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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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I Am Alive!

Posted on : 23-01-2013 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


Clean Up the Loose Ends

Posted on : 22-01-2013 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


David Allen, author of Ready for Anything, points out how crises typically arise because secondary priorities have been neglected. He suggests working on unfinished tasks to open up your creativity. It’s more difficult to focus on the bigger, more urgent tasks when you’re painfully aware of ongoing but necessary projects that you never seem to start, such as reorganizing your files, catching up with your accounting, or updating your phone book. So set aside some time—even if it’s just an hour or two a week—to work on these longer term, but less urgent projects. Just don’t let these tasks become distractions from working on the bigger picture goals.

Shattering the creativity/organization myth

Allen talks about how many people believe that if they’re organized they can’t be as creative. As if having too much structure limits one’s artistic expression. But every form of art needs structure. A painting or a photograph needs composition. Each individual scene in a screenplay needs to work with each other as a whole. The truth is, your creative capacity actually expands when you give it structure. That’s because when you’re organized, you actually know what to do and how to do it—as opposed to having all these wonderful, but unrealized, ideas bumping around in your head.

On Conversations and Courage

Posted on : 21-01-2013 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


What Are You Growing?

Posted on : 18-01-2013 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


I am putting my attention on __________.


Posted on : 17-01-2013 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


We can learn all the self-management tricks in the book, but none of them will be worth a dime if we don’t follow through and use them. That’s where self-discipline comes in. There’s no easy, painless way to www.point-coinstar.com enforce self-discipline, but if we don’t utilize it, we will be left forever unfulfilled.

Brian Tracy, one of the world’s top business speakers and author of 35 books on business and personal productivity, offers some very simple advice: Simply start doing what you know you need to do. Stop pushing it off for later. Once you start seeing the results active self-discipline yields, the desire for the payoff begins to become greater than your resistance to taking action.

To more easily promote successful self-discipline, Covey and Tracy suggest breaking down tasks into smaller chunks and then simply focusing on taking the first steps. This way all your tasks and goals won’t feel so overwhelming, which makes it easier to take action.

Creating Habits

Posted on : 16-01-2013 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


What habits are you working on creating?

Increasing Personal Productivity

Posted on : 15-01-2013 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


Often it seems we’re so busy putting out daily fires that we don’t ever get to accomplish anything of real significance—those things that would make us happiest in the long run. Life becomes something to “get through” instead of an exciting path to greater fulfillment.

The efficiency of technology only increases the pressure we feel to do even more than ever before. All of it leaves us feeling too busy and robbed of a sense of accomplishment. So what can we do to increase personal productivity? Below are some tips to help you to get more done in less time—and do what you really want to be doing.

Mission Possible

Often busy-ness is a cover for not really knowing what’s the best thing to be doing. To get around this, you have to know what your priorities are in the moment. To determine this you need know what your larger life priorities are.

Stephen R. Covey, best-selling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, suggests writing a personal or organizational mission statement, a statement that summarizes your higher purpose and goals in life. Here’s an example:

To create a balanced, healthy and value-driven life by creating nurturing relationships and guiding others to see their full potential through my work as a therapist.

Without a mission, you won’t be able to say no to tasks. You can only know what to say no to when you know what to say yes to first.

Create a New Habit

Posted on : 14-01-2013 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


Put it on a screen saver. Create pop-up reminders on your Western union money transfer smart phone. Print it out and put it in your wallet. Use anything that works for you.

Goal Setting Matters

Posted on : 30-10-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


Athletes set goals to win competitions. Students set goals to graduate. Business owners set goals to increase revenue.

From everyday “to-do” lists to New Year’s Resolutions, goal setting is part of the human experience. People have always needed something to strive for—something upon which to focus energy and effort.

So, if goal setting is so ingrained in our nature, why are most people so bad at it? Perhaps it’s the way we approach it. Try the following ideas to gain a fresh perspective on setting your goals.

How to Get Better at Setting (and Reaching) Goals

Size matters. Too many big goals can overwhelm. Incorporating the “half marathon approach” (starting small) helps “build the muscles” necessary for bigger challenges. Try limiting big-ticket goals to one or two.

Make it personal. Asking yourself “Why do I want this?” “How will I feel?” “What will it mean to me?” personalizes goals, making them easier to achieve.

Sharpen your pencil. When written down, priorities get clear. If the goals aren’t worth the time or effort to record maybe they’re not worth the time and effort of achieving.

Create an environment. A physical environment can remind you how daily tasks add up to achieving longer-term goals. Use posters or a computer calendar to create visual reminders.

Stay on course. Even Columbus referred to his maps more than once per journey. Periodic checking of progress allows for re-charting the course or timeline.

Put it on the line. Sharing goals in public (family, friends, co-workers) means public accountability. Pride can be a great motivator.

