We Can Do This!

We can do itHave you ever met someone like Shawn? I met Shawn in leadership development program I was coaching. The group was stuck on a team-building activity that seemed impossible to get done in the time frame that would net them the most points.

Shawn spoke up. “This is doable,” he began.  The team wasn’t convinced so he continued. “Two years ago, I only had an eighth-grade education. I’ve learned that if there is something I want, I put my mind to it and focus on on it, I can reach my goals. We can do this.”

Shawn earned his GED in 2009 and and was promoted to a supervisory level in 2011. He already had goals established for the next level he wants to achieve.

During a break, I talked to him more about his journey to overcome his difficult circumstances. He said, “There’s so much to the story, so many things I’ve overcome that I didn’t share.  I’m not finished yet with what I want to do. Next I want to get my college degree.”

Shawn didn’t start out his career with the credentials, tools and education that most of us have. He does have spirit, heart, courage and focus and a passionate willingness to learn. And he also asks a lot of questions and actively engages with mentors that support him.

Shawn believes that what he wants to achieve is doable. He rallied his teammates and they accomplished their goal because he had a vision it could be done.

The next time you are faced with a challenge that doesn’t seem like it can be solved according to your parameters and what you think is possible, I encourage you to think of Shawn and remind yourself that it is doable.

Then your job is to ask yourself, How is this doable?” – not ‘is this doable?’ Be prepared for creative solutions to emerge and forge ahead knowing that a good solution is possible.

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Succeeding by Changing the Game

Game ChangerWe just saw the movie, “The Imitation Game” that told the true story of Alan Turing, the prodigy mathematician who broke the Nazi Code during World War II. Turing was extraordinarily gifted in his intellect and so devoted to his studies that no focus was given to developing his social and interpersonal skills. As I watched the movie, it was difficult to imagine anyone more shut off from people and more into his work.

He led the team of mathematicians, however, his personal style and focus created a divided team that fought daily. They made no progress toward deciphering 159 million bits of code. The task felt impossible for Turing’s team.

Turing himself had a clear vision of a machine that could decipher the German Enigma code. His problem was that he didn’t share it or accept any support from his team.

Turing’s genius eventually made a profound difference in WWII and the Allied success. How did that happen? He changed the game.

A young woman mathematician on the team was able to influence Turing to start showing a little caring for the team. His first action was to bring each person on the team an apple. It was enough to repair some of the damage created by his isolationist and elitist attitude.

Little by little, his team started getting on board with his vision and his approach. Eventually, while they were having fun on a night out, a solution was found that broke the code.

By using just a little emotional intelligence, Turing was able to change the game and find solutions that, according to historians and post-war analysts ended the war two years sooner and saved approximately 14 million lives.

Pretty impressive don’t you think? What results could you create by improving your interpersonal skills? Where can you influence powerful changes through the power of your relationships? What vision do you have that could become a reality by tapping into the power of your team and your networks?

If you would like to affect change, be more influential and maybe become a game-changer, sign up for my free series, “Lead Like Dorothy, Power and Influence along the Yellow Brick Road” which contains tips to increase your influence and ability to build strong personal relationships.

Kathy Garland helps mid-level leaders drive results and get to the next level through increased influence, strong relationships and effective communication within teams and across the organization. She is certified to deliver emotional intelligence and 360 management skills assessments.
(c) 2015 Kathy Garland
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Inside Out Thinking on Reaching Your Goals

Reaching Your Goals“…better to be approximately right than exactly wrong.” – Edward Tufte, Yale professor and master of information design

When I heard that quote last week, all sorts of excuses for my biggest project just vanished. I have allowed my fears on this goal to slow me down. Approximately right – what a great concept!

So today I want to talk to you about reaching goals. In order to fuel our soul’s growth and work through our life’s lessons, it is essential to set goals and have something to work toward, whether it be professional or personal. The human mind and heart is wired to move forward and setting goals is a way forward.

