Gratitude is Contagious

29-07-2009 | steve | Uncategorized |

Ah, another year under the belt (in terms of age) and a chance to stop and reflect.   I do not do this often enough.  Today, I decided to stop and recognize all the wonderful things that have happened during the past few months (I could go back longer but then I would be writing a book).

Let’s see,

There was the recognition from eKzact Solutions as the Entrepreneur of the Month for May

Challenged myself and continued the lifelong learning cycle by completing my six month Fast Track Program from the Canadian Association of Public Speakers (CAPS) in early June, how to successfully challenge my fear of objections (especially when making a “cold” call) with the master, Alice Wheaton as my guide and completed my coaching accreditation through the Certified Coaches Federation (WOW, I can add letters behind my name IF I wanted to)

what else…

My first public advertisement, on the side of a chuckwagon no less (someday I will have the whole canvas – it’s on my bucket list) supporting the Banff Jasper Relay for the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada

(look over to the left, I know it is a small one...for NOW!)

(look over to the left, I know it is a small one...for NOW!)

There was the blogtalkradio interview with Stuart R. Crawford focused on the Toxic Workplace.  That was really fun to do.  Stuart was a great host and helped to draw out many key points that support what I do.

I was also welcomed by Janet Salopek to speak to her University class on employee engagement.  The group was keenly interested in hearing my story and oddly, sparked this blog entry.  I was very fortunate for the opportunity to be a call centre manager.  We had a great team, the environment was positive and the learnings that I took away have provided a wealth of experience for the work that I do now.

And behind the scenes, (and most important) the unsung heros in my life.  Those people who support me in my business (the list would be long, but you know who you are); the hearty souls that push me to the edge (some much more than others); the brave ones that challenge my comfort zones (and ask me to question why); those that laugh easily, smile often and carry themselves with grace and strength.  All of whom have become a part of my “being” especially those who love me with all their hearts and seek little in return. (MUAH!)

Words, although strong, cannot express my gratitude  for all the people and experiences in my life.  What I can express to you is that this feeling of gratitude is very contagious and worth every moment to recognize.

So during the time of writing this blog, I was very much in a place of positivity and that energy (yes, for some this may be stretching you) affected my behaviour, my words and my disposition.  So much so that I began to notice how others were behaving and the results were also positive.  That left me wondering, maybe there is something to be said about just being grateful and being conscious of it.   I am not talking about brass bands or humorous jokes but just being grateful, it is personal and subtle.   A work in progress, I will let you know and until then,

THANK YOU!

So let me leave you with this thought and see if you experience the same things that I did. Let me know, we could be on to something (a collective of grateful people making noticeable changes in the lives of othersvery cool!)

What is the one experience or person that you are most grateful for?  Why?

Looking forward to your story.

CREATE a great day (thanks for that too!)

Take a Risk and Face your Fears

08-07-2009 | steve | Uncategorized |

COLD CALLING, Networking events, TV/Radio interviews…

All three excellent opportunities to reach out and connect with people, clients and customers.  Yet, three activities that produce various levels of fear in each of us.  Well, sign me up as I admit that each of these trigger my fight/flight response.

WHY?

I recognize that it is tied to my pre-conceived notion of the risk involved and the fear built into that risk.

“What?  Steve you love meeting people, you deliver and speak to rooms filled with participants and you relish in telling your story”

True enough, but that does not diminish my self imposed high risk setting when I engage in these activities.  And for many, they share the same “setting” whether these three or:

  • looking to address an audience;
  • speaking with their boss;
  • dealing with customer issues.

The consequence of encouraging this risk is that a gap forms.  The greater the perceived risk, the greater the fear, the larger the gap.  A gap between playing it safe or “stepping out of the box” and that can freeze people in place.  So depending on where you are on the continuum will determine the impact of your actions.

Chris Argyris (business theorist/guru behind learning organizations) studied how people take action in difficult situations and thought the gap to be a new learning opportunity that creates reflection and dialogue.  He believes (yes, he is still alive and kicking at 85) a person cannot not be truly effective without this awareness.  In turn behaviours could be seen as controlling, fearful of being vulnerable, overly concerned with self (ego) and manipulative…to name a few (and more than enough to make my point). Certainly not attributes I strive for.

After my last post,  I put on my coaching hat and challenged myself; one cannot expect others to move forward if you are not willing yourself, thus the challenge.  I made a choice to face my fears.  I registered for a workshop on cold calling (fear of confrontation), followed by my first networking event – where I did not know anyone (fear of rejection) and was asked to speak to a radio audience about what I do (oh my gawd, they will discover I am a fraud).  These are age old fears and I wanted to listen to their cry to stay put and not take a risk.   Nothing ventured, nothing gained and damn, if they were not as bad as I anticipated.  As a matter of fact, I felt more at ease and actually enjoyed the process.   Potential clients were open to my call (and I secured a couple of meetings), I met new people with a variety of skills and I am looking forward to my interview (Listen online to Bulletproof Business Radio).

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear” is what Alice Wheaton (www.alicewheaton.com) shared with us during the cold calling workshop and that stuck with me (Thanks Alice).   Am I “healed”, have I broken out of my box, have I chased the age old gremlins away?  NO but I made a choice and so far it is not so bad.  I am glad that I decided to make the move forward.

What will move you forward?

  • What fears have you locked in place?
  • What actions are you taking?
  • When will you do it and why not now?

My blog is at your disposal.  You may just want to reply and share your story here,

Until my next post…

CREATE a great day!