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Podcast title Live and Lead for Impact with Kirsten E. Ross
Website URL http://podcast.defeatthedrama....
Description You were born with individual strengths and a unique purpose. Don’t let fears, false beliefs, or life’s happenings diminish your influence! It’s time to Live and Lead for Impact! Host, Kirsten Ross, expert of transformation, will help you Defeat the Drama and Overcome the Trauma that can stop you in your tracks. You’ll gain focus, find confidence, and take bold action…. Unleash passionate, purposeful you! Make your impact as a business leader, family business employee, volunteer, parent, mom, dad. Find the tenacity to be a warrior for your unique impact! Let’s Go!!
Updated Mon, 03 Jun 2019 02:57:25 +0000
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Category Business
Government & Organizations
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Episodes

1. Taking Action Against Domestic Violence
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Ruchi Singh says, "I own my life and I help others to Own theirs". She says Violence changes something deep within us. But we have the power to decide what that change will be. Ruchi made a choice to take complete ownership / responsibility for her life. She gave a voice to herself and by doing so she has given a voice to countless others. She started giving talks to create awareness about domestic violence combined with the message that we humans have resounding power within us to transform and recreate our life. She is an inspirational speaker, mindset coach and a content creator. Currently, through her story, videos & coaching, she has empowered people from UK, India, Australia, Singapore, USA, South Africa, Canada and still counting.

Connect with Ruchi Singh on social media:

Youtube: http://bit.ly/RuchiSinghTalks

Facebook Page: http://bit.ly/FBRuchisinghtalks

Twitter: http://bit.ly/TwitterRuchiSinghtalks

Instagram: http://bit.ly/InstaRuchiSinghTalks

Linkedin: http://bit.ly/Ruchilinkedin



2. How to Make Your Impact While You Hold Down A Job
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I went through this same process years ago.  I was pregnant with my first child and decided that I really wanted to work part time.  Was I nervous?  Yes!  But, did all work out well.  You bet!  He’s in college now so it’s been a few years but I still remember the moments leading up to my conversation followed by the exhilaration of the positive response I got. It was so validating.  I felt valuable!  And I was excited to find a way to balance work I loved with family time.

What flexible work arrangement would help you balance your work and family obligations along with your focus on impact?  What would you like to do with your current role?  Set some goals.  Do your research. 

There are many different options available today and they are far more prevalent now than when I asked for my new arrangement!  I say all that to say, there is hope!

Here are some to consider:

Flexible Schedule: longer hours for less days, changing up your start time to earlier or later so you can get some life or impact activities out of the way before or after work. Work From Home, also sometimes known as telecommuting. You still need to devote the hours but can save those commute minutes towards impact. Job Sharing: with the right partner this flex work option can be amazing for employees and employers. Fill a full time job seamlessly with two people for a wider range of skills and built-in coverage for vacations or other time off. Part Time

If you want to go part time, how will that impact your take home pay?  Remember, there are variables other than paid hours that you need to consider.  Will your dry cleaning bill go down?  What will happen to your transportation costs?

Once you know what you are looking for, start putting together a presentation and formal written proposal (if you think you will need it).

Start by anticipating what the issues will be for your boss.  Make a list and address each item in writing prior to the meeting.  Be very specific.  These items will become your proposal.  I would not reference having children at home in the proposal.  You can, however, talk about your desire to balance your rewarding career with your outside responsibilities and pursuits.

Here are some topics to keep in mind when thinking about potential issues.

Purpose: retention, increased productivity, decreased burn-out, increased effectiveness

Schedule: Outline the days you plan to work from home and what hours and/or what your total schedule will be (full or part time).  If job sharing, who will work what hours?

Communication: How will your co-workers and customers contact you while you are working from home?  How will you communicate the change?  How will you access email and digital information from home? If you will work part time, will you be available for emergencies?  Or, if you will job share, how will you and your partner communicate to provide seamless full time work?

Physical Set-up: What will your home office set up be?  Will you have a separate room away from home and family distractions?  Do you have the office equipment required? 

Evaluation: Set a timeframe during which you and your boss can re-evaluate whether or not the new schedule is working.  3-6 months with time scheduled for interim evaluation with opportunity to discuss any problems and resolve them.  Indicate that either party can terminate the arrangement at the end of the trial period.

Job Duties: Make a list of the job duties that can be performed seamlessly from home.  Provide details of how it will be transparent to customers where applicable.  Or, if you will go part time or job share, how will work be redistributed?

Conclusion: List examples of any departments in your organization who already allow telecommuting, part time, job share, flex time.  Indicate that you feel that you have the same work ethic, etc…and are committed to making this a success.  Discuss that many organizations are now using this kind of work arrangement for recruitment and retention of high quality employees.  Discuss the decreased stress and added productivity that will result from working from home (think of examples of distractions at work that will not be present at home)



3. Cybersecurity, Are You at Risk? Cybermaniacs Want You to Be Safe
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Kathryn Brett Goldman Interview

https://thecybermaniacs.com

Episode 143

Also on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TheCybermaniacs where you can find a wealth of free information.

Kate is the CEO and founder of Cybermaniacs, an innovative new cyber awareness company. With over 20 years in the IT trenches, Kate brings a unique perspective from all sides of the IT/Business/Vendor equation. She has worked as the Director of a successful IT leadership consultancy, run global BRM for a major civil engineering firm, did a stint with Gartner and worked in a variety of trailblazing technology companies in the noughties. She is also a NED and Advisor to startups in the UK and US, acts as the Director of Development for the Ladies of London Hacking Society, and speaks internationally on leadership, cyber security, and technology change topics.

Her goal is to make what can be a scary topic lighter, or maybe even a bit humorous.

Cybersecurity poses a threat to all of us.  Smaller companies have been popular targets.  Often they have not done enough to guard against attacks and the cyber criminals know it.

She offers training services to companies to provide information in a humorous way that she hopes will inspire people to interact with their technology in a new way.

As an impact-maker, her biggest challenge has been juggling the duties of being a mom to 3 young kids while bootstrapping her start up.

To stay motivated through tough times she builds a well of positive stories.  She celebrates both large and small victories.



4. F It for Impact 5 in a series of 5 Fix Your Focus
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Fix Your Focus

In every moment opportunity to choose what you focus on – Hit will millions of pieces of data through all of our senses – Notice your butt in your chair – weren’t paying attention – now you are How do your feet feel in your shoes or in your socks? We tell our brains what to focus on – what to leave at the ready for quick access – EVER forget to tell yourself to remember where you parked your car? It’s in there – you just didn’t file it close Walking in the forest – can focus on the dirt and the soggy now rotting fallen leaves from last year - or look up to see the sun glinting through vibrant green leaves. – It’s a moment in time and we have each of those perspectives available to us. – Same is true for all moments of our lives - Tony Robbins – Race Car – look at the wall – hit the wall Focus on solutions not problems Focus on what energizes you not what tears you down Make challenges small and quick in your mind – don’t dwell on them Look for what is in your control and focus there – capture your creativity – focus on the problem = zaps energy and you lose the opportunity to problem solve.

Sons young – No structure – no bedtime – didn’t focus on what was out of my control – the frustration – the mama bear wanting to come out – instead focused on a solution -



5. Alesha Sargent Interview
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Alesha Sargent Interview



6. F it for Impact Fend off Fear and False Beliefs (4-5)
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F it for Impact Fend off Fear and False Beliefs (4-5)

Amygdala – can’t stop it – don’t have to listen Son – afraid of thunderstorms Not just fear of actions – talking to a stranger, calling someone, speaking in front of the room Fear of disappointing others, not looking good, failure Feeling useless Making someone angry or sad

7. Marine Corps Combat Veteran, Father and Firefighter an Interview with Michael Turpin
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Micheal Turpin

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeyt13

A proud father of one, Marine Corps combat Veteran, Indianapolis Firefighter, mental health advocate, peer support specialist, with a mission to bring hope to the hopeless. Through his lifetime, adversity and turmoil strengthened and equipped him with experiences understand the misunderstood and love the unlovable.

Michael’s mom passed away when he was in 3rd grade.  His aunt signed paperwork so he could join the Marine Corps. Right out of high school.

He has lived through some very tough experiences and had a period where he felt that gave him license to make bad choices and be bad.  He says he had a victim mindset that infected his whole life. He had difficulty with substance use and came very close to taking his own life.  He felt hopeless and isolated.

He still works to keep the victim mentality at bay.  He has a plan and people he can call if he’s not feeling well.  His go to people are real and tough but also let him be heard and have empathy.  He also found God and turns there when times are tough.

Michael now provides that for others as a Peer Support Specialist for the firefighters he works with.

His words of wisdom for others:  process your emotions. Embrace the struggle and then move forward.  Lose the victim mentality. Instead of asking why me ask, what can I learn?

When you go for something go all in.  Screw it up with confidence.  Be intentional and learn from your mistakes.



8. F it for Impact - Fulfill Your Commitments (3 - 4)
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Be a person who follows through on commitments.  It will require you to be more intentional about what you say yes and no to.  

If you give yourself wiggle room it is easy to say an immediate yes and then figure it out later on the fly.  You can end up overwhelmed and filled with remorse as you hide from those you've let down.

 

Are you struggling with difficult relationships?

Head over to: DefeatTheDrama.com/Roadmap



9. Empowered Readers Literacy Project - Interview with Khalil Thompson
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Khalil Thompson

Empowered Readers Literacy Project

Empoweredreaders.org

Khalil is a husband, father of 2 girls and a serial Enabler of Good. He was born in Oakland, came of Age in New Orleans, and became an adult in Atlanta.

Khalis is on a mission to help families build strong reading rituals.  Not teach people to read, but grow people who are excited about reading.  Give parents the tools to build the fun of reading into daily life by providing fun activities and also access to diverse books.  They focus on families with children from birth through age 8.

Khalil’s daughter is the inspiration for his work.  She came home from kindergarten one day feeling very sad that some children couldn’t read.  She was heartbroken that some kids didn’t have access to quality books.  Khalil and his wife tried to explain that every family is different.  His daughter didn’t like this answer. 

When Khalil and his wife started researching the issue they learned that literacy was directly tied to stats for time in prison.  Two thirds of children who are not reading well by the third grade will end up on welfare or in jail.  And the school dropout rate is high.  And, that prisons actually plan for jail space based on the dropout rates for an area.

Now they too were inspired to do something about this issue!  And that’s how Empowered Reader’s was born.

They are now encouraging reading in 3 main ways:

Books on the Green – outdoor reading or theatre depicting stories.

Educate Parents about fun reading activities.  Help to create reading rituals before age 3.

Books for Kids through free neighborhood libraries, books into homes through pediatrician offices and also Books for Kids by Kids in the neighborhood.

Khalil shared that he had just taken the leap of faith by turning in notice with his employer so that he could fully focus on the nonprofit. 

His words of wisdom for others, “You can either let tough times box you in or be the wind that moves you.  Have a vision and you can get there.”



10. F It For Impact - Form Your Foundation (2-4)
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If you are leading for impact you are not working for someone else.  No one will stand over your shoulder and tell you what to do.  And, you may be working from home where the laundry and dishes beckon, the tv sits there, neighbors are near and invites call..  It's important to create structure that builds in accountability.



11. Girl Boss Sports - An Interview with Sarah Wolfer
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Girl Boss Sports - An Interview with Sarah Wolfer

GirlBossSports.com

Sarah Wolfer is the CEO and Founder of Girl Boss Sports - a Greater Seattle area soccer company that is devoted to female athletes and coaches. Sarah is also a Professional Tackle Football Player with the
Seattle Majestics (#29) and is working on a book centered on women in leadership and sports in 2019.

As a female soccer player a turning happened when a male soccer coach got in her face and was very aggressive. She started crying and was kicked out of practice. She quit playing for a while and is not determined to encourage more women to become soccer coaches. And, she wants even more girls to play the game. She uses the sport to teach beyond the techniques. She teaches leadership and other life skills from the field.

A key to success, she says, is to have a great support system. Her husband and teammates are part of her strong support team. She also has an accountability call every Tuesday night. It’s also very important to engage in good self care. Get good sleep, find ways to feel inspired, listen to great music.

It’s okay to be scared! She was terrified before her first football practice. She did it anyway! One strategy she strongly recommends is the Power Pose that she calls the Fearless Girl Stance. Spend 2 minutes in the pose while saying positive affirmations and you’re ready!

GirlBossSports.com



12. EP 134: How Can You F It for Impact? #1 in a Series
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F it For Impact - Fuel Your Fortitude  #1 In a Series

Commit and just don’t quit – Don’t give yourself the out – Table the Decision – don’t waste time pondering Every day I learn new things It will get easier I will find a way I haven’t tried all the possible ways yet Play it like a game - have fun while you try new things – see what you can make happen

Here are the trip ups to avoid to help you fuel your fortitude

Know that Perfect Timing is a Myth – Sometimes you have the commitment BUT – you need to commit to action – NOT just committing to commit – Don’t delay action until you feel ready – get in research mode- feel like you have to have it all figured out first - you won’t know everything until you just do it – It’s okay to figure things out as you go – unitl the kids are back in school or the sun begins to shine - WRITING MY FIRST BOOK Instant Gratification is Mostly a Myth Bill Gates said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in 10. Impact takes time – commit to the specific steps you must take daily, weekly, monthly and just keep going. If you have kids you know you had to wait for that first smile – that first little positive reinforcement while you fed, changed, burped, walked….. Blogging, podcasting – anything where you are working to connect with people – can feel like it’s going out into a black hole – invisible – but…often people are watching, noticing….it takes time Most famous people had years of struggle before you knew them. Much of what you see is the end result of years of sacrifice – to US it’s instant fame but that is rarely the reality Your Why – I have my Objectives – WHY I participate in Network Marketing – Not heart centered – more practical – and then my WHY – Objectives also help and can be good when speaking to people – different things to pull from: Solo Preneur 15 years – provides a team of goal oriented people into personal development – hard to find – NM provides that environment Help More People – Coach, Speak, Motivate An additional Stream of Income –

And then the WHY – Heart Centered – More than money – what that money or time freedom can do – MUST include an element of serving others – When speaking with others they need to feel that a part of your purpose is about them – This will also have you speak in a way that gives them freedom to say yes or no – to decide for themselves if it’s right for them.

Run Your Own Race – don’t compare - Burn the Boat – Remove other options - earn the auto bonus, get the car Downturn in the economy – single mom and business owner – started also looking for a job – realized – needed full focus on biz – couldn’t get my heart into working for someone else – my time and energy was divided – full force – highest earnings to date that next year

13. EP 133: We Are More Similar than We Know – He’s On a Mission to Ignite Unity Through our Stories
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We Are More Similar than We Know – He’s On a Mission to Ignite Unity Through our Stories

An Interview with Kenneth Williams Jr.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenneth-j-williams-jr-m-a-b8263266

Kenneth recently graduated from Michigan State University with a Master's degree in Public Relations and a specialization in Nonprofit Fundraising.

In the fall of 2017, Kenneth was selected to be a Forbes under 30 Scholar.

Kenneth earned his Bachelor's Degree in Communication with a minor in Leadership and Integrated Learning from Michigan State University in May of 2016. He has extensive experience in various sectors of Public Relations including nonprofits, technology and crisis communication. Additionally, Kenneth has studied abroad in Mexico, Belize and China whilst also being a published author.  He was also on MSU’s Homecoming Court.

He contributed a section to an anthology published by the MSU libraries.

Kenneth’s mission is to connect people through story telling.  He is passionate about the power of shared experiences.  He has spent his life writing and sharing stories and learned early that, even when people seem very different, they can connect when they see themselves through someone else’s experiences.

One of his biggest challenges was dealing with the loss of his grandfather, who was always his biggest cheerleader.  He also struggles to maintain a good sense of his worth.  He works to know his value without feeling arrogant.

To overcome tough times he prayers every day.  His favorite verse is Luke 12:32.  He knows that he should not have fear.  God seeks to bless him beyond what he can imagine.

He encourages others to learn to love themselves and says that no one should curb their brilliance out of fear of fueling someone else’s insecurities.  –Be Boss-

For A Free Relationship Renovation Roadmap Tool Visit:
defeatthedrama.com/roadmap



14. The World Needs Your Impact: Stop Beating Yourself Up
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Do you set goals and fall short of meeting them?

Do you make promises to co-workers or volunteers and then fail to follow through?

Are daily choices inconsistent with the outcomes you say you’d like to create in your work or life?

You are not alone. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution to get to the gym 4 times per week or a commitment to an employee that you’ll be better at delegating tasks with a reasonable amount of lead time, we humans have a tough time breaking bad habits and implementing the new and improved.

We have great intentions. We just get stuck. And before we know it 5 months have passed without any noticeable change or personal growth.

So, based on the title of this episode you might be thinking, “oh yay! She’s going to tell me it’s okay. Everyone does it anyway. Move on and just be okay with how things are.”

Sorry. That’s not the emphasis today.

Yes, I will still encourage you to stop beating yourself up when you fail to meet a goal or a deadline. However, the reasoning is different. If you’ve been listening for a while or have worked with me you know that I’m all about defeating drama. Beating yourself up is just a waste of time. And it shifts your focus away from meeting your objective.

You see, when you are calling yourself names and mentally berating yourself, where is your focus? On you and how bad you are.

Is this motivating? No.

Is this time spent on creating a new plan that DOES move you towards your goals? NO.

Beating yourself up is just self-induced drama. It shifts your focus away from where it needs to be; on making the plan you must implement to meet your objectives.

And, too often our berating tends to lend the opportunity to give ourselves a pass.  Do any of these sound familiar?

I do this every time. I’m just not cut out to be successful.” Why bother even trying? I’m just setting myself up for failure. I have no will power. I’m a complete loser! I suck

Our mental beat down can become an excuse, a long term justification.

And how motivated do you feel while engaging in this kind of negative self talk?   Get over yourself and get on with it!

Now, I don’t want you to completely skip over the feeling of disappointment or the loss of what could have been. Experience the pain to motivate you to new momentum. So, notice it quickly but don’t park there. Don’t let a disappointment become a long term beat down.

When a client shares their story of a missed deadline or failed commitment my first question is always, “how does it feel?”

If it’s a failed commitment to another person I also want them to think how that person might feel or what their team might be saying to each other. I also ask them to think about how they might feel if someone failed to follow through for them in the same way.

This helps build the motivation for change. The goal is to reignite the commitment.

From there we move quickly to, “Now, what do you want to do about it?”

What did you learn? This is an important question. Perhaps you can glean some additional information about structure required to pull off the change. Are there ways to build in hourly, daily or weekly accountability? Do you need a tracking system? A notorious strategy for dieting is to keep a food journal so that dieters are conscious fo what’s going in their mouths. A tally of calories can be an eye opening experience. Information and facts are so helpful to maintain motivation. Is there any clean up you must do as a result? Any apologies or acknowledgements to make? Is trust eroding or disappointment building between you and others? Acknowledgement and an apology go a long way to rebuilding trust and igniting hope. How will you reaffirm your commitment to yourself or others to create accountability? What actions will you take to keep your commitment? What do you need to create logistically to succeed? What progress, if any, did you make? Was there any forward momentum? Any positive steps? If so, take a moment to celebrate.

 

If you’re like most of my clients you have big dreams and a hearty list of goals to tackle. You have a vision for the difference you want to make. Don’t get in your own way. Break those goals into manageable stepping stones and create the positive mindset that you WILL make them happen one daily choice at a time.

And, if a bump in the road happens caused by you or something out of your control you’ll keep on keeping on. Your plans are too important to give up on!

Remember, the world needs your unique impact!  Go do it!



15. An RN has channeled her struggle with depression into support for teens
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www.traceymaxfield.com

Tracey Maxfield is a nurse with over 36 years’ experience. She experienced her first episode of clinical depression in her twenties and lived with chronic depression ever since. However, nothing prepared her for the acute depressive episode she experienced in 2015. After enduring years of intense work place stress, harassment and bullying, she plummeted into an abyss of darkness, hopelessness and despair the likes of which she had never experienced before.


Encouraged by a psychologist, Tracey started a Blog, Escaping the Rabbit Hole: my life with depression, to better help her friends understand her depression. Over time, Tracey began to heal and found that out of the darkness and despair, there is hope, there is life after depression.


Since the release of her book, Escaping the Rabbit Hole: my journey through depression (www.traceymaxfield.com), Tracey has become a staunch advocate for Mental Illness and Mental Health Awareness and Bullying and completed the course, Bringing Mental Health to Schools. She has met with teenagers ages 11 to 15 years to talk about bullying and mental illness and has appeared on numerous podcasts in the USA, Canada and UK, live radio shows and ABC KOMO News 4, KSHV 45, and NBC News 6 television shows. In June, Tracey was featured in a series of articles by HelloCare magazine in Australia.

In September, Tracey embarked on a new life journey, she sold her home, donated most of her possessions to various charities and made a commitment to try and make a difference in the world and is spending six months traveling in the USA, talking about mental illness and bullying in children and teenagers. Her philosophy is to Engage children and teenagers, to Educate them about mental illness and bullying and to Empower them to develop confidence and skills to continue to move ahead in their own life journey.

Tracey completed the Global 7/7 Challenge and recorded 7 days/7 videos on mental illness www.traceymaxfield.fyi.to/changingthefaceofmentalillness and bullying in children and teenagers www.traceymaxfield.fyi.to/helptraceystopbullying. In February, Tracey is heading to Kansas and Florida to appear on TV/radio shows and give talks at local schools.


She is also one of the ‘Break Out’ presenters at the TEACH 2019 Conference in Jacksonville, Florida on March 2, 2019.



16. The Myth of Perfect Timing
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So often when I’m working with clients they share the list of things they’d love to make happen in their lives….. closely followed by all of the excuses for why they cannot start.  Often the excuse list can be boiled down to one short phrase, “The timing is not perfect.”

If this is you, I hate to break it to you but, as for perfect timing….…there is no such thing! 

If you want to live and lead for impact, you’ve got to know this to your core!  If not, you’ll waiting a long time for your impact and so will the world!

I have a good friend who is a project manager for a large, international company.  They pull the best of the best of the best to work on their projects….the best minds, best talent, best resources from across the world.  And, even they have never found the perfect time or had the perfect launch.

I look back on my life and there were MANY times when I just pushed forward rather than pressing pause when timing was far from perfect and I can say with certainty I have no regret about starting when I did for any of them

For instance, I remember deciding to write my first book. 

At the time, I knew nothing about writing or publishing.  I didn’t even know how many words or 8 ½ x 11 pages in a Word document would equal enough pages for a book.  I had to call a friend who’d recently had a book published through Wiley, Corey Perlman.  I asked him….so, how do you know when you have enough content?

He shared the number of words he’d been given as a goal and the number he’d ended up with.  Based on the information he shared, I decided I’d celebrate as soon as I hit 25,000 words.  When I did and still had plenty more to write about I knew I had a book! 

I still had a lot more to figure out beyond the word count too: Self Publish or look for a traditional publisher, editing, covers, formatting, indexing and more.

I was also a single mom with 2 young boys.  None of this made it the optimal time.

So, I just started.  I didn’t focus on any of the end of project tasks and instead just made a commitment to get up every morning at 5:30 AM to write. 

My first book came out in 2010, the next, 2012, then 2016 and 2017.  And, each time it has gotten easier and easier because I’ve learned so much along the way that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t just started.

Similarly, when I was part of a team starting a ministry we talked about delaying launch until we did some more research, tweaked a bit more. But, the truth was, there really wasn’t more to learn from research.  Many of our questions could only be answered by doing.  There would never be a perfect time.

And then when I think about starting my coaching business almost 15 years ago.  Talk about not the perfect time…and yet, I’ve loved every minute of it and know that I’ve positively impacted so many people and companies. 

I started that business on the heels of an abusive marriage!  I’d spent years being berated and told I was worthless, lazy and a sham.  I was about to be a new single mom and had no family support.  The income from my new business needed to support myself and two young boys.

My ducks weren’t in a row, they were all over the place! 

And, yet….I started.  I had spoken to a few trusted advisors in my life and they had helped me identify my unique abilities. I took a self study course, created a business name and website and launched!

A couple of years ago I added a second business as an extra income source.  It’s well aligned with what I was already doing and I loved that I would have the chance to spend time with motivated, goal-oriented people, something that I miss, at times, while working for myself.

My kids were both going through major health challenges. Once again, it was not the optimal time to launch a new endeavor or meet a new team.  But….I jumped.

These are just a few examples.  I’m sure I could share more.  But you get it.

I can tell you that in not one instance do I regret moving forward during a time when things were far from perfect.

And, I know I’ve made an impact on this world each time I moved past discomfort to start or create a new something when it wasn’t the perfect time.

What if I’d robbed the world of my impact while I waited for all the stars to align?

What have you been pressing pause on?  Is it something for you, your family or your health?  Maybe it’s something you’d like to learn or train for, a trip you’d like to take.  Is there a new business on your brain?

Whatever it is just start!  The Perfect time will never happen.  Why is today’s barrier to perfection any worse than the one you’ll have tomorrow?

Don’t rob the world of your plan, don’t rob your life of your plan.

To what will you commit to today to put your plan in action? 

Today commit to taking the first step and tomorrow take one more.  Before you know it you’ll be well on your way and looking back with a feeling of satisfaction and a smile.  Impact made or lessons learned.  Either way a life enriched by a chance you took.



17. He grew up in a tough area playing sports and writing
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Vid Lamonte' Buggs Jr is an Athlete. Scholar. Entrepreneur. Philanthropist. Bestselling Author. Speaker. Poet. Consultant. Volunteer. Coach. A modern-day “Renaissance man,”

Vid Buggs is a man of diverse interests who directs his many talents towards bringing people together, encouraging them to look past their differences to unite to make the world a better place.

Vid and his companies 4-U-Nique Publishing and VLB/VBJ Enterprises have been featured in several publications including USA Weekly, Huffington Post, and Forbes. Find out more about Vid at www.vidbuggs.com 

Vid grew up in an area where the life expectancy for males was only 29 years.  And, he grew up in the United States, in a place many visit for the beautiful beaches.  I was shocked to learn that he was talking about the Virginia Beach area.  The area has many port cities where incomes are tied to the US military.  There are drug problems, high murder rates, and many low-income families. 

Vid has beat the odds, but had to power through a childhood filled with people telling him he couldn’t….they thought he wouldn’t run….and yet he went on to play professional basketball.  And teachers filled his mind with Don’t Do’s, but never replaced the void with what TO do.  How could he dream and set big goals? 

He took on a Warrior Mindset with a focus on Faith, Determination and Perseverance.  He now lives to fulfill his mission of instilling these important life skills into children and adults.  As a coach to young athletes he shares basketball skills, but more importantly, tenacity!

He also seeks to bring people together and minimize the division we have in our world.  He wants to overcome what divides us as we focus on the plenty that we share in common.  He shares his important messages through speaking and writing.  He also helps other authors get their important messages out for impact.

His biggest internal challenge has been his battle with perfectionism and his largest external challenge is being a minority in America.  When he walks into a room, stigma follows and he must work 10 times harder as a result.  In tough times he remembers those who came before him and worked through their own struggles and he also relies heavily on his faith, turning to the Bible for strength and perseverance.  With his focus there he can get up and keep moving to overcome his next challenge. 

For others who are working to make their impact, he shares that you must continue to take intentional and meaningful action.  Start small.  Small builds and the ripple will eventually create a wave.  Just keep moving!

 



18. I Learned a Life Lesson from my Car!
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Do you have some lingering relationships ... …tear you down….cause grief…..have baggage…..long histories…

……these relationships can and DO zap our energy, steal our joy, drum up false beliefs about ourselves, and sometimes even stand in the way of achieving our dreams.

