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Forget About New Year’s Resolutions and Start Living Purposefully

For many years I faithfully made a New Year’s resolution and I failed most of the time. I came to the conclusion that they simply don’t work and set out to find out why. What I learned is that they don’t work because we fail to plan behind the intention. Resolving to lose weight, make more money, find a better job or improve on our relationships is not enough. We all know what happens with those lofty goals.  We forget about them a few weeks after we’ve made them when we’ve moved on to the more pressing matters in our lives. And we berate ourselves for not having the “stick-to-it-tive-ness” needed to achieve them.

My challenge to you  is to forget New Year’s resolutions. Instead, let’s resolve to stop blaming ourselves for failing to achieve them and spend our energy on creating meaningful and aspiring goals that come from a base of unlimited potential.  Let’s commit to achieving these goals by taking small steps on a daily basis. Aspiring goals, set from a base of no limits give us focus when they include:

  1. Passion – start by discovering what you’re most passionate about at this moment in your life and draw on those passions to create aspiring goals. To have any chance of success, a goal needs to be intrinsically motivated. There has to be a resounding “I WANT to do it” and “I NEED to do this” stirring in your belly.
  2. Possibilities – it’s easier to generate tons of possibilities when you have goals that are aspiring to you and focus on the positives. Tangible outcomes resulting from the possibilities you generate will sustain the energy required to realize your goal and invite you to create new ones.
  3. Purpose – a goal needs to be extrinsically motivated as well. It has to produce results you can see.  Use the power of 3 small steps, everyday, to keep moving forward with your goals and to maintain momentum.

Over the next year I will post weekly blogs at www.inkiesta.com/blog and on my facebook page, Dianne Gaudet Coaching Inkiesta. Each week will be organized around a theme to help you gain clarity and create goals that will support you in achieve the success you want.  These blogs will:

  1. Invite you to consider several aspects of your life and your work
  2. Help you set aspiring goals and take action
  3. Identify obstacles that get in the way and create new possibilities to address these issues
  4. Help you draw on your own inner wisdom and strength while taking care of yourself and others.

I extend an invitation for you to embark on your own hero’s journey in this New Year, and to commit 30-60 minutes each weekly to build your own inspiring life blueprint.  Over the course of this year, you will create the most beautiful of masterpieces – your life lived on purpose.

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Dianne is a business and life coach and author of a new book: If There Are No Limits… A guide to living with passion, purpose and possibilities. For more information, visit www.inkiesta.com

 

 

Top Ten Countdown Wishes For This Holiday Season And For 2016

10.  That everyone who travels during this holiday season arrives safely.
9.    That every child finds at least one gift under the tree, cialis so they know they are loved.
8.    That everyone enjoys a stress free holiday, buy if only for one day.
7.    That senseless wars will end and people will find ways to live in harmony.
6.    That the homeless find shelter and be warm.
5.    That the ill are healed and that the brave doctors and nurses treating Ebola may eradicate it for good.
4.    That no one goes hungry during this holiday season. Please give generously.
3.    That kindness rules, buy cialis during the holidays and always and that we forget our petty differences.
2.    That every person feel peace, harmony and happiness, today and always.
1.    That love become the only weapon, that it flow abundantly to those who most desperately need love.

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Engagement Tip # 9 – Reconciling Differences Leads to Loyalty

When an employee disagrees with their leader and the situation is handled poorly, here the potential for permanent damage to the relationship is extremely high. Ignoring the situation, physician belittling the employee or letting the situation fester only drives the issue to a point where reconciliation becomes impossible. Feelings get hurt and relationships are damaged, often beyond repair. Engagement takes a nose dive and the employee ends up leaving the boss and the organization. So who wins? One of the important roles of a leader is to find ways to air out grievances and move forward positively. Summon the courage to have a genuine chat with your employee. Invest in mediation if necessary. Talk to a trusted HR advisor. It takes a huge dose of respect and commitment to repair broken and damaged relationships but it’s worth the investment. The payoff is a relationship based on mutual respect, increased loyalty and engagement.

