Stone to Speak at Commerce Club Atlanta March 13

Debby Stone will be speaking at a lunchtime program at the Commerce Club Atlanta on Wednesday, March 13th.  Her keynote, entitled “Build Your Brand by Telling Your Story: The Art of Self-Promotion,” is open to the public.  Those attending will learn why telling your story is critical at every stage of a career and walk away with practical ways to promote themselves confidently, gracefully and authentically.  To attend, please contact the Commerce Club at 404-222-0191 or anna.chafen@clubcorp.com.  The luncheon program is $15 for club members and $25 for guests.

ICF Members Given Access to Stone’s Program

Debby Stone’s highly rated program from International Coach Federation’s Converge 2017 conference entitled “Build Your Brand by Telling Your Story” will be distributed to all ICF members who renew their memberships early.  With their exclusive access to this program, coaches will walk away with practical strategies for implementing the art of self-promotion in the context of their unique coaching businesses.  As a PCC credentialed coach, a past Georgia chapter president and long-time member, Debby Stone is pleased to help support excellence in coaching.

Sheedy Nominated as Executive Coach of the Year

Dan Sheedy has been nominated as a 2018 Executive Coach of the Year by TurnKey Coaching & Development Solutions.  The award signifies that Dan is considered to be an expert in facilitating successful growth and development, even at the highest corporate levels, and is skilled at unleashing the potential of already powerful executives.  To learn more about Dan and his brand of highly effective coaching, please click here.

Novateur Partners Welcomes Kelly Bergeron

We are pleased to announce that Kelly Bergeron has joined Novateur Partners as a Senior Executive Coach.

In addition to her coaching expertise, Kelly brings a rich work history including years of leadership as a Chief Human Resources Officer and as member of the U.S. Marine Corps.  Kelly is DiSC certified and particularly enjoys working with director level leaders preparing for the next step or seeking to maximize the effectiveness of their teams.

Click to read more about Kelly’s background and experience, and she can be reached at kbergeron@novateurpartners.com and 404-667-9306.

Sheedy and Stone Speaking about Gender Bias

Dan Sheedy and Debby Stone will be speaking to a group of attorneys in Pittsburgh on November 8th about Gender Bias.  Their presentation, specifically focused on understanding gender bias within the context of the practice of law, will also look at ways women and men can help combat the effects of bias in the workplace.

Click here to learn more about our interactive learning programs

Lessons Learned by Slowing Down

Submitted by Debby Stone.

I recently had surgery to repair a torn ligament in my right hand.  And for those of you who are wondering, yes, I am right handed!  After surgery, I went home in a heavy, large bandage that served much like a cast.  While bandaged, I had virtually no use of my hand at all.

Fortunately, I was liberated from that bondage (I mean bandage) after two weeks and now have a splint which gives me partial use of my right hand.  At least now I can wiggle my four fingers!

I will wear the splint for another couple of weeks, and during my recovery I have learned a number of things.  First, I have learned that there is a reason for the opposable thumb.  Without it, so many things are impossible.  The ability to grip really does set us apart from other species!

More importantly, I have learned the value of slowing down.  Normally, I move through life very quickly and slowing down seemed like a foreign concept to me.  However, as I recover from this surgery, I have been forced to move through life more slowly, deliberately and consciously.  It takes conscious thought to do anything and everything with my non-dominant hand, and it simply takes longer to do it.

Interestingly, my surgery coincided with adoption of meditation as a daily practice.  Meditation helps focus the mind and bring conscious awareness to each moment.  And let me tell you, currently, everything from feeding myself, to brushing my teeth, to typing requires me to deliberately, consciously  and carefully take the needed action.  There is no such thing as going through the motions of something without that extra bit of concentration and awareness.

Through my forced slow down post-surgery, I have been given a great gift.  I have learned that sometimes slower is better.  Much like the budding slow food movement, there is a great deal to be said for moving through life with more conscious awareness and for taking more deliberate action, even if that action takes more time.  The slower pace allows for space and in that extra space, I have thought more, reawakened my creative mind and gotten it through my head that it is okay if every email is not answered instantaneously.  When we slow down, the world does not end, it simply slows down with us.

I certainly don’t recommend hand surgery as a way to try slowing down but I do recommend meditation for anyone who has not yet tried it out.  And, as a coach, all of this makes me curious…

What could you learn by slowing down?

2017 eLit Awards Medalist

eLit Awards LogoThe Art of Self-Promotion: Tell Your Story, Transform Your Career was an eLit Book Awards 2017 Bronze Medal Recipient in the category of Business/Career/Sales.  The eLit Awards is a global awards program committed to illuminating and honoring the very best of English language digital publishing.

To learn more about eLit Awards and see the results, visit elitawards.com.

To preview or purchase this award-winning book, click bit.ly/SelfPromoBook.

A Grown-up Version of Fun

Contributed by Debby Stone.

holiday-fun“What do you consider fun?”  I posed this question to a client recently in a coaching appointment and she had trouble answering.  For most of us, as adults, fun is an elusive concept, and it is often easier for us to put a finger on what is not fun than what is.

