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It's Not Just Business, It's Personal!

From personal anecdotes, to business development case scenarios, and all the thoughts in between, Monica shares her insights into what brings success and happiness "when business meets personal."

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Personal Awareness

Subcategories from this category: Inspiration

Posted by on in Personal Awareness

I opened my newspaper today and was immediately attracted to the sports page.  A local Westport, CT team had squeaked through to win a semi-final game in the Little League World Series.  They’ll play today for the U.S. final.  Chad Knight, AKA Mr. Clutch, not only an impressive pitcher, was also credited with starting a rally in the fifth inning when they were down 13-6 and with the game-winning RBI in the final inning.  His post-game comments say a lot about his maturity and calmness under fire.  “Going to the plate I was a little nervous, but I realized it was just like any other at-bat.  Just go up there and try to put the ball in play.”

The next sports article was about the New Haven Open tennis tournament.  The four-time defending champion, Caroline Wozniacki, missed “a crucial shot” that “99 times out of 100 I would have hit,” and went on to lose quickly to Simona Halep.  Did she lose her confidence?  Was she reliving that shot for the rest of her time on the court?

We can all learn a lot from this 13-year-old boy and this professional athlete.  Our success is often determined by being present and calm in the moment.  If we let our emotions or our inner gremlins take hold we will surely not be at our best. 

After doing a little more research on Chad, I found out that he has been doing yoga since February!  Yoga for a 13-year-old boy, now that is progressive thinking!  To quote his dad, “(Yoga) has taught him breathing, taught him how to be focused, taught him to relax.” Said Chad: “I think it helps a lot. I can control myself.” I am reminded of the stories about Tiger Woods and what his dad used to do with him as a kid to help him develop a calm focus on the golf course.

I am now even more convinced that our inner thoughts can do more to help us excel or fail than anything else.  It’s a good thing I am just finishing up a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course filled with instructions on meditation, yoga, and being mindful!  If I channel my mind like Chad did, I’ll succeed for sure!  The winning strategy?  Be present, Be in the moment, Think positively!


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Strengths and Weaknesses.  We all have them.  To some extent they are in-born to your personality type but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.  I use the Peoplemap System to help identify clients’ strengths and weaknesses (AKA Achilles heels), and use it as a personal development platform for future growth.

I propose that our Achilles heels are often a result of the extreme of our strengths. Case in point: developing relationships is really important to me, and some of my strengths include being personal, compassionate, and encouraging of others. I enjoy giving praise, mentoring, and seeing others grow.  I like to build a personal relationship, even in professional settings.  To an extreme, I can be overly dependent on being accepted or praised by others- I’m too sensitive and can take things personally.

Another strength is being positive, some would call me a PollyAnna (a character in an old children’s movie who professed to find the good in everyone and everything). “You’re such a Pollyanna” can also be a criticism, because if I’m always looking at or for the good, maybe I’m not being critical enough or demanding better from myself and others.  I let myself and others off the hook too easily- also known as not being accountable (which is tough when you’ve got specific goals to reach).

Another cause for a weakness is to lack a certain skill, such as assertiveness, initiative, and persistence.  I used to be terrible at being assertive, speaking up for myself or others when I sensed that it could cause conflict.  I, like many people I know, avoid conflict.  As I said, I’ve gotten better at it. I sense the fear and do it anyway (usually!).  When have you wanted to say something but didn’t?  What repercussions has it had in your life?  My experience is that it usually prolongs the inevitable and causes pain or confusion rather than clarity and authentic communication.

I was giving a Peoplemap workshop in a small company that was owned and mostly run by women who had developed a culture of conflict avoidance at work.  (Some admitted to being like that at home too).  On the surface they all got along, but behind doors they judged and criticized how some staffers did things.  The owner was  a good leader in many ways, but even she avoided conflict.  The employees were able to give many examples of how avoiding conflict was doing harm to the company- inter-personally among the staff and with the clients.

How would you score yourself on the following 8 Core Competencies of Leadership* ? I’ve listed them as two ends of the same communication focus:

Assertiveness VS Active Listening

Constructive Feedback VS Praise, Recognition and Quality Time

Initiation VS Collaboration

Accountability VS Mentoring

Most people live at one end of the scale or the other.  The best leaders can incorporate all of these competencies.

If you’d like more information about the Peoplemap Leadership training, please contact me: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Posted by on in Personal Awareness

I love this quote:

The secret of making something work in your lives is, first of all, the deep desire to make it work; then the faith and belief that it can work; then to hold that clear definite vision in your consciousness and see it working out step by step, without one doubt or disbelief.

Eileen Caddy

Do you desire success, however you might define that?  Do you even KNOW what that looks like?  Do you believe that it can happen to you?  

Our inner thoughts really do make a difference on our ultimate success, so it's worth spending your time noticing; are you a believer or a disbeliever?

