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SMART STRATEGIES TO HELP BUILD STRONG TEAMS

The process of building a team can be daunting whether it’s being done on a large scale or for small projects. Managers often find themselves wrestling with the various difficulties that arise when trying to establish good chemistry in a team. The fundamental key to eliminating uncertainty throughout this process is knowledge. The more knowledge you have about yourself, and the more knowledge you have about potential members of a team, the more strategically you can make decisions that ultimately realize the objectives of any project you seek to implement. Here are four rules to always remember when building teams in an organization.

  1.     Be Self-Aware: Before heaping expectations upon others as a leader, it is absolutely necessary to understand one’s own leadership-style and personality. Comprehensive and honest self-awareness makes it possible to communicate effectually with team members and make one’s own standards of performance clear. For example, if someone has a Participative leadership style but they try to be Autocratic, they will probably come across as disingenuous to their team. Similarly if someone is instinctively Autocratic and they compromise this identity by trying to be Participative, they will only end up projecting weakness. Practicing an authentic leadership style allows you to be yourself which is the most central principle of communication with others.
  2.     Be aware of Others: Beyond practicing self-awareness, taking the initiative to understand others is also essential to create the right chemistry in a team. The more one learns about others, especially from the perspective of honest self-awareness, the more seamless it is to assemble team members in a complementary way. The most important point is to exercise emotional intelligence about how team members are united. Being mindful of how different personalities in a team are likely to interact sets the stage to prevent undesirable outcomes such as conflict, idleness, or distraction to name a few.
  3.     Define Roles Clearly: One of the most frustrating scenarios in teamwork occurs when team members either don’t know what is expected of them, or don’t know how to accomplish set goals. It’s understandable when this happens because of a complex task, but it is particularly problematic when it happens because of poor decision-making on a leader’s part. Leaders have a responsibility to ensure that employees have a clear and definitive understanding of what they are expected to contribute to an organization. In the absence of this structure, confusion takes hold and causes disruption to a team’s effectiveness. Maintaining clear team-member roles makes it possible to leverage employee strengths and weaknesses in a manner that keeps everyone consciously engaged in accomplishing their mutual objectives.
  4.     Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: There is no better way to gain or share knowledge within a team than through transparent communication. Superiors should communicate with subordinates frequently, colleagues should communicate amongst each other freely and subordinates should have meaningful access to their superiors – especially as pertaining to a shared task or goal. Open communication: sustains excitement about any work being done; builds trust among employees; creates opportunities to neutralize conflict; and fosters synergy in professional duties. Leaders should always be prepared to inform, guide and provide feedback to employees continually. An open channel of communication ultimately results in an ideal social environment for employees.

Building a team the right way is an investment in the people that make up a company. No company can survive without teamwork, and no manager can exist without an effective team to lead. Whether a project is big or small, assembling the right team for the job is an intricate process that should never be done hastily. This is because choosing the right people can make the difference between success and failure. There is too much at stake not to be deliberate in calibrating how teams are put together.

 

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HOW TO CREATE A WORKFORCE THAT GETS THINGS DONE

Because leadership and power are usually intertwined, people have an inclination to view leadership as a position of privilege. When someone becomes a leader, they find themselves assuming some form of influence or power over others. As such, the temptation to view those who are led as menial or expendable becomes amplified. This distancing is one of the most significant impediments to strong leadership there is. It is the root cause of insecurities which generate destructive habits such as

micromanagement, neglect, and favoritism to name a few. Try as one may, it’s impossible to lead successfully under this mindset without instigating conflict amongst employees. To become effective leaders, it is imperative to develop an instinct to facilitate growth in others – specifically in those who are being led.

This is the key to bringing the best out of employees. All leaders have a responsibility to respect, and empower, those whom they lead. They have a responsibility to share knowledge in a way that makes others capable and establishes a legacy of aptitude. The belief that empowering others threatens survival by creating competition for oneself is a defensive misconception. Far from causing threat, empowering others actually furthers survival by reinforcing available skills and potential. If every pioneer refused to share their knowledge for fear of competition, the human race would never have evolved. To illustrate, Thomas Edison would never have invented the incandescent lightbulb without Alessandro Volta’s electricity. Garrett Morgan would never have invented the three-position traffic signal without Thomas Edison’s lightbulbs. And exactly how lost would we all be on the road if Garret Morgan’s traffic system had never been shared with the world?

