The Darkening World Needs Less of Your Fight and More of Your Light

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The Darkening World Needs Less of Your Fight and More of Your Light

“You cannot change the world. You can only allow it to be changed through you.” ~ Lynda Austin As the darkness of this troubling world only gets darker, the old mechanisms you’ve dedicatedly hung your hat on may no longer work or be enough to be the change agents our world needs. While helpful and necessary, it won’t be enough to simply advocate for change, to protest with your impassioned speeches, to spread your important messages on social media. It won’t be enough to continue pushing and fighting in the way you always have in your community, in your vocation. Certainly not without an imperative inner shift. Something more is needed of us now that is far from personal, and beyond our understanding. Only light […]

Becoming a Leader as Coach ~ 100 Questions to Motivate and Inspire Your Team

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Becoming a Leader as Coach ~ 100 Questions to Motivate and Inspire Your Team

It is quite tempting to manage employees by chasing them down, and telling them (perhaps over and over again) what they should be doing. In fact, that is what the word “manager” implies—being on top of staff, making sure they do what they said they would do, when they said they would, and in a proper manner. But an imbalance towards hounding, telling, advising, and admonishing can be incredibly exhausting for both the manager and the employee. In the long run, it does not serve to empower anyone. What is needed is a win-win situation rooted in a coach-approach. The coach-approach model of engagement and leadership takes into account the fact that people are naturally creative, resourceful and capable—meaning, they have the answers within them […]

Is it the Truth? ~ Question Your Beliefs and Expand Possibilities

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Is it the Truth? ~ Question Your Beliefs and Expand Possibilities

“Argue for your limitations and sure enough they are yours.” ~ Richard Bach Our beliefs define what is possible for us. They act as a lens through which we view and relate to the world. Our beliefs write manuals, curriculum and the news. They mark papers, define job descriptions, design policies and procedures, and outline meeting agendas. They decide how we should behave, what kind of person would make a good partner, and what really matters in the world. They determine what is right or wrong, good or bad based on what we experienced in the past. If we believe that silliness or messiness is bad, or that there is a “right” way to conduct business according to company policies, there is a good chance […]

Hold the Agenda of Others ~ A Practice of the Heart

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Hold the Agenda of Others ~ A Practice of the Heart

What if for one day you allowed everyone to be as they are? My recent article, 4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems, was so well received that I wanted to offer a follow-up article that expanded on the topic, while offering some practical tools. The tools are intended to support you to practice the principles outlined so that you may free yourself from the need to be responsible for other’s challenges or general circumstances. The practice is simple, but not necessarily easy: Where possible, practice not having an agenda for others. Note that I wrote “Where possible”. I am fully aware that there are many places where we do need to have an agenda; for instance, if you are parenting, teaching or […]

Empowered Leadership Mini E-Book ~ 20 Attributes and Practices for Leading in the New World

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Empowered Leadership Mini E-Book ~ 20 Attributes and Practices for Leading in the New World

Preface   What makes an empowered leader? “A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them.” ~ M.D. Arnold When you think of an empowered leader what attributes come to mind? What skills and attitudes do you see this person having? What actions do you envision him or her taking? When I ask my leadership training participants these questions they usually imagine someone who directs or inspires a group of people, often overcoming adversity in the process; a visionary who leads by example and brings the best out of others. Examples include a warrior leading his tribe into battle; the captain of a sports team battling through injuries to lead his team to the championship; a […]

Releasing the Need to Be the Responsible One ~ Reclaiming Your Power to Choose, Create and Be Free

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Releasing the Need to Be the Responsible One ~ Reclaiming Your Power to Choose, Create and Be Free

The Responsible One is a role we took on at a very young age. It was a heavy coat that we wore to keep us safe, help us survive, prove our self-worth, and make us feel loved. It had a very important role to play at the time. But as we age, the role increasingly weighs us down. It becomes a burden that stifles our power to choose, create, and be the free spirits we innately are. Two Ways We Birth the Responsible One 1. No One But Me At a very young age you decided that you must be the adult in the family. Perhaps your mother died, and you were the oldest sibling, and you felt the need to take on the responsibilities of your deceased mother. Or, you had one or two dysfunctional […]

2 Questions to Transform Conflict into Empowerment

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2 Questions to Transform Conflict into Empowerment

“Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.” ~ Barbara De Angelis In any relationship system (romance, family, friends, teams, communities), it is inevitable that buttons are pushed, and conflicts arise. Perhaps we are triggered by how someone speaks to us, or we withhold from sharing our feelings and ideas due to fear of rejection. Relationship systems are bound to make us feel unsettled. But that is exactly their purpose. They serve to rattle […]

It’s Time to Be the Leader You Are Waiting For ~ Step into Your Self, Dreams and Life!

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It’s Time to Be the Leader You Are Waiting For ~ Step into Your Self, Dreams and Life!

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”  ~Alan Cohen There comes a point when the life we are living is no longer enough. It is no longer feeding our soul, or representative of who we are and the values we hold. While this recognition can feel daunting, it is a moment in life that is ripe with opportunity. Because by recognizing and accepting it, we begin the process of opening to something greater. By traversing these crossroads, we start to truly live our life, […]

Your Presence is Enough ~ Giving the Gift of Your Self in Conversation

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Your Presence is Enough ~ Giving the Gift of Your Self in Conversation

When I teach listening skills, my participants struggle with simply being still and present when someone else is sharing something personal with them. It is not enough, in their mind, just to be with them. They must at least nod, or verbally acknowledge the other person in some way, and make them feel that they are being attended to. We must do in conversation, not just be in conversation! This need stems from a deep and old belief that who we are being is not enough. Our presence, and the gift of our spirit, is simply not enough! When we realize how powerful we are, we don’t doubt the gift of our presence. By resting more fully into our deeper Self, we can rest more fully in the conversation. Spaciousness is created […]

Nobody Gets to Be Wrong ~ Designing a Safe Space for Creativity and Expression

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Nobody Gets to Be Wrong ~ Designing a Safe Space for Creativity and Expression

“It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.” ~ Ornette Coleman Two things that block our self-expression and creativity is the fear of judgement, and the weight of expectations to do things the “right” way. We hold back in team meetings and other kinds of relationships, fearful that we will receive a disparaging response. A guiding principle for communication that can help mitigate negativity and fear, and create safety for creative self-expression is Nobody Gets to Be Wrong. Imagine conducting all future meetings and general dialogue with this principle in place. What would the implications be? All ideas are welcome Freedom to playfully experiment and get messy Less thinking and more spontaneity More ideas shared […]