Holidays: A Ritual of Joy or Sorrow

By Robert Maurer. Ph.D

The year-end holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve evoke powerful emotions in many of us. The holidays can be a time of great joy and celebration or a reminder of the losses we have experienced. We expect a great deal of ourselves: happiness, material abundance, family, friends, health – the list is endless – and the holidays and the ending of the year invite us to take stock of our success and where we are lacking.

This can be a positive and healthy experience if we approach the task with four guidelines:

1. Honor the Sorrow and the Hope

First, remember that the holidays were designed to respect and acknowledge the pain and sadness of life. We are often very hard on ourselves, because we are not happy as we feel we should be and may be angry with ourselves for our sad state of mind. A study of the origins of the year-end holidays suggests they were designed not only as religious events, but also to lift our spirits and give us respite and comfort from the winters of our lives.

Many cultures as diverse as the Romans and Aztecs had rituals at the end of December, honoring not only their religion, but also to honor the sadness and losses of the year. Whether we light up the branches of the Christmas tree or the candles of the Menorah, the efforts to lift our spirits and enlighten our journey are now built into the rituals. The holidays were based on the premise that we had our grief and then the New Year could bring new hope.

snow-man-pixabay-jana2. Holidays are to be Shared

The second guideline is that the holidays were designed to be communal, to be shared. At times in our lives, this is easy, but at other times, the loss of a loved one can make holidays much harder. It is recommended that we seek out our friends or explore new paths to others through volunteer work, religious activities, the many self-help groups that are available in our community or professional counseling. If we are to embrace our sorrow and find new meaning and hope, we will need help.

3. Holidays are a Time of Giving

The third guideline is to view the holidays as a time of giving or service to others. By this, I do not mean buying expensive gifts for people, but rather small acts of kindness. Some examples might be sending people thank you notes; expressing your gratitude for their friendship and detailing some of the qualities about them you love; smiling at strangers; being courteous and helpful as a driver; or doing volunteer work with those less fortunate.

4. Be Good to Yourself

And fourth, be good to yourself and your body, whether it is grieving or celebrating. As someone once said, “the Christmas spirit is not what you drink.” Our efforts to brighten our mood with alcohol, sugar or excess of any kind make it harder to embrace the true spirit of the holidays. We have much to be grateful for at this time of the year, not only whatever abundance we may have, but for our courage to love and to feel the joy and the sorrow of the holiday season.

Tips to Handling the Holidays

• Make sure your expectations are realistic for yourself and others. Ask yourself, “Am I expecting too much of myself and those around me?”
• Get back to the true meaning of the holidays. Don’t let the rush and glitter overshadow the holiday spirit.
• Before rushing around for the holidays, check your motivation and make sure it is in alignment with the spirit of the holidays.holiday2
• Make yourself a priority during the holiday season by eating well and balanced, exercising or walking, and giving yourself enough private time.
• Set a realistic budget for gift spending and find creative and inspiring ways to give. Some find giving to charities or planting a tree in someone’s name to be very fulfilling.
• Say no when you need to. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed. Minimize holiday decorations. Choose what is really important to you, and you will save time on decorating and cleaning up.
• May your holidays be filled with much happiness and beauty!

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2017 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code”, “Cracking the Business Code” and “Cracking the High-Performance Team Code”, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Managing Stress in Our Lives

By Ellen & Dana Borowka, MA

As the economy continues to ebb and flow, we all need to be thinking as clearly as we can in order to stay a step or two or three ahead of the curve. The stress or “fear” of the future can prevent individuals and organizations from seeing opportunities that could be staring right at us. Life always seems to be filled with hectic schedules and looming deadlines. So, how do we deal with the daily pressures and stresses at work and home? Let’s first take a look at what stress is and what causes it.

Definition and Causes

The dictionary has a few definitions that we found to be helpful in exploring what stress is all about. One definition is a force that tends to distort a body. We like to think of stress like hands pressing against a blown-up balloon, causing the balloon to have a distorted shape. Sometimes we may feel like there are invisible “hands” or forces that push and pressure jugglingus, so that we feel twisted out of our normal condition. What are those forces? What makes up the forces that tend to control our lives? Other definitions of stress are: A factor that induces bodily and/or mental tension; and an automatic physical reaction to a danger or demand in the environment. What kind of dangers or demands is there in your daily routine? Perhaps it is when the bills come in the mail or when someone puts another project in your in-box.

There are many different causes of stress, but we’ll just cover a few here. The first is the fear of failure and making mistakes, like when we take on an important project or job that we want to do well on or when we have to take a test that has an impact on our lives. Failure and mistakes can be very hard on one’s self-esteem. Another stressor that impacts our self-worth is fear of rejection, like when a friend doesn’t return a phone call or when we are not included in a social event. This kind of stressor encourages some to not reach out to others and remain distant and isolated.

Another stressor is changes. Changes, even positive ones like getting a promotion, are difficult, because suddenly we are in unfamiliar, unknown territory. Other difficult changes are when we experience loss of a friend or relative, money problems, illness or injury, and career transitions. Unrealistic expectations from one’s self and others also causes stress, like when we expect ourselves to do more than we can or when a supervisor expects a project to be completed in a different, yet unstated, manner. Finally, life pressures cause much tension for us, like deadlines at work or taking care of one’s children or relatives.

The Effect of Stress

Stress can have a snowball effect, passing from one person to another until there is an environment full of fear. Stress can become like a spiraling blizzard, and if not taken care of then it can impact all aspects of our lives. An example might be if someone has some personal issues going on and they start yelling at people at work or seem really edgy and curt paperoverflowwith others. Many times the issue has nothing to do with our co-workers… yet what we may be going through can affect others.

While we don’t hear this often, there is a positive side to stress too. Stress gets one to make movement to face difficult challenges, to find solutions to problems, and push ourselves to achieve our goals. So, we need stress to do the things that we need to do in life. What is important is to find a balance with stress – to use it as a tool to manage life, yet to not let it take over our lives.

An example of someone, who was not managing stress well in his life, was a furniture manufacturer who participated in a major university study on the physical impact of stress and fear. This businessman had a full physical one day, then had a heart attack the next. He agreed to let the university medical staff run some tests to see if they could figure out how someone could seem to be so healthy one day and suffer a heart attack the next day. In the video we saw of this study, they filmed a psychiatric nurse asking this man a series of questions while being hooked up to a machine that also allowed the researchers to see a picture of what his heart was doing at the same time. The nurse began by asking him what he does and how were things going for him, his heart showed little change. When she asked questions that were more specific about his company, like how many people work for him and when payroll was due, his heart began to beat faster. Then she asked him even more detailed questions like if there was enough money available to meet payroll and how was he going handle that, his heart muscle actually shifted and they had to stop the interview as the man came close to having another heart attack. So, considering this story – How does stress impact you?

The Physical & Psychological Impact

What is the physical impact of stress? First, since stress is a similar emotional response to fear, it helps to look at how animals respond when dealing with a fearful situation. For example, a zebra meeting up with a lion on the Serengeti Plain would exhibit what would be termed, the “Fight or Flight” survival response. The zebra would experience certain bodilystressambulance changes. Hormones would rush through his body to speed up the heart rate, he would eliminate waste to be lighter when running, muscles would tense up for running, pupils would dilate and eyes would tear to see clearly, and the mouth would get dry to prevent gagging. Does any of this sound familiar? We experience similar changes when stressed and anxious. The physical impact on humans is increased heartrate, surge of adrenaline, diarrhea, neck and stomach tension, lack of energy, headaches, rashes, back pain, and cold hands and feet. Long-term stress can create ulcers, allergies, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and stroke.

