don't Want

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Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.

I ran into an old friend the other day. I was thrilled to see her and was very excited to catch up. When I asked her what was happening in her life, she began sharing with a declaration of busyness (exclaimed by a sigh) and followed with a brief one or two-sentence description about what she had done which was accompanied with a half-smile.

The next segment of the conversation quickly took a deep dive into what she had wanted to do only to be followed by all or the reasons why she hadn’t been able to do them. This turned into focusing on what she didn’t want within her role as a leader at work and as a mom at home. The negative blaming energy was palpable!

Okay you get the picture…by this point as the listener; I was exhausted and searching for the exit. However I paused and asked her, “What do you want your role as a leader to be and how would you like to show up for your kids?”

These two questions shifted the whole tone of the conversation. She sat silent for a few minutes and for those of you who know me, you know I’m completely comfortable with holding the sacred space of silence for people to process and discover their thoughts.

Eventually, she replied, “I’ve never taken time to truly think about what I want either of these areas of my life to be. I’ve always assumed they needed to be what they’ve been in the past.”

This was a huge ah-ha moment for her! She asked me if I could hang out with her for a while. We spent the next few hours digging in and I got to see her full joyous beautiful smile as she began visualizing what could be possible for her as a leader and a mom!

She left with two small action steps to start her journey to living her life based on what’s important to her by focusing on what she wants not what she doesn’t want.

As I drove home I reflected back to a time in my life where I too could only focus on what I didn’t want. I was overwhelmed and wasn’t able to step in to my power of choice and focus my thoughts on what I wanted in my life.

It wasn’t until I made the decision to stop living by default and start living based on what was important to me that was I able to reignite my mojo and own my power of choice to create the life I most desired. I’m incredibly grateful for the skills I learned during that process.

I’m curious as you reflect on your role, as a leader at work or a home, are you operating on autopilot? When was the last time you took time to determine what you want your roles to be in your life?

Here’s a little experiment for you if you want, the next time you hear yourself saying, I don’t want…pause and ask, “Okay, what do I want?” Then start focusing from that perspective. Let me know what changes and what you learn from this experiment.

If you would like to talk more about shifting your roles in your life to be more aligned with what’s important to you, click here to setup a discovery call with me today.
 

Taking Time for the Things That Matter Most to You

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Last week I was able to be fully present in nature with my family and experience all of its exquisite beauty. It felt absolutely amazing!

Stretching out in the kayak while drifting into a tiny cove where a huge osprey was perched high above on a branch protecting his nest and watching a bald eagle soar gracefully through the sky as the sun glistened off the water was one of my favorite moments.

These experiences brought me a deep sense of connection to nature and the universe.  When I’m connected in this way, I have complete clarity about why I do what I do and what’s important in my life.

I wanted to package each of those moments and bring them back with me when I returned to the day-to-day world. So, I let the images imprint in my mind and soak into my bones for a few extra minutes.

Now I’m back in the saddle of running a thriving business and doing all of the tasks it takes to maintain and grow my practice as well as holding sacred space for my clients as they do their work to reach their desires in their life and business.

(…I may be in the saddle, however, I haven’t broken out my cowboy boots yet – still sporting sandals for a few more weeks.)

It’s easy to get sucked in and hunker down and “get busy” again. Then the next thing I know I’m starting to sacrifice the very things that bring me joy. Like being in nature running along the river with my dog - YIKES! Has this ever happened to you?

Now when that happens, I pause, close my eyes and recall the osprey and the eagle moments allowing myself to reconnect to my values and what’s really important to me. In the few seconds I take to do this, I’m able to re-connect with my mojo and bust out of the saddle and go for the run I was too busy for yesterday!

Each day I consciously choose to live my life and run my business based on my values and what is important to me. This choice provides me a way to reflect and be curious about the items on my to do list and the stuff that creates the busy buzz around me. Are they aligned with my values and what’s important to me or did I add them in based on an external pressure?