Yes, addressing relationship stuff can feel overwhelming, but often remedies are simpler than you’d think if you know how to define the right fix. That’s why I’ve designed the Relationship Renovation Roadmap I can’t wait to show you how!

Go to DefeatTheDrama.com/roadmap to check it out!

I actually wrote about this life lesson learned from my car a few years back and as I’m revisiting it now had to laugh.  My son is currently on his way to get HIS car fixed with a similar issue.  He waited until the emergency situation placed on the side of the expressway calling AAA for service. I’d been telling him for weeks he needed to get it looked at. He didn’t listen and look…..neither did I….

Here’s my similar story with the life lessons it taught me…..


My car had had some issues.  I had to keep refilling the coolant reservoir.  I assumed that it was leaking, though I didn’t know for sure.  I’m not a big car person.  I don’t really enjoy dealing with anything to do with my car other than getting in and driving it where I need to go.  Beyond that I don’t want to take any time on it.  I try to avoid talking about it, getting work done on it, pumping gas into it, filling the tires or even shopping for a new one!  As long as the car I have can fulfill its basic function for me I’m good to go. 

Over time the coolant issue got worse and worse and I had to spend a bit more time and money dealing with my car.  I had to buy coolant and add it.  At first I needed to add it about once a month, then once every couple weeks, then once a week.  Finally I was adding coolant two times per week.  The gage I used was my air conditioning or heat (yes, this went on for months!).  When the air conditioner or heater blew out warm air rather than cold or hot I knew that it was time to add more coolant. 

It was working for me.  I knew deep down that I was spending a lot on coolant but I just didn’t feel like taking the extra time necessary to figure out what was really wrong.  I was just using the band aid method, coaxing the car along doing the bare minimum to keep it driving for me.  It was fulfilling its basic function so I just kept going with it.

Then one morning I went out to my trusty vehicle to drive my two boys to school.  The car failed me!  It would not start.  I checked the fluid.  I had just filled it.  I didn’t think that low fluid was a reasonable hypothesis since it had been bone dry many times with no starter issues, but it was worth a try.  That tapped my knowledge base.  I had a car that was no longer fulfilling its basic function.  I was finally forced into real action.  I called the mechanic who makes house calls.

The starting issue ended up being nothing more than a dead battery, an easy fix.  The leak, however, was a disintegrating radiator.  Once the mechanic removed it, he ran his hand down it to show me all of the little metal fins just falling away.  He said that it had been on the verge of failing altogether.  It would not have been drivable.  Coolant would have gushed all over.  There would have been nothing to fill.  I was now thankful for the dead battery.  It stopped my car from working and made me take the time to figure out what was really wrong.  Out of sheer luck, I was at home rather than on the side of the road somewhere. 


It got me thinking.  How often do we do this in our lives?  As long as something is still working, at least barely, we don’t put the time or energy necessary to address it at all.  We live with mediocrity rather than shooting for greatness.  We limp along rather than soaring.  We put time and energy into a band aid but nothing more.  And if we are lucky, a smaller issue will pop up to give us a wakeup call before catastrophe strikes.  So, what in your life needs more attention?  Where do you need a wake up call?

Are you just skating at work but feel like, hey, the job still pays the bills?  When is the last time you put extra energy at work?   When did you put not just your time but your passion into your work?  When did you last feel gratitude towards your boss, your subordinates or peers?

Or, maybe it’s your own business.  Are you feeling frustrated while you fail to do what you must to really succeed? 

Is your relationship with your significant other just a partnership of convenience?  Where have you set the bar?  Do you figure If the house gets semi-clean and there are some clean clothes, you both must be doing something right?  That’s good enough.  When is the last time you had a date together?  When did you last feel passion?  When did you feel an air of gratitude?  When is the last time you took a moment to appreciate the fact that your partner is in your life?  When did you last say, “I appreciate you”, with words or a gesture?  What energy is going to this important relationship to make it great?  Wouldn’t a rocking relationship be a better bar to set?  What would that feel like?

Does stress fill your life?  Are you slapping the band aid of alcohol or sleeping pills to keep going the way you’re going?  Who do you need to say no to with grace?  How do you need to revamp your expectations of yourself?  Are you shooting for that impossible goal of perfection?  What resentments are you carrying?  Where do you need to have a voice?  Where are you making assumptions that just increase your anger?

Do you have a health issue that you just work around?  I have to admit to that I have done this.  Are you putting a band aid on an issue?  What if it’s your tiny wake up call, the one that will come before catastrophe hits?  How can you get your body in motion?  What are you fueling your body with?  When did you have your last check-up?  What health screenings have you put off as unimportant?

Are you just tolerating your kids? Are they something to be dealt with, just another chore?  When is the last time you celebrated them?  Where can you pour more energy into their lives?  What wisdom can you teach? How can you shower love on them?  Where do you need to pull back the reigns and pay attention to their lives?  Who are they hanging out with, what do they do?

What in your life is slowly getting worse and worse?  What are you putting a band aid on rather than actually fixing?  What would it feel like to put full energy on fixing something rather than partial energy on band-aiding?  Where does your energy need to go before your kids are lost, your marriage falls apart, your health fails you, your boss fires you or your business fails?

Let this be your wake up call. You are a limited resource created for impact.  Learn this lesson from my car.  Take action now.  It’s time for you to soar!

Do you have some lingering relationships ... …tear you down….cause grief…..have baggage…..long histories…

……these relationships can and DO zap our energy, steal our joy, drum up false beliefs about ourselves, and sometimes even stand in the way of achieving our dreams.

Yes, addressing relationship stuff can feel overwhelming, but often remedies are simpler than you’d think if you know how to define the right fix. That’s why I’ve designed the Relationship Renovation Roadmap I can’t wait to show you how!

Go to DefeatTheDrama.com/roadmap to check it out!



19. As a child she was nerdy and bullied, even by teachers. Now she helps others find and connect with their people
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Nela Dunato Art & Design

neladunato.com

Find her book, Human Centered Brand here:  https://humancenteredbrand.com/

Nela Dunato is a designer, writer, and educator from Croatia. She’s the author of the book “The Human Centered Brand”, a practical guide that teaches service based business owners and creatives how to create an authentic brand and grow meaningful relationships with their clients.

Nela also teaches design as an Adobe course instructor, leads in-person workshops, and writes articles on design, marketing, business, and creativity.

She grew up in a small town, felt nerdy, isolated and was bullied, even by some teachers. Then she finally found and connected with her own band of misfits.  She quickly learned the importance of finding your peeps.

She is now on a mission to help others attract their people through authentic, intentional branding.

Words of Wisdom:  Don’t get hung up on a big huge vision.  Start small, but consistent.  Build community.  It will happen if you keep going with persistence and patience.



20. 6 Quick Questions to Help You Capture Time and Decrease Stress
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Still struggling with difficult relationships?

Head over to DefeatTheDrama.com/Roadmap

I think it’s pretty safe to assume that, if you are working to make an impact, life is busy!  You are almost certainly juggling, coordinating and prioritizing life, relationships, self-care, hiccups, money-making endeavors, impact activities, if the two are not intertwined, and then all of the extra activities that surround any and all of the above.

Most of us would probably say, “life is busy, but good!”

While you are increasing your bandwidth, however, it is so important to minimize stress.  Busy and energized is great but stress takes the energy to a negative place.  Overwhelm is never good and stress takes a toll on our impact, our bodies and our lives.

I always say, you can live that way for a sprint, but not a marathon!

Here are 6 quick questions.  Answer them and then take action to move from overwhelm to calm – or at least calmer!

What can you stop doing?

Are there rules that you live with in your house because you grew up that way?  Your mom made you do it so now you have to?  Rules about laundry, making the bed, dinners and more…..sit back and start fresh. Can you relax some rules you have for you? 

I still remember the dinner I made when my boys were little……”Oh mom!  You are the BEST cook!  You should have your own cooking show!”  My fancily cooked cuisine?
Tomato soup and grilled cheese – I think it’s safe to say they were easily wowed –

I’ve been a huge fan of my crock pot for years and Dump Recipes are amazing.  Drop the contents in a freezer bag, throw it in the freezer standing up.  Pull it out to place it in the crock pot first thing in the morning.  Fire up the rice cooker for a side and the meal is ready to go!

Remember…..I’ve always done this….does not have to lock you in for a lifetime. 

Also consider, What committees are you on?  What volunteering are you doing?

How much time are you spending on social media or watching junk tv?  Now, I have nothing against either and I’m not saying you must stop it all – but, let’s get real, either can become time suckers.  Netflix couldn’t make it any easier to binge watch for hours.  And scrolling social media for a few moments can turn into hours without any thought.

Take a look at your time with fresh eyes and let nothing be off limits. Keep track for a week or so.  If you have an iPhone, check the stats they now provide for how you’re spending time on you phone. 

What will you stop doing?

 

Where can you lower expectations?

There are different seasons of life.  Did you create some expectations for yourself, your home, your family that made great sense during a calmer time? 

Making your impact or maneuvering through any busy time of life with some amount of peace requires recalibrating expectations to better fit the time.

I still remember when, as a single mom, I had to lower my expectations for our pool. I’d always been proud of how sparkly blue I could keep it.  Well, once the full complement of responsibilities fell on me as a single who hadn’t downsized the home it was no longer realistic to keep the pool that way.  There are only so many hours in a day and some things had to give - Good enough had to be good enough. 

Where are you holding tight to unrealistic expectations that are not a fit for your circumstance?  Are they causing extra pressure, stress and discouragement?  Give yourself relief by adjusting where you must.

What can you outsource?

Make a list of the activities you don’t like to do or aren’t good at and farm out what you can.


I’m not just talking about hired help.  Is there anyone in your household who could take on additional duties?  Do you have kids old enough to start doing or chores, or, if doing some, can they take on more?  Now….I get it, this may also plop you back into the question above….where can you lower expectations?  Are you one of those, it has to be done exactly how I want it or it will drive me nuts people?  If so…lowering expectations and learning to live with good enough or different is fine may need to be part of your solution.

And then what CAN you hire out or trade for? 

There’s an endless list.  If you don’t have money to outsource, perhaps you can trade some services.  If you do outsource, be intentional with the time you capture. 

Lawn and landscaping?
Cleaning
Laundry
Driving Kids
Cooking
Clerical Activities
Basic accounting duties
Marketing and Social Media
Emails and Schedules
Tutors

How will you capture your list? 

The written or typed lists are essential!  If you don’t get it out the list sits in your head.  If it sits in your head you have to keep rehearsing it to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything.  I know you are laughing right now because you’ve done it or are doing it now!

Rehearsing a list makes you less productive in the moment and stressed.  Your mind will think that there is an endless number of tasks.  And you will be afraid of forgetting something.  It will also rob you of sleep.  Lying in bed when your mind is supposed to be quiet is the prime time for rehearsal.  Get it out of your head and on paper into a digital format!

How can you chunk down large projects?  

Good from a practical standpoint.  You can only do so much at once anyway. Unless your life is different from most, you’ll never get large projects done if you tell yourself you need a solid week of uninterrupted time.  BUT….you can finish pieces of a project 15, 30 or 90 minutes at a time.

Chunking down makes it easier to fill in fragments of time with pieces of your priorities list.  Apps like Toodledo will even help you sift to find tasks by time. 

Chunking down also helps you focus only on what’s next.  This is really helpful!  I used to feel the full weight of a project until it was all done.  That added way too much stress.  In a large project there is going to be an order to tasks.  If you’re on step 3 but worrying a feeling the weight of step 20 as if it’s gotta happen now, you’re increasing your stress exponentially.  I know from personal experience. I had to learn to chunk it down AND put the later tasks to the side in my mind.  Look at what’s in front of me now not what’s coming.

What should be prioritized first? Knowing what you need to get done is step one.  Step 2 is prioritizing it all to fit into the time you have in a way that gets it done on time.  Use your time with intention. 

When I’m prioritizing I pay attention to my energy.  I know that my most creative time is earlier in the day so prioritize tasks that require more focus into earlier time slots.

I also consider what’s happening in the world.  You won’t see me at a Costco on the weekend. I can go there during slower times so choose to do that instead.

I hope these questions will help you capture some productive time.  I can’t wait to see the impact you make with the new found time!

Still struggling with difficult relationships?

Head over to DefeatTheDrama.com/Roadmap

Wishing you a life of joy, balance, passion & purpose!



21. Pop Psych 101 Removing The Stigma From Mental Illness
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Pop Psych 101

Poppsych101.com

Mike hails from Kansas City, Missouri; Kansas City is in Missouri, not Kansas, for the confused reading this. CHIEFS!

Living in KC is a bit of luck on Mike’s side–being right in the middle of the USA is super useful for someone who’s terrified to fly. North, West, East or South, nothing is further than 27 hours drive. Doable.

Husband and Dad life are number 1. Talk show Host? Stay at home Dad. Pretty nice guy. Average height. Handsome sometimes. Driven by a primal urge to create and entertain.

That primal urge is called Bipolar Disorder. It’s actually super useful. Goal Oriented like crazy.

#1 creative and entertainment goal? Teaching people about Mental Health. It’s fascinating if you just listen for minute or two

Mike is working to spread awareness and bust the stigma of mental health issues.  He wants to normalize it so that at some point we can speak about it the same way we would talk about a broken leg.

He’s been a creative person his entire life and began adding to his portfolio when he was 13 years old. 

He now works from the speed of pedal-to-the-medal to huge downswings where it’s difficult to get up or do anything.

His wife is always there to encourage him and so is his sister, but there are also times when he needs to give in to the disease and tuck away in the quiet.

Mike and his podcast co-host, Ryan, a therapist, explore the topic of mental health through movies and shows.  They share ideas and reviews in an entertaining way and joke that their show has one therapist, one advocate and 2 perspectives.



22. Whining Only Works on You if You Let it!
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Do you have some lingering relationships ... …tear you down….cause grief…..have baggage…..long histories…

……these relationships can and DO zap our energy, steal our joy, drum up false beliefs about ourselves, and sometimes even stand in the way of achieving our dreams.

Yes, addressing relationship stuff can feel overwhelming, but often remedies are simpler than you’d think if you know how to define the right fix. That’s why I’ve designed the Relationship Renovation Roadmap  I can’t wait to show you how!

Go to: DefeatTheDrama.com/Roadmap to check it out

Your plugging along working and feeling productive with a vision of an on time exit from work when you look up to see the Workplace Whiner standing in your doorway.  Or, perhaps you work from home and the constant complainer enters your space via phone.

Oh No!! Not now! Not today!

The energy-zapping, soul-sucking minutes that can drag into an hour. Time you can never get back. You want to scream, slam the door in their face, or end the call, but you don’t want them to feel bad……or walk around complaining about you!

Years ago, when I worked in an office full time we had an employee who walked around for hours every day holding a coffee mug. We called the mug his “decoy”. He’d make it appear as though he was just out on a quick jaunt to refill, but this was obviously not his true mission.   Office by office he’d stop in for his chat, sharing tidbits he’d heard along the way. He was also known as the department spy.

Whiners and complainers can take many forms. They can be frustrated about co-workers or personal injustices. Whatever the topic, they are breeding drama wherever they go. They aren’t just looking for an ear to get through a tough time. They are built to look for the issue, the challenge, the drama.  If a frustration isn’t easy to find, they’ll flip a story to become victim, wronged yet again.

Your whiner may be at work, or perhaps provide service at a place you frequent.  Are they a friend who calls nightly to share their woes?

Many of my clients struggle to avoid whiners. Here are some of the key strategies I share with them. Pick the one that feels right for you and your circumstance.

This one is the least direct but usually yields a good result. A quick excuse stated as you focus intently on your screen or head out the door. “I’m so sorry. I’m on a deadline so can chat for 5 minutes but no more. What’s up?”

I don’t condone lying. So, I’m not really suggesting that you say you are on a deadline when you aren’t. I just think it’s safe to assume that, whether at work or moving through life, there is always some kind of priority looming. Just fill in the blank with the actual time frame or leave it out altogether if you prefer to make an instant get away.

This option is one that will achieve your end result over time. Ultimately, any whiner is looking for the sympathetic ear. That person who will commiserate with their opinions and validate their misery. They are intentional about their targets. It’s no fun to whine to someone who is coming back at you with butterflies and sunshine, or worse, someone who’ll share strategies or specific actions the whiner could take to improve the situation!!

They aren’t looking for a new perspective. No, they seek someone to join them in their funk. So, I suggest that you begin sharing ideas about the more positive perspective they might consider as they describe their negative view. Or, share how wonderful you think that situation sounds or how they might improve the situation with a proactive approach. You won’t be the chosen one for long if you don’t empathize or commiserate. I promise! 

No beating around the bush with this one. The more direct approach that will earn you the quickest retreat is to simply state that you have made it your personal goal to remain focused on all things positive. You’ve given up watching the news and will be happy to engage in problem solving activities but are committed to steering clear of complaining or any other negative, low energy inputs.  It will be immediately obvious to even the most self-absorbed whiner that you are not the ideal target. Some will put up a bit of a fight, but stand your ground. ‘If you have any positive news to share I am all ears. If not, I need to stop you right there and get back to my work.”

The Relationship Renovation Roadmap

Go to: DefeatTheDrama.com/Roadmap to check it out



23. He’s Helping Men Understand the Value They Can Bring to Their Families
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Wrestling with Fatherhood

wwfatherhood.com

Matt Woodrum, married, with 3 daughters, is passionate about sending a call out to men to understand the value that they bring to their families. As someone who grew up without a dad and worked within the prison system, Matt has seen firsthand how growing up without a dad can negatively affect our children.

Matt is equipping men to become their kid’s biggest hero.  To often men minimize their value.

Matt found his motivation from his childhood.

As a small illustration of the kind of life he had as a toddler, Matt shares that his first words were Scooby Doo.

Matt was removed from his home and adopted out when he was 4 years old because he had been abused.  The man he called father committed suicide when he was 7.  He did not have a good role model after that. 

He credits his wife who, when they first met, encouraged him, telling him that he had a great future and could design it.  She also believed in him and his ability to do well in school when he felt like a failure.

As an adult he worked in a prison ministry and learned that 88% of men who were incarcerated did not have good father figures growing up. 

And, then he worked with women in prison teaching anger management and learned of the heartache so many had felt from treatment from men.

He knew that men needed to step up, do better and understand the value they could bring by living to higher standards. 

Next steps include Mastermind groups for men where they will find a community to lock arms with so they can encourage, uplift one another and hole one another accountable to exceptional standards.

Matt often struggles with not feeling good enough or questions how in the world someone with his background could ever be equipped to help men be great fathers and husbands.  He has no role model himself.  But, his wife is always there with words of encouragement and this keeps him going.

Matt knows that with a history like his he could either think poor me and use it as an excuse to do nothing with his life or, he could turn his trials into his testimony.



24. You MIGHT Be a People Pleaser If…
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Do you have some lingering relationships ....that can be challenging …tear you down….cause grief…..have baggage…..long histories…

……these relationships can and DO zap our energy, steal our joy, drum up false beliefs about ourselves, and sometimes even stand in the way of achieving our dreams.

Yes, addressing relationship stuff can feel overwhelming, but often remedies are simpler than you’d think if you know how to define the right fix. That’s why I’ve designed the Relationship Renovation Roadmap  I can’t wait to show you how!    Go to DefeatTheDrama.com/Roadmap to check it out!

Have you ever heard Jeff Foxworthy’s  “You Might Be a Redneck if…..” lists?

They are hilarious!

Well, I’m going to start with something similar, but you may not find it so funny.

I call it the You Might Be a People Pleaser if: 

If you Constantly feel overwhelmed and scattered…..You might be a People Pleaser If you often feel unappreciated…..You might be a people pleaser. If you feel resentment towards most people in your life……you might be a people pleaser If everyone takes advantage of you….you might be a people pleaser…. If your life is filled with pushy people …….you might be a people pleaser If you just want everyone to be happy and will do almost anything to make it that way….You might be a people pleaser. If you rarely, if ever, ask anyone for help……you might be a people pleaser. If you often feel disappointed in others……you might be a people pleaser. If you’re afraid to share your disappointments or other negative feelings……you might be a people pleaser. If you aren’t even certain what having feelings means…You are DEFINITELY a People Pleaser!

You tell yourself your friends, family members, employees, volunteers should just know what to do.  You stuff your feelings or are not even aware of them – Maybe you aren’t even certain what I mean when I ask about your feelings
You minimize your own wants and needs
You excuse or justify away your need to speak up

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had a people pleasing client tell me, I just want everyone to be happy.  I’m just really nice.

But here’s the reality; People Pleasers don’t just want others to be happy.  They NEED others to be happy!  And most are actually controlling and manipulating their way to that end.

Yep….It’s true!  Here’s the thought process:

I want to be okay.

I need you to be okay so that I can be okay.

I will do whatever it takes for you to be okay.

Doing anything can mean hiding true feelings, manipulating outcomes behind the scenes, having back hall conversations rather than speaking directly to anyone actually involved, avoiding tough conversations, lying or withholding information.

And there are many unintended consequences, beyond the personal build-up of resentments, overwhelm, frustrations, disappointments, chaos that comes with trying to control the lives of everyone around you so that you can feel okay?  The lost energy spent to track modified messages, make things happen covertly, stuffing true feelings while plastering a smile.

Yes, beyond these personal consequences are these:

Unintended Consequences:

You Rob Others of their Opportunity to Excel – They have no idea you’d like them to do better or be different.  By sulking in silence or complaining only to others you are robbing them of the chance to make a different choice.

People can’t trust you: – Yep, that’s right!  Whether it’s deep down or something they know to be true for certain, those around you can’t trust your words.  You say you are fine, but are you really?  You say you can help, but will you actually show?  You say you’re happy with their achievements, but have they really done enough?

Do you feel motivated to make the change that you must? 

Here 5 Steps to Stop Your People Pleasing

Collect the Pain: Begin to notice where you feel resentment, disappointment towards others.  Notice when you are overwhelmed and frustrated.  Pay attention to all the times you put your agenda aside for someone else’s emergency or request. Determine What You Want/Need:  It may have been a while since you thought about what you wanted.  Practice doing some check ins throughout the day. Determine whether you are pretending to be happy or if you really are. Start Speaking Up:  Begin saying no to requests where appropriate and start setting boundaries and asking for help from others.  Set clear expectations for your employees.  Provide constructive feedback where necessary. Gather Successes: As you speak up or say no and get a good response, take note.  Remember all the times that your feared outcome did not happen.  Start with people who are easier to speak with.  Then work towards tackling the People Pushers in your life.

Build Momentum:  Continue to speak up as you build enthusiasm and feel empowered. Enjoy the feeling and keep going!

Click here to view more information on the Relationship Renovation Roadmap



25. Philanthropy thrives in Democracy & Nonprofits are an Important Conduit
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Matt is president and founder of Nonprofit.Courses, an on-demand, online educational resource for nonprofit leaders, staff, board members and volunteers. He’s the author of the Guide to Nonprofit Consulting, and teaches nonprofit management at several universities, via the web, and in-person in the United States, Africa, Asia and Europe. Matt’s past work includes fundraising for several nonprofits. He has an MA in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. 

Interview Questions

What impact are you motivated to make in this world?

Matt loves teaching. He began at a young age and knew immediately he enjoyed it. He just wishes he’d listened earlier in life while others were giving him clues that could have moved him in the direction of teaching topics helpful to nonprofits sooner. 

He shared that in Daniel Blink’s book, “Drive” he says to go do what motivates you.  Helping nonprofits across the world make their impact is definitely what drives Matt.

That has been his focus now for years and he recently launched a website that provides learning to nonprofits that is time-efficient and cost effective.  Many of the offerings are free, while others are modestly priced.

What life experience motivates you to make your impact?

His time as a young man in Boy Scouts is what first sparked the realization that it’s important to pay attention to how you are sharing knowledge.  He loved how hands on the learning was there.  That made it easier for he and others to learn.

What impact have you made that really fuels your passion?

What impact are you focused on next?

What is the biggest internal or external challenge you’ve had to overcome?  And how did you overcome it

For Matt the biggest on-going challenge to success has been self confidence.  He reminds himself often, “I can do this!” and, “I am good enough!”  As a solopreneur it is often challenging to wear all of the hats.  You get good at one thing and then need to add another task.  Social media has been a recent focus.

I love what Matt says about Persistence!  He says that the outcome of persistence is what people “suddenly see when they haven’t seen all the small steps.

How do you stay motivated and moving during tough times?

What words of wisdom do you have for others who want to make an impact?

His words of wisdom to others working to make their impact:

Speak Up Ask Questions Simple Do! If something is bothering you, you might be the one who makes it happen!

And he tells himself often, “If I got a paycheck job I wouldn’t be better off!”  It helps him prod through the tougher days!

He also stresses the importance of having a good support system.  He appreciates that his wife has been on this journey with him all along

What's one success strategy that has helped you?

And, on the importance of Nonprofits, some insights I hadn’t thought about before!

Nonprofits are an important conduit to our making an impact.  The prevalence of direct giving through sites like GoFundMe as increased the opportunity to misdirect money.  He shared a local news story where the story of a homeless man sparked a large giving effort.  However, the story turned out to be false and the funds did not ultimately help the man.

In addition, he shared how philanthropy survives in a Democratic society but can’t work is well without.  In his example, he shared that if someone identified and spoke about a problem of water quality in a place like North Korea you would be seen as questioning the State, an unwelcome initiative.  And, if you further had a desire to fix it, you would be seen as suspect.

In contrast, in a Democracy citizens can point out problems and seek to resolve them through philanthropy and nonprofits.

Matt's Website:

https://nonprofit.courses



26. Build Trust in Relationships for Impact
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Do you have some lingering relationships ....that can be challenging …tear you down….cause grief…..have baggage…..long histories…

……these relationships can and DO zap our energy, steal our joy, drum up false beliefs about ourselves, and sometimes even stand in the way of achieving our dreams.

Yes, addressing relationship stuff can feel overwhelming, but often remedies are simpler than you’d think if you know how to define the right fix. That’s why I’ve designed the Relationship Renovation Roadmap  I can’t wait to show you how!

Go to: DefeatTheDrama.com/Roadmap to check it out!

If you’ve been listening to this podcast you already know that I spend a lot of time helping people overcome their drama in relationships.  It has no place in a life built for impact.

Often drama between people boils down to a lack of trust. You can have little or no trust for someone based on your experience with them; they’ve proven with their words or actions that they should not be trusted. Or you can lack trust because you don’t know them.

Either way, when we don’t trust someone we are more apt to assume the worst or assign mal-intent to their actions.

Of course, a history of bad behavior warrants less trust. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. In businesses and nonprofit endeavors, however, I often find that lack of trust comes from a lack of knowing. Sometimes leaders don’t give their employees or volunteers time to connect.   And this creates negative assumptions and drama!

Over the years I’ve had a unique perspective into so many relationships and can say with certainty that often these assumptions are not accurate. I would even hazard to say that rarely are the assumptions driving these negative relationships true.

When communication and connection happen, trust can build quickly. Assumptions are replaced with facts and relationships are transformed.

I worked with a group of 4 people who knew little of each other personally but had to deal with each other often to complete their work. The company called me in because the poor relationships were decreasing productivity.

I spent exactly one and a half hours with them and in that time they had many aha moments. “Oh, when you were asking me that I thought you were trying to pass your work on to me!”

“No, I’ve already tried 4 different times to get the numbers right by the time I’m asking you to clarify some things.”

“I thought you were just coming in early so that you could leave early and find things to complain about.”