Stress impacts us at a psychological level too. Stress colors how we think and feel about others the world and ourselves. Stress attacks our self-esteem and positive feelings of self-worth. It makes it harder for us to relate to others in the way we would like. It influences how we view and interact with the world. It becomes a filter that can distort how we see the world and the messages we send to and receive from others. For example, someone who is under a great deal of stress, may tell their spouse that they love them, but all their spouse hears is the irritation or frustration in their voice. Plus, stress depletes our energy we need to participate in activities and events around us. Some psychological signs of stress are confusion, depression, crying, mood changes, changes in sleeping, eating and sexual habits, and increased use of alcohol & drugs.

In fact, many people facing chronic stress or anxiety have trouble finding a way to deal with it. Some, when faced with such a stalemate, will search out ways to numb out the fear and turn to various substances. Man is the only creature on earth that makes an effort to shut off fear – through drinking, drugs, or other forms of addiction. It’s ok to be scared, but it’s vital to find a better, as well as healthier, way. If you are struggling with an addiction – first, don’t deny it and next, seek out help immediately. Addictions only get worse as time goes on.

How stress is handled determines how much one is impacted by stress, and if long-term problems will result from the stress. Successful people handle fear and stress much like chimps and many other animals. They run to each other for support. Perhaps we should learn from the other creatures how to support each other. Reaching out for support is one of the best ways to deal with anxiety. So, what are some other ways to manage stress?

Three Steps in Managing Stress

  1. Acknowledge & accept it. Be aware of when you are stressed and take the responsibility to make a change. Some people ignore, minimize or don’t realize that they are stressed, until they get sick or overwhelmed. Don’t try to deny or suppress your stress. It’s important to deal with the situation. How do you suppress it? By eating, drinking, smoking, shopping, fighting…? The first thing to do is to become more aware of stress by monitoring yourself and short circuiting your personal stress cycle. A good way to do this is to ask yourself, “How do I express my stress?” Become familiar with how you react to stress and find ways to interrupt your cycle. For example, someone might first feel worried and confused over an upcoming project. That person might have some queasiness in the stomach, begin to bite their nails, then get some tension in the neck and shoulder muscles that may turn into a painful headache. This person might try going for a walk or meditate as soon as he or she recognizes the stress symptoms.
  2. Pinpoint the source of the stress. Look at what is going on underneath the fear and tension – Ask yourself, “What am I stressed about, and why am I so stressed?” Since managingstress is basically a low grade anxiety, it might be helpful to consider if there are any fears involved. Review what emotions you are having about the stress. If you feel anger then you may have to search beneath the anger, and usually there is some hurt or pain. Many people accuse someone or something outside themselves when they get stressed. Who or what do you accuse when you get stressed? Since we have much more control over ourselves then others, it’s important to consider what you can do to make changes to reduce the tension.
  3. Make an action plan. Once you know the source then brainstorm to manage the problem. How can you deal with the situation differently than ever before? Most people are uncomfortable with making changes. Changes are hard and unknown – even a difficult situation is at least familiar. An effective way to make successful changes is to take small steps of change. Think of some small steps that you can take to make changes in your life. Start with one little change and once you become comfortable with that change, then you can move to the next. An example of small changes is someone who is shy and wants to become more comfortable talking with others. That person may first say hi to neighbors, co-workers, etc., then begin to have small light conversations with perhaps the cashier at the supermarket, and ultimately, move on to participating in a club or organization. The key is small, baby steps to making changes.

Helpful Ideas for Dealing with Stress

• Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself and your relationships at both home and work.
• Work as a team at home and work. Reach out for support when dealing with difficult problems.
• Prioritize your work. Ask your supervisor and co-workers to help you organize your work. Break large projects down into smaller parts.stress4
• Don’t try to do more than you really can. Say no when you need to.
• Prepare as much as possible for stressful events.
• Realize this is a difficult time and you must take care of yourself: Eat healthy, drink enough water, regularly exercise or take walks. Keep fruit bars, fruit, and crackers in your work area. Take 5-10 minute breathers to the water cooler, window or outside. Take time during the day to stretch and/or do some deep breathing exercises or meditation.
• Find ways to relax, like taking warm baths or listening to your favorite music or nature tapes. Get away from stresses by participating in group and individual sports, social events and hobbies.
• Work to resolve conflicts. Deal with anger and conflict by taking 30-minute timeouts before responding, and listen with empathy. Try to understand why others feel the way they do.
• Say to yourself during the day, “I don’t have to be perfect.”
• Seek help when stress gets out of control.

Some of this may sound like common sense. Yet, if common sense was so common, then we wouldn’t find ourselves in the trouble we do. Many times, we just want to get rid of stress5stress, much like we try not to feel sadness or anger. However, stress and fear are a natural and necessary component of life. Stewart Emory once said, “The absence of fear is not an option that is available to most people. People are looking for that, but that is just not an option. The difference between people who are really making it in the world and the people who are not is simple: The people who are making it in the world are making it and they have fear.” We can’t eliminate stress, but we can find ways to balance and use stress to achieve our goals and dreams in life.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2017  This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO and Ellen Borowka, MA, Senior Analyst of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC with their organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your organization”. They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management. They have over 25 years of business and human behavioral consulting experience. They are nationally renowned speakers and radio personalities on this topic. They are the authors of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code”, “Cracking the Business Code” and “Cracking the High-Performance Team Code”.  To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management.

Our Sino-Am Leadership Program helps executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, http://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.  We also have an affiliate in the UK who covers all of Europe so we are now a true multi-national company that can support our clients globally.

What Does It Take to Bring More Peace Into Your Life and Others?

By Larry Cassidy, Bob Dabic, Tom Drucker, Ken Keller, Gary Lockwood, Don Pierro, Boaz Rauchwerger, George Walker, Paul David Walker and Lighthouse
By Petr Kratochvil

By Petr Kratochvil

With the many local/national/global events that we are constantly confronted with, we thought we would ask some well respected business and thought leaders the following question, What Does It Take to Bring More Peace Into Your Life and Others?  I think you will find their responses to be very interesting, thought provoking and helpful. We’d love to hear from you as to what your thoughts are on this subject, so please email us at dana@lighthouseconsulting.com. We have also included some ideas at the end of the article on stress management, preparing your thought for the day and mindfulness/meditation.

What does peace mean to you?

Larry Cassidy: When I am at peace, what I am doing, how I am acting and who I am are all aligned with my core values: Be yourself, be trustworthy, do what is right, do your best, never quit, build bridges for others, be kind, love without getting tired and have faith. When I am uneasy, uncomfortable out-of-sorts, it is most often because I am not in sync with my core values. The question which keeps me centered is: In this situation, who will I be?

And when I am at peace, I am in harmony with my circumstances and with others in my life. I am less concerned with a “balanced life” – which implies a constant struggle to rebalance – and more committed to being in harmony.

Bob Dabic: Living as stress free as possible.

Tom Drucker: For years I’ve thought of peace in my life as a state of being. Some call this “inner peace”. I first learned meditation when I was undergraduate at UCLA. About the same time, I learned to control migraine headaches through bio-feedback training. The biggest challenge I have is to remember to keep the experience of gratitude in the foreground and sit still 4-5 times a day. Noticing my breathing helps a lot as well. I’ve learned how to bring “the experience of being peaceful” into my life even when I’m in amidst of an environment that is not necessarily peaceful or calm. It is important to distinguish this state of being for others so I’m not perceived as being disinterested or disconnected from the circumstances around me. I find when I use “this practice” I have a different reaction to the circumstances. I often see more creative options and I come at solving problems in a way I might have not noticed previously. At other times being peaceful just helps me become a better listener because I filter out most of my pre-conceived perceptions.

