Tag Archives: holidays


The Top 10 Ways to Build Relationships

The holiday season is upon us – it’s a natural time to consider our relationships. Around this time, many of us reflect on the past year and evaluate how we are doing in the different areas of our lives. I encourage you to consider how to honor the people in your life and ways you might improve upon what is already going well, or mend a relationship that needs a little attention. If you discover your relationships can use some improvement, we are here to help!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Assign a high priority to relationships.

Let people know they are valued both through verbal affirmation and action.

2. Share feelings.

Communicate warmth, care and concern. Genuine emotions for others leads to reciprocity.

3. Be real.

By being authentic and genuine with others, you offer a level of vulnerability but also enable a degree of closeness.

4. Get interested in other people.

Find out what things they’re interested in and listen. Listening is far too under-rated a tool in showing care.

5. Consider the content and tone of information.

Be careful with criticism. Communicate a positive regard for associates. Encourage and promote personal projects.

6. Affirm positive qualities.

Let people know what you like and admire about them. Provide sincere praise.

7. Have time.

Offer your undivided attention. If relationships are really important, they’re important enough to invest yourself.

8. Be friendly.

Humor, smiles and a happy outlook on life attract people. Preach success, demonstrate positive emotions and showcase optimism.

9. Maintain the contract of the relationship.

Boundaries, confidences, and quiet understandings need to be respected. Loyalty and trust are the foundations of long-term connections.

10. Appreciate the gift.

Forgiveness and gratitude enable the repair of breeches. They express the value of the relationship and permit correction of transgressions.

About the Submitter
This piece was originally submitted by Robert G. Jerus

Your Coach,



Leading Through the Holidays

The holidays are nearly upon us.

Nothing engenders an emotional response, i.e. pushes more buttons, than the holidays. The emotions vary from person to person and from year to year. And they are powerful.

There are the expectations:
We are all going to be together for the holidays.
There is the bullying:
We are all going to be together for the holidays.
There are the fears:
We are all going to be together for the holidays.

There are the joys:
So many wonderful things happen during the holidays.
There are the demands:
So many wonderful things happen during the holidays.
There are the shoulds:
So many wonderful things happen during the holidays.

Feel your buttons being pushed? So does everyone else.

Your friend. Your spouse. Your child. Your co-worker. Your boss. The person in the car in front of you. The person taking your coffee order.

The crowds at Costco. The hoards clogging the sidewalks downtown. The drivers at 5:00 on the parking lot that is I-5.

Coping with the holidays is living in a pressure cooker of ever-increasing pressure. Then poof, the pressure and the excitement is gone, often leaving regrets.

Have you ever read a more depressing description of the holidays? Probably not, but I am willing to bet that everyone reading this understands the challenge that is the holidays.

Leadership Skill: Redesign Your Holidays

The mindful awareness of the aspects that you find most challenging invites you to commit to making changes. As a leader you model that the holidays do not have to be celebrated in the same way “because that is the way we have always done it” but that they can be mindfully designed to create a truly blessed experience.

Redesign: The key to a meaningful redesign is being aware of what truly matters to you, and when it comes to the holidays we rarely ask ourselves that essential question. Its answer will guide you to determine exactly where you want to put your time, energy, and funds. At the same time, it will help you to say “no” to the many other holiday options that threaten to throw you back into the pressure cooker.

Your: You have grown up in a family, a community, and a culture that has taught you the rules for celebrating the holidays. It is easy to forget that you are responsible for leading this part of your life as well as the rest of your life. Be bold. Think for yourself. Honor who you have grown to be. And offer that same respect to others.

Holidays: We all know that in the pressure cooker scenario of the holidays, it is easy to forget what and why we are celebrating. Mindfulness invites us to focus on the true value of these days so that we catch their blessings as well as their experiences.

How are you doing, purposefully designing your holidays?

My key is questioning everything early enough that I never get into the pressure cooker. Then sharing my ideas with those with whom I love to share the holidays, and being willing to listen to their ideas, so that we can create the overlapping experiences that we can all enjoy. Then making sure that I pay attention to the personal aspects of the holidays that make them meaningful for me. I believe that as I am blessed, that I am in turn, able to be more of a blessing to others. I believe that about you, too. Redesign your holidays. End up filled rather than depleted. We will all be blessed.

- Mary Beth King

This article is also featured in Blue City Monthly.


