Monday, December 31, 2007

GGCI Newsletter Archives 2003-2007

IMPORTANT NOTE: These are the archives of GGCI Newsletters from 2003-2007. Feel free to browse around. For more current GGCI Newsletters, please visit www.ggci.com/newsletter. Thanks!

Friday, October 05, 2007

4qtr2007 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter

Table of Contents - 4qtr2007 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter

  • Article Review: The Real Reason People Won’t Change
  • Authentically Munch
  • Ask the Coach: A Whiter Shade of Pale
  • Notable Quotables: Great Things I Didn't Say (First)
  • What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?
  • GottaGettaBlog! Highlights

4qtr2007 - Article Review - The Real Reason People Won't Change

Article Review: The Real Reason People Won’t Change
Robert Kegan And Lisa Laskow Lahey
Harvard Business Review (reprint R0110E)

So what is the real reason people won’t change? To bottom line it,
"It’s a psychological dynamic called a “competing commitment,” and until managers understand how it works and the ways to overcome it, they can’t do a
thing about change-resistant employees."

When people resist change, it’s not necessarily because they’re opposed to it. It’s not even necessarily because they’re lazy or inattentive to it, either. Rather, it’s because they have one or more hidden beliefs that directly conflict with them working toward meaningful change.

Example:

People often don’t collaborate even though they truly believe in teamwork. Why? Because they’re also dedicated to avoiding the confrontations that are typically intrinsic to any team-based activity. So, push come to shove, they never fully engage in the collaborative process for fear of that probable confrontation and what that means to them.
Oftentimes, though, it’s not readily apparent what the conflict is – or that a conflict even exists. So to unwind things, the authors have developed an interesting three-stage process to help figure out what’s in the way:

  1. Through a series of key questions, managers can guide employees to uncover any competing commitments.
  2. Employees can then examine these competing commitments to determine the Underlying Assumptions inherent in them.
  3. Based on this new awareness, employees can then start changing their behaviors accordingly.

Uncovering Competing Commitments

The key questions recommended for guiding the uncovering process are as follows:

  1. What would you like to see changed at work, so that you could be more effective or so that work would be more satisfying?
  2. What commitments does your complaint imply?
  3. What are you doing, or not doing, that is keeping your commitment from being more fully realized?
  4. If you imagine doing the opposite of the undermining behavior, do you detect in yourself any discomfort, worry, or vague fear?
  5. By engaging in this undermining behavior, what worrisome outcomes are you committed to preventing?

It’s important to realize that competing commitments do not necessarily reflect weakness or incompetence on anyone’s part. So, managers, don’t go there. Competing commitments are merely just a form of self-protection, and in that context, they make total sense. (e.g. If you want to avoid confrontation, avoid collaboration because collaboration results in confrontation.) Of course the follow-up question to ask is this: What are you protecting yourself from? What are you assuming will happen as a result of a confrontation?

Interestingly, once people start looking at things this way, it’s fairly easy for them to identify (and admit) what they are protecting themselves from. And once they identify that, most are ready to take some immediate action to overcome it.

But the authors suggest that a manager not press for behavioral change just yet. Rather, managers should encourage the employee to first notice his/her current behavior in light of now knowing about his/her competing commitments, Underlying Assumptions, and self-protecting mechanisms. That way, s/he can also look for what I like to call irrefutable evidence that their long-held assumptions might no longer be valid. (Who hasn’t found that a type of food they once thought they didn’t like was actually quite tasty?!) This can open whole new world of possibility for someone as one can use this as an opportunity to reflect on what caused these specific protection mechanisms to be created in the first place.

Understanding the circumstances that created the Underlying Assumptions can be very helpful in freeing oneself from them. And from there, meaningful change is not only doable, but often preferred to the status quo.

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4qtr2007 - Authentically Munch

According to NYMag.com, Law & Order character, Detective John Munch, “is the longest-running character on any American drama still on the air. What's more … [since January 1993] the aforementioned Detective Munch has appeared in no less than nine different television shows.”

For you trivia fans, the nine shows are:
  1. Law & Order
  2. Law & Order Special Victims Unit
  3. Sesame Street (my personal favorite!)
  4. Arrested Development
  5. Law & Order: Trial by Jury
  6. The Beat
  7. Homicide: Life on the Street
  8. The X Files
  9. The Lone Gunmen

What’s particularly interesting to me – aside from being a long time Belzer fan – is that it speaks to a frequent life coach topic: Authenticity.

It’s one thing to show up. Indeed, as Woody Allen says, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Authenticity, though, speaks to how we show up. Munch is very consistent in that regard. “I yam what I yam,” both he and Popeye the Sailorman would both say, albeit with slightly different affects.

Munch – and Popeye, for that matter – has a definite personality. But authenticity is more than just personality. Authenticity is about being completely comfortable in one’s own skin without fear of what others might think, and without need to unduly impress anyone with it.

So how does one become completely comfortable in one’s own skin without fear of what others might think? And how does one avoid overdoing the whole authenticity thing?

Step One – Realize that you have a right to be comfortable in your own skin. We really do have that right, you know, – We yam who we yam?! – even if it feels completely unbelievable at times. Authenticity is about “showing up” as who we are, not just as some cardboard cutout of who we think we should be. Surely Detective Munch would agree – and he’s not even a real person!

Step Two – Own your skin. Feel what it’s like. Note what works for you, and what doesn’t. Understand what makes it easier for you to just be yourself, as well as what makes it more difficult. Look for patterns and explanations, and how they all might interrelate.

Step Three: Actively calibrate. Something helpful to remember about becoming more comfortable in your own skin is that you really don’t need to get it exactly right at first, you just need to understand what types of things will move you closer to, or farther away from, it so you can calibrate accordingly.

Here’s a fun game to practice calibrating: Pick a number between one and 100; ask someone to guess it; when they do, tell them only to guess higher, or lower, until they get it exactly right; count how many guesses it takes for them to get it exactly right. This is how we work toward homeostasis – when we guess too high, we back it off a bit, and when we guess to low, we up it from there.

As with home heating and cooling, sometimes we need to heat up how we’re interacting with the world, sometimes we need to cool it down a bit, and sometimes, Goldilocks, it’s just right. And each little calibration helps.

A word of warning: Some people confuse comfort in their own skin with vanity, as if to say, “Look how authentic I’m being!” The ultimate litmus, then, is this: If you’re ego is what’s really loving how well you calibrate, there’s likely still more work to do. But if your heart loves it, then you’re likely on the right track.

Detective Munch already understands that – as do his writers.

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4tr2007 - Ask the Coach: A Whiter Shade of Pale

Question: Barry, I'm so frustrated. Try as I might to see things otherwise, I’m such a Black and White thinker. What can I do to open my eyes to other possibilities when problem-solving?

Answer: Here’s something that often helps the B&W types: Shades of grey!

Seriously, anyone who’s able to discern black from white, as you are, certainly understands that what they’re discerning from is actually shades of grey. If you allow yourself to play with that notion a bit you’ll soon likely notice that you already see other possibilities – you’re just discounting them a bit prematurely, that’s all.

A good question to ask is this: “Okay, I see the black and white of it all, but what are some of the grey tones I’m also seeing? “

Too, it’s often helpful to look at the whiter side of the spectrum. Did you know, for instance, that there are about a zillion shades in the white palette?! Here, courtesy of Benjamin Moore, (http://www.benjaminmoore.ca/colours/offwhite.aspx) is quite a few of them.

Of course the deeper issue has nothing to do with colors at all really – although a nice Bordeaux Red / Dill Weed Green combination is quite smart-looking for the coming cooler months! What’s really needed here is a way to expand your thinking in a way that encourages your creativity to kick in.