By Devanath (pixabay)

By Devanath (pixabay)

Ken Keller: Knowing that your loved ones are secure, healthy and happy.

Gary Lockwood: For me, it means a calmness in my head and heart that is not interrupted (much) by negative imagination (worry).

Don Pierro: What peace means to me is appreciating the good things.

Boaz Rauchwerger: Peace to me means doing what we can to make those we love and care about feel important and safe on a regular basis.

George Walker: Peace starts with the absence of conflict but goes beyond that to a quiet certainty that everything happens for the best in the long run.

Paul David Walker: Peace beyond anything I can say exists in the present moment. When we let go of all the frameworks we set-up to protect ourselves, a child-like joy fills our hearts. This joy comes from our essence, which can be covered, but never lost. Once we rediscover this, and let the Life Force enliven our true essence every step is peace. We walk through the world in a deeply authentic manner seeing things as they are, instead of what we think they are.

What do you do to bring peace into your life and others?

Larry Cassidy: For myself, I test what I am doing and who I am being against my values, and adjust. As much as possible, I try to be “in the moment,” to be curious, to listen and to ask rather than tell.

My commitment to others is to offer them respect, to tell them the truth, to believe in and support their hopes and dreams, to love them for who they are and, by being a part of their life, help them to be an even better version of themselves.

By ADARIFLIMAT (pixabay)

By ADARIFLIMAT (pixabay)

Bob Dabic: In addition to praying, I do mini-meditations during the day when I feel stressed (these are 10-second timeouts where I visualize my “peaceful place” and then tell myself my one-sentence affirmation statement (this was learned from a Vistage speaker, Steven Snyder).

Tom Drucker: I’m fortunate that my work of coaching leaders and their teams often allows me to bring order, clarity, meaning, and purpose into the lives of others. I learned early in my life when I was studying with Viktor Frankl that when a person found meaning in their life, they were often at peace. I find this to be as true today as I ever did. This connection with people also brings me inner peace and fulfillment. I’m also fortunate to live with a woman I deeply love. Relationships, while they do take intentionality and effort, bring me a deep source of inner peace and fulfillment. The greatest peace I find is when we are making a contribution to others, so that our relationship and what we do in the world is in some small way making a difference to others and the world that is in need.

Ken Keller: For me, it’s the small things in life that show you care and have listened.

For my wife, it is bringing home a cup of coffee after our long day. I also leave her quarters so she has something to tip her friends at Starbucks in the morning. It means emptying the dishwasher in the morning after I have started the coffee, and making the bed.

For my son and daughter-in-law, it means being available to them when they ask for our help and knowing they are strong for each other and not interfering with their life together.

For our two granddaughters, it means being an example for them and showing unconditional love and support, which can be anything from taking them to IHOP for pancakes, reading a book with them or taking them for a drive for ice cream, laughing all the way.

Gary Lockwood: The way I try to achieve this is: 1) Decide each morning that I’m going to be happy today and that today is going to be a good day. 2) Look for the positive in all situations and in all people.

Don Pierro: What I do to bring Peace is to forgive and send and receive love.

Boaz Rauchwerger: To bring peace into my life I make sure that I have some quiet time on a daily basis. I also like to read biographies, which help take me out of my world and teach me how others have achieved greatness in their lives. I make an effort to bring peace to others by being genuinely interested in them and being a very good listener.

George Walker: Find time for quiet introspection [could be called meditation or prayer]. Be a calm reassuring presence when others are in turmoil – just be there for them.

Paul David Walker: This understanding is the first phase in my work with leaders and individuals. We must know ourselves first, as many prophets and wise people have said over the centuries.

By John Hain

By John Hain

We hope you have gained some wonderful ideas for finding and expanding peace in your life. I have been learning about meditation and mindfulness to focus on the moment – to be fully present. Recently, I saw a segment about Andy Whitfield who had a difficult and heart breaking battle with cancer. One way that he and his wife came to terms with his situation is to get tattoos that said, “Be Here Now”. I find those words to be so helpful. Whenever I’m doing something – whether a walk, folding laundry, etc. I try to stay in the moment with those words and focusing completely on the sensations, the moment, the breath of whatever I’m doing. It is so easy to let the mind wander off and we can’t really appreciate all that is happening in the moment. If I get off track… I say those words to myself: Be Here Now.

– Ellen Borowka, MA, Lighthouse Consulting Services

Here are some other ways to find and expand your peace:

Stress management ideas
http://www.lighthouseconsulting.com/managing-stress/
http://www.lighthouseconsulting.com/feeling-burdened/

Preparing Your Thought for the Day by Paul David Walker
http://www.lighthouseconsulting.com/preparing-your-thought-for-the-day/

MARC (UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center)
Great ideas for guided meditation/mindfulness – be sure to check out their video for introduction to meditation
http://marc.ucla.edu/default.cfm?id=1

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2017 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Larry Cassidy has been a Group Chair with Vistage International (formerly TEC International) for over 28 years. He works monthly with more than 40 Southern California executives, in two chief executive groups and one group of key executives. Larry has facilitated over 1400 executive advisory group meetings, and has participated with chief executives in over 13,000 coaching discussions regarding all aspects of their businesses. Larry has received recognition for his work as a Group Chair, including multiple Chair Excellence Awards, the Star Award, designation as a Master Chair, and the Don Cope Award, the highest recognition given to active Chairs. You can contact Larry by phone (714) 424-9443 (work) or email larry.cassidy@vistagechair.com.

Bob Dabic is a “Master Chair” (business/life coach) of Vistage Chief Executive & Key Executive Groups in the California Counties of Orange, Los Angeles & Riverside, a “Best Practice Chair” responsible for chairs & members in the Los Angeles area, & a Lead Trainer of new & existing chairs. In addition, Bob is CEO (Coaching Excellence Officer) of DabiCoaching, a multi-purpose coaching/training/consulting company. In this role, Bob will also do coaching of clients, as well as conduct numerous workshops on the topics of: vision/mission/values creation, strategic planning, goal setting, leadership, communication, delegation, finance, selling, process improvement (TQM), and career development planning. Prior to taking on the above roles, Bob was a successful owner, president & CEO of several airport and aerospace equipment design & manufacturing companies over a 30-year period. For the last 6½ years in the day-to-day operating role, he was a member of a Vistage CEO group. Bob was also director of marketing for an alarm manufacturer and worked in a sales role with Xerox Corporation right after graduating from California State University at Long Beach with a B.S. Degree in Business Administration/ Marketing. Please feel free to contact Bob at (949) 376-8600 or bob.dabic@vistagechair.com.

Tom Drucker is President of Consultants in Corporate Innovation and Vice President of Transitioning to Green. He is unique because he integrates the principles of positive psychology and advances in Mindfulness with best practices of global business, including Sustainability and Innovation. Today he serves as a trusted advisor on Innovation, Sustainability, Leadership and Governance to owners and leaders of every type and size of business: helping them grow profits, solve people and business problems, bringing new ideas to market by designing off sites and strategic planning sessions or having really powerful conversations. He began his business career working directly for the Chairman of Xerox Corporation (the only person who could keep Tom away from the beach for 15 years). During that time, he ran a global division focused on developing strategies and designing new leadership models for the corporation that Xerox is today. Tom received his first graduate degree in Clinical Psychology from UCLA while working with and being mentored by Viktor Frankl in Vienna and then by Abraham Maslow, who Tom says, pushed him to go to UCLA’s business school. There he pursued a PhD studying Change Management, his dissertation was on which leadership style was best to sustain long-term organizational change. You can contact Tom by email tom@corporateinnovation.com or phone 310-306-2066.

