Mental and Physical Wellbeing for Our Leaders

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Image Source: Unsplash

As a leader, you carry a world on your shoulders. Whether you’re managing a large company, a small team, or a community organization, your role comes with immense pressure to excel — mentally and physically. But you’re human, which means you can’t always operate at your peak. You need time to breathe, recharge, and take care of your well-being.

In this article, we’ll explain the importance of caring for your mental and physical health, then dive into four ways you can improve your health.

Why Do I Need to be Mentally and Physically Fit?

When you’re aware of your own mental and physical health struggles, you can actually become a better leader. You’ll be able to bring your best where your skills are most needed. Instead of exhausting yourself mentally and physically by going all-in throughout your workday, you’ll be able to create a balance that works for you.

Plus, you can bring more empathy to the workplace. With a more realistic understanding of your team members’ needs, you can help them thrive in the workplace, too. Your openness about your struggles can also encourage your followers to communicate their own needs and better integrate into your team culture.

Let’s dive into how you can unlock these benefits.

Improve Your Daily Habits

Reflecting on your daily habits is a great way to start identifying what’s taking a toll on your mental and physical health. To do so, first consider how you’re spending your time in your leadership role. For example, think about the number of breaks you take and how much time you’re spending on your own tasks versus helping others. Also consider what you’re feeling throughout your day, whether it’s mental stress, back pain, or something else.

When you understand what’s deteriorating your mental and physical health, you can start implementing better habits to counter your stressors. If you’re struggling mentally, you may need to take short, frequent breaks to recharge. You can also hold office hours for team members instead of offering endless support and energy.

Feeling physically tired or struggling with common injuries like neck pain, back pain, or migraines? You can prioritize your physical health by:

  • Investing in a standing desk or ergonomic chair
  • Taking walks and avoiding digital screens during your breaks
  • Consuming healthy snacks and water instead of eating junk food, coffee, and alcohol

Small changes in your habits can lead to major improvements in your mental and physical health.

Work With an Executive Coach

We’re not always honest with ourselves. And even when we believe we’re telling ourselves the truth, our reflections may still include overly hopeful excuses or negative self-talk. Working with an executive coach can give you a third-party perspective on your situation and what you need to do to achieve your goals.

For example, if you’re struggling with brain fog, your coach can work with you to identify if you’re missing a good night’s sleep or if you need to increase your aerobic activities.

Your executive coach can also keep you accountable. Even if you correctly identify what you’re struggling with, it can be hard to change your lifestyle for your health. A hired coach will not only routinely check in on you and motivate you, but they’ll also track your progress toward your goals.

Seek Professional Health Services

While your daily habits are the primary factors for determining your mental and physical health, it’s crucial not to fully rely on a DIY approach — especially if your struggles are still getting the best of you. Health issues can stem from invisible causes and conditions that only professionals can treat.

When practicing time management, prioritize your health appointments, whether you’re getting preventative check-ups or ongoing treatment like chiropractic adjustments. Be willing to say no to your team’s requests when it will prevent you from getting the help you need. And don’t be afraid to take time off when your mental or physical health demands it.

If you don’t want to take time off from your leadership role, the good news is that many health appointments no longer require travel. Telehealth allows you to access virtual appointments, prescriptions, and much more from the comfort of your home, car, or private office. Whether you’re seeking cognitive behavioral therapy, vision care, or other health services, telemedicine may be able to help you reduce wasted time.

Manage Your Health Wisely

A leader’s physical and mental health is directly tied to their team’s well-being. When you take care of yourself, you can give your team the support and attention they need. Plus, you may improve your performance by removing health stressors from your life.

You’ll also be leading by example. When you prioritize your well-being, team members will feel more comfortable expressing their own needs and taking care of themselves, too. As a result, your whole team may be happier, healthier, and more productive.

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Author Bio:
Adrian Johansen is a writer and consultant in the Pacific Northwest. She loves sharing knowledge with others and learning along the way! You can find more of her writing at Medium

Leadership Skills Every CTO Needs to Have

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Image Source: Pexels

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has reshaped technology leadership, particularly when it comes to the chief technology officer (CTO) role. Today, CTOs are expected to drive businesses’ tech strategies and R&D and understand cybersecurity, coding, and other topics relating to the digital world. 

In addition, companies increasingly want agile and kinetic technology leaders, according to a recent Deloitte survey. And, CTOs who possess the skills necessary to quickly adapt to tech challenges and foster digital transformation are well-equipped to succeed.

Now, let’s look at four essential skills you need to have as a CTO in today’s always-on, hyper-connected global marketplace.

1. Communication

Corporate recruiters often cite communication and interpersonal skills as the top talents employers seek in job candidates, regardless of role. This is because a strong communicator can consistently disseminate the right information to the right audience at the right time. The result: this individual can help their employer avoid missed communications that otherwise lead to costly, time-intensive mistakes.

For CTOs who want to improve their communication skills, it helps to leverage all of the tools at their disposal. For instance, you can learn the ins and outs of Slack, Yammer, and other collaboration platforms so you can keep the lines of communication open with your teams. You can also leverage Bitrix24, Wrike, or other task and project management platforms to ensure miscommunications do not prevent work from getting done on time and on budget.

Don’t forget to host regular webinars, group brainstorming sessions, and 1-on-1 meetings across your teams, too. Because the more you communicate with your team, the less likely miscommunications crop up to hamper your business’ productivity and efficiency.

2. Listening

Along with communication skills, effective listening can make a world of difference for CTOs. This form of listening goes beyond hearing; it involves listening to what others have to say with your ears, eyes, and the rest of your body.

As an effective listener, you can look beyond the words coming out of a person’s mouth and consider them in relation to their body language and tone. This allows you to listen to what a person is saying and understand the meaning behind it. Then, you can respond appropriately.

To become an effective listener, keep an open mind any time you enter a conversation. It helps to give anyone you’re speaking with sufficient time to speak and avoid interrupting him or her. You should maintain eye contact throughout the conversation and use nods, hand gestures, and other non-verbal cues to show the other person you’re interested in what he or she has to say. 

3. Time Management

How you manage your time can have far-flung effects on your success as a CTO. If you let deadlines loom until the last possible moment or constantly fall behind on work tasks, you and your team may suffer the consequences. In the worst-case scenarios, poor time management can lead to brand reputation damage, revenue losses, and other long-lasting business problems.

Planning offers a great starting point for CTOs who want to manage their time as best as they can. You can use time management apps like RescueTime or Focus Keeper or a planner to map out your daily, weekly, and monthly schedules. Moreover, you can use the “Eat the Frog” technique to identify the most important task in a given day and devote your full attention to completing it.

Tech problems like excessive downtime and high energy costs can also put big dents in your schedule. Monitor the technology used across your business; if you find some tech problems continue to crop up, it could be time to make some upgrades.

Automation can be beneficial relative to time management as well. You can automate appointment scheduling, reporting, and other tasks, so you can focus exclusively on high-value activities.

4. Customer Service

The customer experience (CX) plays a key part in consumers’ buying decisions. Research shows 74% of consumers are at least “somewhat likely” to make purchases from a business based solely on the experience. Meanwhile, a successful CTO keeps customer service top of mind, understands a company’s target markets, and crafts IT initiatives to support positive customer experiences.

To build exceptional customer service skills, a CTO must first define exceptional customer service. To do so, consider the customer’s perspective. You can then determine what people expect from you and your business and hone your customer service skill set accordingly.

Typically, customer-first CTOs are empathetic toward others and are willing to commit the time, energy, and resources necessary to learn from them. They share information in a clear, concise manner and are open to positive and negative feedback. As such, these CTOs know what it takes to engage with others and ensure all parties can work together to achieve the optimal results.

Tips to Enhance Your CTO Skill Set 

Leadership development is paramount, particularly for current or aspiring CTOs. Those who have the right skills can lay the groundwork for a successful career as a CTO. They can also provide outstanding support and help their teams maximize their potential.

It helps to continuously explore ways to bolster your CTO skill set, too. Here are three tips to help you hone your CTO skills now and in the future:

  • Build your presence. Passion, confidence, and enthusiasm can be contagious; display them in your daily work, and your team will likely do the same.  
  • Learn from leadership experts. Read leadership books and blogs to foster a diverse CTO skill set.
  • Stay the course. Remain diligent, and remember, there is always room for improvement as a CTO.

Use the aforementioned tips to develop and improve your CTO skill set. That way, you can put yourself in a terrific position to become a successful CTO.

Ethical leaders can have a positive impact not only on their businesses but also on the wider community. By following the key tenets of a morally solid business — transparency, diversity, and authenticity among them — entrepreneurs can ensure that all stakeholders can connect to the company and its leadership in a way that engenders trust and mutual respect. After all, ethical businesses are what consumers deserve, and business owners can in turn reap the immense potential benefits.

Author Bio:
Adrian Johansen is a writer and consultant in the Pacific Northwest. She loves sharing knowledge with others and learning along the way! You can find more of her writing at Medium

The Secret to Success Mini-Habits by Stephen Guise

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Habit formation, positive behavior, neuroplasticity, productivity, focus, attitude, results, goals.
Source:  Mini Habits by Stephen Guise |

Mini Habits it is a must read book that explains how we can change habits of thinking and doing, how we can basically rewrite our software and reboot better results. Neuroplasticity has been confirmed by science, mini habits allow us to rewrite our brains. Change is not the problem, it is the solution, and we are gifted with brains that can adapt, grow and evolve. Neuroplasticity may be one of our most important gifts, and one that is far too often overlooked.

It is time to make mini habits part of our personal and professional success toolbox. I remain passionate about the topic because enabling faster behavioral change, confidence, communication and collaboration is what my work is all about and it is work that starts with the application of mini habits. Enjoy the summary. Buy the book and if you need help with behavioral change, communication, collaboration and inspiring that important step forward, reach out because I am happy to help!

Source: InspireCastTV

A mini habit is a very small positive behavior that you force yourself to do every day; a mini habit’s “too small to fail” nature makes it a powerful superior habit building strategy. You can achieve great things without the guilt, intimidation, and repeated failure associated with such strategies such as “getting motivated,” resolutions, or even “just doing it.” To make changes last, you need to stop fighting against your brain. Mini habits show you how to do — lasting change isn’t so hard.

  1. Every great accomplishment rests on the foundation of what came before it: one small step that started it all; a mini habit is a much smaller version of a new habit you want to form.

Writing 3,000 words daily becomes writing 50 words daily. Thinking positively all the time becomes thinking two positive thoughts per day. Living an entrepreneurial lifestyle becomes thinking of two ideas per day (among other entrepreneurial things).

Doing a little bit every day has a greater impact than doing a lot on one day. How much greater? Profoundly so, because a little bit, every day is enough to grow into a lifelong foundational habit, and those are a big deal, as you’ll see. Yes, small intentions are better than big intentions. Feeling stuck, trying to change, and failing are all the results of working against your brain; the results of not taking small positive and important steps that work.

  • When you repeat a behavior over time you retrain your brain.

Repetition is the language of the (subconscious) brain. The goal of creating habits is to change your brain with repetition. But the brain will resist change unless it is rewarded it handsomely. The two keys to change are repetition and reward.

Your subconscious brain loves efficiency; this is why we have habits. When you repeat a behavior over time, your brain learns to automate the process. It’s more energy efficient to automatically do something than to manually weigh your options and decide to act the same way every time.

When you make a decision very quickly, it is probably from habit, even if you think you’re actively deciding. In a way, you made the decision a while ago. Choosing your favorite ice cream flavor is one example.

Your brain, our brains, are idiot savants. We are stimulus response creatures, and the best example is continuing to smoke without considering lung cancer while you smoke or the perks of great abs before you exercise. Worse, this is the strong part of your brain that usually gets its way long term. It recognizes repeat patterns until told otherwise. It’s called the basal ganglia.

There is another section of your brain; however, that is really smart. It’s called the prefrontal cortex, and it’s located behind your forehead. It’s the “manager” that understands long-term benefits and consequences, and thankfully, it has the ability to override the basal ganglia. It handles short-term thinking and decision-making too.

The prefrontal cortex has the ability to override the basal ganglia because it focuses on what could be. It handles short-term thinking and decision-making too. The prefrontal cortex is the conscious part of your brain that tires out easily. Perhaps more accurately, because its functions are so powerful, it’s an energy hog that tires you out. And when you tire out the repetitious part takes over.

The basal ganglia aren’t conscious or aware of higher-level goals that are unique to humans. But it is an efficient pattern-repeater that saves us energy. So, while it may not be “intelligent” like the prefrontal cortex, it is an incredibly important part of the brain. And once we train the basal ganglia to do positive behaviors automatically, we’re really going to love it.

Although the smart prefrontal cortex has less stamina than the thoughtless, repeating basal ganglia do, but it’s actually brilliant when you know how to work it. How do clever weaklings ever overcome their dumb, strong counterparts? It’s not through brute physical force. I’m sure you already know that, perhaps, because you are now recalling the failed attempts of your conscious mind to control your subconscious mind by brute force or willpower. The answer, of course, is to employ smart strategies to overcome the prefrontal cortex’s natural weaknesses.

  • If getting motivated is your strategy, you can’t build habits.

We know that habits require consistent repetition. Don’t get this concept wrong. Motivation is an important feeling with many benefits. But think of it as a bonus, something nice when it appears but it is often unreliable.

Motivation is based on how you feel, and human feelings are fluid and unpredictable. Many things can alter your feelings: an event, blood sugar levels, depression, chemical fluctuations, hormones, health, external stimuli, energy levels, beliefs. In other words, anything can alter your feelings. Motivation is like building a house on liquid.

Why Mini Habits Beat Motivation

There are three reasons why forcing yourself to take action with willpower is far better than trying to get motivated.

  • Mini habits are reliable. Unlike motivation-based techniques, willpower is extremely reliable. If you force yourself to do something small towards your goal no matter what, that’s dependable.
  • Unlike motivation, willpower can be strengthened like a muscle. Leading self-control researcher Professor Roy Baumeister found in 1999 that students who had exercised their willpower to improve their posture for two weeks, “showed a marked improvement on subsequent measures of self-control” compared to those who hadn’t worked on their posture
  • Willpower Strategies (small habits/tasks) Can Be Scheduled. If you rely on motivation, you will have a difficult time sticking to a schedule. When it’s time to write, who knows if you’ll be motivated or not? Setting your intention, making a decision to take one small but powerful step at a certain time in your daily calendar can be life changing.

The Mini Habits strategy is forcing yourself to take 1-4 small strategic actions every day. These actions are too small to fail or skip. Mini habits work because they require very little willpower and help you rewrite ingrained patterns of thought and behavior. Mini habits will also get you started because you have made the commitment to take one small step, whether you feel like doing so or not.

Using Willpower, the Mini Habits Way

There was a study on ego depletion that found some correlation between believing willpower is limited and willpower becoming limited. Those who didn’t believe their willpower had a limit appeared to last longer in ego depletion activities.

Mini habits require very little actual effort. You’re going to be doing one push-up, writing 50 words, reading two pages, or other very easy tasks. The initial effort requires hardly any willpower. Mini habits require very little effort and setting mini goals is the best way to retrain your brain and drop the perceived difficulty of any project.

Once you start and are free to continue, your perceived difficulty will be much lower due to the psychological impact of having already started. Just like in physics, the greatest inertia comes before the start of motion. Once you’re in motion, everything gets easier as a result of momentum (and increased motivation).

Subjective fatigue

This is an interesting one, isn’t it? It doesn’t say fatigue; it says subjective fatigue, implying that we’re not completely objective in our assessment of our own fatigue. It turns out that willpower is a battle of the mind, and according to some of these top willpower drainers, the battle appears to be between the perception of your strength relative to your task.

Nothing can completely take away subjective fatigue, but mini habits mitigate it very well. In relation to your mini goals, you may feel a sense of empowerment and energy.

Mini habits thankfully come with a mini amount of subjective fatigue. Subjective fatigue depends on many factors, and a big one is how you see yourself stacking up against your goal.

Glucose (sugar) is your primary energy source. If you have low glucose in your blood, you’re going to feel very tired. If it’s dangerously low, you can even pass out. Your blood sugar levels are determined by genetics, diet, and lifestyle.

As for mini habits, they are independent of your blood sugar, but they can help to preserve it by being the most efficient way to spend your willpower energy. It is far more mentally energy efficient to break things down into small components that are easily “mentally digested” and less stressful.

  • How can this system improve habit development and personal growth over traditional methods? These are fair questions to ask, so here are the answers.

Mini habits can compete with your existing habits. The brain resists big changes. Have you ever heard of people saying that you just need to get your foot in the door for employment opportunities?

Mini habits are that same concept, but instead of getting into a company, we’re talking about your brain. I think of the prefrontal cortex as having a spending allowance before the automatic part takes over. For every task, the subconscious brain looks at what you’re asking of it and charges your willpower to get into the control room. You’re only allowed to ask for so much manual control per day, but once you’re in, you’re in. Mini habits are low willpower Trojan horses that can leverage their easy access into the brain’s control room into big results.

Small steps & willpower are a winning team.

The perfect team in personal development is small steps and willpower. As long as you have enough willpower for an action, you can take that action. Small steps require little to no willpower. So, it’s like having unlimited willpower. You can get yourself to do just about anything if you guide yourself along in super small steps. Try it.

Other methods will tell you it’s ok to let up too soon.

The common myth is that you can establish a habit in 21 or 30 days. Some books are wholly based around this false concept. The truth is a bit uglier and harder to predict — 18 to 254 days until habit formation, depending on the habit and the person.

Mini habits don’t have a specific end date because we don’t know how long it will take to form the habit. Instead, we’ll look for signs that the behavior is a habit.

Self-efficacy helps us achieve goals and create habits, but Psychologist Albert Bandura clarifies that “Expectations alone will not produce desired performance if the component capabilities are lacking.” Believing in yourself isn’t enough. Lacking the baseline self-efficacy required for success, however, is extremely common in people who suffer from depression, weak willpower, and repeated failures. If you expect to fail, positive results are hard to come by.

Mini Habits are a self-efficacy-generating machine. Your daily successes will train you to have high self-efficacy. How can you not believe in your ability to do one push-up per day? Mini habits double as training for believing in yourself.

Here is a step-by-step application guide to creating your mini habits and plan.

Step 1: Choose your mini habits & habit plan.

Make a quick list of habits that you’d like to have at some point. The important ones will come to mind quickly. This will be your reference list for step one.

Step 2: Use the why drill on each mini habit.

Drill’s drill. That’s what they do. And the author calls the following the “why drill” because the simple question “why?” is the best way to drill down and accomplish anything. Once you’ve listed your habits, identify why you want them.

Honest answers are absolutely necessary for this to work, so dig deep. There will be more than one answer to these questions, so try to pick the most relevant ones.

Step 3: Define your habit cues.

The two common habit cues are time based and activity based. In a time, based cue, you’ll say, “I’m going to exercise MWF at 3 PM.” In an activity-based cue, you’ll say, “I’m going to exercise MWF 30 minutes after I take my last bite at lunch.”

People with 9-5 jobs have very structured schedules, so time-based cues tend to work well for them. Those who have a lot of flexibility in their schedule might benefit more from an activity-based cue that lets them keep a solid, yet flexible schedule. The cue to use will depend on your (desired) lifestyle.

Step 4: Create your reward plan.

What do you think would happen if you tried to make a new habit of sticking your face in the dirt and eating some of it? (Let’s assume that you wanted to build this habit.) You couldn’t do it. The obvious reason is who would want to do that? But the brain’s reason is there’s no reward. It’s more like punishment. Your brain would be very adamant against this. Rewards encourage repeat behavior, and also restore our willpower.

Step 5: Write everything down.

Writing something down instantly elevates it above all of your other thoughts. One study found that all thoughts (positive or negative) held greater prominence in the mind when written down on paper. The same impact has not been found for typing. You’ve got to handwrite it to amplify it.

Here are some strategies for tracking your progress. In whatever strategy you choose, the author recommends that you check off your success before you go to sleep. If you check off your task early in the day, the sense of completion might make you feel less motivated to do “bonus reps.” Also, it’s a good habit to check it off before bed so that you don’t forget.

Step 6: Think small

Why are we making these habits so small when we could aim higher? And what if you stop at your small goal? Is it still useful? Yes, and it has to do with willpower.

The advantage of willpower is that it can be strengthened. Very disciplined people are those who have strengthened their willpower. But that’s only to get them started. The extremely fit people you see in the gym don’t have to force themselves to exercise anymore. They don’t actually need willpower anymore because exercise has become their brain’s first preference.

When you develop a habit, you’ll say, “Brain, we need to exercise,” and your brain will reply, “I was already on my way to the treadmill. Try to keep up.”

We want to do three things on the road to habit formation:

  • Strengthen our willpower.
  • Make progress in the present moment.
  • Not exhaust our willpower

Step 7: Meet your schedule & drop high expectations.

Expectations are a tricky thing in life. It’s helpful to have generally high expectations for yourself because it increases your ceiling. In other words, if you don’t believe you can be in good shape, you never will be (as shown in the self-efficacy study). It’s not that belief increases your ability to do things — it increases your willingness to try. If you never try to get in good shape, it’s not going to happen!

Step 8: Watch for signs of habit but be careful not to jump the gun.

This step is another reminder of patience. The Mini Habits strategy works, but if you drop a behavior before it’s truly habit and go on to add your next set of habits, then you’re going to risk dropping everything like an unskilled juggler.

Signs that it’s a habit:

  • No resistance: it feels easier to do the behavior than not to do it.
  • Identity: you now identify with the behavior and would feel completely confident, saying, “I read books” or “I’m a writer.”
  • Mindless action: you’ll engage in the behavior without making an executive decision.
  • You don’t worry about it: starting out, you might worry about missing a day or quitting early, but when behavior is a habit, you know that you’ll be doing it unless there’s an emergency.
  • Normalization: habits are non-emotional. You’re not going to be excited that “you’re really doing it!” once it is a habit. When a behavior makes the transition to normalcy, it’s a habit.

If you are struggling to make progress with your mini habits, it’s probably because you’re breaking one of the rules.

  • Never, ever cheat

There are a few ways to cheat the Mini Habits system. The first, most common way to cheat is to give yourself a mini habit such as one push-up per day, but secretly require that you do more than the single push-up. The reason why you need to be really, really careful not to do this is because every extra ounce of requirement you put on yourself is going to require more willpower to meet.

And while you can likely handle that extra willpower load, you may be pursuing multiple habits at once, and we want to guarantee success, not toe the line of success and failure. You are always allowed to do extra, so let the extra reps come from you, not your requirement. If you want to do more in any session but feel resistance, set additional small requirements after your Mini Habit.

  • Be happy with all progress.

Being happy with small progress is different from having low standards. There’s a quote by Bruce Lee that sums it up: “Be happy, but never satisfied.” Bruce Lee did more with his limited lifetime of 32 years than two typical people do with 80 years each, so listen to him.

Mini habits are a pretty simple brain trick at the core, but also a life philosophy that values starting, letting action precede motivation, and believing that small steps can accumulate into giant leaps forward.

When you complete a mini habit, celebrate all progress.

  • Reward yourself often, especially after a mini habit.

What if rewards themselves were rewarding? That is, what if there was a benefit to receiving a reward other than the reward itself? We typically think of rewards as things we get for doing something good, but rewards can give back too. When you complete a Mini Habit and reward yourself — whether it’s with food, a fun night out, or a monologue in the mirror about how amazing you are — your reward is going to pay you back by encouraging you to perform your mini habit again. When you complete a mini habit and reward yourself it will encourage you to perform your mini habit again.

  • Stay level-headed.

A calm mindset is the best mindset for building habits because it’s steady and predictable. You may get excited as you make progress, but don’t let that excitement become your basis for taking action. This shift to a reliance on motivation/emotions is what foils many personal development plans!

  • If you feel strong resistance, back off & go smaller.

Willpower is limited, and if you’re pushing beyond your means now, it means you’re going to crash and burn later. When you feel resistance to any task, make it smaller. Problem solved.

  • Never think a step is too small.

If you think a step is too small, you’re approaching this from the wrong angle. Every big project is made of small steps, just like every organism is made from microscopic cells. Taking small steps keeps you in control over your brain. Small steps are sometimes the only way to move forward if you are having a lapse in willpower.

If you’re sitting down, and you want to exercise but you really don’t feel like it, there’s intense resistance. What do you do? In this scenario, you don’t want to wrestle your brain if you can coax it into doing things your way. Suggest progressively smaller and smaller tasks until the resistance you feel is minimal.


Mini Habits is more than just a system to teach you how to develop healthy new habits, it is a way for you to rewrite patterns of thinking and doing that no longer work for you. Use these techniques for any situation in which you want to take action. The better you get at mini habits, the more success you’ll have!

