Making an Ask of Others – 7 Tips for Better Collaboration

When leaders make an ask of another leader, there are many things that they need to consider.  Below is a checklist to keep working relationships healthy!

Give Enough Time

Give them a respectable amount of time to do what you have requested and if you are unable to give them that amount of time, at least acknowledge it. 

Remember, They are Providing Needed Help

Don’t in any way insinuate that you are doing them a favor by allowing them to do something for you. Acknowledge the ask for what it is and appreciate the interconnectedness that makes us better.

Entertaining Questions with Open Arms

Expect them to have questions, and if the turnaround time is short, expect those questions to come quick and maybe not in a sugar-coated way. You are the one making the ask in this short timeframe, and should have provided all the details. Think through the logistics for them, so they need to do very little work.  

Do the Heavy Lifting

Don’t expect them to do huge amounts of prep work, especially if giving little notice. Prep work takes time and they will need to calendar time to get the work done.  

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Communicate with them. Check in with them. Ask if you can provide support. You should do this in a way that allows them to feel comfortable and more at ease.

Ask via Phone, Maybe Email, but Never Text

Pick up the phone to make the ask. It may be faster to text or even email, but a phone call is always better. It allows them to ask questions right away while you are fully present.  

Don’t Make Assumptions  

Be kind. Our world has gotten so fast paced. Don’t make assumptions and if you do, always give them the benefit. Highly qualified leaders/professionals don’t have time for unprofessional behavior. Keep your emotions in check, appreciate people, and see your organization thrive.

These are just a few things to consider when working with other leaders and making requests of them, especially with quick turn arounds. These tips will make the situation easier for both of you, the process will be more efficient, and the results will be more productive.  

With Purpose,

Kelly

Remote Work – A Challenge and a Blessing!

Working remotely has become the norm for many these days. Some days, it feels a little crowded in my house. How about yours? I love having my family around, and this has been one of the greatest consequences of COVID for me. Yet, I need space to center myself. Every time I take a stretch break or go for water, a request awaits or the noise in the next room causes me to fear I might be missing out on something.  

The Challenges

Hey mom, can you fill out that lease? Mom, can I pay my tuition? Can you fill out and sign this? Do you want to do a TikTok with me? Hey mom, the dog is being so cute – did you see my Snapchat? Where is the…? 

I love this and want to spend all my time being with them, but it is hard to get work done and to find the space to center myself. I also feel selfish for feeling drained and exhausted when so many others have it much worse. The guilt then comes over me, swallow it and muddle through. 

Pre-COVID, we are told that these requests are short lived and seldom and we should cherish our time with them because our kids won’t be around forever. In full disclosure, my kiddos are 17-24. 

But now, some combination of kids are around all the time. How do we balance it all, while also not feeling guilty? I can tell how many hours I am logging. It isn’t always pretty. I stop my watch every time I am interrupted or take a break. The breaks are double and the interruptions are often. 

Giving Permission

Part of me knows that I need to savor all of this. I never thought I would have all my kids under one roof again, or a combination as some are heading back out of the nest again as restrictions lift. I will forever be thankful for this time with my family. 

At the same time, I am giving myself permission to acknowledge the challenges. What is it costing our country and us personally? I am recognizing that COVID has often been two conflicting things to many of us. For some, joy for this time to slow down, and for others, frustration and sadness for the challenges.  

Caring for Ourselves

We must take time to care for ourselves now. Whether we feel it yet or are still on autopilot, it has been a year with consequences not yet fully known. We are allowed to feel what we feel, without justification. 

What are you doing to fill your bucket? Let’s make a list now of all the things we love to do. What energizes you? 

Lately, I find myself with my laptop on my lap all hours of the day. Going forward, I will commit to shutting down at dinner time. I will put the computer away and enjoy my family and some true ME time. I’ll make a list of all the activities that I love and I’ll do a couple each week. 

  • Hallmark movies
  • Baking with kids
  • Gardening with the hubby
  • Hiking with the fam
  • Snuggling with my old doggie
  • Hot bath and a good book…

What about you? 

