Invest in Yourself

After years of paying for a variety of sports, arts and music lessons for my daughter, last year I decided to pay for some surf lessons for myself.  It’s not often that I invest in something non-work related and I did feel a tinge of guilt. However, I can tell you that my investment in learning to surf has paid off many times over. 

Research shows that those who spend time learning each week are more likely to feel that their lives have purpose and meaning, which in turn increases their overall happiness and wellbeing.

Read More

Taking the Hit as a Gift

The Hit

A few months ago, a client came to me who had been unexpectedly laid off.  It was a huge blow for her and she felt a bit of her identity had vanished. I helped her to ground back into who she was and the impacts that she had made over the years in her career.  As the news started to sink in, she eventually found herself strangely happy and relieved.  I helped her to see the layoff as gift.  The abrupt change had presented an opportunity for her to find a more positive environment where her skills and expertise aligned; where she could feel challenged and grow.

My aikido teacher, George Leonard, called this awareness taking the hit as a gift.  At various times in life we all receive hits.  They can take the form of injury or accident, relationship struggles, career pitfalls, family crises or disappointments.  Some are more forceful than others.  When we receive the hit and label it as bad or negative we lose the opportunity to grow.  If we receive the hit and look at it as a gift, we can open up to the possibility to change a pattern, belief, behavior or relationship in our life that is no longer serving us.  We are empowered by this wake-up-call to act in a way that improves our health and wholeness thus embracing the pain or challenge for what it is, an opportunity.

Here are two ways that you can take your next “hit” as a gift:

Read More

Job Craft your role for more fulfilling work!

Being a person with a curious mind and an appetite for variety, I have guarded myself against career burnout by crafting my business.  I am always a coach in each of my roles, but I craft my work for a better fit with each new client. Each client engagement offers an opportunity to build on the fundamentals of coaching and owning my own business gives me a platform for growth.  

I see this as a time to craft a new way of working, relating to each other and to ourselves. 

To start you off on your crafting journey, I have outlined a few basic tenets of Job Crafting: a practice that you can use to create a more ideal work situation for yourself and perhaps change the meaning and purpose of your work. Use these tenets to assess and edit different aspects of your work and to design your way forward. You spend hours each day doing it..why not make it the best it can be? 

Read More

Resistance & Rethinking

Have you lost your mojo for a project that you started in the New Year?  I have been challenged to get back into a flow on many projects that I started including writing this post! The challenge shows up as resistance and I fight the urge to put my head down and push through it or to get distracted and focus elsewhere. And while resistance can be a nuisance, it is something almost all of us will inevitably feel from time to time.

Read More

Get Lost To Find Focus

Growing up I was used to getting lost with my mother as she had a challenging time with directions. Often when we ventured off of a routine route, we ended up lost for some time. She was used to operating like this and would find a way to make the being lost part interesting. We would find all kinds of new adventures from roadside antique shops to a new pond to search for tadpoles. I thought it was fun until I realized that I also have a challenging sense of direction.  

Being “directionally challenged” has been part of my life since orienting on my own. I have developed some coping skills over the years, but recently I have been noticing some advantages of being lost. Once I began driving to unfamiliar places, I adopted some practices that would help me get from A to B. I studied my routes and became very good at reading maps. I learned to look for familiar landmarks and to ask for directions early and often. Of all of the practices I used to stay on track, the one that has served me most (besides the invention of GPS) is to adopt being lost as a mindset. Understanding that being lost is not inherently a bad or scary place. That you can find interesting new things and people and that your ability to focus increases. So I too adopted a good attitude about being lost.  

Read More

What people are looking for in a post-pandemic work environment and company culture?

With the great resignation in full swing and many companies opening offices for in-person work, employees are reevaluating what work means to them. The pandemic has created a giant disruption in everyday life and work on a global level. It has changed so many cultural and work-life rules that savvy executives are crafting their own way forward. This is a challenging time for businesses looking to retain and attract talent. In my experience coaching executives throughout the pandemic and helping people pivot during the great resignation, I have learned a few valuable insights that I would like to share with you.

Once compensation needs are met, people are motivated to stay in a role when they feel a sense of belonging, shared values and a pathway for growth.

As a huge fan of the mid-2000’s drama series Mad Men, I often quote my favorite character Don Draper.  Draper was an advertising executive who often used ideas from his direct reports without giving them credit. In one episode, Draper wins a prestigious award for a print ad campaign that featured copy written by his junior colleague Peggy.  Peggy is astonished that Draper gives no mention of her work at the award ceremony and storms into his office, upset by the lack of recognition. Draper utters these words, “that’s what the money’s for.” In essence, he is saying shut up and do your job! I believe that these days are hopefully behind us and that as managers we have a responsibility to honor and give credit to rising stars. Companies can help by encouraging managers to practice empathy and active listening skills to move beyond the suggestion boxes and endless surveys from the past. Appreciating the good work of junior colleagues is a valuable tool to enroll employees in the company culture, enticing them to stay and grow with the company.