“No, with the work changes I now have to come in early to get everything set up and do the inventory. I’d actually prefer not to start so early!”

On and on it went.   Gaps in fact filled in with negative presumptions quickly overcome with truth.

Each had painted a picture of the other like a paint by number gone wrong. The little assumptions all added to a perception of co-workers trying to avoid work, get each other in trouble and wreak havoc. Recent changes in roles and workflow had put them all together feeling uncertain and wary.

They needed to work together but had had no opportunity to build trust.

I am very visual so I almost always end up describing concepts with physical items.

I started using the term Trust Bucket to describe the level of trust we have with others. It’s just a nice visual.

So, an empty trust bucket means little trust.

A full trust bucket is like a full bank account of trust.

A full trust bucket and we are assuming the best of each other. If my co-worker of 10 years is late and I have assigned a full trust bucket to her I will assume she got held up. An empty trust bucket and I’m assuming the worst. “He doesn’t value my time or is disrespecting me.”

I find that people assign empty or full trust buckets to new people in different ways.

Some people tend to start new relationships with a full trust bucket.   “I will trust you unless you give me good cause not to.” At that point, they will have an empty trust bucket.

Others are more cautious and begin relationships with an empty trust bucket. “I need to see who you are first. Prove that you deserve my trust. You have to earn it. Then I will fill the trust bucket.”

If your impact requires a team of employees or volunteers it is so important to bring them together so they have an opportunity to know each other as people and fill those trust buckets!

 

 

 

 

Drama happens when trust buckets are low. As I often say, in the absence of fact, for some reason humans fill in the blanks with negative assumptions. A process falls apart and the first instinct is for employees to blame co-workers they don’t trust, “they’re just trying to make my job harder!”

Bring teams together and give them the chance to know one another and trust will develop. They will assume the best of each other instead.

So, a few thoughts and action items for you today.

How full are your trust buckets with people? Do you start with a full bucket and empty with negative experiences or do you start empty and make them work their way to trust? Are there people in your life or work with empty trust buckets? Are you reaching conclusions about them out of assumption rather than fact? Are your beliefs accurate?  How can you get to know them to learn their true character?

If you are a leader, where do team members have empty trust buckets? How can you bring them together to meet, connect and build trust?



27. Snowboarding Paralympic Hopeful and Military Veteran
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When you think about snowboarding, you don't necessarily think of Northwest Indiana. There are no mountains, or ski areas to speak of within 50 miles. However, this doesn’t deter Valparaiso resident and Army Veteran Kristine White. After a military injury, Kristine was told sports and physical activities would be limited. But Kristine chose to challenge what was thought to be impossible. She continues to do what she loves. You can view more about her at the link below:

https://kristinewhitesnowboard.com



28. 5 Steps to Healthy Relationship Boundaries that Support You Towards Impact
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Do you have some lingering relationships ....that can be challenging …tear you down….cause grief…..have baggage…..long histories…

 

……these relationships can and DO zap our energy, steal our joy, drum up false beliefs about ourselves, and sometimes even stand in the way of achieving our dreams.

 

Yes, addressing relationship stuff can feel overwhelming, but often remedies are simpler than you’d think if you know how to define the right fix. That’s why I’ve designed the Relationship Renovation Roadmap  I can’t wait to show you how!    Go to DefeatTheDrama.com/Roadmap to check it out!

 

Much of what we need to get good at to make our impact in this world is related to our relationships.  Setting Healthy Boundaries is another one of those key strategies. If other people are demanding all of your time and you are not able to say no, how will you ever carve out the time you need to do what you’d choose?

It is not our job to make everyone happy.  And we cannot always give to others everything they want from us. 

 

What do you want, need or desire from your relationships to live happily and make your impact? Do you ever ask yourself this question?

Boundaries are rules of engagement for your relationships. If you are doing all of the modifying and all of the sucking it up without speaking up you will build up resentments with the people in your work and life. You will also tend to attract people who don’t like to respect boundaries.

You want a say in how your relationships work. People who are more passive in life, in particular, often forget to put themselves into the equation of the relationship. They become so focused on meeting the other person’s needs or fixing their next catastrophe that they forget to consider their own feelings, wants and needs.

 

Here are 5 Keys to Designing Relationships that Support You Towards Impact

Create the Boundary: If you had your way, what variables would you like to change in your relationships?  Whether it’s work or life it’s time to take an inventory. Remember, what you tolerate teaches others.

Here are some common places to look:

Respect My Time: be on time or let me know ahead of time that you will be late. Or, perhaps it’s a neighbor who doesn’t understand that you work from home. Present doesn’t mean available for lengthy chit chat.  Give Me More Notice: are you tired of putting out fires for a person who is constantly coming to you last minute to help with a project or fill out a form? Their sense of urgency cannot always be yours. Whether it’s a child, friend, or a co-worker, stop and think what you need in this area. Watch Your Tone: whether it’s sarcasm, a condescending attitude or a too loud volume, teach people how you would like to be spoken to by speaking up when their tone is out of line. When my kids were little and they were whiney I would tell them, “I can’t understand you when you talk like that.” Behave Appropriately: is it a co-worker telling off color jokes or a colleague drinking too much at the company picnic? Perhaps it’s a family member during a holiday meal. Consequence is Key:humans need a catalyst to generate change, it’s just the reality of things. Change is uncomfortable. If others are accommodating us in our current state we are unlikely to do anything different.  So, while in some of your relationships the fact that you’ve taken the time to share your feelings will ignite a positive reaction, in many instances the people in your life will need a bit more motivation to heed your request. If they don’t comply with your request, what will you do? The consequence should be related to the boundary.  Don’t think of the consequence as a punishment.  Instead consider an action you’ll take that accommodates your own needs around their actions.  Let’s go back through our original list for some examples: Respect My Time: I will wait 5 minutes and then start without you – or leave. Or, to the neighbor, “I love our visits.  However, I work from X to X.  Let’s schedule a time after my work hours.  When’s a good time? Give Me More Notice: if you give me less than 2 days notice I will not be able to help you. Watch Your Tone of Voice: If you continue with a sarcastic tone I will end the conversation. Feel free to schedule some time to talk later when you are able to share civilly. I will be happy to listen. Behave Appropriately: I will ask you to leave, or you will not be invited back, or you will be terminated, or you will be taken off the project. Communicate the Boundary & Consequence: creating a boundary and consequence doesn’t help if you don’t communicate them. Give people in your life the opportunity to make choices that are supportive of your needs. Too often we sit in silence as we build up resentments. I hear clients say all the time, “They should just know what I need.” Well…..most people I know aren’t mind readers…so they don’t! And working from the assumption that they should JUST know leaves you feeling extra frustrated and disappointed with the people sharing your life…. and that’s not good for anyone. 
So let them know. 

I recommend communicating it as a request. You cannot demand that someone do anything differently from what they normally would. You can only share your feelings and ask. Calling it a request and asking puts you in a relaxed mode. Your non-verbal communication will portray the same. Your friend or colleague will feel more freedom to say yes or no. Ultimately, they have final say whether you demand or request so might as well keep it low key and request.

Outline the consequence so that they are making an informed decision. Give them the opportunity to make a different choice. It’s often hard to act on the consequences we’ve outlined. Don’t give yourself an out by failing to communicate it. I see that one often. “Well, I didn’t really tell them that I’d leave if they were more than 15 minutes late. I’d feel bad leaving without telling them.”

And you have final say in acting out the consequence. It’s okay if they continue to offend. You have the opportunity to enact the consequence that you’ve forewarned them about. They’ve been given notice and had the chance to comply.  Remember, you aren’t taking the action as a punishment.  You are taking action that is necessary for your own well being.  And, you are allowed to look out for yourself always, but especially when others are not.

Consider: I’m not trying to turn you into a dictator. If they are open to engaging in a healthy conversation, listen to your colleague, friend or family member. Are they willing to acknowledge their behavior and apologize? Are they understanding of your need to set boundaries and consequences? Are they able to hear and appreciate your point of view? Is it possible that they just misread the situation and had no idea that they were offending you or taking advantage? If this is the first time you’ve ever spoken up to someone it’s a possibility. Do they have an alternate idea for how to hold them accountable?

I once had a colleague share her story of frustration about her neighbor who constantly asked her to babysit. I asked what she had said to the neighbor. Low and behold she always told the neighbor she loved babysitting. Well, from the neighbor’s perspective, she had the best situation ever and had no idea that she was frustrating her friend. Don’t be that person! It’s a waste of time to share your thoughts with people not involved. Take the time to share your feelings with the person who can make a difference.

Carry Out the Consequence:Follow through on your word. Make the request, share the consequence and if they don’t comply follow through with the consequence. It will probably be hard at first, but you must.  So, tell them what you’ll do. Remember, this isn’t about punishment it’s about protecting yourself. It’s rude for someone to keep you waiting when they’ve done it consistently for years. Set the consequence that you’ll wait no more than 10 minutes and then you’re moving on without them. Leave without them once and you may see a sudden and dramatic change. Continue to accommodate the offensive behavior and they’ll have no reason to change.

29. He Lives in India, is 19 and Already Making His Impact!
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Tushaar is a 19 year old Indian Podcaster. He’s very passionate about podcasting and wants to make it more prevalent in India. He also practices drums and guitar.  He wants to be a motivational speaker and hold his own conferences.

He started his Good Vibes podcast a couple of years ago using What’sApp and had only a few listeners, friends and his parents.  

His plan is to impact the world by first being kind to himself and then modeling kindness to others.  He works to be kind to himself daily with his thoughts.  For example, on days when he gets up later than he planned he keeps a good mindset and doesn’t let it derail his day.  He just gets moving then!

Likewise, when something starts to put him off the rails by saying something negative he won’t let them.  Instead he visualizes 2 roads.  One is more enticing but does not lead him towards his goals.  The other leads him to impact. 

Once he gets in motion and action he is no longer thinking but is just doing and making things happen!

His words of wisdom to those who want to make an impact is Just Start!  Don’t wait until you have everything lined up or for things to be perfect.  Just move! 

He shared how he had nothing but his phone and a desire to make a difference when he started his podcast.  He still started!  It’s okay to start small.  Just start where you are. 

Now he has better equipment and is on iTunes and is grateful that he just got going and offers words of encouragement and wisdom for people his age. 

I look forward to watching him expand podcasting in his country while he motivates others along the way! 

You can find Tushaar here: 

thetushaarshow.com



30. 7 Musts for Your Mentors or Trusted Advisors
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Do you have some lingering relationships ....that can be challenging …tear you down….cause grief…..have baggage…..long histories… 

……these relationships can and DO zap our energy, steal our joy, drum up false beliefs about ourselves, and sometimes even stand in the way of achieving our dreams.

Yes, addressing relationship stuff can feel overwhelming, but often remedies are simpler than you’d think if you know how to define the right fix. That’s why I’ve designed the Relationship Renovation Roadmap  I can’t wait to show you how!

Go to DefeatTheDrama.com/Roadmap to check it out!

Where are you in the making an impact process?  Are you brand new and still working through the idea in your head?  Perhaps you’ve just started to share with others, or maybe you’re well on your way and enjoying some success. 

Whether you’re announcing a new business, podcast, book, network marketing endeavor, volunteer initiative, ministry or nonprofit dream……

One thing is certain……once you start sharing your idea, those with opinions thoughts, cautionary tales, similar stories they read about, something they heard one day ……..alllllllll start sharing theirs……

As the old saying goes, “Opinions are like a***holes.  Every person has one”…..

And you end up with all kinds of feedback and words of quote unquote “wisdom” whether invited or not: 

Are you serious?  I heard of a guy who did that too and it was terrible!

Why would you waste time on that?

Those are all scams!

I tried that and it didn’t work out for me at all.  It won’t work for you either.

You can’t do that!  You’re too busy already!

You don’t know anything about how to do that.  You’ll never get it done.

You’re too much of a quitter!

You’ll never be able to create change there.

The problem’s way too big!

That’s too hard!

You won’t get anyone else to care about that!

What do you know about that topic?

Why would anyone listen to you?

You should do this instead……

It’s important to keep in mind that most of these opinions, thoughts, ideas, cautionary tales are moving through their own fear filters, and are boxed in by their own life experiences and knowledge. 

And many times, they’re just thrown out there with little thought or any attachment to your success or future.  It might just be that the person wants to look smart for a minute.  Maybe they like to think of themselves as well-informed…..and maybe, just maybe……they fear YOUR success……and the words are shared to halt your progress.

Even when well-intended, words can be unhelpful and will get in your head to cast doubt where it doesn’t need to be if we give those opinions more weight than they’re worth. 

So why do we listen?!?

You are not obligated to heed the words or warnings of every person who shares advice.

Today I give you license to let words fall as if on deaf ears.

Instead, be intentional about who you give the privileged position of speaking into your life.  Some call it trusted advisor status.  Perhaps you call them mentors.  Whatever the title, choose wisely. There are specific characteristics that someone should have before you give them this esteemed role.

Here are 7 Musts for Your Mentors or Trusted Advisors

They Must:

Have Knowledge or Expert Status about the Topic:They know it, have lived it, or at least studied up on it. They can share opinions and advice from a place of fact rather than busting out with info off the cuff.  And, if they don’t have specific knowledge they’ll go find it to share an informed opinion or stay silent on the topic. Have a Unique Perspective: they’ve been where you want to go or have done what you do, but with a twist. They can offer you real life perspectives to help you achieve your goals. They aren’t going to rely on some folklore passed down through generations as a cautionary tale to squash your dreams. Understand Your Perspective:they know your passions, desires and your vision.  Or, they’ll ask questions until they totally get what you are trying to achieve. Want the Best for You: they won’t feel like a failure if you succeed. They aren’t driven by jealousy. They truly want to see you reach your goals even if it means surpassing their success or moving away from them. Put Their Own Fears, Biases, Agendas aside: they are able to provide objective and well thought out advice with the pure intent of helping you achieve your goals.

When you are starting a business, or taking on an unconventional endeavor, you’ll often get people weighing in who have a deep fear of taking a similar leap. They will warn you out of their own sense of dread. (facilitating an executives in transition meeting) Stay away and stick to those who can put their own fears aside. Allow You to Make Your Own Choices:(we probably all have that friend or relative who always thinks they know best…..they throw out ideas on every single topic and are offended if you don’t listen…….STEER CLEAR) Mentors provide their advice and fact-based opinions, share concerns and then sit back and allow you to make the final choice. They aren’t mad, disappointed or frustrated with you if you don’t heed their warnings or follow through on their counsel. They provide their ideas freely. The Relationship Lives On:whether you take their advice or not they continue to be in your corner cheering you on and wishing the best for you. 

If someone who is not a trusted advisor weighs in just listen to their advice, thank them and move on.   Sharing an opinion does not obligate you to consider or follow through based on that advice.

For More Information on the Relationship Renovation Roadmap...

Go to DefeatTheDrama.com/Roadmap to check it out!



31. He’s a Hypnotist with a Heart to Heal Your Traumas!
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He is a Hypnotist who specializes in helping people through heartbreak, stress, anxiety and trauma.

One of his favorite experiences is when he helped a close friend overcome the trauma of a major breakup.  In one session, he says she was able to clear years worth of heartache and was feeling ready to date within a week.

The biggest challenge he’s had to overcome is the stigma that exists for hypnosis.  Many people are afraid to be hypnotized and worry that the hypnotist can program them to do whatever they want.  Joshua says this is completely unfounded, but understands.  Even while hypnotized no one can make you go against your moral fiber.

Internally, Joshua struggles to focus on short term goals while he creates big goals for the future.  An important strategy is to step back occasionally to re-evaluate.  Take a little time away to make sure you are focused on the right things.

What does he suggest for others who want to make their impact?  Do everything that you can and whatever it takes to do it! 

You can find Joshua here:

www.ihatewands.com/hypnosis-for-change



32. 6 Secrets to Keeping Volunteers Engaged and Giving Their Best
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As you Live and Lead for Impact it is quite possible that, at some point, you will draw upon the time and talents of volunteers.  I’ve worked with many nonprofits as a coach, have started ministries and utilized volunteers myself, have been a volunteer and have also served on a nonprofit board.  And, I know that nonprofits, ministries, churches, PTA’s, or other similar organizations often struggle to find and keep volunteers.  The keys I’ll share will also apply in other organizations like Network Marketing Teams, where uncompensated time can lead to profits.

How do you fuel commitment and ignite loyalty that generates a dynamic team that will show up, make an impact and keep coming back?

Share Clear Expectations for Informed Commitment

Too often nonprofits, ministries or PTA’s ask for volunteers without communicating expectations clearly.  If people don’t know what they’re signing up for how can they follow through? Committing loosely leads to loose commitment.

Instead, design and document a combination of volunteer positions that fulfill your needs.  Share the documented expectations with potential volunteers so they know the kinds of tasks they’ll be working on and the commitment of time required per week or per month.  This allows your volunteers to make informed decisions about the role they’ll take on.  Commitments are then based on fact, which should increase follow through.
 
Documenting the requirements of each role will also help you avoid scope creep.  That pesky little problem that plagues both for profit and not for profit entities alike.  Someone makes a commitment, they do great work, you need some additional help, so you ask for more.  I’ll cover this one in more detail in a minute.

Inventory Volunteer Abilities & Special Skills and then Utilize Them

Too often it’s an all hands on deck, with a grab whatever you can do, mentality.  But, asking volunteers to do what might be difficult for them can make them feel uncomfortable and the outcomes they generate may not be good.

We are all born with unique gifts, those skills that are innate or come easily to us.  Most often our gifts are aligned with our passion.  We love spending time in our area of gifting.  Time flies, we feel energized at the end of our task and the outcomes we create can be amazing.

Take the time to learn the special skills of your volunteers.  The exercise of asking will help them feel known, appreciated and valued.  If you take it a step further and tap into those skills, you will also benefit from the superior output they create while doing what they love and are good at.  A great way to get the best from your volunteers.

Find Each Volunteer’s Currency and Fulfill it.

Even when there is real currency involved, you want the focus of a team to be on something beyond just a paycheck.  Obviously, it’s even more important to identify the alternate currency when we’re talking about a team that is not paid money for their time.

You need to answer the questions, “what’s in it for them?”  Let’s face it, people want to get something for their time.  We don’t do much of anything unless there is some benefit to us.  There are very few purely selfless acts.

Now, before you get all agitated with me, let me explain.  I am not suggesting quid pro quo relationships where I do for you and require an equal something back.  And I’m not suggesting that we all need to get paid for everything we do.  But, if you are spending the resource of your time on something you will want a return on that investment.  It could be the warm fuzzy feeling you get from serving someone less fortunate.  Perhaps it’s playing a role in someone overcoming a fear, getting out of a bad situation, or achieving a big goal. 

Figure out what currency your individual volunteers are working towards and help them enjoy that benefit.  Here are a few potential currencies your volunteers may be working towards:

They want to meet people interested in making an impact. A personal experience has them attached to your mission and they want to give back in a meaningful way They want to feel appreciated and would love to hear some thank you’s. They want to feel a sense of purpose. They want the chance to use their unique abilities to further your mission. They like to feel needed. They want to build new skills or find achievements to add to a resume. They are exploring a new career and want to learn more about the field.

There are more, but this will give you a start.  Learn what your volunteers value to help them achieve their goals to keep them engaged and coming back.

Allow Volunteers to Make a Meaningful Contribution!

As I often share, humans are driven by an innate desire to know that their lives are part of something bigger than themselves.  Let your volunteers find that fuel through their work with you.  Provide the opportunity for meaningful impact each time they volunteer.  If the work they do is far removed from the main mission, help them see how their activities are still attached, helpful and important.

Value the volunteer and value their time. If you’ve scheduled a volunteer or invited them to participate in your mission in some way, make sure you have something lined up for them to do.   

I still remember the time I showed up for a large church event.  I had signed up to volunteer and was excited to help.  Unfortunately, they had signed up far too many volunteers.  A good problem to have, I know.  BUT, for me, it was not a good experience at all.  The people heading up the event were busy and dismissive.  I walked around asking each team how I could help, but every area was overstaffed. My husband and I had driven together and he had a role so, I was stuck.  I ended up spending the entire night walking around alone watching as others experienced the joy of making their impact.  I’m not gonna lie, I felt devalued and alone.  I wasn’t able to participate in the event that was getting my time.  I had no role. I made no impact.  You do not want your volunteers to feel like that….EVER!

I had a similar, though longer-term experience, serving on a nonprofit board.  I was told that it was a “working board”, meaning, they wanted each member to contribute their knowledge, skills and abilities to the organization.  I was specifically recruited because of my background and was told that my talents were aligned with current and pressing needs of the organization and that, as a result, I’d be able to make an important contribution. 

This all sounded great to me.  I was not interested in spending my time as a rubber stamp or to be just a name on a list to add to some meeting minutes. I wanted to use my time as a true resource and was happy to give back in that way. 

I immediately began working on some human resource related projects, heading them up and pulling in colleagues who agreed to provide their talents as a favor to me.  I also began some work to improve processes and conducted some leadership training.

I believed in their mission and wanted to make a big impact with the team.  I was investing my time toward specific impact. 

The problem was, at every turn, my efforts were overturned or denied before implementation.  There seemed to be a “we don’t like change” mentality driving the team and an underlying false belief that change meant that the current systems were bad and they’d done something wrong. It, thus, became very difficult to make any real impact.  My investment of time was not making a difference.  I did not stay for an additional term on that board. 

I am not unique.  People want to feel valued and know that their investment of time is worthwhile.  Value the time your volunteers contribute and assure that they are able to make a difference. 

     5.  Avoid Scope Creep:

They are willing and seem to love working with you to help you make your impact.  You ask and they say yes.  What’s the harm?  Well……the truth is, some people have a hard time saying no.  And, while this is certainly something they should work on and it wouldn’t be all on you if they DID say yes when they wanted to say no, it is something you MUST keep in mind. 

Too often this scenario happens:  They keep working, you keep asking, they keep saying yes.  They are too uncomfortable to say no, or feel guilty for leaving you strapped, so they just keep doing more and more and more.    It is quite possible that the person who seems to be happily helping more and more is actually feeling really burned out, over-extended or maybe even used.  You don’t want a great volunteer who’s become overwhelmed to tell you no with their feet, as they disappear altogether! 

So, am I suggesting that you should never ask a volunteer to do more than what they’ve agreed to? No!  But, I am saying…be very careful about how you ask.  Make sure you are not adding extra pressure.  Do everything in your power to allow them the freedom to say no.  Assure them that you will be fine either way and will not think ill of them if they say no.

And, if there is anything in their body language or voice that tells you they are saying yes with duress, point it out.  “It seems like you might be saying yes when you really need to say no to me right now.  If you need to say no that is ok!  I appreciate all that you do and fully realize this would be additional work for you.  I’m throwing it out there in case it works for you but you are under no obligation what so ever to say yes and I will be fine whether you say yes or no.”

When you first bring them on board you’ve asked them to make an informed decision about the amount of time involved in volunteering with you.  And, you’ve asked them to commit to a specific volunteer role.  You, as the leader must commit as well.  Be true to the original request you made of them.  If you do ask for some additional support give them every license to say no. 

Show Appreciation Often:

Humans have an innate desire to feel known, acknowledged and appreciated.  Fill that need for your volunteers. I’m not talking about all grand gestures.  Just a quick authentic thank you, a note in the mail (how often does anyone get a handwritten note these days?), a high five, a thumbs up.  Some love kudos in front of the team or at an event from the stand.  Be authentically appreciative of each gesture, no matter how small. 

I’ll share another personal story here.   I would often drop clothing and household items off at a local nonprofit. They didn’t have a pickup service, but I believed in the mission so took the extra time to drive and drop my donations.  Each time I was greeted by employees who treated my arrival like a chore.  They’d grab my items and immediately start tossing them into appropriate piles.  They were always very focused on the task and quite efficient.  It’s a pretty subtle thing but the one thing they forgot was to acknowledge my giving in any way.

Now, I didn’t take it personally or get upset.  But, since I work with so many nonprofits I’m always aware of potential problems.  And, dropping off items isn’t a volunteer position per se but it is a touchpoint with members of the community and failing to show gratitude was a lost chance to connect.  And, there are plenty of other places to donate to, most more convenient.  If someone’s currency is appreciation they were missing the chance. 

Show appreciation for even small gestures with at least a simple thanks.



33. Animals Talk to Her and She Listens – Even Spiders! An Interview with Victoria Stigliano-Dzuban
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Animals Talk to Her and She Listens – Even Spiders!

An Interview with Victoria Stigliano-Dzuban 

Victoria Stigliano-Dzuban is an Animal Spirituality Facilitator, Enlightenment Mentor, and Energy Practitioner. She helps conscious, open-minded animal lovers and guardians learn to better communicate and connect with the animals in their lives so they can create stronger and more mutually beneficial relationships with each other.

According to Victoria, animals communicate in 4 main ways:

Body language Verbally Energetically Telepathically

I just HAD to ask! What does Victoria do when a spider comes in her home.  She said there are rules, but the spider is allowed to co-habitate as long as it is respectful.  It is not allowed in rooms where they sleep and cannot build webs all over the place.  If a spider is no longer welcome she uses a special vacuum that sucks them up without injuring them so she can place them outside.  If it’s too cold outside she might put them in her basement.

The biggest challenges she’s had to overcome is rising about the untrue beliefs she picked up while young.  At age 5 she remembers adults telling her that horses did not have feelings.  Deep down she knew this wasn’t true, but what do you do with that information when you are young and think adults know better than you?

Overall, she tries not to think too much and focuses on a mindset of “just do it!”  She surrounds herself with a network of people who support her and believe in her.  Their voices are louder than those who don’t agree with or misunderstand her work.

She says just let passion guide you!  It’s there for a reason.  Make a plan, create a list and just go to it!  Make your impact!

You can find her here:  www.creativehealingandwellness.com



34. Forgiveness: Simple Steps to Follow on Your Journey of Letting Go
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As I’ve often said, drama zaps energy and steals focus.  Holding grudges or living with unresolved frustrations towards others can definitely zap your energy.  And you need to harness your focus of energy and time with intention to make your unique impact!

So…….Does forgiveness need to be a part of your work?  Bitterness, anger, frustration, and hatred are all energy sucking emotions and are often associated with how we feel about those we believe have disrespected us, hurt us, or taken us for granted.

I’ve definitely had to walk some tough roads of forgiveness.  Perhaps I made it harder than it needed to be.  But, I definitely felt those negative feelings and more about the man who abused me.  I was angry!  I had a vision for what my life would be and he took it from me because he was unwilling to own his behavior, or change anything. 

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “holding resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the offender to become ill”.   Yes, those resentments will continue to impact you and have an affect on your current and future relationships. 

An important part of my healing process was the intentional act of forgiveness.  I needed to forgive him for what he did to me.   Forgiveness doesn’t mean what he did is okay. It does mean letting go, ending the bitterness and reducing the anger.   

Forgiveness certainly didn’t happen overnight for me!  As a matter of fact, it didn’t even enter my mind for a very long time.   To be perfectly honest, for the first few years after the relationship ended I collected his struggles and failures like little affirmations.  “Yep, I made the right choice.”  Or, “guess that’s what happens when you are such a horrendous person.”

I wanted validation.  The abuse always happened behind closed doors.  I wanted his life going forward to act as proof of what had happened to me.  And I loved taking note and sharing his continued indiscretions with friends.  “Look what I’ve had to put up with!” 

A nice secondary effect of my continued anger towards him was that it provided me a layer of protection for my heart.  Stopping to think about him as a broken human being who was not capable of doing better was too close to empathy.  Empathy lives very close to love and I did not want to feel any feelings that even remotely resembled love for him.  That chapter was closed and I needed to protect myself.