 

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Engagement Tip # 8 – Help Them Grow At Work

In addition to feeling valued, help employees want opportunities that allow them to grow professionally. Sending them on a course isn’t always the answer. Invite your employees to come up with ideas on how they can grow their skills on the job and within the organization. Learning can be an individual endeavour or shared amongst a team. It can be as simple as having an employee read and share their findings from an article on a best practice related to their job, reading a book and sharing the nuggets of learning they got from it, leading a meeting, leading a small project, or attending a webinar.  Leaders who are committed to continuous learning work closely with their employees to find many opportunities to help them grow. The benefits to the employees and their organizations are nothing short of engaging.

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Engagement Tip #7 – Flexibility Is Key

Rigid schedules are easily the biggest source of irritation for employees, case yet the most easily remedied. With more demands being placed on employees, patient both at work and at home, flexibility becomes a critical advantage and benefit. Working with your employees to create schedules that meet the needs of the organization and, at the same time, their needs is benefit to both. One of the roles of a leader is to be an advocate and challenge outdated work schedule policies that are unnecessarily rigid and negatively impact engagement. Employees who feel they have more flexibility self-regulate and often end up giving even more in return. They key is to work jointly to find the schedule that works for both the employee and the organization.

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Engagement Tip # 6 – Invite Your Employees To The Table

Who ever said that problem-solving is the privy of executives, ampoule managers and supervisors? Employees are often best positioned to solve operational problems. They understand the intricacies of each part of the process and can quickly identify where the problem is occurring. Yet, price leaders insist on being the solvers of all problems, order big or small, which essentially makes their job tougher than it has to be. I once received a great piece of advice from my leader who said:  “Stop making your life so difficult.” He meant I should involve more people in solving the myriad of problems that came across my desk, a great piece of advice that applies to every leader.  So invite your employees to the table more often to identify root causes, brainstorm ideas and let them implement the best solutions. Watch your employees amaze you with their abilities and lighten your load at the same time.

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Engagement Tip # 5 – Say Thank You Every Day

One of the main reasons employees leave organizations is because they don’t feel valued. It is said they leave their leaders rather than the organization itself. This is true because the single most important validation employees can receive is from their leaders. Value comes from knowing that the company and especially leaders appreciate the efforts of their employees and validate those efforts. One of the easiest ways to do this is to recognize what employees are doing and to tell them how much they are appreciated; yet, viagra order it is one of the most neglected parts of the leader’s role.   Simply by saying “Thank You” or “Great Job”, thumb leaders will re-assure their employees that what they do matters. Start by saying thank you on a daily basis and watch your engagement levels soar.

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Engagement Tip # 4 – More Responsibility, Not Less

More than anything else, viagra employees want to participate fully, click to learn and grow their skills and abilities.  Adding more responsibility is a great way to develop your employees, enrich their work experience and prepare them for future roles. It’s an easy and inexpensive source of continual development.  It is also a smart strategy to build succession into your operations without the need for more complex and formal succession programs.  Employees who have opportunities to stretch feel more valued, appreciate your confidence in them and are motivated to continue to learn and grow.

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Engagement Tip # 3 – Get Up Close And Personal

It’s human nature to want to connect with others on an emotional level. And contrary to old school management thinking, emotions do have a place in the workplace. If they didn’t there would be very little spirit in organizations. One simple way to build strong connections with your employees is to show interest in the whole person. Ask them how their families are doing and get to know what’s important to them in their personal lives while respecting the privacy of those who are less comfortable with sharing. Celebrate important milestones with them such as a birthday, the graduation of their children or the birth of a child. Employees who feel a deeper connection to their leaders and their organizations invest more and stay longer.

 

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Nail That Dreaded Interview Question In 3 Easy Steps

You just received an invitation to an interview for your dream job. You’re excited and nervous. You make notes, cialis review your resume, rx try to anticipate questions from the job ad and prepare your answers. You jot down a few notes about your education, online work experience, skills and maybe a few details about your hobbies and interests. You feeling confident as you go into the interview, until the dreaded question is asked. “Tell me about yourself.” You hum and sigh and show obvious discomfort in finding the right words to answer such a broad and open-ended question. You think to yourself, I’m blowing it, right out of the gate. The rest of the interview is a blur.

In many ways the question is not a fair one. It is way too broad, difficult to answer and almost impossible to rate. Many interviewers believe that this question will help the candidate relax when in fact it usually has the opposite effect. Here’s why. We are so much more than interviewers can ever see. They can get a glimpse of our personality through mannerisms, behaviours, words, expressions, and actions. But they can’t see our private thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, fears and doubts. To try to express all of this in one simple answer is daunting at best.

There is hope. The best way to answer this question is to tell the interviews a short story about one of the most important goals you’ve achieved, either at work or in your life. A great tool to use in preparing for such a wide-opened question is the iceberg metaphor.

Level one – above the surface. Give an overview of your goal. Explain what you were trying to do, what actions you took and what results you achieved. This will give the interviewer a good sense of your abilities, commitment to carry it through and some indication about your potential.

Level two – just below the surface. Add details about any challenges you faced, the actions you took to solve the issues, how you applied creativity and made choices. This will show the interviewer how you took control of the situation to create the outcome your wanted.

Level three – deep below the surface. Interviewers hope that by asking this broad question they will get at the heart of the candidate. Use the opportunity to express more about yourself as you answer this question. Describe what your thought process was, how you felt, what motivated you to achieve this goal and what you learned about yourself. This will give them clues about what energizes and motivates you, and how you do your best work.

Taking time to prepare for this question is probably the best investment you can make. It is highly likely you will be asked this question many times in your career. Practice telling your story, until you have it down to 60-90 seconds. It will give you more control and confidence and you’ll nail the interview.

 

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Engagement Tip # 2 – Engage in Conversation

When it’s time for new information to be shared, busy leaders often take the straight line approach to communication, sildenafil through email, sales meetings or top down. That works for general information that has little impact on employees but not so well for significant change. When change happens, the opportunity is ripe for leaders to interact in a meaningful way that helps employees integrate new information into their everyday work. In fact, every communication presents a golden opportunity to engage your employees. So seize them to invite conversation, to answer questions, to address concerns and to deepen your employees’ understanding. They’ll appreciate you for it, figure out what they need to do and adapt to change more quickly.

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Engagement Tip # 1 – Connect

Engagement happens when we feel connected to something that bigger than ourselves.  And employees who feel a strong connection to their leaders, cialis their teams and their organizations perform better. They give 100% effort and often they give more. Our job as leaders then, prescription is to foster those connections. Make time every day to connect with your employees. Ask them how they’re doing. Show a sincere interest in what they have to say and listen with an open mind and heart. Show them they matter.

 

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The Re-Engagement Of Everyday Work

Engagement isEmployee Engagement is, medications at its very core, all about building positive and sustainable relationships that encompass the intellect, emotions, effort and the collective spirit of teams and organizations to maximize performance. Employee engagement is also determined by the degree of connection and alignment employees have with their organization’s vision and goals. When work environments allow employees to flourish, performance is maximized or exceeded. In a nutshell, engagement is critical to the success of every organization, regardless of size. And we know that engaging leadership, at every level of the organization, is the single most important factor that drives engagement. 

A perfect storm is brewing and approaching fast that will create a very important challenge for organizations. In spite of all the efforts that have been put into measuring engagement and creating corporate action plans, research continues to show very low levels of engagement in most organizations. The economy is turning around which often means many employees are considering making a career move. Companies with high levels of engagement will be more likely to retain their employees rather than lose them to competitors. The looming shortage of labour that will be created by large numbers of boomers retiring over the next five years isn’t helping either.

With relentless consumer demands, fierce competition, increasingly restrictive regulations and multi-generational, mobile workforces, is it any wonder that leaders are struggling in the face of this enormous challenge? It’s not easy being a leader today. But there is hope. One of the most effective strategies to address disengagement is to return to a few basics and to let leaders lead engagement at the grassroots level. It’s time to embrace new leadership models that focus on building loyal relationships. Old traditional command and control leadership styles are best left to managing robots. The four basic strategies below are a great place for leaders to begin building a solid foundation for high engagement.

  1. Engage the intellect by sharing information, helping employees focus on what’s most important and creating multi-directional feedback loops to keep conversations flowing and maintain focus.
  2. Embrace your emotional side by listening with an open heart to understand what’s really important for your employees and to address their concerns.
  3. Champion a positive environment where employees can give their best effort, individually and collectively to achieve exceptional performance.
  4. Maintaining a high level of collective team spirit by allowing energy to flow freely and engaging employees in problem-solving and decision-making. Remove the obstacles that get in the way.

When employees feel their efforts are valued, recognized and appreciated and when leaders connect with their employees on an emotional level, magic happens and performance soars. In a series of upcoming blogs, I will offer easy to implement suggestions to increase engagement in your teams without the need for complex and high maintenance programs. Engagement is a contact sport that happens in the trenches, every day.  When leaders and employees engage fully in their work, they perform like a winning team and move the dial of achievement from good to great.

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Dianne Gaudet is a Certified Executive coach and business consultant who helps leaders and organizations achieve peak performance, engage fully and successfully manage continual transitions.  She is also the author of an upcoming book: If There Are No Limits… A guide to living with passion, purpose, possibility. 

 

 

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12 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You “Un-Retire”

015When my colleague retired a couple of years ago, stuff I felt envious, find lamenting how lucky he was and wishing for the day when I could announce my own retirement. A few months later I saw him and asked how he was enjoying retirement. “I hate it, I never should have retired,” he said. He identified so strongly with his work that without it he felt lost. Unfortunately he’s in good company. According to Statistics Canada, 64% of retirees express some regrets within 1 to 3 years of retirement.

There are a number of reasons why boomers are regretting their decision to retire. The most prominent one is that few take time to consider and really plan for the lifestyle they hope to have. Many plan financially but give little thought to what their day to day will be like. In fact, research has shown that only 3% of people plan psychologically for retirement. The fact that boomers are living longer is also adding to the pressure to un-retire.

One way to avoid finding yourself retired and wishing you hadn’t is to do a bit more reflection and planning, much like you do with your financial plans. Start by asking yourself these questions to gain insight into what un-retirement might look like. 

  1. Work: Do I want to continue to work in some capacity?  If yes, what would that look like?
  2. Health: What activities will I continue or build into my daily routine to stay active and healthy?
  3. Financial: What adjustments will I have to make financially to fit my new lifestyle?
  4. Leisure: What leisure activities will be part of my un-retirement and how will they fit into my lifestyle plans? For example, how much travel do you plan on doing and what will it costs?
  5. Family: What plans do I have regarding my immediate and extended family?  How important is it that I live near my children and grandchildren?
  6. Friends: How do I plan to stay connected with my friends?  Are there common interests and projects we might pursue together now that we have time?
  7. Life Partner: Do I understand the interests my life partner has in retirement and how do they connect with the interests I have?  What individual interests or projects will we want to pursue?
  8. Community: What involvement do I want to have with my community? Is volunteering something I want to pursue? If yes, how much time do I want to spend and with which organizations?
  9. Knowledge: Is there something I’d like to learn more about, studies I’d like to pursue now that I’ll have more time? What opportunities exist locally or abroad?
  10. Environment:  Where do I want to live and what type of home do I want?
  11. Spiritually: Will my spiritual practice change when I retire? How?
  12. Sense of self:  How do I define my sense of self-worth and how will it change as a result of retirement? What activities will help me maintain a high level of optimism and self-esteem?

