This past week has been tough on former Vice President Joe Biden. Several women have come forward to say they were uncomfortable with Biden’s touchy-feely ways such as hugs, forehead kisses and other instances when he invaded their personal space.
Biden’s response? That wasn’t my intent.
As I discussed in a previous FB live, your intent doesn’t matter.
How your message is received is what matters.
As George Bernard Shaw once said (or didn’t, who knows, but it’s a great quote), “the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
In this case I’d say the biggest problem in communication is assuming other people understand your intent.
We tend to think that intent covers all manner of sins. Listen to kids play (and fight) and you’ll hear, “I didn’t mean to!” as if that makes whatever happen, ok.
Regardless of your intent, if the person you’re communicating with receives a different message, that’s on you.
Great communicators are constantly adjusting their message both in terms of content and delivery. By watching how people respond to your message, you can adjust accordingly. In my work I teach people how to read permission; the nonverbal indicator of receptivity.
And that’s exactly where Joe Biden went wrong. He assumed permission he didn’t have. This is often the case for people in power positions. Because those around them are afraid or intimidated, they don’t often clearly communicate their discomfort or fear. Which is why people in those positions must never assume permission and instead, play it safe.
This, by the way, has nothing to do with being politically “correct.” Regardless of the message or the context, if you want to succeed at communication, you’ll keep an eye on how your listener responds to your message instead of merely relying on your good “intentions.”
It's spring! In the Pacific NW, we get early tulips and daffodils popping through, and cherry tree blossoms. People start mowing their lawns. It's warm enough to be out in a light jacket, and the birds start going to town on their annual songs.
Of course, here in the "upper left," we also are the epitome of "April showers bring May flowers." You never know when you'll get caught in a downpour. So, adventuring requires close monitoring of the weather app, and making sure your jacket has a hood (umbrellas are for wimps!).
Still...nature calls to the heart of man, woman and child. It's time to breathe in the great outdoors.
Today’s self-care tip is to remind you to GET OUTSIDE.
I live in Portland, Oregon (well, Beaverton, a suburb) and due to it raining nearly EVERY SINGLE DAY (ok, not every day, but a lot!) this advice is personally difficult to follow.
But as this article reminds us, there are several research-backed reasons to get your ass outside. Among them:
…and even lower overall risk of death. (Death!)
But seriously, do you actually need RESEARCH to tell you what you already know? Being outside is FUN. Isn’t that a good enough reason?
For example, last summer we bought bikes. Nearly every weekend we’d ride our bikes along the Fanno Creek trail here in Beaverton.
Was it good for my health? Yes. Is that why I did it? No.
Being on a bike reminds me of my childhood where I rode my bike everywhere and it’s just plain fun to recapture that as an adult.
Whether it’s research that gets you outdoors or the fact that it’s fun, just get out there.
Spring has sprung, get yourself outside!
“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
How can I talk about getting outdoors without talking about Walden; or, Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau?
Published in 1854, Walden details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond. In the book, Thoreau compresses the time into a single calendar year and uses passages of four seasons to symbolize human development.
A great read, I highly recommend it.
A huge part of self-care is getting outdoors. We won’t be able to continue to enjoy the outdoors unless things change.
From their website:
“The Nature Conservancy is tackling some of the toughest problems facing people and nature today, replicating good ideas to save many places and improve people’s lives. We are grounded by local experience and leverage our science, real-world solutions and partnerships to influence global decision-making.”
This organization is helping conserve the natural world. To learn more, donate, or get involved, click the button below.
Ever since I began working with trial attorneys, I’ve noticed that the journey from “beginner” attorney to “rock star” attorney was circular.
Meaning, when attorneys first begin, they look to the greats and attempt to copy what they’re doing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a trial attorney come through my office and present an opening statement or conduct jury selection using the same words, voice tone and body language of the originator. Nearly every time it falls flat.
Anyone, in any profession goes through this same learning curve as well. When I first started out, I copied my mentor all the time. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this. It’s how many of us learn.
But it’s not until we come back to ourselves that we finally find what we’re really looking for.
After trying to mimic the people in your life or profession you admire, there comes a time when you must let go of attempting to be someone else and become who you were always meant to be.
It’s no accident that this happens only after we’ve “tried on” other people’s styles. Except for the rare bird that is born knowing exactly who and what they are, most of us have to experiment a bit before we find out how we want to show up in the world.
But find out we must.
Because when you stop searching and realize the person you’ve been waiting for is YOU, everything starts to shift.
You are enough. Just as you are. Are you ready to forge your own path and find your own way? Enough with the copying. Let’s find out what you can do when you embrace who you are, flaws and all.
I’m excited to see what happens. Are you ready?
Join the waitlist on the home page to learn more.
