All posts by Sue Falcone

About Sue Falcone

Sue Falcone is the Founder and CEO of the newly re-branded Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau. The Stress-free Way to Find a Speaker! Compelling storytellers. Motivational masters. Best selling authors and award-winning entertainers — we have gathered together the speakers that’ll make your events Remarkable. Those We Serve Include: ● Fortune 500 Companies ● Professional Business Associations ● Major TV Networks ● Non-Profit Organizations ● Major Universities "Trusted by America’s Top Meeting and Event Planners" Dean Waye- Global Techical Sales Manager Contact us at 888-766-3155 and see how we earn the right to be the first phone call for the top event planners around the world!

Detecting Lies, Fraud and Identity Theft in a Social Distancing and Remote Work World

Now You See Me….Now You Don’t.  We all said it as kids.  And it couldn’t be more true now in our new work at home, social distancing world.

There’s lots of uncertainty and things are changing every day.  I do know one thing for sure.  When the economy turns down, fraud goes up.  Now is the time to protect yourself, know who you can trust and what those you don’t are up to.

And it’s even harder now than ever.  Why?  Because many people are working from home, with primarily phone and email to connect with their team, vendors and customers.

It turns out that tone and words can be bigger indicators of deception than body language.  The rub is that you have to pay close attention to very fine details in these aspects of communication to get the info you need.  Body language is easier but hey, it’s a new world and the time is now to step up.

I did some analysis on an interview a few weeks ago for Fox 31 in Denver.  The stepmom of a little boy, Gannon Stauch, was interviewed about his disappearance.  She wouldn’t face the camera and wore sunglasses the whole time. The producers said my analysis would air upon her arrest, and it did 2 weeks after I went in to the studio.

It was lots harder to read her and find the deception when I couldn’t see her face.   There’s lots to learn here for people that are now working remotely.  When you tune in you’ll be able to do it.   Here’s the segment:

TIME Magazine has named Traci Brown one of the country’s Top Deception Detection Experts. And She’s currently ranked the #9 Body Language Expert in the World by GlobalGurus.com. During these times we are going through it is even more important to detect lies and fraud that come into our home. Traci shares simple ways to protect yourself while we are all social distancing and working and living from home! Traci is available for your virtual and futures events. Book Traci today: https://bit.ly/33WGoDL

How to Work from a Remote Location: Your Home!

Are you one of the many of our workforce in the United States that have been sent “home” to work? What you are facing could include:

  • both parents having to work from home
  • having children out of school doing on-line classes
  • managing college students away from home
  • having elderly parents that you may or may not be able to physically see

This can make life seem overwhelming, impossible and fearful, can’t it?

Welcome to this new world that a tiny virus has caused in such a short time with no advance warning; and also having to realize there are some things that are just out of your control………period!

How do you cope? Where do you start? What will really work for you and your family?

To begin: relax, breathe, and focus first on keeping a positive attitude and a sense of humor! That will help you do what needs to be done NOW!

Dale Carnegie said:
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit and think about it. Get busy.”

Before the virus there were already approximately 3.7 million people working successfully from home, so you are not alone! They now refer to themselves as “remotely located” rather than “working from home.” Do you see how that can change your perspective about what you are about to experience?

From the millions, including myself, here are some tips for you before you just dive in!

  • Secure from your employer an overall plan of what is required and expected from you now that you are “remotely located.” They may not have it all thought out either, but at least you are starting the conversation so both of you can have clarity of what you need to be focused on doing.
  • Communicate frequently with your company to stay connected and to make sure you are on target with their expectations and day by day changes that are occuring. Make this the best possible experience for your employer and for yourself too.
  • Access to the right equipment to be productive. Don’t be afraid to let your company know of your set-up and what you need. This was a quick move and so you need to make sure you are fully equipped to meet their expectations.

Once these guidelines have been discussed you are ready to create a “remotely located” workplace, and plan for the other functions your “remote location” will have to provide.

In setting up your plan make sure it involves each of the household members and the outside extended family obligations you have. It must be explained and communicated well and allow for flexibility! Remember that sense of humor too!

