Tuesday, March 24, 2020

That 4-letter "F" Word . . .

Do you sometimes find yourself spewing that 4-letter "F" word?

No, not THAT one . . . I'm talking about that other 4-letter "F" word -- FEAR.
Fear is a distressing negative emotion brought on by a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism that triggers your 'fight or flight' response. Our fears, however, can often take on a life of their own and stop us dead in our tracks.

Rejection is an irrational fear that others will not accept us for who we are. Fear of rejection is one of those insidious, perceived threats that can hold you back, keep you from achieving your goals.

Fear of rejection pervades our minds, often rendering us incapable of doing or saying anything for fear of others' rejection, lack of acceptance, or disapproval.

Yes, there will be times in your life when you will face rejection. How will you handle rejection if it does happen?

To start, be prepared. Identify your limiting thoughts, such as...
  • People dislike me
  •  I am a failure
  • I am not worthy of their approval
. . . and then dismiss them one by one. To do so effectively you need to build your self-esteem. And you build self-esteem by understanding your self-worth. So make this list instead . . .
  • People like me because...
  • I have been successful in...
  • I am worthy of others' approval because...
Work on your self-worth list everyday by adding just one good trait about you. Remember my equation: Self-confidence + Self-worth = Self-esteem

Embrace joy, be mindful, live a flourishing life.
~ Rita

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Under-performing Employees . . . Bad For Business

Did you know . . .
  • Managers waste an average of 34 days per year dealing with under-performance. (Future Foundation)
  • Costs of lost productivity easily reach 150% of the annual compensation.
  • Average salary $35,000 per year; cost of turnover 150% of salary, is $52,500 per employee who leaves the company.
  • The cost will be significantly higher (200% to 250%) for managerial and sales positions. (Bliss & Associates Inc.)
  • The cost of hiring and training a new employee can vary from 25% to 200% of annual compensation. (American Management Association)
Employee Attitude Problems? I Can Help!
"Rita helped me identify areas of improvement and gave me guidance on how to develop better time management."
Most of us have been there . . . preparing a performance review for that employee who, on the one hand, is good at his/her job, but on the other hand, whose attitude causes undue disruption, lost time, and even the loss of good employees.
Managing staff comes with many challenges that can test even the most seasoned business professional. Difficult employees engage people in an emotional tug-of-war, which is stressful for the manager and employee alike. And the damage to office morale and overall productivity is great.
Strategic Coaching -- Right For Your Business
Employers and employees alike have discovered the added benefits of coaching:
  • increased job satisfaction
  • improved communication skills
  • improved relationships
By providing individual coaching, you send a powerful message to your employees: Your progress is valued and encouraged.
  • Coaching programs have been shown to increase employee retention and engagement, boost productivity, and overcome performance issues. (Zappos Insights)
  • Companies that have used professional coaching for business reasons have seen a median return on their investment of 7 times their initial investment. (PricewaterhouseCoopers and Association Resource Centre Inc.)
"Rita is wonderful. She has a way of explaining things and guiding us to understanding by using real-life examples we can grasp."
How Strategic Coaching Works
1. We begin the process by examining the current conflict(s) to uncover long-standing attitudes and habits that influence their reactive behavior.
2. Armed with this insight, we develop strategies to manage the challenges that come their way.
"Rita taught me to awaken positive traits I see in myself or have exhibited in the past. This insight will help me manage current and future stressors."
Personal coaching can focus on one or more of these areas:
  • Personal and professional development -- Focuses on helping you perform and execute better at work
  • Health and wellness -- Breaking down the habits that serve you and the habits that don't, understanding stress and its effects on your health, building resilience skills and attitudes
  • Interpersonal relationships -- Improving communication, conflict and emotional intelligence to enhance your relationship skills
  • Work/life balance -- Establishing healthy boundaries between work and personal life
  • Achieving success -- Developing the skills, mindsets and strategies needed to succeed and achieve their goals

Sessions held in person or via Doxy.me, Skype or Facetime

Sessions can be held at my office conveniently located at 511 Main St. in Sturbridge, or onsite at your business location. Sessions can also be held via Doxy.me, Skype or Facetime.

Don't Let Employee Difficulties Hurt Your Business

Contact Me Today!

Call Rita at 774-230-5670 or via e-mail: rita@ritaschiano.com to discuss how Strategic Coaching may be right for your organization.
About Rita: As a personal strategic coach, Rita helps clients focus specifically on their most important goals, interests, challenges, and needs, offering insight and assistance that guides them towards actionable, positive changes. Rita received her Strategic Intervention Coaching Certificate from Robbins-Madanes Center for Strategic Intervention.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Thoughts About Ambition, Achievement, and Fulfillment

A few weeks back a colleague said to me, "I admire how ambitious you are." Her words stopped me.

"Ambitious? You see me as ambitious?" I was puzzled. I never thought of myself in that way, so I had to ponder what she meant by that.

I turned to my internal dictionary and thesaurus -- the one my grandmother had drilled into me as a child by insisting that I learn the list of spelling bee words she tore out of the Sunday paper each week.

Ambitious: a go-getter, power-hungry, zealous. That's not me. Determined. Hmm. Determined. Now that is me. I am determined, purposeful, motivated, and an enthusiastic learner. I am an achiever.

This got me thinking about what is achievement? Achievement is the experience of accomplishment, of attaining the goals you set for yourself. While ambition is the chief driver of achievement, it seems to me they are variables in the equation that equals fulfillment.