What about you? Are you choosing how you live your life and run your business based on your values and what’s important to you? Let me know your thoughts.

If you would like to chat more about aligning your life with what’s important to you, click here to set up a discovery call with me today. 

Culture of Safety

Are we learning from each other or are we repeating the same mistakes over again and again?

We’re presented with ample opportunities to learn from each other every day yet many times we choose to view ourselves as being exempt from the experience of another person or company or we classify ourselves as special or different than them. Therefore, the lesson must not apply.

I remember my Mum saying to me, “I wish you could learn this lesson through my experience because it would save you a lot of time and frustration.” Guess what my first thought was? I’m different. Your story and lesson doesn’t apply to me!

Now at her age, I laugh out loud several times a day as I realize how similar our experiences really are! Sound familiar?

I find this to be true in business as well. Over the years working with clients, I’ve noticed how similar their blind spots are. One of the biggest blind spots is being able to cultivate a culture where people feel safe to speak up when bad behavior is occurring.

Recently the coaches in the Forbes Coaches Council were asked to reflect on: “What Uber's Company Culture Crisis Taught Us About Leadership And Management?” I’m thrilled to say my response was selected and published and here’s what I said,

“Creating a culture of safety in the workplace is essential to being able to grow while adapting to change. Establishing a reliable and effective reporting system for employees to use when they experience or witness unjust behavior will help foster a sense of safety to speak up when the bad behavior is occurring. Sweeping it under the rug in hopes it will vanish will eventually ruin the floor.” - Kris McCrea Scrutchfield, McCrea Coaching

What’s the culture like in your business or organization or home? Take a moment to reflect on your answer.

Are people able to speak up and be heard or are the same mistakes happening that sent Uber into a culture crisis?

If you would like to read the thoughts from a few other Forbes coaches, click here to read the full article.

Let me know what resonates for you as you read them.

If you would like to share more about the culture where you are and talk about ways to begin to create a culture of safety where people’s voices are heard, click here and sign up for a complimentary discovery call with me today.  

Email Gobble

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Email…is it gobbling your time?

“You’ve Got Mail!” How many of you remember hearing Elwood Edwards voice and being thrilled to click and read what was inside?

Now in 2017, there are many days we dread opening our email to see the lengthy list of messages from various people.

In the past two weeks, I’ve had several clients ask for support to help them ease the sense of overwhelm they feel regarding email. I can hear the anxiety in their voice as they asked for help.

How about you? What are you feeling about your inbox?

I thought I would share a few tips I’ve used to help me take back ownership of my time and release the death grip of email.

  1. Select times of the day to work on email. For me, it’s early morning, mid-day check in and end of day clean up. Depending on what you do, you may choose to have more or less check-in times and the time of day you choose may vary. The point is not to be involved in email all day. By closing email, it allows you to be present and focus on the main part of your work.
  2. Set a time limit for how long to engage in the activity of email, 15, 30, 60 minutes for each check-in session. You will find the time that works best and it will decrease over time as you “clean” out your current inbox.
  3. Use the timer on your phone to help honor the time limit and when it rings off, wrap up the email you’re working on and close out until the next check-in time.
  4. Keep your inbox a working space containing items in need of a reply.
  5. If you can read and reply to an email in a couple of minutes, do it now and be done with it.
  6. If an email requires more time to respond, flag it and add it to your to-do-list and calendar. This allows you to decide when to reply by. 
  7. Emails you want to save for reference, send them to your archive.
  8. Unsubscribe to distribution lists that you joined and no longer access for information. Have no fear…you can always sign up again if you find you need the information they are sharing.
  9. For the lists you want to continue to receive, create “rules” that will send them directly into a folder. This will allow you the opportunity to read at your leisure.

If you are on team, have a conversation about creative ways to decrease the number of emails sent to each other. For example, instead of sending multiple emails to the same person during the day, is there a way to create one email with several questions in it?

