How You Can Say No Gracefully

Apr 03, 2018

When demands for our time and attention – even opportunities – mount faster than our ability to keep up, feelings of control are often the first to go . . . especially when we try to tackle too much at once.

As hard as it is to say no to something or someone, failing to do so can cause us to miss out on something far more important or get pulled in too many directions and spread thin.

Have you ever felt a tension between what you felt was best and what someone was pressuring you to do? Have you ever said yes to avoid conflict or letting someone down? Have you ever felt like you had two awesome opportunities yet you knew you will feel overloaded if take on both?

Likely. We all do this on some level, whether it’s a new project at work or an evening out with friends or family.

People who have difficulty saying no experience higher stress levels.

When we get too wrapped up in meeting other peoples’ needs, we don’t leave time...

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The One Thing You Can Do When Others Aren’t Being At Their Best

Feb 27, 2018

You might have the best of intentions to be focused on what’s important during the day and keep a positive attitude . . .

. . . but what do you do when other people are constantly stealing your attention, not meeting your expectations or scaring you a little when you try to say ‘no’?

When you feel like you are always putting other people’s needs before your own, but you don’t know how to say no and make your needs or what’s important a priority.

Or when a colleague or your manager is challenging to work with and you don’t feel heard or valued. They just don’t ‘get it’.

Or when your employee or colleague is not delivering and you are left to pick up the pieces so you can meet a deadline.

You feel frustrated you aren’t getting the results you want. And you’re unsure how to improve the situation.

You seem to have the same conversations over and over (and over) again.

I remember a time back in my corporate...

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What’s Your ONE Thing?

Jan 30, 2018

Are your days always full of meetings? And you have a constant barrage of email and demands on your time?

Do you feel like you aren’t addressing what’s actually important or making real progress?

Or when you start feeling overwhelmed, you lose your focused attention, instead of zeroing in on what’s most important in the moment?

But how do you know what’s really most important when you have so many demands for your time and attention? How do you shift more of your minutes to being strategic rather than reactive?

Less is better (and actually leads to getting more done). 

While it can be tempting to do everything, or have 10 most important priorities, you can adopt a more disciplined way to focus on only what is truly essential.

It is about making the wisest investment of your time and energy in order to operate at your best and highest point of contribution.

If everyone has the same number of hours in a day, why do some people seem to get so much...

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Want To Be Home For Supper? Stop Being So Reactive With Your Time

Jan 26, 2018

Nothing is more deflating than being really busy, but feeling like you are not making any progress. You might be giving it your all, yet work is seeping into your personal time, projects are taking forever, progress is coming too slowly or you are feeling stuck.

Over the past three years, I’ve discovered how to be more focused and strategic with my time, both in my corporate career and in my own business now, and have experienced huge benefits as a result.

But I recently fell into an old habit of meeting everyone else’s needs and not leaving enough space for my most important work to forward my business. I was shifting from one thing to the next each day, and felt like I was making little progress.

Once I noticed this, I changed my calendar to block a bigger chunk of focused time for this work every day and have more structure around when I met with clients. In only a week I am making real gains and I am more focused with my clients since not feeling scattered switching...

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Forget Glass “Half-Full” or “Half-Empty”. Use A Pitcher.

Jan 23, 2018

Resilience is a crucial skill in times of constant change and uncertainty.

It’s your ability to quickly bounce back from setbacks and challenges, and getting yourself in a better frame of mind so you are less fazed in the first place.

And the engine of resilience is optimism – the belief in a positive future and attitude to continue to persist.

Generally, I’m a glass half-full person. I really value and seek out an optimistic view – things always have a way of working out and much to appreciate. Whether it’s a big win or a big learning, there is always something positive to seek out.

But there are days I don’t feel that way. And I slip into pessimistic thinking and things seem worse than they actually are – this comes when I feel really overwhelmed with many things to do, when I’m taking bigger risks (and worried that I might not get the payoff) or question my abilities.

Last week I fell into “glass half-empty”. I’ve...