Self-doubt is a toxin that creeps into your dreams, your relationships, your career, your finances, and even your health. If you are often filled with self-doubt, telling yourself things like, "that's going to be too hard, they won't take notice, they will find a reason to say no, maybe I'll do it another way next time when I'm ready",  then you'll never be ready and you'll never manifest what you want.

The Gremlin of self-doubt IS something you can manage by noticing, by talking him or her away with positive thoughts, and by doing things in baby steps, consistently building on what you are confident in until your comfort zone is bigger and bigger.

I do an exercise with my clients called Hi-Dream, Low-Dream.  Self-doubt drives the low dream or worst case scenario. Flush it out.  What are all your fears. The high dream is your best case scenario; everything you dream or wish could happen.  If you examine what REALITY supports each of these dreams, you will usually see that there is a better case for the high dream coming true than the low dream.  Just examining it in a logical way can build your belief. 

Once you believe your dream is possible, your mind can create a path to make it happen and keep you motivated to see it through.  This is exactly how I lost 40 pounds.  I found a tool, educated myself, and most of all, I finally believed that I could do it- even at my age (55).  The same concepts can be applied to personal, business, or relationship goals.

Now go out there and dream big, flush out your Gremlins so they can't hide, and talk yourself into believing.  If you need help, I'm always here.


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I'm directly quoting Chris Cuomo, while reporting on CNN from Boston today after a horrific bombing,

"In the face of the worst, we see the best in people."

He's referring to the first responders and bystanders who did everything they could to help those who needed help.  Not just the injured, but the runners, the visiting spectators who didn't know where to go, the children who were frightened. Have you  "risen to the occasion" or witnessed it in others? What does it take to set aside the emotions of the moment and act calmly, professionally, compassionately while chaos is going on around you? 

"My first response was to run over and help those who were injured," said a spectator, covered in blood, who had helped the wounded.

How would you respond in a situation like this? (I hope you'll never have to find out!!) Have you been called on to be "the rock" for those around you during a time of stress or trauma?  No one ever wants to be tested like this, but it helps to be trained and prepared.  It helps to be in touch with your own inner thoughts too. What would you tell yourself in a situation like that? Would you heighten your fear with thoughts of the worst-case scenario, or would you calm yourself down? "Do what you can.  Others need you.  Take care of things and you can fall apart later!  How can I help?"

Thank God we have people brave enough to train for first responder jobs.  We know the stories of 911.  We know the stories of every-day acts of heroism; the off-duty cop who stops a burglary, the fireman who pulls people from a fire.  I know I couldn't do it.  And in my lifetime I hope I don't have to hear about another tragic, purposefully violent act like today, but I know I'll hear about acts of bravery, courage and leadership in the face of chaos.

Let's give our first responders an extra show of appreciation the next chance we get, and think about who we want to be in the face of adversity.

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Posted by on in Personal Awareness

I found a link to a really great Josh Groban video of his song, "Don't Give Up." (aka You Are Loved)  I was first motivated to share the song because of the line, "Everybody want's to be understood." I believe in this wholeheartedly and it is part of why I chose Relationships as one of my cornerstones for coaching and why I became a trainer in Peoplemap.  It really helps people to not only understand themselves better, but understand others better. In "Don't Give Up," the songwriter, Tawgs Salter, indicates that he understands the need to be understood and is voicing some of how he understands his loved one.

As I listened closer to the rest of the lyrics, I heard the voice of both the most disheartening gremlins (the weight of the world) and the championing voice (don't give up).  When we analyze our inner voice, everyone hears some of each, but in different ratios.  If your Gremlins have more of your attention, causing you to feel "lost inside, darkness, and silence" you will feel less likely to achieve your goals, you'll doubt yourself more, and you'll be closed to all the possibilities. 

"Dont' give up, and You can do it" is the kind of voice we all need to hear, and we can all choose to hear from inside ourselves. When you have a positive inner voice, and surround yourself with coach-like people who inspire and motivate, you will believe that anything is possible.

When you think about what you want to accomplish in this world, don't go too far inside yourself with the dark Gremlins who steal your passion!  Instead, listen to this and other songs and give yourself a little understanding and inspiration. Make a list of how special and capable you are and read the list every day.  Read inspiring stories of people who have achieved what you want.  Surround yourself with positive messages and you won't be able to help but feel positive!

Link to video


Don't give up
It's just the weight of the world
When your heart's heavy
I...I will lift it for you

Don't give up
Because you want to be heard
If silence keeps you
I...I will break it for you

Everybody wants to be understood
Well I can hear you
Everybody wants to be loved
Don't give up
Because you are loved

Don't give up
It's just the hurt that you hide
When you're lost inside
I...I will be there to find you

Don't give up
Because you want to burn bright
If darkness blinds you
I...I will shine to guide you

Everybody wants to be understood
Well I can hear you
Everybody wants to be loved
Don't give up
Because you are loved

You are loved
Don't give up
It's just the weight of the world
Don't give up
Every one needs to be heard
You are loved

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