Vault It

One thing that has served me a great deal in my personal, as well as professional, life is to share as little information as possible, also called vaulting.
I find it very productive, and kind, to keep some information to ourselves, especially if that information was passed to us by others. The two top reasons are to respect the privacy of some individuals and to create a space of connection and trust.
Would you trust someone who divulges your most personal secrets? Or even just personal information about your work or your lifestyle?
I’m regularly shocked at what some individuals say to me considering the low priority relationship status experienced at the time or the nature of the conversation. Let’s keep in mind that the way some people behave with you is the way they will behave about you with others. If they gossip with you about others, they will gossip about you with others.
I feel for the ones that need that sense of importance that gossiping or communicating hot details can bring. We all need to feel connected. The same way that misery loves company. so does insecurity. Individuals that divulge too much typically think very little of themselves and their life. It’s a shame! I’m firmly certain there is something special about every single one of us!
So what to say and not say?
If you wouldn’t want somebody to say it about you, don’t say it about them.
If you’re not sure, say nothing.
If you’re unsure and have the opportunity, ask the person involved in the story if you can share the details. Double checking facts is helpful too.
Or, tell the story if it is really significant, just leave out all details that could trace back to anyone in particular. No name, no place, no dates.
I find that very few shares, regardless how sensational they can be, are worth damaging a relationship or one’s reputation, starting with our own.
Discretion is a precious talent. In an environment where social media reigns it could be tempting to think that more is better. I believe that better is better.
Let’s also take in consideration that social medias are tools, we’ll get out of them whatever we build with them. We can connect, or disconnect. That is our choice!
I invite you to share a story or some information below that you would find connecting and productive to others. Go!
Reach for the greatest version of yourself!
Paola
Sign up HERE to receive free coaching tips directly in your mailbox.
2016-03-07-09-55-27-1
Grow

Talk to Me

We are blessed with many communication tools nowadays that lead us to feel more connected. Between phones, Skype, emails, texts and Facebook messages, we would think that humanity is one big happy party. Unfortunately, the latest research show that in the United States we have an average of 1.2 friends today compared to 3.8 twenty years ago. The word “friend” here is understood as a close relationship, a confident, someone we trust, that we can be open with , vulnerable and authentic.
The issue is not the tool we use, but rather how we use it.
I encourage you to block time very clearly in your life for personal and professional periods. As entrepreneurs, we’re particularly prone to work around the clock. That can lead to burn out, pretty fast. My phone has a “Do Not Disturb” setting from 8pm to 7am. The only noise my device will make is if one of my closest friend or relative calls me. Otherwise, my phone doesn’t emit a sound! My clients and my friends alike know about this. My personal time is sacred, however, I can still be reached in case of emergency.
Emails are probably the top time sucking activity! I encourage you to learn to build an email fast and effectively, it doesn’t need to take 30 minutes, 10 minutes top for something elaborate. Some emails don’t even need an answer. Chain emails are the worst. I invite you to communicate boundaries and preferences when it comes to it. It’s a matter of awareness from the senders and a matter of respect for everybody involved. I’m involved with a couple of organizations and people know to only include me in communication that is 100% relevant to me otherwise i’ll stop reading and hit the Delete button.
Emails are great, however, they can’t replace a real conversation when needed. If an email conversation leads to more than 3 emails without a clear understanding of the outcome, do pick up the phone or set up a time to talk. That will save time, frustration or possible resentment.
Texting is one of my favorite thing. It’s quick, practical, to the point. I love using it to communicate affection and gratitude. I absolutely love texting! That being said, that mode of communication doesn’t fit every situation. It’s more personal than emails so it may not be as appropriate for all situations. It can sometimes lead to confusion due to the small format and how our brain processes the information. More than 3 sentences in a text is an indication than an email or a conversation is needed. More than 3 texts in a row without a clear understanding of the outcome is a sign that a conversation is needed. I invite you to pick up the phone or schedule a talk.
I also put a time response depending on the communication. Text are returned within a few hours. Emails are returned with 24 hours during business days. Phone calls are returned the same day if received before 3pm, before noon the next business day if received after 3pm. There may be some resisteance from some people that feel the need to get an answer immediately. I encourage to stand on your sacred ground, protect your sanity and let them write their story.
Understanding my preferences and my needs for time and communication as lead me to put that system together. It has saved me so much time and aggravation. It has built stronger relationships and has made me extremely efficient! So I have more time for my personal life and self care, who wouldn’t want that?
It can be very easy to hide behind our phones, that’s a behavior that will keep us disconnected from others and make human relations more difficult. All those tools are amazing as long as they serve connection instead of fear and laziness. Connecting with others can be very hard, I know. I invite you to build awareness and check in with individuals. Everybody is different, everyone has a preferred method of communication and preferred time of day to communicate. I have never been turned down on a request when figuring out what people prefer. If anything, they were grateful I cared enough to ask!
I invite you to figure out what works for you so you can communicate it to others and be curious about what others prefer. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Connect with me on your favorite channel πŸ™‚
Reach for the greatest version of yourself!
Paola
Sign up HERE to receive free coaching tips in your mail box πŸ™‚
2016-03-07-09-55-27-1
Grow

