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G.I.V.E. to Get

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Business
G.I.V.E. to Get

Emotional skills are more important than ever for 21st century business. Good leadership can be quickly undermined by lack of emotional regulation. Without the skill to manage your own emotion, leaders can act impulsively. Harsh works can burn long built bridges of connection in seconds, leaving damaged working relationships in ashes. And what is ultimately damaged is trust.

So, what can you do?

First, leaders need to be self-aware of the things that cause them to be dysregulated. The body is the first clue. By scanning for sensations that signal distress, you can start to reverse the process. Sensations like a tight throat, a pounding heart, judgmental thoughts, sweaty palms, and a knot in the stomach are signals that shouldn’t be ignored. Our body gives us clues to our state of mind constantly. Understanding how your body speaks to you is worth investigating with curiosity.

Once you know what is happening, giving yourself permission to step away, take a breath, and sooth yourself. Use your five senses: focus on something beautiful, listen to music, smell something calming, put an ice cube in your mouth. By focusing on these sensations, the brain has to shift. As we calm down, you can gain perspective and choice how to respond to a situation, rather than reacting impulsively that could negatively impact important relationships.

For your teams to feel respected and valued, they need to feel heard. Listening to those around you is an important skill many leaders struggle with; however, it is critical for everyone’s success. When teams feel heard, they will not only give you their best, they will give you their loyalty.

An easy way to remember this skill is G.I.V.E. (adapted from the work of Marsha Linehan, PhD)
• (be) GENTLE: approach the conversation in a non-threatening, open, receptive and available way.
• (be) INTERESTED: John Gottman says it is more important to be interested than interesting! This
means you are attentive, curious, and focused on listening, not to just respond, but to
understand what is being said. You are allowing the time to really pay attention while
setting aside your own preconceived ideas of what might be happening.
• VALIDATE: Validation is about understanding. It is not about fixing a situation, or finding a
teaching moment. It is saying “I get it” without looking for rebuttals. The primary goal is
to have the speaker feel heard. This step MUST ALWAYS precede problem solving.
• EASY MANNER: Being approachable and creating a safe space where people can come to you with
concerns is an important skill. It allows you to be professional without being intimidating.
Safety increases trust and communication.

Remember, learning new skills is a practice, but one that is well worth it! It is not enough to work from the top down. To be truly successful, we must work from the inside out!

If you would like to listen to the show Skills of Connection follow this link to hear the replay!

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/104077/skills-for-connection

Dealing with Stress Like Your Life Depends On It

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Business
Dealing with Stress Like Your Life Depends On It

It seems that we all spend an enormous amount time trying to avoid what we feel. Every other commercial on TV or the Internet is designed to take us away from what is happening to us. Have a headache? Take this. Overwhelmed? Talk to your doctor about this new medication. Stressed? Get away to our great vacation destination. But everyone of these strategies are about avoiding what is happening to us. Although some avoidance can be a positive exercise, we can’t get away from everything that stresses us out. So, what are we supposed to do?

When we allow ourselves to pay attention to what is happening, both internally and externally, it gives us the ability to look at things in a new way. If we get curious about the sensations in our body, our thoughts and judgments going through our head, the emotions we feel, and the environment these all exit in, we can assess what is happening vs. just reacting to it. That pause, to key into ourselves, allows us to make decisions about what is needed in the moment.

One of the problems I often see is that we know what we need (to eat, to rest, to play, to be creative) but we deny ourselves these things because there are always more pressing things to do. We focus on the “to do” list and we become so enslaved to it that we put taking care of ourselves last on that list every time. We begin to glean our self-worth from how much me do and how productive we are. We wear our exhaustion like a badge of honor becoming “Human Doings” instead of “Human Beings.”

I still remember a time when we went to work from 9-5. When we arrived home, we did not engage in our work again until the next day. There was time for recreation, time for family, time of hobbies, time to just play with the kids and time to rest. But, our 21st century lives don’t work that way. We are expected to be available to our jobs nights, weekends, and holidays. There is no break because the workday never ends. And the things that are designed to keep us resilient get pushed aside.

As we continue to operate this way, is it any wonder that stress related illness is out of control? Our bodies can only take so much before they will let us know they are at the breaking point. Ignoring the signs can make us literally sick, or worse.

I believe that getting clear about what is happening to us is not just something helpful to do, but vital to our health, well-being, and ultimately our survival. It is not optional any more. We must cultivate things in our lives that gives us resiliency to combat the stress we encounter every day. Those things can include rest, creativity, music, meditation, yoga, sport, recreation, nature, pets, volunteerism, and activism. When we make time in our lives for the things that matter, that things that are difficult get better. It is a practice, like any other Mindfulness practice. But without it, the stress of our lives can overtake us and rob us of any joy in our lives, leaving us resentful and bitter.

