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EQ-i 2.0 Personal Development Professional Development

What’s Getting in the Way of Growth? Is it You?

As we set our goals and identify areas of opportunity, and potential growth it is important to look at how we prevent ourselves from achieving those goals. It’s critical that we examine this so that we sidestep the same pitfalls we sometimes find ourselves in as we ease into the coming year.

It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. An important goal should be to break the cycle and figure out what is preventing you from making the changes you’ve identified during goal-setting exercises in order to be successful.

When we put together leadership coaching programs we help individuals and teams identify obstacles that prevent change. The first step is looking into whether or not obstacles are within the individual or part of the environment. Sometimes an obstacle may seem like it is environmental when in reality it is created by the mental attitude in which you dwell in your own circumstances. Will changing your attitude and your mindset change the way you are perceived or the way you see others?

It can take a lot of courage to admit that your own decisions and behaviors are what create a certain working environment. Regardless of the position you hold in an organization, you have the ability to affect change just simply by deciding what attitude you will bring to your daily interactions.

With regard to goal setting, ask yourself “What do I have to do on my end to make these changes in the workplace? What result would my transformation have on my immediate team, leader, or subordinates?” When you start thinking about the organization as an organism that operates with the emotions, strengths, and weaknesses of the entire team, you start to realize that you can be the brain, the heart, the lungs, or the moral compass of the whole simply by the role you choose to play within the workplace.

Once you begin to identify whether or not you are getting in the way of your personal and professional growth and success, you will begin to realize how much power you have to make changes. You truly are in charge of your own growth!

Diversity Training Personal Development

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays

Well, the battle over “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” seems to have reared its ugly head yet once again. Apparently it’s becoming a new holiday tradition.

I listen to people wishing each other “Happy Holidays” and yet complaining about not saying the other. I wonder why the dilemma. Why are we so unable to wish a Merry Christmas to those celebrating this Christian holiday? Yes, there are those who are not celebrating this event but instead, celebrating Hanukkah. So are we so unable to say to those, “Happy Hanukkah”? Why can we not look to those in our communities who may be Muslim and offer them “Eid Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem”?

Why are we so aholidaysfraid to embrace members of our community for the diversity that they bring?

I watched the Michael Buble Christmas special earlier; in one segment of the show, he spoke with two little girls and asked how they celebrate Christmas. They let him know that they are Jewish so instead, they have their own traditions. He asked them to explain and they did so happily, sharing their excitement and joy. Out of the mouths of babes…..

Why is this so hard for us to do as adults? Why are we so afraid to ask people, friends and strangers, to help us understand how they celebrate their own holidays in their homes? Why can’t we learn from each other? Why are we so afraid of that which is different?

I lived in the Middle East for nearly a decade. During that time, community members took pleasure in wishing each other congratulations on the various holidays that occurred. If people there can accept each other and that which makes us unique, surely we can learn to do so here.

Can’t we?

Business Skills Training Personal Development

Balancing Your Professional and Personal Life

On a practical level, it is easy to see that both your professional life and personal life go hand in hand in the everyday balancing act that makes up your existence. In reality, there are five areas of life successful individuals are constantly striving to keep in balance, work, mind, body, relationships, and spirituality.

When one aspect of your life is thrown off, it can easily and detrimentally impact other aspects.

Each Aspect of Our Life Plays Upon One Another

  • Work is what feeds our careers and professional achievements. Being successful in our work life helps bring rewards our way. These rewards may include money, notoriety, mental stimulation, or something else that fuels our personal lives and further develops our self-esteem.
  • Mind deals with the desire and ability to learn, grow, and change. This is an important aspect of both our work and personal lives.
  • Body is the aspect of our lives that deals with our physical health and well-being. This is often one of the first balls to drop as our calendars fill up and we begin to feel torn in multiple directions.
  • Relationships include not only friends and family but also our co-workers and colleagues. When relationships at work are out of balance, this can often spill over into how we interact with colleagues and vice versa.
  • Spirituality or responding from a place of integrity or centeredness can be seen as the glue that brings it all together. It is this aspect that makes up our conscience as well as the principles, and values that govern both our personal and professional lives.

Bryan Dyson, former vice chairman and COO of Coca Cola says, “Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them, work, family, health, friends, and spirit, and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls, family, health, friends, and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these it will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life”.

How Do You Handle Things When They Get Out of Balance?

Recognize Your Patterns
One step toward regaining your footing is to identify the patterns that you are inclined to repeat when your balance begins to falter. Do you shut down? Do you explode? Do you react in a knee-jerk fashion or do you take the time to respond from a place of authenticity? How do you handle stress? Do you retreat into a different area of your life versus working on the aspect that has fallen out of balance?

Pullback and Regroup
Once you pinpoint your patterns, it is time to sit back and take stock of the various areas of your life and regroup. The sooner lack of balance is identified, the easier it will be to save other areas of life. Lack of balance in one area of life easily bleeds over into another. To prevent harm that may be difficult to recover from, take time to sit and breathe. Then from a place of centeredness, reassess the situation and identify a plan to move forward. Sometimes the best course of action at that time may be to not respond; other times the situation will require more immediate action. This will help formulate an action plan versus reacting without intent. An action plan helps minimize the effect on other aspects of your life.

