Influencing Others — Wharton@Work July 2012

 “You not only have to understand fully what you believe … but … you have to try to figure out what the other person on the other side of the table has in mind.”  Madeline Albright

Mario Moussa, co-author of The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas and learning director of Strategic Persuasion Workshop: The Art and Science of Selling Ideas, says, “Persuasion isn’t about the strength of your ideas, or your argument. You might have truth on your side and have developed an iron-clad case, but facts and logical arguments don’t motivate people to act. Logic just puts a structure around things we already believe. To change someone’s mind, you need to replace the ‘hyperrational’ with the social, by making a connection.”

Here’s an interesting article from Wharton on the power of influence:

Influencing Others — Wharton@Work July 2012.

Savor the last Drops of Summer and Reduce Stress for Months

In summer, the song sings itself.

William Carlos Williams
US poet (1883 – 1963)

Summer afternoon – Summer afternoon… the two most beautiful words in the English language.

Henry James
British (US -born) author (1843 – 1916)

Can you believe it?  Summer is almost over! This time, don’t let the benefits of these short sweet months be over for you. Here are six of my favorite ideas to best prolong that sense of relaxation, less stress, and greater pleasure and fun  we experience over the summer well into the coming fall:

 Savor the Last Drops of Summer and Reduce Stress for Months  

Have you again felt that familiar sinking feeling when you come back from vacation or see those first back-to-school sale ads?  Are you thinking, (like I am), “Oh no!  It can’t be over yet”? Most of us look forward to the longer days and slower pace of summer all year long only to find it flies by all too fast leaving us feeling wistful and longing for the ease that we feel during those short sweet months.  Here are some of my favorite ideas to prolong the sense of relaxation, less stress, and greater pleasure and fun that we experience during the summer months:

1. Plan another vacation!  As soon as you come back from your last vacation of the summer, sit down with you spouse, partner, or family and plan another vacation, even if it’s only a short weekend getaway in September or October.  There’s nothing like having something else planned to erase that “all the fun is over feeling” and often, fall is an even better time to go on vacation  than the summer months.  Beautiful and relaxing locations can be even more beautiful and relaxing, when the  crowds are gone and serenity and greater privacy are yours.

2.  Keep  up that summer activity level. Most of us are much more active during the summer months and often this leads to being (literally) lighter, having more energy, and sleeping better. All of these equal less stress. Consider ways to make small modifications in your day which will allow you to continue at this level of physical activity.  For instance, if you were swimming almost every day on vacation, research locations where you can swim regularly, and figure out how to build this into your week.  Or, if you were walking on the beach every morning, or at sunset every evening, keep walking daily in your neighborhood, and, (very important), plan an alternate activity for days when it is too cold, too wet, etc. to do this.  This substitute activity could be time on an elliptical machine in your basement, a stationary bike in your bedroom, or dancing to your favorite dance video in your living room.  Be creative, think about any option that is physical,  vigorous and fun and is not  dependent on the weather, otherwise as the weather changes your good habit will be likely to fade away.

3.  Revel in Summer Produce. Produce is wonderful and abundant at the end of summer. Revel in the colors, textures, and tastes of a large variety of fruits and vegetables,  preferably locally grown and as close to fresh- picked as possible. Current experts in nutrition and disease prevention now recommend that the ideal level of consumption of fruits and vegetables is 5-9 servings a day, even more than was previously thought. If there was ever a time to try out new recipes for fruits and  vegetables, it would be now.  With produce more available, fresher, and more delicious than at any other time  of year, even non-vegetable lovers may be pleasantly surprised at how good they are, and how good they make them feel. And, preventing cancer is a nice bonus!

4.  Get  Outside During Daylight Hours. Many people, even those who do not meet criteria for Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), find their mood is negatively affected by lack of natural light.  As the days get shorter, and you are back to spending most of your day at the office, make sure you build in time during the day to get that natural light that we usually get in abundance in the summer, when there is more light, and we’re outside more to enjoy it.  Eat your lunch outside, or take a twenty or thirty minute walk outside at lunch in order to make sure you get your daily dose of light. (It doesn’t have to be sunny for you to benefit). Keep comfortable walking shoes and socks if you need them, handy under your desk. Consider inviting people who want to talk to you to do a “walking  meeting” during daylight hours and get a little work accomplished and your daylight at the same time!

5. Return to the Moment.  Bring back a small object, the more tactile the better, such as a smooth stone,  a small shell from the beach, or a found feather that reminds you of your vacation.( In coaching we call this a “structure”.)  Keep  this object readily available and in plain sight on your desk or another spot where you will see it frequently throughout your day.

Several times a day pick up the object, hold it in you hands,(this is where the tactile part comes in), close your eyes and visualize yourself in the most relaxed and peaceful place of your vacation.  With your eyes still closed, breathe deeply, visualize all the details:  the colors, the textures, the quality of the light sparkling on the water, or creating dark silhouettes against rich pastels at sunset.. “Hear” the sounds of the birds or the water, the laughter of the children chasing the lightning bugs.  “Smell” the scents, whether the distinctive ocean tang of the wharf, the deep green woodsy scents of the forest, or the aroma of the fresh local foods from the grill.  Give yourself a full 2-3 minutes to take yourself back to this place, and to allow yourself to feel the same sense of peace, abundance, and deep relaxation of the best part of your vacation.  Finally, acknowledge your gratitude for being here, having had such a wonderful experience, and being able to take it with you wherever you go.

