Thursday, July 28, 2005

Matter Over Mind

At 5:10 a.m. I was already making excuses when only one week earlier, having attended my first Business Network International (BNI) meeting, I was pumped. A coveted spot had opened for a life and business coach and I was invited to check out this extremely professional chapter. A week ago I could hardly wait to fill out the application and write the sizeable check to be considered for this hardworking group.

One week later, tired and “kvetchy” I started preparing my excuses, wondering where I put my sponsor’s cell phone number. I'll go next week I promised myself, already thinking next week will be hard too. And the excuses began to multiply.

Rolling over to turn off the snooze button, out of nowhere, I had this far more productive thought: the one thing I have control over is my behavior. Not my thoughts, not my feelings – only my behavior. In the face of negative thinking and fluctuating emotions, I can still behave in my best interests. The mind and emotions are governed by all sorts of things, biological and psychological. But I could choose to behave in a way consistent with my goals and values - rather than serve the fleeting fantasies of my mind, those gremblims, and reactive emotions.

So I suited up and made the meeting – happily.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Fine Tuning Business & Life

You may notice some adjustments to my blog categories. Kind of like my life and business - both seem to require some fine tuning from time to time. It's really an internal, personal process that keeps me aligned with myself and my goals.

All businesses, jobs, relationships require some degree of ongoing fine tuning to keep them fresh, on point, and gratifying. Is there any kind of small adjustment you'd like to make to realign your business and personal life with your values and goals?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Happy Companies Are All Alike

"Happy companies are all alike; each unhappy company is unhappy in its own way." Sound familiar? If so, Thomas A. Steward, the editor of the Harvard Business Review, has taken those famous opening lines from Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and applied it to business. How fitting.

He goes on the say,"Lots of companies claim to be high-performance organizations. The real thing is rare, however, and instantly recognizable. These groups operate on a different plane. They overcome obstacles that stymie others. When they fail, they look for causes rather than excuses; they fix problems, not blame. They are '"real pros.'" Does this sound familiar? You can read his complete article
"Raising the Bar" here.

Is your company a happy company? What is one thing you can do today to start raising the bar in your company, your team, your cubicle? My booklet "82 Tips for Thriving in the Workplace" has 82 suggestions. Check it out. Email me for a free pdf copy.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Another Workshop, Training, Meeting?

Have another meeting to attend? Hate the thought of it? Think there's nothing more you can learn?

Stop! That was happening to me - this morning in fact. Tonight the Miami Chapter of Society for Human Resource Development is offering a workshop on networking. And I thought, what more could I possibly learn that I don't already know? Good question! I figured I had one of three choices to make: 1) Avoid the meeting and miss the opportunity to make new friends and contacts and catch up with people I typically see only at the meetings; 2) Go with a negative attitude - what could I possibly learn that's new; 3) Go with a positive attitude - what could I possibly learn that's new. Yes, remarkably the same as #2 but one major difference - an open mind.

I'll be going to that networking workshop and I'm promising myself to have a positive experience. So next time you want to avoid a workshop or meeting, change your mind. Listen for something new. Make it a good experience for yourself. And others. You just might even have something to contribute yourself.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Fielding Complaints

This morning when biking, one of my fellow bikers, Joel, mentioned something he recently learned in a customer service training. When someone calls with a complaint, the first response he learned to use is this - and in a sincere manner - "Thank you for bringing that to my attention." Immediately the caller feels heard. How do you think that could diffuse the situation?

Imagine someone you know coming to you with a complaint: your boss, client, partner, spouse, child, next door neighbor. Feeling heard, they are in a better situation to hear your side of things. The good, the bad, the ugly.

Try it!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Up the River on Martha's Vineyard

Enroute to Martha's Vineyard
Back from working on Martha’s Vineyard. I know - tough work if you can get it - and tough work it was for everybody involved at a meeting I facilitated which included: a consortium of executive directors and senior staff members of organizations working nationally and internationally towards a better world; the gracious and generous funders and their charming daughter and provocative question-raising son; three very special guest participants (distance swimmer and author Lynne Cox; evolutionary biologist Patty Gowaty; author and media discussant Martha Nochimson with her special husband in tow); and Marsha, the wonder chef, and her daughter who catered to all our individual needs. With a great deal of passionate debate and open-hearted intelligent conversation, more than twenty of us worked together to identify root causes of the world’s problems and strategies to make the world a better place. Click Up the River Endeavors for a partial list of member organizations.

Up The River With A Smile

But it wasn’t all work. After what seemed like days of chilling rain and wind, the warming sun burned off the remaining fog (much like the process the group went through!). There was birthday (mine!) pizza in Oak Bluffs, contra-dancing at the Chilmark Community Center, skinny dipping in the lake, a lobster-fest complete with birthday cake (yippee!). In addition, I had a swimming lesson with world-class swimmer and new friend Lynne Cox, the author of the magnificent Swimming To Antarctica.To read about my triathlon training which began after Lynne's extremely beneficial swimming lesson click MY LIFE.

Happy Birthday To ME!

To address the root causes identified over the course of three and a half days, the meeting resulted in the following over-arching theme: "Dismantling the Culture of Violence." At the end of the meeting teams formed to work on the five subtopics identified: Education; Empowering Women; Over-consumption; Men’s Work; Strategic Development.

Oak Bluffs

I can hardly wait to see what blossoms over the next 12 months when this dynamic group meets again.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Higher Energy Produces Outstanding Results

Work is a mind/body event. You can't neglect one without affecting the other. Here is the motivational quote from Anthony Robbins, author Lessons in Mastery.

"The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results."