Let go of the fear and baggage that prevents you from empowering others because sharing knowledge is one of humanity’s cardinal reasons for being. Instead of limiting employees to their resumes or job descriptions, view them each as sources of potential beyond their existing skills. Every human ability can be enhanced through education and practice. Which in turn means that every person is capable of excellence if given proper guidance and attention. Every leader should be aware of this principle as they train and manage employees. Promoting growth in itself doesn’t have to be some elaborate scheme either. All it takes is:

  •       Encouraging others to solve problems without intervention.
  •       Teaching others to analyze problems critically and clinically.
  •       Teaching others to be collaborative and open to empowering others in kind.

These three qualities naturally compel employees to search within themselves and push the limits of their intellect. They also influence people into being receptive to new knowledge while sharing what they already know with others; creating a cascading effect of reciprocated empowerment.

Learn to take enjoyment in helping people develop and grow. Embrace a sense of curiosity about pushing people’s limits to determine what they are capable of. Rather than viewing mistakes as disasters, view them as an opportunity to learn and teach. Empowering others doesn’t just help other people grow, it helps oneself grow because every chance we take to uplift others helps us mature as compassionate beings.

 

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SECRETS TO SUCCESS: HOW TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE

By: Daniel Otianga 2017

There is a difference between being in charge, and being a leader. Becoming a boss or a manager takes work, but ultimately such promotion can actually happen in the absence of leadership. Being a boss means bearing an official capacity to professionally oversee a group of people. Being a leader on the other hand, means bearing a sense of inherent authority that influences others regardless of one’s title. Bosses learn and follow the rules, whereas leaders make them. Bosses manage people, whereas leaders inspire them. True leadership is guided by the ability to tap into people’s emotions and cultivate sincere devotion in any environment.
Being a rounded leader especially requires mastery of the ability to lead by example. Often when people find themselves assuming positions of leadership, they develop a mindset of entitlement that is triggered by superiority. This entitlement is responsible for the majority of bad habits that diminish the authority that comes with leadership. For instance, when leaders become entitled, they start to rely on delegation excessively. When leaders become entitled, they disconnect and distance themselves from their employees. Actively remembering to lead by example is the strongest way to curtail these outcomes and maintain integrity as a leader. So what does it take lead by example? It takes four basic steps:

1. Adopt a Sense of Determination
Leading by example begins with developing the sheer will to do whatever it takes in order to accomplish set goals. A strong sense of determination is what fuels success. Without determination for instance, marathon runners would never cross the finish line. Without determination, no meaningful invention would ever survive the first stages of failure. It is critical to always be prepared to challenge oneself as a leader so as to push through any obstacles that threaten your objectives. When those who follow you see determination, it emboldens them as well to join the effort and work hard to realize success. When you embrace determination, setbacks become less and less likely to cause disruption in your work.

2. Become Informed
As the saying goes, knowledge is power. The more knowledge one possesses, the more aptitude they have to make effective, beneficial decisions. It is important to have as much technical expertise as possible because this will enhance professional performance. But beyond understanding everything about your work, becoming informed about your environment and the people you encounter in it is also necessary. Learn about your colleagues. Learn their strengths and weaknesses. Learn their capabilities. The more you learn, the more strategically placed you will be to draw out exceptional performance from yourself and the people you oversee.

3. Take Initiative
Passiveness and hesitation are poisonous to leadership. The desire to lead by example must be predicated on a willingness to actually set an example. In this sense, having the willingness to take initiative is a quality that is indispensable to strong leadership. A strong leader should always be prepared to make decisive choices. A strong leader should always be prepared to show guidance when it is needed. Rather than asking the question, “Can I?” leaders should step up and ask the question “How can I?” When followers recognize initiative in their leader, it creates a sense of stability and direction in a group that keeps them grounded on their shared mission.

4. Demonstrate a Positive Attitude
Optimism is the lifeblood of good morale. When a leader projects positivity towards followers, this encourages productivity by instilling a sense of confidence among the group. Positivity is more than a display of good cheer however. Projecting a positive attitude also involves continuous, conscientious interaction with others. This means being transparent and receptive to communication from employees. It means having a willingness to treat people fairly whether rewarding them, or disciplining them. The underlying goal when it comes to optimism is being able to sincerely demonstrate genuine care for one’s team.

Transforming oneself as a leader takes courage. It takes boldness and discipline to search within oneself in order to make changes and try to improve. As daunting as it seems, change is possible. All it takes is a little courage and discipline to transcend fear of the unknown. If you are willing to be determined, become informed, take initiative and face the future with optimism, nothing can stop you from finding success.

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4 PRINCIPLES TO PREVENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE

If you happen to see anyone wearing a teal ribbon, it’s probably because they are observing Sexual Assault Awareness month (SAAM). First marked nationally in the United States on April 1, 2001, SAAM is a time that is set aside to educate people about sexual violence and how to prevent it. This important month has ironically coincided with a series of events that bring good cause to contemplate sexual harassment in the workplace.
Since February of this year, one of the largest transportation network companies in the world, Uber, has faced multiple accusations of systemic sexual harassment and gender discrimination against female employees. Just last week as well, in the wake of harassment scandals that led to the ouster of Roger Ailes as chairman of the Fox News Channel, details emerged of the fact that Fox News has paid millions to settle five separate sexual harassment lawsuits filed against one of its star hosts Bill O’Reilly. If sexual misconduct is a problem that can plague such large and notable companies, it’s worrying to imagine how many people could be suffering in silence under circumstances that have no whistleblowers or media exposure.
Every company has a responsibility to protect the well-being of its employees – especially those vulnerable to harassment. This isn’t just an ethical responsibility, it’s an economic one. Doing business without a comprehensive policy on how to address and resolve incidences of sexual harassment leaves an organization exposed to difficulties such as interpersonal conflict and legal prosecution. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as any unwelcome conduct that is based on gender. Sexual harassment becomes unlawful when victims are compelled to endure it as a condition of employment, or when it is prevalent enough to create an intimidating and hostile environment. When it comes to dealing with harassment, prevention is far better, and far easier, than cure. The following four principles offer a guideline on how to preventatively address sexual harassment in the workplace:

Create a Clear Sexual Harassment Policy
Consulting an attorney is the best way to draft a legally sound anti-harassment policy. Companies do have free reign however to go beyond this measure and craft rules that are specifically relevant to their unique personnel. The most important goals are to: define sexual harassment understandably, have management publicly endorse the company’s policy, and make this policy readily accessible to any and all employees that work for a company.

Regularly Train Employees and Management to Practice Established Policy
Drafting an anti-harassment policy is well and good, but all the rules in the world mean nothing if they aren’t intentionally applied. Companies should take deliberate and active steps to teach employees about how reprehensible harassment is, and encourage them to reject any participation in such behavior. The more training a company provides on the issue, the more instinctively a culture of respect and decency develops throughout an organization.

React to Incidents Swiftly and Decisively
In a perfect world, teaching people rules is all it would take to avoid having to deal with transgressions. Unfortunately however incidents of harassment may occur despite best efforts to avoid them. Should any employees end up carrying out harassment, management should demonstrate no hesitation enforcing either company or statutory regulations that punish said harassment. Companies should especially be diligent to document detailed records of harassment events considering that the frequency of harassment is a determinant of whether a hostile work environment exists.

Monitor Employee Behavior Actively
When it comes to employee behavior, effective prevention starts with simple observation. Management should be careful not to get caught off-guard regarding whether or not employee dynamics are inappropriate. Every company should have an open-door policy and channels that make it possible for any employee, at any level, to report and address isolated incidents of harassment before they multiply into problematic irreconcilable conflicts. Even something as simple as regular anonymous employee surveys can call attention to sensitive situations that require immediate attention.

A company can never be too attentive when it comes to protecting its employees from sexual harassment. When people can go about their work without fear or discomfort over encountering their peers, it becomes easier to focus on what’s important. It should be a fundamental right for every person to live and work in an environment of respect and decency. Striving to accomplish this isn’t an ideal, it’s a duty.

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5 THINGS TO HELP REGAIN CONTROL

Do you struggle with periods of anxiety? Do you experience irritability, muscle tension, or sleep problems? You are not alone. 40 million adults in the United States are affected by anxiety. Though it may not always feel like it, stress and anxiety are much more manageable than they seem.

1) Maintain a Positive Attitude
Learn to live in the moment and indulge. Live in the present instead of overthinking things. There are times when we are overwhelmed by thoughts of negativity instead of focusing on the positive. This can be difficult when you’re experiencing a period of anxiety, but we should train our brain to think positively. Focus on things that will lift you up instead of dwelling on thoughts of fear and negativity. Happiness is a decision. Emotions are generated by thoughts, and you have power over your thoughts. Make an effort to let go of the past and don’t give way to self-limiting thoughts.

2) Find Something That Relaxes You
There are numerous relaxation methods and activities to choose from. Find something that helps you relax. Maybe it’s going for a walk, taking a bath, or listening to calm music. If it relaxes you, do it as soon as you can. Taking the time to relax will help prevent periods of anxiety. Here are other relaxation tips to consider that can be done in less than 5 minutes:

-Stretch
-Dance
-Do some yoga
-Meditation

3) Control Your Breathing
Doing this has the power to minimize your anxiety. Poor breathing habits are usually linked to severe symptoms of anxiety. Reducing the speed of your breathing, and taking deeper breaths, help to control your breathing. The following is an exercise that can help take more controlled breaths:

-Inhale slowly in through your nose for 5-7 seconds
-Hold your breath for about 3 seconds
-Exhale through your mouth slowly and gently for about 8-9 seconds

Repeat this technique 10-15 times.

4) Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for overall good health. Studies have shown that sleep-deprivation is one of the primary catalysts of anxiety. Sleep is a key contributor in regulating emotions. Without it, processing daily emotions becomes much more difficult. Experts suggest that sleeping 7-8 hours each night will improve your emotional well-being and allow you to perform better throughout the day.

5) Exercise Daily
Anxiety fills the body with adrenaline whereas exercising gives this adrenaline-fueled anxiety an outlet. Start a workout routine to help eliminate stress hormones, reduce tension, and release endorphins that are guaranteed to improve your mood.

Your anxiety may be a part of who you are, but it shouldn’t define you. The next time you feel overwhelmed and start having symptoms of anxiety, remember to try some of these tips so you can regain control. Share these tips with your friends and family!

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TOP 4 ESSENTIAL OILS FOR ALLERGY RELIEF THIS SPRING

Spring is a wonderful time that many look forward to during the depths of winter. For those who suffer seasonal allergies however, this time of year represents unending days of flaring symptoms. The changing weather in spring is especially bad for allergies because thawing temperatures trigger the release of mold and pollen into the atmosphere. Even though allergy symptoms can be uncomfortable, the fact that they aren’t infectious in nature means that minor allergies can be treated using a variety of methods. Essential oils for instance are effective in providing relief from discomfort caused by airborne allergens.

What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are concentrated, naturally-occurring, chemical compounds which are extracted in their purest form from plants. Concentration is an integral characteristic of essential oils because this is what makes them curative. The dense molecules in essential oils change quickly from a solid to gaseous state at room temperature, which gives them strong fragrance. This is also what makes these oils beneficial for therapies that require aromatic dispersion, topical application or ingestion. Essential oils particularly fight allergy symptoms by neutralizing inflammation and supplementing detoxification which is routinely performed by the immune system. Essential oils are thus an organic way to both tackle allergy symptoms and bolster the immune system against infection. There are a plethora of choices to pick from when it comes to essential oils, but here are four trending alternatives this season:

1. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil has a sweet floral aroma. It also contains anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties which help treat skin conditions and alleviate respiratory allergies.

Usage:
Lavender oil is usually applied topically. It can be applied by:
· Diluting 1-2 drops into a carrier oil such as everyday fragrance-free moisturizer, and applied directly onto desired areas of the skin.
· Directly massaging 1-2 drops onto temples, wrists, or the forehead.
Lavender essential oil has a very strong aroma so test it sparingly before use to determine if its scent causes any discomfort.

2. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil has a strong, minty, aroma. It also contains expectorant, muscle relaxant, and anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce sinus irritation, release phlegm, and relieve coughing by inhibiting tracheal muscle spasms.

Usage:
Peppermint oil is usually applied topically or consumed orally. It can be applied by:
· Open-air inhalation of up to 5 drops.
· Direct ingestion of 1-2 drops.
· Diluting 1-2 drops into a glass of water or a suitable beverage.
· Diluting 1-2 drops into a carrier oil which has a neutral or compatible fragrance.
Peppermint essential oil has a very strong aroma so before inhaling or ingesting it, test it sparingly with limited open-air exposure to determine if its fragrance causes any discomfort.

3. Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil has a tropical citrus aroma. It contains antiseptic properties which inhibit the growth of bacteria, stimulate immune system functions, and eliminate airborne allergy triggers.

Usage:
Lemon oil is usually applied orally or combined with other solutions to create unique detergents. It can be applied by:
· Diluting 1-2 drops into a glass of water or a suitable beverage.
· Diluting up to 5 drops per quart of water used to wipe away soaps or cleaning solutions.
Lemon essential oil has a subtle but persistent aroma which most people associate with freshness.

4. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil has a rustic, arboreal aroma. It contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which destroy pathogens and actively neutralize irritation caused by bacteria, yeasts, and fungi.

Usage:
Tea Tree oil is usually applied topically. It can be applied by:
· Dissolving 2-3 drops onto a clean cotton-ball and swabbing affected areas of the skin.
· Diluting 1-2 drops into a few ounces of a carrier oil which has a neutral or compatible fragrance, dissolving this solution into a cotton-ball, and swabbing affected areas of the skin with this mixture.
Tea tree essential oil is especially effective against skin irritations because of its antiseptic qualities. It is one of the oldest and most popular topical essential oils.

When used as directed, essential oils shouldn’t cause any reactions or complications. However, if you happen to be particularly prone to allergies, always exercise caution before consuming any unknown substances. Do not exceed recommended dosages and do not ingest essential oils without guidance from a medical professional.

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SPRING CLEANING MADE EASY IN 3 STEPS

Spring Cleaning Made Easy in 3 Steps

Well, it’s that time of year again. Skies are clearing, flowers are blooming and sunny spring is in the air. It always feels invigorating to step outdoors and find balmy weather after months of shutting in during the winter. All the sunshine, fresh air and warmth create the perfect inspiration to take on everyone’s not so favorite chore – spring cleaning. As tedious as it may seem, spring cleaning happens to be a critical component of health and wellness. Spring cleaning provides an opportunity to practice hygiene that is otherwise neglected because of difficulty or lack of time. Spending time in environments that are never spring-cleaned exposes people to dust and debris. At best, all this dust and debris is unpleasant to see, at worst however, it may cause health complications or even injury.

             

Rather than thinking about spring cleaning as an ordinary chore, think of it as an investment in your health. Living and working in an organized and spotless environment contributes to efficient ergonomics and reduces frustration. In this sense, spring cleaning is a habit which stands to increase productivity and lower stress. For those who don’t know where to start in terms of actually going about this task, here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your effort to spring clean:

Make a List

A lot of people start out spring cleaning with the best of intentions, but get overwhelmed along the way and give up on doing a thorough job. One of the reasons this happens is because of a lack of strategy in their approach. Taking some time to itemize exactly what it is that needs cleaning creates better awareness of exactly how much work is necessary, and how long it will take. Depending on how big a space you need to clean, it may even be necessary to get help from friends, family or professional cleaners. Instead of just diving in, plan out your procedure so as to save time in the long run.

Stock up on all Cleaning Supplies Pre-emptively

Nothing disrupts the momentum of spring cleaning quite like running out of necessary supplies before the job is done. Even before committing to the chore itself, make sure to have enough detergents, equipment and miscellaneous items necessary to complete each task involved. Since spring cleaning includes elimination of persistent dirt and stains, it’s generally necessary to purchase supplies that aren’t routinely used such as heavy-duty gloves, brushes, face masks, or specialized cleaning solutions. Preparing adequately makes the job seamless and effective.

Save the Easiest Chores for Last

Being strategic is the swiftest way to get the activity of spring cleaning completed. Because you are likelier to be determined and energized at the beginning of the task, this would be the best time to take on ambitious cleaning projects in order to take full advantage of your enthusiasm. Getting heavy-duty tasks out of the way first also increases the chances that whatever needs cleaning the most gets cleaned meticulously. It’s important to pace yourself throughout, and saving the easiest chores for last creates more of a guarantee that the majority of your energy gets used on things that actually need exertion.

With these three easy steps accounted for, all that’s left to do is use a little elbow grease. Even though spring cleaning is something that can take hours and days, at its core it’s not complicated at all. At the end of the day it’s a matter of wanting the best for yourself and being willing to put in work to make sure that your surroundings are fresh whether you are outdoors or not.

 

For more tips and information on how to make the most of your day be sure to subscribe to our mailing list!

 

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PARENTING PROBLEMS?

You never really know what an experience is actually is like, of course, until you go through it yourself. This principle rings true especially when it comes to parenting. Having children is a life-changer that affects everyone in their own unique way. I recently read about Beyoncé and Jay Z revealing news about them having twins. This caught my attention because I personally have twins who are now 10 years old. Even though Beyoncé and Jay Z already have one daughter, I think even they would be surprised to discover that raising twins is a totally different story and experience.

Yes, raising children is darn hard work, but worth the journey. The bottom line is that every child is different. They are different from other people’s children, and they are different from their own siblings. So trying to raise them like all other children can result in frustration for you as well as the child.

Having difficulty with your kids?

Disconnection is usually the culprit behind conflicts experienced between parents and children. Connection with your children is important for so many reasons, the biggest being LOVE.

Let’s rethink the way we are raising and training our children. Let’s rethink how to love them in the discipline department. Do mistakes and failures always need to be punished? The parenting model that flows from this mindset presents a “punisher” role for the parent and creates an “outside-in” approach to learning about life for the child. This causes disconnection rather than connection. The goal is to love, and that can only happen through heart-to-heart connection.

Too often we punish and try to control our children out of our own fears and insecurities. When children grow up in an environment where their parents are afraid of mistakes, they learn to fear failure. I myself struggled with this for a long time. Because of the way I grew up, I never felt good enough and felt like a disappointment all the time. An environment of fear and intimidation does just that, it causes disconnect and excessive apprehensiveness over failure.

We should never apply methods of dealing with our kids that build fear instead of love. They are kids! Our children are mistake-makers. They don’t know what you know and haven’t experienced what you have experienced, so be patient with them. They are all on a learning journey just like us. When we become afraid of their mistakes, anxiety begins to control our responses to them and fear becomes the teacher in the home. This is how intimidation has become the main parenting tool for many parents. Using various levels of intimidation, we seek to control them in order to make ourselves feel like “good parents” that have robots kids.

Do you really want fear teaching your children?

We must learn to raise our children from the inside-out, through love, to produce freedom. We should aspire to empower our kids rather than make them afraid to fail. We must develop core values in them and not fears of failure. If we train them in fear, they will only “obey” when we are present. The moment we leave the room, that very obedience will disappear and they will make any impulsive decision they want. This is why we must develop core values within them. When core values are communicated routinely, our children begin to manifest them out of instinct whether we are there or not.