Ken Keller is a syndicated business columnist focused on the leadership needs of small and midsize closely held companies. Feel free to email Ken at kenkeller@sbcglobal.net or call or text at 661-645-7086.

Gary Lockwood specializes in helping Chief Executives, entrepreneurs and business professionals achieve breakthroughs in their business. Contact Gary at 951-642-9576 or Gary@BizSuccess.com.

Don Pierro has been coaching and consulting to leaders and teams in businesses and non-profits for more than thirty years. He was the owner and president of three private companies in three different industries all of which were successfully developed and acquired by larger firms. In 2004, Don founded Empower Lab Coaching Group to fully engage his passion for catalyzing leaders to create a strategic vision and inspiring them to accomplish it. Don is a Chair with Vistage International providing mentoring and facilitation for peer advisory groups of CEO’s and business owners. He has been successful across a variety of industries and professions facilitating change and leadership development. Don is a board certified coach with the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE), and a certified transformational trainer with the Leadership Training and Development Group (LTDG). His education includes a Masters Degree in Leadership from Azusa Pacific University, a Coro Fellowship in Public Sector Leadership, and a BA in economics from UCLA. You can contact Don by phone 626-385-7155 or email don.pierro@vistagechair.com.

Boaz Rauchwerger is an internationally-known speaker, author, consultant and author. A former television producer, newscaster, and advertising executive, he is the Speaker of the Year for Vistage International, the world’s largest organization of CEOs. Feel free to contact Boaz by phone 619-723-3007 or email BoazPower@aol.com.

George Walker, Vistage Chair [Coach for Business Owners and Executives] with extensive experience as an operations manager [oil refining] and a corporate executive [health environment safety and public policy for Fortune 500 Integrated Oil Company] Specialties: Working with business owners to take their businesses to the next level, Dealing with diverse stakeholders on environmental issues, organizational design, hiring the right people, setting goals collaboratively to maximize success of the enterprise. An engineer by education, George had a 36 year career with Unocal. He spent 24 years in the refining division followed by 12 years as a corporate officer. He retired from Unocal as Vice President for Public Policy, Health, Environment & Safety. After retirement from Unocal, George had consulting assignments with the Nature Conservancy and Pacific Gas & Electric. Now, he devotes his time and energy to coaching business owners – helping them to grow their businesses and find work/life balance. He uses the Vistage model that involves Group Meetings as well as individual coaching sessions. You can contact George by phone (310) 990-9003 or email george.walker@vistagechair.com.

Paul David Walker, CEO and Founder of Genius Stone Partners, is one of the early innovators of leadership consulting and coaching at the executive level. For more than thirty years, he has successfully guided the CEOs and senior executive teams of such Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies as New York Life, Mutual of Omaha, Chase GIS, Finance One, VONS Grocery, Pacific Mutual, Rockwell International, Conexant Systems, Harrods, Anne Klein, Union Pacific, StarKist, The City of Long Beach, Long Beach Fire Department, Culver Studios, Shout Factory, Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar, NTS, Archstone Foundation, The Queen Mary and many other thriving organizations. He is author of Invent Your Future-Starting With Your Calling and Unleashing Genius: Leading Yourself, Teams, and Corporations. He specializes in building teams of leaders committed to each other’s success and the success of the business. Feel free to contact Paul by email pauldavidwalker@geniusstone.com or his cell 562-233-7861.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code” please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Our Sino-Am Leadership Program helps executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, http://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.

12 Tips on How to Think Clearly and Not Let Fear Control You

Excerpt from the book, Cracking the Business Code

We have an interesting relationship with fear. Many people enjoy scary movies and books, such as Psycho and The Shining. The occasional (or not so occasional) visit to the amusement parks for thrilling rollercoaster rides also seems to keep the adrenaline flowing. We look forward to Halloween where we can dress up as rather frightening characters. That’s when our relationship with fear is exciting, even fun. This isn’t too surprising, since these types of situations give us a monsterfair amount of control over fear. Yet, what do we do with situations where our relationship with fear isn’t fun or a thrill? In fact, there are probably times where everyone has felt that fear is out of control, and that is downright terrifying.

Watch Out for Those Monsters!

Most can remember times when as a child, we were greatly concerned over going to bed due to ‘The Monsters’ under the bed. Or as one of my friends insist… those monsters were on the ceiling! Pretty scary stuff back then, but what about now? How does fear show up in our lives and do we handle it as well as we would like to? Dealing with fear isn’t really fun, and many people would like to avoid or deny it. Harry Emerson Fosdick once said, “Whatever else you can run away from, you can’t run away from yourself.” Fear is much like our shadow – no matter how hard we run, it’s going to dog us.

12 Tips to Managing Fear

Fear or stress can feel overwhelming at times. So, how can we manage it better? The following are some ideas to getting a handle on fear, so you can think clearly:

1. Get a reality check on fear. Fear can become bigger and bigger in our minds until it takes on unrealistic proportions. Discuss your anxiety or concerns with others to discover what is real and what isn’t. An example would be the individual who fears failure in everything he or she wants to do, where in reality that individual has always been successful. That person needs to change his/her perspective.

2. Break the mesmerism of fear. It is very easy to obsess over fear. Breaking the pattern, taking a break, finding a distraction, getting support, etc. can help. This isn’t to say that we should ignore our anxieties, but obsessing over them won’t help us to resolve them any faster or to enjoy life more.

3. Anxiety can help us to grow. George Herbert once said, “Storms make oaks take deeper root.” It can be very uncomfortable and even terrifying to face our fears, but at the same time, we can develop a more stable foundation in ourselves. Usually, as we develop a pattern of facing and overcoming scary situations, we become stronger and surer in ourselves.

4. Find a balance between working on your own issues and helping others. As Lewis Carroll stated, “One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.” Finding ways to help others, by volunteering and such, can help put our own fears into perspective. Additionally, use your own experiences with fear to help others to deal with their anxiety. It is an interesting phenomenon in life that when we assist others, we in turn grow and help ourselves at the same time.

5. Develop a support network. It is much easier to face fear and difficulties with the help of others. Find someone who can gently, but firmly help you to handle the anxiety and not to enable your fears.

6. Pick your battles carefully. Don’t try to resolve everything at once. If possible, work on one fear at a time and use small steps to making change. For example, when I have worked on my shyness, I have chosen where to push myself and where to back off. When I attend parties, I develop guidelines for what small step to work on and what is ok, like allowing myself a period of time to adjust to the situation.

7. There is a time and a place for everything. In a world where many people believe problems must be fixed ASAP, I have a different theory about fear and change. I believe that when pain or distress around a problem increases to a level that is higher and more intense than our fear, then we make the change. Everyone has a certain pacing and to push too hard and fast can end in failure and frustration.

8. Don’t give up and let it take over. The old saying to get back on the horse, after it has bucked you off, is so true. Plus, the longer we wait to get back on that old horsy, the person climbing mountainharder it will be.

9. Find your anchor. What is your true purpose in life? What is your top priority? Find something solid to trust in, something to lean upon. I once read, “Not until tomorrow do we sometimes see clearly enough to appreciate the gifts of today.” I try not to live for tomorrow, so each day I strive to appreciate that I can get up and enjoy the sun shining, listen to the birds chirping and see the trees waving in the wind. When the waves of fear or stress start to rise, it is important to have something to anchor your ship to.

10. Watch out for addictive behavior. Many people use substances (like alcohol, drugs or food), events (like sex or shopping) and even people to numb out fear. If you find this to be true for you, seek out help.