This is a great quote from branding expert, Nyght Falcon https://www.nyghtfalcon.com/ “If you are not clear and concise in communicating who you are and what you do, they will invent it!”
You don’t want your family to assume or invent anything in the days ahead.

Step back and create on paper a plan instead of just wandering though the coming days hoping it will all work out! Some who are “remotely located” designate a mantra for their days, as well as name their location. Get creative just like you do in your workplace in building highly productive and fun teams! Create an environment to do the functions that are not normally done in your home!

Remember this is not the same as having a snow storm where you are issolated for a few days until the roads are clear, you play and have fun, then you resume your normal schedule! This is not like you bringing work home to do often, or helping your children with their homework. This is actually putting in place both physically and mentally all that has been done outside the home, to now being done in and from your home!

Think about this could be for perhaps two or more months, and that everything you normally do outside your home has either been cancelled or rescheduled. You are starting from scratch and going into a new lifestyle with massive changes for everyone you care about and love.

Keep this simple! You have to realize there are many distractions when you are working and doing everything from home; many of which you have not encountered before. That is why a daily plan is so essential to safeguarding your valuable time and keeping your sanity!

Sounds like a lot of preparation, but you will find it is so worth it to make sure you get off on the right path and not have to keep revising things over and over again!

It will take some organization at first, but that is why everyone in the home needs to be involved. No one person alone creates this plan, (unless you are alone), and no one person alone can keep it going; it takes everyone being involved, even your pets!

You have to create:

  • A designated office space for one or both of you who are having to work “remotely.” This is key as you cannot be productive having your work spread all over your home. You will probably have to attend conferences and meetings on line, and you want to be and look the professional that you are at your normal workplace.
  • A designated place for your children to go to school. Again this is key because you do not want all the things they need scattered all over your home.
  • A daily routine and schedule. If you don’t do this and keep it consistent, your
    day will be set for you and nothing will be accomplished.
    This includes the basics:
    When you begin and end the day- definite times
    Work hours- definite times– and make sure you don’t allow yourself to work in your sweats or pajamas with no shoes on! Studies show those who keep a routine of getting up and dressing just as you normally would, are far more productive at working from home! Did I suggest you had to wear a suit and tie or high heels? You just need to be prepared to have video conferences and look professional. I have a friend who is “remotely located” and once she is ready for work, she physically goes out and gets in her car, drives around the block, and then enters her office with the mindset of being at work! You will find what works for you and your family!
    School hours- definite times– this means the children need to be dressed as they would be at school normally, and know what is expected of them.
    Meals- definite times with everyone helping. Avoid having an “open” kitchen where everyone can eat and drink at all times instead of at meals and break times. You don’t want to break your budget or gain weight!
    Breaks- definite times
    Recreation time– after work is done with all involved setting what you will do. Do some fun and creative things you have always wanted to do. Spring is on the way so that could help you get your yard looking great!
    TV time– designated times allowed for everyone- do not get in the habit of having the TV on all the time and hearing all the updates that can allow negative thoughts and fears to take over.
    Cell phone- designated times for just friend chats- use when needed for business, but plan other communications so that you are not distracted from getting done what you must each day.
    Social Media– designated times allowed for everyone- this can become a major distraction, chose wisely the time you spend there.
    Family Meeting Time– a short time every day to get the feelings, frustrations, and voice questions and concerns of all the family so you can reassure each other you can do this, and that it will pass at some time!
    Bedtime– definite time for everyone to follow- everyone needs their rest and sleep away from technology and the cares of the day. Don’t get in the habit of staying up late and expect to be productive the next day!
  • Once you have the basic routine daily schedule in place then you also have to plan on shopping time, cleaning time, daily chores for everyone, keeping in touch with your college age children and your elderly parents. Again no one person can do this alone, it takes everyone working together to get through this!
  • Set times you keep up with the daily news. This can be a time robber unless you make the choices of when this comes into your daily life. I suggest you turn off phone alerts as they can be very distracting.

    These times are uniquely different than what we have ever been through in our lives. I think back and imagine what it must have been like before we became an industralized nation. The home was the place for work, school, play, and fun. AND families and individuals back then did not have the modern conveniences we have now. So as hard as it seems, laying out a simple routine and creating a lifestyle you are not accustomed to can be a life-changing experience! And who knows, you just might like being “remotely located!”

