Using Your Brain For A Change

Posted by on Nov 4, 2013 in Blog, Law of Attraction | Comments Off on Using Your Brain For A Change

A few years ago I heard the late, Stephen Covey, (The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People), say that the next scientific frontier wouldn’t be the exploration of outer space, but of inner space–the exploration of the mysterious and powerful capabilities of the human brain. The number of books on the topic tells us that we are on the fringe of that revolutionary science he spoke of. Scientists tell us that we only use a faction of our brains.  But what we use can create big changes, such as healing the body.  The saying of “mind over matter” is no longer a quaint notion.  Pioneering scientists are developing a body of knowledge to prove it.  Of course we all know about the Placebo Effect, the phenomenon of how a belief, which is a thought repeated over and over, has the ability to affect our biology.  Did you also know that: There is a well-established body of research examining the negative health effects produced by angry thoughts. Conversely, studies have shown how positive, happy thoughts are correlated with better health and extended life. Researchers have also correlated positive thoughts with reduced levels of depression. Dr. Bruce Lipton, the cellular researcher, in his groundbreaking book, The Biology of Belief, discusses his laboratory experiments that demonstrate the profound effects our thoughts have upon changing our cells. This is important for you and I because neuroscientists tell us that a person’s thoughts influence their reality.  Some go as far as saying that there is no true reality, there is only the reality each person creates by their thoughts. In other words what we think about, we manifest.  Some call this the Law of Attraction.   The mental construct (thoughts) of our daily activities, more than the activity itself, determines our reality. Here is a simple example.  When my wife was single, her and a friend were each talking about their futures.  My wife believed she would be married in two years; while her friend, believed for herself that she would be married in five years.  Well, guess what?  They each attracted what they thought–my wife was married in two years (to a great guy!) and her friend was married in five. And, why is this important to you?  Because, your success depends upon your thoughts.  According to Harvard professor and researcher, Shawn Achor, positive thoughts produce happiness, and happiness is correlated with success.  Happiness is the center around which success orbits. ~ Shawn Achor In his book, The Happiness Advantage, he describes the growing body of knowledge that validates the correlation between happiness and success–success in all areas of life such as job satisfaction and performance, health, relationships, income, accomplishments, and overall contentment with life.  It turns out that our brains are actually hardwired to perform at their best with positive thoughts and beliefs. You’ve no doubt noticed how some people are pessimistic, chronic “captain bring-downs.”  They are convinced that they have all the bad luck, that they never seem to get a break.  Yet, there are others who are positive, optimistic, “lucky” folks who believe good things will happen.  Researcher Richard Weisman’s says there is no such thing as luck, at least not in scientific terms.  He found that the only difference (and it is a big one) is whether or not people think they are lucky—in other words, whether they expect good or bad things to happen to them. Napoleon Hill, in his classic book, Think And Grow Rich, concluded the same finding–as you think, so you become.  Everything you have now is as a result of your thinking–your relationships, your...

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10 Ways To Ruin A Team

Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 in Blog, Employers | Comments Off on 10 Ways To Ruin A Team