Invest in Yourself

I believe that the results we get in life depend on who we are. Not where we were born, not how much money we have, not our IQ. The results will vary depending on our skills and our attitude. Some things can’t be changed. We’re given a certain hand of cards at the beginning of our lives, how we play that hand will determine the outcome.

How we get the best outcome possible is about developing the skills we need to get there.

For example, one day, we learnt to read. If we were to keep reading at the same level than our first year in school, we would only have access to that grade’s library. We wouldn’t be able to process other materials because we didn’t learn the skills. That’s very limiting!

If we want to have access to more, we must become more, we must learn more. There is no right or wrong way to do this. I just wish for everyone to be aware that we set the barre, and the limit, on our success. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is not productive. So how can we do things differently, what do we need to learn, to get the results we’re looking for?

It’s an investment. It takes a long time, it’s hard, tedious and we want to give up, often. However, if we know that this is the way to get everything our heart wishes, if we stay focused on our intentions, we will succeed!

We sometimes think that success is conditional upon intelligence, money and birth privileges. Those things can help, for sure, they are not the decisive factors though, our skills are. Our attitude and our focusΒ  determine the outcome. I’m specifically referring to soft skills: communication, empathy, emotional intelligence.

We could come up with the best product to sell, if we’re not able to connect with our clients, they will not trust us, and they will buy something else, from someone else. People don’t buy products, they buy an experience, and the experience is conditional upon the players.

It’s an investment because the process is slow, it’s a gamble at times, but it usually pays off. I’m personally more likely to invest in myself with confidence than the stock market. I know my ROI. I am so solid in my investment that I can now share valuable information and give support to others. The best thing I ever invested in is myself. I invite you to look into investing in yourself πŸ™‚

Reach for the greatest version of yourself.

Paola
2016-03-07-09-55-27-1

Save

Grow

The Agreements

What’s the difference between a rule and an agreement? A rule may be dictated by another party, and we follow it, or not. An agreement is agreed upon by all parties, and more likely to be honored. I love productivity and connection, therefore, we’ll stick to the word agreement today.

I invite you to come up with, revisit or reaffirm the agreements of your life. These are not the rules we live by in our society out of respect and self preservation, these are things we believe in because they align with our persona. For example, if you drink the last bit of coffee from the pot, do you make a fresh one? Or do you just walk away? Will someone get annoyed if the coffee pot is empty? Is there an agreement about the coffee pot?

There are two types of agreements for me: agreements with myself and agreement with others.
I run my life by the agreements I set up for myself. What I do, or don’t do, is dictating on a daily basis by what I affirmed are my personal values. Some of those values took some deliberating, others were very easy to come up with, some I’m still debating on. When an occasion arises to make a decision and I’m uncertain about what action to take, I fall back on my personal agreements. If an event challenges my existing agreement, I may revisit, or reaffirm. Everything changes, and we must adapt.
Agreements with others are an investment in productive interaction. It’s an investment because we’ll have to set time to talk about certain subjects, some easy, others not so easy, so we can have as much of an idea about what to expect. We don’t always know for sure what can be a source of pain to others. Taking some time to find out is an act of kindness and generosity. Once agreements are in place, we can go about our business with peace of mind that certain things will be taken care of. It takes a village, right?
Agreements do require integrity and the investment of affirming agreements has a higher return with individuals with higher integrity, that’s an obvious one.
That being said, something wonderful happens when a person is given trust, out of the benefit of the doubt. It’s a risk, however, my personal experience is that on many occasions individuals will choose to show integrity if they are given trust rather than if they feel being tested for trust. It’s a tricky one, and it’s up to each to decide how they want to invest their time and resources. I invite you to try it from time to time and share the results with me.
Some agreements may be different from person to person: who is allowed to borrow your toothbrush?
Some agreements may apply to everybody: I don’t borrow things without asking.
Invest in those questions now and a lot of decision will be a lot easier to make in the future.
It builds a code of honor, a reputation, a consideration from others. We all want to be connected, it’s easier to connect with individuals that are non-threatening, the unknown is threatening, let’s be obvious and expected then. We can keep the wild nature and spontaneity for the people in our lives that can handle it.

