Does Your Power Leak When You Introduce Yourself?

2011-08-15_cynthia-blueI attended a networking event yesterday.

  • Enjoyed the educational program.
  • Then it was time for the all exciting networking introductions!

Next, everyone was invited to introduce themselves to the room.

  • Using a microphone.
  • Should have been easy – stand up, share your information, smile.
  • And yet one person after another gave away their power.

Here are some of the ways people presented themselves as less than they really are.

I turned them into a list of things to avoid.

1. Speaking while your chair is making noise as you rise.

  • Wood chairs on wood floors are noisy – even if you have a microphone.
  • Don’t start speaking until everything is quiet.

2. Starting to speak before you are fully standing.

  • It looks funny. Sort of like a jack-in-the-box.
  • Most people were done with their intro by the time they were fully standing.
  • Those of us across the room couldn’t see who was talking – created a much weaker connection.

3. Grimacing at people as you speak.

  • Yes, you may be nervous and hate doing this kind of introduction.
  • It doesn’t matter – you still need to smile.
  • Grimacing will scare people away.

4. Adjusting your clothes while you speak.

I saw two different women adjusting their clothes as they spoke.

  • Pull the sleeves up or down.
  • Pull the shirt down.
  • Flip the hair back.

Grooming happens before you touch the microphone – not while you are speaking.

5. Using words with lots of syllables that no one really understands but you.

  • If I can’t understand what you are saying, I can’t value what you do.
  • Your intro needs to be simple enough even a kid can understand.
  • If you talk over me, you are rejecting me.

Little things that make a big difference – and serve as a power leak for you.

  • Awareness is the first step.
  • Can you think of anything else people do that leaks their power when introducing themselves to a room?
  • Share them in the comments below.

To Know Us is to Love Us

2014-15-MI-Womens-Bball-PracticeLast night we attended an open practice for the University of Michigan’s Women’s Basketball team.

  • I was curious to see how the athletes work out.
  • Wanted to “meet” all the new players.
  • And hoped to win season tickets to the games by answering trivia questions!

First, we watched the women play competitive skill “games”.

  • Broken into two teams, they raced the clock for shooting the most three-pointers.
  • Or practiced shooting and rebounding as a team by racing through a slightly twisted game of horse.
  • The losers of each round had to do five push ups.

The coaching staff made working on basic skills fun to do.

  • The coaches explained why they had the women do what they were doing.
  • There was great attention to detail about what was reinforced with each drill.
  • For example: Counting baskets aloud by team helped the women learn to communicate with each other.

2014-15-MI-Womens-Bball-team

Head Coach Kim Barnes Arico closed the program by introducing her team.

  • Each player took center stage.
  • Coach Kim shared some scoop about the player and gave them an opportunity on the microphone too.
  • I loved how the coach shared personal information, like family fun facts, about each player.

Last night the basketball team became more real to me.

  • Watching them drill made me think about how returning to basics can have big pay-offs in the work I do as well.
  • The players became individuals as I learned more about each.
  • It made me want to support the team even more.

The first game is this Sunday.

  • We have at least three conflicting activities on our calendar.
  • And yet, how can we not go to the game?
  • Especially when freshman team member, #23 Maria Backman, made a point to come way up into the stands where we were sitting to shake our hands, thank us for our support – and invite us to the game.

How do you help people know you so they want to be part of your team – whether personal or professional?

If You Could Do Anything What Would You Do?

What Should be the Next Move?Yesterday we talked about my shock of hearing a woman say, “I rarely do anything I don’t want to do.”

  • There was some good discussion in the comments.
  • Some mentioned attempting this in the volunteer world – in spite of the perils there.

Today I want to share a little exercise I found helpful.

  • I’ve been overly responsible for a great portion of my life.
  • As I lean into what can be, I’ve been embracing a more playful approach.
  • It helps me to think in ways I don’t normally think.

To break myself of doing what others want or expect me to do instead of what I want to do, I had to figure out what I enjoy doing!

  • When you live a life in service, that’s not a question you ponder a lot.
  • I certainly didn’t.
  • Did you?

Forget my heart Show me the MoneyAs an overachiever in recovery, at first I wanted to get the right answer.

