Featured Posts

Listening BlocksListening Blocks Having spent more than 20 years training business people in listening skills, Richard Anstruther and his team of communication experts at HighGain, Inc., have identified five...

Read more

The Importance of Follow-ThroughThe Importance of Follow-Through Whether you’re learning to swing a golf club, baseball bat or tennis racquet, coaches always emphasize the importance of follow-through. It’s not just hitting the ball...

Read more

Cultivating Serenity in the Workplace and BeyondCultivating Serenity in the Workplace and Beyond The serenity prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous says that the key to serenity is accepting what you cannot change, changing what you can, and possessing the wisdom to know the...

Read more

Speak Like a ProSpeak Like a Pro There are numerous books on public speaking, all offering valuable information and different angles on the topic. To speak like a pro, keep these tips in mind: Plan Start...

Read more

Benefits of Laughter at WorkBenefits of Laughter at Work Stronger Connections Laughter breaks down barriers, builds relationships and allows for better communication among coworkers. People with a sense of humor often have the...

Read more


Ways to Practice Gratitude

Posted on : 12-04-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


•  Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.

•  Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.

•  Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.

•  Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.

•  When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.

•  Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

Is Gratitude A Blindly Optimistic Approach?

Posted on : 11-04-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. What’s on your list?

Accessing the Power of Gratitude

Posted on : 10-04-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Top 10 Ways to Cope with Job Transition

Posted on : 09-04-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


Job transitions can be stressful—whether they’re due to layoff, a new job or working extra hours because others workers were laid off. If you’re facing one, consider the following.

1. Take an honest look at yourself. What are your strengths, weaknesses, skills? How did those influence—positively or negatively—your transition?

2. Step up your self-care. Major changes are physically and emotionally taxing. You need self-care now more than ever.

3. Engage your curiosity. What went wrong, or right? What could you have done better? What worked really well?

4. Focus on what you want, and less on what you don’t want. Keep your eye on the prize.

5. Find support. Since your transition affects your family as well, it may be better to seek the outside support of friends or professionals.

6. Work on your thoughts. Calm your fears and reinforce your sense of hope and happiness.

7. Reassure those who are threatened by, or jealous of, the change.

8. Create your own rite of passage. Ceremony and ritual help with all transitions.

9. Let go of how things were “supposed to be” and accept “how things are.” Find appreciation for what is.

10. Keep things in perspective. Or try on a new perspective. Don’t get stuck. Remember, the only constant is change.

Qualities of Leadership

Posted on : 27-03-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


Because leadership is inextricably connected to who we are deep down, every leader has a different style. Some lead with their eccentric, charismatic selves on full, charming display. Other leaders bear no banners and sound no trumpets. But the inner qualities that make for effective leadership remain constant among all types of leaders:

Positive attitude. Leaders know they can alter their lives by altering their minds. Self-discipline, a sense of security and confidence blossom in the presence of a positive attitude.

A drive for learning—from others, from opportunities, from mistakes. Those who stop learning, stop growing.

Unwavering commitment. No great leader has ever lacked commitment. True commitment requires and inspires courage, passion, focus, initiative and responsibility.

Communication. Sharing knowledge is essential; even more important is listening. As President Woodrow Wilson said, “The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.”

Interest in others. The best leaders thrive on helping others achieve their personal best; they are motivated by a desire for the highest good for all rather than personal glory.

Imagine a world full of everyday leaders.

Leadership as a Way of Life

Posted on : 26-03-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


Too often, we believe that leadership is the domain of those with recognized authority, and the title to go with it: CEOs, association presidents, conductors, mayors.

“In a world that is changing as rapidly as this one, we need to think differently about leadership,” says Susan Collins, author of Our Children Are Watching: Ten Skills for Leading the Next Generation to Success. “Leading is not done by those few in high places, but by parents and teachers and managers and those governing—all working together to create the world that we want.”

When we dare to stand up for our beliefs or to follow through on our big dreams and ideas, when we act as though what we say and do in the world matters—matters greatly—we are leading.

In other words, leadership is a way of life, an expression of our fullest and best nature, our unique gifts. And it starts on the inside.

“Everything rises and falls on leadership,” writes John C. Maxwell, in his book The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. “If you can become the leader you ought to be on the inside, you will be able to become the leader you want to be on the outside.”

Everyday Leadership: It’s An Inside Job

Posted on : 23-03-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


David sparked a fruitful conversation around waste when he gently asked the cafeteria manager at his workplace whether food might be served without unnecessary containers or wrapping, unless requested.

Susan worked a whole year to bring a group of high school students from New Zealand to the United States to train other students in an effective form of peer mediation.

William began a weekly meeting for men at his church to fill the need for fellowship and support beyond the annual men’s retreat.

