As I stepped out onto the street in downtown Philadelphia, I felt invigorated by the cool, crisp morning air. My senses were extra alive that morning. I had just spent most of the previous three hours sitting absolutely still with my eyes closed at a mindfulness retreat led by my good friend and mentor, Michael Carroll.
We had a short lunch break from the retreat. I was heading back to my hotel to grab a bite of the food I had packed.
Due to my heightened senses, everything seemed to glow with beauty in the bright morning sun. The gentle breeze, although chilly, made me smile.
About midway between the retreat center and my hotel, I approached a large man wearing a green winter coat who was sitting on the sidewalk in front of a MacDonald’s.
It appeared as though he had slept outdoors. It also appeared as though he had too much to drink the previous night. He still smelled of alcohol and he had some dried vomit on the front of his green jacket.
I greeted the man with a smile as I approached. He returned my greeting and he smiled, too.
After exchanging a few words, he asked, “By any chance would you be able to get me a hamburger from MacDonald’s?”
“Oh no! Another networking reception?”
Do you ever feel this way when you think about the next social event where you’ll be a room full of people you don’t know and expected to “network”?
Do you think, “Not another hour of, ‘So, where are you from?’ and “What do you do?'”
Are you starting to yawn and nod off in boredom, and look like the baby above, just imagining such dull conversation?
In a recent article I wrote for Huffington Post, I share three simple questions that can transform your conversations at mixers, networking events, or even meeting someone while on an airplane. In fact, these questions can even be asked to invigorate conversations with people you’ve known for years.
Image credit – weronikamitchell.com
Of the many unpleasant emotions we can experience, fear may just top the list.
But fear is more than just physically unpleasant. Fear can also keep us from pursuing the things in life that really matter — like following our dreams, and developing and taking care of important relationships.
I have good news though. We can be free from the grip that fear often has on us.
Fearlessness is trainable!
1. How experience reduces fear.
I used to be very afraid of getting up in front of people and speaking. I would get sweaty palms and my stomach would be so tied up that I wouldn’t be able to eat. I would experience so much tension in my neck and shoulders that I would almost always have a headache by the time I had to speak or shortly thereafter.
Each time I spoke though, I noticed afterword that it wasn’t that bad. This is a trend I’ve noticed throughout my life. Things I fear are never as bad in reality as I make them out to be in my mind.
So one element of training for fearlessness is to simply push ourselves to do things that we fear so that we have more opportunities to develop the wisdom that the things we fear are always worse in our minds than they are when we actually experience them.
As I continued to get up in front of audiences and speak, my fear continued to diminish. Now I speak all the time in front of groups ranging from 10 people to 1,000 people, and there is no longer any fear associated with doing it.
2. Practicing investigation of our inner worlds.
This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post. To continue reading, please click on this link – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-tenney/success-and-motivation-_b_5479147.htmlhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-tenney/success-and-motivation-_b_5479147.html
Ideally, I’m sure that we’d all like to have workplaces that are completely free of conflict.
We may have dreams of an organization full of people who get along all the time, always acting harmoniously.
But reality quickly reminds us that this is not possible. So the important question to ask is:
How do we handle conflict when it arises personally or between people we lead?
Do we ignore it? Do we feign niceties to create the façade of harmony? Do we aggressively defend our position? Do we allow our people to do the same?
Effective leaders who truly care about their people and achieving excellence take a different approach.
They embrace conflict…
This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post. To continue reading, please CLICK HERE
This is an intro to a piece that I wrote for the Huffington Post.
Last week, as I reflected on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous speech, it occurred to me that Dr. King is certainly one of the most influential leaders in American history. Have you ever wondered why that is so? Answering this question can help us to be more effective leaders.
There were, of course, numerous factors that contributed to Dr. King becoming the de facto leader of the civil rights movement in America. However, it is clear that the principle cause is the fact that Dr. King was incredibly inspiring. He was able touch people’s hearts in a way that few others in history ever have. Fortunately for us, his secrets for inspiring others and moving them to action are traits that we can all emulate.
If you’d like to read the entire post, please CLICK HERE.
Thanks for reading this post! As a gift, I’d like to give you this excellent eBook for FREE! Just CLICK HERE, and I’ll send you this eBook, featuring chapters from John Spence, Jeff Klein, Charlie Kim, Michael Carroll, Ted Prince, David Marquet, and Ben Lichtenwalner.