You may not have a complete answer for each question, but aim to get answers to  most of the questions before you retire, those that are important to you. With a little more planning, you’ll feel good about your decision and you’ll have lots to look forward to. A bit more planning will also help you create a bucket list of things that are important to you during this important chapter in your life. The hard work is done now and it’s time to enjoy all that you’ve worked so hard for. Celebrate your newfound freedom and live life to the fullest.

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As a Coach and through her company www.Inkiesta.com, Dianne help individuals plan for retirement by actively discovering, designing and directing meaningful activities that address one of the most important transitions in their life.

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3 Indisputable Facts That Drive Boomers to “UN-Retire”

UnretirementBoomers are redefining retirement and it’s looking more like “un-retirement.” Whatever you do, pills don’t tell a boomer that they are no longer relevant, mind that it’s time to slow down and move over for the next generation. According to Stats Canada, 66% of boomers who are currently working want to do more of what they love and that include work.  Un-retirement is also the perfect time to pursue long-forgotten dreams passions.  

In previous generations, retirees continued to be active in their own communities and their extended families. Today, boomers see their community more globally and often live away from family or move to new communities once they retire or slow down their work schedules.  They stay involved as grandparent and in their own unique way. Only a generation ago the experience of retirement was very different. Men worked at one, maybe two companies their entire career, got the gold watch and retired at age 65. Since most women were stay-at-home moms, their everyday routine did not experience as much of a dramatic shift when they hit 65. The typical working boomer is male or female, on his or her 3rd or 4th career and has worked for at least as many companies.  For the first time, women are experiencing a major transition when they stop working and they have few role models to provide guidance on making the transition. Three indisputable facts beg for a new definition of retirement to be written.

  1. Boomers are living longer and healthier. With constant advances being made in medicine, life expectancy continues to rise. Boomers can expect to live well into their 80’s or 90’s.  Where retirement used to signal the beginning of the decline of health in previous generations, today it signals a re-birth of opportunities. Boomers see retirement as having 3 distinct stages. The first stage is very active where old passions are re-ignited and pursued. The second stage remains semi-active where boomers continue to contribute to society in very meaningful ways. The final stage signals the time to slow down, but by no means signals the end of their contribution to society.
  2. Boomers are working longer. With limited financial resources, big dreams and a longer life span, boomers are rethinking their financial plans to support their retirement lifestyle. A number of boomers only realize after they’ve retired that they cannot afford to retire. Boomers also want to work as a way to stay active, connected and challenged. This likely means a combination of work and leisure. With a looming shortage of young workers to replace the bulge of retiring boomers, organizations are struggling to fill the void and are slowly beginning to embrace this generation as a practical source of high quality, experienced labour.  But this trend will take time to be fully realized until the outdated perception of “as you age you’re less valuable” changes.
  3. Boomers have long lists of unfinished business and long bucket lists. They are charting new courses and no longer see retirement as the swan song of their life. Instead, they see it as a transition point where opportunities to re-imagine their life, try new things, take risks, embark on a different journey or start a new career abound.  Boomer idealism is very much alive, albeit tempered with a dose of wisdom. The most important question for boomers is “what’s possible?” They want to take dream trips, start new businesses, work, volunteer in foreign countries, and be fully involved with their grandchildren.

There are few benchmarks and many possibilities to define retirement on new terms. The boomer bucket list of things to accomplish is long and it has changed. It is no longer a list of honey-do items, shows to watch, lawn bowling and bingo night. Rather it is filled with dreams and passions to pursue; once shelved because of work and family commitments. There are new languages to learn, new places to experience, new challenges to take, all of which will keep boomers living longer and healthier. Boomers are un-retiring in droves and that’s good for the psyche, the economy and all of society. It also keeps in step with the classic definition of this generation – “the re-inventors of everything.”

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As a Coach and through her company www.Inkiesta.com, Dianne help individuals reach peak performance by actively discovering, designing and directing meaningful activities that address the continual transitions in their personal and professional lives.

 

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