While I’ve only been moderately inconvenience by COVID, our household all suffered from the virus in various forms. I also recognize that it has taken an incredible toll on many in the world. 

Which leads me to one final thought… 

Try Reframing 

How do I reframe interruptions into blessings? My kids actually want me to be in their Tik toks. That is crazy, right? My kids actually want to tell me my dog is cute, have a family Snapchat with me, and have me as a friend on their social media accounts! 

I never thought I’d ever get this time with my semi adult kids, all under one roof again. That has been heavenly. 

How do we reframe as leaders? How do we help others reframe? How often do we contribute to the drama and negativity in this world? There is so much. 

What are we putting out there? What are we putting on social media? Check your accounts. Check your conversations. Check your attitudes. Society is so toxic. What can we do to reframe? Care for yourself and others, and when possible –  see the blessing in the  interruptions! 

With Purpose, 

Kelly 

Purpose of Life – 3 Truths, 5 Strategies

I’ve come to realize that life isn’t about how much we accumulate or our job title; it is about the difference we make. 

Life is Like a Board Game

Get From Here to the There – Life is about what we do from here to there; it is the journey. Obviously, I am not the first one to write about this.

I started to think of life like a board game, the joy comes in playing the game and the choices we make while playing. I realize there is an actual board game named Life, work with me here. 

A Few Rules

The rules are simple – get from one side to the other. Along the way, every player will receive challenges. And no matter what, you play until you get to the end. How you define the other side, the end, is definitely dependent on how you were raised and your beliefs. 

One interesting point worth making, in an actual game we find challenges fun. But yet in life, they aren’t always so fun. We expect them in a game, but in life they can feel like we are being punished or that we are less fortunate than others. But remember, we don’t see the whole challenge in others’ lives, the reality behind the curtain. If we had an inside view of others’ lives, the challenges in their lives would be just as messy and unwelcome as we often feel about ours. 

Three Truths that Apply to Everyone

Time is finite and yet unknown. None of us know how long we have to complete the journey. Time is the one asset we can’t accumulate and we never know how much is left. 

Life will come to an end. Regardless of the energy we put into wandering, the end will come. There is no argument for living life “later”.

Life is never fair when we look at it from only our perspective.  Someone else will always appear to have more, appear to have it easier. The reality is we honestly don’t know if someone does or doesn’t. We make these assumptions with very little knowledge or input from the other. Our thoughts are only one perspective of an uncountable number of perspectives out there. 

5 Strategies For Getting the Most Out of Life

Play with purpose, every second of every minute. Know why we are here and put that into the world. Live with passion in all we do. Share our gifts and strengths with everyone we encounter. 

Play hard. We don’t get time back and we can’t buy more time. We simply don’t know how much time is left. Play hard, love hard, give hard. Leave it all behind. 

Don’t compare lives. Take the life given and play our game. Use our unique strengths, loves, and yes – challenges. A board game would be so boring if there were no challenges; they are expected. Some challenges we face in our lives are awful and tragic. It is hard to wrap our minds around the hurt sometimes. But we mustn’t compare lives, life is tough at times for everyone. Instead of comparing, just assume everyone needs our love and kindness. We will be better for it. 

Help others along the way, as many as we can. Don’t be the challenge in someone else’s board game. Do you want to be a ladder helping someone or the slide that causes someone to slide backwards (think CandyLand)? Choose to be the ladder, offer help to those in need. Find joy in knowing we helped others on their journey. If people don’t want us, walk away. 

Influence as Many as Possible

Life is a team game; the journey is not meant to be done in isolation! We are interdependent and need one another. I believe every strength is connected to a weakness. Which means, I should try to spend as much time in my areas of strength and surround myself with people who complement my weaknesses. People who are different than me are a blessing, a gift, the helpful advantage along the journey. Not allowing people who complement our weaknesses into our lives is like losing a board game because we stubbornly decided not to use the blessings of drawing the “get out of jail free card”, or taking the free parking money when we land on it, or not rolling again when we roll doubles. We are here to serve and love one another, love so passionately and uniquely us. 

Progressing through the Game of Our Life

Along the way, we choose to use our uniquely given gifts and talents for good or for bad – to help others or to harm others. Everything we do has consequences. Why not intentionally choose to make this world a better place, with purpose and passion? We all put energy into the world, with everything we say and do. What energy do we want to put into the world? There is no justification for being mean to others. That is only an indication of our character. Be the ladder always or be nothing, but never choose to be the slide to someone else. 

Life is so much more joy filled when life has meaning; when we have a purpose. 

We spend so much time trying to be happy and in the end, serving others is what life is really all about. Get to the end and take as many people with you. Go! 

With Purpose,

Kelly

What is Group Coaching?

Some people think group coaching is a less expensive, more diluted way to experience coaching. Actually, group coaching is a very different experience than individual coaching.

Group coaching is an experience that mimics the interconnected world we live in and work through. It is an opportunity to work with other individuals; people very different from us, but around a topic of interest. Think about this. It means that a group of people come together around a topic, but everyone comes with a different way of looking at it, a different personality, and a different natural inclination of how they approach it. 

Group coaching lets us do a number of things.

One – we explore a topic.

We talk about something of interest and we learn from each other, with a facilitator (that’s me). It is a time to connect in a safe space with others from different industries, different perspectives and from different areas of the country.

Two – we get to self reflect.

We have exercises that allow for personal reflection. It gives us time to go deep within and find strengths and areas where we may have been stuck. This personal insight is invaluable to our growth and if we are willing to share, it can be extremely useful to the group.

Three – we share insights with the group.

This gives us the opportunity to learn from each other, help unblock each other, normalize certain fears and celebrate others’ unique strengths. 

Four – we experience an individual coaching session.

This allows us to work through anything in a private coaching session. I recommend these take place during the month/s of the group coaching sessions in order for you to share your growth and insights, if you choose.  However, you are free to schedule your individual coaching session at your convenience.  

Five – we get a network of support.

This may be the best benefit of group coaching, a group supporting us around a topic of interest. Cheering us on, there when we need a lift. I use a coaching platform that allows participants to engage with one another and many go on to stay in touch. 

Some additional session information.

Some group coaching sessions include a personal assessment. These sessions delve into your assessment and explore the meaning. Most sessions last four weeks long and take place on a Friday during an East Coast lunch time. Eat your lunch while we meet, or breakfast if you are on the west coast. 

Try one if you haven’t. Check out our schedule on our website.

With Purpose,

Kelly

Lead According to Values

Are we leaders?

What do we contribute to society? Do we give more than we take? Do we make the world more beautiful or uglier? 

That is the difference between being a great leader and being a leader by default of having followers. Think of the greatest leaders of all time. How do they handle situations? How do they behave in difficult situations? How do we handle our difficult situations? Justify our behavior or take ownership and try to make the world better? Power and influence does not create an effective leader – humility, inclusion, sacrifice, and courage make an effective leader.

I am not saying we have to accept harmful and hurtful behavior or being treated poorly – walking away works too, not engaging works also. As soon as we engage, we have the potential of putting more toxic words and behavior in society. But, walking away and continuing to create toxic energy instead of actuating kindness is just as bad. 

I am going to write about something that some may take political. I don’t usually write about politics but politicians should be leaders, so it is hard to not touch on it. 

No one is exempt from leadership.

I was disappointed in the presidential debates. Whether I expected more from one or both or how I feel politically will remain unstated and is irrelevant. For those that would like to have an honest conversation about moving this country forward towards a more loving and compassionate place for all – I’d welcome that conversation, that includes listening, empathy and appreciation of differences.  That is what makes us the United States of America. While I wrote this immediately following the first debates, I sat on it to ensure I wrote from a place of leadership and not toxic energy. I hope I succeed. The leadership thoughts remain the same for me, regardless of how long ago the debates transpired.

People believe in their party over kindness, in their person over values. He did this so…. The media did or didn’t so…. I would have X. It is time someone did Y. 

I’ve said so many times what I believe defines a true leader is the ability to make the world better. The ability to hold on to and implement our values at all costs. 

Give back better.