Take a couple more slow breaths and open your eyes, return to your current location, but not without carrying the feeling of this moment back with you to access as needed as you go about your day. Retrieve this “micro-vacation” as-needed  as a part of each day, particularly those days when you may be feeling especially stressed or frazzled.

6. Play every day.  According to Chris Peterson, Ph.D. a professor at the University of Michigan School of Psychology and one of the foremost experts on positive psychology, “There is a direct relationship between how happy people are, and how much “play” is in their lives:” Think about what is “play” for you, whether time for reading for pleasure, riding a horse, listening to music, singing, or playing  your  instrument, poking around in your garden, or playing with your child or grandchild, and figure out how to increase the amount of play in your life.  Just like when you are on vacation, make it a habit to have more fun and “play” in your life every day.

Coaching Tip:

Try incorporating as many of these strategies as possible into your life now, in order to savor the last sweet drops of the summer long into the coming year.  With practice, they will make you happier, and help you to carry forward the beauty and benefits of those wonderful summer months. Remember, you deserve it, and, it’s good for your health!

Copyright Lisa Pasbjerg and Focused Coaching 2007-2012 .This article may be reprinted, only with the approval of the author, and if it is reprinted in its entirety with full attribution. Please contact us for details.

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Lisa Pasbjerg, DCSW, PCC is a professionally credentialed coach and leadership development expert in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  She is founder and principal at FOCUSED COACHING, LLC at , which provides executive coaching, leadership and management training, and Strategic Career Re-Design™ services to high-achieving physician, healthcare, and other organizational leaders and their teams throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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Don’t Like Your Job? Change It Without Quitting – Amy Gallo – Best Practices – Harvard Business Review

What if you could reconfigure the “building blocks” of your job to make it really fit you?

Here’s my recent interview on the Leadership Focus Radio Show with Jane E. Dutton, PhD, distinguished professor at the University of Michigan, and co-director of its Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship at the Ross School of Business, joins us to talk about just that. She brings to our show an entire career of experience dedicated to transforming and energizing organizations through research on positive organizing and leadership. Her current research focuses on how high quality connections, positive meaning and emotions contribute to both individual’s and organizational flourishing. Energize your workplace and yourself! Listen as Jane helps us to find the secrets to redo and rethink work from the inside out through a new, intriguing and brilliantly successful tool and process called “job crafting.”

Here is a related and very good Harvard Business Review piece by Amy Gallo:

Don’t Like Your Job? Change It Without Quitting – Amy Gallo – Best Practices – Harvard Business Review.

How to Negotiate Your Next Salary – Amy Gallo – Best Practices – Harvard Business Review

Did you know most women don’t negotiate their salaries? And, that most employers consider their orignal offer to be a starting place…..   Can you imagine what a difference that makes over a 30 year career, when even a few thousand dollars becomes a huge gap as raises are percentaged on that base?

Here are some excellent resources and a Harvard Business Review article to help you be more effective in negotiating your next salary.  Many of these tips can also be applicable to those negotiating  a raise, or other kinds of compensation, for example more time off instead of health-care if your spouse covers you, or,  more flex time.

How to Negotiate Your Next Salary – Amy Gallo – Best Practices – Harvard Business Review.




You may also want to check out my August 1st  radio interview with social scientist, Jonathan Jordan on Recent Breakthroughs in the Neuroscience of Negotiation.

Having A Purpose In Life Could Protect Brain From Mental Decline, Study Suggests

Yet another reason why having a sense of purpose in your life and life’s work is critical to your well-being. Here’s a new study that shows the preventive relationship this may have to the decline of cognitive function as we age. ( I don’t know about you but I’m for anything that can help with this!)

Se the full article below:


Having A Purpose In Life Could Protect Brain From Mental Decline, Study Suggests.

Also, if you are interested in knowing more about brain-science and sense of purpose in organizations, you may want to set a reminder to listen to my two upcoming radio interviews with:

Positive Thinking: Avoid 5 Toxic Beliefs That Ruin Careers |

Here’s a great  post from Inc. Magazine with some food for thought.  I wish someone had told me this stuff when I was a lot younger, and I wish I could share it with all the gen Y and gen X ers who are trying to make their way in this tough economic climate.

Positive Thinking: Avoid 5 Toxic Beliefs That Ruin Careers |


What do you think of Geoffrey’s ideas?  Is there anything that you would add?

Coaching Tip:

So many times as a coach I am helping clients deal with that “inner critic” that keeps them from believing in how powerful they really are, and holds them back from trying things that are really pretty good risks for them to take.

What’s holding you back?  How can you “play a bigger game”, starting with a small step now?