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5 Ways Speaking Up Makes Our Lives Better

Yesterday I had the opportunity to co-facilitate a discussion on the theme “Dare to Speak Up and Be Heard” with the organization, Women Standing Together. It was a great group of interesting, competent, accomplished women. Still, most agreed on one thing: it’s too easy to hold back and not say things we want and need to say. Speaking up can be hard and scary. Too often, with women in particular, there is a fear that speaking up and saying things in a direct manner will produce negative emotional reactions in others and make us vulnerable to being seen as mean, defensive, stupid, or incompetent. My observations about effectively speaking up are different. I think the common outcomes of thoughtfully sharing our observations is a positive one. Here are some surprising and very real benefits of saying (skillfully) what’s on our     . . . read more

Common Ways Women Undermine Their Words

“I’m sorry, Mom. These muffins are really messy,” said my 3-year-old daughter a few mornings ago. It was clear she wasn’t apologizing for making a mess. She was really saying, “I hate to tell you this, but these muffins you made crumble really easily.” My daughter probably could write the book on giving straightforward feedback. Just a couple of weeks ago she told my friend she was driving too fast. She doesn’t hesitate to comment on my housekeeping. Recently, however, there has been a new addition to most of her (usually painfully accurate) critiques: The words “I’m sorry.” My husband was really surprised when she started doing it. He thought she was truly apologizing to him, as if he were some scary guy that needed tip-toeing around. I don’t think it’s an apology…it’s an observation about language. She is mimicking what     . . . read more

Speak Up and (Actually) Be Heard: Effectively Frank™ Fall Offerings

The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is one of the most powerful tools we have to improve our lives. Skilled communication enhances relationships, reduces stress, and leads to better results at work. I’m passionate about teaching people how to find the “sweet spot”: being straightforward without offending- so that you can truly be heard. Communication is really the combination of many skills. No wonder it’s a tricky thing. You actually need to master many smaller tools in order to build your communication superpower. The good news is that communication is something that can be improved with knowledge and practice. In fact, that’s the only way to do it! This is why I created Effectively Frank™, a 5 step process that breaks down the skills you need to be successful. This Fall, I have 2 special offerings for those ready to     . . . read more

Excuses, Excuses: What Gets in the Way of Attending to Your Health?

Yesterday I wrote about what I think it means to be truly healthy. I know this kind of discussion easily lends itself to excuses and talk of how hard it is. I get it, on some level, but I really want you to be healthy. It’s too important. So humor me and read why I think the following excuses are mostly bunk:  I want to be healthy, but it’s really selfish No, it’s not. Wanting to feel well in your body is not selfish, it’s a healthy and normal desire. If you are willing to starve your children to ensure your own well-being, I’ll concede this point. But that’s not usually the case with this excuse, is it? It’s usually well-meaning people who think if they take some time and attention on their food, exercise, and emotions the world will fall     . . . read more

Are You Healthy? How Do You Know?

Everything we do and experience involves our body. Physical and mental health are not separate things. Emotions and thoughts are physiological experiences, as much as any body process. The way we eat, move our bodies, use our minds, and experience the world are all parts of overall health. This means you can’t treat your body like crap and expect to have mental health. You also can’t eat super healthy but have deeply negative thoughts about yourself and expect to be healthy. Everything you do and think impacts your health. What does it really feel like to be well? I get the sense that most people don’t even know to aspire to this because they don’t know how good they can actually feel. I’m startled at the number of seemingly well people who tell me things such as, “My stomach hurts all the     . . . read more

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