  • What should someone like me want to do?
  • Could it change based on options?
  • What about whim?

My head hurt with all the variables I “played” with in my analysis.

  • It was the perfect way to keep me in my box.
  • And dedicated to my life of rules.

So I tried again, and just asked myself to fill in the blank, “If I could do anything, I would…”

  • At first I stumbled and struggled.
  • Then I said what the heck and let myself go.
  • (After all, I didn’t plan to post anything publicly about my list!)

I came up with a lot of light-hearted ideas.

  • Some I was able to add to my life right away without a lot of effort.
  • My days became lighter.
  • Work done more easily.

It’s your turn.

  • Get out your pen and paper.
  • There’s something different about writing by hand versus a computer.
  • That said, use the computer if you want.

Age 2 CynthiaList at least 10 answers to, “If I could do anything I would…”

  • Tap into that inner little girl who believes all things are possible.
  • What did you discover?
  • Share below in the comments.

What if it is hard for you to do a list?

  • Try doing a heart map – a mind map with answers from the heart.
  • You could also create your list sending texts to a good friend.
  • Or have the friend interview you using the same question until your list is complete.

What about doing only what I want when I want it?

  • This is a powerful first step.
  • There’s more work to be done on only doing what I want.
  • We will figure it out together. ;-)

So let’s hear about your list! What did you learn?

Why Do You Do What You Do?

2012-02-25_cynthia-questioningI remember the conversation like it was yesterday.

  • She looked like she was such a nice woman.
  • A few of my friends were already friends with her.
  • I was doing coffee to get to know her better.

And then it came out of her mouth…”I rarely do anything I don’t want to do.”

  • Huh? The brakes in my mind screeched as everything came to a halt.
  • How is this even possible?
  • I asked her to repeat what she just said – and she did.

This conversation took place three years ago.

  • Originally it fried my brain.
  • I have spent my life being of service to my clients, my family, my friends – and even strangers.
  • I thought that was what all women did.

Then I started to wonder…

  • What made her so special she didn’t have to do all the work?
  • But she didn’t say she didn’t help.
  • Just that she rarely did anything she didn’t want to do.

I played with this fantasy-to-me concept.

  • What if I only did what I wanted to do?
  • What would that look like?
  • Would lightening strike me down?

What about you?

  • Do you only do what you want to do?
  • Or do you spend your life doing what you’re supposed to do?
  • How does it feel?

Let’s explore this a bit before I share the next chapter of this story.

  • Awareness of possibility is the first step.
  • Tomorrow, I’ll share a little exercise that was an eye-opener for me.
  • In the meanwhile, let’s talk in the comments below.

 

Who Cares About the Neighbors?

small-spy“What would the neighbors think?” was the caution I often heard as a kid.

(I’m not sure if this neighborly threat was just a Michigan thing…)

The high priority put on the neighbors’ concern and impression fractured life for us.

  • It often felt like we lived two lives.
  • The real one inside our house.
  • And the carefully staged play for the rest of the world.

As an adult, I thought I gave less care to what the neighbors thought.

  • I take the dogs out in the middle of the night with just a wrapper over my pjs.
  • We let the natural wildflowers grow instead of planting one-season plants.
  • And we don’t water our lawn in the summer – we let the grass go on it’s natural cycle.

Ahhh…freedom – or so I thought.

  • Recently I realized I was still living under the neighborly rules.
  • My neighborhood had just expanded to the world.

For the last 20 years as a leadership strategist, I let my clients and others know just parts of me.

  • I strived to be a trusted resource and above reproach professionally.
  • My real life was a little more creative – with several websites to prove it.
  • Every once in a while I would cross pollenate my worlds – but only on safe topics like working out.

I could never find an umbrella big enough to cover all my interests.

  • (After all, what would my neighbors think?)
  • Finally I opened my eyes to the obvious place to keep everything…me.
  • I’m unleashing me on the world and figure people can just love me or leave me.

Over the next few weeks, I’m bringing the various pieces of me to rest under cynthiadamour.com

There’s a childish part of me still a bit worried about what the neighbors will think if they see all my stuff.

  • But the woman in me is ready to be totally me.
  • So this is a farewell of sorts to the neighborhood spies.
  • And HELLO to the world!

