How to Maintain Your Cool When a Conversation Gets Hot

How to Maintain Your Cool When a Conversation Gets Hot

Conversation is challenging enough at times.  When it gets heated, conversation can seem impossible. While some double-down and dig in, others back up and exit—perhaps not physically, but emotionally.  When emotionally charged, increased cortisol levels make you more reactive and sensitive, and decreased oxytocin diminishes your ability to trust others. While you may be able to control your words, your tone of voice and body language will always reveal your true feelings.

Meaningful relationships require honest, respectful conversation.  Words matter; they have the power to bind us or divide us.  So, how do you respectfully converse with someone who strongly holds an opposing belief? What can you do when disagreement arises and a conversation heats up?Continue reading

Resolve to Audit Your Personal Brand

Resolve to Audit Your Personal Brand

Visit a Starbucks anywhere in the world, and you will encounter a familiar experience: friendly, knowledgeable baristas who serve made to order cups of coffee in recognizable green and white cups. Starbucks’ memorable brand builds trust with customers and keeps them coming back, even though they often pay a bit more for their favorite beverage.

Companies spend millions to create and promote compelling brands that effectively communicate who they are and what they offer. Every company has a brand—and so do you. Whether you know it or not, everything you wear, say, and do—both online and offline—defines your brand. So, what exactly are you promoting? Are you branded for success or failure?Continue reading

Who Goes First?

Who Goes First?

We all desire to live in a world that is safe and allows us to experience positive relationships at home, at work, and in our community. We want to shop, eat, work and travel without fear. While we all desire this ideal, how do we achieve it?

Too often we diminish others based on their gender, race, political orientation, religion, intelligence, and socioeconomic standing. Technology has provided a vehicle for us to communicate with those we may never see face-to-face. Anonymity has created an environment where harsh, mean-spirited, divisive comments are made cultivating fear, mistrust, and prejudice.

When did we forget to look at others as fellow human beings and instead allowed the thinking of us and them to prevail? Once we see ourselves as better than others, we give ourselves license to treat them in any manner we see fit.Continue reading

Practical Ways to Communicate with Class

Practical Ways to Communicate with Class

A touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment—the smallest act of caring improves every interaction.” ~Deborah King

Although we have been communicating in some form since the beginning of time, never has such a common practice become so challenging. Communication today embodies more than the written word or the familiar face-to-face interaction—we also communicate through cell phones, email, text messaging and social media. Knowing which medium to use, and how to use them with class, is no small feat.

Today’s fast-paced, rapidly changing landscape requires each of us to refine our verbal, nonverbal, and technological skills to communicate with class. So, how do you resist falling victim to the many communication blunders that can tarnish your image and destroy your relationships?Continue reading

The Power of Real Beauty

The Power of Real Beauty

Every woman wants to look and feel beautiful. This desire is not evil or being conceited; it is part of how you are made.  If that is true, and it is, why do so many women struggle with insecurities about their appearance?

How would you respond if someone you just met told you that you are beautiful? Would you believe them, or would you discount their comment? Maybe you would smile and say, ‘Thank you,’ but in your heart doubt what they have said.

Doubt is often rooted in comparison. If I looked like ________, then I would be beautiful. Every time you compare your reflection in the mirror to the constant flood of perfectly altered photos in the media, and on social media, insecurities take hold. No one can measure up to that – not even the models.Continue reading