Relate Well! Blog

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

Have You Cast Your Vision for 2016?

And so, in the blink of an eye, we are beginning a new year – welcome to 2016! The future is before us, which gets me thinking about where I want to be by this time next year – and beyond. You may be thinking about that, too.

When you look at your hopes and dreams for the future – where you want to be at some defined point in time – what do you see? Is the road pretty clear before you or is the fog too thick? Of course, no one has the power to fully predict their future, but those who cast a vision and do whatever it takes to achieve it have a better chance of predictable success and satisfaction as they look back from the vantage point of old age.

Casting a vision for your life simply means to decide what you ultimately want to do, have, and accomplish in life. The following excerpt from our audio presentation, “The Power of Values” will give you a great start on casting a vision for your future.

Many people today know what they ...

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Making Your Employees Jolly During the Holidays

I get it – the holidays may be the busiest, most frustrating time of the year for your business. Demand for products and services skyrockets as gift-buying escalates. As lines get long, tempers can get short – on both sides of the counter. Your customers are under pressure to finish their holiday preparations, deal with kids bouncing off the walls and meet all their “joyful” obligations. You need your staff to be extra patient, extra friendly and extra efficient. The reality is, you need them to be at their best when they have all the same pressures, time constraints, plans and problems your customers have.

So, what can you do to help them have a jolly holiday in spite of the hassles? It doesn’t take a lot of time, money or effort to keep employees feeling positive about working for you, even during the busiest season – a little of each goes a long way toward job satisfaction and loyalty.

Thank them – When you know your staff is hustling to...

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What to Do for Stress Overload - Part 2

personal growth stress Dec 10, 2015

If you read our previous blog and began implementing some of the first 7 suggestions for ways to reduce your stress, you may already be on your way to feeling more relaxed.  In the first 7 tips we suggested: Get away regularly, develop your favorite hobby, read 15 minutes per day, engage in Expressive Writing, share a belly laugh with someone, use Progressive Muscle Relaxation, and use aromatherapy.

Here are 7 more tips for getting out from under stress overload.

8.  Engage in breathing exercises. The more stressed you are, the more rapid your breathing will be. In a genuine “fight of flight” situation, the stress hormone cortisol is intended to help the body respond with fast escape or self-defense. But when no burst of activity burns off the hormones, they can cause serious health problems over time. Regularly practice inhaling for about 4 seconds – taking in enough air to lift the chest and abdomen – hold your breath for 7 seconds and then exhale...

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What to Do for Stress Overload - Part 2

Life is full of stress, and it’s not always bad. If we’re honest, most of us enjoy the adrenaline rush of meeting an unexpected challenge once in awhile, but none of us do well when the stress of heavy workloads, over commitment, family needs and uncontrollable circumstances never lets up.

The reality is, your mental and physical health is at stake if you don’t make it a priority to engage in stress-relieving activities and habits that help you relax.

I have developed a list of 14 things you can do to start now. Today we will talk about the first 7, and then we will cover the other 7 strategies next time.

1. Give yourself permission to get away regularly. This may be a solo activity, or can include anyone you enjoy being with – your spouse, friends, family, etc. It can be a weekend at a cabin or hotel, or an afternoon at a park with a good book. In a pinch, an hour in a quiet place or listening to music can even be helpful. The only “rule” is that...

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What are You Thankful For?

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of the year.  I have very fond memories of the many special gatherings my family has celebrated together.  Playing and watching football, catching up on the latest news, and eating until we practically pass out continues to be a part of our family’s Thanksgiving tradition.  As is the case for many families, it has also been our tradition to acknowledge the many blessings we experienced throughout the year.

Pausing to reflect on the things and people you are thankful for at Thanksgiving is a great practice, but it’s important to remember how valuable it is to engage in this exercise on a daily basis. When you consistently make space in your life to regularly pause and express gratitude it promotes an attitude of appreciation, optimism and hopefulness.

The truth is, we too often take for granted the things and people that help to bring...

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Good Communication is Worth the Effort!

I hear it sometimes in counseling and coaching sessions: “It’s just the way I am. I say what I have to say and if somebody doesn’t like it, it’s their problem.” This is a common attitude for someone who doesn’t want to make the effort to improve their communication skills. Some people don’t understand why the way they communicate is just as important as what they say – and at times it’s more important.

To illustrate, let’s talk about something that is on many of our minds this time of year – Thanksgiving.  If you are planning a Thanksgiving feast, you have a choice about how to prepare it. You can simply stick the turkey in a pot of boiling water along with a can of green beans and then whip up a batch of instant mashed potatoes and toss a loaf of bread on the table. The end result is, in fact, a turkey dinner. But how much do you think your family would enjoy that meal?

Part of the joy of gathering around the...

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A Sure Way to Increase Marital Satisfaction

Pick up almost any book on marriage, and you will find a good portion of it dedicated to helping couples improve their marital satisfaction. The reason so many authors address that topic is because so many couples express some level of disappointment or dissatisfaction in their marriages. Many of the suggestions and ideas are helpful, but I’d like to talk about one thing that really works and doesn’t require any special preparation, counseling or training.

The simple fact is this: Couples who spend time together are likely to be more satisfied in their marriage. Think back to when you were dating. If you were like most couples, you couldn’t wait to be together and to spend as much time as possible doing fun things and growing closer together. But once you returned from your honeymoon and finished all your thank-you notes, the realities of married life may have crept in. Most couples are separated a significant portion of the day by work, and then much of the time...

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How to Live Well After a Loss

grief relationships Oct 20, 2015

I’ve been thinking a lot about loss during the last week since having learned that a dear friend has died. Warren Bolthouse was the founder and long-time President of Family Life Radio.  For years, he played an important role in the opportunities I have had to observe the kind of vision, mission and hard work it takes to fulfill a dream and grow a successful organization. While his absolute faith in God assures us that he is at peace, he will be sorely missed by his family, friends and the countless number of people whose lives he positively impacted throughout the years.

No matter who you are, how much money you make or whether you feel like a success or a failure, there’s one thing you can count on: Loss. No one can go through life without experiencing the loss of someone or something important. It can happen through death, divorce, job changes, relationship breakups, health problems, economic downturns and a host of other possibilities. It can leave us...

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Why Do Toxic Employees Keep Their Jobs?

executive coaching Oct 08, 2015

I spend a good deal of my time helping companies and organizations keep people problems from becoming business problems.  Executives, Directors and Managers often ask for my assistance in helping them navigate the challenges associated with toxic employees.  The toxic employee is the man or woman who consistently behaves in ways that offend the people they work with. This may include gossiping, complaining, blaming, foul language, laziness, bullying, dishonesty, sloppiness, etc.  Any ongoing behavior that sets a negative tone in the workplace is toxic, and most of the behaviors listed originate with a negative attitude.

If you have been employed for any length of time, you have probably encountered a toxic employee.  You have also probably thought to yourself, and maybe even out loud to others, how in the world does this person keep their job?

Toxic employees can create a great deal of destruction within the companies they work for.  The negative impact they...

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Failure Doesn’t Exist – Only Outcomes

I talk to people every day who tell me that they don’t know how to overcome their fear of failure.  Because of their fear they often quit a project before finishing or they don’t even bother to start.

What if I told you that failure doesn’t exist? Would it make a difference in how you approach things in life?

Dr. Richard Varlinsky, in his article, Taming the “Fear of Failure” Monster, states that every time you put forth some form of action there are two possible outcomes:

The results are as good as or better than expected.
The results are not as good as expected.

He asserts that if the outcome is what you expected – keep doing the same thing because it’s working.  If the outcome is less than what you expected change the action until you get the results you are looking for.

Thomas Edison is a great example of this truth.  When he finally invented a light bulb that worked he was asked, “Mr. Edison, how does it feel to have...

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