"Look What You Made Me Do!" How to Avoid the Blame Game

July 16, 2019

Blaming is a common reaction. The blame game used to be one of my primary arsenals. Years ago, whenever I felt helpless or overwhelmed, I blamed the dog, my kids, or even the chair in the way when stubbing my toe. Anything in earshot received a rant of blame. "Look what you made me do!"

Hmm. Does anyone or anything really make us do anything?So why do we blame? Think about it for a moment. An intense feeling boils up and out comes the biting remark. It's easy and takes the heat off of us. And what's the heat? Painful and uncomfortable feelings. Phew! The hurt stops temporarily. 

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Emotional Intelligence

How to Take Care of Your Greatest Resource in Business

July 11, 2019

No business operates in a vacuum. It requires the input, support, and services of other parties, including customers, vendors, and, of course, employees. Consider for a moment, the person with whom you have the best working relationship. It may be a colleague you’ve dubbed your “partner” or “work spouse.” Alternatively, it may be a reliable vendor that you always turn to. When you work together, you get into a flow and a rhythm where strengths are enhanced, and differences respected.

However, what about relationships where this type of connection and trust is lacking? What does it cost you [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership

Self-Compassion and Acceptance Can Ease Anxiety

July 09, 2019

I was a thumb sucker. I needed soothing right from the start.

As a small child I would rub my thumbs and fingers together, back and forth, incessantly. It drove my family and friends crazy, yet no matter how much they asked me to stop, I couldn’t. I didn’t understand my behavior, and I certainly didn’t know how to manage it. All I knew was that I couldn’t stop, no matter how much I wanted to.

As I grew older, this particular behavior dissipated, but the feelings didn’t. Instead, they turned into continuous, overwhelming, and negative self-talk. Without realizing it, I had turned on myself [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence & Fitness

How to Put Vitality Back in Your Relationship!

July 06, 2019

I swung into the grocery store on my way home the other night to grab a box of My/Mo Mochi ice cream. As I reached the freezer section, I stopped as if frozen myself. My eyes gazed down the long aisle with hundreds of choices of frozen desserts: dozens of flavors and brands in every imaginable size and shape. Wow, how common prolific choices have become in stores and in our lives!

We live in a culture of instant gratification and continual titillation of our senses. Every moment confronts us with zillions of choices for eating, drinking, working, recreating, and traveling. Let's take the [...]

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

Essential Cornerstones of Cultural Transformation in Business

July 02, 2019

When a business needs a culture overhaul, you know it. Profits and employee retention fall, while client complaints climb—there’s a constant sense of dissatisfaction and conflict. On the flip side, when a company’s culture is built with intention, consistency, and dedication, the company’s reputation is enhanced, and the benefits are bountiful.

Consider, for a moment, the example of Southwest Airlines where culture has been a top priority from early on. Sure, they have competitive rates, but more than that, their leaders have sought to value their employees. Employees in turn work to [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership

How to Talk to Someone with Empathy—and What to Avoid!

June 25, 2019

Recently, someone shared the following experience with me:

“During a hectic and stressful time, I bumped into a friend at a coffee shop. She looked almost as stressed out as I felt, so I asked her what was wrong. Immediately, she began venting about an argument she just had with her husband. I tried to listen, but my mind was stuck on my own problems. As soon as I swung my attention back to her, I noticed that her expression had gone from stressed to withdrawn and angry. She stopped making eye contact and quickly said good-bye. I had really stepped in it. I had not shown my good friend [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, How to Build Empathy

What You Need to Know in Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

June 18, 2019

The internet buzz says everyone needs emotional intelligence (also known as an emotional quotient (EQ) or emotional fitness). There are numerous articles and volumes of research showing that having a high EQ is one of the most important ingredients in succeeding in life.

For a child or teen, having emotional fitness is equally important as physical health. It makes the difference in a child's academic success, and it determines whether they survive—or thrive—in their developmental years. With so many societal challenges and such easy access to unhealthy influences, our children must be [...]

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Good Communication Is Vital for a Successful Business

June 13, 2019

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” ~George Bernard Shaw

Do you find yourself having to repeat a little too often “Remember, we discussed that in our meeting. . .”? Or someone's memory of an interaction is totally different from yours. If so, poor communication could be the culprit. Effective communication is a two-way street, not a cul-de-sac. It’s about connecting. Talking with someone is different from talking at someone. There are many people, especially executives, who feel they communicate clearly but then get frustrated by having to [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership, Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Stress Relief and Work-Life Balance through Mindfulness

June 12, 2019

How's your work-life balance? Do you ever feel like your life is too busy for living—like there's just not enough time for authentic connection with those you love? And are you fooled to believe it's a time management problem?

Last week, after tending to the messages on my business and cell phones, answering texts and emails, there were still important tasks tugging on me: invoicing, proposals to write and trainings to plan. On a personal side, there was a phone message from my brother (I was waiting for the ideal time to be able to chat); a pile of family pictures gathering dust to send [...]

Posted in Brain Fitness, Mindfulness and Perspective

Useful Lessons in Leadership from the Popular Game of Thrones

June 06, 2019

WARNING: Spoilers ahead. If you haven’t finished Game of Thrones, proceed with caution.

“When you play the game of thrones, you win, or you die” ~Cersei Lannister

With the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones finally over, what have we learned? That fans don’t like it when you outpace the books and fundamentally shift narrative styles? Absolutely. But more importantly, we’ve learned vital lessons about what it means to be a leader and the importance of emotional intelligence.

Posted in Business and Leadership