Remember, change is not the problem it is the answer and it is an answer that empowers the cognitive and emotional dexterity we need to create, communicate, collaborate in building a better tomorrow. Helping clients make that powerful shift forward is what my work is all about. I welcome your comments and thank you for your support.

Nudge Strategies for Leadership Development

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Companies spend nearly $3.4 billion every year for turning their managers into leaders – and yet research studies have shown that 50% to 60% of managers fail to execute the strategies that they were hired to implement even after 18 months of taking up the job. And it is not because they lack the required knowledge or experience; it is simply because they need to develop leadership skills. And this may compel you to think that if training couldn’t do the trick, then what will?

The answer is just a gentle nudge that guides them in the right direction without imposing any restrictions!

It is the gap between the ‘knowing ‘and the ‘doing’ that changes nothing even with all the trainings on leadership strategies, communication skills, and management fundamentals. This gap is created by flawed reward systems, short-term goals, or priorities that are constantly competing for the manager’s attention.

Fortunately, companies can nudge their managers to perform better by leveraging behavioural insights. Nudge strategies capitalize on encouragement and enablement instead of direct instructions and strict enforcements.

Here are some examples to help you better understand how nudge techniques use behavioural science to boost managerial performance:

Direct InstructionsNudge
Instructing a child to clean the roomPlaying a game that includes room-tidying
Signs that tell people not to litter with fine warningsPlacing more dustbins where they are easily visible and accessible
Budgeting for grocery shoppingUsing a basket instead of a trolley

Nudging techniques take into account people’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Based on the understanding of these factors, choices are designed for people so they can make the right decisions without being forced or directly instructed.

Creating Leadership Strategies Using Nudge Techniques

You can start with a written plan that covers the following questions:

  • What is your goal?
  • What is your nudge campaign targeting to improve or enhance? Is it employee engagement? Is it productivity? Or is it leadership skills?
  • Who is your target audience? Managers? Or Employees?
  • How frequently do you plan on nudging people? Every day? Once a week? Or once a month?
  • How are you scheduling your nudge messages? Based on specific events? Or a certain time of the day?
  • How are you going to send out your nudge messages? Via automated emails? Signs? Or during meetings?
  • Are you involving any others teams or departments? Do you need the help of your IT team? Should the messages be reviewed by top management before they can be circulated?
  • What plan do you have to measure the effectiveness of your nudge tactics? Anonymous surveys? Data analysis? Performance reports?

The Transition from Training to Reinforcement

The increased demands of work often make even the most highly motivated and efficient managers fall back on their old techniques and become task-focused. But, if your leadership strategies are based on behavioural science, they will work to ensure that managers remain mindful of their communication style, give feedback, recognize employees and take informed decisions even when they are under pressure and stress.

A nudge program can prove to be your turbocharger for increased productivity and efficiency. Companies that want to unlock their employees’ true potential can team up with a reputed HR consultancy to roll out their nudge campaigns. An HR advisory will design and execute proven leadership strategies that help your managers and employees to adapt and thrive in a dynamic business landscape.

Author Bio:

Liliana Chitnis is a former HR professional who now works as a content marketing executive at NamanHR, an organization that offers end-to-end HR solutions to help companies build a strong human capital base. She strongly believes in the power of consistent training in the workplace. Liliana writes about various topics related to human resources and shares trends, techniques, and tips with her readers. She loves to read and practice yoga regularly, and occasionally binge on Netflix.

How Employee Retention Can Help You Win the War for Talent

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Employees are the core part of every team, and they are essential to survive in such a competitive market. Thus as an employer, you should have a quality team to stay with you to progress more. Your employee retention strategy should be robust, which leads to employee satisfaction. An open mind and prioritizing your employees is crucial for the success of any business. 

Employee engagement is an emotional commitment the employee builds with the organization. When employees feel involved, they care about the company and put in their best work to achieve the company’s goals. Their primary objective is to bestow to the company’s success. Besides employee engagement, this generation of employees also expects organizations and future employers to provide them with the ability to work remotely. Organisations need to be ready to integrate technologically connected employees and virtual workers and be prepared that their future dream-talents will be positioned outside city or country boundaries. Developing a distinct employer brand and fostering a strong culture to attract talent and retain them is critical. This may not be easy but is manageable with the right approach. 

Wondering how to win the employee retention conflict? How to keep from losing your employees in a competitive job market? To keep your employees retained and satisfied, consider trying these employee retention strategies:

1. Communicate job duties and expectations: When employees feel that they don’t grasp the essence of their job duties, company policies, and the performance metrics by which employers will evaluate them, it can prove tremendously frustrating and damage morale to the point that employees may be tempted to look for employment elsewhere. It is best to share important information with your employees regarding pay-raise schemes, duties as per job description, and relevant policies. 

2.   Put culture first: Workplace culture impacts retention. A recent study revealed that 72% of workers cited corporate culture as a factor influencing their decision to work at a given company. Another survey observed that at least one-third of job seekers would pass up the perfect job if the corporate culture were a bad fit. Starting a meeting with a prospective with a question about company culture, hiring policies, or employee retention reflects its importance. A few of the significant employee satisfaction drivers are high-quality senior leadership, a clear mission, and career opportunities.

3.  Get your employer brand right: Ensuring your organization’s online footprints tell a story is the first step in building an employer’s employer even before candidates apply. Building a reputation is essential in addition to amping up your website and social media networks. Employer branding is the process of influencing and managing the company amongst job seekers and critical stakeholders. It should define the company’s values and describe your employee value proposition to potential and current employees.

4.  Update your benefits package: Health and other benefits are a top priority in employees’ decisions to stay in a particular job. Most HR professionals use these benefits as a strategic tool to retain employees and recruit talent. Employee benefits also include a healthy work-life balance. New age employees look for flexible timings and work from home options to achieve a better work-life balance.

5.  Encourage position transfers within the company: Another wise move to retain and satisfy employees efficiently is to discuss their end goals and their satisfaction in their current roles. It is also essential to encourage them to look into other departments if they’re not they’re Some companies are implementing this idea into their policies and procedures, so employees can quickly look at their handbook and find out if this is an option.

6.  Ask for feedback: An assured and successful way to know the employees better is to ask them. Avoid assuming or guessing how satisfied they are with their work or department. Implement anonymous employee surveys, so they feel comfortable sharing qualitative feedback. Hold discussions where employees can provide their opinions, thoughts, and feelings about the company and improve.

The employee retention strategy of any company is a combination of various elements that makes way for employee satisfaction. Initiatives such as mediation programs, flexible work schedules, a positive work environment have the capability of making the work environment more attractive for challenged parents, excellent talents, and new generations. As an employer, you need to have an open mind and think of your employees as the essential elements for your business or organization’s success. Adopt these techniques and stay consistent in your mission to win the war for talent. 

Author Bio: 

Kelly Barcelos
Kelly Barcelos is a progressive digital marketing manager specializing in HR and is responsible for leading Jobsoid’s content and social media team. When Kelly is not building campaigns, she is busy creating content and preparing PR topics. She started with Jobsoid as a social media strategist and eventually took over the entire digital marketing team with her innovative approach and technical expertise.

Ethical Leadership: Running a Business That Focuses On Values, Morals, and Beliefs

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Image Source: Pexels

How you approach leadership is likely to factor into your company’s ongoing success. You want to make certain that all your stakeholders — colleagues, staff, customers, and the industry at large — have positive experiences as a result of your influence. As such, there is increasing emphasis on leadership styles that reflect the changing priorities of the public. Increasingly, we can see that these are focused on businesses that exhibit strong ethics, make moral decisions, and engage in values-led activities.    

This requires a strong commitment to ethical leadership. Company figureheads must set the highest standards for business activities based on core moral values, and lead by example rather than direction. It certainly helps to have a strong foundation of tools — a robust and relevant code of conduct, and consistent messaging among them. But the key point is that business leaders must exemplify their ethics in everything they do, and seek to guide the rest of the business along an equally moral path.     

This approach can make a significant impact. Employees — particularly Millennial and Gen-Z workers — tend to be more loyal to businesses with values that empower them to be part of something bigger than themselves. Customers invest in businesses that they know are supportive of them and their communities. We’re going to take a look at a few of the primary areas you can focus on to ensure that your leadership direction includes the traits that epitomize solid ethics.  


One of the primary tenets of ethical leadership is a commitment to mindful transparency. This is often a sticky issue for entrepreneurs. Historically, there’s been a culture of secrecy surrounding business, that it’s acceptable to obscure practices in the name of maintaining the competitive edge. However, allowing this to become too prevalent in your leadership approach can create barriers between you, your employees, and your customers — which doesn’t exactly breed trust.

Instead, seek to inspire a culture of transparency throughout the organization. Be honest about everything, and encourage honesty in return. This extends to when you feel as though you or the company have done something wrong, or are shirking your responsibilities. This is particularly important when the business is going through turbulent periods. To gain the full support of customers and employees, they need to have confidence that you are honest about the full extent of the situation, and have a plan to move forward.

Whether from day-to-day issues or when a difficult situation arises, your transparency should exhibit openness and inclusion. Ethical leaders utilize their interpersonal and communications skills to make employees a part of solutions. When brainstorming ideas for projects and problems alike, bring employees of all levels into the process — guide them to understanding what the challenges and the goals are. Use visual techniques such as mind mapping and brainwriting alongside verbal discussions to ensure that your transparency of the process is underpinned by clarity. By involving everybody, you show not only that there is nothing to hide, but you encourage a spirit of collaboration and mutual support.   


Ethical leaders recognize that they have a responsibility to prioritize inclusivity. Indeed, they have a duty to their community and their industry to encourage growth that is representative of the varying perspectives, needs, and talents in our society. From a purely economic viewpoint, they also understand that their enterprises do not benefit from a monocultural stance. As such, diversity plays a key role.

This begins with employees. A diverse workforce that includes people from various racial, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds is essential. A range of perspectives results in teams that are sharing new ideas, opinions, and skillsets in a way that tends to foster innovation. As such, ethical leaders adapt company policies and activities to ensure that their workplaces are suitable and welcoming for all workers. This includes mentorship programs for those from marginalized communities that may not have access to traditional education. It’s going beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines to make physical workspaces accessible. 

Ethical leaders also understand that their commitment to encouraging and supporting diversity has to go beyond their immediate workplace. They also have empathy toward the challenges that marginalized people face and use their influence and resources to make a difference in their communities. Technology conglomerate Cisco Systems is considered one of the most diverse companies in the U.S. They demonstrate this not just in their equality-led hiring and payment practices, but also their ongoing support of social justice projects that include financial support for minority students, and provision of venture capital for Black-owned businesses. As such, your leadership needs to go further than self-interest and contribute positively to the work being done by communities. 


There have been too many examples of companies who claim to prioritize social issues only to fail to exhibit this in their ongoing actions. Recently, many companies posted messages of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement on their social media channels to gain credibility, but their operations were clearly in conflict with this. As just one example among many, Amazon posted a black square announcing their solidarity, and yet — their poor employment standards history aside — only have one Black employee at the senior level.

As such, as an ethical leader, you need to exemplify authenticity in everything you and your company do. Your transparency will assist this aspect of your leadership style. By being open, employees and the public alike will be able to see whether the company and its leaders have a genuine concern for their needs. This is why authenticity also needs to be supported by accountability. Create a culture of open dialogue, where you can be directly contacted if anybody feels as though you and the business have fallen short of ethical expectations. Follow this up with authentic action; do the work to put things right, and involve your stakeholders in this.


Ethical leaders can have a positive impact not only on their businesses but also on the wider community. By following the key tenets of a morally solid business — transparency, diversity, and authenticity among them — entrepreneurs can ensure that all stakeholders can connect to the company and its leadership in a way that engenders trust and mutual respect. After all, ethical businesses are what consumers deserve, and business owners can in turn reap the immense potential benefits.

Author Bio:
Adrian Johansen is a writer and consultant in the Pacific Northwest. She loves sharing knowledge with others and learning along the way! You can find more of her writing at Medium

More on ethical leadership? YOU betcha!
Building a Better Future | Values, Mission, Vision
What Does Leadership Really Mean?
Purpose: Building/Actualizing A Leadership and Management Must

How Coaches Can Use Neuroscience To Improve Coaching Results

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Executive coaching on a worldwide level has picked up steam as a valuable element of leadership development, and neuroscience provides us with a better understanding of the inner workings of our brain. Neuroscience studies the nervous system, the brain, the sensory nerve cells, and the neurons throughout the body. What are some things coaches can do to improve brain power in clients?

Reframe The Problem To Gain A New Perspective

Sometimes we underestimate the power of reframing an obstacle through conversation, clarification or a challenging question. All of this will reflect that crucial “Aha” moment where you respond to a situation in a new light because you have been informed.

When a client experiences stress and strong emotions, it can reduce the processing power of the brain. Instead, use reframing to unhook your client from the emotional triggers so that they can respond more appropriately and resolve the problem.

Matt Liberman, a professor and social cognitive neuroscience lab director at UCLA, calls this the braking system of the brain. You activate it to reduce the intensity in the brain. Studies have shown the best way to power up the braking system is through the labeling of an emotion with simple words. When you try to suppress the emotion, it has the opposite effect of strengthening it.

Improve Concentration: Juggle or Workout

Have a client who is struggling with concentration? Several studies suggest aerobic exercise improves the generation of new neurons within the hippocampus of the brain. This process is known as neurogenesis and improves a person’s memory.

Juggling is one of the few aerobic exercises you can do in a small space. Research has proven juggling increases the gray matter within the brain, and one study even showed it could make you smarter in just seven days. Along with toning your body and strengthening your core, you are also improving your mind through problem solving skills.

Exercise, both aerobic workout and strength training, has also been known to amplify the neurochemicals to promote differentiation, growth, survival and repair of brain cells. Neurochemicals serve a quintessential role in both mood and mental health.

Juggling sharpens your concentration because you can’t just throw the balls up and keep the flow going. To truly succeed, you have to stay concentrated, and this raw focus of your mind can permeate into other areas of your life.

Increase Brain Power With Puzzles

How to increase brain power can be done via a variety of different means, but puzzles have been a perfect way to increase your brainpower. Puzzles strengthen the connections between the brain cells, and these connections will later be used for improved thinking speed, and are great for short-term memory. A challenging puzzle is great because it forces both coaches and their clients to think in new and creative ways. It trains the mind to work in original ways, and you have to experiment and apply the process of elimination to unlock the mystery of a puzzle.

Different parts of the brain will work together in a whole brain approach to resolve the puzzle problem. Educators will also tell you how they have found that a whole brain approach has been effective for a deeper and longer lasting memory. Coaches could use that knowledge to make their clients more effective at their work. With a puzzle you can do anywhere like a soma cube, you and your client can use spare time to make the brain more effective. Soma cube is a solid dissection puzzle where you assemble 3x3x3 cubes to make a number of different 3-D shapes.

Get Vitamin D

When Vitamin D receptors activate, they increase nerve growth in the brain, and researchers have found metabolic pathways for Vitamin D within both the cerebellum and the hippocampus. Adults with low Vitamin D have shown poor brain function. The most common way to get Vitamin D is through activity in the sun.

One of the best ways a coach can improve their client’s brain power is through the constant challenge of their potential. You have to keep pushing them, and this will improve both the size and the structure of the neurons. Learning has proven to be a powerful way of igniting brain power and getting to the next level of cognitive thinking.

About the Author:

Yazi Jepson is an inspired writer who enjoys writing about personal growth, self-help tips, and women’s lifestyle. She sometimes writes for Streeterlaw,  a firm that helps their clients resolve disputes, preserve and protect their legal rights. In her parallel life, she loves reading and finding her own way to balance her time between writing, baking cakes, and personal training.

A Freelancer’s Guide to Managing Job Uncertainty During the COVID-19 Crisis

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A freelancer’s troubles never seem to end, does it? From the start of work till closing, you’re faced with everything from complex client acquisitions to impossibly short deadlines and unreasonable clients. All of these seem to be the air and water of the freelance work practice.

And while normal life comes bagged and tagged with unavoidable uncertainties, the overwhelm of the freelance work practice takes on a life of its own, getting worse (or better) with every change in social and cultural trends.

In recent times, the persisting COVID-19 pandemic has been one of such crises that have dictated the increasing job uncertainty, melancholic mood, deteriorating mental health, and the general feeling of bleakness that has plagued freelancers.

This article seeks to offer a practical guide to freelancers (no matter their industry) on how to navigate job uncertainty during this COVID-19 crisis.

Regroup and Reprioritize

It’s easy to get lost in the myriad of questions that come with freelancing. Your degree certificate is barely cold when the questions hit: Is freelancing safe? Did I make the right choice? How do I guarantee a steady income flow? Where do good clients come from?

With the pandemic affecting how people consume information and products, it’s inevitable that you also have begun to catch yourself up at night, badgering Google for answers while trying in vain to stop the fear rising at the back of your throat.

But first things first, turn away from your computer. Now would be a good time to remind yourself of the reasons you began to freelance in the first place. Stop and smell your victories and progress (even if it’s just a degree you’ve gotten). Take a good look at your core skills, strengths, and gaps that still need work (this would come in handy soon).

Also, take time to readjust any misplaced priorities, e.g., remember that your present income level (or lack of it thereof) doesn’t define you.

Know your net worth

Next comes the not so fun but essential part: Know your net worth! Yes, we admit, this is a tough one to do for a freelancer, but it isn’t impossible. Your net wealth is described as the total cash amount of your assets minus the total cash amount of your liabilities.

For a freelancer, this may not be easy to ascertain, but you can start with a general understanding of your present financial state. Knowing an average of your income, recurring expenses, and debts would go a long way to alert you to how much gap there is between your present financial state and your future financial aspirations.

Invest in new skills

Remember that earlier stock-taking session?



This is where your findings begin to come together. Your skill gaps (and maybe even ethics gap) should be obvious to you from the deductions you’ve made. And that is an excellent thing.

The pandemic has blessed us with more time on our hands, and there aren’t many things that can compete with learning as being a great use of time.

Invest in a couple of online courses that are relevant to your industry, career, and niche. Subscribe to blogs and newsletters that provide valuable content in your field. Watch YouTube videos, read books, attend virtual conferences. Any method that works for you without putting you under unhealthy pressures is fine. Just keep learning and improving yourself.


The phrase, adapt or die has never been more true for the freelancer than now. As we all seek to adjust to the new realities of COVID-19 (face mask-wearing, social distancing, and teleworking), the freelancer must reinvent and equip himself/herself with relevant skills to these new realities.

For example, the world of journalism has experienced a sharp decline in the news that isn’t necessarily COVID-related while upping its demand for pandemic related information. This means an average freelancer may need to become a master of more than one trade.

Evolution has always favored the fluid, not necessarily the strongest. This isn’t to say that you need to become a master of all. You just need to reassess your skills in light of what is relevant in your industry and actively begin honing new skills and perspectives. You may also need to enlist external help like time daily tasks reporting timesheet to help you and your team become more effective/productive.


It’s almost unnecessary to say that digital is the future. You’re a freelancer, so you probably understand this reality more than most full contract workers.

But what does this new reality mean for you as a freelancer? For starters, we’ll take a guess that you already run as a business organization. Maybe you even have a team of freelancers who work with you (this is a great place to begin if you haven’t begun to function this way).

All over the world, small businesses are finding creative ways to provide relevant products and services for their consumers despite the odds of the pandemic. This may mean creating a new product or improving on your existing services.

In the future, the most obvious path would be to make your systems, processes, and services digitally friendly. Creating digital products is a great place to begin.

Network more

This has got to be the oldest trick in the book, leveraging the human truth that we’re social beings. These times have served to remind most of us of the actual use and value of Social media.

Networking platforms (physical or virtual) can serve as a medium to connect with contemporaries and experts alike. It can become a treasure mine for mutually beneficial and long-lasting professional relationships.

No matter the industry, the benefits of networking can be astounding, serving to do more in the area of publicity, authority building, ideas banking, etc.

This doesn’t just apply to conferences held in your niches or connections with people in your industry. As a business, networking with your customers can help you gain repeat customers and enjoy customer loyalty (a great way to do this is by setting up an email marketing list).

A word of caution, it pays to be deliberate about who and why you’re making a connection. Avoid irrelevant connections to avoid information and relationships that feel spammy.

Bottom line

Although the COVID-19 crisis has exponentially increased job uncertainty for the freelancer, it has also presented an immense opportunity for growth and possibilities.

Applying all that you’ve learned in this guideline will undoubtedly give you a clear handle on managing these times with grace and confidence, wouldn’t you agree? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Author’s BIO: Lori Wade is a journalist from Louisville. She is a content writer who has experience in small editions, Lori is now engaged in news and conceptual articles on the topic of business. If you are interested in an entrepreneur or lifestyle, you can find her onTwitter &LinkedIn. She has good experience and knowledge in the field. 

5 Stress Management Strategies to Bust Your Stress

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Stress is one of the greatest threats we face. The need to change our relationship with change (3Q) and develop simple effective strategies to manage stress is critical. Nip stress in the bud and start to develop a new relationship with change.

Happy to host this guest post by Yazi Jepson on stress management for coaches and their clients. Excellent actionable advice!

There is a reason why medical experts have nicknamed stressthe killer disease.” It really is that serious.

Since there is no one on this planet (except perhaps a meditating monk in a cave somewhere) who can escape from feeling stressed, the key is to learn how to manage it. Here, there actually is such a thing as good stress.” But it is only good if you know how to recognize in stress itself your opportunity to learn new ways to deal with stress.

If you are a career or life coach working in the field, you can probably think of one or many clients you have right now who are oh-so-stressed. In fact, thinking about this probably makes you feel stressed out too.

In this post, you will learn strategies you can use to alleviate and manage your own stress that you can then teach to your clients in turn. Welcome to your less-stressed, more productive and peaceful world!

De-Stress Strategies That Really Work

These proven stress management strategies will help you and your clients learn how to deal with stress on the spot.

Strategy 1: First name your stress, then address it.

At its core, the experience of “feeling stress” comes from the activity in the most ancient part of our brain. This part is called the limbic system, and we share it with most other creatures on this planet.

In this way, stress is the way your survival instinct communicates with you to let you know there is a survival threat on the horizon.

What to do: Your first step in addressing stress is to name the threat. Here, you might find out your stress is linked to insufficient sleep the night before. Or it could be witnessing your boss go storming down the hall. Or it might be “good” stress – like the type you get when you propose to your love and they say ‘yes!’ Once you know what the threat is, or if it is even a threat, then you can deal with it appropriately.

Strategy 2: Identify your personal stress tolerance limits and your go-to coping strategies.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), different age categories manage and process stress in different ways. Each age category, from Mature to Boomer to GenX to Millenials, also has their “go-to” stress management strategies.

In general, the younger you are, the more you are likely to feel challenged to manage your stress. You are also more likely to use less healthy coping strategies (drinking, smoking, over-eating), whereas your older peers are more likely to take a walk or head for a faith service.

The better able you are to identify when your personal stress tolerance limits are getting stretched, the more control you will have over your response to your stress and the coping strategies you choose.

What to do: It can really help here to create a list of stress triggers and go-to coping strategies you can turn to before you just hit your stress limit and automatically turn to something you swore you would not do again.

Strategy 3: Learn to turn stress to your advantage.

Interestingly, stress can be useful to us as more than just a fight-or-flight early alert system. Stress in its purest and most primal form is the energy of e-motion.

You can see this at work in the performance of elite military forces and professional athletes. Those who become most successful in their chosen careers are the ones who can sense and harness the emotional energy of stress to produce their desired outcomes.

What to do: Welcome the e-motional energy of stress as a tool you can use to achieve your goals. Unharnessed, stress energy shoots around like a water hose without a nozzle. Harnessed, you put a nozzle on that hose and direct the stream exactly where you want and need it to go!

By learning and practicing these three ways of dealing with stress, you can feel more centered and self-connected during your client sessions and then teach your clients how to duplicate your successful results.

About the Author: Yazi is an inspired writer who enjoys writing about personal growth, self-help tips, and women’s lifestyle. She sometimes writes for Streeterlaw,  a firm that helps their clients resolve disputes, preserve and protect their legal rights. In her parallel life, she loves reading and finding her own way to balance her time between writing, baking cakes, and personal training.

Bust stress NOW. Recharge-refocus-repower!
Click here to learn about our 1-hour stressbuster sessions and other fast-fix tools. You will be glad you did

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Strategically Approaching Employee Engagement

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A guest article by Adrian Johansen | Image Source: Pexels

Keeping employees engaged is a top priority in many businesses, but somehow the efforts are falling short. Worldwide, only 15% of employees are actively engaged in their work. Additionally, 63.3% of American companies say that retaining employees is harder than hiring them.

What’s going wrong? All the work that companies put into employee engagement seems to be falling flat.

It’s time to step back and look at the issue with fresh eyes. There are ways to keep employees engaged; it just may not be what you expect.