Ask yourself, is email the most effective way to communicate my question or my response? If not, use another mode of communication – phone, face-to-face either in person or virtually or during a regular meeting.

I hope this will help you find more ease in managing your inbox. Let me know how it goes and if you’d like to chat about other ways to find more space in your life for joy, click here to sign up for a complimentary discovery session with me today.

Love and Light

Coming back from the beauty of vacation and being off the gird for seven days has been an exceptionally challenging transition this week given the news we heard as we arrived home. Learning about what had been happening in Charlottesville, NC was frightening and appalling.

My thoughts will be brief this week. Barack Obama’s quote from Nelson Mandela says it all, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion … People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love … For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

I’m committed to keep moving forward in love.

I will continue to challenge myself to speak out when people are being treated unjust or being suppressed. I will stop and lend them a hand.

I will continue to work with business and organizational leaders as they strive to create a safe and just work culture where all employees have the opportunity to thrive.

I will continue to help raise awareness of the subtle ways unjust behaviors show up within each of us, including me and create new ways of thinking and begin to shift the behavior.

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness already devoid of stars.  Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King

I will continue to keep strengthening my muscle and push for positive change one small step at a time.

Will you join me? What will you do today to move yourself closer to love for one another?

If each person takes one small courageous step each day, we will change the world and shift it closer to love and light where hate will be extinguished.

If you want to talk about how to create movement toward love and light in your life click here and sign up for a complimentary discovery session with me. 

Re-Ignite Your Mojo

I’m thrilled to be starting vacation on Saturday! Taking a week to completely unplug and, go off the grid with my family to recharge my batteries and re-ignite my mojo.

What the heck is mojo you ask? It has African roots and it brings inspiration. I define Mojo as the internal light that each of us are born with. It's the nectar that attracts the bee. It's the innate quality that makes you, YOU! When your light is shining you are successful and full of energy!

Deborah Mulhern, clinical psychologist of Bethesda, MD, says, “Neuroscience is showing us that we require down time in order for our bodies to go through the process of restoration. It is only when we are safe from external stresses that our bodies can relax enough to activate restoration.” As I read this I began identifying what I would define as an external stressor.

Here’s my list of stressors I will be leaving behind for a week of R & R:

  • My e-mail

  • My lengthy to-do list

  • The internet

  • TV & radio

  • The news

As I help set up camp on the rocky point with an absolutely breath taking ocean view, I’ll embrace nature with all it’s beauty as well as the hazards of poison ivy. A while later, while listening to a few favorite tunes, I’ll cook dinner over the fire, ahhh heaven on earth!

I find taking dedicated time off is vital to maintaining my positive perspective on life. Francine Lederer, another clinical psychologist from LA says, "The impact that taking a vacation has on one's mental health is profound."

As the ocean wind blows across our campsite it takes with it all of the worries and stale thoughts from my mind, which are replaced with fresh ideas as the sun crests over the horizon and rises high in the summer sky.

There will be plenty of time for a hike or a kayak ride and a long rest in the hammock reading one of my favorite books. Right now, you could catch me soaking in the words of Marc Lesser. His new book Know Yourself, Forget Yourself is amazing.

Marc is a revolutionary leader who helped form the culture at Google and many other wildly successful companies.  I continue to grow and learn from him and others everyday on how to best lead myself first then lead others in transforming their culture to a place where people can thrive.

One of his lessons is learning to take quiet time and that’s what I’m signing up for the next 10 days! When I return, I’ll be more productive and have a stronger zip in my step to be able to serve my clients better.

There are more and more studies coming out demonstrating the benefits of unplugging from work and as an entrepreneur it is tough, however necessary to the growth of my business.

The benefits to employers when employees take time completely away from work are staggering! Increased health and wellness, increased productivity, happier overall! The ROI (return on investment) is there…so what are you waiting for? Block your calendar and go sign up for time off now!

What stressors will you leave behind?

Where will you go to unplug and get quiet for a while?