Sue Falcone is the Founder and CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau. As an Award-winning recognized visionary expert in the industry, combined with her strengths of being positive, bringing solutions for every need, and excellent customer service, Sue loves the honor of “earning your business” when you are looking to book a speaker or music artist for your next event. The headquarters of her company is remotely located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Contact her today at 888-766-3155.

BEYOND CORONA

Who would have thought one month ago that a virus could so drastically disrupt our marketplace. It has us washing our hands profusely, fist bumping instead of handshaking, and walking through airports and shopping malls just praying no one touches us. 

If nothing else, this virus reminds us just how fragile our marketplace is, how much is out of our control, and how things can change on a moment’s notice. Even if you are in an industry that is strong right now, not being directly impacted, it  is still a good time to sit back, take a breath and ask yourself, are you prepared, are you ready for massive disruption? 

We are living in a time of constant change, a global market has opened up opportunity and new threats, and technology is constantly redesigning the marketplace. The one thing we can all agree on, it is probably the one thing we are all worried about, is what has made us successful to this point, what has grown our companies, is not going to be enough going forward. We need a different approach and a new style of leadership. 

Today, we need a plan for the Corona Virus, because who knows how long this will impact our economy, and the level of change it will invoke.  Here are:

5 Strategies To Help Your Sustain Your Business, Calm Your Team, and Move Beyond Corona 

  1. Focus on What You Can Control – look to what you can control, and pretty much forget the rest. Oh yes, you need to keep an eye on what is happening with the virus, but do not obsess. There is nothing you can do about travel being closed to Europe, events being canceled or the press hyping up the dangers. Your energy is better spent focusing on your business and what you can control: helping your customers, looking for revenue opportunities, limiting expenses, and working with your team on finding new opportunities.

  2. Be Transparent – be as open as you can with your team right now. If this is impacting your business, even if you are worried it will, share that with them. Your team can handle tough news, they can handle challenges, what they can’t handle is the unknown. Over communicate is the right strategy right now and ensure what you know your team knows.

  3. Engage Your Team – after you share information with your team, ask them for their ideas and opinions. You need all hands-on deck right now, and everyone fully engaged. Remember, people support what they help create, and asking your team for their input will ensure you are tapping every resource you have at this critical time. 

  4. Diversify Revenue – ask yourself if you can diversify revenue at all. Whether your income stream is compromised or not, it is still a good time to diversify. Can you offer some things online? Can your salespeople sell into different markets? Is there a new service you could be offering? It may take a while to get these revenue streams going, but now is a great time to plan.

  5. Create A Plan – and last but not least, get a plan if you do not have one. Corona will not be the last disruption we have to the marketplace, and you need to work with your team to create the strategy for situations like this. Remember, if you see change coming it is opportunity, ignore it and it will defeat you.

Change grows like kudzu in our marketplace today, and as a leader you have to be prepared.  These strategies will help you get through this crisis and help you turn all of this uncertainty to your competitive advantage. 

Meridith Elliott Powell, Keynote Speaker, Best-selling Author, and One of the Top 100 Sales Experts on LinkedIn is an award-winning leadership and sales expert. Meridith’s cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge will make your audience laugh and learn as she walks you through the sales and leadership strategies you need to succeed. Meridith Powell is one of the most sought after Sales Strategist and Leadership Experts! Book Meridith Powell today: https://bit.ly/2Vvm4XG

Stress: Choose How You Participate!

Stress impacts the whole body.  When a stressful situation occurs, the nervous system responds and immediately increases cortisol and adrenaline to prepare the body for emergency action.  Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, muscles tighten, you may feel nauseous, and begin breathing harder.  Although this is a natural response to stress it is not natural to experience it daily. 

Daily stress brings on a lot of consequence that includes everything from difficulty concentrating to fatigue, weight gain and depression.  So how can this stress cycle be stopped to allow calm amid chaos?   The key is choosing to participate differently. 

