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Best Practices Growth Health and Wellness Human Resources Management

What If Your Dream Came to Life?

What if you could breathe life into one of your dreams?

What follows is step by step guide to help if you’re really interested in achieving your wish this year, set aside a block of time for the next few days, get yourself a notebook or open a file on your computer and give yourself the luxury of reflecting and seriously considering what dreams may come. 

How to Fulfill Your Dreams

1. Select a Dream:

Think about the different dreams you have.  In your imagination, step into each one of them, one at a time and experience what life would be like when you realize that dream. What do you see? Hear? Feel?

  • What changes?What’s good about it?
  • What’s not as good as you hoped?
  • How might you change it for the better?
  • After you explore the impact of having those dreams, pick one that you’d most like to bring to life.

2. Analyze what you need to do to make that dream come true:

  • What skills and strengths are required for your goal?
  • Which do you currently have?
  • Which do you need to acquire?  How can you acquire them?

3. What hurtles might present themselves:

  • What might get in the way?
  • How can you problem solve those potential obstacles?

4. Find a champion:

Find folks who can listen and respond, who can provide an outside perspective as well as cheerlead you.  These may be people you know or you might join a local or online meet-up of people with similar goals. Or start your own meet-up. Set up meetings with them to discuss your dreams and bring them to life.

5. Create a Plan:

Just like making a business plan, create a reasonable,  step-by-step personal plan with tasks, actions and deadlines along the way.

6. State your intentions publicly.

By sharing your dream out loud with others, you magnify your cheering squad many times.  It’s like telling people you’ll stop smoking.  The success rate rises dramatically because there are many others beside yourself that you want to avoid letting down.

Similarly, if your goal implies a new capability or accomplishment, start referring to yourself as such.  I’m Jane the artist; Jim the author; Jen the marathon runner; Dan the pianist.

7. Find a partner to hold you accountable:

Meet with him/her in person, by phone, online at least weekly to review the actions you’ve taken and refine your plan on a regular basis.

To learn more about creating and achieving your personal and career goals click here.

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Best Practices Human Resources Management Marketing Personal Development Women In Business

Why Every Business Needs a Personal Brand

Over the past several years, personal branding has become a hot topic across the business world.  That’s because it’s tough out there with the competition increasing daily.  Not just for businesses but for individuals as well.  Just consider the statistics.

In the United States there are currently: 1.3 million lawyers.  1.24 million accountants.  659,200 management consultants.  There are nearly 28 million small businesses in this country, more than 800,000 of them in New Jersey.  Yet the competition is so fierce that 50 percent of these firms including 80 percent of all restaurants fail before their fifth anniversary.  In 2018, more than 3800 major retail stores closed their doors.

What can you do to ensure that you don’t become one of these statistics?  The first step is to recognize that the way to successfully market and promote your business has changed dramatically over the past decade.

Today, the number one way that people find new companies, products and services is by accessing your website through the Internet, primarily by using Google Search.  The majority of those searches are done via smartphones.  When someone arrives at your website, you have approximately ten seconds to capture and hold their attention.  If you don’t, they’re off to one of your competitors.

The initial challenge is to get people to your website.  One way is by utilizing online advertising.  The problem is that online advertising is expensive with costs rising 5x faster than inflation.  The average small business effectively using Google advertising can today spend as much as $10,000 per month on their online advertising campaigns. That’s $120,000 per year.  Another problem is that consumers just don’t trust advertising. In a recent survey, less than 1% of Americans said that advertising had Influenced them.

That’s the bad news.  Now here’s the good news.  Unlike online advertising, social media is not only inexpensive but highly effective.  It’s also highly personal with almost half of all Americans reporting that they have had meaningful interactions with companies via social media.  Most importantly, social media gets people to your website — not by tricking them into clicking on a link or an ad, but by building a personal brand that generates trust and credibility for your business.

