The Uncomfortable Silence

Learn to ListenIn today’s Mars Venus Coaching tip, I want to talk about the uncomfortable silence… That time in between when you ask a question and you receive a response. People don’t like that ‘silence’ in the middle of a question so they will ask you another question and if you don’t respond to that, they will continue asking questions. This is a very difficult thing to do.

If you look at the statistics in coaching, the most powerful thing we can give is being good listeners for people. If you’re a good listener – you’re demonstrating good coaching. That’s really what your clients are buying from you.

Statistics show that the most powerful thing in coaching the people want to buy ‘listening’ – not talking to them or giving them advice. Actually LISTENING. Being a good listener is what makes them feel good. I want you to listen more carefully. Just sit there with no response and allow them to continue to talk.

Nobody likes that uncomfortable silence. If you give them that uncomfortable silence – they will talk even more. The more they talk, the more you’re demonstrating Koji. The more you demonstrate coaching, the more they like it.

Learn to listen – not your ability to talk. That’s your tip for the day.

Mars Venus talks about Procrastination at the Job

Gossiping around the Water Cooler

Gossiping around the Water Cooler

We all have moments when we procrastinate at work. Mars Venus believes, we typically procrastinate when we are stressed out and need to re-energize; we’re a little anxious as we’re figuring out the day’s priorities; or we have a few minutes to kill say before a meeting, between a project and lunch, waiting to go home. We don’t really need to talk to our co-worker but it lightens the moment.  Procrastination and complacency are two blocks any of us can fall prey. One is much direr than the other; both can impede productivity, efficiency, creativity, and growth at work. Complacency, however, will take root can create a deadly infection to our success, and be the cause of our failure to meet our customer’s demands. When we are satisfied with our success, but are unaware of deficiencies or that we’ve fallen into this lull we stop growing.  Mars Venus often coaches corporations to effectively motivate employees for success.  Successful employees equates to successful businesses.

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was a politician and statesman during the Second World War who is considered to be one of the most influential people in British history. His words still inspire leaders today. One of my favorite quotes by Winston Churchill is:

Success is not final;

Failure is not fatal:

It is the courage to continue that counts.

As a Mars Venus Coach it is frustrating to see a client hack away at a goal on a 90-Day Plan stop, because they think they’re done. People seek out coaching to help end their procrastination. A good coach eases a client’s anxiety surrounding change to achieve a goal. As a Mars Venus Coach holds a client accountable to do what the client says he or she is going to do, clients typically achieve their goals faster than when they were on their own doing it whenever, when the mood strikes, or because they’ve run out of time. I’ve seen the complacent attitude crop up right after a milestone has been reached such as a promotion at work, a raise, or taking a course needed for professional development, and it’s often been  the kiss of death. It also begets the question, why were you working so hard in the first place?

Mars Venus looks to Winston Churchill when he said, “Success is not final.” When we become complacent that we’ve done well on a project, or we’ve attained a goal, our perspective and plan of attack must also change. If we focus on past accolades, guess where our professional career or our company’s vision remains? It will remain mired in the past. When we lack foresight and have no direction for attaining the next goal beyond the one we just completed, our deficiency is lack of planning, and what we get is stagnancy. Will others still want to seek you and your services out?

It’s no secret, we all fear failure.  But fear has never been fatal. When we make a mistake, the quicker we’re able to make it a learning point, the sooner we’re able to dust ourselves off, regroup, and move on. This is why Winston Churchill’s quote remains germane today, “it the courage to continue that counts.”

Mars Venus Coaching’s challenge to you is to always ask the question, “What’s next?” So in this next week your homework is to ask yourself, colleagues and customer’s “what’s next” on the agenda. And, be sure to ask for details and timelines to keep things moving forward. This line of probing will ensure freshness, creativity, and focus to achieve the next goal at work. There is always room for improvement, growth, and inspiration.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Mars Venus Likes BuildingTeamwork

Strong Teams = Success

Strong Teams = Success

Successful business ventures often rely on the communication savvy of everyone involved in the deal. Mars Venus knows the importance of a strong team base. While relying on one person to lead or motivate a group leads to: reduced functionality if that person is absent, a stressful environment, unhealthy communication patterns, and increased conflicts. We all come from different backgrounds and families. What’s amazing is how we come together as a team to produce finished products. Here are 3 ways you can set yourself and your team up for success. They all involve self-reflection, greater self-awareness, and implementation of new skills based on both your and others’communication strengths.

1.       Use DISC Profiling to Rephrase Your Wants

DISC is an inventory that is taken specifically with the work environment in mind. It identifies your adapted behavior in the workplace, as well as your natural style. Bringing in someone to facilitate taking the DISC profile and interpreting the results with your team adds value to how well your team interacts with one another.  Mars Venus suggests using Disc or a form of Disc as part of a personality evaluation.