Know What Truly Matters to Employees

Many business leaders assume that small consolation prizes like pizza parties will satiate their employee’s professional appetite, but they would be wrong. It’s done constantly, and it doesn’t even come close to meeting employees’ real needs.

If you’re understaffed, a pizza party won’t solve the overwork. Unfortunately, managers often go with what’s easy and inexpensive rather than with what’s effective.

Instead, it might be better to gain feedback from employees through work satisfaction surveys. You should ask questions that can give you insight into your employees’ needs, ideas, and desires. Doing this along with updating outdated processes, hiring additional employees, or giving back to your community may do more to boost engagement than 100 pizza parties.

Involve Employees in Creating Processes

Adapting your business is a continuous process, and the people who have the strongest insight about what needs to change are often the front-line workers. You can get better results from process improvements when you include them in the planning and execution.

Even more importantly, being included helps people feel like they are important to the organization. It improves morale and helps employees feel like they are valuable and part of the team. Instead of being told, they’re being asked, and that can change everything. Empowering employees makes a real difference!

When you implement something new that employees have taken part in, the updates will have more meaning to your staff and you’ll get much higher buy-in. The process change is much more likely to succeed.

Don’t stop there, though. Help employees understand that they are part of the team by sharing other information with them as well, from emergency response measures to continuity plans. Everyone can feel like an insider, and if they do, they will be much more engaged at work.

Give Daily Encouragement

Because managers have a lot on their plate, they often spend all day responding to problems and putting out fires. As a result, you may only communicate with team members when there’s an issue or performance problem.

Unfortunately, this means that negative feedback is only what your team receives from you. They need positive reinforcement as well. You can improve employee engagement by providing it. You don’t have to go overboard or make a big deal out of everything. Simply share genuine gratitude often.

Daily boosts build up and create loyalty, which matters a lot more than a momentary buzz from an annual kickoff event. Be a boss that people respect. If they look up to you because of your actions, they’ll be less likely to leave, and more likely to engage in the company. This applies to everyone involved in a company — everyone from those that work at the management level to front-line workers. 

Start Engagement at the Very Top

People know when their leaders are putting on a show compared to when they are genuinely enthusiastic. If engagement doesn’t exist in your management team, you won’t have engaged employees either.

Excitement is contagious, but so is cynicism. A key engagement strategy is to make sure you’re encouraging great morale from everyone. This includes engagement from the very top of the company and those at the bottom.

If you’re a manager struggling with a disengaged team, think about your disposition and how you display it around others. By working on your attitude and approach to work, you can make a big difference in your staff.

Develop the Careers of Your Staff

Another difference you can make with your staff is giving them something to stay for. If someone is in a dead end with their job and can’t see a way to advance, they’ll disengage and start looking elsewhere for work.

Being intentional about career development can help motivate passive employees and keep enthusiastic ones engaged. Talk to each team member about their goals for work and help them develop new skills. Keep your eyes open for opportunities and encourage your employees to go for them.

Don’t make your employees look elsewhere to advance their careers. They’ll either stay and grow apathy for their job, or they’ll take their skills to another company. Neither one is good for your team!

Create an Environment Where Employees Can Thrive

As a business leader, it’s important to have a team that’s committed to the company’s goals and involved in its future. To get there, you’ll need to create an environment where employees are appreciated and encouraged to grow.

You can’t force someone to be happy, of course. All you can do is accept feedback and set the stage for people to succeed. Include your staff in process changes and significant decisions, help them develop, and pay attention to what matters.

When you do, your team will be an exception to the rule. They’ll be genuinely engaged.


Author Bio:
Adrian Johansen is a writer and consultant in the Pacific Northwest. She loves sharing knowledge with others and learning along the way! You can find more of her writing here

12 Ways to Turn Overwhelm Around

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(photo credit: Getty Images)

We are living in a time of overwhelm. We have all felt it, many of us deal with it on a consistent basis, and it erodes our potential, our results, and our happiness on a multiplicity of levels.

Let’s take a look at what happens when we are stressed or overwhelmed. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that controls executive functions; clear thinking, decision-making, strategizing, planning, etc. When we are stressed the blood flow to the prefrontal cortex is reduced, making clear thinking increasingly difficult. The more stressed or anxious you become, the more difficult it is to focus and think.

When we feel overwhelmed, we subconsciously look for a distraction to remove stressful feelings. Rather than completing a project or dealing with a difficult situation, we surf the web, watch a program rather than doing our work, or dealing with a difficult situation because our thinking brain, our prefrontal cortex is not working properly because our survival/fight or flight mechanism is in play.

The good news is that we can learn how to deal with overwhelm and stress.  Rather than beating yourself up for going into fight/reactionary, flight or freeze response, try one of these 5-minute exercises knowing that the stress, anger or overwhelm will pass, and you will be able to refocus on your most important objective after refocus, repurpose and repower.

Here are 12 5-minute exercises (cool tools) to help beat stress or overwhelm

  1. Do “The Pause” a mindfulness exercise that takes 2-5 minutes a day and is transformative if practiced regularly, and science confirms its positive impact on your potential, results, and healthClose your eyes and take at least three deep breaths.  Focus on the air going in through your nose and out through your nose or mouth. Relax your jaw, face, neck, shoulders, and arms.
  2. Take charge of tension by releasing it, fast.  Clench whatever part of your body is tense and release it.  Even better, do your whole body-clenching & releasing.
  3. Drink/sip ice water. Fluids move hormones into exactly the right places for sustaining energy, and those same fluids eliminate toxic wastes that can accumulate and wear you down.
  4. Change your state, move your body, take 5 minutes to get energetic.  Inactivity is an unnatural state for us.
  5. Laugh, yes have a joke collection or clips you can watch for 5 minutes that make you laugh.  Laughing gives your brain an aerobic workout, and it is an excellent stress reliever and mood booster.  Smiling automatically elevates our mood.
  6. Take a 5-minute time out. Block out all stress or worries.  Think about something that really makes you happy or visualize your favorite place or vacation spot.  Yes, take a happiness time out!
  7. Meditate, pray, listen to music, or read poetry for 5 minutes.
  8. Journal for up to 5 minutes, longitudinal studies have proven that keeping a confidential emotional journal where you can write out your deepest emotions, releasing the tension associated with them not only makes people feel better, but it also enhances healing and recuperation time.
  9. Take a 1 minute time out. Wiggle your toes (it distracts your brain) Block out all stress or worries.  Think about something that really makes you happy.  Yes, take a happiness time out!
  10. Doodle or color for five minutes.  Creativity is a great stress reliever.

What worked in the past will not work now or in the future. It is time to realize that there are new ways to deal with a whole new world, ways that will help us build what I call the Q skills, strengths that drive our best selves, best work, and best lives at the speed of change and even chaos. A new mindset and focus that enhances emotional and cognitive dexterity at the speed of change. Click here to learn more about 3Q skills

Make the critical shift forward because it is possible to retrain our brains, recenter our hearts, and learn to think, communicate, and collaborate better at the speed of change.

If you would like to learn more about building a growth mindset, improved communication, collaboration, and leadership in the face of change, please do not hesitate to contact me. I have recently completed a certification in trauma counseling and welcome people who also have life issues they want to deal with. Personal and professional leadership are critical and our ability to achieve transformative results is real! Don’t think how, think NOW. Book a 20-minute consultation before the next change, challenge, or stressor.

More on 3Q Leadership?  You Betcha!
The Empowerment Compendium
Men & Women Leading Forward |  Building the 3Q Leadership Skills
Leadership Means Building A Community of Purpose

Cool Tool-5 min. success step

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We are living in chaotic times, and the upside of chaos is of course that it is a state generating new solutions and often incredible answers. The downside of chaos is before us each day; record levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. I focus on helping clients use change as an asset, as a springboard for great personal and business leadership, purpose, communication, collaboration, and success.

There is no doubt that adopting a new mindset = new results, and building a growth mindset is critical. Carol Dweck’s landmark book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success is a must-read. Click here to read Carol Dweck’s Article on Growth Mindset in Harvard Business Review

The first step in building a new relationship with change, a new relationship with the times in which we live starts with focusing on your wins. We are automatically wired to see the negative, and while doing so helped us when we were living in caves, it is now one of the biggest causes of failure. Turn Negativity Around: 3 Simple-Practical-Powerful Ways To Reset The Internal GPS


Take 5-10 minutes every day to notice and acknowledge positive aspects of yourself and your day because doing so is an important self-esteem booster! Start a journal or add these questions to your daily journal.  Great way to wrap up the day!

What is my best achievement of today?

What is a challenge (or challenges) I successfully overcame today?

Today, I had fun when…

I call tools that take 5-10 minutes or less a day and are free, Cool Tools! You may be skeptical, but they do work!
Try this one for a week, and send me your feedback!
Photo Credit: Getty Images

DO you want to turn the tables on stress? Achieve personal and business success at the speed of change? Help your executive team master the soft skills and new mindset that leads to breakthrough results? Reach out and I will reach back! – your catalyst for success at the speed of change

Tips for Leading a Diverse Team

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Success is a team sport, and the imperative to communicate, collaborate, and build diverse and inclusive teams has never been greater. Enjoy this guest post by Adrian Johansen.

Now more than ever, companies need to prioritize diversity and inclusion. Gone are the days when diversity was solely regarded as a checkbox to tick. Championing diversity and inclusion is good for innovation, culture, and business. Moreover, the workplace plays a huge part in shaping the lives of its employees and society as a whole, and inclusivity that stems here can spark real change.

Though companies already have diversity on the agenda, the 2020 pandemic and the resulting surge in remote hiring has allowed more businesses to hire across borders. Even when in-person working picks up, diversity will continue to be upfront and center.

So how does one inculcate inclusion and build diverse teams? The answer points to leadership.

Training management to actively promote a culture of diversity is an ongoing process and here are a few tips that can help:

Understand and address diversity as a spectrum

Often, when you say ‘diversity’, people think religion, race, gender. While these are all included, companies need to understand that it also extends to diversity in personality, background, age, and sexual orientation. As a leader, learn about and make room for different kinds of diversity, as well as account for the differences that might arise because of it.

Develop empathy

Every employee is different and experiences the workplace differently. The only way to be a leader who factors in these experiences is to learn how to walk a mile in their shoes, and empathize. Many argue that empathy is too emotional for the workplace, but an article by Western Governors University (WGU) makes the case for a healthy emotional balance. To support this point, it points out that when employees feel their leaders empathize with them, they’re more productive, more loyal, and happier to come to work. In turn, empathy builds a personal connection and that builds stronger teams.

WGU goes on to say that empathy, though often inherent, can be developed through certain practices. These include learning more about your employees, taking an interest in their ambitions and concerns, stepping out from one’s own bubble to consider other perspectives, and so on. And contrary to misconception, empathy doesn’t make a leader soft. It only proves their mettle and their ability to support their team in challenging times, as stated in our previous article on leadership.

Create formal diversity policies

While a company may hire diversely, what are they doing to support their minority employees in the workplace? Creating strategic, thoughtful policies that value, understand, and encourage diverse employees has multiple benefits. First, these are a formal, tangible show of support from the company. Second, they safeguard the well-being of diverse employees and showcase employers’ intentions. They also help create transparency and accountability within the workspace.

These policies should be formed by Diversity and Inclusion experts. Policies can be based on non-discrimination and anti-harassment principles like:

  • Abusing authority to demean someone or have them perform tasks outside their role.
  • Undermining a colleague or refusing to cooperate.
  • Discriminating and mistreating someone based on their race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, etc.
  • Passing unwanted and unsavory remarks.
  • Spreading rumors, gossiping, or bullying other employees.

And they can also be policies that outline programs, tools, and resources to empower minority employees.

Change your recruitment strategy

The best first step to diversify internally is to change how you hire externally. To make sure your company is more attractive to a diverse workforce, consider changing your recruitment approach by:

  • Showcasing your pro-diversity policies: Let candidates know that your workplace is a safe, welcome, and inclusive space.
  • Using technology: Minimize human bias by using AI to shortlist candidates based on their qualifications.
  • Identifying and overcoming bias: It’s important to make sure your recruitment team undergoes tests like the Harvard Implicit Association Test and others, to identify any unconscious bias and work on it.
  • Working with partners: Partner up with organizations that champion diverse minorities and can send the best candidates your way.

Take feedback

The only way to understand your team’s needs is to listen to them. Set up feedback sessions that empower people to speak up about their concerns or needs. You can do this by having an open-door policy, host town hall meetings, or have anonymous feedback surveys. Regular feedback sessions that are productive and then implemented make for better, happier, and more secure employees and a more cohesive company culture.

Encourage collaboration

Bring together team members that have different backgrounds but complement each other’s professional strengths. Encourage open, honest, and respectful debate to fuel creative collaboration. Leaders can also help the foster community by bringing together team members over passions they share outside work!

Measure and evaluate

Managers and leaders should regularly check in with themselves to evaluate if their initiatives are working and what could be better. Pay attention to how your employees are feeling, what their feedback is, and show them that their inputs and experiences matter. Involve diverse employees when creating programs and policies for them so that it isn’t a top-down dialogue, but a collaborative effort that works.


Diverse teams make your company so much stronger, more innovative, and a much more enjoyable workplace. Not only that, diversity boosts business, with studies showing that companies with diverse management report 20% higher innovation revenue as compared with those who don’t. Creating and leading a diverse team is not just necessary, it’s a given.

Author Bio: Adrian Johansen is a writer and consultant in the Pacific Northwest. She loves sharing knowledge with others and learning along the way. You can find more of her writing here.

Stand Up for What Can Be

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It is time to stand up for what can be, rather than looking in despair at what is or what was.

It is time to realize that we have the potential to build a better tomorrow, but it is potential that will not be realized without embracing a new mindset, a new focus that allows us to transform what is into what can be.

Will you be a pioneer, a peaceful warrior, a champion who will join me in celebrating a delicate balance between autonomy and collaboration, a new world of working together with purpose, with passion by building what I call 3Q Strengths?

3Q Strengths?  Yes, strengths I built when facing monumental business challenges in an executive career, and personal challenges ranging from illness to tragedy.  Strengths that have helped forward-thinking executives, professionals, and entrepreneurs change their lives and the lives of others. Strengths that have helped me and helped my clients navigate change, difficult challenges, crises and even trauma in ways that drive our best self, best collaboration, best work and most purposeful contribution.

The answers to our problems must reflect strategic thought Q1, emotional dexterity Q2, and the universal values and purpose Q3 that holds our world together. The answers start with developing a relationship with ourselves and with others that builds bridges between what is and what can be; growth mindsets, emotional and cognitive dexterity, and a relentless desire to contribute to be part of a better tomorrow.

What would a better tomorrow look like?
What would happen if you could let go of the cloud of negativity and chaos surrounding us and become relentlessly solution focused because the answers to our problems can be found in the ashes of what has failed. In the synergy that is created when great hearts, minds, and people of courage hold hands and hearts.

Pie in the sky?  Think again. 

Every great movement, every great change, every important learning starts with a dream to do better, to contribute more, and to build a better world. I reach out to you today and always and ask you to dream, to imagine, to visualize what we CAN create and do…together.

Together we can create organizations and communities of purpose founded on transformational thinking, emotional dexterity, and purpose (our 3Q Edge). If you want to lead, if you want to succeed, it is time to know that together we can change the world. 

 Join the fight for a better tomorrow, or face the peril of being mired in a sea of negativity, fear and ego that can attack even the best and brightest among us. We each have a role to play, no matter how small or large, in building a better tomorrow.

Get ready for a weekly 3Q post and inspiring quotes on 3Q Leadership Blog starting next week.  Carpe diem, inspire yourself, and those you lead to dream, to aspire to what we can create.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

6 Effective Ways to Motivate a Passive Employee

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Motivation is key to success on so many levels. Learning to motivate others, is a critical skill. Happy to share this guest post by Angeline Lecerio

The truth is that almost all employees fall into some degree of being passive in their working lifetime. Direct superiors’ skills often get tested when they are trying to get passive employees to perform better at work.

To be clear, passive employees are not necessarily bad for the company. This just means that more often than not, these employees need more than just the usual nudge from their managers to have a productive day at work.

What passive really is.

Leaders often think of passive employees as employees that need a push towards the right direction, which in this case, towards productivity. Inactive employees will often tell their managers what they wanted to hear just to get along. In fact, passive employees can be trusted like clockwork to just go about their tasks with nothing more and less. Simply put, they would not put in that extra effort but can still get the job done.

Just because it’s not a bad thing does not mean that leaders can just let it go and also be passive about it. There are simple, effective, and proven ways to motivate passive employees in your work. Below are six of the most effective ways of getting employees engaged and being more productive in their respective tasks.

Level the ‘paying’ field

It may sound like a pun, but it makes a lot of sense. This means that there are industry standards for pay in a specific category of workers — being passive starts to creep its way in when your employees realise that they are being paid less than the average grade in their position. As soon as they realise this, it can be tough to get them to perform at their peak. 

If, for some reason, the budget dictates very little wiggle room in terms of salary increases, companies often compensate with non-monetary perks. The point is that when employees perceive that they are being given value, productivity will increase as they feel happier in their work. One of the easiest ways to improve morale in the workplace is by merely aligning your company’s salary grid to the industry standard. 

Opportunities for self-improvement

Passive employees who are given a glimpse of their potential achievements can be valuable assets to a company as they work their way towards their goals. Having your team attend skills training, even simple ones, can remove passivity and nip any long term problems in the bud. Employees that show potential are prime candidates for leadership training, and giving them the opportunity will not only provide motivation to that particular employee but their co-workers as well.

Providing training to your employees is a win for everybody, often improving morale and productivity. Training does not just deal with a worker’s attitude towards his or her work, but you are substantially upgrading your workforce. Corporate training will allow them to move forward with their careers and start to aspire for more. 

Maintain open communication

An approachable and open communication policy in the office will often keep management up to date on the office’s latest goings-on. This is a valuable tool in keeping the pulse on your workforce so that you can react accordingly. However, the real purpose of fostering open communication is to show your team members that you and the company he or she represents genuinely care about employees’ welfare. 

Open communication tells them that what they say matters. By hearing employees’ suggestions, you engage them and make them feel included. As a leader or superior, you can encourage questions and try to provide answers that will enable them to perform their work more effectively. Gathering input does not necessarily mean listening to each, and every one of your employees tells you about their day. There are other means of getting them, such as during meetings. When you get inputs, make sure to brush up or follow up on them when you get an opportunity. This will make employees feel that you listened to them, even if you did not actually solve all their problems.

Be a leader, not a boss

Almost all of us have experienced working for that nightmare of a boss, so make sure that your employees will not experience the same thing under your leadership. In short, make sure that you would be someone that you would want to work for. A miserable manager can influence the way a workplace feels and can spoil everyone’s day fast.

A leader is always on the positive side of things. If you want to inspire your team, be the example of what a leader should be. A manager sets the mood and tone for how the day will go at the office. Keeping that good vibe going at work reduces stress, and when you are approachable, employees will feel that they can tell you things that may impact the day to day operations in the office. They will feel confident to disclose any challenges and in turn, you can act on these challenges before they turn into huge problems.

Encourage team bonding

Positive employee relations are among the most effective ways to motivate employees. There are a lot of activities you and your team can prepare to make sure that the team bonds on a slightly more personal level. A simple dinner or a night out once a month can do wonders for the morale of your team members. This will also allow you to manage internal conflicts quite easily because you can communicate with your team effectively. 

Team activities also help employees feel that the company values healthy work-life balance. A company that respects work-life balance is something rare, and that alone can refocus anyone who is being demotivated at work.

Appreciation can do wonders

Appreciation does not mean heaping praise on every single task your associates do as it’s just impossible and counter-productive to do so. Always appreciate in public and reprimand in private. One does not always have to do it daily, but make sure to find the time to commend team members for their achievements.

This is based on the very essential human psychology trait itself, the need to be appreciated. People love to be appreciated. Thanking an employee, or acknowledging his or her contribution to the team can do miracles in improving that person’s productivity.

Final words

Employee motivation is not something management can sweep under the rug. Just following a few of the tips above can help bring about a noticeable change among your employees. Cultivating enthusiasm and motivating employees should be on the list of any company’s priorities because it is their teams that will allow them to achieve significant growth and success.

Author Bio: Angeline Licerio is a content writer for Elevate Corporate Training. Like the rest of her teammates at Elevate, Angeline believes that she can help create better bottom lines, happier and healthier staff, and build communities where people engage with each other in high functioning relationships.

Irene Becker | | Build Your 3Q Edge

Build your ultimate advantage in turbulent times

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You have heard of EQ/EI (emotional intelligence) but what is 3Q, and how can building three “Q” strengths change and improve your life, your communication, your leadership, and the results you achieve in a VUCA* world?   Click here to learn all about 3Q skills scroll down to take a free 3Q life and career self-assessment. (*volatility, uncertainty, change, ambiguity)

Here are 7 ways to start building YOUR 3Q Edge:

  1.  Build a community of purpose, because success in a connected world demands communication, collaboration with your direct reports, your boss, your colleagues, and other stakeholders. Click for more info on developing YOUR Community of Purpose.
  2. Develop Greater Self Awareness  Your ability to find new ways, better ways to R-E-A-C-H (redirect, empower, actualize, communicate and harvest results) in yourself is the starting point, the pivotal determinant for your ability to inspire and engage the best in yourself and others in good times and bad.
  3. Increase your emotional intelligence, build self-awareness, awareness of others, emotional mastery, and resilience that is critical to effective.  Click here to learn more about EQ management, leadership, and wellbeing. Learning about EQ/EI is important, but it is not enough. Emotional intelligence is honed in the practice, in using challenges at hand to build each critical area of EQ/EI that will allow you to live, lead and succeed more effectively, optimize and delegate purposefully and build the communication and strong relationships that are critical to success.
  4. Embrace and nurture your strengths. Get in focus with what you do brilliantly, with your areas of excellence. Know what you do best, and use every challenge you face to engage and build you’re your intrinsic and learned strengths. Choose team members who have different strengths that give the sum total of your efforts more power. Team members whose values, integrity, and dedication mirror yours but whose intrinsic and learned strengths are different and complementary to your own.
  5.  See challenges in a new and different way that takes YOU and those you lead forward. Develop a new and different relationship with changes, stressors, difficult people/situations that will help YOU Fail Forward faster and better. Your ability to reset default patterns is the coachable moment. It takes awareness; it takes practice and consistent small positive steps or changes in perspective and behavior that will have a formidable impact.
  6. Develop your REACH coaching skills. Learn how to effectively coach others. Develop the coaching skills that can help you help others to optimize their potential, communication, and results when the going gets tough by helping others R-E-A-C-H™ (redirect focus, empower, actualize potential, communicate effectively, harvest results). Apply systems theory, because even one small consistent positive change will impact the whole system in ways that can be pivotal and transformational.
  7.  Develop new ways, better ways of communicating that helps you build a bridge across cultural or generational differences that helps you to achieve the engagement and collaboration you need to succeed in our connected world.  Your ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important determinants of your personal and professional success.
  8. Do you want to play to strengths while transforming stressors, changes, challenges into a lever for your greatest purpose, potential, and results?  Pie in the sky?  Think again.  The proof is in a 16-year track record of breakthrough results in high stress, high change environments.

Take action NOW, and it’s free!

Find out where you stand with this FREE 3Q Career and Life Self Assessment  Just email 

Irene Becker

Just Coach It with Irene 
Coaching•Consulting•Workshops•Keynotes with a 3Q Edge™

Contact:  Twitter @justcoachit
                 Tel: (1) 416-671-4726   Skype: beckerirene   

5 Actionable Tips on Improving Your Negotiation Skills

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Negotiation is inevitable for salespersons, business managers, and nearly everyone that operates a business of some kind. Usually, negotiations come along with opportunities that could be in your favor. After all, that’s what motivates us to make the most of every negotiation.

It could be an opportunity to persuade the customer to purchase your offer at a specific price, convince the supplier to increase the number of materials, or request your employees to adopt a particular company policy.

Besides, you might be dealing with people that aren’t easy to convince. Arm yourself with these five tips to help you win the negotiation.

1. Build a Connection

Often, we may think we know the other party, but the reality is, we don’t. It’s never wise to assume you know what the other individual wants until you consider their position, experience, perspective, and reputation.

Be empathetic because people won’t always be honest and upfront regarding what they want. Consider what you already know or what other people have told you about someone. You’ll understand the intent behind their tactics and know what to say so you can persuade them.

When you understand the other party’s situation, you’ll know the best approach to use and steer it toward a fair and equitable result. Establishing common ground and expressing humanity can break even the most rigid negotiator.

If you don’t practice this exercise, you’ll only put forward your point without validating the other person’s concerns. The result will be a defensive response that’ll make it difficult to compromise.