  1. Create supportive, healthy boundaries.  Take inventory of your daily activities and decide if adjustment is needed to alleviate stress in your life.  Create buffers in the day so you can move in a fluid way without the anxiousness and stress of being overscheduled.  Carve out blocks of time to focus solely on a project and to answer emails and voicemails.  In the evening allow space for the activities you enjoy such as light exercise, connection with friends, and quiet time to read.  
  2. Breathe.  Offer your body the gift of breath; it is free, portable and accessible any time yet it is rarely used to its full capacity.  Take a slow, deep breath in through the nose, filling the abdomen like a balloon.  Pause and then slowly exhale through the nose as you contract the abdomen to push out all the air.  Repeat.  The gift of breath will calm the body and provide you a new perspective on the situation. 
  3. Say no.  This can be a challenging but necessary assignment if you want to reduce stress in your life.  Before making any decision, ask yourself “What will this provide me?”.  This one simple question will help you decide whether your participation will cause you angst, or move you in the direction of stress-free living.  By pausing and asking yourself this question, you will be able to make a conscious choice instead of one out of convenience, haste, or guilt.  Kindly express thanks and gratitude for the opportunity and say no.  It really is as easy as that.   
  4. Give permission.  You are in control of your response in every situation in life but you cannot control the response of others.  Before any stressful conversation silently say to the other person, “I give you permission to respond however you need to respond.”   This one simple act will allow you to express your thoughts and concerns and release control of the other persons response.  Stress happens when we worry about the unknown, or try to please another person and fall short.  Choose to do what is best for you, be kind to yourself in the process, and provide permission for others to do the same.   
  5. Use the power of word.  Words often feed stress in the body more than the situation itself!  What if instead of saying “I just don’t have enough time” you shifted your mindset by saying “I have all the time I need.”  Just through the power of word you provided space to accomplish the task at hand with grace, focus, and calm instead of being frazzled and stressed out.  You can also recite phrases like “all is well” “I am enough” or “I release all control” to set the stage for a positive experience.   

Stress will always be present in life; the good news is you get to choose how you want to participate in it!  Advocate for yourself, create a supportive environment and know that you have everything you need to live stress-free.

Angela Gaffney is an International Wellness Expert Keynote Speaker and Best-selling Author. Clients call her a Game-Changer! She inspires action, shifts perspective and challenges you to achieve health as you excel in business! Angela’s personal story feeds her passion for this work.  Like most of us do, she thought life would go on no matter what.  And after a two-year struggle with a failing body, Angela was told to go home and prepare for a progressive disease to take her life. It is possible to live better! Book Angela at https://bit.ly/2wEyHp8 and she can show you the way!

3 Soft Skills Every Leader Needs!

Leadership today is tough. You have a lot on your plate and demands on your time. Whether you are managing a sales team, running a company, or just leading yourself. There are deadlines to hit, goals to surpass, and employees to retain. So how do you know where to focus and how do you manage your time? It is tough.

To be effective as a leader, you have to understand what’s important and learn which actions you can leverage — prioritizing those skills and strategies that will bring the greatest return on investment. These are the 3 top soft skills you will need.

  • Listening – I know you have heard this one before but hang on and read a little further. Listening is powerful on multiple levels. First, if you listen to people, listen to your employees and customers, they will tell you exactly what they want. What they want, how they want to be led, how they want to be sold, what they value – in essence, if you listen to people, they will tell you how to do your job as a leader, and do it most effectively.

Second, listening is how you show people you care, that they matter, and that you value the relationship you have with them. When people feel heard, they feel important, and that is a powerful motivation.

And lastly, when you listen to people, you may get some great ideas. Great ideas on how to grow your business, service your customers, innovate and change, and perform more effectively

  • Vulnerability – be open and honest with employees and let them know you are all in and committed. Years ago, I made a critical mistake in my new role as a sales rep. My mistake cost the company quite a bit of money and a long-time customer. I didn’t have the courage to tell my boss, and when he found out, I was sure he was going to fire me. He called me to his office and told me to take a seat. I was shaking in my shoes.

But instead of scolding me, he told me a story about when he was my age, in a new role, and the critical mistake that he had made and how it had the same negative impact as mine. He shared that his boss, rather than fire him or yell at him, had walked him through the mistake, talked about how it happened, and used it as a significant learning opportunity. He had never forgotten that, and he wanted to share the same lesson with me.