Leading Through the Holidays

The 5 EQ skills – How to develop and apply them during the Holidays.

Coach Mary Beth King has some great insight on how we can use our skills and develop our Emotional Intelligence during the stress and busyness of the Holidays.

As you lead through this Season, how do you feel?  Are you stressed, irritable, or filled with joy this time of year?  If you know your EQ strengths and weaknesses, use them now to set you on the right path to experience peace and productivity.

It is no secret…we love to help individuals and organizations identify and learn about EQ!  In fact, check out our flyer with EQ information  and a sample talent report.  

Leaders – you might find these facts interesting:  According to a study  by Career Builder, 2600 professionals in human resources and/or hiring managers were asked about the importance of EQ vs IQ. So what did they find?  “Seventy-one percent said they value emotional intelligence in an employee more than IQ.”  They also found that “75 percent said they’re more likely to promote the high EI worker.” 

We know you will enjoy this contribution from Mary Beth.

Merry Christmas! 

Here’s Mary Beth……..

Our memories of the holidays span the range from spectacularly fabulous to horrifically awful. At least four weeks every year we are thrust into adding to our file of memories. Your file includes the year you:

  • got your bike, or didn’t
  • first lit the menorah candles or put bulbs on the tree
  • watched your host drop the turkey as she took it out of the oven
  • accepted a marriage proposal
  • looked forward to your baby’s birth
  • were changed by the miracle of Hanukkah or the birth of the Savior
  • had plenty of money for gifts and the year you did not
  • held your first grandchild

Your file grows every year.

You will add to your holiday memories file again this year. Like so much of life, we often let the holidays just happen to us. As leaders – in your organization, your family, and your life – I invite you to use and grow your emotional intelligence, and purposely create your memories.

Leadership Skill: Leading through the Holidays

Emotional intelligence (EQ) has been recently embraced in the business world as the most important MB EQpredictor of success, significantly more important than competencies or IQ. The skills of EQ are:

– Self-awareness. Everything you see, hear, touch, smell, and taste elicits an emotional response. Pay attention to how you feel when you are immersed in the details of putting together the holiday party, or buying gifts, or hearing “that” song.

– Self-regulation. The intensity of feelings or the sheer volume of them floods you with stress hormones and invites you to become aggressive or emotionally distant. Discover and use tools that specifically elicit a relaxation response for you – a shorter to-do list, cheery holiday song, a warm holiday drink, or maybe a conversation with someone who cares.

– Motivation. The key to creating your holiday memories is knowing ultimately what you want.

  • Less stress?
  • More time with family?
  • Spiritual renewal?
  • Beautiful pictures?
  • No new pounds?

When feelings threaten to derail what you want, remember that you have self-regulation tools to get you back on track.

– Empathy. Knowing your feelings, how to regulate them, and what is motivating you, leads you to reach out to others to co-create what you want. You find yourself connecting more genuinely with others because you will need their collaboration to successfully create what you want.

– Social skills. EQ is the catalyst to nurturing positive, effective relationships that naturally create the holiday memories that you want, while at the same time helping others to do the same.

How are you doing, 0 – 10, leading through the holidays?

Today my overall holiday EQ is a 6.

-       Self-awareness: My mother has recently died so I am immersed in the powerful and ever-changing emotions of grieving.

-       Self-regulation: I am walking more, eating a bit better, stopping when I need a break, and regularly imbibing in my favorite Starbucks holiday drink.

-       Motivation: I know I want this year’s holiday memories to include family, friends, God, and healing.

-       Empathy: I need to listen better to what others want in their holiday memory files.

-       Social skills: I need to connect.

I am certain that you are cutting me some slack when you see that my EQ is currently at a 6. Please cut yourself and others that same slack. EQ can grow through emotionally messy times like the holidays and the skills that you acquire will serve you and those you lead as you jump into the emotional messiness of 2015.

Happy holidays!

- Mary Beth King

do things that matter2

Tis the Season for Moderation … Fa La La La La, La La La La

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Jeanette Winters to the blog this week! Jeanette has collaborated with Shandel on several projects, as well as wowing the LEXI audience in Seattle this year. The True Life/Chandelle Group team is grateful for her willingness to share her holiday thoughts with us as Shandel is off enjoying her new marriage!

We hope you will find Jeanette as delightful as we do!