What will you do?

I almost forgot to mention one of my most favorite things to do…play games on the picnic table with my family!

Let me know what you decide. Have a blast while living a life you truly love!

If you’d like to chat more about how to recharge your batteries, click here to set up a complimentary discovery call with me today and we can chat when I return. In the meantime, enjoy!

Freedom

Freedom as defined by Oxford dictionary, “The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint." Best known as independence!

As a US citizen, this week has been an exciting reminder of how important freedom is to all of us, yet it has also revealed to me areas in life where we give that sacred power away.

Over the last few days, I’ve been curious with myself wondering, “Where am I feeling resistance or being hindered in my thinking, speaking or actions?”

Just like a lighting bolt, the answer came flashing into my mind, which was eye opening for me!

I continued with my curiosity, (Yes, sometimes I think my name is George and I’m wearing a suit of brown fur with a grin running across my entire face!) I wondered what was creating the resistance and holding me back in this particular area?

My answer was the fear of not producing a perfect outcome! Yikes, this discovery stopped me dead in my tracks! After all I work with clients every day supporting them to grow the confidence to just start their journey and leave the notion of perfection behind.

Funny thing, I realized somewhere along the way I created a formula to get the perfect outcome for this project. My formula felt complicated so I kept postponing the start. Waiting for the “right” time!  

Based on what I learned, I’ve decided to redefine perfect to mean, “thinking, speaking and acting to the very best of my ability today and as I learn and grow this will change over time.” I’ve broken down the formula into small bites so I can start today!

Doing this reframe has sparked another level of untapped energy and potential for what is yet to come in my life and business. Ahhhh, a new higher level of freedom! Independence!

Now, back to you…where are you not being as free in your life as you would like to be and what is holding you back?

 

Let me know what you discover. If you’d like to talk about creating more freedom in your life, click here to sign up for a complimentary discovery call with me today.

Experiential Learning

Develop confidence in your life and business through experiential learning.

Growing up on a farm, experiential training was how I learned to do things. I didn’t attend a class or listen to a lecture. I got my hands, and most of the time my entire body, dirty to learn how to do what needed to be done.

I was constantly observing what was happening around me and my dad would try to take time to explain what do to, however, there would be times when that wasn’t possible. So, I would make a decision to try the plan I thought would work best to resolve the challenge. Well, sometimes it was perfect and other times I needed to adjust it a bit and yes, there were times I needed to start completely over. The next steps were based on what I learned.

As humans, we have five senses to gather oodles of information and deliver it to our unique powerhouse processor stored between our ears. Learning to use our senses through experience can be a transformative way to build confidence in our ability to create a solution and learn a new craft or skill.

The college path I choose was in healthcare. After sitting through the lecture, using my ears to learn how to do a procedure, I would then go into the clinical setting to observe and do, which is where the other four senses kicked into gear. The motto at the time was, “see one, do one, teach one.” Once again, hands on learning through experience.

I continue to use this model of learning in all aspects of my life as a business owner, Mum, and wife. I teach and support my clients through experiential learning as they test out their new ideas, processes and ways of being in the world.

The clients I work with experience ah-ha moments and transformation when they are dipping their toes in the water and trying out new ways of thinking and doing.

Many times we wait until we think we have the “perfect” idea to start. This reminds me of an Arthur Ashe quote, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

What idea or change have you been waiting to try either in your business or life?

As you may know, I was invited to join the Forbes Coaches Council, and as a member, I was recently chosen to contribute to an article: Why Experiential Learning Should Be Part of Employee Training. The information in the article may provide you the confidence to move forward and integrate experiential learning within your business and/or life.

