C-Suite Network™

Growth Management Personal Development

Are You Wealthy? Three Ways To Get Closer to How You Define Wealth

In this new state of 2020 living, it is often easy to ignore the pile of bills, avoid calling that creditor, and even fear to reach out for a new source of financial flow. In a recent conversation with my financial team, one advisor commented, “Holly now is the time to get closer to your money, not farther away from it.”  I was so deeply moved by his words of encouragement I wanted to share them with you.

“Now is the time to get closer to your money.”

As the founder of the C-Suite Mindful Leadership Council people often come to me believing that as a council we do not talk about money. That would be taboo.  Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, with non-judgment. This includes money. Money is a part of our lives in every moment. Moment to moment we are circulating money by making it or spending it.

If we are learning nothing from the news, social media, riots, protests, and conversations. We as a human society need to talk more about, well, almost everything.  It’s time we navigate a new relationship with our money, budgets, spending, and resource allocation at work and home. Let’s get closer to our thinking, believing, and acting with money in business and home.

Three ways to overcome the taboo around money:

  • What you think about you bring about with your money. As you approach money be it a card or cash think positive and good thoughts about it.
  • Believe again. This pandemic has challenged so many people financially.  This is the one time in history the entirety of the global human family is facing financial decline.  Let the possibility concept of money bring you back to life. With each new dollar circulating in and out of your bank account think about the power of your breath and how it circulates in and out without you having to think about it. As you get the awareness of your money circulation going again you can set it on a path to easeful flow.
  • When you get stagnant with money you become stagnant in all areas of your life. Find small ways to circulate money. Even if it’s something like buying a drink from the kids at the lemonade stand or donating your change at the check-out. Make every interaction you have with money a positive one.  Then stand back and watch more money flow through your life.

What we think about money, believe and how we act with money we bring about.  I believe you already are wealthy, and from that place of consciousness draw more wealth to you and your business.  In a recent episode of the Everyday Mindfulness Show, we talked with Simone Milasas about living the life you are not supposed to have. If you come from the belief system of thinking where you are not supposed to have the money you may be creating that as your life experience.  Check out her show linked here with 5 questions to navigate what you think you should have as wealth in your life.

Often in society, we weave the words wealth and money together.  At this time of renewal, I invite you to dive a little deeper into your connection with the word’s “wealth” and “money”.  What is wealth to you? What is money to you? Maybe by separating the two concepts, you find new ways personally and professionally to be wealthy.  To be wealthy is to be plentiful.  In this time of re-set, we must not lose faith in our own ability to be wealthy.  See plenty in your bank account no matter the balance.  See wealth as you define it. Feel wealth. Sense wealth in every aspect of your life. Know wealth as the truth of your business.

For more information to apply for membership in the C-Suite Network Mindful Leadership Council visit.  https://c-suitenetwork.com/councils/mindful-leadership-council/

Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP, LSP, is the founder of the C-Suite Mindful Leadership Council, a nationally recognized speaker, author, and coach for mindful leadership.  Her company Leadership Solutions International works with stressed-out leaders to create profits, peace, and presence.  Look for her podcast www.EverydayMindfulnessShow.com on C-Suite Radio and library of award-winning mindful leadership and sales books at the C-Suite Book Club.

Mindful people: delivering powerful business results.

Personal Development Sales

1 of 7: What’s your Sales Intention?

There are good days in sales and there are challenging days. It’s an everyday journey. The stress of living and selling yourself as a sales professional today requires us to have focus and stress reduction techniques that may be used throughout the day during every buying and selling encounter.  We all must look at our business mindset and the sales process in a different way.

When you integrate mindfulness and sales you become more effective and profitable.  Mindfulness is being present in the moment, without judgment.  Use mindfulness to increase sales by:

  • Reducing Stress and Anxiety
  • Creating Focus
  • Reducing Overwhelm
  • Increasing Memory
  • Improving Health & Happiness

Set Your Intention: Mindful Sales Practice 1 of 7

A Mindful Sales Professional has many tools available.  When used effectively, these tools create exceptional results.  Start by setting a positive intention to create more good sales days than bad. An intention is one word.  How will you be doing?   It’s a choice you can make to be in the moment and look at business positively, in any economic environment. Reframe the challenging days and know things do not have to be “bad” or “negative.”  Make a commitment to being your most empowered and confident self while selling your unique product or service.  

