Category Archives: Problem solving

The Power of Presence: 5 Critical Skills for Maximum Personal Effectiveness


The workplace is a web of communications between individuals and teams.

When things don’t go well, we tend to blame the other person or group.

If you’re ever tried to change anyone, you probably realize how pointless that is.

Our highest salvation and sense of peace is to work on ourselves, rise above the commotion and lead the way from a place of groundedness and authenticity.

Maintaining presence of mind in the midst of chaos is the way to accomplish that.

So, how does one maintain that presence when the world seems to be caving in on you? It is possible but takes concerted effort.

Here are the 5 skills that are critical for maximizing your effectiveness:

1. The ability to discover the things you do that other people notice but that you don’t know you do
We all have habits, patterns of behavior that seem to run themselves. We also all have blind spots. Things we do but are unaware of. Rarely do we seek them out and even less frequently, do we do anything about them

If you’re striving for maximum effectiveness in the workplace, you MUST know the impact you’re having on people. It takes courage to uncover them, but shining a light on the areas of your blindness will help you become more likeable, respected and influential.

2. The ability to calm yourself when your reptilian brain has just thrust you into Fight or Flight
When tensions mount, our instinct is to protect ourselves or annihilate the threat. Before you commit that career limiting move, take a moment to get ‘present’. That means calming yourself briefly before you lash out or duck and cover. Put your attention on your your physical body. Take a few deep breaths. Notice the pressure of your butt on the chair or your feet on the floor. Taking these few precious seconds will give you a chance to collect your more grounded thoughts and respond from a more centered place.

3. The ability to notice and objectively address the process you or a group are enmeshed in
Communication is a process which includes not just the words that are said but the underlying subtext of the conversation as well as what’s NOT being said. In a group or family, people fall into ‘roles’ they play in that community. When those roles can be brought to light in a way that is nonjudgmental the grip of the role is loosened.

For example, when a group is led by a powerful and directive boss, they may be reluctant to speak up if they have a different opinion than the one that is not being proferred. This is what triggers water-cooler conversations).

As the boss, it’s critical that you get the feedback you need in order to accomplish your goals. Notice that your staff is hesitant to be forthright with you. tell them you need their input AND THEN LISTEN AND TAKE IT INTO ACCOUNT.

As the staff member, it’s critical that you voice your perspective, not in a combative way but as another point of information that is valuable and key to moving forward on the right path.

4. The ability to quiet our inner critic
To be human is to have a voice that tries to protect us from harm. Unfortunately, it usually stops us from taking ‘risks’ that would actually be helpful to our personal growth. Notice what your inner critic or judge usually says to you. Then when it pipes up (in your head) in various situations, notice it and say ‘Thank you for pointing that out’.

Then imagine that there is a miracle awaiting you on the other side of whatever fear it raised and take some action toward bringing that miracle into fruition.

5. The ability to cultivate the Sage within you
There is another voice within us that knows what’s possible on a grander scale than what our human persona normally perceives. It is the voice of intution, Spirit, knowingness, God (or whicheve deity enlightens your world).

It whispers to us to take action. It’s suggestions sometimes scare us and that’s almost always a signal that growth or transformation is right around the corner if we go there.

Cultivating the Sage means creating quiet time and space for it to speak to us during periods of restfulness,

meditation or prayer. It means listening to the voice and honoring it by taking action on its suggestions. It’s a discipline and practice, being quite and taking acion. Ant it is a practice, that if done consistenly, will pay off in really big ways.

So, be aware then be courageous. Release the judge that condemns yourself and others. Invite the Sage to take a larger role in your life and the power of this new presence will dramatically improve your personal effectiveness.

Let me know how it works out for you!

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7 Requirements to Turn a Dream into a Business

One of the things I hear over and over again when I work with my clients is “Wow!” I never thought of that!”

There’s something about the process of talking out loud with another person skilled in thought facilitation that generates insight, creativity and innovation that simply isn’t possible on one’s own.

A recent new client spent an afternoon with me sorting out the ideas in her head about the business she dreamed of launching.

To quote her, “We’re caught in our own heads and world and thoughts. We need an outside agent to pull the ideas out.

As I evaluate what it is I consistently do that evokes the sparking of new ideas that provoke committed and inspired action, I’ve boiled it down to seven things.