An approach that’s often helpful in getting things going is the pick-a-metaphor-and-go game. It works like this:

  1. Close your eyes, take a few deep, cleansing breaths.
  2. Open your eyes and allow them to settle on something/anything.
  3. That something is the metaphor you can use to stimulate your creativity.

Example #1: You open your eyes, look around, and find your gaze focusing on your backyard. Stoke your creativity by asking some imaginative questions like theses:

  • Thinking about that idea I’ve been struggling with, what part could clearly use a little more watering?!
  • All things being equal, what parts need to be mown or trimmed a bit?!
  • What would make my idea that much more lush and green?!

Example #2: You open your eyes, look around, and find your gaze focusing on your kitchen freezer. Stoke your creativity by asking some off-the-wall questions like theses:

  • My current idea is too vanilla so what would adding a nice chocolate mocha fudge swirl do to it?!
  • For that matter, what would turn the whole thing into a delicious banana split sundae?!
  • And what little something extra could I add to my idea as a cherry on top?

Example #3: You open your eyes, look around, and find your gaze focusing on a yellow highlighter sitting on your desk. Stoke your creativity by asking some silly-little questions like theses:

  • What parts of my idea do I want to particularly highlight for others?
  • Given that the color yellow is sometimes associated with cowardice and other times associated with peace and happiness, what part of my idea makes me the most nervous, and what do I need to modify to make me happier with it?
  • How might the impact of my idea change if I changed its color or some other physical attribute?

While the pick-a-metaphor-and-go game might not immediately provide you with the answers you’re looking for, it likely will bring a smile to your face, which is very helpful when trying to look at things in terms other than simple blacks and whites.

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4qtr2007 - Notable Quotables: Great Things I Didn't Say (First)

  • “Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in.” - Alan Alda
  • “The life of my personal has nothing to do with me,” - Claire Danes
  • “I Eats All Me Spinach, And Takes To The Finish, I'm Popeye The Sailor Man! Toot! Toot!” – Popeye, the Sailorman
  • “He's very comfortable in his own skin, ... That's his personality. When you're true to self like that, it comes across well.” - Jeff Van Gundy
  • “Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” – Pablo Picasso
  • “We've been dreaming in color since 1883.” – Benjamin Moore, the Paint-man

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4qtr2007 - GottaGettaBlog! Highlights

I've been using GottaGettaBlog! as a vehicle to capture news, notes, and musings about coaching, mentoring, and getting more from YOUR Untapped Potential - along with whatever other stuff I happen to find amusing and/or thought-provoking - since June of 2003.Highlighted postings from last quarter are listed below - just follow the links:

from July 2007

from August 2007

from September 2007

Your on-line comments at GottaGettaBlog! are both welcomed and encouraged. To receive weekly digests of new GottaGettaBlog! postings, update your subscription here.

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4qtr2007 - What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?

  • Barry Zweibel is interviewed for an article on Lessons in Leadership in the September/October issue of INSIGHT, the magazine of the Illinois CPA Society.
  • GottaGettaCoach! celebrates its seventh anniversary!

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

3qtr2007 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter

Table of Contents - 3qtr2007 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter

  • Book Review - Juicing the Orange
  • Ask the Coach: More Better Creativity
  • Notable Quotables: Great Things I Didn't Say (First)
  • What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?
  • GottaGettaBlog! Highlights

3qtr2007 - Book Review - Juicing the Orange

Title: Juicing the Orange: How to Turn Creativity into a Powerful Business Advantage
Authors: Pat Fallon & Fred Senn
ISBN: 1-59139-927-0

Okay, this is another in a series of "Inside Secrets" books written by seasoned advertising pros about their unique strategies and resultant successes. And I'll admit that I really like books like this. (Other good ones include: Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands, by Kevin Robers, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi; and The Trendmaster's Guide, by Robyn Waters, former VP of Trend, Design, and Product Development at Target.) Advertising-folk are just so creative and upbeat when things are going right.

What I particularly like about this book - and the Fallon Worldwide agency - though, is that so many of the client case studies highlighted are for products and companies that I not only recognize, but actually like - something I directly attribute to their, ahem, really good advertising. Examples, include:


  • Those animated, music-only, story-telling tv commercials for United Airlines
  • Those "No, but i did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night" ads
  • Buddy Lee blue jean commercials
  • The way that BMW cross marketed with Bond, James Bond
  • Those wacky Virgin Mobile holiday ads
  • and more

Another favorite was for a barber shop in NYC called "7 South 8th for Hair," a small business with very little money for advertising. It was Fallon's very first account and they really wanted to show how they could be creative AND effective. So, they bought a few poster spaces at bus stops near the barbershop and, on them, featured big pictures of somebody famous with really bad hair ... and a cleverly related tag line:

  • Moe Howard (of Three Stooges fame) - "A bad haircut is no laughing matter."
  • Albert Einstein - "A bad haircut can make anyone look dumb."
  • Susan B. Anthony (from the failed $1 coin) - "A bad haircut can take you out of circulation."

Fallon's Inside Secret? What they call the Seven Principles of Creative Leverage:

  1. Always start from scratch.
  2. Demand a ruthlessly simple definition of the business problem.
  3. Discover a proprietary emotion.
  4. Focus on the size of the idea, not the size of the budget.
  5. Seek out strategic risks.
  6. Collaborate or perish.
  7. Listen hard to your customers (then listen some more).

It struck me that these seven principles can apply to far more than just advertising. I know many of them seem to naturally show up in my coaching conversations with clients, for instance. But think about it in terms of furthering important business initiatives, as well:

  • "We believe that you have more creativity in your organization than you realize, and we believe that you can find it, develop it, and use it more effectively. " (page 20)

They're probably right, you know.

Here are a few other interesting creative advertising ideas that applies to people at work - and in life:

  • "Our goal as an organization is to understand culture so well that we can use its idioms and nuances to transcend blatant selling messages." (page 65)
  • "You can change people's minds, but only if they first give you permission, and that won't happen if they think you're a joke." (page 78)
  • "The door to most business people's right brain is through their left brain. First the smart, then the exciting. (The consumer, ironically, wants it just the other way around.)" (page 97)
  • "Just as a sports team needs a handful of players who have been to the playoffs, a marketing team needs members who understand the hard work and commitment it takes to make the most of an idea." (page 123)

Success in advertising, as in business - and in life - really does required more than just talking the walk.

  • "...if we truly valued our culture, then it wasn't enough to hire brains and talent. we had to cherish the people who bets embodied our ideals. We call them culture players." (page 194)
And that's why I like this book - it not only had cool advertising stories and interesting creative strategies, but it offered some important conclusions for what it takes to be a success across a wide variety of venues.

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3qtr2007 - Ask the Coach: More Better Creativity

Question: Barry, I'm stuck. I want to be more creative in what I do, but I just can't figure out how to do it. Everything I come up with is, well, b-o-r-i-n-g. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: As counter-intuitive as it may seem, in situations like this, success often comes more from trying less, than from trying harder. And the best way that I've found to do that is to F-R-E-E Your Mind:
  • F as in Forget - Sure you've got all sorts of pressures and deadlines you're worried about, but Step One is to let all that go and forget about it for a little while. Think of this step as clearing the canvas. Tabula rasa.
  • R as in Remember - Now that you've cleared your mind, entertain a memory of a favorite noun (person, place, or thing) from your past. The farther back in time you go, the better - something from your innocent youth (your Wonder Years) would be ideal.
  • E as in Enjoy - Spend a few moments enjoying your recollection, with all your senses. Remember what it looked like, sounded like, who was there. Remember the colors, textures, flavors, what it felt like. Remember it in as much detail as you possibly can and reconnect with some of that same child-like zeal you had way back when. Breathe in a few times. Good deep breaths. And big, full, exhales. Ahhhhhhhhhh!
  • E as in Expand - Now from that relaxed and happy place, expand your thinking to the problem or issue you've been trying to get creative about. Ask your inner-child for some advice: What would he do? What does she suggest? Who else from your past would have some good, crazy, funny, absurd, ideas to share?! Your best friend? The kid next door? The neighbor's dog that loved barking at the mailman?! See what 'pops'; you may be pleasantly surprised.