This tongue-in-cheek article describes the ten pitfalls a supervisor can do to run off high performers. 1. Never discuss the goals of the company and of the work group with your employees. This is what gives you power.  Knowledge.  After all, if they knew the goals they might try and do too much on their own and that could be dangerous.  Unfortunately, after years on the job some of them will start to figure out the goals on their own. 2. Avoid giving positive feedback. If you do, people will just get big heads and they might start to slack off.  They should already know where they stand and getting a paycheck is all the feedback they need.  However, when they do something wrong, swift action is needed on your part.  The negative feedback you give them will serve them well for years to come.  Some sage supervisors withhold this feedback until the performance evaluation. 3. Never develop people. If you invest resources to develop them they will leave you and perhaps go to work for one of our your competitors.  No one developed you—you did it on your own, right?  If employees really want to get ahead they will figure out a way.  It’s not your job to develop them. 4. Avoid setting job expectations. They should already know what is expected of them.  After all, they are professionals and professionals figure things out on their own.  Their job expectations should be evident.  If they press you for expectations hand them a job description and tell them everything they need to know is contained in it. Let them know you never want to speak of this again. 5. Avoid getting to know them. There is a line between a supervisor and a subordinate that must not be crossed.  Any personal discussions will only blur that line.  If an employee starts discussing their family then politely end the conversation and excurse yourself.  After a while they will start to get the message. 6. Be polite when they offer ideas. From time to time an employee will think they know a better way to do their job.  When this happens acknowledge the idea and gently nudge them back to work.  Hopefully, they won’t offer too many more ideas.  Remember, you’re the supervisor and any new ideas are supposed to come from you.  That’s why you are called a “super”-visor. 7. Deter any job advancement. It reflects negatively on your career if one of your employees wants to move onto another job.  You can’t let them leave.  It may appear like they don’t care for you as a supervisor or worse that you are incompetent.  And, do you know how long it will take to get someone to replace them?  Months!  Any talk of job advancement should be squelched immediately.  Keeping your people in their current jobs will ensure your success. 8. Never admit when you are wrong. You will only be seen as weak and your boss may start to seriously wonder if you have what it takes to be in management.  Moreover, your employees will lose respect for you if they don’t see you as strong and decisive.  The best course of action is to find someone else to blame. 9. Take as much credit as possible. If you give your employees too much credit their egos will become inflated.  One of your tasks as a supervisor is to control your people and doling out credit a little at a time is a good way to ensure you keep a tight grip on the team. 10. And finally, avoid addressing conflicts. You will only get yourself into hot water. ...

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Managing Multiple Priorities

Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Managing Multiple Priorities

Adapted from Some surprising results from a study at the University of Connecticut indicate that Americans have 27% more time than they thought. If that’s the case why do wish for more hours in the day? What is robbing us of our time? 1. Other people’s priorities can become your priorities. Have you ever been talked in to something that you really didn’t want to participate in? Mary agreed to volunteer at her child’s school function even though she really didn’t have the time. Because he was the block leader for a charity the year before, Jack was asked to once again fill that role. He grudgingly agreed to it. How much time would be freed up if you were able to say no to activities you really didn’t want to participate in? We need to recognize when we are being tugged in a direction we really don’t want to go in and then have the courage to just say no. 2. Failure to keep a to do list. The key to using a list is to prioritize the items. Most people use an A to D type system. 3. Failure to set personal goals. If you don’t know where you will be in six months or in a year then its time to set some personal goals. Goals are important because they give you a direction to work toward. When you know where you want to go you can manage your time much better. If you don’t then other people’s priorities become your priorities. Goals help you recognize the important activities from the ones that aren’t important. 4. Failure to manage distractions. Some studies indicate that we can lose up to two hours a day due to distractions! Set aside a section of time each day to respond to emails. You waste time when you check it throughout the day. Manage interruptions. Let people know when they are taking you away from your priorities. If you have a door close it during set periods in the day to complete those important tasks. One person we know uses a traffic light system (made of round disks from construction paper) whereby she closes her office door two hours each day. A red “light” means do not come in unless it is a dire emergency. A yellow disk tells the potential visitor that it had better be important while a green light signals it is OK to enter. 5. Taking on too much. Some people have a very hard time saying no. They can wind up feeling stressed, underperforming, and becoming resentful. If you take on too much you can get a reputation for producing sloppy work or work that is often late. Taking on too much can also apply to our personal lives. 6. Being addicted to “busy.” Are you the type of person who gets a rush from being busy? Some people get a buzz from rushing to meetings, just barely making deadlines, and having piles of files on their desk that need attention. Being busy has become a status symbol in our culture. The implication is that if you are not busy then you must not be producing. Next time you’re with a group of people notice how many of them are talking (bragging) about how busy they are. 7. Not taking breaks. It’s impossible for people to work 8-10 hours straight and produce high quality work. As Stephen Covey says, “Some people are too busy driving around town to stop and get gas.” Experts say we should get up and take a ten-minute break every two hours. We’ll be more productive in the...

