Self-Awareness Workshops

Are You Insecure?

Insecurity chips away at many people’s self-esteem and keeps us stuck feeling poorly about ourselves. It can even affect our relationships because it inserts and unhealthy element into the relationship. Insecurity can be defined as when someone feels that they are not worthwhile. People feel insecure when they are scared, feel threatened or feel like they are not important.

Some people withdraw when they are insecure others lash out. Regardless of how we behave, insecurity is about how we feel about ourselves. So what can we do to feel better about ourselves. Think of the following ideas to boost your self confidence and reduce your insecurity.

Characteristics of Secure People

Aren’t threatened by others.
Listen well and don’t require attention by talking.
Don’t require attention all the time.
Are comfortable with other people’s success.
Don’t feel they have to win.
Don’t put other people down to make themselves feel better.

Characteristics of Insecure People
Threatened by others.
Talk a lot to get attention.
Need to be the center of attention.
Jealous of others’ success.
Competitive, always need to win.
Put people down to feel better.

Think of yourself, where do you fall on these two extremes? If you see yourself on the insecure side, don’t worry, all you have to do is increase some of the positive traits. Even very insecure people can feel better about themselves by doing things that allow them to experience their own success.

I suggest to my clients that they find out something they like to do and pursue it. Learn from the successes and challenges in life and you will learn how to feel great about yourself. Feeling secure takes some practice but the rewards are amazing.

Take care,


The One Phrase that Destroys Effective Communication

You earnestly ask a colleague or employee a question and he or she utters the words that destroy effective communication: It’s not my problem.  Think of the power that one phrase has and how easily it completely eradicates any semblance of caring or courtesy.  In one fell swoop, the person who says it totally gives up on being helpful in any way or communicating effectively.  These types of interactions happen all the time in our workplaces and can lead to all kinds of unwanted results including reduced morale, ineffective leadership and lower productivity.

The reason, “It’s not my problem,” has such negative repercussions is that it stops all interaction and does so in a jarring, often disrespectful, manner.  There are many variations on this phrase but they all make communication more difficult rather than easier.  The challenge in the workplace is to find ways of saying yes instead of no as well as taking responsibility for communicating well rather than putting up walls.  Here are ten positive alternatives to saying, “It’s not my problem.”

1.  Lets work on this together to find an answer.
2.  I’ll see what I can do and check back with you.
3.  What can I do to be helpful?
4.  Let’s look for resources.
5.  Who might have the skills to help us with this.
6.  What part can I play to make the situation easier?
7.  This is my concern too.
8.  I hear you and understand what you’re saying.
9.  I can help brainstorm ideas.
10.  Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do.

Think about all the words we utter in the workplace that create unnecessary communication roadblocks.  These types of interactions don’t focus on the positive and, consequently, don’t lead to great results.  Thankfully, we can shift that momentum by stepping outside our boxes and committing to communicate more effectively.  What will you do to promote positive communication in your workplace?

Take care,


10 Tips to Create a Peaceful Workplace

Many workplaces function in a state of barely-controlled chaos where decisions are made at the last minute and leaders and employees spend their days reacting to events. When people are constantly stressed and off-balance, conflicts break out and less than positive behaviors become the norm. Here are ten tips to create a more peaceful workplace:

  1. Encourage people to behave kindly and compassionately toward each other and make sure leadership sets a positive example.
  2. Hire leaders who practice self-awareness, are emotionally intelligent and relate well to others.
  3. Listen to employees’ complaints and concerns.
  4. Create an open, ongoing dialogue about underlying issues and allow people to share ideas on how to deal with them.
  5. Avoid overburdening or overworking employees to the point where they’re exhausted, irritable or unhappy.
  6. Address bickering or one-upmanship before it escalates into a bigger conflict.
  7. Praise people for positive, peaceful behaviors.
  8. Develop ways to deal with disagreements other than sending people to HR or imposing a quick fix where nobody is happy.
  9. Show employees they’re important by allowing them to share their ideas on how to resolve situations.
  10. Provide ongoing training to teach leaders and employees how to behave positively and get along with each other.