One of the fun things I did at the last corporate DISC training was to ask each participant what their pet peeve was (instead of what words to avoid or not to use) in regards to how other’s communicate with them. We also spent a great deal of time on what does work for each participant. We collated everyone’s results in a table for easy reference back in the office. During team training that teaches you communication skills, you learn more than just tendencies or preferences, you get to implement the knowledge right away, which ensures that you retain this information for later use.

It is critical to know that the greater awareness you have of your style and how to adapt how you communicate with others in the group based on their style is what sets you and your team apart from other groups operating by chance alone. Mars Venus Training allows you to do the DISC as a group to see patterns and how objectively to make changes in the way they speak and interact so the strengths of all team members are utilized rather than just the more extroverted or dominant communication and personality styles.

2.       Understand Gender Communication Differences

While DISC identifies your adapted and natural communication styles, going one step further to understand how men and women prefer to communicate leads to even greater results.

  • Men tend to use communication to solve problems.
  • Women tend to use communication to connect.

For example, at work—a woman’s natural inclination to take into account how a decision affects all parties involved both short and long term. Calling on this strength during a sale or when weighing options ensures greater logistical planning than a more single-minded approach. Calling on a man’s inclination to either solve a dilemma, or shelve for later is helpful in keeping negotiations focused with the end in sight.

Mars Venus Coaches in your area can facilitate DISC trainings for your organization and offer free Stress Management Seminars and workshops geared to getting what you want at work and gender differences in selling and buying. If you’re pressed for time you can also read the following online articles or take an eWorkshop too!

3.       Practice Conflict Resolution Skills

It is critical to know that under stress, we tend to do two things:

  • We revert to our natural DISC style—graph II, not our adapted DISC style—graph I. This is because under stress it is harder to mask our natural preferences for communicating.
  • We become more like our gender, because of our physiology and the way blood flows in our brains according to our sex.

Therefore, utilizing an objective observer or a facilitator that interprets how you work as a team is more helpful, then just reading about it or studying these skills alone.

The following are the 3 steps to conflict resolution and what primary DISC gravitates to each of the steps.

1. CREATE SPACE. S’s bring all views, ideas and opinions into dialogue.

Change location to a neutral place

-Use active listening to explore rather than condemn opposing views

Take breaks often to cool off during negotiations

2. ADD VALUE. C/I’snaturally use their skills to add value and make sure all voices are heard.

Cs (Ts) add value by generating logical alternativesto the conflict issues

Is (Fs) add value by creating options for growthfor all parties so no one leaves feeling empty handed

3. SEEK CLOSURE. D’s ensure an end result.

agree on decision principles before making decisions (i.e. equal input)

-take one step at a time and define the steps

-once steps are outlined and decided upon, close the book on conflict

The bottom line is to turn what you learn into translatable skills. Mars Venus believes learning communication and resiliency skills that focus on your strengths enable you to stay present in the moment. When you are able to operate continually from this place of presence, then you will find there are no fights, conflicts will decrease, and both your productivity and efficiency will improve. If your entire team can identify what best works for them and how to adapt to other people’s preferences, then the climate and culture at work will cease to feel like “work,” and more like play—just like it felt as a kid on the playground at recess playing kickball.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

 

Mars Venus on Strong Leadership

Mars Venus firmly believes leaders are not born. They are molded by mentors they respect that have been, in turn, trained and guided by their mentors. A leader is created and the whole process starts inside the most dangerous place you’ll ever encounter  your own mind. How can you become a strong leader who inspires others, drives people toward excellence, holds people accountable, and instills a sense of trust?

Mars Venus teaches what makes a great leader. Here are some things you can do to become the leader you’ve always wanted to be:

1. Control yourself. Mars Venus teaches the art of self control.  Every great leader in history has had to become a master of self-discipline and willpower in order to stay focused on the big picture. If you don’t have a goal or the drive to achieve it, you can’t lead others to attain theirs.

• Follow through in everything you do. As challenging as it may be, you need to be disciplined enough to be where you need to be, when you need to be there, whether you want to or not. By being strong in your resolve and resisting temptation to give up, you are setting an example for others to live up to.

• Choose your emotional response to a situation carefully. Sometimes you’ll need to practice the art of silencing your inner thoughts when they’re not appropriate in order to set a positive example.

2. Project your goals. Mars Venus believes if the people you’re leading don’t completely understand the deeper meaning in their work, they won’t share your vision or work ethic. Every step of the way, communicate with your team to make sure they’re on the same wavelength and know what you expect of them.

• Get your team involved in the planning process and the implementation of your ideas. This gives everyone a greater sense of ownership toward the end result. 3. Praise highly and criticize constructively. The way you praise and criticize others can make all the difference in being able to lead effectively.

• Make sure you publicly praise the people who do excellent work for you. You’ll give the person a sense of accomplishment and the drive to do even better.

• When someone does something wrong, offer constructive criticism and do it privately. Suggest solutions on how they can improve and take the time to answer any questions. They’ll accept your input more willingly if they know it’s done to help and not to harm.

4. Know your people. You can’t truly lead a group of people unless you truly understand their hopes, dreams, struggles, pains, and goals. All the good intentions in the world mean nothing unless you have a true sense of the people you’re working with.

• Talk to your team and get to know them. Getting to know each other on a personal level will strengthen the bond between you. They’ll want to do better for you because you’re more than just a “boss.”  Mars Venus suggest having simple periodic group gatherings such as lunch in order to get to know and understand each other.

• Be their leader, first, and their friend second. You’re their leader and that means that you have to make difficult decisions from time to time. These decisions cannot be affected by personal relationships.

5. Make the hard call. There are times when you have to bite the bullet and make some unpleasant decisions. Firing, demoting, and holding people accountable for their actions can be very hard at times. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to handle these matters. Regardless of where your leadership role takes you, believe that you can be a strong leader.

Remember that in order to lead others, you must be disciplined yourself. After all, your actions will speak louder than anything you can say. In order to gain the respect of others, strive to lead by example in every area of your life. When you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a true leader!

Mars Venus Speaks out on Equality of Men and Women in the Workplace

Mars Venus is of the premise, that contrary to popular belief, men and women are not equal. Despite what we have been led to believe, let it be said again, men and women are not created equal. We are different, and the corporate world is now ready to embrace this reality, rather than continue to operate on the fallacy that men and women should be treated the same. Should I even broach the topic that corporate is still being run from a man’s perspective; meaning it is still weighted to men’s communication and leadership styles? Mars Venus teaches the unique gender differences, not just at first glance anatomy wise, but also physiologically from the way we have different hormones which reduce our stress levels, to our style of communicating. Recent neurological studies show how men and women’s brains differ when communicating, when under stress, and when reducing stress. Mars Venus applauds the companies that embrace gender intelligent communication.  Those companies are rising to the top of the Forbes lists. Still, both men and women alike continue to comment on why it doesn’t make sense that the few women who make it to top executive positions are still reaching a glass ceiling, despite the fact women are now outranking men in obtaining post-secondary degrees and beyond. Ask any woman who has just decided to have or has just had a baby what is more important to her: raising her family or rising up the corporate ladder. It really should not be about either or. Women can have both. The climate in the corporate world is changing, and the ones that are coming out victors are the ones who acknowledge the unique gender differences, embrace the idiosyncrasies, and create harmony in their workforce. In fact, we as a society need to learn how to create this balance. Stress levels are at an all-time high. If we do not learn how to communicate more effectively with one another so that our relationships both in and out of the workplace are more balanced there is not going to be a thriving population a few generations down the road. We now understand the research behind the hormones responsible for men and women coping differently with stress, and how this actually increases stress levels in the opposite sex—both at work, and at home. The companies rising to the top are the ones which embrace gender intelligent communication. Why? People are able to communicate with each other more effectively, be more productive, and are generally happier, because they feel heard and respected. The levels of women and men at the top of corporate will equal out when this change in culture is embraced.

Earlier this year on BNET both Kimberly Weisul blogged about people still discriminating against women when they make investment and leadership decisions and Margaret Heffernan blogged about bias blinding us to being more successful by incorporating that which is unfamiliar into our decision-making process. Margaret is encouraging us to embrace, hire, and work with whomever and whatever is different from us. I’m throwing my two cents in as well to add to this discussion, as the timing is right and we are ripe for change. I am a former Marine Corps officer, who also happens to have a master degree in counseling. I have lived the experience of being in a male-dominated world. I also have the knowledge base from counseling that most problems, whether they are personal or related to work, are caused by a failure in communication due to unrealistic expectations and unexamined assumptions. With that being said, one of the major areas I work with people on now as a Mars Venus Success Coach is helping people communicate more effectively to improve both their professional and personal relationships. Articles abound with what is unfair and wrong about why women are not being slotted in top executive positions. Mars Venus Coaching is well aware there are still ceilings to break so we can build a stronger, more efficient, more balanced workforce. We’ve gotten this far operating on the premise (which is both an unrealistic expectation and unexamined assumption) that men and women are equal, deserve the same opportunities, and should be treated the same way. Women with their degrees not too long ago stepped up to the plate to take on executive positions. Many wondered why it was so difficult to be promoted or to be paid an equivalent wage. The world they were operating in was one created by men. Unfortunately, this is still the case in most industries. Most of the corporate world still operates in a system gender-biased to men’s style of communicating. Women are now and have been in the workplace since our first world war, and the phenomena being discussed centers around the shift that has occurred with more and more women being in the workforce. Countless studies now show women seek and obtain BOTH undergraduate and graduate degrees at unprecedented levels. With the slip in the economy, more women have also hung up their hats and returned to raising their kids, because the climate in corporate was not habitable for long-term residency. It is intolerable that we continue to operate from the prejudice that women should fit into this concept of “corporate” that was designed by and for men.

With more women in the workforce communicating in the style unique to their gender, corporate is no longer a man’s world. To prove this point, the companies that fiscally are succeeding and surpassing their counterparts are the ones who embrace the unique differences of the sexes into their climate. This is where Mars Venus Coaching feels the focus should be—on the solution of how we make ALL companies this way. We should focus more energy and our resources to raising awareness of how to intelligently communicate with one another so that all of our goals are met. If we are able to respect each other for what we have to offer, then the quality of life for everyone both in the workplace and at home will rise. The answer lies in acknowledging, understanding, respecting, and encouraging our different communication styles based on the proclivities of our gender. If we can figure out how to communicate intelligently, where no one person or style or way is better than the other, then relationships will become re-balanced both at work and at home. As I commented on Kimberly’s blog, leaders know that their _____ (you fill in the blank, as you are a leader right now in evoking this change) is only as successful as the quality of their relationships with their people. There will be no ceiling to break, because a new corporate world will have been created embracing the culture shift, climate change, whatever you’d like to call it where both men and women are respected equally for their uniqueness.

There is uniqueness between the sexes in the ways we communicate with each other. Our communication style lies at the heart of our expectations. Generally speaking, women want to participate in the decision-making process, and men want to delegate. For example take something as mundane as shopping for groceries. Women may want consensus in the household or with whomever the dinner guests are that they will like what she buys. She may ask her husband what he’d like for dinner the upcoming week, and his typical response may be, “just get something. You do the shopping.” He’s made the decision he will eat whatever is made, and she can decide what to get without him. Which one is right? There is no right answer, this is just a tendency men and women have when buying or selling. Similar conversations go on in the workplace as well in regards to should we invest in this prospect, market to this target audience, or sell to this buyer. What will take businesses to the next level is the recognition that men and women have unique ways of communicating, and bringing both to the table makes for more profit not just with the bottom line, but also in regards to quality of life. What needs to be happening now amongst us is a discussion on how we can lift each other up and create balance. Are you familiar with Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? I bet you have heard of this concept, but have you incorporated this language into how you deal with your family and friends? What about using gender intelligent communication with your co-workers? Dr. John Gray’s life work deals with explaining the ways men and women communicate differently so that we can have better relationships, both at work and in our personal lives. The coaches as Mars Venus Coaching are working globally with executives, businesses, and individuals to promote this climate of gender difference acceptance so that more people are able to experience success—whatever that means for them—in their lives. The quest is to re-balance people in their relationships so things like their business, which is supposed to be a vehicle to enable them to live the lifestyle of their dreams, is just that an enabler so they can have both work and play. Using Mars Venus as a language to help one another understand the opposite gender’s tendencies unlocks the door for people wherever they are on the corporate ladder or in their personal lives to use their business as a vehicle to the lifestyle they want, instead of business being their lifestyle.

The Mars Venus explanation in gender intelligent communication allows for dialogue to enter into the workforce about how our styles complement each other. You cannot find another coaching or consulting company that incorporates gender intelligent communication into all facets of their services. Mars Venus Coaching operates on this premise for success. To spread the solution for what’s needed to stabilize the shift currently underway to keep women in the workforce, and normalize equal numbers of executives at the top what needs to happen now is for companies to work from the real premise (not an unexamined assumption we’re equal or an unrealistic expectation that we’re equal) that companies are stronger, and they perform better when gender intelligent communication is embraced, encouraged, and respected. Getting back to the points generated  by bnet discussions, yes, both discrimination and bias stands in the way of the most educated and informed person making investment and leadership decisions. This is due to foggy glasses. The good news is that we can clean our glasses, remove some of the foggy filtering, or take them off completely. There is room for a solution, and there is a way for everyone to gain balance and meet their goals. Our glasses are foggy, because we choose to operate with the filters gained through experience, and our own internal dialogue telling us what to think, say, and do. However, any coach or mental health professional will tell you to make the best informed decision you have to operate from reality; meaning, what’s in front of your face, so you live in the present moment and operate logically based on facts, not on bias, discrimination, judgments (also known as unexamined assumptions and unrealistic expectations). What this means is we have to divorce our petty biases and discriminatory judgments from the situation. The easiest, fastest way to do this is to communicate with one another based on our gender’s unique style of communicating. This requires active listening, and the ability to say what needs to be said in the dialect the other person understands, not your own. Active listening is a method that is taught in Mars Venus Coaching extensive training sessions.  So men—it behooves you to pick up on women’s nonverbal and verbal communication when talking to women and reflect back what they are saying, and vice versa. When you are able to practice these skills at more effective assertive communication, and come from a genuine place of connecting, the sky is the limit for how far you’ll go in your professional life (personal too!).

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Success Coach

Mars Venus on how to Hire Stellar Employees with the Four Hour Format

What helps employers find better employees?  Mars Venus realizes some employers may be utilizing monster, google searches, and checking out potential employees Facebook profiles to find better qualified candidates. Here’s a new way of hiring for your company that you may not have been aware of thus far, but is more time-efficient and cost-effective. Mars Venus explains, if you don’t change your hiring process system, then you’ll just get more of what you’ve already gotten. Here’s a proven recruiting and induction system on how to get the cream of the crop. The four hour format is based on the following four principles:

(1)    Attracting a large pool of applicants allows a greater likelihood to find the right person.

(2)    Utilizing multiple levels of screening, less time will be wasted on lengthy interviews with under-qualified applicants.

(3)    Observing a shortening list of applicants performing essentials of the position in real-time eliminates being surprised on the first day with an applicant’s actual vs. referenced performance.

(4)    Assessing a short list of applicants helps ensure you’re making an appropriate match.

If you hire a person on the first meeting, I guarantee you it will not be the same person in 2 weeks. You’re taking a risk. You really are calling on Lady Luck and the luck of the draw if you base your decision on the 1st interview. Typically, you show the best version of yourself when you first meet someone. How about after meeting someone for the fourth time? The 4 step process requires applicants to show up 4 times. Those able to follow through and are consistent in their demeanor are the ones who really want the job. You are not necessarily looking for the right or wrong person, the 4 hour format allows you to just get more of a feel for the person.

Mars Venus has devised a  4 hour format is designed to give 1 hour meetings over 4 times with 1 or 2 days in between.

Step 1

The first time you meet is in a group. (Don’t tell applicants beforehand that it is a group interview.) The first meeting let’s you see how they interact with other people as you identify their personality profile, and what the job entails. Near the end have an impromptu stand up session where applicants tell the group why they should be hired over everyone else. A typical group is about 8-10 applicants. Companies often require group work, and this meeting is designed to weed out people who do not like that environment, or are unable to work in a group.

Step 2

The next meeting one to two days later is  1-on-1 deeper, job expectations, what they’ll do with the pay, show up on time a second time, wear same professional clothing about 50%, 15 in room 10 to next step. Or only 1.

Step 3

Two to three days later do an on-site screening of your leads (test drive). This is where they meet the rest of the team 1 on 3. Mars Venus suggests at this time each of your team members can ask questions to assess if the applicant is qualified, and if the dynamics are there to work within your organization. Identify what 3 things are absolutely essential for this applicant to do well? Then test drive candidates to complete 2 to 4 hour trial of top 3 responsibilities/tasks of positions. De-brief on-site screening (test drive) with candidates. Include your existing team members in review of candidate performance.  At this meeting see again if the applicants are presenting themselves as the same person as on the first meeting. Do they consistently show up on time? Are they courteous? Are they still dressing professionally? Develop your short list of candidates (around 2-4).

Step 4

This is the actual final interview and hire. If the applicant has shown up all 4 times, if the applicant has been on time all 4 times, the applicant has been wearing professional clothing each time, they have been presenting themselves the same. Then the last man standing wants the job for the right reason. Use open-ended vs. close-ended questioning: “what have you…, how have you…” to uncover actual past experience pertaining to skill set and tasks required for your position. Use the same questions for all interviewees, then rate the response 1-5 and record comments. Rank short list according to preferences, then check references of top choice.  There are several websites offering pre-employment Test that will facilitate the process.  Then negotiate salary and make an offer by completing the hiring agreement/contract.

Mars Venus Believes if you follow this process to the letter and you will hire qualified employees that stand up to the test of time. Try this system if what you have been doing to hire candidates has not worked for you in the past. Close the door at step 1 if the applicant is not able to abide by your expectations.

Inspiring vs. Motivating Employees

We have all worked with an employee who seems to be beating to their own drum. They are either out of step with the rest of the company’s climate, or completely off target. How many of us have tried to motivate this employee to get with the program? How many have written it off as not their problem? How many of us have tried to motivate this employee and failed spectacularly? Do we know the difference between motivating and inspiring others? And, did you know that what inspires a male, generally does not inspire a female? Mars Venus Coaching explains how men and women’s communication styles are different, but equal. When you understand these dynamics, then you are able to tap into and help people draw out their potential like never before, because you are speaking to their heart when you speak their same language at the same time you inspire them to greatness.

Let’s first address the difference between motivation and inspiration. When you attempt to motivate others, the motivation comes from outside an individual. Basically, you can motivate anyone to do small things faster. However, when you are externally driving a person to work more or faster, the effect lasts as long as the motivation lasts and is short-lived at best. As a leader in order to inspire an employee to greatness and to develop into their best self requires a little more time and patience as you focus on educating them to draw out their own conclusion. When you push-in or force someone to be something they are not, the result is short-lived. The etymology of the word education is derived from the Latin, educare, which means “bring up.” Educare is related to educere “bring out,” “bring forth what is within,” “bring out potential” and ducere “to lead.” Therefore, when you are in the act of educating someone in this sense, you are inspiring them to be the best they can be. This is the process to unlock intrinsic motivation for the person to keep excelling according to their own will.

Now that you understand the difference between motivating and inspiring an employee, let’s look at the different ways you would do this for a man verses a woman. The key lies in the “why,” and the way in which you find out a person’s why depends on their gender, because men and women are socially taught different ways to communicate their preferences. If you can identify why a person would want to motivate themselves to be more productive, then you are able to unlock this process of drawing out potential for them. Inspiration to increase their capabilities will then become internal.

A large majority of the challenges we experience across gender begin with the different ways the gender’s use language to communicate. The words we use (or don’t), and the meanings we attach to those words affect how we view each other. Sometimes we use exactly the same words but attach completely different meanings to them. The easiest way to remember the difference is the preference for men to use “I” and women to use “we” when speaking. Women’s communication style is from a point of inclusion, because they are socialized to be inclusive, i.e. maintain harmony; and consequently, women tend to use “we” when speaking. Men, however, are socialized for independence and tend to exclusively use “I” when speaking.

To Inspire Men:
Promote Yourself
Avoid Tag Endings
Be Direct and Concise
Make Acknowledgements Direct and Simple

To Inspire Women:
Build Rapport
Avoid Monopolizing the Conversation
Respect her Abilities
Involve, Do Not Lecture
Be Precise and Specific with Praise

Remember, the best way to help someone become self-motivated, and therefore inspired to bring forth their own potential is to tap into the “why” behind what they are doing. When we are cognizant of the different dialect men and women use, then we are able to communicate in a manner where the other person is comfortable. You can then focus on the underlying “why” reasons behind why people perform the way they do. When you are able to identify what you like, and praise what you would like to be repeated—you are coming from a place rewarding positive behavior. And, everyone likes to be told what they are good at, not what they could do better.

Attitude is Everything!!

Attitude Is Everything.  What You do with it is YOUR Choice.

Attitude Is Everything. What You do with it is YOUR Choice.

From President & CEO, Rich Bernstein

Choosing A Mars Venus Coach as the vehicle to hold you accountable to achieve your potential is a great step. Congratulations on taking some action. You’ve chosen the right brand for your needs as we continue to gain momentum and change lives for the better. It is the start of the summer, and to keep your energy high and focused on success I wanted to briefly talk about remaining positive as you come across obstacles in your path to personal success. I often tell my coaches to “believe more in yourself that you are successful, more than others think you aren’t successful.” Attitude is everything. When we are optimistic about ourselves and our outcomes, and we put in the belief, effort, and action to bring about this change; then the only way to move is up. There you have it the sweet smell of success.

I came across someone’s facebook status the other day that said, “I will fail more times today, than other people will ever try.” Isn’t that poignant? Mars Venus Coaches does this on a daily basis, both within the coaching network and externally with you, our Mars Venus clients. There are three ingredients to success that we at Mars Venus Coaching believe strongly: (1) positivity, (2) taking action, and (3) accountability. When you are able to look at life as full of possibilities, then obstacles become easily surmountable. Obstacles whether they are identified or unforeseen are easy to overcome, especially when you join the Mars Venus Coaching team, whether that is as a coach or a Mars Venus client. Our coaches are client’s themselves, as we routinely network with each other to support one another’s short and long term goals. Why do I say life becomes easier to navigate when you first have a positive frame of mind? The second step is creating an action plan that specifically transforms your dream into a vision with goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, results oriented, and time-framed. The third part to being successful, which Mars Venus Coaching brings to you, is accountability. Once you have a plan, you have to take action in order to actually make a change in your life. Fear is a big part of our resistance to change. This is why a positive attitude is so important when choosing to undergo major life changes. Studies show people are better able to follow-through and adapt to change when they have someone else holding them accountable to complete these necessary actions. By doing something new, you are taking a step forward to the future you envision for your success. Add to this a mindset that it will all work out in the end, and you will be setting yourself up for success. The point being, you are moving forward toward your goal. We here at Mars Venus Coaching give 100% effort and 100% positivity every day. We require this of you as well, because we cannot be more committed to the process of change than you. Why? You’re the driver. Mars Venus Coaching is your vehicle to get to your desired end-state faster. Every time you meet your goals, we will be there right with you to help you get to your next destination.

When you choose to live your life with positivity, that inner light is bound to shine through. Other people will be attracted to this positive energy, and the more you help raise other’s optimism by your enthusiasm, the more people will come back to you for more. In a world where many people wish they were living their dreams, wish they were fulfilled, wish they had more…time, love, wealth…We know what the secret is to success—it’s your attitude. If your emotions back you 100%, meaning if you believe in yourself and your vision, then when you take the action steps to implement your goals, you will be successful, because you are not standing in the way of your potential by naysaying. This secret attitude—positivity—will trump negativity any day. Positive Attitude is King. And, you have it. Now go out there take action. You are in the business of changing and transforming lives.
Rich

An Introvert’s Guide to Networking

ForbesWoman 11/28/2011 @ 11:33AM

Throughout college, I was the “shy girl.” I often wondered why it was hard for me to open up to strangers and attend social events after a long day at school. But I was so used to being labeled as “shy” that I never thought of changing it—it was just my identity.

Finally, at my first job, I took the Myers-Briggs personality test and a light bulb went off: I’m an introvert. I realized that there are many benefits of having my personality type—we introverts tend to be reflective and have close relationships, to name a couple—and I became proud of who I was.

But being an introvert makes some things difficult. It’s hard to be open and let strangers into your life. Small talk doesn’t come easy, and it’s hard work to establish rapport with new people. And that means things like attending networking events and meeting new people—crucial elements of the job search—can be pretty intimidating.

I’ve picked up a few tips and habits over the years that have helped me navigate the social side of my career. Do I get excited about being in a big room full of strangers to meet? Not so much. But it’s not so bad anymore, either. Here’s how I handle it:

1. Prepare
Before you head into your next social event, spend a few minutes thinking about what you want to learn from others. Have a few questions ready to ask new people, such as “How did you get started in your career?” or “What are you passionate about?” If being put on the spot makes you nervous, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with writing questions down and practicing ahead of time. Also think about what you want to share about yourself—you can’t rely on another person to carry the conversation for you!

2. Find a Conference Buddy
You don’t always have to go at it alone—having a buddy can make large events much less intimidating. So bring a colleague or friend to your next networking event or conference. If you do have to fly solo, try to reach out and make just one connection. That way, you’ll have someone to sit with during lunch breaks and someone to wave hello to and introduce to others. And you’ll probably be surprised at how much fun you’ll have!

3. Be That Person
Remember that most people in the room at any given networking event feel the same way you do: scared to death. So, instead of dwelling on how scary it is to start a conversation, think about how by doing so you’ll be helping other people feel more comfortable. Maybe that girl alone at the table doesn’t know anyone either and is just hoping that someone will come talk to her. Be that person! (“Have you been to this before?” is always a great opening line.)

4. Be Present
Once you do start a conversation, it can be tough to relax if you’re continuously worried about what to say next and what the other person is thinking. So try shifting the focus to your new acquaintance, instead. Ask lots of questions and practice your listening skills!

5. Smile
You don’t always have to initiate—but if you’re hiding against the wall with your arms crossed over your chest, you’re not giving off a very approachable vibe, either. So try to relax, smile, and look as warm and casual as you can—it’ll open the door for someone to walk up to you and start the conversation.

6. Challenge Yourself
This year, I took on a networking challenge—I met with four people I knew and four people I didn’t know every month. Through these connections, I’ve already gotten an interview and many referrals—not to mention my new found confidence and a clearer sense of direction in my career. Even if you don’t go this far, think about how you can challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone just a little bit. It might have unexpected—and great—results.

This article was originally published at The Daily Muse and Forbes

10 Steps To Happiness At Work

Here’s a pop quiz for anyone who’s miserable at work. Which action has the biggest chance of improving your happiness? (A) Getting a promotion, (B) seeing your professional nemesis move to the Mongolia office, (C) focusing on the positive aspects of your job and trying to ignore the negative or (D) quitting in a fit of anger and landing your dream job elsewhere?

Sorry, says Srikumar Rao, the author of Happiness at Work. The answer is none of the above. To achieve greater happiness on the job, you don’t need your boss to stop calling you at night. You don’t need to make more money. You don’t need to follow your dream of being a sommelier, or running a B&B in Vermont.

“The exact attributes of what you are looking for do not exist in any job,” says Rao, who taught “Creativity and Personal Mastery,” one of the most sought after courses at Columbia Business School.

He believes that the single biggest obstacle to workplace happiness is the belief that we are prisoners of circumstance, powerless before the things that happen to us. To change your job, he says, you must change the way you think about it. “We create our own experience,” he insists. He relies heavily on Eastern spirituality and draws from many wisdom traditions. “The knowledge that we are responsible for living the life we have is our most powerful tool.”

Rather than encourage people to focus on “positive thinking,” Rao wants to banish the whole notion of good and bad events. “‘When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade’ assumes that you have been given a lemon and that a lemon is bad for you,” he says. “I’m saying, first of all, if you’ve been given a lemon, is that a bad thing? You can train yourself to say, ‘OK, this happened,’ rather than label it as bad.” If you think of events that occurred 10 years ago and seemed bad at the time, he says, you’ll realize that many of those events led to something positive. He recalls a former student who was fired from his job and received a healthy severance deal. Six months later the company ran into trouble and all the remaining staffers lost their jobs without receiving a dime. The fired employee actually came out ahead.

Rao believes that in order to be happy in the workplace, you need to move from personal ambition to “greater vision” ambition. “Personal ambition is ‘I want to be CEO,’” he says. “Greater vision ambition is, ‘I want to lead this company so that people want to work here.’” He says that ambition hinders happiness as long as people employ an “if/then” model: If I get the promotion, then I will be happy. Rao says that a healthier and happier perspective is to think “I have a grand vision and I will try my best to make it work. If I succeed, wonderful. If not, wonderful. My purpose is to give it the best I’ve got.’”

If happiness comes only from within, then how can you tell if you really are in a legitimately bad situation, as opposed just needing to reframe the way you look at it? Rao says it’s better to make a change from a positive place than from a point of anger. “You should make a change from the place of being grateful for your experience but ready to make a change and continue to grow.”

Even in corporate America, where so much of work is every man for him or herself, Rao advocates inhabiting an “other-centered universe.” If the nice guy gets passed over for a promotion, he still may succeed in less tangible ways or land an even better job down the road. “They may rise later in the shootout,” says Rao. “I’m challenging the assumption that you need to be a dog-eat-dog person to survive in a corporate environment.”

To achieve greater happiness at work, you don’t need your boss to stop calling you at night. You don’t need to make more money. You don’t need to follow your dream of being a sommelier, or running a B&B in Vermont. So says Srikumar Rao, the author of Happiness at Work. The biggest obstacle to happiness is simply your belief that you’re the prisoner of circumstance, powerless before the things that happen to you, he says. “We create our own experience,” he adds. Here are 10 steps to happiness at work, drawn from his recommendations.

Avoid “good” and “bad” labels

When something bad happens, don’t beat yourself up, says Rao. Instead, when you make an error, be aware of it without passing judgment. “Do what you have to do, but don’t surrender your calmness and sense of peace.”

Practice “extreme resilience”

Rao defines “extreme resilience” as the ability to recover fast from adversity. “You spend much time in needless, fruitless self-recrimination and blaming others,” he writes. “You go on pointless guilt trips and make excuses that you know are fatuous. If you’re resilient, you recover and go on to do great things.” (He also says that if you fully take his advice to avoid “bad thing” labels, you don’t have to practice resilience at all.)

Let go of grudges

Rao says that a key to being happy at work is to let go of grudges. “Consciously drop the past,” he writes. “It’s hard, but with practice you will get the hang of it.”

Don’t waste time being jealous

“When you’re jealous you’re saying that the universe is limited and there’s not enough success in it for me,” says Rao. “Instead, be happy, because whatever happened to him will happen to you in your current job or at another company.”

Find passion in you, not in your job

Sure, you can fantasize about a dream job that pays you well and allows you to do some kind of social good, work with brilliant and likable colleagues and still be home in time for dinner. But Rao warns against searching for that perfect position, or even believing that it exists. Instead, he advocates changing how you think about your current situation. For example, instead of thinking of yourself as a human resources manager at a bank, identify yourself as someone who helps other bank employees provide for their families, take advantage of their benefits and save for the future.

Picture yourself 10 years ago and 10 years from now

“Most problems that kept you awake ten years ago have disappeared,” says Rao. “Much of what troubles you today will also vanish. Realizing this truth will help you gain perspective.”

Banish the “if/then” model of happiness

Rao says that many of us rely on a flawed “if/then” model for happiness. If we become CEO, then we’ll be happy. If we make a six-figure salary, then we’ll be happy. “There is nothing that you have to get, do or be in order to be happy,” he writes.

Invest in the process, not the outcome

“Outcomes are totally beyond your control,” Rao writes. You’ll set yourself up for disappointment if you focus too much on what you hope to achieve rather than how you plan to get there.

Think about other people

Even in corporate America, where so much of work is every man for him or herself, Rao advocates inhabiting an “other-centered universe.” If the nice guy gets passed over for a promotion, he may still succeed in less tangible ways. “He may rise later in the shootout,” Rao says. “I’m challenging the assumption that you need to be a dog-eat-dog person to survive in a corporate environment.”

Swap multitasking for mindfulness

Rao thinks that multitasking gets in the way of happiness. “Multitasking simply means that you do many things badly and take much more time at it,” he writes. He recommends instead working on tasks for 20-minute intervals that you gradually increase to two-hour spans. Turn off any electronic gadgets that can be a distraction. He claims that with practice, you’ll be able to accomplish much more and with less effort.