2. Be a Good, Active Listener

Active listening goes beyond the ‘hearing’ aspect. It’s the conscious choice to listen, decipher, and understand the speaker’s message, whether it comes with facial expressions, words, vocal properties, or gestures.

Additionally, it’s not staying silent as the other individual speaks. Instead, it’s a cooperative association in which competitive attitudes don’t have room. In other words, it doesn’t refer to using the time the other person is talking to identify logic errors, become defensive or form arguments.

Active listening is an invaluable negotiation technique. Listening can be the key to reduce tension and enhance progress in deadlock situations. When you listen, you’re signaling to the other party that you’re putting your opinions aside and taking your time to consider their perspective.

Besides, listening helps you to collect all the relevant details regarding a particular situation. And with that information, you can explore the matter in a more effective and deeper way. The last thing you want to do is sit there, smile blankly, and nod your head as the other party argues their case.

Listening gives you access to more information. With more information, you’ve got the power to help you reach the desired goal. So, how do you exercise listening skills during a negotiation?

Powerful Tricks to Transform Your Listening Skills into a Successful Negotiation

  • Ask questions: When you ask questions, you express interest in what the other person is saying. It also shows that you’re ready to explore different sides of the argument. For example, when you formulate a question starting with, “Can you please explain what you mean by…..”, it shows that you’re paying attention and willing to understand the other party’s viewpoint.
  • Paraphrasing: Paraphrasing is an effective way to show that you understand what the other person is saying, as it sums up what they’d said. Thus, use sentences such as, “from your explanation, I understand that your plan is to …”
  • Giving Feedback: Providing feedback is the best way to show you’ve carefully considered the other person’s point of view. It demonstrates that you didn’t disregard their views and that you’re ready to further discuss their perspectives.
  • Acknowledgment: Just like feedback, acknowledgment is an effective way to identify the other person’s concerns so you can work together toward solving the problem.

3. Place Yourself in Their Shoes

One of the biggest mistakes that negotiators make is failing to uncover their opponent’s position. For example, when selling, if the prospect isn’t ready to pay the asking price, then it’s important to find out what they’d like to pay.

Most salespeople usually miss out on this point. Typically, most say ‘OK’ and proceed to discount the price by say 10%, after which the prospect might say, ‘the price is still too high’. Upon hearing this, the salesman will give more discount.

But this is not an effective approach, and only unprepared and inexperienced salespersons use it.

It’s essential to prepare upfront for any negotiation process by evaluating the other side’s unique position. By doing some research beforehand, you can choose the right approach so you can organize, lead the negotiation process, and eventually close the deal.

Next time the prospect objects your price or terms, you should ask them what they’re ready to pay. That way, you’ll have two positions and sufficient ground for negotiation.

4. Be Direct

Some people don’t like small talk; they like it when you cut right to the chase. So, you need to understand them beforehand so you can prepare accordingly. If you’re engaging a negotiator who takes an extreme position, you may want to come up with your own tough strategies.

But remember to always act respectfully and calmly when speaking your mind. In some situations, it’s necessary to tell a negotiating party that their conduct is unacceptable and that you won’t withstand any manipulative or controlling tendencies. Prioritize self-respect, and you may get full cooperation from your opponent.

5. Don’t Take Things Personally

Most negotiations don’t succeed because either party is carried away by personal issues or matters unrelated to the deal at hand. Instead, successful negotiators focus on a problem-solving approach, which is typically how the agreement may end.

Focusing on the other person’s personality or issues unrelated to making a deal can sabotage a negotiation. If your negotiation partner is rude or unruly, try to understand their behavior without taking anything too personal.

Final Word

To win a negotiation, it’s important that you strive to understand the other person first. Put yourself in their shoes, be a good listener, and build a connection. Remember, it’s not always about your perspective and what you want. You also need to understand the needs of the other party.

Author BIO: Heather Redding is a part-time assistant manager, solopreneur, and writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is also an avid reader and a tech enthusiast. When Heather is not working or writing, she enjoys her Kindle library and a hot coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter.

Are Your Delegation Tactics Actually Empowering Employees?

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In our article on Why Excellent Managers Delegate Tasks, we covered the difficulties that come with being a manager – most notably, delegation. Delegation entails straying away from micromanaging, and instead, trusting and empowering your employees enough to accomplish deliverables on their own. The role of a manager does not require you to be fully hands-on, but to ensure that everything is executed excellently. Delegation is essential in empowering employees. This gives them agency, improves accountability, and allows them to think on their feet and make their own calls. If you are adjusting to the new role or are looking for ways to improve, it may be more difficult for you to measure how effective you are as a manager.

Here’s what you can do to make sure your delegation tactics are empowering your employees:

Fostering transparency with regular feedback

Feedback is a two-way street, and it shouldn’t just occur during mid-year or annual evaluations. An Entrepreneur article highlights how effective feedback could define trajectories if it is actionable and growth-oriented. When you delegate a task to an employee and they deliver, assess how well they were able to execute it. In the same way, employees should be able to evaluate their own performance and inform you of any hiccups they encountered along the way. Creating an environment of transparency means that they inform you if they are lacking any support, resources, or other information needed to improve. You can set quick catch-ups or even online meetings for feedback after a project has been completed. The more regular, the better – as this could even enhance your company culture.

Leveraging integrated platforms for mobile workers

More companies are starting to adopt a mobile workforce. Nowadays, leaders are encouraged to fully consider this strategy given the current situation. However, the concept of a mobile workforce has been around for a while – which could be a valuable asset for a modern organization. But without the right tools and resources, your business, workers, and clients may end up suffering. Research from Verizon Connect has found that the mobile workforce often has issues with productivity and efficiency. In order to successfully delegate and manage a remote team, you need to find the best software, tools, and integrated communications platforms for everyone to stay in the loop. These should be avenues for you to check-in throughout the day, have a public record of tasks, and allow for free-flowing communication for all teams. Operations will become more efficient and transparent, and workers will now be able to stay accountable and get work done despite geographic and technological constraints.

Giving credit when and where it is due

HR and management consultant Susan M. Heathfield emphasizes the importance of managers demonstrating that they value their employees. If you remain quiet, workers may end up second-guessing themselves and the tasks that they have been doing, which could affect the outcome of their work. This then defeats the purpose of empowering employees through delegation. Giving credit where and when it is due is a good business practice that will supply employees with enough compensation and recognition to keep them motivated. The art of rewarding and recognizing is so significant that it could affect how much employees are willing to invest in your company.

At the end of the day, effective delegation can be measured not only by how well employees are able to handle assigned tasks, but how they feel about themselves after. The responsibility of a manager does not merely end with the act of delegating but should be constantly revisited even when the work has been completed.

Written by Alisha Gwen
Exclusive for

Alisha Gwen is an HR expert with a background in psychology and management. She writes about company culture and often assists businesses with growth and development. In her free time, she crochets and does some freelance writing

Science-Backed Memory Tips

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How to Improve Memory and Recall

Memory, the process of maintaining information over time, is an essential part of life as it allows us to store the information we need to interact and adapt to the world around us. Without memory, we wouldn’t be able to recall places we’ve been, the names of friends or family members, how to do our jobs or information we are taught in school. Understanding how memory works can help us protect and enhance the process.

There are three stages of memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval. Memory encoding converts information into a form that the brain can store. Information can be encoded as visual (picture), acoustic (sound), or semantic (meaning). Next, information is stored as either a long-term or short-term memory, impacting how we are able to access the memory later on. The final stage of memory, retrieval, allows us to access stored information.

Since memory is a critical part of life, it’s important to protect against memory decline. The best way to do this is by living a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, there are specific techniques individuals can use to memorize and recall information. This piece offers tips for boosting brain health as well as science-backed techniques that can be used for memorizing and recalling information.

Lifestyle Tips for Boosting Brain Health

In addition to actively engaging your mind, such as with brain training games, to improve thinking skills and memory, living a healthy lifestyle can also help promote brain health. Individuals may be able to protect against memory decline by doing the following:

  • Engaging in regular exercise: Doing aerobic exercise to get your heart pumping appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the area of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning. Additionally, exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, and sleep better, all of which have a relationship to memory.
  • Reducing stress: Since stress can interfere with memory, actively working to limit stress can be protective. If you are overwhelmed or struggle with negative thinking patterns, there are ways to retrain your brain for positivity and success. For example, engaging in self-care practices such as journaling or yoga can be beneficial for individuals. Meditation in particular has been shown to improve episodic memory, the memory of everyday events.
  • Eating a healthy diet: Consuming a balanced diet, one that limits red meat and is full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can help promote against memory decline and dementia. Specifically, diets higher in mono- and polyunsaturated fats (opposed to saturated fat) may help to preserve memory.
  • Limiting alcohol: Most of us are aware that alcohol can impact memory. Alcohol can disrupt the ability to form new long-term memories, and even at low doses alcohol can impair memory. 
  • Getting enough sleep: Since sleep plays a role in the consolidation of memories, it is essential to get enough quality sleep. Researchers hypothesize that slow-wave sleep, which is deep, restorative sleep, plays a significant role in declarative memory, the knowledge of fact-based information, by processing and consolidating newly acquired information. Additionally, if someone is sleep deprived, it will be difficult for them to focus and learn efficiently.

8 Techniques for Memorizing Information

Not only is memory important in everyday life, but there are also situations that require individuals to be able to memorize and recall specific information. For example, when studying for an exam, preparing a presentation, or getting ready to deliver a speech.

There are a few ways to set yourself up for success when preparing for a situation where you will have to recall specific information. Before preparing, try to get rid of distractions and plan ahead so you are able to avoid cramming and take breaks. Additionally, evidence suggests that it may be beneficial to study before going to sleep, as well as sleeping between learning sessions, can help people consolidate memories and retain information.

When it comes time to begin studying the information you’ll need to recall, there are science-backed techniques you can use to help retain information and improve recall. For example, using organizational strategies, such as the chunking method, visual cues, and handwriting notes rather than typing can be beneficial.

Additional strategies, such as using mnemonics, can be useful for storing information as long-term memory. Many of us likely remember the mnemonics we learned in school, for example PEMDAS (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction) teaches students the order of operations.

The visual below from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences outlines 8 science-backed techniques for retaining information and improving recall.

Click on the thumbnail below for the full infographic

Julia Morrissey is a content creator who works to develop helpful guides and compelling stories. Her passion for creative writing has led her to cover unique topics ranging from business to lifestyle. She calls New York City home and enjoys spending time with her rescue dog, running in Central Park, and finding new vegan dining options around the city.

How to Help Employees Develop a Growth Mindset

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Photo credit Pexels

The imperative to develop a growth mindset is critical. What is a growth mindset and why should you develop one and help your people do the same? Enjoy this guest post by Lisa B. Michaels and find out!

Simply put, a growth mindset is a firm belief that one’s abilities are not cast in stone. It’s the belief that talent can be nurtured and that intelligence can be fostered.

Think of it as an attitude that also entails a sincere hope that leadership and creativity can be developed. Note that subscribing to a growth mindset is an imperative attitude and not particularly a skill.

Growth-oriented workplaces like Microsoft and LinkedIn seem to have figured out what developing a growth mindset is all about. For example, Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, stands out here for several reasons. He’s credited with leading the multi-billion dollar company through a much-needed culture shift using a growth mindset strategy.

The company is now using the approach to develop its next crop of leaders. LinkedIn CEO, on the other hand, advises employers to focus on skills, not qualifications, when considering potential employees.

Growth vs. Fixed Mindsets

Individuals with fixed mindsets firmly believe that their skills and intelligence are intrinsically linked to themselves. Thus, rather than being motivated to develop further, they view constructive feedback as personal attacks. This often triggers an emotional reaction to feedback, which blocks potential personal gain.

People with growth mindsets are the exact opposite of their counterparts with fixed mindsets. They see challenges and obstacles in the workplace as opportunities to improve.

They are open to feedback and criticism. To them, critique and feedback open up avenues that can fuel their performance and output.

How Leaders and Managers Can Help Their Employees Transition from a Fixed To a Growth Mindset

Think of it as a gradual process, so be patient. Understand that individuals adapt to change differently. The following tips can help you expedite the process:

Encourage Employees to Learn and Set Their Own Development Goals

Many employees crave for this kind of freedom. It comes in handy when transitioning from a fixed to a growth mindset for pretty much obvious reasons.

Your employers will set their own development goals based on what they are good at. They’ll also set the goals based on how fast they can get projects done. Be sure to allow them to choose their teams. More freedom means more output. It is a win-win situation.

Ask Your Employees for Their Opinion on Solving Some Issues

Think of your workplace as a big classroom where everyone is a teacher and a student at the same time. In other words, you can learn a lot from each other.

For that to happen, ask your employees for their opinion on different things. Find out what they think about trying out a new system, working hours, and everything and anything that affects them.

Provide Learning Opportunities

This is, by far, the best way to impart a growth mindset at the workplace. Provide numerous learning opportunities at work time and again.

Be sure to make the process fun. Bring onboard experts and have them train your employees on the best practices in the market in your field of work.

Be Transparent About Challenges and Failures

This applies to both management and employees. It’s one of the most effective problem-solving skills in any work environment. It’s also an excellent way to diffuse bureaucracy and protocol issues that often bar employees from reaching out to their bosses.

Accountability and Independence

One of the most effective strategies to develop a growth mindset at the workplace is to make employees accountable for their work and give them sufficient independence.

But before giving them all the autonomy they need, train them to stay productive, and to manage their time. Train them to prioritize and identify how their work can contribute to company goals and objectives.

This is precisely where time management strategies come into the picture. To succeed at it, use the following procedures:

Discourage MultiTasking

Many employees fall into the multitasking trap without even realizing it. They try to do multiple projects at once and end up not getting anything done at all. Assign single projects to your employees. Give them room to brainstorm on ideas that can help them execute the task with minimum ease. Note that research shows multitasking decreases productivity.

The rule here is simple; focus on each task separately.

Break Down Bigger Tasks into Smaller Tasks

It‘s easy to get overwhelmed by big projects sometimes. You can find it hard to know where to start.

To confront this, take the whole project and break it down into smaller tasks. You can also try to batch smaller tasks together.

To-Do Lists

Create a list of things you need to do in advance. Invest in software that can do this easily. The software should be able to make it easy for your employees to create their to-do list.

Remember, though, that the traditional pen and paper to-do lists are still useful. Encourage your employees to use them.


Train your employees to evaluate their responsibilities based on urgency and importance. Besides, you should emphasize that they complete their projects, starting with the highest priority.

Remember that this process calls for effective communication between employees and their supervisors. This will ensure that priorities are adequately and appropriately aligned with departmental and overall company goals.


Every second lost because of a misplaced document or file is time that could have been used to complete a task. Insist on personal space as well as personal organization at the workplace. This will not just help you save time; it’ll go a long way to improve your employees to maximize their output.

Create a Favorable Working Environment

Make your employees feel excited to report to work. The environment should stay productive throughout the day. This doesn’t just apply to workspaces.

The printing room, washrooms, and even the waiting lobby should all be comfortable. Where possible, incorporate an element of fun at the workplace.

Be Open to Ideas

Be approachable. Often, employees have ideas on how to get work done faster. Unfortunately, bureaucracy and protocol make it hard for them to air their views.

By all means, avoid this at the workplace. The rule here is simple: listen to your employees all the time.

Final Thought

Encouraging employees to have a growth mindset is about creating a favorable environment for them to express their ideas independently. If done correctly, it can boost productivity and reduce staff turnover.

Author BIO

Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.

Our Greatest Hope 2020

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I wrote this post years ago, but I believe that it is even more relevant than it was in 2012 because we can change the world for the better and we are all part of the solution.

 We stand on a glass cliff, a place where we will see the greatest renaissance we have ever known; or a decline and descent into the abyss of chaos, aggression, and destruction.  A place where we will be crippled by the need, greed, and ego that has destroyed every empire and fiefdom in history OR choose to embrace our potential to use what is to create what can be, our potential to work together to build a better future.

It is your ability, my ability, our ability to cleave to the universal values, express the humanity and moral courage that is our hope for the future.  

Courage that starts with service above self, with the desire to move from me to WE.  Power that grows each time we show kindness to a stranger, reach out and help a colleague of friend, mentor or share knowledge. 

Leadership that grows when we focus not on what we can get, but rather on what we can contribute.  Humanity that is expressed in learning to treat our neighbors, our brothers, and sisters as ourselves.  Happiness that is found in caring, sharing and contributing.

In a world of increasing complexity, it is the simple things that often elude us. It is time to get simple and clear with the importance of tying a knot around our values, courage, integrity; for they are the greatest riches we have.  

Love is the truth,  universal values are the motor, and human passion, purpose, and potential are the engine that can drive us to an evolution of self, and of others that will take us into the age of innovation – an age of extraordinary possibilities; or push us into an abyss of fear, despair, destruction, aggression, and chaos.

Our greatest hope lies in a new balance of independence and interdependence, mutual respect and collaboration that will take us forward.  A path that is difficult, but worthwhile.  A path that requires courage and conviction.  A path that is oft forgotten, and begs to be remembered.  A path of redemption and renewal.  A path of human beings being better not simply doing faster than ever before.  A path that can change one life, many lives and ultimately our world.  A path where we serve to LEAD from me to WE.

Written for my late father, Joseph Becker, my best friend, mentor and a soul whose light shines on.

Become Anti-Fragile in 10 minutes or less a day

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Science confirms our ability to succeed at the speed of change, challenges, competition, frustrations, and even failures.  Most of us are so busy doing what we have done before faster than every before although what got us here will NOT take us forward. Our brains are neuro-plastic, that we have the ability to re-write default patterns of thinking, doing, communicating that no longer serve us.  It is the ability to adapt, evolve, communicate, collaborate that has helped homo sapiens survive.

Do you want to develop a NEW relationship with change and challenges that will help you become “anti-fragile”? A new relationship that can help you develop greater empathy, adaptability, cognitive and emotional dexterity? I have been helping clients do just that for over 16 years.  I am dedicated to this purpose, to helping people build their 3Q Edge because it is a passion, calling and a purposeful mission that can help many. It is a perspective, a framework you should consider.

Check out these 3Q COOL TOOLS, simple, effective, FREE and FAST exercises you can do in less than 10 minutes a day.  And, I would suggest to you that spending 10 minutes a day to build your edge may be the most important thing you can do for yourself, those you love, lead and work with.

• Identify the path (walking/driving) you prefer, then take a different one.

• In a similar vein in your personal life, experiment with taking one old habit every week and tossing it out the window or changing it.

•Walk down a street you are familiar with and search for something you have never seen or noticed before.  The results will surprise you!

• Uplift your posture. There are few more powerful ways to raise and sustain energy than to ease your posture upward, which frees your breathing and raises your energy level.

• Stretch your Strengths by applying them in new ways.

• Try writing a few sentences in the reverse direction, or with your opposing hand.

• Embrace new experiences.  Focus on learning from everything! What you focus on grows, and a positive focus on learning will expand your learning potential.

• Change at least one routine every day.

• Pause for 10 seconds before you respond.  Taking your ego (need to be validated out of the equation and refocusing on your objective).

• Take charge of tension by releasing it, fast.  Clench whatever part of your body is tense, and release it.  Even better, do your whole body-clenching & releasing.

Do The Pause. Yes, a 2-3 minute mindfulness exercise that is transformative if practiced regularly

• Sip ice water. Fluids move hormones into exactly the right places for sustaining energy, and those same fluids eliminate toxic wastes that can accumulate and wear you down.

• Move more. Inactivity is an unnatural state for us, and it limits energy production.

Laugh more, smile more. Laughing gives your brain an aerobic work-out and is an excellent stress reliever and mood booster.  Smiling automatically elevates our mood.

• Keep an emotional journal that is for your eyes only.  A safe space on paper where you can write out your deepest emotions, releasing the tension associated with them.

•Take a 1 minute time out.  Block out all stress or worries.  Think about something that really makes you happy.  Yes, take a happiness time out!

Try one cool tool for the next 7 days. Share your experience on the blog or write to me at

© Irene Becker | Just Coach It 2020

What Makes Successful People Different?

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Delighted to host this guest post by Avil Beckford

Today, technology is changing rapidly. And most people feel like they are on a hamster wheel, going nowhere fast. Will things ever change? No, the pace of change will actually speed up. Instead of trying to keep up, why not figure out which things to focus your attention on?

What makes successful people different from the masses?

When you examine the lives of the most accomplished people in society, a few things come to mind. You never hear them complaining about the recession. Continuous learning is a daily part of their lives. They seem to get breakthrough ideas one after another. And they have several income sources.

At first glance, all the things you notice about them seem disconnected. However, when you take a closer look, you discover that professional development is the thread that holds things together. Take Elon Musk as an example. Reading books is his primary way of learning. And in his life so far, he has managed to disrupt several industries. Additionally, he reads across multiple disciplines. And he has an uncanny way of synthesizing information from the various books, getting idea after idea.

Many have called him an “expert generalist.” Orit Gadiesh, Bain & Company Chairman, London coined the term, defining it as,

“Someone who has the ability and curiosity to master and collect expertise in many different disciplines, industries, skills, capabilities, countries, and topics.”

The term captures the essence of who Elon Musk is. But Musk is more of an intersection thinker. According to Rohit Bhargava, author of Non-Obvious 2019: How to Predict Trends and Win The Future:

“Intersection thinking is a method for creating overlap between seemingly disconnected ideas in order to generate new ideas, directions, and strategies for powering your own success. It can create a crossover gamechanger. It allows you to think in a way your competitors aren’t.”

Want to be more like Elon Musk?

To be more like Elon Musk and other luminaries, incorporate reading books into your day. Be intentional about reading to learn. Read books across multiple disciplines to broaden your worldview. If you are in finance, also read about history. Every industry has a history. Try reading about global poverty. To find a solution to global poverty it will take money. Do you see how everything is connected?

You do not have to spend all day reading books!

Most successful people have taken some form of speed reading course. It allows them to power through more books. But you do not have to speed read. You simply need to know how to become an effective reader. Here’s how to do that.

  • Have a purpose for reading every book.
  • Inspect the book before you start to read it. This means reading the Preface, Foreword, and Introduction. Review the Table of Contents to identify the sections that address your purpose for reading the book. Look at the Index. The terms with the greatest number of references tell you what the author considers important.
  • Read the sections of the book that deepens your understanding of the text.
  • Take notes while you are reading the books.
  • Review your notes, picking out the big ideas.
  • Connect the ideas from the various books you read, making them into bigger ideas.
  • Test the feasibility of the ideas.
  • Implement the ideas.

This kind of reading is not superficial. You are simply looking for the sections of the book that will give you the greatest understanding of the text. You are applying the 80/20 Rule to reading a book. You read 20 percent of the book to understand 80 percent of it. Inspecting the book first, allows you to uncover the 20 percent to read.

Using this strategy, you can read more of the right books to get the kinds of benefits that successful get from reading books. However, the process does not end there. You have to synthesize the information from the books you read, picking out the big ideas. And ultimately acting on the ideas.

So when you see the following statistics about the impact of artificial intelligence:

“Between 40 million and 160 million women globally may need to transition between occupations by 2030, often into higher-skilled roles. To weather this disruption, women (and men) need to be skilled, mobile, and tech-savvy, but women face pervasive barriers on each, and will need targeted support to move forward in the world of work.”

Source:  The future of women at work: Transitions in the age of automation

You won’t panic because you know that your continuous learning practice allows you to see what others are missing.

Three Books to Read

  1. Lifetime Learner’s Guide to Reading and Learning
  2. Non-Obvious Megatrends: How to See What Others Miss and
    Predict the Future
  3. Opportunity: How to Win in Business and Create a Life You Love

The above three books will teach you how to read effectively and get a broader perspective of the world, analyze and synthesize the information from the books you read, and learn how to spot and capitalize on opportunities.

About Avil Beckford
Avil Beckford is the Founder of The Invisible Mentor. She’s a learning strategist who created the Performance Accelerator Plan, so professionals can develop intercultural awareness and learn the skills the World Economic Forum reports they need to thrive in 2020 to 2022.

Be the Difference — Motivational Monday

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Seize the Day to Lead Greatly

In a world of change, challenges and the opportunity to create NEW organizations, NEW collaborations,

New ways of understanding, collaborating and turning problems into our greatest solutions are before us.

The need to lead greatly, the need for those who will stand up and stand tall because they know that they can do better, that we can do better together echos through the turbulent corridors of our workplaces, lives, and communities.

Leadership is not about what we have, it is about what we can create.

Leadership is not about what we can take, but rather what we can inspire when the power of our intelligence is aligned with our highest selves and greatest intentions.

What step will you take to lead today? Each step towards our best selves is a step towards a better future.

Seize the day to lead with your head, heart and greatest purpose aligned. Seize the day to lead greatly.

Monday Motivation-Never Give Up

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Never every give up.  

Get inspired.