If you already do these things in your organization, you know that they build a workplace where people treat each other well and are able to relate in a respectful manner. Creating a harmonious work environment requires leadership that gives people the opportunity to move beyond the standard reactive, conflict-filled interactions to collaborating positively. What will you do to create a peaceful workplace?

Take care,


My Way or the Highway Leadership

It’s tempting to want things to always go your way when you’re in a leadership position. After all, you’re the person running things, you possess valuable experience and the buck stops with you. This do-it-all (and often know-it-all) leadership approach creates workplaces where people are expected to do things one way, from one perspective and, if they have any questions or ideas, keep them to themselves or find the door. My way or the highway leadership is quite common in our workplaces although it limits leaders’ ability to use their employees’ wisdom and experience to build well-functioning workplaces. Here are three major characteristics of leaders who like to do it their way.

Nobody Knows More than Me

There is no way that anyone has any insights or wisdom that is greater than yours. You are the definitive source of knowledge on whatever topic arises. As ultimate arbiter, you have an understanding of processes and procedures that no one else could possibly possess. You are required to explain things even when people appear to already know them. You engage in playful banter to show how much you know and always let people know when they’re mistaken. You tell employees that you’re privy to information that they don’t have and you dole it out in a miserly fashion. When nobody else knows as much as you do, you’re indispensable and in control. Nothing can be done without your approval, physical presence and watchful eye.

No Other Ideas Matter or Are Valid

No matter how brilliant or useful someone else’s ideas are, they are not as valid as yours. Things are done in your organization in a certain way because of the careful thought and dedication you put into creating a well-running workplace. Processes and procedures have always been done the way you say and, it’s worked so far, so why change it? When people offer you ideas you say things like, “That’s great, here’s how we’re going to do it.” Brainstorming is non-existent in your workplace because that would add unnecessary clutter to the mix and you already have a procedure in place for that anyway. When no other ideas matter but yours, you create a workplace where people feel unimportant and undervalued.

There Are No Other Options

When you have no other options but whatever comes out of your head, it paints you in a corner and limits your access to other ideas. You miss other possibilities and opportunities to do things more effectively and stifle your employee’s and organization’s ability to grow. When no new information gets in then there’s less of a chance of finding that next thing that will help your organization succeed. Existing problems and challenges never go away because you’re not open to trying new things to change direction. Events catch you off-guard because you only have one approach to fix many different situations. With limited options, you’re more likely to generate limited results.
If you’ve ever worked in an organization where this was the preferred leadership style, you know what it’s like to do the same thing, the same way, every day, without being able to question anything or add your input. Authoritarian leaders run things this way because it’s much easier to bark orders to submissive drones than it is to work collaboratively or have someone challenge your wisdom. The key to moving away from this leadership style is to realize that your employees have a wealth of information and experience that can improve your workplace. Working collaboratively gives you access to amazing brain power and creates a more dynamic, engaged and productive workforce. What will you do instead of my way or the highway?

Take care,


Tap into Your Creativity

People think that they have to be artists in order to be creative but anyone can use this skill to create success in their lives. Being creative simply means creating something where there wasn’t something before. It helps us tap into doing the things we love and exploring new avenues. Creativity can help us get out of a rut and discover new and exciting pursuits. Think of the following ideas when you are ready to get creative.

1. What do you love doing?
2. What can you create right this moment?
3. How could creating that thing improve your life?
4. How will you feel after you create this thing?
5. What will you do to continue being creative?

You will notice that these questions are designed to help you think about your creativity. Remember that there are no right or wrong answers or good or bad approaches. You get to decide what you want to work on and where you want to go. Take it easy on yourself: start with small steps and gradually work on bigger projects. The act of tapping into your creativity regularly will help you come up with ideas that could change your life.

Take care,