Self-Awareness Workshops

Toss Out the Carrots and Sticks

Many workplaces use a carrot and stick leadership approach where they give people rewards if they behave well and discipline them if they don’t. The difficulty with trying to lead by offering a carrot or stick is that it doesn’t inspire people to learn, grow or motivate themselves. In my leadership workshops, we talk about using positive reinforcement to move beyond incentives or punishments and encourage people to shine on their own. Here are some benefits of positive reinforcement:

  • People feel great when they’re praised for the things they do well.
  • People like it when you notice their talents and abilities and encourage them to use them.
  • People are more likely to repeat a behavior when they’ve been praised for it.
  • When people feel valued, they’re motivated to want to do more and better work.
  • Workplaces where people praise each other are more positive.
  • People feel like they matter and they’re important.
  • People perform better when they’re treated like adults.

Leaders who practice self-awareness understand that employees aren’t trained seals who get a fish if they do what they’re told. Sticks hurt people and carrots make them live for the carrot. Positive reinforcement highlights employees’ strengths and encourages them to be the best they can be. Inspirational leaders create healthy, creative and productive workplaces by praising people for the things they do well instead of looking for ways to correct or punish them. What will you do to practice positive reinforcement in your workplace?

Take care,


Look at the Difficult Things

A major part of self-awareness is to take a careful look at the difficult things in your life. This can include things you have a hard time doing or past events that bring up uncomfortable memories. The more you work on resolving issues in your past, the better able you’ll be to grow and succeed.

Take care,


Finding Inspiration in Life

People have told me over the years that they feel most inspired when they are doing the things that really move them in their hearts. Have you ever had the experience of doing something you really love and suddenly hours have passed and you didn’t even realize it? This is what being inspired is about.

Being inspired is living the life we are supposed to. If you love to dance, dance. If you love sports, play sports. If you love writing, write. It’s all about finding that thing that calls to you and incorporating it into your life. It doesn’t matter if you don’t become famous, it just matters that you are doing that which you love.

When you live a life that includes the things that really inspire you, you begin a fascinating process where your life moves in the direction of your inspiration. People start to recognize you for who you are and your gift touches them because they can tell it means something to you.

Try devoting some time in your life to your inspiration. You’ll feel more grounded and balanced when you pursue what you love.

Take care,


What do You Want to Do with Your Life?

Many of us are searching for what we want to do with our lives. I frequently recommend to my clients that they do things that bring them joy and that really speak to who they are as a person. A quick checklist you can use to figure out if you are doing what you love could include:

What do I love doing more than anything? Am I doing it?
What am I doing to pursue my dreams?
Am I settling for a life that does not include my dreams?
What am I afraid of?
What can I do today to move toward my dreams?

Moving one’s life in the direction we want it to go in requires conscious thought. The good news is that anyone can do concrete things to move in any direction they want. Start today and you could be on your way to doing the things you’ve dreamed of.

Take care,


Are You Living a Creative Life?

Creativity is one of the most effective ways to overcome any challenges in our lives. Moving in a different direction is often a matter of thinking creatively and doing something differently. Here’s what some smart people say about creativity:

Albert Einstein:

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

Arthur Koestler:

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Beatrix Potter:

Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.

Take care,