Nobody is likely to write a book about David, Susan or William. But these everyday leaders are creating just as much impact in their workplace, family and community as the captains of industry and politics described in the pages of New York Times bestsellers.

Indeed, the challenges and opportunities of today’s marketplace—of today’s world!—require that we all step forward and lead every day, become our own captains and find more of our own personal best to give to the world.

Top 10—Team Support

Posted on : 22-03-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


A leader’s job is to ensure that the highest level goals of the organization are realized. As long as you are committed to the success of the group, you are leading. Below are 10 ways to support your “team,” whether that is a formalized project team or an informal grouping of employees.

1. Set direction; don’t give directions. Trying to tell everyone what to do is micromanaging, not leading.

2. Ask yourself the question: “Is what I’m doing helping the group to succeed?” Ask the group, too. If the answer is no, stop!

3. Remind the group why it exists. A team’s charter can sometimes get lost.

4. Align your team. Once goals are clear, help everyone match their part of the job to the goals.

5. Ask questions. Explore with real curiosity the link between members’ actions and the team’s goals.

6. Get out of the way. Stop being dazzled by your own brilliance. Let go and trust the power of teamwork.

7. Keep an open mind. Sometimes what looks like insanity may make a great deal of sense.

8. Make it easy for team members to get their jobs done. Take out the trash or order a pizza, if necessary.

9. Choose your battles wisely. They’re a poor use of time. Issues that seem critical now often aren’t in the long run.

10. Spend time with your team. You’ll learn how to support them much better than by being aloof and alone in your office.

Turning “Feedback” into “Food for Thought

Posted on : 21-03-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


Taking the dread out of receiving feedback can happen with as little as a simple twist of words (“I wonder what’s going to happen” instead of “I worry about what’s going to happen”) and a slight shift in beliefs (“All feedback is a gift”). Here are some guidelines that can help transform feedback into food for thought:

Track your own reactions. Recognize your emotions and responses. What body sensations, thoughts, emotions arise? Recognize that whatever arises in your mind is your own responsibility. It is not the other person’s fault you are responding as you are. You get to choose how you think and how you respond. When we own our own reaction, it opens the way for genuine communication with the other person.

Get support. Though it may be difficult to identify, you may feel inhibited and ashamed upon hearing feedback that requires change. Ask trusted friends to listen, encourage and offer suggestions. Work with a coach. Even in settings in which people are expected to be self-reliant (such as many jobs), it’s nearly impossible to make significant change without such encouragement.

Listen with an open mind and heart. Begin by acknowledging that the perception of the person giving feedback is the reality that needs to be looked at. Without confirming or denying the perception of that person, simply listen and take in what he or she has to say.   

Change defensiveness to curiosity. Don’t explain or defend yourself. It may be appropriate to bring the subject up later, if explanations are appropriate. For now, though, say the three magic words: “Tell me more!” What has the person giving you feedback observed? What does that person expect or want you to do differently? Don’t assume you know what the other person means…ask questions to clarify your understanding.

Regard all feedback as an act of generosity. Feedback can help you recognize habitual styles that may need to change. It can help you reexamine how you are living your life. It is a wonderful gift. Consider offering sincere appreciation for to the bearer of feedback, even acknowledging how difficult it may have been to deliver the news.

Focus on the message not the packaging. There may be times when feedback is given harshly or by someone with whom we struggle, or there is a mixture of truth and personal distortion in what we are told. Forget about what package the message comes in; what is the message? How can you penetrate to the truth contained in the feedback? What can you learn? Contemplation is a critical step to integrate the message.

Reframe the feedback. When we put feedback in a positive light, negative emotions and responses lose their grip. For example, you could see the feedback on your presentation as a way to improve your chances of promotion, leading you to improve your skills in various ways. Or, the feedback may point you to greater personal success in a position that does not require presentation skills.

The bottom line: Taking feedback to heart puts you in control and takes you out of helplessness. It may require ruthless self-honesty and a little detective work, but the payoff is high.

Practice Cultivating Curiosity

Posted on : 20-03-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


Practice Cultivating Curiosity

Here are some ways to cultivate a more curious life.

Questions. Practice asking questions with openness and neutrality. Practice with strangers in stores and with people close to you. Stop thinking you know all the answers…be open to being surprised!

Inquiries. An inquiry is an open-ended question designed to broaden your perspective. For example: “What would make life a daring adventure for me?” “Where in my life do I assume I already know?”

Assumptions. These impact how we treat strangers as well as loved ones. Challenge your assumptions by asking, “What if that’s not true?” What other choices might you make then?

If you truly want to expand your excitement, joy and fulfillment in life and relationship, sprinkle doses of curiosity and watch your life become the fabulous adventure it can be!

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.