That is vulnerability at its finest. My boss not only showed empathy and understanding for me, but he also made himself human. He was soft enough that I could connect and listen to him while being strong enough to make me respect him, and vow never to do it again. I left his office feeling more bonded to both the company and my boss.

  • Connection – and last but not least is connection, or as I like to call it investing in the emotional bank account. Early on in my career, I had a great mentor who told me that one of the most important things you need to do as a leader is investing in relationships. Connect with your team members, get to know who they are as people, what’s important to them, and take an interest.

He explained that if you make those investments early on, and you keep building them consistently, you will have plenty of savings in the emotional bank account. So, when you need to make a withdrawal, the consequences will not be as painful. What he meant was, as leaders, we are not perfect. We will make mistakes, miss opportunities, or have to ask something of our team members that is tough to ask. If we have built these relationships first, invested our time and energy in our team, they will invest in us when we most need them to.

Again, being a leader today is challenging. There is so much competing for our time and attention. But if you commit every day to increase your ability to listen, be vulnerable, and connect with your team and your customers, you’ll become an even more effective leader.

Meridith Elliott Powell, Keynote Speaker, Best-selling Author, and One of the Top 100 Sales Experts on LinkedIn is an award-winning leadership and sales expert. Meridith’s cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge will make your audience laugh and learn as she walks you through the sales and leadership strategies you need to succeed. Meridith Powell is one of the most sought after Sales Strategist and Leadership Experts! Book Meridith Powell today: https://bit.ly/2Vvm4XG

Do You Need More Joy in 2020?

Have you heard about choosing a “Word” for the year as promoted by Jon Gordon, Best-selling Author and Speaker? At http://jongordon.com/blog/choose-your-one-word-2020/ Jon explains how doing this and applying it can change your life, including your business!

We have done this for several years here at Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau, and we have seen the results of taking the time, meeting with our staff and coming up with that one special word that we each will apply to our lives and our business relationships all year long.

As we welcomed in a New Year, New Month, and New Decade, our “Word” for 2020 is Joy! We saw that choosing Joy puts us in a positive mindset, and it will guard us from those negative thoughts that can rob us of the life we can have! We even have it featured at the entrance to our headquarters!

One of our Remarkable Speakers, the humorous mindset expert, Dave Caperton, when he heard we had chosen Joy he was estatic! He is known as “The Joy Strategist” https://bit.ly/2TQehCV and he sent to me “5 Small Things That We Can Do” to have more joy in our lives! I am sharing them with you in the hope that this just might be the key to you having a successful year ahead!

  • Keep a JOY-nal-   Writing what you’re grateful for each day rewires your perceptions to enjoy more happiness and less stress.
  • Do Kindness-  Small kindness is a form of magic anyone can do. What could you do right now that could conjure a smile or make a problem vanish? 
  • Use Names- Personal connections start with names. Practice today with your server or your driver. See what a difference it makes.
  • Make a Face- Research shows that the mind and emotions take cues from the body. Want to feel happier? Smile!
  • Humor Yourself- Compassionate humor is stress-relieving, healing and bonding when we share it with others. Look for the humor potential in every moment, especially the frustrating ones. 

    Can you see why Event Planners and Dave’s audiences’ love having him at their events?

We wish for you a Remarkable 2020 and have a joyful time along the way!

Sue Falcone, CEO- Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau,
is honored for the opportunity to “earn your business”
and loves to showcase her Remarkable Speakers. Call
her today at 888-766-3155 or contact her at https://bit.ly/3aFeY7Z
to set up a time and day that meets your schedule!

Happy Holidays!

Over the years I have written several Christmas poems and stories that I have shared, but there is one story so dear to me that I want to share the story again! I love the holidays! Tradition to me is important; putting on Christmas ornatments that have been in the family for years and looking at the dates on them., trying to remember where we were and what we were doing.

I’ll always remember my first Christmas with Annie. We were on a tight budget our first Christmas together, so instead of spending money we didn’t have on ornaments for the tree that wasn’t up yet, she bought a do-it-yourself paint kit of 40 flat wooden Christmas figures. Annie hand painted every one, front and back , while I was on the road. I never knew she was doing it until she surprised me Christmas Eve with them.