1) A proven process
Depending on the client’s goal, one or more of several processes are employed to guide the client toward the desired end result. Whether it’s defining the perfect market, evaluating your readiness for the venture or surveying the competitive landscape, you can’t just have a random, meandering conversation that goes nowhere.

Surely there must be flexibility in the system, but having a definitive track to start on, helps the process flow smoothly.

2) Mirrored thought
Ideas when articulated become more clear. Even faulty thinking is identified more rapidly when expressed out loud.

Often just repeating what someone says makes them come to grips with it’s truth or fallacy.

3) Shared observations and recommendations
Years of experience in banking, technology, marketing and management have generated a practical perspective and literally thousands of opinions 🙂  on a variety of topics that can be invaluable to someone who isn’t quite sure how to proceed on their quest. Well-informed counsel can make life easier.

4) Appropriate doubt
“Are you sure about that?”. Another client was about to take action that was fundamentally a good idea, but about to be implemented without appropriate research and advice. Questioning her encouraged her to seek other professional advice that equipped her with the proper strategies and approach to protect her investment in her business.

We are enamored with our own ideas. The intent here is not to rain on anyone’s parade, but to help avoid the pitfalls of certain decisions. By identifying potential risks in advance, plans can be made to minimize them or avert certain situations altogether.

5) Support that evokes commitment
By the same token, we sometimes doubt our abilities. Belief in an idea and the person holding it will go a long way to building their confidence for making it happen. Think about it. When some has believed in you, didn’t you feel you could conquer the world?

6) Action planning
All of the brilliant insights are of little use if not applied in the real world. Goals are accomplished one step at a time. Knowing what those steps are keeps you from procrastinating or wasting time flailing around on non-productive activities.

7) Follow up and follow through
Most people are more likely to get something done if they’ve told someone else they will do a thing. When commitments are made and kept privately, there is too much temptation to let them slip or to replace them with some other activity.

Going public with your goals and reporting on your journey will help ensure that the journey actually happens. Getting support and coaching along the way, empowers the experience of accomplishment.

I believe accountability makes magic happen. When we’re held accountable for making progress on our dreams, it opens the door to a life of purpose, fulfillment and prosperity.” -Loretta Love Huff

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Goal Setting: Why You Have to Know What You’re Looking For

Right before our wedding anniversary, I bought a small gift for my husband. I put it in my office and eagerly awaited the delivery date.

The night before our anniversary, I went to get it to wrap it but couldn’t find it.

Disappointed and anxious, I looked everywhere. On the desk where I thought I’d placed it. In my purse where it might have been if not on the desk. In our bedroom where it shouldn’t have been. In the closet, kitchen, office (again)…everywhere.

No present, present.

Our anniversary came and went. He knew he had a gift coming because we were together when I got it. I had to confess though that it had disappeared somehow, but that I was confident it would turn up. (One of my beliefs about myself is that I find things that I ‘lose’.)

Anyway, about 3 days later, I found it! It leapt out at me from…on the desk! How could it have been there all the while and never have been seen? It’s as though it had a  Harry Potter invisibility cloak on it.

Well, quickly I discovered why it had gone unnoticed.

I had taken it out of the bag it came in and just the tiny gold box that held the gift was ‘visible’.

I wasn’t looking for a tiny gold box. I was looking for a white bag, folded over with a little box inside. A simple distinction, but missing it meant looking high and low for three days!

Three days and it was there the entire time!

My point in telling you this story is to reiterate the importance of setting goals and being really clear what you’re looking for, knowing what the desired end result will be.

If you aren’t clear about what you’re aiming for, you might never notice that it’s happened. You’ll keep searching and whining. And you’ll miss the satisfaction of the celebration you could have had if only you had known precisely what you were seeking.

7 Keys to a Mindset that Makes Magic Happen

I attended a training session recently and the speaker said something that reminded me of my days of being a mainframe BAL computer programmer. You may have heard the phrase “garbage in – garbage out”, or GIGO for short.

It reflects the idea that no matter how elegant a program or system is, if you put bad (trashy) data into it, the results you get will still stink.

The speaker took a different take on this concept choosing to focus on a more positive approach with PIPO or “positive in – positive out”. His challenge to us was to intentionally bring more inspiration and uplifting information into our personal computer (i.e. brain) to counter all of the negative messages we get from less inspired, less empowered, less self-determining people that might be occupying our personal space.

