Sunday, May 31, 2015

Emotional Flooding---How to Self-Soothe

Nothing much good happens when you are emotionally flooded during a relationship conflict. Flooding consists of stress hormones surging through you, which makes it very difficult to resolve conflict rationally.  As adrenalin and cortisol floods the nervous system, you will feel the ‘fight or flight' response. When you are in this state, not much good can happen or be resolved. Emotional Flooding is a Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) response to stress that was originally designed to alert us to danger and enables us to react quickly in self-defense. Stress hormones of cortisol, adrenaline and nor-adrenaline are very powerful. Once triggered, it takes time to regain your emotional balance and control. The best strategy to manage these feelings is to take a time out until the fear (stress hormones) diminish to the point that you can have a rational discussion. After the incident of emotional flooding, the first casualty is communication. Dr. Gottman has some very excellent strategies to manage these very difficult and probably regrettable moments. The goal becomes to repair the relationship and reestablish emotional intimacy, perhaps even grow from the conflict.
Some tips to manage those difficult moments. 
Be empathetic
Be open
Calm yourself
Apologize or say......
“I can understand the way you feel . . .”
“What you’re saying makes a lot of sense.  I can see why you’d feel . . .”
“I’d like to hear more about this. . . .”
Call for a 20-minute time out.  Agree when and where you will resume the discussion. Then, resume the communication in a calm manner. 

Climbing Mount Everest & Your Personal Journey

Just the thought of climbing Mount Everest is a daunting notion that takes planning, preparation, physical conditioning, financial resources and amazing fortitude at the very least. In your life, what are the challenges you are contemplating in your life? What mountains do you need to consider climbing in your life today? Do you want to improve or advance your marriage, career, education, fun, health, retirement plans or social life? What do you need to do to prepare yourself to be happier and a better leader for your your own life? To start with, you will need to take time to dream, imagine and contemplate your next area for personal and professional growth. Talk to friends, look toward friends and colleagues you admire, explore best practices for advancing your area of interest. I highly recommend checking out TED Talks as a resource to see what thought leaders are saying. Just go to and do a search for your area of adventure to feel more in control of your life and trajectory toward purpose, meaning, and happiness. This is a live link to TED talks.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Beauty & You

Where do you find beauty?
What does ibeauty do for you emotionally? 
How will you find more beauty in your life? 
The photo on the left just grabbed me. The calm, clear water and colors gave me a sense of peace. Being mindful in your daily life may bring a sense of gratitude and comfort as you notice the beauty around you. This beauty moment could be a smile, a flower, a cloud in the sky or a memory. Taking time to notice and acknowledge beauty in your life will affirm the moment. Valuing self or others generates self-esteem, self-worth and confidence. Beauty is a gift that is all around us.  Take it in then spread the joy.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Are You a Leader or Boss?

So, take a look at the differences between being a boss vs. being a leader in the graphic on the right. If you are a manager  or supervisor of employees, take time to consider how you approach the precious commodity of human capital in your organization. It is not easy to know our blind spots or even how we are viewed.....unless we ask. There are tools for leaders to understand how they are perceived. One of these is the 360 evaluation.
360-questionnaire includes direct feedback from all stakeholders under your management including subordinates, peers (colleagues), and supervisor(s), as well as a self-evaluation. The results from self and others are scored and compared to look at the match between self-perception and other perception of leadership, communication, carrying the mission, values, administrative, creativity and general sense of trust and leadership. Finding the blind spots, closing the gap on the problem areas is a benefit of the 360. This can be a scary for some managers and a difficult process to risk negative or unwanted feedback. The 360 evaluation is contrasted with "upward feedback," where managers are given feedback only by their direct reports, or a "traditional performance appraisals" where the employees are most often reviewed only by their managers for an end of the year evaluation related to meeting performance goals.
A 360 needs to be strictly confidential, offer constructive feedback, have a follow-up plan for improvement, provide an accountability system with coaching to address identify "gaps" in awareness. Conducting a pre and then post 360 evaluation with a structured improvement plan after a three month period is a great way to stay focused on specific goals. The 360 evaluation can be a valuable tool to help you be the a better, more effective leader.

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