Stay inspired.

Make the hard decision to love yourself,

And your love for others will grow.

In growth there is fulfillment,

In love there is power,

And in you, there is a special spark to share with the world.

© Irene Becker 2020

Check out this free cool tool (that’s what I call fast, free, proven exercises you can do almost anywhere
).  Close your eyes and think about smiling.  Just thinking about smiling will elevate your mood.

Irene Becker, Just Coach It, 3Q Leadership Blog

Why Excellent Managers Delegate Tasks

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Enjoy this guest post by Nikki Brooks

Management is a tough and, at times, lonely role. It requires a blend of skills and approaches that only a few can bring together successfully.

Being an excellent manager means ensuring you are the one with which a problem filtering up stops with, and you are the one who ensures positivity and purpose is all that comes back down to your staff.

You must be resilient, adaptable and resourceful with your staff too. Knowing when to delegate tasks is vital in becoming a successful manager, for a multitude of reasons, which we examine here.


Being an excellent manager is all about getting the best out of your people. If they’re excelling in their work, then you’re excelling in yours. It is not your role to do the tasks and be hands-on – it is your job to make sure they’re done properly.

An article by Leadership Choice suggests by giving employees autonomy over a task, you can empower them to make it their own and excel. However, in giving the right task to the right person, you can ensure you have certain control over the situation before they take away the autonomy and run with it.

Resource Management

Resource management is critical in any business, not least in startups. A new manager putting together a new team needs to ensure they have the right blend of people carrying out all the tasks that need completing. Digital marketing firm Ayima explains how delegating resource is one of the biggest challenges a new startup can face. Delegating tasks to the wrong person, or not having all the necessary roles filled by your staff, is one route to start-up failure and the blame lies solely with the manager.

An article by L Spark tells how Ziversity, a Canadian SaaS startup, describes how poor team structure and direction ultimately led to the company’s demise. A good manager gives direction through delegation and manages resource correctly, something that could be crucial to the success of a start-up, or the continued success of a rapidly evolving existing business.

Time Management

A manager will have more tasks and commitment pass across their diary than time allows for, so by delegating some of those tasks you’ll be saving vital time.

It seems an obvious benefit, but in passing tasks to staff, a good manager is effectively managing their time in a strong and efficient manner. The key is which tasks to hand down and to consider the staff member’s time management too. Giving them a job might save you an hour, but can they do it in their allotted time as well?


We’ve already covered how relationships between employer and employees on Just Coach It is one of the key factors in becoming a successful business. One of the key points of interaction between the two parties is delegation. People who work for you come to you for tasks and it is your responsibility to control them and ensure they’re doing the tasks given.

How you handle that interaction and control is important. A good manager empowers their staff, as we mentioned above, but they do so without relinquishing control. Autonomy, or the feeling of autonomy, is important, but perhaps not as important as a manager knowing the task that needs doing will be done effectively.

Content written by Niki Brookes for

4 Important Leadership Conversations

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by Irene Becker, | 3Q Leadership Blog
The leader who communicates well succeeds well.

Building successful relationships grow in importance at every step of your career, it is particularly critical when going through a transformation, and in stepping into your change agent shoes and helping to build a leadership culture.

It is important to invest time in conversations with team members, your leaders, peers, and other stakeholders.  21st C success demands greater connection, alignment, and collaboration with others. Every exchange is a touchpoint, an opportunity to learn, share, encourage creativity, build trust and truly
honest dialogue.

In their book, Leadership Conversations, Alan S. Berson and Richard G. Stieglitz describe four important types of leadership conversations; those that build relationships, develop others, help in decision making and lead to execution.

1.  “Conversations to build relationships”

The more relationships – and relationship conversations – you have, the more you’ll know whom to trust for the right perspectives on problems or opportunities.

You’ll also learn how to complement your strengths with others’ abilities. As you talk, ask questions, seek common understandings and listen carefully. Don’t use texts or emails to deal with challenging or difficult problems. The phone is better, and face-to-face conversations are the best. Be respectful and seek to engage and inspire others as you build relationships.

Remember that people look to you constantly. Avoid bringing negative moods to work, since your silence and your body language also send messages. Keep your mind open to different and opposing views. Value diverse views, especially from those closest to you.  Do not react to what is being said to you, pause and respond; yes, you can train yourself to pause and to refocus on your objective and the mutual objective of your conversation.  I call this skill, constructive discontent-a critical EQ & 3Q leadership skill.

 2. “Conversations to develop others” – As you progress up the leadership ladder, increase your investment in developing other people. To succeed as a leader, you must have followers. Invest in them, develop them, recognize them and gain their loyalty.

To be promotable, you need successors. Bring them along with coaching, allow them to do what they do best as often as possible and give them the tools they need.

Provide formal and informal feedback regularly. Be open and direct. Learn how to give thoughtful, constructive criticism in a way that transforms what you are saying into a growth opportunity.

Ask for feedback, open the door for your team members to let you know if there is something you can do to support their work. 

Consistently recognize big and small achievements.  Even putting a post-it note on a screen saying, “Good Job” has been known to have an important effect.  Positive feedback makes our body secret the happy hormone, dopamine which also helps us remember the positive incident. 

Craft all of your feedback to help recipients achieve their goals.

Finding mentors who will coach team members can be a robust success tool. 

3. “Conversations to make decisions” – You will rarely have enough time and information or the right conditions to make decisions in an ideal context. Leaders make better decisions when they can draw on multiple perspectives and gain as much data as possible to aid their judgment.

Set up talks to gather data, determine your options and gain broad buy-in for decisions.

Remain open to building consensus around a compromise. Instead of concentrating on problems, set a conversation’s tone by asking probing questions that open possibilities and empower everyone in the group.

4. “Conversations to take action” – Prior discussions create optimal conditions for action, but action requires additional dialogues. Use conversations to plan your actions. In the process, you’ll develop ideas and build concurrence.

“Managers usually answer questions, great leaders routinely ask them.” Alan S. Berson and Richard G. Stieglitz

Circumstances will likely alter your plans, so prepare your team for change. Don’t act based on assumptions. Ask questions, gather data, and craft your plans and actions accordingly. Make requests of people; don’t give them orders. Soon after you act, use an “after-action review” – invented by the US Army – to talk with your team about what worked, what didn’t and how to improve.

“Employ the management mindset to make decisions based on numbers and facts…use the leadership mindset to consider the people who will participate in making and executing the decisions.” Alan S. Berson and Richard G. Stieglitz

Conversations take time and perseverance yet avoiding them leads to mistakes that consume additional time and money to fix. Instead, use idea sharing and consensus building to align your team’s mission and your team members’ understanding of and commitment to the group’s objectives.

Remain aware that personal engagement takes place at an emotional level based on relationships. The chain of conversations starts with those relationships and leads to collaboration, shared ideas, better decisions, and more effective action.

Leadership Skills: Relationship Building Matrix

Who Type of
When &

What type of leadership conversation would you like to improve, and what will be the likely results of this improvement? Communication is a learned skill and mastering the art of the aforementioned leadership conversations is an investment in your success.

Executive/Leadership Coaching and Advisory Services with a 3Q Edge
“It is the small companies like Just Coach It that are leading the way, and Irene Becker is one of the finest runners in the race.” Leon Benjamin, Author, Winning by Sharing, London, UK

Contact: Tel:  416-671-4726     Skype: beckerirene

3 Tips to Help You Boost Creativity in Your Team

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Guest post by Ashley Wilson

Leaders have a penchant for inspiring their team members to do their best and achieve great outcomes.

Can they inspire creativity too?


Yes, leaders can make team members more creative—and the biggest companies today are already echoing this statement.

Google encourages its employees to spend 20% of their work time on creative projects, one of which leads to Google News.

Twitter’s open workspaces are designed to get its people’s brain juices flowing.

Apple built a worldwide following with its “Think Different” slogan.

Why is creativity important for organizations anyway? Isn’t it reserved for more artistic, expressive ventures rather than B2B deals?

It turns out creativity is one of the most important soft skills to have in building successful businesses.

According to a study by Adobe, businesses that invest in creativity training see improvements of over 80% in vital areas like productivity and customer happiness.

In fact, the most in-demand trait that employers look for in 2019 is creativity.

While some are more imaginative than others, creativity can be taught and improved. As a leader, it is your responsibility to help your team members be more innovative in their work.

The question is: what can you do to boost creativity in your team?

Champion Creativity and Cultivate an Open Environment

The best thing you can do to foster creativity is to create an environment that allows it to happen.

This is why the workspaces of many leading companies feel more like an adult playground rather than an office; it gives team members freedom and with it comes creativity.

Be lenient (but reasonable) in giving your employees breaks. A snack or smoke break is all it takes for a fatigued team member to bounce back and get creative.

This can also be supplemented by doing fun activities from time to time. Board games, team retreats, and office sports are some events you can consider to break the monotony of work.

The most important factor in boosting creativity, however, is open communication.

When people are allowed to discuss freely with each other, a creative environment is established where ideas and opinions are exchanged, eventually resulting in droves of innovative solutions.

Some moderation is needed to stop discussions from going haywire but for the most part, it’s best to give your team members the freedom they need.

How do you establish an open environment in your organization?

Let your team members know it’s OK to voice out their thoughts even if the opinion is not favorable for your company.

A lot of employees are still afraid of speaking out as they’re worried about the consequences.

If your organization is practicing this, understand that businesses lose $7,500 on average to employees who don’t speak up about a concerning project or situation.

Abolishing penalties is not limited to opinions as well.

Give your employees permission to try out their ideas and more importantly, allow them to fail.

It might cost your organization in the short-term but in the long run, consistent experimentation will improve your business’ innovation efforts a lot more than not thinking out of the box.

Don’t Limit Your Team Internally, Mix Things Up

Collaboration can boost innovation but there is a point where groupthink kills creativity instead.

When the same individuals work with each other for extended periods, it’s hard to maintain inventiveness as each person can only come up with so many new ideas at one time.

To avoid this issue, practice diversity.

One way to do so is by bringing in people outside of the company to give your team members fresh perspectives on their tasks.

For example, bringing in a loyal customer or an influencer in the industry to work with your employees can help them discover avenues they might have missed—or are not even aware of—which leads to increased creativity.

Consider mixing up teams and departments to overcome creative block. The marketing team can take a day or two to work with the accounting team to uncover useful insights, for instance.

If you have a hand in the hiring process, you can also prioritize candidates with varying backgrounds and skills to further improve diversity in the company.

Multicultural offices are excellent creativity boosters as well.

Another area where variance makes sense is in distributing employee tasks. We are not designed to work on the same thing every day like robots. Variety is the spice of life and that applies to task delegation.

If your developers have been coding every day for the past year, spruce things up by letting them work with customer-facing departments for several days.

Working on different tasks can give your team members a different outlook on their jobs which again, brings tons of benefits to your organization’s creativity.

Invest in the Right Tools and Resources

Aside from empowering your team members, providing the right tools and resources is another integral part of enhancing creativity.

Businesses of the past had to rely on pen and paper to collaborate. Technology, however, has changed that for the better.

Collaborative tools like Trello and Jira are now staples in organizations as they are an effective outlet for team members to store and share their creative work.

For example, you can use an online drag-and-drop prototyping tool to assist your organization’s marketing department.

Not only does the tool make it easy for team members to visualize their designs, but staff from other departments can also use it to share ideas even if they have zero experience in the field.

Think of these tools as the engine for your organization’s creative vehicle.The vehicle is the final product but without the engine, it won’t be able to get to its destination—your organization’s creative outcome.

Even prominent companies are using creativity tools to help them with innovation.

Google champions the Design Sprint ideology to power their creative processes while IDEO practices its famous 7 Rules for Brainstorming to empower its employees.

All of this is only possible thanks to technology, with one of it being cloud computing.

Collaborating with teams inside and outside of the office all over the world, generating key insights, bringing productivity levels to all-time highs—these are just some benefits your organization stands to gain from using the cloud.

Training must also be included as part of your investment.

While cloud-based tools are designed to be user-friendly, you should still educate your team members to minimize errors and ensure they use the tools as efficiently as possible.

Your Role as a Leader in Boosting Your Team’s Creativity

Boosting creativity among your team members is just a matter of establishing the right company culture and providing the necessary tools and resources.

When done right, you will skyrocket your team’s innovation levels beyond your expectations—and that spells nothing but good news for your organization.

Ashley Wilson is working remotely as a content creator, writing mostly about business and tech. She has been known to reference movies in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.

Irene Becker | Just Coach |

The Greatness Within

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“Great leadership comes down to only two rules: It’s not about you and it’s only about you.” Peter Anderton

Our potential to be good, do good and share good is as real as our ability to create darkness, chaos, and decline. Human beings need happiness, inspiration, human contact and the feeling that they are contributing to a better today and tomorrow. These needs are written on the walls of our lives, our communities, and our organizations while we suffer from the fear that not only causes our greatest ills, but that incapacities our pre-frontal cortex, reducing the blood flow to that area, and making it difficult to think.

The longer we wait to embrace our humanity, the less time we will have to experience it, and the greater the chance that we will fall into an abyss of negativity, fear, and selfishness that will put our individual and collective survive at risk.  It is the white space, the gaps between our thoughts, our feelings and our actions that give us time to take in where we are and where we really want to go.

Great leadership is not about you and it’s all about you. Embrace your greatest purpose and it will embrace you back. Start now, do one new thing today that is purpose-driven and creates value in the life of another person and they will have the opportunity to pay it forward.

The idea is to live with the purpose, passion and potential that helps you embrace and engage the greatness within. We don’t need to do more, we need to do better.  And doing better can be simple. We can start by reflecting daily on who we are, who we can become because we each have a part to play in creating a better tomorrow. Carpe diem.
© Irene Becker


© Irene Becker, 2019 

Tips for Cultivating a Culture of Success in Your Company

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The ability to achieve lasting growth and success at your company is often dependent on your workplace culture. While the success of a business is typically a combined effort, it can be heavily reliant on the success of individual employees within their specific roles as well. To help cultivate a culture of success in your company at individual and staff-wide levels, there are several things you can do as a leader within your workplace to get the ball rolling.

Make sure your staff feels well-supported

As a leader within your company, it’s important your leadership style creates open channels of communication between your team and yourself. Additionally, you should be readily available to share knowledge and give assistance to your staff as needed. Your employees can work at an elevated level if they feel as though they have sufficient support and resources to complete tasks properly. Ensure you’re doing all you can to provide that support.

That being said, there’s a significant balance to be struck between being too hands-off and too hands-on with your team. Once you find that balance, you and your team can work more cohesively and efficiently together, which can enhance the results you produce to contribute to the continued success of the business.

Place trust in your staff

In addition to being a balanced leader for your employees, it’s important that you develop trusting relationships with each of them. Having confidence in your team’s ability to get their work done on time and at the expected level of quality can prevent you from becoming too overbearing as a leader, and it can keep your staff from feeling as though they’re under constant scrutiny.

Consider giving your employees greater flexibility to perform their jobs on a schedule that optimizes their individual levels of productivity. Certain members of your team may be “night owls”, for example, and produce their best work later in the day. If they are given the freedom to complete more of their workloads at a time of day that aligns with how their minds function, they’ll be more likely to succeed in their roles and to experience greater job satisfaction. Making your workplace more flexible and trusting can help to boost your staff’s motivation and improve the quality of the work they produce for your company.

Keep pace with your competitors To achieve a degree of success that puts your company at the top of its field, it can be helpful to study both the external and, if possible, the internal practices of your biggest competitors in order to determine what you could be doing differently to give your company a competitive edge. For instance, if a competitor has launched a marketing campaign geared toward a specific target demographic, explore the campaign’s success and see how you could do it better or with a different, more receptive demographic. If they’re making their production more efficient by automating certain components of workflow using technologies like AI, or if they’re managing their talent using digital solutions for HR professionals, see how you can incorporate intelligent tech tools into your business structure to boost your own productivity and organization. With your staff working at an optimized level and your competitors’ successful practices pinpointed and improved upon, the culture of your company can shift fully into one that’s well-equipped to tackle their goals now and in the long-term

More on building success from our archives:
Enlightened Self Interest | People Development Magazine
Teambuilding Toolkit for Disruptive Times
The Essentialist Leader

Irene Becker, Chief Success Officer | Just Coach |

Get Rid of Negativity in 10 Minutes or Less

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1. Delete:  Delete an energy stealer or inertia builder that is undermining your ability to transform challenges into solutions. Catch your self when you are thinking a negative thought, say stop or next and shift your focus.  Start right now by deleting one negative thought you have or had today that is not taking you forward.

Delete-Reboot-Upload-Recharge in as little as 10 minutes a day.  You will be glad you did!  Beat the stress trap. I have done it, my clients do it and you can do it do in less than 10 minutes a day.  Yes, here come the cool tools (exercises that take ten minutes or less and will help you rewire your brain by getting rid of default patterns of thinking and feeling that are impeding your greatest potential and happiness)

2. Reboot: Stop the blame game,  let go of who did what, or who has what.  Reboot a better perspective by letting go of one thought that is causing you more pain than gain.  Let go, reboot and refocus on a positive goal and intention that takes you forward. The impact of one positive goal and intention is powerful.

3. Upload:  Take 2 minutes a day three times a day to be positive, to let go of any negative thoughts and beliefs. Click on the blue text for a simple and powerful exercise you can do almost anywhere.  An exercise that will help you build greater mindfulness, enhanced focus, improved resilience and also improves focus and ideation.

4. Repower: Schedule your day with blank time, time between meetings, time between commitments where you can simply recharge.  Science has documented the powerful benefits of blank time to cognition, health, focus, and resiliency.  Diarize your blank time whether it is 5 minutes, 10 minutes or 20 minutes, because giving your brain a rest will only make you think smarter, feel better and increase your focus and effectiveness.

Science tells us that we need to be happy, be positive in order to tap into our greatest cognitive power and wellness. The imperative to find simple and powerful ways to stop negative thinking is critical.

Carpe diem. Delete-Reboot-Upload-Recharge in as little as 10 minutes a day.  You will be glad you did! ©Irene Becker, 2019

Carpe Diem.  Del

6 Ways to Build Constructive Discontent-A 21C Superpower

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Do you want to communicate and collaborate across boundaries?  Improve leadership and life results? Learn to watch your emotions without judgment or reaction while focusing on your true/most important goals/objectives.  Pie in the sky?  Think again, I have done it and my clients have done it for 14+years.  You too can achieve similar results by developing a new perspective and skill set (“constructive discontent” that takes you forward stronger, happier and faster.  The proof is in the coaching. Developing constructive discontent may be the most powerful thing you can do because it is a 21st C superpower!

I believe passionately in constructive discontent as a critical learned skill that can change lives in a multiplicity of ways. Coaching leadership teams/healthcare professionals many years ago led me to doing a certification in coaching emotional intelligence, consulting and to developing my 3Q philosophy and model. Anything else?  Yes, my personal life, career experiences and fascination with all things “neuro” compelled me to find a way to lead, succeed and reduce toxic stress in very difficult, challenging circumstances.

Here are 6 ways to start building a 21C superpower: Constructive Discontent.  Read more about 3Q life and leadership skills-building your 3Q edge.

1.  Expect change to be stressful but know that you can use them to move forward smarter, faster and happier. Part of accommodating change is doing what you can to get additional help or support, using effective delegation, dedicating daily time to recharge, repurpose and reinvigorate.  Find effective ways of putting your brain into an alpha state during the day will help you develop mindfulness, increased focus on what is important and is terrific at lessening stress…

⇨  Here is a quick 2-3-minute exercise I call THE PAUSE that is easy to learn and really effective.

2.  Understand and limit crisis orientation.  Our brains are automatically set to go into fight or flight in reaction to fear.  We live in a world where we are surrounded by negativity, fear, change, and fear of change.  Learn to understand when you are going into fight or flight mode so that you can move past the 90-second window of reaction and respond rather than react or flee.

⇨  Develop your ability to move past fight or flight, because you can retrain your brain to refocus while not moving to fight or flight so that you will respond and NOT react.

3.  Be gentle with yourself.  Get rid of the negative self-talk, the should have, would haves. Notice any signs of stress in your body. Apply self-compassion.

⇨  Take a few moments to breathe deeply because it is impossible to maintain the same level of stress, anxiety or tension after breathing deeply.

4.  Resist negativity because it will not take you forward. Develop positive habits of thought, positive coping styles that will allow you to build constructive discontent. Take positive steps to alleviate the pressures, the stressors you can do something about.

⇨  Establish personal boundaries and priorities that work for you not against you.  Offset pressures with time for relaxation and activities that bring you pleasure.

5.  Develop habits of thought that will help shift your perspective and discover new options.  We are social animals, you need social relationships and you need ME time to just reflect and reboot!

⇨  Eliminate burnout factors by strengthening meaningful relationships with others and meaningful time with yourself.|

6.  Develop flexibility by simply identifying one rigid pattern of behaviour/coping and turn it around. Observe yourself for one day. Notice how you react to compliments, to demands, to angry co-workers. Develop greater self-awareness (not judgment/ self-judgment) and learn to become the participant observer.

⇨  Pick a habitual or rigid pattern of behavior and turn it around in small consistent ways.  Each small step repeated consistently is a power step forward.

Develop constructive discontent, build your 3Q edge before the next change, challenge or negative stressors nips at your heels! Purpose, meaning, contribution are the drivers that build our best selves, best work, best organizations; they are drivers that can be elusive without developing constructive discontent because the velocity of change, challenges, competition will continue to grow, as will the opportunity to transform what is into what CAN be in our lives, workplaces, and world.

⇨  QUESTIONS FOR YOU:  How is reactivity impacting your work, your life or the lives of those you lead, work for or love? Are you ready to improve communication and collaboration?  Do you want to turn reactivity around?  What difference would doing so make in your life?  I welcome your comments and or questions on the blog!

© Irene Becker, 2018

Wednesday Wisdom: From the Heart

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I chose to share my personal thoughts, stream of consciousness today because I believe that our ability to achieve greatness, our ability to transcend and transform the challenges before us is titanic.

I believe that if you are great, you can be greater! If you are stuck, you can move forward! And, if you want to become the change you seek, it is time to make a difference!  

I hope you enjoy this post and welcome your thoughts and feedback!



In a world of change, competition and uncertainty,

greatness lies in finding your greatest purpose and noblest intentions.

If you feel great, you can be greater.

If you feel powerless, stuck or consumed by pain you can use these feelings to find and build your greatest purpose and potential.

I know all about success because I have realized it.

I know about pain, loss, and struggle because I have faced them.

I know about leadership because I have been a leader.

I know all about insecurity because I have been held hostage by my own fears as well as the actions of others.

I know all about being wealthy and having the best of everything. And, I have faced poverty and struggle.

I have learned that our most important strength lies not in who we are, who we were or what we have, but in who we can become when we build our 3Q edge.

I have learned to be happier, stronger and more fulfilled in the face of uncertainty because doing so is the only way forward.

I have learned that greatness means knowing that you have the power to create what can be in your life and the lives of others.

Seize this day and this moment to feel your greatness and use it to not simply fill your pocketbook but your soul because you have a unique purpose and untouched potential.

Seize this day because you have the ability to help build a better tomorrow.

Find the pilot light that illuminates your soul and makes you stronger in the face of pain by igniting your desire to be the difference to make a difference and be the difference.

Fight against the negativity, fear, and anger that will destroy your purpose, your potential, your ability to make a positive difference.

It is the decision to take the road less traveled because those following like sheep will fall off the cliff.

It is not about your past or present, it is about realizing that your greatest power lies in who you can become.

It’s about getting stronger in the broken places, it means fighting for your best self, your noblest intentions, your greatest purpose, your unique contribution to a better world.

Greatness means developing habits of thinking and doing that drive your faith, hope, courage, humanity, and integrity.

It is a purpose that can lead you to hope, faith, courage, integrity, and humanity that will fill your pocketbook and your soul.


Irene Becker | Just Coach

7 Ways to Turn Conflict and Communication Problems Around

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The leader who communicates well succeeds well, and communication is a linchpin for personal, professional, business success and wellbeing that is particularly critical in disruptive times!

Conflict destroys productivity, engagement, empowerment, communication, leadership, and success. 
Conflict is an emotionally charged situation that is fueled by incompatible interests, goals, feelings, ideas, values, ethnicity, personality differences, or miscommunications that destroys productivity, engagement, empowerment, communication, relationships, leadership, success, and wellbeing.

Here are some facts you need to know that are outlined in a recent article in Forbes article by David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom; The Gallup Organization notes that 70% of employees are actively disengaged, notes that 58% of managers do not get management training and the most prevalent cause of employee disengagement and people quitting their jobs is conflict, communication problems with their boss. Click here to read more  

Yes, learning to turn conflict and communication problems around may be the most important thing you can do for your business/career, personal life, and health.  Communication is one of my three areas of professional focus because it is critical to our individual and collective success and wellbeing, and developing great communication is also an important 3Q skill!

