Daily Quote: “Stress is like Spice… not always bad for you

“Stress is like spice – in the right proportion it enhances the flavor of a dish. Too little produces a bland, dull meal; too much may choke you.” Dr. Donald Tubesing
Stress is a normal part of life.   Believe it or not stress can even be useful when it triggers us to danger. In every day life, living with a constant and elevated stress level can be a persistent problem that interferes with daily activities, such as work, school or sleep. This type of stress can disrupt relationships and enjoyment of life, and over time it can lead to serious health concerns (elevate blood pressure, digestive issues like IBS, depression, confused thinking and other chronic problems. Goal in life isn’t to get rid of it but to find the right balance between good stress and chronic stress which can’t be turned off. Some of the best research has been done by Robert Sapolsky in his book:  Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases and Coping 


Want to give Audience-Centered Presentation? Learn these 3 skills.

Exploring Empathy, Responsiveness and Relevance as keys to Audience-Centered Presentation
Daily Quote: ” Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection – or compassionate action.”  Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence  
The R.A.T.E.R. is a useful tool to measure your ability to be Audience-Center in presenting or public speaking. Your ability to see and relate to, understand and respect the inner world of others, doesn’t mean agreeing with the other person’s perceived experience . For many, empathy is what I’ll call a touchy-feely word. “It’s all about feeling and relating to what others feel , isn’t it? – being compassionate. Does that really have any place in the hard-nosed world of business? One of the problems with empathy is that it is often confused with being ‘soft’ – overly sensitive, compassionate and even emotionally “mushy” or sentimental. It can be associated with tolerating bad performance or bad behavior, which is probably more to do with avoiding conflict than empathy.

Let’s be clear, empathy is simply the ability to comprehend and be respectful of the inner state/experience of others, it does not mean agreeing with the other person’s perceived experience or condoning the actions they take based on their interpretations. It is also not just limited to understanding another’s feelings. Empathy includes an ability to identify and articulate another’s perspective, expectations, wants and needs. Great communicators are empathic because they try to see the world through the eyes of their audience. By doing so they show respect and caring for their audience and when people feel respect they respond. There is an old saying, “I don’t care about what you know until I know that you care.”

As an empathic presenter you need to be  self-aware and sensitive to how their own behavior impacts others.  Empathy is outward and inward looking. Learn to be responsive and respectful as a presenter by identifying audience needs and being “quick on your feet” to provide relevant examples and tell engaging stories about your ideas. Show respect and and empathy your audience will respond in kind.

Self-Coaching Challenge: To get at this topic in short form, I’d ask you to take this self-evaluation to score yourself on a scale of 10, where 1 is awful and 10 is being masterful as a presenter in crafting and demonstrating empathy, relevance and responsiveness toward the audience members.  What follows are three questions about empathy. How do you stack-up?

1. Empathy is Item #1 I work-in to my message when presenting to others? _____

2. I am a full-fledged student of empathy, aiming for the same level of “professional mastery and excellence” that I’d aim for in a specialty like Human Resources, Brand Marketing, Finance or Business Strategy____________.

3. I stop at different times during my presentation to see how the audience is taking–in or understanding my message ________.





Self-coaching Challenge: Say Yes…

Quote: “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor” Aristotle

Reflection: I have found that supporting someone else’s needs and wants takes a change of attitude and courage to let go of being right. The change of attitude is to assume that the other person’s request is reasonable and that you are not giving up something, and with this shift of perspective you are supporting and giving a gift of time.

Self Coaching Challenge: Start by clearing your mind of all the things you want to do this weekend. Pick a person, your spouse, child, friend or neighbor and make a commitment to be selfless with this person. Find something right about everything he or she says or does or wants you to do. Look for for every opportunity to offer support. Consider their convenience and time preferences ahead of your own. Give them unconditional support by putting their ideas first. Shine the spotlight on them. Anticipate what they want and practice active listening skills. Notice the results. Capture what you learned in your personal change journal.

Want to know the quality and strength of your relationship with your Partner? Don’t miss this quiz!!