Truth was, I really didn’t have anything to worry about there.  I had successfully removed myself emotionally from him over the course of those years of healing but I continued to find comfort in the idea of that extra layer.

The act of forgiveness was very difficult.  As is always the case, however, forgiveness is a gift I’ve given to myself.  It took a lot of energy to hold on to the negative stories, took up time to re-tell them.  And empathy is okay.  It has softened my heart and I have compassion.  He is a broken man.  But….The truth is, we are all broken.

Forgiving continues as a daily choice, an ongoing challenge with new experiences to add often but I am getting better.

So does part of your preparation need to include forgiveness?  Are you wasting energy to hold onto resentments, frustrations, disappointments, or anger towards anyone?

Maybe it’s yourself you need to forgive.  The same concepts apply.  Whatever you did that led to the demise of relationships or choices that led to a life moving down an unintended path, it was you in your brokenness leading the way.   Question is, what have you learned from those consequences, what will you do differently going forward and will you forgive? 

The reality is, you can beat yourself up while you live the consequences of your actions or you can give yourself grace as you embrace your current circumstance.  From a place of grace you have more energy to devote to creating a better life and making your unique impact.

So…..we all know we need to forgive, but how do you actually do it?

Here are some steps to follow.  The steps are simple but the process can be very challenging. Start today so you can be on your way!

Accept that it happened. After an event and while we are very angry we spend a lot of time thinking about all of the ways the situation could have been different.  Why didn’t he do that?  This should have happened instead.  If that was going to happen he should have done this.  It takes a lot of mental energy to think of all of the alternatives outcomes that would have been better, the paths he or she could have followed but didn’t.  With each new preferred scenario the anger increases. 

It is part of the grieving process but at some point you have to embrace what happened. Those other things could have happened but they didn’t.  She could have made a different decision but she didn’t.  It is what it is.  Considering the alternatives does you no good because you can’t re-write history.  Accept what is so.  Avoid wasting energy on wishing it were different.  Harness that energy and move forward from there. Hear the Other Side: There are always two sides to a story and, at times, wildly different perspectives.  It can be challenging but, if given the opportunity, truly listen.  Try not to interrupt.  Make an attempt to see the situation from another point of view.  You don’t need to take on blame if they try to inaccurately reassign it but do listen for nuggets of wisdom or a new perspective that makes sense.  Sometimes hearing can increase understanding.  Is there a way to find common ground or work through the challenge together?  Can shifting your perspective heal the hurt a bit?  Is there validity to any part of what they share? Be Appreciative. Can you be thankful that you found out when you did? What did you learn?  How will you do things differently in the future?  Did you gain a new friend or strengthen a relationship?  Does the action validate a decision you made in the past?  In every circumstance is something positive and placing your focus there will help. See the Good: Can you still see value in the person?  Try to separate the good they bring from the bad thing they did.  Weighing the pros and cons will also help you determine whether you’ll leave them in your life or release them. Find Empathy: Chances are high that the person who created the hurt is a hurt person.  How does their brokenness negatively impact their life?  Being empathetic doesn’t excuse the bad behavior it just provides a reason.  Empathy can help you find a softer place to put this experience.  Express Your Feelings: It can be difficult to share our hurts with the offender.  If you are able and they are willing it is a great exercise in healing.  Do consider how they might respond and set your expectations accordingly.  If they have difficulty admitting fault don’t set an expectation of hearing an “I’m sorry”.  You’ll just feel disappointed.  Instead create a goal of being heard. If you worry that they may be combative have another person there as mediator or choose to write a letter instead.  The act of writing your thoughts is helpful whether you ever send it to them or not.  Give Yourself Grace: Maybe someone cheated you in some way and you’ve been beating yourself up for trusting.  The reality is that in relationships there are vulnerabilities. You have to let your guard down to let someone else in.  He or she chose the behavior not you.  Maybe someone stole from you or took advantage of you.  You might feel like you should have figured it out earlier.  None of us can know all immediately and you had the insight to figure it out when you did.  So, you didn’t realize as soon as you would have liked, tolerated behavior longer than you should, overlooked red flags that should have signaled the transgression.  That doesn’t make the infraction your fault.

When people harm you, take advantage of you, lie, cheat or steal the bad choices are theirs to own.  Beating yourself up about not anticipating the wrong does you no good.  Part of forgiveness, whether you’ve played a part or not, will always include an element of forgiving yourself for any blame you assign yourself.

Getting over the hurt and moving on must include placing blame where it belongs and giving yourself grace.   Now, it is definitely helpful to determine whether there are lessons to be learned for you from the experience.  And the answer is, probably.  Take those with appreciation and let go of the rest. Design the Relationship Moving Forward: Depending on the offense and circumstance, this person may or may not be out of your life.  If you intend to maintain the relationship or must, get clear about any new parameters, rules or boundaries.   Forgiveness does not require that you continue with status quo.  Healthy boundaries created and kept keep us safe.  Determine what you need to feel safe and whole in the relationship.  It might mean the person is out of your life altogether or that you limit time with them.  Maybe you’ll ask for space for a period or avoid direct communication.   Perhaps you need additional access to rebuild trust.  You get to have a voice in the design of the relationship moving forward and should not feel guilt for any change you request that benefits you.

9. Pray:  If it’s not your thing that’s totally fine.  However, if you are a praying person or want to give prayer a try, praying for God’s help in this area is highly recommended.  Pray to have him help you change your heart and see the situation through His eyes.  Pray to have discernment and wisdom.  Pray for God to guide you through next steps.  Pray to express sorrow to Him for your un-forgiveness.   Pray to have your offender gain wisdom, insight and healing.



35. As a British Army Veteran He’s Experienced Trauma And Overcome It
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A few highlights from a wonderful interview with AJ Roberts.  Take a listen to hear the full story!  You won’t want to miss it!

AJ is a 15 year British Army Veteran, a high-performance coach, loving father and husband who helps people daily become the best versions of themselves through fitness, health, nutrition and their mindset.

He also had a great Linkedin Post go viral recently – go check it out!  He shared a heartwarming story about a boy he stood up for 8 years ago – The boy was 12 at the time, the son of a single mom and he was being bullied. 

AJ stepped in, took him on a cool tour of barracks – got to see tanks -  AJ has mentored him ever since.  Now an adult, he is entering the military himself.

I am sure that AJ made a huge impact on that man and helped shape the life he lives now – we never know what impact a single action can have!

AJ is motivated to make his impact on the world!  He wants to help people overcome the traumas in their lives to be their best.  He focuses on work with mindset, fitness and nutrition.

AJ has experienced his own traumas.  As a Military Veteran who has been in many battle zones, he has seen things that are embedded in his brain.  He has also been through some difficult financial challenges that impacted his family.

In all he has created the mindset that helps him overcome these traumas to succeed.

His goal is to focus on the windshield not the rearview mirror.  And, he helps his clients do the same.

His advice to others working to make their own impact in the world; Be yourself!  Be authentic and share your struggles.  People will relate to you better.  There’s no value in pretending to be someone different.

And to all parents he shares, “spend time with your kids!”  Don’t come home to sit on the couch and stare at your phone.  Be present with your family.

You can find AJ here:  www.facebook.com/ajrobertscoaching



36. 3 Keys to Saying No With Ease
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Many people I’ve worked with have difficulty saying no appropriately.

But, demands on our time, money and other resources can take all that we have if we allow it.  Failing to use this important word leads to resentments in our relationships, over-scheduling, overwhelm, over extending, frustration and inattention to our own needs or goals.

Saying no is absolutely a required skill if you want to live and lead for impact! 

 

Here are 3 Keys to Saying No with Ease

 

Figure out Your Why

 

If you figure out your why it’s much easier to overcome.  It’s almost certainly a false belief or fear of some kind.  Give it a name and then make it go away!  Here are a few of the main reasons I see again and again.  Do you see yourself in any of them? 

You automatically feel guilty. “I feel bad.  They need me.  I should say yes.” You like to feel needed. “What would they do without me?  Where would they be?” You believe that to say no is selfish or shows bad manners. “I need to care about others and not just myself.”  Which begs the question, “when’s the last time you DID care about you?”  You are seeking approval and care about what other people think. “I don’t want them to be mad.” Or, “What if they think I’m lazy?” And from Christians, very often, “God wants me to serve others.” Let me pause quickly to talk about this one….I won’t go into full detail but…..God does not call on us to serve others based on all requests from people.  He asks us to serve others based on His call.  If people are dictating use of your time, there is no opportunity to hear from God or follow His call for your time.  I will also add……Serving God is not always comfortable.  He does not promise that.  But, serving Him will not come from a feeling of “have to” or “should” and will not build feelings of resentment or overwhelm.  A little food for thought. 

Ok…..I just had to spend a few extra minutes on that one.  Now back to our regularly scheduled topic…..

Define Your Priorities Clearly

It is much easier to say no if you are very clear about your own purpose.  What main goals are you seeking to achieve?  The clarity gives you a framework to use to make informed decisions about your time. 

I’m very clear on the 3 main objectives I am working towards as overarching goals for my life.  It makes it so much easier to say yes or no to an invitation.  Whether it’s a social event or business-related request it’s fairly simple for me to evaluate it to determine whether it’s a yes or a no.

These 3 life objectives help me meet my more specific goals.  Mine happen to be intertwined as well.  So, I am often working towards all 3 at once, which is great!  I recommend that you create a similar list.

Here are mine:

Establish and Maintain Relationships with Goal Oriented/Motivated People

Help Others Succeed

Earn Money  And, money along with the design of my work, helps me to achieve some of my more specific goals.

And remember, I shared that these are overarching goals.  I do have more specific goals and tasks aligned with them that help me design each day.  But, the tasks or commitments of time will almost always be aligned with one or a combination of these 3 objectives. 

Have some phrases that mean No memorized and ready

I encourage my clients to create some ready phrases so that they are prepared with a few more comfortable ways to say no.

Regardless of how you choose to say no, here’s the trick: 

Be authentic: Trust me, if you WANT to say no, you have a good reason. It’s just a matter of getting it phrased in a way that feels comfortable. Make it brief:  Too much detail and you end up sounding defensive or whiney rather than assertive.

Here are a few “No” phrases.  Modify them to fit your own priorities and style.

1. I just can’t right now

2. I volunteer a certain number of hours per month and I’ve already made my commitments elsewhere.

3. My focus is on my family right now.

4. Sorry, but I won’t be able to help out this time.

5. My focus for the next several months is on a big career push. I won’t be able to help this time.

6. I would love to but my husband and I have made other commitments.

7. It sounds great. Not right now. Can you call me back in 6 months?

8. That is not my area of gifting. I’m really trying to put my energy where I can be my best self.

9. I’m sorry, but I need to decline.

10. No.

11. I’m sorry, it’s not a good fit for me.

12. Sorry. I’m already overextended.

13. I wouldn’t be able to give my best to that right now.

14. No thank you. I’m not interested.

15. I’ve been really overwhelmed lately so am practicing saying no.

16. That just doesn’t work for me.

17. No thank you.

18. Sounds like a great project. Let me put you in touch with someone I think would love to be involved.

19. My budget doesn’t allow for that right now.

20. I just have no time for that in my schedule right now.

Good luck!!  Now go make your unique impact!



37. International Kung Fu Champion Turned Parenting Pro
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Jeremy Roadruck had some struggles early on in life.
 

He STOPPED smoking when he was 9! Was kicked out of the gifted reading and math programs for challenging the rules. His parents gave him unconditional love but they missed signs that he was struggling with himself. He dropped out of college to work in a sandpaper factory,

But, at age 20 things began to turn around.   

He started martial arts Earned his black belt in Kung Fu, Became a multi-time US National Kung Fu Champion, Became an International Kung Fu Champion, Started his own martial arts school, Wrote a best-selling book on parenting (while single, not dating, with no kids) that features a money back guarantee, Finally got married at 38, And became a father at 39.

He loves to light up others, to take the complex and cumbersome and make it simple, use the polysyllabic words, and help parents and kids find some more playfulness in their own lives.

His mission is to light up the world with game, set and match

A few notes from our interview:

He recommends the Tony Robbins program “Date with Destiny”

He shared about the 3 key false fears that can drive us for life:

I’m not Enough I won’t Be Loved If I don’t Get Love I’ll Die

Jeremy offers a process that will help eliminate Anger, Sadness, Fear, Hurt and Guilt.

5 Keys to Making YOUR Impact:

Get Very Clear about your Impact and Don’t apologize for it. Get VERY Clear about your Why – Recommends reading the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl, published in 1946. Your “why” will give you the motivation Remind yourself daily WHY you do what you do – take at least 5 minutes. Have a peer group that you can share successes with and who will motivate you. Jeremy and his wife have a shared secret FaceBook page where they each post a short video.  In it they answer the question, What was Your Magic Moment?”  So, what did you love about your day?

Visit his website:  https://www.theparentingprogram.com/

Click here to schedule a free consultation with Jeremy – Just add that you heard him on the Live and Lead for Impact podcast in the message for your free consultation with him  https://www.theparentingprogram.com/contact/



38. 4 Keys to Minimizing Regret & Maintaining Sanity on Social Media
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Description: Episode 108: Social Media:  4 Keys to Minimizing  Regret and Maintaining Sanity

Click To Download Your Free Sliding Into Self Care: Super Simple Strategies for Crazy Busy Lives

In the last episode, I talked about making things LOOK a certain way rather than having things BE a certain way. 

It all began with my trip to a wonderful destination where our condo was designed for an initial great presentation over the practicality of actually living there for a time. 

That concept also definitely leaves me thinking about what social media can do around this same concept.

How many people can scroll through their feed to say, “Yes, these posts definitely mirror my actual life!”

My guess is….No One!  And, the truth is, they really shouldn’t. 

Sure, you can share a bit about a health scare, or perhaps a quick quip about some unfortunate circumstance. 

But, social media isn’t really the place to air all of life’s challenges, missteps, snafus.

The problem is that, as we scroll through other’s feeds we can forget that this is just a snapshot, a small, mostly positive sampling of another’s life. 

We live in a world filled with happy, smiling faces on FaceBook and can sometimes forget that those images do not represent a person’s whole life.  Most share just the best, brightest happiest moments…. Some of those moments can be very fleeting, no longer than it took to capture the smiling faces for a post then back to unhappy, grumbling, fighting and more. 

So, to be our best selves we must stop comparing our full lives to the happy, window-in-time moments depicted on social media.  Doing that will, of course, leave us feeling like everyone else is living happier more exciting lives. 

These comparisons do NOT serve us!

My first recommendation is Avoid Social Media Comparisons

Here are a few more recommendations to avoid regret as you swirl through the virtual world of social media.  Used well, social media can add value, but, forget what you’re dealing with and you can add plenty of frustration to your real life.

Avoid Debates:  The reality is that, on social media, Ideas and opinions are shared AT people.  Sharing here will rarely mirror an actual conversation like you might be able to have in real life.  On social media it’s more about showcasing your use of “smart” words, sticking to the far side of a spectrum of opinion and driving an idea home vs. actually seeking to understand another person’s point of view.

Often in the middle of divergent opinions is a thought that makes a lot of sense.  But social media debates don’t move people towards compromise.  Instead sharing there continues to highlight and stretch our differences.  I do believe it is playing a large role in dividing us……We are all quite similar actually, I just think that communicating on social media helps us forget that as we focus on our differences.

Keep Your Digital Commitments:  We have become lax with our invitations and time commitments.  Where we used to use a mailed invite, many now use a tag on social media, an email or a text to announce a party or event. As a result, invitations all feel looser and less important.  People wait to reply while comparing other options, don’t reply at all, or say they’ll come but just skip it if something else comes up or they don’t feel like going when the event rolls around. 

Digital commitments don’t carry the same weight as the formal invites we used in the past.  It can lead to hurt feelings and a wedge in what might be important relationships.  So, my recommendation is…..at LEAST keep your digital commitments. If some of us continue to do this maybe we can help slow the deterioration of commitment to invites.

Don’t Let Social Media Replace Real Interaction:  Social media definitely increases your circle of casual acquaintances.  However, we sometimes spend less time in actual connection with those we’d normally see or talk to.  Social Media interaction doesn’t count!  The problem is that we feel like we know about the kid’s concert or the trip to Florida and there is less motivation to meet up or talk to catch up.

Our closer relationships can then diminish down to meet the relationships that we haven’t invested in at all, where most of our up-keep happens online.  Now we are missing real connection and getting only the made-for-mass-viewing version of a close one’s life.  This is not the same and can lead to feelings of isolation.

Make the extra effort to stay in connection to those most important to you.

So, can social media play a key role in our world today?  Sure!

You can

Share an idea, concept or more in-mass

Find others with similar interests

Reach out in support groups for encouragement

Share about public events, new business offerings, etc……

And, it is nice that we can stay a bit engaged in the lives of those we’d otherwise have zero contact with. 

Yes, social media has a place in our world  Just use with caution and keep the recommendations I’ve shared in mind to minimize your regret and avoid the frustration that social media can ignite.

Click To Download Your Free Sliding Into Self Care: Super Simple Strategies for Crazy Busy Lives



39. Living Right or Just Looking Good?
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Episode 107

Living Right or Just Looking Good? 

Click To Receive Your Busting Fear: Jumping out of Limbo Land PDF Download!

Recently we had the chance to travel to a warm destination.  It was awesome! 

When we walked into the condo where we’d spend a week, we were amazed!  It was beautiful, open, and spacious, with an awesome view!

But then……as we moved through our normal living activities we found that there had been little focus on functionality in the space.

There were only a couple of small drawers in our bedroom and no room for a suitcase, making it impossible to have organized access to our clothes.  The bathroom had no place to hang towels or tuck away toiletries. Furniture in the living space looked nice but was not comfortable…….

And the list goes on……

The space was definitely designed for presentation over practicality.

Now….I certainly did not let ANYof this spoil our time away!

But….it got me thinking about a number of clients I’ve worked with and…just people I’ve run across through life, who put that same emphasis on looking good over actually living right.

A life filled with fabrication and dysfunction over real fruit.

Zig Ziglar, a popular motivational speaker, said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

Talking about what you’ll do or, worse, pretending to do what you’ve said is NOT the same as taking real action and never will be. 

Don’t let fear stop you from real action. 

Zig also said, “With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide.”

And he’s right!  Fear can stop you from action but then you may have to live with the new fear of hiding what is true.

Working to make things look a certain way over actually making it so through work is exhausting and a waste of effort!  Trying to track words you’ve said without truth, failing to follow through on commitments.  Fear, hiding, and guilt that accompany all of these will steal your focus.

Getting others to believe things are different does not make it so!  And lies you tell yourself can keep you stuck in what you desire to change.

My clients leave each coaching session with a list of action items they’ve committed to take that will move them towards their desired goals. As we review the list from a previous week I must rely on self-reporting.  Did they do what they promised?

Most of the time my clients are honest, but, at times, it quickly becomes clear that they are working to impress me with fabricated success over what they’ve really achieved. And I have to call them out. 

The end goal can’t be about impressing me for a moment. I’m not going to judge or push for any agenda that is mine.  Faking forward momentum doesn’t affect me.

And fabricated looks don’t last.

So, ask yourself, do you want to create impact for the long haul or just look good for a moment or two?

Living and leading for impact requires integrity…..So, be real with yourself and others.

Make sure your words and commitments match actions.  And, where they don’t, clean it up!

Some Simple Little Things to Ponder from What I Shared Today:

Be real.  Pretending to be something that you are not does not move you closer to who you want to be, but real change does! You only achieve what you actually achieve, not what you or others believe you achieve. Lying zaps energy and shifts focus. Why live in a way that ignites fear, worry, overwhelm, confusion and more lies? Getting others to believe your lies does not prove bad things about them, but it does say a lot about you. 

What are you really working towards?  Do you want things to LOOKa certain way or would you prefer them to BE a certain way?

Integrity is a key foundation to living and leading for impact.  End of story.

Fear can sometimes limit integrity.  I’ve got a free download to help you bust your fear.   You’ll find it on the show notes page for this podcast.

Click To Receive Your Busting Fear: Jumping out of Limbo Land PDF Download!



40. I Dare You To Move! 3 Keys to Busting Fear
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Click To Receive Your Busting Fear: Jumping out of Limbo Land PDF Download!

This Situation is Not Right For Me Now:

 

This Situation is Not Right Because:

 

I Must Make this One Big Decision or Move Next

 

I will put these Decisions or Actions on Hold for Now

 

Define Your Fear

 

The problem with fear is that often we focus all of our energy on avoiding it and no time at all on determining exactly what it is we are afraid of or how real the threat.

 

My fear is (be specific):

 

Reality Check It. What is the worst-case scenario? What are the chances of this happening – REALLY?!

 

I suffer these consequences by staying in Limbo Land:

 

I commit to taking these steps to diminish this fear to live and lead for impact. Start big or small, just get moving!

 

I have had these successes! Keep track! Success will give you the courage and confidence to take bigger, bolder action.

Click To Receive Your Busting Fear: Jumping out of Limbo Land PDF Download!



41. 3 Keys to Maintaining Motivation For Maximum Impact
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Once you awaken to your desire to make a difference it is tough to quiet the internal push towards action. What does it mean to make an impact? The dictionary definition is to have an effect; influence, alter. The force exerted by a new idea, technology, concept, ideology. So, anything that shifts the course of another. At times it can feel like my impact isn’t enough…I want to be doing more…..helping more….serving more….I know for me, as each new year or birthday rolls around I feel it even more….time’s a-wasting….let’s DO THIS! However, feeling this desire too much can leave you feeling frustrated or disappointed. And I don’t know about you, but, for me, when I’m feeling discouraged I am not living to create my best impact. So, how do you keep motivation at a high and discouragement at bay as you work to create your unique difference? Here are 3 keys to Maintaining Motivation for Maximum Impact: 1. Don’t minimize what you have accomplished. The truth is, we often don’t realize the full impact our words and actions have. When you are feeling low, quickly picture the ripple even a very small pebble can make in a lake. That one small act sends an ever-expanding motion through the water beyond where your eyes can see! The same is happening in your life whether you realize it or not! So, rather than assume you’re moving to slow, picture that ripple! A few years ago, I got to see how one short conversation I’d had expanded to many. It was really awesome and has been a vision I’ve carried with me since to help me keep going when I needed it. I was with a group of women and one offered up a thank you to a second woman in the room. She said, “I need to thank you for sharing that morning car routine with me. It has really made a difference for me and my son! I have been so much more intentional each day as I drive him to school! Turning off the radio and picking a topic has helped me capture those few moments for us. We’ve had a great conversation during that 10 minutes every morning since! I ended up sharing the idea with 4 other women that I work with and we’re all using our drive time for cool conversations now.” The thing is….I was the one who had shared the idea with the women she was thanking! It was sooo exciting to think about my quick little conversation moving across people and impacting other families! I also get to see my expanding impact quite often when I’m coaching leaders in a business. I’ll start to hear phrases or concepts I’ve shared during coaching sessions from employees I’ve never met. I know that those I’m coaching are sharing with their teams. It’s really rewarding! Your actions are making a difference beyond what you see! Know that to your core! It will help you maintain the momentum you need. 2. Avoid Comparisons: At times I can hear about Oprah building an orphanage for girls or watch her show as it’s broadcast to millions and start to feel insignificant. And I’ve heard her speak at one of her huge events. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve left feeling deflated. I want to be making an impact like that!! I would love to watch my words and actions travel that far, touch that many lives! If I continue to compare with that frame of reference, however, I can slow my progress. There is little benefit in comparisons that create jealousy or disappointment. I might not be making Oprah-level change right now but I’m still making an important impact! And…..if I keep moving, you never know what will happen! And the same goes for you! Keep focusing words and actions on the impact you wish to make. Each step creates an impact! 3. Impact Can Happen in Any Role: Maybe you say you are “JUST” a volunteer, or JUST a mom or dad. Don’t do that! You don’t have to be the executive director of a non-profit, start a ministry or head up a huge company to make an impact in this world! I look at the impact I’ve made being “just” a mom to my two boys as they struggled through tough health challenges. I’ve watched other warrior moms in support groups for these illnesses do the same! We fight, scratch and claw to get resources for our kids in our schools and as we search to find health practitioners who can help us heal our kids. We research, read, learn and re-design aspects of our lives to work towards wellness. Yes, as “Just” a mom, I’ve made an impact! Even beyond helping my kids heal, I’ve made an impact by working hard to raise two respectful boys. Your impact may be in a role you have already or a role you add on. You might make your impact as a business owner or parent but it could also be serving as a volunteer. We were all put on this earth to make an impact!

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42. Pressed Pause to Shift Priorities and Podcast Relaunch!
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Episode #104 – Podcast Relaunch - The Return Show Notes

From Defeat the Drama at Work to Live and Lead for Impact

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What I’ve been Up to in the last 3 years
My recent Reflect - Refuel and Re-Evaluate

Shift in Focus for the Podcast and Why – For now let me tell you – it’s all about serving you better and was sparked by my Re-evaluation work

What I’ve been Up to in the last 3 years

For the last 3 plus years I have placed a focus on my two boy who had been struggling with major health challenges. They both began suffering from different autoimmune disorders at the same time! At some point I will explore what shared variables could have caused that to happen!

Let me just say, it was a crazy, busy, overwhelming, scary, frustrated, heartbreaking, sometimes celebratory time.

My oldest son was diagnosed with HSP immediately after symptoms started while my youngest was already suffering the symptoms of PANS, but was undiagnosed. It took a full year to learn what was impacting his health and the road back to health has been long!

I’ve been doing advocacy and awareness work since so let me give you a brief description so you can learn a little bit and also get a very small sense about what we were dealing with.

With HSP the body’s immune system attacks all the small blood vessels. It is VERY painful!

Small blood vessels line the entire digestive tract and are in all of the major organs. For my son this meant that he had terrible pain in his stomach as it contracted and squeezed. He ultimately went into kidney failure, causing his hands and feet to swell to the point that his skin was splitting, his blood pressure skyrocketed and he had blood in his urine. His liver was also enlarged. The
first signs were red dots on his ankles and feet, which began to move up his legs. They call it a rash, but it’s actually broken blood vessels. Thankfully, he was diagnosed right away and began treatment that started with a hospital stay in Orlando where we were on vacation, and lasted for months.

PANS is short for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. Sounds like a terrible disorder…AND….it is! The body’s immune system attacks the brain, causing inflammation. This creates what looks and feels like OCD, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, sleep disorders, tics, ADD, brain fog and more.

Children regress with handwriting and often are not able to function in school. They struggle tremendously or are unable to participate in school at all. And,
accurate diagnosis often takes a long time or doesn’t happen at all. It took a year for us to get a diagnosis and made recovery more challenging.

Symptoms show up out of nowhere overnight or in a moment and continue. In our case it was overnight. He woke me before school to share that he hadn’t slept all night and had anxiety through the roof. He was suddenly completely confused at school and unable to understand anything the teachers were saying.

He would not leave his bedroom and had weird eating habits.

He began losing weight. Traditional treatments that can positively impact psychiatric issues generally do little or nothing as they are not caused by chemical imbalance but by inflammation.

That was our experience. And, as my son begged me to find help so he could feel better and be back to himself again, we struggled to find anything that could help.

I re-prioritized my life immediately during this period and so, pressed pause on my podcast.

I continued work with coaching clients and did some speaking, but my kids and their health definitely took center stage. To give you a small feel, in one year I drove approximately 3,000 miles taking my kids to appointments. Stop and think for a minute about the fear, worry, time, logistical challenges and money involved in that many appointments.

