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Discontented? Slowing Down Can Actually Help You Go Further, Faster.

People seldom seek change when things are going well. Seeking to grow during these times is then a choice versus a push from outside. Because the force of nature is all about growth, if we are not doing so, circumstances will arise to create discontent or provide circumstances that force a change–desired or not. So the internal or external circumstances leading to the desire for work-life change are less important than how you approach it. You might as well embrace it. Where Are You Going to Focus Your Attention? Instead of exiting a job dramatically, seeking a promotion with lots of over-zealous activity, or starting a new venture flailing about trying everything that the media says you should do, I advise what I call Standing Still. Standing Still is taking a breath, taking the discontent as an opportunity to become more self-aware so you assess fully, listen to what the discontent is telling you, and then, from that centered place, open yourself to new possibilities that are right for you. If you scramble and make a change in a state of anxiety or desperation, the chances of your new life or work being truly satisfying are slim. If you make a desperate move it’s like treading water or losing ground. Instead, thoughtfully create steps that actually lead where you want to go. If you do nothing, you’ll be right where you are now. Simply put - Slowing down can actually help you go further, faster.  KEEP Reading for Four Tips [...]

Learn How to Face Demands of Responding to Life & Business Stages Together

All businesses and all individuals grow through natural stages of development over the course of a lifetime. Or they stagnate. They cease to grow. Growth spurts and developmental transitions naturally occur approximately every 7–10 years for individuals. Businesses also go through transitions and developmental stages when they grow from start-up through expansion. In business these stages are often marked by additional products, enlarged customer reach, and of course  increased revenues.Having a smooth functioning culture with happy employees who have the support they require to do their job and the resources for their personal and professional development all begins at the top—it starts with the leadership. For business owners and business partners, having a long-view toward future transition out of the company or sale of the business puts markers for growth into perspective.Business Partners Need to Learn How to Face Demands of Responding to Life & Business Stages TogetherWhen business partners are aware of these long-term objectives—and their partnering relationship is solid—communicating through growth stages and transitions, providing access to resources for individual development, and other cultural values, naturally go hand-in-hand with productivity expectations and profit markers.Even though it's a necessary and natural part of growth, transitioning into the next stage always provokes some discomfort, and even anxiety about the changes to come. Some owners are more sensitive to changes on the horizon, expect and anticipate them, and plan ahead. Others are heads-down focused on the day-to-day demands. These heads-down types are often blindsided by the new and unexpected needs that arise. [...]

Stop Being “Nice.” A Guide for Straight-Talk Guidance that Grows Your People

At the gym the other day, stretching before a workout class, two men were sparring nearby. Mid-30’s, and mid-40’s, with humor but focused. Glove-less jabs and shoe-less rapid-fire kicks flew, interspersed with the ding-ding-ding of a timer set to note the end of each short round. Between each round, straight-talk, rapid-fire feedback was given, received and incorporated into the next practice round. These two were totally focused on increasing skills and achieving better performance. One man more advanced giving feedback to grow the other’s competence at something they both care about. Sports leaders are hired for their ability to grow individuals and a team. They are quickly fired when the skills do not improve, when the team does not go on to succeed. Measurements of growth and success are clear. Everyone is there to improve skills. For team success. They are there to get better. It made me think of the difference between the sports-world and the business-world. We expect and seek out straight-talk coaching in the world of sports. We hire trainers to kick butt - to lose weight, get stronger, avoid injury or achieve whatever our physical goals. We hire them for straight-talk, tough-love. So we get better. The Stakes Are High There’s far less consistency in giving, receiving and incorporating straight-talk input clearly aimed at growing the skills necessary to achieve individual and company success. Many people in positions of authority (here I include leaders, managers, even parents of emerging adults) avoid opportunities to grow their people. [...]