I borrowed the question “What do you consider fun?” from a line in the song “Genius of Love” by the Tom Tom Club.  The song was popular many years ago and has recently resurfaced in Target commercials.  Back when the song was popular and played on the radio, fun was simple for most of us.  We were young.  We knew what fun was and what it looked like to have fun.

It was fun to ride your bike downhill without braking.  You could feel the speed and the wind in your hair.  That was fun!  It was fun to go to a friend’s birthday party, eat cake and ice cream and play games.  It was fun to play with a favorite toy.  Fun almost always involved smiles, laughter and feelings of outright glee.  Sometimes it even showed itself through screams or squeals of delight.

Now that we are grown ups, fun is more difficult to define.  Can work be fun?  Is it possible to have fun without laughing or even smiling?  As children, fun was outward focused and typically depended upon circumstances beyond our control.

As adults, fun is often a by-product of something deeper.  We can find that we are having fun while achieving a goal, engaging in fulfilling work or honoring a deeply held value.  Nowadays most of the fun we have comes without squeals of joy.

Since it is often difficult for us as adults to know when we are having fun, I want to issue a challenge to you to begin to consciously look at this concept.  How do you define fun?  How do you know something is fun?

Begin by reflecting on what you do that absorbs you so much that you don’t notice the passage of time.  Chances are you are having fun in those moments.  Also notice what brings you contentment and joy.  Start to keep a log of joyful moments.  A pattern may emerge that points you in the direction of activities where fun can be found.

Also, notice your own reactions.  When you are having fun, are you feeling relaxed or intense?  Note the times when you finish something or leave somewhere and say out loud, “I am glad I did that.”  Consider the circumstances of those activities.  What are you doing?  Are you with other people or alone?  What was enjoyable about those moments?

There are many factors that influence fun and adult fun has many faces.

Since it is no longer the simple equation it was when we were kids, if we want to amp up our enjoyment of life, it is important that we examine the question “What do you consider fun?”

Positively Delivering Constructive Feedback

feedback-796135_1920

Contributed by Dan Sheedy.

We are approaching the season of performance reviews and feedback. If you manage people, you will likely be called upon to evaluate those you lead. How will you deliver feedback? The tone and temperament with which you give feedback will significantly influence your brand among your bosses, subordinates and peers.

Recently, at the Decatur Book Festival, I had the opportunity to see two authors, my colleague, Debby Stone (The Art of Self Promotion – Tell Your Story, Transform Your Career) and Sandy Jap (Partnering with the Frenemy – A Framework for Managing Business Relationships, Minimizing Conflict, and Achieving Partnership Success) who articulated important aspects of feedback in their panel on Crucial Conversations. As the authors navigated the topics of effective self-promotion and the dark side of business relationships and the individuals who drive them, a recurring theme came through. Simply put, the question was, “how do I positively communicate the negative?” In essence, what are some ways to effectively navigate and communicate feedback in challenging workplace relationships and environments?

As you might have guessed, this is easier said than done, and we all can think of situations we have been in where we wished we had given feedback better.

You probably have heard the phrase, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.” While this sounds like good advice at first glance, if your goal is to provide others with meaningful and actionable feedback, in reality, this advice is not going to be valuable. Providing high impact feedback requires these key ingredients:

1. Go in with the intent to help the employee’s growth and development, not the intent to show the individual what is wrong. The feedback should build up, not drain, the employee’s motivation and resources for change. Communicate in a manner that builds confidence.

2. When preparing for a feedback conversation, reflect on what you hope to achieve and on what impact you’d like to have on the employee – their takeaway. Practice this!

3. Openness and authenticity on the part of the feedback giver is critical to creating a connection that facilitates change. If you start off accusatory, dominating and self-protective, your employee will match that energy. Model a presence and demeanor that is worth imitating so your employee can internalize this grace and in turn model it throughout the organization.

4. Invite the employee into the problem-solving process. You can ask questions such as: What ideas do you have? What are you taking away from this conversation? What steps will you take, by when, and how will I know? Powerful questions that encourage ownership on the part of the receiver of feedback have a profound impact on accountability.

Giving feedback – positively communicating the negative – is a critical skill to master. Effective mastery and modeling by leaders can make the difference between an employee who contributes powerfully and positively to the organization and one who feels diminished by the organization and contributes far less or leaves. Remember, a single conversation can switch an employee on or shut the individual down. As Maya Angelou said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Stone Featured in Podcast – “A Swift Kick from a Friend Changed Her Life’s Direction”

Debby Stone ImageDebby Stone was recently interviewed by Discover Your Talent – Do What You Love in a podcast entitled “A Swift Kick from a Friend Changed Her Life’s Direction.” In this conversation, Debby explains what precipitated her career change from corporate law into coaching. She also delves into the most powerful lesson she learned along the way and details 3 steps to success. To hear the full podcast, please click on the image on the left.

Discover Your Talent – Do What You Love is a podcast series hosted by Don Hutcheson. The podcast series is designed for people of every age and background who are looking to build a life and career that uses the best of who they are to enjoy a life of success, satisfaction and freedom. Experts share tools and processes that help make the journey more manageable and the end result happen faster. To listen to the podcast, click here.