Here are 10 Foundational Parenting Principles

  1. LOVE is ALWAYS the Goal: A parent’s ultimate goal is to equip their children with the ability to healthily give and receive love. It is extremely important that people learn from a young age how to give love to themselves, and others, affectionately. Wise parents will model and teach skills on how to give and receive love. Parents should exemplify greatness in this regard because our lives and actions define so much in children’s developing minds.
  2. Connection and Attention: Many children are love-starved because although their parents are around much of the time, they never really get the attention they need. It is better to spend smaller amounts of quality time with our children without distractions rather than lots of time when we are preoccupied with other activities. Learn to “tune in” to your children at all ages, especially since they go through different seasons having different needs.
  3. A Respect for Obedience and Authority: To be successful in life children must learn to be successful in relationships because life revolves around relationships. We must equip our children to respect the rights and needs of others. All relationships require giving, as well as receiving. Positive parenting denotes that parents be good authority figures for their children. Having a friendship is great, but the positive parental roles of nurturing, supporting, and wise counsel are never truly finished.
  4. Personal Responsibility and Consequences for Actions: Equip your children to make decisions and to take responsibility for their actions. They need to learn that they have the power to make things happen. They need the knowledge to respond to any situation, or be responsible. They also need to know about consequences. As strong authorities in the home, parents must reward good behavior fairly, or deliver discipline swiftly. Children’s behavior and choices must be made to preset rules, responsibilities and limits. A well-managed system of responsibility and consequences creates harmony in the home whereby everyone knows their roles. Again, this should all come from a place of LOVE. Discipline exists to shine light on any areas of weakness and it empowers children to rise up to their true potential.
  5. Security, Consequences, and Self-Esteem: Most children have a deep desire for social approval. This desire informs the development of their identity and purpose. This is why it’s important for parents to express their children’s value out loud to them often. Tell them about their gifts and abilities. Tell them about their potential, and tell them about their possibilities. Call out their greatness! Self-Esteem is a result of a sense of personal self-worth and achievement. Great parents let their children know they are loved unconditionally for who they are, not what they do.
  6. Creative Individuality: Every human being is unique. Even my own kids who are twins are totally different! Ha!  Lazy parents sometimes try to cut corners and treat every child alike. But we must realize that each child has their own strengths and weaknesses. We as parents must be wise and help cultivate their strengths and create a platform for them to shine.
  7. Modeling & Transparency: In case you haven’t noticed, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say,” doesn’t work. Positive and effective parenting requires that we actively practice everything we expect from our kids. You expect them to eat healthy? You better eat healthy! Don’t want your kids cursing? Then don’t curse. Kids learn more from our actions than our words. Along with modeling honesty, projecting openness is also important. Many parents try to hide behind their authority rather than being humble, honest and open with their kids. Transparency is essential for the development of intimate, close and bonded relationships of love and respect.
  8. Need-Fulfillment: Don’t use your kids for your own personal need-fulfillment. They are not toys or pets, they are people! Our job is to encourage the growth of a well-developed, productive, secure, independent, sociable, and responsible adult. If we as parents have unfulfilled emotional needs, we had better go get help and get healed; not take it out on or project that onto our children.
  9. Be Flexible: Parents must learn to develop their kids’ creative potential. As children grow, they change. Good parents are sensitive and flexible to their children’s growth stages. Great parents respond to and encourage growth rather than “reacting” to it. Get a plan to be flexible as they grow because having a plan helps you respond and not react.
  10. Hard Work: Positive parenting is both a need and a calling. There are few things as negative and as painful as having failed as a parent. Likewise there are few things as satisfying and fulfilling as having succeeded as one.

May you grow in your parenting because it truly is one of the most important jobs in the world!

Richard Martinez 

Transformational Expert

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Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff…And It’s All Small Stuff

Author: Richard Carlson, PH.D

I really like about this book is how easy it is to read. Although Dr. Carlson is a PhD, he doesn’t write in such a way to sound more scholarly but rather very practical. The book gives simple ways to keep the little things from overtaking our lives and each chapter is no more than three pages at the most. Because it’s small and has many pearls of wisdom I recommendation is to keep this book in your car, by your toilet, at work in your drawer, or in your bag. You can easily pull it out when you need a few minutes to recharge and get your mind right.

There are hundreds of tips but here are ten to give you an idea.

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  2. Let go the idea that gentle, relaxed people can’t be super achievers.
  3. Don’t interrupt others or finish their sentences.
  4. Learn to live in the present moment.
  5. Become a better listener.
  6. Choose your battles wisely.
  7. Remember that everything has God’s fingerprints on it.
  8. Practice ignoring your negative thoughts.
  9. Take up Yoga.
  10. Mind your own business.

This inspiring book tells us literally NOT TO SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF and to stop the things that slow our progress in attaining a life free from stress.

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert

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