Working with Personality & Positivity
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Creating Energy With The Word “No”!

In her “The Book of NO” social psychologist Susan Newman not only gives us permission to say “NO”, but highly encourages it.

While some temperament types have real difficulty saying “no”, others wonder what all the fuss is about saying “no”.  I’m afraid I belong to the first group.

So for those of us who want to say “no” more often and stress less, Dr. Newman makes a few good points. Let me share a couple.

She suggests that at work, “if you stretch yourself too thin, you run the risk of making mistakes or doing a mediocre job.” Clients tell me that they fear saying “no” at work in case they get a pink slip. Yet, if they wind up taking on so much that they can’t do anything well that pink slip may be inevitable.

Dr. Newman shares a lot about families. My personal favorite is,  “when you say yes continually to others….you tell yourself and your family that you are not important.”  One of my colleagues books a manicure every second Saturday, more because it allows her an hour of pure bliss away from her family then because she needs her nails done professionally.

Turns out, according to this author, that “no” can create a lot of positive energy in our lives. It is up to us to choose when and how to start using it a little more often!


Yo Why Do You Want to Change?

The above title was actually an answer to the age-old question, “how can I change my personality?”

Sometimes in a workshop I hear things like “I’m not as funny as the other temperament types” or “I wish I could be more like my colleagues because…’, or…. well you get the picture.

I saw the above answer posted in response to a question on

I loved it! Short, to the point.

So often we see the gifts or talents that someone else possesses and we want them. Well, it just stresses us out. As though we don’t have enough stress from life events or from those every day occurrences that “get under our skin” we add to these stressors ourselves.

Instead of asking how you can change your personality, I think the real question is, “How can I make the most of my personality?” What specific talents do you have to offer? And we all have wonderful talents, albeit sometimes hidden ones!

Take a moment today and think of something about your personality that you don’t want to change.

Conquering February Blahs

On a beautiful day in August a friend and I agreed that February is the worst month of the year. Dull days. Blizzards. Spring does not feel “just around the corner”.

As I stood looking out the window this morning. I realized that it is February 1st. It is a dull day with a blizzard forecast in the area tonight. And Spring ….well… you get the picture.

However, this year I made a promise to myself that I would not let February get me down. I will not be stressed by these blah February days!

It turns out that a client has requested that I present a session on de-stressing this month. Ironic? Yes. Coincidental? I don’t think so. Not if you have read “The Secret” . So as I research the latest information on what we can do about stress I will share some of this information in my blog this month, along with some of the things others do when stressed.

Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Group, says he takes time out to be with family when stressed. Read about it in “Take Time Off To Succeed”. In fact he argues that taking time out to be with friends and family helped lead to his success.

While we might not all have the funds to de-stress the way Sir Richard does we might take some time out to make a date with a family member or a friend whom we haven’t seen lately.

Hmm…I think I will call that friend who dislikes February and take her for a coffee.

60 Tips For A Stunningly Great Life

I’ll bet that got your attention! It did mine.
Robin Sharma, author of “The Leader Who Had No Title“, lists his 60 tips in his blog at if you want to peruse them for yourself.
As I read them through I found myself checking them off or mentally drawing a line through them, depending on whether I agreed or not with the author.. The list served a wonderful positive purpose: it got me thinking about just how great my life actually is right now. So many times I look into the future and think about what I could, or worse, should do, to create a better life.
Just prior to reading this list I had received an email from a client who asked me in her note whether I was having an awesome day. I thought about the question momentarily, and then replied “Yes, actually I am!” I even smiled as I responded on my blackberry. Her very use of the word “awesome” put me in such a positive place.
It continues to amaze me that the words we use to communicate can have such an affect on those around us. As for a “stunningly” great life, now I might just have to add a few things to my list to get me to that level.

We See Things As We Are

In her book “Life is a verb” Patti Digh quotes Anais Nin: “We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.”

Isn’t that the truth. We grow up with our perspective and often just assume that others view life the same way too. We often gravitate towards ppeople who see things the way we do too. But sometimes we find ourselves in the company of someone who just doesn’t see things in the same way and we wonder why they are so weird.

For example, one colleague may be very different on your team than the rest of your colleagues. As one workshop participant commented to me the other day, “we’re both speaking English but sometimes I just don’t understand her.” Once they learned the differences of how the four temperaments communicate, they began to understand where some of the gaps were in their relationship on the team.

Only then could they begin to bridge the gap between their two perspectives and perhaps even appreciate one another a little more. Once again, I quoted Patti Digh: “Experiencing the world of others doesn’t imply agreement or adoption of their way of being in the world, but it does require openness.”

Another participant commented that she thought a group of their colleagues were being sarcastic and she had never quite figured out why. She learned that day that this small group shared the same temperament and what she thought was sarcastic was really just their dry wit . They all laughed together. And so a bridge was built that day.