Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I’m now certified to deliver the TESI assessment!

The TESI® Report provides a display with numerous graphs and descriptions of the current levels of emotional and social functioning in the team, The report offers unique insights and suggests ways for understanding current strengths and weakness of the team and to strategically choose where to enhance team skills.

Use the TESI to:
--Enhance your understanding of your team’s dynamics.
--Provide data to support deeper discussions about and within the team.
--Focus training goals.
--Measure the impact of a training workshop—6 months, 1 year, or more after the event.

I’d love to talk with you further about this great assessment tool.
Visit for more details.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Anatomy of an Emotional Hijack

My favorite part of Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence, is Appendix B that outlines the "Hallmarks of an Emotional Mind." Here is my own summary of his ideas. If you've had a reaction and wonder if your emotions have "hijacked" you, look to see if your reactions fit this list:
1. A quick but sloppy response: an accurate perception is sacrificed for speed. Speed is what makes our emotions so helpful at protecting us from danger, and so harmful (when the danger is imagined).

2. Feelings come first: then we realize what happened. Our feelings seem to happen to us. We can practice ways of intervening but strong feelings have biological pathways that will always precede thought.

3. Our emotions often have a childlike logic and can contain symbolic meanings. This is why it is impossible to argue with someone "possessed" by an emotion. It is also why deciphering the meaning of an emotion can be so difficult.

4. Strong feelings are often a reaction to past events-- not present realities. Taking time to understand these emotions can help us identify the unconscious thoughts (from the past) that are still driving our behavior (and reactions).

5. Our perception of reality is based on the emotion we are feeling. Even our memories can shift as we seek "proof" and "justification" for our reactions. Even though we may be very wrong in our assessments, strong feelings can persuade us.

We can't use willpower against our emotions but we can learn to work with both our thoughts and emotions to acheive healthier living.

How would you describe the experience of being overtaken by an emotion?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

5 steps to manage defensiveness or attacks from others.

1. Disengage from my own emotional reaction—take a deep breath.
2. Depersonalize their attack--focus on behaviors not people.
3. (Try to) Empathize--they are distraught.
4. Disclose my thoughts and feelings--use an I statement to maintain a healthy boundary.
5. Inquire into their thoughts and feelings.

© 2010 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Time for a Challenging Reminder from Thomas Merton

Why are we always so busy? Too busy for friends. Too busy to relax or have a moment to reflect on our lives. Does our busyness protect us from loneliness? Does it make us feel important?

I've shared this provocative quote before but it seems worth repeating. Written in the 1950's and ever more pertinent as life accelerates every year.

"There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence…overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form of innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone and everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy...destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”
Thomas Merton

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Quote for the day--Aristotle on Anger

Anyone can become angry - that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way - this is not easy.
from The Nicomachean Ethics

Friday, July 2, 2010

MMM….. The 3 Ms to Emotional Mastery

1. Manage your body’s reactions.
2. Manage your mind’s perceptions.
3. Manage your habitual reactions.

So easy to say but so hard to do! Training in Emotional Intelligence aims to offer insights and tools to achieve these goals—everyday.

© 2010 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Time Management and Storytelling--The Beginning, Middle, End

People crave stories. We learn most effectively through stories and some researchers even believe that they have a therapeutic effect on the listener.

I’ve been studying storytelling for most of my life. I’ve used this knowledge to write plays, screenplays, and speeches and to teach public speaking. Recently a client asked me to define “story.” I gave her the simplest definition: a story contains a beginning, a middle, and an ending. Even professional storytellers and screenwriters begin their work from this deceptively simple goal. Today I’ve also noticed how this structure might explain good time management tactics.

I’ve been juggling lots of different balls lately: my training business, my writing, a film project, training research and more. I’ve noticed that I’m at my best when I can follow a project to a logical place of completion: a beginning, middle, and end. I’m far less effective if I jump from idea to idea, or if I’m interrupted in the middle of a project.

Do you ever find yourself confused and overwhelmed by the number of projects on your desk? See if you can construct some uninterrupted time and follow the course of your project from beginning-middle-end. You don’t have to complete the task to find a natural and satisfying place to end. Not only will your work be smarter and more efficient, you’ll also feel more energized and productive. © 2010 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved