Monday, July 28, 2014

Do we have the courage to create the lives we truly want?

This six minute interview offers a dose of truth. Author Greg McKeown's new book Essentialism, gives us this awesome challenge: pursue only those things that are truly important — and eliminate everything else. Listen below for some other great tips on getting our lives back.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ancient Emotional Intelligence

“Do not conquer the world with force, for force only causes resistance. Thorns spring up when an army passes. Years of misery follow a great victory. Do only what needs to be done without using violence.”- Tao Te Ching

I led a wonderful virtual workshop on assertiveness yesterday.  Many participants spoke of their desire to "do what needs to be done" without slipping into aggressiveness.   It's true that force can yield an immediate "victory" but teams and companies can pay a price for brutal management styles.

During one of my Emotional Intelligence workshops a group of managers insisted that they had to yell at their workers.  Later, the HR manager mentioned that the company had several safety violations.  I saw a link between the stressed (and resentful?) worker and an unsafe facility.

Do we manage our own emotional reactions instead of taking out our fear and anger on others?  Do we use the least amount of force necessary to achieve our goals?

Monday, July 14, 2014

What doesn't kill me.....

While preparing for an upcoming workshop I came across some research on resiliency --the ability to “bounce back” after hardships.  Dr. Mark Seery’s studies show that moderate adversity early in life can actually help us develop resilience and cope with life’s challenges.  The study suggests that the adage, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” is psychologically true.  Researchers offer the example of children contacting germs in play and how this helps their immune systems grow stronger.

In my garden I’m finding the same lesson.  Last year our terrier, Reggie, in his hunt for chipmunks dug up a lanky raspberry bush.  The bush looked half-dead but I covered it with dirt and fenced off the area.  The bush had grown vigorously but had produced only a few tiny raspberries in its first few years.
This year, instead of growing more canes, the bush is much more compact, and has produced many very large, luscious berries. 

On the other hand, my spinach lacks resiliency.  It can’t seem to thrive even in a shady spot during our cooler summer.  It has bolted almost immediately. 

 The work of emotional intelligence can guide us toward changing dysfunctional thought patterns that hamper our ability to bounce back from life’s changes and challenges.

How resilient are we to the hardships of life?  Can we  appreciate our daily annoyances and smaller challenges for the gift they may offer? 

© 2014 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved