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PAUSE – 16.24 – Focus On Giving TO Not Getting FROM

September 21, 2016

Gift boxReflection: As much as we might like to think that our success is entirely our own doing, the truth suggests otherwise.

None of us goes it completely alone. There are always others who have opened doors or offered opportunities and support along the way.

I recently had an opportunity to speak to Payroll Professionals in Atlantic Canada about cultivating connections and networking effectively.

In my message, I suggested we focus less on ‘getting the most from our networks’ and focus more on ‘giving the most to our networks’.

In my experience, when we focus on supporting others, good things also tend to flow in our direction.

 

Action: Here are five ways to actively support those in your circles of connection. Try one today. (more…)

PAUSE – 16.22 – Expressions Of Delight

September 7, 2016

Baby smile-wReflection: We had the great joy of closing out the summer by hosting our 9 year old grandson for a couple of days at Waskesiu Lake.

The weather on the front end was less than ideal. Too cold to swim. To rough to take out a canoe, a paddleboat or a kayak. No matter.

It was perfect for beach combing – given all the flotsam and jetsam that the gale force winds tossed up on shore.

And, as Ethan walked along the beach, eyes glued to the sand, each of his discoveries was accompanied by an expression of delight.

Snail shells. Fish hooks. Odd rocks. Dead minnows.

“Heh, look over here! How cool is this? Is that awesome or what?”

And, of course, each find had to be picked up and closely examined before being added to the collection of treasures to be hauled back to the cabin. Two dead minnows included!

Unfavorable conditions – in this case, the weather – were NOT going to put a damper on this young fellow’s spirits, or interfere with his ability to find delight at every turn. (more…)

PAUSE – 16.05 – We’re All In This Together

March 2, 2016

ThanksReflection: This Friday, the 4th of March, is Employee Appreciation Day. Of course, exchanging appreciation ought to be an everyday experience. Still, a focused reminder can’t hurt and it might even help.

I recently came across an organization where all who work there are referred to as co-workers – neither bosses nor employees. That title, co-worker, reinforces the idea that we share responsibility for our everyday work experience.

When it comes to appreciation, we are all in it together. I’ve often heard employees say they wish the boss would recognize their efforts. In fact, a recent Harris poll reported that the top complaint of 63% of employees surveyed was that leaders don’t recognize employee achievements.

Not to let leaders off the hook, but all of us, as co-workers, can share that responsibility. Encouragement isn’t limited by rank or status.

And, what if we universally extend this concept of co-workers beyond the walls of our organizations? (more…)

PAUSE – 15.39 – How Happy Can You Be?

December 16, 2015

Leon Juicing-w outline

My Thoughts: 

I don’t normally use family photos in my Pause messages, but today I’m making an exception. Pictured here (with his and his parents’ permission) is my grandson, Leon, who is closing in on three years of age.

This boy LOVES machines of all kinds – from juicers and coffee grinders to garbage trucks, diggers, and front-end loaders.

As he recently helped his Mom turn fruits and veggies into juice, the goofy grin on his face never wavered. He gave voice to his glee proclaiming, “I’m so happy my face hurts!”

How amazing to be so present to the thrill of the moment, and to find the words to express that joy!

 

Your Thoughts:

This could be the season to practice those skills!

What makes you so happy that your face hurts?

And, how can you make sure you are present for those simple moments of delight? (more…)

PAUSE – 15.38 – Try Being More Curious And Less Certain

December 9, 2015

Being Curious-wReflection: Sometimes it seems to me that the more we ‘know’, the tougher life gets. Our certainty about situations can lead to a hardening of the ‘heart-eries’, and ultimately more stress and frustration.

Certainty says: This is good and that is bad, or I am right and you are wrong.

Certainty can lead us to repeat the same actions with greater force and speed, exhausting ourselves as we create ever more disappointing results.

If you’ve ever been stuck in a snowbank and continued to step on the gas, certain that just a few more spins of the tires will be sure to get you out, you know what I mean. It doesn’t work. You simply dig yourself a deeper hole. Things get worse, not better.

A more helpful way of ‘c’-ing can be to substitute curiosity for certainty.

Curiosity leads us to look more closely at what’s happening or not happening and invites us to experiment in new ways with the potential for better – or at least different – outcomes.

 

Action: The next time you find yourself rooted in certainty, try being more curious about other ideas and ways of being. (more…)

PAUSE – 15.36 – Are You Predator, Partner Or Prey?

November 25, 2015

Partners Smiling-wReflection: When you interact with others, are you more likely to play the role of predator, partner or prey? They all have consequences – some more desirable than others.

I was lucky enough to hear communications consultant, Amy Carroll, share this model of communication (developed by Pat Kirkland) with a group of appreciative business mentors and protégés. If you struggle to effectively connect with the odd person in your world, you might find my recap of her main ideas helpful.

First off…P, P or P…what’s the diff? A predator speaks forcefully from a looming stance intending to dominate the conversation and win the day. A prey speaks hesitantly from a submissive stance intending to smooth rough spots and maintain harmony at all costs. A partner speaks respectfully from a poised stance intending to connect with confidence.

As you might guess, the partner approach (an equal share of confidence and competence) offers the best chance to build a respectful relationship and generate positive results.

There is both an outer and an inner element to each of these ways of interacting with others: the way we outwardly present ourselves, and the inner mindset we bring to the party.

Amy suggests that we work on both the inner and outer parts in low-stress situations, so that we build the physical and mental muscles to keep partnering even when we find ourselves under stress and pressure.

 

Action: To behave more like a partner, in the face of predator or prey behavior from others, try practising these actions: (more…)

Take A Bow Seasonal Bundle

November 19, 2015

Red Bow Small-w

I’m feeling the spirit of the season, and delighted to pass that good will – and savings – your way with the Take A Bow Seasonal Bundle.

TakeABowNewCover-w-outline

To celebrate the booklet’s success and its third printing – and to help you celebrate this season of light – I have packaged up 12 bundles that each contain the following:

  • 100 copies of Take A Bow
  • One bonus copy of each of my other four publications: Take A Break, Press Pause…Press On, Press Pause…Think Again, and Sketches of Saskatoon
  • Plus a bonus original PKatz watercolor painting surface mounted on a 6×8” mat ready for framing

Take A Bow is the perfect gift of encouragement for colleagues, employees, clients, friends and family. It offers simple, doable ways for people to feel better about who they are and what they do.

Take A Bow retails at 6.95 for a single copy. However, in the TAB Seasonal Bundle, it will be priced at 2.65/copy – its lowest price ever. Cheaper than a greeting card – with much more value and staying power. The bonus items (books and painting) are included at no extra cost for you to enjoy yourself or share with others. All told, it’s an $850 value.

The Take A Bow Seasonal Bundle is priced $294 (includes shipping and tax). The fine print?

  • Only 12 bundles on offer.
  • Only available in Canada.
  • Order before December 24/2015.

Order your bundle today and delight others tomorrow!

This link takes you to the Seasonal Bundle order form. If you’d like to take a peek into all the publications, this link will take you to that info.

PAUSE – 15.21 – What Does Wishing You The Best Really Mean?

July 29, 2015

Best Things In life-wMy Thoughts: As you close a written message, perhaps you (like me) occasionally use the phrase: All the Best.

I recently looked at those words as I typed them on my screen and paused to consider what they really meant.

I know the phrase expresses my good intentions and positive wishes.

I also know that ‘best’ doesn’t refer to designer clothes, high-end cars, or big time paychecks.

The quote expressed in the image above does a pretty decent job of capturing the meaning: “The best things in life are the people we love, the places we’ve been, and the memories we’ve made along the way.”

 

Your Thoughts: As we move through the halfway point of summer, how can you best use your time and your resources to appreciate the people you love, enjoy the places you visit, and make more memories along the way?

 

News Notes: (more…)

PAUSE – 15.18 – Character Is Every Bit As Remark-able As Accomplishment

June 3, 2015

Reflection: A noteworthy accomplishment or contribution is the most common trigger for extending appreciation to colleagues.

  • They’ve gone out of their way to lend a hand or pave the way.
  • They’ve committed their time and energy to something – perhaps even going above and beyond the call of duty.
  • They’ve certified, qualified or been promoted.
  • They’ve met or exceeded goals for sales, transactions, or deliverables – whatever is measured that’s deemed to count.
  • They’ve met a mid point project milestone or wound it up completely and sent it on its way.

Celebrating what others DO is important.

So, too, is the celebration of who people ARE – their character and their way of being in this world.

  • Perhaps someone is just naturally friendly or cordial – day in and day out.
  • Perhaps someone is very approachable – the kind of person who injects warmth into every interaction with colleagues and clients.
  • Perhaps someone is quick to quip – to crack a joke that lightens the mood.
  • Someone may be especially compassionate – highly tuned to the feelings of others and skilled at finding just the right words in a tough situation.

These characteristics – often taken for granted or overlooked – don’t always trigger a reading on the old appreci-ometer.

But they could and they should; because it’s precisely these ways of being that make such a positive difference in our relationships and our workplace cultures. (more…)

PAUSE – 15.16 – Are You Tending To The Tugs?

May 20, 2015

Vic Harbor Boat-wReflection: Seaports are fascinating places.

What I most enjoy watching are the tiny but powerful tug boats as they guide the larger Mother Ships in from and out to the sea.

Tugs are built for action not for show – rarely shiny nor streamlined in shape or finish. But despite their lack of polish, the port would be a mess without them. They’re essential in moments of transition.

Watch them at work and you’ll see they apply pressure in different ways. Some nose in at a right angle to the ship and nudge from the side. Some work in tandem from both sides at once.

Some tugs latch on up front and tow the ship in the desired direction. Some push from the rear – adding power from behind to guide the ship through the water.

Tugs help ships avoid collisions, come safely to mooring, navigate through tricky channels, and head confidently out to the open sea.

 

Action: As we navigate the murky waters of our everyday lives, we too rely on tugs. They may not be as visible as those in port, but they are present nonetheless. (more…)