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
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How you treat the help

One of the most important things in your life is the company your keep. We often hear that we are the average of the top 5 people or influences in our life. In that regard, I put a system a few years ago to vet the people in my life, from friends to clients as well as service providers. I want to surround myself with people I can learn from and that inspire me.
One part of that system is to pay attention to how one treats individuals that work for them or provide a service to them. For example, you’re at a restaurant for a business lunch and you notice that the person is very nice to you, very professional and focused, however, that same seemingly lovely individual is offering a very different side of themselves to the server. You start witnessing, agitation, frustration, sarcasm and belittling remarks.
In my opinion, how one treats the people that provide for us, the Help, that work for us is very telling about a person’s character. I personally prefer consistency when it comes to values and behaviors. That person at the restaurant may be very nice to you today, but may treat you, and/or speak about you one day, the same way than the server. I invite you to figure out if you’re comfortable with that or not.
Consistency is important because it offers a sense of safety and security. What if I want to refer a friend or a client to someone? I’d like to know how they’ll be treated. If there is no consistency of character, or the person adjust the behavior depending on self serving motivations, that person will not get my business or referrals. Will they get yours? There is no right or wrong answer to this. I found that it’s most productive to figure certain things in advance so one can waste as little time as possible on building a network of influence: the top 5.

So what will be your top influencers. They may already be in your life, if not, what would they look like, which attributes would they have? What inspires you?

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

Paola
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“It’s my time now!”

For all the Al Pacino fans out there, do you remember that scene in the Devil’s Advocate with Keenu Reeves when Al’s character, the Devil, claims: “This is my time Now!” ? I’ve always loved that part. I believe there is a pivotal time for each of us in our lives, sometimes several times in a lifetime, that tips the scale and leads us to glory. I told a dear friends months ago: “this is our time now” referring to the women movement. The recent events have shown that this is going forward at an exponential rate. I’m beyond excited at the prospect of the feminine being more present in our world, there are strengths and skills to be shared that will make a difference. I also want to share some words of wisdom and caution for the feminine and the masculine.
The feminine may enter this new phase with assertiveness and gusto, and not always enough experience to express in a kind way what we have been repressing for so long. I think of myself as a rather vocal person, and I know I have learnt to be quiet because it was expected or because it required less energy than to convey my true feelings of frustration. As we communicate more freely, we may enter a phase called by Marshall Rosenberg, the “obnoxious phase”. Verbalization is taking place, not always as compassionately and productively as it could be. It’s part of the process though. It won’t be perfect, but at least, it will be happening. Keep going, tweak as you go.
The masculine will have a hard time too. Not for the obvious reason that the men used to getting their way no longer will, but for the kind men that unknowingly have raised themselves offering micro aggression and never knew they were a source of pain. That’s because they were never told. I request patience for the masculine that does wish to be part of the new movement but was never held to develop the vulnerability the feminine craves.I especially feel for them as they have actively supported the feminine, we just didn’t give them all the tools to do the ultimate job. We believe we must be kind and understanding. This is going to be a big change.
I applaud any individual that has the courage to look at life in a different angle and change their way to best honor their authenticity.
Regardless at which stage of your life you do it, know that you are victorious. Some people will die and never experience that glory. High Five to you!

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

Paola
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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.

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Where’s your power?

If you follow my blog, you already know that I purchased a new-to-me car a few months ago. She rocks my socks off and she’s been so good to me so far. One thing I learnt about used cars is that they develop some personality traits after a few years. So when my Sterling decides to flash one way or another, or the door doesn’t shut for 24 hours, I just let it go. It never lasts, she’s having a moment, that’s all.

Her moment the other day was to have the clock reset itself to zero. I put the clock back to the right time once, I let it go the second time. I reflected on why I need a clock in my vehicle when I already practice perfect timing, I’m never late and I have the time on my phone anyway.

I grew up in an hostile and violent environment. One of the consequences of that childhood as an adult is working towards staying away from unsafe environmentsΒ  and developing some overly controlling tendencies. I work at letting stuff go,almost everyday.

The clock in my car only reminds me that it took me 30 minutes instead of 15 to get to my destination. It’s a constant reminder that it can be challenging driving around a million people metropolis.Sometimes the clock reassures me that I’m on time, that being said, I’m always on time. I’d rather focus on being confident rather than needing reassurance. The first is power, the second is passive.

Being reassured has it’s place, it can be important. In the case of time, and my clock, I don’t find it necessary.

So where is your power? Your power is in realizing what you can’t change and stepping into what you can change.

You can’t change the weather, people’s impression of you or the fact that you will die one day. I invite you to spend time as little time as possible on those items.

What do you have power over? Your attitude, your goals and the company you keep. I invite you to spend as much time as you’d like on those items.

So the clock in my car is blank, I now have more head space to focus on my purpose πŸ™‚

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

Paola

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