How to Run a Successful Business Together as Business Partners

As in all close interpersonal relationships, when business professionals are unaware of different relationship styles—without a compatible mindset, and set of tools, and skills they can use together—each partner individually reverts to what they know best. What they know best is typically unconscious, old, less functional, patterns. This article will tackle these three points of context and answer the following questions... What are the pitfalls of co-owning or operating a business with your partner Understanding the choices and consequences of relationship styles What are the four keys to a successful business partnership Like everyone else, put two business owners together and you’ll find some random combination of approaches to relating which can get them in trouble when faced with conflict and their styles are different. Married couples in business together can be doubly susceptible since they live and work together. I always say when partnerships (personal or professional) are going well, they are wonderful. It's when faced with conflict or disagreements that relationship style differences bring on a challenge to change. What originally feels like a positive connection becomes confusing. Responses that used to work no longer work. Without new information, people do not know how to work themselves out of this sticky situation on their own. They can push it under the rug, but typically it does not go away without being addressed. That's why many couples work with therapists or life coaches. In the world of work, business, and careers, having a business coach or business transformation consultant [...]

Facing the Challenges of Taking on a Business Partner

When a solo-owner or entrepreneur knows that partnering is the next best business decision—be it for start-up, expansion, for future transition, or sale—paving the way with a well discussed, communicated, thought-out relating style is essential to avoid future conflicts. Consciously facing the need to come together with one or more business partners and pairing that with one's own strengths and weaknesses around communication and expectations demands clarity and choices about where change will be necessary—and just where it "ain't going to happen." Choosing the right business partner That's where an expert in both relationships and business comes in to guide you to help you clarify what you want in your business and how a business partner relationship fits your end goal. A business partner coach can then help you assess the candidates and coach you in discussions to ferret out that fit so you stay on track with your ultimate desired outcomes. Challenges of Communication in Business Partnerships The personality characteristics and strengths of the entrepreneur or business owner often run counter to, or do not co-exist well with, the needs of a mutual on-going working business partner relationship, let alone a binding partnership. It's a well-known fact that many (but not all) founder, owner, entrepreneurs are visionaries who follow their own drumbeat. They do not necessarily "play well with others." It's not that they don't care about others, it's that they tend to be self-focused on the business they develop. They want to be in control of [...]

Are You a Target for Negativity in a Toxic Work Environment?

Are you in a company or corporation and feel like you have a bulls-eye pinned to your forehead? Are you in a position of attracting undue negative attention from your boss and coworkers? Do you wonder “How did this happen? It’s never happened to me before. Why ME? Why now?” If this sounds like something you’re experiencing, even though it may not make logical sense let me describe what may be going on and give you 10 Tips to “Ground” Your Lightning Rod Aspects. But first, let me explain the basic dynamics that are going on in such a dysfunctional system. The Analogy of a Dysfunctional Family In dysfunctional families, there is a concept called the IP or Identified Patient. This is the one family member who is like a “sponge” for the family negativity—secrets, things unspoken, co-dependency, addictions, lies, and so on—all the dysfunction. That “elephant-in-the-room” stuff that nobody talks about in dysfunctional systems. Thus it stays dysfunctional and people act "as if" it's normal—or even defend it. Like a Sponge: The Identified Patient often soaks up all the negativity and feelings in a family. It's confusing and sometimes they feel they really are bad, wrong, or embody the characteristics assigned to them. So subconsciously they take on the dysfunction and acts it out until they become conscious of the dynamic and hopefully get support and coaching to change their participation in the system. Which can be an uphill battle. Becoming a Scapegoat: The IP becomes identified as The [...]

5 Habits of Dual-Career Couples Committed to Balancing Work and Family

As a couple, you expect to be not only romantic partners, but also to partner in the business of creating a home, managing work-lives and possibly raising a family together. Stressors and uncertainties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic—the necessity to be-at-home for an even longer extended time—may be exposing the signs and symptoms of your relationship strengths, as well as your weak spots. Let's break this down... Self-Care and Addressing Your Relationship Needs The Benefits of Working it Out Together Five Essential Habits of of Committed Couples While the data is not in on impacts of this pandemic on couples, families and the society at large, we do know that when couples do not partner well it exacerbates feelings of disconnection. It leads to loneliness, living like "roommates" and many times, it leads to divorce. The accompanying fears and decisions the coronavirus situation calls for—the short and long-term impacts—can be overwhelming. Especially if you don't know how to stay connected and communicate well through the stress. It will increase any fissure between you. Big Picture Relationship Coaching keeps dual-career couples working successfully together, even during difficult times. It's done by supporting one another's individual needs and strengthening your ability to make decisions and arrive at mutually satisfying solutions together. Addressing Your Relationship Needs Is Part of Self-Care The phase we're entering now, with it's mixed messages about what to do and how to respond—is undoubtedly magnifying your couple connection. It may even be increasing the divide between [...]