Here are a few sample intention words that I use:

  • Open
  • Receptive
  • Excited
  • Happy
  • Focused
  • Connecting

As you approach a sales call surround yourself in the energy of how you intend for the interaction to go.  Feel happy, focused, excited.  Notice if the energy is negative. If you sense anxiety or any negative emotion for an upcoming meeting or call with a customer, ask yourself, “why am I anxious or being negative?”  Rest assured – It doesn’t have to be that way.  Make a choice to stay positive throughout the experience.  Your attitude is very powerful – and your intention is just as powerful.  Choose wisely, chose positive, everyone you encounter will be affected.  This includes your customers.


Eric Szymanski is a C-Suite Network Advisor, co-founder of the Mindful Leadership Council and co-author of the award-winning book Sell More, Stress Less: 52 Tips to Become a Mindful Sales Professional.  Learn more about his work at www.MindfulSalesTraining.com. He is an American hospitality industry professional with extensive sales & marketing leadership experience. Eric has demonstrated success in leading high-performing sales teams through planning, implementing, and monitoring actionable sales and marketing plans at hotels and resorts of all sizes, including city-center, convention district, airport, and attractions areas. He has a proven track record of success at all levels through the achievement of both individual and team goals for several 1st tier, globally recognized brands such as Disney, Marriott, Hilton & Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Throughout his career, Eric has created authentic, world-class experiences while volunteering at all levels in several meetings industry associations. In 2018, Eric was recognized with the top individual sales award in the convention sales division at The Walt Disney Company. In 2002, he was recognized as Caterer of the Year by the Orlando, Florida Chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives. He is an avid runner, choral music performer & father of twin daughters who entered college in the fall of 2019.


Growth Human Resources Management Personal Development

EMPATHY BASICS FOR LEADERS: Why It Matters, What It Is, and What to Say

Can you believe it? 92% of employees say they are more likely to stay with an empathetic employer. That’s not ten or twenty percent. It’s not fifty or seventy-five. It’s ninety-two percent! That’s almost everybody.

If so many workers want this quality in their boss, it must be pretty important!

I recently asked an audience, “Why do you think an empathetic leader is so in demand? What do you think people are really wanting in this?”

They responded:

“I want to know that I am cared for.”

“I want to know I can trust them.”

“I like to be heard, considered, and acknowledged. It helps me work better.”

“My last boss was empathetic. She listened to me. She didn’t go ballistic when I made a mistake. She seemed empathic towards my shortcomings. I noticed that boosted my morale, and my performance got so much better! It’s nice to know somebody’s on my team!”

“When my boss helped me understand what was going on behind the company’s mission, I felt inspired to get on-board with it. I enjoy my work more when I feel I’m contributing to the big purpose.”

“I’ve noticed that it really enhances my performance when I have personal interaction with my managers and boss, when they listen to me. I like to be seen and heard.”


It seems like leaders with a high capacity in empathy meet many social needs, such as being heard, understood, acknowledged, cared for and encouraged. When these social needs (like any needs) get met, people get happier. And as we all know- when people are happy, they do their best work.


What Empathy Is

 For many, empathy is an enigma. Certainly, none of us learned about it in school. Some of us may have learned it at home, but it was never really pointed out as a skill that was important or needed. And now, it seems empathy could be an advantageous skill to have– at work or at home. So, let’s take a look at what empathy is, what it’s not, and a few simple things you can do that will have your folks feeling like they’d like to stick around.

A common definition of empathy is, “The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” A famous quote on empathy states: “Empathy is about finding echoes of another in yourself.” My personal definition is: “Empathy is being with someone who is hurting, & letting them know they’re not alone. Then healing can happen.”

Like a child with a scraped knee on mother’s lap, we all feel comforted and more able to rebound when others are there with us when we’ve been knocked down. We all feel better when others are caring towards our pain.

Empathy is a social skill, an EQ parameter. It helps us show up as caring, supportive, giving, understanding and trustworthy. It helps relationships take blossom, grow, last and have meaning.

Think of the last close friend you made, maybe it was romantic. Or think of a time you were holding one of your kids in tears. Recall how you were able to “be” with them when they shared their troubles with you. Remember how effortlessly your heart opened and embraced them, how just being there really made their distress lessen. Empathy is a skill you already have, but maybe now, you recognize the benefits of bringing it to bear in less “personal” situations.