11. Use resources to manage the anxiety. There are many good avenues to controlling fear – mediation, yoga, exercise, support groups, counseling, writing, art, self-help books, etc. The Internet is also quite helpful in gathering new ideas and information. For those suffering from chronic anxiety or panic attacks, the Anxiety Panic Internet Resource (www.algy.com/anxiety) has some helpful tips.

12. Seek out help. When anxiety is out of control or you constantly get stuck when trying to resolve an issue, get help from mentors, a business coach, counselors, friends, clergy, etc. If fear is an obstacle that prevents you from doing things you want or need to do, then you probably need assistance.

Making the Growth Choice

Stewart Emory once said, “The absence of fear is not an option that is available to most people. People are looking for that, but that is just not an option. The difference between sailboatpeople who are really making it in the world and the people who are not is simple: The people who are making it in the world are making it and they have fear.” He then continues, “To go forward we need to make the growth choice. The fear choice is to retreat to comfort and avoid the fear. The growth choice is to take fear as a companion and move ahead. To have a life that is a joyful adventure, we need to be willing to take the risk. Courage is the willingness to be afraid and act anyway.” We can’t eliminate fear, but we can find ways to manage it so we can move forward on to achieve our goals and dreams.

Discussion Points

As we move into the new year, hiring the right team member can reduce the fear of missing goals, help to improve interpersonal communication, create opportunities and bring fun back into the work place. It is helpful to remember that we all need assistance when it comes to dealing with fear. So please feel free to share this article with team members, staff and friends. It also makes for a great discussion for your next meeting. Here are a few questions to consider:

♦ What was your biggest fear in the last year and how did you deal with it?
♦ Any particular fear that you have for the new year?
♦ Discuss some small steps to conquering that fear.
♦ What are some ways you can reach out for support?
♦ How can you change how you might usually deal with a stressful situation?
♦ What are some things you would like to accomplish in the new year?
♦ What are some measurable steps to achieve these goals?

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2017  This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Ellen Borowka, MA, Senior Analyst of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC and her organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your organization”. They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors. They also have a full service consulting division that provides domestic and international interpersonal coaching, executive onboarding, leadership training, global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training, operational productivity improvement, 360s and employee surveys as well as a variety of workshops. Ellen has over 15 years of data analysis and business consulting experience and is the co-author of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code”. To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management.

We recently launched a new service called Sino-Am Leadership to help executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, http://www.lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.

Preparing Your Thought For The Day

By Paul David Walker – Excerpt from: Invent Your Future Starting With Your Calling

We recently did our monthly Open Line web conference on the topic of Preparing Your Thought For The Day. We had so much interest, not only domestically but also globally, that we thought that we would include the audio for this Open Line with an excerpt from the new book, Invent Your Future Starting With Your Calling by Paul David Walker. If you’d like to get a copy, please look to the end of the article for the link to Amazon.

Open Line webinar audio, Preparing Your Thought For The Day

http://www.lighthouseconsulting.com/openline/032415/OpenLine032415.mp3

Know the Difference

The truth is that anything can cause your conscious mind to let go of comparative thought and find Integrative Presence. It would be impossible to catalog all the experiences people have had. What is important is to know the difference between the two states of mind. Meditation is a practice that will help you find your personal roadmap into this powerful 2049233526_358678b16e_zstate.

When I have asked people to describe how they feel when they experience Integrative Presence, they say words such as confident, at peace, exhilarated, powerful, graceful, focused, and present. Some report a slow-motion effect.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar told how the five seconds he had to win the NBA championship with one shot seemed like five minutes. He felt relaxed, as if he had all the time in the world, yet he appeared to move like lightning to the rest of the world—the very definition of Integrative Presence. His creativity, within these few precious seconds, was pure genius. He was integrating the skills he had learned over the years, his desire to make the shot, and the flow of the moment, without interruption from his thoughts.

Most people have experienced this state of mind. The question is what percentage of our life is spent in this state? The art of getting into this state of mind is letting go of thoughts and connecting with the flow of events in the moment. Meditation is practice for your mind and body. An athlete must practice his or her sport; a leader must practice disciplining his or her mind.

Practices & Actions

As in sports, there is no substitute for practice. Knowing how to move from “normal thinking” into Integrative Presence comes from practice.

Take time to connect with your peak experiences and observe how you transitioned yourself. Find ways to still your mental chatter and connect with the present, and you will become a much more effective and happier person.

The following is a simple meditation technique that can help you clear your mind. It will help you establish an inner roadmap to stillness, which enables you to flow with present reality.

1. Find the Right Environment: Find a quiet place and arrange to have no distractions or interruptions, whether it’s a special place in your home or a place out in nature. It is especially important in the first stages of meditation to find the right location. It helps you move toward stillness naturally. Over time you will be able to meditate anywhere, at any time, even as you walk through hallways.

2. Sit Comfortably: You want your body to be at ease. Find a comfortable chair and be sure not to cross your arms or legs. Sit up straight so you will not have to move should one drop of water 578897_640of your limbs fall asleep.

3. Take Three Deep Breaths: When you take these deep breaths, hold the oxygen in as long as you can on each breath, and let the oxygen out suddenly once you can no longer hold the air.

4. Breathe Normally: Return to your normal breathing pattern. Close your eyes and put your attention on your breathing process. Follow your breath in and then out. Notice the rhythm and depth of each of your breaths. Spend two to three minutes just following your breath with your attention.

5. Imagine a Beautiful Place: Imagine yourself in a beautiful place in nature. Each time you begin meditating, come back to this place. It will serve as an anchor for peace and help you to relax each time. When you have felt the peace of this place, use it as a background and return your attention to your breathing.

6. Let Go of Your Thoughts: As thoughts arise in your mind, do not resist them. Practice observing without processing, and then letting go of them. You can imagine them floating up into the sky or being absorbed by nature. As you let go, return your attention to your breathing.

7. Deepen Your Breathing: After you find your natural rhythm, increase the depth of your breathing. Inhale 10 to 15 percent deeper and exhale 10 to 15 percent deeper. Play with this deeper rhythm until it becomes natural. Continue to let go of thoughts as they arise.

8. Notice Stillness: At the moment you fully inhale, just before you exhale, notice that a still point occurs. Likewise, after you have fully exhaled, the same still point happens. One, the inhale, is full and the second, the exhale, is empty. Notice the difference.

9. Fall into Stillness: At times when your total focus is on this deeper breathing process, you will notice the stillness inside you. Let your consciousness fall into this stillness. Let go and don’t be afraid; it is your destination. Stay there as long as your ego will allow. It might take a number of sessions before you achieve this stillness, but it is worth the practice and discipline.

10. Open Your Eyes: After about twenty to twenty-five minutes, gently open your eyes without moving and notice the world around you. Notice your state of mind and journal your experience.

11. Take This State of Mind with You: Practice staying with this state of mind as you get up from your chair and walk, focusing on your breathing as before. Find a rhythm between your steps and your breath. Count how many breaths per step until you find a comfortable pace that is a little deeper than normal. This will help you begin to integrate this state of mind into your daily life.

12. Do Short Meditations: Once you have mastered this practice you will be able to take a few minutes to clear your mind between meetings or even with short pauses during meetings. Meditation creates the same state of being that Florence Joyner and other athletes achieve when they are “in the zone.” Your consciousness will naturally expand and you stones-825374_640will be able to perform more effectively. Once again, there is no substitute for practice. As you continue to meditate, you will find the quality of your thought improving. You will have great ideas and find it easy to solve problems. Creating this space of stillness within you leads to Integrative Presence or being “in the zone.” Meditation is a powerful tool for those who are inventing their future. It helps with idea generation and stress reduction. If you are a leader, you need both to be successful.