Get help. Success is always easier to find with support. Talking to people about business and personal goals gets them on board with morale and tangible support.

Try Intentions Instead

If you’re still having trouble setting goals, you might want to try a different approach. Recent brain research suggests that it’s not so much the goal itself, but the intention that gets us where we want to go. Some people feel goals push us (requiring unsustainable effort) while intentions pull us (they’re more efficient and effective).

Goals use ‘‘numbers” (pounds lost, sales made, products developed). Intentions bring to light what is personally fulfilling.

Intention allows us to visualize ourselves (and how we’ll feel) when we’re successful. It eliminates the “failure” option often associated with the goal achievement process.

How to State an Intention

If the goal is “five new clients by next month” ask yourself, “What will my business be like with those new clients? How will I feel?”

Now, state your intention in the present tense. “My business will be prosperous,” becomes: “My business is prosperous.” And “I will feel successful” becomes “I feel successful.”

Attaining new clients means feeling empowered, confident, proud and successful. You focus on the feelings rather than the numbers to welcome and gauge your success.

Whether goal setting or intention setting one thing is clear—success isn’t achieved by accident. Planning ahead is what successful people have always done to get what they want out of life.

The Business Results of Coaching

Posted on : 17-10-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized


Without a doubt, coaching is the hottest approach to enhancing the performance of the people in an enterprise—whether it’s teams of coaches working with managers in a Fortune 500 company, transition coaching for new C-level executive hires, or coaches working with the owners of small businesses or sole proprietorships. It is clear from the increasing acceptance and investment in coaching, among the broad spectrum of business in many countries, that we believe coaching works.

But how well does it work? And how hard is it to measure?

In recent years, there have been a couple of detailed, well-documented studies that put the ROI of major coaching engagements within Fortune 500 companies between 600% and 700%, depending upon how improved retention was calculated.

But studies of this precision—funded by the corporate clients—are generally too costly to be meaningful as a sustained way of assessing the business benefits of coaching even at the level of large corporations.

Moreover, the issue of the benefits of coaching is, if anything, even more relevant to small business. For many firms considering hiring a coach, the notion of funding a major study to assess the results is laughable, yet it is critical that they be able to associate the benefits they are deriving from their investment in coaching.

To a certain extent, the challenge of measuring the benefits of coaching depends upon why the coach has been engaged in the first place. In some cases, the goal of a coaching engagement can be fairly easy to quantify—improving meeting management skills, for example. You can measure how many meetings start on time, how many end on time and survey meeting attendees for their evaluation of the effectiveness of the meeting. With a little imagination, such measures could be converted to hard dollar savings or productivity increases and an actual ROI developed.

Often, however, the connection between the behavior and the result isn’t so clear.

“One of the biggest challenges in measuring coaching is that tangible, behavioral change is usually linked to intangible mindsets and beliefs,” explains researcher Terry Bacon, of Lore International Institute. “Effective measurement strategies require that we make those intangibles measurable.”

Is it possible to capture all of those intangibles in some concrete, meaningful metric? The answer is generally “no, not precisely.” However, there are techniques that can be employed to evaluate the effectiveness of coaching and often to achieve a realistic estimate of the ROI. More importantly, setting up an evaluation process up front not only helps set performance expectations, but it can also make the coaching more effective. For example, coaching can be refocused to deal with issues or to ensure that business priorities will be met. In this way, the evaluation of coaching becomes more than just a measuring stick—it becomes a key approach to deepen the business value of coaching.

For large firms, coaching consultancy MetrixGlobal suggests seven critical steps for measuring ROI from a coaching engagement:

  1. Set objectives for the coaching session that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. Establish a benchmark for performance from existing appraisals and reviews.
  2. Ensure that coaching objectives flow from overall project objectives and/or business objectives.
  3. Communicate the methodology for measuring the monetary value of the coaching program before the program begins.
  4. Identify the opportunity costs of the client’s time for participating in coaching.
  5. Capture the monetary value of the coaching in tandem with the intangible value.
  6. Validate the calculation with the managers being coached.
  7. Communicate the results of the coaching program to key stakeholders in the organization.

Smaller firms, on the other hand, often cannot spend the time and effort to achieve the same level of measurement precision. In that case, there are several steps they can take to come up with quantifiable measures, if not quite ROI metrics. Among them are:

  • 360-degree surveys
  • Climate surveys within the organization
  • Employee performance metrics
  • Customer surveys

However, such broad measures can be disconnected from the effect of specific behavior changes that the coach and the executive are addressing. The challenge is to figure out the connections between the executive’s behavior and the behavior of the organization. Lore International Institute’s Bacon suggests these possibilities.

  • Improvements in productivity
  • Reductions in absenteeism and employee turnover
  • Reductions in cycle time
  • Improvements in quality and/or reduction in waste
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Increased value of the opportunity pipeline

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