Relate Well! Blog

Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development

Top Performers Use Executive Coaching

Behind every world-class athlete is a dedicated and committed coach. The same can be said for many of the top performing leaders, executives, professionals, directors, managers, pastors and entrepreneurs. If you are serious about achieving and accomplishing greater results and embracing all you are capable of becoming you will want to experience the proven power of executive coaching.

Generally speaking, those who take advantage of executive coaching are success minded, goal directed and performance driven. They may have already experienced an impressive amount of professional success in their life, but desire to maximize their potential even further by creating greater balance, clearer focus and a fresh perspective.

Clearly, when executives and other professionals experience the benefits of coaching it often has a ripple effect throughout the organization, improving morale, retention, efficiency, and productivity.  According to a Manchester, Inc. survey of 100 executives,...

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10 Ways to Practice Gratitude

As Thanksgiving approaches, we begin hearing more and more about the importance of gratitude and counting our blessings. To be honest, there are times that we can be more wrapped up in what’s going wrong in our lives or what we are missing, so feeling grateful doesn’t come easily. But gratitude is so beneficial in every area of life – health, well-being, relationships and success – that it is worthwhile to learn how to develop this important quality. The good news is, there are practical ways you can do it!

Here are 10 ideas you can use right now:

The Gratitude Journal. This is simply a notebook or diary to list the things in your life you are grateful for. Start with a basic list, then write one new entry a day identifying what you are grateful for that day and why. Review your list each day while being mindful of your deep sense of gratefulness.

Giving Grace. Giving Grace involves thinking in your mind or verbally expressing thanks to God for any...

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Six Tips for Conducting a Great Interview

Here’s some great interviewing tips from my friend and colleague, David Towne.

Business travel. It used to be such a glamorous thought. New places. Restaurants. Hotel rooms. Jumping on the bed when no one is looking. Impressing people by telling them all the places you have traveled or are traveling. But now that I am older and somewhat seasoned in travel, it has lost much of its appeal.

I just got home from Parker, Colorado where I was screening candidates for a new school. Many interviews in the lobby of the hotel and a few lessons learned.

Don’t eat too much bacon at breakfast or you will crash in the middle of an interview at 11:15am.

If you don’t start with Attention Deficit Disorder at the beginning of the day, you will have it after eight hours of interviews.

The more you drink, the more you will have to excuse yourself during interviews!

Seriously, after years of asking people questions, I have a few tips that have helped me in interviewing that I would...

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Do You Know An Emotional Vampire?

It’s that time again – time for little ghouls and goblins, superheroes and princesses to swarm into the neighborhood and charm you into giving them some candy. You may even see a miniature Count Dracula looking like he’s checking out your jugular vein.

Halloween and trick or treating is all in good fun, but I’m wondering if some time in your life you’ve known a warm-blooded vampire – an Emotional Vampire, that is. You might recognize them as someone you’re afraid to ask, “How are you?” because you suspect they’ll overflow with more gory details than you want to know.

You’ll know you are dealing with an Emotional Vampire because the relationship isn’t characterized by a healthy give and take. After spending time with the EV, you don’t feel uplifted and energized. Instead, you come away feeling drained and emotionally exhausted. In most cases, they are not deliberately sucking the life out of you;...

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"But I Don't Like Confrontation"

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone always got along and communication was always agreeable? That, of course, is a fantasy that will never happen as long as human beings co-exist on Earth. The reality is that there are times when discussions must take place that involve disagreement or confrontation of a behavior or situation that needs to change, whether you like it or not. You may know someone who enjoys a good argument or seems to relish stirring up discussion about difficult subjects, but that doesn’t describe most people. It is more likely that you would rather run the other direction – and you are not alone!

I would have to say that fear of confrontation is one of the most common issues many of my clients face. It’s not uncommon for people to literally become sick to their stomachs at the thought of having to confront for fear of having it turn into a conflict or facing the possibility of rejection. Consequently, these same people often experience low...

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Men and Women Have Different Social Needs

Back in the “olden days” when my children were still living at home and our main source of communication was a house phone that we all had to share, most of the calls received in our home were either for my daughters or my wife. If it hadn’t been for solicitors calling during the dinner hour, I would rarely talk to anyone on the telephone. One of the reasons they received more calls was because they highly value conversation and close friendships and go out of their way to cultivate them. It’s not that I (or other men) don’t value relationships, but we don’t tend to need as many relationships or as much contact in order to feel emotionally and relationally satisfied. In general, women rely upon and desire close friendships to a greater degree than men.

Even though it is a healthy, normal difference between many men and women, it can sometimes create tension for a couple. I hear it in marriage counseling sessions sometimes: the woman can become...

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10 Keys to Healthy Relationships

As a psychologist, I work with people every day who want to improve their relationships with friends, co-workers and family members. Here are ten things I recommend to everyone desiring healthy, more satisfying relationships:

1. LOVE WHO YOU ARE FROM THE INSIDE OUT. Remember Stuart Smalley of SNL fame? Stuart was famous for his sappy daily affirmation, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!” You may not want to fall into that shallow facade of self-worth, but the truth is that many of the things people do to sabotage or undermine their relationships are fueled by low self-esteem and insecurity.

When you can honestly identify and genuinely appreciate your gifts, talents and abilities as well as acknowledge and work on your weaknesses you will be less inclined to compensate for your insecurities by finding fault in others, being self-absorbed and/or overly guarded and defensive. When you love and accept yourself it’s a...

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Keep Conflict from Derailing Your Marriage

In his book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. John Gottman introduces the concept of “repair attempts” to keep conflict from derailing your marriage. According to Gottman, the success or failure of a couple’s repair attempts is one of the primary factors in whether their marriage flourishes or flounders. Along with Dr. Gottman’s principles, I’ve included my own practical applications for your marriage. Practice these reparative strategies regularly and watch your friendship grow.

A repair attempt is defined as any statement or action—silly or otherwise—that prevents negativity from escalating. Here are a few examples of phrases that can be effective repair attempts. Keep in mind that the absence of repair attempts is a strong predictor of marital failure.

1. Apologizing

“I over reacted, I’m sorry.”
“I can see my part in all this.”
“I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”

Saying...

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The Power of Habit

We have heard it countless times: “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got.” The reason this phrase is so applicable to life is that it speaks to the fact that the habits we develop will drive the direction of every area of our lives. Good habits lead up toward success and satisfaction. Bad habits lead to problems and frustration.

My work with clients often involves helping them understand and apply the power of habit. The ability to develop desirable behavior patterns such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, managing finances, using good communication, etc., all require the knowledge associated with building solid habits.

I have posted this “poem” before, but we all need to be reminded of the power we can harness to improve our lives, so let’s take another look:

I am your constant companion,
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at...

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Earning the Trust of Your Employees

We live in unsettling times in many ways. We are constantly reminded of the need to protect ourselves from identity thieves, credit card scammers, people laying in wait in parking lots to hi-jack vehicles and sociopaths tampering with packaging in the grocery store. We are bombarded with headlines that scream about lies from politicians, fraud by financiers and broken trust in celebrity marriages. Almost everywhere you turn, you are warned not to trust anyone. We are conditioned to withhold trust.

This conditioning impacts every area of life, and the workplace is no exception. In my work with organizations I often discover that there is a common problem for leaders – employees who don’t trust them. The challenge for leaders and managers today is breaking down the barriers of suspicion and self-protection and learn how to earn the trust of their employees.

I came across an article in Forbes Magazine by Glenn Llopis that listed seven characteristics that undermine the...

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