5 keys to fostering healthy creative relationships

Posted by on Sep 1, 2011 in Relationships | 0 comments

Let’s get this out-of-the-way…you are CREATIVE.   Creativity is not reserved for the budding artists or musicians. It’s an integral part of who we are. The only thing that separates you from someone you view as more creative is a steady practice of using and developing your creative skills. Creative people explore ideas, identify and solve problems, take risks, and expand the scope of what is possible. They are less self-interested and are more willing to engage and take a stronger interest in their own life. Bubbling with creative energy, you are passionately alive. Yet, much of society operates in a command and control environment. I ask, you do. Conditional relationships rule the day. Society isn’t fostering healthy creative relationships, it is attempting to dictate and control your behavior. Is that how you want to live your life?  Me neither. The only thing we can control is how we choose to show up and act. We have no one to blame. We are responsible for our own actions and behavior. We choose to store or release our creative energy. We choose to be creative or not. Five keys to  fostering healthy creative relationships. Freedom is control over our personal autonomy. Over control stifles our creative juices. People are more creative for others than they are for themselves. Give them permission to freely contribute in their own unique way. Help them feel they can work outside the scope of what’s asked of them, and think for themselves. Focus less on how things are done and more on outcome. Set people free, and you will set yourself free. Friendlies encourage the quality of interaction over fierce competition. Create an environment where people support and add to each other’s contribution. Build interpersonal relationships that transcend an us versus them mentality. Reward collaboration over credit taking. Allow people to fail and to admit they don’t know what they don’t know. Encourage them to ask for help. Listen to their questions or concerns. Help them find the answers they seek. Curiously explore together. Be friendly. Fun is playful behavior sparks our senses. We feel, taste, smell, imagine, hear, and follow the bliss of the moment. When we play…we prioritize every moment through curiosity, spontaneous adventure, and the value it will add to the fun factor. Fun reduces over inhibitions and raises our resistance to control. Life is suddenly less serious. Are we having fun yet? Feedback  is a two-way conversation between mature adults. Be open and honest with people. Try not to judge or singled them out. When we judge, we  place conditions on relationships. I will only support you if you do x, y, and z. Judging is exactly what we do every time we complain, talk down to, or talk about someone behind their back. It...

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Avoiding Soapbox Conversations

Posted by on Sep 1, 2011 in Featured | 0 comments

We meet. We converse. We enjoyed each others company. We part ways. We leave the conversation wondering what we are supposed to do next. Why was that interaction important to me? Whether you have thought about it or not, you better start paying attention to the conversational reactions you are having. Internal conversations are distracting your attention and focus. They are preventing you from deepening your connection with the other person. You are withholding the greatest gift you can give, your full conscious attention. Your future success depends on changing this behavior. I know what you are thinking…another post telling me what to do…just what I needed. {Insert sarcastic reaction here} Before you exit stage left, let’s get one thing clear. You and I cannot have a conversation without your full participation. We cannot help each other become a better version of ourselves without engaging in a meaningful two-way conversation. My intention is to elevate our conversation…help you find your own answers.  Me standing on a soapbox preaching is a one-way conversation. This type of dialog is reserved for the politicians, salesmen, lobbyists, and preachers.  You could view this post as a sermon or you can view it as an opportunity to share your experiences while learning. Don’t read the rest of this post unless you are teachable. Coaching clients repeatedly ask if I learn from our conversations. The answer is a resounding YES. I learn how I show up in the world.  I learn what is important to me. I learn what I need to work on. My perceptions are challenged and I find new opportunities for growth. My coachees help me find my own answers. Our true character is revealed in conversation. Conversations are much more than an exchange of information. Our physical and emotional reactions are clues to discovering our truth. Try as we might, we cannot hide who we are from the people we interact with. Every dialog reveals who we are and how we see the world. Our core beliefs and emotional state of being are ever-present and accounted for. Any attempts to internalize our thoughts and feelings will only result in masking our truth. We cannot hide from our truth. We must be present, honest, and fully transparent with ourselves. Expansive growth comes from adopting these simple principles. Unconscious conversing is akin to standing on a soapbox preaching. Heightened awareness drives conscious communication. Learning how to raise our awareness opens the door to new possibilities. Good news is, conscious awareness is an easily learned skill. Here’s some guiding principles to help you begin your learning.— We are who we are, and the other person is who they are The only one we can control is ourselves Our gender, cultural heritage, religion, family,...

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Are you teachable?