And, as I’ve said, I also began spending time speaking and advocating for my kids personally with the school and health professionals and also for others. The CDC estimates that 1 in 200 kids will be impacted by PANS or PANDAS each year and yet many health practitioners and education professionals are not knowledgeable or even aware.

My Reflect - Re-Fuel and Re-Evaulation

I dubbed the summer of 2018 My Summer of Self Care. I focused on me and took time to Reflect, Re-Fuel and Re-Evaluate.

Reflect: We moved fast and furious through 3 years and there was rarely time to think or process what we were going through. It was always just Do – Do – Do. It seemed like we moved from one challenge to the next. So, I took time to just think and remember and feel the feelings that I passed over during the many experiences we’d had. There wasn’t time to sit and let feelings flow.

I was too busy and focused on research and trying the next thing. I needed to revisit what we’d been through and cry and take time to feel what was tucked away. I needed to let a lot of it out.

And, I always try to focus on the positive so had definitely celebrated small victories and looked for silver linings. But, now I needed time to grieve. I took time for that this summer too. I grieved high school years that weren’t what we’d planned. Time lost. Memories not made. There were no school dances or basketball games. He barely left his room for a few years. I grieved or the college life that isn’t what we’d expected.

Refuel: I was completely depleted! There was nothing left for me or anyone else. I could NOT be my best self without a focus on me. I secured down time and used it to just BE, spend time in nature, be quiet, paddle board, water walk. I took actual time off. Normally I celebrate my ability to work from anywhere while blending vacation and some scaled back work. The only true down time I’ve had in YEARS prior to this was my week-long honeymoon in Mexico. We left our
electronics back home!!

I also used some of the self-care suggestions from this .pdf I created. Click on the link to get your own download! It has a lot of ideas!!

My Summer of Self Care – Sliding into Self Care – Super Simple Strategies for Crazy Busy Lives

Re-Evaluate: During that quiet time came some contemplation and I began to re-evaluate:

My Team – All of my relationships from friendships, professional, those I serve and more.

discovered many of my relationships were very one-sided or based on what I could do vs. who I was. I needed to build my Team Kirsten – those who could help fuel me so that I get back to supporting others.

My Time – How should I spend my time -

My Targets – expand – include all of me – to support and encourage all of you.

Out of that re-evaluation came a shift in focus for my podcast. not really a shift, actually, an expansion.

New Podcast Introduction - Summarizes it all...

You were born with individual strengths and a unique purpose. Don’t let fears, false beliefs, or life’s happenings diminish your influence! 

It’s time to Live and Lead for Impact!

Host, Kirsten Ross, expert of transformation, will help you Defeat the Drama and Overcome the Trauma that can stop you in your tracks. You’ll gain focus, find confidence, and take bold action…. Unleash passionate, purposeful you!
Let’s Go!!

I realized that to brand my podcast as Defeat the Drama at Work had me feeling fragmented………I kept bumping up against this wall at the edge of business topics with more that I really wanted to share but didn’t feel like I could and still remain consistent to the brand.

Over the past few years I began to feel more and more fragmented as some of my advocacy work took me in different directions with my speaking as well. It was then difficult to feel fully authentic when I spoke on leadership topics.
I just wanted to be all of me! It started to feel like an identity crisis…….

I’ve always had this call to action or wiring to share what I learn to help others. It goes all the way back to high school. As a result, I live my life on 2 tracks all at once. I live and learn as life happens. However, at the same time, I am also constantly looking objectively at my life and organizing what I’m learning with a plan to share what I’m learning to help others. The wiring has me planning that way and then my innate ability to simplify challenging topics helps me turn it into shareable information.

My podcast’s focus on work alone was what had me feeling fractured.
I’ll say that I’ve been blessed to have had many experiences throughout life that provide me the opportunity to share from a rich collection of life experiences.

I actually recently joked with a friend as she marveled at the wealth of life experiences I’ve had, “Well, I’m really hoping God is satisfied with the material I’m now armed with”….I was kind of joking but kind of not!

So…….The strategies I share with others have been used by many of my clients but also by me. Ironically, whenever I start with a new coaching client, one of the first things I share is this, “You are who you are in your life and in your work so we can work on either and we’ll impact both.” 

I immediately give license to my clients to be a whole human being SOOOOOO……Why on earth have I been limiting my ability to be whole too and share from my plethora of both work and life experiences? Ultimately, my goal is to help others make a positive impact and I don’t care where it happens! I believe to the depths of my core that we are each put on this earth with a unique purpose and wonderful gifts to share with others. Too often fears, false beliefs and the happenings of life stop us from fulfilling that purpose and we rob the world of us.

With this new title and focus I get to be all of me and can also help all of you! Don’t rob the world of you!! I want to help you defeat the drama and overcome the trauma that can block you!

Live and Lead for Impact is about making your difference in this world as all of you from the many different roles that you play. The reality is that you can make a difference as a leader, parent, community member, volunteer, an employee or something else entirely I want to help you make your important impact. Thank you for listening and I look forward to helping you and hearing about your journey to impact!

Click To Download Your Free Sliding Into Self Care: Super Simple Strategies for Crazy Busy Lives



43. DTD 103 Hiring a Friend? Be Real About Your Reasons!
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Recently Kirsten was working with a client and, as is often the case, they began sharing about a challenge with an employee.  The employee was missing deadlines and it was becoming a problem. They talked through some strategies and then…….there it was………

“I feel bad.  He’s my friend.”

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44. DTD 102: The Secret to Increasing Your Capacity
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I often say that I have a lot of bandwidth. I juggle, manage, keep track of many different projects at once. And it’s not just the number but also the breadth of tasks. I am often juggling wildly varying tasks between my professional and personal responsibilities.

I worked my way through college waitressing and you really have to think ahead and be efficient to do well. I think I honed many of my multi-tasking skills there.

Then I became a mom and that definitely adds some volume and breadth to your list of responsibilities.

As a single mom and business owner for 8 years I became a multi-tasker on steroids, wearing all the hats and taking on many tasks and responsibilities alone.

I used to carry the full weight of any project from start to finish for the entire duration. So, the multitude of tasks and breadth of responsibilities sat as a weight on my shoulders, sometimes for long periods. At times the burden was too much. The stress of so many unfinished tasks all at once could feel overwhelming.

Over time I learned a new way of dealing with large projects that serves me better and has increased my bandwidth even more. Now, I’m not talking about the logistics of how I captured the multitude of individual tasks leading up to any finished project.

This isn’t an episode about project management techniques or the latest software that tracks your progress. As an aside you I do recommend Toodledo, an app and web destination tool, but I digress.

No, this is about how I’ve learned to handle a multitude of tasks mindfully.

You see, even once I had effectively captured all of the tasks in a system the entire responsibility sat as a weight in my mind until fully complete. At times there were projects with many moving parts that would not be finished for months. In my mind the sense of urgency to get the long term project done was equal to that of a project that needed to be done that day.

It was a lot of stress. The push and pressure was constant. I did not give myself the “ah it’s done feeling” until a project was fully complete.  It didn’t matter that a project would be unfinished for months. I felt the full weight of the entire thing for that period.

Over the years, and out of necessity, I have learned the art of setting aside the sense of urgency around the entire task and have learned to compartmentalize the sub tasks, not just in my project management system, but in my mind.

If you are a person who struggles with the pressure of the full weight of long term projects you know exactly what I’m talking about.

To achieve the desired result and defeat the drama of overwhelm you must set aside the full project as if it’s not there. Trust in whatever system you are using to capture all of the elements of your full project. Let that be the repository for the list.   And then release your mind to focus only on the next step. No worrying about the activities you don’t have time for yet. Feel the sense of urgency for only the next deadlines. Experience the sense of accomplishment or relief as you finish each step.

Releasing a focus on the full project is similar to freeing up RAM on your computer. There is more usable space for what you must do now. You can fill the extra “now” capacity to increase productivity or capture the capacity for things like rejuvenation or personal growth.

It takes practice but you’ll be amazed at the positive impact!

Apply For A FREE Leadership Breakthrough Session with Kirsten Today!



45. DTD 101: Power of a Positive Attitude - Lessons from a Teen
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Kirsten teaches on the power of having a positive attitude.

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46. DTD 100: Celebrating Milestones
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Episode 100...Time to CELEBRATE!

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47. DTD 099: Are You Bored?
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Recently, I was at an event and overheard someone talking about how bored they’ve been over the last few months.  It really made me stop and think.  I absolutely cannot remember a time when I have felt bored.

I must admit I’ve definitely been unproductive, lazy, tired, procrastinating, overwhelmed and many other things that have kept me from getting into gear, though these are rare.  But, bored has never been one.  That feeling that I have nothing to do.

I had to stop and think, “what would that be like?”

I must admit that at first a part of me felt a little jealous.  Wow, to just be done with all of the pressing tasks.  No deadlines weighing down, no pressures, no “I really should’s”.

But, as I thought further, I really became sad for this person.  Because the flip side of “I’m bored” is the missed opportunities for excitement, a sense of accomplishment, fulfilling your passion, living life on purpose, making it happen, getting it done, the exhilaration of hitting a big milestone, or that Ahhhh feeling of rolling into bed after an exceptionally productive day.

I’ll take overwhelmed, stressed and driven any day.  I am blessed to live the full life that I am living.  It’s how we are meant to live. To live any other way means to deny the world of our unique gifts, talents and skills.

Yes, I’m sure I push myself a bit too hard at times.  But the fire in my belly, the energy in my step, the smile on my face and the joy in my life are what it’s all about.  And it’s how you are meant to live too!

What will you do today to make it happen?  Your life is waiting and so is the world!

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48. DTD 098: Just Get On With It!
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When I work with clients they are often in the midst of change.   Whether they started to transform before our work or it comes out of some new found awareness through the work I find myself helping them maneuver through transitions big or small.

At some point during the process I usually find myself saying, Just Get on With it!

You see, we humans are change avoidant. That lizard part of our brain experiences fear from the thought of anything new and it says – Stop! Danger!

It is our nature to go into tuck and cover. Maintain status quo. Keep safe.

So, transformation can be difficult and my get in action clients like to feel like they are making progress so they begin to research. They read, they web surf, they talk to people, they make a plan, they get feedback on the plan, they think about the plan, they tweak the plan, they do a bit more research, they find another book, they order it from Amazon. They wait for it and then dive in. They put together some numbers, they shuffle them around. They look at all the possibilities and visualize the change from different angles, they talk to a few experts, they speak to a few friends, they journal.

Then they do a bit more research and consider a couple different angles.

It’s at this point I have to stop them and say – The Research portion of this transformation can no longer be considered action.

Just Get on With it!

You’ve heard the term analysis paralysis. Some are plagued with it for even the smallest task. Others get stuck only when it’s a big transformation.

Does change require research and knowledge?

Absolutely!

But at a certain point you can learn nothing more about the change unless you make it!

Years ago I was helping to launch a new program. We had done the research, put educated guesses together about how we should launch. Many on the team thought we should wait 6 more months or a year before launch.

I asked the question, “What more can we learn without actually doing what we plan?”

“Many of our questions can not be answered without actually doing.”

We’ll gain new knowledge as we go. We’ll never launch perfectly. We can always tweak after the fact.  Let’s just go!

And we did! And it was great! Did we make some changes after the fact? Yep!

But there was nothing more to be learned by sitting in a room taking guesses about the unknown.

So, where are you stuck in analysis paralysis?

Where have you gathered a satisfactory amount of information?

Where must you begin to act to get the rest of your questions answered about what it will be like? How will it go? Will this work?

Today, where will you stop researching and take at least one actual action towards your goal or transformation?

It will feel great!

If it’s not perfect, and it won’t be, you’ll adjust.

Just Get On With It!

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49. DTD 097: What Do You Do To Get Your Way?
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Let’s face it, life is better if we get what we want. If the world, circumstances and other people would just cooperate life would be grand!

If you’ve had a toddler or have at least been around one you’ve seen that innate desire live out. During those early years there is really no sense of others. All they know is what they want and they will pull out all the stops in their limited bag of tricks to get what they want.

They might try cute first and then move to whining and pleading. From there they’ll head straight for the full out temper tantrum, throwing themselves on the ground, crying, kicking, and screaming like their world will come to an end if they don’t get that toy or candy.

Luckily, most toddlers are taught that that’s not an appropriate response. They learn to accept delayed gratification and sharing becomes easier.

When my boys were little and they’d start to whine I would tell them, “I can’t understand you when you talk like that.” Or, “you are just getting farther and farther away from getting what you want.”   And I did my darndest to do nothing to reward them during a rant.

We had sitting time outs in the middle of grocery stores, left restaurants.

As I think back I must say, I do NOT miss those times!!

It was sometimes very inconvenient to follow through with consequences or not give in but I wanted them to learn that whining and temper tantrums were not the route to getting their way.

As adults, we still have that innate desire to get our way.  Most of us have learned to consider the needs of others in addition to our own. Or, have learned the art of delayed gratification, understanding the need to set goals and work for things we want. Others have learned to put their own wants and needs aside choosing, instead, to focus on helping others get what they desire.

And, there are those who still work to get their way. Sometimes it’s okay. We have an opinion or perspective that has helped us make an informed decision about what we think is best. We seek to have our opinion known and understood through assertive communication.

Still others will use more manipulative tactics. Work the politics of the office, start gossip, stay quiet in a meeting and then campaign for your agenda. Or use the stay stuck strategies I talk about in episodes 50 through 53, as a for instance,

They are denial, defensiveness, deflection and defriending. Here are the links:

Episode 50: http://goo.gl/PHk0gv Episode 51: http://goo.gl/sQWRzC Episode 52: http://goo.gl/APuWMg Episode 53: http://goo.gl/ynIJNm

Or perhaps you’ve seen a grown up throw an adult sized temper tantrum.

And, do I even need to say it? All of this creates drama!

I have seen through my work that some people will deploy manipulate tactics to get their way for a short period while others will keep going, pulling out all the stops and using multiple manipulation tools. Most will have a stopping point where they throw in the towel and quietly give up.

I recently shared the results of a cultural assessment with a client and felt compelled to emphasize more than usual that the information contained in the report must be kept confidential.

I shared that normally I see a person’s end point. They use manipulative tactics and then give up the fight, realizing they must succumb.

In this instance, however, I was up against someone who continued to use manipulative tactics and covert operations with me during the entire evaluation. This person lied, changed appointments a gagillion times, was a no call no show for a couple of appointments, tried to avoid me during our scheduled times when he did show up by continuing to take phone calls and then dragging them out, telling me had to leave suddenly. And when all of that didn’t work, this person became condescending.

When that failed he got incredibly defensive, belittling, and arrogant. Then there was badgering and trying to block me from key documents I needed to review.

During the entire process, this person, who knew I’d be providing a report to his superiors, never backed down. Instead he continued to escalate his tactics; like a toddler, but in an adult way.

I never did see his end point. What else was he capable of? Thus, the extra emphasis on keeping a report confidential.

It got me thinking. We all have the capacity to try some tactics to get our way. Some overt and some covert, some professional and above board and some not.

It’s time to do some reality checking. My question for you today is:

Are you aware? What actions, behaviors, conversations, tactics do you use to try to get your way? Do you use different tactics in your personal life than you do in your professional one? Are you passive, aggressive or assertive with your tactics? Are you engaging in covert operations, working behind the scenes gossiping or working the politics of the office in your favor? Are you sitting quietly in a meeting and then campaigning for your position afterwards? At what point are you willing to concede? Do you take it too far? Do you need to let go sooner? Are you retaliatory after the fact if you don’t get your way? Are there areas where your desire to get your makes you blind to the perspectives, desires, ideas of others? Where are you igniting drama rather than defeating it?

Take some time to really think about these questions and get real. Are there changes you need to make in this area?

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50. DTD 096: 6 Tips to Help You Say No Without Guilt
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As I’ve shared before, many of people I work with struggle with people pleasing. Often they feel overwhelmed and resentful. They struggle to get things done on time because they are always over committed.   No matter how busy, they continue to say yes to all the requests people make of them.

If you haven’t mastered the art of saying no this is probably you.

So, let’s look at some key reasons why some people have such a hard time saying no – do you see yourself anywhere?

And here’s one I hear from many of my Christian clients. “God wants me to serve others.”

I do believe this is true. We are all given gifts to use in the service of others. But, here’s the thing, if you are a follower of God, He is supposed to guide your actions, your service. If people are taking up 100% of your time you don’t have the capacity left to follow God’s lead. He does not call us to serve 100% of the people who come asking, regardless of the request.

So, if you are a people pleaser who has used this as your excuse I ask you to stop.

Here are six strategies to help you say no. Use them, practice them, take back some control of your time.

Buy Time: “let me check my calendar, or I”ll get back to you in a couple of days, or let me think about that, or check with my partner

Policy Statement: sounds office –cast in stone, out of your hands. “I have a policy not to volunteer in the evenings.

Shift the Focus – this is not about you, I need to say no for me. – said with empathy for the other person’s situation and with eye contact

Know Your Priorities: If you set a priority of the family eating together then say no to all intrusions to this.

Keep It Simple: no long-winded explanation or excuses – just sounds more defensive.

Tackle Easy Situations First: start by saying no to the paper boy or the phone solicitor first – build the muscle on the easy ones and then tackle your overbearing relative

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51. DTD 095: Jump! But Not to Conclusions
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Taking swift action can be very rewarding and fruitful at times. You get an idea and put it into action. Or you jump on the bandwagon for a new product and it works out well for you.

I am definitely a fan of action and forward momentum. If you are like me you feel the same.

A too Swift analysis with a final verdict can sometimes lead you astray, however. So many of my clients suffer the affects of jumping to conclusions too quickly. I call it Living in the World of Assumption.

Our assumptions generate ideas and feelings about a situation and these drive our actions.

We make assumptions about what others want from us and why, we take guesses at what our boss meant by that, we decide what the look on a co-worker’s face means about us.

I love the poem, “The Cookie Thief”. It illustrates what can happen when we assume. I first heard it read by Wayne Dyer years ago.

Here it is:

The Cookie Thief

by Valerie Cox

A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shops.
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see,
That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be.
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock,
As the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

With each cookie she took, he took one too,
When only one was left, she wondered what he would do.
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other,
She snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother.
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude,
Why he didn’t even show any gratitude!

She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate,
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,
Then she sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise,
There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair,
The others were his, and he tried to share.
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.

How many times in our lives,
have we absolutely known
that something was a certain way,
only to discover later that
what we believed to be true … was not?

So, yes,

Jump on the bandwagon

Jump for Joy

Do Jumping Jacks

But do NOT jump to conclusions!

All I can say is clarify, clarify, clarify! When in doubt, ask clarifying questions rather than jumping to conclusions!

Once while working with a client he exclaimed, “since I started working with you I feel like I’m constantly asking, ‘can you clarify that for me?’”

I laughed and told him there are all kinds of ways to start a clarifying conversation. I’ll make you a list.

That list become a .pdf with 50 different ways to ignite clarity. If you’d like me to send it to you shoot me a message. Go to defeatthedrama.com Click on the podcast site and then go to the submit your drama challenge form.

I’ll happily email you a copy!

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52. DTD 094: Learn a Super Simple Team Problem Solving Strategy
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Today I want to share a quick problem solving strategy that can work with your team.   It works nicely with the simple process improvement strategy I shared in episode 13. Here’s the link if you haven’t listened to it already or need a refresher: http://goo.gl/MDv646

I once had a client with a major problem. They ran out of boxes and were unable to finish their work. At first glance it would seem that they just needed to order more boxes. Upon analysis, however, they learned that the real issue was that people were moving the boxes and not scanning them in or out. There were plenty of boxes they just weren’t in the right spot and no one knew where to find them. Totally different solution is required to fix this problem.

Often a problem has many underlying issues or challenges causing it.

So, the first step to problem solving is to bring your team together with all of their wonderful perspectives and knowledge to brainstorm causes for the problem.

Once you have a list of possible causes discuss briefly and then vote.   Vote until you have it narrowed down to the top 2 or 3.

Next, it’s time to brainstorm solutions for the top 1 to 3 main causes.

Repeat the same process. Use multi-voting to narrow the list to the seemingly best solutions.

Once you’ve narrowed it down it’s time to put a game plan in place to implement the proposed solutions.

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53. DTD 093: How Full Are Your Trust Buckets?
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If you’ve been listening to this podcast you already know that I spend a lot of time helping people overcome their drama challenges.

Often drama between people boils down to a lack of trust. You can have little or no trust for someone based on your experience with them; they’ve proven with their words or actions that they should not be trusted. Or you can lack trust because you don’t know them.

Either way, when we don’t trust someone we are more apt to assume the worst or assign mal-intent to their actions.

Of course, a history of bad behavior warrants less trust. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. In businesses, however, I often find that lack of trust comes from a lack of knowing. Sometimes leaders don’t give their employees time to connect.   And this creates negative assumptions and drama!

Over the years I’ve had a unique perspective into so many relationships and can say with certainty that often these assumptions are not accurate. I would even hazard to say that rarely are the assumptions driving these negative relationships true.

When communication and connection happen trust can build quickly. Assumptions are replaced with facts and relationships are transformed.

I worked with a group of 4 people who knew little of each other personally but had to deal with each other often to complete their work. The company called me in because the poor relationships were decreasing productivity.

I spent exactly one and a half hours with them and it that time they had many aha moments. “Oh, I thought when you were asking me that you trying to pass your work on to me!”

“No, I’ve already tried 4 different times to get the numbers right by the time I’m asking you to clarify some things.”

“I thought you were just coming in early so that you could leave early and find things to complain about.”

“No, with the work changes I now have to come in early to get everything set up and do the inventory. I’d actually prefer not to start so early!”

On and on it went.   Gaps in fact filled in with negative presumptions overcome with truth.

Each had painted a picture of the other like a paint by number gone wrong. The little assumptions all added to a perception of co-workers trying to avoid work, get each other in trouble and wreak havoc. Recent changes in roles and workflow had put them all together feeling uncertain and wary.

They needed to work together but had had no opportunity to build trust.

I am very visual so I almost always end up describing concepts with physical items.

I started using the term Trust Bucket to describe the level of trust we have with others. It’s just a nice visual.

So, an empty trust bucket means little trust.

A full trust bucket is like a full bank account of trust.

A full trust bucket and we are assuming the best of each other. If my co-worker of 10 years is late and I have assigned a full trust bucket to her I will assume she got held up. An empty trust bucket and I’m assuming the worst. “He doesn’t value my time or is disrespecting me.”

I find that people assign empty or full trust buckets to new people in different ways.

Some people tend to start new relationships with a full trust bucket.   “I will trust you unless you give me good cause not to.” At that point, they will have an empty trust bucket.

Others are more cautious and begin relationships with an empty trust bucket. “I need to see who you are first. Prove that you deserve my trust. You have to earn it. Then I will fill the trust bucket.”

At work it is so important to bring employees together so they have an opportunity to know each other as people and fill those trust buckets!

Drama happens when trust buckets are low. As I often say, in the absence of fact, for some reason humans fill in the blanks with negative assumptions. A process falls apart and the first instinct is for employees to blame co-workers they don’t trust, “they’re just trying to make my job harder!”

Bring those employees together and give them the chance to know one another and trust will develop. They will assume the best of each other instead.

So, a few thoughts and action items for you today.

How full are your trust buckets with people? Do you start with a full bucket and empty with negative experiences or do you start empty and make them work their way to trust?
Are there people in your life or work with empty trust buckets out of assumption rather than fact? How can you get to know them to learn their true character?

If you are a leader, where do team members have empty trust buckets? How can you bring them together to meet, connect and build trust?

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54. DTD 092: 6 Strategies to Stop Interruptions and Find Your Focus
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Most in the workforce are being asked to produce more and more. In the mean time technology has kept us connected 24/7. Co-workers and clients expect quick turn around for their questions or issues whether big or small. I’ve heard it more than once, “how can I get any work done when all I do is go to meetings and deal with issues!”

The reality is, you need uninterrupted time to focus to do your best work! Here are a few strategies that have worked well for my clients over the years:

Pay attention to the interruptions. What do people need? Are there reoccurring questions? Create an FAQ or contact list. Let the past questions predict their future needs and provide the answers in another way. Get those answers out of your possession and accessible without your time.

Inundated with emails? Ask coworkers to adopt a subject line phrases to clue you in on the contents.   Also ask that they include a deadline where appropriate. It will make prioritizing your emails much easier. FYI Deadline Decision Discussion

Feel Like You are Always in Meetings? When you first started working it probably felt like a privilege to be included in a meeting. The farther you travel up the ladder the more your time is monopolized by them. Start asking what the purpose of the meeting is ahead of time. Do you really need to be there? Is there another way to get the update? Are the topics they will be discussing relevant to you? Do they need you for a decision? What value can you add? If you aren’t adding value or someone else can go in your place don’t go. Keep that time for more important things.

If you’re the one calling the meeting listen to episode 91 if you haven’t already. Evaluate whether you need to keep having the meeting.

Carve out Focus Time Each Week. Put it in your calendar and hold it sacred. Create some sort of visible cue for your co-workers to let them know they cannot interrupt you unless there is a true emergency. I’ve had clients make signs for their doors placed a flag on the side of a cubicle if they were working in an open work environment.
Schedule Time for Emails and Voicemails: If possible answer emails and voicemails at certain times rather than letting it punctuate every moment of every day.   There are some roles that won’t lend themselves to this, I get it, but, if you can, check emails 2 or 3 times per day. You can let people know that that’s what you’ll be doing so they know not to expect an immediate response. Most people understand that you are doing it to create focus. Create specific office hours for ad hoc questions. If you’ve made yourself 100% convenient people will just pop in at all hours of the day with their questions. Often they are not urgent issues it’s just something they need to discuss. By creating office hours for questions and conversations you will train people to hold the non-urgent matters to those specific times. You’ll enjoy more focus time!

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55. DTD 091: Do You Really Need a Meeting?
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Many of my clients struggle with the drama created by meetings. Either they have too few and there’s constant chaos. No one knows what’s going on, miscommunication is rampant, the world of assumption is thriving and none of the employees know or trust each other.

Or, they have too many meetings. They read a book or blog post once that said they should have a meeting once a week so they have it. They come up with an agenda last minute, struggle for content, hope people will go on tangents so the time will be filled up, spend lots of time complaining or eating cake but little time doing anything productive. The team grumbles about the waste of time or relishes the “free” time the ineffective meeting represents.

Do either of these sound familiar?

Meetings are essential! You just have to do them well. The key to a great meeting begins with its purpose. Never meet just to meet. Know the purpose so you can evaluate whether or not you need to have it. Some things you are doing in a meeting now could be done more effectively another way.

Here’s some motivation for you. Have you ever stopped to think about how much a meeting costs? Look around the room and estimate the hourly rate of each employee. Divide by 60 to get the rate per minute. Now multiply by the number of unproductive minutes. Yep, it’s costing you or your employer a pretty penny! And if they are causing drama that extends beyond the meeting it’s really a waste of money!

So, ready to evaluate your meetings now?

Look at the reason for the agenda item. I’m going to share a list of what I think are good reasons to meet…….at times. It’s not a 100% comprehensive list but I think it covers a lot of the most popular reasons for meeting. And your objective should drive the content, the feel, the flow, everything. A meeting can have several objectives. Just make sure they are clear to you and your participants.

Connecting: you want employees to know one another as humans. Trust comes form time spent together. Time to connect and know one another is a great reason to have periodic meetings.

Sharing information: you may need to have a meeting to share information but you might be able to share in a more efficient way. Often I find my clients are sharing basic information in a meeting as a way to hold assure they are receiving it so they can be held accountable. There are other ways to achieve the same objective. Send via email with a deadline for reading. Create a subject line that alerts them and put the deadline right there. Have them reply back or fill in a poll or initial a document once they’ve read it over and KNOW what’s there.