Yet some of us (including me at times) are fearful of setting big goals out of a self-limiting belief that we will fail or one of my fears – not meeting mine or others expectations. Or also the concern that my reputation somehow will be diminished.

Most of you know I’ve taught goal-setting for years. I have a specific process for setting goals and making them very clear and tangible. You also know how to set goals.

So what is the big deal? Why isn’t everyone excited about setting goals and moving forward? Mostly because there are some emotions and limiting beliefs involved. Literally we can let our emotions hijack our behaviors and actions.

We all have many life lessons to learn, blocks to clear and more of life to experience. Let’s make it a little easier – sound like a plan?

Next time you are dreaming about a big goal or something you want to do, accomplish or become, notice your emotions. That may be difficult at first. You have to slow down. Emotions are part of the human experience, whether we want to acknowledge that or not.

Ask yourself:

1. What’s at stake for me if I do this/ or become this?

2. How do I feel about that?

3. Does this goal support who I want to be?

4. What is the background or story that has contributed to fearful or blocking emotions that would cause you to hold back?

For me, writing a book is my biggest goal right now. I’m really busy with clients, projects, family and travel so it is easy to put the book on the back burner. I can justify by saying I’m so busy.

However, I have done some work to look at the limiting beliefs and emotions involved in what’s at stake for me if I do write and publish a book. Taking a dive into what limiting beliefs and emotions were keeping me stuck has been extremely helpful in moving me forward.

If you are a woman with big dreams in your heart that you want to make happen, I want to invite you to attend my Heart and Soul Women’s Retreat, January 23-25, 2015. We will focus on overcoming limitations of stress and the emotional roller coaster that keeps us stuck. You will get clear on what you want to accomplish in 2015.

Check out the details here or contact me.

 © Copyright 2014, Kathy Garland

Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding women leaders and their teams to a more collaborative and successful work environment.

Today’s leaders are managing diverse teams and projects that require impeccable communication and decision-making skills. The ability to clearly define the vision, goals and purpose of any business initiative that will motivate a team or individual is the key to achieving big results. 

Kathy specializes in coaching and mentoring these high potential, thought leaders to accurately define and communicate the vision, goals and expected results to management, teams and clients.

 

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Calm the Critic

Most of us have our own inner critic that tells us when we’ve made a mistake. And sometimes our inner critic chatters at us in the background when we are going for a goal, doing something differently than we’ve done before or attempting to perform in a situation where we’ve previously failed.

Common thinking says that if you’ve failed at something, chances are you will fail again and that you shouldn’t attempt it again and you should change course.

We’ve all heard stories of athletes who have been told they are too small, not talented or fast enough to make the team. And yet they kept on and eventually succeeded.  Uncommon thinkers like these are the ones that focus on their goals and dismiss the inner critic as well as the public critics.

I failed the driver’s license test the first time. It’s embarrassing, but I’ve always had test anxiety. Of course I had to take it again if I wanted to drive. Fortunately the second time I passed.

Negative self-talk is not based on your truth. It is based on someone else’s version of the truth and you’ve bought into it as though you have to match what they say and do.

Depending on our upbringing and the people we have in our lives, that inner critic can become very loud, like an obnoxious bird singing in our ear, incessantly.

It is a form of self-torture, really.

What would your life be like without such a loud self-critic in your mind?

What would be possible for you if you didn’t buy into everything that self-critic says you should or shouldn’t do?

It’s time to calm the critic within you. So how do you go about doing that?

The first thing to do is to acknowledge that sometimes you make decisions and base feelings on the inner self-critic’s voice. This causes you emotional stress and anxiety, which leads you to make ineffective choices.

The next thing to do is calm the inner critic by choosing to replace the negative self-talk with a more positive affirmation. Each time that voice starts nagging you, think of a positive affirmation to replace it. Come up with a thought that has only positive language in it.

These two steps will go a long way to calming your inner critic.

© copyright 2014, Kathy Garland

Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential. 

Today’s leaders are managing diverse teams and projects that require impeccable communication and decision making skills. The ability to clearly define the vision, goals and purpose of any business initiative that will motivate a team or individual is the key to achieving big results. 