A leader takes what they are given, processes it and puts out something better. If someone’s bad behavior justifies our own bad behavior – then we are all justified to walk around and cause damage to this world and to others. How does that leave this world and each-other? Very damaged, very hostile and very broken. 

Values always.

A leader defines her/his values and lives by them in every situation. A leader is so resolute in them; so-much-so, no one individual or instance should result in default to compromise. We as leaders can walk away. If we feel that will cost us votes because our voters won’t like that, that says more about our voter’s values than ours and why would we care. And if we are afraid to walk away – that means we value votes over integrity. We have a choice. 

No one makes us say things. Yes, something might slip out, but we can say “I am sorry, that isn’t my character and I am not engaging in this” – in the moment or the days that follow. We have sole equity over our behavior and mustn’t continue to blame our choices on others. 

I also believe in grace. I only hope leadership; where kindness and strength, empathy and policy, compassion and fairness will find a way into politics and unite our great country that we love.

With Purpose,

Kelly

Find Your Own Happiness or Bring Joy to the World?

What is it that truly makes us happy?   

We see a lot written about finding our own happiness, putting the responsibility of happiness on each individual.  If you aren’t happy, make difference choices and then you can be happy.   

And while I agree there is value in everyone trying to find the joy in our circumstances and love in our relationships.  I do think external factors influence us and to deny that is harmful.   

I also think not feeling a sense of responsibility or obligation to our fellow man’s happiness is a bit selfish and even dangerous – look at our world.  If we are responsible solely for our own happiness, then we should do only what makes us happy.  Mother Teresa found joy in helping the poorest of poor, but from accounts of her journals – she also had some very dark moments, some that almost kept her from becoming a saint.  In other words, she didn’t always do the things that made her happy in the moment.  She did what she felt was right and that brought her a deep sense of joy, but I am sure at times watching humanity suffer was difficult.  

Placing responsibility on others to find their own happiness, may not be the best answer and it may not bring us that deep inner joy we desperately long for and need.  And, those going through tough times may feel extra grief from this judgement, that on top of everything else – they can’t even make themselves “happy”. Not all circumstances are easy to see around in the moment.   

Caring about others, what they feel and how they hurt has been shown to bring a deep sense of joy and connection.  It may be inconvenient, and it may not always be sunshine and flowers, but focusing on others might bring us joy and, in the end, bring us more happiness than focusing solely on us. 

People need us to hold space for them.  To be there without judgement.  To accept, to love.  Not to offer advice and not to judge.  As leaders, take in others suffering and offer back love and kindness.  Make this world a more compassionate loving place. 

May our quest for happiness be a quest for our fellow man’s happiness and in the end may we find a deep sense of joy.   

May the wellbeing of others always be our responsibility and may we find joy in caring for humanity.   And how ironic would it be if the deepest sense of happiness came from the quest to make others happy, not at our expense – but with us.

With Purpose,

Kelly

Accountability

Boat on ocean

How often do we work on teams and find ourselves frustrated with team members?  

How do you handle it?  

For many of us, we are probably the ones carrying the extra work load or ensuring everyone stays organized.  But, sometimes we are the ones that might not be our best selves or contributing all that we had hoped.  

I had an experience, a humbling experience, when I wasn’t the best teammate.  I had to apologize.  I showed up not as prepared as I would have liked.  I had a migraine coming on.   I also had a whole lot of “other stuff” going on.  

I apologized.  The team was one that I didn’t know well, so being vulnerable wasn’t easy.  I sent an email after the meeting, apologizing again.   We met a second time.  I apologized again.  The experience wasn’t good and I felt terrible.  

It reminded me of a few things… 

One – don’t make assumptions.  

How often do we make assumptions about people?  The point of accountability is to speak directly to someone, to go directly to someone when we have an issue.  It is very possible our assumptions aren’t correct.  

Two – don’t talk about others when they aren’t around, talk directly to them.  

When we choose to talk about others without including them in the conversation, when we choose to solve the problems that involve someone else without including them in the conversation or the solution – we will never create an environment where people can be their best selves or where we find the best solutions.  

Side note – I get it.  For years I thought so many things were easier if I just did them myself.  Relationships were better if conversations were avoided.  But, I was wrong.  