Here are 7  proven ways to turn conflict and communication problems around; proven ways that will also help you build your 3Q Edge!

Step 1. Do NOT react; instead use the conflict at hand to build one of your most important Q skills, constructive discontent. While our first instinct, when confronted with conflict, is often to react, or retreat this is often one of the most counterproductive ways to handle conflict.  Your automatic response, a response triggered by your amygdala/your reptilian brain will be to fight or flee.  DON’t do either.

Step 2. Understand. Understand the manifestations of our automatic fight or flight response and do not react to them:

Denial – If we don’t think about it, it doesn’t exist or will go away by rationalizing or minimizing. We can deny the problem altogether, or we can deny our anxiety be becoming aggressive, confrontational or carrying a chip on our shoulder.

Avoidance – We know the conflict is there, but we don’t want to deal with it and make or find excuses to not deal with it.
Projection – Permits us to deny our own faults by projecting these faults onto others.

Reaction Formation – Adopting the traits or mannerisms of the person with whom they are engaged in conflict.

Displacement – Attacking the other person by changing the original topic of conflict, with some other unrelated complaint.

Escalation – A person will respond to the conflict by blowing it out of proportion, or expressing their own needs, by acting overly melodramatic, and appearing too needy for attention.

Pause; expect that your amygdale or reptilian brain will cause an automatic fight or flight response.  It is subconscious, it is primal, it is automatic to all human beings; and, it can be circumvented by waiting for this fight or flight reaction to pass so that we can learn to respond rather than react.

Step 3.
  Become a better listener. Take a moment to understand the objectives of the person fueling the conflict. Walk in their shoes for a few moments. Make sure you really understand what the other party wants. What do they really want, what are they feeling that is compelling them to create a conflict?  Has something done or said invalidated them in some way causing the current impasse? Is there a communication problem that has caused mutual misperceptions, perhaps misinformation?


Step 4. Build what I call “constructive discontent” a critical 3Q leadership and life skill that I will talk about and introduce next week. On a superficial level, constructive discontent is your ability to stay grounded and focused on your objectives, your true goals during an argument or conflict.  On a deeper level, constructive discontent is a learned skill, a leadership skills that will help YOU feel a difficult emotion, but not act upon it.  Feeling the emotion, not being held hostage by it but refocusing YOUR true objective is critical.


Step 5.  Focus on the shared objective. Begin again from the center of the table.  Focus on the objective you and the other person share, the common goal, rather than the difference in your proposed solutions.  If you need to discuss feelings do not be accusatory, do not invalidate the other person’s position. Reflect their position to them, make them understand they are heard AND focus on the common objective that you share.


Step 6. Validate.  Validate the other party’s opinion/position.  You do not have to agree, but you must let them know that you have heard their position. Alternatives must be framed in a way that does not invalidate the other person’s position but shows them how the alternative will benefit them and your shared objectives. A cooperative atmosphere is critical to building trust and to any hope of a successful resolution. Nothing can be accomplished without trust, and trust can only be engendered when both parties think cooperatively.


Step 7.  Agree and Resolve, if possible. When a resolution is accomplished, both parties must be clear about what they are agreeing to and abide by their agreement.  Make sure that everyone clearly understands and agrees with what has been decided.


What are the greatest communication challenges you face?  How would transforming them impact your work, your bottom line, and your life?  I welcome your comments and thoughts on the blog and encourage you to recognize that power of turning conflict into communication, communication into collaboration. 


Irene Becker | Just Coach

Success Leaves Clues: Trailblazer Edition 7, John Nosta

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“If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”  Isaac Newton

Is it time to step up to the plate, put on your cape and develop the mindset that will change your life and the life of others by helping you think, live, lead and succeed to purpose If you answered yes to one of these questions, you will especially enjoy my Monday posts, short profiles of people who are standing on the shoulders of giants.  People who are not afraid to be change-makers and trailblazers because they believe in our ability to create and sustain a better tomorrow, a better future.

I believe that we are standing on a glass cliff facing the greatest renaissance we have ever known or a descent into the darkness of need, greed, ego and destruction that has destroyed every fiefdom and kingdom in recorded history.  The greatest challenge we face is accepting the fact that the future must be different, and that creating a better future means adapting, changing the way we think, developing an evolution of self that drives grit, growth and positive results for all.  It is this challenge that speaks to my heart, it is this challenge that led me to develop the 3Q model and has been the pivot point in my life and work.  It is this challenge that compelled me to highlight the work of fellow trailblazers and change-makers because I believe with all my heart that we each have a role in creating a better tomorrow.

I am honored and delighted to introduce you to John Nosta, change-maker, trailblazer, and the #1 global influencer in digital health.   John has helped to guide companies, NGO’s and governments through the exponential change in the health and technology marketplaces.  (Scroll down for John’s bio)


Success Leaves Clues.  3 important questions, and equally important answers from, John Nosta, CEO Nostalab

  1. What has been your greatest accomplishment as a trailblazer and change-maker serving a higher purpose?
    My greatest accomplishment has been my talent for translation–to take complicated aspects of science and medicine and articulate them is a way that is both resonant and interesting to a      Specific target audience. From scientists to caregivers, it’s been my goal to empower innovation through strategic and creative communications.
  2. What do you want to be remembered for?
    It’s my hope that I’ll be remembered less for the individual innovations but for the individuals whose lives I have touched.
  3. What is your favorite quote?   “As you think, so you act. As you act, so  you become.” The Upanishads

John Nosta is a thinker and top disruptor in digital health, life sciences and the pharmaceutical industry. John is the founder of NOSTALAB—a digital health think tank.   He’s currently ranked as the #1 global influencer in digital health and is an international speaker and subject matter expert who has helped to guide companies, NGO’s and governments through the exponential change in the health and technology marketplaces.  A member of the Google Health Advisory Board, pens HEALTH CRITICAL for Forbes–a top global blog on health & technology and THE DIGITAL SELF for Psychology Today—a leading blog focused on the digital transformation of humanity.  He is also on the faculty of Exponential Medicine.  John was a research associate at Harvard Medical School and has co-authored several papers with global thought-leaders in the field of cardiovascular physiology with a focus on acute myocardial infarction, ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. He cut his teeth big agencies including Ogilvy CommonHealth, where he has held a series of positions including Chief Creative Officer, Chief Strategic Officer and unit President before founding Nostalab.

Selected Videos from John, a small sample of his prolific work:

Wisdom from the World’s Top Digital Health Influencer

How Digital Health is the Future!

TEDx Video:  Genius is our birthright and mediocrity is self-imposed.


Irene Becker | Just Coach



Nine Steps to Building a Thriving Organization in Disruptive Times

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Is your organization people ready to make the necessary transition from the age of information to the age of innovation?

Can you create not only a learning organization but a living organization where adaptive communication, management, and leadership thrive?  


Here are nine simple, but powerful steps:

1. Be a promise manager and leader. Use every opportunity to model promise management and leadership. Build the DNA of all successful relationships, trust. Do what you say, come through with the promises you make.

2. Find the DNA of success. Get coached so that you can not only build but sustain the high emotional intelligence edge, life, leadership, communication and whole brain thinking strengths that are the new currency of success.

3. Fail Forward. The only way to build and sustain success in an environment of constant change, challenge, competition is to learn to fail forward. Develop a new perspective on change, challenges, competition and failures that is relentlessly solution focused.

4. Get out of the comfort zone on a daily basis. There is nothing comfortable about the era in which we are living and leading. Learn to embrace and use moments that take you out of your comfort zone as opportunities to stretch, grow, learn and succeed.

5. Cultivate humour, optimism, and resiliency, while retaining a realistic perspective. Take time each day for a good laugh. Brain science tells us that laughter not only connects you with others but it also helps strengthen the immune system, creativity, and enhanced ideation.

6. Nurture and build collective intelligence; develop vertical and horizontal communication. Success is not achieved alone. Your people are your most important asset.

7. Build your diversity quotient. A global marketplace, a war for talent, and a diverse workforce all demand a new perspective that will allow you to understand and successfully negotiate the cultural and ethnic differences that can deride communication, effectiveness, engagement, action-ability, and results.

8.  Don’t react-respond.   Build your adaptive management and leadership skills because the era of command and control leadership is passé. Adaptive management and leadership mean keeping an eagle eye on your goals and objectives, values and vision while also building an emotionally intelligent, adaptive leadership and management style that is responsive and not reactive.

9. Positively adapt and model changes in your management and leadership style. Send the message loud and clear that positive change is where it is at. Encourage learning, growth, collaboration, and action!

Irene Becker | Just Coach

Success Leaves Clues: Trailblazer Edition 6

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I think that it is especially important to honour those who have lived a life of service and whose work has changed and saved many lives.  Mark Persaud is such a man, and I am delighted to share his answers to my 3 trailblazer questions.  And, if you want to get inspired, skip to the bottom of this post for his biography.  Kudos, Mark Persaud for being a change-maker and trailblazer who has not only inspired many and changed their lives, but also represents leadership in the truest sense of the word.


Success Leaves Clues.  3 important questions, and equally important answers from Mark Persaud and his inspiring bio!

What is your favourite quote? “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” – Norman Cousins

What do you want to be remembered for? I want to be remembered for fearlessness, passion, resilience, compassion and love of animals

What have been your greatest accomplishments?  (1) Assisting thousands of vulnerable persons in need through my work in the not-for-profit sector and volunteerism. (2) Being an anti-discrimination advocate.

Brief bio of Mark Persaud:  Mark M. Persaud, LL.B., LL.M., LL.D. honoris causa is a member of the Ontario Bar and held a broad range of positions with the Department of Justice as a prosecutor, counsel to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and civil litigation counsel. He studied political science at York University and obtained his law degrees from Osgoode Hall Law School . He also studied at the Center for Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard University. He is the recipient of many awards and recognitions for his civic and public sector contributions including a Public Sector Law Gold Key Award in 2007 from Osgoode Hall Law School, both the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals for leadership and significant service to Canada and being nominated by the diplomatic community for the prestigious 2006 Seoul Peace Prize. He was twice elected to the national executive of a Federal Canadian political party and has chaired and advised on political campaigns at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. He has also been recognized as an exceptional lawyer by the Law Society of Upper Canada as part of the Lawyers Make History project as well as receiving a Doctor of Laws ( LL.D.) honoris causa in June, 2016 from the Law Society of Upper Canada.  Persaud practises in both civil and criminal litigation including in the areas of commercial and construction litigation, administrative and regulatory law and professional discipline. He has also been an adjunct law professor in the United States and a media commentator.  CLICK here to read Mark Persaud’s keynote address upon receipt of his Doctorate of Laws honoris causa from the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Irene Becker | Just Coach



How to Become the Change You Seek in Ten Minutes a Day

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How can you become the change you seek?
Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is about doing 3 things that are critical to surviving and thriving in disruptive and/or turbulent times, three things that can change YOUR life. Questions and cool tools (exercises to achieve the following 3 things follow below)

1. Develop a growth mindset
2. Become a possibility thinker
3. Embrace and appreciated the positive things in your life/career because doing so builds resiliency, strength and creative thought.


Questions for YOU:
•Are you dissatisfied with some aspect of your life, your relationships, your job/career, your organization, your community and/or the uncertain and turbulent state of the world?

•Perhaps you want to put an end to overwhelm and introduce the empower, engagement and growth mindset that can change your life on a multiplicity of levels?

•Do you want to feel that you have greater control or mastery over your future?



Cool Tools for YOU:  (free exercises that take 10 minutes or less a day that are transformative and life-changing if used on a consistent basis)

1.  Develop a growth mindset by turning dissatisfaction around by applying self-compassion for 5-10 minutes a day.What does that mean? Notice when you have a feeling of dissatisfaction with yourself or someone else, but instead of acting upon it or letting it build up, just watch it and let it go away.  The typical emotional will last up to 90 seconds, and learning to build constructive discontent, learning how to turn negativity around is very powerful. Click here to learn more about constructive discontent.

2.  Build a growth mindset by taking 5-10 minutes a day for positive reflection; time to look at every challenge you faced today as an opportunity for growth, learning and/or success.  Click here to for Carol Dweck’s outstanding book, Mindset:  The New Psychology of Success

3. Take control of your life by taking control of YOUR story. Your narrative, your personal dialogue and self talk will either empower your best self or disempower your greatest purpose and potential.  You are the captain of your thoughts, learning to change the way you think is coachable, doable and often life changing.  Click here to read more.


Thoughts for YOU to Consider:

YOU are the solution, the magic bullet and the secret to your own strength, stamina, satisfaction and success because what you think, what you believe and what you decide to feel has been scientifically proven to create YOUR reality.

Do you want to become a possibility thinker? Inspire greatness? Is it time to embrace your ability to become a success statistic, rather than a success statistic? Perhaps you want to put an end to overwhelm and introduce the empower, engagement and growth mindset that can change your life on a multiplicity of levels.  Carpe diem.

Seize this day knowing that change is not the problem, it’s the answer.  YOU can learn to develop a NEW way of thinking, a new way of communicating and even a new way of being that can change your life and the lives of others.

Actions for YOU to Consider:

Browse the blog, take a look at our new courses and programs and reach out because we will reach back!  I am passionate about our ability to not simply rise to the challenges before us, but to use them as a lever for our greatest potential because I did it, my clients have done it and it has become my life’s work to reach as many people as I can with the benefits of 3Q Personal Development and Leadership.

©Irene Becker 2018 

Irene Becker | Just Coach



Success Leaves Clues: Trailblazer Series Edition 5

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Our ability to make a positive difference, a transformational difference in society reflects the heart and soul of great leadership, and Cinnie Noble is a shining example of this leadership.  Her trailblazing, change-making and successful career include being awarded the highest achievement in Canada, The Order of Canada,  for making a social difference that made positively impacted society as well as the development of a unique conflict management system that is taught globally and 6 books.  Her many awards include:   The Diamond Jubilee Medal (Commemorative Medal in honour of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II accession to the Throne) 2017 • Award of Excellence in Alternative Dispute Resolution from the Ontario Bar Association



Success Leaves Clues.  3 important questions, and equally important answers from Cinnie Noble

  1. What have been your greatest accomplishments as a trailblazer and change-maker?
    I developed the first travel agency in Canada for people with disabilities for which I was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1991. I became a lawyer, trained as a mediator, became a certified coach and developed a unique conflict management coaching model and one-on-one system that has helped people worldwide move through conflict while also developing competence in conflict resolution.  Authoring 6 books – 2 on conflict coaching   Conflict Mastery: Questions to Guide You (2014) and Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY™ Model (2011) has enabled me to extend my reach and create greater awareness for the imperative a tactics that help turn conflict around.


  1. What is your mission? My mission is to honour the skills I’m blessed with and those I’ve worked hard to develop to live a life of purpose – on purpose.


  1. What is your favourite quote?  “I don’t ask for the sights in front of me to change, only the depth of my seeing.” Mary Oliver


Cinnie Noble, founder of CINERGY® Coaching, a division of Noble Solutions Inc.  Cinnie is a  former social worker, lawyer, certified mediator (C.Med) and coach (PCC) who has studied and practised a range of conflict management services for over 20 years and developed her unique CINERGY conflict management/coaching model, coaching people worldwide and also, training  coaches, mediators, lawyers, HR, leaders, social workers, psychologists and others around the world, in her unique conflict resolution model.




Irene Becker | Just Coach


3 Ways to Prime Yourself for Success in Disruptive Times (in 10 minutes or less)

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Do you want to improve key skills;  critical thinking, problem-solving, decision making, influencing skills, communication and conflict resolution, time and energy management, delegation skills, development and leadership of teams, giving and receiving feedback, empowering others while achieving greater focus, satisfaction, and success?

Image Credit:  Getty  Images

The aforementioned skills are the focus of executive coaching and are critical to your success, but at a time when change, challenges, uncertainty, and possibilities are occurring faster than ever before, we need to also develop new ways of thinking that take us forward faster, stronger and happier.

The Bad
If YOU not aware that the World Health Organization forecasts that stress/anxiety/depression will be the MAJOR causes of disability in the world by 2020 you should be.  Our dialogue around this topic is clearly avoidant, but it is those who put their heads in the sand who will be the most impacted and negatively impacted.  You can run, but you cannot hide from a silent, from an insidious problem that is destroying lives, organizations and businesses from inside out.

The Good
Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is about taking small, but important actions to help you become what Nasim Taleb described as “anti-fragile” because the greatest technical knowledge and the best people/communication skills will not be enough to help you move from NOW to HOW in your life, your career, business or community.  A whole new world demands a whole new way of thinking that takes you forward faster, smarter and happier!

The Solution-A solution that is free, powerful and takes up to 10 minutes a day.
Emotional stuff, anxiety, depression…yes, the stuff we don’t want to talk about will in the end catch up with us, but before it does here are three steps you can take as a leader to become a success statistic and NOT a stress statistic.

Cool Tool #1: Disrupt negative thinking.

Instructions: Take 2 minutes a day to think of one positive experience that’s occurred in the past 24 hours. It works because the brain can’t tell the difference between visualization and actual experience. So, you’ve just doubled the most meaningful experience in your brain. Do it for 21 days, your brain starts connecting the dots for you. This tool, The Doubler is from the great work of happiness researcher, expert, and author, Shawn Achor

Cool Tool #2:  Take control by giving up control
What?  Yes, this counter-intuitive advice is powerful because it will help you develop a critical 21st Century life, leadership and success skill, emotional agility.  Do NOT numb down an emotion, do not force yourself to be positive or try to avoid what you are feeling.
Instructions: Let yourself feel what you are feeling, label the emotion and make the choice to move past it by spending 5 minutes journaling what you are feeling and the benefits of moving past this emotion.


Cool Tool #3:  Recharge and Reboot.

Gratitude can not only help us to feel better, focus on the positive, get empowered but it will also build emotional agility. What you focus on grows and science tells us that we cannot be grateful and angry at the same time.
Instructions: Prepare for this cool tool by distracting your brain (do anything that takes you out of the moment (wiggling your toes, pinching your arm, touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth) so that you can focus on 3 things you are grateful for.  Close your eyes and focus on 3 things that happened today that you are grateful for.  See them, feel them, make them foremost in your mind, then journal what you are feeling!


Try one or all of the cool tools this week.  Remember, consistency is key.  I would be delighted to hear your results, and invite you to comment on the blog because we do not need to be on a collision course with anxiety that can insidiously erode an organization, a business, a professional practice, a life and many lives.

Carpe diem!  


Irene Becker | Just Coach

3 Success Steps You Need to Take | Read this post in 5 minutes or less

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1. Optimize by leading change

Attitude is altitude, and keeping your attitude positive in the face of a myriad of challenges is a learned skill that can change your life. It means developing a critical “Q”  skill I call constructive discontent!  Constructive discontent refers to seeing the problems and challenges with new eyes that turn problems and challenges into friends/positive levers that create the mindset, skillset, and engagement that drives positive change.



2. Humanize by improving communication

The leader who communicates well succeeds well.   Humanizing communication, adapting your words, your tone, your body language for your audience and also learning to respond to feedback in ways that create engagement.  Humanizing communication will also help you build another key leadership competency-enhanced EQ/EI.   (emotional intelligence) that is equally important to wellness and personal success.



3. Monetize by failing forward faster and better than before.

Hone your ability and your people’s ability to fail forward, faster and better. Remember that a whole new mindset will produce new results that help you navigate the turbulence, changes, and challenges of 21st-century business and life with greater dexterity and success.


Anything else?  You betcha>>Click to learn about our new programs for leaders and managers!  Programs that are built for success at the speed of change!



Irene Becker | Just Coach

Success Leaves Clues-Edition 3

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Kate Nasser is an author,  people-skills and customer service expert whose work has been shared in major publications and she has also won numerous awards that speak to the excellence of her programs.  In addition to a 28+ year successful career, Kate is a social media influencer and the leader of two social media Twitter Chats People Skills and Lead Morale.

What has been your greatest accomplishment as a trailblazer and change-maker?  My greatest accomplishment as a trailblazing woman business owner and change maker is awakening *everyone’s ability to close the gaps between themselves and others. I have shown leaders and teams that everyone can learn how to work better together. They have taken this same workplace awareness and ability into the world at large.  The benefits are infinite.

What do you want to be remembered for?  I would like people to remember me for giving people the inspiration and people skills to close the gaps and build bonds for success in business and happiness in life.  I would like to be remembered for developing uncommon talent for developing common bonds.

What is your fav quote (by other than yourself)?  

“People will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou




Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, is the founder and President of CAS, Inc.  Her keynotes, workshops, and consultations turn workplace interaction challenges into mega business success in leadership, morale, teamwork, and customer service. Kate is a workplace tested consultant & change partner whom clients around the world have hailed as highly effective.

See footage of her in action and testimonials from clients at Get Kate’s hallmark book — Leading Morale — the only book on that spells out how to *lead morale from the start instead of fixing it once it’s broken.






Irene Becker | Just Coach


Feel Happier in 10 minutes or less

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Reset your GPS, adopt new ways of thinking, communicating or doing that can change your life.

First do something to distract your mind, then try using a “cool tool” (3Q exercise that is free, takes 10 minutes or less and has been proven to work!).

Learning to cultivate happiness in good times and bad is critical and doable.


7  Cool Tools (3Q exercises that are free, and that you can do in 10 minutes or less a day!) and excellent happiness quotes!

Quote: “If you want happiness for a lifetime-help someone else.” Chinese Proverb
Tip One →Find the light and share it with someone else.
 Step out of sadness by helping another person feel better, or be there to listen when they want to share their thoughts. Try it, because it is scientifically proven to work!


Quote: “Happiness never decreases by being shared.”Buddha
Tip Two:  Share a joke or funny story with someone who will appreciate it because laughter is contagious and very good for mood, cognition, and health!


Quote: “Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen.  Stacey Charter
Tip Three → Apply love.  Spend five minutes a day thinking about how you love yourself or learning to appreciate and love yourself.   Yes, think of all the qualities that make you special, because each human being is gifted with attributes that are truly lovable.  If you had a dysfunctional childhood, learning to re-parent yourself, learning to comfort the child within, to love him/her can be pivotal.  If you are going through a difficult experience or challenge the need to love, nurture and appreciate yourself is critical.


Quote:  “Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” Winnie the Pooh
 Tip Four →Take time out each day for blank time; time when you DO not worry, time when you are just at peace and at one with the universe. Ten minutes a day of blank time can be a life changer.


Quote:   “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Frederick Keonig
Tip Five →Adopt an attitude of gratitude. Think about 3 things you are grateful for because it is impossible to feel grateful and sad at the same time. 
Keep a gratitude journal or simply make a mental note before you go to bed and when you wake up of what you are grateful for.


Quote:  “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Tip Six: → Smile because science tells us that the simple act of smiling will elevate your mood.


Quote:  “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”  Helen Keller
Tip Seven →Beware of the abyss and search for the light.  The longer you stare at the darkness, the more it will overwhelm you.  Look for the good, no matter how hard it is to see it because if you force yourself to look for the good will help you reset your negative GPS.


“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” Marcus Aurelius 

More on Happiness in Disruptive, Uncertain or Turbulent Times?  YOU Betcha!  Stay tuned for next week’s Wednesday Wisdom, and the site because there is a great deal of information and cool tools to help you feel happier!



Irene Becker | Just Coach

Rewire Your Brain: Get rid of negative thinking in 10 minutes or less

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Is it time to turn negativity around?  Become energized, empowered and solution focused at the speed of change, in the face of multiple challenges and on those days where the grind and stress are driving you silently crazy? Helping professionals in high stress, high change workplaces and careers minimize stress and optimize talent and success is core to my 3Q workBeat the stress trap.I have done it, my clients do it and you can do it do in less than 10 minutes a dayYes, here come the cool tools (exercises that take ten minutes or less and will help you rewire your brain by getting rid of default patterns of thinking and feeling that are impeding your greatest potential and happiness)

1. Delete:  Delete an energy stealer or inertia builder that is undermining your ability to transform challenges into solutions. Catch your self when you are thinking a negative thought, say stop or next and shift your focus.  Start right now by deleting one negative thought you have or had today that is not taking you forward.

2. Reboot: Stop the blame game,  let go of who did what, or who has what.  Reboot a better perspective by letting go of one thought that is causing you more pain than gain.  Let go, reboot and refocus on a positive goal and intention that takes you forward. The impact of one positive goal and intention is powerful.

3. Upload:  Take 2 minutes a day three times a day to be positive, to let go of any negative thoughts and beliefs. Click on the blue text for a simple,  but powerful exercise you can do almost anywhere.  An exercise that will help you build greater mindfulness, enhanced focus, improved resilience and also improves focus and ideation.

