Relate Well! Blog

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

Ten Commitments of Great Parents

At one time or another, nearly every parent says, “I wish my children came with a set of instructions!” While none of us can claim to have all the answers, I’ve given a lot of thought to some of the basic rules for raising healthy children. So, I submit for your consideration a simple “Top Ten” list of ways to be great parents.

1. PROVIDE FOR PHYSICAL NEEDS – Growing children need healthy diets, adequate clothing, and quality health care. And they need protection from harm – from “small stuff” like sunburn or too much junk food to real dangers like careless driving or access to alcohol or drugs.

2. BE THERE FOR THEM – When your kids talk to you, face them and really listen. Turn off the TV if you have to. As much as possible, attend Little League games, school conferences or band concerts. Your presence, attention, and availability mean so much!

3. GIVE THEM “ROOTS AND WINGS” – Children need to try new...

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From Underperformer to High Achiever

Do you ever feel like you’re just never going to get anywhere in your career? Or that real success always seems to be out of reach? Over time, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you don’t have what it takes to be a star performer, but you don’t have to stay stuck there. Here are some things you can do to move you from being an underperformer to a high achiever.

Examine what you believe about yourself.  Negative self-perceptions or beliefs are often to blame for why we get “stuck” in a discouraging cycle of underperformance.   We are often our own worst critics, and judge ourselves harshly. Experiencing failure is not the same as being a failure. Often the most successful people will admit they’ve failed many times on the road to high achievement. Every skill requires practice, including success. Practice by celebrating small successes. Resist the urge to downplay what went right. Instead of telling yourself what you...

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The Power of Habit

People who come to me for coaching often have several things in common. They tend to be intelligent, growth-minded, and open to change. They’re usually genuine assets to their companies with great potential. This may make you wonder why they need coaching. But the other thing they have in common is that one or more bad habits stand in the way of greater success.

In my meetings with clients, I often share this narrative because it’s such an effective description of the power of habit:

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 your command.  Half the things you do you might just as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly, correctly. 

I am easily managed – you must merely be firm with me.  Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically.  I am the servant of...

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7 Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids

parenting relationships Apr 15, 2015

If you are looking for ways to better relate to and get connected with your kids, many of the parents I have worked with over the years have found the 7 strategies listed below to be highly effective.

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

Get Up… off the couch, or away from the computer. Connecting with your kids, most of all, takes paying attention to them. Distractions like TV, work, computer games, or phone calls will rob you of time and energy your kids need, deserve and enjoy. 

Get Down… to their level. Remember what your first day of school was like? Or that whole Junior High experience? In order to connect with your kids, try to see their world the way they see it. Just because you’re pretty sure there’s no monster under the bed doesn’t mean your child doesn’t need you to stoop down and take a look. Your child will be more open with you if you respect their feelings, no matter how immature they are right now.

Get Around...

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Are You the Real Deal?

Lights! Camera! Action! When the spotlight of life is focused on you, what do people see? Are you an actor just playing a role or are you the “real deal?” Are you willing to let people see who you really are? Hollywood actors are paid big bucks to portray a make believe character on the silver screen, but there are many people outside of “Tinsel Town” who put on a very convincing act every day without ever being paid a dime. In fact, many of them pay a high price.

You don’t have to be a Hollywood star or public figure to be concerned with the way others perceive you. All of us are involved in personal image management to some degree, and in most cases, this is perfectly normal. In fact, thinking about who you will be with and what you will be doing is a reasonable way to determine what “image” to put on by dressing and behaving appropriately in a given situation.

There is nothing inherently wrong with putting your best foot forward in order...

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Simple Steps to Improving Workplace Relationships

If you are employed by a business or organization, there is a good chance you spend a lot of time with other staff members, either occasionally or all day. Having strong workplace relationships can make a significant difference in your productivity and job satisfaction. We all know we can’t directly cause another person to change, but there are a few simple steps you can take to contribute to good relationships and a positive work environment.

Carry your weight – You could be a really nice person, but if you aren’t doing your job effectively it won’t be long before your relationships become strained. If others have to make up for your lack of ability, knowledge or diligence, they will likely become resentful and less willing to make the effort to maintain good relations. If you make an honest assessment of your contribution to the workplace and realize you may be a “weak link”, do what you can to improve your skills. Talk with your boss or human...

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Spring is a Great Time for a Fresh Start

I can only imagine how desperately the residents of the eastern states are longing for the snow to melt and the air to warm up. I grew up with “real” winters, but have been in Arizona long enough to forget just how stuffy and stifling it feels to live in a house that’s been shut up tight for months. Here in Tucson, we didn’t have to struggle through massive snowstorms or debilitating cold, but there is still something about Spring that energizes us to say, “Out with the old; in with the new!”

What are some of the things in your life that need a fresh start, a do-over or just a one-way trip to the trash can?  Here are some things we all need to clean out from time to time.

Resentments – No one benefits from a grudge.  You hold on to the anger and pain hoping it will somehow make the other person miserable, and it just doesn’t work that way.  If the resentment is against someone you know – or even love – step...

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Values: Why Passing on a Life Compass Matters

In my last blog, I wrote about the importance of values, especially related to how we can influence our children and other important people in our lives.  Today I want to get a little more specific about why having values and imparting them to others is so helpful and also suggest some practical ways you can do it.

First, here is a breakdown of the benefits: 

1.  Helps you make better decision

Life is a constant stream of decisions. Should you accept the new job offer?  Should you begin or end a relationship? Should you move your family to another state? These can be tough decisions that, in and of themselves, may not have a clear right or wrong answer, but considering what you value will help guide your choices.

2.  Identifies circumstances and people that do and don’t support your values

If you’re values-focused, you want to associate with people who will add to your life in positive ways.  As they say, it is better to soar with eagles...

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Values: Your Compass for Life

A lot of people live life by default. They just take things as they come, often assuming they do not have any control over what happens anyway. Unfortunately, many of them will one day look back and regret some missed opportunities.

Ponder this for a minute: Whatever you choose in life, you are not only making decisions for yourself, but for the generations that follow you and the people you impact along the way.  One of my favorite quotes is:  An inheritance is what you leave for your loved ones.  A legacy is what you leave in your loved ones. 

As important as this is, it’s not always easy to pinpoint what’s most important to you.  Here’s an exercise to help:  Picture 10, 20, 50 years down the road, and you slip quietly into the back row of a funeral.  As you listen to the people sharing memories about the “dearly departed” you discover that they are talking about… you!

If you could eavesdrop on your own...

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Help! My Child is a Bully

As a parent, you want to help your child if he’s being harassed at school, but what if it’s your child who’s pushing others around? First, understand that even good parents who do many things right can have a child who’s a bully. If you do, it’s important to learn what influences are at work.

Researchers at the University of Arizona surveyed 6th to 8th graders. Those who reported bullying most had experienced more forceful, physical discipline from their parents, viewed more TV violence and misbehaved more at home. In that group, 32% lived with a stepparent and 36% were in single-parent households. They generally had fewer adult role models, more exposure to gang activity and easier access to guns. Researchers concluded that bullies learn much of their behavior by example, and consequently need as much help as their victims.

Other predisposing factors include a strong desire for attention, immaturity, a lack of popularity among peers and a dislike for...

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