Here’s Jeanette……

I grew up with the original Christmas fairy. Mother has always been organized for the holidays. Our family spans the globe and she began the season by mailing all gifts the day after Thanksgiving. She mailed 250+ holiday cards to business associates and family on December 1st (all hand addressed with personal notes in most). And then of course, she decorated. And I mean really decorated … usually two trees, lights on the house, and even hung ribbons and ornaments on the forest paths that wound their way through the 100+ acre homestead.

I am not my Mother’s daughter in the holiday fairy sense but years felt compelled to live up to her standards (simply impossible you see). My holiday preparation for the past decade or so had been significantly eased and anxiety reduced through the use of online shopping. Pick it out, pay for it, supply the address and the verbiage for the card and done. But finding just the right gift was never easy … Mother & Dad have everything they want and buy it if they don’t. I struggled and struggled and usually ended paying a queen’s ransom to have packages delivered on Christmas Day. And even after the gift process was completed, that left cards unsent, the house not decorated and a general feeling of coming up short. I never felt good about the holidays, felt pressure to do better, earlier and with more joy.

About five years ago, work had been particularly busy, and life was spinning faster than I could keep up. Mother’s packages and cards arrived and I was overwhelmed with a sense of doom. I hadn’t even thought of Christmas. On a whim, I picked up the phone and called Mrs. Christmas Fairy (aka Mother) about to propose heresy but I had to try.

“Mother – I am swamped. Not the usual more than I can get done in a reasonable day but truly under water. I received your packages and card today and realized I have done nothing about the holidays. I don’t know what to get you, I am stressed to the max and well – I wondered if we could forego all the holiday “stuff” this year. What if we agreed to no presents, cards only and if you come to visit I promise only to have a wreath on the door.” I waited for the world to implode.

“Why dear, I think that is wonderful. Dad and I don’t really want anything, and we couldn’t care less if you decorated. I do enough of that for us all. Really – I’d rather have you less stressed and happier than working yourself into a tizzy. Next year, no gifts at all – me either, okay?”

Here I thought the world would end, only to find out I was living to a standard that grew out of habit and without any real attachment on my part nor on the very person I was trying to please. The woman I cared so much about not letting down was more than delighted with me setting boundaries around holiday expectations. The holidays have been ever so much more pleasant since – and I don’t let anyone down (especially me). Tis the season to be jolly – and I am!

I urge you to consider a few suggestions to managing your own holiday regime:

  • Consider ways of reducing time and cost for everything! Examples:

- I notified my usual card recipients that I would forego sending cards – except e-cards to those I won’t get to see or have been out of contact with for all too long. Now some still send out lovely, personalized cards which I treasure but I don’t reciprocate.

- Reconsider holiday gift giving. Ask yourself who you want to buy gifts for and why. You will be amazed at how many will be delighted to forego the usual holiday presents. I had a friend who spent all too much money on lovely gift baskets for me – usually containing things I don’t eat or shouldn’t. I approached her and asked how she would feel about doing something together instead of exchanging gifts. She was thrilled and now our holiday luncheon has become an honored tradition.

- Contribute in lieu of gift giving. I advised my team at work that I would give to a charity of choice instead of buying individual presents. Less stress, money goes to an exceptional cause and I contribute in the name of my awesome team.

  • Skip the food to excess and stress level. Ask yourself, do you like to cook for three days straight? Do you really need all the pies, cookies, homemade candy? Would simpler fare serve all better Would going out for dinner be a nice change?
  • Parties, dinners and more cocktail parties. Ask yourself – do I really want to go to each event Remember, most of your invitations are truly optional. Try not to over schedule and overpromise – no matter how tempting.

Give yourself a present this year. Enjoy the holiday season with moderation and do only those things that matter, you will enjoy it more and engage in the stuff wonderful memories are made of … even my Christmas fairy will tell you, it’s a great way to make the holidays more meaningful and more fun.

Happy Holidays to all!

- Jeanette Winters
 prof shot 2014Jeanette is a seasoned talent management executive who has worked at Intel (named their 2003 Diversity Champion for her strategic plan to recruit & retain women), American Express, Pitney Bowes, Amgen and National Computer Systems - (where she was the first female vice president). A highly regarded executive in the talent management arena, she has been called “one of the true rock stars of talent management this decade”. Jeanette holds a doctorate in public policy from the University of Southern California; masters degree in student development, bachelor’s in sociology. She is also a certified executive coach, and has a certificate in neuroscience and leadership from the Neuroscience & Leadership Institute.