4. Repower: Schedule your day with blank time, time between meetings, time between commitments where you can simply recharge.  Science has documented the powerful benefits of blank time to cognition, health, focus and resiliency.  Diarize your blank time whether it is 5 minutes, 10 minutes or 20 minutes, because giving your brain a rest will only make you think smarter, feel better and increase your focus and effectiveness.

Carpe diem.  Delete-Reboot-Upload-Recharge in as little as 10 minutes a day.  You will be glad you did!
©Irene Becker, 2018






Success Leaves Clues | Edition 1

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Image Credit: Getty Images 

1. Embrace your ability to be the change and make a change.
2. Change is the answer. Human beings have survived due to their adaptability.
3. Become relentlessly solution driven, turn default negative settings around.  Build your 3Q Edge™, your greatest advantage in disruptive times.


Success leaves clues, and so does great leadership.  Enjoy this interview with James Strock, Trailblazer and Change-maker

James Strock is a trailblazer and change-maker who has made a profound difference in public organizations, government and companies through his work as an entrepreneur and reformer.  He is also a prolific writer who is the author of one of my FAVORITE leadership books, Serve to Lead 2.0, a book that should be the leadership manual for every 21st-century leadership curriculum.

  1. What has been your greatest accomplishment as a trailblazer and change-maker serving a higher purpose? I’ve been blessed to be granted multiple opportunities to start up and/or bring change to institutions and enterprises. My service as environmental secretary for California and chief of law enforcement for USEPA each involved reform and renewal of agencies during turbulent times. My added value was largely from identifying and supporting talented teams. That kind of entrepreneurial approach is the thread runs through my work over the years.
  2. At what age did you realize that you wanted to make a powerful difference in the world? Without according such generous characterizations to myself, I’ve always had an outsider’s vantage point. This prompted me to challenge, without the reservations of insiders, what I perceived to be disappointing elements in the status quo. Looking back, I think a decisive time in my development occurred at age 16. I sought and was granted the opportunity to produce and moderate a weekly television program on the NBC affiliate in New Orleans, where I was in high school. At that time, there were only three major networks and PBS. Digital technology and cable were in the future. Through this experience, I was exposed to a number of remarkable people who generously consented to be guests. They ranged from politicians to entertainers to journalists to medical pioneers. What they all had in common was leadership in their realms. This was an extraordinary education that fueled my capacity to serve.
  3. What has been the most important event in your life? This is an interesting question that one could take in any number of directions. Let me say that it’s the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This was part of a historical earthquake, arguably the beginning of the end of the wars and associated totalitarian ideologies that wracked Europe and then the world beginning in 1914. I had the privilege of witnessing this remarkable moment first-hand in Berlin during New Year 1989-90. This is the greatest historical event of my lifetime to-date, without a doubt. It has had a great effect in my life and work, even though I’m an American, geographically distant. There was a transcendent flash, when the consciousness of people simultaneously altered, transforming apparently impregnable realities. When the spirit of the peoples of Central Europe came together as one, the ongoing demoralization of the Russian occupiers and their vicious apparatus gave way. The massed armaments and organized violence that ruled ruthlessly, in some cases non-stop for decades under various flags, could not withstand the simultaneous awakening of the people. Among my personal takeaways is the confidence–the faith–that transformational change can occur, no matter how unlikely it appears. In the words of Nelson Mandela, architect of another historic moment, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
  4. What do you want to be remembered for? I would like to be a source of encouragement for others, helping them reach their potential. I strive to do that throughout my life and work. My work in leadership development is intended in large part to transmit and translate values and hard-earned wisdom from prior generations. Such history is very much a living thing and can provide actionable context for current challenges. Most importantly, it also links our efforts to rising generations, who should always be front and center in our minds and spirit. What is your favorite quote? As a voracious reader, I have many, many quotations that are favorites in various ways. If there is one setting where anyone must choose one sentiment over all others, it’s an epitaph. One of my favorites is from the English Labour Party leader, Tony Benn. To represent his ultimate service amid a wide-ranging, active life, Benn selected a concise message for his tombstone: “He encouraged us.” That is an ideal that I also strive for.
  5. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Strive to be the best listener not only that you know, but that you know of. Never miss an opportunity to be kind.



James Strock
is an independent entrepreneur and reformer in business, government, and politics. A prolific writer, James Strock has authored His most recent book is the second edition of Serve to Lead: 21st Century Leaders Manual.
website:  Wikipedia bio:



Irene Becker | Just Coach

Rewire Your Brain to be Positive and Achieve Success

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Image Credit: Getty Images



Let’s cut through complexity to the heart of your power, your potential, your ability to negotiate change, challenges and see the opportunities before you.  The following guest post by international leadership guru, author, and speaker, Professor Rao, speaks to our ability to rewire our brains for increased positivity and success.  It is a topic that I am passionate about as it is the foundation of my work, mission and 3Q model/philosophy.  Change is not the problem, it’s the answer and it is our ability to change and adapt that has paved the way for our growth and survival from our earliest historical beginnings to the present. (Scroll to the bottom for a link to Cool Tools, exercises you can do in 10 minutes or less a day to recharge, refocus, and rewire your brain for positivity and success!)

How to Rewire Your Brain to be Positive and Achieve Success by Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D

“Leadership means building a new bridge, a stronger bridge between what is and what can be because the future lies in the courage, integrity, and wisdom of those who dare to lead, learn, and succeed forward.” —Irene Becker, Just Coach It, 3Q Leadership Expert

Most problems in the world are the result of negative thinking and lack of empathy. Research shows that humans produce approximately 70,000 thoughts per day and most of them are negative.  We often find television channels and media bombarding with loads of negative information to pollute the minds of the viewers. The media highlights negativity to invite the attention of the humans quickly and exploits their weaknesses to ensure their survival. Even the people with positive thinking develop negative thinking assuming that the world is negative. It is only exceptional individuals and intellectuals who understand these facts and combat negativity. In this regard, we will explore tools to rewire your brain to be positive and achieve success.

Tools to Rewire Your Brain

“You cannot sit back and wait to be happy and healthy and have a great thought life; you have to make the choice to make this happen. You have to choose to get rid of the toxic and get back in alignment with God. You can be overwhelmed by every small setback in life, or you can be energized by the possibilities they bring.” ― Caroline Leaf, Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health

The people with high EQ (Emotional Quotient) are more successful than the people with high IQ (Intelligence Quotient) because they successfully rewired their brains by getting along with others and exploring opportunities with an open mind. Hence, developing high EQ helps greatly to rewire your brain. Here are some tools to rewire your brain to be positive. Strengthen your subconscious mind with a positive frame of mind. Give positive commands to your subconscious mind to evolve as a healthy individual. Practice for 21 days. Think positive instead of negative. Don’t look at the future based on your unpleasant experiences and events. Learn lessons from failures instead of brooding over them. Develop confidence and optimism. Believe in yourself. Change the way you perceive the world. Surround with positive people to create positive vibrations.  Reflect your thoughts regularly. Go for a walk or gym to energize your body and mind. Clear your mind from clutter through meditation. Be creative by following a different path or route. Avoid complaining, criticizing and condemning others. Instead, see positive in others. Praise people liberally. Make them feel important.

John B. Arden, in his book, Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life offers four-fold sage advice as follows: Feed your brain now that you have a better idea of how the brain works, let’s focus on a method of rewiring your brain that involves the following four steps: Focus, Effort, Effortlessness and Determination (FEED). Focus allows you to pay attention to what’s happening here and now, and this starts the process of neuroplasticity. Effort shifts your attention from perception to action. Making a focused effort activates your brain to establish new synaptic connections. In the beginning, it takes focus, effort, and more energy in your brain, but after you make the swing or say hello enough times, it becomes effortless. Thus, to rewire your brain you’ll have to stay with the new behavior long enough to make it become fairly automatic. In time, practice will make it effortless. Your brain won’t have to work as hard once you reach this level. The final step in feeding your brain is staying in practice. Do the activity again and again. Being determined in this way need not be tiring and painful. If you practice the other three steps in feeding your brain, by the time you get to this one, it should come easily. That’s because effortlessness precedes it. Thus, determination simply means that you stay in practice. By being determined, you’ll complete the feeding process to rewire your brain.

Irene Becker, in her article titled, ‘Building And Sustaining Great Leadership In Disruptive Times Possibility Thinking, Communicating, And Doing: A 3Q Leadership™ Solution’ in Wiley’s Leader to Leader Journal offers some simple and powerful cool tools that you can easily integrate into your day such as identifying the path (walking/driving) you prefer, then taking a different one; experimenting with taking one old habit every week and tossing it out the window or changing it in your personal life; walking down a street you are familiar with and searching for something you have never seen or noticed before; uplifting your posture; stretching your strengths by applying them in new ways; writing a few sentences in the reverse direction, or with your opposing hand; embracing new experiences; changing at least one routine every day; pausing for ten seconds before you respond, taking your ego (need to be validated) out of the equation and refocusing your objective; taking charge of tension by releasing it, fast; clenching whatever part of your body is tense, and release it; practicing mindfulness for five to ten minutes a day; sipping ice water; moving more; and laughing more, and smiling more because laughing gives your brain an aerobic workout and is an excellent stress reliever and mood booster and smiling automatically elevates your mood.

Overcome your psychological and physical limitations by rewiring your brain. Some people are hardwired with superstitions. They find it difficult to overcome them. It is possible to overcome by rewiring their brains.  Take up one bad practice in a day and rewire your brain with good practice. After achieving success, take up another bad practice to overcome by rewiring. In this way, you can get out of your bad practices to excel as a healthy individual. Remember, rejections make you stronger in life. Just because people failed, they should not give up on their passions and endeavors. Eminent inventors and entrepreneurs are smart in rewiring their brains. That is why they succeeded in their lives and made a difference to the world. For instance, Edison invented the bulb and Colonel Sanders founded KFC by rewiring their brains.


“By focusing on possibilities, you can see more than a potential light at the end of the tunnel. The light doesn’t have to be at the end of the tunnel; it can illuminate an opportunity wherever you are.” ―John B. Arden, Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life

People often complain that they cannot break their bad habits which is a myth. Breaking bad habits helps you unlock your hidden potential and acquire knowledge, skills, and abilities effortlessly. It is rightly remarked that below average people talk about individuals, average people talk about issues and above average people talk about ideas. Rewire your brain to explore ideas and insights to excel as a role model for others and stand out as a leader.  Everything is possible in this world and everything can be changed in the world by rewiring your brain. To summarize, don’t be influenced by outdated dogmas. When you want to overcome your bad practices, you must rewire your brain. When you want to learn, unlearn and relearn, you must rewire your brain. When you want to grow as a leader, you must rewire your brain.

“You are not a victim. You can control your reactions. You do have a choice.” ― Caroline Leaf, Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health

Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life by John B. Arden (Wiley; 1 edition, March 22, 2010)

Building And Sustaining Great Leadership In Disruptive Times:  Possibility Thinking, Communicating, And Doing: A 3Q Leadership™ Solution by Irene Becker (Wiley; Leader to Leader Journal, March 2017)

Author Bio

Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D., is the Father of “Soft Leadership”, Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, C-Suite advisor, international speaker and the author of 37 books including the award-winning 21 Success Sutras for CEOs  He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others, he shares his wisdom and his 4 blogs and wants to build one million students as global leaders by 2030   Contact:


Cool Tools-Ten Minute a Day (or Less) 3Q Tools to Recharge, Refocus,  Rewire Your Brain for Positivity and Success!


Irene Becker, Executive Coach





Two Minute Reflection on Leadership, Failure and Success

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Make that critical shift forward.

Be a promise manager and leader who fails forward

Use every opportunity to model promise management

and leadership.

Build the DNA of all successful relationships, trust.


Do what you say, come through with the promises you make and when something goes wrong and you fail…

fess up to the error and teach your people the power of learning to fail forward. 

Model it, teach it, encourage it because the sheer velocity of change means that the best and brightest among us will fail, and those who fail forward will win.


Irene Becker | Just Coach It -The 3Q Edge
Grit, growth communication & greatness in disruptive times
My one word is #inspire.  My passion is #leadership


Empowerment and Success in Disruptive/Uncertain Times-10 Minute Cool Tool #2

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Inspire yourself, because doing so will take you forward faster than before.

If you want to benefit from the following cool tool(free and often life-changing exercise that can be done in 10 minutes or less), you need to practice it every day.  If you want to help contribute to the success of others and to inspire/motivate positive change, grit, and growth, I encourage you to post your comments and experiences on the blog.

Last week we learned about a ten-minute Cool Tool to prime yourself for a successful a day and build your 3Q Edge. Click here for last week’s post-10 minute cool tool by Anthony Robbins.

After or before you have primed yourself for success, it is critical to make sure that you have found your Happy spot (H spot) Everyone is different.  Some people need to tune into their H spot before their priming exercise, others prefer to do so after they have done their morning success priming.  Go with your gut and find out what works for you.



Cool Tool # 2:  Get Happy NOW!

Have you ever had one of those bad days that started with stubbing your toe, or some kind of negative experience that occurred the moment you got up?  We all have and we have also experienced days in which the negativity followed us throughout the day and everything that could go wrong seemed to do so.

What is the solution to this problem?  How can you set yourself up for success?  Build emotional intelligence, grit and a feeling of empowerment that takes you forward faster, smarter and happier?

After you have completed your priming exercise (read post 1) you need to make sure that YOU are feeling positive, empowered and ready to attack the day with enthusiasm.

Is it time to put on your invisible cape?  Create a space for greatness? Actualize your personal and professional ability in disruptive and uncertain times? Scroll down to enjoy this week’s  Wednesday Wisdom, a cool tool (ten minute 3Q exercise-free, simple and powerful) that you can incorporate into your daily routine.

What can you do before or after you have primed yourself for success?  Find your H Spot, your happy space.  Make yourself laugh, give yourself time to smile and feel confident.  Here are three different ways to accomplish this goal.  Three Cool Tools (exercises that take less than 10 minutes that you can incorporate in your day.

1.  As a round person, I have found that jumping naked in front of the bathroom mirror first thing in the morning is fabulous.  It is hard to keep a straight face or to hold energized feelings down when you are jumping up and down!

2.  Make happiness your focus.  DO one simple thing that will make you feel happy.  It does not matter how silly this thing is, what matters is that you find your happy spot before breakfast or coffee.

3. Get rid of toxic/negative emotions by writing them on a piece of paper, crumpling it and throwing it away.

Carpe diem.  It’s your time to shine!Try this cool tool out every day for the next week.  You will be very surprised at the important and powerful effect it will have on your life and work.

3Q  has helped executives, entrepreneurs and professions achieve breakthrough results in disruptive and uncertain times.  It began as a method that helped me successfully negotiate the type of life and career crises that changed my world as I knew it.  Whether you are facing a difficult challenge or you simply want to make yourself anti-fragile, bulletproof in a world of relentless change, I encourage you to follow the Wednesday Wisdom and try the cool tools I post on for size and fit!

Are you ready to go from Now to HOW?  Get re-inspired by what you can achieve at the speed of change/challenges? Recharge, refocus, repurpose, repower your communication, leadership and life edge? We are here to help!

Irene Headshot


Empowerment & Success in Disruptive/Uncertain Times: 10 minute cool tool #1

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Paint a new picture-get a new result

Your ability to change your perspective, to develop cognitive and emotional dexterity is as real as it is critical.  And, building your 3Q Edge, your ultimate advantage, is both challenging, inspiring and fun!  Yes, you CAN recognize and engage your strengths while using challenges, changes, stressors, and frustrations to leverage your greatest potential.

New mindset = new result
Easier said than done?  Think again.  Change is your greatest strength.

You can do this and I am going to tell you how you can build Q strengths, strengths that help you build your best life and career.  Strengths that help YOU contribute to a better tomorrow. It is my mission to help as many people as possible not be part of the World Health forecast that anxiety and depression will be the major cause of physical disability in the world by 2020!

Uplevel your enthusiasm-prime yourself for success in your life and career;

Yes, you can achieve in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) world.  REALIZE your ability to develop a NEW relationship with change, challenges, uncertainty even failures that takes you forward faster, smarter and happier. It is my mission to help you empower, engage and transform what is into what CAN be in your life, leadership, and career; it’s my mission to help you build your 3Q Edge.

The way you start the day is critical to your health, success, and happiness!  Learning to prime yourself for focus, positivity, energy can be life-changing.

If you up on the wrong side of the bed, you need to turn this around as quickly as you can.  Upside, you have the power to change your mindset, you have the power to increase your ability to focus, and getting started is simple. Remember, new mindset-new result.  You cannot build a fire with WET wood.  You will not be able to have your best day, achieve maximum success or happiness with negativity or sadness holding you down.

 CLICK here for a 10-minute priming exercise from Tony Robbins, a great cool tool** to use and to share.  Try it out every morning and share the difference it has made in your life with us on the blog!


**I call exercises that are free, fantastic, build 3Q skills AND can be done in 10 minutes or less a day “COOL TOOLS“, and I will be sharing my Cool Tools and the cool tools of thought leaders and change-makers to help you achieve maximum value in minimal time**

Anything else?  Carpe Diem.  Here’s a 3-minute cool tool to turn your positive power up and on, no matter what kind of day you are having! Take a 3-minute break from whatever you are doing and simply think about 3 things you are grateful for and wiggle your toes!  This simple exercise will reset your mood.


Podcasts and interviews I’ve done that you may enjoy.
Interview on 3Q Leadership by #1 expert in Intelligent Leadership and #3 Executive Coach, John Mattone
Radio Interview by Deb Scott:  From Pain To Gain In Life And Career
Web TV Interview by Shannon Skinner:  Extraordinary Women Leading In The Face Of Challenges


Are you ready to go from Now to HOW?  Get re-inspired by what you can achieve at the speed of change/challenges? Recharge, refocus, repurpose, repower? We are here to help!

Irene Headshot

The Power of YOUR Story-New Edition

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BEWill your story help you engage and sustain your best self or keep you stuck in a rut? Many of us have a problem looking at the challenges we face with new eyes, especially when the challenge me face is our own story. The way you see your life will determine whether YOUR story will empower you to achieve your greatest potential or keep you from truly achieving your heart’s desire. Read more



© Irene Becker, Just Coach It-The 3Q Edge™ | (IQ-EQ-SQ) Reach-Resonance-Results
3Q Leadership™ Blog- 58,000+ Social Media Followers & Growing!  

The stories we tell ourselves become our worlds.  Perspective is everything, consciousness drives our ability to evolve or devolve, and the desire to make sense of our personal story is something a task that our brain is hard-wired to perform.

The power of YOUR story must be mined because its power lies not in what you have accomplished or not accomplished, but  in the pivot points, the accomplishments that touch your heart, the wins that are milestone markers AND moments of challenge that (if properly used) can help you develop a new sense of self, a better view of your own potential.

From birth to death, the power of our own personal story follows us, and it’s ability to inspire our best self, our best work and help us build our best life is as real as it’s power to create disempowerment, underachievement, overachievement at any cost.

What is YOUR story?  How will you look upon your journey with eyes that will help you see your strengths with greater clarity, and use challenges, failures as a lever for your greatest potential? Q1: improved focus, ideation, innovative thought  Q2: improved resiliency, risk tolerance, empowerment, communication, collaboration  Q3: enhancement of the intrinsic motivators, the timeless values that drive sustainability-courage, integrity, purpose

The power of your story is the fire that can light the power of your greatest potential.  Your ability to see your story with new eyes, eyes that build on three Q skills starts with your desire to look at your story and the story of others with eyes that search a meaning and purpose that aligns with the courage, integrity, purpose, humanity required to take us all forward as one people sharing one planet. In a world of constant change, challenges, competition; at a time of titanic paradox where our ability to develop technological, scientific advances that are REMARKABLE remain dimmed by social, economic, environmental, organizational problems...Your story, my story, our stories and the way we choose to see them can either enhance or reduce our ability to build better lives, better organizations and contribute to a better world.

What is your story?  How will you use it to empower your greatest potential?  How will you listen to the stories of those you lead, work for, befriend and love?  The challenge to see our own stories with new eyes and hear the stories of others with new ears calls to us all!  The call to build new ways of thinking, new ways of listening that take us forward is upon us!  Answering this call is a powerful step forward.

More On  Personal Development-Empowerment-Optimization of Potential?  YOU BETCHA!
Posts, Podcasts, and Web TV Interviews!

There Is Only One Story That Matters
  I Will Not Be Broken
Lighting The Fire Of Human Potential:  Developing A Purposeful Life And Career
Building Essential Success Skills That GROW At The Speed Of Change
Ten Ways To Lead Forward In Times Of Complexity And Change
Remove The Wall To Your Greatest Potential
Using Failure To SUCCEED-Practical Tips
The Secret To Personal Development And Growth
Constructive Discontent:  Building A Critical 3Q Life And Leadership Skill
Two Minute Tune Up For Over-Achievers And Under-Achievers

Podcasts and Interviews
Radio Interview by Deb Scott:  From Pain To Gain In Life And Career
Web TV Interview by Shannon Skinner:  Extraordinary Women Leading In The Face Of Challenges


Are you ready to go from Now to HOW?  Get re-inspired by what you can achieve at the speed of change/challenges? Recharge, refocus, repurpose, repower? We are here to help!

Irene Headshot

There is Only One Story that Matters

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There is only one story that matters.

It’s not the story of who you are, where you have been or what you have acquired.

It’s the story that speaks to you in moments of wonder and awe; and whispers to you when you are at your lowest moments or facing your greatest failure, pain or loss.

It is a story that ignites YOUR purpose, YOUR ability, and YOUR courage because this story is bigger than you, and it is bigger than me.

It is the story that is the seedbed your greatest potential, your most heartfelt collaboration, your greatest innovations and a new type of communication that builds a bridge across cultural and generational divides.

It is the story of all that is great, purposeful and worthwhile and it is within your reach if you dare to care, if you realize your ability to adapt, evolve and thrive in ways that drive your best self, best work and best life.

And, I can tell you that when you find your story when you realize your ability to take control of who you are, of what you will share and contribute you will embrace a new day, a new path in life that will take you forward happier, smarter and faster than before.

A new path that is a path of gratitude, purpose, and commitment; a new path of enlightened leadership that will change and touch your life and the lives of others in ways you did not realize were possible.

It is a story that will help you become a possibility thinker who is taking a new path, exploring a new passion by learning to use what is to create what can be in YOUR life and the lives of others….

Because the way forward will be very different from the past, and the imperative to make it better than what was speaks to us all.

Next Monday I will start sharing thoughts of the day AND the biography and thoughts of real-life heroes, trailblazers and champions who are building better lives and futures for themselves and others.  Friends and colleagues, special people in business, the arts, the professions who are trailblazers; people like (in alphabetical order) Kare Anderson, Mark S. Babbitt, Michael Ballard, Wayne Clancy,  Peter Cook, Fields Jackson, Jr., Donna D. May, Kate Nasser, Tanveer Naseer, Cinnie Noble, Mark Persaud ,
Frank Sonnenberg,  
James Strock and more!

Enjoy the articles on this blog, articles that speak to our individual and collective ability to adapt, evolve and thrive; our ability to build three critical strengths that drive our best selves, communication, work and lives in disruptive times.  Click here to learn about 3Q benefits why I have dedicated my life to this work.

There is only one story that matters and it is the story of YOUR purpose, YOUR ability, YOUR courage to take back control of who you really are and what you have to contribute.  Carpe diem

© Irene Becker, 2018



3 Ways to Motivate Yourself During a Busy Week

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Post Views = 4742   Busyness has become a luxury and a status symbol in today’s fast evolving world. But while it makes us feel important and validated, not being able to turn off our “work mode” can more often than not, backfire. While we might think that it would impress our bosses, poor time […]

Motivational Monday: Happiness & Success

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Get inspired and motivated because science confirms that you can prime your brain for greater happiness and success.  Choose one step and try it out every day this week because you’ll be surprised at the difference one small step can make in your happiness and success!

Ten Tips to Prime Your Brain for Success (originally published on Jesse Stoner’s blog)

“I appreciated  this video of Irene Becker, first female CEO of a steel company in Canada, where she shared her personal story of great achievements and losses. Her experience uniquely positions her as an expert on the topic of the relationship between happiness and success. ” Jesse Lyn Stoner


10 Tips to Prime Your Brain for Success

➣ That’s right. Happiness must come before success. Staying stuck in a negative rut, dwelling on problems versus being solution oriented will not help you succeed, and it will contribute to what the World Health Organization tells us will be the major cause of disability by 2020—stress, negativity, disengagement.

➣ What exactly does brain science tell us? Most of us were trained to think that success leads to happiness. We now know, through neuroimaging and other longitudinal scientific studies, that achieving success in a rapidly changing and often chaotic world, workplace and marketplace demands a whole new skill set.