Here’s my thought contribution from the article:

Why Experiential Learning Should Be Part of Employee Training

Tip #1: It Moves Us Beyond Theory

Experiential learning provides an opportunity for continuous learning and improvement. Learning by doing provides the learner with instant feedback and the ability to reflect on what to keep doing, what to tweak and repeat, or what to change altogether. It's a great way to test competency to know if additional support would be helpful to create success for the learner. It moves us beyond theory.” 
– Kris McCrea Scrutchfield, PCC, www.McCreaCoaching.com

Please check out the other highly valuable tips shared in the article by 9 other coaches in the Forbes Council.

I trust this will help you navigate next steps to take. If you would like to chat more about how to move into the testing phase of your idea or change you’d like to make, click here to set up a free discovery session with me today.  

Returning to Basics

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a common thread in many workplaces and in personal relationships. It’s the absence of using please and thank you with each other.

Imagine how you would feel today if someone took the time to say thank you for something you did and/or they included please when asking you to do something. These three simple words create a positive impact for both the giver and receiver of the message. They demonstrate appreciation and gratitude.

In today’s fast paced-world it’s important to take time to say thank you in a sincere way and not abbreviate the recognition we give to others to just “thanks”.

I think back to when I learned to write my first thank you note and I was taught to identify what I was thanking the giver of the gift for and why it will be helpful to me e.g. “Dear Gram, thank you for the beautiful mittens. They’ll help keep my hands warm when I’m outside playing with my friends.”

This writing lesson plays an important role in the workplace and in our relationships. As humans, we like to be recognized and noticed for the extra things we do and it has a greater impact if the recognition feels sincere and has meaning to it. Try including what and why when you are saying thank you to someone today.

I once worked with a physician who would write on the white board in the morning, “Please and thank you for everything you do all day today.” This small gesture produced warm smiles from our entire team throughout the day.

Watch the reaction you receive from your kids when you thank them for what they did today. Remember to be specific, “Thank you for doing the dishes, it means a lot to me.”

Taking time to notice the good and recognizing it will shift your energy. Share a friendly thank you wave to someone when they make room for you to pull out into traffic.

I love to see the smile that occurs when I say thank you to someone and recognize him or her and what he or she is doing. Let me know what you notice as you increase the frequency of using please and thank you. 

If you would like to chat about how you can make appreciation and gratitude a bigger part of your life, click here to sign up for a complimentary discovery call with me today
 

Rejuvenate

Summer hit Maine this weekend! We went from 50 degrees to 94 degrees overnight! Once I felt the intense heat, it reminded me of a promise I made myself in the fall of last year. The promise was to take more time off to soak in the beauty of the summer and go to the water more.

On Monday, I reviewed my calendar and blocked out time for sun and fun! By doing this it provides me time to recharge my batteries so I can be fully present with my clients. It also allows my creativity to kick in to determine what’s next for my business. How will I continue to grow and evolve into the next version?

I know it sounds a bit counter-intuitive – take more time off to grow your business…however, it works. If you are employed in a company, the time off will help you show up as your best self and produce your finest work.

Many of us intellectually know this, however sometimes we fall into the trap of “needing to feel important or essential to operations” and the story we tell ourselves sounds something like, “_______needs me, so I can’t possibly take time away.”

When the truth may be, ________ would probably benefit more if I were rested, rejuvenated and connected to my goals and work instead of exhausted, drained and at my wits' end.

Here’s my challenge for you, take a glance as your summer calendar, what does it look like? Where could you block some time to do something you enjoy? You may need to be creative in finding ways to do this e.g. move a meeting, reschedule a client, work late one day to finish a project.

Let me know how you make space to rejuvenate. If you would like to talk more about how to create space in your life to align with the lifestyle you most desire, click here to sign up for a complimentary discovery session with me today.

Paradox

Imagine if you were able to dedicate time to engage in an activity where you were overjoyed and felt fully alive.  You didn’t think about your goals or the next strategies you were going to implement to reach your goals.

During this time you were able to flick a switch and dive into something directly connected to your heart.  In this space, you could color outside the lines and the flowers could be any color you desired. Your actions were inspired and filled with joy.