When we connect back to our past, we F-R-E-E our minds from all the noise and static of today that keeps us from being our natural, creative, selves.

Hmmm. Makes me wonder. Whatever happened to my old buddy, Jimmy Sharkey? Jimmy, you out there?!

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3qtr2007 - Notable Quotables: Great Things I Didn't Say (First)

  • "Remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." - Henry Ford
  • "Life is "trying things to see if they work." - Ray Bradbury
  • "Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties." - Erich Fromm
  • "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein
  • "If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." - Carl Sagan
  • "Our genius ain't appreciated around here... let's scram!" - Moe (to Larry and Curley)

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3qtr2007 - GottaGettaBlog! Highlights

I've been using GottaGettaBlog! as a vehicle to capture news, notes, and musings about coaching, mentoring, and getting more from YOUR Untapped Potential - along with whatever other stuff I happen to find amusing and/or thought-provoking - since June of 2003.Highlighted postings from last quarter are listed below - just follow the links:

from April 2007

from May 2007

from June 2007

Your on-line comments at GottaGettaBlog! are both welcomed and encouraged. To receive weekly digests of new GottaGettaBlog! postings, update your subscription here.

3qtr2007 - What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?

  • Princess Cruises, one of the premiere cruise lines in the world, asked Barry Zweibel to be one of their "guest authors" publishing a reworked version of Network Your Way to New Clients, having geared it specifically for their travel agency readership.
  • Barry Zweibel was interviewed for an article on Lessons in Leadership to appear in an upcoming issue of INSIGHT, the magazine of the Illinois CPA Society.
  • Farmers Insurance Group expanded its executive coaching initiative with GottaGettaCoach!
  • Barry Zweibel was quoted in a feature article at http://jobs.aol.com/ called, "How to Succeed Like a Workaholic".
  • Pivot Points -- a New Tool for Job Searchers, an article written by Barry Zweibel and published in 2005 by TheLadders.com, was scheduled to be reprinted in an upcoming issue of Hispanic Network magazine.
  • Auxis, Inc. extended its executive coaching initiative with GottaGettaCoach!
  • Barry Zweibel was interviewed for an article scheduled to be published by CareerBuilder.com.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

2qtr2007 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter

Table of Contents - 2qtr2007 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter
  • Feature Article: 119 Steps
  • Notable Quotables: Great Things I Didn't Say First
  • Feature Article: Ask the Coach
  • What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?
  • GottaGettaBlog! Weblog Highlights

2qtr2007 - 119 Small Steps

It's amazing how much good information is out there on the Internet just a-waiting for us to find. Here's some more of it, courtesy of the Steps to a Healthier U.S. initiative from the
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, called Small Steps:
  1. Walk to work.
  2. Use fat free milk over whole milk.
  3. Do sit-ups in front of the TV.
  4. Walk during lunch hour.
  5. Drink water before a meal.
  6. Eat leaner red meat & poultry.
  7. Eat half your dessert.
  8. Walk instead of driving whenever you can.
  9. Take family walk after dinner.
  10. Skate to work instead of driving.
  11. Avoid food portions larger than your fist.
  12. Mow lawn with push mower.
  13. Increase the fiber in your diet.
  14. Walk to your place of worship instead of driving.
  15. Walk kids to school.
  16. Get a dog and walk it.
  17. Join an exercise group.
  18. Drink diet soda.
  19. Replace Sunday drive with Sunday walk.
  20. Do yard work.
  21. Eat off smaller plates.
  22. Get off a stop early & walk.
  23. Don't eat late at night.
  24. Skip seconds.
  25. Work around the house.
  26. Skip buffets.
  27. Grill, steam or bake instead of frying.
  28. Bicycle to the store instead of driving.
  29. Take dog to the park.
  30. Ask your doctor about taking a multi-vitamin.
  31. Go for a half-hour walk instead of watching TV.
  32. Use vegetable oils over solid fats.
  33. More carrots, less cake.
  34. Fetch the newspaper yourself.
  35. Sit up straight at work.
  36. Wash the car by hand.
  37. Don't skip meals.
  38. Eat more celery sticks.
  39. Run when running errands.
  40. Pace the sidelines at kids' athletic games.
  41. Take wheels off luggage.
  42. Choose an activity that fits into your daily life.
  43. Try your burger with just lettuce, tomato, and onion.
  44. Ask a friend to exercise with you.
  45. Make time in your day for physical activity.
  46. Exercise with a video if the weather is bad.
  47. Bike to the barbershop or beauty salon instead of driving.
  48. Keep to a regular eating schedule.
  49. If you find it difficult to be active after work, try it before work.
  50. Take a walk or do desk exercises instead of a cigarette or coffee break.
  51. Perform gardening or home repair activities.
  52. Avoid laborsaving devices.
  53. Take small trips on foot to get your body moving.
  54. Play with your kids 30 minutes a day.
  55. Dance to music.
  56. Keep a pair of comfortable walking or running shoes in your car and office.
  57. Make a Saturday morning walk a group habit.
  58. Walk briskly in the mall.
  59. Choose activities you enjoy & you'll be more likely to stick with them.
  60. Stretch before bed to give you more energy when you wake.
  61. Take the long way to the water cooler.
  62. Explore new physical activities.
  63. Vary your activities, for interest and to broaden the range of benefits.
  64. Reward and acknowledge your efforts.
  65. Choose fruit for dessert.
  66. Consume alcoholic beverages in moderation, if at all.
  67. Take stairs instead of the escalator.
  68. Conduct an inventory of your meal/snack and physical activity patterns.
  69. Share an entree with a friend.
  70. Grill fruits or vegetables.
  71. Eat before grocery shopping.
  72. Choose a checkout line without a candy display.
  73. Make a grocery list before you shop.
  74. Buy 100% fruit juices over soda and sugary drinks.
  75. Stay active in winter. Play with your kids.
  76. Flavor foods with herbs, spices, and other low fat seasonings.
  77. Remove skin from poultry before cooking to lower fat content.
  78. Eat before you get too hungry.
  79. Don't skip breakfast.
  80. Stop eating when you are full.
  81. Snack on fruits and vegetables.
  82. Top your favorite cereal with apples or bananas.
  83. Try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.
  84. Include several servings of whole grain food daily.
  85. When eating out, choose a small or medium portion.
  86. If main dishes are too big, choose an appetizer or a side dish instead.
  87. Ask for salad dressing "on the side".
  88. Don't take seconds.
  89. Park farther from destination and walk.
  90. Try a green salad instead of fries.
  91. Bake or broil fish.
  92. Walk instead of sitting around.
  93. Eat sweet foods in small amounts.
  94. Take your dog on longer walks.
  95. Drink lots of water.
  96. Cut back on added fats or oils in cooking or spreads.
  97. Walk the beach instead of sunbathing.
  98. Walk to a co-worker's desk instead of emailing or calling them.
  99. Carry your groceries instead of pushing a cart.
  100. Use a snow shovel instead of a snow blower.
  101. Cut high-calorie foods like cheese and chocolate into smaller pieces and only eat a few pieces.
  102. Use nonfat or low-fat sour cream, mayo, sauces, dressings, and other condiments.
  103. Replace sugar sweetened beverages with water and add a twist of lemon or lime.
  104. Replace high-saturated fat/high calorie seasonings with herbs grown in a small herb garden in your kitchen window.
  105. Refrigerate prepared soups before you eat them. As the soup cools, the fat will rise to the top. Skim it off the surface for reduced fat content.
  106. When eating out, ask your server to put half your entrée in a to-go bag.
  107. Substitute vegetables for other ingredients in your sandwich.
  108. Every time you eat a meal, sit down, chew slowly, and pay attention to flavors and textures.
  109. Try a new fruit or vegetable (ever had jicama, plantain, bok choy, starfruit or papaya?)
  110. Make up a batch of brownies with applesauce instead of oil or shortening.
  111. Instead of eating out, bring a healthy, low calorie lunch to work.
  112. Ask your sweetie to bring you fruit or flowers instead of chocolate.
  113. Speak up for the salad bar when your coworkers are picking a restaurant for lunch, and remember calories count, so pay attention to how much and what you eat.
  114. When walking, go up the hills instead of around them.
  115. Walk briskly through the mall and shop 'til you drop ... pounds.
  116. Clean your closet and donate clothes that are too big.
  117. Take your body measurements to gauge progress.
  118. Buy a set of hand weights and play a round of Simon Says with your kids - you do it with the weights, they do without.
  119. Swim with your kids.

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2qtr2007 - Notable Quotables: Great Things I Didn't Say First!

  • George Konrad: Courage is an accumulation of small steps.
  • Susan Taylor: Use missteps as stepping stones to deeper understanding and greater achievement.
  • Jimmy Buffett: Indecision may or may not be my problem.
  • Francois Gautier: More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity.
  • G. W. F. Hegel: Thus to be independent of public opinion is the first formal condition of achieving anything great.
  • William James: The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

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2qtr2007 - Ask the Coach: Better Decision Making

Question: Hey Beezee. Whenever I ask my friends, family, and colleagues for their suggestions as to how I should handle a given situation, I end up with so much conflicting advice that I'm even more confused than when I started. I think it's important to gather as much information before making important decisions. but this isn't working. What's a better way?

Answer: Good for you for recognizing that the approach you're taking isn't giving you the results you're looking for. As Albert Einstein said,

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Consider changing the type of information you're requesting - or the way that you're requesting it. It's likely that you're asking a "What do you think I should do?" type question, or some variation thereof. The problem with this approach, as you noted, is that it rarely leads to consensus or clarity - you just get a bunch of differing and often conflicting opinions to filter through.

Rather than finding out what others would do if they were you, use these interactions to get clearer on what you need for you to make the decision. In other words, focus on asking for the objective data do you need to help you decide.

Example: You want to buy a car. Rather than asking others, "What car do you think I should buy?", first ask yourself, "What would affect my decision one way or another?"
  • price?
  • safety?
  • reliability?
  • resale value?
  • fuel efficiency?
  • ??

List your criteria, whatever it may be. Then ask people specifically about those things: How much should I expect to pay for a good used car? How important are crash test results? Which cars does Consumer Reports rate highly from a reliability standpoint? At what point does it make sense to trade in one car for another one? What else is important in deciding on a car to buy? Answers to these types of questions are likely to inform rather than confuse you.

In review:

  1. Decide what are the important elements for you to use as a basis for your decision.
  2. Gather information with respect to those elements.
  3. Create a short list of possible choices.
  4. Evaluate each choice with respect to the decision elements you've chosen.
  5. Decide.

By the way, a very helpful tool to assist you with this is a Decision Matrix.

And don't worry if it takes a while to gather the information you need to decide. As Einstein also said,

"The important thing is not to stop questioning."

Hope this helps.

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2qtr2007 - What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?

News and Highlights from last quarter:
  • The Dangerous Allure of Trust, an article written by Barry Zweibel and published last year in Effective Executive magazine about why managers should NOT want their direct reports to trust them, has been selected by ICFAI Publications/Books for inclusion in an upcoming professional reference book on Employee Trust: Strategies and Cases.
  • The New Coach Connection, an on-line community of "new and experienced coaches who are seeking ways to collaborate, connect and create awesome experiences in the coaching profession," interviewed Barry Zweibel as part of an ongoing blog series about experienced and recognized life coaches.
  • Barry Zweibel, president and founder of GottaGettaCoach!, Inc., has been awarded the Master Certified Coach (MCC) credential by the International Coach Federation (ICF). The MCC is the highest, and most prestigious, designation available through the ICF, a globally-recognized, independent, certification body for professional coaches. The ICF has more than 11,000 members in 80 countries, and less than 5% of its membership -- and less than 2% of all coaches worldwide -- have achieved this MCC distinction.
  • Burdened by Bad Habits - Barry Zweibel is interviewed about breaking bad habits in Columbia College's Echo Magazine, including his Ten Top Tips for getting over bad habits.
  • Bridges to Fulfillment - How Life Coaches Help Close Gaps Between Dreams and Reality. An article published in Elite Magazine that interviews Barry Zweibel and one of his clients about how coaching works.

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2qtr2007 - GottaGettaBlog! Highlights

I've been using GottaGettaBlog! as a vehicle to capture news, notes, and musings about coaching, mentoring, and getting more from YOUR Untapped Potential - along with whatever other stuff I happen to find amusing and/or thought-provoking - since June of 2003.

Highlighted postings from last quarter are listed below - just follow the links:

from January 2007

from Feburary 2007

from March 2007

Your on-line comments at GottaGettaBlog! are both welcomed and encouraged. To receive weekly digests of new GottaGettaBlog! postings, update your subscription here.

Friday, January 05, 2007

1qtr2007 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter

Table of Contents - 1qtr2007 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter

  • Feature Article: Book Review - Mindless Eating, by Brian Wansink, Ph.D.
  • Notable Quotables: Great Things I Didn't Say First
  • Feature Article: Ask the Coach
  • What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?
  • GottaGettaBlog! Weblog Highlights

1qtr2007 - Book Review - Mindless Eating

Title: Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Should
Author: Brian Wansink, Ph.D.

"The average Person makes well over 200 decisions about food every day. Breakfast or no breakfast? Pop-Tart or bagel? Part of it or all of it? Kitchen or car?" So says the author, a Stanford Ph.D. and the director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. "Yet out of these 200-plus food decisions, most we cannot really explain."

"Traditional diet books focus on what dietitians and health practitioners know. This book focuses on what psychologists and marketeers know." As such, it's not a book about "dietary extremism." Rather, it's about "reengineering" your food environment so that it doesn't work against you - 200-plus times a day - without you even knowing it.

From the jacket sleeve: "Using ingenious, fun, and sometimes downright fiendishly clever experiments like the 'bottomless soup bowl,' Wansink takes us on a fascinating tour of the secret dynamics behind our dietary habits." Yes he does. And at the end of each chapter, he provides us with Reengineering Strategies to implement what we now know:

  1. Reengineering Strategy #1: Think 20% - More or Less - For regular meals, dish out 20% less than you think you might want; for fruits and vegetables, think 20% more.
  2. Reengineering Strategy #2: See All You Eat - See it before you eat it (when people "pre-plate" their food, they eat 14% less than when they take smaller amounts and go back for seconds or thirds); see it while you eat it (think popcorn and candy at the movie theatre).
  3. Reengineering Strategy #3: Be Your Own Tablescaper - Mini-size your boxes and bowls (the bigger the package you pour from, the more you eat: 20% to 30% more for most people, so repackage your jumbo boxes into smaller Ziploc bags or Tupperware containers); become an illusionist (six ounces of goulash on an 8-inch plate is a nice-size serving, but six ounces on a 12-inch plate looks like a tiny appetizer).
  4. Reengineering Strategy #4: Make Overeating a Hassle - Don't bring serving dishes to the table; de-convenience tempting foods (by putting them in the back of the fridge or cupboard); snack only on a plate (making it less convenient to serve, eat, and clean up after an impulse snack).
  5. Reengineering Strategy #5: Create Distraction-Free Eating Scripts - Re script your diet danger zones (eg: chew a stick of gum after work rather than heading for the fridge); serve yourself before you snack (avoid eating out of the box, bag, or serving bowl).
  6. Reengineering Strategy #6: Create Expectations That Make You a Better Cook - Fix the atmosphere when you fix the food (spend the last 15 minutes of prep time on "soft" and "nice" - soft lights, soft music, soft color, nice plates, nice tablecloth, nice glasses); enhance your description of "what's for dinner?" (add words like succulent, homemade, traditional, Cajun, and they'll like your food a whole lot more - and snack a whole lot less).
  7. Reengineering Strategy #7: Make Comfort Foods More Comforting - Don't deprive yourself (just eat them in smaller amounts); rewire your comfort foods (from 'death by chocolate' sundaes to a smaller bowl of ice cream with fresh strawberries).
  8. Reengineering Strategy #8: Crown yourself as the Official Gatekeeper - Don't use food to reward or punish; use the half-plate rule (half of your plate for proteins and starches; half of your plate for fruit and veggies); make serving sizes official (repackage single-servings in Baggies or Saran Wrap).
  9. Reengineering Strategy #9: Portion-Size Me - Beware of the health halo (the better the food, the worse the extras: think Subway - some of their 'naked' sandwiches may be healthy, but not when you add the cheese and dressings, etc.); Beware of super-sizing (think McDonald's).