It is so important. Make the time. It is not optional. Engage in it like your life depends on it, because it does!

The “What if” Trap

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Business
The “What if” Trap

Are your thoughts keeping you up at night? Is your brain trying to run every possible, worst case scenario for you to be prepared for anything that might happen? If the answer is yes, you have fallen into the What If Trap!

We all want to be prepared for what may happen in our business lives. Strategic planning is an important part of any good business plan. However, if you are trying to perceive every roadblock or setback before it happens, not only is that exhausting, but could actually sabotage your ability to deal with things when they happen in real time.

Our brain has the ability to forward think. It can project thoughts into the future and play with options that might happen. The problem is that although are brain can travel to the future, our body can only be in the here and now.  And when the brain and the body are disconnected, the emotion that is cultivated is anxiety. Every single time.

Instead of staying balanced and connected, we shift into an emotional type of thinking that sounds reasonable, but isn’t. Anxiety also shuts down the part of the brain we need to make good decisions, the frontal lobe, and without it, we are operating on all reaction and emotion. That is never a good place to operate from when you are trying to make decisions.

So, what can you do?

First, we must recognize what is happening. Our body gives us clues that we often ignore.  They are like an early warning system that lets us know we are no longer in the present moment, but heading into the What If Trap. We hold our breath, our heart rate increases, our chest and throat get tight. We may feel our hands and feet get cold while our face gets hot.  These are all signs that we are in one of the three anxiety states: flight, fight, or freeze.  Once this happens, our emotional brain starts freaking out, making interpretations that we are not ok, and everything will be bad!

Being aware increase the chances that you can reverse the process.  Take a slow deep breath.  One option is to breathe in deeply for the count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 2, and blow out slowly for a count of 6.  The longer out breath helps to reset the central nervous system.

You can also shift your thoughts.  The brain cannot think inside and outside at the same time. When you refocus your attention away from your catastrophizing thoughts and put your full attention on something tangible in front of you, the brain must shift.

Put your full focus on something in your hands.  Get curious about it.  Describe it in as much detail as possible.  Involve as many senses, sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, as you can.  The more involved you are, the less you will be able to keep the What If thoughts going.  Once you do, the body makes the shift as well and you will calm down.

This is a practice. The more you do it the better you will get at it.  I know if sounds simple and it is!  But it also works!  So, give it a try.  See if you can make the shift.  Once you do, you will understand that this is where the control of a situation lies, not in thinking about everything that can go wrong!

If you would like to bring Innovative Mindful Solutions into your business, contact Terry at terry@terrygaller.com for more information!

 

Observations on Mindfulness

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Business
Observations on Mindfulness

Observations on Mindfulness
I know the idea of Mindfulness sounds elusive. People often envision sitting crossed-legged on the floor, repeating “OMMMM” over and over, waiting for their mind to settle down. If you are like me, that process never worked! My brain is often too busy running down rabbit holes of thoughts that lead in a million directions at ninety miles an hour. Sound familiar?
For me, Mindfulness was like a miracle. It was less about stillness, and more about observation. I would often overreact to my thoughts, believing they were telling me the truth of a situation. Learning the concepts of Mindfulness, I came to understand that my thoughts are not always facts, but are filled with judgments and assumptions that are often wrong. Yet responding in that state could drive my emotions right off a cliff, leaving me in a state of stress all the time. It was exhausting!
Observing my own thoughts gave me space. It gave me perspective. And most importantly, it gave me time to assess whether this was a thought I needed to react to or not. It gave me choice. And in that choice, whether to react or not, gave me a freedom I did not know was possible.
I always loved the analogy of the subway car. I could imagine spray painting my thoughts on a shiny silver car. And when the doors of the car opened, I could decide to get on that thought train and ride, or step back on the platform and let those thoughts speed down the track into the dark. Since learning Mindfulness almost two decades ago, I ride that train a lot less, and have created more peace in my life. Even when times are overwhelming or stress.
The great thing is this doesn’t require a lot of time. Just stop. Take a breath. Notice how you feel. Observe your thoughts. And then, decide what you want to do. I promise you, this simple exercise can create miracles for you too!

When things don’t go as planned

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Business
When things don’t go as planned

John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

My plan was to start my brand-new radio show on VoiceAmerica on Monday, November 6th. This was something way out of my comfort zone. I worked hard with my producer, Winston Price, to learn how to assemble a meaningful show, talk to guests and create interesting content. I spent the last 8 weeks focused on getting the show ready. I was nervous and excited at the same time.

Sitting in the studio, headsets on, my guest and business partner, Annie Campbell, sitting across from me, we were ready to go. And then nothing happened. Crickets.