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Finding Perspective (No Funeral Required)

Jan 18, 2018

Open-mindedness is one of my values.

For me, that means embracing that any given situation can be seen from a variety of perspectives – not just the one viewpoint that you happen to be taking at that moment.

Like, perhaps your boss isn’t really a bad person. Maybe he’s just unhappy and stressed. And, with that view, you can be more empathetic.

Perhaps that project approval isn’t going to make or break your career. And, with that view, you can stop worrying about it so much and putting all that pressure on yourself.

Or your employee or kid isn’t trying to be difficult when they are upset. Maybe they are really struggling. And you then can be more patient and help them get to a better place.

I used to be very set in my ways of thinking – things were black or white, right or wrong . . . and if I’m honest, the way I saw things was usually “I was right”.

Not surprisingly, I often felt tension when I came up against others who had...

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Family + Achievement

Jan 18, 2018

Family is one of my core values. It’s my one thing – the most important thing – and if I am giving the right attention, time and my very best self to my husband and kids, everything else becomes easier.

And when I am not living my value of family, life feels a whole lot harder.

At the same time, like many of you, achievement in my career is also important to me. It’s essential to well-being.

I have a strong drive to turn a business vision into something concrete, continually growing and delivering meaningful results for my clients.

For a long time, these two elements – my value of family and my sense of achievement – were out of balance, with the latter one becoming more intense, important and time-consuming at the expense of the other.

Family was my most important value, yet my actions showed otherwise.

Looking back, I didn’t understand what it means to really live your values, or recognize that, when facing a conflict between two important...

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How About Being More Kind to Yourself?

Dec 07, 2017

When we are positive, our brains are more engaged, productive, energetic and resilient at work and in our personal lives – this has been rigorously researched in psychology and neuroscience.

This leads to greater happiness, less stress and higher performance.

One essential area (too often overlooked by busy professionals) is boosting your positive emotions by looking inward, and being more kind to yourself.

Regardless of your best intentions, sometimes things go wrong. For instance, you miss an important deadline, fail to get a big client, make a mistake, get ill, feel overwhelmed, and the like.

How do you usually react to such things? It’s far too common to feel ashamed, guilty, or criticize yourself: “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I do this? Why me?”.

A negative judgment is often an automatic response to failure, whereas forgiveness and compassion are missing. It is exactly this compassion that is of extreme importance because it has the power...

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The Key Ingredient To Making Those Harder Choices (For An Easier Life)

Nov 13, 2017

I’ve talked about self-doubt and how your values are (or aren’t showing up) and how both these areas can play a significant role in how you show up as a leader, role-model, parent, etc.

Foundational to this process? The ability to notice your thoughts, feelings and behaviors so you can make the most positive and productive choices.

Self-awareness is a key skill for anyone to hone to make better choices.

Often, we can get caught up in the action of the day, going from one thing to the next with habitual thinking and behaviors, and not take the time to stop and pay attention.

  • How is what I am doing helping or hindering me or others right now?
  • What are my beliefs about the situation or person and how are they influencing my actions?
  • What am I missing while I am absorbed in my work and deep in the weeds?
  • How could I think about this in a better way and take a better action?

Once you can tune into your thoughts more, you can notice what’s feeding your reactive...

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How Your Values are (or aren’t) Showing Up

Nov 10, 2017

Here’s part two in my three part series on how to be the best version of yourself at work. The first part was on what everybody ought to know about self-doubt and how to take action in spite of your doubt to be at your best.

Another great way to help be at the best version of yourself is to consider how your values are (or aren’t) showing up, and find ways to express them more. This can create ease in making those harder, conflicting decisions, bump your performance to the next level, and you can feel good about how you are showing up as a leader.

Watch this video to learn more:

Sometimes we can get caught up in the demands and expectations each day and lose sight of who we are and who we want to be. And too much stress can definitely contribute to thinking, feeling and behaving in a way that’s isn’t really who we are.

I know you’re busy, so I’ve put together the most important thing you need to do and action you can take to take...

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