Simple and Effective Ways of Thriving Team Building

August 20, 2019

Is a thriving team one that is profitable and productive? Or is it one where everyone is friends? Ask 100 people, and you might get 100 different answers.

The popular show “The Office” exemplifies this discrepancy well. Michael Scott, manager of the Scranton branch of fictional Dunder Mifflin, figured that as long as his team was laughing, they were thriving. He justified his behavior and antics, no matter how crazy, with the intent of creating a fun workplace. However, the corporate office only viewed the Scranton branch as thriving because they were profitable and outshining other [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership

People-Pleasing Compliance—a Felony Against Self

August 15, 2019

"Sure, I'd be happy to watch your dog for the weekend." "Absolutely, you can count on me for that fundraiser." "No problem—I'll help decorate the kids' lockers for the big game!" "Sure, I'll help you finish that project and stay at the office until it's done!"

It's so easy to say yes, isn't it? Before we even think, agreement and caring responses slide off our tongues. But do you agree with someone and then regret it? It's true, we are creatures of habit. And if you're in the habit of being a people pleaser, it's a habit you may be looking to break up with!

Often people pleasers are well [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence & Fitness

The Power of Empathy: More than a Band-Aid for the Heart

August 13, 2019

One of the most needed and talked about topics and skills right now is empathy. Why? Because we are all longing for connection. People are hungry to be understood. And empathy has become a lost art. The power of empathy is at the core of emotional intelligence (EQ) and relationship mastery. It faithfully delivers the ability to connect with people we love and care about—and even handle those difficult people in our lives gracefully.

Do you ever feel ill-equipped to respond to a friend, spouse, or co-worker when they're sharing strong feelings or a painful experience? Do you postpone those [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, How to Build Empathy

5 Simple Keys to a Happier, Vibrant Life

August 10, 2019

How would your life be different if you could have regular support, deep connection, and inspiration that you could count on?

Life without love and friendship is empty. Work without support, collaboration, and a shared vision make for a lonely path. As human beings, we are wired for relationship, and connecting is crucial. Families, businesses, and communities disintegrate without genuine connection. Happier living requires connection with oneself and each other!

Sure, we can climb the mountain of life alone, but it's not as safe and isn't nearly as fun! Going it alone isn't what we need [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence

Parenting Challenges and Tales During Intergenerational Living

August 01, 2019

Every summer, my little family of four heads travels to the family cottages in Northern Michigan. Once there, we meet up with three generations of cousins, two sets of grandparents, and a multitude of friends. The friends’ cottages are also full of multiple generations across their family trees. Intergenerational living in cottages is a lot of fun, but it can also have its share of challenges.

What does this have to do with you? Intergenerational living is subject to a long list of struggles—and joys—that others don’t have. But at the heart of this complex dynamic, the challenges are the [...]

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Why Should You Care About Emotional Regulation?

July 30, 2019

Emotions. They can get the best of us, sometimes triggering primitive, short-sighted and impulsive actions. Yet, unlike animals, humans have the ability to express and choose their emotions, as well as anticipate how other people will respond. Our emotional nature can be confusing and overwhelming with many conflicting emotions swirling simultaneously; therefore, emotional regulation is key.

When regulated, emotions provide us important information. If we approach them with a curious and accepting attitude, they can be used to avert danger, solve problems, and bring us comfort. [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence & Fitness

5 Behaviors that Guarantee a Leader Will Fail—and What to Do About It!

July 25, 2019

When the Great Recession of 2008 hit, an acquaintance was working for a large company that, like many companies, laid off employees to remain profitable. However, in his particular department, an unusual thing happened—instead of clinging to their jobs, employees jumped ship (and had been for years)! These employees preferred to risk being unemployed during a recession without unemployment benefits than to stick around under the management of one of the company’s vice presidents. He was impossible to please, didn’t provide adequate direction for projects, and criticized all ideas before [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership

Dealing with Teenage Defiance—Your Teen Says, "I Hate You!"

July 23, 2019

Have you ever tried looking for your reflection in a lake with white-capped waves? Nope. We don’t do that, do we, because we know we wouldn’t be able to see our reflection.

Teenage rebellion and angst can create a lot of waves in our relationship with our teen. So much so that parents can react fiercely in knee-jerk ways that backfire and fixate rebellion. Like it or not, it's a teen's job to push the limits and to individuate.

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

The Meaning of Empathy and Sympathy—and How to Tell the Difference!

July 18, 2019

You’d be forgiven for mistaking sympathy and empathy for synonyms. Much of pop culture and even many dictionaries confuse the two. On a basic level, they are similar. But in a very meaningful, practical way—empathy and sympathy are two separate practices and distinct emotional responses. We'll identify the difference between empathy and sympathy by exploring their roots and meanings.

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, How to Build Empathy

"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