Join the Fun on International Day of Happiness

Let’s imagine together.

Imagine all the people living for today.  Imagine all the people living life in peace.

You may say I’m a dreamer.  But I’m not the only one.

I hope today you’ll join us.  Its International Day of Happiness!

How will you celebrate?

Think about it this way:

What if…. you called someone you have not spoken to for a long time to find out how they are?

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

I hear this plaintive cry from executives and middle managers all the time. I hear it from superintendents to elementary school teachers for at least ten months out of the year.

Getting along is what we all want. Right? So, why does it seem almost impossible to get through even a few days without feeling that blood boiling moment of “Not THAT again!” or “Can’t they just zip it?”

I would like to boil this down to some basics for you to think about.

Relationships are hard work.

You can’t learn how to be your best you by reading something that gives you 5 quick tips for happiness.

It’s just not that simple.

The Power Of Film And Film Stars: Thank You Jim Carrey And Leonardo Di Caprio

I sat through the Golden Globe Awards hoping to see and hear something that would stay with me emotionally. With all the sixth grade humor about butt holes, alcohol and sexual innuendos I was able to multitask and get some work done on my new book, “Every Word Counts.”

I kept thinking “When did we lose the elegance of wanting to elevate and help people grow?”

Toward the end of this fluffy and superficial evening I was just about to give up and turn off the tube. And then Jim Carrey came on looking majestic with a super cool beard. It was clear he has done some good personal work when he talked about “being Jim Carrey who has won two Golden Globes and falling asleep thinking about becoming the Jim Carrey who will win three Golden Globes hoping will complete him.”

It was done so simply, so subtly that I wondered who got the message behind the message. It is also what we discuss with business leaders. No matter how many awards you win, no matter how well recognized you are, no matter how much money you have, you cannot fill the deeper place inside you with outer trappings.

I said a silent “thank you” to Mr. Carrey.

Can Men Support Women At Work

I have found LinkedIn to be a magical place to connect with some of the smartest and most pioneering individuals on the planet.

Recently Ed Gurowitz, Senior Consultant at Gender Allies contacted me after seeing some of my blogs about GUTSY WOMEN LEADERS.

He sent me an important post about how to create gender relationships at work. I want to thank him for reaching out and here is some of his great advice.

8 Steps to Co-creating Gender Partnership at Work

When Patterns Of The Past Show Up In The Present

I just finished reading a speech Vice President Joe Biden gave at Yale University.

It brought tears to my eyes and I was compelled to read it again. This time I grabbed the tissue box, stopped what I was doing and sat wiping freely flowing tears away and sat looking out at the fully blossomed spring trees.

Thunder was in the air and I imagined all the preparations for Beau’s funeral, all the expected things that have to be done. I thought about the widow and the children.

The thunder intensified.

Losing his wife and daughter in a terrible car accident decades ago should be enough. Now his son Beau to brain cancer. And yet he is the model of a jovial, gentle natured man with such love for his wife Jill, children and grandchildren and the importance of family first.

I have often thought that he would be, as the Native Americans say “good medicine” for President Obama who did not have the presence of his own father in his life.

And as I sat thinking about tragedies I began to ruminate about the sudden death of my father from a heart attack when I was fourteen.


Toxic Woman At Work

Dear Dr. Sylvia,

The past few weeks have been like living in a super hot hell. There have been a ton of arguments and drama, mainly because one woman wants her way and is dividing our staff (we only have 20 people working on-site).

There is Team A (Suzie’s team) and Team B (my team). It is evenly split with 10 for Suzie and 10 for me, Samantha. No real work is getting done. The issues are so stupid I don’t even want to mention them. It is, so my friends at other organizations tell me, not that different from what they have experienced.

However, it is getting worse. Untrue comments are flying around (on both sides I might add) and the two of us are having a meeting with HR at the end of this week.


Who Handles ANGER Better, Males Or Females?

Did you ever stop long enough to think about anger rather than just react with anger? The big questions are:

  1. What is anger?
  2. Where does it come from inside us?
  3. What does it feel like?
  4. Why does it last so long in some situations and leaves so fast in others?
  5. Is it worse when it has been stuffed and then comes out all at once?
  6. What is flooding?
  7. How can anger be transformed?
  8. What does anger transform to?
  9. What does anger do to our physiology?
  10. How does anger hurt or help our relationships?
  11. Who has more anger issues, men or women?
  12. Some of us need to be angry less, and others angry more. When does anger show up most? When we feel threatened. Most often it is about survival and security.

Is Low Stress At Work The Best Stress?

Imagine a work setting where you go into the office in the morning and are greeted by a concierge taking your order for a nutritious breakfast that will be delivered to you at your desk. In the background is music deemed perfect to activate the creativity centers of your brain.

Read more of: Is Low Stress at Work the Best Stress?

Pattern Clash: When The Jerk At Work Meets The Jerk At Work

“I work hard” he muttered. I could barely hear him.

“You do WHAT?” I asked.

“Work hard. I told you, I work hard.” It seemed to him like no one ever really listened.

He went on to say that he was sick of spending his nights correcting his boss’s awful grammar for her reports that had to go out the next day. She was always late with her reports and always had a ‘do it now’ attitude.

“I am a communications expert, not a third grade teacher” he complained.

“Did you ever tell your boss about your frustrations?” I was just getting to know his vulnerable points in this first leadership development coaching session.

“You can’t tell her anything. No one can. You just do what she says and stuff your thoughts and feelings.”

“What do you think would happen if you said you needed time for yourself, for your family in the evening and would appreciate if her reports were sent to you in a more timely fashion?”

“I would get fired.”

“How long have you been with the company?”

“I have been here for eight years” he said with deep pride.

“And you would get fired, just like that?”

“She is and always has been a bully. She is and always was loud and a know it all. She is and always was the one to demand that it was her way or the highway.”

OK, you got the picture? A demanding boss and a subservient director of communications. A bully and a victim. Do either of these patterns resonate with you?

In the employees eyes the boss is a jerk at work. In the boss’s eyes the communications director is the jerk at work.

Will the real JERK AT WORK stand up?

Leadership Development: SHUSSSSH Don’t Rock The Boat

Imagine a world where bringing up unpleasant or conflictual subjects is applauded. Imagine if in school good grades were based on asking the unaskable. Just imagine.

Where would YOU fit in that kind of setting? Would you be one to ask “Hey, why is the emperor naked?” Or would you be one to put your hand to your lips and say “Shussssh!”

You want to know where our general discomfort started with asking tough questions. It began way back when you were a little tyke and you saw your mother or care giver in a bad mood. You KNEW something was wrong, you could just feel it. And you asked “What’s the matter?” And the response more times than not was “Nothing! Just go play.”

If you persisted you were called a trouble-maker. And if you just went away you were called a helpful, good child.

Now fast forward to adulthood. You are now in charge of leadership development training at your organization. What do you do when someone persists in asking the questions that no one wants to tackle?

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