If the information will require a Q & A period, extensive explanation, might be met with some push back then, yes, pull everyone together so that all hear the same facts and can benefit from the same Q & A.

Decision making: this is a great reason to have a meeting if you need to negotiate, discuss, share perspectives. You can explore digital idea generation and opinion sharing but in person or digital meeting is usually a great way to go. Just make sure that the actual decision makers are in the meeting so you don’t have to rehash a conversation to make something happen.

Creative Planning: if you need input, differing perspectives, idea generation I would call this a great way to spend time in a meeting. You get that added collective brain as people bounce ideas around. Whether your pulling together during a project or coming up with the next great product for your business, pulling the team together for this work is a great use of time. I just caution that you always want to end a generative discussion with a plan for action after. How will you assure some momentum forward. It’s fun to brainstorm but then make sure you do something with it. Who needs to make a decision or take some action after the meeting?

Resolving Challenges: whether they are process or people challenges, yes, you need to pull people together for some good communication that includes verbal and nonverbal cues. A meeting is key to resolving issues.

Questions: if there are indications that your team is confused, bringing everyone together is a great way for all to benefit from hearing the information together. Many will share the same question. If, as a leader, you can anticipate the questions, an FAQ emailed out or placed on your intranet might also do the trick without a meeting.

Education: this is another great way to spend meeting time. Whether it’s pulling everyone together for a webinar or to have a co-workers teach a new technique, learning with your team is an important activity. Let everyone hear the information together and benefit from questions, participation and group practice activities.

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56. DTD 090: Is Fear a Factor?
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It’s time to take an inventory. How often is it fear that stops you in your tracks? How many excuses do you make to avoid doing what you fear?

We all have them, some activity, conversation, task that we don’t want to do. What would your life look like if you started busting through those fears? How different would it be? What have you missed out on, avoided that could have been great? What avoidance tactics have altered the course of your life and not in a good way?

Fear can be big an overpowering. And, as humans, we will take the path of least resistance unless there is a catalyst.

I share a story about my son to illustrate what fear can look like in our lives. Left unchecked it has a tendency to grow.

When he was young, my son had a fear of thunderstorms. Not unusual. He was too young to understand what was going on so to him it was a lot of noise. At first, he just needed to be cuddled or expressed concern when there was a storm. Over time he began to head for cover in our basement when he heard thunder. Once when we were camping in our RV I woke to find him sleeping in a storage area under the couch. He was trying to shield himself from all the noise.

As he grew so did his fear. Soon he was feeling afraid when it rained. Rain might bring thunder.   He would hide in the basement.

Then clouds began to scare him. Clouds might bring rain and rain might bring thunder. He would hide in the basement.

Then he became fearful when there was wind. Wind might bring clouds, clouds could bring rain and rain might mean thunder. He would hide in the basement.

I watched as this fear grew and grew. It was painful.   Thankfully, he has worked his way back through the fears and does fine during storms now. And he understands the science behind the noise.

Where is fear doing something similar in your life? It might not be storms but something else. In the show notes I have a graphic of all kinds of different fears that often plague adults.

Where is fear shifting the trajectory of your work or life?

Where is it growing like a blob?

What impact is it having?

Today I am asking you to commit to one Risk per day.

Not a physical risk like skydiving or a roller coaster

Not an Adrenaline Rush risk.

No, I am asking you to get out of your comfort zone. Do that thing that you’ve been avoiding. Begin to expand your life one action at a time.

Make that call, take that class, go to that event, have that conversation Go it alone somewhere Admit the wrong Ask for help Read a chapter in the book Make the investment Make that presentation Ask for that raise Make that request Set that boundary Share your opinion

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57. DTD 089: Are You the "I'm too Busy" Bee?
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As you listen to conversations in a restaurant or a conference room doesn’t it seem like people everywhere are in competition to see who is busier? Technology is wonderful and has created efficiency and mobility. However, too many of us are filling every moment with value add activities, eeking out every morsel of output from every minute of every day.

Joshua Becker Website Becoming Minimalist Best selling author “Simplify and Clutter free with Kids” http://www.becomingminimalist.com/

In a recent blog post he shared the “9 Hidden Lies that Keep our Schedules Overwhelmed”

Accolades will bring fulfillment. Money will bring happiness. I don’t have a choice. I’m more productive if I’m busy. I am needed. Everything is important. I need to be busy to keep up with everyone else. Busy makes me look more important. Quietness is laziness.  Accolades will bring fulfillment. As he describes, people believe that busy means accomplishment and accomplishment equals accolades and fulfillment.I remember years ago seeing an illustration of a very busy maze and one that had a pretty straight shot to the center. At the top it read something to the effect that busy doesn’t always mean productive. And that’s the thing, being busy doesn’t mean you are getting anything done. Or, perhaps you are getting things done but not the important things. Anyone can stay busy 24/7 but what are you really achieving? If you aren’t using your time effectively you won’t accomplish much no matter the effort. And, even achievement doesn’t guarantee the accolades or gratitude of others. Do your work well and find a why that doesn’t include seeking out the approval or validation from others.

Money will bring happiness. We get caught up in the double misconception first that money will solve all of our problems and make us deliriously happy and second, that there is a direct correlation between busyness and money. Unfortunately, neither is true. As a former single mom I can vouch for this for sure! I was busier than I’d ever been but most of what I did was not to earn money. Constant motion does not guarantee wealth.

I don’t have a choice.Many of us live over-busy lives because of the expectations and demands of others. Some of us create the chaos ourselves thinking there are no other options. I teach my clients that the mere fact of living from the belief that you have no choice, that victim mentality, will create more stress and overwhelm. You always have options. Are there negative or unpleasant consequences to the alternative? Possibly. But you are empowered to choose a new path. Avoid the phrase “I have to” to see how different it can feel. From an empowered place of other things are possible see what creative changes you can make.

I’m more productive if I’m busy.I always say you can full tilt for a sprint but not a marathon. Yes, getting in the zone fully focused you can be very productive. But you must have periods for rest and rejuvenation. Check out the book “The Power of Full Engagement”. They help business people adopt the strategies used by world class athletes. Key to success, full focused action with built in periods of rest.

I am needed. Some people need to be needed and that desire drives them to say yes to any request. I always tell my clients, “others will fill up every moment of your life if you let them.” If you always say yes you will be known as the go to person and more people will follow. Be intentional about where you give your time and serve from the heart rather than to fill that void of I am needed.

Everything is important. I still love the illustration that Stephen Covey used years ago in his “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” videos. He had a container with rocks, one with sand and one with water. He asks participants to come up and fit everything in one container. Adding the large rocks to the sand does not work but start with the rocks and fit the smaller stuff around it and more is accomplished. If you take the time to figure it out some things are much more important than others.   Unless you are intentional with your time, however, the little stuff that comes at you monopolizes all of your time. Emails, phone calls, people stopping in, other people’s agendas. In this age of technology we are plugged in 24/7. We have more requests and information coming at us constantly. And its presence doesn’t make it important. You must decide ahead what takes precedent.

I need to be busy to keep up with everyone else. We get constant, edited windows into each other’s lives. Facebook and reality television make it feel like everyone else is doing more, enjoying more, earning more. That “reality” isn’t real. They are specially selected tiny windows into other people’s lives. You aren’t competing with their truth.

Busy makes me look more important.I just covered this topic in my last episode. People sometimes concoct or create busyness to appear important. Meanwhile they just looked frazzled and disrespectful. Being intentional with your time, prioritizing well and handling what you choose to take on with grace is far more impressive.

Quietness is laziness. It seems like the entire world is in a competition for who can be busiest, he or she who gets the most done wins. The goal is efficiency and effective use of time.   We forget that effective use of time can be about sleeping, reading, contemplating, being. How often do we forget to just be in the moment? I often coach clients through periods of transition, which require times of quiet contemplation.   In our active society this can breed guilt so I encourage them to give themselves grace and allow for those necessary times of quiet. I’ve coined a phrase that helps them realize that the quiet is actually doing. I call it the cocoon phase.  Quiet is not lazy. Quiet is necessary.

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58. DTD 088: 6 Key Causes of Chronic Lateness and How to Overcome Them
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Are you one of those chronologically challenged people? The ones constantly running into meetings exclaiming “sorry”, as you move to find a seat? Or, do your friends and family just roll their eyes as you explain, once again that “traffic was terrible” or “I got lost” as you maneuver your way through the group?

Tardiness creates drama and is a sign of disrespect. And don’t underestimate the negative impact that chronic lateness creates! You need to do all in your power to be on time! I have coached people with this affliction and found varied reasons for it.

Here are some of the main culprits I’ve helped clients overcome. Do you struggle with any of these? As always, get real. You have to acknowledge something before you can change it.

You don’t gage time well. You aren’t realistic about how long things will take or how much travel time is required. You get lost in a current task and time slips away. You look up to see that there is zero possibility of arriving on time. You like to seem important and arriving late to a meeting or gathering proves that you have many things on your plate. People should just appreciate that you’ve blessed them with your presence at all. You are completely disorganized with your calendar and have no idea what’s on it or when. It has totally gotten away from you. You don’t say no appropriately so are constantly overscheduled. Maybe you don’t even bother to check before you say yes yet again.   You’d feel bad saying no. You’ll just figure it out later. You just don’t care. You are a Type B personality to the Nth degree. You’ll get there when you get there. You have no idea why so many people let time rule their lives.

Unless you are of the just don’t care variety you are probably experiencing drama yourself as you try to maneuver through a too full calendar. If you’re the ego later your stress might be in finding things to do to continually appear busy.

And the people who are waiting for you are feeling stress. If you are an important part of the meeting you may be wasting everyone’s time. They can’t finalize a conversation or make a decision without you and have to wait and then spend additional time summarizing what’s already happened. Or, your family and friends held up dinner or waited to cut the cake or started without you but missed your presence once again.

It’s a sign of disrespect too. You are saying that you are more important than other people. Anyone can be late for a meeting or can over schedule. It takes intentional action to avoid it.

When I work with leaders who are chronically late I give them these strategies.

You don’t gage time well: Reality check your time estimates. Create your initial estimate and then tack on some extra time. If you have repeating tasks keep track so that you have a reference for next time. Have a colleague or friend who is notoriously on time review your estimates. Or, if you have an admin give them more control over your schedule.

For travel times add 10 to 15 minutes additional for every half an hour the travel should take. If you’re in an area with extra heavy traffic or it’s rush hour you will need to tack on more. And make sure to factor in time to get into the building. If you have to hit the 20th floor you’ll need time to park in a large lot or structure, wait for the elevator and take the ride up.
Getting places early feels REALLY good! I’m an efficiency junky and also a freak about being on time. How do I deal with the extra time I have when arriving early? I always travel with portable, quick tasks to do. I can still be efficient with my time without the stress of running just on time or late.

You get lost in a current task and time slips away: if this is you there’s a super quick fix. Just set an alarm on your phone. Determine what time you need to be done, pick a catchy tune, utilize the self discipline to stop when you need to and you’ve got it. You like to seem important: get over yourself. The truth is, everyone in that meeting or event had many other things they could have been doing with their time too. You don’t look busy and important you just look rude.

It is way more impressive to juggle many things well. Be intentional about what you commit to and follow through on your word.

I remember the year I was getting married. I was a single mom, business owner, Board member and helping to start a non-profit. I made it to my kids’ activities and arrived early to all of my professional commitments while still managing to plan a wedding. I said no where I needed to and honored the commitments I made by juggling my calendar. You can get a lot done while still respecting yourself and others!

You are completely disorganized with your calendar: Find a system that works and stick to it. If you have an admin who can own this for you give up the fight. Or, perhaps he or she is the one creating the chaos by overbooking you. If this is the case, get in control. Create specific rules about the number of appointments, after work obligations, breakfast meeting per week, etc. And then, get in the habit of checking it before you add anything to it.   And you must check it throughout each day or at least first thing in the morning. And, again, be intentional about to what you commit.

Years ago when I was just starting my business I did struggle with this a little bit. I had been a stay at home mom for a few years with just a few play dates and an occasional pediatrician appointment on the calendar during the day.   I remember missing a very important phone conference call.   It was the very early stages when I still maybe had one meeting to track every couple of weeks. I was not yet back in the habit of checking my calendar everyday nor keeping track of time for anything other than nap or snack times. I had to re-learn. That one miss and I was back on track!

You don’t say no appropriately so are constantly overscheduled:   focus on the stress and overwhelm this causes in your life. You need to build the motivation to start saying no appropriately.

Here’s one strategy I teach. Buy yourself time by telling someone you need to check your calendar. You should be doing that anyway! This will give a quick phrase to help you breathe and be intentional.

You just don’t care. If this is you, you need to find a way to care or you will never be motivated to change. Since being late is probably not causing you any stress can you think about what it’s doing to other people? Are they feeling disappointment or stress? Can you think back to important events you’ve missed? Have you lost any jobs or professional opportunities? Have any of your relationships been negatively impacted?

If you can muster the motivation then you can deploy some of the strategies I’ve included here.

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59. DTD 087: I'll Be Happy When
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Too many of us spend our lives saying, “I’ll be happy when…..”

Fill in the blank:

I get in shape, My kids get a little older I find a husband My business is bigger I have more time I lose weight I have a bigger house I take my dream vacation My family stops being so dysfunctional My employees listen better

I have a teen son who spends every season wishing for the next season to hurry up and get here. I worry that he’ll never take the time to enjoy the moment, feel gratitude for what had him excited for the winter, summer, spring or fall to get here.

And it’s not just happiness that eludes us. You could fill in the blanks with other similar statements. I couldn’t add them all in the title. It would be WAY too long!

I’ll feel successful when I’ll be complete when I’ll feel good about myself when I’ll be fulfilled when I’ll celebrate when I’ll focus on me when I’ll have life balance when I’ll vacation when I’ll get that education when

What is that elusive positive emotion you are waiting to experience? What can you focus on to get there in this moment?

If you’ve been saying I will feel happy when…..what can make you happy now? What have you achieved that should help you feel successful today? Listen to my gratitude episode. Shift your focus in a moment to what can make you feel fulfilled, successful and happy. Feel content and positive where you are and then set your sights on the next adventure:
Episode #60 – You Can Choose Gratitude Everyday
http://goo.gl/OtALSZ

Are there at least some small steps you could start making right now?

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60. DYD 086: I Have to Babysit My Coworker and Fix Her Mistakes
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As always, In the Defeat Your Drama segments, I will provide solutions based on the information provided. I will obviously not have full details so will provide customized strategies based on what you share. Always consider your own specific circumstances before taking any action. These are suggestions not guarantees.

Emily, it sounds like you are in a tough and frustrating spot. So sorry for this! There are still some strategies that you can try. It does seem like you and your team have tried everything within your control to help her change. If she’s staying then we need to identify what is still in your control.

#1 Make it as Small as Possible

If your co-worker is going to stay and continue behaving the way she is then all of that is out of your control at this point. You want to stay in your job out of a passion for the non-profit’s work. The goal is to see if you can make this situation at all palatable. You want to stay but can not with your current level of frustration. You can only change what you can control and your focus is something you can control.

Right now it sounds like there is a constant focus on your coworker and her negative behavior. Both from you and your team. You can’t control your team but you can control you. In your mind, make her as small as possible. Put her in a circle in your mind. You can literally visual her as a tiny, tiny little being. Make her smaller and smaller and quieter and quieter. See her inside a tiny, tiny little contained circle.

Now, make the mission of the non-profit and the important work that you get to do as big as possible. In your mind visualize that getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Put it in a giant circle.

Now visualize that giant circle next to the tiny, tiny circle that contains this woman. She’s a tiny little ant next to a universe.

Practice that visual.

Now, bring it into real life. In every moment you get to choose what you focus on. Everyone is in an uproar over this woman, understandably. You are sharing stories, cleaning up her messes, wishing she weren’t there, wanting her to behave differently, collecting her issues, thinking about them, talking about them.

She his monopolizing your focus.

I’m not saying it will be easy, but it is doable   Just STOP.

Ignore her. Make her small. Stop getting frustrated when you have to clean up her mess. I’m not saying it isn’t frustrating. But the reality is whether you are focusing on it and frustrated or ignoring it she is the same. Your frustration does nothing to solve the problem anyway. Pass over that thought and move right on to the work at hand. Visualize the big difference you are making in the world through your work. Place your focus there. Place your focus where you CAN and ARE making a difference. Ignore her and her actions. Place no focus there.

#2 Stop Cleaning up Her Messes

Someone is making the decision to keep her. Is this same person suffering the consequences of this co-worker’s mistakes? Or, is the team doing all of the clean up. I know it is hard, especially when you feel so strongly about the work you are doing. Cushioning a decision maker from the full consequences and dealing with all of them yourselves can sometimes prolong a tough decision. Pain is what moves humans into action. If there is pain on both sides of a decision people have a tendency to stick to the actions that create the least amount of pain or consequences.

There is a reason someone is deciding to keep this employee. I am assuming it’s not about her work ethic. It sounds more like they have guilt or fear. Maybe they fear her defensive response. Perhaps they have guilt because they know she needs the job. The pain of that guilt and fear is bigger than the consequence they are experiencing from her bad behavior. Is that because you guys clean it all up so the organization does not suffer? Does the boss have to deal with the team complaints but not the clean up?

Do what you can to help decision makers feel the full brunt of consequences. Stop being on the clean up crew.

You may even tell them that you can no longer do it. You will do your job to the best of your ability but will no longer clean up her messes. You are overwhelmed, resentful and frustrated. Share what is true. What do you have to lose? You are at your wit’s end. The only chance that you can stay is if something changes. Your change may be the catalyst that makes that transformation happen.

#3 See Her in a Different Light

Part of your frustration is in wanting her to be different. Perhaps you assume she is doing what she’s doing on purpose. Chances are the outcomes she achieves are not what she intends. Instead they are the fall out for the false beliefs, fears, lack of self esteem, whatever is actually driving her. And it might be a sense of entitlement and a desire to do as little as possible. There are some who have that mission.

The truth is, life can’t be very fulfilling for her. She knows she’s not doing a good job. She knows she’s trying to stay stuck and hanging on by a thread where she is. She’s working hard and expending a lot of energy to control what she can and keep things status quo.

I’m not trying to help you excuse away what she’s doing. It is a shame. But for your own level of satisfaction and nothing more, can you feel sorry for her or find her actions ridiculously funny? Is it possible for someone to be this delusional?

If you can find humor or empathy rather than frustration the situation may begin to be more palatable. And this can help you stay in a job you otherwise love.

#4 Leave

If all else fails, you can’t make the issue small and focus on other things, you can’t find empathy or humor, you can’t ignite the desire for change in the leaders by allowing them to feel the consequences. If the frustration is at a level that you can no longer tolerate then the option for your sanity and enjoyment of life is to leave. Use your gifts and all that you have to offer to an organization that values hard work and a focus where it should be. An organization that does not tolerate drama.

It is possible that your resignation would ignite a fire in the leaders who are allowing the behavior to continue. I wouldn’t suggest giving an idle threat but if you are truly at that point and find no other options let the leaders know. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll do what they must.

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61. DTD 085: You Failed to be Perfect?!?
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We often have a tendency to be so hard on ourselves. Many of my clients begin sessions lamenting a failure or missed deadline. And time and time again my request to them is, “Give yourself grace!”

If there is something to be learned, a change you are working towards, or a repeating pattern certainly feel the pain for a bit, muster some of that motivation to do what you must. Beyond that, however, you are just wasting time and energy that could be used to strategize a solution or create a new game plan.

First, perfection is rarely achievable. They celebrate the perfect bowling score for a reason. It doesn’t happen that often – or does it? I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a bowling expert. I know I celebrate when I hit a score over 100. But I digress.

Waiting to celebrate only when you’ve achieved perfection is a tough way to live. Give yourself grace!

Sometimes our wiring gets in the way. You can’t change how you are wired you can only create work arounds when how you are wired doesn’t’ serve you. Give yourself grace!

For instance, if you are a type A personality, this probably serves you well in many situations.   You get things done, you are on time for meetings, you have lots of bandwidth so can handle lots of projects at once. Your energy can seem endless at times. Great!

Now, what if you are a Type A personality who has to wait to make a big deal happen. You have to wait through the process of due diligence, wait through the process of negotiation……….all while your desire for instant gratification gnaws at you.

Your Type A wiring can make things difficult under this circumstance. Don’t beat yourself up, Give Yourself Grace! You can’t change how you are wired. And you don’t want to drive yourself crazy. You’ll have to come up with some creative work arounds to keep your mind off things while you wait for the process to unfold.

Sometimes things happen that are out of our control and can cause us to miss the goal of perfection.

If you are a regular listener to my podcast you may have noticed that I did not publish episodes on my normal schedule recently. I missed one……..Yep, I did!

Recently, many things happened that were out of my control. One on top of the other.

Hard drive crashed causing lost time taking it to the Apple store.

Lost productivity from being without it for a few days

Time to re-load everything and get re-organized

Searching for a lost file that I will talk about in a minute

About the time I got it back up and running my son got sick.

He had a temperature over 104. This took lots of my time as I dropped everything else to care for him, created worry and lost sleep as the spike happened late in the evening, as they always seem to.

I did hate to miss. But I am giving myself grace! I made choices that led to this outcome but I wouldn’t change them. I could do nothing about the lap top and I would never put publishing a podcast ahead of taking care of my sick son. So here I am. The reality is I can beat myself up or I can be okay with it. Neither changes the reality. Either way, the time has past and I didn’t get it done. Nothing I can do about it now. Time to move on.

And speaking of that crashed hard drive. It contributed to a flurry of activity that served to shift my focus. During the crash I lost a very important file. I am normally so careful about where I save things. I backup and double back up. Especially when it’s a very big project. And this one was. I’m working on a new book, my third. I used to constantly email myself the file so that I’d have it saved on my computer, backed up on an external hard drive and alive and well in the cloud as an email attachment.

I’ve been using Google Drive for a few years now and that has made things much easier. The file lives in the cloud, on my laptop and my PC. That’s still not enough, though! I also periodically copy and paste the entire drive to the desktop of my PC which also backs up to Mozy every night. And then, just for good measure, about once a month I back up my Macbook Pro to an external hard drive. My files are quadruple backed up. And yet, somehow, this file, this very important file, is lost. Thankfully, not totally. However, the most recent version I could find is months old. Somehow, I must have inadvertently saved that important file directly to my laptop rather than to Google Drive. Something I have not done with anything else, to my knowledge.

I must admit, I am not totally there yet. It is still really fresh. But I’m about to stop wracking my brain trying to figure out how it could happen, about to stop beating myself up for a foolish, foolish error, fully give myself grace and move on. I need to muster all of my creative energy to re-construct what I’ve lost and move on to completion.

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62. DTD 084: Use Tenacious Language to Create Ownership and Action
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The way we process our life experiences and build relationships is through our use of language. The words we use create vision, emotion and sometimes even physical reaction. That’s whether they are spoken or just live within our thoughts. I recommend that you pay close attention to the language you are using and modify where necessary.

When you are communicating your goals or just thinking to yourself about your future, what words do you use? Do you say, “I will probably get that done”? Or, “I should do that”? If you speak like this you might as well be saying, “I won’t get that done.”

And shoulding on anything creates a victim mentality. Own it! Do you need to do that thing or not.

Watch the language you use around your choices. For instance, if there is a networking breakfast at 7:30 am you could say, “No, I can’t go, I have to get my kids to school in the morning.” Over time, however, the concept of “can’t” may add frustration, or worse, could build resentment against your kids! Your language is taking away your power and creating the illusion that you have a life of boundaries outside of your control. And the truth is, you could go to the breakfast. There would be SOME way to work it out. It might be very hectic, you would have to ask a neighbor for a favor or pay additional money to a child care provider of some sort.   But, if you really needed or wanted to go, and the benefits outweighed the costs, you could make it happen and get there. So, really, you are choosing to prioritize that time with your kids or want to avoid the extra navigation or expense. Use language that is consistent with this fact. “I choose not to attend the networking breakfast at this time.” Now you are empowered. I have many choices, and this is the one I pick.

And stay away from the term “I will Try” altogether! There is no action in trying. This is one of my favorite illustrations.

Hold your pen up in the air and try to put it down. If you actually put the pen down you are not “trying”. You actually did it. Trying to put your pen down means holding there continuously.

This exercise shows that trying is no action and that sometimes it takes more effort to “try” to do something than it does to actually do it. You are expending more energy holding your pen up when you “try” to put it down than you would if you just set the thing down.

Using tentative language carries no power. No sense of certainty. You are letting yourself off too easily. Playing life to win requires persistent determination. The language you use needs to mirror this.

Instead, use words of action, certainty and ownership. Say, I will do that. And be specific. What will you do and by when. Or, “I procrastinated”, rather than, “procrastination happened.” And, my personal favorite, “I commit to that.” Or, “that is my commitment.” We feel commitment in our bodies. So much more powerful than I will try, yes?

Words of action, certainty and ownership are winning words and will move you forward as a winner in your life. They will move your forward towards your goals and will transform your relationships. Communicating authentically will build trust and connection.

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63. DYD 083: How Can I Fire this Employee
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Tom from Michigan Writes:

My employee, I’ll call him Bill, is causing a ton of problems. He’s rude, he’s spending a bunch of time on the internet doing who knows what everyday. He’s barely getting any work done. The problem is he’s the only one who knows the software he uses to enroll people in our program. He also handles some really important billing stuff.   What can I co?

As always, In the Defeat Your Drama segments, I will provide solutions based on the information provided. I will obviously not have full details so will provide customized strategies based on what you share. Always consider your own specific circumstances before taking any action. These are suggestions not guarantees. 

Tom, I’m so sorry that you are in this situation. Let’s get you some customized strategies.

I actually see this issue often. A client tells me that no one else knows the job or has the passwords. You are in a predicament. There are some solutions. It just might take a bit of time to solve.

I preach the importance of documenting processes and information often! As a matter of fact, in episode 25 the topic was Document for Ease of Mind, Teaching Tools and Freedom.   Here’s a link if you haven’t already heard it http://goo.gl/iuSjcG

But, shoulda, woulda coulda – here you are.

Employees usually are very aware that they are not doing a good job. Some who want to continue their poor behavior will use strategies to create the opportunity to continue without negative consequence. One common strategy is to garner power by hoarding information. You can become indispensible if no one else knows your job.

It sounds like this is exactly what you are experiencing.

I have three strategies for you. The first two will actually help you avoid this circumstance in others for the future.

#1 Team Documentation

I recommend that you begin an initiative to have everyone in the office begin documenting their work processes, creating FAQ’s, organizing passwords.   You can’t single out just Bill. He’d get skittish and avoid this project like the plague. However, if everyone is engaged he might make some progress.

#2 Job Shadowing

Begin a job shadowing program with a goal of providing back up for everyone in the office. Again, you can’t single out Bill. His job security comes from his unique knowledge. He’d be tipped off if you focused on his job only. Emphasize the benefits to employees; ease of mind while on vacation, uninterrupted sick days, for instance. This might give you a fighting chance to get it done.

#3 Terminate and Figure it Out

This one might be too brutal to make happen.   But, I’m throwing it out there because it might be a possibility. I don’t know your full circumstance. It is possible that you are telling yourself it is impossible to terminate “Bill”. But is it? Stop and consider life without him. Would it be glorious? How difficult will it really be to try to figure out what he does and what he knows without his participation? Sometimes we create an obstacle bigger than it really is when we have discomfort from guilt or fear.