Wansink recommends you go through this list and pick three changes to focus on - no more; no less. More than three and it'll feel like a diet. Do that for 28 days and you'll be well on your way to making smarter eating mindless.

I recommend you pick up a copy of Mindless Eating.

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1qtr2007 - Ask the Coach: Better Sleep

Question: Hey Coach! Sometimes I just can't seem to fall asleep at night. I toss and turn and keep reviewing things over and over again. Not surprisingly, when I finally do fall asleep it's too little too late. Suggestions?

Answer: Some people can fall asleep at the drop of a hat; others need more time to settle down before settling in for the night. Here are some things you may want to try. While they all may not work for you, quite likely some combination will serve their purpose of getting you into Zzz land that much sooner:

Getting Ready for Bed:
  1. Stop drinking caffeinated coffee and soft drinks progressively earlier in the day until you find the latest time in the day that they affect your sleep. For some people, that's 6pm; for others, though, it can be as early as 12 noon.
  2. Set your alarm clock 3-7 minutes fast. This 'space time' will help you 'fool' your subconscious into thinking you'll be getting up later than you really will be, which will make it easier to relax when getting into bed. Which would you rather see: an alarm going off at 5:57am or one that goes off at 6:03am? It's not about the extra six minutes; it's about the calming perception of not having to get up at 5-something in the morning!
  3. Establish a bedtime ritual. Maybe it's quietly reading for 30-minutes. Maybe it's listening to some soothing music. It might be taking a shower. It might even be writing out your plans or ideas for the next day so you don't have to worry you'll forget them before morning. The key is to make this end-of-day ritual a routine part of your day - like brushing your teeth or turning on your alarm clock.

Waking up in the Morning:

  1. Regarding alarm clocks, stop using the snooze button. It's one of the worst add-ons to one of the best inventions ever. Consider: the purpose of an alarm clock is what? To wake you up. And the purpose of the snooze button is what? To not wake you up! Wanna sleep a bit later? Fine. Set the alarm clock to ring or buzz or radio or cd later. But get in the habit of getting out of bed as soon as the alarm clock goes off. Make it a rule you abide by.
  2. As soon as the alarm clock goes off, sit up and put your two feet on the floor. Then take a few deep breaths - breathe in for a 3-count; breathe out for a 4-count - put a smile on your face, and stand up.
  3. Reviewing a list of affirmations you've prepared or things you're grateful for helps get your day off to a great start, as well.

Waking up in the Middle of the Night:

  1. Keep a cup of water on your nightstand so if you wake up in the middle of the night you can take a sip or two and go back to bed not feeling so parched.
  2. Here's another back-to-sleep technique - a variant of counting sheep: take a virtual tour of a house or apartment you used to lived in. Imagine yourself walking room by room and 'see' as much detail as you possibly can.
  3. Keep a note pad (and pen) on your nightstand (I use 3x5 note cards) so you can write down what's bothering you, knowing that you don't have to think about it anymore until morning, when you can remind yourself about it by reading your note(s).
  4. Remind yourself that the purpose of sleep is to rest your body as well as you mind. So if you can't seem to turn off your brain, consciously focus it on helping your body get the rest it needs. Systematically tense and relax each part of your body. Let your body feel the rejuvenate effects of stillness. Imagine it smiling back at you in appreciation for helping it recharge this way.
  5. If all else fails, get out of bed. Better to be up and about really early than tossing and turning all night. You might find it to be a particularly productive time for you. And, it's likely that you'll be plenty-tired the next night.

Other ideas? Surely there are. Ask around to find out what other techniques people use. And if you've got a good one, post it here for others to benefit from.

Good? G'nite, then.

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1qtr2007 - Notable Quotables: Great Things I Didn't Say First!

  • Chrisopher Morley: “No man is lonely eating spaghetti; it requires so much attention.”
  • Edmund Burke: “Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”
  • Dennis Miller: “You've got bad eating habits if you use a grocery cart in 7-Eleven okay?”
  • Miss Piggy: "Never eat more than you can lift."
  • William Blake: “Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.”
  • Ellen Goodman: "Most people do not consider dawn to be an attractive experience - unless they are still up."
  • Baltasar Gracian: "It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterward. "
  • Charles M. Schultz: "Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?"Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."

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1qtr2007 - New Product Offerings

I know you're busy. I also know that busy people often appreciate time-saving ideas to help them get more done. To that end, GottaGettaCoach! is pleased to announce these time-saving links to help you do better and enjoy life more:

  • Simple Audiobooks - The #1 audiobook service on the web. Choose from over 22,000 titles and a variety of pricing plans. Rent. Buy. Download. Listen.
  • Executive Book Summaries - The MOST EFFECTIVE way to quickly and easily learn the key points of today's most valuable business books. Receive 2-3, 8-page summaries each month in hard-copy- download-, or mp3-formats, delivered right to your door and/or email in-box.
  • Magazine subscriptions - With 1,500 magazines to choose from, including the best titles, you can pick a few new magazines to enjoy and consolidate your subscriptions all in one place.
  • Napoleon Hill's Science of Personal Achievement - This is my absolute favorite self-development audio series. Napoleon Hill devoted his life to studying the science of personal achievement, analyzing the success of more than 500 of the 20th Century’s greatest achievers. His exhaustive research proved that the essence of success lies within 17 simple principles that, when used together, serve as an infallible formula for achievement.

Check 'em out! And if you have some particular resources that you'd like to recommend, please let me know.

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1qtr2007 - What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?

News and Highlights from last quarter:
  • Crain's Chicago Business quotes Barry Zweibel as he answers, "How can I make holiday shopping less fatiguing?"
  • Barry Zweibel is quoted in an article called, " Holiday Traditions" in the November/December 2006 issue of Desert Diamonds magazine.
  • Barry Zweibel is interviewed about the value and benefits of life coaching for an upcoming article in Elite Magazine, "The Magazine of Fine Lifestyles."
  • Auxis, Inc. retains GottaGettaCoach! for an executive coaching initiative.
  • The Farmers Insurance Group retains GottaGettaCoach! for an executive coaching initiative.
  • Barry Zweibel is interviewed about breaking bad habits for an article to be published in Columbia College's Echo Magazine.
  • Barry Zweibel is interviewed by Pink Magazine for an article about “How to Deal with Bad Employees.”
  • Effective Executive magazine publishes The Dangerous Allure of Trust, an article about why managers should NOT want their direct reports to trust them, by Barry Zweibel, in their October 2006 edition.
  • information from the GGCI life coach page

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1qtr2007 - GottaGettaBlog! Weblog Highlights

I've been using GottaGettaBlog! as a vehicle to capture news, notes, and musings about coaching, mentoring, and getting more from YOUR Untapped Potential - along with whatever other stuff I happen to find amusing and/or thought-provoking - since June of 2003.