Respond From a Centered Place of Thinking and Reflection
When you identify your patterns and give yourself permission to pull back and regroup, you can respond from a more centered and authentic place.

As you practice these suggestions when you feel your life is out of balance, it will help cushion the other areas of your life.

Goal Setting Personal Development Professional Development

As the Year Comes to a Close, Are YOU Meeting Your Goals?

With 2015 nearly upon us, New Years’ Resolutions swim in our heads as we prepare to have a “better” year than the last. Often times though, many individuals do not take the time to do a critical analysis of the past, present, and future goals in order to properly set themselves on a path of change and growth. This can be felt both in their personal development and professional development.

Studies show that people who put pen to paper and write down their specific goals tend to be more successful at accomplishing whatever they set out to achieve versus those who do not write them down and are not detailed in their goal setting.

Our personal goals tend to be things like gaining a promotion, losing weight, getting into shape, getting finances under control, meeting someone, and so on. While these are great goals, they need to be quantified and put into manageable perspective. This often cannot happen unless you take stock of where you are and where you want to be. This is doubly true for professional goals. Critical analysis is an important aspect of getting your professional goals in line for growth and improvement.

Goal setting is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of activity. Look at goal setting as an ongoing process of improvement and change. Ask yourself hard questions like “Where do I want to be in a year, or in five years. How does my life look to me now and what steps do I need to make in order to achieve these goals?” These same questions can be applied to professional goals – it is important to ask yourself the difficult questions in order to identify and quantify your goals.

From a business standpoint, here are a few questions that will help you take stock of your current job performance and formulating goals.

As a leader, how do you assess your own performance and make changes?
As a leader it is important to provide tools and programs to assess not only your own skills and performance, but also those of the rest of your team. When you use assessments like EQ360 and EQ-i 2.0 to assess emotional intelligence and consult with an expert to put together an interactive program to improve professional performance and growth, you are setting up not only yourself, but your entire team for success in the coming year.

Do you take the time to review your personal and professional performance goals?
Improving goal setting skills and putting together a consistent review process whereby you are constantly reevaluating goals and readjusting them to fit your reality is paramount to successful progressive growth, both with personal development and professional development. Implementing a goal setting skills training program in the workplace will set each and every team member up for success. Goals cannot be static. Goals are a constant compass that need referencing throughout the year in order to stay on the correct path.

How do you garner honest feedback on your performance as a leader or manager?
Opening the lines of communication between all members of an organization is key to individual professional growth and the growth of a team. How can you set goals if you do not have a reference point on how you are doing? There are many different ways to ask for feedback from your peers, managers, and employees. Take a walk and talk, send an office survey, “feed forward”, or schedule regular one-on-one meetings – these are just a few ways to receive honest feedback. Here are some great ideas from SmartBlogs.

What do you do with that feedback?
Once you receive feedback, decide how you are going to incorporate this into a program to improve your performance and grow in your role within the organization. Use feedback to help map out your own goals.

Goal setting is an important part of personal and professional growth. It is essential to be able to assess where you are to see where you are going. Let us know if we can help you improve your performance and fulfill your goals in 2015.

Effective Communication Personal Development

The Impact of Tragedy

“If each man or woman could understand that every other human life is as full of sorrows, or joys, or base temptations, of heartaches and of remorse as his own…how much kinder, how much gentler he would be.” – William Allen White

As the images of the horrendous tragedy in Japan continue to bombard us on the various news channels, I am struck by the humanity with which the Japanese people continue to treat each other. I see this not only in the absence of looting but also in the manner in which they look out for each other and share the dwindling food supplies. There is no rush to get the very last morsel for oneself; rather people look to their neighbors on either side to ensure that each person has a share of the offerings.

One particular image on the news has become etched in my mind, that of a group of terrified people running up the hill to safety from the rapidly approaching tsunami. Within the group were a few who were desperately trying to carry others who appeared unable to walk. The waves rushed at them and although those ahead were clearly able to make it up the hill on their own, they turned and went back to try and ensure that the others made it to safety as well. That type of selflessness is an example of true humanity.

How will this tragedy change the way that each of us conducts our daily lives? Will we take the time to communicate with our family, friends, colleagues, and strangers in a way that shows we care about each other? Will we look them in the eyes and use words that indicate we truly heard what they were saying and recognized the importance their situation played in their lives?

Will we make the time to smile and say hello to a co-worker or client who looks like they are having one of those days? Will we even notice they’re having a bad day or will we just continue to avert our eyes and push past our offices so we can ‘take care of those files and get out of here’, all the while complaining our way down the freeway?
I viewed a segment about one particular survivor, an elderly gentleman who had lost his entire family: his wife, his sons, and all of his grandchildren. Yet despite the immeasurable grief in his heart, he still had the spirit and compassion to work with the rest of the search teams to look for possible survivors.

Considering that, it makes the traffic on ’95 seem pretty inconsequential.

So I ask you to consider – how will this tragedy impact you and how you communicate with others.

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