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PERFORMING OPTIMALLY UNDER PRESSURE by Hemda Mizrahi & Renita Kalhorn

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PERFORMING OPTIMALLY UNDER PRESSURE by Hemda Mizrahi & Renita Kalhorn

Renita Kalhorn Head Shot-VA

Leadership and performance training expert Renita Kalhorn, MBA, joined me on “Turn the Page” to discuss “How to get a Mental Six Pack.” Renita teaches entrepreneur CEOs and their teams, and Navy SEAL candidates the mental toughness skills that are essential to optimal performance under pressure.

After the show, she elaborated on some of the core principles that underlay peak performance strategies, which relate to how we manage our thoughts and emotions. Renita shares:

FIRST PRINCIPLE
“Whatever we do now, we’ve “trained” ourselves to do through repetition. Changing our behavior takes retraining.”

SECOND PRINCIPLE
“Emotions are chemical reactions in our body, so we can become “addicted” to stress, anxiety, frustration, and other emotions, just like any chemical substance. We can continue to have the same emotional patterns or reactions, regardless of our circumstances, because we “crave” the emotional fix. Even if it’s not pleasant, it’s familiar and it reminds us of our identity.”

THIRD PRINCIPLE
“Going through our day without processing the emotions that come out of our thoughts/interactions with others, will keep us from being present and productive. It’s like driving with the parking brake on.”

Renita offers strategies through which you can retrain yourself to be more productive:

UNRAVELING FROM THE “ADDICTION” OF CHRONIC STRESS
“One client was a rock star in business development, bringing in $25M deals. She had a lot of stress and anxiety around maintaining a high level of performance and it was affecting her health and relationships. No matter what the circumstances were, there was always something to be anxious about: an upcoming negotiation, getting a promotion, getting a bonus, a new deal. She created a strategy to be more mindful (meditation, petting her cat, gratitude journal) and, on particularly stressful days, brought PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS by simply noticing what she was doing using “I am” statements: “I am preparing a proposal.” “I am walking to the subway.”

RESPONDING TO CHATTER FROM YOUR “INNER CRITIC”
“Because our thoughts are so ephemeral and yet feel so real, it’s important to CONCRETIZE them. When clients have lots of chatter from their inner critic in “high stakes” moments, such as important meetings and negotiations, I suggest they give that voice a name, and even find a mascot to represent it, that will help them to take it less seriously. Mine is a pink duck with an afro; one client’s is a porcelain alligator wearing red high heels. Have conversations with your mascot as if it’s another character – this helps create distance from the critical voice and enables you to see that there are other interpretations of what’s happening.”

BE MORE VIGILANT
“Start noticing when you’re going around and around in a thought loop or maintaining a negative emotion. Ask: “Is this a good investment of my energy? If I had to pay a $1 for each of these thoughts, would it be worth it?” One person who attended my “mental six pack” presentation said he had a colleague who would periodically email for help in solving essentially the same problem. Each time he got the email, he would be annoyed, but would answer the email without addressing the source of the annoyance. While it would require upfront thinking and energy, a better investment would be to take thirty minutes and have a conversation with the person to get at the essence of the issue: e.g. Does he even realize that he’s asking variations of the same question?!”

MORE ON “HOW TO GET A MENTAL SIX PACK”
Renita recommends “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create A New One” by Dr. Joe Dispenza

Learn more about Renita’s leadership and peak performance training by visiting her website, and listen to her “Mental Toughness for Mavericks” podcast featuring Navy SEAL Mark Divine, self-disruption expert Whitney Johnson, and performance psychologist Dr. Sian Beilock.

Access my conversation with Renita, through which she shares THREE STEPS to developing a mental six pack!

COLLABORATIVE COMMUNICATION: HOW TO STAND OUT AND OPEN DOORS THROUGH YOUR WRITTEN WORD by Hemda Mizrahi and Elaine Rosenblum

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COLLABORATIVE COMMUNICATION: HOW TO STAND OUT AND OPEN DOORS THROUGH YOUR WRITTEN WORD by Hemda Mizrahi and Elaine Rosenblum

Elaine Rosenblum Head Shot

How can you negotiate better, improve your self-presentation skills, and prevent misunderstandings that may emerge from e-communications, such as texting and emailing? Elaine Rosenblum, JD, an expert in COLLABORATIVE COMMUNICATION, joined me on “Turn the Page” to share tactics that will enable you to open doors through your written and spoken words.

Listen to our conversation to hear the full range of her suggestions and illustrations.

Elaine states, “To avoid potential miscommunication, SPECIFICITY is as important as shifting from judgmental to neutral language, especially in texting or emailing people you don’t know well, or in professional interactions.”

She provides two examples:

MICHAEL, AN EMORY MBA STUDENT PITCHING HIMSELF FOR A JOB
Elaine suggests to Michael: Instead of  “I think I have the skills to do this job,” let your interviewers know, “I am an Emory MBA with four years of beverage marketing experience at Coca Cola and Starbucks. I can conduct business in English, French and Spanish.”