Dr. Gottman is a highly respected authority on predicting whether your relationship with your partner is healthy or in need of a tune-up. This quiz highlights elements of what Dr. Gottman refers to as your “love map.” In his workshops, Dr. Gottman discusses the step-by-step process of making sure that you nurture your friendship with your partner. In a survey of 200 couples attending a weekend workshop, Dr. Gottman found that the best predictor of passion and romance in a relationship was…you guessed it…the quality of the friendship!

Check the quality of the friendship by clicking this free quiz. http://www.gottman.com/how-well-do-you-know-your-partner/

Enjoy this check-up quiz and remember if things aren’t going well you have the power to change them.  Coach Mark

Daily Quote: What is the most important insight to being Rich and Happy?

Daily Quote: “Happiness is about Respect not Riches”

Reflection: The in-sight into what makes people happy is very clear —It is not riches but Respect,that makes us happy. Seeking financial riches detracts from your ability to stay on your path to a happiness and living a meaningful life . This insight is all about being aware of your surroundings , connecting with other people and being tolerant and showing empathy and compassion for those less fortune than us. Compassion and Respect drive happiness.

Recent research suggests not that the rich are inherently more unethical or insensitive but that experiencing high status makes people more focused on themselves and feel less connected to others—an important lesson in this age excesses and material stock piling by the rich.

“The rich aren’t bad people, they just live in a selfish, less compassionate and  insular worlds,” study co-author Paul Piff told Greater Good earlier this year. “But if you’re able to reduce the extremes that exist between the haves and the have-nots, you’re going to go a long way toward closing the compassion and empathy gap.”

Happiness is about Respect, Not Riches. Research has long suggested that money and riches do not by happiness in life; a study published in Psychological Science in July confirms that finding and goes a step further, changing the stakes of what we think of as high status: It turns out that if we’re looking to money, we’re looking in the wrong place.

More information at: http://www.dailygood.org/2013/03/13/insights-from-the-science-of-meaningful-life/

How we can connect more as presenters and public speakers:Learn more about empathy

Empathy—mirror neurons show that being connected to someone is not just in the mind. There are these fundamental physiological and  behavioral moments that are occurring continuously with other people who we’re not aware of. There is a solid grounding of neurological research which is completely consistent with this hypothesis.

Power of Empathy:  Presenters who demonstrate empathy and caring are rated higher on presentation evaluations because they can reach out beyond themselves and their subject matter and connect to other people’s experiences and needs. At the core people discover unseen opportunities and problems when they have a personal and empathic experience and connection with the world around them.

For most of us that means we need to have an experience to walk in other people’s shoes. It also means not judging differences physical or idea wise as bad ugly or stupid. When we are being empathic we must see and understand without judgment. Having the ability to reach out and touch, understand and connect with other people and the world around us is what empathy is all about. It provides us with the courage to take risks long before the rest of the world is tuned in. Simply put people who have the ability to use their brain to care and connect are happier and more successful in the world. We develop an intuitive or gut reaction to see the world from many points of view and listen to people who matter the most. When we practice empathy we are open to new ideas and ethical concerns. This in turn provides the impetus to build and support a culture of clarity and concern focused on people rather than on fame, wealth and material things.

More from Dr. Berne Brown on Vulnerability, Shame and Connecting

Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage”. Dr. Berne Brown

The most  viewed blog post on The Wick is a TED speech by Dr. Berne Brown. She talks about the power of being connected and vulnerable through the lens of dealing with our shame. Her conclusion is that what makes people vulnerable and feel inadequate is what makes people beautiful and happy. To find meaning we need the ability to empathize, belong, love.  This is a very personal and humorous talk by a truly authentic person.  She shares a deep insight from her research, one that caused a breakdown and sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand why shame is always whispered and hidden even from our conscious self. Her insight about  shame is groundbreaking and priceless.

Now she is back with more insights and over 5 million views of her Houston TED speech. Again she opens and models her vulnerability with a funny story about what success has taught her about vulnerability. Don’t miss this thoughtful and reflective speech.

Connecting and Shame