Is Controversy YOUR new Normal?

Every. Single. Day. There it is, right there in the headlines; a major controversial theme for the day, which can sometimes take over the news and media for weeks. Saints vs. Rams, Native American vs. Catholic teens, Wall funding vs. Congress, Kavenough vs. Ford, the list could go on for days on end. It has become such a normal part of our daily living, daily news, and daily conversations that I am very concerned for our marriages, our newlyweds, our premarital couples, our young adults, and our future leaders!

The constant controversy we are faced with on a regular basis from companies, groups, National sports leagues, and well-renowned organizations has become the new normal, and nothing can be more damaging toward creating peace and unity! If this has become the ‘norm’ in media, in TV reality shows, in the press, and all over social media- how in the world could families refrain from making this the norm in their own homes and in their most precious and valued relationships with loved ones, spouses, and especially with their children?

This new acceptable form of daily conflict seems innocent, and unavoidable at times; but what is happening is, ‘MEDIA’ is taking ‘clips’ of happenings, or small segments of words or phrases spoken, and developing a negative story out of it; creating perspectives that would sometimes, and often, be non-existent if the ENTIRE message, or ENTIRE video, or ALL the facts were presented, to begin with.

Our controversial culture is wreaking havoc in the subconscious minds of everyone! We literally have become immune to acts of controversial behaviors assuming everyone will adapt and it will be fully acceptable!

This couldn’t be farther from the truth!

DON’T LET THIS NORMALIZATION OF CONFLICT BE YOURS TOO!!

Even one of the fruits of the spirit in the Bible states having forbearance, which means, don’t have resistance, don’t challenge and push for things, have self-control. The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a person or community living in accord with the Holy Spirit, according to chapter 5 of the Epistle to the Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. …

If every day we brought a ‘new’ problem to the table within our family or in our workplace, or in our community, everyone would be in discord, major dysfunction, and a breakdown of love and trust would diminish!

When an environment is a never-ending pool of different perspectives, different opinions, and arguments, there is conflict continually. Successful families and companies have positive flowing relationships when they can create an atmosphere that promotes positivity, results, praise, respect, and admiration. The following guidelines are helpful to create unity within groups, teams, partnerships, and families:

  • There is kindness; even expressed when providing constructive criticism. We don’t ‘bash’ the child or spouse or employee, we express our discord with ‘choices’ or ‘behaviors’.
  • There are boundaries and rules, and they are conveyed as to what and how they should be followed; if homes have no children; spouses express preferences to each other and each partner works hard to conform to their partner’s desires in an effort to please each other.
  • There are consequences for not complying to boundaries that everyone agreed to in a family; or set forth by the leader, parent, President, or top authority figure. Without adequate consequences, there would be chaos, and no one would have any reason to adhere to the boundaries, much less comply.
  • There is respect. Not everyone will agree, or like all the boundaries, rules, or laws put into place; but under the leadership or parental units, or companies where people have hatred, or a deep dislike, or a strong disagreement; it is the mature responsibility of those individuals to understand this very important principle: If you don’t like the management, you have a few choices: leave the company/family/relationship/group, move out or away from your current authority submitting yourself to new leadership or management, or you rise up to be the leader yourself! But if you remain in the situation, and your way of dealing with it is to badger, criticize, complain, cause dissension, disrupt others peace, you have caused strong negative energies to take over within you, and it wreaks havoc to all those around you. Why engage in actions to yourself and others that cause thoughts and emotions to suffer?

If you are in a family, group or company that argues and has a lot of dysfunction and problems, you have a few choices.

You can stay in the situation (hoping it changes; trying to change it- which often creates constant resistance and lowers everyone’s energy vibrations and emotions! Unless all parties can communicate effectively or seek counseling) Problem rarely gets resolved

Leave the situation (get a new job, move out, or ignore and distance yourself from the problem or person) -problem remains

Argue, or try to ‘WIN’ (a useless, virtually never successful effort) lowers emotional state & problem remains.

In all the above remedies: problem remains. Division, discouragement, bitterness, resentment, blame, negative emotions, hard-spiritedness, dissension, and discord are all results of staying insistent on getting your way.

Compromise is where two parties both ‘step off’ of certain desires, and ‘allow’ for some unwanted things. The keyword here: BOTH parties must give & take.

The only time a person should stand their ground is if a choice is made without their consent- against their will or against their desire- that person afflicted should not be held accountable in any way (financially or otherwise) because someone else made a wrong choice. Example: Son breaks family TV when he threw a ball in the house. Mom thinks the parents should replace it, describing the incident as an accident. Dad, on the other hand, feels the Son should relinquish his allowance, seek new neighbors yards to cut for money, and do whatever else it takes to buy a new TV.

Would the parents replacing the TV be teaching the child how life works? If the parents were not in the child’s life in 5 years, the same scenario happened in college, would the child feel like ‘all’ the roommates should chip in to recover the cost of a TV… since, after all, it WAS an accident? Or, would the child have grown up realizing that we are all responsible for our mistakes- purposeful and accidental mistakes?

Love wins. Patience endures. Kindness calms. Thoughtfulness encourages. Non-resistance compromises.