With practice, every aspect of our lives will improve. Practice being the stillness in the storm, a person who listens, a person who puts aside personal views and is moving like a basketball player in the zone. Demonstrate real stillness when it comes to the performance part of leadership, in contrast to the bombastic person who is constantly throwing shallow or reactionary viewpoints.

Stillness, and the awareness that come with it, creates wonder and humility. The more we know, the more we see endless possibilities and these create a natural humility. As I have said to many of the CEOs with whom I work, it is hard to criticize humility.

Excerpt from: Invent Your Future Starting With Your Calling, Copyright Paul David Walker. To get a copy, please click here.  Or copy and paste this link into your browser:
http://www.amazon.com/Invent-Your-Future-Starting-Calling/dp/0986158518/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429213324&sr=8-1&keywords=Invent+Future+Starting

Additional Ideas to Consider

• Share this article/audio with team members, family and others.
• Consider this topic for a retreat or management meeting.
• Need a retreat location? You may want to take a look at this location.

Book Suggestions

Invent Your Future Starting With Your Calling – Paul David Walker
Unleashing Genius, Leading Yourself, Teams and Corporations – Paul David Walker.
Play to Win – Larry Wilson
The Path to Awakening – Shamar Rinpoche
The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

Permission is needed from Paul David Walker to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2015 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Paul David Walker is a Senior LCS Consultant and one of the few CEO coaches who has worked with numerous Fortune 500 CEOs and their key staff members for over 25 years as well as many mid-cap organizations. Some of the organizations that Paul has worked with include StarKist Foods, Von’s Grocery Stores, New York Life, Anne Klein, Rockwell International countless manufacturing, global utilities, service and consulting organizations. Paul is the founder of Genius Stone Partners, and works with domestic and international companies to improve their bottom line today and planning for the future. Paul is the author of the bestselling book, Unleashing Genius, Leading Yourself, Teams and Corporations. and his new book, Invent Your Future Starting With Your Calling. You can reach Paul at Paul@lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code” please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

We recently launched a new service called Sino-Am Leadership to help executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, http://www.lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.

 

Holidays: A Ritual of Joy or Sorrow

By Robert Maurer. Ph.D & Holiday Tips by Ellen & Dana Borowka, MA

The year-end holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve evoke powerful emotions in many of us. The holidays can be a time of great joy and celebration or a reminder of the losses we have experienced. We expect a great deal of ourselves: happiness, material abundance, family, friends, health – the list is endless – and the holidays and the ending of the year invite us to take stock of our success and where we are lacking.

This can be a positive and healthy experience if we approach the task with four guidelines:

First, remember that the holidays were designed to respect and acknowledge the pain and sadness of life. We are often very hard on ourselves, because we are not happy as we feel we should be and may be angry with ourselves for our sad state of mind. A study of the origins of the year-end holidays suggests they were designed not only as religious events, but also to lift our spirits and give us respite and comfort from the winters of our lives.

Many cultures as diverse as the Romans and Aztecs had rituals at the end of December, honoring not only their religion, but also to honor the sadness and losses of the year. Whether we light up the branches of the Christmas tree or the candles of the Menorah, the efforts to lift our spirits and enlighten our journey are now built into the rituals. The holidays were based on the premise that we had our grief and then the New Year could bring new hope.

holidayThe second guideline is that the holidays were designed to be communal, to be shared. At times in our lives, this is easy, but at other times, the loss of a loved one can make holidays much harder. It is recommended that we seek out our friends or explore new paths to others through volunteer work, religious activities, the many self-help groups that are available in our community or professional counseling. If we are to embrace our sorrow and find new meaning and hope, we will need help.

The third guideline is to view the holidays as a time of giving or service to others. By this, I do not mean buying expensive gifts for people, but rather small acts of kindness. Some examples might be sending people thank you notes; expressing your gratitude for their friendship and detailing some of the qualities about them you love; smiling at strangers; being courteous and helpful as a driver; or doing volunteer work with those less fortunate.

And fourth, be good to yourself and your body, whether it is grieving or celebrating. As someone once said, “the Christmas spirit is not what you drink.” Our efforts to brighten our mood with alcohol, sugar or excess of any kind make it harder to embrace the true spirit of the holidays. We have much to be grateful for at this time of the year, not only whatever abundance we may have, but for our courage to love and to feel the joy and the sorrow of the holiday season.

Tips to Handling the Holidays

• Make sure your expectations are realistic for yourself and others. Ask yourself, “Am I expecting too much of myself and those around me?”
• Get back to the true meaning of the holidays. Don’t let the rush and glitter overshadow the holiday spirit.
• Before rushing around for the holidays, check your motivation and make sure it is in alignment with the spirit of the holidays.holiday2
• Make yourself a priority during the holiday season by eating well and balanced, exercising or walking, and giving yourself enough private time.
• Set a realistic budget for gift spending and find creative and inspiring ways to give. Some find giving to charities or planting a tree in someone’s name to be very fulfilling.
• Say no when you need to. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed. Minimize holiday decorations. Choose what is really important to you, and you will save time on decorating and cleaning up.
• May your holidays be filled with much happiness and beauty!

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Inspiration and Techniques for Building Championship-Level Performance – Lighthouse clients have one thing in common – all are committed to boosting the performance of their organizations. So, we are pleased to introduce our clients and friends to Boaz Rauchwerger — speaker, trainer, author and consultant. We highly recommend Boaz to you. Ask him to deliver one of his inspirational programs at your next executive retreat or strategic planning session.

One of our favorite Boaz programs is “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”. It helps you build on the strengths of everyone’s individual differences. This program helps you discover five steps to get everyone to join the building crew and resign from the wrecking crew. This is a very powerful and inspirational program that receives rave reviews every time.

• Master five techniques to inspire others to perform like champions
• Six recognition techniques including the powerful “good finder” program
• Learn four ways that your team can gain a competitive advantage
• Identify the three prerequisites for maximizing the team’s results
• Learn the two forms of keeping a daily score so everyone wins

Who is Boaz? Over a 30-year span, Boaz, author of The Tiberias Transformation – How To Change Your Life In Less Than 8 Minutes A Day, has conducted thousands of seminars internationally on goal setting and high achievement. He has taught over half a million people how to supercharge their lives, their careers and how to add Power to their goals. His innovative program, for individuals and corporations, is a simple and highly effective process for high achievement. He was voted Speaker of the Year by Vistage, an international organization of CEOs and business owners. How to Contact Boaz – Want more information on Boaz’s Power Program, including “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”? Just click here and we’ll be in touch.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code” please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

How to Deal with Anxious People

By Mark Goulston – First published March 19, 2008, Harvard Business

When your people are anxious – and do you know anyone who isn’t? –their minds constrict. Neuroanatomically that means that the middle mammalian emotional brain has trouble accessing the upper human rational brain (which could put things into perspective) and it takes everything in that person to keep from throwing everything into the lower reptilian “fight or flight” brain where they would do something impulsively that would most likely make matters worse. A Anxious sharkconstricted mind is not open to hearing new directives, much less holding onto or following through on them.

This is an important piece of information for anyone who must get things accomplished through other people – in other words, just about all of us. The more you talk over or at anxious people, the more pressure you put on their middle brain and the more they will close their minds to what you are saying.

Alternatively, the more you talk to an anxious person — or even better yet, with them — the more you alleviate that pressure and the easier it is to access their upper brain and open their minds to you. Here’s a critical point, though: the approach you may think you are taking in a conversation with an anxious person may not be the approach the other person perceives.

