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 […]

Owning Your 50% ~ Transforming Conflict into Growth

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Owning Your 50% ~ Transforming Conflict into Growth

In the heat of conflict it is much easier to react than to stay grounded and open. We default to defending our position rather than taking responsibility for our part. We are always playing a role in conflict, whether it is on an overt or subtle level. Owning our 50% takes self-awareness and humility – we must surrender our position and explore how we have contributed to the situation. Recently a friend was upset that I didn’t get back to her sooner. I told her that from my point of view I didn’t feel a need to rush a response. However, from her point of view it only made sense that I would get back within a day. Instead of looking to strengthen my position […]

Finding Middle Ground ~ 3 Steps to Creating Consensus & Connection

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Finding Middle Ground ~ 3 Steps to Creating Consensus & Connection

To find middle ground, we must be willing to accommodate another perspective, and leave the ground we stand on. Finding middle ground is not always easy because needs are often so diametrically opposed. And yet when we realize that people, more than anything, want to feel heard and understood, finding middle ground can become a simpler process. Here are three steps you can take to find middle ground: 1. Be Calm This is essential. Your calm state creates a sense of openness, and a feeling of safety for others to express fully without fear of judgement or reaction. 2. Acknowledge the Other’s Position People are more likely to loosen their stance if they feel heard and valued. People want to feel that their position is […]

From Victim to Leader

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From Victim to Leader

Think back to a time when you felt someone had done you wrong, a time you felt victimized in some way. Perhaps it was at work – someone was always late, or speaking to you with disrespect. Or maybe it was at home – you were the one always doing the household duties; the responsibilities were not equally shared. While it is easy to point at others and blame, it is more empowering to point within. We move from victim to leader when we own our role in any conflict. Instead of blaming the other, we look for what we can do differently to change things. Maybe you: Let someone know what your expectations are Tell someone how you feel about the way they speak […]

7 Mindsets for Collaboration ~ Building Creative and Engaging Relationships

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7 Mindsets for Collaboration ~ Building Creative and Engaging Relationships

Collaboration happens when all voices are heard, and all contributions valued, within a safe and open space of dialogue. People feel included and are encouraged to actively participate in the discussions or creative process. Collaboration gets stuck when we believe our idea is the way. We cannot accommodate another viewpoint because we are so locked in our own. Time and tradition clouds the lens from which we view things. We get so accustomed to our ways that we fail to see the bright and new. We can empower collaboration by changing our mindset. A changed mindset can alter the way we view others, our self, and a situation. It can shift our communication to more creative and inclusive language, and expand our range of awareness […]

2 Ways to Appreciate Others

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2 Ways to Appreciate Others

One of the skills I teach in my playshops is appreciation. Participants often realize afterwards how much they don’t express appreciation to co-workers, family and friends. When we think of appreciation we think of acknowledging what someone has done: That’s a beautiful painting. That project turned out really well. What an incredible back flip! What we often forget to do is appreciate the person behind the doing ~ who we see them being: I appreciate how imaginative you are. You put a lot of heart and determination in that project. You are so courageous to do that! Imagine you just shared a painting, completed a project or did a back flip – which form of appreciation would touch your heart most? Play with both forms. […]

The 5 Needs of Employees ~ Creating a Socially Responsible Organization

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The 5 Needs of Employees ~ Creating a Socially Responsible Organization

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson. The traditional workplace has not encouraged us to be our authentic Self. It has not been big enough to house the human soul. Its culture has been one of punching our time card and doing the daily tasks of building gadgets, meeting client needs, devising strategy and completing administration. We have been expected to do at work, but how much have we been encouraged to be? In my experience of working with teams, there is a hunger for people to have a voice in the organization. They want to bring more of themselves to work. Ultimately, it is their responsibility to do so; […]

5 Steps to Creating Healthy Workplace Relationships ~ Transforming the Workplace from the Inside Out

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5 Steps to Creating Healthy Workplace Relationships ~ Transforming the Workplace from the Inside Out

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.” ~ William Shakespeare. We perceive our purpose at work as fulfilling duties such as administration, brainstorming new products, engaging clients, or problem solving. Work is where we achieve results, earn a living and hopefully gain a level of satisfaction. Inasmuch as these goals are important, our attention is often more drawn to, and distracted by, challenging relationships that cause us frustration, anger and powerlessness. Productivity and achievement are what I would call the small “p” or purpose of work life. Beneath this, however, there is a larger purpose or “P”: Realizing […]