The first two strategies will take some time. If he is creating enough collateral damage you may not want to wait. Get real about the full impact you would experience by letting him go immediately. Then weigh the pros and cons. Negative impact from having to figure it all out against the positive impact of no longer dealing with his antics and the full fall out he creates for your team, your business, your customers. How would it feel to no longer have to waste money paying someone to surf the internet rather than work?

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64. DTD 082: Are You Blowing out the Flame?
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Recently I was meeting with the COO for a client company to discuss some issues I had identified. The company had a stated desire to improve productivity numbers and yet the manager charged with the responsibility had been unable to generate improvement. Why? Because his boss wanted to approve any changes in the department prior to implementation. Okay, a bit micro-managy potentially.

The bigger problem, however, every time the manager shared a recommendation the boss said, “Sounds good, we’ll talk about it.” And then there was NEVER time to “talk about it.”

This manager was beyond frustrated to say the least!

Ummmmm……if you want to insert yourself into the process as a leader you have to make the time to make things happen. You must create the foundation to support your constant involvement. You can’t have it both ways. The boss was a brake system. Nothing was moving forward.

As I shared the situation with the COO I got the visual and shared, “You’re telling him you want the water to boil but his boss is blowing out the flame!”

Accountability with no opportunity is one of the worst positions to be in as a leader. This company has a passionate loyal manager with the knowledge and desire to do a great job but his hands are tied.   And he’s getting the double whammy affect, the frustration of not getting to implement the ideas he has and the hand slap of not meeting his prescribed objectives.

It’s not a novel problem. I have seen it many, many times.  So, today I ask you to consider, where are you stopping the forward momentum of fired up employees? Where have you given your team specific objectives but put on the brakes before they could make any change?

Where are YOU blowing out the flame?

Where must you remove yourself from the process to ignite forward momentum? A key to great leadership is to become a resource that allows others to succeed.

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65. DTD 081: Often A Simple Tweak Is All It Takes To Overcome A Challenge
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Bust the 4 D’s = in there share a simple mindset tweak and some phrases to use –

One of my managers had to do a conversations the same evening as the webinar!  She was very pleased to report that she handled the deflection and denial and was ready for it! -Mary

Bust the 4 D’s of Discipline Avoidance http://www.defeatthedrama.com/transform

6 Simple Steps of Great Delegation episode # 2 http://goo.gl/2NI1L5

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66. DTD 080: Is Your Attitude Generating Drama?
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I live in an area that occasionally receives lots of snow in a short period of time. This weekend was one of those occasions. We got dumped on for hours causing many schools and businesses to close. Now, I live on a court that is situated off of a side street that horse shoes a semi-main road. In other words, I am a bit off the beaten path. No road that I’m on or near is considered a priority. I tell you all of this to say that usually when we get a lot of snow like we did this weekend, we end up being snowed in…….for a while.

In my years living here I have seen garbage trucks get stuck in the court, some utility trucks and one time a plow that scooped it’s way a bit too far into the court got stuck. He was trying to plow the road and steer clear of the court but missed. My neighbor helped dig him out and so, out of appreciation and possibly a bit of guilt, he ended up plowing us out much earlier than he would have.

Last year we had historical amounts of snow and might have spent weeks snowed in if it weren’t for the efforts of my husband and a neighbor who used their large snow blowers to circle the court again and again and again to create a path large enough for a vehicle to travel in our out of the area. They worked hard to help out all of the neighbors living on the court.

Today we received the best gift! A pickup truck owner with a plow on the front spent about an hour plowing us out. He maneuvered and pushed snow. It was a tedious task.

What does all of this have to do with drama and attitude, you might ask?

Well, it relates to drama because we, unfortunately, have a neighbor not well versed in the art of gratitude. As a matter of fact, he becomes quite negative when receiving a favor. He creates negative outcomes for himself and I think he is completely oblivious. His negativity generates drama and I thought perhaps others could learn from his story.

You see, he seems to live with a fear or paranoia that people are out to get him. He looks for the negative in a situation and reacts with anger and aggression. I watched it happen last year during the big snows and again this week.

As I said, last year my husband and a neighbor spent hours snow blowing a path for the 5 families who live on the court. It was tough, tough work. They were drenched in sweat as they leaned in with all they had into their powerful snow blowers. My neighbor probably should not have even been out there! He’s in his 70’s and has had knee replacement surgery. He walks slowly. It was surprising and a bit concerning to see him working that hard.

As they worked, the wind blew and some snow continued to fall. They blew the snow into the center of the court so had to constantly adjust the machines to aim the snow to the right spot. Occasionally the wind picked up and sent snow flying.

My angry neighbor came outside. Did he say thank you for all the hard work they were doing? No! He yelled at them, stopping them in their tracks, to tell them that a bit of snow was blowing in his driveway as they worked.

Ummmmm…..not nearly as much snow as was present EVERYWHERE around us! They listened, tried to explain that the wind was out of their control, promised to do their best and then got back to work,

Shortly after the twenty something year old son from that house came out, got in his car and got stuck in the court. Great!

My husband and neighbor stopped their work and went to try to help. The son stayed in the car while his 70 something father, 70 something neighbor and my husband all tried to push. The neighbor continued to yell.

The result, my husband and neighbor left them to deal with the stuck vehicle and got back to snow blowing. Who wants to work that hard to get yelled at?

This year as the man in the truck plowed our court that same neighbor stood in his snow-filled driveway, arms folded, waiting for a bit of snow to end up in his drive. I had just returned from running out to give the man a plate of brownies and sat inside thinking, “now what!” I was also thankful that I had shared the brownies. This angry neighbor wouldn’t be the only spokesperson for the court.

The truck owner was taking great care to situate the building piles of snow in between driveways. A tough task in a court lined with houses!

The angry neighbor walked into the street to flag the truck owner down. I could hear his voice and see his gestures but couldn’t make out what he was saying – but it appeared to be……..don’t get anymore snow in my driveway. And his tone was aggressive.

Well, the driver didn’t push snow in front of his driveway but sure wasn’t as careful in that area.

I wouldn’t call the truck driver vindictive. I would say that he just wasn’t as inspired to do his best on that side of the court.

After the brownies, the area on my side was wonderful.

The lessons for you today……..ask yourself, where are you forgetting to acknowledge the intended good deed while focusing instead on a small inconsequential negative outcome?

Did someone bring you coffee but forget the sugar?

Have one of your employees taken initiative to re-organize the supply closet and moved an item to a spot you can’t reach?

Did your team work super hard today but still get a complaint from a disgruntled customer?

An attitude of gratitude takes you farther than a negative one. No, don’t ignore what must change but make sure your focus is on the right place for the best outcomes. You might end up with a pile of snow half covering your driveway….just sayin…….

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67. DTD 079: 3 Tactics You Must Use to Thwart the Workplace Whiner
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Your plugging along working and feeling productive with a vision of an on time exit from work when you look up to see the Workplace Whiner standing in your doorway.

Oh No!! Not now! Not today!

The energy-zapping, soul-sucking minutes that can drag into an hour. Time you can never get back. You want to scream or slam the door in their face but you don’t want them to feel bad……or walk around complaining about you!

Years ago when I worked in an office full time we had an employee who walked around with a coffee cup for hours every day. We called the mug his “decoy”. He’d make it appear as though he was just out on a quick jaunt to refill but this was obviously not his true mission.   Office by office he’d stop to chat, sharing tidbits he’d heard along the way. He was also known as the department spy. The workplace whiner can take many forms. They can be frustrated about co-workers or personal injustices. Whatever the topic, they are breading drama wherever they go.

Many of my clients struggle to avoid the workplace whiner. Here are some of the key strategies I share with them. Pick the one that feels right for you and your circumstance.

1. This one is the least direct but usually yields a good result. A quick excuse stated as you focus intently on your screen or head out the door. “I’m so sorry. I’m on a deadline so can chat for 5 minutes but no more. What’s up?”

I don’t condone lying. So, I’m not really suggesting that you say you are on a deadline when you aren’t. I just think it’s safe to assume that there is always a priority looming when you are at work. You are there to be productive, after all. And just fill in the blank with the actual time frame or leave it out altogether if you prefer to make an instant get away.

2. This option is one that will achieve your end result over time. Ultimately, the workplace whiner is looking for the sympathetic ear. That person who will commiserate with their opinions and validate their misery. They are intentional about their targets. It’s no fun to whine to someone who is coming back at you with butterflies and sunshine. They aren’t looking for a new perspective they seek someone to join them in their funk. So, I suggest that you begin sharing ideas about the more positive perspective they might consider as they describe their negative view. Or, share how wonderful you think that situation sounds or how they might improve the situation with a proactive approach. You won’t be the chosen one for long if you don’t empathize or commiserate.

3. No beating around the bush with this one. The more direct approach that will earn you the quickest retreat is to simply state that you have made it your personal goal to remain focused on all things positive. You’ve given up watching the news and will be happy to engage in problem solving activities but are committed to steering clear of complaining or any other negative, low energy inputs.It will be immediately obvious to even the most self-absorbed whiner that you are not the ideal target. Some will put up a bit of a fight but stand your ground. ‘If you have any positive news to share I am all ears. If not, I need to stop you right there and get back to my work.”

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68. DTD 078: A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss but Maybe You Want Some
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Frank Zappa once said, “without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”

And then Victor Kiam added a humorous spin, “Even if you fall on your face you’re still moving forward.

My original thoughts about this episode were to encourage forward momentum. Make sure that you are working on something.

But then I started reading up on the well known proverb, “a rolling stone gathers no moss.”

I had assumed that the origin of this proverb was all positive – keep going. Don’t be stagnant. However, the original meaning had a negative connotation; if you keep moving you don’t lay down roots anywhere. You aren’t attached. You won’t be as prosperous.

It got me thinking.

As I thought more I realized that some of my clients suffer from not enough motion while others from too much.

Constant motion brings chaos and chaos creates drama.

Without intentional and targeted action you can have turmoil and be busy but not successful.

So my new insight for the episode is that, as with all things it’s finding the happy balance. You want momentum in moderation.

I’ve had a magnet stuck to the front of my fridge for years that encourages a goal for raising kids, “first you give them roots and then wings.”

I think that’s what we need to do for ourselves too. Create your foundation. Find those things that will be constant; a location, vocation, some friendships, a business, core values, rules of engagement for your life, a general focus or target to work towards. Let one or all of these be your roots. But be sure to sprout some wings. Where do you need to transform? Where is there opportunity to soar, where do you need to learn new strategies or transition your way of thinking or being?

Where do you need to create a goal and stick to it? Where must you invest some time, energy or resources?

The answer to these questions should be aligned with the roots you’ve grown unless it’s time for a complete overhaul of life. And that’s beyond the scope of these insights.

They say you can’t learn to ride a back by sitting in a seminar. And that’s true! So if you’ve been learning some new things aligned with your roots make a commitment to implement!

Create that goal and begin to roll!

Spend even 15 minutes per day learning something new and 15 minutes per day implementing. Let’s see where those wings can take you!

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69. DTD 077: Are Your Correction Conversations Igniting Change?
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When your team member is employing stay stuck strategies where is their focus?

During a leadership training participants had a big aha moment. It certainly wasn’t on the success of the organization!

Busting Stay Stuck Strategies Episodes: #34, #35, #36, #37

http://goo.gl/SupZkT

http://goo.gl/KnbHBC

http://goo.gl/ZLTlWU

http://goo.gl/L7GaeP

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70. DTD 076: Use Celebration to Energize Your Team
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1. People want to Feel Acknowledged & Appreciated
2. Intentional Positive Focus
3. Celebrate Progress
4. Unite as a Team
5. Gratitude
The Gratitude Episode: #60

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71. DTD 075: Each Customer has a Unique Relationship
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I recently had a little snafu with my schedule and showed up for my son’s Dr. appointment 30 minutes late. Bummer! The earlier time would have been much nicer, actually.

How did it happen?   It was a combination of things.

First, I somehow added the appointment incorrectly in my calendar. I was actually about 10 minutes early for the time I had documented.

Second, the Doctor’s automated appointment reminder system malfunctioned. My phone showed a missed call from the office but there was no message. That message would have brought the error to light in time to make an adjustment in our arrival time. All would have been well.

Okay, so I own my error but did the Office Manager own their error? No.

As a matter of fact, she was a bit ticked at me when we arrived.

Now, I get it. It’s always frustrating when a client, customer or patient is late or misses an appointment altogether. It can throw off your day.

However…….do I think I deserved the greeting I received? No!

And not for the reason you think…….even if they hadn’t also made an error, I believe we still should have arrived to a friendly greeting.

Here’s why.

We’ve been going to that office for years! Lately we’ve been there every 4 to 6 weeks. They know us. And we know them.

We have NEVER missed an appointment and have never been late. In fact, we are almost always 10 or 15 minutes early. It’s a small office so they know this.

We should have a little trust bucket filled to the brim with them. They know that we are respectful of their time and honor our commitments with them.

Think about your personal relationships. Over time, don’t you get to know people? There’s the friend you know you can count on in a pinch, there’s the one you know shows up late no matter what but who has so many other redeeming qualities you love them anyway.   How about the friend who will listen to your problems and offer sound advice?

Isn’t each relationship unique? Don’t you love a relationship where you are known? Where there is a positive history that offers you the chance to receive the benefit of the doubt when make a small mistake?

Food for thought for the day. Are there interactions in your business where you are forgetting to treat your customers individually?

Get to know your customers. If you have a client who is always on time who suddenly arrives a bit late show concern not disdain.   They have a history of respecting your time. Something has probably gone awry.

Acknowledge that customer who comes in every day around the same time to pick up a sandwich or a newspaper. They should be filling up a loyalty bucket with you.

I used to bank with a company that never acknowledged me as a known customer. A colleague who was also a business owner used to laugh about it with me. Between she and her office manager they were in there at least 3 times a week and yet the tellers never knew their names or greeted them any differently than they would a complete stranger.   It wasn’t a very busy branch. No one was looking for preferential treatment. We just wondered what it would take to be treated as a repeat customer? How could we establish a warm teller/customer relationship? What could we do to feel known?

The answer for both of us in this instance was to switch banks. And we did.

If you’ve watched the Today Show over the past 10 years or more you have probably seen Linny. He gained notoriety simply by standing in the crowd outside the studio. They called him the Today Show Super fan. Over time he became known by Today Show staff members and viewers. All he did was show up on time everyday and smile. They began to talk to him during outdoor segments. He was really just a Today Show fan but generated a relationship through his loyalty. They treated him in a special way as a result. When he passed away in 2013 it was a big deal. There was a relationship, he was known.

Let the experiences you have with your customers generate a relationship based on that history.   Have they been a good, loyal customer or a high maintenance one? Get to know a bit about them. At a minimum notice and acknowledge their patterns, tell them it’s nice to see them again or thank you for coming in again.

Acknowledge and appreciate those who respect your business and remain loyal over time. Loyalty means longevity! You want your business to succeed.

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72. DYD 074: I Need A Defeat The Drama Strategy For My Interview
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Jane from the US asked:

I am being interviewed on the 6th of January for a Director position that will oversee a team that has been full of drama for the past year and a half. I have been informed that some on the team believe I am the reason for the previous directors dismissal, and that if I am to take the position, they won't work for me.

When asked in the interview, "How will you handle or deal with the current "drama" "unstructured" situation in the area?, what is the best way for me to answer?

Hear Kirstens solutions in this episode of Defeat YOUR Drama.

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73. DTD 073: Providing Service that Ignites Loyalty!
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74. DTD 072: How to Lose a Customer True Tales of a Courtesy Call Gone Awry
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How to Lose a Customer:
A True Tale of a Courtesy Call Gone Awry

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75. DTD 071: Squirrel Lessons- Are Your Resources More Bountiful than You Know?
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76. DTD 070: Defeat the Drama of Supervising Your Friends
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In theory working with friends seems like it would be great. And, at times it does work out well. However, over and over I find my clients struggling with the negative impact of work friendships.

We spend a lot of time at work so it’s bound to happen. We become friends with people at work. There are many ways you can end up supervising a friend:

You worked together, became friends and then you got promoted to their manager You hired a friend thinking they would be great in your department or business You blur the lines with direct reports and start spending time together outside of work. Friendships blossom and so does the drama.

The problem these friendships often breed drama. Here are some scenarios I’ve seen:

The line between friend and boss becomes blurred and you let them get away with too much. Or, your employee begins to take advantage of the relationship, expecting preferential treatment and is angry with you for treating them as an employee at work. You spend a lot of time at work rehashing the fun you had over the weekend and planning your next escapade. Other employees become frustrated with your lost productivity. You do play favorites and plan to continue but are becoming annoyed with the jealous or frustrated displays of the rest of the team. You overcompensate and tend to be harsher with your friend/employee, causing tension between the two of you. Perhaps the two of get distracted talking, goofing around or playing practical jokes on each other at work. You have a fight with your friend outside of work over a personal issue and have to work together the next day. The rest of the team has the inaccurate perception that your friend gets preferential treatment despite your best effort.

How do I define drama? If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while you know that I define it as anything that shifts focus from where it should be; on providing great service.   Friendships will happen at work and you can have friendships without generating drama but you have to have good boundaries and solid ground rules.

No preferential treatment No extra harsh treatment No goofing around or re-hashing the weekend’s shenanigans Treat all employees with respect Where it may appear that there is preferential treatment be prepared to share a bit more detail. If the relationship causes too much drama and you are not able to work through the cause, one of you must move or go. I’m talking the extreme scenario here. I hope it’s not necessary but I’ve seen it happen. One of you is interested in keeping the professional relationship and friendship separate while the other is not. Drama ensues. All efforts to minimize the impact fail. The business must win. And if you are the one in the leadership role or are the business owner you don’t want to compromise your position. The threat of job loss must be present and real. If you’ve entered the work/friend zone you have to be willing to go to the mat for your business and hope that the friendship can survive.

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77. DTD 069: I Refuse to Stay Stuck! I Choose Change!
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Are you one of those people who avoid change at all cost? Maybe fear stops you in your tracks or your stubbornness gives you pride. Maybe you celebrate your stagnation.

No matter how change avoidant you are I bet you’ve benefitted from change, perhaps without even knowing it. Change is often good!

Let me illustrate:

Are you old enough to remember rotary phones? Do you still use one today or have you moved on? Are you listening to this podcast on the go from your phone, perhaps even from your car? Do you take pictures with your phone? Has your television viewing transitioned to full color, high definition? Are you old enough to have rented a VHS Player to watch movies you rented as a paid member? Ever viewed a movie on the go? Have you ever worn Spanx?

See, regardless of how change avoidant you are you have succumbed. And, in many instances, if you stop to think about it, I bet that change has been good. So, change has been thrust upon you through technological advances.

Where do you need to stop making excuses and start embracing change personally? What excuses have you been using?   Are any of them really valid?

The New Year is upon us and it is time to say I Choose Change!

Did you ever see one of those round wooden “Get a Round To it” coins? Fun play on words and so true.

When you get around to it………

How have you been filling in this blank:   I will ___________________ when I get around to it. (exercise, take that class, eat healthy, write that book, travel to that destination)

Pretend like I’m handing you one of those round to it’s right now.

The truth is, you could be doing more of your get around to it items. You could.

There will never be a perfect time.

What is REALLY stopping you?

Does it need to?

Are there at least some small steps you could start making right now?

Here are some questions to ask to get you moving.   Enlist the help of some trusted advisors. An outside perspective often helps.   I did an episode on the 7 Key Characteristics of a Great Trusted Advisor. Go here if you haven’t heard that one yet: http://goo.gl/gyAemb

What have I learned the hard way and what has it taught me to do differently? What’s one thing I can add to my life that will make a positive change this year? What’s one thing I should stop doing that will make a positive change? What would I try now if I knew I would not fail? For my life to be perfect what would I need to change? What are some small changes I can make now to begin to work towards these changes? What are the excuses I use costing me?

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78. DTD 068: Defeat Your Compensation Drama
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Many companies have a formal policy that requires employees to keep the specifics about their pay private.

I certainly understand what motivates these policies. Conversations about pay almost always cause drama! However, rarely do these policies serve their purpose. And, often, I find they are enforced more aggressively when there really is no legitimate rhyme or reason for how much employees are paid. In other words, the gag order is created to avoid the drama induced by an unfair pay plan.

The reality is pay is an emotional thing. It’s not JUST about the dollars. AND, probably the more you try to keep it a secret the more they’ll talk about it. It’s just kind of the nature of things. If employees don’t understand how their pay is calculated they won’t feel that their own pay is fair.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve rarely heard anyone say, “they pay me too much.” Either people are quietly neutral about their pay or they are disgruntled about it. Few are singing from the rooftops about their hourly rate or salary.

Another fun fact about compensation, once you provide some kind of compensation it quickly becomes an entitlement. Now they just expect it. Take it away or provide less and…….you’ve got drama.

I’ve spent years working in compensation and have generated calculations that impacted the wages of thousands. I know the emotion that pay practices can ignite! And I’ve learned some strategies to avoid the drama that is always a potential.

So….what can you do to minimize compensation drama?

Here are a few strategies:

Have a rhyme or a reason for how you pay people. Do have pay scales. Pay drama happens when employees feel that their pay is not fair. And fair is a subjective term based on comparisons to others. Fair can be based on internal comparisons, internal equity, or external comparisons, external equity. Are you paying people fairly compared to similar jobs outside of your company? Salary.com is a good place to start if you don’t have access to customized salary data. The jury is out on the accuracy but over the years I’ve found it to be a helpful tool. The reality is, even though compensation is based on numbers it will never be an exact science. There are subjective components to valuing skill sets or responsibilities. Use the data, add or delete value based on your specific jobs, the skills required and the responsibilities and create those pay scales.If you have additional questions or need help contact me Defeat the drama and select the contact tab. As I said, I logged many years as a compensation professional: http://defeatthedrama.com/#contactOnce you have good pay structure assure that you are paying well individually. Within the organization are you providing similar pay for similar jobs, experience, education, quality of work?  Have you brought new employees in higher than long term employees? Do you have family members or friends getting preferential pay treatment? Ask yourself the tough questions and do what you can to rectify the situation. If you are over paying some employees consider “red circling” their pay. This means keeping them at their same rate until or making smaller adjustments until their pay lands within the appropriate pay scale. Communication – Communication – Communication! Share how you came up with your pay plan. I’ve shared before that in the absence of fact people have a tendency to fill in the spaces with negative assumptions. Trying to keep your pay plans secret creates stress and anxiety and a whole lot of drummed up drama. Have a good rhyme or reason for why you pay what you do and share that information freely. Now, I’m not suggesting you share individual pay information. I am suggesting you share generically how pay is calculated. How did you come up with the pay scales? How do you compare to your competitors and where does an individual employee fall within their pay scale.

Keep pay consistent. If you have a bonus plan communicate how it is calculated and stick to it. In tougher years, through good communication, your employees will know and understand why the bonuses are lower or non-existent. In better years pay the extra with a smile. If the calculations you’ve created and communicated are done right you’ll have plenty of net profit to cover bonuses while still enjoying a healthy business profit. Create the calculations well and then keep them consistent. And especially when it comes to commission based pay, changing the rules often creates a lack of trust. Lack of trust creates drama. Create a plan that assures that the business makes money as your commissioned based people make more money. Too often I’ve heard business owners or leaders say they don’t want their sales force to make too much money. If the pay is proportioned correctly you do want them to make a lot of money. Constantly changing the rules to finagle less pay and you’ll have lots of drama and sales people walking out the door.

Calculate Total Compensation and Communicate it – like I’ve said, pay is an emotional thing. Employees feel valued or devalued based on the price tag you put on them through their pay. Do not underestimate the monetary value of your benefits or other perks. I have implemented total compensation calculations and the results have always been good. The additional investments you make in your employees will raise those numbers. If you are in the U.S., don’t forget the FICA calculations as well. Include everything you possibly can. To include paid holidays, vacation or sick time you can subtract those hours and then divide the salary by hours actually worked.   For example, a full time employee works 2080 hours per year at 40 hours x 52 weeks. Now subtract out 2 weeks vacation and 7 holidays, as a for instance. 17 days x 8 hours = 136 hours. The salary you are paying them including their health insurance is actually based on 1,944 hours per year. Divide annual salary plus benefits, perks, etc. to provide the new hourly rate calculation.That’s probably enough examples. I don’t want to inundate you with numbers in a podcast. It’s probably kind of hard to visualize by listening. Just know that there are lots of ways to play with the numbers and it’s a good idea to help your employees visualize the full value you are providing for them.

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79. DTD 067: Six Strategies to Create Team Change that Sticks
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Many of my new clients share complaints about employees that will not implement new processes or use new protocols. Teams often seem to do everything in their power to resist change.

Leaders are plagued with comments and complaints like these. Do any sound familiar?

No one told me. This doesn’t work. I don’t understand why we have to do this! I keep forgetting. What are we supposed to do after the first part? The old way is way better! I’m not doing it!

My clients are left feeling frustrated, dis-empowered and ready to throw in the towel, resigned to the fact that change will never happen.

Once we dive in to the steps they took to make the change, however, it is easy to identify where they’ve missed some key elements.

If you struggle to get your team to implement change here are six surefire strategies to create team change that sticks.

Get Input Up Front:There are several reasons I recommend including employees before you design change. First, and most simply, you will have more buy in from your team if they participate in the design of the change.   They will have a vested interest in achieving success. And, secondly, your employees have a unique perspective. They have valuable insights that can help you.   Participation almost always yields better results. Unless you are with them all day every day there are elements of the job that you are unaware of. They are creating work arounds, overcoming challenges, connecting tasks in ways you are not aware. You want that knowledge and perspective BEFORE you design change. You will want to incorporate their ideas for a better result. Last, your team will feel acknowledged and respected if you ask for their opinions. Requiring change for a job they do daily without being consulted at all feels like a slap in the face. They will feel devalued. Ask their opinion and they will feel like an important part of the process. Communicate the Why’s and What’s:The Why: Why the change is happening. And if you have included them in the design of the change include the why’s of using or not using their suggestions. If you ask the questions it creates the expectation that you will actually use their opinions. If you can NOT you must acknowledge their suggestions, share your appreciation and express why you were not able to incorporate them.That What is what’s in it for them. This will provide some motivation for the change. Will they gain efficiency? Will their job become easier? Will they experience some job enrichment?   Will they be able to provide better service and happier customers? Document Well Part of the design strategy for change should include documenting the change. What will be the new process? This will provide for visual learning and will be an important resource for training for initial roll out and on going. Acknowledge that Change Can be HardCall out the elephant in the room. Some of the resistance is resistance to change period and has nothing to do with whether the change will be good or bad. All change is stressful for some people. Show empathy, acknowledge it and then set the expectation that change will still happen. We must move on. If we didn’t embrace change all of us would still be using corded, rotary telephones. Does anyone even still own one of those? Deadline and Documentation for Read it, Know it, Own ItMany of my clients struggle to know whether an employee has received full communication about a change. They’ll roll out the change in a staff meeting and have no documentation about who was in attendance. Or, in larger organizations the communication has happened over email. They aren’t sure whether it was read or digested. I always recommend creating a roll out process that can be documented with specific deadlines for “Read it, Know it, Own it.”If you use email, for instance, include a deadline by which every employee must read it, understand, ask questions if necessary and then implement fully. Require them to send you an email response indicating they have read and fully understand the change.If you roll out a change in a staff meeting make sure to document who is there and then provide the documentation about the change in an email or a binder after the meeting for those who were not in attendance. Again, give a deadline for playing catch up from the missed meeting. They must get with you the leader, talk to a co-worker, read and understand, do whatever is necessary to gain a full understanding of the change by the deadline. Request that they sign a log or send you an email when the task is fully complete.Following a procedure like this will help you avoid the, “No one told me” excuse. They are responsible for Reading it, Knowing it, Owning it – or asking questions if they must.

