Curiosity Makes Us Feel Good

As kids, we are all curious. Kids are constantly asking questions, exploring, discovering and looking for new possibilities. All because they are curious, wanting to learn more. Curiosity is a childhood survival skill; it’s how they learn, test their assumptions, … Continue reading

Are You The Highly Effective Leader You Want To Be?

When we think of effective leaders we think of leaders who support collaboration, innovation and seek to understand what others say to them.   We think of leaders who are curious to understand themselves and others. Qualities in leadership, we have … Continue reading

22 Ways to Live a Resilient Life

As we begin 2014 it feels like a fresh start….. a blank slate.  Many like to start new things, revisit old behaviors, or most commonly make commitments to making change: make more money, get that promotion, lose weight, find love, become happier, become healthier, practice life balance.  Whatever it may be, the success in achieving the goals you set for 2014 doesn’t lie in what you do to achieve them.  Your success lies in HOW you do it – most specifically your mindset with yourself and others.

Not wanting you to waver in your commitment to your goals, below are 22 Ways to Live a Resilient Life to support you in achieving everything you have set out to achieve in 2014:

 #1: BE CURIOUS – Your mantra for 2014 “What am I curious about?”

Curiosity supports learning and understanding others, tests your assumptions, opens your eyes to new perspectives, and allows for win-win outcomes in challenging conversations.  It also supports a deeper understanding of yourself, your values, your boundaries and your wants.  This year give yourself permission to not “know” everything.  Be open and curious to learn from others – at work, at home, with friends, with your kids.  Ask open questions (those that begin with who, what, where, when, and how) to better understand others and their perspectives.  When you find yourself wanting to fix or tell, stop and be curious.   When you find yourself in challenging conversations where your emotional buttons are being pushed, take a breath and be curious.  Ask yourself, what are the reasons your emotional buttons are being pushed?  Then ask an open question and see what happens.  If you find yourself off track with your 2014 goals or commitments, be curious…  What happened?  What is stopping you from fully committing you to what you want?  How do you need to show up differently in order to achieve the life you want?  When things don’t go the way you wanted them to, be curious.  Dig deeper.  Learn from the situation and apply your learning.  Try this and you will find the more you are intentionally curious, the more curiosity becomes part of how you think.  You will find you have a different, more open mindset, one that supports more resilient and understanding relationships.

For more more ways click here to see Michelle Renee’s ’21 Ways to Live a Resilient Life’  

5 Ways To Get The Most Of Your Holidays

gosababa.comThe holidays have arrived and with it, lots of celebrations! For some this is the most magical, wonderful time of year, and for others it is full of anxiety.   Dreaded obligations to turn up and talk with people – people they may not know well, feel comfortable talking to, or even know at all.   We have all been to a party/gathering like that – butterflies in the belly wondering how you will ever meet anyone, or how you are going to make an impression on your boss with the short, valuable face time, or the anxiety of what kind of impression you will make on your new in-laws?

Regardless of your social situation, here are 5 simple ways to get the most of your holidays so you can successfully connect with others and totally enjoy yourself this holiday season.

1. BE CURIOUS:  The easiest way to engage and connect with someone is by being curious.  And the easiest way to be curious is to ask an open question: “How do you know (____)?”  “What do you do at  (_____)?”  “What do you think of  (______)?”  “Tell me more about (______)”.   People love to tell their stories and open questions are a perfect way to find out what their story is.   Be genuinely curious.  What new and interesting things can you uncover about this person?

*Open questions are questions that begin with who, what, where, when, and how.  Tell me more is also a great way to get the dialogue started.

2. LISTEN: I know, I know, we talk about it all the time, and there is a reason!  It’s really THAT important when engaging others.  Plus, we have learned that people really struggle with doing it well.  Take the time to truly listen by giving the speaker your full attention.  Body language is a huge part of listening. Notice how you are standing – are your arms closed off in front of you or open by your side?  Are you making eye contact or looking over their shoulder wondering who the next person is that will walk into the room?   What’s your face doing?  Is it relaxed or tense?  Notice the same cues in the speaker.  This is part of listening.   People love to be heard, and people love people who take the time to hear them!  It is hard to be curious and ask questions when you aren’t listening to the speaker.  Notice how much you can learn from a person in a short time just by listening, and how that affects your relationships.

3.  QUIET THE CHATTER IN YOUR HEAD:  In order to really listen to someone we need to quiet the chatter in our heads so we can actually HEAR what they have to say.  Often we find ourselves thinking about and listening to our own head chatter.  This can be about a judgment we are making, the next point we want to make, the next food we want to eat, the next drink we want to have or the next person we want to speak to, all while NOT listening to the person who is speaking to us.  And it is noticeable! Turn off your head chatter at the door and give yourself permission to enjoy the moment when you are in it.  Respect the speaker by engaging in the conversation with uninterrupted listening.

4.  WATCH YOUR INTERRUPTIONS:  The most disrespectful thing you can do is to interrupt someone.  It messages that what you have to say is more important than what they have to say – not the best way to start or build upon a relationship.  Think for a minute what it’s like for you when someone interrupts you?  How does it feel? Many have said that they interrupt because they are worried they will forget what they are going to say, or a point they need to make.  What would it be like to enter a conversation where there isn’t a wrong or right, where the conversation and discussion can be open to all perspectives respectfully?  If you have something to say, by all means it is important to say it.  However, wait until the speaker is done before raising your point or concern while being open to hearing their response.

5. BE IN THE MOMENT:  When you are in the moment, not worried or thinking about what’s already happened or what’s to come, you will find it much easier to do all of the above.  When in any social situation let go of any preconceived notions of what to expect or what people may or may not be like.  Be open and in the moment taking it all in, allowing you to listen, be curious, and ask questions without interrupting.  Try focusing on the person who is speaking to you and let it be about them.   So much of our pre-social anxiety can come with the thought of it being about us!  What am I going to say?   What if I am not funny?  What if I don’t come across as smart?  Let go of that anxiety and let the focus be on the speaker.  Be present to enjoy the moment and enjoy your holiday experience.

**YOUR HOLIDAY BONUS: Download your FREE guided meditation (1o minutes).  Get instant access to  why seriously successful people credit meditation as the secret to their success.   Stay grounded, focused, and in the moment for a stress free and enjoyable holiday.

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