Here are

1. Talk nice to yourself! Celebrate every win in your mind’s eye no matter how small. Pay attention to the positive.

2. Connect, get social. Talk to people you care about; talk to people you work with. Make social connections.

3. Hug. Hugs stimulate oxytocin, the “love hormone,” spreading a feel-good boost.

4. Make love. Yes, it’s no surprise that lovemaking boosts happiness levels!

5. Keep a gratitude journal. Writing about what you are thankful for both helps retrain your brain to be more optimistic and positively impacts your health!

6. Get physical. Physical activity is a significant happiness booster. Exercising for 30 minutes a day can take up to 7 years off your chronological age! And, it eases stress, improves sleep, strengthens immunity, and increases happiness.

7. Help others. Altruism makes us happier and stronger. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, hospital, or shelter.

8. Go outside, spend time with Mother Nature. It will make you feel more alert, enthusiastic, energetic, and happy.

9. Take two minutes or less to be mindful! If you don’t meditate regularly, spend a few minutes several times a day being mindful of your breathing.

10. Get silly, embrace the kid in you. Enjoy a good joke, watch a funny video, smile, enjoy a great comedy. Laughing is a great way to exercise your brain and give your body a mini aerobic workout!

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Priming your brain to be positive will help you achieve greater success and well-being. It is time to win the most important war we face; a silent war that is eroding purpose, potential and sustainability every day.  The World Health Organization says that anxiety and depression will be the leading cause of physical disability in the world by 2020. If you are not unhappy, and if your potential is not being limited, someone you know, work for, lead or love is stuck in a rut, a thinking rut, an emotional rut that can destroy their life.  Read about winning the silent war before us.

More?  You Betcha
Essential Reading for CEO’s and Leaders
Happiness Recovery:  Ten Actionable Steps
How to Survive and Thrive in Times of Uncertainty
The Secret to Personal Development and Growth
I Will Not Be Broken-The Call to Build a Better Future

3Q Leadership and Why I Have Dedicated My Life to this Work

Are you ready to use what is to create what can be in yourself, your team, your business or organization? Develop the 3Q Leadership strengths that move mountains and molehills? Bust toxic stress?  Recharge, refocus and repurpose with a lunch and learn, workshop or keynote?  Reach out and I will reach back: 

Expert Interview Series:  How Leadership is Changing | John Mattone-Irene Becker

Executive Coaching, Consulting & Keynotes with a 3Q Edge
For Powerful Results in Disruptive/Turbulent Times
Irene (1) 416-671-4726  Skype:  beckerirene
Irene’s assistant, Drew Jones, (1) 737-5075


Motivational Monday: Engage your greatest power

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Post Views = 3007 Embrace and engage your greatest power by taking one small, but important step out of your comfort zone. One step towards a better, stronger and happier you.  One step that will help you develop the cognitive and emotional dexterity you need to thrive in times of uncertainty and turbulence. Take this […]

How to Survive and Thrive in Times of Uncertainty and Chaos-Step 7/7

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How to Survive and Thrive in Times of Uncertainty and Chaos-Step 6/7

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Surviving and Thriving in Times of Uncertainty and Chaos-Step 5/7

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Creating a New Future Step 5 of 7 

How can you create a new future? A better tomorrow?  Survive and thrive in the face of uncertainty and chaos by developing 3Q strengths in as little as ten minutes a day. I have dedicated my life to helping others build their 3Q edge, with simple steps that are backed by science and hands-on experience.  Steps that have changed my life and the lives of my clients. This post is fifth in a series of 7.  If you have not read the previous four posts scroll to the bottom for links to these articles. Read more, click here for 3Q Benefits and why I have dedicated my life to this work.

Step Five is Resetting YOUR GPS in 10 minutes a day. Reset and reboot with “Cool Tools”, five to ten-minute daily rituals that keep you on your A-game, help you reset default patterns of thinking, communicating or doing that no longer work…AND, help you bust toxic stressYou can make a difference, but doing so means realizing that you CAN rewrite default patterns of thinking, feeling or executing. It means putting on your leadership shoes by engaging your ability think smarter and differently (IQ-Q1), feel, communicate and collaborate better (EQ-Q2) while developing your spiritual quotient-alignment with the highest values and purpose (SQ-Q3) that drive and sustain success. Read more

Carpe diem.  Take 5-10 minutes each day to reset your GPS, change a habitual way of thinking, communicating or doing!

  • Try writing a few sentences in the reverse direction, or with your opposing hand every day for the next week.
  • Uplift your posture and take a 5 or 10 minute time out from stress. Go for a walk, do “The Pause”, shift your thoughts to a pleasant location or experience. There are few more powerful ways to raise and sustain energy than to ease your posture upward, which frees your breathing and raises your energy level.
  • Change one routine every day.

Click here for more cool tools

What we face is nothing in comparison with our ability to empower, engage and transform; our ability to adapt, evolve and thrive by building our 3Q Edge.  The lessons I have learned on my journey, my studies and dedication to my craft have touched my head and heart with positivity, courage, and possibility thinking because our ability to use what is to create what can be in our lives and the lives of others is real.

More?  You Betcha
 Survive and Thrive in Times of Uncertainty and Chaos
Survive and Thrive-Step 1
Survive and Thrive-Step 2
Survive and Thrive-Step 3
Survive and Thrive-Step 4

Get inspired. Build your leadership,  career and personal edge in disruptive times! Contact us to find out about 3 to Thrive and other great new programs!

Coaching, Consulting & Keynotes with a 3Q Edge
Irene (1) 416-671-4726  Skype:  beckerirene
Irene’s assistant, Drew Jones, (1) 737-5075
Irene Becker | Just Coach It
Your Catalyst for Success at the Speed of Change

How to Survive and Thrive in Times of Uncertainty and Chaos Step 4/7

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Surviving and thriving in times of uncertainty and chaos is critical to our individual and organizational survival.  It has been the focus of a series of 7 posts sharing 7 simple but powerful ways to develop what I call your 3Q Edge-your ability to think, feel communicate and execute in new ways that drive and sustain your best thinking, improved emotional strengths, better communication and execution in disruptive or turbulent times.

If you have not followed the series, click here for step 1, click here for step 2, click here for step 3.


Step #4  is Self Awareness 

Self awareness is the first step in leadership development and critical to the emotional and cognitive adaptability, improved creativity, collaboration and a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment are critical to our individual and collective survival.

Dedicate 10 minutes a day to a better YOU! Pick a cool tool (10-minute exercise)  that works for you and use it daily for the next week.

1. Stream of consciousness writing.
Take 10 minutes to just write whatever comes to mind as soon as you get up in the morning.  Do not censor your writing, just write.  Not sure where to start?  Start with how you are feeling and continue writing for 7 to 10 minutes.

2. Keep a gratitude journal.

Keeping a gratitude journal will not only build self-awareness but greater happiness!  Take a few minutes before you go to sleep to write what you are grateful for.

3. Write a personal manifesto and read it to aloud or in your mind’s eye 2-3 times a day.

What things do you stand for? What are your strongest beliefs? How do you want to live your life? What do you want to accomplish? Your personal manifesto is a statement of focus/power and an excellent call to action. Delighted to share timeless steps to building your manifesto by Jone Bosworth  Read more

Repetition is the mother of success in terms of learning new skills or changing behaviours.

Self Awareness is critical to your personal, professional/business success, and it is a learned skill that can help you make positive changes that drive self-confidence, empowerment, a greater awareness/understanding of yourself and others.  Read more

An interview by #1 Expert in Intelligent Leadership and #2 Executive Coach in the world, John Mattone led to my doing a certification in Intelligent Leadership and Executive Coaching with the master!
Read more

It would be impossible to end the year without thanking John Mattone for his great work, books and the opportunity to study under his direction!   More about Intelligent Leadership and Executive Coaching next year! Read more

Carpe diem.  Take this moment to recognize your ability to survive and thrive, your ability to make a difference and be the difference in your life and the lives of others, because that is what 3Q leadership is ALL about! Read more


More?  You Betcha!

Find out where you stand with our 10-minute Career and Life Self Assessment.



Get inspired. Build your leadership,  career and personal edge in disruptive times! Contact us to find out about 3 to Thrive and other great new programs!

Live, Lead, Succeed to Purpose in Disruptive Times
Discover Coaching, Consulting & Keynotes with a 3Q Edge
Irene (1) 416-671-4726  Skype:  beckerirene
Irene’s assistant, Drew Jones, (1) 737-5075
Irene Becker | Just Coach It
Your Catalyst for Success at the Speed of Change

Survive and Thrive in Times of Uncertainty and Chaos-Step 3/7

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Survive & Thrive in Times of Uncertainty and Chaos-Step 2/7

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Survive & Thrive in Times of Uncertainty and Chaos-Step 1

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How to Survive and Thrive in Times of Chaos and Uncertainty

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How to Get Motivated In Disruptive Times

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Three Ways to Thrive

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How will disruption and turbulence impact your work, your life, your emotional and physical health; your ability to thrive? The World Health Organization tells us that stress and depression will be the leading cause of disability in the world by 2020. Yes, if you are not suffering from anxiety or depression someone you know, lead, work for or love is.  It is time to recognize that default patterns of thinking will not take us forward, times of great change demand leadership that helps us adapt, evolve and thrive.  Read more

You have the power and you are the answer because there is nothing you can buy or learn that will take YOU forward without changing the way you think.  I have run a successful business, been a trailblazer who lived a life many dream of, but I have also faced a litany of challenges (career, business, life, and health) that would have crushed many people.  The most important lesson of all is that only YOU have the keys to the kingdom, only YOU can change your perspective in ways that sustain the faith, hope, courage, integrity, and humanity that can help you keep going, help you survive and thrive. Read more

Here are 3 free steps to help you start thriving in disruptive times.
 Steps I call “Cool Tools” because they take less than 10 minutes.  I have a library of many steps, the following three steps are a great way to start building your 3Q Edge (IQ-EQ-SQ).   Pick ONE step and try it on for size for 7 days.  DO it consistently for a week, and post your results on the blog or send them to me privately (

  1. Cultivate the power of the present moment, build your ability to be in the NOW. Start doing so by thinking of 3 things you are grateful for because we cannot retain negative emotions when feeling grateful.   Appreciate this moment because you are alive, you are here for a purpose that you were meant to fulfill.  Retrain your brain by developing an attitude of gratitude AND developing greater positivity.
  2. Give yourself 90 second window-3 minutes to optimize! Yes, we can all find 3 minutes and if you use these 3 minutes three times a day, you will see positive results within a week. CLICK here to try the PAUSE 3-minute exercise. Science confirms that taking a small amount of time each day to be in prayer, contemplation, meditation or chanting can change your life by making you more resilient, focused, positive driving improved emotional and physical health. (even longevity).
  3. Keep your flame going. Do something to help someone else.  Drown out what’s wrong and feed your ability to contribute by sharing a smile, helping a friend, colleague or a stranger, mentoring a team member.  The smallest things can make a powerful difference in the lives of others, and being of service will also make you feel GOOD.

Life presents us with choices.  Carpe diem, take this moment to recognize your ability to be the difference and make a difference!  Give one of these three tools a try consistently for a week and let me know your results.

Get inspired. Recharge, refocus, repurpose, repower. Build your leadership, communication, career and personal edge in disruptive times!  Find out about 3 to Thrive and other new programs.
Reach out and we will reach back!

Irene (1) 416-671-4726  Skype:  beckerirene
Irene’s assistant, Drew Jones, (1) 737-5075
Irene Becker | Just Coach It
Your Catalyst for Success at the Speed of Change

Monday Motivation: Success school with Evan Carmichael

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53 Confidence Boosting Actions You Can Take Today

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Post Views = 6212 Originally published on Self Development Secrets | Rebecca Temsen  | Do check out their site because “being your own hero” is critical! One of the most important ingredients of a well-lived, enjoyable life is self-confidence. Confident people get what they want the way they want it, people enjoy being around them, and they’re […]

How to Build Strength and Success in Uncertain Times

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Team Building Toolkit-25 Tips!

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Success is NOT achieved alone. If your team is not effective, your results will be poor.    

What team building activities have worked the best for YOUR team?  What is the greatest team building challenge you face? Sharing 25 team building tips for your toolkit!



1. Have a clear mission. Start with the common anchor, the objectives and values you share.  Internalize them, mention them, and ignite them because they are the fuel for your greatest individual and collective potential.

2. Make sure that roles, responsibilities and accountability are clearly defined.  If you are working with an agile team/project team where roles change, this in itself is a new type of role that must be explained.  Clarity is king and buy in from members is queen.

3. Develop a team charter.  Team members need a strong sense of belonging to the group that will build trust and commitment. This sense of commitment is reinforced when the team spends the time to develop team norms or relationship guidelines together.

4. Lead, don’t micro-manage.
Make sure that all team members feel that they are a critical part of the team’s success. Make sure roles, responsibilities and accountability are clear, but do not micro manage. If process helps execution, use it.  Process used as a substitute for poor leadership, lack of trust will ultimately impede or undermine that potential of the team. Get the right people on your team, empower them, engage them; help them with their professional/personal development and hold them accountable.

Align & Motivate Empathize
Delegate & Monitor Plan & Control

5. Develop your ability to use care-frontation. Don’t shove problems or conflicts under the rug where they can fester, brew and explode in overt or covert ways.  Conflict is a healthy sign.  Use it to build connection.  Remember conflict that his not expressed, festers, brews and ultimately destroys everything in its path. Use shared values and objectives to break down barriers and to also help team members build strong intrinsic motivation so that they focus forward when times are tough.

6. Ready to react? Stuck in stasis?  Worried about driving in reverse?  Ready to go into fight or flight?  Try my R-E-A-C-H™ coaching method for better and faster results!  Go ahead change a default pattern of thinking, communicating or doing that is no longer working for you. Yes, brain science confirms that our brains are neuro-plastic (we can rewrite default patterns)


Redirect focus Don’t let your amygdala hijack you!  Pause.  Depersonalize and refocus on your primary objective.
Empower confidence Develop personal rituals that help you get empowered when times are tough.  Find ways to empower the confidence of team members because YOU cannot light a fire (yours or theirs) with wet wood. If you believe you can do it, you are arming yourself with an almost unstoppable weapon.
Actualize potential Put your best effort forward and execute.  Enable your best self and best work.
Communicate effectively Learn how to understand communication styles of others and how others perceive you so that you can speak/write in a way that opens their ears and send them a message that drives reach, resonance and results.
Harvest results Celebrate all wins, big and small and make sure to recognize the people who helped to make the win a reality.  Success is a group activity.  Build your team and they will reach back and help YOU grow.


7. Give your team a safe place to share their thoughts by developing team rituals that further transparent communication. 
Ask the right questions because developing your ability to not only ask the right questions, but ask them in a way that engages/empowers while also holding them accountable is critical.

8. Organize the team for excellent communication and execution by creating team rituals, regular meetings (face-face or virtually), team-building sessions as well as informal meetings that provide engagement, fuel focus and enthusiasm (lunch and learns, regular launches, social gatherings-fun time).  Never punish or castigate a team member for having a different opinion.  Open the door to different opinions they are the lifeblood of innovation and success.  If team membership changes during the project, or there are other important changes to deal with plan a short team building meeting to review forming and norming stages again (and/or to get the new team member up to speed).

9. Model failing forward.  Learn from successes and failures. Be honest with your team.  Do not try to buffer them from critical/difficult decisions.  Show them how to deal with challenges and turn them around. Show team members how to move from conflict to connection.

12. Championing learning, training and mentoring.  Help team members develop skills that help them improve interpersonal relationships, communication with all stakeholders (internal/external), presentation skills, career related skills AND skills that speak to their own personal development.

13. Hold pre-meetings (face to face or virtual review of meeting agenda so that you know if there are any questions or issues).  Pre-meetings are necessary ingredients of successful project meetings. Prime team members for a positive meeting.  Set the stage for fruitful results with a pre-meeting

14. Hang out with your team and also make sure there is fun time. Show them you are smart with heart. Sit with them and talk about their life/ambitions. Make sure that you humanize your relationship because you cannot lead heads without touching hearts. Let them know that you not only value their work and efforts, but enjoy them as people.

15. Model appreciation for efforts put forward and recognition for individual and collective achievements. One of the number one complaints of over 70% of USA employees is that they are not appreciated or recognized for their work.  Disengagement and presenteeism are rampant.  Nip them in the bud.

16. Be thoughtfully decisive. Take a stand that reflects 1.  Values   2.  Objectives   3.  The best course of action. “A leader always explains or fixes”. Explain your decisions to your team or go fix them.

17. Champion diversity.  Diversity of gender, race, skills and background makes a team stronger. Make sure to view each member as a unique and special component of the team with experiences, points of view, knowledge and experience to contribute.

18. Model leadership by creating an environment where team members are comfortable taking risks, communicating, advocating positions and taking action.  Do not punish, castigate or scoff at someone for disagreeing.

19. Model active listening.  Be a great listener and help team members improve their listening skills.  The most important part of communication is listening without judgment, without trying to guess what the other party is really trying to say or formulating your response while they are talking.

20. Expect and encourage creativity, innovation, and different viewpoints need to be expected and encouraged. Comments such as, “we already tried that and it didn’t work” and “what a dumb idea” should not be allowed or supported.

21.  Champion reflection and continuous improvement.  The team should regularly examine itself to improve processes, practices and interpersonal communication and interactions as well as an open discussion of team norms/practices that have become counter-productive in a changing environment. 

22. Work on team procedures for identifying, analyzing and resolving team problems and conflicts.  Again, use challenges as a positive lever to build better processes, communication and solutions. When you are having team building challenges focus on interpersonal relationships first!

                Interpersonal Relationships

23.  Remember that trust is the glue that holds a great team together.  Shared values, objectives, honest communication, accountability and collaboration built trust and make it stick.  Frequent meetings, team rituals, social meetings (with and/or without family) community volunteer opportunities are all great ways to bond and share, wins and challenges are all opportunities to build trust.

24.  Identify toxic team members and get them off the team.  Make sure that you are not removing team members who have great potential and need coaching, training, mentoring but rather members who are NOT a fit for the team and who will not benefit from personal development initiatives.

25. Teach your team members to take breaks every 90 minutes for blank time in order to recharge.  Even the tightest schedule can grow to fit in 5 minutes of blank time every 90 minutes.  Stress is one of the most critical threats we face from an individual, business and organizational perspective.  Help yourself and your team members find ways to recharge. Explore and select personal rituals you can do in a couple of minutes a day that help you recharge, refocus and repower!

What team building activities have worked the best for YOUR team?  What is the greatest team building challenge you face?  We’d love to hear from you!

Irene Becker, Just Coach It for Breakthrough Results in Turbulent Times
Discover executive coaching, career coaching & personal coaching with a 3Q Edge
Email:  (416-671-4726)  Skype: beckerirene
Irene’s assistant, Drew Jones, (416-737-5075)

Leadership, Success and Peace of Mind in Uncertain Times

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“The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.”
—John Sculley, former Apple CEO

We live in times of extraordinary disruption, and equally extraordinary possibility. Our ability to see the extraordinary possibilities before us, our desire to become possibility thinkers, communicators, and leaders is critical on a multiplicity of levels.

I discovered how to be a possibility thinker and doer by finding a way to transform pain into strength, challenges into courage, hope into faith, conflicts into communication and difficult problems into cognitive dexterity; a way, a path that speaks to life and business/professional leadership. And, as, is often the case, the genesis of my 3Q model and work started when I faced the worst of times; a time when my life and work hung in the balance by a very thin thread.  Read more-My story Against All Odds (over 49,000 views)

A recent McKinsey and Company article estimates that change is happening ten times faster and at three hundred times the scale and impact of the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution altered life and work as we once knew it; our transition from the world of information to the age of innovation comes with a velocity of change, challenges, hyper-competition, and opportunities that our predecessors could never have imagined.   A VUCA (volatility-uncertainty-change- ambiguity) world demands a whole new focus and set of leadership skills that can take us forward faster, smarter, and stronger at a speed of change, challenges, and possibilities that will continue to accelerate. Read more-The Individual and Organizational Imperative for 3Q Leadership (over 41, 000 views)

The 2015 Global Human Capital Trends report by Deloitte pinpoints four critical pivot points for success: leading, engaging, reinventing, and reimaging. What worked yesterday may be impotent today or tomorrow; the need to shift forward is critical, and it depends upon your attitude, your ability to reimagine, engage, reinvent, and LEAD forward.  It depends upon our ability to help men and women, people of diverse backgrounds develop the skills they need to transform what is into what can be.  Read more-Women and Leadership (over 59,000  views)

 Your ability to remove the barriers to your greatest potential is real, and the first step in moving forward is recognizing the incredible potential within;  your potential to think, feel, see, and learn faster and better than before.  I have dedicated my life to helping people build their 3Q Edge because a whole new world demands a whole new focus that helps us live, learn, communicate and lead forward faster, smarter and happier than before.  Read more-3Q Benefits and Why I Have Dedicated My Life to This Work. (over 59,000 views)

 Are you ready for a new focus?  Is it time to think differently?  Transform stress into success?  Make change your greatest ally? Stay tuned, for my next post, as we explore taking the road less traveled by using challenges, changes, and stressors as a powerful lever for your greatest potential and results!  In the meantime, check out three interesting, exciting innovations and a list of predictions by Bill Gates!

Irene Becker, CSO, Just Coach It:  (416-671-4726)
Irene’s assistant, Drew Jones, (416-737-5075)

Monday Motivation: Improve Your Day in 5 to 38 minutes!

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Can a 38 minute routine turn a negative day around or infuse your day with positivity? Do 5 minute Cool Tools work? Yes! Try them on for size and find out! Continue to read for a great morning routine. Scroll to the bottom of the page for 5 minute Cool Tools. I believe you will be positively surprised by your results!

How can you get happier and more focused? Turn blah into blossom? Transform negativity into a new positive way of thinking? Michel Schwantes, shared terrific advice in his column for Inc. I am sharing an abridged version of the key steps mentioned in his recent article because they are simple, practical and purposeful. You can also find my cool tools at the bottom of the article.

1. Fuel your brain with the good stuff. in 10 minutes
Whatever you do, don’t skip a healthy breakfast. Trade your bowl of sugary cereal for something healthy–like oatmeal or a protein berry smoothie (have all the parts cut up the night before and ready to be blended).
You’ll avoid being tired and hungry later when the sugar jolt wears off.

2. Have a quick 15 minute exercise session.
If you fear a grueling work out, don’t worry, this won’t require you to push play on the P90X video. Positive psychologist Shawn Achor says that a short burst of fun cardio activity (think hula hoops, jumping on the trampoline, a laser Zumba dance session, or a brisk walk with the dog) works wonders . All it takes is 15 minutes per day.

3. Breathe for 5 minutes
OK, now that your heart is pumping a bit. it’s time to switch it up. Sit in a comfortable spot (your “happy place”), and breathe. No, we’re not talking breathing normally but “conscious breathing,” a focused form of yoga-based, breathing meditation.
Click here for one of my favorite Cool Tools (exercises that take less than 5 minutes) The Pause. The Pause will help you breathe better and develop greater mindfulness.

4. Here’s what to do in 5 minutes or less: Before noise from the outside world or your smart phone (or the kids waking up) distract you and you’re off to the races, find a quiet space, take out your journal or a notepad, and write these questions down:

What will grow you personally or professionally, and improve you as a human being today?
What will excite you and give you more energy today?
What will set the stage for an epic-productive day?

5. Take maximum 5 minutes to reflect on three things you are grateful for in life.
Move to another quiet and sacred space, preferably outdoors (a swing bench, a dock, or under a tree). Close your eyes, breathe through your stomach and center yourself. Meditate on the good things of life for 60 seconds–your family,job, good health, community, religion, etc. Now open your eyes and for the next 2 minutes write on your notepad or journal 3 things that you are grateful for the previous day.

Whether you are down in the dumps, stressed or discouraged taking simple, positive and purposeful steps can make a world of difference! We all hit ruts in the road, challenges, detours that sadden us and make it difficult to engage the positive energy and focus required to have a successful day.

Recharge in 5 Minutes or Less. Here are some 5 Minute (or less) Cool Tools
3 Simple Powerful Ways to Turn Negativity Around
How to Inspire and Enable Your Greatest Potential
100 Stressbusters
The Happiness Course-7 Tips and More
The 18 Word Success Formula
The Pause


Build Your Career, Leadership & Personal Edge in Uncertain Times
Irene Becker | Just Coach It | Coaching, consulting, workshops and keynotes with a 3Q Edge
Face to Face, By Telephone, Skype or Video Conferencing
Programs and Service for a Better, Stronger and Happier Tomorrow

Tel:  (416) 671-4726  Skype: beckerirene

Irene’s Assistant Drew Jones:  (416) 737-5075

Success in Uncertain Times-A Small Favor & Thank You Gift

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The End of Jobs-Finding Money, Freedom & Meaning Without the 9-5

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