Kathy specializes in coaching and mentoring these high potential, thought leaders to accurately define and communicate the vision, goals and expected results to management, teams and clients.

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Use This Tip Now to Improve Your Results

This week I was reading an email from a friend who was sharing some goals with me. As I read it to absorb what she was saying, it occurred to me that she could do better.

I don’t mean I disagree with her goals. They were realistic and even optimistic. However, her email set my mind in motion around what I know about goals and going for what I want.

Think of the last time you set a specific goal. Chances are you either finished right on or pretty close. When we set a goal for something specific or ask someone for something we often get what we asked for or sought, that is, if we are committed and take action.

What if you could have even better results than what you declared in your goals?  

Next time you set goals add a few words at the end:

“…or something better.”

Adding this to your goals, dreams and plans expands your consciousness around your goal. It increases your awareness of what else is possible.

Let’s look at some examples –

1. Typical goal: 2 new consulting clients per month

Revised goal: 2 new consulting clients per month or even better. What if by only declaring two you leave yourself out of the picture for a new type of business or client?

2. Typical goal: I have <x> people on my mailing list by June 30.

Revised goal: I have <x> people or more on my mailing list by June 30.

Do you see how the energy of your goal feels more expanded? Improve your results with this simple tip.

I’d love to know how this works for you.

© copyright 2014, Kathy Garland

Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential. 

Today’s leaders are managing diverse teams and projects that require impeccable communication and decision making skills. The ability to clearly define the vision, goals and purpose of any business initiative that will motivate a team or individual is the key to achieving big results. 

Kathy specializes in coaching and mentoring these high potential, thought leaders to accurately define and communicate the vision, goals and expected results to management, teams and clients.

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#2 Struggling with the Pressure of Commitments

Some days my head hurts with the pressure of commitments I’ve made. Weekly I learn of great opportunities to expand my business, improve my life and make more money. I am getting better at ignoring all the wonderful opportunities except from a few people that I really trust. And then, I need to be very focused on what is best for my business and me. I don’t always do a good job of it and end up being overcommitted and not having enough downtime.

So what happens is I take care of the commitments I make to other people (I do want to get paid and keep my  relationships) and not those I make to myself. Therefore my book is not written and my 7-day online course is only  in concept stage.

I’m putting it out there before all my readers and God that I am going to narrow my focus and re-commit to writing  the book I want to publish.

You may need to do narrow your focus too. A few weeks ago a close friend of ours died and this experience is a reminder to focus on what is most important to me and create the work and the change I am here to make happen.

Did you create a list of your commitments? If not, there are tips in this post.

Once you have your list, review it carefully and make these choices:

1. Put a heart next to the commitments that matter most to you.

2. Put a star next to the ones you have promised and matter to you.

3. Cross off the list those that aren’t viable based on what you chose in #1 and #2. Let go of the projects and ideas that you feel you ‘should’ do that don’t support your brand or your personal goals. Unless you are getting paid for the project or it’s part of your job, you can move these off your hot list and free up time and emotional space.

Re-evaluate your commitments to lower your stress and maximize your opportunities.

Re-evaluate your commitments to lower your stress and maximize your opportunities.

For a complimentary consultation on managing your commitments, contact me and I will connect with you to schedule a phone appointment.

Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential.

© 2014 Kathy Garland

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Struggling with the pressure of commitments?

Do you feel like you have more commitments than you can handle? It seems to be a condition of our lives right now. The last six weeks have been a period of transition for my family and some close friends so I’ve temporarily moved some projects to the back burner. So now I’m putting pressure on myself to get the things done I put aside during the last six weeks.

Hourglass photoI wouldn’t trade the time I spent with family and friends for anything, yet at times like these I see the sands of time slipping through the hourglass and feel out of control. It’s a struggle when I make commitments and life events pose a challenge to keep moving forward. To prioritize my time, I focus on the commitments I make to others and put commitments to myself aside. That’s a topic for another time.