Every year she suggests we keep them off the tree because she says … “Rob, they are just cheap little ornaments” … but to me they can’t be replaced. They hang there quietly among the fancy expensive ornaments, shining softly when the tree lights flicker, all with gentle smiles on their faces. Those simple wooden figures represent to me what the holiday season is all about … giving, caring, loving, tradition, family and friends. My heart just lights up when I proudly display them at the front of the tree.

I don’t know your traditions or your religious ways or even if you celebrate the holidays, but I still want to share with you my wish that your holidays be as happy as mine and filled with the meaning of 40 wooden figures.

My hope for you and your family is simply this:
I hope you are all safe and full of happiness.
Keep adding to your traditions and share them with friends.
I hope your health is good and your success never ends.

Robert Stevenson is an International Award-winning Speaker, Best-selling Author, and Entrepreneur. Robert understands what it takes to succeed! He is a man who knows how to deal with the risks, competition, and the ever-changing business arena. His ability to connect with an audience is amazing; blending humor, facts, inspiration, conviction and audience participation. Author of the best-selling book, now in it’s third revision, “How to Soar Like an Eagle in a World Full of Turkeys” Robert makes the reader laugh and cry, but mostly it will make the reader think. Book Robert for your next event: https://bit.ly/2MthqnN

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The Gift of Time in Aisle 9

“Look at all the sugar in these cereals,” the shrunken, old man pushing 90 said aloud in Aisle 9 at my local drugstore. As he reached for the Cheerios off the shelf, our eyes met. “I’m down to one teaspoon in my coffee, instead of three. Heck, during WWII I was happy if the coffee was even hot.” The man, I’d soon come to know as Frank, immediately wiped away a tear with the brush of his jacket sleeve. “I never used to cry, but I seem to cry all the time now.” “That’s healthy,” I replied with a big smile, “it means you’re human.” Frank returned the smile as he launched into a story about his service buddies. Glancing at the cold milk in my cart and lengthy holiday list in hand, I began to rehearse a graceful exit strategy.  After all, I didn’t have a moment to spare. Ready to execute, I turned back towards Frank and got smacked with a feeling. One I didn’t see coming, but knew I must honor.  In that awakened moment, I put away my list and said, “Tell me more about WWII.” 

Time seemed to stop in Aisle 9 as Frank told me all about his war experience and being part of the largest land battle ever fought by our country – the Battle of the Bulge. “Do you know there were over 70,000 American casualties during that battle alone?” “Yes, I do.” I replied.  “My Dad was captured in that Battle and became a Prisoner of War in Stalag 11B.”

Frank’s eyes were alert when I shared the story of how Dad’s frozen feet, rather than being amputated, were saved thanks to the connection he made with a German cook’s young son during his brief hospital stay. The 10-year-old boy, who wanted to learn English, was drawn to my Dad’s genuine smile, warmth, and kindness. Following a day of lessons, he brought Dad a bottle of schnapps to show his appreciation. Dad drank the liquor, massaged his feet all night through the intense pain, and regained enough circulation to prevent the operation the following morning. Frank chuckled when I shared how Dad ended up playing professional football for the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles with those same feet!

When the conversation came to a natural close, Frank smiled, put out his hand, pulled me into a hug, and whispered “Thank you for taking time to talk with me.” “It was my pleasure and honor,” I whispered back.  And I meant it. As I held this sweet, dear man in my arms, I could feel his body gently shake as he can no longer hold back tears.

My own eyes misted as I felt the power of Dad’s lesson of kindness and warmth play out in my life.  This time it wasn’t a little boy and a bottle of schnapps in a war hospital, but an overwhelmed, working mom with a shrunken old man in Aisle 9.  But the lesson remained the same. The power of connection through a genuine smile. The magic in an unexpected place. A moment I almost missed because I didn’t have time to waste.

This holiday season, remember the greatest gift you can give another is your presence and time. No wrapping required.

Colette Carlson is a human behavior expert and CPAE Hall of Fame Motivational Keynote Speaker who inspires organizations and individuals to connect and communicate in real and relevant ways. With wit, humor and sincerity, each of Colette’s experiences weaves together real-life lessons on genuine connection and the tools to leverage those connections for personal and professional success. Book Colette for your next event: https://bit.ly/2s9CY1B

What are You Thankful For?

