Thursday, November 1, 2012

Simple model to create stories for interviews, networking and other career events.

When I teach storytelling for job seekers or those seeking career advancement I offer the STAR model.  Frame your story around a Situation, Task needing completion, Action you took (that saved the day), and the (stellar) Result.  This model can help us create a concise yet compelling story that builds empathy and connection with others.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Need to Motivate Your Team (or Yourself?)

Spaces are still available for this class at Waubonsee College!   

This is one of my favorite DDI courses. Previous participants have found the ideas to be fresh, innovative, and practical. Class size will be small, you or your staff will have plenty of time to explore your specific needs.

Motivating Others 10/24, 8:00am-12:00pm
In today's fast-paced, global business environment, external forces are compelling companies to change their business practices to stay competitive. In this course, you will learn how to proactively create an environment in which people are highly motivated to perform. You will explore the three factors that affect the motivation of employees:  focused work, interpersonal support, and individual value.  

As a result of this course, you will be able to determine which factors are low in your individual workplace and emerge with both a plan of specific actions and the skills needed to build group and individual motivation. Fee includes: materials.

To register visit this page:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Emotional Intelligence at the Movies

We just watched "Bernie" with Jack Black.  While my hubby and I wouldn't call it a "great movie," I'd recommend it from an EI perspective.  It is especially interesting because it is based on a true story of a man who was able to create happiness in any kind of circumstance.  It also contained an example of a "emotional hijack." 


Sunday, September 30, 2012

How do we gain "political" intelligence?

I read this question in a recent Linkedin group.  It reminded me of a study in a great EI book-- "Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions" by James Pennebaker.  The study indicated that when we deny or repress our emotions, our ability to conduct complex analysis can be diminished and we can be conned by salespeople, politicians, etc.  One explanation is that as energy is expended in one part of the brain (working at repressing the disturbing emotion), other brain functions may not work as well.  This makes sense to me.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Courage at work

Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. - John Wayne

Think about problems in a workplace. If we're honest, don't many of our struggles with teams and other coworkers stem from a lack of courage? We're afraid to give accurate feedback or make a frank complaint. Instead we might gossip to others or avoid a necessary conversation. Performance reviews aren't the only time to have a courageous conversation. Every time we opt out of sharing a vital truth, we lose the benefits of courage in the workplace. We lose trust, authenticity, and the aliveness that comes from living honestly.

How do we develop such courage?
Leslie E. Sekerka (interviewed by Kristin Bjorn) gives some helpful tips in Character First Magazine. She suggests practicing several key skills to help develop moral courage.   They are also key EI skills.

Courageous people employ:
  • Emotional signaling: People with professional moral courage do not ignore, repress, or sublimate negative feelings. They use this affective information as a signal to proceed with caution and care.
  • Reflective pause: During this break individuals examine possible avenues for right action, often weighing the pros and cons of the circumstances, while also thinking about potential implications.
  • Self-regulation: Managing one's feelings and desires is vital, demonstrating an ability to apply restraint coupled with an ability to move forward.
To read the entire article visit this link:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

We're not alone.

Just met with another client and am always struck by how universal our problems are.  We think we're unique and suffering alone.  We're mostly struggling with the same issues.  That fact always helps my clients feel a little better.  That, and the fact that behavior can change with insight and effort.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Today's tweet

Improve your public #speaking? Small class! 8/8, 9-5 #Waubonsee College, Sugar Grove, IL. 1 day lifechanger.  Fun too.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What's your conflict style?

How do you handle conflict?  Typically, where do you find yourself on the graph below?  While there are times when avoiding, accommodating, competing, and compromising are appropriate reactions-- for best long-term results,  collaborating is most effective.  This style of resolving conflict requires a mindset of curiosity, creativity, and comfort with uncertainty.  Collaborating may take longer than compromise but its win/win solutions feel great.  They build morale and can further increase motivation and

Friday, June 29, 2012

Join us this Sunday at the Life Force Arts Center!    More info.

Embodied Myth:  Exploring “The Three Languages”
Embodied Myth is a depth group process that uses the great body of world literature to gain a better understanding of ourselves and our connection to the world around us.  Through Embodied Myth, we gain a greater understanding of what is going on under the surface of life, using the myth as a tool, a guide, and a safe structure. We reconnect with unrecognized parts of ourselves, the archetypal forces tugging inside and outside us. We also encounter the healing wisdom hidden in myths and fairytales. The archetypal themes in these old stories hold true across cultures and time.

The German fairy tale The Three Languages explores the hero’s journey, our connection to animals, and our own instincts. Using storytelling, meditation, role-playing, and discussion, we enter the story on a deep and personal level, and at the same time realize our connection to another time and place. Come join us in a storytelling circle.  We’ll explore our own mythic journeys and meet archetypes within the story and within ourselves.  No acting experience necessary, participants can choose to act or be part of the audience.