Archive for the ‘Self-Growth’ Category

Quiet Strength

Monday, May 6th, 2024

“These boots are made for walkin’ … and that’s just what they’ll do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over YOU!”

It’s not just Nancy Sinatra’s sexy white 1950s boots you have to worry about. Others want to walk all over you as well. Have you noticed?

Just by writing these words, I’m having an experience similar to what Dr. Raymond Moody talked about. Moody is a physician who studied people with near-death experiences. He found that people who died and “came back” often had a similar experience of “going into the light” and finding what amounted to a visual film festival of their life.

I can relate. The details of the situations where people walked all over me with their boots are way too easy to recall.

Here’s the funny thing about folks who push your boundaries: You LET them do this to you. Especially if it happens more than once.

That’s what happens when non-negotiables are allowed to become negotiable.

Here’s the thing. The quality of your life directly correlates to how well you “call tight” the non-negotiables in your life. The more loosey-goosey you are about what’s non-negotiable, the more sand you can expect to have kicked in your face.

So, are you a wimp?

Let’s see. Your toddler asked for and receives water more than seven times in one night; then it happens the next night too. Yep. That counts. You are a wimp.

Your colleague does part of her work without much attention to detail and then hands it off to you to “make sure it is accurate.” So, you spend two extra hours at the office reviewing, correcting and completing her project. It’s not that you shouldn’t step up and “give” freely at work. It’s that she repeatedly slacks off and makes her problem your problem. Score one for the sand kickers.

Your team members don’t do what they committed to do, so the entire project is delayed. All of you risk losing your bonuses. Instead of asking everyone for a commitment so they catch up, you camp in the office for the weekend all by YOURSELF. Bring on those boots!

Enough already! You want to live your life leaping over tall buildings with a single bound and creating kick-butt results. Yes, that sometimes means “stepping up” to help others get the job done. But there comes a point when it’s time to get the people around you to start leaping with you.

The answer? Non-negotiables.

Non-negotiables are clear, AND they define what happens if the non-negotiable is violated.

At work, it could look like:

  • “Get your sales funnel report in by 3 p.m. every Friday or your commissions won’t be paid until the following month. Miss it more than once per quarter, and your commissions will take a 30 percent hit.”
  • Zero tolerance for talking about the company’s or clients’ private information outside of work. You talk, you walk.
  • This is a no-gossip workplace. If you have a problem with someone, talk to that person about it. Immediately.
    NO whining to others. Violate this fundamental rule, and you will be invited to “free up your future.”

These non-negotiables work at home, too:

  • “If you are even one minute late for your 11 p.m. curfew, no personal use of the car for a month.”
  • “Daddy only reads the bedtime books after ALL the toys are put back in the toy box.”

And then there are the serious ones that REALLY destroy lives if not met:

  • “If you choose to continue to drink or come home after drinking, you will move out immediately.”
  • “You will never hit me twice, because you’ll never see me after the first time.”
  • “If you continue to violate the procedures or miss the outcomes of your job and put the success of our company at risk as a result, you will need to leave.”

Our boundaries define our results and our results define whether our lives work or not. Be clear regarding your boundaries and let those around you know what you expect.


The Fine Art of Dialogue

Monday, April 8th, 2024

Leslie Charles said, “Of course I’m yelling! I’m wrong!”

You have to love the honesty there. But don’t you even see that as being true for a lot of people?

When they start yelling and needing to be right, it’s usually because they haven’t taken in the other side of the story into consideration. Oftentimes, it’s easy in this world to forget the fine art of dialogue.

I have had a dear friend for the last 20 years, and one of the things I love about him is he’s a brilliant, brilliant man at the very top of his profession. Anytime you bring up any subject at all, he’s intrigued.

No matter how much information he already has, he’s always open to listening to another perspective. And he says: “Hmm, there are always more sides to the story” and “I’m curious.”

What if the whole world operated like this? This is the world where we’ve forgotten how to have a dialogue. Where we read the paper, and just go with some dogma… not even curious about another side.

Wouldn’t the world be better if we all just had open hearts to learn from each other and say: “Hmm, that’s interesting, tell me more” as opposed to waiting for them to stop talking so you can teach them why they’re wrong.

I think there are a lot of opportunities to be open to being wrong. Be inquisitive. And be okay with that.

Why not? And here’s the answer anyway… we’re always wrong about everything anyway, there will always be new information that proves everything we know to be true to be wrong.

So get over yourself. It’s time to open up to dialogue.


When the Answer is Always “Now”

Monday, April 1st, 2024

How could I create a ‘wow’ experience here?

What if you thought about every encounter with the customer as a chance to create a “wow” encounter?

Let’s face it, you’re either going to have a “wow” encounter or an un wow one. It’s never a neutral event. So we need to constantly ask ourselves, “How could I create a ‘wow’ experience here?”

Now as we’re thinking about “wow” experiences, we can’t forget the internal customers—you know, those who are working within our organization and who need to support those outside of our organization (AKA the customer). These internal customers need to have “wow” experiences as well.

So whether you’re an internal customer service person or an external customer service person, think about the “wow” encounter and never forget what Guy Kawasaki talked about, “No matter when your supervisor asks for something, the answer is always ‘now.’”

When they’re asking for something to be done, make sure to prioritize what they need because they probably have an outcome and a customer experience that they need to create. AND them having to wait means that they cannot create that “wow” experience for their customer!

Always approach every encounter with every person that you work with—including your customers—as the potential to create a “Wow, That was amazing!” type of experience.

What if you started approaching it that way today?

– Roxanne Emmerich

We Are Either Doing THIS or THAT All the Time

Monday, March 18th, 2024

Maya Angelou said: “They will never remember what you told them or what you did. But they will always remember how you made them feel.”

Every moment, we have a chance to have encounters with our clients, with our co-workers, with their children in a way that makes them feel better about themselves.

How we feel about ourselves impacts how we make others feel about themselves.

How we bring joy into the room matters because we’re either breathing life into life or sucking it out. We are never a neutral event.

We have a choice. We can make sure other people feel better because we choose to bring joy to the conversation, talking about possibilities as opposed to what’s wrong, moving things through quickly, and celebrating the successes along the way.

Listen, it’s easy to find things that are wrong. I’m very capable of doing it.

I am not talking from the mountain here as someone who is capable of always being in this place, but I do know that my life goes better and that I make other people’s lives better when I sincerely make an attempt to breathe life into life, to bring joy in my heart, and to make sure that I’m thinking about bringing joy into their heart at the same time.


Not the smartest person in the room

Monday, March 11th, 2024

What if you really listened to understand? Now I mean, really listened to understand what that person is thinking and feeling and why.

Our society has moved to a dangerous part of history where we have powerful narratives and beliefs about how things need to be, and we get dogmatic and sink into what we believe as opposed to being very curious about why someone thinks differently.

We often believe that “our truth” is “the” truth.