Sometimes we must come to the realization that we can’t keep trying to have our expectations met, it is so emotionally draining.

Sometimes, things are better left unsaid. Letting go of trying so hard to make a point can be energizing. If someone has a different value system, your point is mute anyway.

Sometimes, it is best to do the following when a difficult person says or does something against our better wishes:

  • Pause.
  • Shake our head. (release that negative feeling!)
  • Realize that sometimes the other person resisting our decision is based solely on their own fears or levels of insecurities.

Each day does not have to include drama. Be a drama-diffuser. Here are the best ways to reduce drama, cease potential arguments- and keep positive flowing energy at work and at home.

A person has a critical argument or comment:

Your Response: That’s interesting.

A person has a negative statement or complaint:

Your Response: What are your ideas to fix that?

A person is going on and on with Blame…blame…blame:

Your Response: What are your plans moving forward since you can’t change the past?

A person has a project or something unreasonable for you to do:

Response: My answer is no, but I’m willing to compromise with the idea to ____________________.

Try hard not to let our present day culture that has developed a ‘normalcy’ to drama and conflict, be your method of everyday operation as well! The Nations leaders may not be in constant unity, but our relationships, families, and workplaces can be!!

Be happy within yourself, and kindness will flow. Be content and grateful, and appreciation will come naturally. Be a person with no expectations, and you’ll rarely be disappointed.

Don’t take things personally. Don’t assume. Always honor your word. And always, do your very best. ~The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

Less conflict = more peace!🤗✌

Life & Relationship Coach,

Annalisa O’Toole

askannalisa.com

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10 Steps for Struggling couples

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couples siloughette

Relationships, unfortunately, don’t have a 3 month, 3000 miles rule for going in and getting a tune-up or oil, filter, lube! But just as important as keeping our auto maintenance periodically, our relationships need checkups too, especially if couples have pushed unresolved issues under the rug over and over for years, and they tend to surface over and over, and they seem to be facing the same problems over and over.

Something to remember is that when a person goes years layering the problems and keeping a record of wrongs in their mind, these records tend to fester and grow bigger the more they think about them, and the more they share them with others, who most likely share their victim stories, and then that only adds fuel to the flame as well.

Conflict resolution means two things. It means a willingness for both parties to participate in being teachable toward listening to possible solutions and guidelines and choose their best path. And second, both people admitting their own personal weaknesses and mistakes, taking responsibilities for those, admitting faults, and moving forward in a positive direction toward compromise and forgiveness.

Coaching and counseling fails if one person has their mind set on the deadset belief that the coaching or counseling session is going to be focused on ‘setting their partner straight’ about some things. In other words, they feel that the counselor is going to hear their view, and going to ‘change their partner’. It will always be the coach or counselors position to hear both parties, and present ideas and suggestions that both people in the relationship may choose as a compromise, so that both parties feel they are working together as a team, and that they are both benefiting from a solution, and working together. Sometimes, however, suggestions will be outside the comfort zone of someone. That is because to accommodate our partners in relationships, change is often a part of successful flowing relationships. This does not mean, however, that we are supposed to change in ways that are uncomfortable, or feel unnatural to us. If there is a change our partner wants us to make that is outside of our comfort zone, we have a very HUGE decision to make, and we all know what that is. We must ask ourselves,

Can I continue to live with and love this person, creating this change in my life, and in theirs, easily and comfortably, without feeling resistance to this change, for the sake of maintaining a positive relationship?

If the answer is yes, you can stay in this relationship without hardship. If the answer is no, you will have a big decision to make.

The reason I love this question is that this question helps us evaluate ‘ourselves’; rather than continue to blame, or point the finger toward our partner. People tend to say things like this…

“Well, if my spouse would just stop…….and then they finish this sentence with whatever behavior is unbecoming…this idea sets up the belief that the problem lies solely outside of their self.

OR this one…

“Well, if only he/she would start ________more, then I would be more________.

They tend to fill in this sentence with whatever they desire from their partner to justify their reason to step up.

Here’s the major part of how this all has to work though. There has to be quality communication about what changes are necessary if any. What does need changing? What needs are being unmet? Has each partner even discussed their personal needs with each other? Why do we struggle? What are the fights about? What are the issues? Here are the 10 steps to get back on track to being friends, having fun, communicating, laughing together, finding that passion, and rediscovering the marriage you once thrived on!

  1. Make your needs list. Exchange it, and work on filling each other’s needs. DAILY.
  2. Buy the LOVE LANGUAGES book. Read it together. Know yours. Know Theirs.
  3. Buy the movie: FIREPROOF. WATCH IT together, ASAP. No Interruptions.
  4. Hire a Life Coach or Counselor, but be open, be teachable. It takes 2!
  5. Talk, Don’t Argue. If emotions get elevated; take a break.
  6. Work on your Communication skills. The NO’s of communicating: no interrupting, no yelling, no blaming, no bringing up the past, no name calling, no going to bed mad, no threats, no ultimatums, no defensiveness, no changing subjects; stay on topic.
  7. Anger will never fix anything but only brew more anger. Talk in a calm manner.
  8. Forgive. Unforgiveness is like paying rent for a home you don’t live in or visit.
  9. Don’t keep a record of wrongs, in your head, or verbally expose them to others about your partner, this just keeps the negative energy alive and continuing.
  10. Start new today with a new attitude of moving forward with positive new ideas for a positive future! You must believe it to achieve it!

For more life coaching information- visit http://www.askannalisa.com or find Life Coach Annalisa on Facebook or other sites as Coach Annalisa or Ask Annalisa!

Ask Annalisa!

I love my partner, but they’re making me crazy!

Are you in that love – hate relationship that is having constant conflict? Are you in emotional turmoil most of the time over this relationship? Do you miss the romantic spark you once felt? Maybe you are getting along, but you feel it’s only because you don’t speak up about your feelings, for fear it will develop into an argument. Whatever your relationship problem, there is hope for a positive future. There is good news about this, and also bad news.

The good news is, you DESERVE to have your needs met. You are worthy to be heard and feel understood. You are valuable, and your feelings do matter. You can have a blissful, romantic, fun, friendship and companion who meets your needs and rocks your world. So, that’s all the good news. Moving on to the not-so-good part…

In order to experience positive, flowing, fun, non-combative, friendship and romance, you have to understand this very important belief and absorb this belief into your deepest counsciousness. You must accept and agree with this belief. For some, this may be shocking. For other’s it may be just what the Doctor ordered. Many people will have a hard time accepting this belief as a serious truth. Here is the first step in positive relationships:

~Never allow your need for affection or affirmation; nor your fear of being alone to over ride your ability to prevent emotional connection to someone who does not meet your needs.~

Interestingly enough, the first step in qualifying someone for dating exclusively, is learning as much about them as you can. I had a close friend once who would meet someone interesting, and upon my asking how that new friendship was going, he replied, “oh, she wasn’t my model number!”

Habits and Behaviors that occur during dating (good or bad in your view) will usually multiply upon living together or in marriage. Evaluation should be the mission during infatuation! To clearly establish if someone meets the preferences that align with your needs (or not) indicates you are confident with your own personal path. How could being physically attracted to someone just majically work if you haven’t figured out your own course for life? Maybe you haven’t settled on a career path- or you’ve decided on taking 3 months to hike and sight-see Europe, wouldn’t it be great to know that a person would support your goals or aspirations? If your dream is to live and work in a foriegn city for a year- or do an internship in a busy city, but your love interest is passionate on a farm in the mountains living off-grid, you may need to reconsider getting serious. Geographical incompatibilities are just one area, there are of course, many other preferrences of people to learn about! Having clarity for yourself and knowing what your deepest values and needs would be from a partner, speaks volumes for your confidence level. Relationships have a higher success rate if individuals allow theirself time to become friends and establish a deep understanding of each others inner charachter before becoming emotionally connected. It’s important to understand though, that it’s not our job to mold or change someone so our needs are met. The right emotionally balanced and mature person should meet your needs naturally- for the most part- because they love you.

Individuals who can clearly state what they like, what they don’t like, and have courage and confidence to speak up for their needs, are much more likely to be satisfied in a realtionship, versus someone unable to speak up for what they want. Many times people can not speak up for what they need because they don’t even know! You can’t expect someone else to love you if you don’t love yourself enough to have a plan for your life! How would you know if someone WOULD fit along side you and your mission- if you don’t even know what it is yet?

Once you’ve discovered your calling, you can gage so easily, (when you’re attracted to someone and you begin talking)- if there could be a potential connection that develops. You would know because a potential dating partner should respond to your interests with enthusiasm, supportive gestures, helpful ideas and be your biggest fan.

If you are in a relationship where your personal needs are not met, and you have expressed what they are (and they are reasonable, doable, and not crazy, costly, immoral or illegal!) then you may need to reconsider how long you plan to stay in an uncomfortable relationship that is constantly resistant to meeting your needs.
Maybe, your needs are not about you. In other words, you’re desiring change in your partner because that change will somehow be more pleasant to you. In your partners life, however, their behavior is comfortable. The change you seek is considered your ‘preference’ (not a personal need) and is in conflict with your partner’s ‘preference’. Here’s a common Example: You prefer no alcohol. Your partner drinks. This can cause serious lifestyle conflicts. The only way a couple with these differing values could grow in a positive way, is for one or the other to “give up” their preference, and honor their word, consistantly. So either the non-drinker accepts the drinker -and all the lifestyle choices that go along with that (over-indulgence with drinking from time to time, spending extra money on alcohol, socially partaking, etc) or, the drinker quits and goes along with lifestyle choices supporting the sobriety. There is no grey area here- unless both people remain in their preferred lifestyle choice; which would mean breaking up or divorcing; or staying together with constant conflict.

Another example is a couple who is unequally yoked spiritually. One is an avid church goer, one is not. But if one person continues to try and judge or change their partner due to the difference (could be either partner here) it doesn’t feel good- one feels resistance on a consistant basis. However, if both parties agree on the situation, it can be a non-issue. If they can not agree- it means resistance continues; or to avoid resistance on a consistant basis- one partner decides they do not want to live with that resistance over a vast difference in values. The only way to live with a partner having a different value or lifestyle choice is to accept it- and make no resistance over it, or determine that value is unacceptable to you, to the point of it being completely unbearable – and get out of the relationship.