If we personally need to discuss something, we have to have the difficult conversation with the person.  We have to ask the peer, co-worker or employee about the deliverable, the issue or the situation.  

If someone comes to us about another person, we have to ask them if they first had a conversation with the other person.  We can’t let them talk about others when the other isn’t there to defend themself.  We have to shut it down and refuse to listen.   We have to encourage and mentor that person to go to the other person and have the conversation.  

Three – allow others to do things their way, it might not be our way but it might also be better.  

Know that by always doing things ourself, no one else ever learns, builds confidence and no one else is ready to step up should something happen.  

Accountability is hard, but it is also beautiful.  It isn’t always the leader that holds the team accountable, peers holding each other accountable is the sign of the most productive teams.  Leaders should foster this kind of team.  

With Purpose,

Kelly

The Value of Assessments

Assessments

I am often asked what value assessments and profiles add to the coaching and leadership development experience. I thought I would dedicate a blog to sharing some benefits.

Individual Coaching Value

We use two main assessments with our coaching clients, Everything DiSC® and Everything DiSC® Agile EQ™. Everything DiSC® helps clients understand their personality and how to better respond to the needs of other people. Everything DiSC® Agile EQ™ helps clients understand mindsets and how to better respond to the needs of the situation. Both help clients work in more meaningful ways and lead better in more situations.

Everything DiSC®

Everything DiSC® is a personal development assessment that measures an individual’s tendencies and priorities.  It is designed to support an individual’s understanding of his or her work-related behaviors, the behaviors of others, and how to apply this knowledge in work situations.  The assessment discovers your unique personality style.  

After taking the assessment, Everything DiSC® generates profiles based on multiple applications. We use these applications depending on the client’s situation (leadership, dealing with conflict, managing others, etc), to better coach to the client’s unique strengths and opportunities and help our clients succeed in all areas of life.  

Everything DiSC® Agile EQ™

Everything DiSC® Agile EQ™ profile provides clients with valuable insights that help them explore the concept of emotional intelligence and take an agile approach to workplace interactions.  In this personalized, 26- page profile, clients discover their DiSC style, learn, about the instinctive mindsets that sharpen their responses and interactions, recognize opportunities to stretch beyond what comes naturally to them, and gain actionable strategies to become more agile in their approach to social and emotional situations.  

Team and Organization Coaching and Training

We also use assessments and profiles when working with teams and organizations. Seeing how teams work together and grow together is rewarding. We have online platforms to better help individual team members and ensure organizational success. We can do all team interactions virtually or in person, lots of great opportunities.

Knowing ourselves is important, but being open to growth and being vulnerable with others is where real beauty lies. Go change the world beautiful people!

With purpose,

Kelly

Release It – Part 2

Last blog, I wrote about following our instincts and acting on those nudges, using our gifts and blessing the world with who we are and with what we have to say.   

This week I want to talk about something a little more difficult, but important to leaders.  

What about the times we have to be, do or say things that aren’t easy or pleasant?  What if we have to say something or do something that isn’t “sunshine and flowers”? 

Now let me be clear.  Too many people in this world use this “clause” as an excuse to be an ass in the world.  Please do some reflection to determine if you are making the world better or just being an ass.

We see this phase often when working with dysfunctional organizations, especially when folks aren’t willing to examine their own behavior.   “I am just looking out for the mission, the company – someone has to”  

Here is another phrase seen often, “s/he was so mean and evil, so it is okay if others are mean and evil – s/he deserved it.”  By that justification, we should all be running around harming each other.  

I used the example in my last blog that leaders should think of themselves as air purifiers.  We help take in the bad, clean it up and put back out good.  That is what truly defines a leader.  We serve the greater good.  Society – we want a better world for all.  

A leader doesn’t care about being right.  A leader doesn’t care if someone deserves something.  A leader acts a certain way because of high standards and values they have.  A leader doesn’t say or do something to get back at someone or to prove something.  A leader is only trying to “purify” the surroundings, to make the world a better place.  

Here is our test, leaders, for everything we do, say and for how we want to be.

Is it for the greater good?  What greater good?  