Posted by on Aug 16, 2011 in Relationships | 0 comments

I’m wired to curiously explore the world I live in. To find finds ways to expand my comfort zone and go beyond what’s obvious to me.  I’m learning to unlearn the patterns of behavior that do not serve me. I want to become the best version of myself and I want to help you do the same. I’d never ask you to change or become the person I think you can be.  I want to inspire and motivate you into taking the deeply satisfying journey I am on. Are you willing to unlearn and rewire your patterns? Every day we get up and settle into playing roles. Roles push us into routines to comfortably cruise through the day, weeks, months, and years. Routines are safe, comfortable and best friends with the reactive status quo.  They are fueled by the energy of doing to do.  Heads down and focused only on what is in front of us; never seeing the big picture in our lives. I don’t want to spend my time and energy knocking things off a to-do list, handling the crisis du jour, watching the latest celebrity train wrecks, and getting up the next morning to repeat the same routine. I don’t want to live like that. I want to be the superstar actor who gets to pick and choose the roles he plays. Healthy proactively focused routines push us towards a life worth living. Our attention focuses on creating a future filled with new possibilities. We look for and embrace new opportunities and experiences. We are curious and are always asking questions. We seek to expand our awareness of who we are and how the world sees us. We strive to become the best version of ourselves. We commit to the process. I can’t just teach. I have to become more teachable myself. How can I become the best version of myself if I am unwilling to challenges my attitude and belief system. I have to become a better student. I have to be willing to unlearn. I have to believe there is always more to learn. Every moment provides an opportunity to learn and expand our possibilities. Becoming teachable is not a quick fix magical smoothie we can drink for breakfast. It’s a lifelong practice of learning, unlearning, and relearning again. Only you can decide if you are truly teachable. Are you...

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3 Types of Promises

Posted by on Aug 1, 2011 in Featured | 0 comments

When you boil it down to its essence, all communication is about coordinating action with people. We fail when we are not clear with our language and intent. What is obvious to me may not be obvious to you. Relationships trust is established based on our ability to communicate in unison with each other. Healthy relationships are based on promise making, promise keeping, and promise managing. Promises are the foundation for our public identity, our effectiveness, and our well-being. We may not call them commitments, but promises are agreements and decisions about who is going to do what, when, and how.  A commitment is a promise to ourselves and a promise to others. We cannot have shared commitment without shared understanding. Our expectations are based on the promises we think we have made. Unspoken expectations are premeditative broken promises. People do not care about your expectations.  Or mine. They care about the commitments we make and keep. A promise is a personal commitment people expect you to honor.     There are 3 types of promises. 1. Strong/Healthy Promises Promises I am fully committed to keep; You can count on me. If I am unable to keep my promise, I can renegotiate my original promise i.e. I will meet you for coffee at 8 am. I will complete my assignment on time. 2.— Shallow Promises Look like a strong promise, but an unspoken condition exists. i.e. Yes, I will play golf with you on Saturday (unless it rains or something else comes up) —3. Criminal Promises Promises that at the moment we make them, we know we have no intention of keeping i.e.  Maybe…My son asks me to play with him when I am done, and I tell him maybe Promises unkept are NOT equal to expectations unmet.         What promises are you making?        Are you honoring those promises?        What promises are you fully committed to honoring?        What promises do you need to renegotiate? Personal integrity and honor depends on owning and delivering on the promises we make. Relationship trust is too valuable to take for granted. Commit to making STRONG HEALTHY promises....

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We already know our future

Posted by on Jul 20, 2011 in Featured | 0 comments

Warning: Don’t believe this next statement unless you want to flourish. We already know our future if we don’t continually take proactive action. Our economic well-being demands perpetual reinvention. As the old saying goes, reinvent or die. This no longer a fancy tagline, it is required action to survive and succeed in today’s economic climate. The days are long gone when a company could create a product and reap the rewards of its success for years to come.  Present day examples are all around you. Facebook was king of the castle and Twitter was the knight in shiny armor. Now there’s Google +. Remember MySpace? Me neither. Flip Camera ruled the pocket video cam game.  Now, your smartphone does. Mobile Apps are replacing websites and higher costs software programs. iPads are being integrated into the classroom and teaching our kids in a new way. The list goes on and on. Product shelf lives are shrinking at a rapid pace. New bright shiny objects capture the consumer attention faster than a speeding bullet. The masses will flock and cast aside what they once loved and cherished in favor of the new promised life-altering product. Blink and the next attraction will be on the horizon. We already know our future if we don’t continually reinvent ourselves. This concept does not stop at products; it extends into who you are, and what you want to be. Look around at your co-workers, family, and friends. How many of them are doing jobs they are classically trained to do?  Are they highly skilled at their job or do their skills reside in a different area of expertise?  Are they satisfied and happy? Chances are, these people are like most of the people I encounter every day. They are playing a role in their organization in order to survive, not thrive. We can live a deeply meaningful life by continually reinventing ourselves. Just like products run their course, so do roles we play in life.  We know our current role will come to an end. Will we be ready when our new role emerges? Will it provide the deep personal meaning we are looking for? We know everything we need to know right now to make a reasonable guess as to where things are headed. Are you ready to...

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