Why I Love to Travel

Kathy and Tour Guide at Coliseum 2015I love to travel. My travel adventures make me happy, feed my desire to learn and explore and give me a sense of freedom that is not tied to my everyday responsibilities.

Travel is as necessary for me as water and air. Without it I start to feel like I’m missing out and not experiencing life to the fullest.

The photo above is of me listening to our tour guide at the Coliseum on a recent trip to Italy, Greece and Turkey. It was one of my favorite trips because of the rich history and the magnificent art.

What travel does is light up my spirit – that part of me that is creative, energetic and so alive.

Other things that evoke the same feeling are having a great response from clients when they’ve made positive changes that affect their livelihood – I really feel like I’m making a difference.

Of course, being with family brings that connection to who I really am and where I can make a difference.

What fuels your spirit and your true essence?

Is it creativity?

Is it making things happen?

Is it connectivity with people?

What I’ve noticed is that so many of us have forgotten who we really are and do things we think we should do, or that other people think we should do. We have obligations to our jobs, our families, and our outside activities. There’s nothing wrong with this unless it doesn’t make you feel more alive.

So just for today, do something that makes you feel like more of you. One thing I did recently was to create a short video for my grandson and email it. It only took a few minutes and it was fun.

Make time for fun, for music, for a short walk, call a friend, spend a few minutes planning your next trip, or visit an art gallery. Just take one small step toward being more of who you love to be. If you make this a practice, you’ll be surprised at how much more you are available to your life purpose and to the people in your life.

What are your passions? Share them in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

 

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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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Communicating Your Value to Employers and Clients

One of my clients started new job in December. An important focus for her is to build relationships with her co-workers to maximize her influence and her ability to create change.

Her boss gave her a specific project in her first week on the job which will give her a good overview of the team and what needs to be done. While she is happy to be there, she wants to expand her contributions and value to the team. Her strength is seeing patterns and conclusions that other people don’t see. In particular, she draws conclusions from her analyses that provide insight which, when implemented, improve customer satisfaction.

So we developed an introduction she can use when meeting people. Most people are tempted to introduce themselves with what they do, not the value they provide. Just stating one’s role or job title is much easier of course. Here are some examples of generic introductions:

I’m in IT. I’m in sales.

I lead the sales team.

I head up the team that is migrating our systems to our new platform.

I’d like to encourage you to be specific about the value you bring to the organization and then include your title or role. For example:

“I analyze crazy amounts of data to identify patterns and trends that help us increase usage of mission critical data which supports our growth. I’m on the information architecture team.” ValueSeeing what others can’t see.

“I make sure people can have their data when and how they want it so it supports our business growth. I lead the analytics team.” ValueCustomer-focused approach so people can do what they do best

“I look for strategic opportunities for our company to grow and deliver our best solutions as well as those that encourage us to stretch our capabilities. I head up the national sales team.” ValueFind the right customers so we can do our best and win contracts that help us grow as a company.

“I build relationships with our suppliers who work with us to keep our plants stocked with the right materials and components so we have no down time. I am a senior buyer.” ValueNo down time. Understanding value of relationships to accomplish goals.

Why is it important to focus on your value to the organization? So you can build equity in your position. You become more distinct and less of one of the crowd. It also demonstrates influence, emotional intelligence and strategic thinking to be able to communicate in this way.

When you can clearly communicate your value in a way that benefits your company, that’s when you get noticed and attract more opportunities for the type of projects you really love.

For a complimentary consultation on crafting a statement you can use to communicate the value you bring to the organization, contact me.

(c) 2015 Kathy Garland.

Kathy Garland helps women leaders drive results through increased influence, strong relationships and effective communication within teams and across the organization. She is certified in the MHS EQ-i 2.0 and EQ360 assessments as well as the Ambio360 Management Skills Assessment.

 

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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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Managing stress

Female hands balancing life and stress 3D words conceptual imageLike many of us, I am grieving the loss of Robin Williams. Really shocking and I’m sitting here at my computer wondering if anything could have helped. Depression can make life seem unbearable. I’ve read so many poignant posts on Facebook and on the web about Robin and also many have shared their own battles with depression. We can’t know the depth of despair that caused him to take his life. We can, though focus on our own mental health and look out for those around us.