In a recent convo with a friend, she was using some really harsh language to describe herself and her recent actions. I had to stop her right then and point out that the way she was talking about herself toherself was the voice of a bully.
"Would you talk to ME that way?"
"Of course not!"
"Well, what gives you the right to talk to YOURSELF that way?!"
This weekend, check in on your self-talk. Build yourself up the way you would build others up. Don't be a bully to your inner self.
About a month ago, I talked here in this space about the importance of mental breaks. Today I’d like to remind you to give YOURSELF a break.
But what I mean this time is, lay off the negative self-talk.
Most of us are so hard on ourselves. We berate ourselves for our mistakes, perceived or real, and constantly talking to ourselves this way has negative consequences. In terms of power, it’s a major power drain.
It’s one thing to do nice things for yourself: baths, chocolate, time with a hobby, but none of those things really count as “self-care” if your internal monologue is constantly beating you up.
Give yourself a break. When you’re being hard on yourself, stop and ask if you’d talk this way to a friend. Practice telling yourself what a great job you’re doing, how good you look in that outfit and how grateful you are to have the life you have.
If you’re really committed to self-care, practice being kind to yourself on the inside as well as the outside.
Here’s a podcast episode that might help.
“Remember, you have been
criticizing yourself for years and
it hasn’t worked. Try approving
of yourself and see what happens.”
Alrighty, I’m about to get REAL woo-woo
on you and introduce you to Louise Hay
and her book You Can Heal Your Life.
Louise Hay might just be the pioneer of self-help, and even though I resisted buying this book for years, I finally succumbed and have to say I count this as one of my favorite books of all time. I ALWAYS grab for it when I’m feeling down. And bonus? She has a section on various physical ailments and the thoughts that create them. (I told you, woo woo.) I dare you to look up a few. This woman is RIGHT ON THE MONEY nearly every time.
If you’re serious about getting rid of your negative self-talk, then you’ll buy and absorb this book. I remember reading this line: “Loving the self, to me, begins with never ever criticizing ourselves for anything.” I about fell out of my chair. NEVER criticizing ourselves for ANYTHING? What? Get the book to see how you too, can do this.
This book is life changing. Get it. Learn it. Live it.
Girls Inc. believes girls need a space to learn how to be their best selves and have even created a Girl’s Bill of Rights which includes the right to be themselves, express themselves, take risks, accept their bodies, have confidence and prepare for independence. You can read the Girl’s Bill of Rights here.
From their website:
“The network of local Girls Inc. nonprofit organizations serves girls ages 6-18 at more than 1,400 sites in 400 cities across the United States and Canada. Our research-based programming is delivered by trained professionals who focus on the development of the whole girl, supporting, mentoring, and guiding girls in an affirming, pro-girl environment. Here, girls learn to value their whole selves, discover and develop their inherent strengths, and receive the support they need to navigate the challenges they face.”
This organization is helping empower girls. To learn more, donate, or get involved, click the button below.
Years ago, I was working with a trial attorney in my office. After several attempts to get him to open up his body language, he still remained closed.
Frustrated, I finally blurted out, “Ok, what’s the story?”
And out tumbled a story about how he’s afraid he’ll say or do something that will turn the jurors against him and how this fear had been eating him alive.
When our communication is “off” there’s always a story behind it.
Body language starts in the brain. What we think gets communicated through our nonverbals.
This is dangerous.
Walk into the break room and see two people abruptly stop talking and you make up a story that they were talking about you.
See a juror frown and you make up a story that they don’t believe you and your version of events.
Your spouse is late coming home from work and you make up a story that they’ve been in an accident.
All of these stories have consequences because we communicate based on our stories.
Think your colleagues are talking behind your back? You’ll start avoiding them and acting strangely when they’re around.
Think a juror is against you during trial? You’ll start getting nervous about trying new things and play it safe.
Think your spouse has been in an accident? You’ll increase your stress and may lash out at your child.
It’s nearly impossible to stop making up stories because the brain is wired to make sense of our experiences. So instead, ask yourself, “Does this story serve me?”
If your story causes you stress, worry or anxiety, it doesn’t serve you. So ditch it. Tell yourself a new story.
Maybe your colleagues were sharing a personal story and were embarrassed if others heard.
Maybe the juror has a stomach ache.
Maybe your spouse got stopped by his or her boss on the way out of the office and didn’t have time to text you before getting in the car to drive home.
Are these stories true? It doesn’t matter. The point is, they serve you and your mindset. If you end up getting more information that gives you a clearer picture, great! Reframe your story. But until then, pick a story that serves you.
Here’s a podcast episode you might enjoy.
Sari's passion is to help you TAP into your power from the inside, out. "Power Tools" provides real talk that gives you tools and reminders for tapping into your power instead of giving in to your excuses.