My guess is for some of you the mere thought of doing this creates anxiety within you. Cause you have *$*# to do on your checklist for the day! I get it!

Growing a business or leading a group of people takes tons of energy and focus. The more energy and focus you contribute the more success you appear to have until one day you’re tapped out. Completely drained, yet the go to thought is, “If I can just focus on this…it will be okay.” So you try your best to buck up and focus.

As humans we are created to experience and embrace the world of paradox; however, we often choose to avoid these experiences due to the uncomfortable feeling it creates. After all who wants to do the opposite of what feels so cozy and comfy?

The opposite of focused is unfocused…head vs heart…drive vs flow…swimming upstream vs floating down a calm river on a beautiful sun filled day.

I’m curious, if you were to look at what your day is filled with today and you were to do the opposite of that for one hour this week, what would it be? What have you wanted to do for a while and simply haven’t found the time?

This is an opportunity to make time vs waiting to find the time. Block one hour and do the thing that brings you joy and connects you to your heart. Clearly, this will be very different for each person

When I viewed my calendar and reflected on what I’m doing and thought about what the opposite of that would be, I got really excited. This exercise helped me take action and enroll in a program to bring more music into my life on a consistent basis. No more waiting and trying to find the time! I made a decision, made the time by blocking my calendar and I’m on my way to enjoying a different experience.

What paradox could you introduce in your life? Let me know what you decide and if you’d like to talk more about what that could be, click here to sign up for a complimentary discovery session with me today. 

What's in Front of You?

Learning to notice what’s in front of you.

My thoughts today will be brief to match the fabulous short workweek.

On the weekends, I love to go for a trail run along the river with my husband and our dog. About a mile and a half in is a huge beautiful rock high up on the riverbank with a roaring group of rapids below.

In the spring, this is an excellent spot to rest and watch osprey fish from their perch high in the trees. This past weekend, we were there and I kept looking way up in trees and down the river in search of the gorgeous birds. Getting a bit disappointed I wasn’t seeing them, I started to put my head down. Much to my surprise, there were four of them directly across the river almost at my eye level!

Instantly, I felt a rush of excitement to be able to relax and watch them for a while. As I was soaking in their movements I began to wonder, where else in my life am I too busy looking beyond or past exactly what I want to see or have?

As a successful entrepreneur, I set goals for myself every day so I can create the level of business I desire. The key is to be able to live in the present and not get too focused on the future. I want to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the experience I’m in today.

I’m curious; where in your life or business might you be looking too far down river for what you most want? How might this be preventing you from being completely present today in case what you want is right in front of you?

Let me know what crossed your mind as you read the question above. If you would like to talk more about becoming present in your life and business, click here to set up a complimentary discovery call with me today. 

Beyond Just Thinking

Move Beyond Thinking

Happy Thursday! I hope you are experiencing the week in a way that feels amazing.

I have a hunch you may be counting down the hours until the weekend! Let’s do a quick check in. If you were to rate your stress and happiness levels on a scale of 1-10 (1=none at all; 10=over the top), what would your numbers be? What do the numbers tell you? Are they what you would like them to be?

I get it.  I used to move through the week, trying my best to multitask to meet the impending deadlines. Allowing the stress to build and build while making decisions to work late instead of going for a run.  One day blended into the next until my internal candle was blown out.

Making new choices is hard, however we have one life. One.  I reached the point where finding a new way to live my one life was crucial.

I had to stop. Feel really uncomfortable in the stillness. Learn to BE in the quiet and still presence of me. HOLY…uncomfortable!

My mind needed to rest so it could move into a place of imagination and creativity. Where I could begin to think about what was truly possible for me.

Imagine the door creaking open to a world of possibility for you! What would you see…hear…smell…taste and feel?

I can hear you saying, I don’t’ have time for that *#@^! And that’s okay. I simply want to invite you to consider taking a few minutes of your day to set your mind free and allow it to daydream and be curious.

Once your mind has a chance to slow down, it will create ideas for you to explore.