In reading about him, I am awed at how much he gave to the world, even though he was fighting this illness for so much of his life. The comedy and the drama he shared with us through TV, film and live performances lifted him, in my mind, to one of the most talented people on earth.

Shakes me up from my nice, comfortable life and makes me ask myself, “Kathy what are you giving? What can you offer? Where can you step up to bring more light to the world?”

One of the things I have lately become passionate about is helping people understand and do something about their stress – both understanding what is causing stress and also offering some strategies to help alleviate stress.

I know that when I don’t manage my stress it is much easier to go down that slippery slope toward depression and the unbearable feeling that who I am and what I do doesn’t matter.

For that reason, I am offering a complimentary call this Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 7 p.m. Central. I will be sharing with you some of my top tips to keep the effects of stress at a minimum so you can live fully and be more present to the guidance of your heart and soul, ultimately, your Divine guidance.

Will you join me on Thursday? Register now and mark it on your calendar. Even if you feel you are managing your stress effectively, consider joining us so you can learn some tips to share with the people in your life who may not be adapting to stress easily.

I also want to encourage you, if your stress is overwhelming, to please get some help from a professional counselor or someone you trust. Company Employee Assistance Programs can direct you to caring, kind professionals.

Remember to Register Now for the call this Thursday, August 14 at 7 p.m. Central, 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific.

© 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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Reframing Your Problems

Every so often, I get stuck. And I mean stuck. Like I don’t want to move forward. Generally something has happened that triggers some emotions in me.

This is a basic human response that happens to everyone.

I hear from a lot of clients that time management is an issue:

“I don’t have enough time…”

“I don’t take time for myself”

“I don’t have time to exercise”

Time is relative. Last week two of my clients realized that they wanted to take some time for themselves during the week, yet felt it would be unproductive.

Reframing is looking at a situation from a different point of view. Very often with this process, people find a different way to look at their circumstances.

Once they were clear on why it was important to set aside time for themselves, both clients found time in their schedules – not because they changed what was there, they simply changed what they were looking for.

Once they found value in taking time for themselves, the time showed up on their calendars. The time was always there, they simply reframed their thinking around taking time for themselves and then they were able to see what they couldn’t see before.

Any time you want something and you feel the struggle of not being able to have it, try reframing your mindset – what is it you really want and how could you look at your situation differently?

And if you are stuck, please call me. I have learned a lot of tools over the years to get unstuck and I help clients every day move through challenges. Contact me and we’ll set up a time to talk on the phone.

 

© 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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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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Five Ways to Speak Like a CEO

Billionaire Investor Warren Buffett captures the attention of his audiences, whether at an annual meeting, in a public speech or interview or through writing, with his personable and straightforward approach.

In studying his writing and watching videos of him speak, I’ve noticed a couple of communication traits that I feel are essential for a CEO or whatever level you are as a leader.

1. Be humble. Buffett speaks of his love for learning investing and says he was lucky to find what he wanted to do early in life.

2. Be genuine. He openly shares his success principles. He is straightforward in his answers to his shareholders at the annual meeting.

3. Be grateful. Buffett publicly acknowledges his mentors as well as his team who helps him generate the remarkable financial results of Berkshire Hathaway.

4. Be focused. He knows what he wants and has principles and rules he follows with absolute discipline. He communicates these to his team, his shareholders and in public speeches and interviews.

5. Be honest about your mistakes. He openly will share – and often have good humor – about investing mistakes. He talks about the reasons why and what he learned.

I got curious about his style when I received the 2013 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report this year. Usually I am bored reading annual reports but this one is much more engaging, in part, due to Warren Buffett’s open communication style.

A PDF of the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report is available online and I encourage you to read the Chairman’s letter on Page 3 to see for yourself how he writes in his personable style.

For a complimentary consultation on your personal communication style, contact me  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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