The Call for a Personal Mastery

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 2, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Dale Allen posted in Confidence, Influence

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The Puzzle


Personal mastery is a matter of slowly adding pieces to the puzzle. There will always be questions, but if you adhere to the pillars of conscious communication, your answers will become better and more healthy. For example, consider the following:


  • How empathic should we be in the midst of a disagreement?
  • What is the caring thing to say when a tense subject is raised in difficult circumstances?
  • How can we respond empathically when someone angrily attacks us?
  • And if we want our children to refrain from violence and confrontation, how specifically should we guide them to respond when they find themselves faced with the same?
  • Furthermore, and just as importantly, how can we share our joys and hopes in ways that foster compassion?
  • And lastly, if you think that care and compassion has no place in the workplace, please ask yourself what you are afraid of.
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It’s All in Your Head: Workplace Stress and the Brain’s Drain

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 12, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Leadership, Influence

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Modern neuroscience tells us a great deal about how the human brain functions in specific situations and environments. One of the most enlightening things that neuroscience has to teach organizational leaders is that the brain literally does not differentiate between an emotional and a physical threat.


Experienced leaders and managers likely realize that illness-related absences increase in stressful work situations. For those of us who were raised in the “old school” industrial-style of management and leadership, we might be tempted to tell employees to suck it up, to get over it and get back to work. We might suspect that complaints of illness are excuses to avoid difficult situations rather than dealing with them.


And you know what? That’s kind of true. Stress-related illness really is all in one’s head.

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Who wants to learn 'how to have difficult conversations?'

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 28, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Conflict, Confidence, Leadership, Influence, Relationships

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This is something I hear often yet no one really wants to know how to have DIFFICULT conversations. We want to minimize the difficult part.

So..You know WHAT to say—but HOW will you say it?

When giving some tough news i.e. reorginization or layoffs at work or wanting to speak with family members or friends during some rough patches, we are often looking for some words to guide the conversation(s) we are about to have. 

Many of our executive clients and managers are given scripts at work, as a guide and they tell us those scripts provide an element of predictability that can feel comforting.

Yet, some of the leaders we work with review their scripts or practice conversations with us with a growing sense of unease, overwhelm and apprehension. Why?

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Why Making Things Happen is Harder Than it Sounds

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 14, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Confidence, Leadership, Influence

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“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
– Norman Vincent Peale


In any given workday, anyone in a leadership role needs to get things done (manage tasks and advance projects) and make things happen (lead others to achieve results). Yet anyone experienced working within an organization will know that often accomplishing these two deliverables can seem impossible. Why are some leaders able to advance projects, while others seem to meet barrier after barrier? Why are some staff members productive, while others stall and fail?


Whatever the underlying reasons for a lack of productivity in the workplace, neuroscience provides us with knowledge that we can use to make things happen in nearly any situation. In this post we’ll focus on CHANGE, because when the existing state of affairs is not getting results, change is required.

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Are you a Game Changer?

[fa icon="calendar'] May 24, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Dale Allen posted in Confidence, Influence

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It's so easy to be busy.  Everyone is busy. If you want to change the "I'm (too) busy" game and the stress and overwhelm that comes along for the ride, try these 4 mind-less-full tips:

1. Take breaks so you don't break.


It's important to take mindful, rejuvenating breaks, because:


Breaks = Time Savers


This could be 1 minute, 5 minutes, or more. Rejuvenating breaks are ones where you choose to walk away from the task, to feel your body, pay attention to the emotional quality of your thoughts and get in touch with what drives you. This is the type of break that helps replenish both your mental and physical energy. Just a few moments of doing so, will help you complete tasks and feel rejuvenated! 


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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

[fa icon="calendar'] May 17, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Confidence, Leadership, Influence, Relationships

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It was in 1943 that Abraham Maslow first developed his ever-popular pyramid that prioritized human need and, although there are many applications for the hierarchy, it is certainly exercised often by leaders. After all, the role of the leader is to interact with people in a way that motivates them to achieve a common goal. What better way to inspire people than to understand their needs and help to achieve them?

In the original hierarchy, social needs were depicted as the third type of need in order, following physiological needs (food, water, shelter, air, sleep, and sex) and the need for safety and security. Social needs, of course, represented the need for friendship and family, which took priority over the needs for esteem and self-actualization.


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Set the Right Goals

[fa icon="calendar'] May 3, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Confidence, Leadership, Influence

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Although it may seem counter-intuitive, setting challenging goals is a far more effective tool than setting easily attainable goals. There is, of course, a particular way to set challenging  goals that offer both the motivation of difficult trial and the contented feeling of achievability.


We primaily use two parts of our brain during goal-setting exercises. These are called the left prefrontal cortex and the limbic system. The functions of these two systems are very different, but the way they work together can create profound results with respect to achieving your goals.


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Conscious Ways to Experience Better Use of Time

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 19, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Conflict, Influence, Relationships

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I have taken time management courses and taught productivity courses for years, yet I still watch myself and others struggle with time's elusive ways, leaving us stranded with more work at the end of a day. Like many of you, I do all the right stuff: I have memorized the 4-hour work week, prioritized, said "no," delegated, used a timer and I can't seem to get it all done. It's stressful, frustrating—a little bit like running a race without a finish line. So, what is up?! How do we end the stressful race?


While you cannot “manage time,” the nature of your thoughts will change how you CHOOSE to use your time.


Conscious communication is more than just a way of speaking, it is a conscious practice that requires you to notice:

  • The thinking that precedes your CHOICES
  • which lead toy your ACTIONS
  • and the RESULTS that you experience


Ever get the sense that you are 'chasing the clock'? Do you ever have feelings of stress, guilt and fear? Have you ever found that when you are trying to keep up, get things done and negotiate daily living, you leave little time for conscious, healthy, presencing experiences?


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The Secret About Time Management

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 5, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Confidence, Influence

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"We need to change the way we communicate." I hear this desire almost daily. This calls for what we call conscious communication:  an integration of innerwork (mindfulness, presence, attention, empathy) and outerwork (reframing how we express ourselves).


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Leadership Principle: Boost Workplace Morale

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 12, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Leadership, Influence, Relationships

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There is a high cost to low morale. Maintaining workplace morale can be a big challenge whether you work for the government, Shopify or Google.

You are a totally tuned-in leader. Your emotional intelligence switch is always on, telling you when employee morale dips and spikes. When morale’s down, even for a moment, you see collaboration and productivity sinking with it. What is up? The eye rolls, gossip, stress, re-work and turn-over. (sigh)


What is morale anyway?

It’s that positive attitude and perception towards the job, work environment, team, managers and the organization. It’s that state of mind where your feelings tap you on the shoulder and say, “I feel confident in my work,” “I feel recognized for working my tail off,” “I feel supported by my colleagues/boss.” You smile and you know you really belong here and you FEEL the benefits of giving your best.


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