Before getting out, (if thats your decision) it is a good idea to express to your partner what your very serious ‘need or preference’ is and express that the future of staying together depends on it. Someone who loves you and wants to be with you, someone who respects you and your lifestyle, will either comply, or choose their preference over you. But, respectfully accept this, because this means at least they have clarity for what they value and need.

Positive relationships will have situations that feel resistance, but they shouldn’t be continual. If resistance continues, over the same differences for long periods of time; it simply means someone, after agreeing to a solution, has broken their word. It is important to know if you are someone who can continue forgiving and restarting new committments, or if this is unbearable.

Counseling can help individuals- if a person is consistant to seek guidance.

Remember this…

~The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results~

Know yourself, know your needs. Honoring yourself is vital before you can successfully unite with someone in an exclusive relationship. And, never try changing people. Inspire them by sharing your convictions- but know when it’s a fit or time for a flight!

~LifeCoach Annalisa O’Toole

For more info on #relationships visit http://www.annalisaotoole.wordpress.com

Lost Business Etiquette

Image result for businessBusiness has changed drastically over the years with the introduction and expansion of technology. It is certainly not new news that with the advanced digital management, and digital communications, the art of many business practices, once revered, have gone underground, or died. Many simple skills which were once expected, respected, and practiced, are no longer ‘a thing’. Some skills and business practices are just simply forgotten, not taught, nor are they regular occurrences for the younger generations who rely heavily on digital communications and correspondence. The art of people skills, for example; kind written correspondence, a phone call, or requesting a lunch appointment, has transferred into short, brief communicating efforts. For example, the once hand written, kind, letter written with a business proposition, acquisition, or confirmation, etc…is now simply handled as a brief, short email, or text.

I have personally been appalled at some recent business practices with small business owners who have failed in the special art of what I consider as …

The Three Business Golden Rules.

  1. Honoring your word.
  2. Treating other’s as you would want to be treated.
  3. Not taking things personally.

There are, however, a few other business etiquette guidelines to follow. The benefit of following these simple guidelines is to retain your existing customers. Not losing business is VITAL to the success of a company no matter how big or small. Yes, customers come and go, but why risk letting them go based on the negligence of following simple rules that greatly increase the customer staying happy and loyal?

So the first etiquette golden rule, Honoring your word, should be a no-brainer. If you can not keep a commitment, OK, everyone gets it; life gets in the way. We get sick, we have family that gets sick, people have unexpected surgery, funerals, an accidental over-booking, or accidental double booking, a hang nail, the dog throwing up…everyone has life hit them with an unexpected issue creating the need to break your word. But, WHY…(someone please tell me!) WHY…a person doesn’t have the respect for their customer’s (or worse, first time customer’s) time? WHY would they not call and at least let them know they are running late, can’t make it with the intention to reschedule? WHY must a business person leave their customer ‘waiting’ ‘guessing’ or ‘expecting’ them to show up? It’s like holding someone hostage when they have spent time preparing for the appointment, as in: finding a sitter, making arrangements for children, pets, other people in their life, etc…to accommodate the appointment time.  Here’s a worse scenario; customer’s preparing work for the appointment, only to have to back track and undo the work because the person did not honor their word and come. My husband and I laid out a tedious job of a landscaping material, needed prior to the second step we requested from a contractor. When our contractor didn’t call, or show up – 3 days in a row-without calling or texting to reschedule, we had to pull up our work. This appointment, by the way, was made at the contractors request because I had suggested leaving a drawing for the location needed and leave the check. However, he insisted on coming by to know ‘for sure’ where the locations were for his part. Commendable. But totally inconsiderate to not communicate.   We felt bound up with our time, never knowing if the contractor was going to arrive, arrive late, or not show up at all. After two attempts to reach out, where he did respond to say, “can’t today” on the first day, second time, I reached out to ask if he was still coming as pre-planned the day before, his response: “well, it’s yucky outside”. Third day, I never reached out after the no-show. Each day I gave a window of time that was best. However, without any word, text, call, or email, it was extremely unkind, disrespectful, and unprofessional. How hard is it to just simply let someone know? NEWSFLASH!! It’s OK in business to tell someone what you know will disappoint them; truth is better than no news at all. Having integrity in business is extremely important; but maintaining integrity is MORE IMPORTANT!

Here are some bullet points of other very important business practices that will help gain customers, increase repeat business, and increase word-of-mouth referrals. Most of them have to do with the same guidelines you would want to have with relationships. What creates the best businesses? Those in which customers or team members feel like friends, because businesses have treated them with respect, maintained honest practices, and dealt with business matters kindly, efficiently, honestly, and left no ‘guess work’ about anything.