What Empathy is Not

Confusion often arises when thinking about the differences between pity, sympathy, empathy and compassion. While they all live in the same neighborhood, they are quite different.

Pity acknowledges another person’s suffering. It says things like, “I see that you’re upset” or, “Oh, too bad”. And then usually walks away.

Sympathy says they care about your suffering, but they’re not necessarily with you in your suffering. Sympathy can sound something like, “Oh that’s too bad! Hmmmm. Let’s go get an ice cream.” Sympathy tries to make things better. Sympathy also says things like, “Well, at least _____ didn’t happen. For example, “Woa! You had a car crash! Well, at least you didn’t break your neck”.

Empathy recognizes the person is suffering, but can also sense or feel their suffering. It says things like, “Ugh! This sucks!” and then just looks at them and says nothing. Empathy sounds like: “I get that this is really hard for you, and I’m here with you.” Recalling a similar difficulty in your own past, will let them know you get it. You don’t have to know exactly what they’re feeling or have had the exact experience. You can just say, “I’m here with you,” and then be there, be present. Somehow, when the person in pain gets that they’re not alone in their pain, the difficulty diminishes.

Compassion goes a bit further. It says- “I want to relieve your suffering.” Think Mother Theresa. Innumerable non-profits have come out of the compassionate space. Their work is to relieve the suffering of the world. Bless them!

When you are talking with someone having a difficulty, you might take a moment to observe what kind of response you most readily go to? Is it pity, sympathy, compassion or empathy?

If you feel like interrupting them and then darting stage left, it’s not empathy. If you’re trying to take their pain from them or fix it, it’s not empathy. If you’re moved to chime in with some sage advice or offer no-fault solutions- neither is that empathy. Empathy is much more like tuning into to where someone is at in the moment, no matter how difficult for them, and then being there with them without saying anything.


3 Skills to Build Your Empathy Muscle

 So far, we’ve seen that empathy is basically about listening to, understanding, and connecting with others. Let’s take a closer look now at each of these skills- listening, understanding and connecting- and see how they can take you ever closer to being an empathetic champ.


People usually deem themselves as good listeners, since we’ve all been listening since we were born. Yes, we all know how to listen. The question is- to what degree are we listening? How much of what we’re hearing are we actually taking in and retaining? How much information are we actually able to collect and recall?

To listen we only need the capacity to hear. To listen well, we need presence. We need attention, focus and an open mind and heart. We need curiosity.

Reflect for a moment. How do you feel when others listen to you? I mean really listen. Like they put their phone in their pocket, they look at you, they lean in, they are attentive to your words, gestures and emotions, they nod their head and resonate with what you are saying. How does it feel to be seen, heard, and understood? To be cared for?

So, to come across as empathetic, the first thing is to get present. Put your phone away, take a deep breath, and sense your arms and legs. Then, look at the person talking to you.

Pay attention to them. Take note of what they are saying-on all levels- with their words, tone of voice and with their body. Listen without interrupting or speaking. Listen without ruminating about what your response will be. Just listen, paying such close attention that you could repeat what they just said.

An advanced skill in listening well is to succinctly recap what you heard them say. This lets the speaker know they have been heard. Recapping brings the message that they matter and that you care. Recapping creates a deeper connection between people and a sets a foundation for trust.

It can be challenging. Listening to others talk about their difficulties, pain, losses, failures … is hard! It’s not easy to be present when others are struggling. Know that you do them a great service by being present and listening intently as they vent. Acknowledge yourself for your maturity and capacity to serve others in a real way. (This can be at work with co-workers, team members, or at home with your kids, spouse, or parents.) Honor your capacity to set the stage for a real connection to grow and for real healing to take place.

As you practice and build the skill of empathy- of staying present as others complain or unload about their hard-times, notice your level of discomfort with the situation, your impulse to get away, your mind going into judgement. These responses are all completely natural.

If these reactions are going on for you while listening, you can take a few deep breaths, sense your arms and legs. That will help ground you, keep you present. Put on your big boy/girl panties. Be courageous. Know you can do this. Let go of your judgments. Notice that you are okay, safe, that all is well. Practice makes better, so practice.

Mastering the skill of listening can make your presence increasingly more helpful, supportive, even healing. Know that the skill of listening well ultimately yields trust, loyalty and longevity in relationships, and that brings a lot of joy. 9.5



A big part of empathy is attempting to understand the feelings of another. It’s not enough just to be aware of the words another is saying to you. You also need to make sense of their message. Understanding another includes considering how their troubles might be impacting their lives, job, situations, relationships, etc.