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Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life

Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life

A positive attitude is a choice. We can choose to be happy or we can choose not to be. Henry Ford was fond of saying, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right.” It is true that success in life is not what happens to you but rather your reaction to what happens to you. The life of Iraqi war veteran J.R. Martinez demonstrates the power of a positive attitude. If you’ve watched the TV hit show, Dancing With The Stars, you no doubt have seen him. His story starts in 2003 when at the age of 21 he was serving as a United States Army infantryman in Iraq. Six weeks after his arrival the Humvee he was driving ran over a roadside bomb. The ensuing explosion and fire burned over 40% of his body. During his 34-month hospital stay, he endured 33 cosmetic and skin graft surgeries. He became an inspiration to others because of his positive attitude. During his recovery, a nurse asked him to speak to a burn patient who had become despondent and withdrawn. After the talk the patient’s anger transformed into hope. Martinez was also transformed as he discovered that his story and his attitude could help other victims. He decided to use his experience to help others, visiting with patients in the hospital, sharing his story and listening to theirs. These talks turned into speaking engagements and since then he has become a sought-after motivational speaker. He is called on by a wide range of groups, including large corporations, schools, veterans groups, and non-profits. He has shared the stage with the likes of global self-help guru Tony Robbins. Numerous veterans groups have honored Martinez for his leadership and dedication in working with military burn victims. He has been featured in The Washington Post, People magazine, on CNN’s Sunday Morning, and on 60 Minutes. In 2008 he was cast in the TV daytime drama, All My Children, where he plays a wounded veteran and he was chosen as the Grand Marshal in the 2012 Rose Parade. The stumbling blocks he encountered became his stepping-stones to success. He could have withdrawn from life, shrinking into a world of self-pity but he made a conscious decision not to. His positive attitude sets him apart from most others. It is his attitude that is the source of his notoriety. He considers his circumstances to be a blessing, “I now know why I was spared (from the explosion). My life’s purpose is to be an inspiration to others.” The greatest discovery of the human condition is that you can alter your life by altering your attitude. Bad things do happen to good people. In life some pain is inevitable, however suffering is optional. And your attitude determines the difference. If you have the will to remain positive, you have achieved half your success; if you don’t, you have achieved half your failure. The choice is...

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Where’s The Tent? by Dr. Sheila Murray Bethel

Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Where’s The Tent? by Dr. Sheila Murray Bethel

Dr. Sheila Murray Bethel   Four friends of mine went fishing in a wild and beautiful national park. They found a perfect campsite in a pine grove next to a river that positively shimmered with fishing promise. As fast as they could, they set up their big four-person tent, stowed their belongings, and set off eagerly down the riverbank with their rods and reels. When they returned to their campsite a few hours later, tired but happy, they stood open-mouthed in disbelief. There was a big empty space where their tent had stood. It was gone! A quick search showed that everything else was still there — their stove, tools, food, sleeping bags, and personal belongings. Their first stunned confusion soon changed to anger and a storm of questions: Why did someone take the tent and nothing else? Was a tent all the thief needed? Did they interrupt him so he couldn’t finish the job? Or would he soon return for more? And why did he, she (or perhaps “they”) steal at all? Fortunately, they still had their Coleman stove, frying pan, and eating utensils — all the tools they needed to cook their fish and eat it. And they still had their sleeping bags against the chilly night air. Over dinner and late into the night, they sat around the campfire, debating the significance of the missing tent. Finally they all agreed on what it meant. At peace at last, they climbed into their sleeping bags, gazing up at stars instead of canvas. Being city people, they rarely got to see stars up close and personal, “as if you could reach up and grab them,” they told me. “And it didn’t rain!” That night they slept more deeply than they had since they were babies. And what was the conclusion they all had reached, the discovery that allowed this oneness with the universe? They had once again realized that life is inexplicable. All of us have sudden changes in our life that are the equivalent of having the tent stolen from over our heads. We invest ourselves heavily in a project that fails. We lose a job, become ill or go through a life crisis. But as long as we still have the basics such as courage, faith, friendship, the ability to care and laugh and hope, we still have the tools we need for life. The thieves of life can’t steal our enthusiasm and curiosity, our ability to care and love and be loved. The moral: Someone will steal your tent every single time! Expect it, and be grateful that you still have the basics. Look up and enjoy the stars like the fishermen did. You may find new joys and opportunities that you never noticed before.   © 2011 Dr. Sheila Murray Bethel Join the conversation at, read her newest book, “A New Breed Of Leader, 8 Qualities That Matter Most in the Real World…What Works, What doesn’t and Why.”  Sheila is CEO Bethel Leadership Institute,  Best Selling Author, Global Leadership, Change and Customer Service Expert and Hall Of  Fame Speaker,,...