Here are some snippets from some of last quarters posts:

... from October 2006

  • People behave as they're incented to behave - That old axiom is true: People really do behave as they're incented to behave. It's just that sometimes we don't realize exactly how we are incenting them to behave. A quick and easy way to understand the real picture is by using a 2x2 Awareness Matrix ... more
  • Leadership Move #4

... from November 2006

  • Leadership Move #14
  • Mmmm, Comfort Food - Survey time: What are your favorite Comfort Foods? C'mon, spill-the-beans, as it were. You don't have to be embarrassed - not all Comfort Foods are bad for you. Well, sure, 'junk' foods top the list, but there are some 'healthier' ones in the Top 10. Here they are, according to Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating, along with the percentages of them being cited as a very favorite ... more

... from December 2006

  • A little (visual) help? According to an article in this month's New Scientist magazine: "Basketball vests (singlets) with electroluminescent displays that show a player's score, and number of fouls, are being trialed" ... called "TeamAwear" ... Call me crazy, but if it were up to me, I think I'd start a line of boss' work-clothes. Consider these "WorkAwear" possibilities ... more
  • Who IS that in the mirror? Here's a question for you to enjoy answering: "What quality to you most like about yourself and why?" ... more

Your on-line comments at GottaGettaBlog! are both welcomed and encouraged. To receive weekly digests of new GottaGettaBlog! postings, update your subscription here.

1qtr2007 - Administrivia

This edition of Not Just Talk! was written and created by Barry Zweibel, executive coach, leadership consultant, and president of GottaGettaCoach!, Incorporated.

GGCI specializes in helping executives - and managers aspiring to leadership positions - to:

  • think more strategically more of the time
  • communicate more effectively, up, down, and across the organization
  • better leverage their time, effort, and personnel resources
  • adopt a more coach-like attitude with staff and vendor personnel
  • be ready willing, and able to have difficult conversations, when needed
  • drive key business results without being a jerk!

GGCI also provides life coaching and career coaching services to those looking to make good things happen sooner in their lives and careers.

For information on how GottaGettaCoach! can help you - or those in your organization - please contact Barry directly at 847.291.9735, info@ggci.com, or via www.ggci.com.

PRIVACY POLICY: GottaGettaCoach!, Incorporated values your subscription and respects your privacy. As such GGCI will not rent, sell, or lend, any subscriber information to any 3rd party without your express permission – permission we are NOT asking for at this time.

GGCI is proud to be a member in good standing with The Better Business Bureau.

To change or cancel this subscription, click here: subscription change.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

4qtr2006 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter

Table of Contents - 4qtr2006 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter

  • Feature Article: Beyond Illusions
  • Notable Quotables: Great Things I Didn't Say First
  • What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?
  • Attention Busy People: Executive Book Summary Service
  • GottaGettaBlog! Weblog Highlights
  • Administrivia

4qtr2006 - Feature Article: Beyond Illusions

I read an interesting article in the August/September 2006 issue of Scientific American Mind magazine called: "The Quirks of Constancy." It starts off with a big picture of the Ponzo Illusion. For those of you unfamiliar with the Ponzo Illusion, it was named after the Italian psychologist Mario Ponzo, who, in 1913, offered this drawing for consideration:

Now if you're like most, you probably see the top yellow line as clearly being longer than the bottom one. But, in truth, both yellow lines are identical in every way. So look at the illusion again. Isn't it fascinating that the top yellow line still looks longer than the bottom one even though you know that they're the exact same size? That, my friends, is why it's called an illusion!

And that's why the article's subtitle asks the following question: "Even when we consciously know two lines are the same length, why can't we help seeing them as different?"

So how does Ponzo continue do what he did? The answer has to do with something like this: The railroad tracks convince our brains that there's some depth to the picture and that the top yellow line is 'farther away' from us - and therefore should appear smaller - than the yellow line below it. But because it doesn't look smaller, our brains automatically conclude that it must be because the top line is actually the bigger of the two.

Except, of course, that it's not! They're both identical, as seen when the "railroad tracks" are replaced with straight lines. Voila! The illusion is gone:

But this isn't really an article about what a guy named Ponzo discovered some 90+ years ago, though. It's about our need to do a better job of recognizing - and giving ourselves credit for - the incremental improvements we achieve in our ongoing self-development work. You see, just as we continue to see Ponzo's yellow lines as different sizes even though we know they are not, we also all-too-often continue to label, or see, ourselves as not having changed - even though there's irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Witness:


  • Quote-unquote "shy" people still tend to label themselves as shy even though they now sometimes talk with people standing on line with them at the grocery store, or get into conversation with fellow commuters on the train platform.
  • Quote-unquote "unconfident" people still tend to label themselves as unconfident even though they have no problem asking co-workers or colleagues if they want to grab a cup of coffee or get a bite to eat.
  • Quote-unquote "not-so-smart" people still tend to see label themselves as not-so-smart even though they are clearly subject matter experts (SME) on a wide variety of topics and people continually seek them out for their SME-ness.

In these cases, and others like them, there is specific, quantifiable, evidence that real and meaningful improvement has been made, that real and meaningful improvement is being made, and that real and meaningful improvement continues to be made. Yet the illusion of their self-limiting beliefs prevents them from recognizing their changes as such.

The message here is this: If you know you're honestly making an effort to improve yourself, it's more than likely that you have improved - more than you realize. Remember: Just because your short-comings sometimes still look bigger than your successes, it doesn't mean that they actually are. Any lack-of-progress you're feeling is probably just a variation of Ponzo's Illusion.

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4qtr2006 - Notable Quotables: Great Things I Didn't Say First!

  • “We must select the illusion which appeals to our temperament and embrace it with passion, if we want to be happy. ” - Cyril Connolly
  • “What can this piece of paper do; imagine?” - Alamgir Hashmi
  • “Oh, how powerfully the magnet of illusion attracts.” - Gutzkow
  • “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us.” - Carl Sagan
  • “Baseball is a game where a curve is an optical illusion, a screwball can be a pitch or a person, stealing is legal and you can spit anywhere you like except in the umpire's eye or on the ball.” - Jim Murray
  • “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” - Albert Einstein

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4qtr2006 - What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?

News and Highlights from last quarter:

  • TheLadders.com, exclusive partners of the WSJ CareerJournal.com and Business Week online, publishes Creating a Portfolio of Mentors, the latest article by Barry Zweibel.
  • GottaGettaCoach! is retained by Hill-Rom, Inc. for a series of management coaching assignments.
  • GottaGettaCoach! was certified as the 194th “Really Awesome-est" Company on the Internet! by AwesomeMillion.com. Too funny!
  • A Strategic Coach, an article written by Barry Zweibel and published by the American Society for Training and Development, is being used to supplement some foundational research being conducted in Copenhagen on the use of coaching as a means to increase engagement and innovation in the workplace.
  • Barry Zweibel is interviewed for an article in the ABA Journal on background checks becoming more a prevalent part of the interview/selection process.
  • information from the GGCI career coach page

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4qtr2006 - Attention Busy People: Executive Book Summary Service

Don't have time to read all the new business books you're been hearing about? Well here's some good news - GottaGettaCoach! is now affiliated with Soundview Executive Book Summaries, the people wo make those 8-page summaries of top-notch business books.

Download them to your laptop, or PDA, listen to them on CD or as an MP3, or have them sent the old-fashioned way - by mail. You choose.

An annual subscription gives you 30 summaries for as little as $3.97 each, so you save time and money AND keep current with the latest in progressive business thinking.

If all you get is one new idea for the entire year, the subscription more than pays for itself. But you'll probably get very many more. Give it a try and see for yourself.

