Category Archives: And a Bit More

A Simple Smile Shifts Energy

I’ve been experimenting with this idea for several months now . . . does the simple act of smiling to yourself shift your own energy?

This experiment came about quite innocently when I would be feeling a bit frustrated (like lots of us) when trying to take care of household business calls that seem to have no end.  It’s not the fault of the person on the other end of the phone (when I actually am able to talk with someone) but it seems like nothing is simple and almost always one call necessitates another two or three calls.  I’m thinking of calls like scheduling medical appointments for family members; sorting out errors on bills, arranging for car/dog/house maintenance etc. etc. You know what I mean.

So I tried experimenting with putting a smile on my face (none can see me) to observe what would happen. Interesting, several things would almost always occur quite quickly. First, I noticed that my voice would soften and become a little lighter. It also had a warmer quality to it.  My shoulders relaxed a bit and I sat back slightly in my chair.  I also was more attuned to the conversation and was listening a bit closer.  And if I really wanted to test the waters, I would find a moment to just laugh slightly to see if that created a nice connection with the other person.

I was pleasantly surprised at the result of my experiment.  Each time I coached myself to smile, my energy had clearly shifted in a very subtle way.  It was not dramatic – I hadn’t done anything extraordinary but my energy had simply shifted to a more positive and collaborative posture.

Did the smile get business done any faster or better?  Maybe not or maybe so.  But it does make it easier on me.  I’m being a bit kinder and gentler on myself.  Now on to more phone calls . . .


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Choose Not to Be Afraid

At 4:45am each morning I take the dogs outside for their first potty beak and to pick up our local paper off the front driveway. As our  golden retriever and westie (Snowball & Dooley) are rolling in the snow making snow angels, I am glancing at the paper’s headlines under the garage lights.

Almost without fail, the front page stories shout at me about something that is going to immediately endanger myself or my family.  It can be anything from global terrorism; the national economy, our local unemployment statistics; home foreclosure rates or a whole array of looming health disasters that will kill me off before the day is done.  I’m surprised I can stagger back into the house for my first cup of coffee.

Fear, worry and anxiety are epidemic in our world today.  The media, our politicians and even our family & friends are telling us constantly to “be afraid” of everything and anything.  Yes, there are some very real things in 2013 that we need to be concerned about but do we really have to be worried 24/7?  No, we don’t!

It’s our choice – what are we going to be concerned about (in a healthy way) and what are we going to let go.  It takes practice but over time each of us develops an inner “check list” of what is worth getting our “knickers in a twist” (as the Brits say) and what needs to go on the back burner.  That’s when our inner voice – the language – we use in speaking to ourselves becomes critical.

My challenge to you, is to pay attention to what media generated “fear” can hook you and then be touch with yourself in choosing your response.  It’s your choice.  Do I retreat to my comfort zone?  Second guess myself constantly? Become critical of others?  Cynical of the world around me?  Think about it . . . and I hope you choose to put fear in its proper place.  You are in control . . . not it.

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When Blogging Grinds to a Halt!

Despite my best intentions, my weekly blog ground to a halt over the last two months.  And it wasn’t even for something terribly exciting.  It was rather due to the sudden onset of severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both of my hands.  It started late July and really set me back in many ways.  I’ve always been blessed with excellent health so I was a bit grumpy to be dealing with this unexpected health challenge.

But after two surgeries (Oct & Nov) I am back to writing, working out in the gym and generally getting into mischief – the spice of life!  I was able to continue getting out my monthly e-newsletter Kit’s Monday Tip but it is only now (early January) that the hands are ready for my weekly blog to all of you.

And I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling guilty about slowing down or even stopping blogging on a regular basis.  Have you ever felt that way?  Life does get in the way for us.  We may get pulled away by a family member’s pressing needs or by our own.  The lesson I’ve learned is that it’s okay – I’ll get back to it as soon as I can.  We’re just doing the best we can.  So be kind to yourself if you’ve had to take a break – you will be back as I am now.  More to come next week . . . Warmly, Kit





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Using “We” For Sense of Ownership

It’s such a simple word “We”.  It’s easy to forget the emotional connection this simple word has the power to create.

Savvy leaders know this and they wisely use “we” in their communication with their functional and project teams.  They know that this word shifts people’s mindset from an “I” or “me” mentality to a shared vision and commitment.

Suddenly, there is a sense of ownership.  It’s subtle but the feeling is that we are in this all together – sink or swim – we are connected together and will all share in the success or failure of our efforts.

That’s very powerful.  And it’s simply a shift in language.  But it must be authentic.  The leader must be genuine in their belief that the synergy of highly motivated and committed people is through a sense of ownership.  As we know it truly “takes a village”.


Posted in And a Bit More, Career Tips & Strategies, Communication Tips, Inspirational Leadership, Networking, Your Time & Energy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Art of Political Conversation” A Unique Workshop

What fun!  I was invited to speak on KJFK 230 AM this past Saturday morning, Sept. 29th, on “The Art of Political Conversation”.  Chip Evans and his co-host Verita Black Prothro are anchoring a progressive talk radio show “Get Real, America!” every Saturday morning at 9:00am dedicated to opening the conversation in Northern Nevada  on progressive issues and concerns.

Chip and I are an experienced political training team.  We have been working with the Nevada Democratic field organizers since 2004 on all aspects of leadership and political activism.  For this political cycle, we are offering our evenings and weekends to meet with  community groups and field organizers to teach the fine art of engaging in a political conversation without being triggered.  And that’s not easy in this political climate!

This is a fast moving, interactive 1 1/2 hour skills-based workshop. Participants get hands-on practice in these state-of-the-art communication skills.  And what Chip and I enjoy most is the feedback we get from the college students, Republicans turned Democrats and the many, many dedicated volunteers willing to spend their free time working on behalf of progressive values and condidates.  After every workshop, they tell us they have more confidence and more concrete tools to engage in that next conversation at the door, on the phone or with their Republican brother-in-law at Thanksgiving dinner.


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