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Why Do We Gossip?

Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 in Blog, Employers | Comments Off on Why Do We Gossip?

Whether it involves the latest company rumor or people’s personal lives, workplace gossip is hard to tame. The average employee spends 65 hours a year gossiping at the office, according to a survey conducted by Equisys, a business communications company. Words are powerful. They can be used to inspire us like Martin Luther King, Jr. did.  Or they can be used destructively. The most careless use of the spoken word is gossip. It can tarnish reputations, destroy friendships, reduce morale, and affect productivity. No longer do people need to use hushed voices to exchange rumors and juicy tidbits of other people’s lives. Now anyone can create a “virtual water cooler” using e-mail, instant messaging and internet blogs. The speed at which gossip can spread makes it all the more insidious. Gossip can sound like: ~ “Did you hear about Christine’s divorce?” ~ “I just heard Terry was reprimanded.” ~ “I heard on her last job that she was (fill in the blank).” ~ “Have you met the new person? Just between you and I…” In a recent survey, the American Society for Training and Development reported that: ~ 85 percent of people admitted to gossiping in the workplace. ~ 21 percent of the 85% reported gossiping on a frequent basis. ~ 64 percent of the 85% admitted to gossiping at work “sometimes.” Gossip can ruin people’s lives and reputations.  It tends to snowball because people start projecting things onto the person who’s being talked about, whether it is true or not. According to a November 2007 survey by Randstad USA and Harris Interactive, 60 percent of respondents named gossip as their biggest pet peeve about their job. If it’s so distasteful, why do we do it?   What Can You Do? Here are some ideas to consider: 1. Walk away. When the conversation turns to gossip, excuse yourself and walk away. Without wood, a fire goes out. 2. Be impeccable with your word. Monitor your own conversations with others. Assess your true motive for participating in conversations.  Speak with integrity. You will earn followers and admirers whether you want to or not. 3. Be loyal to those not in the room. If Mike is speaking negatively about Lori, ask him to stop, and suggest he speak with Lori instead of speaking about her. When you gossip you undermine your own credibility because people know you will talk about them when their back is turned. 4. Educate. Hold mini-workshops on the destructive impact of gossip. Remind people how gossip can hurt the work team and the organization. Often, all people need is a gentle reminder. 5. Confront the gossiper. Make it clear that the gossip has to stop. If you are the leader, people are looking to you to handle any disruptive workplace behavior. If you don’t, you risk losing their respect. 6. Implement a policy on gossip or add language to your existing harassment policy.  Of course, policies alone won’t work; they turn to dust and smoke when leaders fail to enforce them. 7. Examine systemic issues. Gossip often proliferates when people have too much time on their hands. If they aren’t staying busy, you may need to find out why. Most gossip is done at an unconscious level, by well-meaning people who believe they are just carrying on a conversation.  However, left unchecked, gossip can lead to low morale, decreased productivity, reduced quality of work, high turnover and unmet customer...

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