Do you ever find yourself wishing you could just be you?

 

 

What Am I Fooling Myself About?

2014 GiGi Mighty HunterGiGi is a very sweet dog.

  • She has a beautiful face.
  • Is Ruby’s best friend.
  • Loves fiercely.

Last night I took GiGi out during a commercial break for a quick commune with nature.

  • She ran into the backyard like usual.
  • (I was not far behind.)
  • She didn’t stop to do her thing.

GiGi was still on the move.

  • Chasing something from right to left across the backyard.
  • At first GiGi ran at her “let’s play” pace.
  • Then crouched lower, she was at full speed.

GiGi cornered the unfortunate rabbit that could not figure out how to squeeze through our fence fast enough.

  • There was a bit of a tousle.
  • Some squealing.
  • Then dead rabbit.

Horrified at what I witnessed, I roared at GiGi to get back in the house.

  • To my surprise, she dropped the rabbit.
  • Made a few defiant loops around the yard.
  • Then ran for the door.

How could such a sweet girl be so cruel and kill the rabbit?

  • After all, I snuggle with her and sometimes spoil her.
  • And then I remembered GiGi’s bloodline.
  • Part hound – a natural born mighty hunter!

It made me wonder what others things in my life have I gotten so comfortable with that I forget what they are really about.

  • I came up with a few.
  • How about you?

 

A New Journey Begins...

new-cyn-lt-blueWhen my Dad went into hospice almost two years ago, a big piece of me unraveled.

  • My commitment to fitness became a lessor priority.
  • I found comfort in food.
  • I left the gym.

Fast forward two years to this July…

  • I carried a lot of grief weight.
  • My back rebelled and locked up for over six months.
  • Food was making me sick – literally. (My food allergies were running wild.)

I decided to use the Whole30 plan to help me to detox and get on a healthier horse.

  • The plan eliminates common food allergens.
  • No dairy, soy, grain, legumes, sugar and alcohol for 30 days.
  • Focus on veggies, meat, fruit and healthy fats.

If I had any question whether or not the foods were impacting me, going through the first week of detox made it quite clear.

  • Going off all those foods, was painful.
  • Not in a self-denial kind of way – I was eating fabulous meals.
  • The pain came from detoxing – getting that stuff out of my system!

I finally started to see some sunshine as I reached the end of my first week.

  • Headaches gone – thank goodness.
  • Exhaustion easing.
  • A sense of lightness moving in.

Around day five, I started to realize that every healthy meal was taking me one step closer to perfect health.

  • I get that perfect health is like infinity.
  • You can always go to another level – like getting stronger.
  • However, the journey is where the magic takes place.

So I’m going to start blogging about my journey for myself and anyone else who wants to come along.

  • Anything chapter leader is moving to my People Power Unlimited site.
  • It’s nice to have everything together there.
  • This site, my name, is going to be about my journey.

I’m super excited to see what we discover together!

 

 

My Hero Saved the Day!

NYC-subwayI did the subway in NYC for the first time ever this trip.

  • I had avoided it for years.
  • A new friend offered to serve as my personal guide.
  • Got me to the subway station.

Then I hit my snag…

  • The lanes to the turnstiles were really skinny.
  • I was going to have to turn sideways to navigate.
  • And pull my suitcase behind me.

This approach was a great idea in theory – and not so brilliant in execution.

  • I got through the turnstile no problem.
  • However, my roller bag got caught on one of the turnstile spikes.
  • And locked in place.

I went into shock.

  • How the heck was I going to get that roller bag through?
  • I scrambled to remember vectors from physics class.
  • Played with the handle to get the right angle.

I was so consumed with problem-solving I didn’t notice the nice man who offered to help.

  • He was a short French man with dancing eyes.
  • Who struggled not to laugh at me.
  • I continued to ignore him.

Finally, my hero took charge.

  • He swiped his subway card.
  • And pushed my bag through the turnstile ahead of him.
  • My bag was finally free!

I gushed my thanks.

  • He waved adieu.
  • And I felt dumber than a doornail for ignoring his first offer of help.
  • His solution was so simple – I just had to give up control.

Makes me think of chapter leaders…do you notice when members offer to help you get stuff done – or are you too busy being a martyr?