  • Fortune is in the Follow Up! Always follow-up in a timely manner; people become impatient and do not want, nor are willing, to ‘wait’ for a lengthy amount of time to hear back from the company they chose to reach out to! How does it feel to you, to be ‘waiting’ for a long…….time to hear back from someone?
  • Understand that not everyone will want what you have, be interested in your offer, or comply to your way of doing business. If we all agreed in every way, on everything, how boring would the world be?  Don’t take matters of business personally. Don’t judge other’s when they do not align their word’s or behaviors with ‘your way’. Allowing life’s path to take its course, by either accepting, or letting go, feels a lot more freeing and peaceful than energy spent resisting, persuading, or fighting for something. No one changes their ways based on commands, but rather; most changes are created by inspirational feelings that alter emotions. This is critical in relationship building, and in growing a business.
  • Kindness matters! Recently, I entered the vet for an appointment. I was five minutes after the 5:00 appointment time due to a wreck. As I approached the counter, the administrator never looked up and made eye contact with me. (HUGE BUSINESS ETIQUETTE HERE….{a nugget within a nugget, lol!} ALWAYS HAVE GOOD, UNINTERRUPTED EYE CONTACT!) I said, I am here for the vaccinations with the Vet’s tech, we have an appointment. Told her my dogs names, and she (still without making any eye contact) replied, “Well, it’s a good thing you got here when you did!” I asked, “why?” She said, “Cuz we don’t take appointments after 5:30.” I said, “Well, I don’t understand, we have an appointment.” The staff member ‘huffed’ (still never looking up) and said nothing as she typed away on her computer. I waited…..waited….about a minute or longer…..still no words….so I walked away. 15 minutes later, approximately 5:20 pm, they called our name to be seen. Worst customer service, ever!
  • Cleaning up your work space! Nothing is more frustrating for other employee’s, clients homes, or offices a company may visit to do work, than a business person to leave behind the mess generated from their work. It speaks a message loud and clear: Business person does not respect their clients space. Business person does not clean up after their self. Business person does not care enough about the customer to leave the space cleaner than they found it.
  • INVITE or COMMUNICATE about happenings, meetings, events, or important occurrences like training, or recognition celebrations, team functions, etc…IN A TIMELY MANNER!  Talk about inconsideration of your employee’s or team mates time? And also, putting your fellow business associates in a very bad predicament; send out a text at the last-minute to inform them of a special event. How rude. This practice is not that of a professional leader. A caring, relationship building leader, lets their partner’s know, IN AMPLE ADVANCE about the important details concerning a company event or meeting. To expect them to comply with late notice is not only disrespectful, but it shows lack of caring enough about the event to give proper notification. People have lives outside of work. Unless they are a salary employee, obligated to a so-called ‘beck & call’ type work arrangement, then there is just no excuse for late notice. How would you like it if your child or husband sprung on you, that they have a ‘need’ that you need to support, but it’s happening in 2 hours. You are expected to attend or help; would you be able to do that? Most people would feel put out, and feel as though there was a communication breach in the family or leadership.
  • Honor the chain of command!  In business, the person just above you in position of authority should always be spoken to about a situation that needs attention. If that person does not resolve the issue, then, and only then, is it business-appropriate to go one step higher. If, to no avail for solving, then the next higher up is to be contacted. It is when a business person speaks of the negative situation or problem to another fellow employee, or takes the matter to the President, before the middle management has been informed, that the problem can be more devastating. It is certainly, in every business industry, appropriate and desirable to follow the chain of command rule.
  • Always respect an employee’s privacy. If a manager, or director, or person of higher position must speak to a fellow worker, an employee, or someone in a lower position than themselves, they must always do so ‘in private’. It is never appropriate to reprimand someone in front of the other workers, or team. It is however, highly favorable to ‘praise’ a worker in front of other’s and the staff or team. The goal in building relationships and camaraderie within a team, or group is to increase feelings of appreciation, gratitude,  giving encouragement and praise to build worker’s up; while eliminating ridicule, criticism, and reprimands outside of evaluation time or private times for discussing performance, or doing performance reviews.

For more information on good ‘life’ practices, life coaching tips and relationship advice, and available audios for downloading, be sure to visit findingandkeepinglove.com. This blog is: annalisaotoole.com. Also visit: askannalisa.com to learn more about Life Coach Annalisa, her podcast, and upcoming book launch and life coaching services.

 

Lost Business Etiquette

Image result for businessBusiness has changed drastically over the years with the introduction and expansion of technology. It is certainly not new news that with the advanced digital management, and digital communications, the art of many business practices, once revered, have gone underground, or died. Many simple skills which were once expected, respected, and practiced, are no longer ‘a thing’. Some skills and business practices are just simply forgotten, not taught, nor are they regular occurrences for the younger generations who rely heavily on digital communications and correspondence. The art of people skills, for example; kind written correspondence, a phone call, or requesting a lunch appointment, has transferred into short, brief communicating efforts. For example, the once hand written, kind, letter written with a business proposition, acquisition, or confirmation, etc…is now simply handled as a brief, short email, or text.

I have personally been appalled at some recent business practices with small business owners who have failed in the special art of what I consider as …

The Three Business Golden Rules.

  1. Honoring your word.
  2. Treating other’s as you would want to be treated.
  3. Not taking things personally.

There are, however, a few other business etiquette guidelines to follow. The benefit of following these simple guidelines is to retain your existing customers. Not losing business is VITAL to the success of a company no matter how big or small. Yes, customers come and go, but why risk letting them go based on the negligence of following simple rules that greatly increase the customer staying happy and loyal?