What is a personal brand?    According to Amazon CEO, a personal brand is what people think and say about you when you’re not in the room.   It’s what differentiates you and sets you apart from the competition.  It’s not simply a logo or a website — although both of these are important.  Instead it’s what you say and do that resonates with your target audience.  It’s the articles, the videos, and the photos that you post.  The advice you give and the ideas you support.  It’s what makes you special and unique.

So the next time you need to set your business apart from the competition, consider personal branding and social media.  Together, they’re a powerful combination that will help you not only survive but prosper and grow.

Categories
Best Practices Growth Human Resources Management Personal Development

How to Clarify You and Your Clients’ Goals

Coaching helps people with their goals.  But as simple as that may seem, it’s not always clear what their goals are or how that goal might improve their lives.

When a new coaching client comes in for a consultation they usually have a stated goal in mind.

It’s important to help them assess the viability of the goal based on their strengths and skills as well as understand what that goal will give them.  In a sense, what’s the goal behind the goal?  Why is getting to this goal important?  What will it bring you in a positive way?  How might your life change because of it?  Have you considered all the pros and cons?

There’s an illuminating model that has been used in the Navy’s Human Resource

We can ask the following . . .

1. What are you trying to achieve? Or, what do you want that you don’t have?

2. What are you trying to preserve? Or, what do you want to maintain that you already have?

3. What are you trying to avoid? What don’t you have that you don’t want?

4. What are you trying to eliminate? What do you have now that you don’t want?

This is a powerful assessment to help your client think through their potential goals. Just ask them to fill in these questions and use it as fodder for your coaching session on the goal. Suppose your client is interested in becoming a Professional Coach.  Here’s how the conversation might go . . .

Sharon: You said your goal is to become a professional coach.

Joe: Yes

Sharon: What might that give you that you don’t have now?

Joe: I’d feel like I was contributing to society while also making a living.

Sharon: How is that giving you something more than now?

Joe:  I get to work with people but I don’t really have an opportunity to help them move forward in their lives?

Sharon: Why might that be important?

Joe: I make great money at my job, but sometimes I feel bad that I have all these relationship building skills that are wasted.

Sharon: And . . .

Joe:     I’m at a point in my life where I feel grateful for what I’ve achieved and want to give back.  So it’s a win win.

Sharon: Great.  And what do you want to maintain that you already have?

Joe: Well  . . . my standard of living!  [He laughs]

Sharon: Uh huh

Joe: And the recognition and respect I currently enjoy in my career

Sharon: Great.  And now, what is important to avoid in this career move.  That’s to say what don’t you have that you don’t want?

Joe: I don’t have money worries and I really don’t want them!

Sharon: And what do you have now, that you’d prefer to get rid of

Joe: Well, I don’t punch a clock but it feels like I do because of having to be at my office regardless of my work load or my preferred times when I’m more productive and less so?

Sharon: Tell me more

Joe: I have to drive in rush hour twice a day, which is tiring and frustrating on a daily basis, while I’d prefer to have a lot more flexibility with my hours.  I have great energy early in the morning when I can get a lot done, but then I’m dragging my mental feet in the afternoon when I’d love to be exercising or taking a long hike and then returning to work.  I COULD do that as a Professional Coach

So let’s take a summary look at what we learned about Joe’s goal with our 4 element model 

Goal – I want to become a Professional Coach

Don’t Have                           Currently Have

WANT                      ACHIEVE – Satisfaction of helping others     PRESERVE – $$$$

DON’T WANT    AVOID – Money Worries.     ELIMINATE – Rigid Schedule

You can conduct this type of analysis with any goal. Why might you want to become a Professional Coach?

What might it help you achieve, as well as how does that goal stack up on the other factors? Good food for thought, right?

NEXT TIP heading your way tomorrow

Thinking about getting certified as a Professional Coach? Want to talk about it? Or any questions you have about professional coaching? Let’s talk and see whether or not it makes sense for you to become a certified professional coach.