Is it aligned with our values?

How will it make society better?  

Am I showing compassion?  

Not does it make me happy, but does it bring joy to the majority of those it effects.  If not, does it harm people?  If so, how am I addressing this?  

As a leader, we may think that we are only in one leadership role, but we have the opportunity to lead in everything we do.  That is how we change the world.  

Do we put more negativity and toxicity in the world or do we take in the negativity and toxicity and clean it up and put back out something profound and good?  

I am reading a great book right now and it reinforces what I believe about leaders.  It isn’t the loud, dictators that build the best companies.  And I assure you, the loud dictators don’t change the world for the better either.  The best leaders are humble, compassionate, driven to the cause, inspired by humanity, moved by purpose and build lasting companies because people trust them.  They have succession plans in place because they have no ego and success is bigger than self.  This seeps into the people around them, into relationships and into society.  

I challenge you, be a leader.  Leaders change the world.   

With purpose,

Kelly


Release It

What are we contributing?  

There is so much being written right now, folks trying to process and I often don’t know what I can say to contribute.  I feel unsure of my contribution.  I get an idea; I process and work to articulate it in a professional way… and then I second guess myself or it doesn’t seem important any longer.  And, I do nothing.  

Do you ever do this?  

I have so many thoughts though.  Many opinions.  I find myself reading social media posts and articles and wanting to comment – forming a refined comment in my head.  Not an aggressive comment that we all too often see, those are useless and way too abundant.  But a well thought out one, one that explains why I think differently.  One that longs to engage in a meaningful dialogue.  And then I realize, no one cares and actually it will only spark a fight.  

Silenced.  Again. 

I write a blog draft.  Then another one.  And then, another.  They sit in a folder.  By the time I edit them, they seem so irrelevant.  Eventually, I’ll post one because I actually love to think, to write and to share and I remember that my words don’t have to have meaning to others; they help me find meaning.  

You may be asking, what is her point here?    

Now more than ever, we are in a time when we need to process what is going on in this world, what things mean, how we think about it all, and most importantly – how we are to show up giving our gifts.  And leaders, we must inspire others to do the same.    

This world needs us to step up with our gifts.  Have you ever noticed the negative folks share and man do they share loudly. They aren’t processing, filtering, or editing before they share.  So, those of us that are wired to process, filter and edit before we share – when we delete (like I mentioned at the beginning of this post) after doing these things, we delete the positive gifts we bring to the world.  Please don’t delete – and therefore my point starts here.  

Let’s make a deal, release it!  

When we get a nudge to say something, do something, be something to someone – process, filter, edit and then do it.  With all the love and kindness you can do it with, follow through.  How can we pour into others and not take from them?  This applies to our words, our actions and who we are in the world.  

I debated on whether I should include “process, filter, and edit” or just tell us to say it, do it and be it.  I did include it because too often folks don’t do these things and so much toxicity is put into this world.  Let’s not contribute to the toxicity.  People use the excuse that others are toxic and mean so it justifies a toxic, mean response.  By that justification, we should all be running around harming each other.  Be the change, leaders.  

Think about what you put into the world.  Think of yourself as an air purifier.  Leaders, we are purifiers.  Put good out.  The truth yes, but in a good, honest way.  When people read it, they need to receive it.  No one hears ugly, hostile, blaming words. Help remove the toxic from society.  Self care is how we remove it from our bodies – that is another topic.  Be a purifier.  The toxic is out there, but we don’t have to contribute or put it back out. Process, filter, edit and put good in the world.

Acting on our nudges…

We must act on those feelings, those urges.  We must follow our gut instincts.  Some of us have had life experiences that make us question our worth.  We forget where our worth truly comes from.  Some of us are tired from a life of hard work, and the energy to follow through passes quickly.  But the truth is – the worth is in the release of doing what we are called to do, not in waiting to see how it comes back to us.  The energy comes from the release of our work, not from the anxiety of holding on to it.  Let it go

Say, do and be… Release your gifts into the world.  Pour into a world that desperately needs what you were so uniquely given to give.  This is where we are meant to live.

With purpose,

Kelly