Two Surprising Tips for Great Meetings… and Dinner Parties

You're about to hear the best advice I've ever received for getting the most out of business and social meetings alike. Some years ago I had the good fortune of taking a Leadership course at the Gestalt International Study Center on Cape Cod. The remarkable Sonia Nevis, one of the Center’s founders, worked with our group over the course of several days. During our time together, Sonia shared these very surprising tips for making meetings work well. As it turns out, they … [Read more...]

Is Kindness One of Your Core Strengths?

At the end of last week’s post about seeing what we look for, I asked you what you would choose to see. A number of people suggested traits like generosity, abundance, love, and kindness. Your suggestions brought me back many years to an “Ah-Ha!” moment in my life — a moment that lit a bulb in my mind and shifted what I look for. Recognizing the Importance of Kindness I was at a meeting of fellow fundraising professionals and, as an ice breaker, the facilitator asked … [Read more...]

Look for Something and You’re Likely to See It

Have you ever noticed that once you make up your mind about something, you start seeing lots of evidence that supports your decision? Your “sightings” aren't the result of Divine intervention. They happen because your brain, like mine and everyone else's, selects from among the gigabytes of available information and presents you with just the right things to match your conclusions. According to Chris Chabris and Dan Simons, co-authors of The Invisible Gorilla, our … [Read more...]

Surviving the Roller Coaster of Business, and Love

Most things in life cycle. Everything from business to our relationships feel as if they go “up,” but then they come back “down” again. Our lives feel great one day and feel lousy the next. Our opportunities expand, and then they contract — only to expand again. Even during the heyday of my fundraising consulting practice I would go from having more clients than I could comfortably manage to waiting anxiously for a potential client to call. You Haven't … [Read more...]

“NO” – The First Step Toward a Win-Win

I've asked you for a favor and you have said “no.” Sounds like the end of the conversation, right? Wrong! -- it’s just the beginning! My job is to find out what exactly you said "No” to.  What aspect of my request triggered your response? Four Reasons for a "No" In most circumstances there are only four reasons that someone says "No" to a request: 1. Timing We might be able and willing -- just not right now. 2. Amount We might be happy to help but not at that … [Read more...]

Lizard Brain and the Courage to Ask for What You Want

Yesterday I asked a former colleague, who is also a friend of mine, for a favor... I was hoping he would feature my recent post on intentional conversations in his newsletter, a very popular publication with more than 10,000 subscribers. But before I could ask the favor, first I had to deal with a huge amount of inner resistance. In fact, I almost didn't ask at all. Why not? I was afraid he'd feel I was being pushy or inappropriately infringing on our … [Read more...]

Winning as a Hare — And as a Tortoise

Though I have no scientific proof, I'm quite sure that our pace in life — the speed with which we function — shapes the way we see the world. For example, I'm like a hare — a speed demon. Ask me something and you’ll get the answer before you’ve finished the question. Walk down the block with me and I guarantee you’ll stretch your legs! But how much of what’s around me do I actually see? I’ve been thinking about personal pacing and observation because I recently … [Read more...]

See Your Inner Beauty: Sage Advice from Grandma

I was fortunate to have a wonderful mother-in-law who called every Sunday, without fail. One Sunday, when we spoke, I invited her to visit us in Pennsylvania. Her response? “Andrea, do you know what I look like? Yes? Well, I know what you look like too!” And that was the end of discussion about a visit. Mind you, our relationship was excellent and she said this with great affection. I understood that she had no need to visit, not because she didn’t love us, but … [Read more...]

The Perfect Gift

Yesterday was my birthday and gift-giving is on my mind. Are you sometimes stymied when you select a gift for someone because you don’t know what’s right? Have you ever gotten a gift that while it’s well-intended but has nothing to do with your interests or tastes? Do you know that hollow sensation of pretending to love a gift you can't stand? Are You a Great Gift Giver? I’ve always envied people who seem to be able to pick just the right gift. And I think I’ve … [Read more...]