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4qtr2006 - GottaGettaBlog! Weblog Highlights

I've been using GottaGettaBlog! as a vehicle to capture news, notes, and musings about coaching, mentoring, and getting more from YOUR Untapped Potential - along with whatever other stuff I happen to find amusing and/or thought-provoking - since June of 2003.

Highlighted postings from last quarter are listed below - just follow the links:

from July 2006

from August 2006

from September 2006

Your on-line comments at GottaGettaBlog! are both welcomed and encouraged. To receive weekly digests of new GottaGettaBlog! postings, update your subscription here.

4qtr2006 - Administrivia

This edition of Not Just Talk! was written and created by Barry Zweibel, executive coach, leadership consultant, and president of GottaGettaCoach!, Incorporated.

GGCI specializes in helping executives - and managers aspiring to leadership positions - to:

  • think more strategically more of the time
  • communicate more effectively, up, down, and across the organization
  • better leverage their time, effort, and personnel resources
  • adopt a more coach-like attitude with staff and vendor personnel
  • be ready willing, and able to have difficult conversations, when needed
  • drive key business results without being a jerk!

GGCI also provides life coaching and career coaching services to those looking to make good things happen sooner in their lives and careers.

For information on how GottaGettaCoach! can help you - or those in your organization - please contact Barry directly at 847.291.9735, info@ggci.com, or via www.ggci.com.

PRIVACY POLICY: GottaGettaCoach!, Incorporated values your subscription and respects your privacy. As such GGCI will not rent, sell, or lend, any subscriber information to any 3rd party without your express permission – permission we are NOT asking for at this time.

GGCI is proud to be a member in good standing with The Better Business Bureau.

To change or cancel this subscription, click here: subscription change.

Monday, July 03, 2006

3qtr2006 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter

Table of Contents - 3qtr2006 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter

  • Feature Article
  • Great Things I Didn't Say!
  • What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?
  • GottaGettaBlog!
  • Weblog Highlights Administrivia

3qtr2006 - Feature Article

C.L.E.A.N. up your Mess

In preparing for an interview with the Chicago Tribune last month (Moving on often best fix for blunders) I was asked to consider what steps an employee should take to recover from having embarrassed the boss.

Certainly there's a "clean-up" function that's required. And to that end, here's a C.L.E.A.N. acronym for doing exactly that:

C, as in COP to it - You screwed up; now admit it. Even if your mistake was having misjudged how your boss would react to what you did, you really do have to take responsibility for the impact your actions had, ASAP. No ifs, ands, or buts.

L, as in LISTEN for the deeper issue - We already know that bosses don't always say what they mean. So if, as example, your boss starts criticizing you for something you said at a meeting with more senior managers, chances are you inadvertently embarrassed him/her. Did you contradict something s/he said? Misstate some key facts? Comment in a way that was "off message"? Encourage your boss to tell you what's really at issue. Ask what s/he is not telling you. Get the real story.

E, as in ECHO your apology - Once you understand exactly how you embarrassed your boss, apologize. Express your regret in such a way that s/he can't help but realize that: (a) you truly are sorry; and (b) you understand what you did wrong. Then ask if you should apologize to anyone else about this. It's a gracious extra step that can help rebuild bridges and mend fences.

A, as in ACT professionally - You may be put in the dog-house for a while, but depending on circumstances, you probably deserve it. After all, you did the crime, now do the time. So work hard; do good; and above all, don't whine about it ... to anyone.

N, as in NEVER do that again! Clear enough?!

But what if it's the boss who embarrasses you? What then?

Certainly you can cop to the fact that you were, in fact, embarrassed. You can also listen for what the boss' intent actually was.

What you'd echo though, would be additional examples that suggest a problem has emerged - one that you'd like your boss to appropriately resolve. Then continue to act professionally, whether you feel like it or not, and never, under any circumstances, complain to people who can't do anything to help solve the problem.

If the pattern continues, you have a choice to make: (a) complain to someone who can get your boss' attention; (b) put up with it; or (c) find yourself a new job with a different boss.

Hard choices, but choices nevertheless.

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3qtr2006 - Great Things I Didn't Say!

  • "The test of a first-class mind is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in the head at the same time and still be able to function." - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • "In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." - Albert Schweitzer
  • “When a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.” - Edgar Watson Howe
  • “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing” - Aristotle
  • "The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don't like to do. They don't like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose." - E.M. Gray
  • "If you want the rainbow, you've got to put up with the rain." - Jimmy Durante

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3qtr2006 - What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?

News and Highlights from last quarter:
  • Barry Zweibel is quoted as an industry expert in Moving on often best fix for blunders, an article in the Business Section of the June 19, 2006 Chicago Tribune.
  • The Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, Inc. commends GottaGettaCoach!, Inc. with the BBB Complaint Free Award for 2005.
  • Barry Zweibel is interviewed by Pink Magazine for an upcoming article on helping managers deal more effectively with difficult employees.
  • TheLadders.com, exclusive partners of the WSJ CarrerJournal.com and BusinessWeek online, selects an article written by Barry Zweibel (Help Them Say Yes: Provide a 90-Day Plan) to include as part of their "Smart Career Guide" e-book compilation that they distribute as a thank-you gift to new subscribers.
  • Above the fold on the front page of their Sunday, April 30th, Career Section, the Daily Southtown newspaper prints an interview with Barry Zweibel as an expert on "unleashing your potential."
  • Sunbelt Services selects GottaGettaCoach! for an executive coaching/leadership consulting initiative.
  • information from the GGCI executive coach page

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3qtr2006 - GottaGettaBlog! Weblog Highlights

I've been using GottaGettaBlog! as a vehicle to capture news, notes, and musings about coaching, mentoring, and getting more from YOUR Untapped Potential - along with whatever other stuff I happen to find amusing and/or thought-provoking - since June of 2003. Highlighted postings from last quarter are listed below - just follow the links:

from April 2006

from May 2006

from June 2006

Your on-line comments at GottaGettaBlog! are both welcomed and encouraged. To receive weekly digests of new GottaGettaBlog! postings, update your subscription here.

3qtr2006 - Administrivia

This edition of Not Just Talk! was written and created by Barry Zweibel, executive coach, leadership consultant, and president of GottaGettaCoach!, Incorporated.

GGCI specializes in helping executives - and managers aspiring to leadership positions - to:

  • think more strategically more of the time
  • communicate more effectively, up, down, and across the organization
  • better leverage their time, effort, and personnel resources
  • adopt a more coach-like attitude with staff and vendor personnel
  • be ready willing, and able to have difficult conversations, when needed
  • drive key business results without being a jerk!

GGCI also provides life coaching and career coaching services to those looking to make good things happen sooner in their lives and careers.

For information on how GottaGettaCoach! can help you - or those in your organization - please contact Barry directly at 847.291.9735, info@ggci.com, or via www.ggci.com.

PRIVACY POLICY: GottaGettaCoach!, Incorporated values your subscription and respects your privacy. As such GGCI will not rent, sell, or lend, any subscriber information to any 3rd party without your express permission – permission we are NOT asking for at this time.

GGCI is proud to be a member in good standing with The Better Business Bureau.

To change or cancel this subscription, click here: subscription change.

Monday, April 03, 2006

2qtr2006 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter

Table of Contents - 2qtr2006 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter

  • Feature Article
  • Great Things I Didn't Say!
  • What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?
  • GottaGettaBlog!
  • Weblog Highlights Administrivia

2qtr2006 - Feature Article

Long-Term Life Planning

I was recently asked by CNN reporter Ann Hoevel, "What steps should people take, Barry, to create a long-term life plan for themselves? What can they do to get themselves ready?"