Hold Them AccountableOnce an employee has acknowledged reading, knowing, owning hold them accountable for adhering to the change. Give a little grace if there is a learning curve and your team is trying to make the transition smoothly. But stick with it and don’t let them slide back. Do ask whether they have any input for required tweeks. Sometimes the design of change is not fully achieved without a trial and error period. A complaint must include an idea for how to make it better.

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80. DTD 066: Stop Beating Yourself Up!
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Do you set goals and fall short of meeting them?

Do you make promises to co-workers and then fail to follow through?

Are daily choices inconsistent with the outcomes you say you’d like to create in your work or life?

You are not alone. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution to get to the gym 4 times per week or a commitment to an employee that you’ll be better at delegating tasks with a reasonable amount of lead time, we humans have a tough time breaking bad habits and implementing the new and improved.

We have great intentions. We just get stuck. And before we know it 5 months have passed without any noticeable change or personal growth.

So, based on the title of this episode you might be thinking, “oh yay! She’s going to tell me it’s okay. Everyone does it anyway. Move on and just be okay with how things are.”

Sorry. That’s not the emphasis today.

Yes, I will still encourage you to stop beating yourself up when you fail to meet a goal or a deadline. However, the reasoning is different. If you’ve been listening for a while or have worked with me you know that I’m all about deafeating drama. Beating yourself up is just a waste of time. And it shifts your focus away from meeting your objective.

You see, when you are calling yourself names and mentally berating yourself, where is your focus? On you and how bad you are.

Is this motivating? No.

Is this time spent on creating a new plan that DOES move you towards your goals? NO.

Beating yourself up is just self-induced drama. It shifts your focus away from where it needs to be; on making the plan you must implement to meet your objectives.

And, too often our berating tends to lend the opportunity to give ourselves a pass.  Do any of these sound familiar?

I do this everytime. I’m just not cut out to be successful.” Why bother even trying? I’m just setting myself up for failure. I have no will power. I’m a complete loser! I suck

Our mental beat down can become an excuse, a long term justification.

And how motivated do you feel while engaging in this kind of negative self talk?   Get over yourself and get on with it!

Now, I don’t want you to completely skip over the feeling of dissapointment or the loss of what could have been. Experience the pain to motivate you to new momentum. So, notice it quickly but don’t park there. Don’t let a dissapoinment become a long term beat down.

When a client shares their story of a missed deadline or failed commitment my first question is always, “how does it feel?”

If it’s a failed commitment to another person I also want them to think how that person might feel or what their team might be saying to each other. I also ask them to think about how they might feel if someone failed to follow through for them in the same way.

This helps build the motivation for change. The goal is to reignite the commitment.

From there we move quickly to, “Now, what do you want to do about it?”

What did you learn? This is an important question. Perhaps you can glean some additional information about structure required to pull off the change. Are there ways to build in hourly, daily or weekly accountability? Do you need a tracking system? A notorious strategy for dieting is to keep a food journal so that dieters are conscious fo what’s going in their mouths. A tally of calories can be an eye opening experience. Information and facts are so helpful to maintain motivation. Is there any clean up you must do as a result? Any apologies or acknowledgements to make? Is trust eroding or dissapointment building between you and others? Acknowledgement and an apology go a long way to reguilding trust and igniting hope. How will you reaffirm your commitment to yourself or others to create accountability? What actions will you take to keep your commitment? What do you need to create logistically to succeed? What progress, if any, did you make? Was there any forward momentum? Any positive steps? If so, take a moment to celebrate.

If you’re like most of my clients you have big dreams and a hearty list of goals to tackle. You have a vision for the difference you want to make. Don’t get in your own way. Break those goals into manageable stepping stones and create the positive mindset that you WILL make them happen one daily choice at a time.

And, if a bump in the road happens caused by you or something out of your control you’ll keep on keeping on. Your plans are too important to give up on!

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81. DYD 065: I Have Employees But Still Feel Like I_m Doing all the Work!
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Sarah from South Carolina

I am excited to say that my business has grown over the last 7 years. I am very lucky. As it has grown I have hired more employees. Here’s my drama, I still feel like I’m doing everything. I really thought that as I added more people I’d be able to scale back some on my hours and really focus on my favorite parts of the business. That just hasn’t happened. Some employees do say I’m a perfectionist but I really feel like I let them do their work. I try to modify my expectations. I really want to have some work life balance but so far no matter how many people I hire I’m still working my tush off.

Sarah, so sorry to hear about your struggles. Let’s get you some customized solutions.

As always, In the Defeat Your Drama segments, I will provide solutions based on the information provided. I will obviously not have full details so will provide customized strategies based on what you share. Always consider your own specific circumstances before taking any action. These are suggestions not guarantees.

If you don’t have a specific destination you never know where you’ll end up. The first two strategies are about designing your destination.

#1 Design Your Life and Work

Determine the number of hours you’d like to work per week and how you would like to divide those work hours. Will all of your work time be done on location or will you conduct some of your work from home. Is that a possibility?

Would you like to find time to volunteer in your child’s school or take a class yourself? Where will you carve out time for you each week?

Don’t worry about what your team will think and don’t worry about how you’ll make it all happen yet. This exercise is the first phase of creating your destination. What do you want your life and work to look like? How should the two blend?

#2 Determine What You Love to Do and Are Great at

Track the tasks that you are completing now. Break them down. For instance, if you are engaging in marketing for the business, don’t just write down marketing. Break it down into the smaller tasks of marketing. It’s possible that you love and are great at some of the pieces of marketing but would prefer to delegate other aspects of it.

Once you create your list begin to analyze each task. Categorize them. Highlight the tasks that you love to do and are great at. The goal is to spend a majority of your time there. Create another list of the things that you are not good at and dislike. Those items should be delegated to someone who has the strengths to carry out those tasks well!

Next, analyze the list of tasks you’d like to focus on to determine the number of hours required. Can you fit all of these tasks into the schedule you’ve designed? If not, you may need to add some additional items to your “To Be Delegated” list.

#3 Create a Plan for Who Will Own the Tasks You are Delegating

Once you have your complete list of tasks to offload you’ll need to Create a plan for who will take on the tasks you are delegating. Evaluate your current team. Do you already have people in place on your team who could handle them? If they are not currently able to take on tasks you must delegate what training do they need to get ready? If they do not have the ability even with training what kind of employee(s) must you hire?

Then you must determine whether you have the manpower to backfill the tasks you will offload. Is your team over capacity now or do they have some wiggle room. How much time will they need to complete the added responsibilities. If not, you will need to increase your team.

What kind of employees will you need to hire?

Listen to the 4 episodes on hiring #50 through 53:

EP50: 4 Steps You Must Follow to Avoid the Disastrous Drama Generating New Hire: Plan

EP51: 4 Steps You Must Follow to Avoid the Disastrous Drama Generating New Hire: Source

EP52: 4 Steps You Must Follow to Avoid the Disastrous Drama Generating New Hire: Sift

EP53: 4 Steps You Must Follow to Avoid the Disastrous Drama Generating New Hire: Choose

Make sure that you have a solid plan for each item on your list. Have a specific person assigned along with any training or other communication that will need to occur before the work can be passed along. Create deadlines for communicating the new expectations and for any training. This will give you a timeline for achieving your end goal and will generate the list of tasks you must complete to make it all happen.

#4 Delegate Tasks Well

You say that you still feel like you are doing all of the work. Often my clients express the same feelings. When we dive into how they are delegating work I always find that they are missing at least one of the 6 important steps of great delegation. As soon as they add the missing elements follow through from their team increases exponentially.

I will assume that you are missing some of the steps as well. If you haven’t already, listen to episode #2 Six Simple Steps to Great Delegation: http://goo.gl/2NI1L5

You’ll be able to determine which step you are missing. Write the steps on a sticky note and make sure that you are setting clear expectations for your team. Hold them accountable. Let them know it’s a new day.

You did mention that you have some perfectionist tendencies. This can make it difficult to delegate. I advise that you start small and begin to work that delegation muscle. Celebrate your successes and keep your eye on that prize! The more you delegate the closer you are to that end goal.

#5 Feel Peace and Less Drama

With a game plan mapped out you can immediately find peace knowing that you are making progress towards your end goal of finding more work life balance and enjoying the benefits of a more productive team.

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82. DTD 064: We Can Dream Big as Adults! Where Could Childlike Imagination Take You Today?
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I have vivid memories of the nights spent as a young child with good friends and cousins. We would concoct the biggest, most outrageous plans with the pure, innocent intent of making it all happen the next day.

There were plans for a huge circus and parade. We’d create the vision. It was going to be huge and glorious and would take place in the living room. Or how about the magic show we’d have. The neighborhood would join, the audience would be enormous. People would make time to come and we’d have the mad skills required to amaze them all.

The forces of reality didn’t limit our dreams and we lofted off to sleep KNOWING that the visions we’d created would happen. There were no doubts, there were no facts or realities squelching the breadth of our visions.

It didn’t matter that no one knew even one magic trick. We’d learn them quickly in the morning just before the throngs of admirers arrived. And, sure we didn’t have an elephant, lion or tiger to include in the lineup of our circus.   The only animal at our disposal didn’t even know sit or stay. But, we’d figure it all out and put on an amazing show anyway!

As an adult would it serve me to live so out of the realm of reality? No. But, would there be a significant advantage to living a little further along the spectrum of imagination than most adults do? Yes.

As I work with my clients who feel stuck in a rut, unfulfilled and living with the yearning that there must be something more I am amazed at the limits they place on their imaginations.

No I can’t

That wouldn’t be possible.

There’d be too much work to do

I have kids leaving for college soon

I have a mortgage

I don’t have the time

I’m sure it would cost a lot to do that.

I’d be mortified if I tried and it didn’t work out.

What would my family think?

On an on the list goes. Meanwhile they are stopped before they even start. Yes, we need to consider reality. But, not as we brainstorm. What if you are stopping the process prematurely? What would it feel like to imagine from a place where anything seems possible?

What if that big dream could happen? What if you could begin the journey and get at least half way there?  What would your business look like? What could your life be?

Norman Vincent Peale said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you‘ll land among the stars.”

And how fun would that be?

I think that drama is greater when we feel frustrated and unfulfilled. Why not dream a little dream and create an action plan? You just never know what you can make happen!

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83. DTD 063: Get Out of the Way So Your Team Can Achieve
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If something is not going well in your department or business look at you first and ask, “What did I do to contribute to this situation?”

Some good places to look first:

Did I set clear and consistent expectations (quantity, quality)? Does the team or individual have the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities? Am I helping to create an environment that is encouraging and motivating? Have I made my employees afraid to take action? Is there an effective process in place that is well documented and available? Are the necessary resources available (time, equipment, supplies)? Is the current goal consistent with organization mission and vision? Have I addressed any performance or attitude issues?

As a leader you are empowered to fix what is broken with the team and to improve the outcomes your team is achieving.

Episode 3: Ignite Team Follow Throughhttp://goo.gl/SNLA08

Episode 13: Simple Process Improvementhttp://goo.gl/MDv646

Episode 25: Document for Ease of Mind, Teaching Tools and Freedomhttp://goo.gl/iuSjcG

Episode 19: Learn How Leaders Create a Business Culturehttp://goo.gl/gLa1RS

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84. DTD 062: You Can Control Your Thoughts!
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The human brain is amazing! It’s a part of us but almost acts as a separate entity at times, especially if we let it. And it sure can keep busy!   Left to wander our brans can create drama! Do you just let your mind meander or are you intentional with your thoughts?

In every moment you have the opportunity to choose what you focus on.

Choose what your brain places on, what I call, your radar screen.

And in every situation you are in you can be focused on the present in a positive way, focused on the present in a negative way or focused on a time that has passed or hasn’t happened yet.

Many of my clients spend lots of time over analyzing experiences they’ve already had, beating themselves up about where they went wrong or didn’t use the perfect words.

While there is, of course, some benefit to learning from your history, you don’t want to spend a lifetime there!

Others I work with spend a lot of time anticipating the future. They try to figure out every different possible outcome for a current situation and create a plan for each. What if this happens? Then I’ll do this. What if that happens? I don’t want that to happen! I think I can avoid that by doing this!

If this happens that would be great! But I think I need to follow this path or get this person to say this for that to even be a possibility. I’d better get on that.

While creating a solid plan for the future is good you don’t want to miss out on your present.

How many times do you complete a routine only to realize you were completely unaware of your actions? You think, “Did I actually wash my hair?” Or, “Wow, I drove here already!”

How often are you consumed with thoughts and in your own world when you could be connecting with the people around you?

Be intentional about your thoughts. Let them serve you.

If it is learning time, yes, go back over past events to see what you could have done better. But do it from a positive place. Give yourself grace, take note and move on. Beating yourself up about something that has already happened does not serve you. Creating an action plan? That’s a great time to focus on the future to create a vision and a path. But place your focus there with excitement, exuberance, and anticipation. Empower yourself by focusing on what is in your control and let what you can not change go. Time to be present. Spend time there and focus on the positive, regardless of your circumstance. If things are going well feel gratitude. If you are experiencing a hardship see it as an opportunity. Avoid worry and what if’ing and instead find what is in your control and focus there.I love this quote: “Challenges can be stepping stones or stumbling blocks. It’s just a matter of how you view them.” An Unknown Author Choose the thoughts that serve you in the moment and be present. And, please, pay attention in those simple moments: Is there a beautiful sunrise happening during your routine drive to work? Are the leaves turning or flowers blooming? Take time to breath and look around your home with gratitude. Are there people around you who would love to connect with you? Remember to ask your kids how their day was. Greet your significant other when they walk into the room. Take the time to feel the love you have for others and express it. Notice the co-worker passing in the hall and take a moment.

Today, be intentional with your thoughts. Begin to practice this control. No more meandering minds.

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85. DTD 061: Quick Strategies to Fix Your Frustrations Now
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Doesn’t it seem like life brings you one little hiccup after another? It is often easy to stay busy fixing one small challenge after another. Our lives or work can get consumed with the little nuisances coming at us. But, we’d still rather have a bunch of small manageable problems, right?

Well…..I’m going to ask you to examine that today. You see, on the surface, little problems seem small and unrelated and one little challenge after another can consume our entire focus.

Often, however, what we’re missing is that there’s actually a bigger issue to tackle. Focusing on one little snafu after another does nothing more than shift your attention away from the solution that could actually alter your entire circumstance.

As a for instance, I have a client I’ve been working with for a while. At the start of each session he would describe the current challenge:

The team missed this deadline, There was a mistake on this project and no one caught it, We had planned to have a celebratory lunch together but we had an emergency, I didn’t have time to exercise I have no clothes that fit right now.

The full focus was on fixing each little issue as it popped up, or at least taking the time to complain about it.

I knew they were all connected but he didn’t……Yet! So, his time was consumed with these seemingly unrelated, but constant small hiccups.

One day, as he described yet another minor frustration, I popped out of my chair and said, “Hold that thought! I’ll be right back!”   I went out into the waiting area and asked the receptionist where they kept decorative vases or containers. She pointed me in the direction of some cabinets in the kitchen and I perused everything they had quickly and to my delight found the perfect visual!

It was a beautiful crystal basket. It had probably originally been delivered filled with a bouquet of flowers.

I brought it back into his office and set it in the center of his conference table.

“What’s this?” he inquired.

“It’s a basket”, I replied, with a smile!

He was puzzled so I went on to explain.

All of the minor frustrations, snafus, challenges that monopolized his focus each week were the cause of a much bigger problem. Looking at them as separate issues was precluding him from working on the real issue.

And there isn’t as much pain involved with a lot of little snafus. There is just a constant low level of frustration. However, pull all of that pain together and you have the motivation to tackle a big issue. It was time for him to muster the strength and tenacity to attack the real issue.

He and his entire team were working without margin. I have never seen a tighter schedule anywhere. They literally have appointments scheduled to the minute. It is one client, my only client, where I KNOW, for a fact that I will finish ON TIME. It doesn’t matter what we are covering at the end of a session. When that clock hits our designated time we are done. On the dot! As a matter of fact, he often gets antsy about 7 minutes before the end. I feel his energy begin to shift to the next task at hand.

Working this tight means that any emergency, any snafu requires hours of finagling with schedules to move things and the ripple affect is felt for weeks or months. I am NOT exaggerating.

One week they lost power for a day and a half. Yes, that is a HUGE inconvenience for any business. But weeks later they were still feeling the pain of that outage. They had no margin to allow for a swift shift of workload or appointments.

So, this beautiful crystal basket was to become the symbol of the bucket in which he must add every little challenge. He needed to start feeling the full brunt and pain of the real issue rather than the small pain of each tiny challenge.

You see, his focus was on all the minor consequences of the bigger issue.

It brings to mind the old saying, “he could not see the forest for the trees.”

For the first few weeks I had to keep reminding him, “Yep, that happened because you have no margin.”

“That must be frustrating. That happens when you have no wiggle room in your schedule.”

“This too is because you are too tightly scheduled.”

I would point out ways that a problem could be so much smaller if they had more time to deal with it.

I pointed out where he would describe a visit with relatives as a drudgery, not because he was reluctant to see them, but because he was overwhelmed by the thought of another drain on his time.

Slowly he began to see. The crystal basket, while not as masculine as the other items in his office, became an important visual to help him begin to see the smaller issues as interconnected. Began to help build the motivation he needed to tackle the larger problem rather than focusing on all of the smaller consequences. A focus on these little things could consume his time but would never transform his situation.

Your larger issue may not be time but I do want to ask you where you might be focusing on the small consequences of poor decisions or a lack of self discipline. Is there a place in your life or work where it is time to shift your focus to a larger issue that is creating the on-going chaos?

Is your monthly struggle to pay your rent or mortgage the result of a larger spending issue? Are you perhaps shifting too many resources to smoking, gambling or unnecessary shopping? Is your inability to find time to grocery shop, take a leisurely walk or soak in a hot bath the result of your people pleasing tendencies? Are the struggles you have with your team, significant other, or kids the result of your lack of integrity over all? Do you fail to keep your promises? Or, perhaps the larger issue is your anger.

Start to pay attention to the little struggles and follow the chain back. What causes each? Is there a common theme?

Where is it time for you to focus on the forest rather than the trees?

Package the emotion and frustration and begin to ignite the desire to tackle that bigger issue rather than the ongoing smaller consequences. It is time to truly transform your circumstance!

Click To Apply For A Leadership Breakthrough Session With Kirsten

 



86. DTD 060: You Can Choose Gratitude Every Day
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This episode is releasing on the holiday we celebrate in the United States called Thanksgiving. It is a day to give thanks for all that we have.

In honor of this day I want to encourage you to give thanks everyday. It is powerful to live a life of gratitude.

In every moment you have the opportunity to choose your perspective and there is always something to be grateful for.

When I first got divorced about 10 years ago my two boys were very young, kindergarten and second grade. It was a challenging time for all 3 of us. I began using a gratitude journal each day to help me shift my focus to what I had rather than what I did not. I quickly realized that this was an important exercise for my boys as well and adopted our nightly gratitude talks.

Each night before they went to bed we would all climb into my high queen sized bed to snuggle and take turns sharing about what we were grateful for.

Back then their list often included a video game or a special toy. And there were the nights when my heart would melt as they said, “I’m grateful for my mom.”

It became a super special time of connection and shifting of focus from the worries, fears and challenges of each day to a focus on what made us very, very lucky and blessed!

I loved hearing what they were thankful for and enjoyed that special time. They looked forward to it every night. “Come on mom! We have to have our gratitude talk!” I loved that they loved it!

Our talks almost always ended with giggles and hugs. And it was the start of our inside joke that someone was going to get the boot. I think my youngest went out of his way to kick and wiggle so that I would say it. “Settle down or you’re going to get the boot!” We would all break out in laughter. Years later that phrase is still an inside joke.

My oldest son told me one day, “mom, I want to write a book about our gratitude talks. I want other kids to have gratitude talks with their moms when they’re going through a tough time because it really makes things a lot better!”

Wise words from a second grader. I suggest you follow them!

Today I encourage you to begin the practice of focusing on what you have to be grateful for. Make it a daily practice. Make a list. Get together with your family or some close friends to say it out loud. If you are a praying person thank God for His favor and all of your blessings.

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87. DYD 059: 5 Tips to Decrease Employee Turnover Now
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A business owner writes in asking how he can decrease employee turnover. Listen to hear the five tips to solving this problem.

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Signup for the free webinar at the link below: Surefire Strategies To Get Your Team Motivated Without Losing Your Mind!

http://www.defeatthedrama.com/webinarsignuppage

Submit your Drama Question at the below link...
http://podcast.defeatthedrama.com/defeat-your-drama

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88. DTD 058: You! Do You Invest Time For You?
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Your time is a currency. How do you spend it?

Does the business of life take all of your time and attention? 

Your time is a currency and we all have a needs account.  It requires time and attention from ourselves or others to fill our tank.  An empty tank will almost always mean more drama as we find ourselves feeling resentful, overwhelmed, tired, burned out, unappreciated. 

Click to view the shownotes for this episode

Signup for the free webinar at the link below: Surefire Strategies To Get Your Team Motivated Without Losing Your Mind! 

http://www.defeatthedrama.com/webinarsignuppage

Submit your Drama Question at the below link...

http://podcast.defeatthedrama.com/defeat-your-drama

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89. DTD 057: Are You A Swooper?
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What? You haven't heard this term before?

Well, if you were one of my perfectionists or people pleasing leader clients you probably would have heard it.  I’ve used this word for years to describe the act of diving in to fix problems or potential problems or perceived problems – or, to use the excuse that there is evidence of any of these in order to justify jumping in to take over.    

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Signup for the free webinar at the link below: Surefire Strategies To Get Your Team Motivated Without Losing Your Mind!

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http://podcast.defeatthedrama.com/defeat-your-drama

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90. DTD 056: Are Hoops Creating Your Drama?
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It’s time to talk about a drama-inducing tactic that many of my clients use or experience in their relationships both personal and professional.  I call it the Hoop! As in, jump through my hoop.  The hoop happens when one individual is testing another individual without their knowledge.

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Signup for the free webinar at the link below: Surefire Strategies To Get Your Team Motivated Without Losing Your Mind!

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91. DTD 055: Are Your Fears Stopping You? 5 Keys to Moving Ahead
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Fear has a place. Fear tells us to go into protection mode.  Our physical well being is in danger!  

The problem is, the way we live today, that fear telling us to stop – don’t move – danger and the accompanying adrenalin rush are not usually consistent with the threat level. In this episode Kirsten will share five keys to help you move though your fears.

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Signup for the free webinar at the link below: Surefire Strategies To Get Your Team Motivated Without Losing Your Mind!

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92. DTD 054: 5 Key Strategies to Create Great Meetings
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Meetings can be frusterating in many ways. In this episode Kirsten covers five key strategies to help create meetings that you will love!

Want to create even more pain around meetings? Do the Time is Money Activity 
Calculate: Average salary x # people in meeting x length of meeting = SCAREY!

Click to view the shownotes for this episode

Signup for the free webinar at the link below: Surefire Strategies To Get Your Team Motivated Without Losing Your Mind!

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93. DTD 053: 4 Steps You Must Follow to Avoid the Disastrous Drama Generating New Hire: Choose
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Do you often make the wrong hiring decisions?  Do you avoid terminating poor performers because you think you'll never be able to hire anyone better anyway?  In this episode Kirsten teaches the specific strategies on how to choose great candidates. 4th in a 4 part series.

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Signup for the free webinar at the link below: Surefire Strategies To Get Your Team Motivated Without Losing Your Mind!
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94. DTD 052: 4 Steps You Must Follow to Avoid the Disastrous Drama Generating New Hire: Sift
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Do you often make the wrong hiring decisions? Do you avoid terminating poor performers because you think you'll never be able to hire anyone better anyway? In this episode Kirsten teaches the specific strategies on how to sift for great candidates. 3rd in a 4 part series.

Click to view the shownotes for this episode

Signup for the free webinar at the link below: Surefire Strategies To Get Your Team Motivated Without Losing Your Mind!

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95. DTD 051: 4 Steps You Must Follow to Avoid the Disastrous Drama Generating New Hire: Source
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Do you often make the wrong hiring decisions?  Do you avoid terminating poor performers because you think you'll never be able to hire anyone better anyway?  In this episode Kirsten teaches the specific strategies on how to source for great candidates. 2nd in a 4 part series.

Click to view the shownotes for this episode

Signup for the free webinar at the link below: Surefire Strategies To Get Your Team Motivated Without Losing Your Mind!

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Submit your Drama Question at the below link...
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If you enjoyed, I would really appreciate a review on iTunes



96. DTD 050: 4 Steps You Must Follow to Avoid the Disastrous Drama Generating New Hire: Plan
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Do you often make the wrong hiring decisions?  Do you avoid terminating poor performers because you think you'll never be able to hire anyone better anyway?  In this episode Kirsten teaches the specific strategies to use to hire the right people right now.  1st in a 4 part series, in this episode you'll learn how to plan for the interview.

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Signup for the free webinar at the link below: Surefire Strategies To Get Your Team Motivated Without Losing Your Mind!

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97. DTD 049: 3 Common Barriers to Team Productivity & Great Service
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Are you often frustrated with the performance of your team?  Is productivity not where it should be?  Are you plagued with too many customer service issues?  In this episode Kirsten discusses the three barriers to team productivity and great customer service - unlintended outcomes, ineffective reporting relationships, and resources.

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Signup for the free webinar at the link below: Surefire Strategies To Get Your Team Motivated Without Losing Your Mind!

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If you enjoyed, I would really appreciate a review on iTunes



98. DTD 048: 7 Common Consequences You Might Suffer If You Fail To Hold Your Team Accountable
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Is it difficult for you to hold your team accountable?  Do you avoid correction conversations?  Listen and learn about the 7 common consequences you might suffer if you fail to hold your team accountable.  Gain the motivation you need to bust your fears and do what you must to create a dynamic team. 

1. Lost Productivity
2. Resentments
3. Overwhelm
4. Burnout
5. Increased Liability
6. Sabotage
7. Decreased Customer Service

Click to view the shownotes for this episode

Other Related Episodes to Listen to if You Haven’t Already

Shift Your Mindset for Guilt Free Correction Conversations 

5 Keys to Igniting Great Correction Conversations

The Six Simple Steps to Great Delegation

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99. DTD 047: Choose Your Words Wisely! Do They Make You Wig Out?
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The words we use can be powerful.  They can ignite emotion not only in us but also in others. This can be a good thing but at times can work against us! Listen to Kirsten as she teaches on the importance of our words in this episode of Defeat the Drama!

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Signup for the free webinar at the link below: Surefire Strategies To Get Your Team Motivated Without Losing Your Mind!

http://www.defeatthedrama.com/webinarsignuppage

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http://podcast.defeatthedrama.com/defeat-your-drama

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100. DYD 046: My Boss Complains About Other Departments; What Can I Do?
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In this Defeat Your Drama Episode Elizabeth asks a great question- My boss complains about other departments; what can I do? 

Click to view the shownotes for this episode

Signup for the free webinar at the link below: Surefire Strategies To Get Your Team Motivated Without Losing Your Mind!

http://www.defeatthedrama.com/webinarsignuppage

Submit your Drama Question at the below link...
http://podcast.defeatthedrama.com/defeat-your-drama

If you enjoyed, I would really appreciate a review on iTunes