How do you ensure you’re handling these challenging conversations most effectively? Pay attention to the body language of the other person – it will tell you how they interpret your approach and allow you to tailor your message accordingly.

Indicators that they think you’re “talking over” them:Anxious talking

They’ll leave the conversation at the earliest opportunity because you’re insulting them by treating them as if they’re not there. They’re thinking: “What a buffoon, I’m outta’ here at the next break.”

Indicators that they think you’re “talking at” them:

They feel like you’re figuratively sticking your finger in their face. They’ll either: a) hunker down in a submissive pose with their chin tucked into their neck if they’re intimidated. It’s as if they’re saying: “Please don’t be angry at me;” or b) they’ll stick their chin out at you and narrow their eyes if they’re ticked off. It’s as if they’re saying: “You can’t talk to me like that!” Do this only in a situation akin to being in overtime in the seventh game of the NBA finals where your players know you respect them and you need them to execute, not think.

Indicators that they think you’re “talking to” them:

They’ll nod from the neck up as if to say, “Yes, that makes sense,” and may or may not follow through. This is the language of doing business as usual. Use this as your usual mode of speaking.

Indicators that they think you’re “talking with” them:

They’ll relax their shoulders and neck as if you’ve moved over to their side and put your arm around their shoulder like a loving parent or grandparent. It’s as if you’ve told them: sailing for biz“It’ll be okay. We can work this out.” This is the language of intimacy. Aspire to this in matters of the heart and when possible in matters of the world and work.

Your goal, of course, is to find that tone and approach that results in your anxious conversation partner responding to you as you want them to. The key is to keep attuned to their unspoken language – the more attention you pay to body language, the more expert you’ll become at reading and reacting to it.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Mark Goulston, M.D. is a business advisor, consultant, speaker, trainer and coach trained as a clinical psychiatrist who honed his skills as an FBI/police hostage negotiation trainer who increases people’s ability to get through to anyone. He is Co- Founder of Heartfelt Leadership whose mission is: Daring to Care and Go Positive Now and is the Resident Big Brother at Business Women Rising and serves on the Board of Advisers of American Women Veterans and Dr. Oz’ foundation, Health Corps. He is a contributor to Harvard Business, blogs for the Huffington Post, Business Insider writes the Tribune media syndicated column, Solve Anything with Dr. Mark, column on leadership for FAST COMPANY, Directors Monthly. He is frequently called upon to share his expertise with regard to contemporary business, national and world news by television, radio and print media including: Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Newsweek, Time, Los Angeles Times, ABC/NBC/CBS/Fox/CNN/BBC News, Oprah, Today. He is the author of international best selling books, “Just Listen” Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone and REAL INFLUENCE: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In. For more information: http://markgoulston.com. Contact Mark at: mgoulston@markgoulston.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

To order the books, Cracking the Personality Code and Cracking the Business Code, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

 

Feeling Burdened?

By Dana Borowka

How many days go by where you feel burden free? Any? Even for a moment? Most of us tend to feel pretty loaded up with all sorts of stuff on a regular basis. Most can’t even imagine what life would be like if we didn’t have all that “stuff” that literally creates a whirl wind of activity. Imagine what it FeelingBurdenmight be like to not feel burdened with worry, anxiety or fear for even one moment. Some people can’t imagine such a thing. While others seem to find a space… for a moment of peace, calm or centeredness.

Some might ask, “Can anyone ever be at peace?” The answer is found individually. It depends on how closely we identify with who we truly are. If we are constantly reminding ourselves of all the things that we need to do, then we are just running from one thing to the next without some level of fulfillment or an inner purpose. The odds are that we will continue to move from one crisis to the next… if we do not try to be aware of our actions. Remember, it is not the activity that is causing the disturbance – it’s the fact that we are identifying with the worry, the fear, the ‘whatevers’ that are causing the suffering. And you might be passing this energy onto others in your life whether they are work colleagues, family members or those we stand in line with in the market.

So what can we do when we are feeling anxious or burdened? Is it possible to change deeply ingrained thought patterns and how long could that take? It doesn’t necessarily take a great amount of time. Yet, you do need to become aware of what you are identifying with when you are get worried, anxious, fearful, etc. Once this takes place you have begun the change. Then you have a choice. Whether you want to continue with that false identity or re-identify yourself in other ways. This awareness can help to prevent past emotional issues from controlling your thinking and taking hold of your life and actions with others. The old identity may continue to arise and show itself. It may even cause you to identify with it at times and blur your self vision.Man with mirror

Facing our self identity can be a direct confrontation with what you believe is “you”. It is not easy to look into the mirror of our own being nor is it necessarily an enjoyable thing to do. Yet when the pain or discomfort becomes overwhelming then that tends to shed some light on the underlying causes. Your core being is very capable of dealing with what may seem to be very difficult issues within us. Some people may feel that they are “defective” or unworthy and may justify staying in the pit of despair. That is nothing more than a culmination of our old identity holding on for dear life. The more you hold onto the old, the greater the volume can become to avoid change.

A friend once gave me a cotton seed that had blossomed. It caused me to think of an analogy which I call the “seed and the pod” of our identity. The pod is a protective shell for the seed that will protect it until the soil condition, the temperature and such is just right. The pod may have many things take place that might seem to impact it – gravel may rub against it, it may get washed to a different location, the wind might carry it else where. Yet the seed is not touched by these difficulties for it is always protected by the pod. When the time is right then the seed will begin to do its thing. The roots start to come out and the amazing sprouting process takes place. The seed begins to expand beyond the pod. The same is true for each of us. Our seed – our core being is always protected and cared for. When the time is appropriate we will begin to awaken, to test the soil, to question. At the right moment, we will begin to expand beyond our original handseedidentity (our own pod) and we will realize that we have always been ok… never damaged, never unworthy. We will see that we have always been safe (protected in our pod) and we will prepare ourselves to do what we need to do. Upon taking action, the burden that seemed so natural and normal takes on a different meaning and a whole new world will open up. A world of calm, peace and tranquility that we thought was only a distant possibility will now be within our grasp.

So when the time is right to take action, how do we begin to work through an issue? Well, I find it helpful to ask some questions to break down the problem:

• What bothers me so much about this situation? Try to dig beneath the various emotions to get at what the true focus is.
• When have I seen this come up before in my life? Look at specific events in your life.
• What am I doing that is not working and what am I doing that is working? Explore what your part is in the issue.
• What would my ideal outcome look like? What results are you looking for and are those expectations reasonable and attainable?

Now, we get to the action part of the process. It can be very easy to ruminate about a problem without taking any steps to heal it. Goal setting can be very helpful in making progress with issues. When you make goals, it is more effective to make them specific and measurable. Goals are easier to achieve when you break down the process into small steps that are detailed with time lines.

So, are you feeling burdened? Just the fact that you are asking the question is the beginning of a whole new journey of unfoldment and discovery of the seed that is within. A flying manseed that is filled with many facets and a vastness that one can’t even imagine. With or without the burdens of today, you are unique to yourself and others. Embrace your uniqueness, question the burdens and value the protective pod as well as the seed within.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC and his organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your organization”. They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors. They also have a full service consulting division that provides domestic and international interpersonal coaching, executive onboarding, leadership training, global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training, operational productivity improvement, 360s and employee surveys as well as a variety of workshops. Dana has over 25 years of business consulting experience and is a nationally renowned speaker, radio and TV personality on many topics. He provides workshops on hiring, managing for the future, and techniques to improve interpersonal communications that have a proven ROI. He is the co-author of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code”. To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

Do You Worry?