Learning to do this was incredibly valuable, and yes at times challenging, for me. What’s the saying, “No pain no gain”?

I’m curious, when is the last time you took time to do the thing you love most either by yourself or with someone close to you?  My guess is the mere thought of doing this brought a smile to your face or generated warmth inside you.

Take advantage of this feeling and get your calendar out and block out time every week to do this; it will help bring you back to a sense of connection.

The additional bonus of incorporating these two practices into your life is you may find yourself being able to accomplish more than before and you may find you are able to do it with more ease and less frenzy.

I know taking time to walk and run trails near the water with my husband and our dog Winston every week helps keep me stay connected with my one life and purpose. When I get pulled off track, that’s the time I’m able to re-align my thoughts and gain perspective to continue to move forward.

These practices can help give you back your power of choice and provide you the space to start living with purpose and being deliberate in how you spend your time instead of giving your precious energy to everything and everybody.

These concepts will help you in whatever you do for work as well. “The Making of a Corporate Athlete” in the Harvard Business Review reminds us we are more than cognitive thinking machines.

In order to thrive and live our best one life, we must weave our emotional, physical and spiritual components into our daily experience. Finding a way to share the space with our mental thinking powerhouse.

Let me know how you are creating space in your life. If you’d like to talk about how to create transformation in your life, click here to schedule a complimentary discovery session with me today.

In the meantime, I encourage you to live and love your one life starting today! 

Inspiration Led Action

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Your inspirations, where could they take you?

When is the last time you were inspired and then followed it with consistent action to breathe life into your inspiration making it a part of your experience?

You get the hit, the thought comes flying into your mind, and it creates a feeling of excitement within you. It feels amazing and powerful, then all of a sudden…BAMB!  Your thoughts turn into chaos!

Those amazing feelings are immediately exchanged with doubt, worry and self-sabotage statements. I know them all…what will people think, this will never work, who will buy this, the team is not capable of doing this, things will never change, etc.

You continue the lecture to yourself until you reach the point of releasing the inspiration and continue on with what you’ve always done. It’s the crazy rollercoaster ride.

When this happens you miss the opportunity to further develop your idea and test it.  The testing phase is where the action happens which goes hand in hand with learning more about your idea so you can tweak it and make it even better. Instead, it simply gets shut down.

Imagine if you were able to change your response to your idea(s). What if you were able to take small action steps to learn more about the idea? What if you were able to keep adjusting your idea until it transformed into your dream?

If Thomas Edison and Henry Ford had allowed their inspiration to be snuffed out with doubt and worry about what others thought, we would be sitting home in the dark every day!

Instead, they moved through their uncomfortable doubts to develop their ideas to get them to a point where they could be tested, morphed, tested again, again, and again until they reached success!

Edison once said, “I find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, in the work that precedes what the world calls success.”

Imagine if you were to find joy in exploring your idea, learning more about it. Take a moment…recall one of the inspirational ideas that ignited a fire within you. As you recall the idea, imagine the idea being wildly successful. Feels awesome, right? Now, what small action step could you take today to get you closer to what you see?

Keep climbing and create success one step at a time, learning and shifting as you go. I’d love to hear about your journey, let me know what ideas you’re pursuing and what you’re learning. If you find yourself stuck or giving your ideas over to doubt and worry, click here to set up a discovery call with me today.

5 Powerful Questions for Reflection & Learning

Life is jammed packed with daily experiences; some feel amazing while others result in turning your face beet red. Each one provides a wealth of information to help you learn. The key is to take a few moments to reflect on what sparked your reaction to the experience.

John Dewey reminds us, “We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.”

Reflection is a critical skill in both your personal and professional life and without it growth becomes impossible.

A few years ago I created a daily reflection practice, which has been very beneficial in helping me identify thoughts or behaviors I want to celebrate and do more of as well as ones that I would like to change or do less of.