FROM INDIANA UNIVERSITY TO GOLDMAN SACHS
“Young people interviewing for first jobs typically only have internship experience and minimal workplace skills. It’s imperative for recent or soon-to-be grads to understand “transferable skills” and articulate what makes them uniquely interesting. This Indiana student was a poker prodigy at nine. Few college juniors can own this proposition. Poker also has transferable skills to Wall Street. The Goldman feedback was that telling an engaging “story” about his “poker gift” is what set him apart and landed him the “long-shot” position.  Even seasoned executives have to work to maintain their specificity when articulating.”

MORE ON SPECIFICITY
“Using “them,” “it,” or “that” as reference points in texting may not provide adequate context. While it takes more actual texting words, directly stating time and place or redefining who “them” or what “it” or “that” is can prevent misunderstandings.”

Elaine offers three examples:
Revise “What time are you meeting them?” to “What time are you meeting Susie and Tom tonight?”

Change “What’s bothering you about the erupting situation?” to “What exactly concerns you about the disagreement between Susie and Tom that seemed to arise at the party on Saturday night?”

Instead of “Do you plan to do that?” state “Do you plan to attend the 7:00 pm San Francisco trip meeting on Tuesday, 4/3?”

BOND IN WRITING…AND FACE-TO-FACE
“While verbal communication typically evaporates after we say it, written communications survive and can serve as meaningful reference points. Communicating with clarity is a leadership skill and way of standing out in a professional world that demands immediate communication and moves too quickly. In personal relationships, SPECIFICITY builds invaluable trust and enhances the bonding that we crave and continually seek out on social media.”

In emphasizing how we can communicate to avoid unnecessary conflict and strengthen interpersonal connections, Elaine suggests that we avoid OVERRELYING on the written word: “The emotional satisfaction of a face-to-face conversation is difficult to replicate on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.”

RESOURCES THAT WILL GUIDE YOU TO “YES”
Improve your outcomes by going deeper in honing your collaborative communication skills. Elaine recommends: “Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher and William Uri; “Alone Together” by Sherry Turkle; and the ProForm U™ blog by Elaine Rosenblum.

Learn about ProFormU™, Elaine’s consulting and mentoring firm, which “teaches students and professionals at all levels to articulate, collaborate and negotiate in virtually any setting.”

While we focused on the tactic of specificity in this post, Elaine shares other requirements and nuances of collaborative communication in our conversation on “Turn the Page.” Here’s the link for you to listen now.

What Not A Collaborative Global Initiative?

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What Not A Collaborative Global Initiative?

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Our VocieAmerica program features global leaders and organizations.

We live in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. Humanity faces global environmental, economic and human-based challenges of all kinds. Lasting solutions to these challenges require effective communication and learning across perspectives, cultures and sectors.

At CGI, we believe humans are by nature collaborative.

When people work together, allowing space to capture collective wisdom, we achieve great things. Forward thinking people and communities recognize the need for widespread collaboration. They will need a unique toolkit to collaboratively navigate the future of increasing complexity and diversity.
CGI provides the tools that organizations require to excel and make creative change in a diverse and globalized world. We customize solutions for collaboration that transcend organizational departments, cultures and differing levels of education and socio-economic status. The system that results will maximize effective, fair and lasting relationships between sectors and stakeholders.
CGI’s collaborative approach is itself born out of collaboration. Our associated consultants are connected through a vibrant global community of practice. We are leading experts on mediation, facilitation, training, process design, multi-party dispute resolution, and collaborative problem solving. Our network brings a blend of community-based approaches with national and international experience. We understand conflict issues from multiple perspectives and support parties to access a range of good practices when seeking solutions. We can work with any scale and complexity of conflict.
CGI’s skills, interests and overall strategy, leads us to focus on multi-stakeholder public-policy questions. We have extensive experience working with resource extraction industries, indigenous communities, and complex multi-party environmental issues. We will support you and your organization as you face similar challenges. Our approach is particularly effective for large projects where trade-offs must be made to balance environmental, economic, social and cultural interests.
CGI works with organizations and communities to develop the capacity to turn challenges into opportunities; everyone involved becomes more effective and agile. Our clients take away the collaborative skills, tools and systems needed to transcend inefficiencies and succeed in a global economy. At CGI we believe the way of the future is paved with the ability to make collaboration a lived experience. We use visual, auditory and kinesthetic tools in our collaborative mediation, facilitation, and negotiation practice. CGI can also provide one on one coaching and training to help you, our clients, excel. We empower you to face complex problems, create mutually beneficial solutions and to enact change together through the use of simple interfaces and plain language.

Together, Duncan Autrey, Kathy Porter, Charalee Graydon, Sarah Daitch and David B. Savage are building the Collaborative Global Initiative (CGI).

We welcome your thoughts and challenges. How might you and CGI collaborate?

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