As today is Thanksgiving, I am reminded of all that I have to be grateful for. I have truly had a blessed life…a wonderful family, fabulous interesting friends, a great career traveling the world and studying other cultures.  I live in a country where I am free to vote and practice whatever religion I prefer.  I can speak out about whatever I choose to speak about.

I truly learned to appreciate all of this when I lived in South Africa during apartheid and witnessed the lack of freedoms and rights of many people…rights that we Americans often take for granted.

One year when I was in South Africa a friend attempted to make a traditional dinner for me and I so loved her for doing it. I was a long way from home and my family and she made the day really special.  It wasn’t anything like what we make, but it was really good.  As they don’t get turkey in the markets until Christmas, we had Cornish game hens. Since they don’t have real pumpkin like ours, they call their squash “pumpkin” so she made a pumpkin pie from squash and put chocolate sprinkles on top.  It certainly had an unusual flavor.

Another year, I had dinner with some other friends who heated the cranberry sauce and poured it over vanilla ice cream for dessert.  That was a real surprise to me, but actually it tasted quite good.

My most memorable Thanksgiving was the year I was speaking in Dubai for the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and my client actually had a turkey flown in so he and his family could make Thanksgiving dinner for me.  They invited all the Americans they knew and we all cooked and enjoyed dinner together.

It’s times like these when I realize that people around the world are people who are just like us…who want to have peace, happiness, and the love of their families and friends.  This year, I am thankful for my health, for overcoming cancer, and for still being able to speak, write and touch people’s lives in a positive way.

Judi Moreo is an International Award-winning Motivational Speaker, Best-selling Author, Corporate Trainer and Executive Coach. Known as “The Charismatic Communicator” Judi is one of the most in-demand speakers on motivation, communication skills, and personal development in the world. She is the author of mewly revised You Are More Than Enough and is the publisher of both the Life Choices book series and Choices magazine as well as the host of the popular Choices with Judi Moreo internet radio show. To book Judi Moreo click here: https://bit.ly/2Orosec

Leadership Through Change

The modern workplace has significant levels of stress. It can also be immersed with conflict related to change-management and downsizing. Technological change can cause conflict, as can changing work methodologies. Sometimes change would come in the form of a new boss. Someone coming in with new ideas and new methodologies. Just reorganization alone, which is some workplaces tends to be almost chronic, leads to tremendous amounts of stress and conflict.

While leadership is about change, change causes anxiety to many. In some instances, nothing is worse to productivity that extreme and disturbing anxiety in the workplace. This is when people constantly focus on their sources of anxiety (job loss, loss of power, loss of advantages) rather than on their own productivity and the success of the company overall.

Change interferes with autonomy and can make people feel that they’ve lost control over their territory and power. It also creates excess uncertainty. If change feels extremely uncertain, then people will reject it. People will often prefer to remain in misery than to head toward an unknown. In life in general, as much as in the workplace, we all need a sense of safety. Oftentimes with change, much unknown creates much irritability.

Leadership Definition – How it Connects to Change

Leadership is defined as the act of leading a group or organization. But sometimes leadership is faced with challenges in the face of change. Any decisions that imposed on people suddenly will cause anxiety and distress.

Everything seems different. Routine, as much as complained upon, brings certainty and confidence to many. Sudden decisions will create much bitterness and talk in the hallways.

In departing from the past and moving towards newer regulations, many will worry about loss of respect, face and status. Perhaps there are things that they do not really know. Maybe there are things they are not really good at. Things that were sort of protected by the older regulations. The concern would be that the newer regulations may expose inadequacies or incompatibilities.

Change also brings up concerns of being able to adapt to the newer requirements. Especially with technology, those that are not as technologically savvy may take longer to learn and feel extremely intimidated and agitated.

Many will worry that more will be required of them and are not sure how.

Leadership & Change – Getting Past Resentments

Resentments will come in two major forms: past resentments and present resentments.

Past resentments are sometimes staying put and quiet as long as everything is steady. But once anxiety is up, and things are steady no longer, these old resentments may surface again. The older they are, they may be harder to resolve. New resentments may arise stemming from the newly created circumstances.