So the first etiquette golden rule, Honoring your word, should be a no-brainer. If you can not keep a commitment, OK, everyone gets it; life gets in the way. We get sick, we have family that gets sick, people have unexpected surgery, funerals, an accidental over-booking, or accidental double booking, a hang nail, the dog throwing up…everyone has life hit them with an unexpected issue creating the need to break your word. But, WHY…(someone please tell me!) WHY…a person doesn’t have the respect for their customer’s (or worse, first time customer’s) time? WHY would they not call and at least let them know they are running late, can’t make it with the intention to reschedule? WHY must a business person leave their customer ‘waiting’ ‘guessing’ or ‘expecting’ them to show up? It’s like holding someone hostage when they have spent time preparing for the appointment, as in: finding a sitter, making arrangements for children, pets, other people in their life, etc…to accommodate the appointment time.  Here’s a worse scenario; customer’s preparing work for the appointment, only to have to back track and undo the work because the person did not honor their word and come. My husband and I laid out a tedious job of a landscaping material, needed prior to the second step we requested from a contractor. When our contractor didn’t call, or show up – 3 days in a row-without calling or texting to reschedule, we had to pull up our work. This appointment, by the way, was made at the contractors request because I had suggested leaving a drawing for the location needed and leave the check. However, he insisted on coming by to know ‘for sure’ where the locations were for his part. Commendable. But totally inconsiderate to not communicate.   We felt bound up with our time, never knowing if the contractor was going to arrive, arrive late, or not show up at all. After two attempts to reach out, where he did respond to say, “can’t today” on the first day, second time, I reached out to ask if he was still coming as pre-planned the day before, his response: “well, it’s yucky outside”. Third day, I never reached out after the no-show. Each day I gave a window of time that was best. However, without any word, text, call, or email, it was extremely unkind, disrespectful, and unprofessional. How hard is it to just simply let someone know? NEWSFLASH!! It’s OK in business to tell someone what you know will disappoint them; truth is better than no news at all. Having integrity in business is extremely important; but maintaining integrity is MORE IMPORTANT!

Here are some bullet points of other very important business practices that will help gain customers, increase repeat business, and increase word-of-mouth referrals. Most of them have to do with the same guidelines you would want to have with relationships. What creates the best businesses? Those in which customers or team members feel like friends, because businesses have treated them with respect, maintained honest practices, and dealt with business matters kindly, efficiently, honestly, and left no ‘guess work’ about anything.

  • Fortune is in the Follow Up! Always follow-up in a timely manner; people become impatient and do not want, nor are willing, to ‘wait’ for a lengthy amount of time to hear back from the company they chose to reach out to! How does it feel to you, to be ‘waiting’ for a long…….time to hear back from someone?
  • Understand that not everyone will want what you have, be interested in your offer, or comply to your way of doing business. If we all agreed in every way, on everything, how boring would the world be?  Don’t take matters of business personally. Don’t judge other’s when they do not align their word’s or behaviors with ‘your way’. Allowing life’s path to take its course, by either accepting, or letting go, feels a lot more freeing and peaceful than energy spent resisting, persuading, or fighting for something. No one changes their ways based on commands, but rather; most changes are created by inspirational feelings that alter emotions. This is critical in relationship building, and in growing a business.
  • Kindness matters! Recently, I entered the vet for an appointment. I was five minutes after the 5:00 appointment time due to a wreck. As I approached the counter, the administrator never looked up and made eye contact with me. (HUGE BUSINESS ETIQUETTE HERE….{a nugget within a nugget, lol!} ALWAYS HAVE GOOD, UNINTERRUPTED EYE CONTACT!) I said, I am here for the vaccinations with the Vet’s tech, we have an appointment. Told her my dogs names, and she (still without making any eye contact) replied, “Well, it’s a good thing you got here when you did!” I asked, “why?” She said, “Cuz we don’t take appointments after 5:30.” I said, “Well, I don’t understand, we have an appointment.” The staff member ‘huffed’ (still never looking up) and said nothing as she typed away on her computer. I waited…..waited….about a minute or longer…..still no words….so I walked away. 15 minutes later, approximately 5:20 pm, they called our name to be seen. Worst customer service, ever!
  • Cleaning up your work space! Nothing is more frustrating for other employee’s, clients homes, or offices a company may visit to do work, than a business person to leave behind the mess generated from their work. It speaks a message loud and clear: Business person does not respect their clients space. Business person does not clean up after their self. Business person does not care enough about the customer to leave the space cleaner than they found it.
  • INVITE or COMMUNICATE about happenings, meetings, events, or important occurrences like training, or recognition celebrations, team functions, etc…IN A TIMELY MANNER!  Talk about inconsideration of your employee’s or team mates time? And also, putting your fellow business associates in a very bad predicament; send out a text at the last-minute to inform them of a special event. How rude. This practice is not that of a professional leader. A caring, relationship building leader, lets their partner’s know, IN AMPLE ADVANCE about the important details concerning a company event or meeting. To expect them to comply with late notice is not only disrespectful, but it shows lack of caring enough about the event to give proper notification. People have lives outside of work. Unless they are a salary employee, obligated to a so-called ‘beck & call’ type work arrangement, then there is just no excuse for late notice. How would you like it if your child or husband sprung on you, that they have a ‘need’ that you need to support, but it’s happening in 2 hours. You are expected to attend or help; would you be able to do that? Most people would feel put out, and feel as though there was a communication breach in the family or leadership.
  • Honor the chain of command!  In business, the person just above you in position of authority should always be spoken to about a situation that needs attention. If that person does not resolve the issue, then, and only then, is it business-appropriate to go one step higher. If, to no avail for solving, then the next higher up is to be contacted. It is when a business person speaks of the negative situation or problem to another fellow employee, or takes the matter to the President, before the middle management has been informed, that the problem can be more devastating. It is certainly, in every business industry, appropriate and desirable to follow the chain of command rule.
  • Always respect an employee’s privacy. If a manager, or director, or person of higher position must speak to a fellow worker, an employee, or someone in a lower position than themselves, they must always do so ‘in private’. It is never appropriate to reprimand someone in front of the other workers, or team. It is however, highly favorable to ‘praise’ a worker in front of other’s and the staff or team. The goal in building relationships and camaraderie within a team, or group is to increase feelings of appreciation, gratitude,  giving encouragement and praise to build worker’s up; while eliminating ridicule, criticism, and reprimands outside of evaluation time or private times for discussing performance, or doing performance reviews.