By Paul David Walker

[dropcaps type=”circle” color=”” background=””]S[/dropcaps]tudies show that most things we worry about never happen. Is this because the worry prevents bad things from happening, or is it just a waste of energy? My first wife always said to me, “I have to worry for both of us.” If worry was an indicator of future events, worry would be more predictive than it seems to be. Certainly, people who worry a lot do not seem happy and often suffer from stress. But are they all saving us from tragedies with their collectiveglobe on man worries?

Can Worry Become A Death Spiral?

Worry is a pattern of circular thoughts focused on a particular event or possibility that makes us anxious. We believe that something might happen in the future, like losing our jobs, and we think about that possibility over and over again. These circular thoughts fill our consciousness and we feel more and more stressed. Our state of mind deteriorates and in some cases nervous breakdowns occur. What happens is our consciousness narrows to focus on a worry and filters out everything else, including pleasant sensations that come naturally with day to day living, like a beautiful morning. Additionally, since we seem to have a need to be right about our thinking, we actually begin to select things that prove our worries are justified. We become taken-up by a worry death spiral.

What Are We Missing Because of Worry?

Since our consciousness narrows and becomes invested in being right about our worries, we miss most everything else. We often fail to connect with the people in our lives who are most important to us. A beautiful day seems dark. As the pattern of worry sets in, even wonderful events in our lives bring on the feeling of impending doom, with thoughts like: this can’t last, this is the quiet before the storm, I don’t deserve this. We also are so focused on our worries that obvious solutions to our problems are overlooked as they appear. We go to work in a bad mood and people wonder what is wrong with us. Someone, maybe our boss, might start to become concerned about our attitude, which may lead to a layoff. Then our mind will say to us, “See you were right to worry, you just did not worry hard enough.”

How Can You Stop Worrying?

The first step in letting go of worry is realizing that thought at best is only an approximation of reality, and at worst can drive you crazy. As a poet, I often try to inspire people by describing the deep beauty of the world we live in, but even with my skill with words it is still just an approximation of the beauty I experience. For example:

reaching for starIt seems to me that there is a deep intelligence within the formless that expresses itself in form. You can call it: The Flow of Heaven, The Life Force, The Grace of God, Divine Intention, The Great Intelligence, The Great Spirit or Natural Intelligence.

This intelligence is continuously expressing itself in form. Everything we see around us has arisen from this intelligence: the trees, flowers, oceans, fishes and, yes, each of us as human beings. We are an expression of creation. This “Great Intelligence” is woven into every fiber of our being and drives life itself. It is always there within you and all around you. If you are consciously aware of this reality, your entire being shines from within and your thoughts are filled with joy and wonder. Collaborating with this intelligence, which literally pulsates within you, creates thoughts and actions that we call an expression of genius.

I can tell you that after years of practice as a writer, though these thoughts may inspire you, it is only an approximation of our perceptions. Realizing that thoughts are only an approximation of reality will change the way we deal with them. If thoughts, like the above, inspire you to higher levels of consciousness and happiness, then they are useful, yet only an approximation. If, like worry, they narrow our consciousness and create stress, then they are useless, if not harmful. Just like you naturally pull your hand from a flame when you feel the pain, learn to let go of thoughts that create psychological pain. As we move our consciousness from our thoughts, natural beauty and grace fills us. We don’t have to do anything but let go of our thoughts and we will begin to feel great. It is nature’s, or creation’s, way of directing us … and yes it is that simple! Try it… test it out for yourself.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Paul David Walker is a Senior LCS Consultant and one of the few CEO coaches who has worked with numerous Fortune 500 CEOs and their key staff members for over 25 years along with many mid-cap organizations. Some of the organizations that Paul has worked with include Star Kist Foods, Von’s Grocery Stores, New York Life, Anne Klein, Rockwell International countless manufacturing, global utilities, service and consulting organizations. Paul is the founder of Genius Stone Partners, and works with domestic and international companies to improve their bottom line today and planning for the future. Paul is the author of the best selling book, Unleashing Genius and his new book, Invent Your Future – 7 Imperatives for a 21st Century. You can reach Paul at Paul@lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

To order the books, Cracking the Personality Code and Cracking the Business Code, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Faith Doesn’t Panic

By Boaz Rauchwerger

[dropcaps type=”circle” color=”” background=””]A[/dropcaps] very special person in my life shared an amazing thought the other day: Faith Doesn’t Panic.

That thought seemed to go along with another similar one that I read in Dale Carnegie’s book: “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. That one stated: All Things Go towoman at helm Teach Us Faith.

Let’s take a closer look at the word Faith. Isn’t it believing in something that cannot be seen?

Some people might say that they cannot believe in something they cannot see. To which I respond: What is it that they are breathing? Can they see air? Even though they cannot see it, they trust and believe that it will be there when they wake up each morning.

Whether you’re religious or not, faith is an important element in each of us achieving more peace, happiness, contentment, good health, and success in our lives.

And the point above (Faith Doesn’t Panic) is profound when it comes to the many challenges that life presents to each of us. My mother, who had a very positive attitude despite the loss of her large family in the Holocaust, taught me to be calm under fire. She ingrained into me the feeling that faith was an anchoranchor that could hold a ship when tossed in a violent storm.

There have been many times in my life, when things seemed to fall apart, that I instinctively wanted to panic. Like the three times that I almost died. Like the time I spent a fortune to produce an infomercial that I thought would do great actually bombed. Like the time I spent a lot of money helping to build a company, only to have the owner take out a fortune and ruin the opportunity.

We all have our list of those moments, don’t we? However, my mother’s theory about being calm under fire, and my strong faith, helped me get through those moments. In essence, she was saying that Faith Doesn’t Panic. Most people want to panic when things go drastically wrong. It’s a natural, but counter productive, reaction.

According to my mother, what good will that do to panic? In most cases, it will not undo what happened. Her theory was to look for a point of action. What small step could be taken in a positive direction to improve the moment?

Sometimes, when we’re very upset about an outcome, a small step might be to simply take a walk. Or it might mean calling a friend and cheering them up. I know what you may be thinking, “Boaz, you want me to cheer up somebody else when I’m upset?” Exactly right. Often, when we get out of our moment, and make someone else feel good, that action tends to help us feel better.

handseedAnd, as the other thought above states: All Things Go to Teach Us Faith. The lesson there is the fact that in every challenge there is usually the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit. That thought comes from the Napoleon Hill’s book, “Think and Grow Rich”.

Let’s look for the lesson in those moments that we want to panic. Maybe it was meant for us to learn never to do that same thing again. Or, perhaps a different way to do it next time. There is usually a lesson and, when we recognize it, it often teaches us to simply have more faith.

If you’ve had a challenge dealing with moments that made you panic in the past, I suggest you post the sign “Faith Doesn’t Panic” where you can see it every day. Touch it regularly and let it touch your mind and your heart.

A Faith Affirmation

I turn to faith when challenging moments occur.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Boaz Rauchwerger is an internationally known high performance coach. Over a 30-year span, Boaz, author of The Tiberias Transformation – How To Change Your Life In Less Than 8 Minutes A Day, has conducted thousands of seminars internationally on goal setting and high achievement. He has taught over half a million people how to supercharge their lives, their careers and how to add Power to their goals. His innovative program, for individuals and corporations, is a simple and highly effective process for high achievement. Boaz produces a popular high performance newsletter that is e-mailed to thousands of people worldwide each week. and now it is an internet TV show, Boaz Power TV . Boaz can be reached at 619-723-3007 or through e-mail at: Boaz@BoazPower.com, or his website, www.boazpower.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

To order the books, Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.