What are some of your most solid agreements? Share below πŸ™‚

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

Paola
Sign up HERE to receive free coaching tips in your mailbox every week.
Grow

Curiosity

AsΒ  much as I want to keep politics out of my blogs, it has become obvious that the current climate is negatively affecting friends and family, regardless that their candidate won or not. A reported 78% of individuals feel more stressed now than a few months ago, that’s a big number.

One thing that has helped me a lot, and I hope it helps you too, is to be curious. It works at several levels too.

 

Being curious about other individuals, especially the ones we disagree with, let’s us put the focus on the human being rather than the label we associate a person with. By focusing on the humanity, we can find understanding and connection on neutral ground. We see some of ourselves too and that brings us closer. We can do this with just about anyone. We all want the same thing after all, how we get there is what sets us apart. Focusing on the goal rather than how we get there nurtures our similarities, not our differences.

 

Being curious about others puts us in a giving position: we give our time and our attention. Givers are winners that create more connections than the takers. Period. Being curious has been reported to be one of the most efficient way to build a successful business. By being curious about our clients, customers, friends, we can find out what they truly want and meet that need if we can, or introduce them to someone who will.

Curiosity is also a fun game. There is always something to discover. Are you bored about a situation? Ask questions, look for what you don’t already know. You may be delightfully surprised by what you unveil. The world is after all an amazing treasure, why limit ourselves to what we already see when there is so much out there waiting to be revealed to us. That’s an abundance mindset that has never failed me, I invite you to give it a shot πŸ™‚

 

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

 

Paola
Sing up HERE to receive free coaching tip directly in your mailbox πŸ™‚
Grow

The Exercise of Gratitude

I mentioned a few weeks ago the difference between conveying gratitude and actually experiencing it. I still stand by that, however, I’m witnessing that many individuals right now are struggling with just finding any gratitude at all. These times are hard and the overall consciousness is gearing more towards negativity, fear and stress than positivity, faith and peace.

Experiencing gratitude has more impact on our life than just having a pleasant moment or enjoyable time with friends. Gratitude is the very foundation for connection and happiness. If we don’t find something to be appreciative for in our life, we’re disconnecting from it. I strongly invite you to stay connected, that’s so important!

What to do if you have a hard time with gratitude right now? Start small.

We all need something to believe in, right? What do you hold as absolute truth in your life that you can be grateful for? It canΒ  be anything. It can be coffee, seriously, start with the fundamentals. Allow yourself to hold for true that coffee is always there for you, it always helps you and you can be grateful for coffee. The point is not coffee, or chocolate, or your best friend. The point is the exercise and the attitude, the approach and the practice. The thought process involved in being grateful for coffee is the same than being grateful for our job, the people in our lives and even the political climate. Gratitude can be found everywhere, it’s harder to find in some areas than in others, that’s all.

There are some things in life we stop doing, for one reason or another, and we go back to doing again at a later date. Like bicycling for example, the body doesn’t forget. Gratitude works the same way. We all know how to be grateful, sometimes we stop, for one reason or another, and we can get back on that bicycle just the same. It will take a little practice and awareness at first, I know you can do it though.

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

Paola
Grow

Going at it alone?

One of the greatest act of courage in my opinion is not to find the strength to do it all, being independent or self sufficient. One of the greatest act of courage is to ask for help.Being courageous to me is knowing oneself, our strength and limitations, while finding the collaborators to bridge the gap to get to where we want to be.

Nothing in our world is self sufficient, everything is connecting and interacting with many other organisms and modalities. The cycle of life of plants are a perfect undeniable example: they need water and sunshine, and then birds and bees to populate. It’s team work.

How wonderful would it be to let ourselves go to the undeniable fact that we need others to survive, to grow, to complete our destiny, to fully live our story. We need many mirrors in our lives to reflect who we are, who we deny ourselves to be. On many occasions, we deny our heart to beat at its own rhythm, we deny the very fiber of our being to unravel into our authentic self. We tame our wildest dreams for fear to be ridiculed or end up alone.

I could blame our culture for it, I really think it’s just part of the human condition. We are gifted with free will and with so many opportunities, by our very nature, that the torture of becoming is the source of the most joy.

Some of us torture ourselves more than others. Some of us just go dormant and miss the show all together.

I always say: the heart never lies. Your head will tell you stories, your ego will distract you, but your heart will never lie to you. We don’t always want to listen, that’s all.

The word courage comes from the french word “coeur” which means “heart”. I invite you to listen to your heart as much as you can. That is the way, that is the only way to live your authentic story. Many people will come along the way to help you listen to your heart, to help your heart beat stronger and faster. We don’t go at it alone, and the story is not over until the last heartbeat.

Be courageous Darlings, for this is in you, it is your nature, it is yours to be and have.

Reach for the greatest version of yourself.

Paola.

Grow