For more information on good ‘life’ practices, life coaching tips and relationship advice, and available audios for downloading, be sure to visit findingandkeepinglove.com. This blog is: annalisaotoole.com. Also visit: askannalisa.com to learn more about Life Coach Annalisa, her podcast, and upcoming book launch and life coaching services.

 

Why can’t I meet ‘THE ONE”? ~a guide to successful dating practices~

datingFirst of all, let’s review your THOUGHTS. Since your thoughts create emotions, and your emotional vibrations play a direct role in manifesting and attracting what you want, we should work on your thoughts.

If your thoughts are the same as the title of this blog: ‘Why can’t I’…(a double negative thought) this creates the same. In other words, if you believe you can never or will never do something…you will continue to not do it. You will never do it. So, your first tip in manifesting your soul mate, or the person of your dreams, is this: BELIEVE you can attract them. Then, think thoughts, and express words that allow your belief, words and thoughts that express the desire you want. So, shift your thoughts and feelings to this:

  • I will be meeting ‘the one’ soon.
  • I am ready to meet the one.
  • I am attracting the one.
  • I know ‘the perfect’ companion is arriving.
  • I believe the perfect mate is on their way.

One close friend of mine, believed so deeply in this concept of preparing and expecting his ideal mate, he actually rearranged his home in a way to prepare for her! He cleaned out the closet, and made half the space empty, ready for her things! He only uses 1/2 of the medicine cabinet in his bathroom, I think he even bought a new toothbrush and tooth paste and placed them in their new packaging in the bathroom drawer!

The next shift toward meeting your ideal mate, besides believing and preparing, and thinking thoughts that speak life into this desire, is to become the very best YOU. I hope you are not making the mistake of thinking that the ideal mate is your ‘end-all’ for solving your loneliness, or will end your yearning for companionship. Thinking a mate will rescue you from any pain, is a lie many people fall into believing.

You will be amazingly interesting, amazingly intriguing and ultimately attractive when you have passion in your life. When you are aiming for something that is enthusiastically driving you to serve in an area where you are using your creative talents, using your skills and gifts to help others, you will not likely make the mistake of being needy-clingy. Nor will you tolerate a mate who is. Maybe it’s your career, maybe it’s a part-time thing, or maybe you are at the beginning of figuring it out. However, if you have no idea what your calling is, or have no dream or excitement that drives you, you may want to consider spending some time on yourself, take a break from dating, or ‘trying’ to meet the right one. Going on a personal growth journey can be invigorating! Did you ever watch the movie, or read the book, Eat, Pray, Love? Fabulous.

Here’s a major News Flash: How will you know WHO you want, and if they will connect with you on a deep level, if you don’t know who YOU are, or where YOU’RE headed? How will you know if someone aligns with your dreams, aspirations, retirement plans, or mission, or values, if you haven’t discovered those for yourself? Everyone has a dream, everyone has a calling. I hope you’re not expecting another person to complete you. I hope Hollywood hasn’t saturated your mind with the notion that a love affair is the answer to make all of life’s crazy problems disappear!!

Falling in love will put a temporary hold on your existing issues. Discover your Calling, work toward that, and when you attract the right person, everything will line up perfectly.

A third vital step to meeting THE ONE, is knowing who you want. Do you have a list? I always encourage singles to ‘make the list’. This is a real, written out, bullet point list of all the traits you love, all the characteristics you need. Believe your worthy of this ideal person. Believe this person exists. Believe in God’s guidance toward attracting this person to you in His way, in His time. A big mistake I see in coaching single adults over the years is people having the same mentality about dating as we all had when we were young. It is the cycle that runs a little like this:

  • The Attraction: chemistry with someone based on looks and personality first.
  • The Hook: trying to see if they are interested, and will go out with you, or ask you out.
  • The Hopefulness: dating this person, hoping they will turn out to be everything you need!
  • The Reality: learning their flaws, believing they will change, or that these flaws won’t bother you much
  • The Let down: you are emotionally connected, intimately involved, and  scared you may be realizing they may not be suited for a ‘forever’ relationship with you.