One of the hidden benefits of doing this practice on a daily basis has been an increased level of confidence in my ability to create effective sustainable change in my life and business.

This is a practice I teach and support my clients to embrace. When an individual or team of people are afforded the time to honestly reflect on what’s working and what’s not, it creates a powerful space for them to move beyond where they are to what could be possible.

One of the guiding principles needed for this to be successful is a safety zone free of judgment where you can share your thoughts. Yes, that means not judging yourself or others! Simply be curious.

Don’t wait for a crisis to reflect on what went wrong! There is ample power in reflecting on what went right or felt amazing. It builds courage and confidence to continue doing it.

I’d like to share a series of questions I use when helping people create their reflection practice:

  1. What felt great today?
  2. What didn’t feel so great?
  3. What do I (we) think created this?
  4. How might I (we) think about this differently?
  5. What change could I (we) test tomorrow to create a different result or experience?

I know it’s tough to dedicate and preserve the time to do this when the pressure to do more keeps growing within the world we live, however, a recent study by HEC Paris Professor of Strategy and Business Policy Giada Di Stefano shows that to stop and think is not a waste of time, and would help us to be 23% more productive.

Imagine what you could do…with increased confidence and productivity. Over the years, this practice has helped me grow my business and keep a healthy perspective with forward movement even when my day feels a bit bumpy.

If you decide to try this powerful practice, let me know what shifts for you.

If you would like to talk more about creating a reflection practice for yourself or in your place of work, click here to sign up for a complimentary discovery session with me today.

Knowledge & Alignment

Wow, I hit my first spring pothole this morning! Bang and my car now drives as if it has a mind of its own, pulling to the left even though I’m steering straight ahead.

Have you ever felt you were being pulled off course after an event occurred in your life? Or maybe it’s so subtle you don’t notice the constant pulling until one day you wake up with a nagging sensation and a screaming voice inside of you telling you something is off and needs to be changed.

This ah-ha moment may generate a feeling of panic. You may become filled with questions about what to do next or how to find the path back to who you are and what you are meant to do in your life.  All you know is there is an urgency because what you are experiencing feels awful.

What on earth could create such a feeling? Maybe it’s time to change careers! Maybe you’re ready to shake it up a bit, stretch yourself and grow into the next best version of yourself. You may have known this for a while yet kept pushing it aside.

Does the idea of leaving the comfort of what you know, the familiar, in your current role to move into the unknown stop you dead in your tracks? I get it! I too woke up one morning, in a panic and sweating knowing I wanted to make a change, yet I was paralyzed by the fear of the unknown.  

Based on my own journey and the experiences of many of my clients, I want to share with you three key components to build courage and alignment to be able to move past the fear into the next phase of your career.

  1. Discover and connect to your passion. When you are aligned with your passion you will have more energy and focus to pursue the next step. You may have more than one passion and that’s awesome!
  2. Honor your values. When you are clear about who you are and how you choose to live your life, you are able to sort through the many options available to you and select one that will create forward movement for you as a whole person.
  3. Remain open to possibility and keep your mindset positive. By keeping your mind open and in a positive state you are more likely able to see opportunities as they present to you.

Number 3 is by far the most challenging! The state of your mind will bring your results. If you are not satisfied with the result you are getting, take a moment to look in the mirror and shift your energy by focusing on what you want, not what you don’t want.

Yes, focus on what you want! Get yourself fully aligned with what you desire and what you want to experience in the next phase of your career.

  • What do you want the work in your new role to be focused on?
  • What type of people would you like to interact with?
  • What would your most productive work environment look like?

Okay, you get the picture. These are only a few of the dots to help you draw a clear picture of what could be next for you. Knowledge is power and when you know what you want, it helps you avoid the potholes and distractions causing you to drift off your course. As you begin to discover your answers to these questions, let me know where you are in your journey. If you are stuck in the muck of fear and would like to set up a time to chat about what is possible for you, click here to set up a complimentary discovery session with me today.