Read More

Is In Person Work Out of Your Comfort Zone?

6 tips for going back to the office without stress

I have been living by the Atlantic Ocean for nearly 6 months outside of Lisbon, Portugal. When we moved here, a new friend challenged me to swim with her in the ocean three times per week…without a wetsuit! The average water temperature this time of year is 57 degrees which shocks your body when you first get in but after a few minutes you can enjoy a short swim. Cold water ocean swimming was just outside of my comfort zone when I started and now a few months into it I am very confident in the water.  I have been speaking with a number of clients recently about how going back to an office is taking them out of their comfort zone. It seems strange, but now that many of us are accustomed to working from home and have an office space/schedule set up around working in our exercise clothes, going into an office can be as challenging as swimming in cold ocean water.

Before the pandemic, in 2019, about 4 percent of employed people in the U.S. worked exclusively from home; by May 2020, that figure rose to 43 percent, according to Gallup. Among white-collar workers, the shift is stark: Before Covid just 6 percent worked exclusively from home, which by May 2020 rose to 65 percent.

NY Times
Read More

Enjoy a more successful retreat by planning for change before you go!

If you are planning a retreat this year or even a mini-vacation, it is wise to plan ahead for a potential shift in your mindset.  Most of us have been stuck in the same routine and environment for so long that even a slight change in our surroundings can create a powerful internal shift.  Now consider traveling overseas or attending a week-long retreat and you may blow your circuitry wide open…and that’s a good thing!

WHY DO WE RETREAT?  

We go on retreats to get away from it all and collect our energy again. All of the energy that is otherwise spread out in multiple directions gets refocused for inner growth. All the noise, stress, responsibilities and distractions of everyday life melt away and we are able to get back in touch with who we are and what is important to us. 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE RETURN HOME?

We leave our retreat with clarity, an open heart and mind, and renewed energy.  We return home rested and reinvigorated. We can’t help but want to bring these qualities home with us and perhaps share our experience with those we love. Unfortunately, for most of us, the daily environment we left behind is right there waiting for us. Our old habits and well-worn routines swallow up our best intentions to bring our retreat experience home.  

7 TIPS FOR A MORE SUCCESSFUL POST-RETREAT EXPERIENCE

Read More

Meaning Over Money

Thinking about quitting your job?

Coaching can help you find the clarity you need to make a good decision

There has been a lot of press lately about the Great Resignation that is unfolding as the pandemic establishes remote work as a long-term reality. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. Personally, I have mixed feelings about the benefits of remote vs. in-person work environments, however I do know that we need to continue to focus on creating a sense of belonging and shared meaning at work.

According to recent studies done by McKinsey & Co, “Among nearly 6,000 employee respondents, 40% of respondents said they are at least somewhat likely to quit their jobs in the next three to six months. The top three reasons for quitting a job were not feeling valued by their organizations (54%), not feeling valued by their managers (52%), and not feeling a sense of belonging at work (51%).” 

I have been witnessing this sentiment in my work with mid-level managers through the BetterUp coaching platform. Once compensation needs are met, people are motivated to stay in a role when they feel a sense of belonging, shared values and a pathway for growth.  If these factors are missing in your current role, it may be time to look elsewhere. However, before jumping ship, it is smart to understand more about who you are and what makes you tick. Take the time to explore from within and find the clarity you need before jumping onto the Great Resignation train.

Read More

3 Ways to Focus on What Matters Most

I recently had a client say no to a good role at a fast-growing company because it was not a good fit for family and lifestyle. It was a tough decision but ultimately we took time to consider what matters most and found that family and security were more important than a new opportunity without a safety net. 

How to Know What Matters Most

We are bombarded daily by messages designed to make us believe things matter that most likely do not actually matter to us.  How do we sort through all of the chatter to find what matters most?

Read More

Bringing Moments of Joy into the Virtual World

Many of our opportunities for moments of joy at work have disappeared while working from home.  The spontaneity that we took for granted talking about a fun weekend around the water cooler or seeking advice from a colleague in the next cube is gone. We are working together, but not quite connected. How can we start to bring a little more joy to our work and gain connectedness in an inherently disconnected world?

Read More

Having trouble Focusing?

Focus Sessions can help you get back on track


A few months ago I received a call from a former client out of the blue asking what I knew about adult onset ADD.  She wondered if there was such a diagnosis as she was certain she had it.  She described her symptoms as mildly anxious and irritable but moreover she was experiencing a total lack of focus for more than a few minutes at a time. I have been hearing a similar sentiment from clients, peers and friends over the past few months. 


As life in parts of the world is getting back to “normal” many of us seem to have lost our ability to focus.  I had to admit that day (and many days lately) despite the fact that I was alone in my home office, had already gone for a run and had my favorite coffee, I too was having trouble focusing. Then I saw an email from my friend Megan Flatt at the Let’s Collective about a new offering called Focus Sessions. I signed up for the free trial week immediately and blocked out Monday morning on my calendar. 

Read More