The thing is, if you're not ready to create a long-term plan for yourself, then you're just not ready. There's no secret formula to automatically make you ready. And even if there was, different people need different things so what might work for Mary, or Steve, probably wouldn't work for you. But while there's no magic recipe out there, there are certain key ingredients that you're probably going to need to effectively
P-L-A-N.

P - be Patient

Just because you don't know in this moment, it doesn't mean that you won't know in a coming moment. The key is to be ready for the insights - and recognizing them as such - whenever they do occur. Practice patience whenever you can. It's an important life skill.

Keep practicing until impatience no longer distracts you from what's going on in the here and now.

L - Love yourself

There are three types of personal power - Mind Power, Body Power, Heart Power. Mind Power helps us analyze things and their underlying logic. Body Power is the power of action and doing. And Heart Power comes from connecting with your values, your soul, your higher purpose. While most people are pretty good at using their mind and body powers, Heart Power, which might also be called an ego-less Love of Self, is where all long-term life planning really begins. Here's a great coaching exercise: Sit your body down, quiet your mind, and have a set of conversations with your heart. Listen for what it says. Hear what it's trying to tell you, without judgment, and without expectation.

The more you can befriend your heart, the clearer - and more meaningful - these communications can be.

A - increase your Awareness

So many people operate in Default Mode, ruled unconsciously by bad habits, out-dated assumptions, and self-limiting beliefs. The key here is to recognize your Default Behaviors as they occur, so you can become more conscious and purposeful about what you're deciding.

Here's an exercise that can help: Start noticing the things around you that have a particularly positive or negative affect on you. Don't worry about why they affect you the way they do, just notice that they affect you. Then, using a variation of what I call the Noun Game, identify persons, places, and things that empower (strengthen) you - or not; that motivate (engage) you - or not; that satisfy (acknowledge) you - or not.

You'll be amazed at what you can see when you start paying attention.

N - Nucleate

Find a quiet place. Let your curiosity and ingenuity percolate up inside you and let whatever comes up, come up. Don't worry about how realistic it is. Don't worry about practicality, either. The idea is to investigate possibility, without constraint. Wherever your energy collects is likely to be near the core. Make a note and come back later.

If nothing comes up right away, don't worry. Just take a break and return to the P-L-A-N process later. Patience, self-love, awareness and your ability to nucleate a life plan sometimes takes time.

Following the P-L-A-N does not guarantee the clarity of heart, mind, and body needed to create a meaningful life plan. But if you're ready, I believe it will help you get there sooner.

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2qtr2006 - Great Things I Didn't Say!

  • "It is a bad plan that admits of no modification." - Publilius Syrus (~100 BC)
  • "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood...Make big plans, aim high in hope and work." - Daniel H. Burnham (1846 - 1912)
  • "How poor are they who have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees." - William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
  • "We know truth, not only by reason, but also by the heart." - Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662)
  • "There is nothing like dream to create the future. Utopia to-day, flesh and blood tomorrow." - Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885)
  • "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, and try again. Then give up. There's no use being a damned fool about it." - W. C. Fields (1880-1946)

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2qtr2006 - What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?

News and Highlights from last quarter:

  • Barry Zweibel was interviewed by Professional Builder magazine for an article on work/life balance.
  • TheLadders.com publishes another article by Barry Zweibel called, Help Them Say Yes: Provide a 90-Day Plan.
  • Barry Zweibel was interviewed by GURLZ magazine (Mumbai, India) for an article on life coaching.
  • Barry Zweibel was interviewed by Motivation Strategies Magazine for an article in one of their newsletters on networking.
  • Barry Zweibel was interviewed by CNN.com for a piece on long-term life planning.
  • Barry Zweibel was interviewed as part of an organizational leadership research project affiliated with Chapman University in Orange, California.
  • Barry Zweibel was quoted in the January 2, 2006 edition of the Daily Herald newspaper in an article called, "The Strength to Change" about on making better New Year's Resolutions.
  • information from the GGCI leadership coach page

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2qtr2006 - GottaGettaBlog! Weblog Highlights

I've been using GottaGettaBlog! as a vehicle to capture news, notes, and musings about coaching, mentoring, and getting more from YOUR Untapped Potential - along with whatever other stuff I happen to find amusing and/or thought-provoking - since June of 2003. Highlighted postings from last quarter are listed below - just follow the links:

from January 2006

from February 2006

from March 2006

Your on-line comments at GottaGettaBlog! are both welcomed and encouraged. To receive weekly digests of new GottaGettaBlog! postings, update your subscription here.

2qtr2006 - Administrivia

This edition of Not Just Talk! was written and created by Barry Zweibel, executive coach, leadership consultant, and president of GottaGettaCoach!, Incorporated.

GGCI specializes in helping executives - and managers aspiring to leadership positions - to:

  • think more strategically more of the time
  • communicate more effectively, up, down, and across the organization
  • better leverage their time, effort, and personnel resources
  • adopt a more coach-like attitude with staff and vendor personnel
  • be ready willing, and able to have difficult conversations, when needed
  • drive key business results without being a jerk!

GGCI also provides life coaching and career coaching services to those looking to make good things happen sooner in their lives and careers.

For information on how GottaGettaCoach! can help you - or those in your organization - please contact Barry directly at 847.291.9735, info@ggci.com, or via www.ggci.com.

PRIVACY POLICY: GottaGettaCoach!, Incorporated values your subscription and respects your privacy. As such GGCI will not rent, sell, or lend, any subscriber information to any 3rd party without your express permission – permission we are NOT asking for at this time.

GGCI is proud to be a member in good standing with The Better Business Bureau.

To change or cancel this subscription, click here: subscription change .

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

1qtr2006 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter

Table of Contents -1qtr2006 - Not Just Talk! Newsletter
  • Feature Article
  • Great Things I Didn't Say!
  • What's News at GottaGettaCoach!?
  • New Product Notice
  • GottaGettaBlog!
  • Weblog Highlights Administrivia

1qtr2006 - Feature Article

Promoted? Now What?

Welcome to 2006! And congratulations - that promotion you got along with your performance review at year-end is now official. So here are some helpful hints on successfully managing the transition from co-worker to boss:

Top 5 DO’S when being promoted to supervise your peers

  1. DO treat everyone with the utmost respect – In one way or another you couldn’t have gotten the promotion without them, either because they helped you succeed, or they helped you look good by comparison.
  2. DO earn your pay – Now that you’re making the Big Bucks, show your staff that promoting you was a good decision.
  3. DO keep your ego in check – No one likes an over-the-top winner, specially when they knew you when.
  4. DO fix something – Pick something you all used to grouse about and use your new authority to make it better.
  5. DO walk your talk – Take responsibility for your actions (especially your screw-ups) and model how you want your staff act in similar circumstances.

Top 5 DON’TS when being promoted to supervise your peers

  1. DON’T be a jerk – You don’t automatically now know everything just because you’re the boss. Similarly, saying, “Do what I say because I’m the boss,” should be avoided at all costs. Instead, explain the underlying rationale for your decisions and discuss and/or debate, as necessary. Allow the strength of your ideas to make the sale, not just the implied threat that your can make someone’s life miserable if they don’t comply.
  2. DON’T be a buddy – You’re no longer part of the gang; you’re the boss. Be friendly, but don’t think that nothing will change just because you got promoted; it will.
  3. DON’T play favorites – Reward based on merit, not favoritism. Don’t assume you already know how someone will work with you as their boss. Avoid giving real or perceived preferential treatment.
  4. DON’T hold a double-standard – Being in charge does not mean you can bend/break the rules for yourself while insisting they be enforced for everyone else.
  5. DON’T be a hog – When something goes well, share the credit/spotlight with your staff so that they see that making you look good makes them look even better.

You've done a lot of good work in the past - that's what earned you this promotion. But now, you need to do a lot of GREAT work to help everyone realize that promoting you was a very smart - and totally appropriate - thing for your boss to have done.

Show 'em what you can do.

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