Learn more about our upcoming Fast Track programs in NYC and Dallas in March

Warmest regards,

Sharon 🙂

Dr. Sharon Livingston

www.DrSharonLivingston.com

603 505 5000 cell

DrSharonLivingston@Gmail.com

 

Categories
Best Practices Growth Human Resources Management Personal Development Women In Business

How to Listen to Engage in a Win-Win Business Relationship

Listen, listen, listen and then reflect

One of the best secrets of great coaching [and all good relationships for that matter] is the ability to listen attentively. You demonstrate to your client that you are engaged and responsive while avoiding expressing your opinion or giving advice or instructing.

We call this Active Listening.  (Some call it Reflective Listening…)

I personally prefer Active Listening because it suggests involvement and engagement with your client. You’re not just a sounding board who repeats the others words [Reflective Listening] but you’re fully present, responding authentically to what you hear and see and sense.

Active Listening creates a safe environment that allows the client to go deeper, and often come to new realizations. It’s the basis for connection, trust and respect.

Further, when you as coach Actively Listen your clients get to hear their words and tone as you mirror them.  It’s almost like being an outside observer. This perspective helps them to have compassion for themselves and often helps them begin their own problem solving of challenges and paths to their desired goals.

There’s also a major benefit to the coach, particularly for those who are starting out.

Many new coaches and managers feel compelled to provide an answer or give direction.  They think they have to do the heavy lifting telling the client what to do next, or sharing how they did it themselves, or coming up with a brilliant solution for a tough problem.

Listening in an engaged manner keeps the focus outside onto the client.  There’s no need to provide a solution.  All you have to do is be there in real time and play back what you experienced to spark their creative thinking.

Here’s an example.

Lisa rushes into her friend Jodie’s office, closes the door and begins:

Lisa: I’m sorry to dump this on you, but I had a fight with my sister and we haven’t spoken since. I’m upset and don’t know who to talk to.

Jodie: I’m right here.  Go ahead.

Lisa: Well, we were arguing about what to do for our parents’ anniversary. I’m still so angry.

Jodie: You SOUND angry.  Tell me more.

Lisa: Yes, she just makes me so angry. She assumed I would help her plan this elaborate party—I don’t have time! It’s like she couldn’t see things from my perspective at all.

Jodie: She really upset you by not taking you into account?

Lisa: Frustrated. Angry. Maybe a bit guilty that she had all these plans and I was the one holding them back. Finally, I told her to do it without me. But that’s not right either.

Jodie: Sounds really upsetting.  And as if her plans are your problem.

Lisa:  Right?  Now I’m the bad one and I hate that.

Jodie:  It feels bad being the bad one.  So sorry.

Lisa: Yes, Exactly. So frustrating and I do want to be part of it but I’m so overwhelmed with things right now.

Jodie: It sounds overwhelming!

Lisa:  Thanks for listening, I just needed to vent. I’m already beginning to think of how I can talk to her.

Jodie:  That’s great. If you want to tell me more about it . . .

Lisa:   [Sigh] I think I’ve got this.  I do love her and my folks.  Just hate feeling like I’m being pushed around and invisible in what I need.

Jodie: [Smiles] I see you.  I think you’ve got this too.

Lisa:  Yeah, I’m going to call her and see how we can work it out.

Jodie:  Sounds like a plan.  Keep me posted?

Lisa:   Sure.  Thanks so much for listening!

Can you see how this engaged listening environment gave Lisa just the help she needed to express her feelings and thoughts, relax and be accepting of herself so she could rethink what happened and solve her own problem?  That’s a major benefit of the Active Listening technique.

Thinking about getting certified as a Professional Coach? Want to talk about it? Or any questions you have about professional coaching? Let’s talk and see whether or not it makes sense for you to become a certified professional coach.

To Learn About Our Upcoming Fast Track Certification Workshop This March in New York City

The cost of $75 for the 30 minute consultation can be applied to the TLC Professional Coach Training program if you decide to join.

Tip 3 will be along tomorrow.

Warmest regards,

Sharon 🙂

Dr. Sharon Livingston

www.DrSharonLivingston.com

603 505 5000 cell

DrSharonLivingston@Gmail.com

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