Thursday, August 25, 2011

Directions Can Be Difficult Sometimes

Do you have a good sense of direction? Do you know when you are in the right lane.........for you? Perhaps, you can use this photo to help you think whether you need to step on it to put yourself in a faster lane, change lanes  to stabilize yourself or exit to take a timeout and regroup. Metaphorically speaking, consider your current job, career, friends, support systems, family and self-image. Are you getting passed by at work? Is your love behind you? Do you need to exit and find a new route?

How to Enhance Your Relationship with Fondness and Admiration

There are some really solid ideas and strategies in the research that help create and/or maintain a good relationship. John Gottman, Ph.D. is one of the premier researchers that brings practical solutions to help couples understand the "how" of creating a relationship that works. One of his ideas is to "create a culture of praise." This positive and loving culture happens when you work to increase positive sentiment, make contributions or deposits to your emotional bank account. These contributions reduce stress, increase intimacy and gives a buffer when times are difficult. Dr. Gottman postulates that a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative comments and interaction is a standard for building this culture of praise.  What is your "Positivity Ratio?" It may be time to tune up your appreciation by expressing gratitude, fondness and admiration to your partner, child, parent or friend.

So what about Fondness and Admiration?

  1. “Fondness and Admiration” is about honoring and respecting your Spouse’s contributions to the relationship. It's about remembering what he/she contributes to the Family relationship, careers, success, and happiness.
  2. Fondness and Admiration help us to recall the things that attracted us to our partner – to remember the things that we admired about him/her that lead to committing your life to him/her.
  3. Fondness and Admiration need to be updated and refreshed by new experiences. Adding the new experiences to your old Fondness and Admiration memories serves to enrich the marital relationship.
Today, begin giving praise or validation to a spouse, child or co-worker to begin to build positive sentiment. It is also imperative that you acknowledge compliments when they come your way. If you do so, research shows you will be happier. Why not give it a try?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cultivating Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the simple practice of bringing awareness and acceptance to our moment to moment experience. Acceptance implies openness and receptivity to ourselves and the moment as it unfolds. By cultivating awareness and acceptance we strengthen our ability to be present and responsive to both the pleasant and challenging circumstances of our life.

To cultivate mindfulness is by bringing attention to breath. The breath is the literal mind/body connection. Breath is an anchor, helping us to return to the moment whenever we realize we are drifting. As your thoughts begin drifting to fear, anxiety, and pain, you are catapulted into another time and place. Breath can bring you back. Practices of meditation, yoga, tai chi, gi gong help you stay present and connected.

Jon Kabat-Zinn has published a great deal about mindfulness. His books, "Full Catastrophe Living", and "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life", can help you find your way to mindfulness. In fact, he has created a system called MBSR or Mindful Based Stress Reduction to help you find peace in even the most difficult life experiences.

So, I you need scientific proof. Well, this brain scan shows changes in the brain that occur with meditation. Meditation improved immune responsiveness, increases blood flow to the frontal lobes which increases antibody titer to external challenges. Mindfulness helps clear the mind of clutter, allows you to relax and recharge.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Stay Interview Questions--How to Keep Employees by Understanding Them

Do you wonder why an employee "stays" with your organization. How about asking yourself, "why do I stay"? It seems that there is a gap in communication or understanding with what is going on with an employee until he/she announces their resignation or intent to leave their job. Typically an exit interview is given by the Human Resources Department to gain some insight. Why not be proactive and ask yourself or employees the following questions to help gain insight into their current state of motivation, and morale? This could make a big difference in turnover, job dissatisfaction, absenteeism, presenteeism and attitude on the job.

If you reach that fork in the road, or if you suspect an employee is unhappy, these questions might help you discover what would help with keeping an employee or keeping yourself happy, productive and a great team member.

1.    Why do you stay with us?
2.    What is it that keeps you here?
3.    What might entice you away?
4.    What are the things you like about your work?
5.    What do you like best/least?
6.    Are we fully utilizing your talents?
7.    What makes for a great day at work?
8.    What is it that keeps you motivated?
9.    What is something new you would like to learn this year?
10. What can we do differently to best assist you?
11. Is there anything you’d like to change about your job?
12. Are there things you would like to change about your team or department?
13. Has something caused you to consider leaving? Has it been resolved?
14. What’s your dream job, and what can we do to support your progress toward it?
15. What is one thing that would make your job more satisfying and rewarding?
16. Do you feel supported in your career goals?
17. Do you feel we recognize you?
18. What kind of recognition would be meaningful for you?

Feel free to add you own questions. It might be useful to actually let your manager or supervisor know you better by letting them in on the answer to these questions.

Why Worry? Recently, a reprint of the book  Why Worry  by friend and prolific author, Eric A. Kimmel was recently released. Gayle and ...