For some reason, despite the best efforts of two hard working engineers, they could not fix the problem. The show was not going to happen. At least tonight.

My show, Innovative Mindful Solutions, is focused on how to mindfully approach our thoughts and emotions that may sabotage our businesses and our lives. I believe that when we rigidly attach ourselves to a specific outcome, not only do we create more suffering for ourselves, but that attachment may keep us from seeing other viable options and possibilities. Mindfulness allows us to step back, observe the situation and ourselves as it is in THIS moment, not as we would wish it to be. The universe was presenting me a true test of my convictions. Would I practice what I preach or succumb to my disappointment? I realized I had a choice to make.

So, taking a deep breath, I smiled at two very concerned engineers. And Annie did as well. I thanked them for their hard work and diligence in trying to fix the problem and get us on the air. I could see the relief on their faces when I told them that I was grateful for their efforts. I knew they were expecting us to be upset or angry. We decided to regroup and try again next week. I knew it would be OK.

And I realized John Lennon was right!

So, the do over of Innovative Mindful Solutions will be next Monday, November 13th at 4pm PST/ 7pm EST on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel. Click the link below and join us to learn new ways to manage your business and your life when things don’t go as planned!

https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2708/innovative-mindful-solutions-with-terry-galler

Meet Kat and Mike: Transformational Leaders And Social Justice Advocates For Business And Banking

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Business
Meet Kat and Mike: Transformational Leaders And Social Justice Advocates For Business And Banking

With the launch of Building Banking on Values, a new VoiceAmerica radio series I’m hosting that goes behind the scenes to tell the stories of the people, passion and positivity within the values-based banking and financing sector; I thought to introduce you to some of our guests. Listen to the show now!

Meet Kat Taylor: Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Beneficial State Bank (USA)

Kat works in service of restoring social justice and environmental well-being. She is active in a variety of social enterprises, public benefit and philanthropic ventures on the West Coast of the USA. Currently, she serves as Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Beneficial State Bank, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose mission is to bring beneficial banking to low-income communities in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. Beneficial State Bank is the result of a merger between OneCalifornia Bank, which Kat and her husband, Tom Steyer, founded in Oakland, CA, and ShoreBank Pacific, with offices in California, Oregon and Washington. The bank’s revolutionary ownership mandates that any distributed profit be invested in the low-income communities it serves and environment upon which its communities and customers depend. Learn more.

Kat is also a Founding Director of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation (TKREF), dedicated to inspiring a sustainable food system through ranching, training, tours, research, and school food and garden programs. TKREF owns the social enterprise LeftCoast GrassFed, raising humanely cattle and other livestock for the benefit of people and the planet. Kat serves and has served on many non-profit boards including the Harvard Board of Overseers, Ecotrust, Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, ProPublica, CuriOdyssey, Insight Prison Project, KQED and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She graduated from Harvard College and earned a JD/MBA from Stanford University. Tom Steyer, Kat’s climate/energy activist husband, and she have four grown children, each pursuing their one wild and precious life.

 

 

Meet Mike Townsend: Chief Executive Director, Earthshine (USA)

Mike is a business and economic transformation leader, advisory Board member, speaker, teacher and author of The Quiet Revolution.

Mike is Founder/CEO with Earthshine – an international business consultancy/think-tank that integrates sustainability principles into the heart of business strategy and operations – enabling sustainable business success and the transition to a sustainable & low carbon economy. He is passionate about making a real difference.
In addition to running Earthshine, Mike serves on an advisory board with University of Oslo, he teaches courses/lectures on Sustainable Development, Business & Economy, and delivers inspirational keynote speeches.

Mike is author of The Quiet Revolution, Editor of Reframing the Game (2015), Lead author of A Journey in Search of Capitalism 2.0 (2013). He is also a regular contributor for Huffington Post, 2-Degrees, The Guardian, Edie.net and others.

Mike holds an MBA from the University of Birmingham Business School (UK) and a bachelor degree in Civil Engineering Management from the University of Wolverhampton (UK), and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Learn more.

 

Don’t forget to tune into Building Banking on Values. My VoiceAmerica radio show airs on Thursdays 15:00 PDT on the Business channel. Learn more.

#BankingOnValues @CatalystWarrior @bankingonvalues @VoiceAmBusiness @ZuidDave  @mike_earthshine  @beneficialstate

http://beneficialstate.com/, https://www.linkedin.com/in/kat-taylor-28a6974b, https://www.linkedin.com/company/79855, https://www.facebook.com/BeneficialStateBank, http://www.earthshinesolutions.com, https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-townsend-08b1b614 , https://www.linkedin.com/company/5174875

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