A better, healthier, emotionally stable scenario for dating should run like this:

  • The Meeting: the first time you meet; you learn some interesting things and are intrigued.
  • The Talking stage: talking on the phone, or texting, getting to know them.
  • The Dating: Learning all you can, for as long as you can BEFORE becoming emotionally attached to them, intimate with them, Evaluating if their values and priorities jive with yours!
  • The 90 day rule: Don’t give up the cookie for 90 days. See if you can sustain getting to know them for at least 90 days before you become committed, or enter an ‘exclusive’ relationship. This way, you can feel assured that you have spent time discovering and evaluating whether or not they are safe, healthy, kind, and meet other important traits on your list. A great book that includes this awesome idea, is Steve Harvey’s, Act like a Woman, Think like a Man. 

If you have been dating, and you possibly are experiencing some of the following results, These are RED FLAGS. Red Flags are cautions about behaviors that usually do not produce positive, successful relationships.  Remember (this had a HUGE impact on me when I first read it) “We only allow people to treat us in a manner that matches how we really feel about ourselves” —WOW. Where is your deserve level?  Do you need to raise it?

If any of these Red Flags are happening, it is wise to try and re-evaluate your decisions about dating this person.

  • The person you’re dating is dating other people, so you feel confused and jealous.
  • The person you’re dating is not always available, and your unsure as to why.
  • The person you’re dating is needy, calls all the time, and is overly concerned with you.
  • The person you’re dating is emotionally unavailable; but seems to be into you
  • The person you’re dating won’t talk about where your relationship stands
  • The person you’re dating sleeps with you, but will not commit to being exclusive
  • The person you’re dating has an addiction. (drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, gambling, or other…)
  • The person you’re dating is unstable. (Not working, not responsible, not taking care of themselves but relying on others for meeting their basic needs)
  • The person you’re dating does not share your views spiritually
  • The person you’re dating does not share your same values about food, diet, and nutrition, or a healthy lifestyle
  • The person you’re dating does not make you feel energetic or important
  • The person you’re dating seems to be focused on their self mostly
  • The person you’re dating is estranged from their immediate family
  • The person you’re dating asks you for money, a loan, or to borrow things
  • You just have a ‘bad’ vibe, or an ‘off’, unexplainable, negative feeling about them

This list could go on and on, but I tried to hit the important ones.

Believe in meeting the one. Believe timing will be perfect. Believe everything in your life is in divine order. Believe, everything is happening for a good reason. There is power and wisdom in all that happens. And most importantly, know who you are, what it is you want, and then, you will, by default, attract who and what you deserve!!

~Coach Annalisa

For more relationship advice, or a free phone consultation about your situation, call Life Coach, Annalisa at 678-431-6528.

5 essential Leadership tips…

No matter what your job is, domestic-ceo on the home-front, or in Corporate America, or running and growing your own small business, (even in parenting and marriage!) there are certain basic principles of leadership that I have found throughout my life to be vital for growth, unity, & success. This is just a ‘LifeCoachAnnalisa’ theory, but most entrepreneurs I’ve had the pleasure meeting and or learning from, or the great authors who are experts at writing about success tips, teach and mentor from these as well:

1. Everyone has an invisible sign around their neck that says:                                            ~Please, make me feel important.~

2. Always ~Honor your word.~ Keep your commitments. Your word is your bond. It is your credibility, as a person, as a leader, and for the company and family you represent. When your word, or consistency is broken; so is your integrity. People are watching, being influenced, and learning from your example. If you are not committed enough to remain true to your word, or do not lead with consistent efforts; neither will your team, student body, employees, or your children.

3. ~Speak life~ into everyone, and everything. People need affirmation, constant affirmation. Most people move mountains when they are inspired; but freeze up when they are criticized. No one really changes because it’s expected, or demanded. Most change when they are feeling affirmed, appreciated, praised, and most importantly, made to feel they are making a difference!

4. ~Stay in contact~ with people. These high techy days have enormous resteam in mountain pic 1resources to stay in constant communication with people. Now with social media, and the ease and practical ways to connect right on your smartphone, there is just no reason not to be breathing positive, encouraging, uplifting messages of information, praise, recognition, and affirmations each and every day or week! People want to be around excited, successful people. How will they know this exists unless they see, hear, feel, and learn from posts, emails, phone calls, texts, and even snail mail cards – that it is happening and they are an important part !!!

5. ~Connect to an accountability partner!~ someone who has gone on to accomplish what it is you want to! Someone you respect. Someone who practices the ‘above’ four leadership qualities. Someone you feel energetic around. Someone you would trade places with because they live their life in such a honorable way! Stay close to this person, and latch on to their counsel. For more life coaching info in an area you may be struggeling with, or to book a Motivational Speaker, contact LifeCoachAnnalisa at www.annalisaotoole.com or call 678-431-6528.