His acronym, PIPO, reminded me of my first doll, Pippo. My adoptive mother gave him to me the day she first brought me home with her. I was about one year old then and Pippo is still around now. (Shocking to think how old that makes him!)

To this day, he occupies a prominent space on my bookshelf with photos of my biological siblings I ‘found’ almost 10 years ago. It’s quite an amazing story which could be the subject of another book (and probably will be). If you want to read the (somewhat) Cliff’s notes version of it, go to Happy Reunion Story.

In any event, I’ve identified 7 specific behaviors which I say sustain a mindset that makes magic happen. Do these things consistently and you’ll fly high and achieve your goals all the faster.

1. Read positive, uplifting books and articles on a consistent basis
Daily reading is best and the optimal times for these readings is first thing in the  morning and just before falling asleep.  My morning readings energize me and remind me that all things are possible. Right now I’m reading “The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity” by Edwene Gaines and The Forty Day

2. Go on a detox diet
Get rid of foods that don’t serve you and people who drag you down. You’ve probably heard the story about crabs in a barrel. It’s been said that if you put crabs in a barrel, some will try to climb to the top to escape but others will pull them back down into the fray where they are all stuck. You may have ‘friends’ that spit on your dreams, who never think anything good can happen, that tell you you’re foolish to believe. Get rid of them: quickly if you can, slowly if you have to. At the least, reduce the time you spend with them and ignore much of what they say to you.

3. Watch and listen to intelligent shows on radio and TV
Local network news doesn’t really qualify. It’s mostly watered down. National news is better, global even more so. Angry people yelling their opinions can be useful to get a read on the mindset of some sectors of America, but don’t believe what you hear.

The truth often gets reduced to soundbites which may not even reflect the underlying story. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sitcom or SVU episode. It’s just I don’t spend my entire life in front of the TV. You may need to get your mind off work for a while, but if you’re striving to make magic happen, you’d be better off trading your TV time for inspirational books, meaningful  discussions with those close to you, making and enacting plans to better      your OWN life.

4. Meditate
Just a few minutes each day will help reducs stress and connect you to your higher self, the seat of knowledge. I’m amazed at the doors of opportunity that open with a few minutes a day spent in reflection and prayer.

5. Be grateful for what you have
Even when times are bleak, devote some time to look for and express gratitude for the good in your life. Bank account dry? Be thankful you have clean water and rice in the cupboard. Lost that big deal? Give thanks for the brains that allowed you to get that close and learn from the experience. Passed over for a promotion? Be thankful for opportunity to express your desire and skills. Keep sharpening them and looking for the next opening.

6. Sing, dance, move, listen
Harp music has been shown to reduce stress and even help with the healing of medical ailments. Dance energizes our bodies and stirs our souls. Hiking expands the lungs sending fresh oxygen to the brain.

Even if you don’t do these things regularly or well, work something different into your routine. Remember PIPO. Infuse yourself with that which soothes you. Express what’s in your heart.

7. Help someone less fortunate
A business referral group I’m in just adopted a down-on-their-luck family and donated toys and gift cards to a variety of stores. The woman who delivered the gifts sent out an email that brought tears to my eyes even though my contribution was just one of many. To feel that positive impact our action had on people I didn’t even know was so uplifting.  Feed the homeless. Donate your time. Make your little corner of the world a better place.

Alchemy is the process of transforming something common into something special.

Institute any or all of these (or amp them up if you’re already doing them) and you will cause a shift in your environment, both physical and energetic. Make magic happen.

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Lush Business Growth Workshop


Uncover the secret motivations that drive your ideal client’s decisions so  your marketing results in more sales

Identify the weak links in your business that are robbing you of your revenue

Expose the criteria that people use to make purchase decisions about what you offer.  Ignore this and your marketing will fall on deaf ears. Master this and business will flock to you.

Distinguish specific opportunities your business is facing that could mean a dramatic increase in profits for your firm

Evaluate your current revenue streams and determine which ones are primed to produce even more in the future.

Brainstorm on potential NEW revenue streams you can create easily without doing a ton more work

Evaluate your current sales channels and marketing strategies to make sure you’re capitalizing on what’s right in front of you

Create concrete goals and strategies for their fulfillment to accelerate your success

Calendaring templates to make mapping out your marketing plan simple and easy

Get details emeraldharvest.com/lushbusinessgrowth-ws.htm