Crafting the Arc of Your Career and Life Story One Life-Stage at a Time

Careers, businesses and family lives develop through a series of phases. When fully—some would say success"fully" lived—each phase has an arc that rises, peaks, descends and resolves as the next begins. If you approach your career, business and personal developments with this natural structure and rhythm in mind, it allows you to live the current stage fully, anticipate and plan for next phase. This is true no matter your age, life stage or generation. Coaching can help you excavate these aspects of your life, oftentimes making a life feel richer in the reflection and taking intentional action. Nowadays, with such long-life, you have the opportunity to approach each decade, each 10 - 15 year phase acknowledging an underlying natural rhythm, focusing the arc of your activities toward outcomes—the personal and career growth, self-development learning and chronological life-stage accomplishments you desire—as you design, craft and create your life story. If you are a business leader, business owner or entrepreneur, on this foundation you can successfully craft the arc of business developments and plan the future with eyes wide open. Couples and Dual-Career Couples can integrate personal and professional with eyes wide open.   It's Your Story—You Get to Rewrite and Build Each Stage When you acknowledge the context of multiple 10-15 year phases, your career story takes on personal meaning—because you write it, and live it. Like many authors, the outcomes for their characters are not always fully known, but various factors compel the actions and eventual outcomes. The [...]

Tips to Survive a Narcissistic Boss or Toxic Work Environment

Over the past 35+ years, I’ve coached some pretty amazing, highly competent career coaching clients through difficult work relationships, into exit strategies if needed, and on to recovery from business or corporate PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.) It happens all too frequently. I felt compelled to write some basic guidelines to help you through a tough circumstance. We'll break this article down into the following sections: Tips for Survival Identifying the Toxic Boss Acknowledging Narcissistic or Toxic Behavior Your Experience with a Toxic Situation How to Take Care of Yourself Healing Afterward Workplace Toxicity and Trauma Tips For Survival We often hear about ineffective employees. What about the lethal, abusive, toxic, or harassing boss, manager or co-worker? No matter how much money you are making, how prestigious the position or how high-paying the salary, being treated this way takes a huge toll on your energy and productivity, your psyche, and your soul. There are few things worse for the human spirit than working all day at a job that you experience as boring or where you're disengaged. Right up there is also if you're spending hours in a negative environment. Experienced as even worse for the human psyche and soul is working with toxic or abusive people. Even if the abuse is not aimed "at" you, observing others being bullied, undermined, or maliciously being gossiped about or shunned—mean behavior—is a signal such behavior could always be turned on you. It sets people on high alert. Who Is The Toxic [...]

Choosing Among 4 Business Partnering Styles to Understand Their Impacts Your Business

Business partners work successfully together when they are coached to acknowledge individual differences but work toward common agreements. Doing so they acquire the mindset, tools and skills of a long-lasting and successful partnership. In this article you’ll be introduced to four relationship styles entered into by business partners. In the four articles indicated throughout and at the end of this overview, each style will be discussed in greater detail. Unlike relationship therapy or counseling, coaching for relationship style empowers you with skills and tools so you start and stay aligned as business partners. This way you can focus on building your business together! Unconscious Assumptions and Expectations of Varying Relationship Styles Each business partnering style comes with conscious or unconscious assumptions and expectations. These in turn contribute in different ways to the communication and decision-making between the business partners or owners. These interpersonal aspects include: Feelings of ease, trust, respect, and the ability to count on one another. A sense of individual contribution, recognition, and loyalty. Ease and openness of communication. Invitation, support, and encouragement of unique perspectives as part of a creative culture. A commitment to working on the “same team,” An attitude that “We can resolve anything together,” in navigating decisions and differences that impact personal satisfaction, as well as business success. Unique Differences Between Relationship Styles Each style is briefly analyzed along the following dimensions: The conscious or unconscious relationship mindset or perspective. This dimension is about ultimate decision-making power within the partnerships. It [...]

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