If you are experiencing pressure and stress around the commitments you’ve made, you can do something about it. To reduce the pressure you feel around your commitments, it’s important to get a clearer picture of what obligations you personally accept. Synonyms to the verb commit (www.dictionary.com) include accomplish, achieve, act, carry out, complete.

That’s where the struggle is. When I make a commitment, I have full intention to complete it. Because I can’t predict the future, I experience stress over my inability to complete all of the commitments I’ve made when something unexpected happens, which of course it always does.

So I’ve taken a look at things I have done to help and things I want to do to get better at to manage the pressure of commitments. Here is a good place to start if you want to get better at managing your commitments. Identify your:

1. Regular commitments – examples: work, clients, exercise, and family commitments

2. Short-term commitments – examples: participating in mentoring certification, planning a family vacation, contributing to a joint venture project

3. Long-term commitments – examples: raising your children, your business/career goals, and your fitness goals, writing and publishing your book

In following posts, I will take a deeper look at the challenges of keeping commitments and more tips on what to do differently.

For a complimentary consultation on managing your commitments, contact me and I will connect with you to schedule a phone appointment.

Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential.

© 2014 Kathy Garland

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Intention directs your attention

Recently while coaching a group of managers and executives, I asked them what they wanted to make sure they left with at the end of the day.

One woman said she wanted to discover two ideas or insights that she could use in managing her team and being a more effective leader. At the end of the day, she had discovered at least three key insights she could apply immediately and said that probably more would surface as she returned to work.

Her intention to discover key insights to help her be a more effective leader directed her attention during the day. She didn’t consciously evaluate every activity or conversation to look for insights. They emerged throughout the day during our table discussions and over lunch with her colleagues. And to make sure she understood the value of intention, I asked her in the afternoon debrief and wrap-up what she learned to direct her attention back to her intention.

Setting an intention is a great way to start each day. Recently I was on a business trip to Boston with a friend and we decided to stay in Boston over the weekend. As we set out on Saturday morning, we stated our intention of the experience we wanted to have that day. We wanted to have an easy, fun day, meet interesting people and be joyful everywhere we went. We did have a great day and accomplished what we set out to do plus discovered more along the way.

You can use intention in any area of your life. The most important thing is to make it simple. Create one intention and then let the day emerge.

You can set an intention for what you want to learn from a book or a conversation.

You can set an intention of the experience you want to create for a client meeting.

You can set an intention for how you want to be in your relationships.

Intention indicates present and future focus. Intention directions your attention.

Here are some examples:

Today, my intention is to stay present and focused in all my conversations.

Today, my intention is for my meetings to be efficient and create the best solution for everyone involved.

Today I want to create clarity so I can move forward on <you name the project here.>

Today, I bring energy and enthusiasm to everyone I meet.

When you make statements of intent like this, your conscious and subconscious mind will direct your attention and your focus. To get the full benefit of this exercise, give yourself a few minutes at the end of the day to reflect on your intentions and what you noticed.

For a complimentary consultation on the power of setting intentions, contact me and I will connect with you to schedule a phone appointment.

Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential.

© 2014 Kathy Garland

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Fear is the seed of something great

I am a big fan of “The Wizard of Oz” and still hold onto my VHS copy of The Wizard of Oz. It is such a delightful story. Although when I was a kid, I remember being terrified of those parts of the movie that are supposed to scare you, especially when the Wicked Witch of the West and those awful monkeys show up.

A vivid memory of the movie is the point where Dorothy, Tin Man, the Lion and the Scarecrow are admitted to see the Wizard for the first time.

Kathy GarlandThey have been happily traveling on the path of the Yellow Brick Road and easily reach the Emerald City where they think they have it made. However, theWizard is more than they bargained for. The Wizard, as you remember, is very intimidating as he shows up as a larger-than-life shouting apparition spitting fire and smoke.