Fulfillment is the achievement of something desired, promised, or predicted; it is the feeling of satisfaction or happiness as a result of fully developing one's abilities or character. You may have all the success and money in the world, yet be internally bankrupt and feel that life has no meaning.

Fulfillment is accomplished by two things: continuous growth and continuous contribution beyond oneself. It comes from living a life of meaning, of significance. Achievement, however, is pleasure; achievement is of and in the moment.

In my studies in strategic intervention, I learned that the strongest drive in human beings is the "drive for fulfillment, and that all human beings share this need to experience a life of meaning and purpose" (Robbins-Madanes).

Fulfillment can only be achieved when we focus our lives on the need to grow continuously, and the need to contribute beyond ourselves in a meaningful way.

My desire to grow continuously and to contribute beyond myself in a meaningful way is fueled by an inner ambition to do so. Perhaps my colleague was right. I am ambitious.
~ Rita

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Practicing Gratitude

Psychological research finds that people's happiness levels are remarkably stable over the long-term. A possible explanation comes from studies in the psychology of gratitude. Yes, you read that correctly -- being thankful just may be the secret to happiness.
The study* cited that people who were in the gratitude condition felt fully 25% happier -- they were more optimistic about the future, they felt better about their lives.

The words "gratitude" and "grace" share a common Latin origin, gratus, meaning "pleasing" or "thankful." When you are in a deep state of gratitude, you may feel the presence of grace. Reflect on this. As we become more mindful of the present moment, we begin to recognize the things around us that we may have taken for granted.

Learning to practice gratitude is one of life's most valuable lessons. As Aristotle taught us, all virtues have value and the virtue of gratitude helps to increase feelings of satisfaction with our lives and keeps us from falling into the excess of a greedy or entitled frame of mind.

There are many simple, yet powerful ways to practice gratitude on a daily basis.
  • Thank, separately, both the cashier and the bagger at the grocery store.
  • Send a hand-written thank you note when you receive a gift, however small.
  • Make "thank you" a common phrase in your vocabulary.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Each night write 1-3 things for which you were grateful during the day.
And remember to live a gracious and flourishing life.
Rita

*Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 377-389

Monday, February 10, 2020

Five Dimensions of Leadership

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind." ~ William James

When I present leadership program, I often reference information from studies on leadership conducted by McKinsey & Company. While the 5 dimensions discussed below focus on leadership in the workplace, I do think they are quite valuable in how we live our lives in general. Here are some highlights from the article How Centered Leaders Achieve Extraordinary Results.*

McKinsey & Company's Centered Leadership Program distilled a leadership model that is comprised of five interrelated dimensions. This 5-dimensional model is useful for helping people realize their full potential and to maximize the most of your team and process. As the name implies, it’s about having a well of physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual strength that drives personal achievement and, in turn, inspires others to follow.
Centered leadership emphasizes the role of positive emotions.

Meaning or finding your strengths and putting them to work in the service of an inspiring purpose. Meaning is the motivation that moves us. It translates into greater job satisfaction, higher productivity, lower turnover, and increased loyalty.

Managing energy or knowing where your energy comes from, where it goes, and what you can do to manage it. This is where doing the first leadership element -- self-awareness -- can help you identify the conditions and situations that replenish your energy and those that sap it.

Positive framing or adopting a more constructive way to view your world, expand your horizons, and gain the resilience to move ahead even during conflict and crises.

Connecting or identifying who can help you grow, building stronger relationships, and increasing your sense -- and your team’s sense -- of belonging.

Engaging or finding your voice, becoming self-reliant and confident by accepting opportunities and the inherent risks they bring, and collaborating with others.

Reference:
Barsh, J., Mogelof, J. & Webb, C. How Centered Leaders Achieve Extraordinary Results. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/leadership/how-centered-leaders-achieve-extraordinary-results

To learn more about my Professional Development / Leadership Presentations, please visit my website or give me a call at 774-230-5670.

Thinking about working with a personal / professional development coach? Give me a call at 774-230-5670.and we can set up a consultation!

Monday, January 27, 2020

What's Your Vision for 2020?

The new year is here. What will this new year look like for you? What is your plan, your goal for 2020? A fresh start? A desire to make changes (personally and/or professionally) to live a more motivated and inspired life?

To plan for the new year it is important to look back at the past year and examine what you've done and what you didn't do; what were your successes and what were your greatest challenges. Create a road map that details your 2019 journey. This map is vital to your success, to plotting the journey that lies ahead.

In creating your New Year goals, your year in review roadmap will show you the pattern of missteps and detours that derailed your 2019 goals, allowing you to challenge and change the greatest habits that do not serve you.

In preparation for my 2020 undertaking, I have spent the past few weeks examining the process and uncovering my self-sabotaging behaviors and the "explanations" I've attached to them. While I had to contend with some severe health challenges, I can look back at 2019 and see that I really did have the inner strength to push through. In fact, 2019 was my busiest year and I met every obligation and gave my best despite the physical pain.

While I am still finding ways to accept and to deal with some limitations, what I learned about myself in 2019 can be summed up in the lyrics of that Chumbawumba song: "I get knocked down, but I get up again. You are never gonna keep me down."

Wishing you all a success-filled new year and the courage, wisdom, and tenacity to get back up when circumstances knock you down and to reach your 2020 goals.