Oftentimes, when older generation employees feel threatened by newer generation, and feel that their knowledge and experienced are not valued or may not be valued in the newly created circumstances.

The threat of change and the anxiety it causes are more than understandable. Change is promising to some, vital to the organization, dangerous to others. Because of that, change requires proactive conflict management practices. This is done in order to prevent escalation of conflict through change.

How to Lead Through Change

Here are some effective tips for leaders on successfully working through organizational change, without unnecessary drama:

1. Engage and Involve:

People tend to comply much more readily and easily if they feel a sense of ownership. This is rather than them feeling that things are imposed on them. While clearly change IS imposed on the employees, it would be a good idea to engage them in the process. And, to provide them with as much information and rationale as possible. This is in order to give them a sense of ownership rather than risk a sense of resentment.

2. Communicate, and Be Available to be Communicated With:

To keep your employees engaged, motivated and focused in a change-saturated environment, you will need to make yourself more available. This is good for you. As a leader you want to be able to monitor first-hand how things are managed under the organizational changes so that you can react quickly and effectively, and nip disasters in the bud. It is also good for your employees. They will have questions, and they will need clarity. The worst possible situation for an employee in a change saturated environment is to feel that there is no one to talk to other than water cooler talk with other employees.

3. Clarify Roles and Rules:

There is no difference between bigger and smaller corporations when it comes to low levels of clarity in terms of the scope of employees’ work or company policies. Regardless of the size of your organization, a lack of clarity will always lead to conflict.

The rule of thumb when it comes to employees’ scope of work and to company policies is “detail, detail, detail.” Detail aids clarity. In every situation where things are defined in a vague or partially vague manner there are problems. Messages are open not only to interpretation, but also to negotiation and power struggles. This isn’t because employees are necessarily trying to allocate more power to themselves. This may very well be the case, but it’s not always. But, because employees may truly make different assumptions as far as the scope of their work goes, what the policies are, and what is expected of them.

When their perceptions of expectations, scope, and policies clash, they will interpret that clash in a personal manner. Then conflict becomes inevitable. After all, when employees are unsure of what is expected of them, how can they be expected to perform in the best possible way? They can’t. That is why detail and clarity are so important.

4. Be Clear to Battle Fear

In departing from the past and moving toward newer regulations, many will worry about loss of respect, face, and status. One example of this could be a lack of skill or knowledge. This lack may perhaps be protected or hidden by older regulations. An employee may fear that these inadequacies or incompatibilities are about to be exposed.

Similarly, change also brings concerns of being able to adapt to the new requirements. This is especially true with technology. Those that are not as technologically savvy may take longer to learn new systems. They may feel extremely intimidated and agitated. Many will also worry that more will be required of them once the new changes are in place, and they are not sure how to meet those requirements.

The threat of change and the anxiety it causes are more than understandable. Change is promising to some, and perhaps vital to the organization. But, it’s dangerous to others. Because of that, change requires proactive conflict-management practices. In other words, management need to prevent conflict before it escalates. The Red-Shift Blue-Shift model, which we will talk about in greater detail later on, aims to do exactly that.

This model assists organizations in creating a language of effective conflict management. It does this throughout the organization during times of change or turmoil. It’s done in order to proactively address conflicts when they are still small, to increase engagement, and to create a company culture of true teamwork.

5. Promote a Company Culture of Adaptability- and Demonstrate It Yourself

To do well as a leader within your company and to build an adaptable team, you need to be able to accomplish five things. For the most part, what that means is that you need to create a corporate culture that recognizes the opportunity in every challenge.

As you accompany and support your employees through organizational change, remember that change related challenges are opportunities for growth. Highlight that in every conversation, meeting and communication. And furthermore, don’t forget to believe in it yourself, truly and whole-heartedly.

Dr. Michelle Rozen, International Keynote Speaker, Change Expert and Author, is a highly influential Social Media Expert, and featured on NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX News and many other media outlets discussing change, motivation and how the human mind works to become exceptional in every area of our lives, professionally and personally. Dr. Michelle Rozen is one of the most sought after International and National Keynote Speakers!  Book Dr. Michelle today: https://bit.ly/34QbHPv