Dorothy and her friends must confront their fears and step up to the Wizard to ask for what they want. Moreover, as if that wasn’t enough, The Wizard demands even more from them – the Wicked Witch of the West’s broom.

Of course, the Great Oz knows that each one will find what they are looking for by doing the thing he asks. Dorothy will find her way home; the Tin Man will find a heart, the Lion his courage, and the Scarecrow his brains.

How often, on our own path, do we let the journey ahead look frightening to us, whether it is changing a job, moving to a new city, making a speech, going back to school, finding a relationship, starting a business or traveling alone? Whatever the fear is, it can certainly hold its grip on us and even though we haven’t met some scary Wizard who can grant us or not grant us our wishes, there might as well be.

I somehow think it would be easier if there were a nasty ol’ Wizard out there. It would give us a reason to stay safe and comfy, wouldn’t it?

However, everything you want is on the other side of fear. Usually your most important breakthroughs are on the other side of your fear.

What could be more frightening than killing the Witch to get her broomstick?

And it is something we need to get through. Like Dorothy and her friends on a mission to get the Wicked Witch of the West’s broom, we all have our own journey to find what we are driven to seek.

Where are you holding back because of fear? What are you not contributing or giving to the world because you are afraid?

A few years ago, I visited the Georgia O’Keefe museum in Santa Fe and on a plaque was the following quote from her:

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” – Georgia O’Keefe

So the only way to get over your fears is to go through with the thing you fear the most.

Think of the art that Georgia O’Keefe has contributed to the world. Had she stayed in her fear, we would not have seen nature and colorful Southwest landscapes through her eyes.

Remember that any thing in your mind that causes you fear is the seed of something great.

Dorothy found her home, the Lion found his courage, the Tin Man found his heart and the Scarecrow found his brains all after they confronted their fears.

What will you discover about yourself when you step into and through your fears?

For a complimentary consultation on overcoming fears, contact me and I will connect with you to schedule a phone appointment.

Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential.

© 2014 Kathy Garland

 

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Your Personal Power – tips for solving problems

Have you ever been stuck on how to solve a problem? Recently I’ve been stuck on which topic to use for an ebook. I’ve got lots of titles in my mind and several actually started. Coming up with ideas is not my problem. If there were an idea store, mine would be full of inventory. I can picture all those ideas waiting on shelves to be manifested.

During my agency career, I had a wonderful opportunity to work with 3M. I learned that 3M scientists are able to spend a certain percentage of their time on research and development that is not associated with a product planned for production. So they get paid to spend time dreaming up ideas and tinkering with cool stuff.  My kind of day!

What I further learned was that there are lots of potential products on the shelves of 3M. Even though there are many great ideas, it takes a carefully planned and concerted effort to get an idea into production. The scientist must be able to come up with a practical application for the idea and sell it to the leaders who make the decisions on products that go to market. Until then it is an idea on a shelf with no possibility of creating revenue. That is often the problem – how to take a great idea and turn it into something that is practical, creates value and generates revenue.

Do you have lots of ideas in your inventory and don’t know what to do with them? Here are a couple of steps I use when I need to solve a problem:

1. Sit still. I’ve had to learn this. As a person who likes to be busy and get things done, sitting still is not always easy. It is contrary to getting those ideas manifested. Yet when I do sit still with pen and paper in hand, answers start flowing into my mind. The key is to be willing to show up for the answers without knowing ahead of time what the answer will be.

2. Create space or time free of distractions. When I get up around 5 or 5:30 a.m. I can access answers that I can’t reach during the hectic day. One of my favorite places is in a comfortable chair by a window and looking out into our backyard. When I don’t get up as early, I often head out with my iPod and sit in a public place, tune out and think and write to come up with solutions.

2. Go for a walk. This is the opposite of sitting still of course. However, you will want to try different approaches to discover what works for you. Walking outside in fresh air is the best. Bonus points for you if you can get to a park or nature trail.

For a complimentary consultation on problem-solving, contact me and I will connect with you to schedule a phone appointment.

Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential.

© 2014 Kathy Garland

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