Another aspect of understanding is imagining what it might be like to be them. You may not know what it’s like to lose a child. But you may recall what it’s like to lose your favorite pet. You have experienced and therefore understand loss, and you can call on that memory to relay empathy. We may not have had the “same” experience as the person you’re listening to. But you have had similar experiences- because we all know frustration, hurt, pain, loss, failure, not-enough-ness.

This is where vulnerability- that favorite 4 letter word, comes in. If we can courageously call-up a similar hardship from our own past, we can get on the same page with them, we can really understand them. And they can feel it! And that’s when connection happens, (and healing).

A benefit of understanding another is that you can use the information you get to interact with this person more effectively in the future. Let’s say you find out that they have a deep fear of making mistakes. Empathy expresses itself then as treading gently when you give that person an evaluation or feedback in the future.

An advanced skill in understanding is helping your friend, co-worker or family member get an insight about their situation. You can get this insight by asking yourself a few simple questions- What are they wanting? Needing? Asking for?

For example, your co-worker is complaining that she feels like her life is going nowhere, like she’s running furiously on a hamster wheel. You ask yourself, what is she really needing right now? You get the sense that what she’s really wanting is recognition for her work. As you gently share this, the lights go on inside of her. She now has something concrete to work with, a challenge to overcome, a need to meet– instead of just a big heap of frustration.

When you can provide insights into what your troubled employee, co-worker, friend or child is wanting or needing, the doors to connection, trust, loyalty and cooperation swing wide open.

For greater understanding, be curious. Let your mind be open and inquisitive. Ask them questions. Inquire. Draw out more details about their experience. This helps build bridges between people. And may give you insights on how to make things better for them, for their team, for everyone.



Besides the things already mentioned, the best way to connect with others is quite simple. It’s to engage the part of our human capacity built for connection- your heart. Moving your awareness from your head to your heart creates the foundation for being able to connect with anybody, anywhere, anytime.

I found it interesting to learn that the function of the brain is quite different than the function of the heart. Even as they are both ‘wisdom centers’, the kind of wisdom they give us is quite distinct.

The brain, particularly the left side of the brain perceives differences. Its function is to discern, compare, analyze, and dissect. It separates.

The heart, and particularly the right side of the brain, perceives oneness, sameness, unity. Its job is to bridge differences, find commonalties, and to merge.

So, the heart see sameness. The brain sees differences. When your awareness move from your head to your heart, you open the door to experiencing sameness with another person, in other words, you open the door to connection.

When you’re present in your heart talking to someone going through a hard time, you reflect on things like, “Oh. This person is a human being—like me. I’ve had these kinds of experiences. They have ups and downs—I have ups and downs. They have feelings- just like I do. Oh, I’ve felt that before. I know what that’s like.” And maybe you don’t say any of that out loud, but the sensibility of sameness creates a bridge between you and them. It creates the sense that they are not alone.

So, when you’re with somebody and your noticing that they are experiencing some sort of upset, frustration, loss, sadness, take a deep breath, and as you exhale, let your attention move down to your chest. Notice your chest rising and falling as you breathe. Let your heart open. Notice how it changes your experience of being able to feel into what they might be experiencing, into walking in their shoes.

You might imagine what it’s like to be them. You can ask yourself, “What might it be like to have that experience? What would it be like to have that illness, that challenge, that difficult child? What could that possibly be like?” When your heart is open it’s easy to get on the same page with someone else, even if their world is totally foreign to you. With an open heart, you can connect with where they’re at in the moment. That’s the whole point of empathy.

Empathy is a skill you can learn and build by listening intently, understanding and connecting with others. It requires courage, vulnerability and practice. Empathy supports others getting through difficult times, and creates the foundation for healthy, meaningful and lasting relationships.

Be the leader people want to stick with. Remember? Almost everybody  wants a boss who is capable of empathy. When a leader can express empathy effectively, they meet many social needs of their people, they build trust, loyalty, and alignment with the company’s mission. They create a culture that fosters team work, collaboration, cooperation and inclusion.

Under these circumstances, employees at all levels flourish. When people are at their best, they give their best, and then the whole company can blossom and fulfill its potential. Build your empathy muscle and watch your organization soar!